The Social Life of Artistic Property (2014)

12 November 2017, dusan

“In the wake of Occupy Wall Street, 12 artists gathered for 20 meetings over two and a half years, discussing property both physical (studios and homes) and artistic. Rather than present raw transcripts of their conversations, the authors individually or collaboratively penned chapters on relevant issues. We get historical case studies alongside a host of topical issues affecting artists’ abilities to work, such as the French droit de suite, the right to resale royalties of artists and their heirs. Michael Mandiberg offers a significant oral history of 135 Rivington Street, a collectively artist-owned building purchased in 1981 by a group of art school alumni, a virtual impossibility in today’s real estate game.” (ArtNews)

By Pablo Helguera, Michael Mandiberg, William Powhida, Amy Whitaker, and Caroline Woolard
Self-published, 2014
Creative Commons BY-SA License
ISBN 9780984475025
110 pages

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Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri: Assembly (2017)

28 October 2017, dusan

“In recent years ‘leaderless’ social movements have proliferated around the globe, from North Africa and the Middle East to Europe, the Americas, and East Asia. Some of these movements have led to impressive gains: the toppling of authoritarian leaders, the furthering of progressive policy, and checks on repressive state forces. They have also been, at times, derided by journalists and political analysts as disorganized and ineffectual, or suppressed by disoriented and perplexed police forces and governments who fail to effectively engage them. Activists, too, struggle to harness the potential of these horizontal movements. Why have the movements, which address the needs and desires of so many, not been able to achieve lasting change and create a new, more democratic and just society? Some people assume that if only social movements could find new leaders they would return to their earlier glory. Where, they ask, are the new Martin Luther Kings, Rudi Dutschkes, and Stephen Bikos?

With the rise of right-wing political parties in many countries, the question of how to organize democratically and effectively has become increasingly urgent. Although today’s leaderless political organizations are not sufficient, a return to traditional, centralized forms of political leadership is neither desirable nor possible. Instead, as Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri argue, familiar roles must be reversed: leaders should be responsible for short-term, tactical action, but it is the multitude that must drive strategy. In other words, if these new social movements are to achieve meaningful revolution, they must invent effective modes of assembly and decision-making structures that rely on the broadest democratic base. Drawing on ideas developed through their well-known Empire trilogy, Hardt and Negri have produced, in Assembly, a timely proposal for how current large-scale horizontal movements can develop the capacities for political strategy and decision-making to effect lasting and democratic change. We have not yet seen what is possible when the multitude assembles.”

Publisher Oxford University Press, 2017
Heretical Thought series
ISBN 9780190677961, 0190677961
xxii+346 pages

Reviews: Publishers Weekly (2017), Christian Fuchs (triple-C, 2017).

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Joy Forever: The Political Economy of Social Creativity (2014)

18 October 2017, dusan

“The title Joy Forever refers to the false promise of a common happiness, constantly played out by the proponents of the creative class and creative economy – the very promise that since Romanticism has been ascribed to art itself, a vow which remains unfulfilled. The aim of the publication is to scrutinize the false promises of distributed creativity as an ideology of cognitive capitalism. The authors devote themselves to critical examination of the structural links between art, creativity, labour and the creation of value under contemporary relations of production. Some of them do not stop at a critical diagnosis but go further, reflecting upon potential alternatives to the status quo.

The book covers more than the issues of a narrowly understood art world, despite the fact that it pays a lot of attention to them. Art is conceived here as a social lab, where innovative ways of organizing of labour, socializing both for labour and through labour, as well as different types of production, speculation, generation and accumulation and appropriation of value are experimented with and tested.

The book gathers papers based on presentations at the conference Labour of the Multitudes? Political Economy of Social Creativity, organized in Warsaw in October 2011. It includes contributions by Luc Boltanski, Neil Cummings, Diedrich Diederichsen, Isabelle Graw, Massimiliano Tomba, Stevphen Shukaitis, Martha Rosler, and others.”

Edited by Michał Kozłowski, Agnieszka Kurant, Jan Sowa, Krystian Szadkowski and Jakub Szreder
Publisher Free/Slow University of Warsaw, in cooperation with MayFly Books, London, 2014
Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License
ISBN 9781906948191, 1906948194
xviii+274 pages

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