(Decoy) Politics has always been practiced by means of various techniques of deception. From the writings of Machievelli to the stage-managed Labour election victory the pursuit of power is that which is only ostensibly visible. What it shows is not necessarily what it is and, concomitant with this, the commonly assumed concept of power is itself a strategic decoy: the state may administer and manage capitalism, it may promote throughout society a notion of individual control through the guise of a primeminister or president, but, as speeches blur into journalism and the surface rituals move into docu-drama, power thrives through a process of inter-locking practices that, in themselves, are never perceived as being powerful at all. Not knowing power as a social-practice can mean that those who seek to make tangible its gradients are always in the thrall of a power that takes on occult and ever receding dimensions. This in turn is incohately communicated to the less powerful as the disappearance of power as a social-fact, a practice, a technique which they can also wield. The business of politics takes place behind such screens and makes buggings, law-breaking and assassinations a sanctifiable means of maintaining an unsuspected status quo when all other institutional means of silencing, deflection, removal and quietism have failed. [Read more →]

Perpetual Commotion


Having a natter with a couple of members of the Critical Art Ensemble (CAE) one of the first things we get to talking about is the unusual structure of the group. Many collectives function on the basis of similarity, a bunch of people with the same talents and interests working in parallel. The five-person Ensemble functions kind of like a techno label. Working across a slew of different media and artforms they operate on a system of a floating hierarchy. Whoever has the most experience in a certain area: text, photography, performance, whatever, takes the lead. As they say, “Under professional circumstances this kind of structure can be very alienating, but in a cellular structure that is really grounded in friendship and trust it’s not a problem.” [Read more →]

Plague of the Zombies

Now we can understand how zombiefication operates as an elaborate programme of mind invasion supervised by Vampire Management. It can be regarded as a complex process of manipulation at the level of symbols and aims at implanting specific forms of ideology into zombie minds, to ensure that they think and act in accordance with the dictates of zombie culture. But what is far less banal is how to discover ways of resisting and outflanking the zombie assembly line. [Read more →]

virtual worlds & concrete STRATEGIES

The internet server and web-site t0 and Public Netbase, an open access point that combines many threads of subversive uses of technology are located in the heart of Vienna, also hosting a weekly evening with talks and experimental electronic music called e-scape. Konrad Becker, techno-activist for a decade and a half, is the brain and pulse behind this, along with a dedicated crew of cyber-guerrilleros. I spoke to him in February ‘97 when I played at e-scape. [Read more →]

Legal Defense and Monitoring Group Interview (1997)

LDMG: The function of the Legal Defense and Monitoring Group is to provide protection for demonstrators from police harassment. It came out of the Trafalgar Square Defendant’s Campaign and Poll Tax Prisoners Support Groupings who got together after the Poll Tax Riots and the idea came up of defending crowds against the cops fitting people up. [Read more →]

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