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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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Lessons of 2011: Three Theses on Political Organization

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Categories: Events, Interventions

Seminar on Political Organization  March 12th
March 12th, 4PM-6PM @ University of Essex Room 5N.7.23
Centre for Work, Organization, and Society 

Rodrigo Nunes, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande Do Sul

With the Arab Spring, the Spanish indignados, Occupy and so much more, 2011 is likely to go down in history as a very special year – perhaps even the beginning of something. But what would that something be? This presentation attempts to draw some conclusions about the present state and future of politics and organization by examining the practices of the movements that erupted in the last year. Thinking beyond their usual representation by the media, trying to avoid either describing them as something entirely new and unheard of or as manifestations of an ultimately non-political culture, what can be the lessons of 2011?

Continue reading →

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Occupy Everything! Reflections on why it’s kicking off everywhere

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Categories: Alessio Lunghi & Seth Wheeler, Current Publications

Occupy Everything! Reflections on why it’s kicking off everywhere
Ed. Alessio Lunghi & Seth Wheeler

Penned after the 2010 European student unrest and before what is now commonly referred to as the “Arab spring” began to escalate, BBC Newsnight economist Paul Mason’s “20 Reasons Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere” sought to establish an understanding of the motivations behind these globally disparate, yet somehow connected struggles.

What roles do the “graduate with no future,” the “digital native” or the “remainder of capital” play in the current wave of unrest? What are the ideas, ideologies, motivations or demands driving these movements? How is struggle organized and coordinated in the age of memetic politics and viral ad campaigns? Continue reading →

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Walking Archives: The Soy Children

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Categories: Current Publications, Eduardo Molinari

Walking Archives: The Soy Children
Eduardo Molinari

“Eduardo Molinari has produced a compelling document demonstrating that the process of recombination can be wrenched from capital’s oppressive grip, and put to use to expose and critique its expansion from modern imperialism to a molecular invasion that establishes full spectrum biocolonization. Juxtaposing fragments of political and cultural history, political theory, mythology, and ecological study, in conjunction with personal memories and observations, Molinari produces an associational web that yields a long-awaited radicalization of relational aesthetics.” – Critical Art Ensemble

Who are children of genetically modified soy production? What disowned bastards are produced by the hybridization of agri-business, biotech, capital, and culture?

To answer these questions the Archivo Caminante (Walking Archive) embarks on a trip through the opaque and strange world of genetically modified soya plants in Argentina in search of its inhabitants, forms and structures, languages and narratives: the forces that swirl around the soya rhizome.  In the style of Gulliver’s Travels it makes visible some of the routes in the soya chain giving shape to a new international division of labor food policy in global semiocapitalism. Continue reading →

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The El Martillo Project

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Categories: Current Publications, Eclectic Electric Collective

The El Martillo Project
Eclectic Electric Collective

In 2010 an inconspicuous looking suitcase was sent from Berlin to Mexico City containing a 39-foot tall inflatable silver hammer. Thus began El Martillos odyssey to protest the United Nations Climate Conference in Cancún. El Martillo’s short, but glorious life, climaxed when protesters from Marea Creciente (Rising Tide) stormed the conference complex fences, gigantic hammer above their heads. In full view of the press Mexican police tore the inflatable to pieces. Within an hour global the media corporations declared El Martillo a symbol of the climate changes protests as its image traveled across the world.

The El Martillo Project documents the whole process from its conception and construction to the media flurry it sparked off. Included are numerous full color images and documentation of the project; texts and analysis by David Graeber, Alex Dunst, and Cristian Guerrero; an interview with John Jordan from the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination; and a fold out technical manual and plan for creating giant inflatable hammers. Continue reading →

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