Urban Hacking and Its “Media Origins”

Angela Krewani

Abstract

This essay traces the genealogy of urban and mobile media hacking. It is argued that the forerunners of urban hacking were artists active within the Fluxus scene and Viennes Actionism. Their artistic practices can be seen as precursors for more recent interventions in public and particular urban spaces which have been described as “urban hacking.” These developments appear genealogically and are also related to a turn towards individual media production: the introduction of the Portapak video camera brought about grassroots media activism and influenced the institutionalisation of public television.

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