Search results for 'control'


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Notes on the Future of Activism 

Contemporary activism begins from the realization that for the first time in history, a synergy of catastrophes face us. Our physical environment is dying, our financial markets are collapsing and our culture, fed on a diet of junk thought, is atrophying -- unable to muster the intellectual courage to face our predicament.

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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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SWARMACHINE 

Activist Media Tomorrow*

* BH: When I wrote this text five years ago, it really was not clear whether the swarming tactics of the counter-globalization movement would get a "second chance." But they have, and now the subtitle could be "activist media today."

What happened at the turn of the millennium, when a myriad of recording devices were hooked up to the Internet and the World Wide Web became an electronic prism refracting all the colors of a single anti-capitalist struggle? What kind of movement takes to the barricades with samba bands and videocams, tracing an embodied map through a maze of virtual hyperlinks and actual city streets? The organizational aesthetics of the networked movements was called "tactical media," a concept that mixed the quick-and-dirty appropriation of consumer electronics with the subtle counter-cultural anthropology of Michel de Certeau. The idea was to evoke a new kind of popular subjectivity, constitutionally "under the radar," impossible to identify, constantly shifting with the inventions of digital storytelling and the ruses of open-source practice. Too bad so much of this subversive process was frozen into a single seductive phrase.

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The Transborder Immigrant Tool: Violence, Solidarity and Hope in Post-NAFTA Circuits of Bodies Electr(on)/ic 

This polyvocal, collectively authored paper describes the Transborder Immigrant Tool, a border disturbance art project developed by the Electronic Disturbance Theater. The paper outlines the motivations behind the tool and elaborates a notion of Science of the Oppressed as a methodology for developing locative media projects in solidarity with social movements. A shift is identified from Tactical Media to Tactical Biopolitics in contemporary media art. Walkingtools.net is also introduced as a platform for sharing technical information about locative media projects in order to create an ecology of projects. Poetic sustenance, part of the Transborder Immigrant Tool's functioning, is discussed in a context of Inter-American Transcendentalism.

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Electronic Markets & Activist Networks 

The two very different types of digital formations examined here make legible the variable ways in which the socio-technical interaction between digital technology and social logics produce distinctive outcomes. These differences point to the possibility that networked forms of power are not inherently distributive, as is often theorized when the focus is exclusively on technical properties.

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Post-media operators: "sovereign & vague" 

No one recognises these powers as their own

(Why Theory?) We have to dispense with the idea that theorising occurs after the creative event; that a poem or a track or a text is made and then, as part of its process of dissemination, there follows the theorising of the piece. Such a theorising is normally attributed to those known variously as critics, reviewers and essayists.

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The Fourth World War 

The following text is an excerpt from a talk given by Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos to the International Civil Commission of Human Rights Observation in La Realidad, Chiapas on November 20, 1999. The outline for the talk was published in Letters 5.1 and 5.2 in November of the same year, with the titles "Chiapas: the War: 1, Between the Satellite and the Microscope, the Other's Gaze," and 2, "The Machinery of Ethnocide." Any similarity to the conditions of the current war is purely coincidental. Published in Spanish in La Jornada, Tuesday, October 23, 2001.

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The Brazilian Context 

Many are the social, political or economic problems in Brazil. Socially, there's an extremely unequal distribution of wealth. Such a big social unequality is reflected, for example, in the extreme differences between the center and the periphery in the big cities, regional unequalities, criminality, racism. Besides that, we live in an unnoficial police state that acts in defense of the elites, murdering and arresting poorer citzens, because of the color of their skin or social condition.

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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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