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Themesicon: navigation pathOverview of Media Articon: navigation pathSociety
[V]ote-auction (, 2000The Yes Men impersonate the WTO (RTMark), 2000ZaMir Transnational Net (FoeBuD e.V.), 1992
Name.Space (Garrin, Paul), 1991INSULAR Technologies (Peljhan, Marko), 1999

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action by Haider's Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs (FPÖ), Schlingensief could be sure of media attention. Similar waves of outrage were cause by the action by, «[V]ote-auction,» which offered voters the opportunity to sell their votes online to the highest bidder, just in time for the US presidential election in 2000 (Gore vs. G.W. Bush). Here the link between capitalism and (voter) power was demonstrated with astonishing clarity. The American activist group RTMark, in their «The Yes Men» action, sent ostensible representatives of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to international conferences, where they reported some astonishing facts about the state of the world economy and proclaimed the end of the WTO.

Net activism

RTMark is part of so-called ‹Net Activism›, which developed from the mid-1990s and includes a variety of strategies. These extend from setting up alternative communication and information channels to practicing ‹electronic civil disobedience.› The ‹enabling› or


linking approach here identifies a use directed at establishing communication. In the second half of the 1990s, environmental and human rights activists linked themselves up increasingly, and so did critics of globalization, who wanted to pit themselves against the so-called ‹empire› and organized their protest via the Internet. As well as this, independent communication systems were developed (at least conceptually), above all by media artists («ZaMir,» «Name.Space,» «INSULAR Technologies»).

Alongside developing autonomous communications systems of this kind, the strategy of ‹electronic civil disobedience› was one of the most important Net activism practices. This concept, which was coined by the American artists' group Critical Art Ensemble (CAE) in 1996, transfers the principle of civil disobedience into the sphere of electronic data. Electronic civil disobedience is based on the thesis that the non-violent strategy of ‹civil disobedience,› which temporarily disturbs the smooth functioning of business headquarters and other power centers by blocking access, is no longer adequate today. Businesses have

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