Search results for 'politics'




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Tactical Media, the Second Decade 

The tactical media concept originates in post-1989 Europe when political change coincided with a wild phase in thinking about media technologies. It was the decade when both artists and activists started to discover digital technologies on a massive scale. Prizes dropped and expectations rose to incredible heights.

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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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    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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    Rise and Decline of the Syndicate: the End of an Imagined Community 

    To: nettime-l {AT} bbs.thing.net
    Subject: <nettime> Rise and Decline of the Syndicate
    Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2001 15:52:49 +0100

    The Syndicate mailing list imploded and went down in August 2001, destroying the life-line of the Syndicate network. The network had been in a shaky situation for a while, due - we believe - to the destabilisation of the problematic balance between personal contacts of list members, lurking and filtering-and-not-reading-let-alone-posting subscribers, and a growing number of self-promoters who used the list as a personal performance space and disregarded the social rules of the online community.


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    Putting the Demo Back in Democracy: March Against the Moguls. 

    That guerrilla video is now the subject of historical reflection is probably a sign of its demise. There has been a recent flurry of archival and publishing activity centering on experiments made in the '70s. In 1997, the Chicago-based Video Data Bank released Surveying the First Decade, a compilation of work from the early days of video, and Oxford University Press published Deirdre Boyle's Subject to Change: Guerrilla Television Revisited, the definitive study of the video movements of the late 1960s and '70s. These reflections on the utopian impulse in early video provide an opportunity to think about the present state of media in this country, in particular those movements that have attempted to create electronic space for non-commercial views that run counter to the mainstream.

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    Holograms for Freedom 

    The Citizens’ Securities Law’s Reform is an attack on the right of freedom of assembly. This measure restricts citizens’ liberties, and criminalizes their right to protest. Turning a right into an offence for which you can be pursued, detained, and judged.
    To respond to this injustice and to show the future will have to face if this bill continues its course, we saw the need to carry out a different kind of protest that would allow our demands to become unstoppable: the first hologram protest in history.
    A massive protest, through which we will demonstrate, that despite the trammels imposed by the government, they will not silence our voices, and even if we have to turn ourselves into holograms, we will keep on protesting.
    www.hologramasporlalibertad.org/en.html#project

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    Sarai Reader 08: Fear 

    Modernity's great promise - the freedom from fear, now lies in ruins. One can argue that this vision was always compromised - modernity (especially in the form that emerged in the West, under Capitalism) always hid its own fears, and hid from its own fears - the fear of epidemics, of urban panic, of the homeless multitude and of criminal activity. This led to a drive for transparency: for separating the civic from the criminal, the civilised and the barbaric peoples, the human from the non human, life from the machine.

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    The tactics of occupation: Becoming cockroach 

    The global occupy protest movement is proliferating by "contagion, epidemics, battlefields, and catastrophes".[1] Furthermore, it materialises and disperses in multiple ephemeral processes of transformation that construct a common for the multitude of protestors. The common produced by the global occupy movement is not a mutually shared opposition to the capitalist crisis, nor a collective identity (of the "indignados" or of the 99%), nor a consensual political project (for real, authentic democracy). The common does not even embody an identical strategy of occupying public space, but rather to a series of becomings that question established categorizations and taxonomies that normalize the production of subjectivities and the organisation of life.

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    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.

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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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    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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