Inspirations for newquill: New Media Literacies – Performance

Since we’re originally from the fabulously tinsel town of Los Angeles, performance is particularly close to our hearts.

Our COO, Ryan Harper, is also an amazing composer and musician. Here are tracks from his Mythologies EP. Ryan loves informal performance, and believes that the more open the flow is between audience and performer the more creativity happens. “It’s can’t be a sit down, shut up, and listen passive experience. Performance is an interaction.”

Henry Jenkins believes that performance requires the ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisation and discovery.

Performance, whether it is intentional or not, is a reflection of our influences and expectations for the world around us. We perform because we want to express and it allows us to connect with others through human references points.

And who are the great muses of today? The inspirations? They are the performers! And performers like Ryan derive their inspiration from other performers that share with the world. Imagine a furious network of synapses that connect all of our passions and desires – our love for performance is universal!

In our country our performers are in a variety of spaces, but they all have instant access into our homes, our mobile devices, and our lives.

For example, Lady Gaga, Bill Murray, Barack Obama – they bring us hope wherever we are!

These three figures represent a trifecta of social components necessary to developing ourselves as humans together: creativity, philosophy, and political awareness.

But before we had media – the masses still needed to get their inspiration from somewhere. And who did they turn to? Authors! Authors were the only ones with the ability to share their ideas with a sizable audience. And what change they brought!

While it may not be right to make direct comparisons, we must recognize that these modern performers have received direct inspiration from those who came before them. And so if we receive inspiration from these modern figures,  through the beautifully pristine web of mass consciousness don’t we also receive our inspiration from the thought giants of the past?

Then why don’t we recognize it? Why don’t we identify as ourselves with those great performers of the past who did not have instantaneous access to the world, but still made such a monumental impact?

Emily Dickinson, Baruch Spinoza, and Karl Marx completely transformed our perceptions about life, reality, and social systems. Is it right to compare these triumphantly “old” figures with the “new?”



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