Reviews

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"Living on Third Street" Reviewed by Claudia Costa Pederson, Liminalities Book Review Living on Third Street: Plays of the Living Theatre, 1989–1992. Hanon Reznikov. New York: Autonomedia, 2009. 208 pp. Hanon Reznikov (née Reznick, 1951—2008) the producer, director and author of the productions of the Living Theater envisioned Living on Third Street as a document about the activities of the theater company that he helped run for twenty-three years. Published posthumously (Reznikov died in 2008) the book is an eulogy to his life work and to the theatrical encounter.
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.
To Guy Debord in Hell (please forward if necessary) Bill "Not Bored" Brown (http://www.notbored.org/1957-1994.html) "Although I have read a lot, I have drunk even more. I have written much less than the majority of people who write, but I have drunk more than the majority of people who drink." -- Guy Debord, Panegyric (1989) "Where's my mail? Who's fucking with my mail?" -- The Lone Ranger, in Lenny Bruce's posthumous film short, Thank You Mask Man (1968) In the 20 years since Panegyric was published, it has come out that the renowned French acrobat Guy Debord wrote thousands of letters during his lifetime (1931-1994). On average, he seems to have written a letter every day for more than 40 years! Avoiding telephones -- not only because they could be bugged, but also because he found conversations on them to be intolerably impersonal -- Debord used letters (and postcards and telegrams) to organize all kinds of conferences, exhibitions, and interventions; to receive and critique submissions to Internationale Situationniste; to write and distribute draft versions of declarations to be signed by the Situationist International; to distribute clandestine texts in foreign countries; to review books written by friends and offer proofreader's corrections to existing books or manuscripts that had been submitted to Editions Champ Libre; and to offer sketches of letters, statements or articles that would later be completed by other writers. He also relied upon letters to make arrangements to meet friends or newcomers for a "casual" drink or dinner; to gossip about friends or enemies; to renew old friendships; and to tell certain people to fuck off. In other words, he used the postal system the way today's writers and publishers use email: on a daily basis, and to do virtually everything.
Brainless Text Culture and Mickey Mouse Science Review of Stefan Weber, Das Google-Copy-Paste-Syndrome: Wie Netzplagiate Ausbildung und Wissen gefährden. Heise Verlag, Hannover: 2009. Dennis Deicke The Google-Copy-Paste-Syndrome: How Web-Plagiarism endangers Education and Knowledge, written by Stefan Weber, deals with the influence of the ever-increasing internet use on the prevalent culture of knowledge. Austrian media scholar Weber states that the soaring spread of the new media results in a “text culture without brains.” Stefan Weber decided to become a plagiarism-scientist after he discovered that a theologian from Tübingen has written off 90 sites of his own dissertation. Since that he has collected 14 folders with over 60 cases of plagiarism which build the base of his work. Internet enhances plagiarism in schools, journalism, the arts and especially at universities. Weber criticizes current media and cultural studies programs which ignore the augmented emergence of plagiarism due to an exaggerated optimism towards new media, thereby enhancing the problem by spreading their infinitely technophile theories.
To Place Oneself Within a 'We' Jason Adams Review of John Moore and Spencer Sunshine, ed. I Am Not a Man, I am Dynamite: Friedrich Nietzsche and the Anarchist Tradition. Brooklyn: Autonomedia 2004. 147 pages. ISBN 1-57027-121-6 (pbk.) From Theory & Event Volume 11, Issue 4, 2008 Like that of many of the other French thinkers who question the late modern principium individuationis, Foucault's thought has proven over the decades to be particularly prone to divergent interpretations of how it might be put to political use. Ranging, for instance, from the "post-Marxism" of Ernesto Laclau, to the "radical liberalism" of William Connolly, to the "post-anarchism" of Todd May, it has been repeatedly claimed as the basis for quite distinct ends. And yet, in classic Nietzschean fashion, he himself argued explicitly against the reduction of critical thought as such to the "we" of any exclusive, pre-formed ideologico-political orientation.1 Instead, Foucault's more Dionysian, transversally-oriented disposition lead him to proclaim that "the [real] problem is, precisely, to decide if it is actually suitable to place oneself within a 'we' in order to assert the principles one recognizes and the values one accepts; or if it is not, rather, necessary to make the future formation of a 'we' possible by elaborating the question. Because it seems to me that the 'we' must not be previous to the question; it can only be the result - and the necessarily temporary result - of the question as it is posed in the new terms in which one formulates it".2 Like many of his post-Nietzschean contemporaries in the Francophone world who were also more interested in "self-overcoming" than in staticizing political identities, Foucault distrusted categorically-driven polemics because of the Manichean reifications and instrumentalizations of thought that they tended to inspire. By defining a constitutive outside he seemed to suggest, one often sets up an arbitrarily-defined political symptomatology, in which "symptoms are named, renamed and grouped in various ways",3 and which thereby tend to disenable an ethos of agonistic respect. And yet, if the purpose of critical political thinking today is, in the terms employed by Gilles Deleuze, "contributing to the invention of a people"4 (rather than "representing" one that already is) then instrumentalizations of a thinker's work are unavoidable, including those motivated by an anti-systemic sensibility.

He’s Not Beyond Good and Evil
Nina Power

Paolo Virno's latest book contends that the question of human nature – good or evil? – is suddenly topical, thanks to ‘immaterial labour'. But, if true, how useful is this insight?, asks Nina Power

FARE STRIKE! San Francisco 2005: First-Hand Accounts Reviewed by Kevin Keating A critical examination of the leftist recuperator's version of events...one of a number of revolutionary extremist docs from Kevin Keating's 'Love and Treason' web page. ‘FARE STRIKE! 2005: First-Hand Accounts’ is a collection of first-person stories from nine members of a group called Muni Fare Strike, which was involved in an attempt to get together a city-wide transit system fare strike in San Francisco in the summer and fall of 2005. ‘FARE STRIKE!’ begins by misrepresenting the politics that the pamphlet’s authors asserted in the attempted fare strike, trying to make their conventional leftist efforts sound implacably anti-capitalist and revolutionary. However, ‘FARE STRIKE!’ quickly shifts tone and, perhaps unintentionally, gives a more honest and accurate picture of the nine participants’ individual and collective befuddlement in the way they organized their efforts, in their admitted inability to effectively communicate their goals to transit system riders in the immediate context of the fare strike, and in their lack of a larger coherent anti-capitalist vision.
Essential Science Fiction and Fantasy for Libertarians Dan Clore, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo Many works of science fiction and fantasy portray libertarian societies or otherwise bear relevance to libertarianism; this list names some that I consider the most essential reading for anarchists, anti-authoritarians, libertarians, and whatnot. Selections include these two Autonomedia titles: P.M., bolo'bolo (1985). This is a full-length attempt to design a libertarian-socialist society with enough respect for the diversity of humanity's desires that a community of cyberpunks who live on-line might be placed next to a community made up of bands of primitivist hunter-gatherers. The book is frequently whimsical but it is well thought-out; it sometimes verges into semi-fictional form. Rudy Rucker, Peter Lamborn Wilson, and Robert Anton Wilson, eds., Semiotext(e) SF (1985). Perhaps the greatest anthology of original SF ever published, the editors obtained first-rate contributions from a large number of the best SF writers working at the time, especially the cyberpunks. Writers were intentionally encouraged to ignore or violate the typical taboos, making the volume as groundbreaking as Dangerous Visions. As the editors were unable to obtain any works of "radical utopian vision" from their contributors, they reprinted "Visit Port Watson!" from a magazine called Libertarian Horizons: A Journal for the Free Traveler (this is probably a fanciful account; the real author is probably Peter Lamborn Wilson). This is a very entertaining fictional description of the (real) Pacific island Sonsorol, combining ideas from libertarian-socialism, libertarian-capitalism, and the marginals milieu. Full review is here: http://www.nolanchart.com/article4700.html
Abstract Hacktivism: The Making of a Hacker Culture Reviewed by Rob Myers, furtherfield A book collecting two essays by Otto von Busch and Karl Palmas transforms the concept of "hacktivism" with well-argued historical analysis and a number of informative case studies.
Realizing the Impossible: Art Against Authority Josh MacPhee and Erik Reuland, eds. Reviewed by Alan W. Moore 319 pp.; AK Press, Oakland and Edinburgh, 2007 The artist in capitalist society is necessarily a revolutionary. S/he is as well necessarily an entrepreneur. Between these two positions lies a wide gulf in understandings. The artist must strive to change society according to a vision, because s/he does not fit. Creativity is not an absolute good and value in this society, and the artist is absolutely committed to creativity. Still, the artist must survive, and so must do what that requires. What is that? What is longed-for utopia and what is impinging reality? The divide between our dreams of a perfect world and the realities of our lives, between what is necessary and what is desired has shifted. The Wall is gone; new walls are a’building. The organizers of the Documenta 12 exhibition recently proffered the assertion, “Modernity is our antiquity.” In finding new coordinates for radical position-takings today, we are continuously picking through those ruins for stuff we can use.
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