Chris Robé: Breaking the Spell: A History of Anarchist Filmmakers, Videotape Guerrillas, and Digital Ninjas (2017)

18 November 2020, dusan

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
x+469 pages

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).

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Martin Hägglund: This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom (2019)

29 October 2020, dusan

This Life offers a profoundly inspiring basis for transforming our lives, demonstrating that our commitment to freedom and democracy should lead us beyond both religion and capitalism. Philosopher Martin Hägglund argues that we need to cultivate not a religious faith in eternity but a secular faith devoted to our finite life together. He shows that all spiritual questions of freedom are inseparable from economic and material conditions: what matters is how we treat one another in this life and what we do with our time.

Engaging with great philosophers from Aristotle to Hegel and Marx, literary writers from Dante to Proust and Knausgaard, political economists from Mill to Keynes and Hayek, and religious thinkers from Augustine to Kierkegaard and Martin Luther King, Jr., Hägglund points the way to an emancipated life.”

Publisher Pantheon Books, New York, 2019
ISBN 9781101870402, 1101870400
450 pages

Interviews with author: Meagan Day (Jacobin, 2019), Adam Kelly (University of York, 2019, video).

Debates: Brandon M. Terry, Walter Benn Michaels, Benjamin Kunkel, Michael W. Clune, Jodi Dean, William Clare Roberts (Los Angeles Review of Books, 2020, with Hägglund’s response), Frederick Neuhouser, Lea Ypi, Jensen Suther (The Philosopher, 2020, with Hägglund’s introductory essay), Robert Pippin (The Point, 2019, Hägglund’s response).

Reviews: Samuel Moyn (Jacobin, 2019), Michael A. McCarthy (Jacobin, 2019), Nathan Brown (Radical Philosophy, 2019), Tyler M. Williams (Critical Inquiry, 2020), Jedediah Britton-Purdy (The New Republic, 2019), Mathew Abbott (Marx & Philosophy, 2020), Martin Rayburn (Parrhesia, 2020), Conall Cash (boundary2, 2019), Oliver Burkeman (The Guardian, 2019), James Wood (New Yorker, 2019), Adam Kirsch (Wall Street Journal, 2019), Matt McManus (Areo, 2020), Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins and Daniel Zamora (Dissent, 2019), William Egginton (Believer, 2020), Anton Jansson (Ord & Bild, 2020, SW), Matthew Engelke (Public Books, 2019), Kevin Schilbrack (Sophia, 2020), Knox Peden (Sydney Review of Books, 2020).

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Mark Fisher: Postcapitalist Desire: The Final Lectures (2020)

18 September 2020, dusan

“This collection of lecture notes and transcriptions reveals acclaimed writer and blogger Mark Fisher in his element — the classroom — outlining a project that Fisher’s death left unfinished.

Beginning with that most fundamental of questions — “Do we really want what we say we want?” — Fisher explores the relationship between desire and capitalism, and wonders what new forms of desire we might still excavate from the past, present, and future. From the emergence and failure of the counterculture in the 1970s to the continued development of his left-accelerationist line of thinking, this volume charts a tragically interrupted course for thinking about the raising of a new kind of consciousness, and the cultural and political implications of doing so.

For Fisher, this process of consciousness raising was always, fundamentally, psychedelic — just not in the way that we might think.”

Edited and with an introduction by Matt Colquhoun
Publisher Repeater Books, London, 2020
ISBN 9781913462376
252 pages

Reviews: Dan Barrow (Tribune, 2020), Adam Harper (ArtReview, 2020), Enrico Monacelli (The Quietus, 2020), Karel Veselý (A2, 2020, CZ).

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