Michael Goddard – Guerrilla Networks: An Anarchaeology of 1970s Radical Media Ecologies


Amsterdam University Press, ISBN-13: 978-9089648891, English, 358 pages, 2018, The Netherlands

“Why the 1970s”? This central question relates to the radical and comparatively significant production of underground social movements and media in that particular decade. Guerilla Networks deals with what the author calls ‘minor media’, seen as part of a broader political strategy. Non-linearity within a delineated time period is taken as a methodology. Goddard applies a contextual analysis of mediated cultural tactics to, among other things, radical groups like Weather Underground, the new Radio Alice paradigm, Guerrilla TV, punk pirate radio stations and anti-cinema practices in various parts of the world. In the emergence of the ‘collective’ as a fundamental characteristic of these productions, the network topology in militant cultural forms embodies the concept of ‘network’ in our modern interpretation. These networks were and still are supportive infrastructures, the dynamic spines of crucial actions. They are a collective agent that contributes, authors, facilitates and propagates content, an essential part of the strategies necessary to instigate rebellion and alternative visions of society. The “transformative effects“ are then the quality that the various kinds of networks can potentially trigger. The history of these edgy strategies, in a specific historical moment, is precious material to consider and to rethink digital limits and conceptual possibilities.