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« February 2017 »
"The Dream of Anarchy and the Anarchy of Dreams:
Urgent Communiques From the Crossroads of Anarchy and Surrealism"
Friday, October 18th @ 7 pm
Bluestockings, 172 Allen, NYC
Ron Sakolsky will read from his twenty-first century anarcho-surrealist trilogy: Creating Anarchy (Fifth Estate, 2005/Ardent, 2013), Swift Winds (Eberhardt, 2012), and Scratching the Tiger's Belly (Eberhardt, 2012). Together these books comprise a radical mixtape of outrageous ideas-in-action, hidden histories, mutinous rants, rebel poems, razor sharp polemics, incendiary broadsides, slyly subversive stories, rollicking manifestos, impossible demands, utopian adventures, and provocative parables.
Sakolsky is the editor or co-editor of the Autonomedia anthologies Surrealist Subversions: Rants, Writings & Images by the Surrealist Movement in the United States; Sounding Off: Music as Resistance / Rebellion / Revolution; and Gone to Croatan: Origins of North American Dropout Culture.
Protest at South African Consulate in New York,
in Solidarity with the Shackdwellers Movement!
Date: Monday October 14th
Where: South African Consulate, 333 E 38th St NYC
On Monday, members of New York City's social justice community led by Picture the Homeless will hold a solidarity rally in front of the South African Embassy to show support for our brothers and sisters facing state violence & repression in Durban. We hope you can join us. Please spread the word!
Our purpose is to show solidarity with the Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement in Durban and include messaging about World Zero Eviction Days.
Statement in Defense of the Abahlali BaseMjondolo members
To: James Nxumalo, Mayor, eThekwini Municipality, Durban, South Africa Senzo Mchunu, Premier, KwaZulu-Natal Jacob Zuma, President, Republic of South Africa
Since 2005, the ABAHLALI BASEMJONDOLO (Shack Dwellers) movement has mobilized to fulfill the needs of a large number of inhabitants in the city of Durban who live without access to land, housing, food, education and basic services such as clean water, sanitation, electricity and health care.
In response to this mobilization, the South African Police Service, the Ethekwini Municipality and the ruling political party (ANC) have attempted to criminalize the actions of this movement.
In particular, we have observed:
The continued intimidation, beatings and unlawful detention of activists.
The torture of individuals held in detention.
The demolition and bulldozing of thousands of homes.
The use of the press to slander the movement and its various leaders.
Video from the Third Futurological Symposium on Free Cultural
Spaces, Ruigoord, Amsterdam, Netherlands, July 2013
Hans Kup and Alan Dearling have produced a nine-minute video from the Third Futurological Symposium on Free Cultural Spaces held in Ruigoord, Amsterdam, Netherlands in July, 2013.
Arbeitselig, or, Blissful Work
Originally published as “Arbeitselig”, Der Sozialist, May 1, 1913.
Translated by Gabriel Kuhn
Every era of a people has different cultural layers, next to and above one another. This applies to the words that are being used as well. Words are full of nuances that have strong effects, yet people do not pay attention to these unless someone points them out. The word Heim (home/house), for example (a word that is slowly disappearing from everyday speech, entering the realm of “poetic” language), no longer evokes feelings of joy and comfort, but of yearning and alienation. We just need to look at the word Heimarbeit (housework), which refers to something unpleasant, shameful, full of privation. It is not that the home loses grace, comfort, and tranquility because of the work, but the work is considered dishonorable and dangerous instead of acceptable and endurable, as it would be if it occurred outside of the home. If we pay attention to these subtleties, we understand more deeply what the bare facts should already tell us, namely that, today, the home is a beautiful reality to some, the object of occasional nostalgic longing to all, and a cause of great concern to parts of the working class.
How about the word Arbeit (work)? In itself, it has become a neutral term. What is important is how it is used, that is, the sentence, in which it appears. This is what makes the implications clear; implications that may differ greatly. On the one hand, there might be an artist who, after domestic quarrels or problems with friends, pulls himself together, flexes his muscles, and says with utter conviction: I still have my work! On the other hand, there might be a factory worker who, after spending a few minutes in the early morning hours with his wife and children, tears himself away from the family by explaining: I have to go to work.
nanopolitics, exhaustion, biopolitics: an evening of bodies and books
London, October 9th 7pm @ no.w.here
Top Floor, 316-318 Bethnal Green Road, London E2 OAG
This evening will present an encounter of three lines of thought and practice relating to politics, bodies, life, the social and the common. Doing so, we attempt to think across conceptions and realities of micro, nano and biopolitics. Asking what it is that these dimensions may hold in common, what distinguishes them, and what they may learn from each other, we propose three short presentations followed by an open discussion.
First up is the handbook by the nanopolitics group from London, published with Minor Compositions this fall. Playfully sketching out the term ‘nanopolitics’, this handbook departs from bodies and their encounters in investigating the neoliberal city and workplace, the politics of crisis and austerity, precarity and collaboration. This book, packed with excercises and tools for action draws on social movements, grassroots organizing, dance, theatre and bodywork. As the hosts of this evening, the nanopolitics group will propose some ways of activating their handbook, which tries to think politics with and through the body.
"Global Revolt: Cinematic Ammunition" Film Series
New York City, Oct. 1, 2013
Flaherty NYC: Global Revolt: Cinematic Ammunition
Programmers: Sherry Millner and Ernie Larsen
Opening Night - Tuesday, October 1, 7pm
Refuse & Refusal: Anti-Authoritarian & Avant-Gardist Interventions
Tuesday, October 1, 7:00pm @ Anthology Film Archives (please note new venue)
Ben Morea, Ayreen Anastas & Rene Gabri will be present for a post screening discussion.
"The truth of a society is in its detritus." -Ella Shohat & Robert Stam
"The world is our garbage, we shall not want." -Black Mask
The previously unquenchable spirit of the modernist avant-garde seems to have evaporated at almost the same moment as anti-authoritarian, autonomist, and anarchist movements re-surfaced in the 21st century. These films, which explore the unmistakable correspondence between refuse and refusal, should tell us a thing or two about this wholly unpredicted emergence.
Looking Deep Into the Dark Matter
review of Dark Matter by Gregory Sholette: Mass Artistic Resistance to the Neoliberalization of Everyday Life
Finally, a history of collective precarity from a politicized artist. Author/writer, Gregory Sholette, in the final paragraph of Dark Matter: Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture, at last clarifies the frequently cited metaphor of “zombies” and enormous digital casts, which likes of Annalee Newitz? have been preoccupied with in terms of popular culture and most noticeably, the big budget extravaganza digital films of recent decades. He writes:
“We go on picking the rags, but every now and again, this other social [non] productivity appears to mobilize its own redundancy, seems to acknowledge that it is indeed just so much surplus---talent, labor, subjectivity, even sheer physical-genetic materiality and in so doing frees itself from even attempting to be usefully productive for capitalism?, though all the while identifying itself with a far larger ocean of “dark matter”, that ungainly surfeit of seemingly useless actors and activity that the market views as waste, or perhaps at best as a raw, interchangeable resource for biometric information and crowd sourcing. The archive has split open. We are its dead capital. It is the dawn of the dead.”
This blatant appeal to the use-value of our necrophilia, artistic waste, the products of our labor and time, runs throughout an historical text, alternately conscious of its own limitations and brilliantly pervasive in its political critique and arts research. Sholette devotes himself to describing the animation of a diverse, selection of contemporary artists collectives and collective projects, American, European, South American, and “other”, for whom relationships as cultural workers to the neo-liberal art world in recent decades of the 21st century, has been a central concern. Among this history are crisp critical frameworks for understanding the art and its positioning against what he calls “enterprise culture” Or the current era of marked precarity in which artists are force to live, which is also marked by “enforced creativity” imposed on all forms of labor.
Occupied Times Interviews Michael Hardt
[Michael Hardt has combined his role as Professor of Literature and Italian at Duke University with political writings and activism. Together with the Italian Marxist Antonio Negri, he has produced an influential critique of our present time. Their trilogy of books – titled “Empire”, “Multitude”, and “Commonwealth” – have been described by Slavoj Zizek as a “Communist manifesto for the 21st Century.”]
The Occupied Times: In your recent work, Declaration, you and Professor Negri identified four political archetypes or ‘paradigmatic subjectivities’, as you call them, that you believe will be crucial to any political change. These are: the indebted, the represented, the mediatised and the securitised. In looking at the indebted, how can we transform what starts as consciousness-raising about the importance of ‘the debtor’ as a subject under post-Fordist capitalism, into a more viable means to challenge those who make us the indebted?
"Work: The Great Illusion"
[An edited extract from the English translation of the late author's L'Horreur Economique. Viviane Forrester, a co-founder of ATTAC, died in April 2013.]
We are living in the midst of a deception, where artificial policies claim to perpetuate a world that has in fact gone for ever. Millions of human lives are devastated and annihilated by this anachronism, which asserts the immutability of our most sacred concept: work.
Work is the foundation stone of western civilisation. The two seem so much a part of each other that even now, when work is vanishing into thin air, no one ever officially questions it. Doesn't it order all distribution and thus all survival? The networks of exchange deriving from it seem as indisputably vital as the circulation of blood. Yet today, work, regarded as our natural driving force, has become an entity without substance.
Our concepts of work, and thus of unemployment, around which politics revolve (or claim to revolve), have become illusory. Our struggles with them are as much of a hallucination as Don Quixote's tilting at the windmills. Yet we still ask the same phantasmal questions, allowing us to ignore the disappearance of a world where there was still some point in asking them. The climate of that world remains in the air we breathe. We still belong to it viscerally, whether we profited or suffered from it. We are still fiddling with the vestiges of that world, busily plugging gaps, patching up emptiness, fudging up substitutes around a system that has not just collapsed but vanished.