I know these have been around for a while, but I thought it was important to record links to them. They provide a good overview of the culture of the web and are useful to show students when introducing them to web design for the first time. Although these pieces are smaller productions when compared to traditional documentary type films, they have become very popular because there isn’t a huge amount of mainstream material available that explains what the Internet is, or that provides insightful commentary about the experience of using it. Anyway, large budget productions made by traditional broadcasters tend to go out of date before they even get aired! Perhaps, that is why these little films have gained large audiences online? They capture and record what is happening now, and it’s happening so fast that it is impossible to keep up! It is also worth pointing out, that the textual emphasis, apparent in these visions of the Internet and our interaction with it, is interesting considering many cultural commentators believe we are moving from a culture of the written word to a predominantly image-based world.I really like Michael Wesch’s piece Web 2.0…The Machine is Us/ing Us, though it is a little bit long. Its a slick edit of what happens almost unconsciously on a day to day basis on most people’s desktop.
Epic 2015 by Robin Sloan and Matt Thompson, is loaded with the history of Google’s world domination. There are some really great prophecies here. Its a shame that sometimes the visuals plod a little to the dramatic voice over, but the narrative is still really interesting and the simple interference adds to the sense of a guerilla broadcast!
The other film that springs to mind in this category, though its old now (relative to web time) and one which I very much enjoy is Richard Fenwick’s 51st State. His other films in the RND# series for Ideo are also very smart.
Finally, here is a link from Aido yesterday, the web 2.0 aesthetic applied to well known brands, no doubt these will soon look very out of date!