Breaking the News, how to mash-up news through the Net

Marc Lee, Breaking the News

In “The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge” (1979), Lyotard argued that our postmodern age is marked by “incredulity towards grand narratives” (the progress of history, the ability of knowing everything by science, and the possibility of absolute freedom). Lyotard argues that we don’t believe anymore they represent and contain us all. We are alert to difference, diversity, beliefs and desires, and so postmodernity is characterised by an abundance of micronarratives. If we consider social-networking sites, wikis, blogs, and folksonomies, as the new micronarratives, we would then say Lyotard was right. But in the Information society people watching news broadcasts generally assume that they are based on fact. To ironically disenchant this, Marc Lee’s “Breaking The News” is an interactive installation of audio-visual streams generated through the application NJ (News-Jockey). Entering a headline or a keyword using the on-screen-keyboard, NJ researches and classifies content from web 2.0 services. The user can define the tone, or mixing the subject. According to the author, this artwork “is fundamental research, media satire and art installation […], (and) it also reflects the visions and limits of our IT society in an intelligent way.”

Valentina Culatti