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Categotry Archives: Gee Vaucher


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 →


Stop the City… Revisited

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Categories: Events, Gee Vaucher, Interventions, Stevphen Shukaitis

Stop the City… Revisited
Organized as part of The Substation’s “Discipline the City” series
23 August – 23 November 2017

Born out of the anarcho-punk scene, Stop the City demonstrations of 1983-84 were a series of actions and interventions to blockade and disrupt ‘The City’ (the financial district of London). Protesters and activists coalesced around artists like Crass, Subhumans and Poison Girls. Punk was not only a music and subculture, but a serious proposition of alternative politics built upon Do-It-Yourself practices connected through social centres, performance venues, and independent media.

During the past decades, the power of financial flows and markets have become all the more intense, between the imposition of austerity to service all kinds of debt to the financialization of daily life. Even after the repeated financial crises there seems to be little chance of disciplining, let alone stopping the city.

This exhibition brings together images and materials from this anarcho-punk forerunner to other large scale protests like Occupy Wall Street and the movement of the squares. They are presented not out of nostalgia or purely historical interest but rather to ask what these experiences might mean today. What lessons can be learned the politics and protest of the anarcho-punk scene? How do these histories speak to the present in Singapore? What today could Stop the City? Continue reading →


There is no authority but yourself… and there is no self

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Categories: Anarchivism, Events, Gee Vaucher, Stevphen Shukaitis

There is no authority but yourself… and there is no self
19 August – 7PM – The Substation, Singapore

Punk is often narrated as a kind of year zero, a total break with the past. But this is far from the case. Nowhere is that clearer through the anarcho-punk punk Crass, who taking the phrase “there is no authority but yourself” made connections with a range of countercultures and arts, from the beats to the hippies, existentialism to surrealism.

Crass emerged from Dial House, an open house and arts space in rural Essex. Co-founder Penny Rimbaud describes its ethos creating a space where people “could get together to work and Live in a creative atmosphere rather than the stifling, inward looking environments in which we had all been brought up.” It is from here that innumerable projects and collaborations have been launched, from artistic ventures to political campaigns, from the planning of the first free festivals during the 1970s to the Stop the City protests.

This evening will explore these overlaps of punk, performance, radical arts and culture through a curator’s preview. 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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Gee Vaucher – Introspective Exhibition

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Categories: Anarchivism, Current Publications, Events, Gee Vaucher, Genealogies

Gee Vaucher – Introspective Exhibition
12 November, 2016 – 19 February, 2017
Firstsite, Colchester, UK

Gee Vaucher (1945) is an internationally renowned political artist living outside Epping, Essex. She is best known for her radical creativity, montages and iconic artwork for the infamous anarcho-pacifist band Crass. Employing an eclectic range of styles and techniques, coupled with an essentially DIY aesthetic, she creates powerful images exploring political, cultural and personal issues. She sees her work as a tool for social change.

This retrospective survey of Vaucher’s work is her premiere in the UK, bringing together for the first time a comprehensive collection of her paintings, collages, prints, photographs, videos and sculptures plus installation work and rare archive material. Continue reading →