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Situationist Human

SITUATIONIST AESTHETICS: THE S.I. NOW

University of Sussex, Brighton, UK – Friday 8th June 2012

Keynote: McKenzie Wark (The New School, NY), author of The Beach Beneath the Street: The Everyday Life and Glorious Times of the Situationist International (2011), Gamer Theory (2007) and Hacker Manifesto (2004).

“Since the beginning of the movement there has been a problem as to what to call artistic works by members of the SI. It was understood that none of them was a situationist production, but what to call them? I propose a very simple rule: to call them ‘antisituationist.’ We are against the dominant conditions of artistic inauthenticity. I don’t mean that anyone should stop painting, writing, etc. I don’t mean that that has no value. I don’t mean that we could continue to exist without doing that. But at the same time we know that such works will be coopted by society and used against us. Our impact lies in the elaboration of certain truths which have an explosive power whenever people are ready to struggle for them. At the present stage the movement is only in its infancy regarding the elaboration of these essential points.” — Attila Kotányi at the Fifth Conference of the SI, 1961

Is it oxymoronic, heretical or just plain wrong to talk about Situationist aesthetics? The Situationist International (SI) condemned attempts to discuss its work in terms of aesthetics, but perhaps it is now time to brush the SI against the grain.

When it first announced its programme, the SI insisted that ‘There is no such thing as Situationism’. A few years later, before expelling its members deemed to be too invested in artistic production, the SI declared that in an age of spectacle any work of art produced by a Situationist must necessarily be ‘antisituationist’. The SI’s tactical intransigence regarding the political value of the aesthetic, and its refusal of the possibility of a specifically Situationist aesthetic, threw up problems that remained unresolved by the time of the SI’s dissolution. Since 1972, particularly in Anglophone contexts, Situationist practices have penetrated an array of cultural spheres, and much cultural production which the SI would have dismissed as spectacular has claimed some Situationist influence.

The SI located itself within but against culture. This symposium asks whether such a position is tenable, and what possibility might there be for Situationist aesthetics after all. Do cultural phenomena such as punk, or the current psychogeography industry, for example, work as or against Situationist aesthetics? Is it possible to identify art works and/or practices indebted to the SI that do not recuperate its politics but fortify and develop them?

Possible themes include, but are not limited to:

·           The work of Guy Debord and other members of the Situationist International

·           The work of artists, writers, thinkers or film-makers proximate to or influenced by the SI

·           Critiques of the SI

·           (Post-)Situationist theory now

·           Détournement, plagiarism, and recuperation

·           Spectacular and anti-spectacular aesthetics

·           The uses and abuses of psychogeography

·           Punk and art writing

Please submit proposals of no more than 250 words for papers or presentations of 20 minutes to Sam Cooper at situ.aesthetics@gmail.com by 16th March 2012.

For further information: http://situationist-aesthetics.blogspot.com

**END**

 

‘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, northWales)  

 

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

‘Stagnant’ – a new remix and new video by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo  

 

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: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

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.
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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

Asger Jorn

ASGER JORN’S WRITINGS ON ART AND ARCHITECTURE

Guy Debord and Asger Jorn were the key co-founders of the Situationist International (1957). Despite significant differences in style and personality, the two were close collaborators at that time and remained close personal friends until Jorn’s death in 1973, long after Jorn had left the SI.

One of the first projects of the newly formed SI was the publication of a large French-language collection of Asger Jorn’s texts from the immediately preceding period: “Pour la Forme: ébauche d’une méthodologie des arts” (1958). This collection was reprinted by Éditions Allia and is still in print, but up till now very few of Jorn’s writings have been available in English.

Now, at long last, there is a comprehensive English-language collection of Jorn’s writings:

FRATERNITÉ AVANT TOUT:
ASGER JORN’S WRITINGS ON ART AND ARCHITECTURE, 1938-1958
Edited by Ruth Baumeister
Translated by Paul Larkin and Ken Knabb
Published by “010” (Rotterdam)
http://www.010.nl/catalogue/book.php?id=760

Most of this new collection consists of articles translated from the Danish and Swedish by Paul Larkin, but it also includes four articles from “Pour la Forme” translated from the French by Ken Knabb. Excerpts from these latter articles are online at: http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/asger-jorn/index.htm

Those excerpts provide just a little taste of the richness and liveliness of Jorn’s ideas and explorations. I encourage you to get Baumeister’s book if you are interested in further exploring this provocative yet genial pioneer of the interface between cultural and political radicalism.

*********
The Bureau of Public Secrets website features writings by Ken Knabb, Knabb’s translations from the Situationist International, and the Rexroth Archive (texts by and about the great writer and social critic Kenneth Rexroth).

*********
BUREAU OF PUBLIC SECRETS
POB 1044, Berkeley CA 94701, USA
http://www.bopsecrets.org

*********

 

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

Bonuses for Some

A USER’S GUIDE TO (DEMANDING) THE IMPOSSIBLE

New booklet on art and activism…

A Users Guide to (Demanding) the Impossible: Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination

This guide is not a road map or instruction manual. It’s a match struck in the dark, a homemade multi-tool to help you carve out your own path through the ruins of the present, warmed by the stories and strategies of those who took Bertolt Brecht’s words to heart: “Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.”

It was written in a whirlwind of three days in December 2010, between the first and second days of action by UK students against the government cuts, and intended to reflect on the possibility of new creative forms of action in the current movements.

“Art is useless, so they tell us, as soon as it truly affects the world it loses its status as art. (You never know, it might slide down the slippery slope, becoming instrumental, propaganda, or even worse craft!). The strange thing is that those who tell us this are often the same people who put art to the crudest instrumental use – the art market. Maybe what they mean is that – art is useless when it’s not ultimately used to make a profit. Perhaps it’s the same logic as that which argues that education has no use outside slotting us into the mutilated world of work and consumption. This guide is for those of us who suspect that art has other uses and who are prepared to seek them.”

PDF available freely online (http://www.minorcompositions.info/usersguide.html), and discounts for ordering multiple copies.

64 pages, A6 size (4.134 x 5.827)

To be released June 1st, 2011

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

— 
Stevphen Shukaitis
Autonomedia Editorial Collective
http://www.autonomedia.org
http://www.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

Guy Debord

SPECTACULAR CAPITALISM

Spectacular Capitalism Release Party and Presentation 
Saturday June 25th @ 7PM @ X Marks the Bökship (http://bokship.org)
210/ Unit 3 Cambridge Heath Road London E2 9NQ

Over the past forty years the ideas and practices of Guy Debord and the Situationist International have become a constant reference point for those involved in radical politics, the arts, and cultural theory. Despite this ubiquity Debord’s work has been reduced to a palatable cliché rather than being used as a tool for crafting an ongoing practice of critique and engagement. Come on join us to celebrate the release of Richard Gilman-Opalsky’s new book, Spectacular Capitalism: Guy Debord and the Practice of Radical Philosophy, as we excavate this potential from the historical wreckage. 

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. 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.

Commentary and response from Gavin Grindon:

“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

Organized by Minor Compositions (http://www.minorcompositions.info) and the Centre for Ethics and Politics @ Queen Mary, University of London (http://cfep.org.uk)

Spectacular Capitalism: Guy Debord and the Practice of Radical Philosophy
Richard Gilman-Opalsky
http://www.minorcompositions.info/spectacularcapitalism.html
To be released June 2011
ISBN 978-1-57027-228-8

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.

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

*****

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

Marxism and Culture

MARXIST LITERARY GROUP SUMMER INSTITUTE ON CULTURE AND SOCIETY

 

Monday, June 20

9:00-10:15: MARXISM AND BOURGEOIS REVOLUTION 
Spencer Leonard: Marx’s Critique of Political Economy: Proletarian Socialism Continuing the Bourgeois Revolution?
Pamela Nogales: Marx on the U.S. Civil War as the 2nd American Revolution
Jeremy Cohan: Lukács on Marx’s Hegelianism and the Dialectic of Marxism

10:30-11:30: WAR AND SOCIAL CLASS
Pat Keeton: “Class, War, and Class War: Changing Ideology in American Films from Vietnam to Post-9/11
Peter Scheckner: “End of Empire: How American Cinema since Vietnam Narrates the Erosion of American Global Power.

12:30-1:30: ROUNDTABLE: AFTER GLOBALIZATION

1:45-3:00: POLITICS AND CONSCIOUSNESS
Eric Vazquez: Counterinsurgency’s Suppositions
Joel Nickels: From Spontaneity to Self-government: Imagining Self-Organization in the Twentieth Century and Beyond
Gino Signoracci: Marxism and Eastern Thought: Toward a Philosophy of Perpetual Revolution?

3:15-4:45: COMMODITIES
Ariane Pasternak: Commodity Fetishism and the Feminized Sphere of Non-Value
Ericka Beckman: Seeing the World System: The Latin American “Commodity Novel”
Sina Rahmani: Einwaggonieren: Containerization, Displacement, and the “Forbidden Commodities”
Max Haiven: Abject Finance: Wal-Mart and the Unbankables

7:00: FILM SCREENING: SHASHWATI TALUKDAR’S PLEASE DON’T BEAT ME, SIR.

Tuesday, June 21

9:00-10:15: HISTORY, LITERATURE, REVOLUTION
Eldon Birthwright: Caribbean Literature and the Sanitizing of History
Sheshalatha Reddy: Bodies in Bondage, Bodies in Labor: Class Consciousness and the “Oppressed Natives” in the Morant Bay Uprising
Aisha Karim: Literature and Revolution

10:30-11:45: RACE, REVOLUTION, POSTCOLONIALITY
Julie Fiorelli: Recurrent Revolutions? Arna Bontemps’s Conception of Time and African American Race-War Novels of the Late 1960s
LaRose Parris: The African Diasporic Proletariat
Henry Schwarz: Marxism and Postcolonial Studies

1:00-2:30: READING GROUP: ANTONIO GRAMSCI 
Led by Jaafar Aksikas

2:45-4:00: REVOLUTION AS EVENT
Kanishka Chowdhury: Revolution and the “Hidden Abode of Production”
Barbara Foley: Event, Non-Event, and “Arrested Dialectic”: The Aftermath of 1919.
Neil Larsen: Revolution as Event and the Temporality of Crisis

4:15-5:30: REVOLUTION AND UNEVEN DEVELOPMENT, AKA THE SPATIAL DIALECTIC 
Laura Martin: Colonial Servitude in the Transition to Capitalism.
Joe Ramsey: Learning from Failures, and from Afar: The Problem of Revolutionary Subjectivity in the US of A, Today

5:45-6:30: WHAT IS A MARXIST POLITICS TODAY?
Oded Nir: Waltz With Bashir: Mediating Class In and Out of Globalized Israeli Culture
Niamh Mulcahy: Class Struggle and the Possibility of a Science of Aleatory History
Andrew Culp: Three Theses for Marxist Politics Today
Joshua Kurz, respondent

Wednesday, June 22

9:00-10:15: AESTHETICS AND POLITICS
Vin Adiutori: Appearance and Phantasm: Reconfiguring Misrecognition
Anthony Squiers: Rethinking Brecht’s Split Character: Dialectics, Social Ontology and Literary Technique
Eleanor Kaufman: Revolution and the Question of Party in Sartre, Brecht, and Badiou

10:30-11:45: BETWEEN REVOLUTIONS: RESISTANCE, CULTURAL POLITICS, AND THE CLICHÉ
Joe Hughes: Ethico-Aesthetics and the Politics of the Cliché
Christian Haines: “It is you who give the life”: On Walt Whitman, Cultural Revolution, and Biopolitics
Hyeryung Hwang: “I prefer not to”: Embodied Subjectivity as the Site of Resistance

1:00-2:30: READING GROUP: MARXISM AND FEMINISM REVISITED 
Led by Ann Mattis and Susan Comfort)

2:45-4:00: THE MARXISM OF SECOND INTERNATIONAL RADICALISM: LENIN, LUXEMBURG, TROTSKY AND LUKÁCS 
Chris Cutrone: Vladmir Lenin
Greg Gabrellas: Rosa Luxemburg
Ian Morrison: Leon Trotsky
Spencer Leonard, respondent

4:15-5:30:  END TIMES
Mathias Nilges: The Tenses of Form or, Literature at the End of Time
Brent Bellamy: Foreclosing Revolution, or the Apocalyptic Contradiction of Late Capitalism
Eui Kang: Apocalyptic Marx

7:00: FILM SCREENING: MICHAEL TRUSCELLO’S CAPITALISM IS THE CRISIS

Thursday, June 23

9:00-10:15: HISTORY I
Lucas Johnson: Measuring History in the Post-National
Jackson Petsche: Marxism, Posthumanism, and the Future of Animal Liberation
Nathaniel Boyd: Re-thinking the Contingent Political Sequence of Revolutionary Class Struggle

10:30-11:45: HISTORY II
Grover Furr: Why Is It Vital To All of Us To Get the Stalin Period Right?
Ryan Culpepper: 5 Years After the 1929 Economic Collapse
Justin Sully: Population Decline and the Historical Lateness of Capitalism

1:00-2:30: READING GROUP: C.L.R. JAMES AND JAMES BOGGS 
Led by Joel Woller

2:45-3:45: THE PERIPHERAL STANDPOINT
Jefferson Agostini Mello: Desiring the World: A New Brazilian Culture?
Maria Elisa Cevasco: Misplaced Ideas: What We Can Learn from How Ideas Fare in Brazil

4:00-5:00: BUSINESS MEETING

7:00: FILM SCREENING: ANDREW FRIEND’S WORKERS’ REPUBLIC

Friday, June 24

8:45-10:15: LITERATURE I
Emilio Sauri: Cognitive Mapping, Then and Now
David Aitchison: Literature and Revolution: Radical Politics and the Novel in the U.S.A.
Jen Hammond: The Lyric Moment and Revolution
Madeleine Monson-Rosen: The Structure of Media Revolution: Thomas Pynchon and the Politics of Paradigm Shift

10:30-12:00: LITERATURE II
Jonathan Poore: John Steinbeck and the Proletarian Aesthetic
Carolyn Lesjak: Realism and Revolution
Peter Gardner: The Political Unconscious of A Farewell to Arms
Kristin Bergen: Gertrude Stein and the Relation of Political Periodization to Aesthetic Form

1:00-2:30: READING GROUP: THE STRUCTURE OF REVOLUTION 
Led by Joe Ramsey and Rich Daniels

2:45-4:00: GUY DEBORD
Sarah Hamblin: Repetition as a Revolutionary Aesthetic in the Cinema of Guy Debord
Jane Winston: Revolution in Debord
Vanessa R. S. Cavalcanti and Antonio Carlos Silva: The Society of the Spectacle to the Beat of the Capital: a Contribution to the Criticism of Modernity’s Ritual

6:30: MLG BARBECUE

Marxist Literary Group: http://mlg.eserver.org/the-institute/2011-chicago/

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

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

Radical Thinkers

RADICAL THINKERS SET 5 & RADICAL THINKERS CLASSIC EDITIONS

OUT NOW

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RADICAL THINKERS SET 5

Verso presents Set 5 of the highly popular Radical Thinkers series,
continuing its commitment to bring classic works of philosophy to a new
audience readership through affordable, attractively designed new editions.
—————————————-
LAUNCH EVENT with TARIQ ALI and PETER OSBORNE

MEDITATIONS ON SPINOZA: THE APOSTLE OF REASON
http://www.tate.org.uk/modern/eventseducation/film/22966.htm

Part of the ‘In Defense of Philosophy’ series at Tate Modern

Friday 25th February 2011, 18.30
Tate Modern, Bankside London SE1 9TG

Christopher Spencer’s SPINOZA: THE APOSTLE OF REASON (1994) is the second film to be shown in the In Defense of Philosophy series. Written by Tariq Ali, the film presents the life and thought of Baruch Spinoza against the turmoil of seventeenth-century Europe. A fascinating modern man, Spinoza challenged orthodoxy in both religion andpolitics, angering his traditional contemporaries. Spinoza’s remarkable intellectual legacy has influenced thinkers as varied as Ludwig Wittgenstein, Gilles Deleuze, Albert Einstein and John Berger.

The film will be followed by a conversation with Tariq Ali and Peter Osborne.

Tate Modern Starr Auditorium
£10 (£8 concessions), booking recommended

For tickets book online here: http://www.tate.org.uk/modern/eventseducation/film/22966.htm or call 020 7887 8888.
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RADICAL THINKERS SET 5

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Louis Althusser – MACHIAVELLI AND US, 978 1 84467 675 0
“Althusser, poised between modernism and postmodernism, meets Machiavelli, poised between the Middle Ages and modernity.”–Antonio Negri.
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Etienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein – RACE, NATION, CLASS: AMBIGUOUS
IDENTITIES, 978 1 84467 671 2
The modernity of racism and its relationship to contemporary capitalism.
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Jean Baudrillard – PASSWORDS, 978 1 84467 676 7
In the spirit of Deleuze’s Abécédaire, PASSWORDS offers twelve entry
points into Baudrillard’s thought.
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Jeremy Bentham – THE PANOPTICON WRITINGS, 978 1 84467 666 8
A definitive collection of Bentham’s work on the model prison, key to Foucault’s theory of power
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Guy Debord – COMMENTS ON THE SOCIETY OF THE SPECTACLE,
978 1 84467 672 9
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Hal Foster – DESIGN AND CRIME, 978 1 84467 670 5
“DESIGN AND CRIME is cool, measured, and steady, like a Gunsmoke shootout.”–Greil Marcus
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André Gorz – CRITIQUE OF ECONOMIC REASON, 978 1 84467 667 5
“Gorz’s greatest work, and a crucial book for our time” — LE MONDE

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Fredric Jameson – BRECHT AND METHOD, 978 1 84467 677 4

“Elegant dissection of Brecht’s method, from estrangements to allegory and beyond”– MODERN DRAMA
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Peter Osborne – THE POLITICS OF TIME: MODERNITY AND AVANT-GARDE, 978 1
84467 673 6
Elaborates a dialectics of modernity, eternity and tradition.
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Edward W. Soja – POSTMODERN GEOGRAPHIES: THE REASSERTION OF SPACE IN
CRITICAL SOCIAL THEORY, 978 1 84467 669 9
“One of the most challenging and stimulating books ever written”—David Harvey
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Sebastiano Timpanaro – FREUDIAN SLIP: PSYCHOANALYSIS AND TEXTUAL
CRITICISM, 978 1 84467 674 3
“A firework display of erudition.”–Perry Anderson
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Slavoj Žižek, Ernesto Laclau, and Judith Butler – CONTINGENCY, HEGEMONY,
UNIVERSALITY, 978 1 84467 668 2
The Hegelian legacy, Left strategy, and post-structuralism versus Lacanian psychoanalysis
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To celebrate 40 years of radical publishing, Verso is reissuing four of the most popular and seminal titles from previous Radical Thinkers series in beautiful new hardback editions with black and red foil-embossed covers.
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Autonomia

POST/AUTONOMIA – CALL FOR PAPERS

Post/autonomia – Call for Papers

Amsterdam, 19-22 May 2011

University of Amsterdam/SMART Project Space

Keynote speakers include:

Franco Berardi (‘Bifo’)

Vittorio Morfino

Stevphen Shukaitis (to be confirmed)

Immaterial labour; multitude; the communism of capital; commons; precarity; biopolitics: autonomist thought has undoubtedly provided contemporary critical theory with some of its major concepts and/or allowed for an important reconsidering of these. Most importantly, autonomist thought has been at the forefront of thinking the crucial shifts in contemporary capitalism and its effects in both the social and cultural sphere. Autonomism’s impact on current critical theory in both European and American academia can therefore hardly be underestimated. Moreover, today we witness a resurgence of autonomist models of activism and thought in social movements in for example Italy, Greece, the UK and California.

What can ‘post/autonomia’ mean today?’ therefore is one of the pivotal questions in contemporary critical theory and activism. Rather than packaging it as ‘Italian Theory’, we would like to explore the international dissemination of autonomous thought and activism today and their possible futures; in particular we would like to explore critical engagements and uses of autonomist ideas that shape what we might call post/autonomia. It is precisely the dynamics, tensions and ruptures between autonomia and its possible futures (or ‘posts’) that we would like to investigate. What are the effects of autonomia, as a thought and a movement, in a variety of domains: from critical theory to cinema, from activism to academic practice?

Crucial questions raised by the notion of post/autonomia are:

* How did autonomist thought move from what was in fact a specific local context to the global activist and intellectual sphere?

* What are the possible connections between (post)autonomia and other contemporary conceptualizations of ‘communism’?

* What is the role of (post)autonomist thinking in current efforts to reassemble and reconstitute the militant left?

* What are possible connections/convergences between (post)autonomism and post-situationism, anarchism or the green movement?

* How can post/autonomia be situated in the aftermath or even afterlife of the ‘no global’ moment?    * How is post/autonomia taking shape in diverse cultural and artistic interventions?

* What is the significance of autonomist thought in non-western/global contexts (e.g. the debates concerning precarious labour in China)?

* How does the current the interest in autonomism and its relevance relate to political discourses concerning the ‘heritage’ of 68/77 and their alleged ‘liquidation’ (by Berlusconi/Sarkozy); to what extent does it encourage or block these debates?

* What elements of autonomism remain unaddressed today (e.g. the feminist heritage)?

* What particular nexus between theory/militant practice takes shape in post/autonomia (e.g. in media activism and precarity-movements)?

* What new perspectives/connections can be created: e.g. post/autonomia and queer, the metropolis, bioeconomy, etc. etc.

The conference will provide a platform for addressing these and other important questions. Papers may address the following topics (but are by no means bound to these):

Post/autonomia and:

–       contemporary activism

–       conceptualizations of bio-politics

–       the neo-liberal state

–       precarity

–       media activism

–       academic activism and new student movements (L’Onda che viene etc)

–       post-situationism

–       queer autonomy

–       feminism

–       the work of individual theorists (e.g. Negri, Virno, Berardi, Guattari, Lazzerato, Marazzi etc)

–       semiocapitalism

–       artistic and cultural activism

–       political/cultural memories of autonomia

–       the metropolis and the social factory today

–       the new communism

–       transversality

–       new spinozisms

–       (the lessons of) Genoa 2001

–       strategies of resistance

–       populism

–       the law, the state of exception and legitimacy

We welcome both academic and practice-oriented contributions in English. Papers should not exceed 20 minutes. Please send abstracts (350 words) before March 15 to postautonomia@gmail.com. For further information, please contact postautonomia@gmail.com.

This conference is the first of a series within the project Precarity and Post-autonomia: the Global Heritage funded by NWO (Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research).

Organizing committee:

–       Vincenzo Binetti, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (USA)

–       Joost de Bloois, University of Amsterdam

–       Silvia Contarini, Université Paris Ouest, Nanterre La Défence

–       Monica Jansen, Utrecht University

–       Federico Luisetti, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (USA)

–       Frans-Willem Korsten, Leiden University/Erasmus University Rotterdam

–       Gianluca Turricchia, University of Amsterdam

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THE SPIRIT OF CAPITAL – WITH MOISHE POSTONE

This message is to announce the Tenth Annual Graduate Student Conference in Philosophy at the New School For Social Research entitled “The Spirit of Capital: A Conference on Hegel and Marx

Date: April 28-29, 2011
Paper Submission Deadline: Dec 1st, 2010
Keynote Speaker: Moishe Postone (University of Chicago)

Submission Guidelines:

Papers ranging from 3,000 to 5,000 words should be submitted in blind review format via spiritofcapital@gmail.com and should include the following in the body of the email:

i. Author’s name

ii. Title of Paper

iii. Institutional affiliation

iv. Contact information (email, phone number, mailing address)
Please omit any self-identifying information within the body of the paper.

PLEASE POST, FORWARD AND CIRCULATE WIDELY

Sincerely,

Graduate Conference Committee 2010-2011, The New School for Social Research, spiritofcapital@gmail.com

THE SPIRIT OF CAPITAL: A CONFERENCE ON HEGEL AND MARX

THE TENTH ANNUAL GRADUATE STUDENT CONFERENCE IN PHILOSOPHY

AT THE NEW SCHOOL FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: MOISHE POSTONE

APRIL 28TH -29TH, 2011

“It is impossible completely to understand Marx’s Capital, and especially its first chapter, without having thoroughly studied and understood the whole of Hegel’s Logic. Consequently, half a century later none of the Marxists understood Marx!!” wrote Lenin in 1915. In 1969, Althusser responded, “A century and a half later no one has understood Hegel because it is impossible to understand Hegel without having thoroughly studied and understood Capital.” What are we to make of this challenge today? Are we now ready to understand Hegel through Marx, and Marx through Hegel?

It is high time for a reassessment of the core stakes of the Marx-Hegel debate. What would it mean to think the concepts of capital and spirit together? This conference is a place to explore the internal relations between Hegel and Marx’s philosophical projects. Some possible questions include: how does Hegel’s phenomenology, logic, philosophy of nature, history and right internally contain the elements that Marx will use to decipher the world of property, labor, commodities and capital? Is Capital a logical theory of forms or a theory of history? How does Marx negate and realize Hegel’s project? What is the role of labor in Hegel, and the role of spirit in Marx? Does the development of history show the unfolding of freedom or the unfolding of capital?  This conference echoes the early Frankfurt School tradition, with its project for a critique of the social forms of the present. We encourage submissions on a wide range of topics and thinkers:

Possible Themes:

Capital and Spirit

Hegel’s Logic and Marx’s Grundrisse

Property, Alienation, and Class

Form and Content in Hegel and Marx

Concrete and Abstract Labor

Master and Slave

Critique, Dialectic and Method

Time and History

Freedom and Necessity

Substance and Subject in Capital

The Value-Form

Critique of Labor

Revolution and Negation

Materialism and Idealism

Proletarian Self-Abolition

Commodity, Money and Capital

The Philosophy of Right

Possible Thinkers:

I.I. Rubin

Gyorgy Lukacs

Karl Korsch

Ernst Bloch

Walter Benjamin

Alfred Sohn-Rethel

Theodore Adorno

Herbert Marcuse

CLR James

Raya Dunayevskaya

Guy Debord

Alexander Kojeve

Jean Hyppolite

Frantz Fanon

Helmut Reichelt

Hans-Georg Backhaus

Gillian Rose

EMAIL SUBMISSIONS TO: spiritofcapital@gmail.com

SUBMISSION DEADLINE is Dec 1st, 2010

Papers should be sent as word documents or pdfs, not exceeding 5000 words. Personal information including institutional affiliation is to be sent in the body of the email and should not appear on the paper itself or in the file name.

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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.

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Culture

MARXISM IN CULTURE READING GROUP – LONDON

Dear All

The Marxism in Culture reading group will resume its monthly meetings on Friday the 22nd of October 2010 at 5.30. The group meets on Friday evenings in SR5 at the UCL History of Art Department, 20-21 Gordon Square, and discusses key texts, both historical and contemporary, that have a bearing on Marxist aesthetics and radical cultural theory and practice more generally. Thus far, we have looked at texts by Marx and Engels, Lukács, Brecht, Adorno, Bensaid, Eagleton, Debord, Bakhtin and the Retort collective, to name just a few.

In our first meeting for this term we will discuss Alain Badiou’s The Communist Hypothesis.

If you are interested in participating then please contact Antigoni Memou at: antigonimemou@yahoo.co.uk

Best Wishes
Warren Carter, Maggie Gray, Antigoni Memou

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