We are very pleased about the recent inclusion of two important texts in the Tactical Media Files main website and documentation resource by Jordan Crandall and Muriam Halleh Davis:
A major research document by artist Jordan Crandall titled “Ontologies of the Wayward Drone – A Salvage Operation” deals with the fatal strategies of drone desire (a.k.a. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) ). This extensive study into the intensifying use of remote controlled and increasingly autonomous flying drones was originally published at CTheory and is now included in the TMF resource with kind permission by the author.
The essay “The Invention of the Savage: Colonial Exhibitions and the Staging of the Arab Spring” by Muriam Haleh Davis was recently posted on the excellent Jadaliyya blog and marks for us the first use of the tag ‘postcolonial’ in our resource, an inclusion admittedly long overdue. The text examines the staging of the (street-)protests in Arab countries through the prism of a recent exhibition at the musée du Quai Branly in Paris, which explores the ‘ the construction of difference and the exhibition of the other’.
While it is inevitable that the astounding and continuing series of street protests and square occupations that have marked the past year have demanded so much of our attention, it is equally important to keep clear sight of other strategic distortions that affect our social realities.
During a recent clean-up of last remains of archive materials of the Next 5 Minutes festival series we furthermore stumbled upon a disk accidentally not yet transferred to the TMF resource, nor physically handed over to the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam – who hold our physical archive. It contained the video Safe Distance released by the KUDA.org collective from Novi Sad Serbia. A ‘present from the skies’ recovered from the NATO air campaign against Serbia during the Kosovo War in 1999.
The video shows the electronic cockpit of a US Air Force plane that crashed during the bombing campaign. Though still a ‘manned’ aerial vehicle, the absolute abstraction of the blind instruments view provides a chilling adjunct to Crandall’s detailed examination of the fatal drone desires.
A short note to let you know that the web casts of the Media Squares international seminar on the new forms of protest and their media have been archived and are available with full annotation via the Tactical Media Files website.
You can access the webcasts via this article:
New York based media artist and media-activist Paul Garrin‘s video Man with a Video Camera (Fuck Vertov) has been available for some time on-line at the Media Art Net website – unfortunately only in grainy quality. We decided to nonetheless include this video in the Tactical Media Files, as it represents an important moment in shaping what would later be termed ‘tactical television’ during the first Next 5 Minutes festival in 1993.
Garrin’s video documents police brutalities in what is now known as the 1988 Tompkin Square Police Riot in Lower east Manhattan, leading on from anti-gentrification protests in the neighbourhood. Garrin more or less accidentally ended up in the middle of the riot with a video camera, and also got beaten up himself. He managed to air the video on several TV stations, resulting in police threats on his answering machine. When he contacted more prominent media with his tape and his story, a media whirlwind was unleashed – testifying for Garrin to the power of video to contradict official but clearly false representations of social and political events. It sparked what Garrin calls the ‘camcorder revolution’.
As the video is already available on-line we collected other relevant background materials. In August 2008 The Shadow, “New York’s only underground newspaper, publishing on the Lower East Side of Manhattan since 1989, as a result of the distorted mainstream media coverage in the aftermath of the infamous police riot in Tompkins Square Park on August 6-7, 1988“, devoted an issue to the ’20th aniversary’ of the events in 1988 that had spraked its own inception. The issue includes a collection of ‘riot memories’ by people directly involved in the events, including Garrin himself.
Thirdly Garrin’s short text “The 1988 Tompkins Square Police Riot – A Video Point of View” has been added that reflects on the media dimension of that hot summer night in 1988 in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
Considering the proliferation of citizen media, on-line video, reality media (as nauseum) today, it is hard to imagine the almost entirely closed media landscape of the 1980s and the broadcasters insistence on ‘broadcast specs’ for (not) accepting citizen reports – still the fights over transparency and public representation continue, also today.
“Tactical Media are what happens when the cheap ‘do it yourself’ media, made possible by the revolution in consumer electronics and expanded forms of distribution (from public access cable to the internet) are exploited by groups and individuals who feel aggrieved by or excluded from the wider culture. Tactical media do not just report events, as they are never impartial they always participate and it is this that more than anything separates them from mainstream media.”
- David Garcia & Geert Lovink, “The ABC of Tactical Media” (May 1997).
Image by Ciritical Art Ensemble, from the book Digital Resistance, 2001.
The Tactical Media Files website, an on-line documentation resource for Tactical Media practices world-wide is joined by this new and for now rather unassuming weblog.
We would like to use this blog for quick updates on events, small postings, news, and materials that do not immediately lend themselves for inclusion in the original TMF website.
We hope this weblog will proove to be a useful addition to the extensive and continually growing documentation resources provided by the Tactical Media Files website. We also want to use this blog as a place to seek a more active dialogue with tactical media practitioners and anybody else interested in the evolving practices of tactical media.
Posted in TMF
Tagged tactical media