Radical media, politics and culture.


NOT BORED! writes: "You'd think the translator of a text that shows that people can't understand texts that have passages left out of them would NOT leave any passages out of his/her translation. But Ken Knabb may not be as good a translator as we'd like to think, because he failed to translate a full third of the situationists' crucial essay "How Not To Understand Situationist Books"!

"How Situationist Books Are Not Understood" [1]

Unattributed (Guy Debord?)
Translated by Not Bored!

If the action led by the SI had not involved several consequences that were publically scandalous and threatening, it is beyond doubt that no French publication would have reviewed our recent books. Which was naively confessed by Francois Chatelet in Le Nouvel Observateur for 3 January 1969: "Confronted with similar works, the first sentiment is to purely and simply exclude them, let them have the absolute point of view where they place themselves in the absolute, exactly, in the non-relative, in the non-related." But as a result of letting us have the non-related, the organizers of the conspiracy of silence have, after several years, seen this strange "absolute" fall upon their heads and show itself as not being distinct from current history, from which they are absolutely separated; without being able to prevent this "old mole" from making its way towards the day.[2]

NOT BORED! writes:

Guy Debord Film Retrospective

New York City, March 5, 2006

In response to the way he was slandered in the French press during its coverage of the murder of his friend, Gerard Lebovici, on 5 March 1984, Guy Debord withdrew all six of his films from world-wide distribution. It wasn’t until shortly after his death (a suicide) on 30 November 1994 that two of Debord’s films were finally screened on French TV. Finally, in November 2005, Debord’s films were re-released as a collection. Most of these films have never been screened in New York. In this retrospective, all six of Debord’s films will be shown in chronological order and in the original French. No subtitles. Translations and other relevant printed materials will be available.

5 pm Hurlements en faveur de Sade (1952)
7 pm Sur le Passage de Quelques Personnes (1959)
8 pm Critique de la Separation (1961)
9 pm La Societe du Spectacle (1973)
11 pm Refutation de tous les Jugements (1975)
midnight In girum imus nocte et consumimu igni (1978)

Tickets: $5 per film.
Doors open at 4:30pm.

217 East 42d Street (between 3rd and 2d Ave.) New York City


Slavoj Zizek Master Class on Jacques Lacan: A Lateral Introduction

A Four Week Course

2006, Birkbeck, University of London

The following dates for the Master Class have now been confirmed. All sessions will run between 2.00pm and 4.00pm.

There will be no charge for this event and no booking is required. Seats will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. We recommend that you turn up to the Master Class sessions in good time to avoid disappointment.

Call For Papers

Affinities: A Journal of Radical Theory, Culture, and Action

Special Issue #1: "Creating Autonomous Spaces"

From pirate enclaves to utopian communities, from communal republics
to occupied zones, the history of constituted power has always also been the history of radical experiments in spaces that are other
than, alternative to, within and against.

The first issue of Affinities: A Journal of Radical Theory, Culture, and Action is dedicated to a critical discussion of the contemporary manifestations, and future prospects of, autonomous spaces around the world. We are seeking submissions not only from those who "study”
such spaces, but also from those who are actively engaged in their creation.

Recent years have offered us manifold examples of autonomous spaces, including the occupation of old factories in Argentina, the
occupation of rural land by the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement, and spaces or caucuses created by those marginalized within broader radical movements, including Anarchist People of Colour and the
Zapatista Revolutionary Law for Women.

Yet everywhere these experiments are constantly imperiled, suffering repression, recuperation, or simply exhaustion. Furthermore, careful attention to power relations suggests that these spaces themselves are not islands free of oppression, untouched by the micro-practices of domination.

El Kilombo writes:

"Response to Pierre Macherey"
Toni Negri, Multitudes (Autumn 2005)

On November 19th, 2004, Pierre Macherey presented an extended critique of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s book, Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire, on the occasion of Citéphilo at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille. Toni Negri, who was invited to speak at the seminar, responded orally to Macherey’s critiques. The text that we publish here is a more detailed and developed version of Negri’s response. Pierre Macherey’s text is available here. [LB]
It seems to me that the objections presented by Pierre Macherey, with the elegance of a master and the sincerity of a friend, are three in number: each of which, naturally, entails certain complications, as much in terms of questions as answers.

The first question, posed ex abrupto, concerns the central theme, the foundation itself of our discussion, namely the concept of labor. In insisting upon the immaterialization of labor, Macherey asks, do Hardt and Negri not finish by dematerializing it? Why not proceed in the opposite direction, and reconstitute the material reality of labor, the tediousness and suffering of exploitation, by first underlining its undeniable new productive characteristics? Do we not give in, in following Hardt and Negri, to a sort of post-modernist apology for change, whatever form it might take? Consequently, why do the authors of Multitude insist so forcefully upon the break between modernity and post-modernity rather than showing the continuity of exploitation between the two; or better yet showing the culmination of exploitation in a period that draws its breath from a most ferocious modernity?

NOT BORED! writes:

"Jean Maitron, 'Anarchist' Historian"

Unattributed (perhaps Guy Debord)

(For decades, the only translation of the Situationist International's text about Jean Maitron — an "anarchist" historian who'd falsified one of the SI's texts, got called on it and, when he didn't do anything, was roughed-up by two young situs — was Ken Knabb's masperized version, which failed to translate well over half of this relatively short text. We are happy to announce that NOT BORED! has translated the text, from scratch and in its entirety, as it once did with Knabb's masperization of Guy Debord's "The SI Today.")

"Maitron the Historian"

The Sorbonne for itself (Workers Editions, October 1968), assembling documents on May-June 1968, is a book that claims historical objectivity. Published as a special issue of the univerity journal The Social Movement, it was put together under the responsibility of Jean Maitron, the journal's director, who has a certain reputation as a historian of the workers' movement, and even as a "libertarian." For the rest, it's best to note that the collaborators on this book included J.C. and Michelle Perrot, as well as Madeleine Reberioux, who is notoriously a member of the French Stalinist party.

This book speaks of the situationists, with many erroneous details, and reproduces some of our documents from May. However, after having notably declared on page 6 that, "We have refused all deletions (death to the ellipsis[1] that reject I-don't-know-what to hell!)," the authors have nevertheless published our "Report on the Occupation of the Sorbonne"[2] in the Masperized version,[3] which makes one strongly miss the use of the ellipsis, which at least reveals that one has hidden something.


Decade of Dissent: The 10-Year Celebration for the Institute for Anarchist Studies

Friday, February 10, 2006, 7 p.m.

at the Brecht Forum, New York City


Dear friends and supporters, old and new,

The Institute for Anarchist Studies (IAS) warmly
invites you to "Decade of Dissent: The 10-Year
Celebration for the Institute for Anarchist Studies."
Since 1996, the IAS has been promoting critical
scholarship on social domination and reconstructive
visions of a free society. Through grants, events,
journals, and other projects, we have contributed to
anarchist scholarship, helped build a community of
support for present-day anti-authoritarian projects,
and renewed the long-term commitment for the future.
We hope you will gather with us to celebrate this
wonderful occasion.

Please join us for food, conversation, drinks, and
socializing. This event is a fund-raising event, of
course, so bring your checkbooks or cash. But it is
also a fantastic opportunity for networking,
socializing, and reaffirming our dedication to
critical engagement and radical social change now and
for years to come.

The evening begins at 7:00 p.m., and includes a full
Indian meal (with meat and vegetarian dishes) served
at approximately 8:00 p.m. Board members will provide
updates about the IAS and our activities, including
the Renewing the Anarchist Tradition Conference in
Vermont, recent grant recipients, and upcoming issues
of our theoretical journal, "Perspectives on Anarchist
Theory." Additionally, we invite you to share
information about your projects and activities.



With tributes to Harold Wolpe and Guy Mhone, and the Rosa Luxemburg Political Education Seminar 2006

28 February - 4 March 2006

University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

In cooperation with partners who have indictated in-principle support - The Harold Wolpe Memorial Trust, The Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa, The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation and the journal Capitalism Nature Socialism - CCS will be opening thematic research projects on 'Economic Justice' in 2006. We are anxious to launch this theme by reviewing some of the finest traditions of national, regional and international political-economic theory and contemporary analysis, and invite you to join us. We seek inputs from individuals and organisations who would like to participate.

We are mainly concerned with market-nonmarket interactions and new forms of 'primitive accumulation'. Ideas about a supposed 'dual economy' in South Africa (and indeed the region and world) are now being debated at the highest political/policy levels. This is an opportune time to discuss whether formal markets and the informal economy plus other aspects of society and nature are really as divorced as is often argued.

Three scholar-activists - Harold Wolpe in South Africa, Guy Mhone in Southern Africa and Rosa Luxemburg in Europe - developed consistent arguments about the way markets systematically exploit 'nonmarket' opportunities, in other modes of production, in society (especially women's unpaid labour) and in the natural environment.

Interview with Paolo Virno

Branden W. Joseph

Responses Translated by Alessia Ricciardi

Branden W. Joseph: You are currently a university professor of communications.
Perhaps it would be worth outlining a little of your personal and
intellectual trajectory. How do you understand the relation between your
academic work and your work with Autonomia?

Paolo Virno: The decisive experience of my youth was the revolutionary
struggle in a developed capitalist country. I insist: developed. A country, that
is, in which physical survival was guaranteed, consumption relatively high,
with by that time widespread scholastic instruction. I did not participate in
an uprising against misery or dictatorship but in a radical conflict aiming at
abolishing that modern form of barbarism: wage labor. We were not “thirdworldist”
but “Americanist.” Fighting at Fiat of Turin, we were thinking of
Detroit, not Cuba or Algiers. Only where capitalist development has reached
its height is there a question of the anticapitalist revolution. This setup has
allowed us to read Marx without “Marxism”—to read Marx, putting him in
direct contact with the most radical social fights and on the other hand intertwining
the reading of him with the great authors of bourgeois modernity
(Weber, Keynes, Nietzsche, Heidegger, etc.).

I participated in the group Potere
Operaio (among whose directors was also Toni Negri), contributing as much
as I could to organize fierce strikes at Fiat and the occupation of unrented
houses in Rome. In 1979 I was arrested in the trial of Autonomia Operaia—
three years of preventive jail, one of house arrest, finally (in 1987), full exoneration
in the appeals process.

I have always occupied myself with philosophy, and I have always written
about it. I was hard pressed to work on a nonreductionist, broadly conceived
materialism capable of explaining rationally all that a “linguistic animal”
(which is to say, a human being) does, thinks, desires.

The first book was published
in 1986 and is entitled Convenzione e materialismo [Convention and
]; the latest in 2003 is entitled Quando il verbo si fa carne. Linguaggio
e natura umana
[When the Verb Becomes Flesh: Language and Human Nature].
At the end of the 1980s, I was engaged with others in tracing the fundamental
traits of “post-Fordism”: the intellectual labor of the masses, flexibility, and so
on. From 1990 to 1993, I contributed to the journal Luogo Comune, afterward
to the journal Derive Approdi.

When it comes to my job at the university . . . well, I have been doing it
only for six or seven years. And I am still a professor on a temporary contract.
Until the age of forty-five, though I was writing books of philosophy, I worked
at the most disparate sorts of jobs in the culture industry: cartoon scriptwriter,
journalist, editor for publishing houses, and so on. University has been a
casual choice, not a vocation or a destiny. It represented the possibility of
earning a better salary and having more time left for writing. Having published
different books, I could give it a try. I won a competition. My life has
not changed. And it goes well this way.

ephemera Issue X Released

Issue X of ephemera has just been published in cooperation with Framework: The Finnish Art Review.

In September 2005 a meeting called Capturing the Moving Mind: Management and Movement in the Age of Permanently Temporary War took place on the Trans-Siberian train from Helsinki to Moscow to Novosibirsk to Beijing. The purpose of this meeting was a "cosmological" one. We gathered a group of people, researchers, philosophers, activists, artists and others interested in the changes going on in society and engaged in changing the society as their own moving image, an image of time. In this experiment everybody was "alone together" each one taking care of her/himself at the same time participating in the band, sometimes in the centre, again finding her/himself at its edge, like a pack of wolves around a fire with neighbours to the left and to the right, holding on by just a hand or a foot, but with nobody behind them, their backs naked and exposed to the Gobi desert. We explicitly did not want to create a community or to have a common cause. Rather we wanted to experiment with those who don't have nor need one. We wanted to create with our hands and bodies something new.


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