Search results for 'culture'

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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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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 DEF of Tactical Media 

Campaigns and Movements Although a global conference, the first Next 5 Minutes, held six years ago(1993), was dominated by the first large scale encounter between two distinctive cultural communities. On the one hand, Western European and North American campaigning media artists and activists and on the other hand their equivalent from the former communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe, dissident artists and samizdat activists, still basking in the after glow of the role they played in bringing down the communist dictatorships. In the excitement of discovering each other, these two communities tended to gloss over their ideological differences,understandably emphasising only the shared practice of exploiting consumer electronics (in those days mostly the video camcorder) as a means of organisation and social mobilisation. We referred to these practices, and the distinctive aesthetic to which it gave rise, tactical media.

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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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Migrant Navigator Xtra Tools 

No borders = No nations? History of unification of the Europe is militant: Roman Empire > Napoleon's Empire > 3rd Reich. Economy is powerful weapon. Now this has all changed! Test yourself: Say at least three differences of the European Union with previous forms of European unification. Compare the results with your family, friends, neighbours and people you don't like. Than try it with the Migrant Navigator to see the difference!

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Art Rant 

Geert Lovink wrote:

A gap is now in danger of getting bigger: old school video journalism, done by political activists, versus a thriving technology based network of media artists. Complaints about an 'eighties' style of amateurism of video works are on the rise. On the other hand, a depolitization of electronic arts is apparent as well. Or do we speak here about a mutual non-understanding? A return of the outworn difference between activist and artist? Can the concept of 'tactical media' present itself as a easy synthesis?

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9-11 and After: A Virtual Case Book 

 The attack on the World Trade Center was--among other things--a stunning media event, and there was no shortage of analysis on mass media coverage. We saw no reason to replicate what others were doing. What no one seemed to be looking at closely was the significance of this ephemeral material that filled the streets and parks in New York below 14th Street or its relationship with the new media that was also flooding our lives.

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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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      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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      Minor Media Normality in the East 

      1. Autogenerative Europe

      In our imagination, eastern Europe was always black and white. Traveling to East Germany or Poland meant suddenly leaving colorful western Europe and entering a movie from the forties or fifties. Later we simply couldn't remember having seen any color, not the green of the trees, nor the red of the brick buildings. When we went to the movies to see a film by Wajda, Kieslowski or Tarkowsky, the filmmaker's experiments with color only reinforced our image of the east as gray. Europe clearly had an ideologically motivated neurosis when it came to the perception of color.

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      Reading the Arab Image 

      This debate in the frame of the International Film Festival Rotterdam's Power Cut Middle East programme, takes a look at the images, both moving and still, that have come from the Middle East like a huge wave in the past few months. Due to the increase of mobile phone films and photos, we have a great deal of material whose origin is uncertain. It seems authentic, but who is coming to blows with whom? And who has made the films and taken the photos? Regimes are also aware of this, and use it to their advantage. Are we seeing actors, paid demonstrators, real people? How do we read and interpret these images?

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      Media, Activism and Society of the Spectacle 

      Our ability to move into a collectively imagined future has been trapped in an ever-present now, composed of continually transmitted images. The spectacle accompanies us throughout our lives. News, propaganda, advertising, entertainment and social media present a continuous stream of imagery, projecting a constant justification for how our culture is formulated. When Guy Debord first published The Society of the Spectacle in 1967, the digital revolution was still decades away and the technological capacity to project images into every corner of our lives was far less developed than it is today. The spectacle is no longer simply all of the time; it is also everywhere. More than ever before, Debord's words apply: "Everything that was directly lived has receded into a representation."

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      CAE: Framing Tactical Media 


      Anyone involved with "tactical media" (TM) before its famed christening in 1996 at the Next Five Minutes had to know that naming this cultural/political tendency was going to have some very negative repercussions. The naming was the first step in doing what TM feared the most°Xclaiming cultural territory doomed to house haunting archives. Once given an official title, so many nasty processes could begin - most significantly, the construction of historical narratives. So many narratives already exist explaining this ephemeral, immediate, specific, and deterritorialized process of cultural production that seemed so urgent to so many radical subjects in the early 90s.

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