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Mountain Walk

Mountain Walk

WALKING ARCHIVES

A new book on biotech, art, and politics in Argentina…

Walking Archives: The Soy Children
Eduardo Molinari

“Eduardo Molinari has produced a compelling document demonstrating that the process of recombination can be wrenched from capital’s oppressive grip, and put to use to expose and critique its expansion from modern imperialism to a molecular invasion that establishes full spectrum biocolonization. Juxtaposing fragments of political and cultural history, political theory, mythology, and ecological study, in conjunction with personal memories and observations, Molinari produces an associational web that yields a long-awaited radicalization of relational aesthetics.” – Critical Art Ensemble

Who are children of genetically modified soy production? What disowned bastards are produced by the hybridization of agri-business, biotech, capital, and culture?

To answer these questions the Archivo Caminante (Walking Archive) embarks on a trip through the opaque and strange world of genetically modified soya plants in Argentina in search of its inhabitants, forms and structures, languages and narratives: the forces that swirl around the soya rhizome. In the style of Gulliver’s Travels it makes visible some of the routes in the soya chain giving shape to a new international division of labor food policy in global semiocapitalism.

More than 50% of the cultivated lands in Argentina are for soya production, with 90% of that area covered by Monsanto products and representatives. This agrarian system and its results are only possible using Roundup herbicide, the brand name of Monsanto’s glyphosate. The rhizome formed by soya production dives deep into the Argentine society: it organizes new political alliances, and, above all, modifies the social and cultural structure of the country. Is there a transgenic culture inside semiocapitalism? Does the soyazation process modify culture and society, or is it the other way around, and soyazation is only possible in a transgenic culture?

Bio: Eduardo Molinari is a visual artist who lives and works in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2001 he founded the Archivo Caminante (Walking Archive), a visual archive in progress that delves into existing and imaginary relations between art, history and politics.

PDF available freely online (http://www.minorcompositions.info/?p=365).

Released by Minor Compositions, Wivenhoe / 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
http://www.minorcompositions.info | info@minorcompositions.info

 

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‘Human Herbs’ – a new remix and new video by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

 

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Jan van Eyck

DEFEND THE JAN VAN EYCK ACADEMY

For many years the Janvan Eyck Academy in Maastricht has been an international centre for critical and radical theory. The Dutch government has recently proposed drastic changes to cultural funding. These changes will directly endanger the JvE and other Dutch post-academic institutions.

Please support the campaign to defend the JvE by sending an email to: janvaneyck-adefendablespace@janvaneyck.nl  

Comments can be read at http://janvaneyck-adefendablespace.tumblr.com

For more information about the innovative activities of the JvE, see: http://www.janvaneyck.nl/

Recently the Dutch Ministry of Culture published a document containing its policy for the period 2013-16. Amongst a whole range of intended drastic cuts, it proposes that the State should stop financing post-academic institutes like the Jan van Eyck Academie. There is no explicit motivation for this plan, other than a reference to the supposed need to reduce public expenditure. The State Secretary, Halbe Zijlstra, restricts himself to stating that the cultural field should self-finance post-academic formation and education, ‘as the legal professions and building industry do.’ However it is clear that the principles motivating the policy document derive from a logic of austerity and will result in the application of business criteria.

As far as the Jan van Eyck Academie is concerned this policy would mean a severe cut of its means as of 2013, resulting in its closure in 2016. Instead of financing an experimental, non-university and research-oriented post-academic institute like the Jan van Eyck Academie, the State Secretary wants to invest in fifty artists who have proved to be ‘successful’. Despite the fact that the Jan van Eyck Academie can easily demonstrate its essential role in the successful careers of numerous artists, designers, and theoreticians, this contribution has never been articulated in terms of ‘success.’ The Academie is about combining research in the fine arts, design, and theory, and thus about creating invaluable interdisciplinary connections and radical innovations. Such places of intellectual and artistic freedom are necessary, and the inability of the Ministry to recognise this testifies to the obtuseness and short-sightedness of its policy.

We strongly oppose the intentions of the Ministry of Culture, for we want the Jan van Eyck Academie, along the other post-academic institutes, to continue to do what it is good at. We repudiate an austerity driven policy which will result in a blind erasure of an institute that has proven to be an important element in the Dutch and international network of artistic and art-related practices. We therefore request the State Secretary to withdraw his plans.

Signature

To support the Jan van Eyck Academie, please enter a comment at janvaneyck-adefendablespace@janvaneyck.nl  
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