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…

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…

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…

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At one point in ‘Blackout’, Balestrini writes, “This poem should not be published because it is a political manifesto.”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.

Ruth Jennison | “A Whole New Set of Stars”: Poetics and Revolutionary Consciousness

  Current political conditions and conjunctures are making possible a serious reconsideration of the histories, forms, and political urgencies of twentieth and twenty-first century, left anti-capitalist poetry. The end of the Cold War has been registered in transformations of poetry and the scholarly work that attends to it at what can only be described as a glacial pace. Part of this is generational—Marxists are only beginning to repopulate the universities from which they were expelled during the McCarthyism that has re-branded itself as liberal hegemony. Likewise, poetry, so long kept restricted to the hermeticism of New Criticism, and taught largely…

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…

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…

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. […]

“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…

Jerome Rothenberg | Revolutionary Propositions & A Personal Manifesto

1) I will change your mind;
2) any means (=methods) to that end;
3) to oppose the “devourers” = bureaucrats, system-makers, priests, etc (W. Blake);
4) “& if thou wdst understand that wch is me, know this: all that I have sd I have uttered playfully—& I was by no means ashamed of it.” (J. C. to disciples, The Acts of St. John)

George L. Jackson | Blood In My Eye

  My dear only surviving son, I went to Mount Vernon August 7th, 1971, to visit the grave site of my heart your keepers murdered in cold disregard for life. His grave was supposed to be behind your grandfather’s and grandmother’s. But I couldn’t find it. There was no marker. Just mowed grass. The story of our past. I sent the keeper a blank check for a headstone — and two extra sites— blood in my eye!!!     Amerikan Justice   For their freedom to prey on the world’s people . . . whatever the cost in blood.  …

Etel Adnan | MAYAKOVSKY

  1 Mayakovsky, where are you? I can go to the train station and pick you up. we can speak of the weather on the way back, and if you’re coming by bus I can wait for you at the terminal and in case that you found enough money to have taken the plane I will get up early and wait for you. Don’t tell me dear Vladimir that you lost my address, and that you won’t come, not tomorrow, not ever, I still wait for you because we’re feeling miserable here, and elsewhere, in Europe or in California. We…

Félix Guattari and Radio Alice

La Radio Siamo Noi Félix Guattari | Millions and Millions of Potential Alices Félix Guattari | Popular free Radio etc. ⇒ PDF   Provocative Alloys: A Post-Media Anthology ⇒ PDF     Félix and Alice in Wonderland: The Encounter between Félix Guattari and Franco Berardi and the Post-Media Era Michael Goddard Introduction: The Enigma of the Post-Media Era   Towards the end of his life, Felix Guattari made several enigmatic suggestions about the emergence of a Post-Media era that would have the effect of displacing or at least decentring the hegemony of the mass media as we still know them today. Some of these…

César Vallejo | From ‘Art and Revolution’

    THE REVOLUTIONARY FUNCTION OF THOUGHT Confusion is a phenomenon with a permanent, organic character in bourgeois society. Confusion grows ever thicker when it is addressed as already confusing problems by the very historical terms of its utterance. The latter occurs with the brand new and, at once, very old problem of the intellectual’s obligations with regard to revolution. As posed by historical materialists, this problem is already a tangle. When formulated or simply outlined by bourgeois intellectuals, it acquires the aspect of insoluble chaos. *** “The philosophers,” Marx says, “have only interpreted the world in various ways. The…

Jean-Marie Straub | My Key Dates

  I’m older than Baudelaire when he said he was a thousand years old, so: 1842. The German forest is forbidden to the poor (dead wood, mushrooms, chestnuts, etc.); it becomes a place for indus- trial exploitation. A young Karl Marx protests, costing him his position as a journalist at the Rheinische Zeitung. Winter 1942. I go ice-skating on the frozen Moselle. STALINGRAD! “Finally, the beginning of the end,” says my father. 1945. A few days before the end of the war, just to impress Stalin, American B17s bomb Dresden, one of the most beautiful German cities, twice, destroying it and…

Nanni Balestrini | “I close my eyes and start to sing”

NANNI BALESTRINI (1935-2019)     I close my eyes and start to sing threads are entangled and transformed into spots whose dance moves ever more slowly I sang my repertoire then I started monologues with my eyes closed I walked back and forth in the cell four steps forward four steps back I invented dialogues for two characters that spoke different languages like at the cinema when the film ends there are those who make love who smoke there are those who merely exist   Nanni Balestrini, the radical Italian experimental visual artist, poet, and novelist known for recombinatory, revolutionary…

Velimir Khlebnikov | October on the Neva

Early in the spring of 1917, Petnikov and I took the train to Moscow. ” We alone have rolled up your three years of war into a single spiral, a terrifying trumpet, and now we sing and shout, we sing and shout, drunk with the audacity of this truth: the Government of Planet Earth already exists. We are It. We alone have crowned ourselves with the evergreen wreaths of Presidents of Planet Earth, inexorable in our sunburnt audacity. We are potters who fire the wet clay of humanity into vessels, containers of time, we organize hunting expeditions for the souls…

Maurice Brinton | Paris: May 1968

  Introduction This is an eyewitness account of two weeks spent in Paris during May 1968. It is what one person saw, heard or discovered during that short period. The account has no pretence at comprehensiveness. It has been written and produced in haste, its purpose being to inform rather than to analyze – and to inform quickly. The French events have a significance that extends far beyond the frontiers of modern France. They will leave their mark on the history of the second half of the twentieth century. French bourgeois society has just been shaken to its foundations. Whatever…

Kristin Ross | Against commemoration: Unearthing the lives and afterlives of May ’68

Thread:In May ’68 and its afterlives (2002), you described France’s ‘68 as a “union of intellectual contestation with workers struggles.” Left formations today struggle to create programs of action that unite peoples of different sectors of society. What should the Left know about the political struggles that unfolded in May 1968 in France? What thought and action enabled the coalescence of forces in ‘68? Ross: Well, that changes all the time, doesn’t it? The past is very unpredictable and its ability to connect with our current situations is often indirect and somewhat aleatory. When I wrote my book, for example, at…

Sophie Wahnich | IN DEFENCE OF TERROR: Liberty or Death in the French Revolution

I want never to forget how I was forced to become — for how long? — a monster of justice and intolerance, a narrow-minded simplifier, an arctic character uninterested in anyone who was not in league with him to kill the dogs of hell. — René Char   Provocative reassessment of the Great Terror as a price worth paying For two hundred years after the French Revolution, the Republican tradition celebrated the execution of princes and aristocrats, defending the Terror that the Revolution inflicted upon on its enemies. But recent decades have brought a marked change in sensibility. The Revolution…

Reading Capital | The Complete Edition

READING CAPITAL | THE COMPLETE EDITION
LOUIS ALTHUSSER, ÉTIENNE BALIBAR, ROGER ESTABLET, PIERRE MACHEREY AND JACQUES RANCIÈRE //
Reading Capital: 50 Years Later //
Nina Power: Reading Social Reproduction into ‘Reading Capital

HERE & ELSEWHERE / HIER UND ANDERSWO

[…] Before she too is slaughtered by the Bourgeois (the mob of order), Rosa Luxemburg writes about Bacchanalia, which the bourgeoisie regularly holds upon its victims. From the perverse happiness of the tormentors: the whispering of the pariahs in secret. Gaps of ghastly proportions. Maintained by continuous police work, by the breeding of greenhouse roses, laws & border installations. The liquidation of the poetic word. Chalk circles one makes around a pair of shoes, a bicycle, a pool of blood [the stigmata of capitalism].

RESITUATING THE YELLOW VEST MOVEMENT

The authors of the December 7 article, “Contribution to the rupture in progress,”   [1] continue their analysis of the Yellow Vests movement. As they argue, the Saturday battles are now behind us, and it is the roundabouts and self-organization beginning at the local level that forms the line of increasing power within the current movement. -Lundi matin     “It’s a serious mistake to believe that people are made stupid by staying in a single place.” –William Cobbett “AND THE STATE SANK…” The week of December 3rd was marked by a massive deluge of state and media propaganda, a drama that had several…

The Invisible Committee | The Coming Insurrection

From whatever angle you approach it, the present offers no way out. This is not the least of its virtues. From those who seek hope above all, it tears away every firm ground. Those who claim to have solutions are contradicted almost immediately. Everyone agrees that things can only get worse. “The future has no future” is the wisdom of an age that, for all its appearance of perfect normalcy, has reached the level of consciousness of the first punks. The sphere of political representation has come to a close. From left to right, it’s the same nothingness striking the…

Jean-Marie Gleize | A Preparatory Act | Insurrection [8th December 2018: Julien Coupat preemptively arrested]

  Saturday, 8 December 2018:  Julien Coupat preemptively arrested    a preparatory act …   successive laws has constructed a system of emergency powers which renews the lois scélérates the charge of “criminal conspiracy to commit a terrorist act” it takes only two people to constitute a “terrorist group” and it takes only a preparatory act for the infraction to be so defined. This preparatory act is not specified relation—even tenuous or remote, even love or friendship—with any of the opposed to common law which criminalizes the acts, the antiterrorist approach implicated in a terrorist activity without having to establish a…

Contribution to the Rupture in Progress

CrimethInc. The following text appeared yesterday on the French platform lundimatin; they describe it as the best sociological and political analysis to date on the yellow vest movement. Although we are no more optimistic about the “non-ideological” character of the first phase of the yellow vest phenomenon than we are about the antiquated methods of organization it supplanted, the movement itself has become a battleground to determine what form the next wave of opposition to neoliberal austerity will assume—and no one can afford to stand aside. This text concludes with a cool-headed appraisal of the risks and possibilities before the gilets jaunes and all who will…

The Movement as Battleground [Fighting for the Soul of the Yellow Vest Movement]

CrimethInc. In response to Emmanuel Macron’s proposal to increase the tax on fuel for “ecological” reasons, France has experienced several weeks of unrest associated with the yellow vest movement. This grassroots uprising illustrates how the contradictions of modern centrism—such as the false dichotomy between addressing climate change and considering the needs of the poor—can create social movements that offer fertile ground for populists and nationalists. At the same time, the increasing involvement of anarchists and other autonomous rebels in the unrest raises important questions. If far-right groups can hijack movements, as they did in Ukraine and Brazil, can anti-capitalists and anti-authoritarians reorient them towards…

Next Stop: Destitution

  Contrary to all that we’re hearing, the real mystery is not that we revolted, but the fact that we didn’t do it sooner. What’s abnormal is not what we’re doing now, but all that we’ve put up with until now. Who can deny the bankruptcy of the system, from every angle? Who still wants to be shook down, robbed, and left precarious for nothing? Will anyone weep as the wealthy avenues of the 16th arrondissement are plundered by the poor, and the bourgeois watch their gleaming SUV’s go up in flames? As for Macron, he can stop complaining; it was…

CRISIS AND CRITIQUE / 50 Years after May 68

    Introduction: 50 Years After May 68, Frank Ruda & Agon Hamza PDF Table of Contents   The Double Heritage of Communism to Come. 1917-1968-2018 by Bini Adamczak  PDF 1968-2018, or from the “revolution impossible” to the impossibility of revolution? Variations on the objet petit s by Eric Alliez  PDF Scattered Notes on “May 68” And its interpretations by Étienne Balibar  PDF The procedure of its Invention, the Construction of its Form, the Means of its Transmission by A. J. Bartlett  PDF Topicality of May 68 by Daniel Blanchard  PDF Will it Happen Again? Boredom, Anxiety and the Peak of Human Evolution by Franco “bifo” Berardi  PDF To Make the…

Alain Badiou | The Century & Poetry and Communism

Alain Badiou | The Century  PDF   Everywhere, the twentieth century has been judged and condemned: the century of totalitarian terror, of utopian and criminal ideologies, of empty illusions, of genocides, of false avant-gardes, of democratic realism everywhere replaced by abstraction. It is not Badiou’s wish to plead for an accused that is perfectly capable of defending itself without the authors aid. Nor does he seek to proclaim, like Frantz, the hero of Sartre’s Prisoners of Altona, ‘I have taken the century on my shoulders and I have said: I will answer for it!’ The Century simply aims to examine what…

Jacques Rancière | Staging the People

Jacques Rancière | Staging the People The Proletarian and His Double  PDF   These essays from the 1970s mark the inception of the distinctive project that Jacques Rancière has pursued across forty years, with four interwoven themes: the study of working-class identity, of its philosophical interpretation, of “heretical” knowledge and of the relationship between work and leisure. For the short-lived journal Les Révoltes Logiques, Rancière wrote on subjects ranging across a hundred years, from the California Gold Rush to trade-union collaboration with fascism, from early feminism to the “dictatorship of the proletariat,” from the respectability of the Paris Exposition to…

Roque Dalton | The Petite Bourgeoisie

Toward a Better Love “Sex is a political condition.” — Kate Millet No one disputes that sex is a condition in the world of the couple: from there, tenderness and its wild branches. No one disputes that sex is a domestic condition: from there, kids, nights in common and days divided (he, looking for bread in the street, in offices or factories; she, in the rear-guard of domestic functions, in the strategy and tactic of the kitchen that allows survival in a common struggle at least to the end of the month). No one disputes that sex is an economic…

PROVOKE: Between PROTEST and PERFORMANCE

The short-lived Japanese magazine Provoke is recognized as a major achievement in world photography of the postwar era, uniting the country’s most contentious examples of protest photography, vanguard fine art, and critical theory of the late 1960s and early 70s in only three issues overall. Provoke is accordingly treated here as a model synthesis of the complexities and overlapping uses of photography in postwar Japan. The writing and images by Provoke’s members – critic Taki Koji, poet Okada Takahiko, photographers Nakahira Takuma, Takanashi Yutaka, Moriyama Daido – were suffused with the tactics developed in some Japanese protest books which made use of innovative graphic design and provocatively “poor” materials. Recording…

Harun Farocki / Kaja Silverman | Speaking about Godard

Kaja Silverman and Harun Farocki Speaking about Godard Full book / PDF   “Probably the most prominent living filmmaker, and one of the foremost directors of the postwar era, Jean Luc-Godard has received astonishingly little critical attention in the United States. With Speaking about Godard, leading film theorist Kaja Silverman and filmmaker Harun Farocki have made one of the most significant contributions to film studies in recent memory: a lively set of conversations about Godard and his major films, from Contempt to Passion. Combining the insights of a feminist film theorist with those of an avant-garde filmmaker, these eight dialogues–each representing…

A. Badiou, P. Bourdieu, J. Butler, G. Didi-Huberman, S. Khiari, J. Rancière | WHAT IS A PEOPLE?

ALAIN BADIOU, PIERRE BOURDIEU, JUDITH BUTLER, GEORGES DIDI-HUBERMAN, SADRI KHIARI, AND JACQUES RANCIÈRE WHAT IS A PEOPLE? PDF     What Is a People? seeks to reclaim “people” as an effective political concept by revisiting its uses and abuses over time. Alain Badiou surveys the idea of a people as a productive force of solidarity and emancipation and as a negative tool of categorization and suppression. Pierre Bourdieu follows with a sociolinguistic analysis of “popular” and its transformation of democracy, beliefs, songs, and even soups into phenomena with outsized importance. Judith Butler calls out those who use freedom of assembly…

Italy 1977-8: Living with an earthquake – Red Notes

  Italy 1977-8: Living with an earthquake – Red Notes A pamphlet from a time when a very high level of class struggle dominated Italian society. Despite their differences – the state, church, fascists, Communist Party and unions were all united in opposition to the the radical social movement.    A. Preface We have called our pamphlet “Living With An Earthquake”. This earthquake is not just the crisis at Government level – it is a quite new political upheaval affecting the whole of Italian society. We have produced this pamphlet because it is vitally important that the out­side world should…

Jean-Luc Godard | What is to be done? // British Sounds, by J.-L. Godard [DVG]

  Written in January 1970 at the request of Simon Field and Peter Sainsbury for the magazine Afterimage, produced by Peter Whitehead. Published in Afterimage n°1, April 1970. Translated from French by Mo Teitelbaum. We must make political films. We must make films politically. 1 and 2 are antagonist to each other and belong to two opposing conceptions of the world. 1 belongs to the idealistic and metaphysical conception of the world. 2 belongs to the Marxist and dialectical conception of the world. Marxism struggles against idealism and the dialectical against the metaphysical. This struggle is the struggle between the…

Louis Althusser | For Marx

LOUIS ALTHUSSER | FOR MARX  PDF   A New Practice of Politics: Althusser and Marxist Philosophy by Asad Haider Since the conjuncture that marked the reception of Althusser’s works, it has become clearer that the the initial Anglophone interpretation of Althusser involved considerable conceptual mistranslation, and his texts have since then been cursed by a reputation which powerfully precedes the reading. In the spring of 1966, the Central Committee of the French Communist Party (PCF) met in the Parisian suburb of Argenteuil, ostensibly for a discussion of the “problem of ideology and culture.” In fact, they had convened for a…

Jacques Rancière | The Red of ‘La Chinoise’: Godard’s Politics

  How should we understand the politics Godard puts into play with his cinematographic practice in La Chinoise? The opinions on the matter have more or less followed the fluxes and refluxes of the left. Accused when first released of being just a caricature, and not a serious representation, of real militant Maoists, the film was later praised as a brilliant anticipation of the events of May 1968, and as a lucid look both at the passing infatuation with Maoism by bourgeois youngsters and at the outcomes of that infatuation: the return to order and terrorism. The question of whether…

Jacques Rancière | Documentary Fiction: Chris Marker and the Fiction of Memory

The Last Bolshevik is the title of the film Chris Marker dedicates to the memory of Alexander Medvekin, the Soviet filmmaker who was born with his century and who died during the Perestroika. To speak of ‘memory’ is to raise the paradox of the film at the outset. Marker’s film cannot very well hope to preserve the memory of a filmmaker whose films we have not seen and whose name was, until quite recently, unfamiliar to most of us. Nor is this situation much different with Medvekin’s compatriots, who are as likely to know his films as we are. The…

Arthur Rimbaud | Poems 1871/72

  STOLEN HEART My sad heart drools on deck, A heart splattered with chaw: A target for bowls of soup, My sad heart drools on deck: Soldiers jeer and guffaw. My sad heart drools on deck, A heart splattered with chaw! Ithyphallic and soldierly, Their jeers have soiled me! Painted on the tiller Ithyphallic and soldierly. Abracadabric seas, Cleanse my heart of this disease. Ithyphallic and soldierly, Their jeers have soiled me! When they’ve shot their wads, How will my stolen heart react? Bacchic fits and bacchic starts When they’ve shot their wads: I’ll retch to see my heart Trampled…

Tiqqun | This Is Not a Program

“’77 wasn’t like ’68. ’68 was anti-establishment, ’77 was radically alternative. This is why the ‘official’ version portrays ’68 as good and ’77 as bad; in fact, ’68 was co-opted whereas ’77 was annihilated. This is why, unlike ’68, ’77 could never make for an easy object of celebration.”
— Nanni Balestrini, Primo Moroni, L’orda d’oro

The Angry Brigade: Communiques and Documents

Introduction The eight libertarian militants on trial in the Old Bailey in 1972 who were chosen by the British State to be the ‘conspirators’ of the Angry Brigade, found themselves facing not only the class enemy with all its instruments of repression, but also the obtusity and incomprehension — when not condemnation — of the organised left. Described as ‘mad’, ‘terrorists’, ‘adventurists’, or at best authors of ‘gestures of a worrying desperation’, the Angry Brigade were condemned without any attempt to analyse their actions or to understand what they signified in the general context of the class struggle in course….

Guy Debord | All the King’s Men

What is poetry if not the revolutionary moment of language, inseparable as such from the revolutionary moments of history and from the history of personal life? […] The point is not to put poetry at the service of revolution, but to put revolution at the service of poetry. […] Every revolution has been born in poetry, has first of all been made with the force of poetry. This phenomenon continues to escape theorists of revolution — indeed, it cannot be understood if one still clings to the old conception of revolution or of poetry . . .

Theses on the Paris Commune | Guy Debord, Attila Kotányi & Raoul Vaneigem

The Commune represents the only implementation of a revolutionary urbanism to date — attacking on the spote the petrified signs of the dominant organization of life, understanding social space in political terms, refusing to accept the innoncence of any monument. Anyone who disparages this attack as some “lumpenproletarian nihilism,“ some “irresponsibility of the pétroleuses,“ should specify what he believes to be of positive value in the present society and worth preserving (it will turn out to be almost everything).

‘The Function of Autonomy’: Félix Guattari and New Revolutionary Prospects

by Andrew Ryder Félix Guattari is widely discussed among philosophers, particularly feminists and specialists in ecology and technology. But in the Anglophone world, political organisers tend to ignore him. In part this is due to academic paywalls and university strictures confining his work, but the problem goes further: the stylistic conservatism of so much of the Anglo-American left has impeded the capacity to learn from his insights, because they are presented in an nontraditional and unfamiliar style. This resistance has obscured his continuing activity as a participant and organiser in a variety of international struggles. This is not merely of…

Two Poets — Pier Paolo Pasolini & John Wieners

“I harbor a visceral, deep, irreducible, hatred against the bourgeoisie, against its sufficiency, its vulgarity; a mythical hatred, or, if you prefer, religious.” Pier Paolo Pasolini
“Do not think of the future; there is none. / But the formula all great art is made of.“ J. Wieners

Guy Debord | Society of the Spectacle

Guy Debord | Society of the Spectacle PDF   & Society of the Spectacle (New Annotated Translation of the book by Ken Knabb) PDF   Society of the Spectacle is a black and white 1973 film by the Situationist Guy Debord based on his 1967 book of the same name. It was Debord’s first feature-length film. It uses found footage and detournement in a radical Marxist critique of mass marketing and its role in the alienation of modern society.     Preface to the Third French Edition of The Society of the Spectacle La Société du spectacle was first published…

Guy Debord and the Situationist International | Text and Documents [edited by Tom McDonough]

Guy Debord and the Situationist International Texts and Documents edited by Tom McDonough PDF Critical texts, translations, documents, and photographs on the work of the Situationist International This volume is a revised and expanded version of a special issue of the journal October (Winter 1997) that was devoted to the work of the Situationist International (SI). The first section of the issue contained previously unpublished critical texts, and the second section contained translations of primary texts that had previously been unavailable in English. The emphasis was on the SI’s profound engagement with the art and cultural politics of their time (1957-1972),…

Guy Debord | Comments on the Society of the Spectacle

Guy Debord | Comments on the Society of the Spectacle   PDF First published in 1967, Guy Debord’s stinging revolutionary critique of contemporary society, The Society of the Spectacle has since acquired a cult status. Credited by many as being the inspiration for the ideas generated by the events of May 1968 in France, Debord’s pitiless attack on commodity fetishism and its incrustation in the practices of everyday life continues to burn brightly in today’s age of satellite televisionand the soundbite. In Comments on the Society of the Spectacle, published twenty years later, Debord returned to the themes of his…

Giorgio Agamben | Marginal Notes on Comments on the Society of the Spectacle

Giorgio Agamben | Marginal Notes on Comments on the Society of the Spectacle (2) PDF     The Uses of the Body [Prologue] by Giorgio Agamben It is curious how in Guy Debord a lucid awareness of the insufficiency of private life was accompanied by a more or less conscious conviction that there was, in his own existence or in that of his friends, something unique and exemplary, which demanded to be recorded and communicated. Already in Critique de la séparation, he thus evokes at a certain point as intransmissible “cette clandestinité de la vie privée sur laquelle on ne possède jamais…

Giorgio Agamben | The Coming Community

Giorgio Agamben | The Coming Community (3) PDF       Guy Debord Letters to Giorgio Agamben Champot, 24 August 1989 Dear Sir: Thanks for the press clippings that you transmitted to me. I am happy to learn that Italy, despite certain quite serious obstacles, is better informed than France and several other countries, which are still at the moment of “Nashist”-museographical falsifications, laughably inaugurated by the burlesque “Pompidou Center.” And most particularly because I myself have had the chance to learn much in Italy. I send you a very recent book to complete your intelligent documentation. Quite cordially, Guy Debord…

Guy Debord’s Cinema

Guy Debord’s Cinema PDF Jason E. Smith | Guy Debord, Filmmaker Jacques Rancière | When We Were on the Shenandoah Editors of Internationnale situationiste 1 | With and Against Cinema Kaira M. Cabañas | Hurlements en faveur de vous Soyoung Yoon | Cinema against the Permanent Curfew of Geometry: Guy Debord’s Sur le passage de quelques personnes à travers une assez courte unité de temps (1959) Jason E. Smith | Missed Encounters: Critique de la séparation between the Riot and the ‘Young Girl’ McKenzie Wark | The Insolent Edit Benjamin Noys | Guy Debord’s Time-Image: In girium imus nocte et consumimur…

Olivier Assayas on Guy Debord

  Olivier Assayas on Guy Debord Two interviews. The first was recorded by Enrico Ghezzi and Roberto Turigliatto in June 2001, and published in Italian in the catalog of the Debord retrospective at the Venice Film Festival. Reread, corrected, and completed in March 2002 for the catalog of the retrospective presented at Magic Cinéma in Bobigny. English translation by Chris Fujiwara, as found on fipresci.org. The second was recorded by Brian Price and Meghan Sutherland, and published on worldpicturejournal.com in spring 2008. 1 It’s very tricky to talk or write about Debord, in the sense that his is the work…

Two Poets — Antonin Artaud & Roger Gilbert-Lecomte

The life and work of Antonin Artaud possess a raw power. Long after his death, Artaud’s body of work continues to ricochet strongly through contemporary culture. The facts of Artaud’s life are stark and austere. He was a writer whose work extended provocatively but disastrously into many unknown channels. His extreme challenge was […]

Why Brecht?

Dmitry Vilensky /// Why Brecht? That’s great art: nothing obvious in it – I laugh when they weep, I weep when they laugh. Bertold Brecht If we try replacing the word “opera” with culture or art in Brecht’s text “OPERA – WITH INNOVATIONS!”, it paradoxically becomes clear that Brecht’s analysis of the situation more than 70 years ago is more than relevant today. Of course, many things have changed, such as the notions of power, class, labor, the means of struggle. But still, anyone who is still capable of considering the necessity of connecting thought and action now hits upon…

riots and/or poetics [8/2018]

“he is as a neighborhood beauty queen / lauded with ribbons and canes / and with his lapdogs / who lick at the rottenness / seated at the right side / of mama democracy / he dialogues long / with the mouth of a murderer. / he raises his hand in that sustained and easy style / wiggles his fat ass / and with the boyish brilliance of an ephebe / he shits in the country / with all his soul“ Roberto Jorge Santoro | POETRY IN GENERAL (II)   Manson & Mendoza; Windsuckers & Onsetters: Sonnots for Griffiths Andrea…

Félix Guattari; The Anti-Œdipus Papers

Félix Guattari; The Anti-Œdipus Papers Full book Notes and journal entries document Guattari and Deleuze’s collaboration on their 1972 book Anti-Œdipus. “The unconscious is not a theatre, but a factory,“ wrote Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari in Anti-Œdipus (1972), instigating one of the most daring intellectual adventures of the las half-century. Together, the well-known philosopher and the activist-psychiatrist were updating both psychoanalysis and Marxism in light of a more radical and “constructivist“ vision of capitalism:“Capitalism is the exterior limit of all societies because it has no exterior limit itself. It works well as long as it keeps breaking down.“ Few…

Gilles Deleuze; Two Regimes of Madness (1975-1995)

Gilles Deleuze; Two Regimes of Madness, Revised Edition | Texts and Interviews 1975-1995 | Full book     Gilles Deleuze Edited by David Lapoujade | Translated by Ames Hodges and Mike Taormina The texts and interviews gathered in this volume cover the last twenty years of Gilles Deleuze’s life (1975-1995), which saw the publication of his major works: A Thousand Plateaus (1980), Cinema I: Image-Movement (1985), Cinema II: Image-Time (1985), all leading through language, concept and art to What is Philosophy? (1991). They also document Deleuze’s increasing involvement with politics (Toni Negri, terrorism, etc.). The texts of Two Regimes of Madness complete…

Louis Auguste Blanqui; Eternity by the Stars

Louis Auguste Blanqui Eternity by the Stars I. The universe – The infinite The universe is eternal in time and space – eternal, boundless and indivisible.1 All bodies, animate and inanimate, solid, liquid and gaseous, are linked by the very things that separate them. Everything holds together. Without the astral bodies [astres], only space would remain, absolutely empty no doubt, but retaining the three dimensions, length, width and depth –– indivisible and unlimited space. Pascal once said, in his magnificent style: ‘The universe is a circle whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.’2 Could there be a more striking…

Sean Bonney | COMETS & BARRICADES: INSURRECTIONARY IMAGINATION IN EXILE

  Sean Bonney | COMETS & BARRICADES: INSURRECTIONARY IMAGINATION IN EXILE Let every word indicate the most frightening of distances, it would still take billions of centuries, talking at one word per second, to express a distance which is only an insignificance when it comes to infinity. ¹ Louis Auguste Blanqui; Eternity by the Stars Imprisoned on the day before the declaration of the Paris Commune, in a cell in the Fort du Taureau, ‘an ellipse-shaped fortified island lying half a mile outside of the rock shores of Morlaix at a place where, after briefly morphing into the English Channel, the…

Jacques Rancière; The Radical Gap

 The Radical Gap A preface to Auguste Blanqui, Eternity by the Stars Jacques Rancière I leaf through the programme and learn that the very stars themselves – which, I am irmly convinced, should be but rarely disturbed, and even then only for high reasons of meditative gravity … – the very stars are present!1 Mallarmé penned these ironic lines about a ballet performance at the Eden Theatre. Nevertheless, such stellar lights seem as natural to the choreographer as they do to the poet. This is less obviously the case when the one disturbing the stars is a revolutionary leader. Of…

Two Poets — Stephanie Young & Kirill Medvedev

Stephanie Young Stephanie Young lives and works in Oakland, California. Her most recent book is  It’s No Good Everything’s Bad, which charts the growing crisis of the new intellectual working class. Revealing important truths about labor in direct poetic form, Young’s work was recently featured on Hyperallergic. Her collections of poetry include Telling the Future Off (2005), Picture Palace (In Girum Imus Nocte et Consumimur Igni, 2008), and Ursula or University (2013). She edited the anthology Bay Poetics (2006) and is a founding editor of the online anthology/“museum” of Oakland, Deep Oakland. Young and poet Juliana Spahr coedited the book…

Victor Serge; Memoirs of a Revolutionary

Victor Serge; MEMOIRS OF A REVOLUTIONARY (FULL BOOK)   The End Commands the Means: Victor Serge’s Memoirs of a Revolutionary by Guy Patrick Cunningham I STILL REMEMBER ZUCOTTI PARK in the fall of 2011. I was struck by the way the encampment seemed both very abstract — an open-ended protest without a conventional list of goals — and mundanely practical, as people dealt with distributing food, resolving noise complaints, and deciding on sleeping arrangements. Despite its flaws, the protests were a compelling metaphor for the fact that some measure of utopianism — not only the desire but the need to…

Rote Fahne

Geschichten die man versteht, sind nur falsch erzählt. Bertolt Brecht;  Baal Ihr wißt genau, dass wir Ausbeuter sind. Jean-Paul Sartre, (Vorwort zu Die Verdammten dieser Erde; Frantz Fanon)      Es ist die mit Dreck und Tradition belegte Zunge die mir zum Hals heraushängt es ist eine kleine rote Fahne und ein schwarzer Mund voller Dämonen die morbide Symptomatik kotzfarbener Opferkrüge Erbrechen und Fluchen es sind die Gesetze, die mich mit ihrem Geschmack nach Rache verfolgen es sind die Vorgaben, was zu tun ist, die nerven, der moralisierende Dilettantismus — wartet nicht auf mich … ich bin keine Ratte, aber…

Kirill Medvedev & Nikolay Oleynikov | On Propaganda in Art

  Nikolay Oleynikov: When I think about the art worker’s place in contemporary reality, unexpected pictures flash before my eyes: a poet torching an ugly office building in the city center or an artist, his face covered by a bandana, being arrested by seven cops at a demo. I like these pictures. Boring is the artist who has convinced himself that his place is in the studio from eleven in the morning to seven in the evening. And fine is the poet who doesn’t merely rock the Internet or club slam with his words, but devotes himself to activism Gustave…

Alain Badiou | The Communist Hypothesis

Alain Badiou; The Communist Hypothesis (Full book) Reviewed by David Morgan Nietzsche’s adage that philosophy is disguised biography is not a neat fit with Badiou, only because there is very little of disguise in Badiou’s philosophy. The core of his philosophical project (and of his political activism) has been an attempt to understand what it means to be faithful to the great revolutionary events of the previous two centuries, particularly May ’68 in Paris and the Cultural Revolution in China, which was, in his view, both the high point of the revolutionary sequence and the site of its final failure….

Sean Bonney | Notes on Militant Poetics

  Notes on Militant Poetics 1/3 “There is a zone of nonbeing, an extraordinarily sterile and arid region, an utterly naked declivity when an authentic upheaval can be born . . . . (a) descent into a real hell” (Fanon) “Truth content becomes negative. [Poems] imitate a language beneath the helpless language of human beings: it is that of the dead speaking of stones and stars” (Adorno) The Situationists called poetry the “anti-matter of consumer society”, a fairly questionable claim, but one that is at least expressive of the chasm that operates between official reality’s definitions of poetry and those…

Keston Sutherland’s statement for ‘Revolution and/or Poetry’

  Statement for ‘Revolution and/or Poetry’ I Once upon a time, Ezra Pound: ‘The common or homo canis snarls violently at the thought of there being ideas which he doesn’t know. He dies a death of lingering horror at the thought that even after he has learned even the newest set of made ideas, there will still be more ideas, that the horrid things will grow, will go on growing in spite of him.’ Earlier but closer to us now, Rosa Luxemburg: ‘No coarser insult, no baser defamation, can be thrown against the workers than the remark “Theoretical controversies are…

Alain Badiou | The Rebirth of History | Times of Riots and Uprisings

Alain Badiou; The Rebirth of History | Times of Riots and Uprisings (Full Book)   History and the Sphinx: Of Riots and Uprisings by Jasper Bernes, Joshua Clover Riots are the Sphinx of the left. Every soi disant radical intellectual feels compelled, it seems, to answer the riddle they hear posed by the riots of the present, in Bahrain or Asturias, Chile or Britain: Why now? Why here? Why riot? These answers generally come in a few simple varieties. First, if the riot seems to lack focus or present clears demands – that is, if it is illegible as “protest,”…

Antonio Negri; Is It Possible to Be Communist Without Marx?

This paper explores the question of whether it is possible to be a communist without Marx. This entails encountering the ontological dimension of communism, that is, the material tenor of this ontology, its residual effectiveness, the desire of human beings to go beyond capital, and the reality of the episode of statism. (The Idea of Communism; Volksbühne Berlin, 2010) G. Deleuze and F. Guattari, What is philosophy?, (Columbia University Press, 1994), 144 K. Marx, Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy (Penguin Books, 1993), 296 CRITICAL HORIZONS A JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY AND SOCIAL THEORY

Kirill Medvedev | My Fascism

“[…] and someone said “I’m always on strike, I’m a poet“ in his 2004 essay MY FASCISM Kirill Medvedev says you can see how a person can become kind of crazy from all the various ideological streams moving through his mind in impossibly quick succession […] MY FASCISM is an essay about the relation of politics and art in 2004 in Russia, how some artists on the far right had made a powerfully vital, syncretic, and dangerous art. Kirill argues against attachment to an idealized past, the old culture: In Russia right now we’re all frankensteins, pieced together from various dead traditions….

riots and/or poetics [6/2018]

“[…] But here: distillation, composition, narrow-mindedness; and the oppressive summers: the heat isn’t without respite, but given that good weather is in everyone’s interests, and that everyone is a pig, I hate how summer kills me when it appears even briefly. […] The worst is that all of this will bother you as much as it will. It seems for the best that you read and walk as much as possible. Reason enough not to remain confined to offices and homes. Mindlessnesses must be given free reign, far from confinement. I am not about to be selling balm, but I imagine…