Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Architecture against strategies?

Demolition of  the Island Block, October 2006.
Photo c. Alexei Monroe

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...




Tuesday, November 27, 2012

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



Saturday, October 13, 2012

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 audiovisual set by Codex Europa. See the facebook page for details

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.


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 campaigning against his suspension.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

A Colder Consciousness special on Mixcloud

You can now hear my recent appearance on the Resonance FM programme A Colder Consciousness via the show's mixcloud page. The show began with Nico's controversial version of Das Lied der Deutsche as played by Igor Vidmar on Radio Student in 1983. We discuss the Slovene and Yugoslav underground scenes and the associated political questions.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

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.


Tuesday, July 03, 2012

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."

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Talk at Pollinations event, London, July 14th

I'll be giving a presentation entitled The NSK State in Time: Beyond Micrnational? at this event at Chelsea Old Town Hall. Registration is free via the Pollinations website...

Thursday, May 31, 2012

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

Montage by Vera Bremerton.
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 nevertheless had a wide and terrifying cultural impact. Sonically, the Dr. Who soundtracks produced by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in the 1960s and 70s can now be heard as direct precursors of industrial and examples of this link will be presented. The way in which they encoded socio-technological terrors electronically could even support a classification of these soundtracks a type of proto-industrial music, itself dependent on some of industrial’s other precursors: Futurism, Bruitism and Musique Concréte.

Event details:

noise=noise theory 02.

EVOL
INIGO WILKINS
RYAN JORDAN
ALEXEI MONROE

8th June 19.00-23.00

nnnn
Unit 73a
Regent Studios
8 Andrews Road
E8 4QN

5 pounds.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Talk at Trans-Europa Festival, Cluj

Image by Novi Kolektivizem
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 courageously. Current events lead us to face hard questions: is there a possibility for a trans-European cultural response to the crisis and the tragic beauties of Europe's cultural heritage and what hope is there for a European cultural resurgence?

17th May 21.00

Irish & Music Pub

Adresa: Str. Horea, nr. 5, Cluj-Napoca

http://www.transeuropafestival.eu/

Friday, April 20, 2012

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.



Friday, March 16, 2012

Retrogarde London

This spring sees the largest concentration of NSK-related activity in London since July 1987 - symposia, two exhibitions, a Laibach concert in Tate Modern and more. For more information on these events and news on how I'll be participating check the new Retrogarde London blog.


Monday, January 02, 2012

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. Thompson.


2011 saw the publication of State of Emergence, the first NSK Rendez-Vous events in Lyon, London, New York, Leipzig, Nuremberg, and Munich and the NSK Folk Art opening in Ljubljana. Spring 2012 will see some exciting and even utopian artistic events take place in London and I'll say more about these soon. They promise to bring innovation and a politicised artistic spirit and should provide some memorable moments of defiance. They will be contrary to the incipient conformist conservatism of British culture and to the enforced climate of playing safe and not taking risks.

At a recent event to discuss the re-release of the original Throbbing Gristle albums, Cosey said that she believes that the crisis (potentially a new Great Depression) would be good for art and creativity, forcing people to respond and innovate and if she's right there's much to play for, particularly if artists and musicians can develop and respond to the insurgent/critical spirit now animating what the British like to call “extra parliamentary politics” without falling into the traps of (counter)-authoritarianism and new orthodoxies. If this is to be a year of catastrophic collapse it will at least be marked by a growing number of hard-hitting artistic responses that will be remembered for a long time, regardless of what happens next. So let's approach 2012 in a combative, defiant and creative spirit, carving out conceptual space and asserting creativity in the face of collapse.