Skip to main content

Posts

People's March Against Neofeudalism

Last Saturday I join a pan-European group of friends and c. 700, 000 others on the People's March. As I explained to a Japanese journalist, we were there as we felt we had no choice. I have the sense that many in the country feel that if they just keep their heads down and give the Brexit People what they want, then they'll be satisfied. This is a huge mistake. The elite mob of disaster capitalists, neofeudalists and kleptocrats may not be unstoppable, but they are absolutely insatiable. Ultimately, nothing will satisfy their lust for blood and power, so it is better to make a stand now while it's still possible than to have to wrest back control from them amidst the Hard Brexit chaos they dream of.
I've been on 2 previous marches on this subject, but this was a huge increase in numbers and energy. Apart from a tiny pro-Trump mob outside Brexerspoons on Whitehall, there was no opposition. The weigh and spirit of so many people were impossible to resist. Even Radio 4 sp…
Recent posts

Gesamtkunstwerk Laibach at Iklectik Arts Lab, London. 3. Oktober 2018

Join us for the London launch of the English/German book Gesamtkunstwerk Laibach, a collection of new perspectives on the work of the group. Co-editor Uwe Schütte will present the book and this will be followed by a panel discussing their own selections of Laibach videos:


Alexei Monroe will analyse Mi kujemo bodočnost 1983Simon Bell will analyse Opus Dei (Life is Life)Michael Goddard will analyse Wirtschaft ist TotUwe Schütte will analyse Germania
Codex Europa will play a selection of rare and lesser-known Laibach pieces, alongside a few classics.

Tickets are available on the door or from the venue website.

Quatermass: Brexit & A Warning from TV History (or 'How they learned to hate science and love the Brex')

Quatermass is a story of the future ... but perhaps only a few years from now. What might be in store for us if our civilisation were to come under terrible unforeseen strain.
Nigel Kneale, 1979.

I saw the final Quatermass TV series as an impressionable 10 year old. Like many of my generation, it's stayed with me ever since. The earlier Quatermass films and TV series are more respected critically and writer Nigel Kneale himself had reservations about the way the 1979 instalment was realised. Yet however imperfect it is, it does have great poetic dystopian power.


At the time, the urban warfare and mad cults it depicts were (correctly) taken as Kneale's somewhat bitter look back in anger at the social and political chaos of the 1960s and 1970s. It's forgotten that Kneale was looking forwards as much as backwards. In a feature for the TV Times to promote the series, he argued that the near total collapse of civilisation that he foresaw might be just a few years away.

Until …

Brutalism 2k18 What the F**k is Going On?

Last week I spoke at the Nonument Symposium in Ljubljana, focussing on the way that 'Brutalism' is used and abused in contemporary culture. The renewed cult popularity of Brutalism is a phenomenon I've been observing with a mixture of fascination, enjoyment, ambivalence and disgust for some time and the lecture had a packed agenda. It was an attempt to try and decode the various agendas and interests circling around Brutalism and to track them. I analysed a range of examples, from internet culture to contemporary design to industrial music to science-fiction.  Brutalism as a (life)style or even an attitude is arguably more 'sexy' and, for some, virtuous than ever, yet many of its most iconic structures are now being demolished or de-brutalised through cladding - a term now synonymous with the horror of the Grenfell Tower fire.

All this raises many questions. Is there any stable, agreed perception of what Brutalism means and has it been systematically appropriated …

Test Dept Book Launch and Screening, April 23rd.

For the past few years I've been working intensively with Test Dept and Peter Webb on a comprehensive archival book documenting their work and its impact. I've contributed an introductory text and two shorter texts on the group's work. Full details of the book and where to buy it will be available soon. Total State Machine will be published by PC-Press on April 23rd and this will be marked by a special event at The Ritzy in Brixton.

A premiere screening of DS30, documenting Test Dept's monumental 2014 installation and video project on the River Tyne will be accompanied by a selection of Test Dept archive material on film and video. This will be followed by a Q & A with founding members Graham Cunnington, Angus Farquhar and Paul Jamrozy. Special DJ sets will be provided by Scanner and Shelley Parker.

www.testdept.org.uk

www.pc-press.co.uk

The Idea of the Avant-Garde

I have a major new text, in this excellent collection edited by Marc James Léger. 'Sponsored by Self-Management? Re-Constructing the Context and Consequences of Laibach’s Monumental Retro- Avant-Garde' looks at the subject through the prism of pre- and post-war Yugoslav architecture and features rare Laibach illustrations.

Full details on the book can be found on the Manchester University Press website.

P.C. Press and Test Dept

I've been working intensively on the publication of Total State Machine a book on the history of Test Dept, which I've co-edited with the group and Peter Webb. I've also written the introduction to the book, which contains a wealth of archival photos and documents plus tour diaries, new texts and exclusive interviews. More information on the P.C. Press website.