Raley 2009

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Raley, Rita. Tactical Media. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009.

Introduction: Tactical Media as Virtuosic Performance

"These projects are not oriented toward the grand, sweeping revolutionary event; rather, they engage in a micropolitics of disruption, intervention, and education." (1)
"Tactical Media contributes to the discourse on the digital humanities by examining the aesthetic and critical practices that have specifically emerged out of, and in direct response to, both the postindustrial society and neoliberal globalization." (3)
"What new digital art practices have emerged out of a context in which efficiency, operationalism, and instrumental rationality are core values and market transactions the predominant social good?" (4)
"In its most expansive articulation, tactical media signifies the intervention and disruption of a dominant semiotic regime, the temporary creation of a sitation in which signs, messages, and narratives are set into play and critical thinking becomes possible." (6)
"This is avant-garde artistic experimentation that shuns the manifesto ('the style of the disempoewred'), lacks a big picture, and refuses strategy: the doing, the performance, is all." (10)
"This is not the mystification of the California Ideology 2.0, whereby digital artisans articulate a vision of individual freedom realizable from within the structures of the network society. But neither is it the replacement of the old with the new vanguard, an avant-garde 2.0, whereby 'a technocratic class of resistors acts on behalf of 'the people,'" a fantasy that, Critical Art Ensemble explains, 'seems every bit as susppect, although it is not as fantastic as thinking that the people of the world will unite.' What is required, rather, is a multitude of different creative agents, a multitude that fuses or is situated between the individual and the collective." (10)
"tactical media comes so close to its core informational and technological apparatuses that protest in a sense becomes the mirror image of its object, its aesthetic replicatory and reiterative rather than strictly oppositional." (12)
"To conceive of tactical media in terms of performance is to point to a fluidity of its actants, to emphasize its ephemerality, and to shift the weight of emphasis slightly to the audience, which does not simply complete the signifying field of the work but records a memory of the performance." (12)
"Tactical media is a performance for which a consumable product is not the primary endgame; it foregrounds the experiential over the physical." (13)
"Put simply, de Certeau's neat alignment of users and tactics, producers and strategy, is complicated by tactical media practitioners who write their own scripts and build their own gadgets. Tactics, that is, are tools for users who are also producers." (16)
"A skeptic might wonder what difference a temporary disturbance makes, but for tactical media there is a certain power in the spontaneous eruption, the momentary evasion of protocological control structures, the creation of temporary autonomous zones, that surely play their part in making possible the opening for political transformations." (27)
"It is in this sense that we might understand why the rhetoric of emancipatory human agency is largely absent from the projects featured in this book. They are not mired in the present, but neither do they fully invest in the kind of imaginary and prescriptive social engineering that one finds in a utopian text. Instead their sense of historical time is unpredictable, open, contingent, variable." (27)

Border Hacks

Virtual War

Speculative Capital