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Occupation Culture: Art & Squatting in the City from Below

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Categories: Alan W Moore, Forthcoming Publications

Occupation Culture

Occupation Culture: Art & Squatting in the City from Below
Alan W. Moore

Occupation Culture is the story of a journey through the world of recent political squatting in Europe, told by a veteran of the 1970s and ‘80s New York punk art scene. It is also a kind of scholar adventure story. Alan W. Moore sees with the trained eye of a cultural historian, pointing out pasts, connections and futures in the creative direct action of today’s social movements.

Occupation Culture is based on five years of travel and engaged research. It explicates the aims, ideals and gritty realities of squatting. Despite its stature as a leading social movement of the late twentieth century, squatting has only recently received scholarly attention. The rich histories of creative work that this movement enabled are almost entirely unknown. Continue reading →

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Crisis to Insurrection. Notes on the ongoing collapse

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Categories: Forthcoming Publications, Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen

Crisis to Insurrection

Crisis to Insurrection. Notes on the ongoing collapse
Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen

The crisis runs deep. The economies of the US and Europe are in profound crisis and the developing economies are also beginning to feel its effects. Everywhere it is workers who are paying the price. The crisis is being socialized and austerity is the order of the day; the crisis is used as a pretext for further savings and cuts. In other words, capital has intensified the class war. But the proletariat has started moving. The revolts in North Africa and the Middle East have challenged the neoliberal world order and its division of the world, and the ‘movement of the squares’ in Southern Europe and Occupy in the US have picked up the baton and joined the new protest cycle. Even though dictators have been toppled in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, the protests continue. This is also the case in Greece, Spain and Portugal where people reject the austerity programs. There are protests in Bulgaria and Bosnia. In Syria the civil war is raging. In China the number of strikes continue to rise. In Turkey the youth reject Erdogan’s neoliberal ‘success’ and urban restructuring and in Brazil ‘the dangerous classes’ have taken to the streets. There are a variety of protests going on – the ones in the West are defensive, the ones in the rest of the world offensive and reformist – but together they are knocking a hole in the neoliberal world order. The old mole is back. Continue reading →

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Occupation Culture Event London June 26

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Categories: Events, Militant Research, Undercommons

Art Squat

Occupation Culture
12 – 7PM, June 26 @ MAYDAY ROOMS
88 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1DH, United Kingdom

How has squatting contributed to the production of art and culture? During times where the cost of rent and living rises well beyond the ability of cultural workers to support themselves in the metropolis, squatting has played an important role in making possible the continued existence of autonomous art and culture.

Come and join us for this daylong event that will seek together to bring materials and experiences of how occupations and squatting have contributed to the production of autonomous culture. From social centres to free schools, temporary galleries to combined studios and living spaces, we invite people to bring along materials from your projects that explore these questions and connections.

We will be joined by historian and activist Alan W. Moore, who has been working on setting up and documenting these spaces and practices for almost forty years. We will start with an informal lunch and sharing of food, spending the afternoon working through and discussing materials that are brought, and then in the early evening Alan will present his new book on the subject, Occupation Culture: Art & Squatting in the City from Below, and the recent anthology Making Room: Cultural Production in Occupied Spaces.

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Fuel to Fight DS30: Test Dept Film & Book Event

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Categories: Events

Fuel to Fight DS30: Test Dept Film & Book Event
June 13 @ 6PM, firstsite, Colchester
Followed by party at the Waiting Room

The legendary London industrial noise musicians Test Dept are presenting a special screening of their film DS30 at the firstsite on the 13 June.

Test Dept

Marking 30 years since the 1984-5 miners’ strike, DS30 is a political collage of sound and image. The film is set within the monumental structural lines of Dunston Staiths built on the River Tyne in 1893 to ship coal from the Durham coalfields to the world. Featuring footage of mining communities and industry along the River Tyne and of the wider mining community together with footage and sounds from Test Dept’s own archive related to the strike, DS30 reflects on the group’s nationwide Fuel to Fight Tour in support of the miners, during which they collaborated with local activists and mining communities. These included Kent miner Alan Sutcliffe, who performed as writer and guest vocalist on live and recorded material and the South Wales Striking Miners’ Choir, with whom they recorded the album ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ to raise money for the Miners’ Hardship Fund. Continue reading →

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Cosmonauts of the Future: Texts from the Situationist Movement in Scandinavia and Elsewhere

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Categories: Current Publications, Jakob Jakobsen, Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen

Cosmonauts of the Future

Cosmonauts of the Future: Texts from the Situationist Movement in Scandinavia and Elsewhere
Edited by Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen & Jakob Jakobsen

First ever English-language anthology of the Scandinavian Situationists

This is the first ever English-language anthology collecting texts and documents from the still little-known Scandinavian part of the Situationist movement. The book covers over three decades of writing, from Asger Jorn’s Luck and Chance published in 1953, to the statements of the Situationist Antinational set up by Jens Jørgen Thorsen and J.V. Martin in 1974. The writings collected gravitate around the year 1962 when the Situationist movement went through it’s most dynamic and critical moments, and the disagreements about the relationship between art and politics came to a culmination, resulting in exclusions and the split of the Situationist International.

The Situationists did not win, and the almost forgotten Scandinavian fractions even less so. The book broadens the understanding of the Situationist movement by bringing into view the wild and unruly activities of the Scandinavian fractions of the organisation and the more artistic, experimental, and actionist attitude that characterised them. They did, nevertheless, constitute a decisive break with the ruling socio-economic order through their project of bringing into being new forms of life. Only an analysis of the multifaceted and often contradictory Situationist revolution will allow us to break away from the dull contemplation of yet another document of Debord’s archive or yet another drawing by Jorn. There is a lot to be learned from the history of revolutionary failure. It is along these lines that this book points forward beyond the crisis-ridden capitalist order that survives today.

Texts by: Asger Jorn, Jørgen Nash, Jens Jørgen Thorsen, Bauhaus Situationniste, Jacqueline de Jong, Gordon Fazakerley, Gruppe SPUR, Dieter Kunzelman, J.V. Martin, and Guy Debord. Continue reading →

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Retrograde London 2014

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Categories: Events, Genealogies, Irwin

Retrograde London 2014
Tuesday 16th December 7pm @ The Horse Hospital

flyer2smallJoin us for an evening of discussion in the shadow of the NSK State…

30 years after the creation Neue Slowenische Kunst, join us for an evening exploring the aesthetic universe and the state created by these challenging Slovene artists. This special evening will take place in London’s historic Horse Hospital, site of the first NSK Rendez-Vous London and the London launch of the NSK Congress book State of Emergence.

IRWIN recently published the book State in Time in cooperation with Minor Compositions and the book will be formally presented this evening by publisher/contributor Stevphen Shukaitis and contributor Jonah Westerman.

This year Dr. Simon Bell received his PhD. for his research on Laibach/NSK. Tonight he will present the results of his research and be questioned on it by experts.

2014 also saw the publication of updated German and French editions of Dr. Alexei Monroe’s Interrogation Machine. Tonight he will focus on the problematic reception of Laibach/NSK in France, joined in conversation by NSK State Diplomat and Congress delegate Bertrand Thibert, organiser of the first NSK Rendez-Vous.

Plus NSK short films, books and information, cocktails. Continue reading →

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State in Time

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Categories: Forthcoming Publications, Irwin

State in Time
Edited by IRWIN

Become a citizen of the first global state of the universe!

The NSK State in Time emerged in 1992, evolving in the context of the dissolution of Yugoslavia and the transformation Neue Slowenische Kunst. Existing both as an artwork and a social formation, a state that encompasses all time but holding no territory, the NSK State in Time has for two decades pushed the boundaries of artistic and political practice. This volume collects together, for the first time, analyses of the NSK State in Time including its relationship with the changing context of Eastern Europe, the connection between aesthetics and the state, the rise of NSK folk art, and documents the First NSK Citizen’s Congress in 2010.

Includes essays by Inke Arns, Huang Chien-Hung, Eda Cufer, Marina Grzinic, Irwin, Tomaz Mastnak, Viktor Misiano, Alexei Monroe, Ian Parker, Avi Pitchon, Stevphen Shukaitis, Slavoj Zizek, and Jonah Westerman. Continue reading →

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Class Wargames Book Launch London 25 October

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Categories: Events, Richard Barbrook

Class Wargames Book Launch London 25 October
Red Gallery 1-3 Rivington St, London EC2A 3DT

Richard Barbrook
Class Wargames: ludic subversion against spectacular capitalism

“In a world become ‘game-ified’ against its will, Class Wargames  provides the field manual for the only game that matters – that of history.” – McKenzie Wark

5.00-7.00pm: collective games playing
7.00-7.30pm: screening of Ilze Black’s ‘The Game of War’ film
7.30-9.00pm: talks by Richard Barbrook, Fabian Tompsett and Kimathi Donkor
9.00pm until late: KCC & the Rocking Crew and Toi-Toi featuring Claus Voigtmann Continue reading →

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Class Wargames

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Categories: Forthcoming Publications, Richard Barbrook

Class Wargames: Ludic subversion against spectacular capitalism
Richard Barbrook

Why should radicals be interested in playing wargames? Surely the Left can have no interest in such militarist fantasies? Yet, Guy Debord – the leader of the Situationist International – placed such importance on his invention of The Game of War described it as his most significant of his accomplishment.

Intrigued by this claim, a multinational group of artists, activists and academics formed Class Wargames to investigate the political and strategic lessons that could be learnt from playing his ludic experiment. While the ideas of the Situationists continue to be highly influential in the development of subversive art and politics, relatively little attention has been paid to their strategic orientation. Determined to correct this deficiency, Class Wargames is committed to exploring how Debord used the metaphor of the Napoleonic battlefield to propagate a Situationist analysis of modern culture and politics. Inspired by his example its members have also hacked other military simulations: H.G. Wells’ Little Wars; Chris Peers’ Reds versus Reds and Richard Borg’s Commands & Colors. Playing wargames is not a diversion from politics: it is the training ground of tomorrow’s communist insurgents.

Fusing together historical research on avant-garde artists, political revolutionaries and military theorists with narratives of five years of public performances, Class Wargames provides a strategic and tactical manual for subverting the economic, political and ideological hierarchies of early-21st century neoliberal capitalism. The knowledge required to create a truly human civilisation is there to be discovered on the game board! Continue reading →

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Lives of the Orange Men

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Categories: Forthcoming Publications, Major Waldemar Fydrych

Lives of the Orange Men: A Biographical History of the Polish Orange Alternative Movement
Major Waldemar Fydrych
Foreword by the Yes Men
Edited by Gavin Grindon

In Communist Poland, Surrealism Paints You!!!

Between 1981 and 1989 in Wroclaw Poland, in an atmosphere in which dissent was forbidden and martial law a reality, the Orange Alternative deployed the power of surrealist creativity to destabilise the Communist government. It worked. The militia were overwhelmed by thousands of unruly dwarves; celebrations of official festivals so disturbingly loyal that the Communist forces had to arrest anyone wearing red; walls covered in dialectical graffiti; new official festivals to assist the secret police with their duties; and a popular restaging of the storming of the Winter Palace using cardboard tanks and ships.

Lives of the Orange Men tells for the first time the story of this activist-art movement and its protagonists that played a key role in the 1989 revolution in Poland. Written by its central figure and featuring an appendix of newly-translated key texts including the ‘Manifesto of Socialist Surrealism’, a timeline of every Orange Alternative happening and a new foreword from the Yes Men. Continue reading →

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