geert on Fri, 29 Mar 2002 10:31:53 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Critical Art Ensemble: Digital Resistance

Digital Resistance
Explorations in Tactical Media
Critical Art Ensemble

Digital Resistance is the most recent installment in the Critical Art
Ensemble's development of the theory and forms of tactical media

What is tactical media? The term was initially used to refer to "a
critical usage and theorization of media practices that draw on all forms
of old and new media, both lucid and sophisticated, for achieving a
variety of specific noncommercial goals and pushing all kinds of
potentially subversive political issues."

Maintaining that tactical media cannot be a monolithic (and thus easily
co-opted) model but a pliable one that must continually be reshaped, they
nonetheless articulate in this book a few principles which have general
value in the often-contradictory streams of tactical media. Over the
course of eight essays, they illustrate these principles through the broad
material and content base of tactical media, and demonstrate that "no
cultural bunker is ever fully secure. We can trespass in them all,
inventing molecular interventions and unleashing semiotic shocks that
collectively could negate the rising intensity of authoritarian culture."

"Required reading for anyone concerned with disrupting authoritarian power
in all its hideous forms. Once again CAE has produced an essential tool
kit for the intelligent cultural hacker, artist, and hacktivist. Read this
book for smart tactics to fight the encroaching giant of corporate culture
and other antihuman forces vying for control in the 21st century." --
Natalie Bookchin

"An important example of ad-hoc and self-terminating "bad copy," CAE here
pushes further into questions of effective tacticalities for radical
action in the Net Age. Intermedia becomes nomadmedia and 60's radical
politics of monumental presence is subjected to recombination, shifted to
covert actions articulated in and through the "trace." Here we get some
trenchant how-tos: How to build a graffitti robot. How to think
recombinant theater. How to make collective actions. How to pervert
GameBoy. How to ask why we resort to labels like "terrorist" for actions
performed on data-bodies against the privileges of commodity signature.
How? To." -- Rebecca Schneider

"As new forms and cultures of resistance reach a critical mass with a
suddenness and force that can no longer be ignored, pundits in all forms
of popular media have been reduced to helpless sources of panic and
misinformation. In this context, Critical Art Ensemble's Digital
Resistance succeeds not only in being a guide for the perplexed, but also
serves as a user's manual for contemporary activism. In this latest volume
CAE brings to a climax a series of brilliantly illuminating texts, in
which, over the last decade, they have succeeded in forging one of the few
lexicons powerful enough to theorize the issues and technologies at the
heart of today's activist cultures." -- David Garcia, Next 5 Minutes

Table of Contents:

1    Electronic Civil Disobedience, Simulation, and the Public Sphere
2    The Mythology of Terrorism on the Net
3    The Promissory Rhetoric of Biotechnology in the Public Sphere
4    Observations on Collective Cultual Action
5    Recombinant Theater and Digital Resistance
6    Contestational Robotics
7    Children as Tactical Media Participants
8    The Financial Advantages of Anti-Copyright

CAE on the web:

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