Making is connecting – Gauntlett

A book a read some time ago is Making is Connecting (Gauntlett, 2011) that covers a myriad of topics to do with the digital landscape but for me, is noteworthy in its connection of user generated content to older practises of content creation. Drawing on Victorian art critics such as William Morris and John Ruskin, Gauntlett makes some interesting comparisons between how content was created and shared in Victorian times and how closely related online content creation is. Similar to Jenkins (2006) assertion that ‘Convergence Culture’ is the moment when mass culture meets folk culture, through drawing on folk cultural practises as a means of comparison Gauntlet finds that there is much common ground between notions of creativity even when divided by nearly 200 years.

Interestingly, ‘authentic’ or ‘vernacular’ (47) creation is defined as personal, natural and communal art that in many ways corresponds to many of the most viral, spreadable and meme prone creations on the Internet. For notions of creativity, defintions of platforms, summaries of notions such as the Hive Mind and or capital; Making is Connecting offers a useful, overridingly optimistic, perspective of the digital landscape.

Gauntlett, D. (2011) Making is Connecting: The Social Meaning of Creativity, from DIY and Knitting to Youtube and Web 2.0, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Jenkins, H. (2006) Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, London: New York University Press.

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