Tactical Media employ the ‘tactics of the weak’ to operate on the terrain of strategic power by means of ‘any media necessary’. Once the rather exclusive practice of politically engaged artists and activists, the tactical appropriations of media tools and distribution infrastructures by the disenfranchised and the disgruntled have moved from the margins to centre stage. The explosive growth of mass participation in self-mediation in countless blogs, video sharing platforms, micro-blogging, social networking has created an unprecedented complexity in the info-sphere.
While this frenzy of media activity has been heralded as the catalyst of the new democratisation movements in North-Africa and the Middle-East, the anti-austerity/precarity movements in Southern Europe and the UK, and the recent #occupy movements in the US and Northern Europe, its increasingly intransparent complexity combined with the post 9/11 ‘crash of symbols’ has thrown its political efﬁcacy into question. The demise of WikiLeaks as the crown jewel of on-line whistle-blowing has added to a thoroughly opaque picture.
More than ever tactical media operators require effective instruments to the create tactical cartographies they need to navigate the hybrid realities they are immersed in. This notebook traces the legacies of tactical media to begin creating these hybrid cartographies.