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: · aesthetics, anthropocene, biopolitics, climate crisis, environment, necropolitics, politics
“With typical sangfroid, CAE dissects the beast of our own making: the Anthropocene. Clarifying the philosophical roots of the Euro-American confusion about nature, this text offers severe and essential medicine for coming to terms with our ecological predicament.” –Claire Pentecost, professor, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
“This book presents a perspective about the environmental crisis that I suspected was there but couldn’t put my finger on. Follow these authors deep into one of the biggest cultural lacunas of our day: necropolitics. This book fully abandons solutionist bull in favor of a measured approach grounded only in what we know. Read it, weep, and then kick ass. Once again, CAE has blown my fucking mind.” –Mike Bonanno, The Yes Men
Publisher Autonomedia, Brooklyn, NY, 2018
ISBN 1570273375, 9781570273377
Filed under book | Tags: · aesthetics, art, art history, autonomy, avant-garde, capitalism, conceptual art, immaterial labor, labour, modernism, negation, neo-avant-garde, philosophy, politics, praxis, theory
“Why the avant-garde of art needs to be rehabilitated today
Since the decidedly bleak beginning of the twenty-first century, art practice has become increasingly politicized. Yet few have put forward a sustained defence of this development. Revolutionary Time and the Avant-Garde is the first book to look at the legacy of the avant-garde in relation to the deepening crisis of contemporary capitalism.
An invigorating revitalization of the Frankfurt School legacy, Roberts’s book defines and validates the avant-garde idea with an erudite acuity, providing a refined conceptual set of tools to engage critically with the most advanced art theorists of our day, such as Hal Foster, Andrew Benjamin, Alain Badiou, Jacques Rancière, Paolo Virno, Claire Bishop, Michael Hardt, and Toni Negri.”
Publisher Verso, London, 2015
ISBN 9781781689134, 178168913X