300 Articles

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The Re-Code.Com Story 

Conceptual Overview

The products we purchase are the inventory of our lives. To chain stores, this inventory is cataloged through the Universal Product Locator symbol (UPC). The UPC symbol is known as a barcode. Barcodes are now found everywhere in our world, extending outside of product inventory into our comic books, our science fiction, our films, and even our tattoos. These codes represent the fears of literally becoming numbers or becoming digital that are in many of us. These are not fears we wish to dismiss. The RE-CODE.COM project brings together the tactical media actions of the Carbon Defense League and the video and performance hijacks of Conglomco in a way that takes online action outside of the box for real world instigation. Looking at the heavy reliance on digital systems in chain stores utilizing the UPC barcode system, we see a problem or a virus in the system. The virus is the human. We are the nightmare of the digital to some extent. We are the squeaky wheel.

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Product Placement in Learning Environments 

Technology companies have a long history of placing their products inschools and other learning environments. The reasons vary. Placement isdone through in-kind donations, competitive grants, achievement awards,and funds earmarked for technology projects. Most of the companies seetheir products as ways to enhance education, and many will claim therevolutionary or transformative nature of their wares. All of them hopeit will be a prelude to increased market-share.

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    The Shared Footage Group 

    Like most of this collective effort, even the name is not a single person's brainchild- all we know is that somewhere along the way, people started referring to our work as such. And since it was an unpretentious, practical term, which did represent what we were doing in a direct manner, we just stuck by it.

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      Video Warriors 

      In 1996, Adams Wood, Jeff Taylor, and A. Mark Liiv were working as activists on a forest defense campaign in Idaho. With a Hi-8 camera, they documented violations of timber sales agreements and confrontations between angry loggers and non-violent protesters as a way to keep people safe, as a tool in legal defense, and as an alternative to mainstream corporate media, which was biased in favor of the timber industry. The activists managed to pull off a 41-day road blockade, and the future founders of Whispered Media were shooting it. They cut their first video and called it ROAD USE RESTRICTED. The succinct but intense twelve-minute video was a great success, becoming part of several activist-run road shows and inspiring many a tree-hugger to haul it out to Idaho, which, says Liiv, "is not on the way to anywhere."

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        ((( i ))) " the whole organism is more than watching " 

        Trouble is in bloom ! Across the globe there's the irrepressible sensation that the indy media makers will spread faster than the Clear Channel acne-brand of entertainment pustules and prozac-like programming, synergize far more dramaticly than the Republican grey goo version of capitalism ...

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        The Role of the Engineer in the Information Age 

        When looking at technology, we barely see machinery, let alone the people who made it. We seem to take technology and its development for a given, neglecting the process of its creation. We live off the fruits of the tree, without examining its roots.

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          Realizing The Promise of Open Source in the Non-Profit Sector 

          Every so often, a technology or protocol emerges that is touted as a ?magic bullet? either by the company or consortium promoting it or a core group of enthusiasts using it. Examples of this are WAP, OS/2, ISDN etc? The technology is initially promoted as having ?earth-changing? significance that will revolutionize the way things are done. Eventually most of these either fall by the wayside or take their rightful place as effective [but less hyped] mainstream tools in a much larger toolbox of solutions. The problem with the magic bullet approach is that it over-promotes particular technologies and often obfuscating the real benefits they could provide if evaluated and positioned in a more realistic context. For the for-profit community investing in failed magic bullets, the fallout is typically nothing more than an unfortunate R&D decision which can be expensed before moving on to the next IT investment.

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            Human rights, testimony, and transnational publicity 

            In the period between the end of the cold war in 1989 and the events of September 11, 2001, human rights became the dominant moral narrative by which world politics was organized. Inspired by the momentous political and cultural transformations taking place at the time, from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the spread of global communications technologies, promoters of human rights discourse optimistically predicted that a transnational public sphere dedicated to democratic values would emerge (We now know, of course, that such predictions were wrong, as early post cold war hopes gave way to the harsh realities of contemporary globalization).

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            Parasitic Media 

            By Nathan M Martin for The Carbon Defense League, September 2002
            A parasite is defined as ?an organism that grows, feeds, and is sheltered on or in a different organism while contributing nothing to the survival of its host.? The tactics of appropriation have been co-opted. Illegal action has become advertisement. Protest has become cliché. Revolt has become passé. These disputes have reached the definition of rhetoric. They are the usual suspects. Having accepted these failures to some degree, we can now attempt to define a parasitic tactical response. We need a practice that allows invisible subversion. We need to feed and grow inside existing communication systems while contributing nothing to their survival; we need to become parasites. We need to create an anthem for the bottom feeders and leeches. We need to echo our voice through all the wires we can tap but cloak our identity in the world of non-evidence, and the hidden.

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              9-11 and After: A Virtual Case Book 

               The attack on the World Trade Center was--among other things--a stunning media event, and there was no shortage of analysis on mass media coverage. We saw no reason to replicate what others were doing. What no one seemed to be looking at closely was the significance of this ephemeral material that filled the streets and parks in New York below 14th Street or its relationship with the new media that was also flooding our lives.

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                Fuzzy Biological Sabotage 

                If the left has learned anything from resistance against capital driven technocracy, it is that the democratic process is only minimally useful for slowing the profit machine of pancapitalism. Since corporations and other capital-saturated institutions own the process, and tend to function outside national democratic imperatives, other methods of power appropriation have to be developed. In the case of biotechnology, the resistance is unfortunately in a position of reactivity. Corporations have already infiltrated most governments and markets at such a furious pace that all that can be done is attempt to slow them down, while cells and organizations regroup and decide on a way to address the many problems that have already arisen, and the many potential accidents that are in front of us.

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                  The Revenge of Print 

                  In the wireless era, is the paper medium simply passé for the work of activists? Are zamizdat, fanzines and political magazines just good for historians? After the mid-nineties zine crisis due to a sudden rise of the cost of paper and the advent of the Internet, the actual role of magazines seems to be re-defined and still strategical for the circulation of ideas.

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                    Notes on the Politics of Software Culture 

                    Software has, over the last few years, increasingly come into view as a cultural technique whose social and political impact ought to be studied carefully. To the extent that social processes rely on software for their execution - from systems of e-government and net-based education, online banking and shopping, to the organisation of social groups and movements -, it is necessary to understand the procedural specificities of the computer programmes employed, and the cultural and political 'rules' coded into them.

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                      Looking into the practice within the labs 

                      To talk about the Cybermohalla project is to talk about concrete practices and how they relate to forms of knowledge. This is essential when we reflect on being producers of knowledge. What we are trying to follow and understand is the intricate web of processes involved in the development of a group - not just an aggregate of specialised selves. We also try to follow how this group generates within it a capacity for self recognition, for intersubjective recognition, for understanding the social biography of the neighbourhood and for developing a sense of and addressing diverse publics.

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                        The 'art' of disappearing 

                        Thereis no place in the Netherlands for the odd one out. Strangers can beassimilated or deported and sick people can be cured or euthanised, butthe dreamer and the bohemian will not fit in a straight-jacket. Thereare only paved roads to follow in this country and those who cannot orwill not follow these roads are doomed. Sooner or later that odd oneout will be given a choice: either he will lay hands on himself or hewill be lend a hand with his choice. After that he can rot in his graveuntil after long the time is ripe to memorise his peculiarity at astrictly limited occasion.

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