The Systemic tactical environment addresses current positions and politics of privacy, surveillance and safety of the global citizenry in relation to the military industrial complexes and their visible and opaque 'secret state' structures. The title is based on Dwight D. Eisenhower’s famous speech of 1961 wherein he warns of the dangers of an unchecked military industrial complex, the extinction of creative free thinking within higher education, and the extraction of natural resources without consideration for their renewal. This address is extremely relevant today in light of recent revelations of massive surveillance programs, perpetual information and real wars, the reshaping of the university complex and intensified resource extraction. Eisenhower's speech was not a dark forecast but instead stated that ‘...an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals...’ Eisenhower’s speech serves as the foundation for a set of Systemic activities in the fields of communications security, massive data aggregation, data analysis and display. The work reflects on the conditions for the development of an ‘alert and knowledgeable citizenry’ in societal circumstances that, despite constitutional protections, do not warrant it.
Aljosa Abrahamsberg, Matthew Biederman, Marko Peljhan, and Brian Springer have been involved in activities dealing with the art and science of radio and telecommunications through the prism of radio art, technical culture, television, film, conceptual art, electronic music, media arts, and tactical media since the 1980s and 1990s, in projects such as Ladomir-faktura, Makrolab, and Wardenclyffe. They are currently working on “systemic tactical environments” implementing the meshing of software defined radios, data aggregation, analysis, and display.