Before I ever heard the concept of Participatory Culture, I was an acolyte of the notion of artistic production as a communitarian, not a hierarchical, act. As I explained to my students yesterday, as I taught them Henry Jenkins et al. white paper on PC and New Media Literacies, the belief in Do It Yourself connects my interests in punk rock, feminism, and digital culture. I’ve been thinking a lot about the fact that we don’t live in a spectator society anymore; Guy Debord is dated. And then last night, I came across this passage in Violence Girl: East LA Rage to Hollywood Stage, a Chicana Punk Story, the memoir by Alice Bag.
“I’m stomping, jogging and dancing all over the stage, teetering precariously on my high heels. I spot an area of spectators in front of Patricia, my bassist. Fuck that! No spectators, we’re all participants here!”