This new culture that Gregory Ulmer dubs as ‘electrate’ is a shift in thinking and understanding, of becoming literate in the language of technological advancement. “Electracy is to digital media what literacy is to print,” explains Ulmer. Electracy equates to our comprehension of technology and our willingness to expand and stretch the potential of technology as a society.
Electracy means being digitally literate. To be digitally literate is to accept the societal shift towards technology and the devices this realm holds for today and tomorrow. Being literate of electronic media encourages play and inventiveness. As New Media artists we must be electrate people, taking advantage of technological potential and being conscious of the possibilities that arise with digital practices.
Ulmer states that, “There will come a time when we are ‘native’ to the apparatus of technology.” By this, I believe he means that one day, we will all be electrate people. We will learn the language of technology. Since the coining of the term, ‘electracy’ holds a strong correlation to ‘literacy’. With this relationship and Ulmer’s perspective on the future of electracy, becoming electrate as a society could mean being bilingual in a sense. Our understanding of technology as a means of communication and advancement could one day parallel the importance of verbal and written communication today.
Robert Smyth, of The Electrate Professor Blog, claims that, “Electracy invites the kind of ambiguity that literacy loathes.” Technological literacy embraces the unknown. By taking advantage of what we know presently and are technologically literate of, electrate people can more easily learn new forms of technology. In the same way that reading makes you a better reader, experiencing technology as much as possible and exhausting its potential makes a person more electrate.
I think electracy is positive. As humans we are advancing with each day, and to embrace our modern world, we need to understand technology. For uses of communication, invention, efficiency and beyond, technology is ever-changing. Our electracy enables us to adapt to our creative world, play, and invent.
– Pine, Lila. “What it Means to be Electrate” Blog. Web. 08 Oct. 2009. https://mpm17fall2009friday.wordpress.com/.
– Electracy. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 08 Oct. 2009. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electracy.
– Smyth, Richard. The Electrate Professor. Blog. Web. 08 Oct. 2009. http://rsmyth.blogspot.com/
– Electracy. Blog. Web. 08 Oct. 2009. http://heuretics.wordpress.com/electracy/
– Memmott, Talan. Conversation with Gregory Ulmer. Web. 08 Oct. 2009. http://beehive.temporalimage.com/content_apps34/app_a.html
– Ulmer, Gregory. The Chora Collaboration. http://www.rhizomes.net/issue18/ulm er/index.html
– Ulmer, Gregory L. Internet Invention: From Literacy to Electracy. New York: Longman, 2003. Print.