SIGINT09 - final8

SIGINT 2009
22. - 24. Mai, Köln

Speakers
Nick Farr
Schedule
Day Pranks, Bugs, and Insecurities - 2009-05-23
Room Konferenzraum (MP6)
Start time 16:00
Duration 01:00
Info
ID 3207
Event type Lecture
Language used for presentation English
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Dancing: Direct Action in Disguise

New Strategies for Street Protest

Why do we demonstrate? Why do we go out into the streets and march for what we believe in? Marching in solidarity for your beliefs is a powerful personal experience. However, as a method of communicating an outward message, it is frequently twisted and manipulated against the purposes direct action seeks to advocate. Peaceful demonstrations in the US occasionally fall prey to provocateurs, devolve into riots or become targets for illegal detention. What to do about it? Dance!

Leveraging entertainment, compelling visuals and the freedom of full body expression, this talk seeks to explore methods and tactics for using music and dance to effectively communicate dissent in public. Whether through flash mobs, terping, large musical numbers or even "silent" dance parties, the talk aims to bring together art, politics and tactical theory to help prepare participants for the long road of demos ahead of us.

"This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box. There is a great and perhaps decisive battle to be fought against ignorance, intolerance and indifference." - Edward R. Murrow, speaking of television.

Thesis: Dance is an effective way of leveraging entertainment and short attention spans at the other end of mass and micro media to communicate messages that are typically lost in coverage of traditional protests. Assuming that messages are best absorbed when the viewer is an active participant, the phenomenological construct is to force the viewer into asking, "Why were those people dancing?"

Through asking the question, by acknowledging the limitations of the medium and adapting towards them, the intended message of the demonstration is much more likely to get coverage, it is much more likely the message will be received and internalized, and getting action out of the message from those who view it is much more likely.

This talk is essentially in two parts, one forwarding the theory of dance in direct action, two discusses tactics and implementation.

Part One: Why dance? 1) Getting past visual mass media filters (TV and Major Print Journalism) 2) Encouraging coverage in micromedia (Passive bloggers, participants, "street journalism") 3) Leveraging increased participation and involvement and creating larger movements through more powerful experiences. (Protests as art parties.)

Part Two: Tactics and Strategies 1) Simple guidelines for building powerful visuals 2) Tactical considerations for dealing with law enforcement (i. e. Cops do not want to risk cameras catching them gas happy people in vibrant costumes) 3) Techniques -> Simple mass choreography (i. e. Music Videos) -> Flash mobs, Silent Mobs, Quick Message Communication. -> Terping: Distributed simple instructions -> "Silent" Dance Parties -> Building communities through experiences, fighting issue fatigue