Boris Arvatov: Art and Production (1926–) [Russian, English]

23 July 2020, dusan

Boris Arvatov‘s Art and Production is a classic of the early Soviet avant-garde. Now nearing a century since its first publication, it is a crucial intervention for those seeking to understand the social dynamic of art and revolution during the period.

Derived from the internal struggles of Soviet Constructivism, as it confronted the massive problems of cultural transformation after ‘War Communism’, Arvatov’s writing is a major force in the split that occurred in the revolutionary horizons of Constructivism in the early 1920s. Critical of early Constructivism’s social-aesthetic process of art’s transformation of daily life – epitomised in studio-based painting, photography and object making – Arvatov polemicises for the devolution of artistic skills directly into the relations of production and the factory.

Whilst acknowledging the problems of a pure factory-based Productivism, Arvatov remains overwhelmingly committed to a new role and function for art outside the conventional studio and traditional gallery. Addressing issues such as artistic labour and productive labour, the artist as technician, art and multidisciplinarity and a life for art beyond ‘art’ – finding new relevance amidst the extensive social turn of contemporary participatory art – Art and Production offers a timely and compelling manifesto.”

Publisher Proletkult, Moscow, 1926
132 pages

English edition
Edited by John Roberts and Alexei Penzin
Introduction by John Roberts
Afterword by Alexei Penzin
Translated by Shushan Avagyan
Publisher Pluto Press, London, 2017
ISBN 9780745337364, 0745337368
160 pages

Reviews: Celluloid Liberation Front (Brooklyn Rail, 2017), Noel Halifax (Socialist Review, 2018).

Publisher (EN)
WorldCat (EN)

Iskusstvo i proizvodstvo (Russian, 1926, 45 MB)
Art and Production (English, 2017, EPUB)

McKenzie Wark: Molecular Red: Theory for the Anthropocene (2015)

14 May 2016, dusan

“In Molecular Red, McKenzie Wark creates philosophical tools for the Anthropocene, our new planetary epoch, in which human and natural forces are so entwined that the future of one determines that of the other.

Wark explores the implications of Anthropocene through the story of two empires, the Soviet and then the American. The fall of the former prefigures that of the latter. From the ruins of these mighty histories, Wark salvages ideas to help us picture what kind of worlds collective labor might yet build. From the Russian revolution, Wark unearths the work of Alexander Bogdanov—Lenin’s rival—as well as the great Proletkult writer and engineer Andrey Platonov.

The Soviet experiment emerges from the past as an allegory for the new organizational challenges of our time. From deep within the Californian military-entertainment complex, Wark retrieves Donna Haraway‘s cyborg critique and science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson’s Martian utopia as powerful resources for rethinking and remaking the world that climate change has wrought. Molecular Red proposes an alternative realism, where hope is found in what remains and endures.”

Publisher Verso, London and New York, March 2015
ISBN 1781688273, 9781781688274
xxiv+280 pages

Reviews: Slavoj Žižek (Verso 2015, Wark’s response), John Beck (Radical Philosophy 2015), Mark Rappolt (ArtReview 2015), Maria Chehonadskih (Mute 2015, Wark’s response), Two Grenadiers (2015), Pieter Vermeulen & Tom Chadwick (nY 2016), Jim Harper (LSE Review of Books 2016).
Commentary: Joe Guinan (Renewal 2015), Jernej Kaluža (Radio Student 2019, SL).

Video lecture (Concordia U, Apr 2015)
Publisher
WorldCat

HTML

See also Molecular Red Reader compiled by Wark (PDF).

Lucien Goldmann: Cultural Creation in Modern Society (1971/1976)

2 May 2014, dusan

These six essays offer an excellent overview of Goldmann’s philosophy and sociology. They include not only some of his last writings on mass media and mass culture, new forms of literary creativity, and avant-garde theatre and cinema, but also some of his last thoughts on the problems of social change and political organization in advanced capitalist society. (from the Introduction)

Also included are commentaries on Goldmann’s work by Jean Piaget and Herbert Marcuse.

Originally published as La Création culturelle dans la société moderne, Denoel, Paris, 1971
Introduction by William Mayrl
Translated by Bart Grahl
Bibliography and Appendices compiled by Ileana Rodriguez and Marc Zimmerman
Publisher Telos Press, St. Louis, MI, 1976
ISBN 0631182209
173 pages
via fading aesthetic

Commentary (Miriam Glucksmann, New Left Review, 1969)

Publisher
Google books

PDF (updated to an OCR’d version on 2014-5-8 via Marcell Mars)