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Hacking vs Hacktivism: Sniffing the net

Jenny Marketou 2000-2001

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Outline of my research during my grant period in MECAD
Sniffing/Splashing 2000 (CD-ROM)

"As hackers become politicized and as activists become computerized, we are going to see an increase in the number of cyber-activists who engage in what will become more widely known as Electronic Civil Disobedience."
Stefan Wray, 1998

The discussion of the political impact of the internet has focused on a number of issues: Access, technological determinism,encryption, comodification, software, intellectual property, the public sphere, decentralization, anarchy, hacktivism, gender." On the other hand the net is the paradise of no-copyright, plagiarism, confusion and exchange.Hacking means reappropriating, reforming and regenerating not only culture but also redefining systems and processes, and it can account for a new coinage when the process is an open system.There is no question that Hacktivism is s a new breed of activism — wired and confrontational.

My current investigation has been focused on hacking vs hacktivism and the role those actions have played in the construct of a sociopolitical imaginary in our networked culture .I am particularly interested a how the above tactics have been dynamically appropriated and how the computer underground hacktivism has been infiltrated and interpreted in the work of many internet artists and collective groups working on the net as a meaningful political activity and radical practice.

Some of the following topics I would like to address:

1- Defining characteristics of the internet and therefore of "hacktivism".

2- Hacking vs Activism vs Electronic Civil Disobedience vs meaningful political practice.

3 Hacking + hacktivist culture and the e- community that hackers + hacktivist claim to embody.

4- What about e-Girl e-Geeks?

5 -Hacktivism as a conceptual art practice and artists as cultural hackers.

6- Hacktivism as performance, as hard sport, as an activist intervention, as radical practice/subversion, as erotic fantasy.

7- Stunts and Pranks and other tactics.

8- Sensationalism and e-Media Hype.

9- Other artistic - isms -contemporary or historical as basis for comparison.

In reference to the above research the following interviews have been published and projects and panels have been presented by the artits.

1-Interview Jenny Marketou with Cornelia Sollfrank, Artist, "Hacking Sublime", SYNOPSIS 1, catalog, Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece, September 2000.

2- Interview Jenny Marketou with Claudia Giannetti, Director, MECAD, Hacktivism No 5 MECAD e-journal on-line, MECAD, Sabadell, Spain, 2001.

3- Open Source Lounge: Game Patching and Hacking Sublime and Viewers as Artists, a collective project, organised by Jenny Marketou in collaboration with Steve Dietz, curator of New Media Initiatives, Walker Art Center, USA. This project was first presented during the Medi@terra 2000, Art and Technology Festival, Athens, Greece.

4- NO CENSORS/ DYSTOPIA, 2001. A panel discussion with Marina Griznic, Natalie Bookchin and Jenny Marketou organized by Christine Wang, Curator New Media Initiatives, Alternative Museum, New York City.


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