2011: Occupied

The following is a list of essays and features appearing on occupyeverything.org during 2011:

January 8, 2011
A Counter-Conference: Strategies for Defending Higher Education
organized by Bob Samuels; video by Cameron Granadino

The 2011 MLA Counter-Conference took place during the annual Modern Language Convention in Los Angeles, January 8th, 2011 at Loyola Law School.  While thousands of people were meeting at the traditional convention, this one-day event centered on discussing actual strategies for making higher education more just.

 

January 10, 2011
A Socially Anti-Social, Dialogically Autonomous, Psychedelic Social Practice
by Marc Herbst

Occupy Everything because everything has already been occupied.
Occupy Everything because everything is a site for contestation.

 

January 11, 2011
knowledge commons, power, pedagogy, feminism and collective practices
interview with Cara Baldwin by Paula Cobo

 Art institutions have historically operated as corporations, with varying effects/affects. At this particular moment what interests me in terms of collective practices are those that are incredibly open.

 

January 30, 2011
Masks, or The Illusion of Power
by Ken Ehrlich

So… when our actions become too rehearsed, we search for ways to re-animate our own sense of what constitutes collective, direct action. We try to shake off the distracted paralysis and the tormented mask. We look for ways to inject into our cynical narratives moments of off kilter gestures, we try to most of all to surprise ourselves.

 

February 22, 2011
Operational Aesthetics: Briefing Script
by Michael W. Wilson

An operational aesthetic is perceptual capacity in movement. Rather than seeking the productive end (communism), it seeks the procedural dynamic (communization). In doing so, it moves its focus to systemic functionality without fetishizing design. This dynamic is, by necessity, located within a system of exchange. When the operative threatens the circulation of existing goods, services and/or values, (s)he risks losing a position within that system.

 

March 4, 2011
Ask About An Autonomous University: 5 Exam Questions For Life
by Louis-Georges Schwartz

Common university ideology makes us feel that our work is a labor of love, yet resentment and fear fill our days. Exhaustion grips us to such an extent that we have no choice but to withdraw, but rather than fleeing into our families, the latest 3D entertainment or the hippest new bar, perhaps we could collectively seek refuge in an autonomous school we might tolerably call our own.

 

March 9, 2011
Notes on Labor, Maternity, and the Institution
by Jaleh Mansoor

How do others less lucky than I make it in the global service industry (in which education and so called higher education now takes it place, now that Professors at State schools are classified as mid level managers?) How do women who have babies and work make it? They pay to work; they pay with their children. Sacrificial economies.

 

April 13, 2011
OCCUPY EVERYTHING [I]ntimacy and Scale
by Cara Baldwin

I am first struck by the foreign impression of my own hand hitting paper. To set out to write in this way is to see my own handwriting for the first in a very long time. It’s grown sloppy. I dreamt last night I was looking at my writing from years ago. How clearly cloying my penmanship was then. It expressed a sincere desire for legibility and understanding–even approval.

 

June 17, 2011
Three Crises: 30s – 70s – Now
by Brian Holmes

What we face is a triple crisis, economic, geopolitical and ecological, with consequences that cannot be predicted on the basis of past experience. Can we identify some of the central contradictions that will mark the upcoming years? Which institutions and social bargains have already come under severe stress? In what ways will the ecological crisis begin to produce political responses? How will class relations within the United States interact with crossborder and worldwide struggles? Is it possible to imagine — and work toward — a positive transformation of the current technopolitical paradigm?

 

July 7, 2011
CONTENTS #1: USERSHIP
by Stephen Wright (introduced by Sean Dockray)

The first issue of Contents is a contribution from Stephen Wright on “Usership.” For the past few years I’ve been fascinated by Stephen’s ideas about invisibility, use, and redundancy, all of which come into play in the writing below. In particular, I’ve wondered about the relationship between “the user” and “the worker” – on the one hand, the difference is one between playing the role of a consumer and that of a producer; but on the other hand, as users, our activity is producing value somewhere (websites, telecoms, IP holders).

 

July 22, 2011
The Summary Execution of Kenneth Harding and Reaction to Police Terrorism in the San Francisco Bay Area: A Timeline
by Louis-Georges Schwartz
August 5, 2011
An Introduction to Tahrir Documents
by Tahrir Documents

Tahrir Documents collects printed matter from Cairo’s Tahrir Square and its environs. Since the first week of March, volunteers in Cairo have gone to the square, usually on Fridays, to gather documents distributed at protests and rallies. The archive continues to grow as new groups emerge, rallies continue, and the production of printed material keeps pace. We also accept scanned or  photographed submissions sent in by individuals not directly involved in the project, such as friends in Alexandria documenting the appearance of printed material there.

 

August 5, 2011
Tahrir Documents: A Guide
by Tahrir Documents

The following is a sample of some of the documents we have collected from Tahrir Square, translated, and published in English alongside the Arabic originals. They are arranged here alphabetically by title and linked to the full-length translated document, along with a PDF of the original, on our website.

 

August 9, 2011
Tolerance or Universality
by Kailash Srinivasan

In August 2010, The Guardian ran a graphic segment on female genital mutilation, which represented extremely violent imagery of victimized women and girls. The piece produced, however, a mix of fascination and guilt.

 

August 16, 2011
CONTENTS #2: they are several
by Cara Baldwin (introduced by Sean Dockray)

An introduction to Cara Baldwin’s contribution, they are several. At the end of April, when Cara was compiling links related to a situation in which Facebook shut down the pages of dozens of anti cuts groups in the UK, I invited her to use the platform of CONTENTS (at that point more of an idea than a platform) as a tool to organize and make public this research.

 

August 23, 2011
Notes from Tehran (a Green Movement after the Arab Spring?)
by Milad Faraz (introduced by Jaleh Mansoor)

Two years after what has emerged as a “Green Movement”, it is the author’s critical understanding of the movement, its historical significance and the threat posed to it by what is characterized as its liberal and secularist articulations. The piece draws on critical reflections on conceptions of “religion” and “secularism” and argues for a historical understanding of such concepts in making sense of Iranian modern politics.

 

August 31, 2011
Eat the Rich
by Brian Holmes

Americans like to keep things simple and direct, so here it is: they rule. For the simple reason that they (the ruling class) have all the money. The top 5% of US citizens own almost 2/3 of the country’s wealth, or 63.5%. Compare that massive share to 12.8% for the bottom 80% — that is, “the rest of us,” as Rhonda Winter puts it in the excellent article from which this pie chart is taken.

 

October 4, 2011
The Time of Crisis
by Joshua Clover

 The class is not that of Multitude, of dematerialized labor, but is the class of debt — and the politics of time, I think this is an inevitable conclusion, is that of debt default. Debt default — and perhaps this is my only claim — is the temporal complement to the specific or general strike, and is the route of solidarity with material labor, with the place of exploitation.

 

October 10, 2011
Open Letter Re: OccupyLA—Solidarity, Critiques, Reinventions
by paracaidistas collective

Many of us are not shy about expressing our hatred for capitalism itself, and the entrenched institionalized inequalities that stem from it. We do not believe that a legislative solution will lead us out of this crisis; the entire legislative system exists in the service of structures of power designed to privilege the few at the expense of the many, and based on profound disrespect for the needs and perspectives of the majority of the humans on this planet (not to mention the planet itself).

 

November 1, 2011
The Oakland Commune
by Louis-Georges Schwartz & Michael W. Wilson

 The Oakland Commune doesn’t grow by seducing public opinion in order to enlarge its membership. It grows by showing what it can do. The Oakland Commune can make Oscar Grant Plaza habitable for a large number of people; itcan run a library; it can resist assault by the police; it can fight other factions in the 99% for the right to actively defend itself against state violence; it can retake the territory from which it had been evicted by the brutal force of the police; it canspark direct action by 0%ers as far away as New York City; it can declare a general strike.

 

November 22, 2011
The “Pepper Spray Incident” and the Inevitable Radicalization of the UC Student Body
by Eric Lee

The participation of thousands of students across the state in the anti-Wall Street movement represents the rapid radicalization of California students, which in itself is indicative of the quick move to the left by millions of movement sympathizers. The radicalization of the students manifests itself on the busses, in the restaurants, and in the coffee shops on and around my campus, where discussion of political strategy dominates. Of course, these anecdotes mean relatively little—but the politicization of the student body is significant nevertheless. Though the process of politicization is experiencing its birth pangs, it is emotionally moving that the process has finally begun.

 

December 15, 2011
How Many Sexual Assaults Happened at #OccupyLA?
by Micha Cardenas

To those who would say this is a peripheral issue, I absolutely disagree. I propose that the question as to whether we can create spaces which challenging existing institutions of violence, such as economic inequality, without reproducing and even worsening other institutions of violence, such as a patriarchal rape culture, must be central to the occupation movement. Whose liberation and equality is this movement about?

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