poetic tactics to counter extraction (and other ways to train attention)

poetic tactics to counter extraction (alternative title: poetic tactics to train attention) aims to bring together a body of work that aims to answer the question: how do we counter the embodied ethos of extraction? how can we gather existing techniques – and develop new ways of engaging with our bodies to combat extraction’s effects? how can the metaphor of poetry can be used to combat the abstraction of datafication? when physical extraction is constitutive of digital culture, as well as a pervasive ethos and social norm, what role can poetry (and poetic tactics) play?

Screenshot of introductory slides for 'poetic tactics', linked below.

drawing from mindy seu and ursula le guin’s notion of gathering, this project will gather, connect, and co-creat a collection of ‘poetic tactics’ that aim to combat the embodied nature of extraction at multiple scales: from that of the individual to the broader work that sustains social movements.

the primary output of this project will be a pilot of an hybrid, open source syllabus or archive that will combine a variety of different methods to map these emergent (and long sustained) tensions from different angles and through different sensory practices: drawing from creative computation, artist and mindfulness practices, and various written and visual mediums. some of the primary methods that accompany this would be that of sound walks, infrastructure walks, and embodied mapping. each of these practices embody, build off of, and expand the contradictions and connections between “deep ecology” and “extractive ecosystems”

this project will debut different versions and understandings of these ‘poetic tactics’ in different contexts, aiming to connect a few different methodologies and modes of thought, particularly: deep listening, counter-mapping, slow internet, and networked (mycelium) thinking. they will be trialled at a few different events throughout 2024 and 2025: including at MozFest Amsterdam, EASST-4web, School of Commons Kitchen Sessions, and more.

In particular, sound walk and infrastructure walks will be trialed in August and September 2024 that interact with and interrogates the surveillance landscape – while also introducing and testing ‘poetic tactics’ to combat these structures.

screenshot with quote: "“...Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest external horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives...” – Poetry is Not a Luxury (Audre Lorde)". Background is full of flowers and bright colors.

note: this page will be updated with more information about the project as it develops. but in the meantime, you are welcome to check out this presentation, which was given at the introduction of the cohort.