Filed under catalogue | Tags: · activism, design, direct action, disobedience, object, politics, protest, social movements, solidarity
“This book explores the material culture of radical change and protest – from objects familiar to many, such as banners or posters, to the more militant, cunning or technologically cutting-edge, including lock-ons, book-blocs and activist robots. Focusing on social movements since 1980, the book features an introductory essay by the curators examining the history of objects in protest and activism, followed by six essays that look at particular objects, and the contexts in which they are used. It demonstrates how political activism drives a wealth of design ingenuity and collective creativity that defy standard definitions of art and design. Accompanies the V&A exhibition Disobedient Objects, July 2014 to February 2015.”
With essays by Mark Traugott, Anna Feigenbaum, Francesco Raparelli, David Graeber, Nicholas Thoburn, and Ana Longoni.
Publisher V&A Publishing, London, 2014
ISBN 9781851777976, 1851777970
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Chris Robé: Breaking the Spell: A History of Anarchist Filmmakers, Videotape Guerrillas, and Digital Ninjas (2017)
Filed under book | Tags: · activism, aesthetics, aids, anarchism, autonomy, direct action, ecology, film, indigenous peoples, labour, marxism, media activism, neoliberalism, politics, protest, punk, social movements, strike, third cinema, video, video activism, video art
“Breaking the Spell offers the first full-length study that charts the historical trajectory of anarchist-inflected video activism from the late 1960s to the present. Two predominant trends emerge from this social movement-based video activism: 1) anarchist-inflected processes increasingly structure its production, distribution, and exhibition practices; and 2) video does not simply represent collective actions and events, but also serves as a form of activist practice in and of itself from the moment of recording to its later distribution and exhibition. Video plays an increasingly important role among activists in the growing global resistance against neoliberal capitalism. As various radical theorists have pointed out, subjectivity itself becomes a key terrain of struggle as capitalism increasingly structures and mines it through social media sites, cell phone technology, and new “flexible” work and living patterns. As a result, alternative media production becomes a central location where new collective forms of subjectivity can be created to challenge aspects of neoliberalism.
Chris Robé’s book fills in historical gaps by bringing to light unexplored video activist groups like the Cascadia Forest Defenders, eco-video activists from Eugene, Oregon; Mobile Voices, Latino day laborers harnessing cell phone technology to combat racism and police harassment in Los Angeles; and Outta Your Backpack Media, indigenous youth from the Southwest who use video to celebrate their culture and fight against marginalization. This groundbreaking study also deepens our understanding of more well-researched movements like AIDS video activism, Paper Tiger Television, and Indymedia by situating them within a longer history and wider context of radical video activism.”
Publisher PM Press, Oakland, CA, 2017
ISBN 9781629632339, 1629632333
Interview with author: The New Architects (video, 2017, 43 min).
Reviews: Beth Geglia (Interface, 2017), Franklin Lopez (Fifth Estate, 2017), Patricia R. Zimmerman (Jump Cut, 2018), Allan Atliff (Anarchist Studies, 2017).
Filed under book | Tags: · activism, image, media activism, photography, politics, social movements, video, visual culture, war
“Still and moving images are crucial factors in contemporary political conflicts. They not only have representational, expressive or illustrative functions, but also augment and create significant events. Beyond altering states of mind, they affect bodies and often life or death is at stake. Various forms of image operations are currently performed in the contexts of war, insurgency and activism. Photographs, videos, interactive simulations and other kinds of images steer drones to their targets, train soldiers, terrorise the public, celebrate protest icons, uncover injustices, or call for help. They are often parts of complex agential networks and move across different media and cultural environments. This book is a pioneering interdisciplinary study of the role and function of images in political life. Balancing theoretical reflections with in-depth case studies, it brings together renowned scholars and activists from different fields to offer a multifaceted critical perspective on a crucial aspect of contemporary visual culture.”
Publisher Manchester University Press, Manchester, 2016
ISBN 9781526107213, 152610721X
Review: Zoya Brumberg (Journal of Visual Culture, 2018).
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