Human-ities · Performativity · Philosophy · Public Space

The Violence of Participation

“Participation is war. Any form of participation is already a form of conflict. In war, enemy and adversary usually hold territory, which they can gain or lose, while each has a spokesman or authority that can govern, submit, or collapse. In order to participate in any environment or situation, one needs to understand the forces of conflict that act upon that environment. Participation is often understood as a means of becoming part of something through proactive contribution and the occupation of a particular role. However it seems that this role is rarely understood as a critical platform of engagement, but rather based on romantic conceptions of harmony and solidarity. In the context, I would like to promote an understanding of conflictual participation, one that acts as an uninvited irritant.” – Extract from Marcus Miessenʼs essay The Violence of Participation

Via Sternberg-Press

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Grassroots Modernism: Issue 8 of the Journal of Aesthetics & Protest

The articles within this issue 8 of the Journal of Aesthetics & Protest attest, as a collection, to our belief in the utility of a multiplicity of approaches. A multiplicity of tactics is sometimes used to pragmatically cover for unsolvable differences in what is to be considered as appropriate action within a single protest. We do not use it as a cover though, instead we suggest (as many others have) that it is rich layers of often antagonistic relationships within generally broad trends that make a movement more successful, not less. Nevertheless, to intelligently understand the impact of potential actions is the task of all involved in the movements.Let us explore this multiplicity to its most creative, least reductive potential.

Excerpt from Issue 8’s editorial. Continue HERE


Marc James Léger – Join a Political Group

Marco Cuevas-Hewitt – Towards a Futurology of the Present
Notes on Writing, Movement, and Time

Meg Wade – Grassroots Modernism as Autonomous Ethos and Practice

Jaleh Mansoor – Poetics, Commitment
Ayreen Anastas’s M*Bethlehem and Pasolini Pa Palestine

Mattias Regan – Playing (with) the Impossible
Modernism’s Populist Poetics

Victor Tupitsyn – Socialist Modernism and Beyond

Ron Sakolsky – The Surrealist Adventure and the Poetry of Direct Action
Passionate Encounters Between the Chicago Surrealist Group,
the Wobblies and Earth First!

Gabriel Mindel Salomon – The Subjective Object
Or Harry Hay in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
(originally published in the Journal of Radical Shimming)

Ian Milliss – Losing My Self
Some anecdotes about anonymity

Gavin Grindon – Surrealism, Dada and the Refusal of Work
Autonomy, Activism and Social Participation in The Radical Avant Garde
(originally published in the Oxford Art Journal). Note: Link opens to PDF

Olive McKeon – Oh What A Mess I’ve Made
On Aesthetics and Political Praxis

Sue Bell Yank – Re-casting Institutional Memory
The Slow Breakdown of the Art/Politics Divide

Survival Kit Collective – Survival Kit Collective
Arcosantian economics, Biospherian aesthetics: a kit for grassroots ecological projects

Protest and Stagnation – Self-generated Discourse in the Context of the
Austrian Student protests of 2009/2010

Khristopher Flack – Anywhere is Everywhere
Reclaiming Community through production in the Rural Northeast

Tim Jensen – On the Emotional Terrain of Neoliberalism
The opposite of despair is not hope, the opposite of depression is not happiness

Libertad Guerra – Uncommon Commonalities
Aesthetic Politics of Place in the South Bronx

Luis Guerra – The Bomb Case
An Uncelebratory Task

Christopher Lee – Frontlining Currency
Speculative Numismatics” as Antagonistic Graphic Design

Public Laboratory – DIY mapping, Popular Participation
Ecological and political monitoring in the Gulf of Mexico and beyond

Ultra Red – Andante Politics
Popular Education in the Organizing of Unión de Vecinos

Journal of Aesthetics & Protest

Digital Media · Performativity · Social/Politics

Being Social

‘Angry Women’ by Annie Abrahams, 2011. (From photograph by Michael Szpakowski)

Since the mid-90s computers have changed our way of being together. First the Internet then mobile networks have grown as cultural spaces for interaction – wild and banal, bureaucratic and controlling – producing new ways of ‘being social’. Visitors are invited to view art installations, software art, networked performances and to get involved with creative activities to explore how our lives – personal and political – are being shaped by digital technologies.

Being Social is the opening exhibition at Furtherfield Gallery in Finsbury Park in North London. Furtherfield has established an international reputation as London’s first gallery for networked media art since 2004. With this exciting move to a more public space Furtherfield invites artists and techies – amateurs, professionals, celebrated stars and private enthusiasts – to engage with local and global, everyday and epic themes in a process of imaginative exchange.

This exhibition brings together artworks by emerging and internationally acclaimed artists: Annie Abrahams, Karen Blissett, Ele Carpenter, Emilie Giles, moddr_ , Liz Sterry and Thomson and Craighead.

Via Furtherfield