martin hardie on Tue, 24 May 2005 11:32:26 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> post fordist tv

Hi everyone

My continuing quest to get a grip on post fordist forms of
production/immaterial labour/unpaid/precarious labour has got me
thinking about TV. It hit me again this morning as I zapped my way
through the channels and saw American Idol ...
American Idol, Survivor Operacion Triunfo, Adventura en Africa,  Meet
the Mummy, Extreme Challenge etc etc - they are the ones that I have
seen on TV of late.

Some of them more so than others display this necessity for=20
cooperation/collegiality/community between the
cast/contestants/players up to  certain point. But then once that
certain point is reached the cast/contestants are free to compete in
the marketplace of the program andeven later a broader marketplace.

So that is one aspect that reminds me for example of another form of
post fordist labour - open source/free software. There is a culture of
sharing which in turn sets up  the player to compete as a free within
the market.

Another aspect which they all seem to share is the status of these
players/casts as I presumes largely unpaid or underpaid given that
they are being given an 'opportunity', a chance to get a 'reputation'.
Another way of maybe putting this (and linking it to popular notions
of freedom is that the cast is "open sourced".

Finally, for now, you have the coming together of audience and
program, or consumer and producer which also  characterises post
fordist production. "America Votes" to decide who will be the next
American Idol etc. Through the instantaneous linking of viewer with
the program (email, sms) the product becomes the viewers product - you
decide what course the show will take! Who decides appears all so
democratic and what is good  (e.g. the best musical performer) is
determined by a  sort of lowest common denominator of taste and

Especially in the case of the music shows the "winners" are of course
then repackaged in cases as stars/celebrities - Bo, Bisbal etc.... and
produced for the industry outside of the older forms, such as the
record companies A&R departments (artist and repetoire).

Has anyone thought about this stuff?

Has anyone written about this stuff?

The predominance of this sort of  TV seems to have some role in
instilling a (phony ?) culture of sharing  which exists prior to and
enabling one to compete in the market?
Is this so far away from the way that free/open source software works
within the broader economy???




"All these pregnant princesses and German popes. So glad we
had those revolutions in Europe. ....."

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