If Disrupted

Tactical Forgetting

Forgetting is not only the process of psychological displacement of traumatic or unpleasant experiences but can also be read as a strategy of resistance against and disruption of surveillance infrastructures, governmental repression and military action. Transparency, which is partly described as a great advantage of the digital environment, can also represent the danger and permeability of protesters/users to the gaze of repressive power. New protest infrastructures use ‘forgetting’ as one of their tactics of resistance; for example, the automatic deletion of all messages in neighbourhood Telegram chats is a principle of concern for the safety of its participants.

Tactical Forgetting is a series of computer-supported exercises that revolve around digital memory and distributed events that need to be forgotten because of their sensitive content or rather, for the safety of the community. At the same time, the work is also an algorithmically interactive archive of narratives that unfold within different temporalities and spaces: documentary footage of a labour inspection within a large company in Minsk that develops military computer games; content that has disappeared from the servers of Internet portals; the recent usage of Belarusian infrastructure by the Russian Federation in its war against Ukraine; railway partisans sabotaging railroads in Belarus to disrupt the movement of Russian troops; the distributed memory of bodies participating in revolutionary and partisan actions; fictional desired economic strikes.

The installation alludes to IT office and computer club aesthetics, inviting the viewer to complete a training program. By navigating through the ‘remember’, ‘blink’ and ‘forget’ buttons, users define how much they want to remember or instead, forget, the materials they’ve just watched and listened to.

eeefff is an artistic cooperation currently based in Minsk and Berlin. It is a made-up institution/cybernetic political brigade/poetic computation/hacking unit/queer time. It is neither one of these, nor all together. Active since 2013, eeefff makes software-based projects, publications, networks and platforms that critically explore digital labour, value extraction and community formation in Eastern Europe. Its methods include public actions, online interventions, performative seminars, software and hardware hacking, framing environments and choreographing social situations.