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Organization after Social Media

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Categories: Forthcoming Publications, Geert Lovink and Ned Rossiter

Organization after Social Media
Geert Lovink and Ned Rossiter

Exploring the politics of networks through and beyond social media

Organized networks are an alternative to the social media logic of weak links and their secretive economy of data mining. They put an end to freestyle friends, seeking forms of empowerment beyond the brief moment of joyful networking. This speculative manual calls for nothing less than social technologies based on enduring time. Analyzing contemporary practices of organization through networks as new institutional forms, organized networks provide an alternative to political parties, trade unions, NGOs, and traditional social movements. Dominant social media deliver remarkably little to advance decision-making within digital communication infrastructures. The world cries for action, not likes.

Organization after Social Media explores a range of social settings from arts and design, cultural politics, visual culture and creative industries, disorientated education and the crisis of pedagogy to media theory and activism. Lovink and Rossiter devise strategies of commitment to help claw ourselves out of the toxic morass of platform suffocation.

Bio:Geert Lovink is a media activist and theorist, internet critic and author of Uncanny Networks (2001), Dark Fiber (2002), My First Recession (2003), Zero Comments (2007), Networks Without a Cause (2012) and Social Media Abyss (2016). He is the founder of the Institute of Network Cultures at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA) and teaches at the European Graduate School in Saas Fee/Malta.

Ned Rossiter is Professor of Communication in the Institute for Culture and Society with a joint appointment in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts, Western Sydney University. He is the author of Organized Networks: Media Theory, Creative Labour, New Institutions (2006) and Software, Infrastructure, Labor: A Media Theory of Logistical Nightmares (2016).

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Situating Ourselves in Displacement

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Categories: Forthcoming Publications, Manuela Zechner, Marc Herbst

Situating Ourselves in Displacement

Situating Ourselves in Displacement. Conditions, experiences and subjectivity across neoliberalism and precarity

Edited by Paula Cobo Guevara and Manuela Zechner (Murmurae) and Marc Herbst (Journal of Aesthetics & Protest)

Displacement is a key paradigm of our time, for who can afford not to move, to shift, to change, to develop and improve – or to be moved, shifted, displaced? Situatedness is a key condition for solid and sustainable practices, in politics, arts, research or otherwise. Yet situatedness is not something we can take for granted today. What is the meaning of situatedness within displacement?

In this book we address conditions, experiences and subjectivity as shaped by the tension(s) between displacement and situatedness. Neoliberalism and precarity are the main contexts we depart from in developing concepts, tools and tactics that stem from our collective and individual lives.

What do politics and ethics mean in the context of frequent displacements? How do we understand and give account of our positionality and trajectory as itinerant subjects? What tools do we have for orienting ourselves in new contexts, for mapping out stakes, problems and possibilities of relating? Continue reading →

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Stop the City… Revisited

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Categories: Events, Gee Vaucher, Interventions, Stevphen Shukaitis

Stop the City

Stop the City… Revisited
Organized as part of The Substation’s “Discipline the City” series
23 August – 23 November 2017

Born out of the anarcho-punk scene, Stop the City demonstrations of 1983-84 were a series of actions and interventions to blockade and disrupt ‘The City’ (the financial district of London). Protesters and activists coalesced around artists like Crass, Subhumans and Poison Girls. Punk was not only a music and subculture, but a serious proposition of alternative politics built upon Do-It-Yourself practices connected through social centres, performance venues, and independent media.

During the past decades, the power of financial flows and markets have become all the more intense, between the imposition of austerity to service all kinds of debt to the financialization of daily life. Even after the repeated financial crises there seems to be little chance of disciplining, let alone stopping the city.

This exhibition brings together images and materials from this anarcho-punk forerunner to other large scale protests like Occupy Wall Street and the movement of the squares. They are presented not out of nostalgia or purely historical interest but rather to ask what these experiences might mean today. What lessons can be learned the politics and protest of the anarcho-punk scene? How do these histories speak to the present in Singapore? What today could Stop the City? Continue reading →

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There is no authority but yourself… and there is no self

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Categories: Anarchivism, Events, Gee Vaucher, Stevphen Shukaitis

August 19 Event Image

There is no authority but yourself… and there is no self
19 August – 7PM – The Substation, Singapore

Punk is often narrated as a kind of year zero, a total break with the past. But this is far from the case. Nowhere is that clearer through the anarcho-punk punk Crass, who taking the phrase “there is no authority but yourself” made connections with a range of countercultures and arts, from the beats to the hippies, existentialism to surrealism.

Crass emerged from Dial House, an open house and arts space in rural Essex. Co-founder Penny Rimbaud describes its ethos creating a space where people “could get together to work and Live in a creative atmosphere rather than the stifling, inward looking environments in which we had all been brought up.” It is from here that innumerable projects and collaborations have been launched, from artistic ventures to political campaigns, from the planning of the first free festivals during the 1970s to the Stop the City protests.

This evening will explore these overlaps of punk, performance, radical arts and culture through a curator’s preview. Continue reading →

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The Way Out

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Categories: Current Publications, Genealogies, Kasper Opstrup, Militant Research

The Way Out

The Way Out. Invisible Insurrections and Radical Imaginaries in the UK Underground 1961-1991
Kasper Opstrup

A counterculture history of art and experimental politics that turns the world inside out

The Way Out examines the radical political and hedonist imaginaries of the experimental fringes of the UK Underground from 1961 to 1991 By examining the relations between collective and collaborative practices with an explicit agenda of cultural revolution, Kasper Opstrup charts a hidden history of experiments with cultural engineering, expanding current discussions of art, medias, politics, radical education and the occult revival. Even though the theatres of operation have changed with the rise of the Internet and a globalised finance economy, these imaginaries still raise questions that speak directly to the present.

Here we encounter a series of figures – including Alexander Trocchi, R. D. Laing, Joseph Berke, Brion Gysin, William Burroughs and Genesis P-Orridge – that blurred the lines between inner and outer, the invisible and the material. Four singular forms of speculative techniques for igniting an invisible insurrection with cultural means make up the central case studies: the sigma project, London Anti-University, Academy 23 and thee Temple ov Psychick Youth.

Contained within these imaginaries is a new type of action university: a communal affair that would improvise a new type of social relation into existence by de-programming and de-conditioning us without any blueprints for the future besides to make it happen. Instead of being turned upside down, the world was to be changed from the inside out. Continue reading →

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The Final Countdown

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Categories: Current Publications, Irwin

The Final Countdown

The Final Countdown: Europe, Refugees and the Left
Edited by Jela Krečič.

The Final Countdown

There is a commonly accepted notion that we live in a time of serious crisis that moves between the two extremes of fundamentalist terrorism and right wing populism. The latter draws its power from the supposed threat of immigrants: it proposes to resolve the immigrant crisis by placing the blame on the principal victims themselves, that is to say, on some form of otherness (immigrants, Islam, the LGBT community and similar). The predominant leftist position, which advocates multicultural tolerance and understanding, is no match for such aggressive populism.

The premise of The Final Countdown: Europe, Refugees and the Left is that our situation is indeed extremely dangerous, that near unimaginable catastrophes are lurking on the horizon, but that these new dangers also open up new spaces for radical emancipatory politics. Eleven distinguished thinkers take these perils as a challenge to provide sharp, specific analysis of our social and political predicament, combining a merciless critique of the prevailing leftist humanitarian approach with elements of a new vision for the Left.

The Final Countdown is therefore also a countdown to a new beginning; it is a practice of theory that is not here to lament but to re-think and reframe the very basic coordinates of how we understand and deal with today’s major political issues.

With contributions by Boris Buden, Boris Groys, Mladen Dolar, Saroj Giri, Agon Hamza, Jamil Khader, Robert Pfaller, Frank Ruda, Alenka Zupančič, Slavoj Žižek. Continue reading →

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#WorldsUpsideDown Exhibition

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Categories: Events

David Mabb, Elegy to the Third International XII

#WorldsUpsideDown
11 March – 2 April @ Firstsite, Colchester

Riots. Revolts. Revolution. All flashing moments which throw the world – and our relationship with it – in question. From the uprising against the Russian Czar one hundred years ago to the Arab spring and protests against war, austerity and the continuing failure of politics as usual, people have pinned their hopes on radical political change, on turning worlds upside down. But all too often the ever-renewed dream of changing the world for the better has ended either in failure or has been crushed.

This pop up exhibition, for three weeks only, explores these moments of destabilization, crisis, and renewal. Included are Cairo based Mosa’ab Elshamy’s photographs from the 2011 – 2013 revolt in Egypt, the Justseeds’ Celebrate People’s History poster series, and David Mabb’s ‘Long Live the New! Morris & Co, Hand Printed Wallpapers and K. Malevich’s, Suprematism’. Each communicates or represents moments of upheaval. How do these histories resonate with each other? What can we learn from them? What might they say to each other? And how might they say it today, as political communication shifts from print materials to digital and social media? Continue reading →

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Gee Vaucher. Introspective Catalogue

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Categories: Current Publications, Gee Vaucher, Stevphen Shukaitis

Oh America

Gee Vaucher. Introspective
Edited by Stevphen Shukaitis

Gee Vaucher is an internationally renowned political artist, known for her ‘radical creativity’, montages, and iconic record sleeve artwork for the famous anarchist-pacifist band Crass. Vaucher has always seen her work as a tool for social change, using surrealist styles and methods, and a DIY aesthetic to create powerful images exploring political and personal issues.

Gee Vaucher has been working as an artist in the UK since the 1960’s but is yet to have a major retrospective of her work in a UK public institution. In Autumn 2016 Firstsite, located in Colchester (UK), will host a retrospective her work, co-curated by Marie-France Kittler and Stevphen Shukaitis. This exhibition will re-affirm her position as a counter-cultural artistic force whose influence on local, national and international visual art and cross-disciplinary contexts deserves to be explored. Gee Vaucher: Introspective will celebrate the rich history of art and activism both on a local and national level. It will not only look back to the radical spirit of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, but is also an opportunity to engage audiences in important social debates taking place today.

This catalog will be the first in-depth publication examining the vast range of her work including painting, collage, video, performance art, design, and installation works.

Contributors: Gee Vaucher, Penny Rimbaud, Patricia Allmer, John Sears, Rebecca Binns, George McKay, Yuval Etgar, Martina Groß, and Stevphen Shukaitis.

Gee Vaucher. Introspective

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Gee Vaucher – Introspective Exhibition

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Categories: Anarchivism, Current Publications, Events, Gee Vaucher, Genealogies

Gee Vaucher

Gee Vaucher – Introspective Exhibition
12 November, 2016 – 19 February, 2017
Firstsite, Colchester, UK

Gee Vaucher (1945) is an internationally renowned political artist living outside Epping, Essex. She is best known for her radical creativity, montages and iconic artwork for the infamous anarcho-pacifist band Crass. Employing an eclectic range of styles and techniques, coupled with an essentially DIY aesthetic, she creates powerful images exploring political, cultural and personal issues. She sees her work as a tool for social change.

This retrospective survey of Vaucher’s work is her premiere in the UK, bringing together for the first time a comprehensive collection of her paintings, collages, prints, photographs, videos and sculptures plus installation work and rare archive material. Continue reading →

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The Aesthetic of Our Anger

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Categories: Current Publications, Genealogies, Mike Dines & Matthew Worley

The Aesthetic of Our Anger

The Aesthetic of Our Anger. Anarcho-Punk, Politics and Music
Edited by Mike Dines & Matthew Worley

Punk is one of the most fiercely debated post-war subcultures. Despite the attention surrounding the movement’s origins, analyses of punk have been drawn predominantly from a now well-trodden historical narrative. This simplification of punk’s histories erases its breadth and vibrancy, leaving out bands from Crass to the Subhumans who took the call for anarchy in the UK seriously.

Disillusioned by the commercialization of punk, the anarcho-punk scene fought against dependence on large record labels. Anarcho-punk re-ignited the punk ethos, including a return to an ‘anyone-can-do-it’ culture of music production and performance. Anarcho-punk encouraged focused political debate and self-organised subversive activities, from a heightened awareness to issues of personal freedom and animal rights to the development of local cooperatives where musicians, artists and like-minded people could meet.

The anarcho-punk movement helped to reignite a serious anarchist movement in the UK and inspired actions challenging the Thatcher-Reagan axis. The Aesthetic of Our Anger explores the development of the anarcho-punk scene from the late 1970s, raising questions over the origins of the scene, its form, structure and cultural significance examining how anarcho-punk moved away from using ‘anarchy’ as mere connotation and shock value towards an approach that served to make punk a threat again. Continue reading →

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