About this project
***STILL ACCEPTING PLEDGES! THANKS FOR ALL THE LOVE!***
In a fragmented world in conflict it's time to reject what divides us and instead explore what unites us and makes us human. It's time to reach out and meet our global neighbors, to discover our similarities--and to celebrate our differences.
Ladies and gentlemen… it’s time to meet your planet.
de-frag: short for defragmentation, a process that reduces the amount of fragmentation in systems.
In a world of instant global communication, we still get most our information about other countries through corporate media—reinforcing a distorted view of a hostile and fragmented world. There is an abundance of content on the web, but you have to know what you're looking for in order to search for it—a "catch 22" that makes discovering new music, visual art or writing from another country or culture difficult.
Defrag is an iPad magazine that features creative writing, music, visual art, multimedia and music videos from around the world, introducing you to the vibrant, multifaceted cultural life of your planet. No political soundbites, no celebrity profiles and no corporate propaganda.
In the first issue you’ll discover an indie rock scene in China, fine artists from India and a Heavy metal band from Iran. You’ll read poetry from Egypt, participatory fiction from California and see what club VJ's are doing in Sweden. You’ll also hear experimental music from the UK, psychedelic blues from NYC, and experience multimedia hip-hop from the West Bank. Not the sort of content you're likely to find on Fox News or in People Magazine.
Defrag wont just be a digital magazine. It will be a collaborative, world-wide community where you can actually participate and co-create content. In addition to curating material, I’ll be crowd-sourcing creative work by inviting app-users to submit photos, audio, and video files to create collective photo essays and multimedia mash-ups that will be published in the magazine.
Pledge your support now and participate in our very first global multimedia remix, "Meet Your Planet." The finished digital art piece will be published in the inaugural issue of Defrag, distributed on the web and made available as a limited edition DVD. More details in video and in Rewards section. Future issues of Defrag will include more sophisticated features to allow reader/users to collaborate, remix and export content on their own.
I started Defrag because I'm curious about the world I live in. If I walked into a bar in Shanghai, what sort of band would be playing on-stage? If it's Saturday night in Tehran, or Belgrade, or Dakar, what are the people talking about in cafes? What music are they listening to? What books are they reading?
Starting with my professional and social networks, I began reaching out in search of answers to my questions, hoping to find fresh, compelling content from around the world.
The response has been amazing, and in addition to finding unique and innovative content, I’ve connected with a fascinating group of creative writers, visual artists, photojournalists, and musicians from around the world. Of course, conversation about culture can lead to wider experiences, too.
One night in February I found myself IMing on FaceBook with a young poet in Cairo, discussing the Defrag project and getting live updates from Tahrir Square. During our chat, Mubarak refused to resign and the crowd in Tarhrir was livid. “We are now marching… no, RUNNING to the palace! FURY IN THE EYES!”
My new friend had to sign-off and continue the protest—but not before offering to submit a poem about his experience to Defrag.
Sharing culture should be an experience—not a lecture. So instead of long articles about a great punk band in Beijing or photography project in Afghanistan, you'll get a short bio or back-story—and then the work itself. Music videos, photographs and multimedia are presented full-screen as much as possible, making use of the iPads big, beautiful screens.
With your help, we’ll profile innovative artists, writers and musicians from all over the world, sharing their original visual art, music, stories, videos, photography and ideas. We'll also help artists collaborate on projects to create unique multimedia pieces with a truly global perspective.
Phase One of the project is complete: I’ve developed a working demo of the app, have gotten submissions from around the world and have started to assemble content for the first issue. I've also put together a great Board of Advisers for technical and editorial input.
Phase Two takes the project through publishing the first issue. To do this I need your help. Many long hours lay ahead doing layout, soliciting, reviewing, editing and translating submissions, writing profiles, and coordinating with artists, photographers and writers. There is still development work to be done on the app, video to edit, and multimedia pieces to produce. Your pledge will allow me to focus on this work, hire some help and pay for software, marketing, hardware, and coffee. Lots of coffee.
Phase Three includes producing the second issue, and adding more interactivity, community-building and collaborative features to the app. We’ll also develop a version for Android tablets, as well as desk-top apps for PC and Mac for people who don’t have access to a tablet computer.
Any funds we raise above $12,000 will allow us to start working on Phase Three, deepening the Defrag experience and making it accessible to a wider community.
Some content will be made available online, including the "Meet Your Planet" multimedia collaboration. We are working on a magazine app for Android tablets and for non-mobile apps for both Mac and PC. However, for the first issue we can only guarantee the full interactive experience for iPad.
Defrag will be published quarterly, available on the App Store for $2-$3 an issue- (significantly cheaper than most iPad magazines).
"Society as a whole has developed in such a way that it is broken up into separate nations and different religious, political, economic and racial groups... The notion that all these fragments are separately existent is evidently an illusion, and this illusion cannot do other than lead to endless conflict and confusion...”
David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order
Note: Android version as well as non-tablet app for PC and Mac are in development. We hope to have them ready for first issue along with iPad version.
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