Glitchy, Caring, Tactical

A Relational Study Between Artistic Tactics and Minor Tech


  • Freja Kir



artistic media tactics, minor tech, transparent server infrastructure, digital commoning


This paper directs attention to the parameters of creative resistance to large-scale commercial digital platforms. It does so by enhancing the understanding of minor tech through the analysis and case study of the artwork, VPN. While minor tech might sound unfamiliar to the many, examples of its existence are at the same time incredibly familiar through examples of digital commoning, sharing of skills, and organisational systems. In the case of VPN, the work existed as a growing emancipatory multimedia archive, executed as a transparent server architecture revealing its technical workings to its users. This format exemplified tactics of intentional glitches through an artful inclusion of persons, space, and objects. By identifying the elements of tactics and care within the VPN, the paper draws parallels of overlapping tendencies within the movement of minor tech. Drawing on Olga Gorionova's research on 'Shadow librarians' and including former digital examples of knowledge sharing furthermore assists in sketching a web development towards the nature of minor tech and VPN. By analysing the significance of these initiatives, the paper raises the questions: What are the drives across creative resistance practices? And (how) do such creative contributions help to critically nuance various existing understandings of large-scale digital platforms?