recent books

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The Devil's Anarchy (second edition)

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By rebelling against hierarchical society and living under the Jolly Roger, pirates created an upside-down world of anarchist organization and festival, with violence and death ever-present. This creation was not a purely whimsical process. In The Devil's Anarchy, Stephen Snelders examines rare 17th-century Dutch pirate histories to show the continuity of a shared pirate culture, embodied in its modes of organization, methods of distributing booty and resolving disputes, and tendencies for high living. Focussing on the careers of Claes Compaen, a cunning, charismatic renegado who claimed to have stolen more than 350 vessels, and Jan Erasmus Reyning, who hit the seas at age 12 and became a buccaneer in the pirate jungles of Santo Domingo, Snelders paints a salty picture of the excesses, contradictions, and liberatory joys of pirate life.

Stephen Snelders is a Dutch historian with a research focus on social transformation and resistance, in the body as well as the mind. He is past editor of Pan Forum, a leading research journal of psychotropic studies.

"The Power of Neighborhood" and The Commons

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book blurbs: 

The anonymous Swiss author of bolo’bolo and Akiba offers a new practical proposal for reshaping the future, based on this prognosis of the present: “Our economic system is stumbling from one collapse to the next…Our system is fundamentally flawed and destabilized by internal contradictions. To point out one of them: income can only be generated by work, but work is getting scarce at the moment and will become even scarcer in the future. Thus the “purchasing power” that capital needs to realize value is strangulated by itself. These contradictions are being deferred into the future by financial manipulations…The metaphor of the train racing towards an abyss and the need to pull the emergency brake must spring to mind. Since the braking distance has meanwhile become longer than the distance to the abyss, we have to think in terms of parachutes.’’

Kali's Day

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“This is a beautiful novel populated with characters that have nothing more to give of themselves than everything, and at all times. Kali’s Day travels exquisitely through (desperate) straits of violence, sex, sensuality, addiction, depravity, transcendental awakenings and physical transformations. The writing is passionate and precise. Bonny Finberg has crafted a pulsating and vibrantly alive place for all of us to dwell.” — Donald Breckenridge, author of This Young Girl Passing and You Are Here, and Fiction Editor of The Brooklyn Rail.

“When it comes to characters, Finberg has a way of dangling the most enticing before our eyes—eccentric originals we’ve only glimpsed on the street. Androgynous, drug-taking, bohemian or transient—their lives are lived beyond the reach of us mere mortals, beguiling our imaginations but depressing us with the thought that we’ll never be interesting enough to know them. Then, suddenly, in prose full of natural vitality and sly narrative strategies, whether at home or in Nepal, these characters disrobe for us, revealing the desires, fantasies, jealousies, illnesses, dreams and experiments in pleasure that have sculpted their freaky personae; and even more surprisingly, some even achieve a certain spirituality, as others spiral into madness. Kali’s Day is rich with unpredictable adventure in exotic localities, concocted by a writer at the top of her craft.” — Bruce Benderson, author of The Romanian: Story of an Obsession.

“Kali's Day arrived during a jam packed work/family week. I glanced at the opening lines and, despite heavy obligations, could not put it down. Finberg takes the reader on a riveting voyage. What’s astonishing is the way she weaves ideas, spirit, subterfuge, passions, dependence, humor, frailty and transcendence so beautifully into her text. Kali’s Day is timeless and current at once.” — Lynn Crawford, author of Simple Separate People, Two (Black Square Editions).

Agents & Assets

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“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. ”

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