Carnegie Mellon University
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