Digital Worlds professor celebrates launch of award-winning book on co-creating media for equity and justice

Written by: Ryan Helterhoff (MAMC ‘23)

Amelia Winger-Bearskin, Associate Professor of AI and the Arts at the UF Digital Worlds Institute, recently co-authored “Collective Wisdom: Co-Creating Media for Equity and Justice.” The book combines the experiences and practices of several co-authors into a single cohesive demonstration of how co-creation can only become wise when it is grounded in equity and justice.

Bearskin recently attended the book’s launch at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, where it was named the festival’s book of the year.

Amelia Winger-Bearskin (right) attends the launch of her co-authored book “Collective Wisdom: Co-Creating Media for Equity and Justice”

The book looks at co-creation from a variety of angles, including journalism and human-AI collaboration. The text provides a comprehensive view of co-creation and the rejection of the single story through the use of historical and cultural examples. It emphasizes the Western tendency to focus on the singular author rather than the collective attributions, and how this misaligned focus can erase cultures and narratives.

Bearskin’s contribution focuses on decentralizing stories, particularly through online platforms and primarily among younger generations, through a lens that considers Bearskin’s indigenous heritage.

“With decentralized storytelling, I’m charting the history of the type of storytelling that I’m seeing, that’s most popular among younger millennials, that’s created through different online platforms,” Bearskin said. “VR Chat, Rec-Room and Alt-Space and indie games and Roblox and Minecraft… they are telling longform, complex narratives from hundreds of people’s perspectives that are all participating in a story. And that is a more similar corollary to the way in which the Iroquois would tell stories.”

The book seeks collective wisdom by focusing on the radical practices of co-creating media within communities and alongside social movements. The authors argue that by tapping into this collective wisdom, we can broaden our range of questions about not only how to co-create but also why and why now.

Purchase your copy of “Collective Wisdom” here.



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News, stories, and updates from the Digital Worlds community at the University of Florida.