Live stream micro-media activism in the occupy movement : mediatized co-presence, autonomy, and the ambivalent face

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Thomas, Judith A.

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With camera, smart phone, and wireless connection to a worldwide distribution source on a single device that fits in your pocket, now billions of citizens are able to become sousveillant micro-media activist – in real time. This case study investigates purposive texts in detail from over 50 hours of live and archived streaming video webcasts taken from geographically diverse sites. The goal is to explore how this tool is being used by videographers in a complex 21st century social movement. My sample video texts were gathered in late February and early March 2012 as the Occupy Movement stirred to life after a relatively quiet winter (from the corporate media’s point-of-view). In this project, I examine how Occupy’s use of live-streaming video combines “mediated co-presence” (Giddens 1984; Ito 2005) with “networked autonomy” (Castells 2011) to represent the ambivalent face of a complex, postmodern movement for social justice.



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