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Critique of Creativity: Precarity, Subjectivity and Resistance in the ‘Creative Industries’
Gerald Raunig, Gene Ray and Ulf Wuggenig (eds)
London: mayfly 2011, 234 pages

Creativity is astir: reborn, re-conjured, re-branded, resurgent. The old myths of creation and creators – the hallowed labors and privileged agencies of demiurges and prime movers, of Biblical world-makers and self-fashioning artist-geniuses – are back underway, producing effects, circulating appeals. Much as the Catholic Church dresses the old creationism in the new gowns of ‘intelligent design’, the Creative Industries sound the clarion call to the Cultural Entrepreneurs. In the hype of the ‘creative class’ and the high flights of the digital bohemians, the renaissance of ‘the creatives’ is visibly enacted. The essays collected in this book analyze this complex resurgence of creation myths and formulate a contemporary critique of creativity.

Massive Dutch Protests Planned Against Obliteration of Cultural Funding

Imagine this: you’re an internationally recognised Dutch cultural institution of art/design/media culture. You have a substantial collection; media art, landscape art, but also paintings/ sculptures/ installations/ photography/ film/ design objects/ and artist-activist works in the public space that regenerate your city’s ill-planned urban areas. In short, you host a platform for innovation representing the entire gamut of your discipline. Over the past decades you have made substantial cultural impact in your field and thus you are considered to be a driver of culture. The artists/designers/architects whose works comprise your collection and fill your programming are also recognized internationally, and they often represent the Netherlands all over the world, in biennials and important exhibitions.

And then one day you receive a letter from the new Dutch Ministry of Culture that your funding will be completely withdrawn as of January 1, 2013. What do you do with your collection? Your staff? Your buildings? Your publications? The rest of the year’s programming? What will the artists/activists/designers/architects and your engaged public do, now that they no longer have access to your platform?

dis-REALITY, OVNI Film Festival 2011
Barcelona, Spain, Feb 22-27, 2011

Observatori de vídeo no identificat.

February 22nd to 27th
Opening 22nd at 8.30 p.m
CCCB - Montalegre 5 - Barcelona

Free admission.

“You are asleep, and your vision is a dream; all you are see is an illusion.” — Mahmud Shabistari, The Secret Garden. Persia, 18th century.

OVNI disReality aims to reflect upon different phenomena of the critique of reality, their repercussions and the horizons that they illuminate, or recall.
Extremely heterogeneous traditions and forms of experience radically question not only the concept of reality, but the very experience of the real.

Dubai in me * Videocracy * Life 2.0 * Paradise Later * Self Fiction * La Guerra apenas ha empezado * Il corpo delle Donne * Consumming Kids * Hashish Army * Costa de Cemento * Science and non-duality * Goldfarmers * Lost Satsanga Nisarghadata * Virtual Nothing * Bitch Academy * Maya by Papaji * Tantra Tibetano * Sufisme d'Afghanistà * Oscuros Portales * In Purgatorio

Archives Consultation: from 23th to 27th February. 5 pm to 11pm. Hall

Screening programme at:

International Symposium in Visual Culture
Bahçeşehir University, Istanbul, Turkey

Faculty of Communications, Department of Photography and Video
May 20-21, 2011
Deadline: 31.3.2011

Mobility and Fantasy in Visual Culture, the first of a series of international symposia on visual culture to be held at Bahçeşehir University, İstanbul, aims to enable discussion and debate on topics critical in the conceptualization, analysis, evaluation of and intervention in visual culture today.

Poster Design Competition for NYC Anarchist Book Fair

What: The NYC Anarchist Book Fair Collective is seeking a poster design for the 2011 NYC Anarchist Book Fair.

When: The deadline to submit a poster design is SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2011

How: When you submit your design:

1. send a color poster design as a jpg file (300 dpi - which means 600 x 600 pixel dimensions for a 2” x 2” image) to compassrose[at]riseup[dot]net net BEFORE the final hour of Sunday, February 27th (early submissions will be accepted!);

2. write “poster submission” in the subject line;

3. also include your name, as well as a contact telephone number and e-mail address;

4. on your proposed poster itself, please include the following information:

5th Annual New York City Anarchist Book Fair 2011
Saturday, April 9 - Sunday, April 10
Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square, Manhattan
(near W 4th Subway Station)
Childcare on site. Bring your kids!
Booksellers, workshops, film festival, discussions, kids activities, and more!
Welcome to all! You don’t need to be an anarchist to come! (suggested text)

Poster Selection Show:
All submissions will be printed (by the Book Fair Collective) and displayed at a fundraising party (date at end of Feb/early March and location TBA) at which the poster will be chosen.

"Surrealism in the Arab World"
Maroin Dib, Abdul Kadar El-Janabi, Faroq El Juridy, Fadil Abas Hadi, Farid Lariby & Ghazi Younis

The current resurgence of surrealism in the Arab world is a revolutionary development of the greatest significance, demonstrating once more that the strategy of the unfettered imagination is always and necessarily global.

We publish here in English translation a manifesto in which our Arab comrades express their unequivocal interventionist orientation, sharply defined against their specific political and cultural background.

"Surrealism, Politics and Culture"
Neil Matheson

The celebrated photographs of André Breton, Diego Rivera and Léon Trotsky posing together in Mexico in 1938, at the time of their joint manifesto Pour un Art révolutionnaire indépendant, are usually seen as emblematic of a certain convergence of culture and revolutionary politics – and yet, paradoxically, most accounts of Surrealism’s engagement with politics pose the tide of revolutionary fervour as already receding by 1935, while 1938 has also been viewed as the year that Surrealism made the volte-face ‘from the street to the salon.’ A re-appraisal of Surrealism’s troubled relationship with political activism and organised politics has been long overdue, and therefore a collection which sets out not only to analyse in depth some of the key themes and crucial moments in that engagement, but also to rethink the condition of ‘the political’ itself in its relationship with culture, is to be welcomed.

"The Nile of Surrealism: Surrealist Activities in Egypt"
Abdel Kader El-Janabi

[Part of this paper was read on the 26th September 1987 at the conference: The Triumph of Pessimism, held at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.]

I. In his first letter to Georges Henein, sent on April 8 1936, André Breton had this to say: The imp of the perverse, as he deigns to appear to me, seems to have one wing here, the other in Egypt (1). Here André Breton foretold in a sense the course the surrealist intention would take in Egypt from 1936 to 1952. The purpose of this paper is to present a critical survey of surrealism in Egypt, in which we will see that, in spite of the protagonists’ original aim to allow surrealism to break through Egyptian reality in the hope of making it respond to the needs of a society undergoing what some historians have aptly phrased the crisis of orientation (2), their efforts finally turned out, ephemeral, to be, though very resounding, flappings of Breton’s wing. What seems to have happened was a settling of accounts in favour of surrealist creation as part of the French presence in Egypt, rather than a communication with the native that would take account of the emancipatory message of surrealism. On the contrary, what was communicated to the Egyptian public was rather the narrative of progress under the sign of Reason than the liberating sign of the Irrational. We will see in due course that the blame for such a paradox should not be placed entirely on the proponents of surrealism in Egypt, but rather on the inherently closed character of Arabic society in the face of occidental innovation, the fact being that this society would dismiss any such form of innovation. Our concluding remarks will address the question of the inherent failure of Occidental modernity in so far as it dreams of playing a significant role in an alien context. For though it may play such a role, it is on condition that it renounces, both in theory and practice, its fundamental given.

"Egyptian Surrealism and 'Degenerate Art' in 1939"
Don LaCoss

“A group of artists that has been formed in Egypt which calls itself the ‘Degenerate Art Group’ is now in the process of breaking up,” began a report by ‘Aziz Ahmad Fahmi in Cairo’s al-Risala in early July 1939. “It has failed to find the support it had hoped for among artists, the media, and the general public. Not one writer, journalist, or other visitor has called at its headquarters in the Shari‘ al-Madbagh building to hear what its members have to say.”

Fahmi, an arts critic on al-Risala’s editorial board, went on to explain why he felt that, fundamentally and conceptually, this had been a doomed project from the start. He wrote that the kind of degenerate art that this group was calling for was not possible because the term itself is oxymoronic: True art could never be degenerate, since, by definition, art is the supreme expression of the human spirit, and as such it is “honest,” “elevated,” and “high-minded” - it could never be “degraded” or “corrupt” in the way that degenerate things are. The value of artistic work is assessed on the artist’s heartfelt commitment to beauty and craft rather than the work’s style or subject matter; texts, images, or objects routinely turned out by disinterested hacks for reasons other than deeply held personal vision or expression are either “tomfoolery” or “merchandise” and so do not qualify as “art.” The idea of “degenerate art,” then, was a wrongheaded contradiction in terms.

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