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Rafter T. Sass & Pauline Bartolone
"Regenerative Media Ecologies: The Needs and Offers of Whole System Tactical Media."

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2007
Mobile Aesthetics & Social Movements: Thinkspace

2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Polycentric Session, UC-Berkeley, Townsend Center for the Humanities
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The number one cause of death in the low-income neighborhoods of Oakland, CA is not gang violence or drug overdoses – it's heart disease. Diabetes and cancer also run rampant in these poor communities. Welcome to the food desert, where supermarkets and fresh produce don't exist. Most residents buy their food at the ubiquitous corner liquor store, where processed foods are abundant. The relationship between the ecology of control, and the control of ecology, is rendered starkly by the extremity of this social landscape, just as that relationship is obscured completely by the images with which West Oakland is represented – or in favor of which it is ignored – by industrial media.

Altering the long-term trajectory of this system will require strategic interventions into the patterns of flow of biological resources, images, information, and cascades of control and accountability. The Liberation Ecology Project proposes succinct, provocative, "content-free" design criteria (meaning that the criteria are portable to design in any domain, any project). We'll introduce and contextualize these criteria, and use them to structure our discussion of actual and imagined media-tactical responses to the West Oakland food desert.