Radical media, politics and culture.


December 2009 Autonogram

Greetings Autonogram Subscribers,

Here we find ourselves in December, with winter approaching and the days growing shorter. But thankfully this does not just mean the end of the year, but also the start of another, and with that the release of the 2010 Autonomedia Calendar of Jubilee Saints. Here’s to another year of radical media making, occupying and subverting from California to Copenhagen, and general trouble making and mischief! So without further ado, here’s some recent developments:

Retirees even have the advantage of being able to spend as much time as they require on their internet business whereas many group can only commit imperfect hours outside of their full-time jobs. Well, the modern world is crammed with reports of crime in neighborhoods previously Suddenly Susan full episode considered to be safe and quiet.

Christopher Hitchens, 1949–2011
Louis Proyect

About a year or so after Hitchens began writing defenses of the war in Iraq, I stopped reading him. Bombarded as I am from wall-to-wall stupidity on network and cable television, op ed articles by Thomas Friedman, and all the rest, I just found no reason to add Hitchens to the menu.

But when I learned that he had cancer, I began reading everything he had to say about his illness including the final riveting piece in Vanity Fair that made it clear that the end was near:

Design/History/Revolution Conferenmce
New School, NYC, April 27-28, 2012

CFP: Design/History/Revolution
Deadline: December 7, 2011
Conference: April 27 & 28, 2012, The New School, NYC

Keynote speaker: Barry Bergdoll, The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of
Architecture & Design, The Museum of Modern Art

Whether by providing agitprop for revolutionary movements, an
aesthetics of empire, or a language for numerous avant-gardes, design
has changed the world. But how? Why? And under what conditions? We
propose a consideration of design as an historical agent, a contested
category, and a mode of historical analysis.

This interdisciplinary conference aims to explore these questions and
to open up new possibilities for understanding the relationships among
design, history and revolution.

Staging Illusion: Digital and Cultural Fantasy Conference
Sussex, England, December 8-9, 2011

Sussex Centre for Cultural Studies &
The Centre for Material Digital Culture present:

Staging Illusion: Digital and Cultural Fantasy
December 8th and 9th, University of Sussex
Tickets £190 (£85 student)

Keynote speakers: Professor Vanessa Toulmin (Director of the National Fairground archive), Dr Sarah Kember (Goldsmiths) and Professor Sally R Munt (Director of the Sussex Centre for Cultural Studies).

Plenary speakers: Dr Astrid Ensslin (Bangor), Dr Melanie Chan (Leeds Met), Professor Nicholas Till (Sussex), and Dr Jo Machon (Brunel).

From magicians and mediums to immersive media, and from the circus to cyborgs, the celebration and/or mistrust of illusion has been a central theme across a range of cultures. Notions of fakery and deception remind us that our identities that are performative. The figure of the ‘mark’ of the fairground scam remains culturally ubiquitous, perhaps more so than ever, in an era of (post) mechanical reproduction. Is new technology a flight from the real or merely a continuation of older cultural forms? Is it necessary, or even possible, to define reality in relation to the illusory? What realms of ‘otherness’ remain to be embraced? This international conference will discuss staged illusions across a spectrum of historical, geographical and cultural contexts, featuring original and exciting papers and performances.

The Original Mad Men
What Can OWS Learn From a Defunct French Avant-Garde Group?
Gary Kamiya

Strange bedfellows don’t get any stranger than this. To the joy of a few
dozen graduate students and culture jammers, and the utter bemusement of
just about everybody else, the most significant American protest
movement in years has been spending time under the sheets with an
obscure French avant-garde movement whose ideas are so crazily
millenarian they make Jacques Derrida look like Mitt Romney.

I’m referring to the peculiar liaison between Occupy Wall Street and the
Situationists – creators of one of those whacked-out intellectual
commodities that have constituted France’s most lucrative cultural
exports for more than a century.

Paul Goodman: Recounting Forgotten Man on the Attack
Richard B. Woodward

Even by the obstreperous standards of other New York intellectuals, Paul
Goodman (1911-72) was a special kind of troublemaker.

Anarchist, utopian, World War II pacifist, pied piper of the '60s youth
revolt, urban planner, Gestalt therapist, uncloseted bisexual and
crusader for gay rights, advocate of sustainable farming, gifted poet
and novelist, he exhibited a wayward independence that made him a party
of one in the American political arena but that also earned him the wary
respect of his peers. Susan Sontag called him one of her heroes. Alfred
Kazin and Lionel Trilling, neither one a fan of Goodman's theoretical
writings, confessed to a secret envy over his "scandalous reputation."

The Indignados of Football and the Arab Spring
Play the Game Conference Day 1
Martin Hardie

When Organizer Jens Sejer Andersen addressed the opening session of the 2012 Play The Game Conference, which is being hosted by the German Sports University in Cologne, he spoke of the fact that today is a holiday in Germany which celebrates the fall of the Berlin Wall. Play The Game he said gave asylum to those who speak the unheard of stories of global sport – the stories that the institutions and the corrupt of the sporting world would rather not hear, the stories they would rather suppress. The image he intentionally created was that the Conference was a place for the indignados of the sporting world to come together, to hear each other, to reflect, and hopefully to inspire action.

Critique of Creativity: Precarity, Subjectivity and Resistance in the ‘Creative Industries’
Gerald Raunig, Gene Ray and Ulf Wuggenig (eds)
London: mayfly 2011, 234 pages

Creativity is astir: reborn, re-conjured, re-branded, resurgent. The old myths of creation and creators – the hallowed labors and privileged agencies of demiurges and prime movers, of Biblical world-makers and self-fashioning artist-geniuses – are back underway, producing effects, circulating appeals. Much as the Catholic Church dresses the old creationism in the new gowns of ‘intelligent design’, the Creative Industries sound the clarion call to the Cultural Entrepreneurs. In the hype of the ‘creative class’ and the high flights of the digital bohemians, the renaissance of ‘the creatives’ is visibly enacted. The essays collected in this book analyze this complex resurgence of creation myths and formulate a contemporary critique of creativity.

Massive Dutch Protests Planned Against Obliteration of Cultural Funding

Imagine this: you’re an internationally recognised Dutch cultural institution of art/design/media culture. You have a substantial collection; media art, landscape art, but also paintings/ sculptures/ installations/ photography/ film/ design objects/ and artist-activist works in the public space that regenerate your city’s ill-planned urban areas. In short, you host a platform for innovation representing the entire gamut of your discipline. Over the past decades you have made substantial cultural impact in your field and thus you are considered to be a driver of culture. The artists/designers/architects whose works comprise your collection and fill your programming are also recognized internationally, and they often represent the Netherlands all over the world, in biennials and important exhibitions.

And then one day you receive a letter from the new Dutch Ministry of Culture that your funding will be completely withdrawn as of January 1, 2013. What do you do with your collection? Your staff? Your buildings? Your publications? The rest of the year’s programming? What will the artists/activists/designers/architects and your engaged public do, now that they no longer have access to your platform?


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