Thursday
Mar072019

MEDIA:ART:WRITE:NOW - new book series from Open Humanities Press

Media art is a space in which the human sensorium can recognise itself as fundamentally entangled with technology. It is also a filter through which urgent socio-political issues can be engaged, mediated and transformed.

 

Open Humanities Press's MEDIA : ART : WRITE : NOW series mobilises the medium of writing as a mode of critical enquiry and aesthetic expression. Its books capture the most original developments in technology-based arts and other forms of creative media: AI and computational arts, gaming, digital and post-digital productions, soft and wet media, interactive and participative arts, open platforms, photography, photomedia and, last but not least, amateur media practice. They convey the urgency of the project via their style, length and mode of engagement. In both length and tone, they sit somewhere between an extended essay and a monograph.

The goal of the series is to recalibrate how we see, hear and feel in the contemporary mediated environment – and to intervene in it, right here right now. It is also to challenge the unified ‘we’ of aesthetic and political experience.

To contribute to the series, please contact Joanna Zylinska, Goldsmiths, University of London <j.zylinska@gold.ac.uk>.

Advisory Board

Morehshin Allahyari, artist, activist, educator, US
Mark Amerika, University of Boulder, Colorado, US
Oron Catts & Ionat Zurr, SymbioticA, University of Western Australia, Australia
Kristoffer Gansing, Transmediale, Germany
Kenneth Goldsmith, University of Pennsylvania, US
Asbjørn Grønstad, Bergen University, Norway
Greg Hainge, University of Queensland, Australia
Eduardo Kac, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, US
Ryszard Kluszczyński, University of Łódź, Poland
Esther Leslie, Birkbeck, University of London, UK
Benjamin Mayer-Foulkes, 17: Institute of Critical Theory, Mexico
Gabriel Menotti, Espírito Santo Federal University, Vitória, Brasil
Nicholas Mirzoeff, New York University, US
Kate Mondloch, University of Orgeon, US
Bo Reimer, Malmo University, Sweden
Katrina Sluis, The Photographers’ Gallery, London / London South Bank University, UK
Cornelia Sollfrank, artist, Germany
Hito Steyerl, artist, Germany

 

Image credit: Walter Van Der Mäntzche, Des perturbations sont à prévoir / Disturbances are expected, 2013.

Monday
Feb182019

The Left Can't Meme?

‘The Left Can’t Meme?’ is an extended version of the presentation I gave at the Transmediale Festival in Berlin on February 1, 2019. I was speaking on the Creating Commons: Affects, Collectives, Aesthetics panel hosted and organised by Cornelia Sollfrank and Felix Stalder on behalf of the Creating Commons @Zurick ZHdK research project. The other panelists were Laurence Rassel and Jeremy Gilbert. (An audio recording of the entire panel discussion is available here.) The specific question Cornelia and Felix asked me to address in my 10 minute presentation was: How can spaces within existing institutions allow for affective dimensions to be articulated?

 

It’s going to look like what I’m talking about today is publishing. But if we’re interested in creating commons, then we need act and think and work differently to the way in which most of us do at the moment. This is what I’m really going to be talking about: different ways of being and doing. As a media theorist, I want to reinvent theory by breaking with a lot of the categories and frameworks of what it’s currently considered to be. Specifically, I want to change it from the bourgeois, liberal humanist model that’s enacted by most theorists today, regardless of whether they’re Marxists, feminists, new materialists, Deleuzians ... Paying attention to how we create, publish and disseminate knowledge is just one means of doing so.

On this panel we’re concerned with the affective forces - those drives, desires, fantasies and resentments - that motivate people to become part of a group, and form the basis of collective forms of identification. And as we know, the right have succeeded in using affect as a mobilizing populist political force. They’ve used the repetition of slogans – Brexit’s ‘Take back control’, Trump’s ‘Make America great again’ - to create chains of equivalence across disaffected groups of people and to mainstream their ideas, transforming the political landscape in the process. The left has it’s own affective-emotional themes. When it comes to theory, you just have to say words like ‘commons’, ‘collective’, ‘cooperative’, ‘Anthropocene’, even ‘affect’ itself, to realise this. But the left have been conspicuously bad at turning their representations into actions that make different people, in the mainstream of society especially, want to constitute themselves as a group around issues such as the commons. (Even taking #MeToo and BlackLivesMatter into account, there’s been no real progressive equivalent of the kind of forceful play epitomised by the Pepe the Frog meme.)

Mobilizing some of these left affective drives in order to create institutional projects as a political force is what myself and my colleagues have been working on for some time. We've been doing so via a number of projects for the production of free resources and the commons of the kind Cornelia and Felix understand as ‘aesthetic practices’. 

(We’ve been asked to focus on concrete practices on this panel; however, I have to say, it’s often forgotten that the practices that produce theory are very concrete, while the theory behind ideas of the material and the ‘concrete’ is often very weak. When they invited me I think Cornelia and Felix also thought my talk would shift the panel’s focus somewhat, from Laurence’s emphasis on community, to a concern with resources on my part. But I’m not sure that’s right, as the resources I’m referring to are produced by communities working collectively. In fact I’d argue that perhaps the most important resources we produce are these communities.)


In 1999 we launched the 
Culture Machine journal of critical and cultural theory – which is just about to relaunch out of Mexico.

In 2008 Culture Machine became a founder-member of Open Humanities Press, which involves multiple semi-autonomous, self-organising groups, all operating in non-rivalrous fashion to make works of contemporary theory available on a non-profit, free/gratis, open access basis. OHP currently has 21 journals, 40 plus books distributed across 8 book series, as well as experimental, libre, texts such as those in our Liquid Books and Living Books About Life series.

OHP was in turn a founder member of the Radical Open Access Collective, a community of non-profit presses, journals and other projects, formed in 2015. Now consisting of over 50 members, this collective seeks to build a progressive alternative ecosystem for creating and publishing research in the humanities and social sciences, based on experimenting with a diversity of non-profit, independent and scholar-led approaches.

Meanwhile, in the Centre for Postdigital Cultures at Coventry University, and it’s Post Office research studio, we’re interested in reinventing hardware, software and network infastructures – especially those involved in the production and dissemination of theory: the book, journal, seminar series. But also infrastructure that operates at a larger scale: institutions such as the archive, museum, library and so on. And we’ve brought together people involved in a number of such ‘aesthetic practices’. There’s myself from OHP, Janneke Adema from the Radical Open Access Collective, Jacqueline Cawston from the Mandela 27 pop-up, Marcell Mars and Tomislav Medak from the Memory of the World shadow library…

Hopefully you’re already getting a sense of how we’re working a little differently to the individualistic, bourgeois, liberal humanist model of authorship adopted by most theorists. We don’t always act as virtuoso authors - we often operate in terms of communities and collectives. Indeed, our theory doesn’t always involve authoring at all. Along with such affective labour as supporting, encouraging and inspiring, it can involve building, developing and maintaining far more than authoring - as with Marcell Mars’s work with UbuWeb. This is because, for us, theory isn’t just a means of imagining our ways of being in the world differently; it’s a means of enacting them differently too. So our projects are performative or pre-figurative, in the sense they’re concerned not just with representing the world but also with intra-acting with it in order to make things happen. They’re ‘being the change we want to see’.1 

Now it might appear the trajectory we’ve been on for the last 20 years has been about becoming a mobilizing political force by scaling our work on creating common resources: from the single journal Culture Machine, to the 21 journals of Open Humanities Press, through the 50 plus members of the Radical OA Collective, to The Post Office’s collective presence of all these projects as part of an existing formal institution. However, actually, we don’t want to grow any of these aesthetic infrastructural and institutional projects at all. We prefer to non-scale them, as some of my colleagues have recently taken to calling it, following Anna Tsing (although, as I say, we’ve been working like this for 20 years now): by developing relationships with a diversity of others in different parts of the world through collaboration; and by allowing our content and infrastructure to be openly copied, shared and reiterated, free of charge.

Non-scaling like this is important to us because (as I’ve argued elsewhere), it helps avoid repeating the centre/periphery model of the geopolitics of knowledge, whereby ‘there are just a few nations at the centre of the global information networks’ such as the UK, US, France and Italy, ‘who are exporting, and in effect “universalizing”, their knowledge. … and a whole host of other nations outside of the centre who … don’t have opportunities to publish, export, or even develop their own “universal” knowledge’. At most, scholars on the so-called periphery ‘get to “export empirical data” that provides local detail that can be used to flesh out the “universal” knowledge of those closer to the centre.

Developing in terms of collaboration and reiteration - rather than growth and expansion - can help prevent the reproduction of this state of affairs: not simply by enabling us to place more emphasis on privileging non-standard contributions from others, understood geographically (i.e. in terms of the global South and East), but also in terms of BAME, LGBTQIPA, working class and other nonconforming identities. Although the decolonizing agenda is important to us, for example, such an approach risks repeating and maintaining the kind of centre/periphery relationality of power we want to challenge. We see non-scaling as enabling us to produce a pluralistic and multi-polar network, one with a far more complex, antagonistic and decentred structure.

The emphasis we’re placing on multi-polarity and antagonism is important, as it ensures no single aesthetic project, collective or commons becomes the one to rule them all. Contrary to the impression sometimes given, creating unity, harmony and ‘oneness’  - a Kantian perpetual peace, as it were - is not what the becoming of the common and community is about. In fact, there’s no common understanding of the commons. Creative Commons, free software, open source, copyfarleft: all have different and conflicting concepts of the commons.

That said, the making of a decision in such an undecidable terrain – the refusal to decide what the commons is in advance, in our case - is just what politics is, as we know from Chantal Mouffe. So keeping the question of the common open like this enables us to be political in a way many versions of the commons are not. For just as Facebook has data points, so the Left has data or datum points of its own; and often these take the shape of those very affective drives, desires and fantasies that constitute the basis of collective forms of left identification. Does saying the kind of words that underpin most accounts of creating commons - democracy, solidarity, respect, human, freedom, cooperative, community, collective - not produce something of a dopamine rush in us?

At the same time we’re aware doing this kind of rigorous political work around concepts of democracy, freedom, the commons and so on is hard – and even more so in improvised sessions like this.2 The tendency is to lapse back into what seems self-evident, taken-for-granted, common sense, even though we know doing so maintains the bourgeois, liberal humanist status quo. 

 

Endnotes

1. For one political account of prefigurative practices, and how they can intervene and modify relations of power within existing institutional arrangements, see Valeria Graziano, ‘Prefigurative Practices: Raw Materials for a Political Positioning of Art, Leaving the Avant-garde’, in Lilia Mestre and Elke Van Campenhout eds, Turn, Turtle! Reenacting The Institute (Berlin: Live Art Development Agency & Alexander Verlag, 2016).

2. In Rogues, for example, Jacques Derrida refers to ‘the great question of modern parliamentary and representative democracy, perhaps all of democracy’: can ‘the alternative to democracy always be represented as a democratic alternation’, in which one democratic party elected by the people is replaced by another democratic party elected by the people? (Jacques Derrida, Rogues: Two Essays On Reason (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 2005) 30). In this question Derrida identifies a democratic paradox of his own. For him, democracy ‘itself, in its univocal and proper meaning’, can never be fully realized (34). Democracy is no more self-identical than are Europe and the West. It is rather defined by the ‘lack of the proper and the selfsame’, as indeed is the ‘very ideal of democracy’ (37). An authentic democracy is thus always to-come. Yet even if democracy could be fully realized, there is always the possibility that the people may decide to suspend it by legitimately voting into government a nondemocratic party that has the intention of changing the constitution and abolishing the ‘normal functioning of democracy’ (31). In short, democracy could ‘lead democratically to the end of democracy’ (33). Nor do the potentially paralyzing ambiguities of this paradoxical situation end there. Fearing such an outcome, the state and a large proportion of the people could decide to take power and act in a sovereign fashion to end democracy themselves, as in fact happened in postcolonial Algeria in 1992. This new power could interrupt the democratic electoral process ‘to suspend, at least provisionally, democracy for its own good’, in order to protect it from a much worse fate at the hands of the enemies of democracy (33). In both scenarios there would be a certain autoimmune suicide of democracy. All of which calls for the ‘event of the interruptive decision’, according to Derrida (35).


Thursday
Feb142019

cfp: Pirate Care conference, 19/20 June, 2019

Centre for Postdigital Cultures
Conference: PIRATE CARE
19th & 20th June 2019
Square One, Coventry University

 

Call for Papers

Submissions for the screening programme also welcome. (See instructions at the end of the call.)

 

The Centre for Postdigital Cultures (CPC), Coventry University, UK, invites contributions to its second annual conference, which this year will explore the phenomenon of ‘Pirate Care’. Presentations and talks will be complemented by a film programme tackling the main theme of the conference.

The term Pirate Care condenses two processes that are particularly visible at present. On the one hand, basic care provisions that were previously considered cornerstones of social life are now being pushed towards illegality, as a consequence of geopolitical reordering and the marketisation of social services. At the same time new, technologically-enabled care networks are emerging in opposition to this drive toward illegality.

Punitive neoliberalism (Davies, 2016) has been repurposing, rather than dismantling, welfare state provisions such as healthcare, income support, housing and education (Cooper, 2017: 314). This mutation is reintroducing ‘poor laws’ of a colonial flavour, deepening the lines of discrimination between citizens and non-citizens (Mitropolous, 2012: 27), and reframing the family unit as the sole bearer of responsibility for dependants.

However, against this background of institutionalised ‘negligence’ (Harney & Moten, 2013: 31), a growing wave of mobilizations around care can be witnessed across a number of diverse examples: the recent Docs Not Cops campaign in the UK, refusing to carry out documents checks on migrant patients; migrant-rescue boats (such as those operated by Sea-Watch) that defy the criminalization of NGOs active in the Mediterranean; and the growing resistance to homelessness via the reappropriation of houses left empty by speculators (like PAH in Spain); the defiance of legislation making  homelessness illegal (such as Hungary’s reform of October 2018) or municipal decrees criminalizing helping out in public space (e.g. Food Not Bombs’ volunteers arrested in 2017).

On the other hand, we can see initiatives experimenting with care as collective political practices have to operate in the narrow grey zones left open between different technologies, institutions and laws in an age some fear is heading towards ‘total bureaucratization’ (Graeber, 2015: 30). For instance, in Greece, where the bureaucratic measures imposed by the Troika decimated public services, a growing number of grassroots clinics set up by the Solidarity Movement have responded by providing medical attention to those without a private insurance. In Italy, groups of parents without recourse to public childcare are organizing their own pirate kindergartens (Soprasotto), reviving a feminist tradition first experimented with in the 1970s. In Spain, the feminist collective GynePunk developed a biolab toolkit for emergency gynaecological care, to allow all those excluded from the reproductive medical services  —  such as trans or queer women, drug users and sex workers — to perform basic checks on their own bodily fluids. Elsewhere, the collective Women on Waves delivers abortion pills from boats harboured in international waters – and more recently, via drones - to women in countries where this option is illegal.

Thus pirate care, seen in the light of these processes - choosing illegality or existing in the grey areas of the law in order to organize solidarity - takes on a double meaning: Care as Piracy and Piracy as Care (Graziano, 2018).

There is a need to revisit piracy and its philosophical implications - such as sharing, openness, decentralization, free access to knowledge and tools (Hall, 2016) - in the light of transformations in access to social goods brought about by digital networks. It is important to bring into focus the modes of intervention and political struggle that collectivise access to welfare provisions as acts of custodianship (Custodians.online, 2015) and commoning (Caffentzis & Federici, 2014). As international networks of tinkerers and hackers are re-imagining their terrain of intervention, it becomes vital to experiment with a changed conceptual framework that speaks of the importance of the digital realm as a battlefield for the re-appropriation of the means not only of production, but increasingly, of social reproduction (Gutiérrez Aguilar et al., 2016). More broadly, media representations of these dynamics - for example in experimental visual arts and cinema - are of key importance. Bringing the idea of pirate ethics into resonance with contemporary modes of care thus invites different ways of imagining a paradigm change, sometimes occupying tricky positions vis-à-vis the law and the status quo.

The present moment requires a non-oppositional and nuanced approach to the mutual implications of care and technology (Mol et al., 2010: 14), stretching the perimeters of both. And so, while the seminal definition of care distilled by Joan Tronto and Berenice Fisher sees it as ‘everything that we do to maintain, continue, and repair “our world” so that we can live in it as well as possible’ (Tronto & Fisher, 1990: 40), contemporary feminist materialist scholars such as Maria Puig de La Bellacasa feel the need to modify these parameters to include ‘relations [that] maintain and repair a world so that humans and non-humans can live in it as well as possible in a complex life-sustaining web’ (Puig de La Bellacasa, 2017: 97). It is in this spirit that we propose to examine how can we learn to compose (Stengers, 2015) answers to crises across a range of social domains, and alongside technologies and care practices.

We invite proposals for 20 minute presentations on the theme of Pirate Care as outlined above. We welcome submissions addressing a wide range of topics in response to one or more of the following sub-themes:

Criminalisation of Care: including responses to legal attacks to NGO work in the Mediterranean; state-sanctioned violence against healthcare practitioners (Buissonniere, Woznick, and Rubenstein, 2018); the erosion of reproductive medicine provisions and self-determination rights for women; campaigns to decriminalize sexwork and regularize domestic workers.

Care Struggles: histories of grassroots and autonomous organizing around care / for access to care. Examples might include histories of workers’ mutualism; Black Panthers’ free clinics;  ACT UP and AIDS organizing around medical research; feminist struggles for free abortion rights; marginalized constituencies and underground solidarity networks.

Hacking Care: care practice in relation to technologies and tools, open softwares and oppositions to the patent regimes. Relevant stories might include: open source medicine; right to repair and medical devices; open pharma; open science; biohacking practices.

Piracy as Care: focused on practices of civil disobedience that deliberately defy intellectual property and other laws in order to care for practices, ecologies, or constituencies. Examples include shadow libraries’ use of internet to support or coordinate around specific social reproductive needs; tinkering and readaptation of technological objects; and digitally-supported systems to support better care of common goods.

We welcome contributions from academics, practitioners, artists, and activist alike. The programme of talks will be accompanied by a film programme addressing the conference theme. Film submissions for inclusion are also welcome.

Proposed contributions for papers should include:

a presentation title; a short abstract (max 350 words); a short biographical note ( max 150 words).

Proposed contributions from artists and filmmakers should include: a presentation title and brief synopsis (max 250 words); a link to the work; a short biographical note ( max 150 words)

 

Please be aware that our facilities will allow for a proper theatrical screening; the digital format is preferred but you can reach out the conference organisers at the email below in case your prospect submission is in other formats.

Please send your submission no later than April 1st, 2019 to piratecare@gmail.com

A notification of acceptance will be circulated by mid-April 2019.

Limited travel funding will be made available to conference participants on a needs-based basis. Details on how to apply for this will be made available following paper acceptance.

The conference will be a child-friendly environment.

About the CPC

The Centre for Postdigital Cultures (CPC) explores how innovations in postdigital cultures can help us to rethink our ways of being and doing in the 21st century. Our research draws on cross-disciplinary ideas associated with open and disruptive media, the posthumanities, and the Anthropocene to promote a more just and sustainable ‘post-capitalist’ knowledge economy. See https://www.coventry.ac.uk/research/areas-of-research/postdigital-cultures/ for more detail.

 

References:

Aguilar R.G., Linsalata L. and M.L.N. Trujillo, 2016. ‘Producing the common and reproducing life: Keys towards rethinkingthe Political.’ In: Dinerstein A. (eds) Social Sciences for an Other Politics. Palgrave Macmillan.

Buissonniere,M., S. Woznick, and L. Rubenstein, 2018. ‘The Criminalization of healthcare’, University of Essex, [https://www1.essex.ac.uk/hrc/documents/54198-criminalization-of-healthcare-web.pdf].

Caffentzis, G. and Federici, S., 2014. Commons against and beyond capitalism. Community Development Journal, 49, pp.92-i105.

Cooper, M., 2017. Family values: Between neoliberalism and the new social conservatism. MIT Press.

Custodians Online, 2015. ‘In solidarity with Library Genesis and Sci-Hub’, 30th November, [http://custodians.online/].

Davies, W., 2016. ‘The new neoliberalism’. New Left Review (101), 121–134

de La Bellacasa, M.P., 2017. Matters of care: Speculative ethics in more than human worlds (Vol. 41). University of Minnesota Press.

Fisher, B. and J. C. Tronto, 1990. ‘Toward a feminist theory of care’, in Circles of Care: Work and Identity in Women’s Lives, ed. Emily K. Abel and Margaret K. Nelson, Albany: SUNY Press.

Graeber, D., 2015. The utopia of rules: On technology, stupidity, and the secret joys of bureaucracy. Melville House.

Graziano, V. 2018. ‘Pirate Care - How do we imagine the health care for the future we want?’, Medium, 5th October [https://medium.com/dsi4eu/pirate-care-how-do-we-imagine-the-health-care-for-the-future-we-want-fa7f71a7a21].

Hall, G., 2016. Pirate philosophy: for a digital posthumanities. MIT Press.

Harney, S. and Moten, F., 2013. The undercommons: Fugitive planning and black study, Minor Compositions.

Mitropoulos, A., 2012. Contract & contagion: From biopolitics to oikonomia. Minor Compositions.

Mol, A., Moser, I. and Pols, J. eds., 2015. Care in practice: On tinkering in clinics, homes and farms (Vol. 8). transcript Verlag.

Stengers, I. (2015) In Catastrophic times: Resisting the coming barbarism. Open Humanities Press.

 

Tuesday
Feb052019

Cities of InfraRed

Cities of InfraRed is an abstract for my proposed contribution to a book that is being put together by Cornelia Sollfrank, Shuhsa Niederberger and Felix Stalder. The book has the working title of Aesthetics of the Commons, and arises out of the Creating Commons research project at the Zurich University of the Arts.


----- 

In my presentation for the Creating Commons: Affects, Collectives, Aesthetics panel at Transmediale 2019 (see above), I made the point that the Left has been conspicuously bad at turning their representations into the kind of actions that motivate people, in the mainstream of society especially, to constitute themselves as a group around issues such as the commons. (Even taking #MeToo and BlackLivesMatter into account, there’s been no progressive counterpart to the Right’s transformation of the political landscape, achieved through the use of slogans such as ‘Take back control’ and ‘Make America great again’ to create chains of equivalence across different disaffected social groups based on collective forms of identification.)  I then proceeded to talk about how a number of colleagues and I have nevertheless been working on mobilizing some of the Left’s affective-emotional themes - encapsulated by words such as collective, cooperative and community – to develop a range of aesthetic projects for the production of free resources that are capable of acting as a political force.

At first sight it might appear that a lot of our focus has been on scaling the creation of such common resources along with the community that maintains them: from the single journal Culture Machine (1999), to the 21 journals of Open Humanities Press (2008), through the 50 plus members of the Radical Open Access Collective (2015), to The Post Office’s collective presence of all these projects and more as part of an existing formal institution (2018). In actual fact, however, it has never been our intention to simply grow or expand our activities. We prefer to non-scale them, as some of my colleagues have taken to calling it, following Anna Tsing (although we’ve been operating like this for over 20 years now). This we achieve: by developing relationships with a diversity of others in different parts of the world through collaborative co-creation and custodianship; and by allowing our work to be openly copied, shared and reiterated, free of charge. 

We are now turning our attention to the following question: can this non-scaling model of development be applied to cities in order to transform them through the provision of commons-oriented alternatives to public and private infrastructure? Why cities? Cities are particularly interesting places when it comes to political strategy. For one thing, they operate at a scale that makes progressive change a realistic possibility. (Nation states are too large.) For another, it’s in cities that political forces for change most often emerge these days, as various 21st century protest movements, from Occupy Wall Street, through the roundabout revolutions of Turkey, Egypt and Bahrain, to the gilets jaunes in Paris, bear witness.


Instead of having to rely on governments and multi-national companies for their infrastructure, our idea is to make it possible for cities to be able to take some of the ‘alternative’ resources that are provided for them by projects such as Etherbox, Tactical Tech and Memory of the World – and then build their own versions on a self-organising basis, adopting and improving those parts they want and discarding the rest. We see this non-scaling model for collectively-creating a range of municipal institutions (libraries, museums, archives) and the associated technology and tools, as having the potential to provide a more socially just and environmentally sustainable way to run cities in the future.

The use of a CopyFarLeft PPL license, for example, would mean those who live in a city could be compensated for the labour they put into creating and maintaining its infrastructure and institutions by applying it to this mutually-owned and shared information and data commons. At the same time, those businesses that are not part of the city’s commons but who nevertheless wish to exploit its information and data for reasons of privatisation would be prohibited from doing so by the terms of the license - in effect creatively disrupting for-profit companies such as Uber and Deliveroo.

Thanks to its ability to create a more profound affective-emotional community experience, certainly than the pseudo community ethos of Airbnb and co, it's not inconceivable that such a commons-based approach could gain enough of an advantage over its public and private rivals to attract people in sufficiently large numbers to make developing into a large-scale political force a real possibility. It would therefore provide a means of reclaiming the idea of community from the forces of reactionary nationalist populism, such as those associated with Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage in the U.K. and Donald Trump in the U.S. After all, wasn’t it a sense of not belonging - indeed of being actively excluded and forgotten - that led those who feel they have been left behind by neoliberal globalisation to vote for Brexit and Trump?  We thus see this commons-flavoured version of the ‘Preston Model’ for community building as one means by which the struggle for a left populism and construction of a progressive ‘people’ can be fought and won.

As for my title, ‘InfraRed’, well, infra is of course taken from infrastructure, while red links our approach to the politics of the Left. But red also serves to distinguish the above described vision for the future of cities from the blue of most visual representations of the so-called smart city.

Saturday
Jan122019

Polish translation of New Materialism: Interviews & Cartographies

A Polish translation of the 2012 Open Humanities Press book New Materialism: Interviews & Cartographies, edited by Rick Dolphijn and Iris van der Tuin, has been published on the website of the Machina Myśli group.

It is available here: http://machinamysli.org/nowy-materializm-wywiady-i-kartografie/.

The page is in Polish, but if you would like to download a copy you simply need to click respectively 'pdf'' or 'EPUB' in text.