Monthly Archives: July 2012

Alternative Art College Questions Answered.

Hi Paul

Dear John
 
I recently contacted you about talking at the Alternative Art College event in May and now i am currently writing my MA diss on the ‘Autonomous education/learning space.I was wondering if you had time to answer briefly a few questions written below, It would be great to have your input.
 
The questions below are broad and provoking.
 
These questions require much longer answers than I can give. If you want to be involved with Higher Education Quality Assurance you must find a way to format these as multiple choice tick box questionnaires – only this kind of practice counts in the metrics-regime HE sector today.
 
I wish i had time to do this in person as it would have been a very
interesting conversation.Questions:

1. How do you feel you function within the institution? Is it possible  to function autonomously within an institution?

 
I joined the University system in order to maim it. OF course even this position is now totally in complicity with its afterlife – ie, a life after its already tragic-yet-welcomed demise.
 
2. When it comes to  the element of an art input do you feel it  enhances the production of ‘alternative’ learning or education
spaces?
 
Art input is the path to complicity made palatable to those who think radical activity lies in the pretense of form and formlessness. The only thing radical in art is that it continually gets co-opted into Institutions, suggesting that there is perhaps – ever so maybe – something worth co-opting. This of course is its value, to capital, and it is a facade. No, worse, a charade. Perhaps a puppet show. Answer A.
 
3. If situated outside of the institution does it have a increased
autonomous position?
 
What is outside? Do you mean art? The autonomy of art is a faded inversion of its former subservience to power. Now it is mere decoration. The only radical artists are part time landscape gardeners working in the suburbs, never likely to be nominated for the Turner Prize. Is this what art can be. I think its best we have another look at Adorno’s great book ‘Aesthetic Theory’ – the question is still unresolved as to whether art remains the place of ‘a secret omnipresence of resistance’. Probably not.
 
4. In regards to the relationship an individual can have with the institution, it is possible to see
contradictions, I see this as positives as it is a corner stone of how to function when creating work in an art practice, do you feel the
role of the contradiction is important when creating ‘alternative’ learning spaces?
 
See Mao – On Contradiction. This is the essay that must be brought to class. Its not so much that there are contradictions to be understood, but there are only contradictions, to be managed – which is why the quality assurance people offer their inane questionnaires – they produce these things to justify their own contradictory non-practice as a malignant and parasitic growth that fosters bureaucracy within a zero-degree blast zone of what once was education and thinking.
 
5. DO you feel that there is a definitive model for which
education should proceed?
 
 
There is a definitive model of how to resist education. Education is not a social good insofar as it reproduces class hierarchy. This of course is not news. See chapter 16 of Capital.
 
6. when it comes to suggest that either are a blueprint for a ‘better’
HE structure do they then become what they once were opposing? or are
neither of them opposing the institution but merley reflection on its
current form?
 
When were they oppositional? The opposition here is an integrated structure. It thrives on complicity and the fiction that greater thinking and critique can have some autonomy outside of the very contradictions that make it possible. All else – and this is a very big else – is training for the alpha, beta and theta drones required by the market system. Tragically, the old university (heaven forbid if we were to save that battered carcass of privilege) is no longer even the preferred mode of preparation for the military-entertainment complex of contemporary capital. Hence McDonalds degrees for graduates of the McDonalds Olympics… etc…
 
 

Thank you again i hope these questions make senseBest Paul


* The Alternative Art College *
*
*
*www.alternativeartcollege.co.uk*

 

Yup, all good. Write well. J

What’s On in CCS

Summer – marking, writing, dissertation supervision, preparations for October, rethinking everything, changing nothing (well, you know that is not true – everything has happened before and will happen again, but that does not mean its anything like the same). Not so many school events in August besides the excellent film series, but keep looking here for more – some big name speakers already planned for September, and more films. The what’s on for CCS in general is here.

Creativity Elephant in the Room

So as to be able to post the photograph of the elephant (elephants are a subtheme of this blog, where others would have cats, though I also have cats – and other (political) animals… Elephants are political, cf India, from the Mahabharatha to contemporary Pandals and tourism).

Anyway, the point is to plug Mute and a James Heartfield review of Critique of Creativity: http://www.metamute.org/community/reviews/critique-creativity

Professor X polemic

Just found this in the 2010/1 issue of Third Text on Cinema in the Muslim World. Worth a second look:

 

I believe the text is free to download/read online, via this link here. Thanks for the shout out credit Ali Nobil Ahmad, gonna read the rest of the issue asap.

Tommy Smith, Peter Norman and John Carlos.

Let the Olympiss games begin – remember Tommy Smith and John Carlos showing support for Muhammed Ali’s anti-Vietnam war stance, against poverty and lynching, for Black power, part of the Olympic Project for Human Rights – see http://www.good.is/post/fists-of-freedom-an-olympic-story-not-taught-in-schools/ – which also brings to light a little known factoid making it worth remembering that the white guy who came second in the 200 metres that day was a runner from Melbourne named Peter Norman. Norman supported the protest, citing Australia’s mistreatment of indigenous people, by ‘pinning an OPHR patch onto his chest to show his solidarity on the medal stand’.

I like this because solidarity is not showboating, its standing alongside in support. Smith, Norman, Carlos: 1,2,3.

Remember Peter Norman:

http://blackathlete.net/artman2/publish/Cubefour_3/Remembering_Peter_Norman_2426.shtml

Suicide Without Fame, without Responsibility

I have mentioned before the Joy Devotion picture book out by Jennifer Otter (launched last week) – It is a study of the things left by Joy Division/Ian Curtis fans at Curtis’s graveside in Macclesfield. A year of trinkets:

http://www.blurb.co.uk/bookstore/detail/3364538?utm_source=badge&utm_medium=banner&utm_content=140×240

Makes me think of the media frenzy over a the Batman deaths in Texas, and about having watched footage on Syria and Libya back to back with documentaries on Amy Winehouse and Kurt Cobain recently… What would the various Death devotions around Curtis and Cobain be if not the industrial remnants – turned trinket commodity detritus – of people spat out by the individualization machine, in which there are no longer actual individuals, only icon figurines of abjection that come to stand in their place – ie, stand in for actual expressive individuality. All the while mass death at the hands of the weapon system barely raises a murmur. This is trinketization, expressive if dysfunctional personality and creativity is turned into a mass produced semblance of a false individuality – and it must be embodied in a fallen idol who is then unable to remain alive inside this brutalizing system. The myopic fans (we?) cling on to this brutal departure because as fans/we are unable to find a way out ourselves – somehow both caught wanting to leave, but with no-where to actually go, because suicide without fame is nothing. This, sadly, also gives a hint as to why someone might style themselves the Joker and shoot a dozen people at a movie screening. Think Brievik in Norway too – these are also the people that the Curtis and Cobain cults create. Along the way distracting from NATO’s more gruesome wars, which are barely opposed by STW or anyone.

Kracauer’s Orpheus in Paris, 1937

Lists, of Paris nightlife attractions. How can this not be known as antecedent of Benjamin’s Arcades? It links boulevards and commune and trinkets and more, it goes on to interweave opera, mischief, music and revolutions, and Panto! Brilliant, overlooked book.

20120723-163522.jpg

Then, the delight that presents itself to the stumbling pedestrian. Organ grinders (18th Brumaire) cannot be far from Ziggy’s mind here. Turks!

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And now, even better, the arcades themselves described as a grotto. Underworld phantasmagoria – with an educational mission.

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Metropolitan Factory

From the good folk at Minor Compositions, a project for hipsters, creatives and others with too much to lose (please share widely):

Surviving as a cultural or artistic worker in the city has never been easy. Creative workers find themselves celebrated as engines of economic growth, economic recovery and urban revitalization even as the conditions for our continued survival becomes more precarious. How can you make a living today in such a situation? That is, how to hold together the demands of paying the rent and bills while managing all the tasks necessary to support one’s practice? How to manage the tensions between creating spaces for creativity and imagination while working through the constraints posed by economic conditions?

In a more traditional workplace it is generally easy to distinguish between those who planned and managed the labor process and those who were involved in its executions: between the managers and the managed. For creative workers these distinctions become increasingly hard to make. Today the passionate and self-motivated labor of the artisan increasingly becomes the model for a self-disciplining, self-managed labor force that works harder, longer, and often for less pay precisely because of its attachment to some degree of personal fulfillment in forms of engaging work. And that ain’t no way to make a living, having to struggle three times as hard for just to have a sense of engagement in meaningful work.

This project sets out to investigate how cultural workers in the metropolis manage these competing tensions and demands. The goal is to bring together the dispersed knowledges and experiences of creative workers finding ways to make a living in the modern metropolis. And by doing that to create a space to learn from this common experiences that often are not experienced as such while we work away in different parts of the city.

Share this:

Same shit…

glad to see this is still around… (thanks Samantha Lutz)

Twilight of the bureaucrats

When Adorno met Beckett

P575 Müller-Doohm

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New book to get: Contract and Contagion – Angela Mitropoulos

Contract and Contagion: From Biopolitics to Oikonomia will be out in early October 2012, and can be preordered online from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Contents

Preface: The Liquidation of Foundations

I. Contingency, Necessity, Performativity

II. Oikonomia
Reading Xenophon in (post-)Fordist Times – Arendt, Foucault: Oikonomia, Biopolitics, or Oikonomia? – Intersection, Domos – Agamben, Foucault, and Dumézil – Locke’s Holy Trinity

Annotation: Insurance, Inoculation

III. Legal, Tender
Genealogy – The Limits of Right – Reproducing Race – Frontier Expansion – Queer Value? – Reproducing Labour-Power – Reproducing Value – Genealogy Otherwise

Annotation: Infrastructure, Infra-politics

IV. Unproductive Circulation, Excessive Consumption

V. Foucault, Neoliberalism, and (the) Intervention
Welfare/Warfare – The Disappearance and Reappearance of Foucault’s Genealogy – Colonial Properties – Household Property and Proper Homes – Foucault, Becker and the New Household Economics – The Re/Production of Human Capital

VI. Proliferating Limits
Points of Exchange – The Boundaries of Oikonomia – Polanyi and Marx – The Gift of Surplus Labour – Patterns of Re/Production – Emerging Markets, Frontiers

Annotation: Affective Labour

VII. Flora and Fortuna

VIII. Neocontractualism, Faith-Based Capitalism
Contagion and Plague – Moral Hazard and the New Covenant – Socially-Necessary Labor, Human Capital and Service Work

IX. Mutuum, Mutare
Usury and the Return of the Dark Ages – The Fordist Domestication of Liquidity – Marx’s Intermundia – Student Debt, Education Bubbles and Speculation – Financial Contagion, Loose Ties and Complex Systems – From Infinite Debt to Endless Credit – Clinamen

References
Index

UPDATE – pre-order here

When Chaplin played Adorno

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You have to agree with Habermas, this tells more about Adorno than it does of Chaplin (from the Müller-Doohm biography p312)

Beyond Borders book cover (book available soon)


and discount pre-order here.

book blurb and contents list here:

http://www.pavementbooks.com/beyondborders

Joy Devotion

http://www.joydevotion.com/2012/06/joy-devotion-july-19th-at-xoyo-in.html

 

 

Joy Devotion: A Year in the Life of a Rock Shrine at the Ian Curtis Memorial Stone On July 19, 2012, XOYO Gallery is proud to announce the opening of a new show, Joy Devotion: Trash, Trinkets and Tributes at the Ian Curtis Memorial Stone.

Taken on the 18th of every month for a year between 2009-10 (including the 30th anniversary of Curtis’s death), Joy Devotion documents the evolution of death- and of memory. The trinkets, tributes and trash on the Curtis memorial stone is in constant flux, reflecting the ever migrating myth of the vocalist himself- a harsh and glaring contrast to the finality of death. Joy Devotion captures for the first time the year in the life of the rock shrine- existing almost as a destination unto itself. With each visitor, identity, ‘memory’, meaning and the legacy of Curtis and Joy Division changes and flows- similar to the seasons rotating, the movement in the landscape of the cemetery itself.

Located just over 15 miles outside of the English hub of Manchester, Macclesfield was the home of the late singer and lyricist Ian Curtis, front man for post-punk pioneers Joy Division. The ashes of Curtis are now buried minutes away from where he lived, at the Macclesfield Cemetery and Crematorium. Though it has been over 30 years since he took his life, an estimated 2,000 people annually make their way to the small, quaint Northern town, on a quest to pay homage to Curtis. Travelling from as far flung destinations as Japan, Texas and Australia, fans embark on sonic pilgrimages to walk the streets that inspired Curtis, see the house where he once inhabited- and pay their respects at Curtis’s memorial stone.

As a part of her PhD research, photographer Jennifer Otter captured images of fans, flowers and fauna every month over the course of a year. Joy Devotion marks the first time the pictures have been showcased together on display for the public.

For more information, please contact Jennyo@JKOMedia.com or go to http://joydevotion.blogspot.co.uk. XOYO Gallery is located at 32-37 Cowper Street, London EC2A 4AP, http://xoyo.co.uk/gallery

Joy Devotion

http://www.joydevotion.com/2012/06/joy-devotion-july-19th-at-xoyo-in.html

 

 

Joy Devotion: A Year in the Life of a Rock Shrine at the Ian Curtis Memorial Stone On July 19, 2012, XOYO Gallery is proud to announce the opening of a new show, Joy Devotion: Trash, Trinkets and Tributes at the Ian Curtis Memorial Stone.

Taken on the 18th of every month for a year between 2009-10 (including the 30th anniversary of Curtis’s death), Joy Devotion documents the evolution of death- and of memory. The trinkets, tributes and trash on the Curtis memorial stone is in constant flux, reflecting the ever migrating myth of the vocalist himself- a harsh and glaring contrast to the finality of death. Joy Devotion captures for the first time the year in the life of the rock shrine- existing almost as a destination unto itself. With each visitor, identity, ‘memory’, meaning and the legacy of Curtis and Joy Division changes and flows- similar to the seasons rotating, the movement in the landscape of the cemetery itself.

Located just over 15 miles outside of the English hub of Manchester, Macclesfield was the home of the late singer and lyricist Ian Curtis, front man for post-punk pioneers Joy Division. The ashes of Curtis are now buried minutes away from where he lived, at the Macclesfield Cemetery and Crematorium. Though it has been over 30 years since he took his life, an estimated 2,000 people annually make their way to the small, quaint Northern town, on a quest to pay homage to Curtis. Travelling from as far flung destinations as Japan, Texas and Australia, fans embark on sonic pilgrimages to walk the streets that inspired Curtis, see the house where he once inhabited- and pay their respects at Curtis’s memorial stone.

As a part of her PhD research, photographer Jennifer Otter captured images of fans, flowers and fauna every month over the course of a year. Joy Devotion marks the first time the pictures have been showcased together on display for the public.

For more information, please contact Jennyo@JKOMedia.com or go to http://joydevotion.blogspot.co.uk. XOYO Gallery is located at 32-37 Cowper Street, London EC2A 4AP, http://xoyo.co.uk/gallery

Poetry After Guantanamo

a piece on MIA, now available as a pre-print citable version on email request (first 50 only). Shoot me a line to get the code.

 

link PoetryafterGuantanamo

Poetry After Guantanamo

a piece on MIA, now available as a pre-print citable version on email request (first 50 only). Shoot me a line to get the code.

 

link PoetryafterGuantanamo

Zizek on Stalin

A month or two later than everyone else I suppose, I have started reading the new Zizek. Greatly amused that Balibar quipped: ‘I wish I could read as fast as Zizek can type – not that I am saying he is repetitive, he is just consistent’

Trepidation of the reader… no real surprise to again to find SZ quoting Stalin, as if from memory, saying ‘both are worse’ – yawn – this is a Lenin quip, as I have all-ready anal-ized:

‘both worse’ is Lenin, not Stalin – ‘both are worse’  from ‘What is to Be Done’ part 1, where Lenin is talking about two competing resolutions of the Jewish Workers Union in 1901. Surely a good Leninist should not mischievously be laying traps like this – checking to see if we are paying attention, misattributing classic quotes from the Vlad to Jo. SZ had already attributed this to Stalin in ‘Welcome to the Desert of the Real’ so I suspect its a moment of digital apocalypse cut and paste. The demand to deliver text in a rush. And I am doing it here – cut and say, paste and pay. (here)

But it is a good quip, so each time SZ uses it I think both are worse too. And I am hoping by the end of this to be even more upset about minor symptoms of utter brilliance.

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Marx Trot 2012 – July 7

The Marx Trot… this year will be on July 7. Hurrah! Leaving from Archway tube 2:30 pm, then to Highgate Cemetery Marx’s Grave about 3pm – heading across the Heath to the old man’s local on Grafton Terrace – and onwards to Engels’ house, then to the pub – now crappy cocktail bar – where the Manifesto was adopted by the Communist League, and much more… All welcome.

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Last year’s trot (and links to previous) here: http://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/marx-trot-29-5-2011/

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Pics of the houses: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/photo/london/index.htm

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