Search results for 'archive'


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The Speculative Archive for Historical Clarification is a long-term project that produces documents that investigate the political and cultural implications of state self-documentation. Its work focuses on the processes through which covert government activities are documented, classified for reasons of national security, and, at times, selectively declassified. Founded in 1999 by Julia Meltzer and David Thorne, SAHC has recently completed a series of interviews with government officials involved in the regulation and release of secret government information. Below are excerpts from three of these interviews.

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    N5M3 South Asia Forum Presentation 

    Working with new media in the part of South Asia that I come from is something like crossing a tightrope on a bicycle. The bicycle which could have helped me along were I on my way on flat ground makes the crossing that much more precarious. Consider the bicycle to be the single computer and the internet connection which I use along with at least seventeen other people, friends, colleagues, neighbours and complete strangers.

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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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        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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          A context for collecting the new media 

          At the turning of the year 1992 I received the program and manifesto for the Next 5 Minutes Conference in Paradiso. As professional collector of documents by and about social movements for the International Institute of Social History, the list of videos to be shown caught my attention immediately. This was an excellent opportunity to realize something for which I had been trying already for some time, to make an international sample collection of products from the movement of new independent video makers.

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          A Virtual World is Possible: From Tactical Media to Digital Multitudes 

          I.

          We start with the current strategy debates of the so-called 'anti-globalisation movement', the biggest emerging political force for decades. In Part II we will look into strategies of critical new media culture in the post-speculative phase after dotcommania. Four phases of the global movement are becoming visible, all of which have distinct political, artistic and aesthetic qualities.

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          Data Trash: The Theory of the Virtual Class 

          Arthur Kroker, Canadian media theorist and is the author of 'ThePossessed Individual', 'Spasm' and 'Hacking the Future'. Over the pastyears he, together with Marilouise Kroker, were often in Europe andmade appearances at Virtual Futures, V-2, Eldorado/Antwerpen, etc.Recently, they have also been discovered in German-speaking countries.Both are noted for their somewhat compact jargon, which made theirmessage appear to drown somewhat in overcomplex code. But "DataTrash"`(1994) changed all that. The long treck through the squashydiscourses had not been in vain. Firmly rooted in European philosophy,yet not submerged, Arthur Kroker has found his topic: the virtual class.

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          Grundrisse einer Netzkritik 

          1. Toward a European Standard Code for Critical Interchange (ESCCI)

          Bezeichnen wir das Internet einfach einmal als 'Kind der Moderne', soist das klassische Genre der Kritik sicherlich ein Teil davon. Im nochandauernden Zeitalter des multikulturellen Massenkonformismus, vollerMikropraxis und Ich-Management, ist die Kunst der Kritik jedoch inVergessenheit geraten. Die hiesigen Kommentare zielen nur noch aufKorrektur von Verhaltensweisen ab. Die Meinungsmacher/innen haben allesAngebotene laengst hinter sich, sie sehen das Ganze wirklichdifferenziert, aus sicherem Abstand. Die glueckliche Tatsache, man seieben nicht engagiert, wird als persoenliche Errungenschaft gefeiert.Solche talking heads ohne Eigenschaften sind aber nutzlos in Zeitenrascher Entwicklungen, sowie das beim Wachstum der Computernetze imMoment der Fall ist.

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          Cartography of Excess 

          Utopian ideas - like "Spaceship Earth" - are round, multidimensional, interrelated: their archetypal map is the Milky Way, the infinite constellations. But rational thinking is instrumental, linear, it distorts: and that's exactly the problem with the Mercator map, the most common world projection. Buckminster Fuller, inventor of the geodesic dome, created a "Dymaxion map" to undo those distortions. First the earth becomes a geometric figure, an isocahedron: its 20 triangles are then disjointed and laid flat, so the land masses radiate from a nexus in the north, without splitting continents or enlarging the polar regions.

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          The Concept of Tactical Media 

          Tactical Media emerged when the modest goals of media artists and media activists were transformed into a movement that challenged everyone to produce their own media in support of their own political struggles. This "new media" activism was based on the insight that the long-held distinction between the 'street' (reality) and the 'media' (representation) could no longer be upheld. On the contrary, the media had come to infuse all of society.

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          Escaping Assad and Revolution in Rojava 

          An interview with a Syrian activist in exile, code-named Sami, published by Occupy.com draws attenton once more to the radical experiment in real-life bottom-up matriarchal democratic design unfolding  against all odds in the autonomous Kurdish region of Rojava in Northern Syria. We are republishing two short texts here on this subject matter to speculate about the question if 'Rojava' could offer a repeatable model for post-governmental political design?

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          The GHI of Tactical Media 

          Tactical media are the field being worked by artists adopting a positive attitude towards contemporary digital technology, in a critical, innovative spirit. Media artists reveal a preoccupation with aesthetics as a concept, not with a particular style. This trend is part of the creation of a new language for the communications network era, a user language which is successful as art because it transmits an effective activism. Media activists are a hybrid of artist, scientist, theoretician and political activist that shuns labels and categorizations. Their creations are characterised by integration of user and machine in the work itself, so that interactivity has an important place within it. The concept of tactical media allows Art with a capital and grassroots political activism to be combined and, in this sense, we could include in it the tactical struggle that is part of anti-globalisation movements. Media activists point to the power of tactics as a means of breaking down the barriers between mainstream values and alternative ones, between professionals and amateurs and even between people who are creative and those that are not.

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          Syrian Hands Raised: User Generated Creativity Between Citizenship and Dissent 

          As much as images of violence, civil war, and sectarian strife become prominent in the media narrative of the Syrian uprising, little gems of innovative cultural production, artistic resistance, and creative disobedience continue to sprout across the virtual alleys of the Internet. These creative gems are also the germs of a viral peer-production process at work at a grassroots level in the new Syrian public sphere. Such acts of creativity - mash-ups, cartoons, slogans, jokes, songs, and web series - are probably too small and inconsistent in impact compared to the horrific magnificence that shelling, bombing, sniping, and killing scenes that provide daily fodder to global television viewers. It is also challenging to discover them; in fact, as remarked by Tunisian blogger Sami ben Gharbia at the Arab Bloggers meeting in Tunis (3-6 October 2011), Facebook is not the most suitable platform for activists to store, archive, tag, search for content, and give it a context.

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