next 5 minutes international festival of tactical media, September 11-14 2003, Amsterdam


- Download program (1 MB PDF)
- Schedule
- Deep Local
- The Reappearing Public
- The Tactics of Appropriation
- The Tactical and the Technical
- Urban Interventions
- Artist Installations
- Film Screenings
- Workshops
- Performance Programmes
- Media Production
- Media Library
- Tactical Autonomous Zone
- Post-Festival (& campsite)

The Tactics of Appropriation

From its earliest articulations, tactical media practitioners have always recognised "appropriation" as one of the prime constitutive elements of the tactical.

From the re-purposing of the fruits of the consumer electronics industry,(exploiting video's forensic immediacy to institute a subject centred realism) through to later phases of new media tactics, as evinced by the work of groups like RTMark, and the practices of logo tinkering, and imposturing, blossoming on the Net.

Thus rather than complaining about the speed with which our tactics are stolen it is time to recognise that tactical media has been in the appropriation game all along.

Indeed it is in the precise moment of appropriation that power becomes momentarily visible. And here lies the opportunity for the balance of power to be re-defined, for the weak once again to turn the tables on the strong. Appropriation is the name of the game. The important question is who appropriates whom?

There are some who would rather seek solace in the belief that a new social movement is emerging from the formation of alliances between a multitude of heterogeneous critical groups and micro-movements.

But those who believe that mass movements are immune from appropriation should observer the ease with which Chirac together with a coalition of EU member states have appropriated the mass peace demonstrations to legitimise their geo-political stance visa a vie America.

The scope and logic of appropriation are infinite. Here as elsewhere power exists both where it is enacted and where it is being challenged

If appropriation is indeed one of the crucial operators of media politics, the question how that condition can be effectively addressed (rather than escaped from), is especially important.

So we can ask questions like: in what ways are opposition politics these days constrained by logics of appropriation? and how can we conceive of appropriation as something that enables instead of threatens antagonistic politics?

Programme Items

Tactical Media in Crisis
My First Recession - by Geert Lovink
Uses and Abuses of the Language of Human Rights
Contestational Science
The legacy of the globalisation protests and the politics of appropriation.
Going WSIS?
Indymedia Workshop
The Indymedia Debate
Multitudes Debate