Media theorist and social critic Douglas Rushkoff will have a new book due out in June called “Life, Inc.” For the past couple of months I have been contributing to the making of a promotional short film for the book, directed by Janine Saunders. The short film is a synthesis of the ideas contained in the book, in brief about how “the world became a corporation” and what we can do to “take it back.”
We used a lot of archival footage and some of the original footage I contributed contained images from New York and San Francisco, of people shopping and consuming – including Black Friday shoppers in New York and a little protest organized by Reverend Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping.
But, one of the most unique and fortuitous experiences I had was attending the GSMA mobile world congress in Barcelona. Unrelated to the filming of Life, Inc. I was invited to film the GSMA summit by Jeffrey Schwartz as a freelance videographer, but ended up using some of the footage we filmed at the conference for the Life, Inc. film as well – since the corporate landscape of the cell phone conference, with over 50,000 attendees, was a perfect example of the themes of Rushkoff’s book.
One thing that came out of filming the conference was that I found a lot of the truly innovative technologies to be missing from the corporate event. In fact, it seemed like the corporations were acting more like gatekeepers, choosing which technologies at their disposal to release, based on what would be profitable, a not necessarily based on what was truly innovative. More on this in later posts, but attending this conference was a real unique and illuminating experience for me.
You can see more information on Douglas Rushkoff’s new book on his webiste, which includes our short film: