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Artpolitik: Social Anarchist Aesthetics in an Age of Fragmentation

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Categories: Current Publications, Neala Schleuning

Artpolitik: Social Anarchist Aesthetics in an Age of Fragmentation
Neala Schleuning

 Artpolitik examines the relationship between art and politics, focusing on radical political aesthetics in western culture since the end of the nineteenth century.  Drawing from Surrealism, Socialist Realism, the Situationist International, capitalist consumer aesthetics, and critical theory, Neala Schleuning elaborates a social anarchist approach to aesthetics.

 Artpolitik is not a history of radical art production but an exploration of the core ideas inspiring radical art. This provocative book is guaranteed to both challenge and inform, reframing radical aesthetics for the challenges of the present. It features an exploration of ideas and techniques employed by artists for more effective communication of radical political ideas. Art has played a central role in revolutionary change throughout history, and our own times call for a revitalization of art in the service of liberatory politics.  This book is an effort to understand how new ideas seeking to position themselves vis a vis the aesthetic tradition while simultaneously reflecting the transformation of political and social movement cultures in new directions. Continue reading →

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The Undercommons

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Categories: Current Publications, Fred Moten, Stefano Harney, Undercommons

The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study
Stefano Harney and Fred Moten
Introduction by Jack Halberstam

In this series of essays Fred Moten and Stefano Harney draw on the theory and practice of the black radical tradition as it supports, inspires, and extends contemporary social and political thought and aesthetic critique. Today the general wealth of social life finds itself confronted by mutations in the mechanisms of control: the proliferation of capitalist logistics, governance by credit, and the management of pedagogy. Working from and within the social poesis of life in the undercommons Moten and Harney develop and expand an array of concepts: study, debt, surround, planning, and the shipped. On the fugitive path of an historical and global blackness, the essays in this volume unsettle and invite the reader to the self-organised ensembles of social life that are launched every day and every night amid the general antagonism of the undercommons. Continue reading →

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Mayday Screening: The Condition of the Working Class

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Categories: Events

Screening May 1: The Condition of the Working Class @ Wivenhoe
7:30 PM, May 1st @ Nottage Maritime Institute
The Quay Wivenhoe Colchester CO7 9BX

A new documentary feature film by Michael Wayne & Deirdre O’Neill
There will be a Q&A with the directors after the screening.

Everything changes and yet everything stays the same. 1844: Friedrich Engels writes his book The Condition of the Working Class in England, a classic denunciation of the appalling living conditions for working people living at the heart of the industrial revolution in Manchester, England. In 2012: a group of working class people from Manchester and Salford have the job of devising a theatrical show from scratch based on their own experiences and Engels’ book. They have 8 weeks before their first performance. The Condition of the Working Class follows the process from the first rehearsal to first night and situates their struggle to get the show on stage in the context of the daily struggles of working people facing economic crisis and austerity politics.

Condition of the Working Class Screening Flyer Continue reading →

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The Politics of Workers’ Inquiry Conference May 2-3

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Categories: Events, Militant Research, Undercommons

The Politics of Workers’ Inquiry Conference
May 2-3, 2013 @ University of Essex

Workers’ inquiry is an approach to and practice of knowledge production that seeks to understand the changing composition of labor and its potential for revolutionary social transformation. It is the practice of turning the tools of the social sciences into weapons of class struggle. Workers’ inquiry seeks to map the continuing imposition of the class relation, not as a disinterested investigation, but rather to deepen and intensify social and political antagonisms.

This conference brings together various aspects of workers’ inquiry, from its historical origins and development to contemporary mutations and adaptations of it within contemporary struggles. It will expand the terrain and form of workers’ inquiry, focusing on topics including inquiries into cultural labor and the service economy, geographies of class conflict, transformation in value production, and the limits to workers’ inquiry as a political/research method. Continue reading →

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Squatting in Europe

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Categories: Current Publications, Squatting Europe Kollective

Squatting in Europe: Radical Spaces, Urban Struggles
Edited by the Squatting Europe Kollective

Squatting offers a radical but simple solution to the crises of housing, homelessness, and the lack of social space that mark contemporary society: occupying empty buildings and rebuilding lives and communities in the process. Squatting has a long and complex history, interwoven with the changing and contested nature of urban politics over the last forty years.

Squatting can be an individual strategy for shelter or a collective experiment in communal living. Squatted and self-managed social centres have contributed to the renewal of urban struggles across Europe and intersect with larger political projects. However, not all squatters share the same goals, resources, backgrounds or desire for visibility.

Squatting in Europe aims to move beyond the conventional understandings of squatting, investigating its history in Europe over the past four decades. Historical comparisons and analysis blend together in these inquiries into squatting in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, France, Germany and England. In it members of SqEK (Squatting Europe Kollective) explore the diverse, radical, and often controversial nature of squatting as a form of militant research and self-managed knowledge production. Continue reading →

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Contract & Contagion

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Categories: Angela Mitropoulos, Current Publications

Contract & Contagion: From Biopolitics to Oikonomia
Angela Mitropoulos

Contract and Contagion presents a theoretical approach for understanding the complex shifts of post-Fordism and neoliberalism by way of a critical reading of contracts, and through an exploration of the shifting politics of the household. It focuses on the salient question of capitalist futurity in order to highlight the simultaneously intimate, economic and political limits to venturing beyond its horizon.

In capitalist history, as well as in philosophy, finance, migration politics, and theories of globalisation, contagions simultaneously real, symbolic and imagined recur. Where political economy understood value in terms of labour, Contract and Contagion argues that the law of value is the law of the household (oikonomia).

In this book Angela Mitropoulos takes up current and historical theories of affect, intimacy, labour and speculation to elaborate a queer, anti-racist, feminist Marxism, which is to say: a Marxism preoccupied not with the seizure of opportunity to take power, form government, or represent an identity, but a Marxism which partakes of the uncertain movements that break the bonds of fate. Continue reading →

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Open Utopia

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Categories: Current Publications, Stephen Duncombe

Open Utopia
Thomas More & Stephen Duncombe

Opinion polls, volatile voting patterns, and street protests demonstrate widespread dissatisfaction with the current system, yet the popular response so far has largely been limited to the angry outcry of No! But negation, by itself, affects nothing. The dominant system doesn’t dominate because people agree with it; it rules because we’re convinced there is no alternative.

We need to be able to imagine a radical alternative – a Utopia – yet we are haunted by the disasters of “actually existing” Utopias of the past century, from fascism to authoritarian socialism. In this re-issue of Thomas More’s generative volume, scholar and activist Stephen Duncombe re-imagines Utopia as an open text, one designed by More as an imaginal machine freeing us from the tyranny of the present while undermining master plans for the future.

Open Utopia is the first complete English language edition of Thomas More’s Utopia that honors the primary precept of Utopia itself: that all property is common property. Open Utopia, licensed under Creative Commons, is free to copy, to share, to use. But Utopia is more than the story of a far-off land with no private property. It is a text that instructs us how to approach texts, be they literary or political, in an open manner: open to criticism, open to participation, and open to re-creation. Utopia is no-place, and therefore it is up to all of us to imagine it. Continue reading →

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The Metropolitan Factory: Worker’s Inquiry & Creative Labor Today

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Categories: Interventions, Militant Research

Minor Compositions  is launching a workers’ inquiry into the shaping of creative, cultural, and artistic labor in the metropolis. We are currently searching for accomplices and comrades to take part and further develop this investigation. Description and more information below.

The Metropolitan Factory: making a living as a creative worker
Short survey on creative labor  Continue reading →

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Punkademics

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Categories: Current Publications, Zack Furness

Punkademics
Edited by Zack Furness

 The basement show in the ivory tower…

In the thirty years since Dick Hebdige published Subculture: The Meaning of Style, the seemingly antithetical worlds of punk rock and academia have converged in some rather interesting, if not peculiar, ways. A once marginal subculture documented in homemade ‘zines and three chord songs has become fodder for dozens of scholarly articles, books, PhD dissertations, and conversations amongst well-mannered conference panelists. At the same time, the academic ranks have been increasingly infiltrated by professors and graduate students whose educations began not in the classroom, but in the lyric sheets of 7” records and the cramped confines of all-ages shows. Continue reading →

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Intimate Bureaucracies

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Categories: Current Publications, dj readies / Craig Saper

Intimate Bureaucracies: A Manifesto
dj readies [Craig Saper]

Intimate Bureaucracies is a history from the future looking backward at the present moment as a turning point. Our systems of organization and control appear unsustainable and brutal, and we are feeling around in the dark for alternatives. Using experiments in social organization in downtown New York City, and other models of potential alternative social organizations, this manifesto makes a call to action to study and build sociopoetic systems. One alternative system, the Occupy movement, suggests lessons beyond the specific historical moment, demands, and goals. This manifesto suggests that the organization and communication systems of Occupying encampments represent important necessities, models, goals, and demands, as well as an intimate bureaucracy that is a paradoxical mix of artisanal production, mass-distribution techniques, and a belief in the democratizing potential of social media. Continue reading →

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