307 Articles

article

Dictionary of War - Idea 

DICTIONARY OF WAR is a collaborative platform for creating 100 concepts on the issue of war, to be invented, arranged and presented by scientists, artists, theorists and activists at four public, two-day events in Frankfurt, Munich, Graz and Berlin. The aim is to create key concepts that either play a significant role in current discussions of war, have so far been neglected, or have yet to be created.

Read
article

Can Internet technology still revolutionize activism? 

One of the biggest promises of the Internet was the transformation of political activism. No longer would change come about solely through the actions of large organizations, claimed the Web's early enthusiasts. Now, they claimed, individuals could rouse the concern of their fellow citizens for a particular cause through Web sites, e-mail, and online petitions. Those who normally shunned demonstrations and limited their participation in the public sphere could be contacted personally in their e-mail box, and all that would be necessary for them to do to show their support would be to click a button or fill in a field. Soon, pundits predicted, there would be a revolution in grassroots participation in the political process.

Read
article

To Shoot an Elephant 

Synopsis

"...afterwards, of course, there were endless discussions about the shooting of the elephant. The owner was furious, but he was only an Indian and could do nothing. Besides, legally I had done the right thing, for a mad elephant has to be killed, like a mad dog, if it's owner fails to control it".

Read
article

Top 5 Musicals Produced By the Oil Industry 

Ah, the oil industry. While most people are resigned to the knowledge that large petroleum manufacturers are at least partly to blame when it comes to destroying Third World infrastructures, propping up meritless dictators, or encouraging blind consumerism in the face of an environmentally poisoned and diseased future ? the question I often ask is 'What about the music'?

And while they are fiendishly scarce, the oil industry, like many other bastions of capitalism, indeed produced a number of privately pressed, in-house motivational musicals, and several squeaked out on LP (for employees only, of course). They're known as industrial shows: lavish stage productions that serve to entertain, educate, and encourage employees to do their job with gusto.

Read
article

Bodies of Fear in a World of Threat 

They wanted the Germs; they got 'em. - Darby Crash

The use of the symbolic abstraction of fear as an exchangeable sign has always been a helpful means to justify and manifest the most perverse needs of authority invested in the expansion of militarized orders and the erasure of individual autonomy. But in the United States after the 9/11 attacks, fear reigns supreme as a fundamental unit of exchange across the entire political, economic, and military spectrum.

Read
article

Historical Background of the US Biowarfare Program 

In light of the current FBI/Patriot Act investigations against Critical Art Ensemble (CAE), it is worthwhile to point out two moments from the history of the US government?s involvement in biowarfare. The first concerns the specific issue of access to knowledge, education, and resources in the life sciences. The second concerns the general backdrop of US biodefense ideology. All of this information has been confirmed by several sources, and has been in the public domain for some time (see the references below).
Needless to say, this is not meant to be a comprehensive ?history? of biowarfare. Instead, it is a perspective on biowarfare from the vantage point of US involvement. What is evident is that the US government?s involvement in biowarfare raises far more substantial questions than the investigation of dissenting artists.

Read
article

EuroMayDay Call Spring 2010 

Precarisation is the norm, temp work, low salaries, unemployment. Barbed wire, uniforms and camps that protect fortress-europe, excluding and persecuting thousands of women, men and children. Police and armies are in the streets, with their cameras and helicopters. Control is everywhere, terrorist laws are used to legitimize repression. The media keeps the lid on the pot that is starting to boil over. At the same time it is doing its best to convince us to keep up consumption. The serpent is eating its own tail. Our brothers and sisters in the south are paying the bill; and we pay too. Animals becoming extinct show the way to the future generations. And at the same time, the banks are throwing our billions out the window...

Read
article

The dark side of Camping 

Camping can be so nice. Crawling out of dewy plastic in the early morning, with a pinch of sleep still in your eyes, braving the unbearably hot sun, yet invigorated and ready to take on the day with as much indifference as possible to the ongoing struggle with nature. Surely everybody knows that the secret of success is to fight the laws of petty bourgeois civilisation with minimal equipment and therefore gain a flexibility that is capable of suspending the otherwise ruling power relations for a clearly defined amount of time.

Read
article

Borders: Walking Across, as opposed to Flying Above 

This text was written in July 2003, at the height of the tension on the border between India and Pakistan. Following elections in Pakistan, and in the Indian administered part of Kashmir, the two countries have agreed to de-escalate and troops on both sides are now on their way back to "peace time" positions. Relations between the two governments however, continue to be tense.

Read
article

Border Camp 99 

Borders are there to be crossed. Their significance becomes obvious only when they are violated--and it says quite a lot about a society's political and social climate when one sees what kind of border-crossing a government tries to prevent.  Everybody knows that it is increasingly easy for money, goods, and capital to cross the borders of nation-states and territories; that the spreading of information can no longer be restricted; that social, political, or economic conflicts cannot be reduced to national affairs anymore. 

Read
article

A Brief History of the Noborder Network 

It wasn't exactly the right place nor really the right time to launch a political campaign which publicly called for a series of offenses against the law, yet when the call "No one is illegal" went out exactly five years ago at documentaX, the usual reservations counted little. In the Orangerie which had been temporarily arranged as a media laboratory, at the end of the visitors' course of the well-known Kassler art exhibition, a dozen political and media activists from all Germany's bigger cities met up at the end of June 1997 in order to publish an appeal.

Read
article

It Is Not The Changes That Might Take Place, But The Changes That Are Already Occurring And How To Make The Most Out Of It 

More than talking about changes that can be expected in the media landscape because of the developments and the influence of on-line streaming media, it is more consequent and important to consider (and act up on) the influence that these facilities already have in this particular area and the way in which information and communications as a whole have changed and will continue to change because on-line streaming media.

Read
    article

    Everybody will be TV 

    Programming produced by any big transnational TV network (CNN, BBC, etc.) is, from the standpoint of an Internet user, similar to an Aggregator site distributing video material. It may also function as a portal providing a variety of material of interest to the viewer. Similarities abound - sections of a transnational TV network correspond to parts of an aggregate site: a program schedule is analogous to a web site index, news programs function as general information about the portal's community, shows represent particular web pages or sections on the portal. Most importantly, both TV network and a Web portal try to fulfill the basic media mission: to define its own reality and broadcast it that reality to potential followers - TV viewers or Internet users.

    Read
    article

    The Undisciplined and Punishment 

    In the past several years a lively list serve has evolved that addresses issue of incarceration and justice in the United States. Each night I log on to messages that range from desperate pleadings for someone life to cautious discussions of what the slogans should be on the posters for the next Mumia march. There are technical descriptions of prison architecture and quests for herbal cures to cell block bronchitis epidemics. It is the underside of what is one of our leading industries: locking people up.

    Read