[iDC] A Reflection on the Activist Strategies in the Web 2.0 Era

Ryan Griffis ryan.griffis at gmail.com
Fri Jan 23 22:47:33 UTC 2009

On Jan 23, 2009, at 4:20 PM, Curt Cloninger wrote:

> I suppose I am saying that once a "tactical media artist" puts work  
> in a gallery, a museum, or an arts festival, then that works gains  
> a strategic component -- because galleries, museums, and festivals,  
> and the practices of art production that surround them, fall within  
> the institutional realm that de Certeau is describing (although  
> some of these institutions and organizations are admittedly more  
> fluid/agile than others). And again, there is nothing ethically  
> wrong with this.
> I am trying to problematize de Certeau's binary distinction. Yes,  
> there is a continuum from the weak tactical consumer to the  
> stronger tactical artist producer, but that same continuum  
> continues on toward the systematic institutional producer, and I  
> don't think simply calling onesself a "tactical media artist"  
> excludes one from being considered a strategic media producer. Nor  
> should it. Nor should we always rule out stategic institutional  
> production as ethically off limits or pragmatically ineffectual. An  
> artist can and should implement a combination of multiple  
> production approaches/tactics/strategies (and indeed, this has  
> often been the case, regardless of what tactical media artists and  
> theorists have claimed).

i would quickly add to Curt's fluidity/continuum model the object of  
institutions. While there are dominant institutions that occupy space  
in a (seemingly) hegemonic manner - including museums, etc - there  
are counter institutions that colonize space (although, i'm not  
really keen on using that word in all instances) out of both  
necessity and desire and that can't be reduced to the tactical. i can  
understand the desire for tactical media to take on and try to embody  
the position of "the weak", but i think TM can be located in a  
broader field of cultural and political power, where it's tactical in  
more ways than one, i.e. "making due" with cultural capital in place  
of political power - part of the point of Brian's essay pointed to  
i think Curt is maybe after the matter of concern that such tactics  
are supposed to address, to go back to his reference to Latour? Which  
is hard to discuss in the limited vocabulary of tacticality...


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