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Eric Kluitenberg, "Legacies of Tactical Media"

Legacies of Tactical Media
Eric Kluitenberg

Tactical Media employ the ‘tactics of the weak’ to operate on the terrain of strategic power by means of ‘any media necessary’. Once the rather exclusive practice of politically engaged artists and activists, the tactical appropriations of media tools and distribution infrastructures by the disenfranchised and the disgruntled have moved from the margins to centre stage. The explosive growth of mass participation in self-mediation incountless blogs, video sharing platforms, micro-blog ging, social networking has created an unprecedented complexity in the info-sphere.

While this frenzy of media activity has been heralded as the catalyst of the new democratisation movements in North-Africa and the Middle-East, the anti-austerity/precarity movements in Southern Europe and the UK, and the recent #occupy movements in the US and Northern Europe, its increasingly intransparent complexity combined with the post 9/11 ‘crash of symbols’ has thrown its political efficacy into question. The demise of WikiLeaks as the crown jewel of on-line whistle-blowing has added to a thoroughly opaque picture.

More than ever tactical media operators require effective instruments to the create tactical cartographies they need to navigate the hybrid realities they are immersed in. This notebook traces the legacies of tactical media to begin creating these hybrid cartographies.

about the author: Eric Kluitenberg is an independent theorist and writer on culture, media and technology. He is editor in chief of the Tactical Media Files - an on-line documentation resource for tactical media practices world-wide.

colophon: Network Notebooks editors: Geert Lovink and Sabine Niederer. Producer: Margreet Riphagen. Copy editing: Allison Guy. Design: Studio Leon & Loes, Rotterdam http://www.leon-loes.nl. Publisher: Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam. Supported by: School for Communication and Design at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (Hogeschool van Amsterdam, Domein Media, Creatie en Informatie) and Stichting Democratie en Media..

Download the pdf here: networkcultures.org/_uploads/NN5_EricKluitenberg.pdf

If you want to receive free paper copies of this pamflet, lets say 10 or 20 for your Occupy scene of media activism class please write to books@networkcultures.org and mention a more or less reliable postal address. Please note: without a postal address it is difficult for us to send you copies!

Eric Kluitenberg, Legacies of Tactical Media - The Tactics of Occupation: From Tompkins Square to Tahrir, Network Notebooks 05, Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam, November 2011.