Create or be created: How the Internet cultural renaissance is turning audience members into artists

  • William Butler O'Connor

Abstract

The amazing ability of the Net to hurl text, images, and sound around the globe with tremendous speed, efficiency, and affordability--in combination with a wide range of powerful digital tools--is making it much easier for the average person to create, share, and experience culture. Until now, most people tended to enjoy culture created by others--what I call "experienced" culture--rather than creating it themselves--i.e., "expressed culture." However, Internet is now dramatically shifting this ratio in favor of more "expressed" culture. Thus, the title of this essay--Created or Be Created--refers to the process of individuals declaring their "cultural independence" from "professional" culture creators, choosing instead to enjoy a blend of both expressed and experienced culture. The move towards a more expressed culture will extinguish this traditionally dichotomous cultural landscape, inspire entirely new forms of and ideas about culture, and enrich the life of the so-called "average" person enormously. In short, what we might call the "Big Bang" of the Internet's birth is bringing into being an Internet Cultural Renaissance.
Published
1997-10-06
How to Cite
O’Connor, W. B. (1997). Create or be created: How the Internet cultural renaissance is turning audience members into artists. First Monday, 2(10). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v2i10.556