Michael Wesch’s insightful video “An anthropological introduction to YouTube” from his recent Library of Congress presentation is worth a look if you haven’t had the chance yet. (A long look, it’s just under an hour so set aside some time, you won’t want to turn it off).
Wesch is the Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Kansas State University and he takes us on a journey, a little peek, inside the phenomenon that is YouTube. Why we post, what we are posting, the amazing ability to collaborate across time and space, the impact YouTube is having within our society.
Wesch and his students are developing deep insights into human relationships and the impacts of today’s technology innovations. New ways of working with media, in all forms, are dramatically changing how we see and interact with the world.
There’s this really interesting, integrated mediascape that we now live in, and at the center of this mediascape is us, and that makes things especially interesting. And as an anthropologist, I think of media maybe slightly differently than most people. I don’t think of it as content, and I don’t even think of it as tools of communication. I think of media as mediating human relationships. And that’s important because when media change, then human relationships change.