riots and/or poetics [4/2019]

December Journal / 2017 secret idea / of yours / that you / could become a better person / if you read the right books // at the ica fred moten speaks of “battling with identity against / the backdrop of the denial of identity” // yes yes yes // I have to fight against my urge to ascetism and self-sacrifice / but I’m reading about simone weil again – she seems like the / most beautiful / she says, “when you decide something always do what will cost / you the most” // I would like there not to be grants / no crowdfunding / no paperwork to prove your need / no application to decide who…

Vladimir Mayakovsky | Order to the Army of the Arts

  Order to the Army of the Arts [1] (1918) Threadbare men of the old brigade bore on about this and that. Comrades! To the barricades! Barricades of minds and hearts. Only those who have burnt their boats are true communists. You can’t just stroll on, you futurists, the Future requires a leap! It’s not enough just to build the engine — you need a head of steam: wheels turn, we’re off. If there’s no music to lead us on, why bother with AC or DC? Pile sound on sound and for the lyrics we’ve some great phonemes in Russian:…

Vladimir Mayakovsky | What Is LEF Fighting For? ((Manifesto))

  The year 1905. After it, reaction. Reaction settled in with autocracy and the double oppression of the merchant and the factory owner. Reaction created art and life in its own image and according to its own taste. The art of the Symbolists (Bely, Balmont), mystics (Chulkov, Gippius), and sexual psychopaths (Rozanov)–the life of the petty bourgeois and philistines. The revolutionary parties smashed their lives; art rose up and smashed their tastes. The first impressionistic flare up was in 1909 (the collection A Trap for Judges). The flames were fanned for three years. Fanned into Futurism. The first book of the union of…

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…

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…

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…

Jacques Rancière; Seeing Things Through Things / Moscow, 1926

And it is not only in its formal achievements, not only because A Sixth Part of the World is a new word in cinema, the victory of fact over invention, that this film is valuable. It has managed, perhaps for the first time, to show all at once the whole sixth part of the world; it has found the words to force us to be amazed, to feel the whole power, and strength, and unity; it has managed to infect the viewer too with lofty emotion, to throw him onto the screen. In the dusty steppes there are herds of…