Analyzing Disruptive Tactics and Strategies in Media Activism


Presentation Title:

  • Analyzing Disruptive Tactics and Strategies in Media Activism



  • Keywords: Media Activism, Guerrilla Television, IndyMedia Center, Culture Jamming, Digital Storytelling, Cancer Treatment, LGBT Health, Experiential Knowledge, Coded Infrastructures, Aesthetics

    Our 21st century media environment has grown more immersive and predominant with the invention of communication technologies such as telephones, satellites, video cameras, and computers. We are all now electronically connected, able to communicate, observe, and react to what is happening anywhere in the world in an instant. How do we make sense of these myriad electronic messages and messengers? Can we trust or understand the monetization processes behind the code that creates and designs our mediated contemporary reality? More importantly, how can we disrupt and transform the mainstream media’s dominant control over most of these messages? During this panel, we shared our knowledge of disruptive media activism, presented in three parts: a) Examining its historical origins; b) Merging cultural and technological processes to undermine a code-controlled Internet; and c) Populating our shared public social networks with culturallycompetent media artifacts, transcoding experiential knowledge into short digital stories.

    Presentation abstracts:

    1. Robin Oppenheimer – Be the Media: Media Activism Tactics                                                     Like today’s Millenials who grew up on the Internet, early media activists were the first generation to grow up watching the “new” technology of Television. They were mostly college students radicalized by the counterculture politics of the late 60s who also read McLuhan and understood the power of mass media to inform and shape their lives
    2. Victoria Moulder & Michael Heidt – Coded Infrastructures                                                      Victoria Moulder & Michael Heidt discuss their aesthetic strategies for relating the formal traits of code with the situational requirements of concrete activist practice.
    3. Lorna Boschman – Experiential Knowledge in Cancer Narratives                                               For the past three years, I have been the Project Coordinator and a Post-Doctoral Researcher with Cancer’s Margins, a cross-Canadian research study. We use a community-and arts-based approach to exploring sexual and gender diversity, and experiences of cancer health, support and care. We look at how LGBT people locate and share knowledge after they’ve been diagnosed and treated for breast or gynecologic cancer. Our research-based approach to digital storytelling combines professional mentorship with peer knowledge exchange to create powerful and personal digital stories.

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