Author(s):

  • Hepp, Andreas

Abstract:

The aim of this article is to reconstruct the ways in which the organizational elites of the Quantified Self and Maker movements curate their respective pioneer communities. Based on a media ethnography carried out in Germany, the UK, and the USA it is demonstrated that the two movements adopt different curatorial models: curation through the use of an ‘unenforced trademark’ in the case of the Quantified Self movement and curation through ‘franchising’ in the case of the Maker movement. The fragility of both models is not necessarily a disadvantage to either and it has contributed to the rapid global spread of both communities. An analysis of these curatorial practices demonstrates that while these communities like to present themselves as having emerged from local groupings, rising ‘from below’, they are, in fact, figurations whose origin and overall exertion of influence can be traced back to Silicon Valley and the Whole Earth Network.

Documentation:

https://doi.org/10.1177/1367877920922867

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