Radical Means


Notes from a panel discussion at Mason Gross School of Art titled ‘Radical Means: Technology and Media Activism in the New Millennium’. There was a large focus on documentation-type activism. In particular how it takes place in different regions and how the documentation is shared with the wider world.

Coco Fusco

Low-tech used by economically disadvantaged in Cuba. Sending news reports via text message. State controls higher-tech, i.e Internet is very hard/expensive to access. Self-guided technology implementations – texting, stealing Internet access.

Platforms which media are shared on control the rules around what is shared. Also control what is seen and who sees it – based off algorithms designed to placate users.

“Visibility aggregates around familiarity”

- I think that what follows from this is something like 'empathy aggregates
around familiarity'. How we feel towards others is directly correlated to
what and how we are exposed to them.

An interesting point about “self-surveillance” leading to the accepted surveillance of others. Why are so many seemingly OK with being surveilled by the state? Perhaps the commodification of ones own self leads to less inhibition at consuming others’ version of self -> Leads to indifference towards the state’s actions.

Sharing is generally a representation of privilege. Hence, Witness helping to spread/share documentations of injustice.