Chris Robé: Breaking the Spell: A History of Anarchist Filmmakers, Videotape Guerrillas, and Digital Ninjas (2017)
Filed under book | Tags: · activism, aesthetics, aids, anarchism, autonomy, direct action, ecology, film, indigenous peoples, labour, marxism, media activism, neoliberalism, politics, protest, punk, social movements, strike, third cinema, video, video activism, video art
“Breaking the Spell offers the first full-length study that charts the historical trajectory of anarchist-inflected video activism from the late 1960s to the present. Two predominant trends emerge from this social movement-based video activism: 1) anarchist-inflected processes increasingly structure its production, distribution, and exhibition practices; and 2) video does not simply represent collective actions and events, but also serves as a form of activist practice in and of itself from the moment of recording to its later distribution and exhibition. Video plays an increasingly important role among activists in the growing global resistance against neoliberal capitalism. As various radical theorists have pointed out, subjectivity itself becomes a key terrain of struggle as capitalism increasingly structures and mines it through social media sites, cell phone technology, and new “flexible” work and living patterns. As a result, alternative media production becomes a central location where new collective forms of subjectivity can be created to challenge aspects of neoliberalism.
Chris Robé’s book fills in historical gaps by bringing to light unexplored video activist groups like the Cascadia Forest Defenders, eco-video activists from Eugene, Oregon; Mobile Voices, Latino day laborers harnessing cell phone technology to combat racism and police harassment in Los Angeles; and Outta Your Backpack Media, indigenous youth from the Southwest who use video to celebrate their culture and fight against marginalization. This groundbreaking study also deepens our understanding of more well-researched movements like AIDS video activism, Paper Tiger Television, and Indymedia by situating them within a longer history and wider context of radical video activism.”
Publisher PM Press, Oakland, CA, 2017
ISBN 9781629632339, 1629632333
Interview with author: The New Architects (video, 2017, 43 min).
Reviews: Beth Geglia (Interface, 2017), Franklin Lopez (Fifth Estate, 2017), Patricia R. Zimmerman (Jump Cut, 2018), Allan Atliff (Anarchist Studies, 2017).
Filed under book | Tags: · activism, image, media activism, photography, politics, social movements, video, visual culture, war
“Still and moving images are crucial factors in contemporary political conflicts. They not only have representational, expressive or illustrative functions, but also augment and create significant events. Beyond altering states of mind, they affect bodies and often life or death is at stake. Various forms of image operations are currently performed in the contexts of war, insurgency and activism. Photographs, videos, interactive simulations and other kinds of images steer drones to their targets, train soldiers, terrorise the public, celebrate protest icons, uncover injustices, or call for help. They are often parts of complex agential networks and move across different media and cultural environments. This book is a pioneering interdisciplinary study of the role and function of images in political life. Balancing theoretical reflections with in-depth case studies, it brings together renowned scholars and activists from different fields to offer a multifaceted critical perspective on a crucial aspect of contemporary visual culture.”
Publisher Manchester University Press, Manchester, 2016
ISBN 9781526107213, 152610721X
Review: Zoya Brumberg (Journal of Visual Culture, 2018).
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Filed under book | Tags: · activism, archive, archiving, art, collectivism, digital media, documentation, internet, living archive, media, media activism, media culture, memory, web
“Archives are collections of records that are preserved for historical, cultural and evidentiary purposes. As such, archives are considered as sites of a past, places that contain traces of a collective memory of a nation, a people or a group. Digital archives have changed from stable entities into flexible systems, at times referred to with the term ‘Living Archives’. In which ways has this change affected our relationship to the past? Will the erased, forgotten and neglected be redeemed, and new memories be allowed? Will the fictional versus factual mode of archiving offer the democracy that the public domain implies, or is it another way for public instruments of power to operate? Lost and Living (in) Archives shows that archives are not simply a recording, a reflection, or an image of an event, but that they shape the event itself and thus influence the past, present and future.
Contributors: Babak Afrassiabi, Dušan Barok, Tina Bastajian, Nanna Bonde Thylstrup, Özge Çelikaslan, Annet Dekker, Olia Lialina, Manu Luksch, Nicolas Malevé, Aymeric Mansoux, Michael Murtaugh, Josien Pieterse, Ellef Prestsæter, Robert Sakrowski, Stef Scagliola, Katrina Sluis, Femke Snelting, Igor Štromajer, Nasrin Tabatabai.”
Publisher Pia Pol, Valiz, Amsterdam, 2017
Making Public series
Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 NL License
ISBN 9789492095268, 9492095262
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