The Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley is sponsoring the working session “Occupy as Form” on February 10, 2012. Participants have been invited to post some brief thoughts on the topic in advance of the event. This guest posting is by Amanda Eicher, lecturer in Art Practice at UC Berkeley.
I am curious about how we have come to use the word tactic, a word which is distinctly military in form, but which is also at play in contemporary art practice through the use of phrases such as tactical aesthetics and tactical media. It seems to me that many of the gestures we make in everyday life may slip in and out of the frame of tactics, depending on their context. In the context of the Occupy movement, which seems to propose that any place may be subject to temporary or sustained occupation or engagement, the notion of tactics seems dynamically at play, whether in reference to tactical aesthetics or the ‘diversity of tactics’ which has come to signal the possible use of violence in protests or demonstrations. I am interested to know what we mean when we refer to tactics in our language, and how its use relates to ways in which we engage each other in spaces defined by these terms – tactical aesthetics, tactical engagement, tactical thinking.