Carnegie Mellon University

Center for the Arts in Society

Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and College of Fine Arts

March 24, 2014


and the Craftiness of Craft and the Trickiness of Trickery


Gabriella Coleman
Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy, Department of Art History & Communication Studies, McGill University

Since 2010, digital direct action, including leaks, hacking and mass protest, has become a regular feature of political life on the Internet. This lecture considers the source, strengths and weakness of this activity through an in-depth analysis of Anonymous, the protest ensemble that has been adept at magnifying issues, boosting existing — usually oppositional — movements and converting amorphous discontent into a tangible form. It has been remarkably effective, despite lacking the human and financial resources to engage in long-term strategic thinking or planning. Anonymous has neither the steady income nor the fiscal sponsorship to support a dedicated team tasked with recruiting individuals, coordinating activities and developing sophisticated software. Wherein, therefore, lies the power of Anonymous?

Monday, March 24; 4:30 PM
Porter Hall 100