300 Articles

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Small, Furry Mammals 

The McLibel media strategy arose from a simple premise: this story has to be told. Most people have been affected by McDonald's in one way or another - working in a store, being nagged by children, stumbling through litter, suffering ill-health or enjoying their burgers - and the corporation's influence continues to increase as they relentlessly pursue their "global domination strategy" (to use their own words). Two people investing their lives to stand up to such a force has got to be a great story in anybody's book.

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Electronic Civil Disobedience, Simulation, and the Public Sphere 

What counts in the long run is the "use" one makes of a theory....We must start from existing practices in order to retrace the fundamental flaws.
--Felix Guattari, "Why Marx and Freud No Longer Disturb Anyone"

In 1994, when Critical Art Ensemble first introduced the idea and a possible model of electronic civil disobedience (ECD) as another option for digital resistance, the collective had no way of knowing what elements would be the most practical, nor did it know what elements would require additional explanation. After nearly five years of field testing of ECD by various groups and individuals, its information gaps have become a little more obvious and can finally be addressed.

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30 Years of Tactical Media 

This is a short text [1] which appears in "Public Netbase: Non Stop Future. New  Practices in Art and Media" edited by the fine people at the New Media  Center_kuda.org, in cooperation with World-Information Institute / t0. This book was presented at Transmediale 2009 in Berlin.
http://nonstop-future.org

Tactical media as a practice has a long history and, it seems save to  predict, an even longer future. Yet its existence as a distinct concept  around which something of a social movement, or more precisely, a self- aware network of people and projects would coalesce has been relatively  short lived, largely confined to the internet's first decade as a mass  medium (1995-2005).

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Insular Technologies - A Civil Tactical Response to SIGNIT Communities 

In the past four years we have been accustomed to receive information on the extent of global signit work that has actually been going on without the knowledge of civil populations, communications infrastructure users and developers and in many cases even governments. A very quiet debate has started around issues arising from the knowledge about the ECHELON system, which has now spread also into mainstream politics, and we should be very careful observers of this processes. One should also be aware of the fact, that possible ?sister" systems exist in the EU countries, Russia, France and China, although not much is known about them, except what can be gathered from each countries encryption regulations, which in this respect can be taken as an information on each of the countries civil rights and signit polices. We can also assume that Israel possesses strong signit mideast oriented capabilities.

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Reclaim the Streets: The Film and Other Media Tactics 

The Disorganisation

Reclaim the Streets (RtS) cannot be understood as a campaign, although some of its methods are very similar. There are now RtS groups in thirty cities organising illegal street parties. Most of these groups only exist for the event, and many of the activists are involved in local campaigns during the rest of the year. There is no membership or official line although many would like to see a wider global strategy. As a movement, RtS is only four years old, and it could grow in unpredictable ways.

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PGO - The Post-Governmental Organisation 

One of the four main themes of the N5M3 is the 'Post-Governmental Organisation', a title that is meant more polemically than descriptively. The 'PGO' label raises the question of the practical, political and ethical impli cations of strong, potentially global, independent organisations. The theme will be approached from different critical, analytical and ironic perspectives in a public debate, and the PGO Design-Show ("Get Organised!").

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Culture Board for Bulgaria 

A Body for Cultures in Ruin

For Whom It May Concern,

We would like you to read this document and respond to this idea. It was our wish and motivation to consider a format which could accommodate certain situations in which countries and cultures find themselves in these days. Ever increasingly, we are witnessing the phenomena of ruined nation states, crashing financial markets and bankrupt governments. So far, this is only interpreted in the usual journalistic way of reporting the political and financial aspects of the crises. But we, cultural workers, know better. It is only perceived as 'news'. Arts and culture in this situation are the last to be considered contemporary, sensitive instruments that could express the 'signs of the times'. First of all culture is a prime target of budget cuts and this has become the only language in which officials can speak. Art, by definition, is always in a defensive role and cannot make demands. We do not like to further the culture of complaint, nor is this the right time to dream up new utopias. We propose to radically face current global economic forces. We want to intervene in their sphere. Culture should not be left out: condemned to compensate for and be at the receiving end of this trauma.

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CHANCE 2000: Vote yourself! Just do it! 

Germany 1998: 2 years before the New Millenium a new form of Political Party came into existence: CHANCE 2000 - The Party of the Last Chance. In the midst of an election that was one of the most important in postfascist Germany an artist jumped into the political arena to "make politics more aesthetic and aesthetics more political". The film- and theatremaker and talk show host Christoph Schlingensief started the Campagne: "VOTE YOURSELF!" In Berlin he started the project with an "Election Circus". Together with a famous circus-family from former East Germany and with his crew of actors and his family of handicapped performers he founded "CHANCE 2000 - Party of the Last Chance" in a circus tent in Berlin/ Prenzlauer Berg. The message for the Republic was: "Vote Yourself, we know how to do it!" Every citizen was asked to become an independent candidate for the new Bundestag. Manuals were sent out how to become a direct candidate. And many different people realized their chance to "prove that they exist" by bringing their name on the ballot sheet: "Chance Meier", "Chance Mueller", "Chance Schmidt". If you managed to collect 200 signatures of support in your political region you were part of the game and you could vote yourself. Why not voting somebody you know by heart, you trust and love?

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Corporate Counter Campaigns - Introduction 

Introducing the panel on Counter-strategies of Corporations against Campaigns Featuring: What are the modern-times strategies of present day companies? And: How can we respond to these?

This part of the introduction includes a short outline of the themes to be discussed at the forum. Being used are examples from the work of the panelists and cases they have been working on. Also included are exerpts from recent articles on the corporate world's reaction to social and environmental cam-paigns, illuminating the main themes from different points of view. References are included below, if you would like to receive four further texts on this subject, please let me know: evel@xs4all.nl

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The Art of Campaigning 

The idea for the Art of Campaigning topic originates from the works of the McLibel group [www.mcspotlight.org]. Their type of net.campaign questions previous forms of activism, which was focused on the mass media and their ability to influence public opinion, by staging direct action (targeted at known media makers). Big NGO's such as Greenpeace have built up experiences with this model for decades. The scenarios they use have not changed much since the seventies. There is the usual PR material: official reports, books, folders, flyers, magazine and original video footage, shot on location. Campaigns are being planned long in advance. The way of working does not differ much from a campaign to launch a new product. Professionalism has taken over the task of volunteers. Their role is being reduced to that of a local support group, doing the actual grass roots work with the population.

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    No One is Illegal! Manifesto 

    For a world without borders! No immigration controls!

    DEFEND THE OUTLAW!

    Immigration controls should be abolished. People should not be deemed 'illegal' because they have fallen foul of an increasingly brutal and repressive system of controls. Why is immigration law different from all other law? Under all other laws it is the act that is illegal, but under immigration law it is the person who is illegal. Those subject to immigration control are dehumanized, are reduced to non-persons, are nobodies. They are the modern outlaw. Like their medieval counterpart they exist outside of the law and outside of the law's protection. Opposition to immigration controls requires defending all immigration outlaws.

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      No One is Illegal - Principles 

      The No One is Illegal campaign has two goals: to attain concrete victories for immigrants and refugees and to develop the communities' own capacity to attain justice and dignity for themselves and their families. We strive and struggle for a world in which no one is forced to migrate. We also strive and struggle for a world where people can move freely in order to live and flourish in justice and dignity.

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      The XYZ of Net Activism 

      It's time to create the pop stars of activism,
      the idoru of communication guerrilla,
      it's time to threaten and charm the
      masses by the ghosts coming from the
       net, to play the myth against the myth,
      to be more nihilist than infoteinment!
                                        - etoy -

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      When Thought Becomes Crime* 

      March 17th, 2005

      How did it come to this?

      Only a perverse authoritarian logic can explain how Critical Art Ensemble (CAE) can at one moment be creating the project "Free Range Grain" for the Risk exhibition at Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, reconfiguring it for The Interventionists exhibition at Mass MoCA in a second moment, and then suddenly have a CAE member in FBI detention.   The U.S. Justice Department has accused us of such shocking crimes as bioterrorism, health and safety violations, mail fraud, wire fraud, and even murder.   Now, as we retool "Free Range Grain" for the Risk exhibition at the Glasgow Center for Contemporary Art, the surreal farce of our legal nightmare continues unabated.

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      McLibel 

      The McLibel Trial is the infamous British court case between McDonald's and a former postman & a gardener from London (Helen Steel and Dave Morris). It ran for two and a half years and became the longest ever English trial. The defendants were denied legal aid and their right to a jury, so the whole trial was heard by a single Judge, Mr Justice Bell. He delivered his verdict in June 1997.

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      A New Geography of Power? 

      The formal political system today faces a new geography of power. Globalization and the new technologies have contributed to the shrinking of state authority and the explosion of a whole series of new actors engaged in governance activities. The current phase of the world economy is characterized by significant discontinuities with the preceding periods and radically new arrangements. This becomes particularly evident in the impact of globalization on the geography of economic activity and on the organization of political power. There is an incipient unbundling of the exclusive authority over its territory we have long associated with the nation-state.

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      In memoriam: Oleg Kireev 

      On Friday April 3, 2009 we received the terribly sad news that our friend and ever inspiring colleague Oleg Kireev from Moscow had died, apparently as a result of suicide. We are left behind as friends and colleagues, bereaved and puzzled by this dramatic fact. Kireev was a prominent guest in some of the most important projects in the art / media / politics triangle, which we had the honour developing at De Balie. Kireev was a crucial figure in circles of free culture, media activism and the arts in Moscow, one of the most demanding environments for such activity one can think of.

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