TUESDAY MARCH 3 12:45pm – Siegel Hall, IIT Humanities
TV, Wide Open: Developing Art for Networked Distribution
by Aymar Jean Christian
Aymar Jean Christian
Assistant Professor in the Media, Technology and Society program in the Department of Communication Studies at Northwestern University
This talk charts the beginnings of an experiment in developing community-based networked television. The Wide Open series, part of the Open TV network, empowers a diverse set of creative artists to tell original stories as part of an art-driven online anthology series. Blending elements of scripted entertainment, performing arts, and other creative practices, Wide Open is focused on under-represented artists and audiences — e.g. queer, black, Latin@, trans, femme, and others) — and seeks to evolve from an online anthology series into a fully-resourced multimedia platform providing under-served communities with a viable alternative to mainstream entertainment. This project is an intervention in television, film, online video and art industries, all of which undervalue the creative work of people of color and other marginalized workers. The persistent inequality of these creative economies has resulted not only in a stilted mainstream entertainment industry but also a rich, under-explored wealth of diverse artistry already moving forward in alternative spaces. By showcasing underrepresented arts and artists through more open platforms online, Wide Open seeks to build a broad, diverse and consistent audience for underrepresented and under-funded arts, television and film.
Aymar Jean “AJ” Christian is assistant professor in the Media, Technology and Society program in the Department of Communication Studies at Northwestern University and editor of Televisual. Dr. Christian researches new media and creative economy. As part of this research he documents the changing market for television across popular and academic publications, including Indiewire and academic journals Continuum, Transformative Works & Culture, First Monday, Cinema Journal and Communication, Culture and Critique. His book-length manuscript, Open TV: Innovation Beyond Networks, will be the first full study on the rise of web video, incorporating years of documenting and participating in this emerging art form and market.