Tongo Eisen-Martin

    Faceless A tour guide through your robbery He also is Cigarette saying, “look what I did about your silence.” Ransom water and box spring gold –This decade is only for accent grooming, I guess Ransom water and box spring gold –The corner store must die War games, I guess All these tongues rummage junk The start of mass destruction Begins and ends In restaurant bathrooms That some people use And other people clean “you telling me there’s a rag in the sky?” -waiting for you. yes- we’ve written we’ve set a stage We should have fit in. warehouse…

Alberto Toscano | Mayakovsky at Mirafori: Operaismo and the Negation of Poetry

  Though many of the watchwords and guiding axioms of Italian operaismo and its successors have percolated into critical discourse on aesthetic production, and multiple analyses of its intersections with visual art and architecture in the 1960 and 1970s have been advanced, little has been made of its specific approach to the question of poetics. This chapter aims partially to correct this tendency by exploring the arguments about the unhappy marriage between avant-garde poetry and communist politics sketched out in some interventions by the key literary critic and historian in the collective of militant intellectuals that made up ‘classic’ operaismo,…

Lisa Robertson & Matthew Stadler | Revolution (The Coming Insurrection)

  Introduction   How will I recognize you? The revolution is happening now, everywhere, in the bodies and faces that pass by in a blur. Our revolutionary potential is considerable. It has not been erased, so much as we have forgotten how to recognize it. Much works against us. A grotesquely swelling neo-liberal political economy blocks our potential to originate or live bountiful and joyous collective change, at any scale. What does revolution look like? This book is an attempt to teach ourselves how to see and how to be seen. The book was conceived, written, and produced in a…

Sergei Eisenstein | Notes for a Film of ‘Capital’

October 12, 1927. It’s settled: we’re going to film CAPITAL, on Marx’s scenario—the only logical solution. N.B. Additions . . . those are clips pasted to the wall of montage. October 13, 1927. . . . To extend the line (and to explicate it, step by step) of dialectical development in my work. Let us recall: 1. STRIKE. The order—educational and methodological film on the methods and processes of class and of underground work. Whence—serial film structure and detachment from a specific place (in the project there’s a whole series of escapes, prison life, rebellion, body-searchers, etc.). 2. POTEMKIN. I’m emphasizing,…

Aimé Césaire | Resolutely Black | Conversations with Françoise Vergès

  Césaires Relevance Today Reading Césaire today encourages reexamination of the notion of race and the role it has played in French thought. In particular, it encourages a reexamination of the place of le nègre, to use Césaire’s term, in our conception of race. French universalism vehemently rejects any attempt to distinguish groups according to their ethnic and cultural origins. In its very refusal to recognize what makes people different, this universalist position sees itself as charitable. Stripped of distinctions, everyone is equal. But history is stubborn, serving as a constant reminder that ideals often fall short, and that more…

Mehdi Belhaj Kacem, Philippe Sollers | What is the Meaning of the Avant-garde’s Death?

FIRST PUBLISHED: DIAPHANES How could Dante be avant-garde? Mehdi Belhaj Kacem: Mr. Sollers, for 23 years you were the editor of Tel Quel, doubtless the very last important literary review that can be considered “avant-garde.” It published some of the biggest “avant-garde” writers of its time, like Pierre Guyotat, Maurice Roche, Jean-Jacques Schuhl and yourself, as well as still-unknown academics like Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes and Gérard Genette. You also published Pierre Boulez and Jean-Luc Godard, who, like the writers and thinkers I just mentioned, were the leading avant-garde figures in their respective fields. In 1983 you left Les Éditions du Seuil,…

Walter Benjamin | The Author as Producer

    II s’agit de gagner les intellectuels “la classe ouvriere, en leur faisant prendre conscience de l’identité de leurs de-marches spirituelles et de leurs conditions de producteur. – Ramon Fernandez   You recall how Plato treats the poets in his projected State. In the interest of the community, he does not allow them to live there. He had a high idea of the power of poetry. But he considered it destructive, superfluous – in a perfect community, needless to say. Since then, the question of the poet’s right to exist has not often been stated with the same insistence;…