Submitted by Henry
on September 10, 2008 - 10:35am
During the 2004 presidential election season, I ran a column in Technology Review Online which described the way that average citizens were exploiting their expanded capacity to manipulate and circulate images to create the grassroots equivalent of editorial cartoons. These images often got passed along via e-mail or posted on blogs as a way of enlivening political debates. Like classic editorial cartoons, they paint in broad strokes, trying to forge powerful images or complex sets of associations that encapsulate more complex ideas. In many cases, they aim lower than what we would expect from an established publication and so they are a much blunter measure of how popular consciousness is working through shifts in the political landscape. Many of them explore the borderlands between popular culture and American politics. I called this "Photoshop for Democracy" and the ideas got expanded in the final chapters of Convergence Culture.