Miguel Afonso Caetano on Thu, 27 Nov 2003 07:13:17 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Master's thesis about tactical media

Hello, dear nettimers:

My name is Miguel Caetano and I'm a Portuguese studying for a Master of 
Science in Communication, Culture and Technology at the Higher Institute of 
Business and Labor Studies (ISCTE - www.iscte.pt), in Lisbon. 

Until September of 2005, I got to finish writing a thesis about Tactical 
Media. That's why I need your help. The main issue that I want to address is 
this one: Does tactical media projects always demand the pre-existence of an 
adversary, a enemy or a oponent to whom they focus all their efforts? Is this 
condition necessary for their formation and survival? 

This doubt has emerged in my mind after reading "The Language of Tactical 
Media" by Joanne Richardson 
(http://subsol.c3.hu/subsol_2/contributors2/richardsontext2.html). In this 
essay, she writes: "The idea of tactical media is the harbinger of a question 
both necessary and timely: how is it possible to make media otherwise, media 
that expresses its solidarity with the humiliated thoughts and 
incomprehensible desires of those who seem doomed to silence, media that does 
not mirror the strategic power of the mainstream by lapsing into a 
self-certain propaganda identical to itself and blind to its own history".

In a effort to answer this question, I shall use the example of the Metafora 
Project (www.projetometafora.org), a brazilian initiative that was at this 
year's edition of the Next Five Minutes Festival, represented by Felipe 
Fonseca. Unfortunately, Metafora has ceased operations  October, but its 
members intend that the projects thar were developed under its umbrella will 
remain in action. Metafora has its roots in the philosophy of Pierre Levy and 
its concepts of Collective Intelligence and of  universal without totality. 
Its mode of operation was based in auto-organization, emergence, network 
theory and in the hacker's ethics and culture. 

I also want to answer some other questions:

- In what ways tactical media differ from the traditional alternative and 
radical media? Can we label this ones as strategic, to employ the dichotomy 
of Michel De Certeau? 

- When we talk about tactical media, are we talking about something that only 
makes sense in the 90s, or of a concept with its own history? Can we make a  
relation with Hakim Bey's TAZ?

- What's the relation between social movements  and tactical media?

- Does the Internet fosters the development of tactical media practices? In 
what ways?

- What's the genealogy of the concept "tactics"?

It would be very helpful  to me if you emailed me telling your opinion or 
experience about these issues, specially if you are a theorist, an activist 
or a tactical media practitioner. I would also like to exchange ideas and 
bibliography with people that are also actually researching this area. I'm 
aware of some of the manifestos published here in Nettime by Geert Lovink and 
David Garcia. I have also accessed Geert's "Dark Fiber", "The Practice Of 
Everyday Life" by De Certeau, "Digital Resistance" by CAE, "Future Active" by 
Graham Meikle and "Cyberactivism", a collection of essays published by 

Thank you very much,

Miguel Caetano

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