DIS was founded in 2010 as a way to understand and reinterpret the cultural shifts that the internet and global events like the financial crisis had brought along. The DIS name incorporated an online magazine, a concept store called DISown, and bizarre/hilarious stock imagery (DISimages). Now, they’ve evolved — some might say “pivoted” — into a streaming service offering “non-genre conforming edutainment.”
The videos available so far involve Putin and french fries, the American Dream myth explored via refurbishing furniture, and a video by artist Aria Dean talking about the representation of blackness in meme culture. The best way to describe the platform is Netflix if Netflix were exclusively the terrain of artists both culturally relevant and a little bit ironic.
The idea, it seems, is to spread knowledge in a PBS-style format — but with the DIS signature brand of connecting art and culture trends both micro and macro. Mostly, they want to spread knowledge in relatively unchartered ways. “Even when we truly try to get informed,” Boyle claims, “the playing field is muddied by pundits, trolls, conservatives, radicals, or by jargon, fake news, leaked emails, racist comment threads, and ‘alternative facts’.”
Particularly in these strange Trumpian times — and with content machines that supply so much of our news — the DIS voice is as refreshing as ever.