Anxious to Act

Five years after the tumultuous political events of 2011, which triggered a series of dispersed yet medially choreographed acts of resistance, the larger patterns and nature of global activism and individual action are in need of assessment and reinvention. From Tahrir to Taksim, from Occupy to Indignados, from the Twitter and Facebook Revolutions to the Blackberry Riots, the Anxious to Act stream confronts the events behind us as well as the fundamentally paradoxical challenges of action and activism in the muddy now.

Having seen the systematic recuperation of acts of resistance by a combination of media-savvy counter-choreographies and brute-force attacks, media-based action has been cast into uncertainty and ambivalence. A creeping unease as to what can be achieved by popular media expression has set in during the Post-Snowden Era. What was once conceived as the "noosphere" or "World Brain" has emerged as a fragmented global sensorium—one in which micropolitical and geopolitical movements seem out of sync, aside from the all-too important idea of "the commons."

Dealing with the complexity of notions of intervention and resistance within gigantic networked systems of subsumption, the discussions that make up this stream zoom in on the contradictions inherent in “media activism” as a still-evolving, uncertain concept. The stream reflects on the need for renewed convergences beyond the technological in a time that offers ever greater scopes for interaction—and reasons to intervene.

 

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