learning/ practice Part 2 : peer (Mon 17 September 2012)

Where do we practice? How do we act? Why do we do it these ways?

This series of four learning/practice discussions seeks to explore how we learn and educate, how we engage collaboratively in group work and how we conduct individual research. They explore how to locate the presence of ‘integrity’ within and across practices between the self and Others. Setting out with questions over what we do; how it is that we do it; and why we do it this way, these sessions are, unlike most previous learning/practice sessions, not premised on any one prior reading. Instead, we want to invite preparation and participation from personal knowledge and reflections of practice – be it educational, artistic, political or self-directed (or any combinations of these).
This dialogical encounter seeks not to build consensus over ’legitimate’ ways to act, but rather, to consider some of the ways in which legitimate practice is itself positioned as synonymous with integrity, allowing us to reflect more fully on the potential of practice and develop it.

Four themed but interconnected sessions are planned; each drawing on a variety of form for discussion and reflection on practice and its concerns with integrity.

Peer
Date: Monday 17 September, 2012
Time: 5:00-7.00pm
Venue: Electron Club,at the CCA, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow

For a list of all discussions, see earlier post here

 

The learning/practice group has been meeting, mostly frequently, for the past two years to discuss texts, practice and politics of our interest around education, self-organisation and emancipation.

For further info or questions, contact@strickdistro.org

Austerity Urbanism: A Walk Through the Fictional City

As part of a series of projects for Transmission Gallery, The Strickland Distribution is hosting a public walk on Saturday 15th September to investigate contemporary forms of cultural (de)generation. Led by writer & researcher Neil Gray, with contributions from housing & community groups; activists & artists, the walk will take a circular route beginning and ending at the Speirs Wharf canalside ‘cultural quarter’, via the post-industrial and brown-field landscapes of North-West Glasgow.

The writer, Iain Sinclair once said of regeneration that “any puddle will do”, referring to the frequency of waterside regeneration in the UK – no matter how bitter the climate or inauspicious the view.

The canalside Masterplan for the cultural quarter is a neoliberal mixture of soft policy options borrowing from Charles Landry’s ‘creative city’, Richard Florida’s ‘creative class’, Andres Duany’s ‘new urbanism’, and so-called ‘smart growth’ principles. The masterplan is specifically framed in the language of austerity, admitting the partial, fragmentary nature of the regeneration approach in a time of economic crisis.

While apparently less bullish than other large-scale gentrification projects in Glasgow, ultimately ‘smart growth’ is about the extraction of value from land and property, and the increase of a socio-spatial tax base, making the ‘new urbanism’ a strategy for the few at the expense of the many despite its green pretensions and community participation rhetoric.

The new urbanism is a separate, privileged spatial project with limited boundaries. This walk will cross those boundaries exploring the wider spatial relations of the area, revealing the planning blight and social contradictions that are a direct result of an underlying ideology of growth which the new urbanism not only leaves unchallenged but actively supports.

The walk will critically illuminate the ‘arts-led property strategy’; the rent-gap and blight; the continuing crisis in housing, and the commodification of social spaces. Rather than present gentrification as an inevitable process, the walk will explore the possibility that capitalism is increasingly unable to reproduce the most basic conditions of everyday life for a majority of the population, deferring a crisis of productivity to a crisis of urbanism. This walk in the fictional city will examine urban reality against the urban myths of city boosters.

The walk is proposed as an investigative history from below: a critical exploration of gentrification in the context of austerity urbanism. City boosters and planners promote top-down solutions to urban crisis, yet radical social change can only ever come from broad-based pressure from below. This walk aims to provide the means for collaborative exchange, instigating & sustaining wider solidarity & activity between anti-gentrification researchers, activists, community groups & artists. We welcome all those with such an interest.

Saturday, 15th September, (1-5pm): Meet outside Cowcaddens subway entrance at 1pm. Please bring appropriate footwear and clothing. The ground will occasionally be rough.

http://strickdistro.org/                                                                     http://www.transmissiongallery.org/

Knowledge is Never Neutral: A Series of Strickland Projects with Transmission Gallery

The Strickland Distribution, September 2012 – June 2013 with/at Transmission Gallery

knowledge is never neutral is a series of projects organised by The Strickland Distribution taking place from September 2012 to June 2013 within and outside the gallery space. Taken together, these projects set out to explore the circumstances that surround cultural and knowledge production. We look to situate this production within a wider set of social and historical relations, and to reflect on our practices across these relations. We invite you to join us in these processes.

Creating spaces for participatory dialogue – for listening and being listened to – the projects include a public walk, co-research inquiry, facilitated workshops, film screenings, reading and discussion groups, publication launches and the ongoing documentation and reconsideration of outcomes deriving from these projects.

knowledge is never neutral seeks to foreground histories-from-below, collective learning, and constitutive forms of collaborative practice. In doing so, we explore existing spaces of learning and research for their potential for liberatory education and research praxis. By means of renewed circulation, we will explore the relevance and potential of recent histories of radical forms of (non)-institutionalised inquiry and communication for our contemporary situation. We aim to develop a practice of dialogue and co-research across different constituencies of political struggle, and to forge social relations and links for future practice.

At a time where we are again made aware of the contestation over how to narrate the (recent) past – of attempts to erase particular histories and knowledge and to ‘rewrite’ official archives and ways of remembering – we support the necessity to learn from and engage with past struggles here and elsewhere, asking: What and how can we learn from these?

In the specific lexicon of artist-run/ artist-led/ self-organised practice, this also calls on us to explore the implications for a diversity of cultural expression, and group autonomy through freedom of association and communication. Seeking to explore the potential for present-day translations of ‘co-research’ and politically committed inquiries, we are asking: What kinds of methodologies can, today, produce emancipatory knowledge?

The projects will often involve a collective exploration of position taking and position making both within and beyond the arts. This approach acknowledges that contradictions and irresolvable tensions can, often structurally, exist and endure, and that they are themselves a potent focus for study. This exploration will enable (self)-reflection on the production and circulation of knowledge, emphasising the contingent nature of artistic thought, practice and representation within a broader set of power-filled dynamics.

knowledge is never neutral includes:

A public walk/discussion incorporating Glasgow’s proposed new ‘cultural quarter’ and canal development, combining critical practices of urban geography with collective urban exploration.

A series of screenings/ readings/ discussions of ‘Autonomous’ films which explore the meaning and diversity of the movement from the mid-1960s onwards.

A series of readings/ discussions on contemporary possibilities for co-research and DIY-inquiry, leading to a co-research project which investigates the conditions of cultural labour. [go to co-research page]

Publication launches and workshops to explore histories-from-below: an approach that attends to subjects, forms of agency, struggles and areas often omitted from official historical studies.

A series of workshops exploring curatorial practices elsewhere in Europe which have undertaken critical appraisals of ‘competitive cultural nationalism’, especially countries similarly undergoing nationalist assertions of identity.

The Strickland Distribution is an artist-run group supporting the development of independent research in art-related and non-institutional practices. Art-related includes research forms that directly implement artistic practice as a means of research method. Non-institutional includes forms of grass-roots histories, social enquiries and projects developed outside of academic frameworks and by groups and individuals normally excluded from such environments. The Strickland Distribution operates in the public sphere, seeking to stimulate and contribute to public education, discourse and debate around the topics and themes addressed through its projects.

Key dates

15 September 2012 Austerity Urbanism: A Walk Through the Fictional City – public walk
16, 23 October; 6, 13 November 2012 Co-research: Subjectivities and Conditions of Culture as Labour. Part 1. A series of discussions based on readings
5, 12 December 2012; 9, 16 January 2013 Autonomy screening events
24 November 2012 All Knees and Elbows public event and launch
27 November 2012 until end of February 2013 Co-research project: Subjectivities and Conditions of Culture as Labour. Part 2. Co-research inquiry
26 February 2013 An Economy of Appearances, Part 1: Workshop, Discussion, Launch
9 March 2013 Co-research: Part 3. Political Positioning Beyond the Institution? Public Workshop
30 March 2013 Competitive cultural nationalism workshop
31 May 2013 An Economy of Appearances, Part 2: Workshop, Discussion, Launch

For further information, contact@strickdistro.org or http://strickdistro.org

Four discussions: learning/practice

Where do we practice? How do we act? Why do we do it these ways?

This series of four learning/practice discussions seeks to explore how we learn and educate, how we engage collaboratively in group work and how we conduct individual research. They explore how to locate the presence of ‘integrity’ within and across practices between the self and Others. Setting out with questions over what we do; how it is that we do it; and why we do it this way, these sessions are, unlike most previous learning/practice sessions, not premised on any one prior reading. Instead, we want to invite preparation and participation from personal knowledge and reflections of practice – be it educational, artistic, political or self-directed (or any combinations of these).
This dialogical encounter seeks not to build consensus over ’legitimate’ ways to act, but rather, to consider some of the ways in which legitimate practice is itself positioned as synonymous with integrity, allowing us to reflect more fully on the potential of practice and develop it.

Four themed but interconnected sessions are planned; each drawing on a variety of form for discussion and reflection on practice and its concerns with integrity.

Learning
Date: Monday 20 August, 2012
Time: 5:00-7.00pm
Venue: Electron Club,at the CCA, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow

Peer
Date: Monday 17 September, 2012
Time: 5:00-7.00pm
Venue: Electron Club,at the CCA, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow

Personal

Date change: now: Wed 10 October, 2012
Time: 5:00-7.00pm
Venue change: tbc (probably near Hillhead Subway, Glasgow West End)

Integration
Date Monday 15 October 2012
Time: 5:00-7.00pm
Venue: Electron Club,at the CCA, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow

The learning/practice group has been meeting, mostly frequently, for the past two years to discuss texts, practice and politics of our interest around education, self-organisation and emancipation.

For further info or questions, contact@strickdistro.org

Beyond the Factory Desert : Anatomy of Autonomy

Beyond the Factory Desert : Anatomy of Autonomy

 Wednesday 13th June 2012 The Strickland Distribution facilitate:

4.00-6.00pm. Reading Group | Wednesday 13th June 2012 | Transmission Gallery | ‘Anatomy of Autonomy’, Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi

‘Anatomy of Autonomy’, Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi’s account of the Italian Autonomist movement from 1968 to 1979, is one of the essential surveys of the movement. In a lucid, highly readable style, the essay covers the student and workers agitations leading to a wave of strikes, demonstrations, take-overs and acts of sabotage in the ‘hot autumn’ of 1969; the ‘autonomous’ split from the Italian Communist Party (PCI) and its trade union organs; the repressive ‘strategy of tension’ supported by the PCI with the ruling Christian Democrats, and their later ‘Historical Compromise’; new forms of autonomous class composition with Southern migrant labour in the factories and women and the unemployed in the ‘social factory’; and more than anything else, the movement of autonomia and their refusal of alienation and the ideology of production, quintessentially expressed in the slogan: ‘The refusal of work’.

For Berardi, 1977 produced the most mature expression of the autonomist movement. Beyond the factory desert, the new ‘post-socialist proletariat’ developed forms of struggle related to all aspects of collective life and cultural identity in the social factory. Proletarian Youth Associations set up communes in the big cities, organising squats and experimenting with new forms of collective living; ‘wildcat’ free radio stations such as ‘Radio Alice’ were set up illegally to communicate information from revolutionary organisations and engender dialogue; ‘autonomous price setting’ (‘autoreduction’) movements emerged in their tens of thousands laying siege to city centres, ‘confiscating’ merchandise from luxury shops and ‘self-reducing’ admission prices and bills for cinemas, theatres and restaurants. These activities corresponded to a wave of university occupations, especially in the north of Italy.

These events, which Berardi played a significant part in, help site his post-autonomist theorising in a wider context of upheaval and revolt in Italy during the 1970s, and prefigure his later work on composition, media and technology, precarity and ‘the soul at work’.

Reading material is available at : Anatomy of Autonomy

Reading group spaces may be limited, so please email an interest if you intend coming, to: contact@strickdistro.org

 

6.30-7.30pm. Film Screening/Discussion | Wednesday 13th June 2012 | Transmission ‘Antonio Negri – A Revolt That Never Ends’ (Weltz and Pichler, 2005, 52 mins)

“The idea that work ennobles is a capitalist invention.” Antonio Negri

Best-known for Empire, the bestseller co-written with Michael Hardt, this documentary reveals Antonio Negri as much more than just a producer of radical literature in the commodity bazaar. From early activism in the autonomist movement – agitating at 5am outside auto and petroleum factories – through to his imprisonment by the state and forced exile for 14 years, Negri looked violent state repression in the face while continuing to struggle, live, work and learn.

Accused of kidnapping Aldo Moro, the former Prime Minister of Italy (who was later found dead), and being the head of the autonomia movement and the Red Brigades, Negri was publically castigated

as the ‘cattivo maestro’ (immoral teacher) of Italy’s youth. ‘Choosing’ exile he was attacked and ridiculed by the Italian Communist Party (PCI), as well as the right-wing forces of the state, and condemned to 30 years of prison in absentia. In total 60,000 activists were investigated, and 25,000 arrested. In Paris, without papers, he was befriended by, and engaged intellectually with Deleuze and Guattari, even becoming for some official purposes ‘Antoine Guattari’ to get over his sans-papier status. In Paris, he helped develop key post-autonomia concepts such as immaterial and affective labour, bio-politics and, through Spinoza and Deleuze and Guattari, a-dialectical thought.

Biography is a weak form. Individualisation tends to mask the collective social aspects of life and production. Nevertheless, Negri’s role in the development of key collective concepts is explored in the documentary through the ideas of the social factory, social reproduction, workers enquiry, the refusal of work, self-reduction, the re- appropriation of material social wealth, immaterial labour and bio-politics. As such, the film provides an excellent, if fleeting, overview of both Negri and the autonomous and post-autonomist movement overall. Commentary from key figures such as Michael Hardt, ‘Bifo’ Berardi, Alisa Del Rei, and Disobeddienti add insight and context to Negri’s relation with the wider autonomist movement.

 

Beyond the Factory Desert: Anatomy of Autonomy | Wednesday 13th June 2012 | Transmission Gallery

3.45 for 4.00 start

4.00 – 6.00: Reading group: ‘Anatomy of Autonomy’ (1977), Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi

6.00 – 6.30: Break

6.30 – 7.30: Film Screening: ‘Antonio Negri – A Revolt That never Ends’ (Weltz & Pichler, 2005, 52mins)

7.30 – 8.30: Facilitated discussion (followed by a social with refreshments)

Reading group spaces may be limited, so please email an interest if coming: contact@strickdistro.org

Reading material is available at : Anatomy of Autonomy

If you can’t make the reading group or prefer the film screening/discussion, please do come along later.

 

Beyond the Factory Desert: Anatomy of Autonomy takes further previous Strickland Distribution reading groups on ‘autonomy’ and is also a primer to a block of autonomous film screenings/discussions coming up in early 2013 as part of a series of Strickland Distribution events within Transmission Gallery’s  annual programme.

The Strickland Distribution is an artist-run group supporting the development of independent research in art-related and non-institutional practices. Art-related includes research forms that directly implement artistic practice as a means of research method. Non-institutional includes forms of grass-roots histories, social enquiries and projects developed outside of academic frameworks and by groups and individuals normally excluded from research environments.

 

 

Radical Media Forum, Saturday 14th January 2012

Radical Media Forum
2pm-5pm Saturday 14th January 2012

Kinning Park Complex
43 Cornwall Street
Glasgow
G41 1BA

directions: http://www.kinningparkcomplex.org/directions

FREE – donations to Kinning Park welcome

The Radical Media Forum is a regular meeting for left-aligned politically-engaged media practitioners, activists and researchers. Participants include those working with: film/video and television, online media and Indymedia, radio, books and print publication, community and media events, archives, and media research. It is open to individuals and groups working at any level across voluntary activist and community-based media to those working within mainstream and academic contexts.

The forum provides a space for networking, news exchange, skills sharing, discussion, debate, and building a more consolidated base for critical media in Scotland and the UK. Meetings take place every two months at various venues.

Each forum provides time for meeting and exchanging news, issues, ideas, etc., followed by a dedicated skills and discussion session.

For the January 2012 meeting, film and documentary maker Barbara Orton will facilitate a practical workshop to discuss issues and practices around engaging audiences through mainstream formats and alternatives to these. The debate around mainstream access is an important one in political film-making, whether to work with it, challenge, or reject it, and it is useful to understand how such positions may determine the ways in which work is realised. Participants are invited to bring along film and video projects they are currently working on to review and discuss as part of the session.

Mailing list: http://groups.strickdistro.org/groups/mediaforum

Autonomia: A Reading Group

The group will run on four consecutive Tuesdays, 7-9 throughout October and early November. Tuesdays, 11th October, 18th October, 25th October and 1st November.

Venue: Transmission Gallery, 28 King Street, Glasgow, Scotland, G1 5QP

DATES AND READING MATERIAL: 

Week 1, Tuesday 11th October, 20011, 7.00-9.00pm

Maurizio Lazzarato, Immaterial Labour. In, Michael Hardt and Paolo Virno, eds, Radical Thought in Italy: A Potential Politics, Theory Out of Bound Series, Minnesota Press, 1996.

Week 1_Immaterial Labour_Lazzarato 

Week 2, Tuesday 18th October, 2011, 7.00-9.00pm

Paolo Virno, Ten Theses on the Multitude and Post-Fordist Capitalism. In, Paolo Virno, A Grammar of the Multitude, Semiotext(e) Foreign Agents Series, 2004

Week 2_Ten Theses On The Multitude_Virno_LibCom

Week 3, Tuesday 25th October, 2011, 7.00-9.00pm

Wu Ming Foundation, Fetishism of Digital Commodities and Hidden Exploitation: The Cases of Amazon and Apple,  Wu Ming Foundation blog, 2011

Week 3_Digital Commodities_Wu Ming Foundation

Week 4, Tuesday 1st November, 2011, 7.00-9.00pm

Sylvia Fedrici, Feminism and the Politics of the Commons, The Commoner Journal, 2011

Week 4_Feminism And the Politics of the Commons_Federici 

RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND READING

‘Bifo’ Berardi, Anatomy of Autonomy, In, Italy: Autonomia. Post-political politics.Ed. Sylvere Lotringer and Christian Marazzi, Semiotext, 1980, pp.148-170

http://www.generation-online.org/t/autonomia2.pdf

Karl Marx , Fragment on Machines, Grundrisse, pp.690-712:

http://thenewobjectivity.com/pdf/marx.pdf

Radical Media Forum, 29th October 2011

1pm – 5pm, Saturday 29th October 2011

Kinning Park Complex
43 Cornwall Street
Glasgow
G41 1BA

The meeting is free, but donations to Kinning Park welcomed.

An open meeting for practitioners, groups and individuals involved in independent/radical/critical/activist/rebellious/oppositional media, to discuss the development of a broader support network, archiving, collaborations, future events, and encourage debate on current directions of ‘media from below’ in the UK.

Directions and map to Kinning Park Complex.

AUTONOMY: A Reading Group

The group will run on four  Tuesdays, 7-9pm, throughout July and early August. Tuesdays 5th July,  12th July and 26th July and 2nd August. 

Venue: The Free Hetherington, 13 University Gardens, Glasgow University, Glasgow.

Autonomy is a concept much discussed, but perhaps less well understood. This may well be due to the relative neglect of autonomist thought in the UK compared to other European countries such as Italy, France and Greece. This reading group aims to make inroads into that neglect by exploring in detail four classic texts from the movement of Italian Autonomist Marxism; a movement widely considered as the most advanced expression of autonomist thought in the 20th century.

The reading group will explore key selections from Mario Tronti, Antonio Negri, Mariarosa Dalla Costa and Sergio Bologna. We introduce a broad sweep of theoretical innovation from 1964 to 1977, covering such key ideas as the mass worker; the refusal of work and the autonomy of the class; the critique of the Keynesian planner-state; feminism, reproduction and the social factory, and class composition as a mode of radical research and transformative activity.

The group is not afraid to be caught learning: our aim is to encourage an open collective learning process for working through some of the fundamental texts of autonomism and autonomia. The group aims to develop deeper critical engagement with some of what we regard as the most important revolutionary writing of the last century. To make the discussion more participatory, reading the texts before each session is encouraged, but this is not mandatory. The group is open to all.

DATES AND READING MATERIAL:

Week 1 Tuesday, 5th, July, 2011, 7.00-9.00pm:

Mario Tronti, The Strategy of Refusal, Italy: Autonomia. Post-political politics. Ed. Sylvere Lotringer and Christian Marazzi, Semiotext,1980,pp. 28-35.
Week 1_Tronti_1965_ Strategy of refusal

Week 2 Tuesday, 12th July, 2011, 7.00-9.00pm:

Toni Negri, Keynes and the Capitalist Theory of the State Post-1929, Revolution Retrieved: Selected Writings on Marx, Keynes & New Social Subjects, 1967-1983. Ed. Ed Emery, London: Red Notes, 1988.
Week 2_Negri_1967_Keynes

Week 3 Tuesday, 26th July, 2011, 7.00-9.00pm:

Mariarosa Dalla Costa and Selma James. The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community, Bristol: Falling Wall Press, 1972. With an introduction by Selma James (optional).
Week 3_Della Costa & James_ 1972_The power of women

Week 4 Tuesday, 2nd August, 2011, 7.00-9.00pm:

Sergio Bologna, The Tribe of Moles, Italy: Autonomia. Post-political politics. Ed. Sylvere Lotringer and Christian Marazzi
(New York: Semiotext, 1980), 36-61.
Week 4_Bologna_ 1978_Tribe of moles

BACKGROUND READING (optional)

Sylvere Lotringer and Christian Marazzi, eds. Italy: Autonomia. Post-political politics. Ed. Sylvere Lotringer and Christian Marazzi, New York: Semiotext, 1980.
http://www.generation-online.org/t/ppp.htm

Harry Cleaver. Introduction, Reading Capital Politically, Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1979, pp.3-66.
http://libcom.org/library/reading-capital-politically-cleaver-intro

Steve Wright, Storming Heaven: Class Composition and Struggle in Italian Autonomist Marxism, Pluto Press, 2002.
http://libcom.org/library/storming-heaven-class-composition-struggle-italian-autonomist-marxism-steve-wright

The Empty Plan

3:30pm, Saturday 2nd July, Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA), Glasgow.

The Strickland Distribution host a special screening of The Empty Plan (2010) by Anja Kirschner and David Panos. The screening is public and will be followed by an open discussion.

Shifting between documentary, historical reconstruction and melodrama, The Empty Plan interrogates the relationship between theory and practice in the theatre of Bertolt Brecht. The film contrasts scenes from Brecht’s exile in Los Angeles (1941 to 1947) with productions of his 1931 play The Mother in the late Weimar Republic, New Deal America and post-war East Germany, exploring different modes of performance and their relation to changing historical and political circumstances.

The title of the film is taken from Brecht’s Messingkauf Dialogues, an unfinished theoretical work written during his exile, which considers the possibilities of ‘committed art’ and its practical, theoretical and formal limits at a time when revolutionary mass movements had been defeated and theatre was supplanted by Hollywood cinema as the dominant form of popular entertainment.

Through the figures of Brecht, his collaborator Ruth Berlau and his wife, the actress Helene Weigel, the film reflects on conflicting personal, artistic and political ambitions, raising questions about the nature of art and the unrealised dream of its supersession through revolutionary practice.

Funded by Arts Council England through Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network, co-produced with City Projects and supported by Focal Point Gallery, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart and Kunsthall Oslo.

http://www.anjakirschner.com