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Architecture against strategies?

On December 1st I'll be taking part in an event in Maribor entitled A conversation about the formation of national iconographies and their framing. This is a closing event for a complex and challenging exhibition by the artist Jasmina Cibic.  
My talk, Unacceptable Faces of Monumentalism?, is an interpretation of competing utopian and dystopian tendencies in London architecture, culture and politics. It's an experimental approach to analysing architecture, a subject I'm increasingly interested in. It's also a conceptual sequel to my Tate Modern presentation in April.
Here's a sonic cue, Shockwork by Test Dept...




Sonica symposium

I will be moderating the Sonica Symposium in ZRC SAZU, Ljubljana on the evenings of the 28th and 29th November. We'll be trying to assess and interrogate the idea of the Third Culture with a series of artist and curator presentations and screenings. The event is free and you can find details here



Time for a New State?/Vade Retro, Manchester, 14th November.

On November 14th I'll take part in an NSK seminar/Folk Art exhibition and club night taking place in Manchester. I'll be analysing NSK Folk Art and presenting key examples of the form.

Speakers: Alexei Monroe – author of Interrogation Machine: Laibach and NSK

Stevphen Shukaitis (University of Essex) – author of Imaginal Machines

Ian Parker (MMU) – author of Slavoj Zizek, a critical introduction

Michael Goddard (University of Salford) editor of Mark E Smith and the Fall: Art, Music and Politics

Chair: John Robb (Membranes/Goldblade/Louderthanwar)

Seminar in Lecture Theatre 5. Folk Art Exhibition in Geoffrey Manton atrium. Please arrive early to view the exhibition and receive passport authentication or temporary papers. This event is free, open to all and does not require pre-registration. For further information email Mike Tyldesley: M.Tyldesley[at]mmu.ac.uk

The event will be followed by an evening club night 'Vade Retro' featuring a special au…

Support Ian Parker!

A campaign to reinstate Ian Parker, co-director of Manchester Metropolitan University's Discourse Unit, which promotes "radical theory and practice" in psychology, has been launched by students and staff outraged at his exclusion from campus. 
Ian participated in the NSK State Dublin event in 2004 and was a key facilitator at the First NSK Citizens' Congress in 2010.
His suspension seems to have followed on from his raising legitimate concerns about workload and other issues. It seems horribly like an attempt to silence a radical, critical voice.
You can read the THES report on the story here.
Please sign the petition!
Messages of protest can be sent to the Vice-Chancellor John Brooks (j.brooks@mmu.ac.uk) and the Head of the Department of Psychology Christine Horrocks (c.horrocks@mmu.ac.uk). These messages can be copied as messages of solidarity to the MMU UCU chair Pura Ariza (p.ariza@mmu.ac.uk).

Update: Ian has now returned to work at MMU following the extensive c…

A Colder Consciousness on Resonance FM, 10th July, 17.30

I feature on today's episode of A Colder on Resonance 104.4 FM in London and online elsewhere at resonancefm.com. This is a special editin of the show dedicated to Slovenia and ex-Yugoslavia. The show features Nico, 300 000 V.K., Abbildungen Variete, Electric Fish, Autopsia, Borghesia and Laibach and I discuss with ACC host Flora Pitrolo the musical and cultural history of the period between 1983 and 1987.


Codex Europa Techno by Other Means podcast

The excellent Bio-Mechanics site invited Codex Europa to produce their latest podcast and the result is available now here. This is a harsh experiemental sequence taking a range of harsh and radical electronics that parallel or negate techno "proper."

Doctor Who and the Death Factory at Noise=Noise, June 8th.

Next Friday I'll give an experimental presentation at Noise=Noise on the strange parallels between the sonic and conceptual dystopianism of Doctor Who and first generation British industrial music. Dr. Who exposed mass audiences (often very young) to a combination of experimental electronic sound and dystopian themes, a combination that could also summarise industrial music. Dr. Who frequently presented post-apocalyptic scenarios of mutation, mind control and para-militarised societies and, in the process, at least implicitly criticised actual political and technological developments of the time, particularly those associated with the Cold War arms race. Due to budgetary constraints these visionary scenarios were often realised in a rudimentary ad hoc fashion; an approach that also applies to industrial. The early industrial groups highlighted the most serious social and political themes using very primitive electronic equipment, creating a kind of “D.I.Y. monumentalism” that nev…

Talk at Trans-Europa Festival, Cluj

This Thursday I will be speaking at a special three-part event taking place in the framework of the Trans-Europa festival...

1) Lecture: On the the Future of European Culture by Alexei Monroe 2) Alexander Nym: Address to Europa 3) Codex Europa Alter-Europa DJ Set. European Electronic sounds: EBM, Electro, Synth, Techno, Industrial
ABSTRACT:
Alexei Monroe will discuss the current plight and possible (but far from certain) future of European culture. He will analyse the ways in which various artists and musicians have envisioned Europe and its troubled history and the political and cultural consequences of the almost total failure of the European political class to build a visionary trans-European culture. This failure has left Europe at the mercy of "Euro-cidal" forces on both the right and the left. The cultural question is not the added or unaffordable luxury that authoritarian Marxists and neoliberal ideologues would have us believe and needs to be addressed urgently and cour…

Further Retrogarde London Talks

The NSK Symposium and Laibach concert at Tate Modern are over and the Chelsea Space exhibition finishes on April 21st at 4pm but there is still a great deal of activity going on until late June.
On May 14th I will give a talk at Marcus Campbell art books on the 20th anniversary of the London show of Laibach's Kapital tour. See the flyer here.

On June 7th at 7pm I will give a gallery tour of the Irwin/NSK Folk Art show at Calvert 22, discussing NSK aesthetics from Was ist Kunst? To NSK Folk Art.


2012 - The Gathering Storm

So the year “everyone's been waiting for” has arrived and we can't ignore the fact that we're confronted by a pretty diabolical constellation of forces. The assault on/implosion of Europe, democracy, the welfare state, culture and the environment are all accelerating, generating new forms of resistance and despair in the process. It's a time of crisis and disintegration and much of this is going to become ever harder to ignore or deny – the phony war is over. A time of crisis demands an art of crisis and with luck the rediscovery of early 1980s art and music over the last decade may have proved a useful training in techniques for a similarly conflict-riven and potentially apocalyptic time. It's interesting to note how the still-developing NSK Folk Art movement has begun to flourish just as social and economic conditions have worsened since 2008. 2012 will see more exhibitions of NSK Folk Art and very probably more politicised responses like those of David K. Tho…