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Categotry Archives: Forthcoming Publications

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Formless Formation

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Categories: Forthcoming Publications, Sandra Ruiz & Hypatia Vourloumis

Formless Formation

Formless Formation: Vignettes for the End of this World
Sandra Ruiz & Hypatia Vourloumis

Formless Formation is an experimental project conceived and co-authored by two performance theorists working in critical aesthetics and political thought. The book is an insurgent revolt, walking side by side with plural and planetary anticolonial forces organizing against debt, expropriative extractive capital, environmental catastrophe, and the militarized policing of people and borders. It is in direct conversation with all Indigenous, Black, Brown, ecological, feminist, queer, diasporic movements and struggles countering capitalist predatory formations across time and space. Through shared resonances across differing aesthetic-life-worlds and solidarities that bypass the nation-state, Ruiz and Vourloumis bring to the forefront performative and aesthetic practices and methods that address current and future social organizing.

“For artists, theorists, revolutionaries, activists and weirdos who are already performing aesthetic-life-worlds and reaching for the beyond in the here and now, Formless Formation is a must read! Ruiz and Vourloumis witness, celebrate, and conjoin without taking and without force. This double negation as skillful artistry extends greater dreaming space to all of us who are already so over it and also in the known unknown by way of radical praxis. This prescient co-authorship with its expansive archive and out of this world word couplings, associations, and relations will make you question the revolutionary potential of anything attributed to a single name. Following their sound, there is a trustworthy “we” at work and play that moves us to a more radical radicality. This is a capacious analysis beyond interdisciplinarity. It is how we fly, zoom, read, and dance to believe in belief yet again, which makes the inventive and experimental, a collective ours.” – Ruth Nicole Brown

“Formless Formation manages to be many things at once: theory, manifesto, astute analysis, and sharp critique. Working from a sprawling archive of sources across disciplines, Ruiz and Vourloumis mobilize a potent set of keywords in order to pinpoint and pry loose new modes of aesthetic and political engagement. As current as your twitter feed and as musical as your life, this exhilarating text traces how pivotal queer and BIPOC artists and activists sonify resistance, how resonant forms emerge from and within the noise, and how contemporary performance catalyzes other worlds.” – Vijay Iyer

Bio: Sandra Ruiz is the author of Ricanness: Enduring Time in Anticolonial Performance (NYU Press, 2019). Hypatia Vourloumis is the author of the forthcoming Paralinguistic Insurgencies: Indonesian Noise. They are alumni of the performance studies department at NYU, where they met as students. Continue reading →

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Climate Chaos. Making Art and Politics on a Dying Planet

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Categories: Forthcoming Publications, Neala Schleuning

Climate Chaos. Making Art and Politics on a Dying Planet
Neala Schleuning

Formulates an anarchist aesthetics exploring what art can mean in and do in the Anthropocene

Kant sought to contain the ancient fear and terror of the natural world in his concept of the sublime. He argued that with human reason we could safely confront an uncontrolled and powerful natural world. But today we no longer have the luxury of the Kantian sublime as we face the oppressive claustrophobic horror of drastic global climate change.

The earth itself is now threatened and livelihoods are more precarious. A new sublime incorporating the experience of awe and immensity – coupled with a profound respect for the presence of a great and unpredictable force of nature – can shape our response to the Anthropocene. Climate Chaosreassesses the Kantian sublime, opening up the opportunity to reconsider its dark side and our own fears, as we come face to face with the agency of nature beyond a rational response. Can we find ways to change our thinking, art, and politics to move beyond through the catastrophe of the present? A new aesthetics and a new political narrative of living in harmony with the earth is emerging.

Bio: Neala Schleuning is a writer and educator. She received her PhD in American Studies from the University of Minnesota in 1978 with an emphasis in political philosophy and intellectual history. Fulbright Scholar to the Russian Federation, she is the author of many articles, higher education policy papers, films and radio productions, and several books, including Artpolitik: Social Anarchist Aesthetics in an Age of Fragmentation (2013), America: Song We Sang Without Knowing(1983); Idle Hands and Empty Hearts: Work and Freedom in the United States(1990); Women, Community, and the Hormel Strike of 1985-86(1994); and To Have and to Hold: the Meaning of Ownership in the United States(1997). Continue reading →

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The Magneti Marelli Workers Committee – The “Red Guard” Tells Its Story (Milan, 1975-78)

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Categories: Emilio Mentasti, Forthcoming Publications, Genealogies

The Red Guard

The Magneti Marelli Workers Committee – The “Red Guard” Tells Its Story (Milan, 1975-78)
Emilio Mentasti

In a large factory in Milan in the mid-70s, a few dozen workers organized themselves against both the management and the unions in an autonomous Workers’ Political Committee. Soon, this “Red Guard” consisted of hundreds of workers fighting against layoffs and relocation. The Committee did not stay shut up within the walls of the factory. It participated in numerous other struggles, such as strikes and demonstrations, which were raging across the whole of Italy. Crucially, it took part in attempts to unify the movement of workers’ committees on a regional level. And it also participated in the radical struggle against inflation, where workers refused to pay ever increasing prices. This movement of autoreductionfamously inspired Dario Fo’s play Can’t Pay? Won’t Pay!

Magneti Marelli was not the only factory in Italy to create autonomous workers’ organizations, but its Committee served as a reference for all the others because of its bold initiatives and its capacity to help workers in the surrounding smaller workplaces to benefit from its experience. Its exemplary fight was a vital part of the revolutionary struggle in Italy during the hot decade 1968-1979, and one that still contains important lessons for class struggle militants today.

Bio: Emilio Mentasti is a historian who has published several books on the history and organization of the autonomous workers movement in Italy.

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Ideas Arrangements Effects: Systems Design and Social Justice

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Categories: Forthcoming Publications, The Design Studio for Social Intervention

Ideas Arrangements Effects

Ideas Arrangements Effects: Systems Design and Social Justice
The Design Studio for Social Intervention
Foreword by Arturo Escobar

A guide for using design principles to inform and shape radical politics

 Ideas are embedded in social arrangements, which in turn produce effects.

With this simple premise, this radically accessible systems design bookmakes a compelling case for arrangementsas a rich and overlooked terrain for social justice and world building. Unpacking how ideas like racism and sexism remain sturdy by embedding themselves in everything from physical and social infrastructure to everyday speech and thought habits, this book gives readers the tools to sense, intervene in and imagine new arrangements. Using diverse examples from their work and others, DS4SI offers readers a roadmap for using social interventions to invite the larger public into imagining and creating a more just and vibrant world.

“Throughout their work, DS4SI strives to enact the principle that design is not just about problem-solving within existing paradigms and social orders, it is about world building, about imagining and constructing new territories of life and difference… This is design’s imagination at its best, the grounds for a genuinely transformative design praxis. It is a route to disclosing new worlds and bringing them into existence.” – Arturo Escobar, author of Designing the Pluriverse

“As we face this dire moment of climate change, tyranny, mass extinction and international war on the global scale, and poverty, housing shortages, and stagnant wages at home, we need tools that we can use to address these problems, and it can’t be just the same old tools we’ve been using all along. This is where this excellent guide to ideas-arrangements-effects comes in.” – Mindy Thompson Fullilove, author of Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America, and What We Can Do About It

Bio: The Design Studio for Social Intervention is dedicated to changing how social justice is imagined, developed and deployed in the United States. Situated at the intersections of design practice, social justice, public art, and popular engagement, DS4SI designs and tests social interventions with and on behalf of marginalized populations, controversies and ways of life.Founded in 2005 and based in Boston, DS4SI is a space where activists, artists, academics and the larger public come together to imagine new approaches to social change and new solutions to complex social issues. Continue reading →

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Red Days: Popular Music & the English Counterculture 1965-1975

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Categories: Forthcoming Publications, Genealogies, John Roberts

Red Days: Popular Music & the English Counterculture 1965-1975
John Roberts

Challenges the conventional narratives about English popular music and the counterculture of the late 1960s and early 1970s

The passion, intensity and complexity of the popular music produced in England between 1965-75 is the work of an extraordinary generation of working class and lower middle class men and women (in alliance with a handful of middle-class men and women) who saw in the new music the remaking of something bigger than themselves, or more precisely, something bigger than themselves that they could guide and shape and call their own. In this the ‘use-values’ of popular music underwent an unprecedented expansion and diversity during this period. Red Dayspresents how music and action, music and discourse, experienced a profound re-functioning as definitions of the popular unmoored themselves from the condescending judgements of post-1950s high culture and the sentiment of the old popular culture and the musicologically conformist rock ‘n’ roll seeking to displace it. The remaking of the popular between 1965-1975, accordingly, is more than a revision of popular taste, it is, rather, the demolition of old cultural allegiances and habits, as forces inside and outside of music shattered the assumption of popular music as the home for passive adolescent identifications.

Bio: John Roberts is Professor of Art & Aesthetics at the University of Wolverhampton. He is the author of a number of books, including, The Necessity of Errors (2010), Photography and Its Violations (2014), Revolutionary Time and the Avant-Garde(2015), Thoughts on an Index Not Freely Given(2016) and The Reasoning of Unreason: Universalism, Capitalism and Disenlightenment (2018).

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Riotous Epistemology. Imaginary Power, Art, and Insurrection

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Categories: Forthcoming Publications, Richard Gilman-Opalsky, Stevphen Shukaitis

Riotous Epistemology. Imaginary Power, Art, and Insurrection
Richard Gilman-Opalsky & Stevphen Shukaitis

Riots. Revolts. Revolutions. All flashing moments which throw the world – and our relationship with it – into question. For centuries 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.

Riotous Epistemology explores the significance of taking seriously the intellect of revolt, uprising as thinking, art as upheaval, and other forms of philosophy from below. To theorize revolt and subversive art practices as philosophy from below, it is necessary to refute conventional understandings of art and philosophy.  Continue reading →

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i hate war but i hate our enemies even more­­­

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Categories: Forthcoming Publications, Heath Schultz & Becky Nasadowski

i hate war but i hate our enemies even more­­­
Heath Schultz & Becky Nasadowski

 Arranged from a partisan perspective in the era of the uprising, i hate war, but i hate our enemies even more is an unconventional textual object that uses détournement, collage, and experimental writing against reactionary liberalism, capitalism, and white supremacy.

Critical theory, police propaganda, militant cinema, country songs, activist histories, and white reactionary protests are used as raw material to stage ideological juxtapositions. George Wallace speaks to Stokely Carmichael in Watts. Radio Raheem hears conservative country music through his boombox while telling the story of Love and Hate. Darren Wilson supporters share the stage with Al Sharpton. Peter Watkins’ Communards sing La Marseillaise and Bill Withers sings Grandma’s Hands in the same set.

In these conjunctions, we find the reproduction of struggle and the potential for short-circuiting the reproduction of white supremacy. This book aims to enact a critical theory of the spectacle as it joins the practical movement of negation within society.

Bio:Heath Schultz is a research-based artist and writer. His work addresses questions of institutional critique, activism, contemporary politics, and the political efficacy of art. He is an assistant professor of art at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Becky Nasadowski is a designer and design educator at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Her research takes a critical, multi-disciplinary approach to design, contextualizing the field within discussions of race, gender, and class.
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Combination Acts

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Categories: Alan W Moore, Forthcoming 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 →

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Emotions Go to Work

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Categories: Forthcoming 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 →

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A Little Philosophical Lexicon of Anarchism from Proudhon to Deleuze

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Categories: Daniel Colson, Forthcoming Publications

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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