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Daily Archives: August 23rd, 2011

Culture

PETROCULTURES

Call for Papers, Panels and/or Workshop Proposals

Petrocultures: Oil, Energy, Culture

University of Alberta: September 6, 7th and 8th, 2012

 

The “Petrocultures: Oil, Energy, Culture” conference will take place on September 6, 7th and 8th, 2012, at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada).  Keynote speakers include Allan Stoekl (Penn State University), Warren Cariou (University of Manitoba) and Ursula Biemann (video artist, Switzerland). 

Petrocultures will bring together scholars, writers, filmmakers and artists from around the world who are engaged in an exploration of the social and cultural dimensions and impacts of oil and energy.  The conference will examine and (re)assess how energy has been and remains an intrinsic part of socio-political life and cultural productivity, with a focus on two areas of research:

1)  How does our understanding of socio-cultural objects, events and phenomena change if we frame an analysis of them explicitly in relation to oil (and energy more generally)? What insights would we gain across the disciplines from such a theoretical/methodological maneuver? For instance, what might happen if we frame cultural and intellectual periods (as we do in the study of literature) not in terms of movements (e.g., modernism), nations (British modernism), or centuries (18th, 19th, 20th…), but in relation to dominant forms of energy at any given moment?

2)  How do energy resources that fuel the exploitation of the environment impact not only everyday life but also the form and content of its representation? What is the potential of these cultural representations produced through multiple technologies of publication and artistic/communicative production (e.g., art, film, literature), to rupture and/or change the ways in which we live with and relate to oil? 

 

We invite papers, panels and workshop proposals that take up the above questions as well as contributions that address any of the wide range of topics related to petrocultures:

 

● labour in petrocultures (influx of temporary foreign workers, transient labour forces, the rights or lack thereof of labour, etc.)

● the composition of communities in historical and contemporary oil economies

● education in energy societies

● health (sex, drugs, addiction)

● the intersection of cultural and environmental issues (resource management, water and oil, etc.)

● Aboriginal cultures and societies (land and mineral rights, community safety, race in petrocultures, etc.)

● gender issues and women’s rights in male dominated labour markets

● politics and social-political life in petro-states

● and the impacts of all of these issues on forms of cultural production (art, literature, film, etc.) that attempt to represent and address the socio-cultural realities of living alongside oil technologies.  

 

Papers will be accepted based on the merit of the proposed study, originality of approach, and fit with the aims and theme of the conference.  Graduate students are especially encouraged to apply. Please indicate when you submit your abstract whether you are interested in also participating (at your own cost) in a three day excursion on (September 9th- 11th) to Northern Alberta to tour the oil/tar sands. A selection of papers and presentations from the 2012 conference will be published in an edited collection on Petrocultures by McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Deadline for submission: October 15, 2011.  Decisions will be announced by December 1st, 2011.  

Please send all proposals to: petrocultures@gmail.com (c/o Imre Szeman and Sheena Wilson)

 

Types of submissions:

· 15-20 minute individual presentation: conference paper.

· 45-60 minute panel/roundtable (3-4 presenters).

· 90-minute workshop (hands-on learning, interactive): Interactive sessions that encourage participant involvement. 

 

These workshops can be focused on generating discussion and recording ideas on specific subjects and themes.  These workshops can also encourage creative responses to oil and energy (e.g., through a writing workshop, a visual arts workshop etc.)

Propose an individual paper: Please send a 250 word abstract and a 100 word biography, as well as your contact information

Propose a panel: Please send a 250 word abstract for the panel, with a descriptive title for each presentation, and a 50 word bio and contact information for all members of the panel. When submitting the proposal, please copy it to all panel-participants to facilitate future correspondences. 

Propose a workshop: The Petrocultures conference will be the ideal venue for exploring theoretical and practical approaches to oil and energy in culture.  If you would like to lead a workshop session either independently or with other presenters, please submit a 250 word abstract for the workshop, with a 100 word bio for all workshop leaders.

Petrocultures is supported through funding from the Kule Institute for Advanced Study (UniversityofAlberta), Campus Saint Jean (UniversityofAlberta) and the Canada Research Chair in Cultural Studies.

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Situationism

SPECTACULAR CAPITALISM

Spectacular Capitalism: Guy Debord and the Practice of Radical Philosophy
Richard Gilman-Opalsky

Despite recent crises in the financial system, uprisings in Greece, France, Tunisia, and Bolivia, worldwide decline of faith in neoliberal trade policies, deepening ecological catastrophes, and global deficits of realized democracy, we still live in an era of “spectacular capitalism.” But what is “spectacular capitalism?” Spectacular capitalism is the dominant mythology of capitalism that disguises its internal logic and denies the macroeconomic reality of the actually existing capitalist world. Taking on this elusive mythology, and those who too easily accept it, Richard Gilman-Opalsky exposes the manipulative and self-serving narrative of spectacular capitalism.

Drawing on the work of Guy Debord, Gilman-Opalsky argues that the theory of practice and practice of theory are superseded by upheavals that do the work of philosophy. One could ask: Who better raises questions about public and private spheres of influence and control, Jürgen Habermas or the water war activists who made a rebellion in Cochabamba, Bolivia in the spring of 2000? Or, has any sociological theorist done better than the Zapatistas to reframe and raise questions about indigenous identity? Spectacular Capitalism makes the case not only for a new philosophy of praxis, but for praxis itself as the delivery mechanism for philosophy – for the field of human action, of contestation and conflict, to raise directly the most irresistible questions about the truth and morality of the existing state of affairs.

“Richard Gilman-Opalsky’s Spectacular Capitalism rescues Situationist theory and praxis from merely antiquarian and art-historical commentary and puts it in dialogue with the project of a radical philosophy for leaving the 21st century.” – McKenzie Wark, author of A Hacker Manifesto and Gamer Theory

Bio: Richard Gilman-Opalsky is Assistant Professor of Political Philosophy in the Department of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Springfield. He is the author of Unbounded Publics: Transgressive Public Spheres, Zapatismo, and Political Theory (Lexington Books, 2008), as well as numerous articles.

PDF available freely online: http://www.minorcompositions.info/spectacularcapitalism.html
ISBN 978-1-57027-228-8

Released by Minor Compositions, London / New York / Port Watson
Minor Compositions is a series of interventions & provocations drawing from autonomous politics, avant-garde aesthetics, and the revolutions of everyday life.
Minor Compositions is an imprint of Autonomedia
www.minorcompositions.info |info@minorcompositions.info

 

**END**

 

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

 

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales)  

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Situationism

THE BEACH BENEATH THE STREET: THE EVERYDAY LIFE AND GLORIOUS TIMES OF THE SITUATIONIST INTERNATIONAL

BY MCKENZIE WARK

PUBLISHED: 22 AUGUST 2011

“The lack of politicisation in the recent riots around Britain can be frustrating to those steeped in French theory, those who see the riot as what Martin Luther King described as the “language of the unheard”. But London 2011 is quite evidently not Paris 1968. A new book about the ideas that led to that moment in Paris sheds light on quite how different the two countries’ traditions are…

Wark has done us a great favour by explaining how situationist ideas (which included a proto-internet, an information super-network free of government control) still represent the sharpest and most surprisingly prescient critiques of the contemporary city.” Edwin Heathcote, FINANCIAL TIMES
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EVENTS:

August 23, 2011, 8.00pm
Cafe OTO
18—22 Ashwin street, Dalston
London E8 3DL UK

McKenzie Wark appears at cafe OTO to talk about his book on the life and times of the Situationist International, The Beach Beneath the Street.
For more information: http://www.versobooks.com/events/191-the-beach-beneath-the-street-at-cafe-oto

August 24, 2011, 7.00pm
Housmans
5 Caledonian Road , King’s Cross
London N1 9DX

McKenzie Wark’s new book on the subject The Beach Beneath the Street: The Glorious Times of the Situationist International, explores anew the history of the movement and connects the Situationist’s work to new practices in communication, built form, and everyday life.
For more information: http://www.versobooks.com/events/196-the-glorious-times-of-the-situationist-international

August 25, 2011, 7.00pm
Whitechapel Gallery
77-82 Whitechapel High Street
London E1 7QX UK

Writer McKenzie Wark explores the diversity of the Situationist International in his new book The Beach Beneath the Street, re-reading their history in the light of our contemporary experience of communications, architecture, and everyday life.
For more information: http://www.versobooks.com/events/188-the-beach-beneath-the-street-new-new-babylon
———————————–
McKenzie Wark’s history of the Situationist International writes against twenty-first century boredom with art and politics, in which both have ‘ceased to be modern, and finding it too passé to be postmodern… is now merely contemporary.’ Creating a new kind of historiography from the group’s legendary oeuvre, Wark re-presents the SI’s history in light of contemporary experiences to shake us out of our boredom and re-kindle the explosive potential of everyday life.

Over 50 years after the Situationist International appeared, its legacy of Marxism mixed with 20th century European artistic avant-garde continues to influence activists, artists and theorists. From the Invisible Committee’s bestselling The Coming Insurrection to Iain Sinclair’s psychogeographic explorations, the work of the Situationists echoes through twenty-first century thought. Yet, despite the rich possibilities, its breadth, diversity, and potential impact are still largely unexplored. Wark’s volume is a radical re-imagining of the Situationist legacy, which reconnects their work to new practices in communication, architecture, and everyday life.

Arguing that ‘Situations are temporary, singular unities of space and time… They call for a different kind of remembering,’ Wark takes readers on a tour of the movement from bohemian after-hours drinks in the cellars of 1950s St. Germain-des-Prés to the mythical beach ‘sous les pavès’ of the explosive days of May ’68.

Blending history and narrative, biography and literature, Wark traces the group’s development as an ensemble creation, rather than the brainchild of its most famous member, Guy Debord. Roaming through Europe and the lives of those who made up the movement – including Constant, Asger Jorn, Michèle Bernstein, Alex Trocchi and Jacqueline De Jong – Wark uncovers an international movement riven with conflicting passions, expanding the gaze beyond the Paris coterie.

Taking up Guy Debord’s famous injunction, “when the legend becomes fact, print the legend,” Wark delves into the SI’s diverse body of work to re-present the legendary Situationists in a way that ignites the possibility of resistance for our time. Wark puts the Situationist experiments into context for twenty-first century struggles, and in doing so, suggests that while the Situationists failed to escape the world of twentieth-century spectacle, there might still be hope for us to escape the twenty-first century, while we still can.

The book jacket is also a fold out poster, Totality for Beginners. A collaborative graphic essay, the beautifully rendered poster employs text selected by McKenzie Wark with composition and drawings by Kevin C. Pyle
———————————–
PRAISE FOR THE HACKER MANIFESTO

“This is a perceptive, provocative study, packed to the seams with acute analysis.” Terry Eagleton, NATION

“Wark’s book challenges the new regime of property relations with all the epigrammatic vitality, conceptual innovation, and revolutionary enthusiasm of the great manifestos.” Michael Hardt, co-author of EMPIRE

“Infuriating and inspiring in turn, A Hacker Manifesto will spawn a thousand theses, and just maybe spawn change.” Mike Holderness, NEW SCIENTIST

“A Hacker Manifesto will yield some provocative ideas and real challenges to a world in which everything is commodified.” Eric J. Iannelli, TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
———————————–
MCKENZIE WARK is the author of A HACKER MANIFESTO, GAMER THEORY, 50 YEARS OF RECUPERATION OF THE SITUATIONIST INTERNATIONAL and various other books. He teaches at the New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College in New York City.
———————————–
ISBN: 978 1 84467 720 7 / $26.95 / £14.99 / $33.50CAN / Hardback / 224 pages
———————————–
For a look into MCKENZIE WARK work visit:
http://vectorsjournal.org/issues/7/totality/

For more information about THE BEACH BENEATH THE STREET or to buy the book visit:
http://www.versobooks.com/books/980-the-beach-beneath-the-street
———————————–
Visit Verso’s website for information on our upcoming events, new reviews and publications and special offers:http://www.versobooks.com

Become a fan of Verso on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Verso-Books/205847279448577

And get updates on Twitter –  @VersoBooks
http://twitter.com/VersoBooks

 

**END**

 

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

 

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales)  

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Debt

LINKS UPDATE – 22nd AUGUST 2011

What’s new at Links: Marqusee on London riots, economy, Bolivia debate, Cuba, Agent Orange, Marxism, Venezuela CP, Palestine, Syria, Comintern, Baltics

* * *
Subscribe free to Links – International Journal of Socialist Renewal – at http://www.feedblitz.com/f/?Sub=343373

You can also follow Links on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LinksSocialism or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=10865397643

Visit and bookmark http://links.org.au and add it to your RSS feed (http://links.org.au/rss.xml). If you would like us to
consider an article, please send it to links@dsp.org.au

*Please pass on to anybody you think will be interested in Links.

* * *

Mike Marqusee: Riots, reason and resistance

By Mike Marqusee

August 16, 2011 — “Criminality pure and simple” was British Prime Minister David Cameron’s initial verdict on the rioting. From the right came the mantra, “Down with sociology! Up with water cannon!” Don’t think but do act – harshly, punitively, peremptorily. In the wake of the riots, a powerful vested interest has been at work – a vested interest in people not making links, not searching for causes, not weighing contexts. Above all, an interest in derailing the growing resistance to the government’s austerity programme.

Read more

 

Martin Hart-Landsberg: The troubled US economy means a shaky world economy

By Martin Hart-Landsberg

August 15, 2011 — The US economy is in trouble and that means trouble for the world economy. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s Trade and Development Report, 2010, “Buoyant consumer demand in the United States was the main driver of global economic growth for many years in the run-up to the current global economic crisis.”

Read more

 

Bolivia: How Jeffrey Webber’s ‘From Rebellion to Reform in Bolivia’ turns reality on its head

Review by Federico Fuentes

August 19, 2011 — The Evo Morales government recently celebrated its 2000th day in power inBolivia– a feat in its own right for a country that has had around 180 coups since 1825 – any serious attempt to explain the underlying dynamics of this decade long political process should be welcomed. Combining his academic research and extensive fieldwork inBolivia, Jeffrey Webber sets out to do exactly that in From Rebellion to Reform inBolivia. Unfortunately, the end result leaves a lot to be desired.

Read more

 

Cuba: Changes go deep — democratic reforms

By José Alejandro Rodríguez, Havana

August 17, 2011 — Apart from some exceptions, the powerful international media has ignored a recent Cuban parliamentary bill that would deepen democracy on the island. The reason is obvious: the news is not convenient. The initiative is made within socialist institutionalism, not in terms of the “transition” whose staging is highly anticipated and promoted by certain hegemonic interests in this world.

Read more

 

Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin: ‘Agent Orange in Vietnam was a crime against humanity’

Appeal of the Second International Conference of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin Hanoi, Socialist Republic of Vietnam

August 9, 2011 — The Second International Conference of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin, held in Hanoi from August 8 to 9, 2011, included participants from around the world: Agent Orange victims, victims of other toxic chemicals, scientists, lawyers and social activists. The conference is a significant and important historic event, marking the 50th anniversary of the first spraying of the toxic chemical Agent Orange (1961-1971) by the US forces inVietnam and Indochina.

Read more

 

Marxism has an ecological heart

By Ash Pemberton

August 13, 2011 — We all know there’s a big problem with the environment and it needs drastic action to fix it. So does a Marxist analysis of the problem bring anything new to the table?

Read more

 

Venezuela: Communist Party backs Hugo Chavez, builds workers’ control movement

By Rachael Boothroyd,Coro

August 10, 2011  – On August 7, the Venezuelan Communist Party (PCV) concluded its 14th congress in Caracas following three days of discussions. More than 526 national delegates and 43 international representatives attended the conference, which was convened in conjunction with the PCV’s 74th anniversary.

Read more

 

Does Palestinian Authority’s UN ‘statehood’ bid endanger Palestinian rights?

By Ali Abunimah

August 8, 2011 — The Palestinian Boycott National Committee (BNC), the steering group of the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign, has issued further guidance in the run up to the Palestinian Authority’s effort to gain UN membership for a “State of Palestine” in September.

Read more

 

The Syrian ‘common’: an uprising of the working society

By  Yassin Al Haj Saleh

August 14, 2011 — There is a Promethean dimension to the struggle ofSyria’s protesters to wrench politics away from the self-deifying cabal [who rule] and to attempt to extend politics to all Syrians. The young Marx, who loved grandiose expressions, described Prometheus as “the most noble martyr in the philosophical almanac”, because he stole the fire from the Olympian gods and gave it to humans. The gods punished him by sending the eagles of the Caucuses to tear at his liver forever. Like Prometheus, the uprising represents the most noble rebellionSyriahas known since its independence 65 years ago. Like Prometheus, the wrath of the divine cabal is directed against the rebelling multitude. It is murdered, defamed, called names and insulted by the lowliest forces and motives inSyria.

Read more

 

The Comintern’s unknown decision on workers’ governments

By John Riddell

August 14, 2011 — English-language discussion of the Communist International’s 1922 call for workers’ governments has been based on a preliminary draft that was significantly altered before its adoption. Below, probably for the first time in English, is the amended text that the 1922 congress actually adopted.

Read more

 

Baltic far right attempts to rewrite history

By Rupen Savoulian

August 12, 2011 — Early in August, a major World War II anniversary was marked in Europe; August 1 was the 67th anniversary of the heroicWarsawuprising by the Polish underground resistance movement against Nazi German occupation forces. I raise this anniversary to highlight the importance of commemorating the courageous struggles by the peoples oppressed by the Nazi regime, and to underscore the importance of historical debate for comprehending the tremendous social forces that have shaped the world today.

Read more

* * *
Links seeks to promote the international exchange of information, experience of struggle, theoretical analysis and views of political strategy and tactics within the international left. It is a forum for open and constructive dialogue between active socialists coming from different political traditions. It seeks to bring together those in the international left who are opposed to neoliberal economic and social policies. It aims to promote the renewal of the socialist movement in the wake of the collapse of the bureaucratic model of “actually existing socialism” in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

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Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com