The End of the Story: How the net killed narrative, and what - if anything - comes next

Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - 12:00pm EDT

A Lecture by Douglas Rushkoff

Presented by The Brooklyn Experimental Media Center and the Dibner Family Chair in the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology

Interactivity changes our relationship to stories as well as the technologies through which they are transmitted. Where the power of a story to influence audiences often depended on the mysteriousness of the medium through which it was told, today's storytellers must actually engender trust and playfulness - and they must do so on an increasingly violent paranoid playing field.

These are the challenges confronting anyone who wishes to communicate in today's mediaspace. Do we create myths to compete with the ones we hope to dispel? Or do we abandon myth altogether? Is the traditional story itself a relic, incapable of providing meaning over time? Are the kinds of meaning it can convey biased towards creating childlike passivity in the recipients? Is it our job to create stories capable of competing with the ones currently programming our society, or to abandon this arms race altogether in favor of new artistic and cognitive mechanisms. And, if so, what are they?

About Douglas Rushkoff

Winner of the first Neil Postman award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity, Douglas Rushkoff is an author, teacher, and documentarian who focuses on the ways people, cultures, and institutions create, share, and influence each other’s values. He teaches media studies at the New School University, serves as technology columnist for The Daily Beast, and lectures around the world.

He has just released his most important book to date: an analysis of the corporate spectacle called Life Inc. for RandomHouse, as well as a series of short films called Life Inc Dispatches.

His ten best-selling books on new media and popular culture have been translated to over thirty languages. They include Cyberia, Media Virus, Playing the Future, Nothing Sacred: The Truth about Judaism, Get Back in the Box: Innovation from the Inside Out and Coercion, winner of the Marshall Mcluhan Award for best media book. Rushkoff also wrote the acclaimed novels Ecstasy Club and Exit Strategy and graphic novel, Club Zero-G. He wrote a series of graphic novels for Vertigo called Testament, and is currently working on another book for Vertigo as well as a new series of graphic novels for Smoking Gun Interactive.

He has written and hosted two award-winning Frontline documentaries: The Merchants of Cool looked at the influence of corporations on youth culture, and The Persuaders, about the cluttered landscape of marketing, and new efforts to overcome consumer resistance.