[iDC] activism now and

Megan Boler mboler at oise.utoronto.ca
Tue Dec 6 15:21:36 EST 2005

comments on trebor's essay, and then connecting to brian's reply.

Thanks for starting us off with this insightful essay.

2 thngs: not sure what this means:
"The centers of power are
now distributed. Deviance is about hot bodies and the dark fiber of cold
cables. Resistance is about the "streets," about demonstrations,
door-to-door grassroots campaigns, in-flesh sit-ins, and other affective
manifestations of contestational presence." 

say more about hot bodies and dark fiber and what this really means or how
it plays out and which bodies?

On the other hand this i clearly understand as a praxis and applaud:"Each
context requires a different
language. The question of activism is obviously not new. Cooperation
enhancing technologies have somewhat shifted the debate recently. Camps now
also divide in pro-or-con technology, which is unuseful. We should support
extreme sharing networks wherever we come to encounter them....
"Such social
networks I call extreme sharing networks (derived from the concept of
extreme programming). They allow access to a distributed talent pool and
associated resources. Just in the spirit Peter Kropotkin people provide
mutual aid to each other. They can create visibility for discourses and
artworks that would otherwise be overlooked. They can inspire younger
generations of artists by exposing them to ideas and art projects. They
the ability to respond to issues in a fast, and flexible way. They shape
expectations. But such extreme sharing networks are not alternatives or
heads on opposition to institutions. Such alternative social networks can't
claim snow-white innocence. They are fluid. They are inside and out of
and mortar institutions." 

i think this describes need well.  

holmes then writes:
"Resistance is cultural. It's about ideas, it's about 
feelings. ..

countries, keep a line into wilder places. Produce  culture, 
create latency, pay attention to process, keep the free 
spaces free. The next wave is gathering. Que ondas? Life 
comes in oscillations. Culture holds the rising curve."

which makes me think of my heated conversation at the re-activism
conference in budapest last month with new media artist Petko Dourmana
(interspace mdia art center) who strongly objected (in light of cold war
histories in eastern europe)during a culture jamming session that art
should not even be in conversation with politics, the twain do not meet,
and that north america cannot produce a resistance move to save its life.
i disagreed.

on a related note,  i am trying to understand the kinds of publics which
are in fact being created in intermedial spaces. sara diamond [and by the
way her talk with physicists to close the code zebra show was really
interesting] just said [at this sylvere lotringer and mark kingwell debate
in TO at the drake last week, as the white boys were discussing whether
art is dead and whether that is the question and the illusions of outside
of ...capital?] that irony is not an adequate response to the crises of
our times. lotringer said "humor is, but not irony which is always

what is the purpose and function of irony in moments of political
repression? that is my current question regarding tactics and secret

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