A different Sense of Time - Reading Tactical Media
Eric Kluitenberg presents for the Joint Research Day A Different Sense of Time, a visual essay in the form of a digital video. It is based on a presentation originally given for the Automedias conference Automedias - A Media Revolution, June 22 - 24, 2022 at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Paris-Nord and an essay by the same title to be published at the Automedias online platform.
The text explores the complicated relationship of activist and experimental / artistic practices around digital and online media to the problem of time. Both activist and experimental artistic / cultural practices seem to be deeply preoccupied with the immediacy of the present. In the case of activist practices the urgency of the issue at stake demands a continuous attention to what is happening ‘on the ground’. Experimental arts and associated cultural practices are rather more preoccupied with producing ‘the new’, conducting experiments (hence why we call them ‘experimental’) and responding to the immediate outcome, jumping from one experiment to the next in pursuit of this elusive ‘newness’. The connection between activist and experimental cultural practices seems to lie in a shared temporality of immediacy.
My argument in the essay is that this entrapment in the immediacy of an ‘eternal now’ impedes a deeper critical discussion and understanding of these activist and experimental practices. The question of time in relation to what I refer to as ‘Tactical Media’ practices (Garcia & Lovink, 1997), referencing the fusion of artistic, activist and media practices, becomes particularly problematic in view of the curious inversion of the tactical and the strategic in media politics that has been playing out more or less globally over the last seven years.
The visual essay traces the arguments proposed in this talk and text-essay through historical footage originating from the video archives of the Tactical Media Files online documentation resource of Tactical Media, and the infamous Next 5 Minutes series of festivals of Tactical Media (1993-2003), which are physically located at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam.
- Igor Galligo & Cemil Sanli (2022), Automedias - A Media Revolution - How can everyone contribute to the production of information?, Conference June 22 - 24, 2022, Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Paris-Nord. https://automedias.org/en/event/003-E/ [accessed: August 30, 2023]
- Garcia, David & Lovink, Geert (May 1997): The ABC of Tactical Media, Amsterdam. Archived at: http://www.tacticalmediafiles.net/articles/3160/The-ABC-of-Tactical-Media [accessed: August 30, 2023