Deleuze & Guattari

The GREAT campaign, or non-fascist media

  1. In a time of austerity and crisis, the GREAT campaign aims "to use the platform of the Games in 2012 to showcase Britain’s capabilities, to promote and enhance our reputation abroad and to maximise the economic potential of the Games". In 'The palingenetic core of fascist nationalism' (pdf) Roger Griffin describes contemporary scholarship's view that fascism centres on a mythic rebirth of the nation from crisis. The term 'palingenetic' describes a rebirth that is radical & modern ("Technology is GREAT Britain", "Innovation is GREAT Britain") but embraces a mythic past ("Heritage is GREAT Britain", "Countryside is GREAT Britain").
  2. The GREAT campaign uses traditional mass media for national branding. What about the potential of new technologies to open things up? History suggests it could go either way; radio regulation re-tuned that medium away from experimental many-to-many communication to became instead the patriotic poshness of Reith's BBC and the main vector for Nazi propaganda. We know only too well that the internet could follow. But right now it offers a deterritorialisation, however transient; a way out of coded identities and rigid hierarchies. Can we read Anti-Oedipus as our manual for social technology, so that it becomes (to adapt Foucault) "an Introduction to Non-Fascist Media"?
  3. In a video for the GREAT campaign the blokey but repellent 'Sir' Paul Smith extols the virtue of high value fashion, including his leather shoes "handmade in Northampton". The roots of Northampton's shoe making lie in the English Civil War - it got the contract to make boots for the New Model Army, who were fighting for a country where no-one would Lord it over anyone else. Perhaps our picture of the future need not be "a boot stamping on a human face - forever" but the footwear of the multitude flying at every screen where a dictator appears.

Image credit: @teacherdude - more at Teacher Dude's BBQ


Hybrids, Assemblages & Tahrir Square at CityCamp Brighton (video presentation)

The video and slides from my presentation at CityCamp Brighton, March 5th 2011. It draws on case studies from Egypt's revolution, open data experiments and the NHS to propose hybrids of social movements & service organisations. The critical framework is largely drawn from Deleuze & Guattari and the proposal for practical solutions are digital-social assemblages building on Social Innovation Camp & Crisis Camps.

NHS innovation diffusion - from Deleuze & Guattari to Digital Movements

Background: I was invited by UCL Partners to present at an Innovation Diffusion workshop for NHS London. The paper was subsequently presented to the NHS London Clinical Senate.

As Deleuze & Guattari would say, the NHS is a striated space. The quickest way to add innovative 'smooth spaces' is by combining digital tools and social movements. Slides below, full paper attached: comments welcome.

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