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 Dalia Anani, graduate student in Social Practice and Studio Practice at California College of the Arts.
Keyword: Mic Check (The Human Microphone)
In participating with Occupy Oakland (OO), I became most profoundly inspired by the power of the human microphone, also known as mic check. Mic Check works by a single individual reciting few words at a time, followed by an echo created by the larger group. Beyond its practicality of amplifying a single voice (often for emergency transmission information), mic check has an inherent quality that promotes solidarity. The human microphone is also a demonstration of resistance that cannot be confiscated or detained. In fact, OO protesters are notorious for utilizing the human microphone while detained, both to share information amongst each other, but also as a form of demonstration while under policed oppression. I’m continually fascinated mic check as form, and all of it potential possibilities in this young movement, as well as movements of the future.