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Tag Archives: Franz Kafka

Negative CapitalismNEGATIVE CAPITALISM:  CYNICISM IN THE NEOLIBERAL ERA

With J.D Taylor (author of the book) and Mark Fisher

Wednesday 11th September, 7.00pm

Housmans Bookshop

5 Caledonian Road

King’s Cross

London, N1 9DX

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase, unless otherwise stated

http://www.housmans.com

 

Negative Capitalism: Cynicism in the Neoliberal Era (Zer0 Books, 2013)

Negative Capitalism: Cynicism in the Neoliberal Era offers a new conceptual framework for understanding the current economic crisis. Through a ranging series of analyses and perspectives, it argues that cynicism has become culturally embedded in the UK and US as an effect of disempowerment by neoliberal capitalism. Yet despite the deprivation and collapse of key social infrastructure like representative democracy, welfare, workers’ rights and equal access to resources, there has so far been no collective, effective and sustained overthrow of capitalism. Why is this? The book’s central call is for new strategies that unravel this narcissistic cynicism, embracing social democracy, constitutional rights, mass bankruptcies and animate sabotage. Kafka, Foucault, Ballard and de Sade are clashed with the X-Factor, ruinporn, London, and the artwork of Laura Oldfield Ford. Negative Capitalism’s polemic is written to incite responses against the cynical malaise of the neoliberal era. (From the publisher, see more at: http://www.zero-books.net/books/negative-capitalism)

 

Mark Fisher is author of Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? (Zer0 Books, 2009)

 

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Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo (new remix, and new video, 2012)

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

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

All that is Solid for Glenn Rikowski: https://rikowski.wordpress.com

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

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Critical Pedagogy and the Constitution of Capitalist Society, by Glenn Rikowski is at Heathwood Press and can be viewed at:

http://www.heathwoodpress.com/monthly-guest-article-august-critical-pedagogy-and-the-constitution-of-capitalist-society-by-glenn-rikowski/

Walter Benjamin

THE PHILOSOPHY OF WALTER BENJAMIN – Second Call for Papers

2nd Call for Papers: ‘The Philosophy of Walter Benjamin’

One-Day Conference, December 14th, 2012 – Goldsmiths College, University of London
InC – Goldsmiths Continental Philosphy Research Group

The work of the German-Jewish critic and philosopher Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) spans a vast array of themes, ranging from the metaphysics of youth to the Paris arcades. His writings on Goethe and Scheerbart; Kafka and Baudelaire, as well as his work on the relationship between art and technology continue to fascinate and polarize in equal measure. His singular intersection of Marxian and Jewish thought is amply evidenced in the extensive correspondence with Ernst Bloch, Theodor Adorno, Bertold Brecht and Hannah Arendt, amongst others. Undoubtedly it is the sheer breadth of Benjamin’s interests that accounts for the enduring concern with his often fragmentary work across academic disciplines. That is to say, Benjamin is no longer a stranger at the Academy. Nevertheless, a central aspect of Benjamin’s work is all-too-often overlooked when his aesthetic and literary works are treated in isolation. The manifest content of Benjamin’s writing is never merely incidental: rather, it is shot through with a burgeoning philosophical project – from the ‘Programme of the Coming Philosophy’ (1917) to the ‘Theses on the Concept of History’ (1940). In this regard it appears that recent anniversary of Benjamin’s birth in 1892 warrants a re-appraisal of this legacy by asking the question: how can the various strands of Benjamin’s work be engaged to illuminate the unfolding of his philosophical position, and – vice versa – how does Benjamin’s philosophy illuminate other aspects of his thought?

This conference aims, then – on the one hand – to explore Benjamin’s thought in relation to the various philosophical traditions that inform his project (Leibniz, Kant, Schlegel, Lukács etc.), and – on the other hand – to ask how these influences continue to operate between the lines even where Benjamin is not explicitly concerned with the philosophical canon? In short: how are we to understand the philosophy of Walter Benjamin?

We ask potential speakers to submit abstracts of no more than 200 words to  sebastian.truskolaski@gmail.com by September 30th. The full programme will be announced in due course.

For updates check www.walterbenjamin2012.blogspot.com

 

Published in http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/cfp-the-philosophy-of-walter-benjamin-goldsmiths-14-december  

 

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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

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

 

 

Slavoj Zizek

ZIZEK IN NEW YORK CITY

BESTSELLING TITLE: LIVING IN THE END TIMES

By SLAVOJ ZIZEK

Published 21 April 2010

**MAJOR NYC EVENT***

Monday 8 November, 7pm, The Great Hall at Cooper Union, 7 East 7th Street, New York

Slavoj Zizek will be making a major New York City appearance at Cooper Union to discuss his most recent book Living in End Times, in which he reveals the signs of the coming apocalypse and identifies the terminal crisis of global capitalism.

For more information and to buy tickets go to http://livingintheendtimes-hm.eventbrite.com

Tickets: $10 student price / $20 regular price. Booking is essential.
Regular admission includes a FREE copy of Living in the End Times.
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“Zizek leaves no social or cultural phenomenon untheorized, and is master of the counterintuitive observation.” New Yorker.

“A great provocateur… Zizek writes with passion and an aphoristic energy that is spellbinding.” Los Angeles Times
“The most dangerous philosopher in the West.” New Republic
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Zizek analyzes the end of the world at the hands of the “four riders of the apocalypse.”

There should no longer be any doubt: global capitalism is fast approaching its terminal crisis. Slavoj Zizek has identified the four horsemen of this coming apocalypse: the worldwide ecological crisis; imbalances within the economic system; the biogenetic revolution; and exploding social divisions and ruptures. But, he asks, if the end of capitalism seems to many like the end of the world, how is it possible for Western society to face up to the end times? In a major new analysis of our global situation, Slavoj Zizek argues that our collective responses to economic Armageddon correspond to the stages of grief: ideological denial, explosions of anger and attempts at bargaining, followed by depression and withdrawal.

After passing through this zero-point, we can begin to perceive the crisis as a chance for a new beginning. Or, as Mao Zedong put it, “There is great disorder under heaven, the situation is excellent.” Slavoj Zizek shows the cultural and political forms of these stages of ideological avoidance and political protest, from New Age obscurantism to violent religious fundamentalism. Concluding with a compelling argument for the return of a Marxian critique of political economy, Zizek also divines the wellsprings of a potentially communist culture—from literary utopias like Kafka’s community of mice to the collective of freak outcasts in the TV series Heroes.
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Slavoj Zizek is today’s most controversial public intellectual. His work traverses the fields of philosophy, psychoanalysis, theology, history and political theory, taking in film, popular culture, and literature to provide acute analyses of the complexities of contemporary ideology as well as a serious and sophisticated philosophy. The author of over 30 books, Slavoj Zizek’s provocative prose has challenged a generation of activists and intellectuals. His latest book is Living in the End Times.

Called the “Elvis of cultural theory” and the “greatest intellectual high since anti-Oedipus” Zizek’s work has appeared in the The New York Times, the New Yorker and The Guardian, and he has appeared in Astra Taylor’s feature length films Zizek! and Examined Life. He is a Professor at the European Graduate School, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London, and a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.
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ISBN: 978 1 84467 598 2 / $29.95 / 432 pages
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For more information and to buy: http://livingintheendtimes-hm.eventbrite.com
 
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‘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)

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

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

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

Situationism

ESSEX / BRIGHTON SEMINARS ON AESTHETICS & POLITICS 10/25-10/26

:: Curating Resistance :: Aesthetics & Ethics in Social Movement ::
:: October 25th, 2010:: University of Essex ::
:: Room 4.722 :: 1PM – 5PM ::
http://www.minorcompositions.info/curatingresistance.html

Participants: Gavin Grindon (Kingston) // Paul Halliday (Goldsmiths) // Antigoni Memou (University of East London) // Matthew Poole (Essex)

Avant-garde and social movement art production has long had a troubled and conflictual relationship with the museum and the archive. The call to abandon the gallery as a space for art separated from everyday life, one that all too often neutralizes the antagonistic energies of radical art, reverberates from Dada through Fluxus, the Surrealists to Reclaim the Streets. But in today’s post-Fordist creativity-fuelled economy, the call to end this division rings hollow precisely because it has already been accomplished: the energies of insurgent creativity are rendered into forms of dispersed production for the net economy. The surrealist invocation of the marvellous is today’s advertising copy. Joseph Beuys’ proclamation that “everyone is an artist” has been realized in perverse form as “everyone is a worker,” where relationality is ‘socially sculpted’ through the circuits of an always present network culture as opportunities for capitalist valorization: all YouWork and MyProfit.

What might there be that could avoid these tensions and contradictions, or at least begin to suggest ways to work through and against them? Where does one go when life itself is both a direct producer of value and the substance of artistic production? To a gallery of the streets? Or maybe a university of trash? Is the archive of the undercommons a pile of zines sitting at the back of the infoshop? A pile of fleshy tissue inscribed on by a Kafka-esque writing machine? Perhaps it is all and none of these things. Thus we return to the question of the archive and history not to catalog social movement artistic production for a gallery-morgue or the productivity of the metropolitan factory, but rather to consider what an ethics and aesthetics of developing a living archive of experience and knowledges that can feed back into and through the fabric of everyday life might be.

Sponsored by the University of Essex Management Centre (http://www.essex.ac.uk/ebs/research/emc).

For more information contact Stevphen Shukaitis (sshuka@essex.ac.uk).

Metropolitan Strategies, Psychogeographic Investigations
:: A Drifting Seminar :: Brighton, October 26th, 2010 ::
Starting @ the Cowley Club, 2PM
http://www.minorcompositions.info/brightondrift.html

The notion of psychogeography (as well as many other ideas of the Situationists) appears frequently within political and artistic discussions. Indeed, they circulate to the point of cliché, in the process becoming almost completely emptied of content. The derive is reduced to a leisurely stroll, perhaps accompanied with some secondary musings about the nature of the spectacle, a dash of literary activity, or perhaps some local history. This is a hollowing out of the concept. Psychogeography for the Situationists was primarily not an aesthetic activity, but more than anything a strategic approach to understanding the forces shaping the city and from those finding points of intervention in it. At times it verged on a nearly military framework, working to gain an intuitive understanding of the territory and its layering of images, affects, and circuits of capitalist valorization.

Today we find ourselves in a condition of ever intensified spectacular sociability: all of life put to work in webs of biopolitical production, overwhelming communicative and media flows, and the reshaping of the metropolis through culture led gentrification. More than ever well-developed psychogeographic investigations are needed to comprehend the shaping of the metropolis and the possibilities this offers for political action. But this is not a task for the carefree wanderings of the flaneur, but perhaps better suited for what Ian Sinclair has described as the superseding figure of the stalker, the one who knows where he is going, but not why or how.

The aim of this encounter is to draw together concepts from psychogeography and unitary urbanism with recent writings on the shaping of the metropolis today. And from this approach to understanding the changing nature of the city elaborate new political strategies. For instance, if the metropolis is a factory, how would it go on strike? If all of everyday life and communication is put to work, how can we throw down our tools? And if capital attempts to recuperate all forms of radical politics in order to turn them into new energies for continued accumulation, is a strategy of concealment or incomprehensibility one way to escape from these dynamics?

This event will not be based around formal presentations, but rather will rather take the form of a drifting seminar. Participants will be asked to read several pieces of text that will form the basis of discussion and exploration.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

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

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon Profile: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/cold-hands-quarter-moon/

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

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Ilana Verdansky

THE NECESSITY OF ART

By Ernst Fischer

With a new introduction by John Berger

“Fischer’s range is remarkable, his powers of evocation enviable. Here the magic of the word does not betray him. He enjoys art and helps you enjoy it with him … The non-Marxist reader will feel at home, though let us hope not too much so.”—Stephen Mitchell, New Left Review

Reissued with a new introduction, The Necessity of Art is one of the twentieth century’s most influential books on aesthetics. With its emphasis on the individual’s need to engage with society, its rejection of rampant consumerism and hypertechnology, and its ultimate hopefulness, this radical, affirmative and humane vision of the artistic endeavor remains as timely today as when it was first published sixty years ago.

A committed member of the Communist Party of Austria during the time when the reality of Stalinist Russia was first coming to light, Fischer was faced with a new crisis in Marxism, and chose to fight against the stale, archaic form it had taken on in his native country. By rejecting the ossified dogma of social realism in favor of a more generous consideration of humanity, valorizing Kafka, Baudelaire, and “decadent” art, Fischer was deemed a renegade and calls were made for his expulsion from the Party. More than Marxist criticism, Fischer’s work is relevant for all those who care about what it means to be human.

In his poignant introductory essay, John Berger (Ways of Seeing) describes the last day of Fischer’s life, an idyllic day spent together in the countryside with his wife and translator that ended, after dinner, with a sudden heart attack. An admiring reader of Fischer’s work as well as an old friend, Berger is the perfect author for capturing the concerns both intellectual and all too human around which his life revolved.

ERNST FISCHER (1899-1972) studied philosophy before working as a newspaper editor, radio commentator, and writer; in the years after World War II he became a leading cultural commentator. His books include Art against Ideology.

Storyteller, novelist, essayist, screenwriter, dramatist and critic, JOHN BERGER is one of the most internationally influential writers of the last fifty years. His many books include Ways of Seeing, the fiction trilogy Into Their Labours, Here Is Where We Meet, the Booker Prize-winning novel G, Hold Everything Dear, the Man Booker–longlisted From A to X, and A Seventh Man.                                                                                                                                                                                                   

FOR INTERVIEWS & REVIEW COPIES PLEASE CONTACT:

USA – CLARA HEYWORTH: clara@versobooks.com

UK –  TAMAR SHLAIM: tamar@verso.co.uk

Verso – Books with a Critical Edge

40 Years of Radical Publishing 1970 – 2010

www.versobooks.com

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

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

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon Profile: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/cold-hands-quarter-moon/

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

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski