How the left got trapped inside their own heads and how fairies can open the door to the future - Adam Curtis
Adam Curtis on the pessimism that the May 68 generation used as a defence against recuperation but struggled to shake off.
The protest movement that began with Occupy Wall Street is very clear about what it is against - an international capitalism that is cruel, unfair and untenable. But the movement refuses to say what it is for.
Janet Steer on the reality of a career in the arts not being as glamorous as it's made out to be.
I was looking out at the mountains, thinking: Trees are so lucky, they don’t have to have jobs. Of course, as any elementary schoolteacher will tell you, trees do have an important job, which is to expel nice fresh oxygen into the air so we can all breathe, to provide a habitat for lots of necessary creatures, and so on.
In Madrid I happened upon a unique collection in the annals of Spanish Civil War. Robert Capa considered a pioneer of photojournalism provided the iconic Falling Soldier image. Negatives of his, David Chim and Gerda Taro were thought lost when Capa fled Paris in 1940. The collection formed a heavily circulated body of work sympathetic to the Republic. The collection of 4,500 fortunately resurfaced in 2007 in Mexico and until September 2012, part of the La Maleta Mexicana collection - Círculo de Bellas Artes. Unfortunately, my camera is limited, but hopefully it gives a flavour of the collection.
Marco Cuevas-Hewitt outlines an emerging practice amongst radical writers; one entailing an attentiveness to intimations of alternative futures arising in the present. This "futurology of the present", as he calls it, represents a significant break with the hackneyed jeremiads and manifestos of earlier political generations, which limit themselves either to a simple negation of the present or to the authoritarian prescription of an idealised future. Delving into questions around the role of artists and writers in social movements and wider society, Cuevas-Hewitt's goal is a re-imagining of radical politics and a re-tooling of radical writerly practice.
‘Tomorrow never happens, man’ – Janis Joplin
David Graeber talks with the Editor-in-Chief of Artforum about philosophy, totalities, insurrectionism, baseline communism, and his book Debt.
MICHELLE KUO: Many artists and critics have been reading your work on everything from the long history of debt, to anarchism, to culture as “creative refusal.” That interest seems to be a reflection of how the art world, at this moment, sees itself in parallel to politics and economics.
This 1931 text by the Dutch anarchosyndicalist Christiaan Cornelissen, who in 1916 was a signatory of the pro-war Manifesto of the Sixteen, argues against the possibility of the direct implementation of communist policies after the revolution and for the persistence of money, “government”, police and prisons during a transitional period that will only gradually overcome the baneful legacy of capitalism, and calls upon the trade unions to cultivate a technocratic leadership cadre to direct high level strategic planning by financial-industrial socialist trusts, and thus prepare humanity and the economy for communism. We do not agree with this article but reproduce for reference.
Libertarian Communism and the Transitional Regime – Christiaan Cornelissen
Before outlining the basic features of a libertarian communist economy in the pages that follow, it is important to bring to the reader’s attention all the difficulties that will confront anyone who attempts such a labor.
A situationist-inspired summary of the history and meaning of culture, from its origins as the privilege of leisured classes in ancient societies to its takeover by the bourgeoisie in the 19th century and its subsequent decline as today’s “mass culture” of “entertainment”, which the author claims is subordinated to the logic of the commodity economy and is therefore a “bureaucratic and industrial substitute”, “decontextualized and stripped of historical perspective” and intended for the consumption of a “passive”, “childlike” “spectator public”.
The Avatars of Culture as Commodity – Miguel Amorós