Tactical Media: beyond the digital
In preparation for the Wildcards Symposium as part of the New Media Theories course, we have read and critiqued Rita Raley’s 2009 publication, Tactical Media. Though the book reads as a fairly good overview of the concept of tactical media, we were left thinking that Raley narrowed down her scope to a strict interpretation of tactical media in the digital sphere at the expense of the role of the physical. Her claim that in the postindustrial society tactical media functions in the realm of the symbolic whereby power is located in the networked space is lacking, especially considering recent events such as the Occupy movement, the Arab Spring and the 2013 protests in Turkey.
In order to gain further insight into the role played by visibility and the physical within tactical media interventions we interviewed two key thinkers on the concept, Geert Lovink (Director of the Institute for Network Cultures) and Eric Kluitenberg (Editor-in-Chief of the Tactical Media Files). We also interviewed Jo van der Spek (Director of the Migrant to Migrant (M2M) Foundation) who works with the “We Are Here” (“Wij Zijn Hier”) refugee initiative in Amsterdam. “We Are Here” formed our case study to bring the importance of visibility and physical urban presence back into a conceptualization of tactical media. This is our critique: