Computing practices is truly associated with the increased figure of technology and also the discussions of new public spheres and democratic electronic areas.
The sophisticated technology make easier to participation to social event because it increase the social bounds and accessibility. The intensified point of technology enables us to produce knowledge and meaning because in historical process, internet access started to be eligible and cheaper. Therefore, this trend encourage rebellious groups to produce new, undistorted knowledge but they also aimed to harm powerful media organization and social groups such as hacking practices of counter supporter of government.
I assumed that computing practices permit that to construct liberal, boundless spaces even if, all attempts of regulation practices because technological information led us to determine the rules of internet and technology. This new public spheres introduce to unspoken subject of the grand, modernizing project because number of different social group has being silenced with applying to disciplinary power and so on during the one dimensional modernization process.
I also cogitate that computing practices democratized citizenship in somehow because I do not believe that consumption of technology and internet are not equal around globe since one can argue that internet consumption can be clarify with the analysis of stratification circumstances of cyberspace. Thence, different conditions regarding to income, ethnicity, and gender should be taken into our account.
In addition to that, hacking practices is not always express positive attitude because as we discussed in the class, there are two different types of the hacking practices: white and black hacking. Therefore, number of powerful groups could encounter with attack of people who has a bad intention. Therefore, hacking practices should be considered both its advantage and its unsolicited results.
The topic of ‘Tactics of Cultural Resistance’ was most influential and inspiring topic during the semester for me. Openning up class with the discussion of Dada increased my motivation. Apart from my personal feeling through the class, I want to search for the reason of my interaction towards topic therefore, I will make a self-reflexivity to myself and then I will strive to cover up my concern and thinks about the cultural resistance’ projects.
I believe that the discourse of capitalism truly legitimize the such stuff that aiming to promote itself as strategic, tactical, deliberate, calculated and so on forth. Therefore, the term tactical remind me the effectiveness of the capitalist system but in contrast, it affiliated with the practices of alternative media, resistance to hegemony, counter-culture and so on. Therefore, it linked with positive attitude in the sense that its connotation. Therefore, I probably interest it because the agency was changing and they started to control action process rather than to watching passively.
Cultural resistance make easier to resist and oppose to mainstream forms of the media. I think the concept of cultural resistance express the wholly approach and outlook of the alternative media projects. It can be argued that concepts and metaphors are making easier to make affiliations within the theoretical approaches so that to conceptualize struggles within the notion of ‘cultural resistance’ or ‘cultural jamming’ increase the way of attention and consideration to these media projects.
Cultural jamming projects are mostly attempting to make emotional contacts with using the distorted art forms thence, people could get in touch and contact with the messages more easily. I found jamming projects quite manipulative but it is the most important point of their action. In stress, these projects have vast potential to create non-hegemonic messages in the streets, billboards and in the surveillance system. In addition to that, my concern is derived from that they have a potential to turn into tyranny of the passivity which is expressing for me group of people that has lost their awareness throughout the social strata and politics. Also, I could argued that it is more important to encourage people to act and rebel rather than to impress because this point sometimes might be turned into shocking in which people passivated and lost their direction against the exploited system. Yet, this possibility always exists so that producers of the jamming projects should keep in mind this threat.
My example is deriving from the jamming project of unknown group in İstanbul who change the billboards with non-hegemonic discourses against municipality. The core thing of the action was that to change official language of the municipality because they do not perform their role to protect powerless social group but after alteration of the billboard, discourse was totally changed and this action empowered this passivated social groups.
The role of new technologies has an importance in considerable level so as to provide crucial transition from repressive use of media to emancipatory use of media. While there are some limitations for totally emancipation, they has potential to create interactive communication which can ensure two way flows of communication, collective mobilization, reaching to many people and so on. In fact, this emancipatory use of media became possible with the birth of the personal computer technology that provides individual use and contribution to communication networks in the second half of twentieth century. Above all, this emancipatory potential of media promotes the rise of new public spaces, new agoras in terms of democratization process. At this juncture, creating new agoras firstly in local level in other words from micro to macro level, the real democratization can be exist in today’s world. Since this form of democracy does not imposed from top to below, contrary it rises from below to above that derived from grassroots. Therefore, when electronic democratic projects became part of democratization process in 1990s, also facilitated local authorities through new form of communication that also ensures more participation by individuals.
As known that the form of nation-state maintains itself as dominant form of state and it makes recognizable itself via the claim of representative democracy from the beginning of twentieth century to present time. However, the critical thing is that can representative democracy provide political freedom for everyone if and to what extent and unfortunately political freedom is not possible in the frame of top-down form of regime that ensure freedom only elites. That’s why, at that point, the role of new media technologies is crucial as means for the participation in political process for everyone in new agoras. Because, this participation to political process originally refers to direct participation to the decision making process that is the key characteristic of real democracy. Undoubtedly, it is impossible to talk about political freedom without participation in decision making process.
In addition, these new media technologies through direct political participation, also gives chance to citizens more control over information (CMC). Thus, these new media technologies not only give access and control of information to citizens, but also participate political process in order to form agenda. Actually this advance political practice by citizens ensures first and foremost decentralized form of media as the important aspect of new media techologies like Internet. At the same time, rather than vertical communication, it provides more horizontal way of communication that eliminates hieararchy. In regard to context, citizens can directly and actively participate more through skips the mediators such as journalists, parliamentary representatives, opinions leaders and so on that distort the process of political participation and create illusion of representation in terms of democracy. In this level, new technologies provide tools which give chance to Agenda setting, proportinal voting and so on in order to perform new strategies for putting away the main lacuna of representative democracy. It is necessary to emphasize that most importantly, giving more room to local participation for rational formation and exchange of opinion in new public spaces, it is possible to reach enlarged scope of representative democracy that can provide real political freedom. Consequently, through developing new kinds of practice in new agoras, also bridges over in order to fill the gap of representative democracy in the democratization process.
Jamming is not a novel concept that comes into appearance as rootles. On the contrary the notion; cultural or political jamming has long-termed history which was derived from the beginning of twentieth century. In particular through subcultural movements with own subversive, interfering, sarcastic characteristics. The key function of culture jamming is subverting meanings that are produced by dominant forces and discourses through combining social, political struggles and art. Also, in this way it aimed at demolishing the elitist approach to art and culture via participation by individual or groups especially excluded one. While doing it, cultural jamming practices resistance in order to challenges dominant discourses via disturb it with some strategies.
As mentioned before, it is possible to this characteristic of jamming since the beginning of twentieth century, especially its disturbance characteristic manifests itself with the birth of Dadaism in Europe between 1915 and 1925. At that period, the rise of industrialization accompanied with mass consumption, mass production in brief massification in many sense, therefore Dadaism against this dehumanization aimed to shock, disturb society in order to make possible for society to see what is happening. In relation to Dadaism, Fluxus Movement rises as an avant-garde art movement in the second half of twentieth century through inspiring from Dadaism and Futurism. The main purpose of movement was abolish elitist attitudes for the definition of ‘artist’ and distinction between high and low art, thus it emphasized everyone can be an artist, it is not only peculiar to elites. There, it is necessary to emphasize that, the influence of Dadaism and Fluxus movement still maintains its influence even today with similar strategies in the context of tactical media. At this juncture, the central tactic of it with the usage of art to break common places for creating radical sense for realizing illusion of reality in the modern life.
As one of the example from Turkey: ‘Yıkılan Bellek Evleri’ ‘Destroyed Memories of the Houses’ project define itself in that way:
“This is a project which questions time and space. We find buildings which are going to be destroyed by the government as part of its efforts to ‘urban transformation’ in Turkey. We use this space to create art just before the government tear them down. This space is open for everyone with any kind of art. For us, the meaning of it is to reconsider urban transformation and the unbalanced economical situation behind it. We believe these buildings have symbolic meaning of the life which had changed by the hand of government and our aspect of art. It is because of the creation process is totally not cares any economical return of art and we know our works are going to be destroyed so it is the questioning of possession at the same time. In the other hand we believe art should be attainable for everybody. That’s why we use these free spaces which are going to be collapsed for art to create.”
‘Üret ve Git!’& ‘Produce and Go!’
Because of the its dada aesthetic sense and rebellious characteristic that against urban transformation by Government in Turkey, this project manifests itself as both political and culture jamming. Also, with the motto of ‘we believe art should be attainable for everybody’, it shares same concern with Dada and Fluxus movement. Apart from this, they bring together new media technologies and different art forms like painting, dance, sculpture, painting, theatre, performance and so on. As necessity of contemprary cultural jamming, this project use the internet for distribution its jamming practices.
Public Spaces as the Realm of Resistance
In order to completely understand the phenomena ‘culture jamming’ refers to what in today world, it is essential to comprehend contribution of Situationism especially Guy Debord with their tactic ‘Detournement’. According to them mass communication formed the ideological ‘spectacle’ which conform dominant discourse again and again, so mass media productions has become prevalent. Therefore, there is only way to resist against the ideological ‘spectacle’ that when people construct alternative situation in their everyday lives, can disrupt the power of ‘spectacle.’ Above all with the use of hybrid tactics likewise tactics of Dada it can be possible. In particular the tactic of ‘Detournement’ refers to subvert the authentic meaning through montage, collage techniques in order to create novel works that give sense of situationist art. Art performances are most known used technique by situationist art and in 1968, the period of Civil Right Movements, there were many examples of art performance interventions in the public space. Through these performances, art returns directly forms of a political action.
As one of the hybrid form of art performances is that pantomime. For instance, İlker Kılıçer as an activist performs pantomimes in public spaces such as public transport vehicles, streets and so on in İzmir. His performance generally relates with the coverage is excluded by mainstream media and social movements in Turkey. Likewise, Justice for Roboski, Say No Bloody Law, Occupy Gezi are some of titles of his performance. He disturbs his performance through Internet. However, while his jamming manifest itself in an autonomous and counter public spheres, at the same time after he was fined with ‘noise punishment’ by government, manifests his performance in the mainstream media, CNN Türk as mainstream public sphere. It shows us that rhizomatic approach and forms allows also interaction between new media and old media in the contemporary world conditions.
Street arts are also early form of cultural jamming as the realm of resistance. For instance, Martha Cooper and Elle “Unextinguished” Installation project is one of the contemporary example of street art (2014). Martha Cooper was the only women photographer in the 1970s ‘New York Post’ newspaper. Because of the men domination in hard news area, she had to perform her photojournalism in the area of soft news. However she fights against the patriarchy through resisting in streets with street artist Elle via combination of their skills under the project of “Unextinguished” . They bring together old photographs and artistic interventions like merge of new ideas and old ones and through montage technique, this art form manifest itself as juxtaposition of styles in billboards and so on.
They define this project in this way: ““We thought this had to do with a sense of history, through different generations. My pictures are all from 1978, so we are using some old school pictures but re-invigorating them with some new school techniques – like splattering them with a fire extinguisher with a sort of abandon.”
In the late 20th century hacker became a figure that have created new way for breaking boundaries and cracking social codes. The hacker first emerged out of the electrical engineering labs at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology ( MIT ).
Himanen believes that hackers can be captured in seven values: passion, freedom, social worth, openness, activity, caring and, the highest value, creativity. They produce new concepts, new perceptions, new sensations in order to social challenge to emerge great cultural changes. Wark believes hackers are the new radicals and the revolutionary class of the twenty-first century. “To hack is to differ …. Hackers create the possibility of new things entering the world. Not always great things, or even good things, but new things. In art, in science, in philosophy and culture, in any production of knowledge where data can be gathered, where information can be extracted from it, and where in that information new possibilities for the world produced, there are hackers hacking the new out of the old.” ( Wark, Mckenzie, A Hacker Manifesto, 2004, pp. 3-4 )
Hacking mean is creativity but to understand clearly we should analysis other political and social meanings. Hacks are material practices that require the whole infrastructure of computers, wires, programming language related to computer, communication and network technology. We can assess hacking into two different angle with one vision hacking as an ally of business and the other vision hacking as the agent of revolution. Taylor (1999), Truckle (1984), Thomas (2002) who have empirical work on hacking find that hackers are attracted illicit acts. They may transgress a law or social convention and hack via illegal ways. Additionally hactivism means “using hacking related techniques for political ends” (Earl and Kimport, 2011, p.225).
If an early slogan of hacker culture has it that ‘information wants to be free’, it finds itself, to borrow from Rousseau, ‘everywhere in chains’ (Wark, 2004: 126). I want to give an example in Turkey called RedHack which was established in the late 1990s. In my opinion they are like-minded Wark’s idea. Their slogan is “ Attacking RedHack is attacking the freedom of information, the press freedom and the freedom of expression. They identify themselves Marksist and Socialist. The government declared them as a “terrorist organization”. They are Turkish left wing hacker group. Their aim is to expose the government’s dirty secrets. The government (AKP) scare from internet in fact be in trouble. RedHack infilitrated to the Ankara police systems, captured some information and published them online. People saw how dirty is police relations. Also they leak details of hundreds of Turkish Government Officials. RedHack has published over 600 records relating to Turkish government officials after breaching the security of the biggest internet service provider in Turkey.
This is the one example of their many actions:
In May, 2012, the cyberactivist group attacked the websites of milk companies following a scandal in which hundreds of children were poisoned by state-distributed milk in schools.
Anonymous who is associated international network of activist and hacktivist entities supports RedHack and the freedom of information of Turkish people.
This support, we will show in every way we possess. ( Anonymous said )
We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
There is a film about RedHack and its aim and protests.
In conclusion in the information age the hacker undertakes a task for understanding labor, the commodity and private property.
Wark, Mckenzie, Theory, and Culture & Society : Hacking, 2006
Wark, Mckenzie, A Hacker Manifesto, 2004
World popularities are approximately over 7 billion. If we look at the internet usage around the world: approximately over 3 million people are internet users who 70% are using the internet every day. The number of internet users has grown by over 566% since 2000. Internet users use internet for research, banking, shopping, meeting people, information about health, making travel reservations and looking for jobs. Social networking users spend an average of 3,2 hours each day. Worlds the biggest social networking site is Facebook which has over 1 billion members. Youtube is ranking second and Twitter is ranking third (More Than 2 Billion People Use the Internet, Here’s What They’re Up To, May 9, 2013, The Cultireist, http://www.thecultureist.com/2013/05/09/how-many-people-use-the-internet-more-than-2-billion-infographic/, visit date April 26, 2014). In this case, Facebook can be called worlds third crowded country. (Doganata, Yurdaer, Izmir University, 2013) According to wordpress.com data, over 409 million people view more than 14.7 billion blog pages each month. Blog users produce about 44,5 million new posts and 56,7 million new comments each month.
Datas are shown that all people can not come together but all people who use internet can discuss, share or react something on the internet. Hence, internet is the important platform for the alternative media. It can be called “New arena for discussing in 21 century”.
Information pollution, illegality, problem of law can be seen on it. But it is the free platform for sharing experimenting, expressing thoughts and discussing. Therefore, some countries, like Turkey, occasionally totally or part of internet is being banned for their citizens. But according to Yurdaer Doganata who is Research Staff Member, IBM Research that it is not possible to completely ban the unmanaged Internet access from a single source.
Internet is hard to get in under control. The great masses can be mobilized by internet. Occupy demonstrations, Gezi and Ukraine sample are shown that internet will be more remarkable than today in the future. Internet will consider by decision making bodies of governments in the future.
In the last decade in Turkey, internet has wide range of cultural jamming. Especially political jamming of subvertising can only be seen in social media like websites, blogs, facebook or twitter. Heberler tv show and Zaytung website are the most important samples for cultural jamming for Turkey.
Heberler can be liken to The Daily Show with Jon Steawart. The program, which based on the cultural and political jamming, was featured on Turkmax which is private channel on Digiturk. An anchorman and a commentator were commenting daily current and political issues. We have to use past tense when we are writing about Heberler because program was banned after Gezi demonstrations. Justification of ban was program’s producer and artist team had important role in Gezi.
For example of Heberler news:
Turkey’s famous pianist Fazıl Say, was sentenced to 10 months for his tweet (Fact). In addition, Minister of Justice said that “We do not have freedom for thoughts and expression. But everyone, who wants to expression their thoughts, can find a new way” (Their commenting).
Zaytung.org has a satiric language like Heberler. When the website was established that founders were inspired by “The Onion News” which has US origin. The website was established in 2010. They had made some groundless news at the beginning but they changed their strategy and started to make cultural and political jamming.
For example Zaytung.org news:
After celebrity of 23 April Children’s Day, Turkey has high morale: We have lots of children who were not killed by someone. (Ascription of Berkin Elvan)
The culture of democracy is important for cultural and especially political jamming. Cultural jamming can be seen in democratic community. But Turkey has changed their strategy and political attitude about democratic culture in recent years. Great numbers of journalist are in the prison in Turkey. The government cannot stand criticism. Therefore, cultural or political jamming do not have place on televisions or printed media and billboards. But on the other hand, political problems are rising political jamming. In process of time, understanding will be changed.
The crucial and vital problem in the world is “capitalism” correspondingly “consumerism”. When we walk on the street or travel by car, bus, train etc. we see plenty of advertisements on everywhere that prey on us as directed. Entertainment, shopping and other consumer activities are became people’s top free time preferences thanks to gigantic helps of advertisements. As people in global societies increasingly enjoy the freedoms of private life therefore we isolate ourselves from public life.
That’s why the term “cultural jamming” is came up. Culture jamming is a form of alternative media. It is the react of using mass media such as billboards, bus-ads, posters and so on. In my opinion we can say it is the way of criticizing and subverting advertising and consumerism in the mass media and rework on them in order to create conscious citizens in terms of environment, social values and political issues.
Cultural jammers ‘create with mirrors’ (Berry 1995) and are related to what Gramsci (1971: 417) called a ‘new way of conceiving the world’ and ‘modifying . . . popular thought and mummified popular culture’.
The most well known type of culture jamming is subvertising. The most remarkable and known example of culture jamming is probably, Adbusters, (www.adbusters.org), a magazine featuring subvertisements of famous brands.
To give an example I think the most effective example is Greenpeace using culture jamming as a tactic. In 1989 they projected the message “ We have nuclear weapons on board” onto British aircraft, carrier, moored in Hamburg Harbour. You can see picture below ( https://informationactivism.org/en/what-culture-jamming).
The basic unit of communication in culture jamming is the meme: the core unit of cultural transmission. I want to give an example of their campains where you can find it on Adbusters magazine web page called “Kick It Over” and “Buy Nothing Today” (http://kickitover.org), / https://www.adbusters.org/campaigns/bnd).
Kick It Over project aim is to raise awareness of students about capitalism and its outcomes and also effects on our lifes. Their project “Meme Wars On Campus” address to students: “You are entering university at a critical juncture. Capitalism is in crisis and the crisis is growing deeper”. They pose some questions to students to understanding economic games such as “ How did economists get it so wrong?”, What good are economists anyway?” etc. They have some posters on the web page and suggest ” Print out your favorite posters from this website and post them in the corridors of your economics department … pin them up all over campus and on prof’s doors! Do this until a debate breaks out, one that shakes the foundations of neoclassical economic science”. We can say it is an awareness-raising campaign. You can see the protest pictures below.
The other project is “Buy Nothing Today” also stand out shopping necessity that is arised by capitalism. They create shopping habits for special days such as Christmas. You can see below there are some posters to points out shopping traps.
Additionally there is a documentary about culture jamming. It remarkably explains how we are exposed to advertising. And also its excessive impact on our life.
In conclusion the exposure of advertisements is affecting our culture. Our habits, life style and preferences are shaped by capitalist system. Culture jamming and meme-driven communication offer interesting windows to remember what real living is all about.
In the contemporary world the crucial role of radio is neglected through being exposed to under the category of traditional media. However, besides this general tendency, it is necessary to comprehend features that make it alternative and preferable even if today. Primarily, although technology has been developed day by day via constituting new forms of medium, radio still can be more available and useful than press or other forms in some parts of the world especially rural areas because of the high rate of illiteracy. Besides this characteristic radio is substantially convenient media in terms of being easily comprehensible for operation, portable and affordable to everyone. In this regard, it is certainly not that isolating radio from the technological developments, therefore as Brecht noted that “radio technology does not presuppose a certain form of broadcasting, but allows for its exploitation in various cultural forms.” Yet, it is thought as the medium that has to supplement only distribution of information, actually it is also convenient so as to facilitate process that provide interactive communication beyond the distribution. This new dimension makes people participate actively through connecting them rather than isolating them under favour of advancing technology.
Internet Radio as Community Radio
Therefore, at this juncture Internet radio occupies important place with its existence as a kind of community media in digital age. The link between community and radio is crucial in order to understand alternative side of radio that makes possible to challenge the traditional understanding of radio that is even today general tendency undoubtedly. The definition of the term ‘community’ gives clues about the concept of ‘community radio’ obviously, so community not only refers to geographical closeness, but also it is kind of clustering in the sense of language, culture, ethnicity and common interests. Regarding this, the internet provide space in order to have common and open platform form everyone as one of the essential condition of community radio. In this way, through its emancipatory intentions, ordinary people as amateurs can be included in the production process. At the same time, Internet radio as a community radio with its hybrid format provides alternative contents that relevant to ‘community’ sense.
Examples from Turkey
Within the historical and cultural context of Turkey, it is possible to mention about the transition from state regulated monopolized radio broadcasting to community radio. The initiation of radio broadcasting based on foundation of Ankara TRT radio station as public service broadcasting when at 1927. At that time, this radio station only was voice of the government and likewise in the Democratic Party period (1950-1960) the same situation manifested itself again and again. Also, in the time of military coups and memorandums government or military has control over the radio station in Turkey. In 1992, through the foundation private service broadcasting radio stations, the monopoly of TRT was broken. However it was not totally rupture in the sense of community radio. Therefore, at the beginning of 21th century, some examples of community radio can be observed in Turkey in particular as the form of Internet radio. These examples do not practice all of the necessary conditions of community radio understanding, but in one extend they can be successful to perform some conditions. For instance, Radyo Azelya is located at Bingöl that eastern province of Turkey, defines itself is ‘the address of authentic and ethnic Kurdish music’ through targeting the Kurdish community with its alternative content as a kind of local radio. On the other hand, it finances itself with advertisement and so on rather than non-profitable way. As another example, Özgür Radyo founded at 2010 with the motto of ‘different voice and different comment’. While it provides content that concerned ethnic minorities issues in Turkey and also supply non-professional media producer participation. However, this radio station is not listener-supported. In addition, as different from Özgür Radyo and Radyo Azelya, Radyoksit manifest itself is the ‘first non profit making radio station in Turkey’ as ad-free radio station. Also it offers common interest as hybrid music format that collates from Indie to Ethnic Jazz.
Listener-sponsored Internet Radio Station: ‘Radio Paradise’
Radio Paradise established at 2000 by Bill Goldsmith and his wife Rebecca Goldsmith in Paradise, California. The main characteristic that makes it community radio is obviously founding as listener-supported station. Also it defines itself as an ‘eclectic online rock radio’.
Consequenlty, as Bill Goldsmith stated that “It’s radio-as-art, rather than radio-as-marketing”.
The radio has been the first device to allow for mass communication. The development of the radio began in 1893 with Nicolai Tesla. The later scientist Gugliamo Marconi who worked to perfect radio we now use was fascinated by Heinrich Hertz’s earlier discovery of radio waves and realized that it can be used for sending and receiving telegraph messages, referring to it as “ wireless telegraphs”.
The early uses of the radio were mainly, maintaining contact between ships out a sea. The radio saw a surge of use during the First World War. However this initial radio was able to sent Morse code messages.
After World War British Broadcasting Company ( BBC ) was built in 1922. Its aim is “inform, educate and entertain”. Following Second World War the radio turned into its more recognizable for of musical entertainment. BBC was giving the people what they need rather what they want. During the growing process thousands of more stations sprung up playing all different kinds of music (world, pop, jazz, classical, etc) as well as newscast. However 21st century the radio has top out. Despite the advert of television, radio is still popular medium in our life. Car, mobile phone, computer provide listening many different kinds of radio stations. On the other hand through the convergence of radio and internet we can listen and participate to radio with a simple click of a mouse.
Finally, I want to write Albert Einstein explanation about radio:
“ You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat. “