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Deconstruction, subversion and the development of alternative production and distribution channels are important tactics that media artists have used since the 1960s. These approaches can be called ‹post-utopian› in that they no longer postulate different uses for the mass media television and film, but work against these firmly established media. But at the same time, a genuinely utopian element can be discerned in some of them: both in the early 1970s and the early 1990s the media that were new at the time in each case (video, Public Access Television, Internet) triggered euphoric visions of genuinely democratic communication because of their greater ease of access and wider distribution—in stark contrast with the established and centralized mass media. These new media, all without social handicaps, also offer themselves for alternative uses, indeed for very personal, subjective handling modes. As well as this, many of the projects presented in this essay question the extent to which devices that


are by no means all of a technical nature can be used to create social, political or economic boundaries. But these projects are also interested in the linking of social elements or potentials that certain technologies can contain, and that could be used to subvert the above-mentioned boundaries. In this respect, both borders and border regimes and surveillance structures come under the heading of technology, and so does subverting technological structures and generating counter-discourse in society.


Translation by Michael Robinson