All That Is Solid Melts Into Google
At a time when the Googlesphere is encroaching on more and more of the web, this short film by Peter Woodbridge explores the latest form of imperialism: digital imperialism.
via Recent Videos | Adbusters Culturejammer Headquarters.
**** Highly Recommended ****
A brilliant video that manages to conduct a trenchant critique of Google and its will to digital imperialism in the form of, essentially, a music video.
After you are done mulling over and appreciating the argument that Woodbridge makes for the impact of Google’s increasing dominance of our digital life, and its construction of what Woodbridge terms “knowledge 2.0,” go back and watch this video another few times and consider it from a more formal and technical perspective.
It is 3:34 long, pretty much the length of a song – or music video – and consists of a piece of music overlaid with a rapid series of cuts between images, a number of which recur, like a chorus, that construct their argument through the kind of montage process developed originally within early Soviet cinema (see my earlier post, “Media Literacy: Chase’s Bad Karma“).
It lucidly demonstrates the way that the possibilities of digital media technology are throwing up new and mutated forms of cultural expression – the combination of digital video, computer graphics programs, the form of music videos, and online video sites here giving rise to the music-video-poem-essay. Okay, that’s a pretty crappy name, but hopefully you get the idea…
“All that is solid…”
The phrase comes from The Communist Manifesto, where it describes the impact of the accelerating power and control of the bourgeoisie and the developing sense of class struggle:
All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.
All That Is Solid Melts Into Air was also used as the title of an influential survey of the impact of modernism by Marshall Berman.
- Viral education. – Peter Woodbridge’s blog – looks very interesting
- Peter Woodbridge on Vimeo.
- The Communist Manifesto – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Manifesto of the Communist Party – full text online and downloadable
- All That Is Solid Melts into Air – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – entry on Berman’s book
- All That Is Solid Melts Into Air – on Powells.com