Tactical Media Futures

A conversation between the Electronic Disturbance Theater & Ian Alan Paul

Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center
مركز خليل السكاكيني الثقافي
Wednesday, March 22nd, 6:30pm
Khalil Sakakini Str. Al Masyoon, Ramallah, Palestine
Wednesday, March 22nd, 6:30pm

What is the role of tactical media in the age of Trump, Brexit, and Fake News? Where are the opportunities for artistic disruption, intervention, simulation, and détournement when Facebook and Google increasingly control the global networks of information and everything seems to be captured in ever more intricate and intrusive surveillance systems? Where does power reside today, and what tactics and media should artists and activists adopt in response?

Drawing upon histories of hacktivism, performance, theater, art, and revolution, Ian Alan Paul will engage in a conversation with the Electronic Disturbance Theater, a group that has played an instrumental role in the development of and experimentation with tactical media since their founding in 1997. Reflecting on past tactical media projects and speculating about the particular configuration of contemporary political struggles, the speakers and those in attendance will attempt to answer the question: "What futures exist for Tactical Media today?"

The Electronic Disturbance Theater (EDT) is an electronic company of cyber activists, critical theorists, and performance artists who engage in the development of both the theory and practice of non-violent acts of defiance across and between digital and non-digital spaces. As a collective group they organize and program computer software to show their views against anti-propagandist and military actions, and begin mobilizing micronetworks to act in solidarity by staging virtual sit-ins online and allowing the emergence of a collective presence in direct digital actions.

Ian Alan Paul is a transdisciplinary artist, theorist, and curator. His practice includes the production of experimental documentary, critical fiction, and media art, aiming to produce novel conditions for the exploration of contemporary politics, ethics, and aesthetics in global contexts. His projects have approached a wide variety of topics including the Guantanamo Bay Prison, Fortress Europe, the Zapatista communities, Drone Warfare, and the military regime in post-revolution/post-coup Cairo. Ian is currently part of the faculty at Al-Quds Bard in the West Bank, and received his PhD in Film and Digital Media Studies from UC Santa Cruz in 2016.