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The Digital Outlaws: Hackers as Imagined Communities
Henning Ziegler

It should be clear that I regard any definition of hackers (...) as quite pointless: it is the purpose of this article to describe the semiotic fight of the term, not to state a scholarly definition. Without the help from influential hacker figures, this endeavor, of course, would have been impossible. But with the many comments that I got, I hope that this paper will shake some of the established ways of thinking about hackers and digital culture a little, and maybe even lead on to a more grounded discussion about the political in the data sphere. I think that, as will turn out, even if hackers are not the "new hope" for that Marxist revolutionary subject which we've been looking for so long, there are other people that are sneaking through the contested terrain between hacking and political action - hacktivists - and that what they are doing might constitute, to my mind, a play of resistance.


 

The Language of Tactical Media
Joanne Richardson

The future is a series of small steps leading away from the wreckage of the past, sometimes its actors walk face forward, blind to the history played out behind their backs, other times, they walk backwards, seeing only the unfulfilled destiny of a vanished time. The promise of the tactical media of the future – the end of the spectacular media circus as everyone begins to lay their hands on cheap 'do it yourself' media technologies made possible by new forms of production and distribution – was inspired by a distinction between tactics and strategies made by Michel de Certeau in 1974. Strategies, which belong to states, economic power, and scientific rationality are formed around a clear sense of boundary, a separation between the proper place of the self and an outside defined as an enemy.


 

Artistic Software for Dummies and, by the way, Thoughts About the New World Order
Olga Goriunova, Alexei Shulgin

At the basis of each piece of software there are definite algorithms, but if conventional programs are instruments serving purely pragmatic purposes, the result of the work of artistic programs often finds itself outside of the pragmatic and the rational. Because the process of the digitalisation of culture and other components of social life is inevitable, it is necessary to consider adequate ideas and mechanisms for the transfer of those spheres into digital space, to find adequate conditions for their functioning within networks. How can we put forth such mechanisms, those which would preserve the remaining grains of the non-rational and metaphysical, those which could guarantee the safety of the society and protect it against further rationalisation? Artistic software, non-rational software, perhaps gives some answers to this question.


 

Michael Hardt: New Forms of Power
Interview by Ognjen Strpic

The book proposes two concepts, empire as a form of power, and multitude names both the subject that is exploited by empire, that is controlled by empire, the subject whose labor and activity supports empire, but it also is the subject that has the potential to create an alternative society. Now, it seems to me that the concept of multitude in our book is used in at least two ways – that itself constitutes one of contradictions in our book. In certain ways it's a very self-contradictory book, which is a good thing, I think. In one sense, multitude is used to name the multiple human force of liberation that has always existed. In certain ways, it names that almost ontological force of human creativity and liberation that has certainly existed throughout the modern era, but even previously. It's the force that always refuses domination.


 

Algorithms and Allegories
Marc Lafia

I was writing and thinking about the algorithmic and the allegoric. I've been struck by how so much contemporary art practice has been informed by the algorithmic. Having done work in information engines and various net art pieces using algorithms for the display and organization of information, I was equally intrigued by what we get after we've deployed all these little engines and are outside the event of instructions. Do we start from outside or inside? Even though the boundary of these things blur, from the outside I began to think of the idea of allegory. [...] I've become interested in the idea of the algorithmic that opens up to a re-reading of the notion of allegory and so want to present to you the pleasure of the play in the valence of these two notions. So let me present a few examples of work, new examples that I hope can be seen as visual topologies, that though visual, I can imagine as being scores for computational music or sound.



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