Political science

“…And I was like—yes it is! Part of my broader project as an artist is thinking about how the term climate change can be redefined and expanded to enable people to understand its relevance. So climate change is redefined as an issue of inequality, or social justice, and also urban design and planning. So if I go by that broader definition, I don’t see why I should exclude those things here.” Amy Howden-Chapman in conversation with the Newspaper Reading Club, 2015

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The main affirmation of artistic practice must today happen through thinking about the conditions and the status of the artist’s work. Only then can it be revealed that what is a part of the speculations of capital is not art itself, but mostly artistic life. Artist at Work examines the recent changes in the labour of an artist and addresses them from the perspective of performance.

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Astronaut Luggage is a collection of short texts written along the last years and circulated online, rearranged around five main topics: the Apocalypse, commodities, drones, history and politics. Adopting the forms of the essay and the short story, Rothstein sets himself in an “atemporality” that allows him to tell stories in which the distinction between reality and fiction is not important. As he writes in the introduction: “None of these stories are true, but none of them are false, either. These distinctions are not the point, at least not immediately. The difference between fact and fantasy are important, just not ...

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Inspired by the scholars, activists, and everyday citizens who spoke out, marched, and protested against police killings of African-Americans, we present this collection of short essays that put Black lives at the center of our thinking about architecture and its history.

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Capital at the Brink reveals the pervasiveness, destructiveness, and dominance of neoliberalism within American society and culture. The contributors to this collection also offer points of resistance to an ideology wherein, to borrow Henry Giroux’s comment, “everything either is for sale or is plundered for profit.” The first step in fighting neoliberalism is to make it visible. By discussing various inroads that it has made into political, popular, and literary culture, Capital at the Brink is taking this first step and joining a global resistance that works against neoliberalism by revealing the variety of ways in which it dominates and ...

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After 1989, capitalism has successfully presented itself as the only realistic political-economic system – a situation that the bank crisis of 2008, far from ending, actually compounded. The book analyses the development and principal features of this capitalist realism as a lived ideological framework. Using examples from politics, films, fiction, work and education, it argues that capitalist realism colours all areas of contemporary experience. But it will also show that, because of a number of inconsistencies and glitches internal to the capitalist reality program capitalism in fact is anything but realistic.

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There has been many things written about the urban transformations of Paris orchestrated by Napoleon III’s prefect, the “Baron” Haussmann; many of which address the militarized causes of these transformations, as I often did myself. This aspect of the transformations is admitted by Haussmann himself in his memoirs as part of the strategy. The first part of the 19th-century saw many insurrections and revolutions happening in Paris (1830 revolution, 1832 insurrection, 1848 revolution, etc.) and Napoleon III, after his 1851 coup, was certainly eager to transform Paris to be able to control it. The large avenues and boulevards were thus ...

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CITIZENFOUR is a real life thriller, unfolding by the minute, giving unprecedented access to Edward Snowden as he hands over classified documents providing evidence of mass indiscriminate and illegal invasions of privacy by the NSA. -iTunes

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Global cities (and their designs in particular) have rested on the paradigm of market-driven development, and have been interpreted as strategic spaces of neoliberal restructuring. Whilst they are now hit by the crisis of this ideology, the situation also offers the opportunity and necessity to imagine another, more social city. Yet designers continue to hold back criticism and proposals. It is, however, time to redefine the role of design for a social city and take action. What is the role of design in the production of urban space? Is it merely an element in the commodified colonisation of social spaces? ...

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This is not a manifesto. Manifestos provide a glimpse of a world to come and also call into being the subject, who although now only a specter must materialize to become the agent of change. Manifestos work like the ancient prophets, who by the power of their vision create their own people. Today’s social movements have reversed the order, making manifestos and prophets obsolete. Agents of change have already descended into the streets and occupied city squares, not only threatening and toppling rulers but also conjuring visions of a new world. More important, perhaps, the multitudes, through their logics and ...

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TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY BIRDWATCHING Our ancestors could spot natural predators from far by their silhouettes. Are we equally aware of the predators in the present-day? Drones are remote-controlled planes that can be used for anything from surveillance and deadly force, to rescue operations and scientific research. Most drones are used today by military powers for remote-controlled surveillance and attack, and their numbers are growing. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) predicted in 2012 that within 20 years there could be as many as 30.000 drones flying over U.S. soil alone. As robotic birds will become commonplace in the near future, we should be prepared to ...

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While today many express astonishment at ‘ethical scandals’ in business, in this important new book Dag G. Aasland asks why, in capitalist economies, such scandals are not more common or even the norm. Taking his lead from the ethical philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas, this book proposes a thoroughgoing reconsideration of the meaning of ethics and economy. This elegantly written text offers a clear statement of the importance of a Levinasian ethics of the Other for thinking through and beyond the limits and persistence of economic rationality. This book invites readers to step beyond the enclosure of business ethics and takes ...

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Extrastatecraft controls everyday life in the city: it’s the key to power – and resistance – in the twenty-first century. Infrastructure is not only the underground pipes and cables controlling our cities. It also determines the hidden rules that structure the spaces all around us – free trade zones, smart cities, suburbs, and shopping malls. Extrastatecraft charts the emergent new powers controlling this space and shows how they extend beyond the reach of government. Keller Easterling explores areas of infrastructure with the greatest impact on our world – examining everything from standards for the thinness of credit cards to the urbanism of ...

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Headless, an exhilarating murder-mystery by the elusive K. D., probes the sordid secrets and sinister deeds of powerful financiers who use Caribbean firms to conceal their fortunes. The novel begins with workaday author John Barlow agreeing to ghostwrite a novel about secretive tax havens. Barlow assumes the job will be a no-brainer. But then his eccentric employers, Swedish artist duo Goldin+Senneby, ask him to investigate Headless Ltd., a shadowy company with possible links to the philosopher Georges Bataille, known for his obsession with human sacrifice. Barlow travels to Nassau, Bahamas, the glitzy mecca of offshore finance, and begins to uncover ...

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Without exception, everyone is called upon today to construct his/her patriotic identity as a response to the supreme imperative of our shared whiteness: ‘act as if the land were initially without owners’. For white Australia, this imperative is more primordial than the usual formulation of the call to patriotism: ‘be prepared to sacrifice yourself for your country’, since patriotic sacrifice presupposes that one already has a country to which one is devoted. The imperative of whiteness touches the depth of our ontology since it is from this that the white collective springs as the creator of the white Australian nation-state. ...

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Welcome to The Militant Research Handbook! It’s designed to help you answer the question: what is militant research? Let’s begin by saying that it’s the place where academia and activism meet in the search for new ways of acting that lead to new ways of thinking. Native American activist Andrea Smith quotes her mentor Judy Vaughn to this effect: “You don’t think your way into a different way of acting; you act your way into a different way of thinking.”

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Six months in Iraq, culminating in the national election on January 30, 2005. We watch logistic preparations for the election, with UN, US, Australian, and local personnel unsure if the election will be held as scheduled, bracing for violence and for world attention. We also cut back and forth to Dr. Riyadh, a Sunni physician who practices at the Adhamiya Free Clinic and prays at the Abu Hanifa Mosque. He’s an Iraqi Islamic Party candidate for the Baghdad Provincial Council; he visits Abu Ghraib prison and speaks out. We meet his wife and daughters: the family is cheerful, ironic, and ...

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Prompted by the 2011 Egyptian uprising, this book-length essay on the cultural politics of sleep by writer and editor Anna Della Subin takes as its starting point Tawfiq al-Hakim’s 1933 play The People of the Cave. Based on the legend of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, which also appears in the Qur’an, the play tells the story of three Christian men and a dog who awaken in a cave after fleeing from persecution by their pagan king. Upon venturing out, the men discover that three hundred years have passed, and must come to terms with a transformed world. Though hailed ...

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The project Obscurity targets mug-shot websites by cloning them and scrambling their data to obfuscate the information on tens of millions of individuals who have been incarcerated in the U.S. The names, last names, and mug-shots are shuffled and the photos blurred to make the individuals listed unrecognizable, while the age, race, gender, location, and charges are kept accurate in order to provide social context on the arrests.

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The term Occupy represents a belief in the transformation of the capitalist system through a new heterogenic world of protest and activism that cannot be conceived in terms of liberal democracy, parliamentary systems, class war or vanguard politics. These conceptualisations do not articulate where power is held, nor from where transformation may issue. This collection of essays by world-leading scholars of Deleuze and Guattari examines how capitalism can be understood as a global abstract machine whose effects pervade all of life and how Occupy can be framed as a response to this as a heterogenic movement based on new tactics, ...

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In 2003, after returning from a month-long stay in Baghdad, American artist Paul Chan was given a gift from a colleague in the human-rights group Voices of the Wilderness: a copy of three speeches on democracy written by Saddam Hussein in the 1970s, before he became president of Iraq. The speeches, compiled here for the first time in English, are politically perverse, yet eerily familiar. The then vice president of Iraq characterizes social democracy as demanding authority, and defines free will as the patriotic duty to uphold the good of the state. This volume takes the speeches as an opportunity ...

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Rejecting the dichotomy of centralism and horizontalism that has deeply marked millennial politics, Rodrigo Nunes’ close analysis of network systems demonstrates how organising within contemporary social and political movements exists somewhere between – or beyond – the two. Rather than the party or chaos, the one or the multitude, he discovers a ‘bestiary’ of hybrid organisational forms and practices that render such disjunctives false. The resulting picture shows how social and technical networks can and do facilitate strategic action and fluid distributions of power at the same time. It is by developing the strategic potentials that are already immanent to ...

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The dominant architectures in our culture of development consist of generic protocols for building offices, airports, houses, and highways. For Keller Easterling these organizational formats are not merely the context of design efforts — they are the design. Bridging the gap between architecture and infrastructure, Easterling views architecture as part of an ecology of interrelationships and linkages, and she treats the expression of organizational character as part of the architectural endeavor.Easterling also makes the case that these organizational formats are improvisational and responsive to circumstantial change, to mistakes, anomalies, and seemingly illogical market forces. By treating these irregularities opportunistically, she ...

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This year’s Sarai Reader brings together a range of critical thinking on urban life and the contemporary, marked by spreading media cultures, new social conflict and globalisation. Scholars, media practitioners, critics and activists use a flow of images, memories and hidden realities to create a fascinating array of original interventions in thinking about cities today. In the context of India, where a large part of this reader has been edited, this is significant, given the frugality of writing on city life in this part of the world. With essays, images, analyses, and manifestoes The Cities of Everyday Life reflects on the ...

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Fusing perspectives from politics, media studies and cultural studies, Sousveillance, Media and Strategic Political Communication offers insights into impacts on strategic political communication of the emergence of web-based participatory media (‘Web 2.0′) across the first decade of the 21st century. Countering the control engendered in strategic political communication, Steve Mann’s concepts of hierarchical sousveillance (politically motivated watching of the institutional watchers) and personal sousveillance (apolitical, human-centred life-sharing) is applied to Web 2.0. Focusing on interplays of user-generated and mainstream media about, and from, Iraq, detailed case studies explore different levels of control over strategic political communication during key moments, including ...

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