Thursday, August 20, 2009

Toolkits and Tinkerers

Creative Tools for Critical Times (or CT4CT) describes itself as "a repository of artistic projects that exist at the intersection of contemporary culture, critical theory, and civic engagement." As can be seen by some of the witty projects in its gallery of examples of "critical design," these serious topics don't necessarily preclude humorous expression. As Graham Meikle's essay in last year's volume on Digital Media and Democracy: Tactics in Hard Times indicates, activism doesn't only have to be "instrumental," since "expressive" activism also serves a purpose in the ecologies of political life and social and environmental justice. For Meikle the question isn't always "Does It Work?" The questions can be "Does it Play" as well.

The various toolkits at CT4CT guides visitors to the site to artists' collectives, and it also has a section on Strategies & Tactics, following the terms of Michel de Certeau, that includes overviews on Culture Jamming, Data Visualization, DIY, Historical Research, Pranks, Remix, and Scientific Research as well. In its earlier incarnation, the site was much more obviously wiki-fied. (See below.)

Thanks to Trebor Scholz for the link.

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