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Categotry Archives: Current Publications


Combination Acts

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Categories: Alan W Moore, Current Publications, Fred Moten, Gee Vaucher, Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination, Stevphen Shukaitis, Undercommons

Combination Acts. Notes on Collective Practice in the Undercommons
Stevphen Shukaitis

Dialogues and essays exploring collaboration in artist collective & self-organized cultural production

During the industrial revolution artisans and craft workers sparked struggles against exploitation while the force of law drove unions underground. Today conditions are different… yet they are not. Collective organizing is pre-empted not by legal prohibition but rather by a perverse internalized neoliberal logic that celebrates the precarious creative worker as its exemplar.

Combination Acts draws together fifteen years of conversations with artists, musicians, activists, and theorists about the nature of collaborative practice. What sociality is produced by their practices? What forms of collectivity do they animate and embody? Taken together these dialogues provide a series of study notes for and from the self-organization of the undercommons, gesturing towards an aesthetics that occupies a space of power for itself by coming to close to, but never finally reaching, a set form.

“The mood and tense of revolution can be obscure even to those who act it out – as polyphonic combination, cutting normative conceptions of person and number – in beautifully everyday experiments that strain against the brutally ongoing. Thankfully, in this timely primer, Stevphen Shukaitis reminds us how to conjugate the verbs to live, to fight, and to enjoy.” – Fred Moten, New York University

Combination Acts offers an overview of political cultural tools and tactics radicals have mobilized over the 20th century and into the 21st.  Shukaitis steers through rebellious terrain, from cyberhacking and forms of sabotage to critiques of global neoliberal institutions and horizontal re-commoning, opening new terrains of speculative imaginative possibilities. A necessary guide to militant culture in the new millennium.” – Jaleh Mansoor, University of British Columbia

Combination Acts is an exhilarating read as it boldly combines optimism (the always renewed burden of struggles on the left) and pragmatism (the requirement of actually existing praxis). Engaging dialogues and theoretical analysis are also combined in this cutting-edge study, on material and in ways that are indispensable for carrying forward the spirit and actuality of insurgent togetherness. The key question of the book – what interventions would be needed so that the grammar of self-organization would not find itself rendered into the fixed forms of capital’s continued accumulation demands? – is answered through multiple narrative documents of real-life experience crossing through the art field. At the very least, the book informs us of the depth of critical thought from which practices of anti-status-quo alternatives stem; as for what the book achieves at its best, this is dependent on whether and how we seek to implement what we learn from it. An essential and inspirational reality check on collaboration, labour, its content and discontent, and the conundrum of art activism, among numerous other markers of the zeitgeist.” – Angela Dimitrakaki, University of Edinburgh

Bio: Stevphen Shukaitis is Senior Lecturer at the University of Essex, Centre for Work and Organization, and a member of the Autonomedia editorial collective. He is the author of Imaginal Machines: Autonomy & Self-Organization in the Revolutions of Everyday Day (2009) and The Composition of Movements to Come: Aesthetics and Cultural Labor After the Avant-Garde (2016). His research focuses on the emergence of collective imagination in social movements and the changing compositions of cultural and artistic labor. Continue reading →


Emotions Go to Work

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Categories: Current Publications, Zoe Beloff

Emotions Go to Work
Zoe Beloff

 Artist book investigating how technology is used to transform feelings into capital

 Emotions Go to Work is an investigation into how technology is used to turn our feelings into valuable assets. One might call it the transformation of emotion into capital. It asks what is at stake in our relationship with the companions we call smart objects? What does the future hold in store for a world where people are treated more and more like things, while the billions of gadgets that make up the Internet of Things are increasingly anthropomorphized, granted agency?

Spanning an arc of time from the 18th century to 21st century and beyond, Emotions Go To Work traces the codification and instrumentalization emotional data in ways both playful and serious. It considers the role emojis play our mental life and their potential to evolve and grow monstrous. It suggests that anthropomorphized technological creatures from early cartoons might inspire a utopian society. Proposing that the first step to re-wiring our world is to picture possibilities in games and in play, in dreams and in far-fetched fictions, so that we can begin new conversations between people and things.

Bio: Zoe Beloff is an artist and filmmaker. Her work aims to connect the present to past so that it might illuminate the future in new ways. Themes include proposals for new forms of community; The Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society and its Circle 1926 – 1972 or The Days of the Commune staged as series of street performances to new ways about thinking about labor in The Infernal Dream of Mutt and Jeff and Emotions Go To Work. Zoe presents her work internationally in museums, alternative spaces and film festivals. She is a Professor in Media and Art at Queens College CUNY. Continue reading →


A Little Philosophical Lexicon of Anarchism from Proudhon to Deleuze

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Categories: Current Publications, Daniel Colson

A Little Philosophical Lexicon of Anarchism from Proudhon to Deleuze
Daniel Colson
Translated by Jesse Cohn

A provocative exploration of hidden affinities and genealogies in anarchist thought

Is the thought of Gilles Deleuze secretly linked to Pierre-Joseph Proudhon’s declaration: “I am an anarchist”? Has anarchism, for more than a century and a half, been secretly Deleuzian? In the guise of a playfully unorthodox lexicon, sociologist Daniel Colson presents an exploration of hidden affinities between the great philosophical heresies and “a thought too scandalous to take its place in the official edifice of philosophy,” with profound implications for the way we understand social movements.

“In a creative and yet precise way, Daniel Colson brings together two lines of thought – philosophy from Spinoza to Leibniz – and anarchism from Proudhon to the present day. At their intersection he discovers an affirmative and expressive anarchism that rejects all forms of resentment and negativity. This is anarchism as joy and empowerment rather than sadness and accusation.” – Todd May, author of The Political Philosophy of Poststructuralist Anarchism

“Colson’s Lexicon is an inspiring resource for conceptualizing anarchism: it offers new, exciting paths for exploring anarchism with French thought and French thought with anarchism.” – Iwona Janicka, author of Theorizing Contemporary Anarchism

“This is a fantastic (and anarchist) way to arrange a book. Reading these various entries in any order offers a line of thinking that connects disparate thinkers ranging from Proudhon to Simondon to Nietzsche to Deleuze within the term anarchism. This is done not to bind these thinkers with the kinds of straightjackets that names – even the name anarchism – often perform but rather to associate, interconnect and arrange these thinkers in a way that speaks across several centuries, practices and ways of thinking. What emerges is a radical challenge to the insistence on dialectic resolution, to occult left teleologies, and to the certainty that past anarchists have nothing to say to contemporary anarchists (and visa versa). In his claim that anarchism first of all is a “rejection of first principles,” Colson shows how, far from being disabling and rendering the world incoherent, this understanding recognizes the affirmative nature of an anarchism that has not ceased to function amidst between and even through myriad forms of capitalist and archist oppression.” – James Martel, author of The Misinterpellated Subject

Bio: Daniel Colson is a professor of sociology at the Université de St.-Étienne in Lyon. He is the author of Trois Essais de Philosophie Anarchiste: Islam, Histoire, Monadologie (2004) as well as several studies of French labor history.

Jesse Cohn is an associate professor of English at Purdue University Northwest. He is the author of Anarchism and the Crisis of Representation: Hermeneutics, Aesthetics, Politics (2006) and Underground Passages: Anarchist Resistance Culture, 1848–2011 (2014). Continue reading →



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Categories: Current Publications, Giorgio Griziotti

Neurocapitalism. Technological Mediation and Vanishing Lines
Giorgio Griziotti
Foreword by Tiziana Terranova
Translated by Jason Francis McGimsey

Analyzes the changing politics of technology, charting out possibilities for autonomous cooperation

Technological change is ridden with conflicts, bifurcations and unexpected developments. Neurocapitalism takes us on an extraordinarily original journey through the effects that cutting-edge technology has on cultural, anthropological, socio-economic and political dynamics. Today, neurocapitalism shapes the technological production of the commons, transforming them into tools for commercialization, automatic control, and crisis management.

But all is not lost: in highlighting the growing role of General Intellect’s autonomous and cooperative production through the development of the commons and alternative and antagonistic uses of new technologies, Giorgio Griziotti proposes new ideas for the organization of the multitudes of the new millennium.

“it is rare to find a book… which is capable of combining a competent technical viewpoint with a coherent theoretical perspective… animated by a great political passion nourished by the ‘common learning’ of collective self-training.” – Tiziana Terranova

Bio: Giorgio Griziotti was one of the first digital engineers to graduate from Milan’s Politecnico University. His participation in the autonomous movements in Italy in the 1970s forced him to gain most of his professional experience in exile. He has an experience of more than thirty years in large international IT projects. Today he is an independent researcher and member of the collective Effimera. Continue reading →


Don’t Network. The Avant Garde after Networks

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Categories: Current Publications, Marc James Léger

Don’t Network. The Avant Garde after Networks
Marc James Léger

Explores the nature of avant garde art within contemporary capitalism

There is something rotten about network society. Although the information economy promises to create new forms of wealth and social cooperation, the real subsumption of labour under post-Fordism has instead produced a social factory of precarious labour and cybernetic surveillance. In this context people have turned to networks as an ersatz solution to social problems. Networks become the agent of history, a technological determinism that in the best-case scenario leads to post-capitalism but at worst leads to new forms of exploitation and inequality. Don’t Network proposes a third option to technocratic biocapitalism and social movement horizontalism, an analysis of the ways in which vanguard politics and avant-garde aesthetics can today challenge the ideologies of the network society.

“The Hacienda has been built, but as an experience economy that turns everyone into cannibalistic creatives that devour themselves and the planet satisfying the insatiable demands of the market. Don’t Network offers a lucid analysis of the new class war going on in contemporary art and politics, uncovering the antagonistic forces that confront the contradictions of the network economy.” – Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen, author of After the Great Refusal

“In Don’t Network, Marc James Léger develops a compellingly detailed and layered argument that outlines, and undermines, the blanket hold of contemporary positivisms in politics, aesthetics and the social sciences. A book that pitches itself ‘against’ rather than ‘about’ ideologies of immanence on the biocapitalist left and right, it carefully develops Lacanian schemas of incompleteness and Marxist dialectics to advance negation, rather than connectivity, as the core of any potential cultural avant garde. This is part of a manifest vision for radical class struggle and institutions beyond diffuse and atomised moments of resistance.”  – Marina Vishmidt, author of Speculation as a Mode of Production
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Organization after Social Media

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Categories: Current 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: Current Publications, Manuela Zechner, Marc Herbst

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 →


The Way Out

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

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 →


The Final Countdown

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Categories: Current Publications, Irwin

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 →


Gee Vaucher. Introspective Catalogue

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Categories: Current Publications, Gee Vaucher, Stevphen Shukaitis

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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