Creative Resistance Projects
From the World Economic Forum Protests
This video marks a period of dissent and experimentation around the February 2, 2002 meeting of the World Economic Forum in Manhattan (NYC) at the Waldorf Astoria hotel. The global executives and corporate elite attending the annual conference, usually held in Davos Switzerland, carved the streets of New York City into a police state. Meanwhile artists and activist--tactical media practitioners, from around the world created new tools and held workshops intending to send them a clear message: The September 11th attacks will NOT gag the critiques of globalization. This video explores the collaborations and ideas of four collectives working on projects at the WEF protests.
Projects include: modified bikes for printing messages on the streets as you ride by the Bikewriter/Affectech group from Boston, ěPret-a-revolterî (ready to revolt) protest fashions, New Kids on the Black Block dancing, and decorative Ya Basta! Style sheilds by the Barcelona Las Agencias, Rapid message placement system and other protest technologies for inserting your message into public space as well as large scale graphics displaying our desire to deface powerful people by the StreetRec collective, I-see is a web-based application developed by the Institute for Applied Autonomy, which shows users the location of surveillance cameras in Manhattan and allows them to chart their own paths of least surveillance.
Retooling Dissent is followed by a 5 minute short video by 4N6 about the New York Surveillance Camera Players, called "Surveillance Report: Enduring Search and Seizure."
The video costs $10
Introduction: In Context at the WEF
late January and early February 2002, several thousand activists, groups,
and concerned citizens traveled to New York City to protest yet another
meeting of privilege and power that was closed off to a public, democratic
process. The World Economic Forum (WEF), a private, unelected organization
(with membership by invitation only) chose New York's posh Waldorf-Astoria
hotel as their convention headquarters that year. According to the WEF,
their yearly meetings are the summits that define the political, economic,
and business agenda of the globe.
Groups featured in Retooling Dissent:
The Institute for Applied Autonomy
Institute for Applied Autonomy (IAA) was founded in 1998 as a technological
research and development organization concerned with individual and collective
self-determination. Our mission is to study the forces and structures
which effect self-determination; to create cultural artifacts which address
these forces; and to develop technologies which serve social and human
"The original pret-a-revolter design was a jacket and pants set, with enhanced pockets. When encountered with a potentially confrontational situation, the civil disobedient fashionista would simply fill the pockets with whatever protective material was at hand, and thus, protected, would proceed (it ends up that when encountered with a supermarket, the civil disobedient fashionista can also fill the pockets with cheese, with works well with a more recent project) the pret-a-revolter line had a double function: it had a street function and a media function. Images of the colorful PaR outfits were released to the media two weeks before the world bank meeting. The assumption being that during mass protests the images that come out in the media are usually negative and violent. Thus, fashionable images can serve as a preemptive media strike, decriminalizing the protest and its participants, portraying them as individuals that put their body on the front line and putting the emphases on the policeís brutal tactics."
was a radical arts collective in Chicago that existed for about 9 months.
Our life was short but our flame burned bright. We were born out of the
protests against the World Economic Forum in New York City, and were more
generally an evolution out of the organizing and different projects that
Dept. of Space and Land Reclamation spawned. This was our first attempt
at a closed collective made up of a fixed group of people. StreetRec
first created a series of projects for the WEF Protests, including the
now infamous Dick Cheney "Got Oil?" head. We also held a number
of events in Chicago, sharing our experiences at the WEF and the tools
we used there as well as holding a forum for the Reverend Billy to speak.
was created in order to focus on human(e) technologies. "Affective"
(as opposed to "effective") suggests a human element not typically
considered in the technological realm. As a collective, AffecTech strives
to bring together groups and technologies that address human issues. As
such it critically re-examines the rolls of philosophy, visual arts, culture,
society, and technology, as layered, overlapping networks that physically
and conceptually structure our reality.
Selected Screening History of Retooling Dissent & Surveillance Report
The video has recently been shown at ATA/Other cinema (SF), Visualized Film fest (Denver) , Version03- Digital arts convergence (Chicago), anti-FTAA training workshop (Lousville), and various other venues, festivals and convergence centers. If you are interested in setting up a screening of these videos please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org