“A typical liberal may recognize contributor names on the cover like the Yes Men and Billionaires for Bush, but the guts of the book also nod to IWW, Earth First! and Otpor.”Cole Wardell
The Center for Tactical Magic (CTM) is a Bay Area collective that creates installations and exhibits that subvert the role of illegitimate power in society. Notable for the historical and technological components of their actions, CTM often re-purposes established symbols of oppressive power in unexpected, anti-oppressive ways. One such action involved a Merry Pranksters-like VW bus filled with waterbeds and suspended from a crane — a participatory experience that was also an allusion to a form of medieval torture called a “witch net.” Not all their actions have grim back stories; CTM exhibited “magic wands” of all kinds (including vibrators and airport security metal detectors) at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and designed a system that could detect illegal logging by recording the distressed chirps of crickets. Their patron saint would be the early twentieth-century magician and polymath Aleister Crowley, whom the group frequently quotes in their erudite and sometimes arcane literature.