In the last two weeks I’ve seen three documentaries dealing with communication and networks.
Firstly, a broad and ambitious film from Ericsson, taking on the ‘networked society’ including interviews with David Weinberger, Catarina Fake and Eric Wahlforss.
Each of the interviewees discusses the emerging opportunities being enabled by technology as we enter the Networked Society. Concepts such as borderless opportunities and creativity, new open business models, and today’s ‘dumb society’ are brought up and discussed.
The next film from Nokia brings daily life around networked communication technologies to the forefront, and does it through lovely experiential sequences. However it does come across much more as a branding exercise or promotional piece, and doesn’t offer to explain or explore the practices it shows.
Third is a film by Ben Mendelsohn and Alex Chohlas-Wood about the physical, geographic and material infrastructure that goes into running the internet.
Lower Manhattan’s 60 Hudson Street is one of the world’s most concentrated hubs of Internet connectivity. This short documentary peeks inside, offering a glimpse of the massive material infrastructure that makes the Internet possible.
There is clearly a need to unpack the increasingly technology-inflected geography, and social and cultural practices of the world we inhabit, so it is good to see films like this being made.