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robertogreco : collectives   19

Marxism 101: How Capitalism is Killing Itself with Dr. Richard Wolff - YouTube
"Despite a concerted effort by the U.S. Empire to snuff out the ideology, a 2016 poll found young Americans have a much more favorable view of socialism than capitalism.

Though he died 133 years ago, the analysis put forward by one of the world’s most influential thinkers, Karl Marx, remains extremely relevant today. The Empire’s recent rigged presidential election has been disrupted by the support of an avowed socialist, Bernie Sanders, by millions of voters.

To find out why Marx’s popularity has stood the test of time, Abby Martin interviews renowned Marxist economist Richard Wolff, Professor Emeritus of Economics at UMass - Amherst, and visiting professor at the New School in New York.

Prof. Wolff gives an introduction suited for both beginners and seasoned Marxists, with comprehensive explanations of key tenets of Marxism including dialectical and historical materialism, surplus value, crises of overproduction, capitalism's internal contradictions, and more."
richardwolff  karlmarx  academia  academics  capitalism  accounting  us  inequality  communism  socialism  marxism  berniesanders  labor  idealism  materialism  radicalism  philosophy  dialecticalmaterialism  humans  systems  change  friedrichengels  slavery  automation  credit  finance  studentdebt  poverty  unions  organization  systemschange  china  russia  ussr  growth  2016  power  democracy  collectives  collectivism  meansofproduction  society  climatechange  environment  sustainability  rosaluxemburg  militaryindustrialcomplex  pollution  ethics  morality  immorality  ows  occupywallstreet  politics  corruption 
november 2018 by robertogreco
NOPHOTO. Colectivo de Fotografía Contemporánea
"NOPHOTO es un colectivo de fotografía contemporánea nacido en 2005 con el objetivo de hacer viables proyectos individuales y colectivos NO convencionales.


Se caracteriza por una actitud abierta en contenidos, una tendencia interdisciplinar en las formas, la utilización de múltiples soportes de difusión de los proyectos, como web y proyección digital y la implicación personal en el proceso de gestación y producción de los mismos.


NOPHOTO hace de la negación su punto de partida. NOPHOTO no es una agencia de fotógrafos, sino una ACTITUD. Una manera de ver. Una revolución. Un NO (que nunca está de más).


Esta actitud estética hace que NOPHOTO no renuncie a ninguna forma de creación o exhibición. Los trabajos del colectivo ofrecen una experimentada mirada sobre lo cotidiano que siempre conduce a lo extraordinario. Este proceso es resultado de la reflexión en grupo y de la interacción de procesos de creación alternativos.

“No es que nos guste ir a la contra, es que lo que nos divierte es caminar despacio, torpemente, observar las diferencias menudas entre las cosas, descubrir sus ritmos. Tratar de describir un objeto, dar una vuelta alrededor, acariciar su contorno y cubrir todo el perímetro. Preguntarse de qué está hecho y qué papel cumple en la historia. Obligarse a agotar el tema y no decir nada. Obligarse a mirar con sencillez y no resolver nada. No ilustrar, no definir, no fotografiar. Lo que nos gusta es desfotografiar las cosas y desnombrarlas.”

NOPHOTO ha sido galardonado con el Premio Revelación 2006 del Festival Internacional de Fotografía y Artes Visuales PHotoEspaña."
nophoto  photography  spain  españa  collectives  lcproject  openstudioproject  interdisciplinary  español  slow  differences  difference  betweenness  between  margins  periphery  unschooling  deschooling  opposition  discovery  howwelearn  learning  glvo  liminality 
november 2018 by robertogreco
ORBITAL OPERATIONS: Weird Shit International - OO 14 May 17
"More recently, I learned of Black Mountain College, from one of Iain Sinclair's better latter-day books, AMERICAN SMOKE (UK) (US).  Black Mountain College interests me because it seems mostly metaphorical: it's the idea of a strange cross-contamination zone of a college. Even the name! More interesting to me than, say, the idea of a Hartlib Circle [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hartlib_Circle ]
or Invisible College -- even though I'm a member of one or two of those, and run a private newsletter speaking to, in the immortal words of Charlie Stross, "the people, corporates, collectives, and bots I currently favor."  I like the invisible-college networks - information gets moved around, work gets done, contacts are maintained. But they are, by definition, not open. And all things good should (eventually) flow into the boulevard.

That's what this newsletter is, for me."

My friend Kyoko Kitamura sent me this recent quote from musician/composer Anthony Braxton:
"Each of you need to write about your music. "What are you doing?" "What do you think you are doing?" If you don't write about it, whatever you think you are doing, you might forget it. Maybe you need to sit down and ask the question "What am I doing?" and write it out...Me, I'm always taking notes on my system...Each of you, in my opinion, would do a very good thing by sitting down and asking yourself "What the f- am I doing? I say I like music, I'm not even sure if I like music, but maybe I do like music. What am I doing? Where am I going with it? Is it just about a gig?"...Each of us has to take that responsibility. That's a RESPONSIBILITY. If you're going to be broke and crazy, at least do your best. And part of doing your best is defining things in a way where it's possible to EVOLVE. If there's no clarity, if everything is murky, then you might not be using all of your forces in the best possible way depending on what you are looking at and depending on what you want for yourself...I would say, "Hey, don't be such a nice a person." You need to get angry about something... You need to remember that we don't live in heaven. THIS IS NOT HEAVEN. THIS IS COMPOSITE REALITY. It's much better than the concept of heaven. With composite reality, everything is happening. This is why you have to navigate through form. Part of navigation is including yourself and your life..."

The Weird Shit International. Black Mountain College. Everything is happening. Navigating from the Thames Delta."
warrenellis  blackmountaincollege  2017  iainsinclair  networks  invisiblecollege  hartlibcircle  newsletters  bmc  charliestross  collectives  howwelearn  howwmake  anthonybraxton  kyokokitamura  compositereality  responsibility 
may 2017 by robertogreco
get high on mountains
"GET HIGH ON MOUNTAINS. We are an artist collective in the heart of San Francisco. We are offering afforable, safe, & rad spaces for creatives. We are committed to offering creatives a place to exist in this ever changing City. We have studio space for artists and creatives, space for workshops, classes, & events. Please send inquiries to us here."

[See also:
"Artist and creative space in San Francisco's Tenderloin. 276 Golden Gate Ave. All inquires please email us at gethighonmts@gmail.com www.gethighonmountains.com/store "
https://www.instagram.com/gethighonmountains/ ]

[See also: "'Get High On Mountains' Gets Affordable Studios For Artists Up And Running"
https://www.hoodline.com/2016/12/get-high-on-mountains-affordable-artist-studios ]

[via: https://www.instagram.com/p/BREAG86DzjC/ ]
sanfrancisco  art  tenderloin  collectives 
may 2017 by robertogreco
ASSEMBLE | Assemble
"Assemble are a collective based in London who work across the fields of art, architecture and design. They began working together in 2010 and are comprised of 18 members. Assemble’s working practice seeks to address the typical disconnection between the public and the process by which places are made. Assemble champion a working practice that is interdependent and collaborative, seeking to actively involve the public as both participant and collaborator in the on-going realization of the work. For more information please use the contact details below."

[See also: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/architecture-design-blog/2015/may/12/assemble-turner-prize-2015-wildcard-how-the-young-architecture-crew-assemble-rocked-the-art-world
http://www.iconeye.com/opinion/comment/item/11907-turner-prize-assemble-s-nomination-reveals-architecture-s-failings ]
architecture  design  collectives  lcproject  openstudioproject  stratford  collaborative  collaboration 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Assemble: how a young architectural collective became a Turner prize wildcard | Art and design | The Guardian
"They don’t claim to be artists, and none of them has even qualified as an architect, but that hasn’t stopped this charming collective from building pop-up cinemas, community housing projects – and accidentally making the Turner shortlist"



"When a group of graduates got together to build a temporary cinema in an abandoned petrol station in Clerkenwell in 2010, they had little idea that, just five years later, they would be shortlisted for the Turner prize. But not much about the dazzling trajectory of this collective of designers and makers, who now go by the name Assemble, was ever really planned.

Still in their mid-20s, the group has built a portfolio spanning everything from temporary theatre structures and artists’ studio spaces to community housing strategies and new town squares – as well as staging a mysterious ritual happening at the Serpentine Pavilion last summer. Not one of them has even qualified as an architect yet, but that hasn’t stopped them landing a £2m competition to build a new art gallery for Goldsmiths College last year, or transforming a street of empty homes in Liverpool, or building an adventure playground in Glasgow.

The diversity of Assemble’s work is matched only by their ability to make things happen in unlikely circumstances, where the usual necessities of a client, site or budget might not be in ready supply. The Cineroleum in Clerkenwell came about, they said, from a collective desire to build something; the result exuded their evident pleasure in the process of making, a feeling that has infused their work ever since. Sheets of Tyvek, the foil-like waterproof building material, were turned into walls of sumptuous silvery swagged curtains, hoisted in a dramatic reveal after each screening to leave the audience exposed on the edge of a busy main road. They used Formica to make marquetry tops for tables and stools, while plastic tiles were vacuum-formed on site (using a jury-rigged hot air gun and a vacuum cleaner) to transform the ceiling of the former garage shop into something special. The building process was as much a performance as the final event itself.

Assemble have never claimed to be artists – and their shortlisting will no doubt raise some eyebrows in the rarefied realms of the gallery world – but in both their approach to materials and the collaborative process by which their projects come about, they transcend the norms of architectural practice.

A year after the Cineroleum, they built a second temporary events space under a motorway flyover in east London, commissioned by arts organisation Create. It was designed like a little house trapped beneath the road, its pitched roof poking up between the roaring lanes of traffic like a fairytale cottage that had lost its way. Made of wooden bricks sawn from railway sleepers and hung like drapery over a scaffolding frame, it was built by an army of 200 volunteers and provided a surreal setting for films, talks and children’s play sessions. After the project, its bricks were reused to make planters at a local primary school."
assemble  turnerprize  architecture  2015  design  collectives  art 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Taking Space: A Documentary
"Taking Space is a documentary that aims to highlight the different ways in which collectively operated spaces function, especially during times of intense struggle and pressure.

The film focuses on three spaces located across Southern California: The Ché Café, Bridgetown DIY and Blood Orange Infoshop. In making this documentary, we hope to not only shed light on the music, art and culture that these spaces help to create for their communities, but also to expose the processes, conflicts and compromises that are involved with building and working in spaces that rely on non-hierarchical organizing models.

Much of the film centers on the decades long conflict between The Ché Café and the University of Southern California San Diego - a conflict that continues to this day.

We are working dilligently towards finishing this documentary project and hope to have it out by April 2015."

[direct link to trailer: https://vimeo.com/122128443 ]
checafe  sandiego  california  documentary  ucsd  bloodorangeinfoshop  danieltorresmiandareilly  cameronhughes  collectives  openstudioproject  lcproject  socal  losangeles  riverside  bridgetowndiy 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Bridgetown D.I.Y.
"Bridgetown DIY is a collectively managed music, art, and social center located in La Puente, California."

[See also: https://www.facebook.com/bridgetowndiy ]
collectives  lapuente  losangeles  art  music  lcproject  openstudioproject  bridgetowndiy 
march 2015 by robertogreco
The Blood Orange Infoshop | demanding the impossible tomorrow since yesterday
"The Blood Orange Infoshop is a collective of artists and activists who believe in the transformative potential of Do-It-Yourself culture and radical political intervention. We collaborate to provide a non-commercial space for art exhibits, performances and free education. BOIS is committed to organising a public venue that is non-hierarchical, drug and alcohol free, all-ages, inclusive, and free of oppression."
riverside  bloodorangeinfoshop  diy  bois  horizontality  activism  art  collectives  openstudioproject  lcproject 
march 2015 by robertogreco
The All-Women Hacker Collective Making Art About the Post-Snowden Age | Motherboard
““There is something about the internet that isn’t working anymore,” is the line that opens filmmaker Jonathan Minard’s short documentary on Deep Lab—a group of women hackers, artists, and theorists who gathered at Carnegie Mellon University in December to answer the question of what, exactly, that disquieting “something” is. The film premieres on Motherboard today.

What Deep Lab represents is just as hard to pin down as the “something” invoked in the opening minutes of Minard’s short film. Is it a book, a lecture series, or Minard’s documentary—all of which were put together in under a month? Is it an ethos? Is it feminist? Is Deep Lab a charrette, a dugnad, or a “congress,” as its participants called it?

It’s hard to say what Deep Lab is in part because of its scattershot nature, both in terms of its products and its focus. The Deep Lab book—available for free online—is a 242-page collection of essays, fragments, and reflections on everything from encryption to cyberfeminism penned by a dozen different authors with divergent interests.
Deep Lab’s interdisciplinary approach is perhaps necessary to parse the complicated realities of the post-Snowden age. Since Snowden’s revelations regarding the scope of the US government’s online surveillance program broke in 2013, it seems as though the internet has taken on a new, dark, and confusing identity.

Larger-than-life interests in the form of corporate and governmental surveillance are now at play in our daily interactions on the internet, and interpreting those outsized realities so we can understand them is no small challenge.

“As an artist, I want to reinterpret culture in a way that society can parse.” said Addie Wagenknecht, the multimedia artist who organized Deep Lab during her ongoing fellowship at the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon. “You take these big events and try to encapsulate them in a way that you can present them concisely and quickly so that it’s defined for people who experience that piece or exhibition.”

A chapter in the book compiled by data artist Ingrid Burrington is comprised of 20 pages listing objects pulled from the Pentagon’s 1033 program—which has supplied military hardware to local police for decades—in plain black text. After four solid pages of “5.56 MILLIMETRE RIFLE,” it becomes clear that Deep Lab is not only artistically compelling and tantalizingly oblique in how it approaches issues of life and death, but deadly serious.

According to Wagenknecht, Deep Lab is also a medium for women to do more than just participate in digital culture—the tech world has been notoriously resistant to opening its ranks to women—but to interpret and define it, and to share and create tools and techniques for survival within it.

“Maybe for women, we’re more aware of protecting ourselves online because it’s always been a social problem,” Wagenknecht told me. “Think of contacting friends before you leave a party late at night so people can make sure you got home safe—men maybe don’t think about that and women always do. And it’s those same roles on the web. How do you protect yourself from a hack or doxing? The power shifts to the person with more knowledge.”

Deep Lab member Harlo Holmes, who works as the head of metadata for the Guardian Project, designed a system for victims of cyber bullying on Twitter to easily and painlessly map the digital connections between harassers called Foxy Doxxing.

There were also men present at Deep Lab, including Minard, though they weren’t collaborators per se. Multimedia artist Golan Levin is the director of STUDIO, where Deep Lab congregated. Playing host to Deep Lab, Levin—along with Wagenknecht, who was the group’s chief mastermind and organizer—was part of Deep Lab’s development from the very beginning.

“I’m enormously proud,” Levin said. “You’re looking at a book, a documentary, and a lecture series that was put together by a dozen people in a month. I think they’re side-effects of what Deep Lab actually was.”

So, to return to the question that started this article—what is Deep Lab?—Levin provided his own answer: “It’s punk.”

But even more than punk—more than a book, a documentary, a gathering, or a lecture series—Deep Lab is a beginning, according to Allison Burtch, a resident at the Brooklyn-based Eyebeam Art and Technology Center and Deep Lab member.

I don’t think Deep Lab has ended; it was the beginning of a camaraderie,” Burtch said. “Yeah, we did this thing and did some talks, but it’s not ending. This is the beginning of different affiliations with people. It was awesome. “

According to Wagenknecht, a Deep Lab lecture series is planned for later in 2015, and will take place at venues in New York City. Until then, we have a book, several lectures, and a documentary to contemplate what Deep Lab is, and what it all means.​"
2015  deeplab  art  digitalart  infrastructure  2014  ingridburrington  jenlowe  technology  data  jonathanminard  jordanpearson  cyberfeminism  enryption  interdisciplinary  coding  code  programming  surveillance  golanlevin  harloholmes  allisonburtch  hackercollectives  collectives  culture  addiewagenknecht  punk  documentary  poer  subversion  deepweb  freedom  privacy  security  socialmedia  facebook  google  socialnorms  safety 
january 2015 by robertogreco
The smartest cities rely on citizen cunning and unglamorous technology | Cities | The Guardian
"Ignore the futuristic visions of governments and developers, it’s humble urban communities who lead the way in showing how networked technologies can strengthen a city’s social fabric"



"We are lucky enough to live at a time in which a furious wave of innovation is breaking across the cities of the global south, spurred on both by the blistering pace of urbanisation, and by the rising popular demand for access to high-quality infrastructure that follows in its wake.

From Porto Alegre’s participatory budgeting and the literally destratifying cable cars of Caracas, to Nairobi’s “digital matatus” and the repurposed bus-ferries of Manila, the communities of the south are responsible for an ever-lengthening parade of social and technical innovations that rival anything the developed world has to offer for ingenuity and practical utility.

Nor is India an exception to this tendency. Transparent Chennai’s participatory maps and the work of the Mumbai-based practices CRIT and URBZ are better-known globally, but it is the tactics of daily survival devised by the unheralded multitude that really inspire urbanists. These techniques maximise the transactive capacity of the urban fabric, wrest the very last increment of value from the energy invested in the production of manufactured goods, and allow millions to eke a living, however precarious, from the most unpromising of circumstances. At a time of vertiginously spiralling economic and environmental stress globally, these are insights many of us in the developed north would be well advised to attend to – and by no means merely the poorest among us.

But, for whatever reason, this is not the face of urban innovation official India wants to share with the world – perhaps small-scale projects or the tactics of the poor simply aren’t dramatic enough to convey the magnitude and force of national ambition. We hear, instead, of schemes like Palava City, a nominally futuristic vision of digital technology minutely interwoven into the texture of everday urban life. Headlines were made around the planet this year when Narendra Modi’s government announced it had committed to building no fewer than 100 similarly “smart” cities.

Because definitions of the smart city remain so vague, I think it’s worth thinking carefully about what this might mean – beyond, that is, the 7,000 billion rupees (£70bn) in financing that India’s high powered expert committee on urban infrastructure believes the scheme will require over the next 20 years. It is one thing, after all, to reinforce the basic infrastructures that undergird the quality of urban life everywhere; quite another to propose saddling India’s cities with expensive, untested technology at a time when reliable access to electricity, clean drinking water or safe sanitary facilities remain beyond reach for too many.

We can take it as read that our networked technologies will continue to play some fairly considerable role in shaping the circumstances and possibilities experienced by billions of city-dwellers worldwide. So it’s only appropriate to consider the ways in which these technologies might inform decisions about urban land use, mobility and governance.

However, especially at a time of such enthusiasm for the notion in India, I think it’s vital to point out that “the smart city” is not the only way of bringing advanced information technology to bear on these questions of urban life. It’s but one selection from a sheaf of available possibilities, and not anywhere near the most responsive, equitable or fructifying among them.

We can see this most easily by considering just who it is the smart city is intended for – by seeking to discover what model of urban subjectivity is inscribed in the scenarios offered by the multinational IT vendors that developed the smart city concept in the first place, and who are heavily involved in sites like Palava. When you examine their internal documentation, marketing materials and extant interventions, it becomes evident there is a pronounced way of thinking about the civic that is bound up in all of them, with rather grim implications for the politics of participation.

A close reading leaves little room for doubt that vendors like Microsoft, IBM, Siemens, Cisco and Hitachi construct the resident of the smart city as someone without agency; merely a passive consumer of municipal services – at best, perhaps, a generator of data that can later be aggregated, mined for relevant inference, and acted upon. Should he or she attempt to practise democracy in any form that spills on to the public way, the smart city has no way of accounting for this activity other than interpreting it as an untoward disruption to the orderly flow of circulation. (This is explicit in Palava’s marketing materials, as well.) All in all, it’s a brutally reductive conception of civic life, and one with little to offer those of us whose notions of citizenhood are more robust."



"The true enablers of participation turn out to be nothing more exciting than cheap commodity devices, reliable access to sufficiently high- bandwidth connectivity, and generic cloud services. These implications should be carefully mulled over by developers, those responsible for crafting municipal and national policy, and funding bodies in the philanthropic sector.

In both these cases, ordinary people used technologies of connection to help them steer their own affairs, not merely managing complex domains to a minimal threshold of competence, but outperforming the official bodies formally entrusted with their stewardship. This presents us with the intriguing prospect that more of the circumstances of everyday urban life might be managed this way, on a participatory basis, by autonomous neighbourhood groups networked with one another in something amounting to a city-wide federation.

In order to understand how we might get there from here, we need to invoke a notion drawn from the study of dynamic systems. Metastability is the idea that there are multiple stable configurations a system can assume within a larger possibility space; the shape that system takes at the moment may simply be one among many that are potentially available to it. Seen in this light, it’s clear that all the paraphernalia we regard as the sign and substance of government may in fact merely constitute what a dynamicist would think of as a “local maximum”. There remain available to us other possible states, in which we might connect to one another in different ways, giving rise to different implications, different conceptions of urban citizenship, and profoundly different outcomes.

The sociologist Bruno Latour warns us not to speak airily of “potential”, reminding us that we have to actually do the work of bringing some state of affairs into being before we can know whether it was indeed a possible future state of the system – and also that work is never accomplished without some cost. I nevertheless believe, given the very substantial benefits we know people and communities enjoy when afforded real control over the conditions of their being, that whatever the cost incurred in this exploration, it would be one well worth bearing.

The evidence before us strongly suggests that investment in the unglamorous technologies, frameworks and infrastructures that are already known to underwrite citizen participation would result in better outcomes for tens of millions of ordinary Indians – and would shoulder the state with far-less onerous a financial burden – than investment in the high-tech chimeras of centralised control. The wisest course would be to plan technological interventions to come on the understanding that the true intelligence of the Indian city will continue to reside where it always has: in the people who live and work in it, who animate it and give it a voice."

[See also: http://boingboing.net/2014/12/24/why-smart-cities-should-be.html ]
2014  adamgreenfield  urban  urbanism  collectivism  cities  innovation  smartcities  chennai  caracas  nairobi  portoalegre  digitalmatatus  manila  infrastructure  palavacity  technology  power  control  democracy  ows  occupywallstreet  urbz  crit  transparency  occupysandy  nyc  elcampodecebada  madrid  zuloark  zuloarkcollective  collectives  twitter  facebook  troughofdisallusionment  darkweather  networks  internetofpeople  brunolatour  grassroots  systems  systemsthinking  metastability  dynamicsystems 
december 2014 by robertogreco
Hope and Ka-ching - The Baffler
"There are at least 150 million members of cooperatives in the United States, if you include retail, housing, agricultural, electrical, insurance, and most other types of co-ops. Eleven thousand American companies are owned wholly or in part by their workers through employee stock-ownership plans. Where these two groups intersect and go even further is in the four hundred worker cooperatives that exist in this country, enterprises that are owned by members and democratically run. As for cooperative factories, New Era is a rarity, among the only operations of its kind in the United States."



"Horizontalism is not simply about being fair to old friends. Nor is it about passing a political litmus test or pretending everyone has identical abilities. Instead, it is a practical matter, a way of mitigating the uncertainty and sacrifice the task requires of all involved, even if it means supporting those who are less proficient or those who are unable to work as hard as others due to unforeseen circumstances. Toward this end, the group recently affirmed their commitment to “solidarity economics,” specifically assuring that all future workers will be members. Despite the disproportionate role played by the founders, every worker, present and future, must be given a “buy-in” that will make them all legitimate owners of capital and make it harder for the business to demutualize, as some cooperatives have in the past. Essentially, they want to be blocked from someday becoming the bosses they deplore.

Starting New Era, one worker told me, was a “survival strategy” pure and simple, a way to “stop the abuse” they had suffered. Making windows for Republic, Robles said, was “a type of modern slavery,” with every minute logged and monitored through a complicated tracking system. Now they move freely, working and breaking when they need to, with a sense of purpose that Robles says gets him happily out of bed at dawn without the help of an alarm clock. Arizona Stingley, who was a nanny for white families in Mississippi in her younger days, told me there was simply no comparison between Republic and New Era. “It was divide and conquer by the boss. They were always pitting Mexicans against blacks,” she recalled. “And it worked. People wouldn’t want to teach you anything because they were afraid you’d take their job.” The groups sat at different tables at lunch and rarely mingled across race lines. Now they share skills instead of regarding each other as threats.

Experiences like these have convinced the New Era crew that cooperatives are the wave of the future. “Bosses, at any minute they can close the plant and just destroy your life. They say it’s your job, but really it’s their job to take away,” said Maclin, whose fluency in English is a resource for the predominantly Spanish-speaking crew. He likened his awakening over the last few years to the movie Star Wars: “You know how it says, the power is with you, the force is with you? Well the power is with us. The force is with us. We are the work force. We’re taking back the power we already have.”



"History abounds with examples of cooperative ambitions; unfortunately, it also contains an almost equal number of failures.

The stumbling block, nearly every time, has been lack of access to capital. Workers are more than capable of managing things on their own—work, after all, goes on whether the bosses are in their offices or out on the putting green. But the money to purchase equipment and pay for space and materials has always been hard to come by for the proletariat. After owners shut down the Youngstown Sheet and Tube steel mill in the late 1970s, a landmark event in the history of deindustrialization, workers made plans to run it themselves; they were stopped when the Carter administration failed to come up with the $100 million in financing it had promised. In 1996 the CEO of Republic Windows and Doors was able to secure nearly $10 million in financing through a public program that diverted property-tax revenue from schools and parks to expand his private company. In 2012 the workers needed just a petty sum to buy the business, but for them there was no public investment to be found.

Finance, as Martin sees it, is the key to getting significant control of wealth into workers’ hands. “There is this myth of capitalism that says that the 1 percent invest productively, but the fact is, we don’t need them,” Martin explains. “They said, ‘If you don’t bail us out, there won’t be jobs.’ But their aim isn’t to make jobs; it’s to make money for themselves. Finance, as it is currently set up, is parasitic. It’s extractive. But what if it was productive instead? What if it actually invested in the community instead of always sucking money out?” The Working World, which has lent out over $4 million in less than ten years, is Martin’s answer to that question."



"Karl Marx wrote approvingly of cooperatives, insisting that the “value of these great social experiments cannot be overrated.” Nonetheless, he probably would have scorned the “small is beautiful” attitude of those cooperators who are content to stay on the fringe, who lack the oppositional spirit necessary to take on capitalism directly. He would also have scoffed at activists who believe they can practice and prefigure democracy without building institutions, accumulating resources, or holding power.

The cooperative activists themselves often recognize the problem. Marina Sitrin, the author of several books about horizontalism, never believed that the large assemblies that characterized the early days of Occupy Wall Street would be sustainable for a prolonged period. She told me that horizontalism needs to be grounded in a specific place and have a well-defined purpose in order to function. A hundred people debating abstract principles in a public forum will likely drive each other bonkers, but the same hundred people may be able to run a school or a health center or a factory if their community and lives depend on it. In other words, for consensus decision-making to be practicable, there has to be something at stake, something to stick to and stick with. You need a school or a health center or a factory."



"What remains to be seen is whether the current crop of cooperators and activists—the New Era window builders, Occupy and its post-disaster rebuilding efforts, and the USW with its plans for union-cooperative hybrids—will actually be able to change things. They look at Mondragon and the substantial cooperative networks in other countries, as well as the factory takeovers in Argentina and Greece, and believe we may be entering a cooperative renaissance spurred on by an endless economic slump. And maybe that is so. But cooperative momentum will flag if the movement doesn’t take the problem of finance seriously. Until we create loan funds or build banks that are committed to non-extractive economic growth, cooperatives will remain marginal phenomena, nice places to shop for organic food and get your bicycle repaired, but not much more.

One thing the cooperators can count on is self-interest. People will pursue worker control because it is more appealing than being exploited and then disposed of by employers whose only allegiance is to the bottom line. They will be drawn to structures that can help them support their families and communities, and these real, urgent needs will in turn encourage them to endure the vexations of direct democracy, to stick with it even though the meetings last for hours and comrades inevitably chafe. It’s still better than having a boss."
collectives  work  chicago  finance  astrataylor  2014  labor  horizontality  hierarchy  hierarchies  horizontalism  deindustrialization  via:Taryn  capital  mondragon  marinasitrin  brendanmartin  collectivism  anarchism  cooperatives  ows  occupywallstreet 
october 2014 by robertogreco
CrimethInc. Ex-Workers’ Collective : Home
"Greetings, dissident.

History is not something that happens to people—it is the activity of people. In every moment, in every decision and gesture, we make our culture, our life stories, our world, whether we take responsibility for this ourselves or ascribe this power to executives, politicians, pop stars, economic systems, or deities.

The Future is UnwrittenIn a society which glorifies their power and our passivity, all thought which challenges this passivity is thoughtcrime. Crimethink is the transgression without which freedom and self-determination are impossible—it is the skeleton key that unlocks the prisons of our age.

CrimethInc. is the black market where we trade in this precious contraband. Here, the secret worlds of shoplifters, rioters, dropouts, deserters, adulterers, vandals, daydreamers—that is to say, of all of us, in those moments when, wanting more, we indulge in little revolts—converge to form gateways to new worlds where theft, cheating, warfare, boredom, and so on are simply obsolete.

This webpage is one of many manifestations of the underground network through which we work to realize these daydreams, to take the reins of our lives and make our history rather than using the same energy to insist we are being made by it. If you have illicit ideas and intentions of your own to share, you're invited to join us here.

Now Entering Cyberia (Population: Zero)
A Note on the Medium

Due to your vague interest in these matters which have been deemed antisocial by the new thought police, you have been exiled to Cyberia. You may believe your visit to be voluntary, but ask yourself: if you could live—in real time, in full color, without a 'net'—the revolt and transformation you fantasize about, would you be here, contemplating and trading in mere representations of such things? The new isolation chambers and interrogation rooms largely need no judicial procedures or law enforcement to fill them—we confine ourselves to these office cubicles, internet cafes, and lonely bedrooms willingly, even believing ourselves to have found access to our dreams and desires here.

Not to criticize you, of course—since obviously I am in the same situation as you, similarly self-exiled. But let's use this time in the wilderness as the political prisoners of old did: not to get accustomed to it, not to build new lives around this voluntary amputation, but to educate ourselves, increase our powers and connections, so when we can return to society we will be armed with new tools for dismantling and reconceiving it. Let us take the world itself back, rather than the "information superhighways" upon which we are being herded so quickly away from it, so one day there will be no need for anyone to return here besides misguided historians and other archaeologists of the cursed graveyards of the past.

See you on the other side of the screen, if you make it, earnest cyberspace cadet.

-CrimethInc. Workers' Collective."
activism  anarchism  anarchy  politics  publishing  books  collectives  print  printing 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Mark Allen Artist Lecture on Vimeo
"The LA Times writes that Mark Allen is “Nikola Tesla by way of P.T. Barnum, with a dash of ‘The Anarchist Cookbook.’” Come hear a talk by Machine Project founder Mark Allen at the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry: Step right up!

Mark Allen is an artist, educator and curator based in Los Angeles. He is the founder and executive director of Machine Project, a non-profit performance and installation space investigating art, technology, natural history, science, music, literature, and food in an informal storefront in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. Machine Project also operates as a loose confederacy of artists producing shows at locations ranging from beaches to museums to parking lots. Under his direction Machine has produced shows with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, the Contemporary Art Museum St Louis, and the Walker Museum in Minneapolis. He has produced over 500 events in Los Angeles at the Machine Project storefront space, and recently concluded a year long artist residency addressing topics of public engagement at the Hammer Museum.

Machine Project events emphasize intersections between fields and practices, particularly where the arts and sciences meet. In a 2006 LA Weekly article, writer Gendy Alimurung described Machine Project as, “Nikola Tesla by way of P.T. Barnum, with a dash of ‘The Anarchist Cookbook.’ “[2] Machine Project facilitates conversations between poets, technicians, artists, scientists, and obscure hobbyists and supports work that arises out of unusual combinations of interests. Past activities have included urban plant foraging and needlepoint therapy based on classic oil paintings. Machine Project prioritizes accessibility, explicitly courting amateur practitioners and curious locals. Workshops are regularly offered in sewing electronics, soldering, Arduino and Processing for artists.

In addition to weekly events held in the storefront gallery space in Echo Park, Machine Project operates as a gathering place for local and visiting artists to produce shows at various cultural institutions and events in Los Angeles. Frequent collaborators include Brody Condon, Liz Glynn, Kamau Patton, Corey Fogel, Jason Torchinsky, Chris Kallmyer, and Adam Overton. Machine Project has curated performances at the Glow Festival at Santa Monica Pier and at several art museums. Through their Artist in Residence program, Machine Project invites previous collaborators to develop larger projects that generally include a pedagogical element in addition to performances and exhibitions.

This lecture is co-sponsored by the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry and the CMU School of Art."
markallen  collaboration  participatoryart  2013  poetry  art  lcproject  openstudioproject  capitalism  machineproject  events  learning  education  museums  howwelearn  arts  audience  process  howwework  experimentation  gender  curiosity  identity  titles  ambiguity  adaptability  makerspaces  hackerspaces  community  communitycenters  collectives  horizontality  organizations  flexibility  accessibility  humor  riskaversion  risk  institutions  failure  risktaking  curation 
july 2014 by robertogreco
Finishing School
"Finishing School (FS) is a socially-engaged artist collective that explores an expansive range of subject and media territories. FS produces interdisciplinary actions, installations, workshops, design, studio art, performance, and new media. They have presented work throughout the United States and internationally. FS was established in 2001 and is based in Los Angeles.

Recently, FS has produced projects for the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, the Hammer Museum’s Venice Beach Biennial, the 2010 California Biennial, Engagement Party: a three-month residency program at MOCA, Living as Form: a 20-year survey of social practice for Creative Time in New York, The Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, and a site-specific commission for DFLUX in Detroit, MI. FS has also presented projects internationally in The Netherlands, Switzerland, Thailand, England, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, and Italy.

Current Members:
Nadia Afghani
Brian Boyer
Matt Fisher
Ed Giardina
Joel Heflin
Jason Plapp
Jean Robison

Former Members:
xtine Burrough
Janice Ledgerwood
James Rojsirivat

Individual Project Collaborators / Participants:
Jason Brown
Caramia Cherie
Joseph Cruz
Critical Art Ensemble
Beatriz Da Costa
Matt Fisher
Chloe Flores
Danny Gross
Casey Hanraham
Chris Hoff
Hans Jungerius
Jill Knochenmus
Kim Lokers
Yucef Merhi
Claire Pentecost
Derek Rees
Warren Smith
Dan Stephens
Rob Sweere
Megan Steinman
Khan Tran
Christy Thomas
Devon Tsuno
Gina Kelly
Isabelle Cordemans
Allison Metchikoff
Athena Le Grand"
finishing  school  art  artists  collectives  losangeles  glvo  nadiaafghani  brianboyer  mattfisher  edgiardina  joelheflin  jasonplapp  jeanrobinson  xtineburrough  janiceledgerwood  jamesrojsirivat 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Fort Makers
"Fort Makers is a Brooklyn based collaborative art group that aims to launch emerging artists’ careers through unconventional means of exposure. We are a gang of friends who are also artists. We travel, play, explore and make art together. We learn from each other and push each other forward as artists. Fort Makers was founded in Brooklyn during the summer of 2008."

[via: http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/28/fort-makers/ via @sldistin ]
art  brooklyn  artists  collectives  collaborative  collaboration  cv  interdisciplinary  elizabethwhitcomb  nanaspears  noahjamesspencer  naomiclark  fabric  textiles 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Most liveable city: Helsinki [Monocle]
"Helsinki claims the number 1 spot in Monocle’s 2011 Quality of Life survey, which ranks the top 25 cities in the world to call home. Rising from fifth position in 2010, Helsinki outperformed Zürich at number 2 and Copenhagen at number 3 to claim the mantle as the world’s most liveable city. An unorthodox but well-deserving champion, the Finnish capital stands out for its fundamental courage to rethink its urban ambitions, and for possessing the talent, ideas and guts to pull it off."
helsinki  cities  monocle  2011  finland  urban  urbanplanning  urbanism  small  local  scale  design  glvo  parks  art  business  collectives  simplicity  slowness  appropriation  life  food  development  livability  transformation 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Dark Matter: Activist Art and the Counter-Public Sphere
"Like its astronomical cousin, creative dark matter also makes up the bulk of the artistic activity produced in our post-industrial society. However, this type of dark matter is invisible primarily to those who lay claim to the management and interpretation of culture - the critics, art historians, collectors, dealers, museums, curators and arts administrators. It includes makeshift, amateur, informal, unofficial, autonomous, activist, non-institutional, self-organized practices - all work made and circulated in the shadows of the formal art world. Yet, just as the astrophysical universe is dependent on its dark matter, so too is the art world dependent on its dark energy."

[Concept mentioned by Randall Szott here: http://intheconversation.blogs.com/art/2008/03/interview-with.html ]

[See also other articles here: http://gregorysholette.com/writings/writing_index.html ]

[Update 2 June 2014: Link is dead. Here's the Wayback: http://web.archive.org/web/20110911222745/http://www.journalofaestheticsandprotest.org/3/sholette.htm ]
art  culture  politics  media  activism  activistart  vernacular  counter-publicsphere  josephbeuys  proletarian  oskarnegt  alexanderkluge  resistance  subversion  outsiders  artcriticism  tinkering  amateur  glvo  bourgeois  darkmatter  gregorysholette  collectives  culturalresistance  hierarchy  gatekeepers  cultureindustry  artworld  invisibility  economics  temporaryservices  lasagencias  publicspace  tacticalmedia  deschooling  unschooling  zines  diy  outsider  shrequest1 
may 2011 by robertogreco
The School Of Life
"The School of Life is a place to step back and think intelligently about these and other common concerns. You will not be cornered by any dogma, but directed towards a variety of ideas - from philosophy to literature, psychology to the visual arts – that tickle, exercise and expand your mind. You’ll meet other curious, sociable and open-minded people in an atmosphere of exploration and enjoyment."
lcproject  education  learning  art  culture  books  psychology  philosophy  slow  well-being  design  london  uk  ideas  events  community  inspiration  deschooling  alternative  schools  life  lifestyle  travel  reading  interesting  collectives  tcsnmy 
february 2009 by robertogreco

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