301 Articles

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The Situationists and the New Forms of Action in Art and Politics 

The Situationist Movement can be seen as an artistic avant-garde, as an experimental investigation of possible ways for freely constructing everyday life, and as a contribution to the theoretical and practical development of a new revolutionary contestation. From now on, any fundamental cultural creation, as well as any qualitative transformation of society, is contingent on the continued development of this sort of interrelated approach.

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The Logos Fight back 

The culture jammers tried to subvert the big brand names. But the smart advertisers now use guerrilla tactics themselves, according to James Harkin

In a recent newspaper interview, Kalle Lasn was interrogated about Adbusters, the Canadian anti-advertising magazine that he founded.


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Notes on Culture Jamming 

"Culture-jamming," a term I have popularized by articles in The New York Times and Adbusters, might best be defined as media hacking, information warfare, terror-art, and guerrilla semiotics, all in one. Billboard bandits, pirate TV and radio broadcasters, media hoaxers, and other vernacular media wrenchers who intrude on the intruders, investing ads, newscasts, and other media artifacts with subversive meanings are all culture- jammers." Mark Dery

Damn the Networks! Victory to the Imagination!
Yogi in Craig Baldwin's "Spectres of the Spectrum"

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BLF Manifesto 

In the beginning was the Ad. The Ad was brought to the consumer by the Advertiser. Desire, self worth, self image, ambition, hope; all find their genesis in the Ad. Through the Ad and the intent of the Advertiser we form our ideas and learn the myths that make us into what we are as a people. That this method of self definition displaced the earlier methods is beyond debate. It is now clear that the Ad holds the most esteemed position in our cosmology.

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Signs of the Times 

Friday, October 05, 2001 12:20 PM
subject: Activism After September 11

Dear Friends,
This essay was published today in The Nation. It's an attempt to discuss what the atrocities of September 11 might mean to those of us who are publicly critical of corporate power and the current global economic model. There are no easy answers to this question so the essay is more of a meditation on symbolism and tone than a political roadmap.

Take care,
Naomi

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Introduction to the N5M Zapbook 

The Next Five Minutes is a conference, exhibition and tv program that wants to leave behind the rigid dichotomy between the mainstream, commercial and national tv on one hand and  marginal independent tv on the other. Although these differences may still be important, N5M wants to focus on tv-makers crossing the borders of tv-making and going into the spaces that the tv-world still has to offer.

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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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    Which Democracy in a Post-Political Age? 

    The question that I would like to examine with you concerns the role that the new media can play in the fostering of democracy. We can discern roughly two opposite answers to that question. On one side there are those enthusiasts who argue that they provide us with the technology that will finally make it possible to realize the ideal of direct democracy under modern conditions, on the other side those detractors who see them as contributing to a further privatization of politics and as replacing rational debate by the instant expression of private prejucides, turning what ought to be public decisions into private consumer-like choices.

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    Media Darkness 

    Reflections on Public Space, Light and Conflict

    There is an unshakable belief in the idea that what defines the mass media is that they produce or constitute, in all their different ways, a public. So while there is agreement on the fact that not every public sphere is a communication medium, many people tend to think that every communication medium constitutes a public sphere - the most recent and prominent candidate being, of course, the Internet. But is this claim as to the public quality of all media, hegemonic as it may be today, really tenable?

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    Strategies for Tactical Media 

    Conscious of the growing involvement of artists in political protest through their art and the utilisation of conventional and digital media technologies, RealTime's editors approached media theorist McKenzie Wark to comment on where he sees Tactical Media fitting in the bigger picture of power and media.

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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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    Dictionary of War - Idea 

    DICTIONARY OF WAR is a collaborative platform for creating 100 concepts on the issue of war, to be invented, arranged and presented by scientists, artists, theorists and activists at four public, two-day events in Frankfurt, Munich, Graz and Berlin. The aim is to create key concepts that either play a significant role in current discussions of war, have so far been neglected, or have yet to be created.

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    Can Internet technology still revolutionize activism? 

    One of the biggest promises of the Internet was the transformation of political activism. No longer would change come about solely through the actions of large organizations, claimed the Web's early enthusiasts. Now, they claimed, individuals could rouse the concern of their fellow citizens for a particular cause through Web sites, e-mail, and online petitions. Those who normally shunned demonstrations and limited their participation in the public sphere could be contacted personally in their e-mail box, and all that would be necessary for them to do to show their support would be to click a button or fill in a field. Soon, pundits predicted, there would be a revolution in grassroots participation in the political process.

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    To Shoot an Elephant 

    Synopsis

    "...afterwards, of course, there were endless discussions about the shooting of the elephant. The owner was furious, but he was only an Indian and could do nothing. Besides, legally I had done the right thing, for a mad elephant has to be killed, like a mad dog, if it's owner fails to control it".

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    Top 5 Musicals Produced By the Oil Industry 

    Ah, the oil industry. While most people are resigned to the knowledge that large petroleum manufacturers are at least partly to blame when it comes to destroying Third World infrastructures, propping up meritless dictators, or encouraging blind consumerism in the face of an environmentally poisoned and diseased future ? the question I often ask is 'What about the music'?

    And while they are fiendishly scarce, the oil industry, like many other bastions of capitalism, indeed produced a number of privately pressed, in-house motivational musicals, and several squeaked out on LP (for employees only, of course). They're known as industrial shows: lavish stage productions that serve to entertain, educate, and encourage employees to do their job with gusto.

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    Bodies of Fear in a World of Threat 

    They wanted the Germs; they got 'em. - Darby Crash

    The use of the symbolic abstraction of fear as an exchangeable sign has always been a helpful means to justify and manifest the most perverse needs of authority invested in the expansion of militarized orders and the erasure of individual autonomy. But in the United States after the 9/11 attacks, fear reigns supreme as a fundamental unit of exchange across the entire political, economic, and military spectrum.

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    Historical Background of the US Biowarfare Program 

    In light of the current FBI/Patriot Act investigations against Critical Art Ensemble (CAE), it is worthwhile to point out two moments from the history of the US government?s involvement in biowarfare. The first concerns the specific issue of access to knowledge, education, and resources in the life sciences. The second concerns the general backdrop of US biodefense ideology. All of this information has been confirmed by several sources, and has been in the public domain for some time (see the references below).
    Needless to say, this is not meant to be a comprehensive ?history? of biowarfare. Instead, it is a perspective on biowarfare from the vantage point of US involvement. What is evident is that the US government?s involvement in biowarfare raises far more substantial questions than the investigation of dissenting artists.

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