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"Get Reay for Changing" German Pirate party. Photo: Clemens Bilan / dapd

"Get Ready for Change" German Pirate Party vote during their party convention in Neumuenster, northern Germany, Saturday, April 28, 2012. Photo: Clemens Bilan / dapd

It’s quite simple, but I never thought of it like that before. The pirate is basically the direct action arm of the Commons. They liberate items in corporate enclosures and share it with the people. They do not profit from it, they just simply ask that you inturn do the same and ‘seed it‘. It is up to the public to manage it and safe guard it from further enclosures. Currently, it should be noted, that in capitalist countries where “intellectual property” is guarded by the law, the pirates practice is still illegal.

So, how to make this legal? How to find a system that will be based on community trust, mutual aid, and reciprocity that would allow the sharing of knowledge and culture within a community? In a recent article Aljazeera’s Michael Bowens suggest the next step is the forming of a new coalition of sorts between commoners, pirates, and others like the green party, citing Germany as the place where this coalition is evolving:

However, a third moment in the evolution of a new social movement and culture is always inevitable. It is the moment when of discovery: in order to ensure their survival and development, political power is vital. It’s not enough to create new institutions on the margins of society; more effective defence mechanisms against the constant attacks of the dominant powers are a vital necessity. - A German Pirate Party could bring a European coalition by Michael Bowens

I guess vying for political power to eventually legalize the releasing of knowledge and cultural commons is one way to get things done, and for a society that sees politics as the center of social organization, this makes sense. But for others it is perhaps the opposite, the withdraw from politics and a move back to the idea of community and individual responsibility. No political proxies. That’s at least the another tactic that isn’t discussed in this article.

Going down the list of organizations that according to Michael Bowen are forming a part of this new ‘coalition of the commons.’ I find it refreshing that he recognizes the thread of the commons within each group: pirates for intellectual & cultural commons, the green party for environmental commons, labor and social justice groups for an freedoms/labor commons. The final and fourth player in this coalition for Bowen is the Social Liberal parties, this again backs up my argument that this politically centric tactic that I’d hope we could do with out, but I guess some people still think we are still dependent on lobbyist,  liberals entrepreneurs, together with a dash of technocrats and bureaucrats to test and check things off.

Read the full article on Aljazeera:
A German Pirate Party could bring a European coalition by Michael Bowens April 19, 2012.
[Last retrieved April 30, 2012]

Image above from:
Pirate party makes a raid on German politics by Juergen Baetz/Associated Press April 28. 2012
[Last retrieved April 30, 2012]

Decolonization in the Americas shouldn’t just mean dismantling political control from foreign rule, real decolonization will begin when all colonizing ideologies are acknowledged and undone in the former colony. In most cases these colonizing ideologies run deep within the frame work of a society. Recently Boliva’s the Department of Decolonization has re-established the right to indigenous unions. Another step toward decolonization. This follow’s the “Rights of Mother Earth” law that Bolivia has recently passed in attempt to push back the abuse of nature, another area ingrained with colonial ideologies.

post script: I’m left thinking what could a deeper decolonization process mean for the northern parts of the Americas?

Fake Apple Store in China?

A recent article on wired.com notes that fake Apple stores are popping up in China. The whole enchilada: products, colors, interior design, etc. The article also mentions that even the workers think they are working for Apple. Guess what, the CHINESE are working for Apple! Apple has factories in China! (You would expect a lower priced computer given the labor cost are kept so low. Nope.)

What is an all American product this day and age? Can Apple be considered an “American” product when it is made in China? Let’s just say that it’s a co-production: Chinese workers + Apple designers.

I think the only tech product we don’t outsource is our military weapons. The High-Tech Top-Secret stuff. But even then I suspect we bend a few rules here and there if we see a good contract -that’s what capitalism is about, isn’t it?

For those who missed out on the NYC Anarchist Bookfair panels and workshops, one of the panelist Chiara Bottici (anarchism & imagination) has co-organized this 2 day symposium at the New School:

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The Anarchist Turn

For a long time, the word “anarchist” has been used as an insult. This is because, at least since Thomas Hobbes, the concept of anarchy has been extended from its etymological meaning (absence of centralized government) to that of pure disorder – the idea being that, without a sovereign state, the life of individuals can only be brutish, miserable, and chaotic. This move was certainly functional to the ideological justification …of modern sovereign states, but not to an understanding of what anarchy might be.

In the last decade, this caricature of anarchy has begun to crack. Globalization and the social movements it spawned seem to have proved what anarchists have long been advocating: an anarchical order is not just desirable, but also feasible. This has led to a revitalized interest in the subterranean anarchist tradition and its understanding of anarchy as collective self-organization without centralized authority. But the ban on “anarchism” has not yet been lifted.

The aim of this conference is to argue for an “anarchist turn” in political philosophy. We want to discuss the anarchist hypothesis with specific reference to the philosophical tradition in its many historical and geographical variants, but also in relation to other disciplines like politics, anthropology, economics, history and sociology. By bringing together academics and activists, past and present, this conference will assess the nature and effectiveness of anarchist politics in our times.

Speakers: Miguel Abensour (Paris VII), Cinzia Arruzza (New School), Banu Bargu (New School), Chiara Bottici (New School), Judith Butler (UC Berkeley), Laura Corradi (Calabria), Stephen Duncombe (NYU), Todd May (Clemson), Alberto Toscano (Goldsmiths), Mitchell Verter (New School), Stephanie Wakefield (CUNY), as well as writers such as Andrej Grubačić , Cindy Milstein, Ben Morea from Black Mask and alleged authors of The Coming Insurrection.

The Hannah Arendt and Reiner Schurmann Symposium: The Anarchist Turn
http://www.newschool.edu/eventDetail.aspx?id=64753

05/05/2011 – 05/06/2011 11:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

The New School for Social Research’s Philosophy Department invite you to the Hanna Arendt and Reiner Schurmann Symposium entitled The Anarchist Turn

Thursday, May 5th
11:15am-11:30am Opening Remarks by Simon Critchley
11:30am-1:00pm Black and Red: The Freedom of Equals, Chiara Bottici
1:15pm-3:00pm Anarchism and Feminism, Mitchell Verter, Cinzia Arruzza, Laura Corradi
4:00pm-5:30pm The Politics of Commensality, Banu Bargu
5:45pm-7:15pm Queer Anarchism and Anarchists Against the Wall, Judith Butler
8:00pm-9:30pm A Conversation with Ben Morea of Black Mask

Friday, May 6th
10:00am-11:30am Friendship as Resistance, Todd May
11:45am-1:15pm The Anarchist Moment, Andrej Grubacic,Cindy Milstein
2:15pm-4:00pm Geographies of Anarchy, Stephanie Wakefield, Stephen Duncombe, Alberto Toscano
4:15pm-5:45pm Spinoza on Voluntary Servitude, Miguel Abensour
6:15pm-8:00pm Spread Anarchy, Live Communism, The Accused of Tarnac

 

Organized by Jacob Blumenfeld, Chiara Bottici, and Simon Critchley

Location:
Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, Arnhold Hall, 55 West 13th Street, 2nd floor

Admission:
Free; no tickets or reservations required; seating is first-come first-served

“The crisis of urbanism is worsening. The construction of neighborhoods, old and new, is obviously at variance with established modes of behavior, and all the more so with the new ways of life we seek. As a result, we are surrounded by a dull and sterile environment.

“In old neighborhoods, the streets have degenerated into highways, and the leisure is commercialized and adulterated by tourism. Social relations there become impossible. Newly built neighborhoods have only two themes, which govern everything: traffic circulation and household comfort. They are the meager expressions of bourgeois happiness and lack any concern for play” – Constant Nieuwenhuis, International situationiste 3 (December 1959) pp. 37-40

RE-INSCRIBING THE CITY:

Unitary Urbanism today.

A vizKult panel discussion held In conjunction with The 5th Annual NYC Anarchist Book Fair

Saturday April 9th 4:15-5:45pm

Judson Memorial Church (balcony)
55 Washington Square South
New York City, NY

In the late 50s up until about the end of the 60s a group of artist known as the Lettrist/Situationist International (LI/SI) made a desperate attempt to re-inscribe the city so that it’s inhabitants could break free from the bleak urban routine of work and consumption. During this period several strategies were developed under the name of Unitary Urbanism. This panel reflects on the historical importance of these strategies in order to critically examine how they relate to their own work and the possible uses within society today.

MODERATOR: Antonio Serna
PANELIST: Ethan Spiglan, Adeola Enigbokan, Dillon De Give, Blake Morris, The Walk Study Group, and Wilfried Hou Je Bek (via skype)

 

BIOGRAPHIES

Ethan Spigland received an M.F.A. from the Graduate Film Program at New York University, and a maitrise from the University of Paris VIII under the supervision of Jean-Francois Lyotard and Gilles Deleuze. He has made numerous films and media works including: Luminosity Porosity, based on the work of architect Steven Holl, Elevator Moods, featured in the Sundance Film Festival, and The Strange Case of Balthazar Hyppolite, which won the Gold Medal in the Student Academy Awards.

Adeola Enigbokan. Artist, researcher, writer and teacher based in New York City. Her work is about the experience of living in cities today. Her work has been presented in several diverse venues: at the ConfluxCity Festival, Anthology Film Archive in New York, The Royal Institute for British Architects, London and the Van Leer Institute, Jerusalem. She teaches courses in Urban Studies, Media Studies, Sociology and Anthropology at several universities in New York City. Currently she is completing a doctorate in Environmental Psychology at the City University of New York. Website: http://archivingthecity.com

Dillon de Give started Lah an annual walking project that commemorates the spirit of Hal, a coyote who appeared in Central Park in 2006 and died shortly after being captured by authorities. Lah illustrates how a coyote might find its way into Manhattan with a reverse human journey out of the city: a hike retracing a potential coyote-like path through greenspaces. Citing examples of juvenile coyotes that have made long dispersal trips, the walk averages around 50-60 miles. Website: implausibot.com

Blake Morris uses walking as a core way to engage ideas and space, and also to create community. His last project was a yearlong exploration of the public works of Robert Moses, called The [Robert Moses] Walk Project, which resulted in over 50 walks throughout the NYC area. He also created the [untitled] Walk Project, and is working on Walking up an Appetite, an exploration of walking, food and technology. Currently his work can be seen at the Superfront gallery in LA, as part of Detroit: A Brooklyn Case Study.

The Walk Study Group is New York City walking group formed by Blake Morris and Dillon De Give. Each week case studies of strategic walking practice and theory in art, politics, ecology, and philosophy, are combined with specific short walks. The course will result in an understanding both theoretical and practical and culminates with a group walk constructed by the class for the public. Website: http://www.implausibot.com/walkstudy

William Hou Je Bek Wilfried is a ‘culture hacker’ who develops generative psychogeography. Inspired by concepts of drift (dérive) from Romanticism and, later, the Situationists around Guy Debord, Wilfried uses algorithmic routes to explore a city in non-intuitive ways. Hou Je Bek organizes dérives, where people walk through a city by taking computer code as a guideline, using the body as a means to perform software. Website: http://cryptoforest.blogspot.com

Antonio Serna is an artist living and working in New York. With art as his tool, he is constantly comparing and contrasting the human construct of progress with the animal instinct of survival. The results of which have been exhibited in New York, Spain, Mexico, The Netherlands, and Texas. Antonio has also taught and lectured at Parsons School of Design, St. Johns University, and at Brooklyn College as a teaching fellow. Outside of his studio, Antonio Serna enjoys rummaging through the social anthropology of art and visual culture. Website: http://www.antonioserna.com

 

Optional Texts:

October issue 79: Guy Debord and the Internationale situationniste [PDF 7.8mb]
A Special Issue. Guest editor, Thomas F McDonough. Winter 1997
table of contents:
Rereading Debord, Rereading the Situationists – Thomas F. McDonough
Why Art Can’t Kill the Situationist International – T.J. Clark and Donald Nicholson-Smith
AsgerJorn’s Avant-Garde Archives – Claire Gilman
Angels of Purity – Vincent Kaufmann
Lefebvre on the Situationists: An Interview – Kristin Ross (1983)
Situationist Texts on Visual Culture and Urbanism: A Selection:
Guy Debord – One More Try If You Want to Be Situationists (The S.I. in and against Decomposition)
Guy Debord – Theses on the Cultural Revolution
Mich̬l Bernstein РIn Praise of Pinot-Gallizio
Constant Nieuwenhuis – Extracts from Letters to the Situationist International
Editorial Notes: Absence and Its Costumers
Editorial Notes: The Sense of Decay in Art
Constant Nieuwenhuis – A Different City for a Different Life
Editorial Notes: Critique of Urbanism
Editorial Notes: Once Again, on Decomposition
Raoul Vaneigem - Comments Against Urbanism
Editorial Notes: The Avant-Garde of Presence
Th̩o Frey РPerspectives for a Generation

In Conversation Raoul Vaneigem – Hans Ulrich Obrist, e-flux article 62, 2009 [PDF 1.1]

 


About vizKlut: This panel is part of vizKult, a loose band of artist and writers exploring the ‘cult of vision’. This group explores the ways in which the visual operates in our society and the mechanism which manufacture, shape, and control the world around us. In this sense VizKult’s emphasis is on the process rather than the products of our contemporary visual condition. http://www.vizkult.org

Additionally, in conjunction with the 5th Annual NYC Anarchist Book Fair, vizKult is presenting DISCRETE POWER, a group exhibition on display during the book fair weekend. Opening reception April 9th, from 6-8pm on the Judson Church balcony. For more info visit: http://www.vizkult.org/propositions/discretepower and http://www.anarchistbookfair.net

Norman Pealstine in chapter 4 of "News War", by Frontline

“Leaks and use of anonymous sources is very much in the fabric of American journalism today, the places where it’s most obvious are in Washington, Hollywood, Wall street and in Sports” -Norman Pearlstine, Editor-in-Chief, Time Inc., 1995-2005

Referring to the obvious leak to reporter Matt Cooper, from Bush/Cheney Advisers Karl Rove and Scooter Libby that blew the cover of an undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame, and therefor creating a smoke screen around the exaggerated nuclear threat that set the stage for the invasion of Iraq. That was July 14, 2003, four months after the US invaded Iraq.

Four years later, in the summer of 2007, the only person prosecuted for the leak was Cheney’s Adviser Scooter Libby, he received 2 yrs and some 250,000 fines. The Prison sentence was pardoned by George W. Bush, who said that the punishment was excessive. Never did the penalties go up the chain of command, let’s face it, they were all in it together, adviser’s don’t usually act on their own accord.

The Obama administration never fully held the Bush administration accountable for that leak nor did it hold accountable the Bush administration for all the misinformation leading up to the invasion of Iraq. +90,000 deaths in Iraq, based on several lies and leaks from the White House.

Three years and some 90,000 Iraqi deaths later, the White House is calling Julian Assange a terrorist? If you compare the outcome of Wikileaks’ Cablegate and The White House’s “PlameGate” (and the rest of the false information leaked or planted), just by sheer number of lives lost, who would you say are the real terrorist?

Valerie Plame White House Leak Chart

Chart showing the leak of classified CIA information as moving through the White House and into the press. Chart by SB after DB, User Leak watcher on en.wikinews.

**This Frontline documentary 2007 “News War”, gives and interesting picture on how the Bush administration worked the press, first leaking info to the press, then re-validating the leaks/info in further press statements. In this case, Dick Cheney leaked the info, Karl Rove on the other end further dissipates the information claiming it is common press knowledge, both Cheney and Rove wipe their hands clean of any leaking.

vizKult Proposition: A Line in Nature +
Urban Foraging Group v3 : Reading Group @ The Public School

As winter descends on the city and the vegetation beings to die out, it would seem like the right time to initiate a series of readings and screening on the topic of nature for the duration of the winter months, and come spring perhaps start a new season for Urban Foraging Group (season 2?)

I would like to trace the views of nature throughout time from the perspectives of art, philosophy, and social/anthropology. Each session can include screenings and trips to locations related to each grouping, and possibly invite writers or artist to address certain subjects.

Contribute/Join/Follow:
Urban Foraging Group v3 : Reading Group @ The Public School