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?

Occupying Editor 04: Cara Baldwin

For the next few weeks, Cara Baldwin will exert total editorial control over this site.

Baldwin is an artist, writer, researcher and theorist whose work focuses on militant art practice, public art, and intersections of cultural production and political organizing. She is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Visual Arts: Art History, Theory, Criticism and Practice at UCSD and a 2001 graduate of CalArts MFA program. A recipient of the Soros Foundation Open Society Grant for the establishment of the Los Angeles Independent Media Center, Ms. Baldwin is also a founding member and former editor of the Journal of Aesthetics & Protest editorial collective whose activities include the a print and online publication, Journal Press, a public lecture series, curatorial work, public art projects, and activist organization. With the editorial collective of the Journal, Baldwin has contributed to TRANSITOry PUBLICO | PUBLIC TRANSITorio and The Political Equator, Civic Matters, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles; Fine Print: Alternative Media, P.S.1, New York; Atlas Project, Pist Prota, Copenhagen, Denmark; and the documenta 12 Magazine Project Archive, Kassel, Germany. She has also presented work in museums, universities, art colleges the international Mexico City Book Fair, A Los Angeles Llegaron y por Hollywood se Pasearon. She recently participated in The Performing Archive-Restricted Access, an exhibition by Suzanne Lacy and Leslie Labowitz. Her work was published in the periodicals pros*, Bedwetter, InterReview, and MAKE_shift, as well as exhibition catalogues for Poetics of the Handmade, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. 45 years of Art and Feminism, Bilbao Fine Arts Museum. Through her work in MOCA’s Curatorial department she contributed to the realization of several exhibitions of contemporary art including: WACK! Art and The Feminist Revolution, Poetics of the Handmade, and Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas. Current editorial collaborations include an anthology of writings with Orianna Cacchione and corresponding lecture series Public Culture in the Visual Sphere lecture at UCSD and Beyond the UC Strikes, Continental Drift. She is also currently collaborating with artist and theorist Ginger Wolfe-Suarez on a series of writings specific to art criticism in Los Angeles over the past decade.Areas of expertise: Conceptual and Performance art; Latin American art; feminist art; relational art practices; artist and media collectives.


Beyond the UC Strikes, Continental Drift , The Public School

http://la.thepublicschool.org/note/2158

Public Culture in the Visual Sphere, UCSD

http://va-grad.ucsd.edu/~drupal/node/1257

The Journal of Aesthetics & Protest

http://www.journalofaestheticsandprotest.org/

http://interactivist.autonomedia.org/node/13831

TRANSITOry PUBLICO | PUBLIC TRANSITorio

http://publicotransitorio.com/

Civic Matters

http://www.artleak.org/civicmatters/about.html

I/we/they/you/my/your

OE SITE Comments <http://occupyeverything.com/features/our-art-world-toward-actualizing-a-post-fordist-bohemia/comment-page-1/#comment-1275 >


1. micha <http://transreal.org/ > says:

October 11, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Hi Marc, thanks for writing this, its really stimulating in lots of ways. As a semi-outsider, semi-insider, as someone who lives in the more southern part of socal, I have attended only two public school events, the beyond the UC strikes classes. I do think that there is some engagement of questions Of race, class and gender of the public school, but mostly outside of the school itself, I suppose. And surely by the focuses of dialog and channels of outreach the public school uses create a particular constitution of participants. I don’t know that I have anything useful to contribute to this other than to say that I’m fully on board for the project of imagining possible futures and working towards ones I find more desirable, although my attendance will surely continue to be light until elle and I move up there in another 6 months or so. I also think that in light of recent things I’ve been reading like Escape Routes, and generally my thinking about the contemporary project of moving beyond identity through various means like thinking transition, intersubjectivity, desire, etc, that a fuzzy definition for our political project suits it well. Though maybe we need a reading group around “the tyranny of structurelessness” in comparison with Escape Routes, haha…


2. Cara Baldwin says:

October 18, 2010 at 10:24 am

Micha, I think it’s interesting that you propose the Jo Freeman Tyranny of Structurelessness text because it is one that Marc and I have referred to over the past several years, in fact.

That said, I also think the comparison is salient and the history suppressed/unknown so I’m adding a link to Freeman’s essay here:

http://www.uic.edu/orgs/cwluherstory/jofreeman/joreen/tyranny.htm

I am reading through what Marc wrote here again because I read it first (and with uncertainty) as a sort of performance of failure in collective imagination.

A parody of collectivity as subjectivity

The I that subsumes the we and all that…


3. Marc says:

October 19, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Cara, I am very serious in my parody. and the intention is not to parody but to inspire towards the possibility of tragedy. This IS the artworld we have, and it does have its strengths in its present formation. So let’s take it for what it is and see how to best make of it. This artworld (here written to address a scene far wider then the public school) is one of our social movements. If it is humorous to confuse the I with the we, then it is a joke that institutional players say all the time as well.

At the most simple level, audience attendance rates are constitutive of programming and funding decisions. The we makes the I. The I finds meaning in the we. So I am not deluded here. And you know that this gets much more complicated as levels of familiarity between creator and scene get tighter.

As per the Escape Routes comment—I do not know the book, but having read this…

http://www.darkmatter101.org/site/2010/04/21/escape-routes-control-and-subversion-in-the-21st-century/, I am skeptical.

I am skeptical not of the idea of culture having potential, but in the idea that the act of escaping is political. I think the majority of power is more then happy with people escaping- another marketing possibility. It is only when the escapees have actual coalitions and demands that they constitute a threat to power (that is, besides powerful forces that ally themselves with reactionary social values.)

What I hope to inspire in this essay is an honest evaluation of what our broad movement, our broad escape sees as its general course so that this course can be better realized and expressed.


4. Marc says:

October 19, 2010 at 2:51 pm

though in reading more of the book’s synopsis, I probably rush to judgment. I like how the reviewer frames migrants he is looking at writes…”It has never been the primary interest of migrants to change the society they migrate to or aspects of its political system. Instead migrants have been concerned with prolonging their stay by earning a living in the clandestine labor market, renting apartments using their friends’ papers, evade racism by building communities of support, by using doctors who offer medical treatment without demanding insurance cards or finding a partner for a fake marriage. These daily practices of migrants led to the construction of ‘material realities’ which can no longer be ignored by mainstream migration research.

In their book Worlds in Motion, which became part of the canon of migration theory, Douglas Massey and his colleges acknowledge the fact, that all western European societies have become multicultural immigration countries ‘without any popular referendum or explicit decision on the matter’.”


FB WALL

Cara Baldwin via Marc Allen Herbst: so, michael smartly suggested marc and i discuss this from last week. funny thing is, i don’t even where to begin. thoughts?

Towards a Post-Fordist Shop floor Ethic or, ‘What the Fuck Was That?’ «

OCCUPYEVERYTHING<http://occupyeverything.com/features/towards-a-post-fordist-shop-floor-ethic-2/ > occupyeverything.com

The publicity suggested the event would focus on a project that works off notions of antiwar activism and media. The expectant crowd was hungry for something. When the artist playfully shared candy as part of a pre-screening quiz, it seemed curious. But by the time the self-indulgent reel began

October 25 at 10:29am

Marc Allen Herbst  likes this.


Cara Baldwin

I plan on taking up the thread on Situationist recuperation as it seems to be floating around a bit… and then… the idea of a scene. That puzzles me…what else?

October 25 at 10:34am • Like


Caleb Waldorf

a close reading of the words I/WE/US/THEY

October 25 at 10:43am • Unlike • ** 1


Marc Allen Herbst

I’d be interested in talking about socialization of ideas but even more curious as to where you’d start. Also embarrassed that you don’t know where to begin.

October 25 at 11:46am • Like


Cara Baldwin

I’m inclined to start with the for instance:

When “blue chip” artists sell the image of collective history without giving back, this is theft. When theorists publicly poo-poo our collective potential to give comfort to power or stasis, this is a theft of our potential for collective dreaming. When academics sell radical theory while being complicit in structurally conservative departments they sell all our radicality short.’

and then form some questions around the idea of a scene, a close read of I/WE/US/THEY which would touch on recuperation in the sense of socialization of ideas-perhaps in particular relation to Situationist and performative ideologies/histories— and mos def in relation to privatization.

But for now, I need to go face an administrator that frightens the shit out of me.

Chicken. I feel like chicken.

October 25 at 12:03pm • Like


FB EMAIL

Marc Allen Herbst October 26 at 8:18am

sounds like a good way to approach this. I’ll wait for a kick off? What is our goal time-wise, feeling wise, etc. what would you want out of this?

M


Cara Baldwin October 26 at 9:27am

time-wise and feeling wise i’d like to begin our conversation now and also include some of our wall posts here by way of introduction.

it’s seven thereish now, right? i just woke up.

to discuss current structural and ideological shifts in relation to and from ‘the commons’ in a way that is critical and compassionate, and temporally speaking—mostly in the present.


Marc Allen Herbst  October 26 at 10:47am

It’s nineish… are we doing this over the course of days? tonight? I have to put anselm to bed. It’s 9.00 now. I think doing it over a few days would be better, and we do it as a chat? “‘the commons’ in a way that is critical and compassionate, and temporally speaking—mostly in the present.” this is your goal / interests current.


Cara Baldwin October 26 at 10:57am

cool. i’ll get a little coffee for now. let me know when you’d like to begin. and over the next few days is fine. good actually. time-wise tomorrow is going to be a bit thin on my end (i have a 13 hour day w/1 break) but thur-and fri i should be able to make up for it hopefully


Cara Baldwin October 26 at 1:18pm

what you wrote and retracted about tiqqun and badiou being the junior and senior respectively, that was funny. why did you take it down? at any rate, the following phrase came to mind: “taking disaffected to a whole new level.” and then i thought it might be time to go for a walk. is anselm to bed by now?


Marc Allen Herbst October 26 at 1:31pm

yeah, but I gotta sleep. maybe you can kick something off without me if we begin. I’m pooped. I don’t think concurrent writing as we planned will work. cheers


Cara Baldwin October 26 at 1:51pm

that works. sleep tight.


Marc Allen Herbst  October 26 at 10:48pm

Good morning here in Germany, I drop Anselm off and am back by 1 am your time…. Anyway, I took it down because I don’t want to take too many digs at Sean. The first essay I did for the website has some focus on the public school, nothing I haven’t said before in print… and I don’t think its cruel… but you know.

I liked that Galloway article because it framed our distaste for tiqqun – showing (unintentionally) that they are clearly a romanticization, a commodification of French theory. Fake-quoting  (I think they call it paraphrasing) “From France, where the most important theory comes from”.  Really?


Cara Baldwin October 26 at 11:15pm

good morning. this week, i was surprised by the emotion the images of protest in france evoked. people wept. http://liensjournal.wordpress.com/

this was particularly interesting when set side by side with the ‘neo-situationist’ impulse he refers to.

there is this iconoclastic (protestant) distrust of images among the situationists and conceptualists in general. badiou’s fascination with the static, or set, object that is also spectral like a horizon is frustrating to me in that it doesn’t allow for the promiscuity sean refers to. In simple terms, he has some very old-fashioned ideas about what constitutes an artwork. the problem is that he uses these as cognitive armatures to hang philosophical (cultural and spiritual) creative possibilities on.

my problem with tiqqun, and with badiou, is a nihlism that lets them off the hook too easily.  and then, particularly with tiqqun, a fixation with the family romance—that is predictably, and blatantly chauvinistic—ultimately conservative.

what is it about these closed, modular forms that is so appealing?

http://www.medienkunstnetz.de/works/just-what-is-it/


Cara Baldwin October 26 at 11:18pm

speaking of closed, modular forms- i like that i was surprised by the affective power of an image—again.


Cara Baldwin October 26 at 11:21pm

i’ve also been teaching and reading cultural theory and the history of the french revolutionary period. in doing so, it seems apparent that French theory has had little to do with revolutionary movements while material conditions have. theory is sort of the clean up crew. sopping up the blood.


Cara Baldwin October 26 at 11:24pm

or, in the case of badiou the courtier of capital.  and this is not to be anti-intellectual, by any means. it is only to say that when we speak of form and content we look to how people eat.


Cara Baldwin October 26 at 11:30pm

and so the family is a closed, modular form. a bourgeois capitalist form with a cultural history. that is quite interesting in relation to these relations—relevant and somehow invisible. the bar, the basement, the bedroom.


Cara Baldwin October 26 at 11:31pm

the family business. the shop.


Cara Baldwin October 26 at 11:41pm

okay, i’m going to leave it there for now. i want to hear what you have to say.


Marc Allen Herbst October 27 at 8:23am

I’ve been reading into Badiou this day to try and understand your distate for him which I have solidarity with. I’m reading his takes not on art but on general philosophy. And what I see so far, I actually dig it. I like his take on truth-I have been going with George Lakoff’s rewriting of Plato, but this is good too. more soon.


Cara Baldwin October 27 at 9:20am

i don’t want to talk about badiou.


Cara Baldwin October 27 at 9:20am

but okay. and yes on the lakoff.


Marc Allen Herbst October 27 at 9:21am

Good. I love talking about Lakoff. later


Cara Baldwin October 27 at 9:28am

I/we/they/you/our/my/your

i want to talk about systems of individual registration in relation to territories of propriety.


Cara Baldwin October 27 at 9:29am

sorry, i can’t shut up. my mind is going too fast. i will now be quiet. promise.


Cara Baldwin October 27 at 9:30am

stan allen’s field conditions—have you read it?

http://www.crisisfronts.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/stan-allen_field-conditions.pdf


Marc Allen Herbst October 27 at 10:55am

No, I haven’t and I’m curious. Why don’t you start with that and then I’ll respond with why I think George LAkoff’s take on metaphor and truth are key to ideas of change and of a sense of public and we. I can then counter whatever you write by saying how dumb Situationists are when read today.


Marc Allen Herbst October 27 at 10:57am

In that we have a beginning that makes some sense while having none and Being true to the text we are supposedly discussing. I mean it. I don’t know who Allen is, but I think that doesn’t matter and I’m sure it will be a good read. I’m present on and off for some time now.


Cara Baldwin October 27 at 11:03am

i just want to clarify that the conversation we’re currently having (in this form) is what i’d like to transcribe, rather directly. so, we’re in it. we’ve begun. can we agree on that?


Cara Baldwin October 27 at 11:08am

that is my understanding of what i am doing, and i think it relates to how we say we. In other words, you can construct a history out of fragments (Benjamin) but there is a kind of project in the recombining of that information.

i am interested in the critique of the artist as a neoliberal subject. i am not interested in badiou, or any figure head simply because i find the approach here and our focus on the him (them) is divisive rather than generative.


Cara Baldwiin October 27 at 11:10am

and i can send a pdf of the stan allen essay but it isn’t necessary, I think, except to locate ideas. in this case, about dynamics of systems and crowds.


Cara Baldwin October 27 at 11:18am

and so what i am gesturing to here is a shift that occurred in the 90’s from a figural to spatial orientation that is related to the political economy of images and the situtationists’ critique. which i don’t find stupid. i find it protestant.


Cara Baldwin October 27 at 11:27am

and badiou seems to be a lapsed catholic. a lot of theory that has cultural capital now is catholic for some reason. but a recuperation of the reformation, too, is too reductive/divisive.


Marc Allen Herbst October 27 at 11:29am

Agreed then. Not stupid, protestant. Purist and looking for an impossible state of representation to be real.

And agreed then regarding the format. I agreed in precognition, though I am caught off guard to know we have begun in earnest. I have a desire to roll with it. I’m uncomfortable with the idea of being interviewed by a peer (you) who I know has a lot to offer at the table.

Lets start somewhere. I suggested, with Allen, if you will, and then I make statement on truth. Truth is metaphors and poetry and a system of learning about the physical realities (Lakoff). Truth is in practice of the experienced and sensible.

This, I think you agree, is one of the first systems… systems of understanding, of knowledge and constructions of knowledge. So, when I talk about our scene, I am talking about a loose group of people who are already involved in some vague and loose project of collectively effecting a world-view.

Anyone who calls what I’ve said “is a lie,” that our scene is not possible because of what the Situationists told us or whatever, I’d argue that they are shilling for either Debord’s book publisher or indirectly the capitalist powers that be. Criticism in political context today should have solutions even if there are no solutions. Especially if there are none.

I’m also very aware that words and social attention are fleeting—and so while I know we have begun, I want to experiment with rigorous writing.

Rigorous meaning, rigorous creativity. I have just now understood completely that we have really begun.

If the stage is already set, then I have only just begun to be aware, active, responsive.


Cara Baldwin October 27 at 11:32am

this is what i am thinking of in relation to all of this:

the construction of partitions between individuals and collectives

the very nature of behavior as practice institutional / phenomenological

setting up the conditions that will alter the medium itself

the construction of environments and institutions

embedded in the protocols of exchange is where the project dwells

in what other ways can objects be distributed?


Cara Baldwin October 27 at 12:20pm

sorry, i sent that last message before i received yours had registered.


Cara Baldwin October 27 at 12:27pm

but i see now, it bears relevance to what you were saying. thinking now.


Marc Allen Herbst October 27 at 2:09pm

“embedded in the protocols of exchange is where the project dwells”

I agree exactly. We can collectively write and act out the possibility for our future when we realize we are doing that. Nothing but our conservative elements say we can’t. Not social history, not science, not capitalist practice. Its very simple, really. Many of the structures our economies have given us are institutions of  discipline… or facilitate the possibility of discipline. For example, the interaction with curator or curator-type is a requisite if one wants to participate in cultural field. The implicit power relationship is such that they either make you bend ot the institution of capitalist or facilitate the collective becoming. Many of our peers and ourselves internalize this disciplinary nature in disallowing affective protocols.

I am curious that you go into talking about distributing objects. I assume you are not talking about art objects, but I don’t know what you are. In filling the space that I imagine you are saying, the follow-up comment I’d have made to: embedding in the protocols of exchange…” is In what other ways do we create movements?

This is the question that follows for me because this is my goal…facilitating movement-movements being defined as the constitution/social construction (on the psychological and social level) of radical politicized subjectivity.


Marc Allen Herbst October 28 at 3:42pm

The ideal space between I and we is the space between needing to look out for one’s own needs and the collective needs.

The ideal space between I and they is the space between us and folks who aren’t riding the train.


Cara Baldwin October 29 at 10:15am

looking our exchanges over and rereading your two texts today and i so, I think we’re about ‘there.’ (there being a site to open up our conversation). do you feel we’re in a good spot too? i really enjoyed and the excuse to spend time thinking about and talking with you all through the week.

i’m home working off and on all day today-meeting with a student from 10am-1pm my time. and will come back after to see if you’ve responded w/questions and clarifications.


Marc Allen Herbst October 30 at 12:02am

seems good. Do we edit this or what?

I guess I could push it to say something, but in the context, It seems like a closed bottle and a good way to end.


Marc Allen Herbst October 30 at 12:02am

there’s always more.

for another time, I guess


Cara Baldwin October 30 at 9:26am

i think we should cut and paste it (copy edit if there are spelling mistakes) but leave the time registration and disclose the medium, or mediatic form so that becomes a consideration.

i also think we should begin it with the comments that follow your first post on the occupy everything site. this shows one of the many ways in which form can be a structurally / culturally significant thing.

in that context, how great that it includes a link to the jo freeman tyranny of structurelessness essay we’ve been inspired by and working through for several years now? maybe this gesture back to form will encourage even more engagement with our discussion.


Cara Baldwin: October 30 at 10:01am

And http://www.english.wayne.edu/fac_pages/ewatten/posts/post34.html