From 2007 until today an intricate set of events has been unsettling the global financial markets. The naming of these incidents has been multifold, varying between a general rhetoric of economic downturn (‘crash’, ‘crunch’, ‘meltdown’, ‘hangover’) and more descriptive terminologies indicating the reasons, geographic involvements, and historic time-span of the developments at hand such as: ‘US subprime mortgage crisis’, ‘European sovereign-debt crisis’, and ‘late 2000s financial crisis’. From the outset, the media played a key role in communicating and interpreting these market developments. For the sake of convenience I will subsequently refer to these developments as the ‘Global Financial Crisis’ (GFC).
Το αστικό γεγονός είναι οτιδήποτε κάνουμε στον δημόσιο χώρο της πόλης. Τις περισσότερες φορές είναι κάτι ασυναίσθητο και πειθαρχημένο: στεκόμαστε, περπατάμε, καταναλώνουμε, μιλάμε, καθόμαστε, κινούμαστε. Σε αυτό το διάνυσμα των γεγονότων από τη στάση μέχρι την κίνηση και από την πειθαρχία μέχρι την παραβατικότητα υπάρχουν γεγονότα απροσχεδίαστα,αλλά και δράσεις συνειδητές: τραγουδάμε στον δρόμο, γράφουμε πάνω σε έναν τοίχο, σπάζουμε ένα αντικείμενο, σκοντάφτουμε, ανάβουμε μια φωτιά, παίζουμε θέατρο, κυνηγιόμαστε, κλέβουμε, χτυπούμε, ρυπαίνουμε, χορεύουμε, ξαπλώνουμε κ.λπ.
A tricky business, that of understanding New York. The city is always on the move, forever shifting.
Although the two towers have disappeared, they have not been annihilated. Even in their pulverized state, they have left behind an intense awareness of their presence. No one who knew them can cease imagining them and the imprint they made on the skyline from all points of the city. Their end in material space has borne them off into a definitive imaginary space.
We still believe, or many of us do, what the Exodus first taught, or what it has commonly been taken to teach, about the meaning and possibility of politics and about its proper form: – first, that wherever you live, it is probably Egypt; – second, that there is a better place, a world more attractive, a promised land; – and third, that “the way to the land is through the wilderness”. There is no way to get from here to there except by joining together and marching.
In the afterword of The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, Walter Benjamin links cultural mass production with the aestheticization of politics and with fascism. Beside his main thesis that art has lost its aura through technical reproduction, Benjamin thus initiates –in his renowned essay – another interesting train of thought, one that assumes there is a specific relationship between art and society or, more specifically, between cultural production and political regimes.
In this essay I am going to argue why the act of sleeping is seen as subversive in our society. I think this is due to the neoliberal ideology which has formed our economy, culture, politics and cities. In the first chapter I am going to describe how the act of sleeping can be instrumental to resist this hegemony and in the second chapter how it can be a tool in collective movements enforcing social change.
What is an art strike?
‘It is essential that the minority advocate the necessity of going on an ‘active art strike’ using the machines of the culture industry to set it in total contradiction to itself. The intention is not to end the rule of production, but to change the most adventurous part of ‘artistic’ production into the production of revolutionary ideas, forms and techniques.’
What is an art strike? The question was first posed by Alain Jouffroy in his 1968 essay ‘What´s to be done about Art’.1
Τι είναι μια καλλιτεχνική απεργία;
“Είναι ουσιώδες ότι η μειονότητα συνηγορεί στην αναγκαιότητα της μετάβασης σε μια ενεργό καλλιτεχνική απεργία, χρησιμοποιώντας τα μηχανήματα της πολιτιστικής βιομηχανίας ώστε να τεθεί σε πλήρη αντίφαση με την ίδια. Πρόθεση δεν είναι να σταματήσει ο κανόνας της παραγωγής, αλλά να μεταβληθεί το πιο περιπετειώδες μέρος της καλλιτεχνικής παραγωγής, έτσι ώστε να παραχθούν επαναστατικές ιδέες, μορφές και τεχνικές.” Τι είναι μια καλλιτεχνική απεργία; Το παραπάνω ζήτημα τέθηκε για πρώτη φορά το 1968 στο δοκίμιο του Alain Jouffroy Τι θα γίνει με την Τέχνη;1
What is artistic research today? At present no one seems to know an answer to this question. Artistic research is treated as one of the multiple practices which are defined by indefinition, constantly in flux, lacking coherence and identity. But what if this view were indeed misleading? What if we actually knew more about it than we thought? In order to discuss this proposition, let’s first have a look at current debates around artistic research
The recent revival of emphasis upon the supposed loss of urban commonalities reflects the seemingly profound impacts of the recent wave of privatizations, enclosures, spatial controls, policing, and surveillance upon the qualities of urban life in general, and in particular upon the potentiality to build or inhibit new forms of social relations (a new commons) within an urban process influenced if not dominated by capitalist class interests. When Hardt and Negri, for example, argue that we should view “the metropolis as a factory for the production of the common,” they suggest this as an entry point for anti-capitalist critique and political activism. Like the right to the city, the idea sounds catchy and intriguing, but what could it possibly mean? And how does this relate to the long history of arguments and debates concerning the creation and utilization of common property resources?
Perhaps one of the dominant modern images of emancipated communities presents them as barricaded in a liberated stronghold, always ready to defend themselves. This image, embedded in the collective imaginary of the oppressed, tends to construct geography of emancipation as a map clearly depicting free areas defined by a recognizable perimeter. Either as islands, surrounded by a hostile sea or as continents facing other hostile continents, these areas appear as spatially definable and traceable.
When the hundreds of thousands of people who marched in Madrid on 15 May 2011 began to occupy public squares across Spain, social movement networks well beyond Spain took notice. In no time I was receiving emails, text messages and facebook invites telling me that I should go to the Damrak in Amsterdam to “Take the Square!” in solidarity with the hundreds of thousands who had taken so many of their local squares across Spain. My email inbox was overflowing with emails about what was alternatingly being called the #spanishrevolution, the Real Democracy Now movement, the Indignant/Outraged movement, the take-the-square movement and the 15 May movement. Within days there were squares being (temporarily) occupied all over Europe, and within six months, there were occupations all over the world, culminating in 951 occupations in 82 different countries on 15 October 2011.