Continental Drift: Control Society/ Metamorphosis

On the weekend before the March 4th state-wide UC strike, we  invite you to participatein a two-day theory convergence, a “Continental Drift” seminar with the Paris-based theorist, Brian Holmes. Past Drifts has taken a variety of forms in its manifestations at 16 Beaver (2004-2006) in New York, or through the Midwest’s radical culture corridor (2008); and here in Los Angeles it will confront a California whose infrastructure is crumbling, whose government is disfunctional, and whose public education  is in crisis  from  the space of an autonomous education alternative.

Although this Continental Drift is situated here, in a time of  occupations and walkouts, it will connect the changes occurring at our universities to the emergence of a neoliberal control society over the past few decades.

The structure of the weekend will be two-days in four parts. Most parts will be structured as participatory conversations, guided by an interlocutor; togetherwe will explore these themes.

On the first day, we try to understand the massive economic and psychological  shifts that have occurred since the end of the 1960’s.

And on the second day, we will locate possible territories for resistance, autonomy, or invention. Continuing in the spirit of our collective conversations so far, we are leaving the lecture-Q&A format aside for themed discussions.



The Public School
951 Chung King Rd., Chinatown,
Los Angeles, CA 90012


Day 1.
February 27.
Control Society


12:00  Disassociation
facilitators: Liz Glynn, Marc Herbst
2.00  Financialization
facilitators: Aaron Benanav, Zen Dochterman
4.00  Occupationation/Collective Speech
facilitators: Cara Baldwin, Nathan Brown, Maya Gonzalez, Evan Calder Williams
7.00  Day 1 Discussion
facilitators: Brian Holmes, Solomon Bothwell


Day 2.
February 28.

 2:00  Autonomous Spaces

facilitators: Hector Gallegos, Robby Herbst
2.00  Precarity
facilitators: Sean Dockray and Christina Ulke
4.00  Brian Holmes Lecture: Metamorpheus
7.00  Sharable Territories/Bifurcation
facilitators: Ava Bromberg and Jason Smith


More details:

Occupationation/Collective Speech
Cara Baldwin will facilitate a critical discussion on material and cultural responses to economic collapse, collective action and debate with contributors to the international occupations movement Gopal Balakrishnan, Nathan Brown, Maya Gonzalez and Evan Calder Williams. This is discussion will bridge both theory and praxis, including theoretical analysis and debate alongside material and tactical considerations. 

Day 1 Discussion: Class Collapse, or why do the media always come closer?
Let’s take time at the end of the day to look at the big economic picture and how it lives in our bodies. The gradual personalization and miniaturization of the media now seems to be heading for a subcutaneous destination. Why is that happening?

Keynesian policies formerly tried to create effective demand for capitalist production through state investment in the well-being, or at least the consuming-being, of the entire population. Neoliberal policies replaced investment with loans, credit cards and fictional assets (formerly called homes) that have now evaporated in the crisis. The intensification of the control society, both on the advertising and surveillance sides, betrays an immense anxiety over an utter failure to resolve the real problem of overaccumulation. Even the opulent facade of southern California will no longer be able to cover what is already a gaping class divide.

Several unblinkered suggestions will be made about possible developments over the next decade, in order to open up the debate. Let’s try to imagine together where the excluded middle will go. Opportunities? Projects? Dead ends? Dangers?

Autonomous Spaces
Propulsive Utopia
From Autonomous Space Towards Liberated Space: Some Points for Discussion and Debate
The Affinity Group

Brian Holmes: The Flexible Personality

In the late 1990s, many of us gave a try at “weaving the electronic fabric of struggle” (Harry Cleaver). The idea was to use the new communications networks to awaken a social movement on a global scale. But the hero of pop culture in the Internet era turned out to be a sleepwalker: the figure of Morpheus, from The Matrix. The meshwork was much more densely woven than we thought, and the promise of the Swarm became the reality of the Drone.

The proposal from many people today focuses on singular territories: urban gardens, neighborhood spaces, discussion groups, rural experiments, self-organized schools, and so on. Instead of calling it a retreat or a regression, maybe it’s better to use Raul Zibechi’s term, and think of it as “crecimiento interior” (growth inside). What he’s talking about is a kind of intensive questioning that has to be done in relatively smaller groups, in order to figure out how to respond to changed conditions when past experience is no guide to future conflicts and creations.

As a discussion tool and a way to relate to our own weekend microcosmos at The Public School, let’s look at Guattari’s fourfold map of existential Territories, aesthetic Universes, social Flows and conceptual Phyla. The point is not to get fascinated with the verbiage, but to think about how to intensify certain compact experiments in which we are involved, to the point where they overflow their limits and affect, or let themselves be affected, by other experiments. All four zones on the map represent strategic areas where the former left can be reinvented, in the realms of everyday life and reproduction, social movements and collective projects, scientific and epistemological invention, and last but not least, the imaginary, the vision thing.

A note on facilitation:
For us, a facilitator is someone who can understand the potential of the conversation to be had and figures out a way to get the group to walk in  that direction. We have questioned with some detail  the relationship between the exchange value of speakers and the reception of their words. We decided to run the planning of the drift as an open class through the Public School so as to create a horizontal and transparent process; ideally to bring  the act of theoretical creation from mystery to into a  practice done by those who set themselves out on a thought-task. We hope that this is mirrored in the facilitation.

Organized by Zen Doctherman, Cara Baldwin, Jason Smith, Sean Dockray, Liz Glynn, Solomon Bothwell, Christina Ulke, Marc Herbst, Robby Herbst

The Continental Drift is a nomadic seminar organized collaboratively between Brian Holmes and DIY spaces. The first Drift occured at 16 Beaver in NY (2005) and has been held there and elsewhere since. The Drift is a conversation around particular elements of neoliberalism.

The Public School Los Angeles is a school with no curriculum. It is not accredited, it does not give out degrees, and it has no affiliation with the public school system. It is a framework that supports autodidactic activities, operating under the assumption that everything is in everything.

Full Chicago Program

Via Alan Moore:

The College Arts Association (CAA) is the country’s most important gathering of professionals in the visual arts. It takes place in Chicago this year from February 10 to February 13, 2010 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Hundreds of presentations, lectures and associated programs are featured in a conference hall setting. It is also the place academics troll to find jobs within the art schools.

This year a few local organizations, spaces and groups bring the CAA outside the conference corridors of the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

These selected off-site programs will be a treat for socially engaged artists in Chicago. We highly encourage your attendance.



“Pedagogy of the Periphery” CAA Shadow Session

Wed., Feb. 10, 4-8pm, at Three Walls (119 n. peoria #2d, )

A workshop-style event on the history, practice, and theory of experimental pedagogy inside and outside institutions, in conjunction with AREA Chicago’s issue #9 (Peripheral Vision), the Open Practice Committee, the Emma Goldman Center for the Study and Practice of Creative Anarchosyndicalism, and the Radical Caucus for Art’s Autonomizing Practices panel at the College Art Association meeting. Educators and students discuss pedagogical practices, broadly defined—with their optimism, obstacles, methods, pleasures, and frustrations—with short informal presentations and time for large- and small-group discussion, including questions submitted for discussion in advance by students and flexibility to address current events as needed (such as events in the campus uprisings happening in California, Europe, and elsewhere). This free event allows people not attending the conference to benefit from a sampling of visiting speakers and Chicago teachers. It is not conceived as anti-CAA, but happens alongside the conference to illustrate the fact that some conversations are easier to hold outside the professional machine.

List of speakers in formation includes: Greg Sholette, Dara Greenwald, Counter Cartographies Collective, Bert Stabler. Open discussion.

Tentative Program:

4:00 meet and greet
4:30 Panel I: Greg Sholette / Dara Greenwald / Liz Mason-Deese and Tim Stallmann
5:45 Panel II: Eve Ewing / Nicole Marroquin / Bert Stabler
7:00 Small group discussions / report back from small groups

wrap up

< some snacks will be available but you are welcome to bring your own>

Recommended readings:
From Occupied Berkeley

From AREA Chicago

Questions and discussion:

Students and others are invited to send questions in advance that will be compiled and distributed for discussion in small groups of no more than 8 to be facilitated by the speakers. These might be responses to the readings, burning questions about your education, things you want to discuss. There will be time for discussion of the speakers’ presentations, but this allows everyone in the room an opportunity to help set the agenda for discussion.

Send proposed questions (and any requests for information about the event) to pLease also indicate if you would like to register to participate in a small group discussion. The event is free and open to all but there are limited spaces in discussion groups. Anyone can also start their own small group discussion at the event.


Art Work: A National Conversation About Art, Labor and Economics by Temporary Services

January 26th – March 6th 2010
UIC Gallery 400

400 S Peoria

Art Work is a newspaper and website ( that consists of writings and images from artists, activists, writers, critics, and others on the topic of working within depressed economies and how that impacts artistic process, compensation and artistic property. The independently published, 40-page newspaper is distributed throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. The exhibition features a display of the newspaper, a distribution site for the Chicago area, and multiple events related to economic sustainability.

The Free Store
Melinda Fries, Salem Collo-Julin, and Biggest Fags Ever
January 26th – March 6th 2010

The Free Store is a nomadic, temporary free store that irregularly visits a variety of Chicagoland neighborhoods. The Free Store, open during all gallery hours, invites you to be involved: come to the store, bring stuff you want to give away, and take stuff that you want. There is no restriction on what you can take – you don’t have to trade or barter. Just take it. Services, such as massage, food, music, etc., may also be available. The Free Store organizers are always happy to accept donations. Contact The Free Store directly: or 773-562-1428.


Chicago Activist Art Spaces, Collectives, and Projects
Friday, February 12th 7:00pm-on and Saturday, February, 13th 7:00pm-on.
Mess Hall
6932 North Glenwood Avenue

(Rogers Park neighborhood.)

Open invitation to CAA conference attendees and the public to come to Mess Hall to informally gather, meet, and learn about Chicago art and activism, including a visual display highlighting many of the current Chicago-based collective art spaces, periodicals, campaigns, and activist art projects.

Mess Hall is an experimental cultural center. It is a place where visual art, radical politics, creative urban planning, applied ecological design and other things intersect and inform each other.

Directions: Morse CTA Red Line train stop; Mess Hall is a half block away.



1. Radical Art Caucus Business Meeting, 7:30-9:00AM: Regency A, Gold Level, West Tower, Hyatt Regency. All members and anyone interested in joining the Radical Art Caucus are most welcome! (Agenda forthcoming in January)

2. Radical Art Caucus Session “Autonomizing Practices in Art, Art History, and Education,” Thursday, February 11, 9:30 AM–12:00 PM Grand CD South, Gold Level, East Tower, Hyatt Regency Chicago

Chairs: Alan W. Moore, independent scholar, Staten Island, New York; Susan King Obarski, University of California, Irvine


a. Autonomy, Pseudo-Autonomy, and Prefigurative Politics, Rebecca Zorach, University of Chicago

b. San Francisco 1978-83: Socialist School and Rats for Profit, Michael R. Mosher, Saginaw Valley State University

c. The Guerrilla Clock-Fixers of UX, Jonathan Lackman, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University

d. Autonomous Practices: Media Collectives of the Women’s Liberation Movement, Dara Greenwald, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

3. Radical Art Caucus, Drinks, 9:00PM-? BAR 151, Hyatt Regency Atrium. Join members of the Radical Art Caucus at BAR 151 and learn more about the organization. (BYOD)

4. Collectivism after Collapse: Chicago Activist Art Spaces, Collectives, and Projects

Thursday, February 11, 8:00 PM–10:30 PM

Regency A, Gold Level, West Tower, Hyatt Regency Chicago

Chairs: Gregory Sholette, REPOhistory; Salem Collo-Julin, Temporary Services and Mess Hall, and Nicholas Lampert, Justseeds Artist’s Cooperative and Mess Hall


1. Radical Art Caucus, “Occupations: Labor, Activism, Art, and the Academy in Crisis”

Friday, February 12, 12:30 PM–2:00 PM, Regency C, Gold Level, West Tower, Hyatt Regency Chicago

Chair: Sarah Kanouse, University of Iowa


a. Taking a Radical Stance against Occupation without Perpetuating Myths of a Militant Resistance, Aaron Hughes, Iraq Veterans Against the War

b. 3Cs: Counter-Cartographies Collective, Tim Stallman, 3Cs: Counter-Cartographies Collective, Liz Mason-Deese, 3Cs: Counter-Cartographies Collective

c. Preoccupied: Organizing, the Work of Art School Academics, Therese Quinn, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
CAA Studio Art Session: PAINTING PANEL
Saturday, February 13, 9:30 AM-12:00 PM
Grand A, Gold Level, East Tower, Hyatt Regency
Susanna Coffey, Ann Craven, Anoka Faruqee, Michelle Grabner, Peter Halley,
Thomas Lawson, Judy Ledgerwood, Rebecca Morris, Carrie Moyer, Sabina Ott,
Jon Pestoni, Scott Reeder, and Molly Zuckerman Hartung
3311 West Carroll Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60624
312-725-6084 (gallery voicemail) / email:
reception: Saturday, February 13, 4-7 pm
exhibition: February 13 – 28, 2010
Thomas Lawson, Scott Reeder, Carrie Moyer and Michelle Grabner
Shane Campbell Gallery
1431 W. Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622
312-226-2223 / email:
reception: Saturday, February 13, 6-8 pm
exhibition: February 13 – March 13, 2010
Ann Craven, Peter Halley and Jon Pestoni
Western Exhibitions
119 N Peoria St, 2A, Chicago IL 60607
312.480.8390 /
reception: Saturday, February 13, 7-10 pm
exhibition: February 13 – March 20, 2010
Anoka Faruqee, Judy Ledgerwood, Sabina Ott, Susanna Coffey and Richard Hull
Rowley Kennerk Gallery
119 N. Peoria St., #3C Chicago, IL 60607
773-983-0077 /?email:
reception: Saturday, February 13, 7-10 pm
exhibition: February 13 – 27, 2010
Rebecca Morris, Molly Zuckerman-Hartung and Jutta Koether


Saturday, February 13, 9:30 AM-12:00 PM
Grand A, Gold Level, East Tower, Hyatt Regency
Susanna Coffey, Ann Craven, Anoka Faruqee, Michelle Grabner, Peter Halley,Thomas Lawson, Judy Ledgerwood, Rebecca Morris, Carrie Moyer, Sabina Ott,Jon Pestoni, Scott Reeder, and Molly Zuckerman Hartung

Empire Strikes Back: Organizing Inland (Part 1)

The Inland Empire has emerged as an epicenter for the relentless growth/crash dynamic of global capitalism – forcing workers out of jobs, families out of homes and students out of school. This massive displacement is the context for EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: Organizing Inland – an on-going project with more events planned from April – September 2010.

Part 1 – Neoliberal Appetites

This event, led by Brian Holmes, will focus on neoliberal subjectivity – the ways in which the present economic system both encourages and is encouraged by a set of fundamental assumptions, attitudes and perspectives.

Date: March 3

Time: 3pm

Location: Interdisciplinary Building Screening Room, INTS 1128
University of California, Riverside



organized by Ben Ehrenreich, Ken Rogers & Michael Wilson

After the Fall: Communiques from Occupied California

Communiques from Occupied California has just released After the Fall.

From their website:

“This isn’t a Newspaper, This is Dynamite.

We are excited to announce the publication of After the Fall: Communiques from Occupied California. Collecting the major statements from the recent wave of Occupations, it is being provided as a free gift to the movement.

A love letter to the insurgent students and workers on California campuses,After the Fall will be released on Valentine’s Day and is intended to spark excitement and discussion. We encourage students and others to use After the Fall to mobilize forces ahead of the March 4th offensive .

– 44 tabloid pages of communiques, texts and photos from across the state
– includes a map, timeline and pullout poster

We will provide a bundle to any interested groups for the price of postage. Contact us at”