Blog

Read thoughts, ramblings and critical pieces about the place we all know and love, The Internet! You can also learn more about the guest hosts and content featured in each recording here! 

Lea and the Internet is also looking for thoughful and interesting writing about our online lives. Want to contribute a piece? 
Submit here!

Guest 26: David Miller

Created using VonVon

Created using VonVon

David is a curmudgeonly, 38 year old executive producer for a digital marketing firm in the Philadelphia area, as well as a music producer who has curated releases to support the fundraising efforts of non-profits including The Future of Music Coalition and Planned Parenthood. He is also a talented musician who creates music under the name Dos Electros. Check out his website and follow him on Twitter

Guest 24: Chris Cloud

Created with Moji my Face

Created with Moji my Face

Chris Cloud is an artist, curator, culture maker, and a fixture in Minneapolis’s creative milieu. He is the co-founder of MPLS.TV, an online Do-It-Together video network, MPLSzine, a submissions-based digital publication, and Pizza Camp, an overnight camp for pizza loving adults. When he isn't cultivating projects and businesses, he is the voice of a contemporary art museum on their social media channels.

Guest 23: Gigi Berry

Created with Peantzime

Created with Peantzime

Gigi is a local luminary that likes to spend her free time complaining on the internet. When she's not complaining on the internet she's complaining to her therapist in real life. She was named Best Tweeter in the Twin Cities for 2016 and her idol Prince tweeted an article she wrote once. In addition to spending her life on the internet she likes to eat her weight in chicken nuggets, buy makeup/pins/clothes with money she doesn't have, and write "dad" on all of Drake's Instagram posts. Her autobiography "I Feel Like North West" is due in 2018. 

Guest 22: Emma Eubanks

Emma Eubanks is an illustrator and animation student from Saint Paul, Minnesota. Her work focuses on youth culture and racial identity. Her most recent project is the City Visibility Project, a public art piece that focuses on women of color in the Twin Cities. Emma entered the world in the same year as Space Jam, and hopes to one day create a children's film as iconic.

Guest 21: Courtney Algeo

Courtney Algeo is a (currently) pregnant human woman with one child who has recently completed her transition to the suburbs. She loves being invited to do things (like be on podcasts), and her answer is almost always “Yes.” The word “yes” has led her to do things she never would have dreamed of, like compete in a boxing match for the literary organization Revolver, cover the Academy Awards as a journalist for the Twin Cities Daily Planet, and try her…um…hand at last year’s Word Spout Erotic Poetry Slam. She also has a podcast of her own called Double Exposure that tackles two movies with a common human component. You can find her on Twitter at @icecrmsocialite.

Guest 20: Lee Lapetina (aka Mom)

Lee Lapetina is an outrageous life liver from Philadelphia, PA living in South Jersey. She was born in 1946 and has seen a lot of changes in the way technology keeps us connected, helps us work, and how we learn. 

You name it she has done it! Boat captain, slot machine mechanic, missile assembly, driving cross country, scuba diving, skiing (water and snow), and the list goes on and on! 

Mother of two, she worked as a server for 55 years and spent 37 years of those years working in Atlantic City. She is now happily retired. You can see her dancing around festivals, traveling around the world, lounging on the beach or catching fish with her partner Mel on their boat. 

Guest 19: Emily Eifler

Emily Eifler is 30 years old, female, and disabled from a brain injury caused by gas poisoning when she was 10. She is an artist (known as Blink Pop Shift) in the Bay Area working as a VR researcher right now, but has also worked as a dancer, at architecture firms and for the exploratorium. Find her and her amazing work on Twitter and Instagram

Guest 18: Liat Berdugo

Created with Chibis App

Created with Chibis App

Liat Berdugo is an artist, writer, and curator based in Oakland, CA. Her work strives to create an expanded, thoughtful consideration for new media and digital culture. Berdugo has been exhibited in galleries and festivals internationally, and she collaborates widely with individuals and archives. She is the co-founder of World Wide West, co-founder of the Living Room Light Exchange, and Net Art and Special Programs Curator for Israel’s Print Screen Festival. Her writing appears in Rhizome, Temporary Art Review, and HZ Journal. Berdugo is currently an assistant professor of Art + Architecture at the University of San Francisco. More at liatberdugo.com.  @whatliat 

Guest 17: Dana Bassett

Created with Emoji Me

Created with Emoji Me

Dana Bassett is an aspiring gossip queen from Miami, FL living in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. She writes a regular column Bad at Sports called "What's the T?" and occasionally produces printed newspapers in collaboration with artists and friends. Follow her on twitter! @WhatstheT_DB

Guest 16: Kelly Morton

Created using Power Puff Yourself

Created using Power Puff Yourself

Writer, traveller, IET master level practitioner and teacher, Reiki master level practitioner/teacher.

For the past 15 years Kelly has been using words and spirituality to bring clarity to her life. She enjoys helping people cultivate a relationship with language that helps them express themselves in the truest possible way. 

Her spiritual journey began with yoga and expanded to include meditation, Buddhism, Jungian Psychology, Tarot, Integrated Energy Therapy, Reiki and Medical Qi Gong. In the words of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin,  "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience."  Connecting with our spiritual nature can bring great freedom and empowerment. Sharing her knowledge and experiences with others brings her great happiness.

Guest 15: Kristina Wong

Created using AvatarCreator App

Created using AvatarCreator App

Kristina Wong is a performance artist, comedian and writer who has created five solo shows and one ensemble play that have toured throughout the United States and UK.  Her most notable touring show– “Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” looked at the high rates of depression and suicide among Asian American women and toured to over 40 venues since 2006.  She’s been a commentator for American Public Media’s Marketplace, PBS, Jezebel, xoJane, Playgirl Magazine, Huffington Post and a guest on Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, FXX’s“Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell,” Al Jazeera’s “The Stream” and AM Tonight on Fusion TV.   Her newest solo show “The Wong Street Journal” navigates privilege and economic disparity and is currently on tour.

Follow her on Twitter: @mskristinawong

Time Attack: Instagram's Chronological Shift

The shift from a chronological timeline to a “relevant” timeline is not a new concept for Instagram’s parent company Facebook. The announcement today that the picture sharing platform will follow suit with Facebook isn’t a shock, more of a disappoint that has the potential to threaten users' time. I know that statement might seem dramatic, but let’s examine what happened with Facebook’s Timeline change and see what is at stake for Instagram.
 

When Facebook first changed our Walls to Timelines, it didn’t seem like a big deal. The new Timeline provide a view of our present and history that appeared to help place context around the content of our lives. As the Timeline became the norm Facebook slowly changed the way all of us viewed content, the News Feed. This change shifted our view from chronological time to “relevance”. Facebook intended the News Feed to “deliver the right content to the right people at the right time so they don’t miss the stories that are important to them.” Here was the catch to this promise, the user doesn’t get to determine how the right content or people are chosen without heavy participation in the platform. At first this seemed like an annoyance more than a problem, but this change has impacted our thoughts, community and time.

I am going to outline how these three aspects of our life are manipulated by the change of a chronological display.

Thoughts: Facebook says that they are going to ensure the right content is displayed to users at the right time. This is also the promise for Instagram with the company saying, “The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you'll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post"The glaring problem with this statement is that determining what the “right” content might be is incredibly subjective. What ends up happening is that a user continuously sees similar content/posts to what has been “liked” or read in the past. Facebook feeds then get populated with posts that reaffirm the user’s beliefs, not with content that could challenge ideas, nothing contrarian at all. We are all moving into a world where we are fed exactly what we want and nothing more. Without the diversity of ideas or the perspective of others that differ from our own there are no lessons to learn, no questioning and ultimately no forward momentum in our thoughts.  As my friend Courtney Algeo put it Facebook became,  “that horrible land in Pinnochio that turns kids into donkeys. You can't eat candy all day and expect to be OK.”

Community: I can hear you know, “But Lea, if Facebook is showing me the most important people in my community doesn’t that make my relationship with those people stronger”. My answer, “Nope”. Most of us have Facebook friends into the hundreds, and Facebook is right that managing all of the content would be overwhelming. It would seem that Facebook aggregating posts from your closest network would be valuable, so what’s the catch? Again, the user doesn’t pick the most important people in their network. This means everyone that is important to you is in competition with everything else you “like” on Facebook for relevancy. For example, I “like” NPR on Facebook and I also “like” my best friend’s mom. The content my friend’s mom posts is never going to be more popular than NPR, so it has the potential of never being at the “right place at the right time”. As the user, I don’t get to make that decision. That means my relationship is now potentially stronger with a news organization with sponsored content over my best friend and his family. This is the influence Facebook has over our communities. And back to my first point, our community is continuously being filled with people who have similar thoughts or “likes”, creating a vacuum that sucks up and out any diversity. Yes, each Facebook user has the ability to tag close friends, get notifications from people and hide/block/unfriend anyone they don’t want to see, but that is a lot of management and upkeep. To maintain any type of control or autonomy the Facebook News Feed demands a dynamic that went from passive participant to active user. This leads me to…

Time: For the Facebook Timeline to actual be relevant and provide a view of information that is pertinent you have to log-in and connect often. Without continuous interaction the platform cannot get to know who your most important friends might be or what content you expect to see from those friends. It also demands that your friends connect often and post or they will be lost in the Facebook Timeline ether. If a user wants more control over their Timeline view, well that is even more time on the platform, hiding, liking, tagging. If a more robust relevant Timeline is what you want Facebook doesn’t actually provide that, you do by giving over your time to Facebook.

Instagram changing their platform to assist with relevance is a veiled attempt to take up more of its users’ time. Tech Crunch stated that “The average Instagram user misses 70 percent of what’s in their feed, including great photos with tons of Likes and posts by their best friends”. Maybe everyone on Instagram will see 70% more content, but they will be spending probably 100% more time on the platform, watching their Instagram posts compete with celebrities, companies or any other user that decides to put in more time.

Guests 14: Luna Malbroux and George Chen

Luna Malbroux:  A fixture in the Bay Area comedy scene, Luna crafted Live Sex, a comedy talk-show exploring sex, relationships and everything your mother never let you watch on TV,  as a way to combine her debaucherously charming humor and her life-long love of sexology.  A diversity and inclusion consultant for schools, universities and workplaces, she fights injustice by day and creates it by night performing in comedy clubs and bars throughout California. She's the creator and visionary behind EquiTable, the Comedy Hack Day Grand Prize Winner at SF Sketchfest. She's also an artist in residence at the historic African American Arts and Culture Complex.

George Chen: Once a musician, writer and event organizer George finally found a place in standup comedy. As an upstart producer, Chen put on comedy shows
on a moving bus at Occupy Oakland, at still-life drawing classes, and inside a comic book store. These attempts to put on comedy in unlikely locations lead to the weekly showcase Cynic Cave at Lost Weekend Video in San Francisco and the monthly multimedia show Talkies.

George has performed at SF Sketchfest, Crash Test (with Rob Huebel and Paul Scheer), Put Your Hands Together, Holy Fuck, Marin Headlands Center for the Arts,Contemporary Jewish Museum, andSFMoMA.

George’s team Equipay won the SF Sketchfest 2016 Comedy Hack Day presentation. He had a small part as an INS agent in the short sci-fi film Mindglow and appeared in an episode of HBO’s Looking. He also co-hosts the documentary discussion podcast Sup Doc.

 

Bibliography: Episode 13

Episode Thirteen: Art, Commerce and the Internet
Guest Host: James Green
Date aired: February 24th, 2016

Episode 13 starts with the greatness of Vine and the need for more education around self-promotion. As new media artists James T. Green and Lea talk about the challenge of valuing art in a digital age, and how the romantic idea of the starving artist is getting old.

Guest 13: James T. Green

Created with Bitstrips

Created with Bitstrips

Episode 13:  Art, Commerce and the Internet
Airing: February, 24th 2016

James T. Green is a conceptual artist, designer, developer, podcaster, and writer based in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. His projects investigate information distribution on the internet and unspoken markers of identity. His work has been shown in EXPO Chicago (2012, 2013, 2014), the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (2013), the Chicago Cultural Center (2012), and the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago (2013). Green has completed residency programs at ACRE (2011-2012), Chicago Artist Coalition’s HATCH Projects (2012-2013), and University of Chicago Arts & Public Life/CSRPC program (2014-2015). In 2013, Green helped to organize the Filter Photo Festival in Chicago and in 2014 was selected to perform at The Chicago Home Theater Festival. 

Bibliography: Episode 12

Episode Twelve: Insights for Old Millennials
Guest Host: Stephanie Lie
Date aired: February 10th, 2016

Episode 12 discussed the evolution of the Internet over the past 20 years. Throughout the episode guest host Stephanie Lie and Lea Devon Sorrentino discussed the neutrality of systems, how users have set the foundation of negativity in our data, and how the connected home might be a gift of time that feels like a curse. Check out the links that helped drive the conversation. 


Guest 12: Stephanie Lie

Created with Twinkl avatar builder

Episode 12:  Insight from Old Millennials
Airing: February, 10th 2016

Stephanie Lie is an artist, technologist and educator based in the SF Bay Area. She received an MFA in Visual Arts from UC San Diego and BAs in Computer Science and Art Practice from UC Berkeley. Her work focuses on technology, ecology, and the public sphere. She has been a researcher at UC Natural Reserve System, Center for Urban Ecologies, and UC Institute for Research in the Arts. She has taught new media art at Stanford, UC Berkeley and UC San Diego. Stephanie is currently a Lecturer at the Berkeley Center for New Media and a Software Engineer at LinkedIn.

Bibliography: Episode 11

Episode Eleven: Behind the Scenes
Guest Host: Robert James Algeo
Date aired: January 27th, 2016

Check out the links that had Robert James Algeo and Lea Devon Sorrentino asking the questions, what is going to happen to our online communities as traditional media continues to exploit audiences and website obesity grows, creating irreversible consequences?

Guest 11: Robert James Algeo

Episode 11:  Behind the Scenes
Airing: January, 27th 2016

Robert James Algeo is a Philadelphia-native cartoonist, production artist, web developer, and educator who has been living in the Twin Cities for the past six years. His comics include Monometric, Hum, and Thirty. His comic book Skull Pen Issue One was nominated for The Howard E. Day Prize award in 2007. His body of work received the Twin Cities Metro Magazine Keeper Award in 2012. When he is not teaching or making comics, Algeo maintains a robust freelance design and development practice for clients as diverse as SICK A.G., MTV, Nickelodeon, and the Steel Shipping Container Institute. You can find his work online at inabsentiapress.com and follow him at @rjalgeo.