THE SCREEN MEDIA READER

A chapter by artist and MIT ACT lecturer Lara Baladi in The Screen Media Reader: Culture, Theory, Practice, edited by Stephen Monteiro (Bloomsbury, 2017).

Excerpt: [In recent years], as cameras made their way into mobile phones (smart or not), webcams were embedded in laptop and desktop screens and people uploaded millions of images to social media sites, the global democratization of photography took on a new dimension. With the emergence of social media, mass media lost even more ground on the distribution of information. Social media, in which the user could participate in the process of selecting and distributing information and make images instantaneously available worldwide, overshadowed traditional visual media. It competed with mainstream media, thus further sharing the power by shifting the hands holding it. “The power of letters and the power of pictures distribute themselves and evaporate into the social media such that it becomes possible for everyone to act instead of simply being represented,” observed the influential media artist and theorist Peter Weibel, in a recent article, ‘Power to the People: Images by the People.’”

Protesters during a speech in Tahrir Square, April 8, 2011. Photo by Mosa’ab Elshamy. © Mosa’ab Elshamy. Shared courtesy of Lara Baladi.

Protesters during a speech in Tahrir Square, April 8, 2011. Photo by Mosa’ab Elshamy. © Mosa’ab Elshamy. Shared courtesy of Lara Baladi.

VOX POPULI AND THE SYRIAN ARCHIVE DOCUMENTING REVOLUTION AND CONFLICT IN THE DIGITAL AGE

Public Debate

Eye Film Museum

Saturday, January 21, 12.00 – 17.00

The program at Eye explores the complicated relationship between the activist moment, increasingly mediated by the participants in these events themselves and increasingly in near real-time, and the static character of the archive and its implicit ‘suspension of time’. We center for this on two ambitious projects under development:  Vox Populi – Archiving a Revolution in the Digital Age, of artist Lara Baladi, and The Syrian Archive, an initiative launched by a collective of human rights activists dedicated to preserving open source documentation relating to human rights violations and other crimes committed by all sides during the conflict in Syria.

Speakers: Lara Baladi (Vox Populi), Hadi Al Khatib & Jeff Deutch (The Syrian Archive), Robert Ochshorn, and guests. Moderated by Annet Dekker & Eric Kluitenberg

This programme is part of a larger project organised by the Tactical Media Files and consists of a travelling exhibition As If. The Media Artist as Trickster / How Much of this is Fiction, a closed workshop ‘Access and Accessibility’ in collaboration with the University of Amsterdam (Archival Studies) and a conference The Society of Post Control.

 

ARCHIVING A REVOLUTION IN THE DIGITAL AGE, ARCHIVING AS AN ACT OF RESISTANCE

Published alongside the essay 'Archiving a Revolution in the Digital Age, Archiving as an Act of Resistance', on Ibraaz platform 010_03, Tahrir Archives, is an index of online archival projects, essentially English websites, on the 2011 Egyptian revolution.

Far from being exhaustive, this info graph is one step towards building an interactive timeline of data on the 2011 Egyptian Revolution.

TRANSMEDIALE / ART & DIGITAL CULTURE

Berlin, february 2016

FIVE YEARS AFTER

Moderated by Oliver Schultz, with Esrra'a Al Shafei, Heba Y.Amin, Lara Baladi, Özge Celiskasian and Alper Sen

“In case you hadn’t noticed, these days a lot of the world is in some form of rebellion, insurrection, or protest,” wrote Rebecca Solnit in 2012, a year after a barrage of movements symbolically grouped around the Arab Spring erupted. These “post-2011” events challenged the sometimes simplistic narratives of the “post-911” world. What linked the events in this cycle of struggles was not organizational coherence but rather a shared global sentiment mediated by a new form of global sensorium. Social energies headed “back to the streets,” bringing up questions about the consequences of physical exposure, organization, strategy, fragmentation, and violence. New media became double-edged weapons, used for and against emancipation. While after 2011 there were some attempts to decipher these “signs from the future,” as Žižek has put it, now in 2015 it seems that the “global moment” has ended. It’s time for a reflective turn, looking into dim corners and listening to the subterranean echoes of what’s happened. And looking ahead.

 

TACTICAL MEDIA AND THE ARCHIVE

Moderated by David Garcia and Eric Kluitenberg with bak.ma, Lara Baladi and Robert M.Ochshorn

Tactical media were identified in the 1990s as a distinct cluster of critical practices at the intersection of art, political activism, and technological experimentation. Tactical media are participatory forms of politicized self-mediation that give voice to the marginalized and excluded. There has always been a deeply troubling, uneasy and strenuous relationship between tactical media and archives. Archives, which are traditionally conceived as capturing living moments and turn them into historical events, as such would constitute the very opposite of tactical media’s dynamic nature. As a result of their resistance to archiving, the proponents of tactical media have succumbed to a severe form of memory loss, making critical reflection difficult. This is a high price to pay. This workshop will explore how documentation and memorialization can persist and be re-conceptualized in the wake of this intense collision.

AFFECT SPACE

WITNESSING THE MOVEMENT(S) OF THE SQUARES

by Erik Kluitenberg, moderator/panelist at Transmediale Berlin.

Eric Kluitenberg analyses the complicated logic of “Affect Space”, as he calls the public gatherings and urban spectacles that have been taking place over the past few years in cities around the world, from Zuccotti Park in NYC to Tahrir Square in Cairo, Gezi Park in Istanbul to the streets of Hong Kong. Kluitenberg attempts to figure out how the massive presence of self-produced media forms, the context of (occupied) urban public spaces, and the deep permeation of affective intensity relate to each other and how together they are able to produce such baffling events.