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Anti-Torture Activists To Occupy Washington January 10-12

January 11 will mark the tenth anniversary of the first detainees' arrival at the U.S.-controlled detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. To remember this travesty, Witness Against Torture is planning 10 days of activities in Washington, D.C. demanding an end to torture and indefinite detention at Guantanamo, Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, and elsewhere, and that the president reject the just-passed National Defense Authorization Act.

Jan. 2-12: WAT sponsors Hungering for Justice, a 10-day fast highlighting the ongoing crimes at Guantanamo and Bagram. Dozens of activists are expected to participate in the fast in Washington as well as other cities. Locations of daily activities in support of the fast to be announced.

Situationist Aesthetics: The SI, Now
University of Sussex, Brighton, UK – Friday 8th June 2012

Keynote: McKenzie Wark (The New School, NY), author of The Beach Beneath the Street: The Everyday Life and Glorious Times of the Situationist International (2011), Gamer Theory (2007) and Hacker Manifesto (2004).

Since the beginning of the movement there has been a problem as to what to call artistic works by members of the SI. It was understood that none of them was a situationist production, but what to call them? I propose a very simple rule: to call them ‘antisituationist.’ We are against the dominant conditions of artistic inauthenticity. I don’t mean that anyone should stop painting, writing, etc. I don’t mean that that has no value. I don’t mean that we could continue to exist without doing that. But at the same time we know that such works will be coopted by society and used against us. Our impact lies in the elaboration of certain truths which have an explosive power whenever people are ready to struggle for them. At the present stage the movement is only in its infancy regarding the elaboration of these essential points. - Attila Kotányi at the Fifth Conference of the SI, 1961

Is it oxymoronic, heretical or just plain wrong to talk about Situationist aesthetics? The Situationist International (SI) condemned attempts to discuss its work in terms of aesthetics, but perhaps it is now time to brush the SI against the grain.

When it first announced its programme, the SI insisted that ‘There is no such thing as Situationism’. A few years later, before expelling its members deemed to be too invested in artistic production, the SI declared that in an age of spectacle any work of art produced by a Situationist must necessarily be ‘antisituationist’. The SI’s tactical intransigence regarding the political value of the aesthetic, and its refusal of the possibility of a specifically Situationist aesthetic, threw up problems that remained unresolved by the time of the SI’s dissolution. Since 1972, particularly in Anglophone contexts, Situationist practices have penetrated an array of cultural spheres, and much cultural production which the SI would have dismissed as spectacular has claimed some Situationist influence.

The Housing Monster a new illustrated manifesto
Prole.info

“Looking for a place to dwell? Or even for an entirely new world to live in? But maybe you’re afraid radical theory is boring? Then The Housing Monster is the book for you. The author of the now classic Abolish Restaurants has come to grips with another vital issue: the housing question. Class analysis + a critique of daily life + uncensored innovative graphics + more... Enjoy!” —Gilles Dauvé

The Housing Monster takes one seemingly simple everyday thing—a house—and looks at the social relations that surround and determine it. Starting with the construction site and the physical building of houses, the book slowly builds and links more and more issues together: from gentrification and city politics to gender roles and identity politics, from subcontracting and speculation to union contracts and negotiation, from intensely personal thoughts and interactions to large-scale political and economic forces. What starts as a look at housing questions, broadens into a critique of capitalism as a whole.

"Insolvency"
Franco “Bifo” Berardi

A Talk at MoMA PS1
Saturday December 17, 4 pm, free
22-25 Jackson Avenue at 46th Avenue
Long Island City, NY

The concept of insolvency as it has been applied in the US and
especially in the EU has to do with economic debt, but also with the
symbolic debt implied in the capitalist process of exploitation. In
the EU, this symbolic debt is bound to tensions that haunted European
modernity—between Calvinist and Catholic, Baroque and Gothic, good
German laborers and bad lazy Mediterraneans. It is a subject often
avoided for being politically incorrect, because no one wants to see
the religious, anthropological, and aesthetic implications of the
crisis. But the concept of symbolic debt may also provide a way out:
What if debt as semiotization and insolvency could actually provide
autonomy from capitalist semiotization—a direct move from insolvency
to emancipation? What is the meaning of the word “revolution” anyhow?
Let us consider how the concept of emancipation will replace of the
concept of revolution.

This is the second in a season of talks and discussions presented by
e-flux book co-op at MoMA PS1. Hito Steyerl was the first to present
in the series, which will continue throughout the season with
presentations by artists, writers, and theorists such as AA Bronson,
Paul Chan, Sven Lütticken, Elizabeth Povinelli, and others considering
the recent intensification of political life.

Occupy! Onward Conference
New School, New York City, December 18, 2011

Dear Friends,

Sorry for the short notice: the Occupy! Gazette has put together a conference on some of the main issues around the current crisis and what Occupy Wall Street and the rest of us can do about it. The conference this Sunday, the 18th, from noon to six at the New School (55 W. 13th Street). It will consist of four lightning-fast panels with some of the most interesting thinkers and activists in the field and then ``report-backs``ˇ from several of the most active OWS working groups, including labor, legal, and facilitation. It`s everything you always wanted to know about OWS but were afraid to ask. Schedule below. The conference is free but space in the auditorium is limited, so please let us know if you`re coming (at our Facebook event page or at editors [at] nplusonemag.com) and please come on time.

Schedule below.

Legacies of Tactical Media
Eric Kluitenberg

Tactical Media employ the ‘tactics of the weak’ to operate on the terrain of strategic power by means of ‘any media necessary’. Once the rather exclusive practice of politically engaged artists and activists, the tactical appropriations of media tools and distribution infrastructures by the disenfranchised and the disgruntled have moved from the margins to centre stage. The explosive growth of mass participation in self-mediation incountless blogs, video sharing platforms, micro-blog ging, social networking has created an unprecedented complexity in the info-sphere.

While this frenzy of media activity has been heralded as the catalyst of the new democratisation movements in North-Africa and the Middle-East, the anti-austerity/precarity movements in Southern Europe and the UK, and the recent #occupy movements in the US and Northern Europe, its increasingly intransparent complexity combined with the post 9/11 ‘crash of symbols’ has thrown its political efficacy into question. The demise of WikiLeaks as the crown jewel of on-line whistle-blowing has added to a thoroughly opaque picture.

More than ever tactical media operators require effective instruments to the create tactical cartographies they need to navigate the hybrid realities they are immersed in. This notebook traces the legacies of tactical media to begin creating these hybrid cartographies.

Making Worlds: An OWS Forum on the Commons
February 16-18, 2012

An Invitation

The Occupy movement is entering a new phase, one in which many of us feel the need of combining a renewed engagement with direct actions and mobilizations with a deep reflection on the strategic objectives of our movement. In order to fulfill this need, the organizing committee of Making Worlds* is inviting all the Occupy supporters and sympathizers as well as other organizations to participate in this Forum on the politics of the commons. In particular, we are interested in understanding how groups and communities working on housing, health care, education, food, water, energy, information, communication and knowledge resources can develop a vision of these resources as commons, that is, as an alternative form of social organization to the state and corporate capitalism. Making Worlds has the ambitious goal of articulating a strategic vision from and for the movement as well as specific political initiatives aiming at its realization.

"Occupations" Conference
Toronto, Canada, April 27-29, 2012

CFP for INTERSECTIONS / CROSS SECTIONS 2012: “OCCUPATIONS” (April 27-29, 2012)
11th Annual Communication and Culture Graduate Conference, York University/Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario

Abstracts due: February 1, 2012
Conference date: April 27-29, 2012.
Please email submissions and questions to: intersections.occupations@gmail.com

Occupare: (Latin.) To seize, capture

"Occupy but better yet, self manage…. The former option is basically passive—the latter is active and yields tasks and opportunities to contribute.… To occupy buildings, especially institutions like universities or media, isn’t just a matter of call it, or tweet it, and they will come. It is a matter of go get them, inform them, inspire them, enlist them, empower them, and they will come." – Michael Albert, “Occupy to Self Manage” (http://interactivist.autonomedia.org/node/33609)

"I think that our political structures are corrupt and we need to really think about what a democratic society would be like. People are learning how to do it now…. This is more than a protest, it’s a camp to debate an alternative civilization." – David Graeber, “The Man Behind Occupy Wall Street,” interviewed by Seth Fiegerman (http://interactivist.autonomedia.org/node/33897)

This is a critical moment, as “Occupy everywheres” present possibilities for new politics, and new forms of learning, engaging and living with each other. From the recurring occupations of the squares in Greece and Italy to the UK’s winter of discontent and the Arab Spring, to the summer of protest in Spain and the North American autumn—at general assemblies around the globe, people are running their own lives, influencing the media and discussing what is to be done without politicians. The recent occupations are an education in direct democracy and the solidarity necessary for action.

Occupy Wall Street, and the occupations around the world, are attempts to build the social compositions that are the precondition for action. They are the working-through of a problem that ‘politics-as-usual’ works to suppress—the massive exploitation that is capitalism, and the emergence of politics adequate to address it. At this stage, the occupations are the connection of people, ideas and machines—the cumulation of assemblages that might build something. What happens next depends on what is being built now.

Design/History/Revolution Conferenmce
New School, NYC, April 27-28, 2012

CFP: Design/History/Revolution
Deadline: December 7, 2011
Conference: April 27 & 28, 2012, The New School, NYC

Keynote speaker: Barry Bergdoll, The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of
Architecture & Design, The Museum of Modern Art

Whether by providing agitprop for revolutionary movements, an
aesthetics of empire, or a language for numerous avant-gardes, design
has changed the world. But how? Why? And under what conditions? We
propose a consideration of design as an historical agent, a contested
category, and a mode of historical analysis.

This interdisciplinary conference aims to explore these questions and
to open up new possibilities for understanding the relationships among
design, history and revolution.

Occupy Student Debt! National Campaign Launch

On Monday, November 21, Occupy Student Debt is launching a national campaign of student debt refusal. This campaign is a response to the student debt crisis and the dependency of U.S. higher education on debt-financing from the people it is supposed to serve. There is no justice in a system that openly invites profiteering on the part of lenders. Education is a right and a public good, and it should be properly funded as such.

The campaign will consist of three pledges: