Reading Discussions

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This is where you can write feedback about the readings each week.  Think of this as a place to record questions you have, thoughts and ideas that have been inspired by the text, or a place to continue discussion, if there has not been sufficient time in class to discuss.

It may help to keep some of these key questions in mind:

What does it mean to be radical in the first place?  On what spectra or axes do we measure radicalism?  What is at stake?

What is the goal of radical media?

Is resistance possible?  If so, at what level, and how?

Is recuperation (being coopted) inevitable?  Can it be resisted?  Should it be?

Is the medium the message?  What is more important: what you say, how you say it, where you say it, to whom you say it?

Who carries the message and how?

Does the means justify the ends?

Is it better to stay unrecuperated and on the margins, or to get your message to a broad audience?

To add your comments, please click "Edit" and just type your comments into the page, under a new section.  This is the easiest way to keep the comments organized according to reading.  Don't forget to sign your comments, so we know who wrote what!

Debord, Guy. The Society of the Spectacle

Here is an example of what the format wil look like.  When you click "edit", you can delete these lines and put your comment in its place.  Also, when you finish writing your comment, put a horizontal line underneath it, to separate it from the next comment.  Don't forget to sign your name when you are done!


Here's where the next comment would go!

Hoffman, Abbie. Revolution for the Hell of It

Rubin, Jerry. From Do It!

Boyd, Andrew. "Truth Is a Virus."

Dery, Mark. "Culture Jamming: Hacking, Slashing and Sniping in the Empire of Signs."

Autonome a.f.r.i.k.a. "What is Communication Guerilla?"

Viénet, René. "The Situationists and the New Forms of Action Against Politics and Art."

Debord, Guy. "A User's Guide to Détournement."

Richardson, Joanne. "The Language of Tactical Media."

For all of the readings this week, the distinction between strategy and tactics seems to lie in the positioning of actors and the performance of the act.

For one, whereas strategy is linked to states, there is also an association of stability, a boundary-marked position where there are marked subjects -- the actor and the other. Tactics, on the other hand, according to Richardson, positions itself in the very spot of the other, refuses "a stable ideological place from which they put forward counter-arguements" (124). strategy is concerned with what can be abstracted from the individual into the whole whereas tactics is concerned with the individual moments of resistance.  And these moments are what are of particular interest to me and what I think lies at the heart of Richardson's argument -- issues of both temporality and performativity.

Resistance is found in the moments or rather, ruptures of homogenous empty time (the time that seems to catergorize postmodernity). The moments of 'becoming,' if we can call it that, is both connected to the individual and the collective. What I was wondering was the way in which this new tactical media adresses subjects as well as how it forms both the individual and the mass? These moments or resistance are acted or enunciated, if we link it to the act of speech (using de Certeau's idea of reading/writing), and it is this performativity that temporal interventions are possible and repeated/ reproduced through each act.

Some general question that I had about the readings: What are the possible limits in such acts of resistance? It would seem that this language of tactical media is throwing away more overt political statements of propaganda. If tactical media becomes one of questions or even the politics of the question, when will there be answers or a discourse that tries to adress those questions? How far does asking questions go?

posted by Monica

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Has deCerteau somewhat misread Foucault's theory of power? DeCerteau xv: "These procedures and ruses of consumers compose the network of an antidiscipline which is the subject of this book." It seems to me that deCerteau is championing a sort of play within restraint, a freedom within control. But for me, the most challenging and productive aspect of Foucault's concept of power is that it acts within actions, that it produces pleasure, that subjects are formed and continue to form themselves within power relations. Perhaps we should shift our focus from freedom to power.

A question left over from my presentation: If alternative or tactical media practices like TeleStreet merely open a channel, how should we think about the messages sent & received across that channel? Is there some quality of opening a new kind of production, a new kind of channel, that shifts the terrain of politics itself?


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