net.activism round-table resurrected

[net.activism round-table]

Dating from 2000/2001, this net.activism round-table, written via email and posted now to EBR [] and featuring Geert Lovink, Ricardo Dominguez, Chris Carter & Bruce Simon, touches upon some pertinent issues surrounding contemporary activist tactics, most notably the question:

"Should activists focus on spreading counterinformation into the mainstream or rather on founding their own alternative networks?"

It's a question that for me has required a double-strategy for several years. Theoretically I tend to think of it as both a deconstructive and a productive strategy. On the one hand, one deconstructs--pragmatically we could say culture jams, perhaps--while on the other hand, one creates spaces of affirmation and production--& I tend to think of the latter in terms of Hakim Bey's Temporary Autonomous Zones [TAZs].

Despite the conversation touching upon dated & obsolete models including Napster, a few prescient markers of today's dilemmas emerge. From Geert Lovink:

"I think it should be the task of activists to go beyond the user level and question the workings of net subjectivity. I would hope that activists are more aware of the underlying power structures of the information economy. Armored with this critical knowledge, net.activists can go beyond the status of merely using applications. By questioning the way existing network architectures work, new strategies come into existence, both on the aesthetic level of the user interface and software. Thats why there is such a high awareness of the open source issue in activist circles. At least, thats the ideal case. Ideally there is an exchange, and sometimes even collaboration between net.activists, artists, and programmers."

Hail to that. More here.

posted. Sat - August 2, 2003 @ 03:38 PM           |