Simply stated Meta Pleb refers to information about ordinary citizens. The site’s information is designed to make Plebs like you and me question the status quo to activate the citizen into action and discussion. The goal of the site is to create commentary around the public commons through art and writing. The Meta Pleb Site is designed to gather interpretations and build a community around discussion on a variety of topics. The blog is a forum to stimulate citizen self-awareness about media, technology, politics, activism and the environment with a focus on their relationship with society. Topics are explored through writing and art in hopes of provoking a response in the reader.
Meta Pleb’s artworks are designed to reflect on the role of the individual in society while providing insight into real-life issues. Blog posts present information for provocative discussions that focus on the effects of the media, technology and entitlement within our communities and the environment. The main aim of the Meta Pleb site is designed to engage with all plebs in conversations about current events. No person’s opinion will be disregarded unless it endangers or misinforms the public sphere.
The artworks and articles will be informative but many will connect with the humorous side of life and the human condition. Satire, parody, pastiche and a little bit of camp will be used to communicate the themes of the carnivalesque, the grotesque and the spectacle to inform and delight readers. Primarily interested in society and the commons, Meta Pleb takes inspiration from the philosophies of Mikhail Bakhtin’s Rabelais and His World and Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle to poke fun at celebrity, institutions and politicians. Most humourous articles are designed to laugh with society but there is no guaranty that some writing or art may not laugh at it too. Questioning the difference between humour and wit is will be a common theme for discussion featured at the end of articles.
Media and the Arts
The lines between art and media are blurring. This topic has been discussed by experts for many years. Fine art experts tout the media and alternative forms of creation such as video games as an abomination of what “real art” consists of in the eyes of the public. While the fringe claims that the term art encompasses all creative processes and activities that mankind participates in.
Media and art is a topic that Meta Pleb will consistently explore. Linking images and artworks to written articles will be how the blog reveals discussions to the reader. The spectacle of the media and its power over the plebs will be exposed to the discussion and you are invited to give your opinion. Discussions will include the arts and how media has broadened the idea of what is considered art. The topic of authority or authorship and how it relates to the media and art will be part of the explorations on this site. While art will always be on the menu at Meta Pleb, media is the vehicle of its distribution and the two subjects will be explored together. Media artists and traditional artists will share the importance, as change and activism always are explored by fringe groups such as artists before the general public become early adopters of new media or technology.
Activism and protest is a vital part of a healthy society and political systems. An indicator of a healthy society is their ability to protest. When governments disrupt the people’s ability to protest it is an indicator of a society on the brink of fascism. Collective action and how plebs can use it to create change that begins with grassroots activism is a focus for Meta Plebs to explore. The thought that activism is a tool of extremist will be demystified within these articles.
Readers can reflect on how common sense, euphemisms and entitlement play a role in our environment and communities. Giving plebs a forum to contemplate how we perceive our shared public sphere. Meta Pleb seeks to challenge our understanding of the status quo. The art should inspire self-reflection in the viewer regarding their personal and public roles in the state of our shared common spaces. Meta Pleb is not a call to change the world but a mission to create self-awareness about our individual responsibilities in our communities. The goal of the artwork and writing is to garner a sense of public consciousness in those who take the time to contemplate its meaning to society.
Many articles on the site will discuss how technology is shaping the world. Discussions will focus on how the plebs are being affected by the constantly changing face of labour and how tech is advancing in the workplace but also how technology creates a digital divide and is changing the outlook for labour and employment.
Meta Pleb articles will also cover the topic of politics with a focus on issues that affect individuals as well as the body politic. Political ponerology, the influence of lobbyists and the effects of gaslighting the public will be some of the topics discussed regarding politics.
OPEN SOURCE SHARING
Open-source sharing of information is part of the Meta Pleb manifesto. Source code for Meta Pleb Digital Art Projects will be openly available on GitHub in the Fall of 2020. These plans and programs are being shared to further pedagogy and discussion among citizens and cities. Furthermore, certain explorations will be embedded directly into the website. Posters and plans are available upon request.