Whittier School occupation begins

An extreme makeover has been underway. The structure of “public” has been cast as inadequate, as an offensive and dangerous obstacle. That is to say public infrastructures and resources, but also the very notion of public or shared or common, the terrain of social life that is not organized primarily around the rules of profit maximization, the forms of ownership, use and value that do not begin and end with exclusive private property rights, this larger social process is cast as the source of all our social and financial problems. It stands for a logic of inefficiency and waste, of sluggishness, resistance to innovation and lack of individual opportunity. It is the realm of limited individual choice, and of small-thinking. To move forward is to tear it all down.

To a certain extent, this is a politico-economic strategy related to devaluing or undervaluing public resources: public schools have been ruined, resources have been exposed to decay, public projects, institutions, infrastructures defunded, pilfered, bled dry. Private hands dipping liberally into the public purse, simultaneously help to push everything into the market at rock-bottom prices: sell the highway, privatize the schools for pennies on the dollar. This way you make money both coming and going.

This is also an ideological project, one that recasts all of life in terms of its efficient management. Because unlike commodities systems, living systems have waste, fat, redundancy, and operate at differing speeds. Living systems resist enclosure; and are always under construction, always generating endless possible outcomes. The future of living systems is not easily amenable to management.

Once the jurisdiction of the market expands over all of life, from the territory of the body, into the future of the air we breathe, into our very way of relating to each other, it tends to appear as though it was inevitable, as though it could not be any other way. It is a peculiar characteristic of jurisdiction: that it erases the process of its own making, its authority appears as a given, as inevitable. And it appears as the new notion of the “public good”.

In Chicago , over the last 7 years, 100 public schools have been slated for closure or subjection to “turn-around”, while 70 private, charter or “under private management” schools have been funded. This is the vision of the Renaissance 2010 program, a vision that became national policy once former Chicago Public School CEO Arne Duncan became Education Secretary for the Obama administration. Backed by the largest Education reform budget of any US administration in history, the opening of the US public school market is being rolled out at a stunning pace.

In Chicago, a small group of parents have been fighting against the ruining of their neighborhood school for ten years. On September 16, they occupied the building to resist its demolition. Extreme makeover, public-school edition, interrupted.

An Immigrants’ Freedom Ride

On Labor Day weekend (Sep 3-5, 2010), the Moratorium on Deportations Campaign undertook a “Freedom Ride: Immigrants’ Caravan” through the vast suburban sprawl of the Chicago metropolitan area. The 3-day, 100 mile bike ride, as well as the actions, rallies and meetings along the way, addressed the collaboration between local police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the rise in xenophobia as expressed in recent English-Only legislation, and the locally-specific ways in which capital accumulation is predicated on the degradation of work, the management and policing of migration, and the reorganization of urban/suburban space.

As the expanding logistics management industry consolidates enormous warehousing centers ( “inland ports” ) in foreign trade zones west and south of the city, tens of thousands of precarious workers, in large part immigrants, are pushed out of the city into planned suburban developments and into “perma-temp” jobs. The vast suburban landscape we rode through is a system of highly policed and regulated subterritories that are at once separated and connected by a limited number of county roads and an expanding system of freight rail lines. The logistics industry does not consist only of the warehouses and the flow of commodities in the supply chain, but also of the residential districts and of the efficient management of the flow of cheap, precarious labor – it is, in other words, a “people” system. Suburban Chicago appears in this sense as a logistical landscape: that is to say it is a spatial and social arrangement of differential mobilities – and immobilities – that links land speculation, the efficient warehousing and distribution of commodities and the efficient warehousing, detention and controlled migration of people.


Publication — Rising and Falling: How We Walk in Tampa

Rising and Falling: How We Walk in Tampa is a publication that resulted from our 8 month effort to work with walking, in a city that renders disposable bodies not confined to vehicles. This small book is our way of reflecting on our work, but it is also meant as a teaching and learning tool for young people in Tampa who may form their own walking communities. Contributors: Laura Bergeron, Rozalinda Borcila, Martin Bosman, Robert Brinkman, Desiree D’Alessandro, Sarah Hendricks, Sarah Lewison, Lou Marcus, Alan Moore, Raul Romero, Victoria Skelly

The book contains 5 durational walking projects and 6 walk/talks, folded in a handmade box. We have made a limited number of hardcopies (running out of the energy and time to make more boxes !!), and are distributing to friends and allies; please contact Rozalinda at borcila@arts.usf.edu if you would like us to mail you one. A hires pdf is available online at


This is a large file, please be patient. The book layout puts the walking conversations in relation with the durational walks; it includes images and descriptions of the walks and documents their translation in a number of different public exhibition situations. I am working on translating the booklet into a web-friendly presentation, with links to images and videos.

Below are excerpts from the Introduction, a transcribed introduction to a walking seminar with Sarah Lewison and the first walk/talk with Martin Bosman.
Many cheers



A Very Short Critique of Relational Aesthetics

Radical Culture Research Collective
from http://transform.eipcp.net/correspondence/1196340894

Nicolas Bourriaud’s Relational Aesthetics (Les presses du réel, 1998; English translation 2002) undeniably has been an effective generator of debate. In the wake of critical responses by Claire Bishop (in October in 2004 and Artforum in 2006) Grant Kester (in Conversation Pieces, 2004, and in Artforum in 2006), Stewart Martin (in Third Text in 2007) and Julian Stallabrass (in Art Incorporated, 2004), the strengths and limits of Bourriaud’s book will be no secret. Our remarks at this point will not be new, but we think it may still be helpful to formulate some critical propositions with a sharper political orientation.


The Sublime Whiff of Criticality – On the Functions of Documenta

Radical Culture Research Collective

from http://transform.eipcp.net/correspondence/1189078355

Radical Culture Research Collective (RCRC) is a group of activists, artists, researchers and writers in Berlin, Hamburg, London (England), Montreal, London (Canada), New York, San Francisco, Tampa, Weimar and Vienna aiming to build structures and processes for critiquing the capitalist art system, reflecting on politicized artistic practices, and developing modes of a militant praxis within and without the field of art.

Our recent discussions have revolved around the ways in which criticality is recuperated through neo-liberal managerialism.  This text, written for Radical Philosophy, briefly sketches some aspects of this problem using Documenta XII as a case study.


ARTISTS’ BOOKS IN (what was formerly known as) EASTERN EUROPE

by What, how and for Whom/WHW , from

What, How & for Whom (WHW) is a non-profit organization for visual culture and curators’ collective formed in 1999 and based in Zagreb, Croatia. Its members are curators Ivet Ćurlin, Ana Dević , Natasa Ilić and Sabina Sabolović , and designer and publicist Dejan Krsić . Since May 2003 WHW has been directing the program of Gallery Nova – a non-profit, city-owned gallery in Zagreb.  (more…)

“Reverse Imagineering” by Brian Holmes

We are posting this in anticipation of our series of lectures and discussions with Brian Holmes, organized by the Center for Getting Ugly. Many thanks to Brian for his generosity.

“Reverse Imagineering: Toward the New Urban Struggles,
Or: Why Smash the State When Your Neighborhood Theme Park Is So Much Closer?”
Brian Holmes

“What are the steps in the creation of a Disney attraction? According to literature sent out by WDW [Walt Disney World], the steps are: storyboard, script, concept, show models, sculpture, show set design, graphics, interiors, architectural design, molds and casting, wardrobe and figure finishing, electronic and mechanical design and manufacture, show sets and prop construction, animation, audio, special effects and lighting, and engineering.” [The Unofficial Walt Disney Imagineering Page (www.imagineering.org).]

“The radical left in the postcommunist epoch”

Joanne Richardson

This is the first of a three-part series of essays: (1) the radical left in the postcommunist epoch; (2) the neoliberal & the neofascist right in Romania; (3) protest movements, social forums and the myth of civil society. It argues that the radical left begins from an affirmation of the real democratization of the economy, politics and culture, which means rejecting both postcommunism and communism. This democratization is based on a unity of principles, not on sharing identical visions, practices or goals.

They say we had a revolution in Romania. Ceausescu was executed. And with his death, a society of bureaucratic privilege and control over the economy, politics, culture and most details of daily life began to wither away. According to the cliché that now passes for a self-evident truth, the left = communism = totalitarianism = antidemocratic. After 1989, public opinion was unified in praising the new “right” wing government that came to power in the wake of Ceausescu’s regime because whatever was not communist had to be on the side of freedom and democracy. (more…)

“Art Schools Burning and Other Songs of Love and War”

article by Gene Ray
(full article with endnotes)

“Like enfants perdus, we live our uncompleted adventures”. Debord, Howls for Sade

“It is certainly true that if the problem of the group’s functioning is not posed to begin with, it will be too late afterward”. Deleuze, “Three Group-Related Problems”

One day long ago – back in 1960s, or was it the 1970s? – the radical avant-gardes became a formal object of institutionalized art history. Sometime in the wake of dada’s belated post-1945 “reception,” the histories of militant art groups from the early twentieth century were absorbed by the academy, and the precedents were established by which every groupuscule working in the shadows and border zones of culture – if it ever once emerges into visibility, if it fails to utterly cover its tracks – is fated to eventually have its history written. Before that, the cultural establishment had simply ignored them. (more…)