recent books

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Agents & Assets

book blurbs: 

“LAPD is my favorite theater in America.’’
— Peter Sellars, Theater, Opera and Festival Director

THE LOS ANGELES POVERTY DEPARTMENT (LAPD) was founded on LA's Skid Row in 1985. It creates performances and multidisciplinary artworks that connect the experience of people living in poverty to the social forces that shape their lives and communities.

riverpeople

book blurbs: 

"Every map has its Night Sky because the Map is not the Territory — & yet it is....

Ordinary maps project ideological inscriptions onto the body of landscape — but a magical map would share essences with that landscape & engage in co-realization with it. Such a map could then act as a pilgrim’s guide to the Profane or— Secular Illumination — a pagan theory of Sacred Earth as cartomantic spell. Looked at this way, even ordinary maps possess an “invisible” or nocturnal dimension, or rather a set of stars & asterisms that replicate or mirror its topography & hydrography in the sleeping sky — 'As Above, So Below' — sciences that (as Novalis says) will then have been poeticized."

riverpeople is a long poem mixed with bits of prose, insurrectionary history, hydraulics, swimming holes, Big Indian, Oscar Wilde, the Woodstock witches, creeks, kills, vlys, lighthouses, ice yachts, Rosicrucians, the Ashokan Reservoir, wampum, Greek mythology, and a new religion based on Algonkian/ African/Anglican sources, for the re-paganization of monotheism and re-enchantment of the landscape—all along the Esopus River in Ulster Co., New York. Many illustrations, including color art by the author.

ISBN:9781570272608 Now Available 184pp. 7’’x10” $20.00

Capital's Greek Cage

book blurbs: 

“If we are to understand molecular biopolitics then we must see it working in the participatory mechanism of fascism and today’s fascism from below… Führers and inspired leaders do not seem to be important anymore — the small fascist icons can be as many and as interchangeable as sitcom actors and second-rate soccer champions. Participation is virtual — but killing can be real; you can order a gun with the click of a mouse, but the bullet can blow you to pieces.’’ — Clandestina

128pp. 4.5”x7” $9.95

2014 Autonomedia Calendar of Jubilee Saints

book blurbs: 

Autonomedia's Jubilee Saints Calendar for 2014! Our 22nd annual wall calendar, with artwork by James Koehnline, and text by the Autonomedia Collective.

Hundreds of radical cultural and political heroes are celebrated here, along with the animating ideas that continue to guide this project — a reprieve from the 500-year-long sentence to life-at-hard-labor that the European colonization of the "New World" and the ensuing devastations of the rest of the world has represented. It is increasingly clear — at the dawn of this new millennium — that the Planetary Work Machine will not rule forever!

Celebrate with this calendar on which every day is a holiday!

32 pages, 12 x 16 inches, saddle stitched

ISBN 978-1-57027-280-6 : price $9.95 : 32 pages

Get two, and we will send a third calendar for free!

Disrupting Business: Art & Activism in Times of Financial Crisis

book blurbs: 

Disrupting Business explores some of the interconnections between art, activism and the business concept of disruptive innovation. With a backdrop of the crisis in financial capitalism and austerity cuts in the cultural sphere, the idea is to focus on potential art strategies in relation to a broken economy. In a perverse way, we ask whether this presents new opportunities for cultural producers to achieve more autonomy over their production process. If it is indeed possible, or desirable, what alternative business models emerge? This book is concerned broadly with business as material for reinvention, including critical writing and examples of art/activist projects.

Contributors include Saul Albert, Christian Ulrik Andersen, Franco "Bifo" Berardi, Heath Bunting, Paolo Cirio, Baruch Gottlieb, Brian Holmes, Geert Lovink, Dmytri Kleiner, Georgios Papadopolous, Soren Bro Pold, Oliver Ressler, Kate Rich, René Ridgway, Guido Segni, Stevphen Shukaitis, Nathaniel Tkacz, and Marina Vishmidt.

Tatiana Bazzicheli is Postdoc Researcher at Leuphana University of Lüneberg and programme director at transmediale festival, Berlin, Germany.

Geoff Cox is Associate Professor in the Department of Aesthetics and Communication, Aarhus University, Denmark, and Adjunct Faculty, Transart Institute, Germany and the United States.

A Superintendent's Eyes

book blurbs: 

“Steve Dalachinsky put in his time as a super. Whoever coined the word ‘thankless’ must have had that job, but Steve endured it because he could describe it, because he could tune it like a radio that brings in the whole world of talk, and most of all because he could make it swing. He makes the ground floor apartment double as the catbird seat.” — Luc Sante, author of Low Life.

“A Superintendent’s Eyes is a one-of-a-kind neo-noir document of life in the rickety world of Lower Manhattan at the turn of the century. Dalachinsky — heir to Charles Reznikoff, for his ability to step back from and enter into experience simultaneously, and to the painters of the Ashcan School for their gritty back alley subject matter — writes with eyes (and heart) wide open.” — Lewis Warsh, author of A Place in the Sun and Inseparable.

“Poetry has changed since Hesiod, but the essence of what makes a great poem hasn’t. These poems, written through the ‘eyes of a superintendent,’ are perceived through the eyes of a poet. Dalachinsky’s poems are marked by a Zen-like humanity, spot-on cadence and attention to the beauty of a poem on the page. So what if he had to pick up garbage, fix leaking faucets and shovel snow in blizzards, he took time for ‘night viewing the cherry blossoms/illuminated by their own pink light….’ Thanks to poetry of this caliber, ‘tomorrow is as good as ever/ Amen’.”— Janet Hamill, author of Body of Water, Bowery Women: Poems and Lost Ceilings.

“Clark Kent is Superman, but Steve Dalachinsky is ‘super-man,’ strange visitor from another borough with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal poets. More powerful than a loco motive, able to bend irony in his bare hands... Steve dispenses the holy bitterness of Jeremiah, Isaiah & Nina Simone. Anyone who’s ever had a real job — one that’s miserable, taxing, poorly-paid and necessary—should read A Superintendent’s Eyes. Steve is a Bartleby the Scrivener for our age, who says: ‘I would prefer not to, but I must’ — and continues.” — Sparrow, author of America: A Prophecy: The Sparrow Reader.

A Person of Letters in the Contemporary World

book blurbs: 

Richard Kostelanetz writes:

“I have been writing literary essays for nearly fifty years now. Since most of them appeared in modestly circulated periodicals, it becomes necessary for me to collect the most valuable of them into books. Earlier collections have been devoted to essays on poetry, fiction, visual art, music, culture, performance, and politics. Composed mostly of previously uncollected literary essays, written over the past quarter century, A Person of Letters in the Contemporary World becomes the first to emphasize literature and literary life in general.

Since I am a contemporary writer, expanding my practice into the twenty-first century, it is scarcely surprising that my sense of literature, as both a creator and a critic, includes criticism of writing in new media, such as audio and video. Most of the essays reflect the theme announced in the title, dealing as they do in various ways with the experience of being independent in the age of affiliation, a writer in more than one genre in an age of specialists, a radical among conservatives who has been consciously avant-garde at a time when innovation was proclaimed impossible, and a literary artist attuned to possibilities offered by new technologies. Since my activity reportedly reflects integrity at various levels, other recurring themes will no doubt become apparent.

In my essays, as in my career, I’ve tried to go beyond–above and sometimes below—what others have done, especially in appreciating what others miss, dismissing what is commonly praised, and in telling truths about literary politics. Lacking power or a secure position, I wouldn’t have survived had I attempted anything less. I’ve also learned that I’ve written not a single work commonly praised above all others but many texts that one or another reader finds especially valuable. ”

Squatting in Europe

book blurbs: 

Squatting offers a radical but simple solution to the crises of housing, homelessness, and the lack of social space that mark contemporary society: occupying empty buildings and rebuilding lives and communities in the process. Squatting has a long and complex history, interwoven with the changing and contested nature of urban politics over the last forty years.

Squatting can be an individual strategy for shelter or a collective experiment in communal living. Squatted and self-managed social centres have contributed to the renewal of urban struggles across Europe and intersect with larger political projects. However, not all squatters share the same goals, resources, backgrounds or desire for visibility.

Squatting in Europe aims to move beyond the conventional understandings of squatting, investigating its history in Europe over the past four decades. Historical comparisons and analysis blend together in these inquiries into squatting in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, France, Germany and England. In it members of SqEK (Squatting Europe Kollective) explore the diverse, radical, and often controversial nature of squatting as a form of militant research and self-managed knowledge production.

Essays by Miguel Martínez, Gianni Piazza, Hans Pruijt, Pierpaolo Mudu, Claudio Cattaneo, Andre Holm, Armin Kuhn, Linus Owens, Florence Bouillon, Thomas Aguilera, and ETC Dee.

“Amidst the proliferation of post-political banter, it is refreshing to see the time-tested politics of pre-figurative direct action being taking so seriously. This is a must-read for anybody who wants to better understand how the politics of squatting offer a set of transformative strategies for a creating a more egalitarian world. Furthermore, this collection illustrates how such transformative politics so often start in the world’s cities through deliberate organizing and thoughtful reflection by committed groups of activists, scholars and everyday citizens.” – Nik Heynen, University of Georgia

“In an era of austerity, capitalist accumulation by dispossession, and the criminalization of protest this excellent book serves as an inspiring and timely reminder of people’s re-appropriation of urban spaces in order to fashion alternatives to the status quo. Structured around a typology of squatting configurations – as anti-deprivation; entrepreneurial; conservational; political; and alternative housing strategies – this empirically-rich collection of essays by scholars and activists provides persuasive evidence of the creativity and politically transformative potential involved in such practices.” – Paul Routledge, University of Glasgow

Bio: Squatting Europe is a research network focusing on the squatters’ movement. Our aim is to produce reliable and fine-grained knowledge about this movement not only as an end in itself, but also as a public resource, especially for squatters and activists. Critical engagement and comparative approaches are the bases of our project. The group is an open transnational collective (SQEK) whose members represent a diversity of disciplines and fields seeking to understand the issues associated with squats and social centres across Europe.

The Undercommons

book blurbs: 

In this series of essays Fred Moten and Stefano Harney draw on the theory and practice of the black radical tradition as it supports, inspires, and extends contemporary social and political thought and aesthetic critique. Today the general wealth of social life finds itself confronted by mutations in the mechanisms of control: the proliferation of capitalist logistics, governance by credit, and the management of pedagogy. Working from and within the social poesis of life in the undercommons Moten and Harney develop and expand an array of concepts: study, debt, surround, planning, and the shipped. On the fugitive path of an historical and global blackness, the essays in this volume unsettle and invite the reader to the self-organised ensembles of social life that are launched every day and every night amid the general antagonism of the undercommons.

“This is a powerful book, made of words and sounds, crisscrossed by subversion and love, written and studied ‘with and for,’ as Stefano Harney and Fred Moten put it. The roar of the battle is never distant while reading The Undercommons. The London riots and occupy, practices of refusal, marronage and flight, slave revolts and anti-colonial uprisings frame a challenging rethinking of concepts such as policy and planning, debt and credit, governance and logistics. The Undercommons is a homage to the black radical tradition, to its generative and constituent power before the task of imagining ‘dispossessed feelings in common’ as the basis of a renewed communism.” – Sandro Mezzadra

“What kind of intervention can cut through neoliberal configuration of today’s university, which betrays its own liberal commitment to bring about emancipation? The Undercommons is a powerful and necessary intervention that invites us to imagine and realise social life otherwise. In this intimate and intense example of affected writing – writing which is always already other, with an other – Harney and Moten dare us to fall. Following, feeling, an other possible manner living together, or as one may say with Glissant – to be ‘born into the world,’ which is the fate and gift of blackness. Otherwise living, as in the quilombos created by Brazilian slaves, is the promise that is escape!” – Denise Ferreira da Silva

Assault on the Impossible

book blurbs: 

Assault on the Impossible is the second Autonomedia title to concentrate on the Provo period in the Netherlands. The Provo movement is unique in the modern era for having radically reshaped the political foundations of an important Western nation virtually without violence. Political change is often tumultuous, but never takes place in cultural isolation. Actuating the revolutionary impulse requires activating large groups of people, generating “group minds” capable of reimagining the realities they inhabit. It requires a kind of visionary emotional adventurism able to gaze with a clear heart at impossibility.

Viewing the “historical nature” of revolutions through exclusively ideological lenses tends to miss the fact that they blaze forth from wider cultural fields, frequently ignited by the eccentric (often aesthetic) insights of a few profound aliens. Richard Kempton’s Provo: Amsterdam’s Anarchist Revolt, focused on a detailed narrative of the birth, florescence, and decline of the Provo political trajectory. Marjolijn van Riemsdijk’s Assault on the Impossible widens the field, investigating the aesthetic attitudes and ludic interventions that helped generate the group mind that drove the politics.

“Anarchic imagination running wild in the streets of Amsterdam! Whether riding side-saddle on the white bicycle of counter-cultural revolt or blasting off in a rocketship of creative resistance on a journey somewhere beyond the Milky Way to Paradiso, the jack-in-the-box historical moment of Provo comes alive again in these pages with inspiring adventures, explosive magic, free spirits, ludic interventions, and pataphysical solutions.” — Ron Sakolsky, author of Creating Anarchy and Islands of Resistance: Pirate Radio in Canada.

“Like my own community, the San Francisco Diggers, and our English counterparts spoken for by Alex Trocchi, [the radical seers in the Netherlands] felt commonly that “the coup du monde must be in the broad sense cultural.” This important book chronicles the prescience and remarkable vision of these Dutch cultural guerrillas, who had a much deeper permanent effect on their own culture than we did. I urge all those with the instincts of anarchism to read it. Those without those instincts should read it too.” — Peter Coyote, actor, author of Sleeping Where I Fall

“Amsterdam, Magical center of the World and craziest town in Europe during the Sixties and Seventies! Assault on the Impossible leads you back to a thrilling episode of creative outbursts and turmoil. What went on in the city, and how did it influence the cul-tural and intellectual avant-garde? The ideas and acts of the main players are revealed and get all the credit they deserve.” — Eric Duivenvoorden, author of Magier van een nieuwe tijd: Het leven van Robert Jasper Grootveld

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