When thinking about digital media one thing that usually always comes up is the idea that it allows more people to do more. We can connect with each other more, know more since more data is at our fingertips, and of course create more. We even create things based off of other things that other people have made. That thought has intrigued me the most. While it is true that knowledge is collective (otherwise we would constantly be re-creating the wheel) we are taught to think that creativity is more individual. The point is to think of something that is drastically different from anything else that has been done. The more different it is, then the more creative it is. Digital media is causing us to redefine this though with more and more people creating parodies of other work. It is also easier to create something which gives a creative voice to many more people than was previously possible.
Now as I have mentioned before I am a huge movie fan. Some movies that I love are the Pixar movies. There is a person on the internet, Jon Negroni, who created something that he calls the “Pixar Theory”. This theory connects every single Pixar movie that has been created (excluding some of the most recent ones such as the upcoming one Inside Out) and connects them together in one cohesive timeline. He has even taken this further to create a fictional story called the “Pixar Detective” to explain the theory in an imaginative and fun way. Jon pulls a lot of material for his story from something that he did not create (the Pixar films). This is just one example of the maker culture that we see in the digital world today.
So where can the church come into this? The important thing I think is to remember why we are becoming involved with digital media in the first place. In the book Click 2 Save by Elizabeth Drescher and Keith Anderson they give a good reminder why. “We can appear as a visible reminder of [peoples’] church community, their faith, and God’s grace” (pg. 40). If we remember this as our central purpose then participating in maker culture can be more valuable and even necessary. Then creating a silly video about church life as a parody to a popular song becomes more than just mildly amusing. It is a way to show people how to see God in all places in their lives.
If you are interested in finding out more about Jon Negroni or the Pixar Detective story (which you should because it is awesome!) you can check him out here.
I was also able to find another example of collaborative creativity here.