Daniel & Clara: An Interview in 12 Parts. Part 11: Short filmsFebruary 27, 2019
Exploding Appendix Avant-Garde Art Practice & Research Group: July, August and September ScheduleMay 22, 2019
Our aim is to create a space where artists, intellectuals and others can meet to discuss ideas, issues and creative projects. Evenings tend to comprise of relaxed informal discussions about art, art projects and ideas, as well as a focal point. This might be a film screening, a live performance, an improvisation/creative session, a work in progress session, a reading group, a guest talk, an interview, a panel discussion, a debate, a workshop, an exhibition, live music or a party. This is all very flexible and can be built around the interests of the group.
The meetup runs alongside the Exploding Appendix website (www.explodingappendix.com), a multimedia online magazine that produces videos, podcasts, articles, interviews and visual essays exploring ideas and culture generally, and can be used as a platform for presenting projects related to the group.
Whilst drawing upon the history of avant-gardist and counter-cultural ideas we aim to explore a wide range of issues beyond the narrow purview of conventional art discussion. We welcome people working within different disciplines, different artistic mediums and coming from very different perspectives.
Below is the schedule for April, May and June:
16th April 2019
Greed, Laziness, Post-Scarcity and the Abolition of Work
It is sometimes assumed that the championing of greed, self interest and egoism is something to be associated with the defenders of capitalism and right-wing politics. This implies, by contrast, that the left would be at home in a world of asceticism, selflessness and altruism. This, however, flies in the face of a romantic tendency found in the writings of Oscar Wilde, William Morris, Peter Kropotkin, Paul Lafargue, Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Sylvia Pankhurst, Dadaists, Situationists, and many others for whom luxury and post-scarcity were pressing issues.
Expressing this tendency in one of its most incendiary forms, the 1970s American Situationist collective ‘For Ourselves: Council for Generalized Self-Management’ declared that the problem with contemporary capitalism is not greed, but the limited nature of it. For them the “present forms of greed lose out in the end because they turn out to be not greedy enough.” In contrast to the limited greed of contemporary capitalism, they called instead for a the Right to be Greedy and offered a vision of post-scarcity as libertarian communism.
In calling for the right to be greedy they evoke a much earlier 19th century text, The Right to be Lazy by Paul Lefargue, who, himself, called for a world where we work “three hours a day, reserving the rest of the day and night for leisure and feasting.” Lefargue and ‘For Ourselves” were not alone in imagining a future society of post-scarcity and luxury or flirting with egoism. Engels referred to himself (and Marx) as “communists out of egoism”, Marx talked of how capitalism was embodied in “the ascetic but rapacious skinflint and ascetic but productive slave”, Oscar Wilde hoped that socialism would “relieve us of the sordid necessity of living for others”, Peter Kropotkin talked of a ‘need for luxury’, Sylvia Pankhurst looked forward to a society “beyond rationing and the limiting of consumption”, William Morris sort a world of useful work, rather than useless toil, and Dadaists sort “progressive unemployment through the comprehensive mechanization of every field of activity”.
In this presentation we will explore the history and development of these visions of greed, laziness, post-scarcity and the abolition of work in 19th and 20th century writers. We will explore the political and social implications of these different writings and the role of art and technology in the vision for a post-scarcity society.
14th May 2019
Reading Gene Youngblood’s Expanded Cinema
In this meeting we will explore Gene Youngblood’s 1970 book ‘Expanded Cinema’, a book that is both fascinating and relevant not merely for its exploration of intermedia experiences and cinema beyond the forth wall, but also as a prophecy of the internet. Drawing on the media theory of Marshall McLuhan and the cybernetics of Norbert Wiener, Youngblood takes us on a journey through synaesthetic cinema, cybernetics, computer films, Human sensoriums, intermedia theatre, multiple-projection environments and holographic cinema, whilst exploring how newly emerging technologies could create a new psychic outlook. The meetup will be a presentation on the book by Bradley Tuck and a group discussion. Prior reading is welcome, but not necessary.
Reading The Xenofeminist Manifesto
In this meeting we will explore the collective Laboria Cuboniks’ 2015 manifesto exploring issues of gender, technology and accelerationism. To quote from the manifesto itself:
Why is there so little explicit, organized effort to repurpose technologies for progressive gender political ends? XF seeks to strategically deploy existing technologies to re-engineer the world. Serious risks are built into these tools; they are prone to imbalance, abuse, and exploitation of the weak. Rather than pretending to risk nothing, XF advocates the necessary assembly of techno-political interfaces responsive to these risks. Technology isn’t inherently progressive. Its uses are fused with culture in a positive feedback loop that makes linear sequencing, prediction, and absolute caution impossible. Technoscientific innovation must be linked to a collective theoretical and political thinking in which women, queers, and the gender non-conforming play an unparalleled role.
For those interested, the manifesto can be read here, or bought here. The meetup will be a presentation on the manifesto by Bradley Tuck and a group discussion. Prior reading is welcome, but not necessary.