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Categotry Archives: Stevphen Shukaitis

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Fuel to Fight DS30: Test Dept Film & Book Event

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Categories: Stevphen Shukaitis

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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Mayday Screening: The Condition of the Working Class

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Categories: Stevphen Shukaitis

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: Stevphen Shukaitis

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

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Categories: Stevphen Shukaitis

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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Lessons of 2011: Three Theses on Political Organization

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Categories: Stevphen Shukaitis

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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12/12 Seminar: Models for a Peer-to-Peer Society

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Categories: Stevphen Shukaitis

Models for a Peer-to-Peer Society
A seminar with Michel Bauwens, P2P Foundation
Monday December 12th at 2pm in the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall Seminar Room
Centre for Work, Organization and Society, University of Essex

Many observers argue that the change induced with the internet is on a par with at least the effects of the printing press, which was instrumental in creating a cascade of changes such as the renaissance, the reformation and the Enlightenment, culminating in the replacement of feudalism with capitalism. It is therefore reasonable to posit a phase transition this time as well, but what kind of transition and on which timescale? This is the question we want to address. Our first answer is that the emergence of a new hyper-productive mode of value creation, i.e. commons-based peer production as, a new ‘mode of production,’ and its co-emerging institutional framework, illuminate us about the incipient ‘patterns’ of the emergent new social order.  Continue reading →

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Reconsidering Commodities & Markets

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Seminar: Reconsidering Commodities & Markets
Wednesday May 4th, 2011 @ 1pm
University of Essex Room 3.108

Seminar presentations by: Cecelia Cassinger (Essex), Emma Dowling (Queen Mary), Stephen Duncombe (NYU), George Tsogas (Cass)

What would commodities say if they could speak? Marx’s question can seem playful in some registers. And yet, objects voice themselves not only through our playful – or rueful – gaze.  If Marx had listened long enough, these talking commodities would have announced the traumas of their exploitative and violent birthing to him. Likewise the rise of consumer culture, the proliferation and intensification of the commodification, can be understood as the expansion of the violence of accumulation all across the social field. Today the critique and denunciation of these forces have become yet another commodity in the spectacle; something we witness today in the backlash against banks, bankers and speculators and all the glorified preening of capitalist consumption they stand for. Is this trend, then, the ‘new spirit of capitalism’? Continue reading →

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I’m so broke I can’t even pay attention

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I’m so broke I can’t even pay attention: Rethinking Social Wealth In & Against Times of Austerity
March 27th, 2011, 1PM @ The Co-Prosperity Sphere, Chicago

Tom Waits once quipped that he was so broke that he couldn’t even pay attention. While Waits is not typically thought of as a theorist of crisis, in a strangely prescient way this describes condition of economic and social crisis that we live through today. It gestures not only to the apparent lack of financial resources used to justify the imposition of austerity measures, but also corresponding a lack of time, affect, and care. We find ourselves not only struggling to keep up with bills, debt, rents, and work – but the intensification of these dynamics leaves us with less time and energy for relating as social beings rather than economic agents. Thus a financial crisis becomes an economic crisis, and then a crisis affecting the very fabric of social relations.

Economic and social crises are not only moments of rupture, upheavals in daily life, but also moments that clarify what is truly important. For economic elites this means reinstating forms of class power that had been held in check, but from a different perspective or it represents a reclaiming of enclosed resources and commons. It is to declare, as the slogan goes “We won’t pay for your crisis.” But in confronting the declaration that we live in times of austerity, it is not enough to simply denounce them (as important that is), but also to rethink what is important. Continue reading →

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San Precario Network Screening + Discussion

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Categories: Stevphen Shukaitis

San Precario Network Screening + Discussion
December 5th at 7PM
16 Beaver Street 4th floor, New York

Over the past fifteen years the idea of precarity has emerged as a key area of social conflict and political organizing. But what is precarity, and what does a focus on it mean for political organizing and social movements? Come join us for an evening of discussion with members of the San Precario network on the politics of precarious labor and what they could mean for US based movements and campaigns.

The San Precario network is an Italian group of activists, collectives, social centers and workers that is one of the main organizers of the Milan EuroMayDay Parade. They will be presenting materials from their campaigns and work. Continue reading →

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Curating Resistance :: Aesthetics & Ethics in Social Movement

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Categories: Stevphen Shukaitis

Curating Resistance :: Aesthetics & Ethics in Social Movement
:: October 25th, 2010:: University of Essex ::
:: Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall Seminar Room :: 1PM – 5PM ::

Participants: Paul Halliday (Goldsmiths) // Antigoni Memou (University of East London) // Matthew Poole (Essex) // Stefanie Tan (Glasgow)

Abstracts for the seminar are available here.

Avant-garde and social movement art production has long had a troubled and conflictual relationship with the museum and the archive. The call to abandon the gallery as a space for art separated from everyday life, one that all too often neutralizes the antagonistic energies of radical art, reverberates from Dada through Fluxus, the Surrealists to Reclaim the Streets. But in today’s post-Fordist creativity-fueled economy, the call to end this division rings hollow precisely because it has already been accomplished: the energies of insurgent creativity are rendered into forms of dispersed production for the net economy. The surrealist invocation of the marvelous is today’s advertising copy. Joseph Beuys’ proclamation that “everyone is an artist” has been realized in perverse form as “everyone is a worker,” where relationality is ‘socially sculpted’ through the circuits of an always present network culture as opportunities for capitalist valorization: all YouWork and MyProfit.

What might there be that could avoid these tensions and contradictions, or at least begin to suggest ways to work through and against them? Where does one go when life itself is both a direct producer of value and the substance of artistic production? To a gallery of the streets? Or maybe a university of trash? Is the archive of the undercommons a pile of zines sitting at the back of the infoshop? A pile of fleshy tissue inscribed on by a Kafka-esque writing machine? Perhaps it is all and none of these things. Thus we return to the question of the archive and history not to catalog social movement artistic production for a gallery-morgue or the productivity of the metropolitan factory, but rather to consider what an ethics and aesthetics of developing a living archive of experience and knowledges that can feed back into and through the fabric of everyday life might be. Continue reading →

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