Stevphen Shukaitis: The Composition of Movements to Come: Aesthetics and Cultural Labor after the Avant-Garde (2016)

14 July 2018, dusan

“How does the avant-garde create spaces in everyday life that subvert regimes of economic and political control? How do art, aesthetics and activism inform one another? And how do strategic spaces of creativity become the basis for new forms of production and governance?

The Composition of Movements to Come reconsiders the history and the practices of the avant-garde, from the Situationists to the Art Strike, revolutionary Constructivism to Laibach and Neue Slowenische Kunst, through an autonomist Marxist framework. Moving the framework beyond an overly narrow class analysis, the book explores broader questions of the changing nature of cultural labor and forms of resistance around this labor. It examines a doubly articulated process of refusal: the refusal of separating art from daily life and the re-fusing of these antagonistic energies by capitalist production and governance. This relationship opens up a new terrain for strategic thought in relation to everyday politics, where the history of the avant-garde is no longer separated from broader questions of political economy or movement, but becomes a point around which to reorient these considerations.”

Publisher Rowman & Littlefield, London & New York, 2016
New Politics of Autonomy series
ISBN 9781783481736, 1783481730
xx+176 pages

Reviews: Gregory Sholette (Critical Inquiry, 2015), Marc James Léger (Afterimage, 2016), Martin Parker (Culture Machine, 2017).


PDF (4 MB)

Janet Roitman: Anti-Crisis (2013)

14 February 2015, dusan

“Crisis is everywhere: in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and the Congo; in housing markets, money markets, financial systems, state budgets, and sovereign currencies. In Anti-Crisis, Janet Roitman steps back from the cycle of crisis production to ask not just why we declare so many crises but also what sort of analytical work the concept of crisis enables. What, she asks, are the stakes of crisis? Taking responses to the so-called subprime mortgage crisis of 2007–2008 as her case in point, Roitman engages with the work of thinkers ranging from Reinhart Koselleck to Michael Lewis, and from Thomas Hobbes to Robert Shiller. In the process, she questions the bases for claims to crisis and shows how crisis functions as a narrative device, or how the invocation of crisis in contemporary accounts of the financial meltdown enables particular narratives, raising certain questions while foreclosing others.”

Publisher Duke University Press, 2013
ISBN 9780822355120
176 pages

Reviews: Fokwang (Anthropology Southern Africa, 2014), McDonagh (LSE Review of Books, 2014), Engel (New Political Science, 2014).


PDF (updated on 2019-10-11)

Alfred Sohn-Rethel: Intellectual and Manual Labour: A Critique of Epistemology (1970–) [DE, EN, ES, PT]

3 May 2014, dusan

In this book, the economist and philosopher Alfred Sohn-Rethel attempts to “establish the relationship between the capitalist commodity form and the origin of the distinction between manual and intellectual labor. His theory of knowledge is constructed after an elaborate consideration and criticism of two schools of thought. On the one hand, he criticizes the effort of bourgeois science to assert the independent nature of science and to formulate ahistorical laws of the development of knowledge in terms of non-empirical, metaphysical characteristics of Reason. On the other hand, he also challenges orthodox Marxist theories of ideology in which knowledge is viewed as mechanistically derived from activity in the economic base.” (from a review by Gilda Zwerman, Theory and Society, 1982)

German edition
First published by Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main, 1970
Revised and expanded edition published by VCH, Weinheim, 1989
ISBN 352717690X
226 pages
via discofiasko

English edition
Publisher Macmillan, 1978
ISBN 0333230450
216 pages
via jlw

Commentary: Alberto Toscano (2005), N Pepperell (2007), David Black (2009), David Black (2013), Joseph Belbruno (2012), Ross Wolfe (2014).

New English edition in preparation

Geistige und körperliche Arbeit (German, revised ed., 1970/1989)
Intellectual and Manual Labour (English, 1978, 7 MB, OCR’d version added on 2014-5-4 via Marcell Mars)
Trabajo intelectual y trabajo manual (Spanish, 1979)
Trabalho espiritual e corporal (Portuguese, trans. Cesare Giuseppe Galvan, HTML, undated, unpaginated)