Rita Raley, “Tactical Media”

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Tactical media describes interventionist media art practices that engage and critique the dominant political and economic order. Rather than taking to the streets, the practitioners of tactical media engage in an aesthetic politics of disruption, intervention, and education.

Rita Raley’s talk will examine several questions, including to what extent does the potentiality of tactical media both enable and exceed its economic and political harnessing? How does tactical media function both in terms of counter-image (that which inhabits but also reveals and destabilizes the control society’s forcible frames) and in terms of speculative practice (that which opens up onto possible worlds and alternative futures)? And how have tactical media practitioners mobilized the tools and techniques of participatory culture in the social media era toward a dual project of critique and resistance on the one hand and critical making and design on the other?

Rita Raley is Associate Professor of English, with appointments in Film and Media Studies, Comparative Literature, and Global Studies. Her primary research interests lie at the intersection of digital media and humanist inquiry, with a particular emphasis on cultural critique, artistic practices, and language (codework, machine translation, electronic literature, and electronic English).