Episode 107: Co-Created Media and Collective Wisdom with Kat Cizek and William Uricchio

We begin to talk about the story between MIT’s Open Doc Lab and our guests’ book Collective Wisdom with Kat’s experiences working for the National Film Board of Canada and how this provided a precious chance for her to dig into collective wisdom. William Uricchio brings in the Comparative Media Studies program at MIT and two major characteristics of its cross-media study: remarkable community and applying humanity to work. Then we talk about the diversity of co-creation, and our guests’ definitions of some key terms, including the difference between co-creation and collaboration. Looking at the deep roots of these practices from long before the modern notion of single-authorship, Kat & William’s book lifts up alternatives for dealing with today’s “wicked problems.” It also dispels the concept of a fixed narrative for an open one, making way for participatory culture. Through examples like MIT Co-Creation Studio’s Worlding initiative, AI, and Art/Science experimentation, we talk about decentralized decision-making, the ownership/authorship of co-creation, and re-think existing models of co-creation between arts and science. Finally, our guests are careful not to present co-creation as a panacea, and that accompanying strategies are necessary to make it productive.

Katerina Cizek is an Emmy-winning documentary director working across many media platforms: digital media, broadcasting (radio and television), print, and live presentations/installations. Her work has documented the Digital Revolution and has itself become part of the movement. As a filmmaker-in-residence, she has helped redefine the National Film Board of Canada as one of the world’s leading digital content hubs for a community-based and globally recognized documentary.

William Uricchio revisits the histories of old media when they were new; explores interactive and participatory documentary; writes about the past and future of television; thinks about algorithms and archives; and researches narrative in immersive and interactive settings. He is Professor of Comparative Media Studies, founder and Principal Investigator of the MIT Open Documentary Lab, and Principal Investigator of the Co-Creation Studio. He was also Professor of Comparative Media History at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and has held visiting professorships at the Freie Universität Berlin, Stockholm University, the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (Lichtenberg-Kolleg), China University of Science and Technology, and in Denmark where he was DREAM professor. He has received Guggenheim, Humboldt, and Fulbright fellowships, the Berlin Prize, and the Mercator Prize. His publications include Reframing Culture; We Europeans? Media, Representations, Identities; Die Anfänge des deutschen Fernsehens; Media Cultures; Many More Lives of the Batman; Collective Wisdom: Co-Creating Media Within Communities, across Disciplines and with Algorithms, and hundreds of essays and book chapters, including a visual “white paper” on the documentary impulse (momentsofinnovation.mit.edu). He is currently leading a two-year research initiative on augmentation and public spaces with partners in Montreal and Amsterdam.

A full transcript of this episode will be available soon!

Here are some of the references from this episode, for those who want to dig a little deeper:

Collective Wisdom 

National Film Board of Canada – Highrise

George Stoney

Colin mentioned “Bear 42,” but meant Bear 71 (and apologizes for failing memory). Here’s a short article on that film and the newer VR version of the original screen-based film.

Henry on Archive of Our Own

J.R.R. Tolkien on Subcreation

Waves of Buffalo and other MIT Co-Creation Studio Worlding projects

ISeeChange collective climate change study

Stephanie Dinkins, AI artist

Gina Czarnicki Artwork – Heirloom

Google Smart City Experiment in Toronto

Goncharov: The Fake Martin Scorsese Film the Internet Brought to Life

Check out our previous episode with Mike Monello

Share your thoughts via Twitter with Henry, Colin and the How Do You Like It So Far? account! You can also email us at [email protected].

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