About 10 Tactics Remixed

  • Wikileaks
  • A Web 2.0 Suicide Machine
  • Syrian puppets making fun of Bashar al-Assad
  • The Arab Revolutions
  • Balloons mapping deforestation in Chile
  • Lewd Grass Mud Horses in China
  • The Occupy Movement
  • The Stop Online Piracy Act

How many things on this list can you identify? If they seem disconnected, why are they all there? 10 Tactics Remixed is about joining the dots.

In recent years, activists have been collecting information to monitor and report on the state, corporations and powerful social institutions. They've experimented with tactics like visualising evidence, culture jamming and remixing to expose the absurdities of official speech, and radical forms of organising and mobilising that the digital environment makes possible. This website aims to document these recent trends and developments in information-activism, through stories of advocacy and campaigns from around the world.

10 Tactics Remixed is also a new iteration of 10 Tactics for Turning Information into Action, a project and a film that Tactical Tech launched in 2009 to document how information and information technologies were being used in activist campaigns around the world. Now 'Remixed' reflects on some of the key campaigns, debates, and politics which have emerged in the field of information-activism in the last two years.

10 Tactics Remixed is organised in terms of tactics being used by information activists; each tactic is explored through a sampling of recent 'snapshot stories' from around the world. We've also included longer articles that draw out some of the bigger political questions emerging from each tactic and the use of information technologies. Each of the snapshot stories and longer pieces come with a list of further reading, videos, links and images to help you delve in further and learn more.

Exposing the Ridiculous is about playing on the absurdities of institutional power through the skillful remixing of popular culture. It explores how activists are experimenting with, challenging and reframing what it means to be political through some of the sharpest tools in the activist's toolkit  – humour, irony, satire, parody and lampooning. Culture jamming is a tactic that embodies these and more: scathing critiques, clever reversals, hijacked official versions, subverted language, re-appropriated visuals. To jam is to interrupt the flow of information controlled by governments, corporations, the advertising industry, media corporations, fundamentalist religious leaders and other powerful groups in society. In doing so, the lies, deceptions and sheer absurdities in their speech are laid bare. Exposing the Ridiculous is a glimpse into some smart new campaigns and activists putting into practice what the philosopher Hannah Arendt  once said, “the greatest enemy of authority is contempt and the surest way to undermine it is laughter”.  See the examples.

Exploring the truth looks at how data and evidence are used to monitor corruption and violence and demand accountability. There are, as we've always suspected, many facets to the 'Truth' and now more than ever activists and advocates are revealing what these facets are. There is a sense of dismantling the elaborate concoctions of 'official versions' by reclaiming how stories themselves are told. This reclaiming lies in the increased use of data and evidence in journalism, advocacy and activism by everyday people, and sometimes at great risk. New communities of people are taking on roles of activists: researchers, journalists, even army soldiers. By sharing, exposing, collating, aggregating data and evidence (and in some cases using smart and incisive visualisations of them) the reality of public corruption, the manipulative power of doublespeak and abuses of public office at all levels of government are being exposed. See the examples.

Mobilising for Action is about challenging and being challenged by how information functions; it is about negotiating the nature of information in mobilising globally and locally. The idea of online organising has itself had to undergo revision considering how mass mobilisations in the Arab revolutions, the Tea Party, the Occupy movements and the global network called Anonymous have been conducted. They've all demonstrated the rise of a new kind of articulate public that is tactical, well coordinated and flexible in a manner that traditional top-down organising has not been. Mobilising for Action evaluates the various claims made about social media and takes on troubling questions about the dynamics of information flows. See the examples.