Kasper Opstrup: The Way Out: Invisible Insurrections and Radical Imaginaries in the UK Underground, 1961-1991 (2017)

22 June 2017, dusan

“A counterculture history of art and experimental politics that turns the world inside out

The Way Out examines the radical political and hedonist imaginaries of the experimental fringes of the UK Underground from 1961 to 1991. By examining the relations between collective and collaborative practices with an explicit agenda of cultural revolution, Kasper Opstrup charts a hidden history of experiments with cultural engineering, expanding current discussions of art, medias, politics, radical education and the occult revival. Even though the theatres of operation have changed with the rise of the Internet and a globalised finance economy, these imaginaries still raise questions that speak directly to the present.

Here we encounter a series of figures – including Alexander Trocchi, R. D. Laing, Joseph Berke, Brion Gysin, William Burroughs and Genesis P-Orridge – that blurred the lines between inner and outer, the invisible and the material. Four singular forms of speculative techniques for igniting an invisible insurrection with cultural means make up the central case studies: the sigma project, London Anti-University, Academy 23 and thee Temple ov Psychick Youth.

Contained within these imaginaries is a new type of action university: a communal affair that would improvise a new type of social relation into existence by de-programming and de-conditioning us without any blueprints for the future besides to make it happen. Instead of being turned upside down, the world was to be changed from the inside out.”

Publisher Minor Compositions, Wivenhoe, 2017
ISBN 9781570273285
252 pages



Proud to be Flesh: A Mute Magazine Anthology of Cultural Politics after the Net (2009)

4 March 2017, dusan

“In late 1994, back in the days of dial-up modems and Netscape Navigator 1.0, Mute magazine announced its timely arrival. Dedicated to an analysis of culture and politics ‘after the net’, Mute has consistently challenged the grandiose claims of the communications revolution, debunking its utopian rhetoric and offering more critical perspectives.

Fifteen years on, this anthology selects representative articles from the magazine’s hugely diverse content to reprise some of its recurring themes. This expansive collection charts the perilous journey from Web 1.0 to 2.0, contesting the democratisation this transition implied and laying bare our incorporeal expectations; it exposes the ways in which the logic of technology intersects with that of art and music and, in turn and inevitably, with the logic of business; it heralds the rise of neoliberalism and condemns the human cost; it amplifies the murmurs of dissent and revels in the first signs of collapse. The result situates key – but often little understood – concepts associated with the digital (e.g. the knowledge commons, immaterial labour and open source) in their proper context, producing an impressive overview of contemporary, networked culture in its broadest sense.

Proud to be Flesh features a mix of essays, interviews, satirical fiction, email polemics and reportage from an array of international contributors working in art, philosophy, technology, politics, cultural theory, radical geography and more.”

Edited by Josephine Berry Slater and Pauline van Mourik Broekman, with Michael Corris, Anthony Iles, Benedict Seymour and Simon Worthington
Publisher Mute Publishing, London, with Autonomedia, New York, 2009
ISBN 9781906496289, 1906496285
572+48 pages

Reviews: Nicholas Thoburn (New Formations), Charlotte Frost (Rhizome), Julian Stallabrass (New Left Review).


PDF (15 MB)

Roland, The ICA’s Magazine, 1-9 (2009-2011)

3 March 2013, dusan

Roland Issue 1: Talk Show (May 2009)

A guide to Talk Show exhibition, with texts and contributions by Malcolm Goldstein, Ernest Robson, Will Holder, Robert Ashley, Alvin Lucier, Ricardo Basbaum, Anne Karpf, Susan Blackmore, Konstantin Raudive,Will Bradley, Gertrude Stein, Joan La Barbara, Marc Hatzfeld, Marshall Mcluhan, Mikhail Yampolsky, Chris Mann, Hélène Cixous, BS Johnson, Ja Chung and Q Takedi Maeda, Paul Virno and Shigeru Matsui.


Roland Issue 2: Poor. Old. Tired. Horse. (June-August 2009)

A guide to the Poor. Old. Tired. Horse. exhibition with texts and contributions by Charlotte Bonham-Carter, Augusto de Campos, Lewis Carroll, Michelle Cotton, Douglas Coupland, Eugen Gomringer, George Herbert, Joseph Kosuth, Liz Kotz, Giles Round, Stephen Scobie, Tris Vonna-Michell and William Carlos Williams.


Roland Issue 3: Rosalind Nashashibi (September-October 2009)

A guide to Rosalind Nashsahibi with texts and contributions by Claire Denis, Anselm Franke, Martin Herbert, Mark Leckey, G. Ch. Lichtenberg, Thomas Mann, Jonas Mekas, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Marcel Proust.


Roland Issue 4: For the blind man… (December 2009)

A guide to the exhibition For the blind man in the dark room looking for the black cat that isn’t there with contributions by Georges Bataille, Samuel Beckett, Simon Critchley, Gustave Flaubert, Anthony Huberman and Will Holder, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jacques Rancière and Susan Sontag.


Roland Issue 5: Billy Childish (February-April 2010)

A guide to Billy Childish: Unknowable but Certain with texts and contributions by Max Beckmann, Richard Birkett, Neal Brown, Charles Bukowski, Martin Clark, Louis-Ferdinand, Céline, Bo Diddley, Knut Hamsun, Matthew Higgs, Jutta Koether and Robert Walser


Roland Issue 6: Oscar Tuazon (June-August 2010)

The sixth issue of ROLAND features highlights from across the institute’s programme including the solo exhibition by Oscar Tuazon, the post-punk band Gang of Four, a symposium on the politics of community, the release of Harmony Korine’s Trash Humpers, and the London International Festival of Theatre.


Roland Issue 7: Chto delat? (What is to be done?) (September-November 2010)

This publication includes introductions to and background material on the Chto delat? exhibition The Urgent Need to Struggle, the release in our cinema of documentary film Collapse and a series of seminars and talks organised by InC, Continental Philosophy Research Group. We also take a look back at May’s architectural workshop Fantasy Atelier, and feature new work from Laura Oldfield Ford.


Roland Issue 8: Rhythm Section (November 2010 – February 2011)

This issue highlights the return of Bloomberg New Contemporaries to the ICA; Rhythm Section, a five-day event that explores the experimental potential of the percussive technique; an in-depth look at the work of artist-filmmaker Gustav Deutsch; a residency with London-based architects 6a, and a debate on the position of painting within contemporary art.


Roland Issue 9: Nathaniel Mellors (February-May 2011)

This issue of ROLAND includes introductions and information on Nathaniel Mellors, Birds Eye View Film Festival as well as the The Last of the Red Wine, Notation & Interpretation, and Shunt Live Weekends.


Publisher Institute of Contemporary Arts, London