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.
An obitatury for long-time IWW member and artist Carlos Cortez.
“When you do a painting that’s it, it’s one of a kind. But when you do a graphic the amount of prints you can make from it is infinite. I made a provision in my estate, for whoever will take care of my blocks, that if any of my graphic works are selling for high prices immediate copies should be made to keep the price down.
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
Here's a video (and links to a couple of other videos) previewing the new documentary about the Chinese artist and political activist, Ai Weiwei, which is premiering at the Sundance Film Festival. I've also added my own thoughts on Ai Weiwei.
I've not had a chance to see the film yet but as soon as it starts circulating on the net, I'll do my best to get hold of it.
Text of a speech delivered on behalf of the group, Arte Social, in Paris in 1896, in which one of the founders of French revolutionary syndicalism expresses his views on art and revolution, discusses the decadence of bourgeois morality and illustrates its deleterious effects on the morale of the working class by means of colorful anecdotes drawn from contemporary newspaper reports, and proclaims that "the goal of revolutionary art" is to "remove the veil from social lies".
Art and Revolt – Fernand Pelloutier
Short biography of Neo-impressionist painter and anarchist Maximilien Luce.
Maximilien Luce was born into a modest family in 1858 in Paris. From early youth he mixed with impoverished artisans and workers constructing the major roads and other works. At the age of thirteen, he was an appalled witness of the massacres carried out by government forces against the revolutionaries of the Paris Commune of 1871. This was to haunt him for all his life.
An account of Franz Seiwert and the 'Cologne Progressives', a group or circle of artists who followed and participated in the radical currents around the German council communist organisations AAU and especially the AAU-E. The 'Cologne Progressives' may be the most radical group of artists ever.
Art has a long history of use as a propaganda weapon by the powerful, who have patronised particular forms of art and particular artists as a means of enhancing or glorifying their own position. The icon-like portraits of Queen Elizabeth I provide an obvious example, as artists were forbidden to paint other than an officially approved likeness.
A founding member of the French ORA, anarchist militant, artist, writer, animator of cultural and artistic events.
The Butte aux Cailles in the 13th arrondissement of Paris, lies south of the Seine. It is one of the least known old neighbourhoods of the French capital, like its working class cousins north of the river – Batignolles, Belleville and Menilmontant. The Butte rises gently beside the now subterranean course of Paris’s forgotten river the Bievre.
A short biography of modernist photographer and anarchist Margaret Michaelis 1902-1985.
Margaret Michaelis’s prowess as a photographer has been hidden away until recently. Recent exhibitions in Canberra, Australia in 1988 and 2005 and in Valencia, Spain in 2005 have begun to dispel this cloud of obscurity.