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Carla Lonzi’s Self-Portrait | A conversation with Allison Grimaldi Donahue & Teresa Kittler

  In 1969, the Italian art critic and feminist Carla Lonzi (1931-1982) authored Autoritratto (Self-Portrait) using the transcripts of interviews conducted with fourteen prominent artists living in Italy: Carla Accardi, Getulio Alviani, Enrico Castellani, Pietro Consagra, Luciano Fabro, Lucio Fontana, Jannis Kounellis, Mario Nigro, Giulio Paolini, Pino Pascali, Mimmo Rotella, Salvatore Scarpitta, Giulio Turcato and Cy Twombly. Overlooked for many years, Autoritratto’sexperimental unravelling of traditional art criticism has garnered increasing attention since its republication by Et al./Edizioni in 2010. It was, however, Lonzi’s final work as an art critic; after its publication she renounced the art world, co-founded the collective Rivolta femminileand wrote a…

Maurizio Lazzarato | From “Capital Hates Everyone: Fascism Or Revolution”

Subjugations With the emergence of movements of women and of the colonized, the contradictions within the revolutionary process seem to break apart and give rise to very different “revolutionary” processes that were practically irreconcilable at the end of the 1960s and that appear even more so today. The forms of domination and exploitation of women and the colonized are specific and difficult to grasp from the standpoint of the workers’ movement, since they add racial and sexual domination to economic exploitation. Overcoming them requires forms of organization and aims of political action very different form those of Leninism. “The woman…

Claire Fontaine | 1977:The Year That Is Never Commemorated

  “It’s not enough to denounce the lies of the power, we need to denounce and break also the truths of the power. When the power tells the truth and it pretends that it’s something natural, we must denounce what is inhuman and absurd in this order of reality, which is reproduced, reflected and consolidated by the order of speech. We must unveil the delirious aspect of the power.   Let’s pretend to be in the place of the power, let’s speak with its voice, let’s emit signals as if we were the power with its tone of voice. But…

Mark Nowak | Social Poetics (An Introduction)

    Langston Hughes, no doubt reflecting on his own wide-ranging political activities in and beyond Jim Crow America during the first half of the twentieth century, once described what he felt to be a central difference between the “social poet” and those poets who were more exclusively concerned with aesthetics and craft: “I have never known the police of any country to show an interest in lyric poetry as such. But when poems stop talking about the moon and begin to mention poverty, trade unions, color lines, and colonies, somebody tells the police.” Hughes’s crucial essay, published in W….

Joshua Clover and Chris Nealon | The Other Minimal Demand

    Chris Nealon I thought I’d begin with some thoughts about our original proposal for this volume. I was thinking about our overlapping but non- identical points of entry to the question of poetry and politics. I mean I’m basically a humanist, and you’re pretty committed to a version of anti- humanism. But when it comes to poetry, neither one of us really believes in an a priori politics of poetic form, where radical juxtaposition, or parataxis, or deliberately damaged fluency necessarily translates into solidarity or action. Neither one of us believes in a special leadership role for poets…

Anna Mendelssohn | the fourteenth flight

  two secs for vera tolstoya   if this holds & goes no further could belief be a fine sudden reading jam each other wasps and needing what in others proven letters, papers, microfiche, secretaries, maids, mansions and a bulldog mourning nureyev, and would not take his spirit for a scathing word or two on his not dancing for the colonels where culture leads us to can we care or is that too a dangerous interview i despair & in the world preferring to scribble pieces of sapphire utterly irresponsible to all political programmatists uncaring of who but a heap…

Alain Badiou | The Four Principles of Marxism

  […]   What do you retain as essential of the thought of Marx for thinking the present period politically? What has been and what is today your conception of communism? For me, communism resides in the final instance in four principles, established and legitimated by both the Marxist theoretical analysis of human societies and by the militant heritage of Marxism throughout the last two centuries. These principles are all concerned with the possibilities of transformation of what constitutes, for at least five thousand years (since the formation of the Neolithic Era), the principle of class in human society. First,…

riots and/or poetics [1/2021]

A Reading List Galina Rymbu | Life in Space (Ugly Duckling Presse). Can poetry be a revolutionary practice? Under what conditions can poetry trigger change? In All The King’s Men, Guy Debord states: “The point is not to put poetry at the service of revolution, but to put revolution at the service of poetry.” As a political activist, Rymbu participated in the 2011-12 protests for fair elections during her time at the Moscow Gorky Literature Institute. The street is still the place where the anti-capitalist fights, the struggles for a better life take place. The poems of the cycle White…

Keston Sutherland | The poetics of ‘Capital’

  A year before the first English edition of Capital was published under his supervision in 1886, Engels issued a brief polemic against the pretensions of anyone reckless enough to think that this great work could be translated into English by a mere amateur man of letters. The target of the polemic is Henry Mayers Hyndman, identified in the essay by his pseudonym John Broadhouse. After reading the French translation of Capital in 1880, Hyndman had published in 1881 a short book, England for All, two chapters of which were so thoroughly plagiarized from Marx’s work that they in effect…

Mark Fisher | From “Postcapitalist Desire: The Final Lectures” (Libidinal Marxism)

Lecture Five: Libidinal Marxism   5 December 2016   MARK FISHER: OK, what did you make of Lyotard? [Student], I know you’re introducing it, but what did other people make of the text? STUDENT #1: Difficult. MF: You thought it was difficult? OK. You thought it was more difficult than anything we’ve done so far? Maybe not more than the Lukács… STUDENT #1: Yeah. I don’t know… MF: It’s a loaded question… STUDENT #1: I just felt like I got quite lost in it… MF: OK, did anyone else feel that way…? (General chatter.) STUDENT #1: I couldn’t figure out…

Best Books of 2020

  Galina Rymbu | Life in Space (Translated by Joan Brooks) To be political, poetry does not have to turn into advertising, advocate for parties or platforms. Poetry becomes political when it represents the world as having a nature that is not “natural,” but rather negotiated, an Indra’s net that is political, social, and economic; made up of contingencies, and having to do with power—mainly of people over people—which is buttressed by ideology first and coercion second. A poetry that represents the world as political is political. It is also secular. A poetry that represents the world as immutable is…

Carla Lonzi | Let’s Spit on Hegel

  The feminine problem is the relationship of any woman – deprived as she is of power, of history, of culture, of a role of her own – to any man: his power, his history, his culture, his absolute role. This problem calls into question the whole of man’s work and thought; man who has had no awareness of woman as a human being on the same level as himself. In the eighteenth century we demanded equality, and Olympe de Gouges went to the scaffold for her Declaration of the Rights of Women. The demand for equality of women with…

Rosi Braidotti | Nomadic Subjects

  My life-long engagement in the project of nomadic subjectivity rests on a specific cartography of our globalised times, marked by large-scale and technologically-mediated transformations of our social, economic and political universes. I start from the assumption that, as a result of these upheavals, traditional forms of self-representation, familiar cultural points of reference and age-old habits of thought are being re-composed, albeit in contradictory ways. Our historical context is marked by the schizoid structure of technology-driven advanced capitalism, as Deleuze and Guattari lucidly put it. Examples of the non-linear and internally contradictory ways of the working of this system are…

ANNOUNCING TRIPWIRE PAMPHLET #8: PETER BOUSCHELJONG | THE PROCESSES, A FACTOGRAPHICAL PROEM

Announcing Tripwire Pamphlet #8: The Processes, a factographical proem, by Peter Bouscheljong, translated by David Vichnar, Louis Armand & Tim König. A dialectical poetics of radical history that asks what kind of resistance and poetry is possible under conditions of capitalist repression, if we do not simply want to return to everyday life? Synthesizing documentary poetics (the lives of George Jackson, Luxemburg, Verlaine, Pasolini, Anna Mendelssohn, Dalton, Vallejo, and others) with the capitalist alchemy of surveillance and repression, the long “proem” tracks the processes with which those in power react to the social struggles of political movements and the works of revolutionary poets, who strike back into a…

Víctor Varela Mora | Poems

  Maserati 3.0 At 300 mph I question everything Beyond peace, without even the possibility Of silence I say question everything And what carries me off Is my own animal, the one scaling The cathedral, self-quarry I follow with feral sniffing, unbridled Abandon clamping my mouth Before wrenching it open Like the frightful door that it is. I bought a tiny camera That fits inside my brain and now I spend all day color-correcting My dreams. Give me a fire escape And a torch and I will ignite Our fabricated Babylon from above Watching the circle of assault Widen. Tonight…

ARTAUD-THEATRE-DU-VIEUX-COLOMBIER*.COM

  The real story of Artaud-Mômo, tête-à-tête. It’s like closing a picture under the eyelid. Deciphering certain dispositions that are only part of a poetic field [since poetry is always opposition]. Settlement with those who imprison him for 9 years in a penitentiary // of which 3 years in solitary confinement // during his internment in Sotteville-lès-Rouen [October 1937 – March 1938] systematic attempts at intoxication [forget the 40,000 dead // an index of shy skeletons // of the French psychiatric institutions during the German occupation]. Social vampirism, arbitrarily constructed diagnoses, electro- & insulin-shocks for resisting any logic that allows…

Richard Gilman-Opalsky | from ‘Specters of Revolt’

A Graveyard for Orthodoxies   Now it is seen that socialism in the sense of State-directed planned economy means state-capitalism, and that socialism in the sense of workers’ emancipation is only possible as a new orientation. — ANTON PANNEKOEK, Workers’ Councils 227   Like name tags display the wearer’s name, political discourse is an ideological marker. Communism … now communisation . We do not know how communist insurgents will call themselves, most likely not “communist.” The 20th century has given communism a bad name… Maybe insurgents will be weary of what Victor Klemperer called the “depreciation of the superlatives.” Maybe…

Alain Badiou | ‘We Have to Break Bourgeois Right’

  In June 2017, Alain Badiou was invited by the ‘Conséquences’ seminar to give a lecture with the title ‘What does a politics outside the state involve?’ The written text was subsequently published by Fayard. Three comrades spoke with him in a preparatory discussion for this lecture; the following text is a partial transcription. Taking stock of the uprisings of recent years on a world scale (from Greece to Egypt, as well as France), Badiou observed that a stumbling block everywhere is the absence of a strategic hypothesis on the question of the state, capable of overcoming the impasse of…

[ACTION #4] Masslose Gegenpoetiken

  »Ich bin nicht gehetzt, ich ersticke nicht, ich bin nicht vernichtet, ich bin nicht verschüttet, ich bin nicht eingekreist, ich bin nicht vernichtet, ich atme.« Christophe Tarkos       Mai-Juni 1886.  Die Zeitschrift La Vogue veröffentlicht Rimbaud’s Les Illuminations. Das Gedicht Démocratie (verfaßt nach der Niederschlagung der Pariser Kommune) benennt darin den erstickenden Kolonialismus, die Zumutungen kapitalistischer Verhältnisse (die eiskalten Gesetze der Trader) und das Niedermetzeln der logisch folgenden Revolten.Juni 1872. Marx und Engels berichten in Das Kommunistische Manifest von der Hetzjagd des Papstes, der französischen Rechten (u.a. der Neoliberalen), sowie der deutschen Polizei auf das ‘Gespenst des…

Esther Leslie | Elective Affinities: The Hunched Man, the Old Man and B.B.

  Meshwork The relationship between Benjamin and Brecht has often been assessed, including, most notoriously, the charge from both Adorno and Scholem that Brecht’s »exotic« influence was »disastrous« or »catastrophic« for Benjamin’s theorizing. Somewhat more rarely have Trotsky and Benjamin been brought together. Victor Serge in ‘Memoirs of a Revolutionary’, written in Mexico in 1942-1943, brings the two names into a constellation, suggesting the connection between Trotsky and Benjamin to be something more than coincidence, and rather more epochal: »… the poets Walter Hasenclever and Walter Benjamin commit suicide. Rudolf Hilferding and Breitscheid are carried off out of our midst…

Nathalie Wourm | Poetic Sabotage and the Control Society: Christophe Hanna, Nathalie Quintane, Jean-Marie Gleize

Parallels can be drawn between Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s concept of “minor literature” and the artistic practice of a number of contemporary French writers, whose works do not only represent the voicing of their political contentions, but also act as verbal objects designed to undermine the mainstream idea of what literature is and should be. [..] Christophe Hanna, Nathalie Quintane, and Jean-Marie Gleize are three authors who share a number of theoretical ideas and political references and have been expressing their opposition to the system in this way.

Raoul Vaneigem | Isidore Ducasse and the Count of Lautréamont in the “Poésies”

  Lautréamont entered literary history by means of Maldoror, and, with the mastery of Isidore Ducasse, the author of the Poésies, he is almost indebted to it for not being excluded from that history.1 Of the judgments made by critics, how many manage to prove their innocence – through embarrassment or the casualness with which they open the “Préface à un livre futur” with a tacit disavowal – an unconfessed disapproval of the Poésies? None, no doubt, as it is true that their disaffection still appears in their will to subject the delicate processes by which multiple aspects of a…

Vladimir Mayakovsky | Revolution | A Poetichronicle

  Revolution A Poetichronicle   26 February. A drunken mix, police and soldiers, opened fire on the people. 27th. Spilled brilliance on barrel and blade – daybreak. Light crimson and prolonged. In a musty barracks sober severe the Volynsky Regiment prayed. Severely they swear to the soldiers’ god, kow-tow each hefty mono-brow. Blood kindled, surging through temple. With malice aforethought hands grip iron. And the first, he who ordered “Shoot the hungry!” – A bullet shut his mouth. Another’s ‘Ten–hut!” was cut short. Yet not at a loss the troops stormed into the city. 9 o’clock. In our usual spot…

riots and/or poetics [7/2020]

This racism is scattered, diffused throughout the whole of America, grim, underhanded, hypocritical, arrogant. There is one place where we might hope it would cease, but on the contrary, it is in this place that it reaches its cruelest pitch, intensifying every second, preying on body and soul; it is in this place that racism becomes a kind of concentrate of racism: in the American prisons, in Soledad Prison, and in its center, the Soledad cells.  If, by some oversight, racism were to disappear from the surface of the United States, we could then seek it out, intact and more…

Sean Bonney | Anna Mendelssohn—”Minds do exist to agitate and provoke / this is the reason I do not conform”

  If you want to find good poetry written in Britain, you have to go looking for it: with very few exceptions, it is hidden away behind a poetry of more or less genteel self-expression, metrical sentimentalities and easily digested liberal homilies that are essentially reports on police reality. But there is a vast seem of artistically and politically complex poetry also being written here, and Anna Mendelssohn, who sometimes also published under the name Grace Lake, wrote some of the best. It is chaotic, at times manic and compulsive, by turns mocking and playful, hurt and exasperated, and always…

Jacques Rancière & Philippe Lafosse | Politics and Aesthetics in the Straubs’ Films

  Jacques Rancière, Philippe Lafosse and the public in conversation about Straub-Huillet after a screening of From the Clouds to the Resistance and Workers, Peasants Monday, February 16, 2004, Jean Vigo Cinema, Nice, France     PHILIPPE LAFOSSE: It seemed interesting to us, after having seen twelve films by Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet and talked about them together, to ask another viewer, a philosopher and cinephile, to talk to us about these filmmakers. Jacques Rancière is with us this evening to tackle a subject that we’ve entitled “Politics and Aesthetics in the Straubs’ Films,” knowing that we could then look into other…

Mario Tronti | “In art as in politics there is nothing other than struggle”

    Can you really be outside? This is the question I asked Mario the last time we talked (Francesco Matarrese | Greenberg and Tronti: Being Really Outside?). Today, the eighth of January, his important, extraordinary answer arrived. Now it is here, naturally, in the written struggle, in this paper.   In art as in politics there is nothing other than struggle Can you really be outside? This is the question. I answer: yes. I am. I feel I am. For sensibility, even before for reason. This world, as it is, as it is historically organized and dominated, does not…

Georges Didi-Huberman | Light against Light

    The disappearance of the fireflies—when the blinding glare of spotlights crushes the weak glimmer of glowworms in the night—is an excellent poetic allegory, a lovely “speaking image” on which to build something like a general poetics of light. This allegory has become familiar to us through the intervention of a great poet, Pier Paolo Pasolini.1 So we cannot be surprised that artists and thinkers have elevated this allegory in the field of aesthetics, and that it may lend itself as the title of an art exhibit. And yet its sole purpose is to ask, stubbornly, over and over…

Julian Murphet | “Wide as Targes Let Them Be,” or, How a Poem Is a Barricade

  The commons are what capitalism has always been committed to enclosing within its apparatus of accumulation.1 On their violently vacated place arise the motley privacies of individual contracts, rents, factories, banks, police, and all the interrelated paraphernalia of capital’s machinery of valuation and surplus. The commons themselves cannot be valued—they are beyond, prior to, value. Common land, common air, common water; but also, horticulture, animal husbandry, grain storage. The collective practices developed over millennia to harness the resources of our planet, and maximize human potentiality, form a sometimes vicious, sometimes virtuous feedback loop with the commons and dynamize their…

Stuart Hall | Culture and Power

  Interviewed by Peter Osborne and Lynne Segal   RP: How would you describe the current state of cultural studies in Britain in relation to its past? Hall: Itʼs a question of how far back you want to go, because everybody has a narrative about this and everybodyʼs narrative is different. There was certainly something  distinctive about the founding moment in the 1960s, but even during that period, when it was mainly Birmingham, the field was transformed several times by some pretty major reconfigurations; and in any case, there was never simply one thing going on at any one time….

Mario Tronti | I am defeated

  Under the soles of his shoes, you can still recognise the dirt of history. “This is all that remains. A mix of straw and shit by which we delude ourselves into erecting cathedrals to the worker’s dream.“ Here’s a man, I say to myself, imbued with a consistency that bursts through in a total melancholy. It’s Mario Tronti, the most celebrated of the theorists of Operaismo. He has only recently finished writing a book on this subject: the origins of his thought, how it has changed and what it is today. I don’t know who will publish it (I…

Mario Tronti | Our Operaismo

  While most political forms and traditions of the European left cross-pollinated freely across national boundaries, the Italian operaismo of the 1960s was largely a sui generis experience in its time. Credited with a significant intellectual impact at home—transforming Italian sociology, through its project of worker inquiries, and yielding a heady if evanescent crop of theoretical journals: Quaderni rossi, Classe operaia, Angelus Novus, Contropiano—it had less immediate reverberation abroad than the larger current around Il Manifesto, whose cultural breadth and political consistency was of a different order. A condition for operaismo’s existence was the dramatic industrial expansion of the 1950s, within a culture already deeply coloured by two mass…

Amiri Baraka | STOP KILLER COPS

Amiri Baraka (Leroi Jones) During the Newark Riots, July 14-1967 [by Fred W. McDarrah]     Shortly after the 1965 publication of his novel The System of Dante’s Hell, Amiri Baraka – then still named LeRoi Jones – wondered in an interview whether the energies he had put into writing it might not have been better used to ‘devise a method for blowing up the White House’.  Sean Bonney     STOP KILLER COPS Gun flash beats the child’s head in, maniac teeth dance in a bloody grin blue lies, badge confessions, yng dude dead just beyond his mama’s arms, In…

GWENDOLYN BROOKS | RIOT

    RIOT A riot is the language of the unheard. —MARTIN LUTHER KING   John Cabot, out of Wilma, once a Wycliffe, all whitebluerose below his golden hair, wrapped richly in right linen and right wool, almost forgot his Jaguar and Lake Bluff; almost forgot Grandtully (which is The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Scotch); almost forgot the sculpture at the Richard Gray and Distelheim; the kidney pie at Maxim’s, the Grenadine de Boeuf at Maison Henri. Because the Negroes were coming down the street. Because the Poor were sweaty and unpretty (not like Two Dainty Negroes in…

Nanni Balestrini | “I write to you opposite the balcony from whence I contemplate the eternal light whose radiant fire slowly fades on the distant horizon”

At one point in ‘Blackout’, Balestrini writes, “This poem should not be published because it is a political manifesto.” The historical events with which ‘Blackout’ is concerned and toward which it is critical began with the wave of conflicts in 1968 at the universities and factories and eventually spread throughout the West. The protests culminated in the “troubled autumn” of 1969, eventually involving the entire Italian working class in strikes, demonstrations, and acts of sabotage.

M. NourbeSe Philip | from ‘ZONG!’

Zong! attempts to not-tell the story that must be told yet can’t be told – the story of the Zong massacre in 1781 in which the captain of the eponymous slave ship throws overboard some 150 enslaved Africans in order to collect payment of insurance monies. Through fragments of words and phrases a contrapuntal rhythm of word and silence is created as the story untells itself. Multilingual, multiethnic and multiracial, the globalised universe of the slave ship is a space of extreme contraction and restriction, it is rule-bound and closely girded and guarded by the law and religion. It is…

riots and/or poetics [5/2020]

the high degree of social danger inherent in the choice of implements and the method of execution / expropriations and searches proletarian fires and corruption of the public good kidnappings and sequestering of persons beatings wounds / sufficient evidence of guilt can be inferred from the laws as formulated in the index books / carried out in houses and adjacent rooms in the middle of the night / 1) the copious documentation seized or acquired above all those parts that celebrate and program the violence and the armed struggle / the final goal being the general overthrow of the existing…

Tiqqun | The Cybernetic Hypothesis

    “We can imagine a time when the machine of governance would replace — for better or worse, who knows? — the insufficiency of the minds and devices of politics that are customary today.” — Father Dominique Dubarle, Le Monde, December 28th, 1948 “There is a striking contrast between the conceptual refinement and dedication characterizing scientific and technical reasoning and the summary and imprecise style that characterizes political reasoning… One even asks oneself whether this is a kind of unsurpassable situation marking the definitive limits of rationality, or if one may hope that this impotence might be overcome someday and…

Katerina Gougou | A new translation of her book “Three Clicks Left”

Three Clicks Left: first appeared as Τρία κλικ αριστερά (Kastaniotis Editions, 1978); translated from the Greek by ΔT and JC. Here: Free May Day Book #9: Cherish x Abolish     Wage-labor capital and imperialism as the ultimate stage of capitalism betrayed revolutions Hey, comrade, we miss you so much . . . Time is worm-ridden nuclear tests, popular fronts, brothels (the Portuguese regime has fallen too) hyperproductive Catholics and the mafia have become multinationals, they forbid love, comrade. Like dogs on soccer fields agents climb our stairs anytime they want they can yank down our pants and fuck us peace…

Carla Lonzi (Part One)

Karolin Meunier ON VAI PURE BY CARLA LONZI   READING SESSION 1 AND 2. EDIT 2 How to introduce a book that I hardly know, written in a language that I do not speak? The following text is the product of two translation sessions, one with Paolo Caffoni and one with Federica Bueti, as we started to read Vai Pure (Now You Can Go), a conversation between the Italian feminist, writer, and art historian Carla Lonzi and her partner Pietro Consagra, conducted in Lonzi’s apartment in Rome 1980 before they broke up their relationship. Lonzi had used this method—that is…

Carla Lonzi (Part Two)

FINDING RESONANCES WITH CARLA LONZI Giovanna Zapperi with Federica Bueti   I am not quite sure when or how I came across Carla Lonzi’s writing. It happened in the casual manner in which sometimes one’s life changes in unexpected ways. Lonzi’s writing did not change my life, but it offered me an opportunity to reflect upon it. Lonzi’s feminist practice is a work of unearthing, undoing, and undressing that shakes up the foundation of our culture and beings. What has society made of me? Who am I? Lonzi ceaselessly questions her sense of self, the place society had assigned to…

[ACTION #3] BRITISH SOUNDS | NACH ANNA MENDELSSOHN

indem man [nämlich] aufdeckte, dass die Geschichte der Menschen, wie sie in den BÜCHERN zu finden ist, eben doch kein Text ist, welcher auf den Seiten eines BUCHES geschrieben steht; indem man nämlich entdeckte, dass die Wahrheit der Geschichte sich nicht aus ihrem manifesten Diskurs herauslesen lässt, weil der Text der Geschichte eben kein Text ist, in dem eine Stimme [der LOGOS] sprechen würde, sondern die [als solche] gänzlich unhörbare und unlesbare Notation der Auswirkungen einer Struktur von Strukturen Louis Althusser | Das Kapital lesen     Diese Fähigkeit sich durch Literatur zu verwandeln Während du mitten im Gespräch den…

Pier Paolo Pasolini | Poetry [from “Transhumanize and Organize”]

    Job Request Poetry made to order is a device. The device maker can produce many (only tiring himself out from the manual labor). The subject can, at times, be ironic: the device always is. Gone are the days when I, a voracious economizer, would spend everything, investing my money (a lot of it, since semen was my currency, and I always had an erection) buying up greatly undervalued sectors that would turn a profit some two or three centuries hence. I was Ptolemaic (being just a kid) and counted eternity, you guessed it, in centuries. I considered the…

Félix Guattari | Militant Incidences

  1 On the Question of “Primordial Bureaucratic States”1 Since you have asked me to elaborate on my thoughts about stylites and other dendrites, I will take a stab at laying out some of the connections here. Mystics—Coptics, Syrians and other, express their desire to return to the roots, the roots of the primordial Empire: the Ur-State (there is a wordplay like this in the book by Lacarrière).2 In their own way, they’re championing the Asiatic State. The Egyptians and the sons of Trojan warriors never could take being fucked with and eliminated by barbarians and pirates like the Greeks,…

Tom Raworth | West Wind

  the moon is blacker than the sky memories move in abandoned armour corridors of such interest of mirrors and cut glass night a few lights outlining motion a city’s blue glow spikes from shadows fanned by airbrushed fingers restarting ink with a thumb ink dried on the pen distant as walking anywhere having your own body or the thought of imagination an unlimited closed system a flooded market only intellect between you and the image past dreams a different real with body an experience there a yellow building waits description fear’s tidy lines memory’s distance you know so you…

Keston Sutherland | Free Dissociation/Logic

    pladd. (you who say either) nothing can be clear when knowing the associations are read by unread people, exposées, exposures. new poems for old. groovy. associations and world societies of interactive growth. groan. a place full of untrained actors absorbing dimensions of cradling pain securing test periods of temperature change. sewing elbes to harare, scratch luck. nothing matches the theoretical tuck. nutmeg. primus stove. raised eyebrows. work sharing. retreat into the forest. the silver conifers. the crumbs. chums. biceps & musical hairs. plaesthetics. planna vanne. plin plor plon pladverbially plodding along with a net in sturdy boots, add…

[ACTION #2] PASOLINI L’ENRAGÉ

  Dieser Film ist auf brennendes Papier geschrieben, wird Pasolini über LA RABBIA sagen / die Verknüpfung politischer Vernunft mittels poetischen Gefühls [das ein entschieden marxistisches ist]. Während sein Zorn sich gegen die täglich gelebte Normalität des Notstands [stato d’emergenza] richtet, die vermessene Ausgestaltung & Verteilung des Mangels [eines dystopischen Beschleunigungsapparates], inmitten neu aufgeputzter Mumifizierungen [Details in rosa Schaumbildung], entdeckt er die Synthese von Politik & Dichtung, also Marx & Rimbaud in der Montage einiger Bilder aus dem Afrika des »Sehers« [zeitweise ein gedanklicher Rückzugsort], der politischen Kartographie Patrice Lumumbas. Die Aufteilung des Menschen in Herr und Knecht [in der…

[ACTION #1] HEINER MÜLLERS INSZENIERUNG DES ‘DER UNTERGANG DES EGOISTEN JOHANN FATZER’ VON BRECHT

  Ich mache keinen Krieg mehr, sondern ich gehe jetzt heim gradewegs, ich scheiße auf die Ordnung der Welt. Schwarmstrategien [Smart Mobs] unterhalb des Radars. Die Geschichte von vier Deserteuren im Jahr 1918 [der abgerissene Sehnerv der in seinem Versteck von Revolution träumt]. Etwas das sich innerhalb der Mauern ansammelt, sprechende Wände im »Toten Trakt« / ein diffuses Glühen. Projektion: Liebknecht Luxemburg Meinhof. Jetzt kehrt sich das Leben gegen die alten Gewohnheiten. Niemand sieht jetzt / niemand kehrt zurück / als wäre der Sinn nie entfernt worden / das Gefühl die Schädeldecke müßte eigentlich zerreissen. Die bösartige Leugnung eines Virus…

Félix Guattari | Genet Regained

    Perhaps the massacres at Chatila in September 1982 were not a turning point. They happened. I was affected by them. I talked about them. But while the act of writing came later, after a period of incubation, nevertheless in a moment like that or those when a single cell departs from its usual metabolism and the original link is created of a future, unsuspected cancer, or of a piece of lace, so I decided to write this book. The matter became more pressing when some political prisoners urged me not to travel to France. Anything not to do…

Dionne Brand | from “The Blue Clerk”

VERSO 7 Controversy, against the turn, against the furrow I finally joined the Communist Party of Canada when it was almost at the end of its existence. Party meetings were long bureaucratic procedures where many papers were read and intense eyes directed at the people who had encyclopedic brains full of Marx and history. I joined the artists. There were artists of all kinds in the club, we were writers and painters and actors, and there were even puppet makers and comics. These meetings were possibly the most boring meetings we ever attended. None of us ever had a meeting…

Bertolt Brecht | A lesson in sabotage

    A lesson in sabotage Modifying a machine After the machine so that it won’t work without you So far improve it that you alone are good enough for it Give it a secret fault that you alone can repair Yes, alter it so that any other man will destroy it If the works it without you That’s what we call: modifying a machine. Modify your machine, saboteur!       A lesson in sabotage Sabotage, mother of the factory Just as a mother knows what she has given birth to Wakes in the night at the baby’s slightest…

Jacques Rancière | The Fraternal Image; interviewed by Serge Daney & Serge Toubiana

Originally published as ‘L’Image Fraternelle‘, Cahiers du Cinéma, nos. 268-269, part of a special issue dedicated to “Images de Marque” (July-August 1976). Source: Diagonal Thoughts     Cahiers: If we consider two films, ‘Milestones’ (Robert Kramer & John Douglas) and ‘Numéro Deux’ (Jean-Luc Godard & Anne-Marie Miéville), it seems to us that the first has a genealogical dimension that is completely absent in the second. We could say that ‘Milestones’ has a place in a history of “genres” (American cinema) while ‘Numéro Deux’ has a place in a history of “forms” (European cinema). The result is that ‘Milestones’, but perhaps…

The Power of Political, Militant, ‘Leftist’ Cinema. Interview with Jacques Rancière

  By Javier Bassa Vila Jacques Rancière’s thought is undisciplined, at least in two different but interlinked senses. On the one hand, in the 1970s Rancière suggested a reading of Marxism that broke with the dominant interpretations of the time, specially with the scientifist Marxism imposed by Althusser (see La leçon d’Althusser, originally published in 1976 and re-published in 2012 by La Fabrique – and due to come out soon in Spanish). On the other hand, the broad interest that his thought has triggered at an international level seems to be also the consequence of another in-discipline: his reflections are…

riots and/or poetics [3/2020]

  Lisa Robertson | The Baudelaire Fractal I’d never had an idea for writing a novel before, though I’ve been curious about the form. I’m a poet who has always loved writing prose. Essay writing and the writing of verse have been overlapping and interchangeable activities, and the shape of the sentence has always been at the core of my writing practice. This Baudelaire idea was very funny to me, and it kept opening up more pathways of inquiry the more time I spent with it. It was a way to write a bildungsroman in the feminine; it opened questions of…

artaud-theatre-du-vieux-colombier*.com

  Die wahre Geschichte von Artaud-Mômo, tête-à-tête. Als würde man ein Bild unterhalb des Augenlids verschliessen. Gewisse Dispositionen zu entziffern, die ausschliesslich Teil eines poetischen Feldes sind [weil Poesie immer Opposition ist]. Abrechnung mit denen, die ihn 9 Jahre in einer geschlossenen Anstalt einsperren //3 Jahre davon in Einzelhaft// während der Zeit seiner Internierung in Sotteville-lès-Rouen [Oktober 1937 – März 1938] systematische Versuche der Intoxikation [vergessen die 40.000 Toten //ein Index verschämter Skelette// der psychiatrischen Anstalten Frankreichs während der deutschen Besatzung]. Sozialer Vampirismus, willkürlich konstruierte Diagnosen, Elektro- & Insulinschocks, weil er sich einer Logik entzieht, die von einzelnen Elementen auf…

Sean Bonney | Notes on Baudelaire

      “I will get a map of London to see where Hackney is” – Ed Dorn “. . . left the ruins, climbed out from under the white stones” – Amiri Baraka     (((1))) — think ghost shit as a set of rooftops imposed on other systems of twitching in public. our language is also that debased. think cancer as radical nostalgia for legitimate ruins like the letter I.     (((2))) — or put it this way – the coiled voice interferes, & by the fourth day colonies of brightly flourescent cells can be seen gathering…

Sean Bonney | Cancer: Poems after Katerina Gogou

        Dear Katerina, Yes I know, things are bad for us all these days. I’ve lost count of the number of people who’ve disappeared over the past few months. There’s an uneasy nausea settled into the basic awareness of, well, everything. Its not even the news or the weather. Even the raw evidence of our senses – sounds of machinery outside the window, smell of diesel and gas, the elevated railway, bird-song etc – has become sinister. The sunset is a warning. The ticking of the clock a threat. Everything has combined into a pitched malevolent force…

Cole Swensen | Ghost Stories

    Sometimes the Ghost   Sometimes the ghost arrives before the body is gone and the breath which will one day white, there will be walls, or illness may be the cause and cause the ghost to crawl up inside, a bright illness, when the eyes go, and the ghost walks around looking like you, and we talk quietly, and she says things I remember your saying, but at the time they were out of context and made no sense, and now I look around the room that fits. And I walk across the room with my eyes closed…

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…

Rob Halpern

      On the specter of higher wages Who can explain this sudden jubilation a swing Inside the moon’s dark mood a grave from which We return at dawn so lost inside extraction -’s deal with the dead to shed tender coins my Words attach to arcade nerve a pissed elation each Emotion an adjunct to trade whose algorithms Replace my too excitable body the way machines Once replaced my dad like quant strategies they pop The flesh of surplus hands as inventory annuls night -’s predations the darkness streaming bounty’s blight I barely note the latex fibers &…

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,…

Kirill Medvedev | Brecht Is Not Your Aunt [Action]

    One-Man Picket Under the Slogan, “Mr. Kalyagin, Brecht Is Not Your Aunt!”   On January 24, a one-man picket from the socialist movement Vpered, in the person of myself, took place in front of the Et Cetera Theater in Moscow. The picket was staged in connection with the premiere of Bertolt Brecht’s play, “Drums in the Night.” Not long after the start of my picket, a security guard from the theater approached me and asked what I was doing there and by whose permission I was doing it. I explained that I had every right to hold a…

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…

Fred Moten | resistances, impromptu

    resistances, impromptu with Tania Bruguera and Fernando Zalamea’n’em   When we reverse engineered the movement, we found the moment it became the movement was the moment we stopped moving. A body politic for newly born political bodies in the drawing of one last breath by one. Pear trees full of rivers all tied up in sugar ditch; pulpit gutbucket molasses still in still, strong and good, but gone. I was born in friction, alabama. I voted for drone chalkline. I died in fraction, california. I remain a posthumous citizen. So, resist the reduction of non-meaning. Resistance in poetry…

Bhanu Kapil

    What is Ban? Ban is a mixture of dog shit and bitumen (ash) scraped off the soles of running shoes: Puma, Reebok, Adidas. Looping the city, Ban is a warp of smoke. To summarize, she is the parts of something re-mixed as air: integral, rigid air, circa 1972-1979.  She’s a girl. A black girl in an era when, in solidarity, Caribbean and Asia Brits self-defined as black. A black (brown) girl encountered in the earliest hour of a race riot, or what will become one by nightfall. April 23rd, 1979: by morning, ant-Nazi campaigner, Black Peach, will be…

Arthur Rimbaud | Vowels

      ARTHUR RIMBAUD VOYELLES A noir, E blanc, I rouge, U vert, O bleu: voyelles, Je dirai quelque jour vos naissances latentes: A, noir corset velu des mouches éclatantes Qui bombinent autour des puanteurs cruelles, Golfes d’ombre; E, candeurs des vapeurs et des tentes, Lances des glaciers fiers, rois blancs, frissons d’ombelles; I, pourpres, sang craché, rire des lèvres belles Dans la colère ou les ivresses pénitentes; U, cycles, vibrements divins des mers virides, Paix des pâtis semés d’animaux, paix des rides Que l’alchimie imprime aux grands fronts studieux; O, suprême Clairon plein des strideurs étranges, Silences traversés…

Lisa Robertson

  go Venus go vernal go turning go darling by folding sky by buoyant kiss by plenty (I lie in bed and read Marx) by secret breezes twisting, contriving by boulevards by cattle by springle a springald a springet rise agile from water, go down modern to the natal turn by rapacious meetings by luminous flowers – take with you the eagerness of my submission to the proliferate material discipline also called speech as the political feeling lusts for public light by engorged rivers by populated foliage by veering campus the cry of desire a morning blackbird in the city…

José Revueltas | So that Mayakovsky’s Suicide not be Repeated

  While in Havana for a period of six months in 1961, working at a worthy task at the Cinematography Institute alongside the best youth of Cuba’s film industry, I once suggested to a small group of young intellectuals that we form a club or literary circle to debate the problems a writer must face under socialism. The circle, club, or whatever would develop from that idea, would have the following theme – theme and program at the same time: “so that Mayakovsky’s suicide not be repeated.” The idea did not prosper, although not for any weighty reason. That is,…

Interior Ministry | 5 Anti-Manifests

    1. The poem operates upon the secret logic of the world Forced back to drawing boards, the impoverishment complex of Dadaist disgust. Alienism “works” on the premise that complexity is isomorphic to the void. Down a one-way street, accelerated in reverse. Larval pornographies on LSD. Necro-optimization. Crypto-singularity. The polysemy of circulation isn’t merely a concept: Even if sense is indifferent to it, the phantom collective subject shouts Sieg Heil! They built this city with instrumental nihilism. But that’s not why the lights rage in their eyes. Like the flames of Police-state crematoria. Like collapse vectors haloed by rancid ejecta. Even…

Jacques Rancière | Identifications of the People

The people has always been a double figure. At the time of the French revolution, it emerged in the opposition between subject of sovereignty and actual population: miserable people or ignorant and fanatic populace. But this duality is still much older. Aforetime the demos in Athens referred to both the sovereign people of the Assembly and the clutter of common people. Democracy is first of all a sobriquet invented by the Athenian elites to designate this inconceivable government of common people. Each time the people is declared sovereign, the same fundamental paradox, under diverse forms, makes the scene. […]

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,…

‘JEDE REVOLUTION IST EIN WÜRFELWURF’ / EVERY REVOLUTION IS A THROW OF DICE

  ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY DAVID VICHNAR ALIENIST 7   1   Die Geschichte eines Typen der Kassiber für Pierre Goldman, Ulrike Meinhof und Toni Negri schmuggelt 2   Kein Schibboleth, das ihm nicht über die Lippen käme, ein linguistisches Chamäleon, mal Jude, dann wieder Anarchist 3   Von den ersten Gesetzen der Könige und Propheten (sowie der Gefängnisinsassen) bis in die Gegenwart sind Mauern und Wände das Fundament politischer Botschaften 4   Er glaubt an die Dichtung, aber die Dichtung ist unzulässig Im übrigen gibt es sie nicht 5   Der Text ist ohne Geheimnis Chaotisch und delirant 6  Eine…

Velimir Khlebnikov | The Law of Generations

    Autobiographical Note   I was born on October 28, 1885, in the camp of Mongolian Buddhist nomads—Khanate Headquarters in the steppe—the dried bottom of a vanished part of the Caspian (the sea of 40 names). During Peter the Great’s travels on the Volga, an ancestor of mine presented him with a goblet of coins gotten by brigandage. I have Armenian blood i my veins (the Alabors), also Cossack blood (the Verbitskys), whose special nature is evident in the fact that Przhewalski, Mikluktha-Maklai and other explorers were descendants of the children of the Sech. I belong to the place…

“Ardent Hope” – Interview with Jean-Luc Godard – Cahiers du cinéma

Source: KINO SLANG   JEAN-LUC GODARD:  …we’re not going to talk about the Théâtre des Amandiers. I’ve no idea what happened there. Nicole Brenez is taking care of it. I wanted to see you, actually. It’s a bit like seeing the great grandchildren of Cahiers du cinéma. I was curious to see what became of them. CAHIERS DU CINÉMA: We were very moved, stunned even, by the film at Cannes, especially the whole ending with “ardent hope” that gave a meaning to this journey through the ruins. The entire first section on the eternal remake of war, then Joseph de…