Rushkoff: Branding and Life Incorporated

Rushkoff: Branding and Life Incorporated

Please join us for a talk by award-winning writer, documentary filmmaker, and scholar Douglas Rushkoff.  This event kicks off our Fall series on Symbols, Branding, and Persuasion. Rushkoff will discuss concepts he explores in the PBS Frontline series The Persuaders and Merchants of Cool, as well as his latest book Life Inc..  We’ll also screen clips from Life Inc. the Movie.

Thursday, September 24, 2009, 7:30pm
84 Havemeyer St @ Metropolitan Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Corporatism didn’t evolve naturally. The landscape on which we are living – the operating system on which we are now running our social software – was invented by people, sold to us as a better way of life, supported by myths, and ultimately allowed to develop into a self-sustaining reality. It is a map that has replaced the territory.

Each year, legions of ad people, copywriters, market researchers, pollsters, consultants, and even linguists spend billions of dollars and millions of man-hours trying to determine how to persuade consumers what to buy, whom to trust, and what to think. We are swimming in a sea of messages.

Rushkoff explores how the cultures of marketing and advertising have come to influence not only what we buy, but also how we view ourselves and the world around us.  In his latest book Life Inc., he traces how corporations went from a convenient legal fiction to the dominant fact of contemporary life. He suggests that most Americans have so willingly adopted the values of corporations that they’re no longer even aware of it.

Douglas Rushkoff is the author of ten books on media, technology, and society, including Cyberia, Media Virus, Coercion, Nothing Sacred, Playing the Future, Open Source Democracy and Get Back in the Box: Innovation from the Inside Out. Rushkoff also wrote the acclaimed novels Ecstasy Club and Exit Strategy, the graphic novel Club Zero-G and the comic book series Testament. He has written and hosted two award-winning Frontline documentaries – “The Merchants of Cool”, which looked at the influence of corporations on youth culture, and “The Persuaders”, about the cluttered landscape of marketing, and new efforts to overcome consumer resistance. He is currently working on PBS’ new multiplatform project, Digital Nation, which will culminate as a Frontline documentary. Rushkoff’s commentaries air on CBS Sunday Morning and NPR’s All Things Considered, and have appeared in publications from The New York Times to Time magazine.  His column on cyberculture is distributed globally through the New York Times Syndicate. He is Advisor to the United Nations Commission on World Culture, on the Board of Directors of the Media Ecology Association, The Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics, and was a founding member of Technorealism. He has been awarded Senior Fellowships by the Markle Foundation and the Center for Global Communications Fellow of the International University of Japan. He regularly appears on TV shows from NBC Nightly News to Larry King and Bill Maher. He developed the Electronic Oracle software series for HarperCollins Interactive. He currently hosts the WFMU radio show The MediaSquat, and teaches at the New School University. His latest book, Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation And How To Take It Back, was released in June 2009.


September 24, 2009

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