"Tactical Media emerged when the modest goals of media artists and media activists were transformed into a movement that challenged everyone to produce their own media in support of their own political struggles. This "new media" activism was based on the insight that the long-held distinction between the 'street' (reality) and the 'media' (representation) could no longer be upheld. On the contrary, the media had come to infuse all of society.
To challenge dominant (strategic) structures in society, it was necessary develop new (tactical) means of producing and distributing media. Not a specialised task separate from the social movements, but a key activity around which social movements could coalesce. And of equal importance, the media environment characterised by a broadcast logic of geography was being supplemented with an environment characterised by a many-to-many logic of access.
Though much has changed these insights remain as valid today as they did in the early 1990s."
(Eric Kluitenberg and David Garcia)
Fig.1 Image from: Critical Art Ensemble, Digital Resistance: Explorations in Tactical Media, 2001. http://critical-art.net/books/digital
"'Love letters from Craig' is a romantic exploration into the perversions of modern-day digital hookups. The narrator reads aloud personal ads from anonymous people seeking love & affection on the internet. The contents are not moderated and completely automated, only enhanced by sensual porno beats and tasty, sexy visuals. Content is scraped hourly from Craigslist casual encounters."
'Love letters from Craig', created by Cartelle Interactive Arts, music by We Work For Fun.
"In the small town of Weesp, in Holland – that bastion of social progressivism – at a dementia–focused living center called De Hogeweyk, aka Dementia Village, the relationship between patients and their care is serving as a model for the rest of the world. ... The idea, explains Hogeweyk's creators, is to design a world that maintains as much a resemblance to normal life as possible – without endangering the patients. For example, one common symptom is the urge to roam, often without warning, which had led most 'memory units' and dementia care centres to institute a strict lock–down policy. In one German town, an Alzheimer's care center event set up a fake bus stop to foil wandering residents. At Hogeweyk, the interior of the security perimeter is its own little village – which means that patients can move about as they wish without being in danger.
Each apartment hosts six to eight people, including caretakers – who wear street clothes – and the relationship between the two is unique. Residents help with everything from cooking to cleaning. They can buy whatever they want from the grocery. They can get their hair done or go to a restaurant. It's those basic routines and rituals that can help residents maintain a better quality of living. ...
People with dementia often struggle with unfamiliar spaces, colours, and even decor. At Hogeweyk, apartments are designed to reach familiar cultural touchstones, categorized into six basic 'genres' of design: 'goois' or upperclass (the decor looks old fashioned), homey, Christian, artisan, Indonesian, and cultural. Each apartment is different, catered to a particular lifestyle, right down to the silverware and furniture. 'Living in lifestyles,' explains Hogeweyk, 'just like before.'
Molenaar&Bol&VanDillen, but it was the brainchild of Yvonne van Amerongen, a caregiver who has worked with memory patients for decades. Starting in the early 1990s, van Amerongen and a group of like–minded caregivers began researching and designing a type of home where residents would participate in life, the same way they did before they entered a dementia care unit. ...
What Hogeweyk reveals is the culturally ingrained way we distinguish between those who do and don't suffer from dementia. By treating residents as normal people, Hogeweyk seems to suggest that there isn't such a huge difference, deep down – just differing needs. By designing a city tailored to those unique needs, residents avoid the dehumanisation that long–term medical care can unintentionally cause."
(All–Generations Care Services, 21 June 2014)
"At the centre of the process is the KamerMaker, or Room Builder, a scaled–up version of an open–source home 3D–printer, developed with Dutch firm Ultimaker. It uses the same principle of extruding layers of molten plastic, only enlarged about 10 times, from printing desktop trinkets to chunks of buildings up to 2x2x3.5m high.
For a machine–made material, the samples have an intriguingly hand–made finish. In places, it looks like bunches of black spaghetti. There are lumps and bumps, knots and wiggles, seams where the print head appears to have paused or slipped, spurting out more black goo than expected.
'We're still perfecting the technology,' says Heinsman. The current material is a bio–plastic mix, usually used as an industrial adhesive, containing 75% plant oil and reinforced with microfibres. They have also produced tests with a translucent plastic and a wood fibre mix, like a liquid form of MDF that can later be sawn and sanded. 'We will continue to test over the next three years, as the technology evolves,' she says. 'With a second nozzle, you could print multiple materials simultaneously, with structure and insulation side by side.'"
(Oliver Wainwright, 28 March 2014, The Guardian)
Call for Participation – Digital Methods Summer School 2014, On Geolocation: Remote Event Analysis (Mapping Conflicts, Disasters, Elections and other Events with Online and Social Media Data), 23 June – 4 July 2014
"The Digital Methods Initiative is a contribution to doing research into the 'natively digital'. Consider, for example, the hyperlink, the thread and the tag. Each may 'remediate' older media forms (reference, telephone chain, book index), and genealogical histories remain useful (Bolter/Grusin, 1999; Elsaesser, 2005; Kittler, 1995). At the same time new media environments – and the software–makers – have implemented these concepts, algorithmically, in ways that may resist familiar thinking as well as methods (Manovich, 2005; Fuller, 2007). In other words, the effort is not simply to import well–known methods – be they from humanities, social science or computing. Rather, the focus is on how methods may change, however slightly or wholesale, owing to the technical specificities of new media.
The initiative is twofold. First, we wish to interrogate what scholars have called 'virtual methods,' ascertaining the extent to which the new methods can stake claim to taking into account the differences that new media make (Hine, 2005). Second, we desire to create a platform to display the tools and methods to perform research that, also, can take advantage of 'web epistemology'. The web may have distinctive ways of recommending information (Rogers, 2004; Sunstein, 2006). Which digital methods innovate with and also critically display the recommender culture that is at the heart of new media information environments?
Amsterdam–based new media scholars have been developing methods, techniques and tools since 1999, starting with the Net Locator and, later, the Issue Crawler, which focuses on hyperlink analysis (Govcom.org, 1999, 2001). Since then a set of allied tools and independent modules have been made to extend the research into the blogosphere, online newssphere, discussion lists and forums, folksonomies as well as search engine behavior. These tools include scripts to scrape web, blog, news, image and social bookmarking search engines, as well as simple analytical machines that output data sets as well as graphical visualizations.
The analyses may lead to device critiques – exercises in deconstructing the political and epistemological consequences of algorithms. They may lead to critical inquiries into debates about the value and reputation of information."