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Book recommendation: “Ourspace” by Christine Harold

Eric Steuer, June 5th, 2007

Ourspace cover

Professor Christine Harold of the University of Georgia has a great new book out entitled Ourspace: Resisting the Corporate Control of Culture that focuses on participatory culture and the movement to subvert mainstream media supremacy.

Harold examines the deployment and limitations of “culture jamming” by activists. These techniques defy repressive corporate culture through parodies, hoaxes, and pranks. … While these strategies are appealing, Harold argues that they are severely limited in their ability to challenge capitalism. Indeed, many of these tactics have already been appropriated by corporate marketers to create an aura of authenticity and to sell even more products. For Harold, it is a different type of opposition that offers a genuine alternative to corporate consumerism. Exploring the revolutionary Creative Commons movement, copyleft, and open source technology, she advocates a more inclusive approach to intellectual property that invites innovation and wider participation in the creative process.

There’s a nice write-up of the book on Media Bistro, which points out a wiki Harold has set up to invite readers to offer their ideas about the book and related concepts. The write-up also mentions McKenzie Wark’s Gamer Theory, which we wrote about previously.

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