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Phantasmagoric Systems On Konrad Becker's STRATEGIC REALITY DICTIONARY Brian Holmes [Konrad Becker's new "Strategic Reality Dictionary" will be launched on September 29 at Eyebeam in New York - a good occasion to freely distribute the preface. As I page through an old tome from the annals of strategic subversion, Marcuse's "Eros and Civilization," the closing lines of this short text ring truer than ever. -- best, BH] "Information is indeed 'such stuff as a dreams are made on.' Yet it can be transmitted, recorded, analyzed and measured," remarked Karl Deutsch in his 1963 book The Nerves of Government. The Czech-American social scientist was the leading Cold War specialist in "models of political communication and control." The latter half of the twentieth century saw a world-wide implementation of computerized social programming, aimed first at instilling order and paranoid regularity into the chaos that followed WWII, then increasingly, from the 1960s onward, at evoking febrile dreams from populations whose new mandate was not to labor, but to invent; not to produce, but to consume; not to fear, but to desire. By the late 1990s, after the massification of the Internet had begun in the wake of the integrated world spectacle of the First Gulf War, this condition was well known by at least some of those on the receiving end. Tactical reality hackers such as the Critical Art Ensemble, Arthur and Marielouise Kroker, Luther Blissett, the Yes Men, the Association of Autonomous Astronauts, Marko Peljhan and the Bureau of Applied Autonomy arose to infiltrate the global information system and expose its (dys)functions with probes, pranks, parodies and satirical jokes. All of these groups and individuals operated in the tactical space of momentary incursion and instant retreat that had been mapped out by Peter Lamborn Wilson aka Hakim Bey, in his poetic anarchist pamphlet on the Temporary Autonomous Zone. The concerns of this slim volume are different. With his seventy-two keys, Konrad Becker aims to unlock the gates of strategic reality: its construction over centuries, its imposition through stealth and force, its dull and laborious maintenance, and its dissolution and destruction by those who can't take it anymore.
Oct 1 2009 7:30 pm
Oct 1 2009 9:00 pm
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"Mind Games & Activism: Marketing, Persuasion and the Myth of the Hardwired Public" Stuart Ewen ase join us this Thursday, October 1 for a presentation by author, historian, and media/culture theorist Stuart Ewen. The intersection of semiotics and psychoanalysis has proven fruitful terrain for PR professionals, advertisers, politicians, and other types of leaders. Over the course of a century those whose job it is to persuade the public have increasingly abandoned appeals to rationale in favor of appeals to emotion. Instead of trying to persuade with text and reason, they use imagery and symbols to appeal to instinct and emotion. Ewen will tour us through the history of "spin", propaganda, and the role of images in consumerism, mass psychology, politics, social movements, cultural attitudes, and consumption. PR is a battle to define reality, and how people see and understand that reality. In this presentation, we will explore what it means to do battle armed with the tools of persuasion.
From Barthes to Foucault and Beyond – Cycling in the Age of Empire Martin Hardie May 2009 'Whilst the onomania lasted, bickerings and divisions endured.' Barthes is right in that he tells us that there is an onomastics of the Tour. But in the time since Barthes, in a manner the semiotician may not have envisaged, that onomastics has descended from the heights of myth and epic having the status of Greek gods. They have descended from being these lofty signs of the valor of the ordeal, of beings signs of old European ways and ethnicity – Brankart le Franc, Bobet le Francien, Robic le Celte, Ruiz l’Ibere, Darrigade le Gascon; to being patronymics of the biopolitical, of homo sacer and the spectacle that sustains Empire. Although Barthes' idea of an onomastics of the Tour still holds fast, sadly, in the time in which we live, Barthes' classic piece on the Tour de France as Epic no longer depicts the essence of events such as la Grande Boucle.
Cape Town Militant Mzonke Poni Goes to Trial on Tuesday 29 September 2009 on a Charge of 'Public Violence' Mzonke Poni, Chairperson of Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape, is scheduled to stand trial on the charge of public violence on Tuesday 29 September 2009. The charge relates to a protest organised in opposition to state criminality against the Macassar Village Land Occupation. He has written this essay on 'public violence' in response to the charges levelled against him.
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New School Anarchists Shut Down Tom Ridge Homeland Security Talk The New School was founded by anti-fascist scholars and we like to think on this day we did some justice to their legacy. Today we shut down the Securing New York and the Nation: The Creation of the Department of Homeland Security event at the New School in solidarity with prisoners of the Green Scare, the victims of the War on Terror, prisoners everywhere, undocumented immigrants, and the anti-capitalists currently acting against the G20 in Pittsburgh. Tom Ridge was the first Secretary of Bush's Department of Homeland Security, formed in the jingoistic days following 9/11. As Department Secretary, Ridge was responsible for and complicit in the torture of detainees, the entrapment and harsh imprisonment of eco-activists such as Daniel Mcgowan and Eric Mcdavid, brutal raids on immigrant communities, the political manipulation of terror alerts, and countless other abuses. The youth of this nation have had the misfortune of growing up under 8 years of the Bush Administration, and we will not tolerate the presence of one of its central henchman in our community.
Class Wargames Communique 7 Comrades! Raise your glasses of champagne to mark Class Wargames' decisive victory on the cultural front: the launch of our film on Guy Debord's The Game of War. For the first time, the Situationist politics of this military simulation are carefully explained in sound and vision. After watching this movie, opponents of spectacular capitalism will understand the importance of studying The Game of War. By playfully competing against each other over its board, they are learning the strategic and tactical skills required for success in the deadly struggle against the global bourgeoisie. In our film of Debord's game, Class Wargames has divided these teachings from the battlefield into five sections: terrain, combat, cavalry, arsenals and lines of communication. Analyse their insights with great care, fellow workers. As the crisis of neo-liberalism intensifies, you will need this military knowledge to thwart the wicked schemes of bankers and bureaucrats. Remember well the lessons of socialist history: clever tactics and smart strategy are our most powerful weapons. In the early-1970s, Debord created his film adaptation of The Society of the Spectacle by splicing together clips taken from other people's movies and then adding his own soundtrack. When social relations between individuals are mediated through images, this avant-garde technique of détournement acts as the proletarian antidote to capitalist monopolisation of historical memory. Quoting from the products of commercial cinema involves much more than recruiting glamourous movie stars and expensive special effects for audiovisual subversion. As Debord emphasised, these borrowed film excerpts are transformed in the editing process into a revolutionary critique of the spectacular misrepresentation of the human adventure. Torn out of its original context and carefully placed in a new juxtaposition, the cinematic propaganda of the class enemy can be turned against itself. The imagery of bourgeois ideology must be metamorphosed into the elucidation of Situationist theory. Expropriating the media expropriators is the premonition of cybernetic communism in the present.
Peter Linebaugh's New Introduction to the Works of Thomas Paine “Where liberty is, there is my country,” declared Benjamin Franklin, to which Thomas Paine replied, “Where is not liberty, there is mine.” Tom Paine was a worker and commoner. He spoke and wrote from a particular experience, that of an English artisan at the onset of industrialization. He was, too, a planetary revolutionary—indeed, he helped give meaning to the term—and as such his writing is hugely significant for the twenty-first century. If we were to compare him to any contemporary figure, it would be Che Guevara. He asserted aspiration, possibility, the unheard of. He breathed the warmth of human agency to frigid hierarchies of power. The phrase “world revolutionary” might have several meanings—a sailor of the seven seas, a scientist of the universal mind, a philosophe in the republic of letters, a journeyman on the move. Rachel Corrie in Palestine, Ben Linder in Nicaragua, Brad Will in Oaxaca, those from the USA who step forth onto the world stage at places of maximum hope in the class struggle, express his spirit. As with Guevara or Jose Martí, he too struggled within the belly of the beast. He likened the British Empire to Jonah’s whale.
Sep 26 2009 8:00 pm
Sep 26 2009 10:00 pm
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Machine Project book launch for Julia Bryan-Wilson's ART WORKERS: Radical Practice in the Vietnam War Era On the week of the University of California Faculty walkout, the Journal editorial collective is proud to participate in; Event Launch: Saturday September 26 • 8:00 p.m. Machine Project Los Angeles CA http://machineproject.com/events/2009/09/26/jbw-book-release/ The event will include a reading by Julia and work related music by DJ George Baker. Current and former Journal editors will lead a performative reading of Lee Lozano's Art Worker's Manifesto.
PRECARIOUS UNITED for CLIMATE ACTION Fighting for Social and Climate Justice. Because Climate Change Make All Precarious. The economic crisis has heavily hit the precariat – the sum of those working non-standard, temporary, part-time contracts in services and industry – worse than any other social class. Millions of precarious youth, women, immigrants are being made redundant by the Great Recession. Unemployment has skyrocketed from the US to the EU, from Iceland to Japan. Those responsible for the crisis – big banks, investment funds, free-market economists and policy-makers – whitewash and greenwash without shame as if nothing happened and go on with business as usual. Governments are giving trillions to the bankers and peanuts to the permatemps. Riots and protests are spreading as a result, also targeting a new wave of racism and xenophobia, but the pressure against political and economic power hasn't yet been enough, although an Autumn of Rage lies in store and this could change the equation. Yet on the horizon of this historic capitalist crisis, an even larger crisis looms: global heating and climate change due to fossil-burning capital accumulation. Humankind is in danger, and by mid-century millions and millions could be wiped out from Earth if overdeveloped economies don't cut emissions, i.e. if we don't bring into line the major carbon emitters (oil, coal, energy conglomerates, manufacturing corporations and their logistics, the aviation industry, fast food and agribusiness, luxury tourism etc.). Copenhagen in December is an excellent opportunity to do so. On Dec 7-18, the UN Climate Summit – COP15 – will take place in the Danish capital, a city with strong radical traditions and a current history of rebellious agitation. All the state and economic elites from all the countries of the world will convene at Bella Center in Copenhagen to seek a successor to the Kyoto Treaty, including those powers like the US, China, India who hadn't signed it.
Surveillance Camera Players in Brazil Contra Ordem E Progresso surveillance camera players in Brazil http://www.notbored.org/brazil.html Between 12 and 14 September 2009, Bill from the Surveillance Camera Players (SCP) was in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Invited to participate in Performance Presente Futuro, vol II, Bill was originally scheduled to spend a total of five days and four nights in Rio. Due to extraordinary problems in obtaining a travel visa from the General Consulate of Brazil -- which required equally extraordinary solutions (including an unscheduled, last-minute 1,000-mile roundtrip drive to and from Washington, DC, between 9 and 10 September) -- Bill's stay was greatly shortened.
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