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vizKult May Day 2013 - Three People Walking...

In solidarity with all the students, faculty and staff who believe that knowledge is a commons.

MAY DAY – GENERAL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

10am – 3pm: Cooper Union Free University @ Cooper Square

3:00pm: NYC EDU BLOC Convergence + SPEAK OUT!!! @ Cooper Square

4:00pm: March to Union Square to join the May 1 Coalition rally & March to City Hall

9:00pm: Dance Party to Free Education @ Washington Square Park fountain

 

FREE UNIVERSITY CLASSES AT COOPER UNION
Schedule of NYC May Day events organized by Free Cooper Union and the Free University of NYC - check for updates!

Open Arts & Crafts Session
10am-3pm
Book Shields! Banners! Placards! Sidewalk Chalking!

“Space, Design, and the Everyday”
Matthew Bissen
10am-12pm

This course explores fundamental concepts of space and design with particular attention focused on how as designers and citizens we participate in the everyday design, reproduction, and production of our current and future realities. This course session will focus on architecture and counterculture and support the continuing development of semester long student projects.

“Organizing a NYC Student Movement”
Discussion with folks from Free University-NYC and All in the Red
11am-12pm

Join students from around NYC to explore concrete ideas on how to organize a city-wide student movement that can build on lessons from mass mobilizations in Quebec, Chile, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere, while also envisioning our own locally specific forms of student power.

“Understanding Basic Economics and Finance”
Ron Rubin
11am-12pm

There is a clear distinction between Economics (Main Street) and Finance (Wall Street). In order to understand how and why more and more of the value created by Main Street is flowing into the hands of Wall Street it is absolutely necessary to understand the distinction between these two related but different institutions and how they function in today’s world. Otherwise no real change will be possible.

“Watch the Gap: How Income Inequality and Poverty are Hurting America’s Kids”
Anthony Zenkus
11am-12pm

Poverty and Low Socioeconomic Status can cause significant challenges to the cognitive, emotional and physical development of children. They increase the risk factors for everything from child abuse to school failure. With one of the highest gaps in income equality in the world, and one of the highest child poverty rates in decades, the United States is creating a lost generation that will grow up with less opportunity and more risk- unless we act. Income inequality must be addressed as a public health problem with repercussions that effect the entire community.

Tidal: Occupy Theory Occupy Strategy Conversation”
12pm-1pm

TIDAL has held significant conversations with Free University. The discussions in Washington Square Park led to Strike Debt. The S17 event expanded our horizons. Now, as TIDAL seeks to internationalize and nationalize its project, we want to re-open the conversation. How do we learn from Detroit? From Athens? From Tunis? From Cairo? What are the means of that learning? How do we ensure that this conversation is mutual and beneficial to all? An open workshop for all hosted by Team TIDAL.

“Writing for Home, School, and Everyday Life”
Susan Naomi Bernstein
12pm-1pm

For new and experienced writers: This course presents the processes of writing for anyone who struggles to write. Together we will develop our own practices of writing for audiences and purposes that connect to our visions of social transformation for home, school, and everyday life.

“Imagining a Student/Worker-Run University”
Various Participants
12pm-2pm

This will be an open discussion that is meant to encourage the development of a vision of a Free Cooper Union run by students and workers. We will talk about precedents in the form of student-run coops, cooperatively run schools, worker takeovers, the tenets behind the wages for schoolwork movement, and the legal and ideological strands that can link Cooper’s past to this future.

“People Power and Politics”
Dominique Nisperos
12:50pm-2pm

Introduction to the Gay Liberation Movement, discussing Carl Wittman’s A Gay Manifesto.
Reading materials and outlines will be provided.

“NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium”
Ben Katchor
1pm-2:30pm

Discuss and share new models for the distribution of text/image work.

“Climate Debt/Climate Justice”
Andrew Ross
1pm-1:45pm

Climate debt is not yet part of the political architecture in the U.S. Where does it come from? What kind of justice does it involve? And why is it so important?

“Towards an Alternative School of Art”
Collaborative workshop with folks from vizKult, OWS Arts & Labor, and Making Worlds
1pm-2:45pm

The economic and structural realities of art schools as they exists today can often be a source of anxiety and frustration for artists, teachers, and staff alike, but what might an alternative model look like? In this workshop we’ll discuss the things we like and don’t like about the current art school system. Then we’ll learn about various alternative models and discuss amongst ourselves how they can be applied to or replace that system.

“Love Spam”
Barbara Browning
1:30pm-2:30pm

About a year and a half ago, I initiated an experiment in creating a surplus of sentimental value. I began by spamming random individuals with personally targeted, hand-crafted ukulele covers I made of sentimental songs. Victims ranged from an obesity doctor in Winnetka, Illinois to the anarchist anthropologist David Graeber. In this workshop, I’ll give an update on the results (thus far) of the project, and I’ll give participants some ideas for possible similar projects of their own.

“Presenting the New Edition of the Debt Resistors’ Operations Manual”
members of Strike Debt
1:30pm-2:30pm

“Art, Design, Architecture, and Activism”
Benjamin Young
1:30pm-2:50pm

What do art, design, and architecture have to do with activism? How can artists, designers, architects, and other cultural workers contribute to a radically egalitarian and democratic public sphere? How can we imagine other forms of communication and design outside that of advertising? What forms of public discussion, critical thinking, and social and political activism can take shape against or through mass culture, and how can art and design disciplines contribute to them?
Participants are asked to come prepared to discuss the following readings: Mira Schor, “Lowering the Bar on Activism,” Huffington Post; Mira Schor, “Books are Like People,” A Year of Positive Thinking; Reinhold Martin, “Occupy: What Architecture Can Do,” Design Observer; Reinhold Martin, “Occupy: The Day After,” Design Observer.

“Building the Commons in NYC”
Making Worlds
1:30pm-2:30pm

Join an open conversation about the commons and education.

“Why We Need to Break Up the Megabanks”
Cathy O’Neil, OWS Alternative Banking Group
2pm-2:30pm

“Song Share”
Everybody Now!
2:30pm-3pm

Want to learn the May Day song? Want to sing but feel afraid to? Want to have a rockin’ good half hour? Then this is the class for you!
Throughout the day many will be singing the May Day song “We Stand for Justice.” This class is to help everybody feel comfortable, confident, and excited about singing during the rally and throughout the day. No singing or music skills needed, for we all are singers. We welcome and invite you to join us. Let your voice be heard!

“Sociology of Race and Ethnicity”
Dominique Nisperos
2:15pm-3:30PM

Introduction to Colorblind racism, using excerpts from Eduardo Bonilla-Silva’s Racism Without Racists, Ch 3 and Conclusion; Brown et. al’s White-Washing Race: The Myth of a Colorblind Society, Ch 6. Reading materials and outlines will be provided.

Move your class / teach your own class at the Free University! Sign up here.

CooperUnion-dis

A little game of Hide-and-Seek ensued yesterday morning at Cooper Union by it’s Board members. Just like the last minute plans by Obama to move G-8 talks to Camp David last year fearing confrontation with the people it is supposed to be serving, the Cooper Union Board decided to change location of their meeting to an off-site undisclosed location, avoiding the presence of students, faculty, and community members.

Why hide? In yesterdays meeting the board was to decide the fate of free education at Cooper Union. News is now coming out from undisclosed “sources”  that the Board decided to put the onus on the faculty of Art, Engineering, and  Architecture, forcing them to find sustainable ways of funding the program. But some like the Cooper Union Student Action Group are suggesting the faculty was threatened by holding back fall admissions.  Ironically the current ideas for keeping education free at Cooper Union is to charge others for education – like charging for a pre-college program, undergrad summer program, and MA program.  Let’s see what else they come up with, until then back to the drawing board.

follow: @freecooperUnion
facebook: Free Cooper Union

Students Rally in Unity as Board Meets in Secret
by Cooper Union Student Action to Save Our School
March 6, 2013

Cooper Union Art School Agrees to Explore Revenue Options
Wednesday, March 06, 2013 – 09:01 AM
By Beth Fertig

Why is Cooper Union Being Occupied?
December 4, 2012
by group affect

Obama Moves G-8 Summit from Chicago to Secluded Camp David
Monday, March 5, 2012
by Common Dreams staff

Anakata Gottfrid Svartholm in "Steal This Film" (2006)

(via Metahaven, via ioerror)

Pirate Bay co-Founder Gottfrid Svartholm was taken from his room in Cambodia and has been held for almost two weeks. Apparently the Cambodian and Swedish governments are not giving straight stories on why he is being held, according to his good friend Niklas Femerstrand inn this article on Torrent Freaks: Sweden Kidnapped My Frienbd, Pirate bay Co-Founder Anakata:

“[...] The door was already open and there were approximately eight officers present and additional ones lurking in the shadows around the hallway. Kenny went in first and I followed. When Gottfrid saw me he immediately looked from officer to officer in what seemed like an attempt to figure out if there was something special related to my presence. I came in muttering “so this is where the terrorists hold the anti-terrorist.”

Some of you may know Gottfrid aka Anakata from his appearance in Steal This Film (2006), where he and the other founders explain how the US movie industry has been knocking at Pirate Bay’s doors for some time now. A point made in the film was that the torrent trackers like Pirate Bay only hold meta-data, so the real data is elsewhere, on the computers of the people who use it. And now with Magnets, PEX, DHT, this info is no longer even the, and had become something like meta-meta-data. Another ominous warning in the film, was the fact that arrest and threats of prison time don’t solve the problem, both in this case and other cases, it only multiplies the amount of followers’supporters. As the case against wikileaks has shown, the amount of corporate info leaked WILL go up. So for the culture industry it is shouldn’t be a question of how to penalize the public, but rather, how to understand this anti-copyright sentiment. Unless of course, they intend to try to capitalize on culture forever.

Advice from vizKult: use Creative Commons license when ever you can, otherwise pirating is simply the direct-action arm of the Commons, use it to liberate culture & knowledge when necessary.

 

Conviviality in the Garden - with Brian Zegeer, Hsiao Chen, Forest Purnell, and Antonio Serna

As part of the Occupy The Land unConference June 1, 2, 3. In the tradition of an unconference vizkult along with other Occupy Wall Street Groups have volunteered to organize a days worth of community garden events specifically for Saturday June 2nd.  Starting at 1pm in South Williamsburg, 4pm in the East Village. Culminating Conviviality in the Garden: potluck, projections, and informal presentations at La Petit Versaille Garden 8-10pm (see below for more info.

 

NYC Community Gardens Coalition
TAKE THE LAND
unConference
June 1,2,3, 2012
(complete listing of workshops & maps for
3 days of the unconference can be found at NYCCGC.org)


Special guide by vizkult, et al:
Williamsburg and East Village Guide

Saturday June 2nd

FREE + CHILDREN WELCOME

**The workshops are planned as a route to begin in Williamsburg 1PM, over on the L to East Village at 4pm and then down towards the Lower East Side, ending around 10PM.**

HIGHLIGHTS:
+ Commons Introduction in Williamsburg – 1pm
+ 2 workshops on Commoning & Squatting Land in NY – 2pm & 6pm
+ Children’s workshop w/members of Making Worlds – 4pm
+ Conviviality in the Garden, Potluck, Art, Projections Party! – 8pm!

 

click to download PDF of map

1-1:45pm – (WILLIAMSBURG)

A) Gardens as a Commons, A brief introduction.
Berry Street Garden.
Berry St, Between S.2nd and S.3rd St.,

Community gardens are a site of conviviality, reclamation, activism, education, urban occupation, and autonomy. It is a contemporary ‘commons’ shaped by a community through voluntary support from neighborhood gardeners, educators, activists, artists, and all those who enter the space.

Join Making Worlds Commons Coalition/Arts & Labor Alternative Economies in this brief introduction on the topic of Garden as a ‘commons’. We will also discuss the importance of gardens as a stepping stone to greater autonomy and sovereignty within a community.

- – - – - – - – - -

2-3:30pm – (WILLIAMSBURG)

B) Take on the (Vacant) Lot in Your Life (WILLIAMSBURG)
South Williamsburg Garden
Heweys & S.4th

The crew from 596 Acres will lead a workshop that draws on participants experiences and focuses on getting access to vacant public land for community uses. We can start at the South Williamsburg Garden and perhaps work through the 596 acres map to find lots in the area.

- – - – - – - – - -

4:00-5:00pm (EAST VILLAGE)

C) Children’s Garden-Art Workshop
Children’s Garden
E.12th St @ Ave.

A Children’s workshop in the gardens using natural and botanical materials. Ages 6 and up, younger children must be accompanied by an adult. This workshop will be conducted by artists and educators Suzanne Goldenberg and Begonia Santa-Cecilia, members of the Making Worlds Commons Coalition.

- – - – - – - – - -

4:00-5:00pm (EAST VILLAGE)

D) Swarm Organizing w/Superglitch
Green Oasis Garden
E.8th Street betw’n Ave. C & D

Swarm intelligence is an emerging field of biologically inspired artificial intelligence based on the behavioral models of social insects such as ants, bees, wasps and termites. Biological Swarms involve the collective behavior of decentralized, self-organized systems. This session will involve a basic primer on Swarm Intelligence followed by a workshopping session whereby participants imagine how activists might apply Swarming techniques in practice. For example, the honeybees’ waggle dance technique could inspire new ways of locating housing for Occupy protesters.

- – - – - – - – - -

5:00-6:00pm (EAST VILLAGE)

E) Hey, Honey!
Green Oasis Garden
E.8th Street betw’n Ave. C & D
East Village, NYC

Skillshare on making lip balm with members of Green Oasis Garden.
Honey based treats will be served!

- – - – - – - – - -

6:00-7:30pm (EAST VILLAGE)

F) Squatting Vacant Lots
El Jardin Del Paradiso
E.5th Street, between Ave C & D
Meet near the willow tree house to start.

Workshop will detail the tactics and techniques of squatting (occupying, rehabilitating and defending) vacant lots for the purpose of creating community gardens and parks with and for the local neighborhood residents. Workshop by Frank Morales.

- – - – - – - – - -

6:00 pm (WILLIAMSBURG)

G) An Evening of Poetry/Una Tarde de Poesia
Heckscher Children’s Garden
134-136 Scholes Street

This is the first ever community event in our garden. Through poetry we will be opening this space to the community, the young, old, friends and neighbors. All are invited to read their favorite poetry of love, hope, struggle, peace, frustration, inspiration, worldly poems and your own poetry. Appetizers are
appreciated too.

- – - – - – - – - -

8-10pm (EAST VILLAGE)

H) Conviviality in The Garden with Artists
La Petit Versailles Garden
E. 2nd St. b’tween Ave B & C

“The garden is the smallest parcel of the world and then it is the totality of the world.” -Foucault, Of Other Spaces (1967)

The conviviality that is possible in the garden is multiplied by it’s ability to be at once many different spaces for those who are present, and exponentially so as one moves through the garden. As the sunsets on this long day of venturing inside gardens, we’ve invited several artists to this informal gathering to reflect on art projects related to nature, gardens, and conviviality. Invited artist include Brian Zegeer, Hsiao Chen, Forest Purnell, Antonio Serna, and others TBA. please check vizkult.org for updates.

"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]