Texts that inspire, provoke and inform.

Aesthetics of Resistance? Artistic Research as Discipline and Conflict by Hito Steyerl

What is artistic research today? At present no one seems to know an answer to this question. Artistic research is treated as one of the multiple practices which are defined by indefinition, constantly in flux, lacking coherence and identity. But what if this view were indeed misleading? What if we actually knew more about it than we thought? In order to discuss this proposition, let’s first have a look at current debates around artistic research. It seems as if one of their most important concerns is the transformation of artistic research into an academic discipline. There are discussions about curriculum, degrees, method, practical application, pedagogy. On the other hand, there is also substantial criticism of this approach. It addresses the institutionalization of artistic research as being complicit with new modes of production within cognitive capitalism: commodified education, creative and affective industries, administrative aesthetics, and so on. Both perspectives agree on one point: artistic research is at present being constituted as a more or less normative, academic discipline. Continue reading here


Female Involvement in the Miners’ Strike 1984-1985: Trajectories of Activism by Jean Spence and Carol Stephenson
University of Durham; University of Northumbria

Sociological Research Online, Volume 12, Issue 1, Published: 31 Jan 2007

Abstract: This paper is based on recent primary research interviews with women who were active in the 1984-1985 miners’ strike. The paper claims that one depiction of women’s engagement in the strike has been privileged above others: activist women were miners’ wives who embarked on a linear passage from domesticity and political passivity into politicisation and then retreated from political engagement following the defeat. This depiction is based on a masculinist view which sees political action as organisationally based and which fails to recognise the importance of small scale and emotional political work which women did and continue to undertake within their communities. In reality many women were politically active and aware prior to the dispute though not necessarily in a traditional sense. Women’s activism is characterised by continuity: those women who have maintained activism were likely to have been socially and/or politically active prior to the dispute.

Keywords: Miners’ Strike, Masculine Understandings of Female Activism


For A Working-Class Television: The Miners’ Campaign Tape Project
by David E. James

…………….In one of the first working-class novels in English, Robert Tressell described a proto-cinematic event that heralded a genuinely proletarian cinema as vividly as the fandango dancer in L’Éve Future portended the commodity industry that in the event triumphed over it. The Christmas party in The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists included “Bert White’s World-famed Pandorama,” a candle-lit miniature cardboard stage with rollers that showed “pictures cut out of illustrated weekly papers and pasted together, end-to-end, so as to form a long strip.” Bert, an apprentice house-painter, used the toy theatre to take his audience on a tour of European cities: to one where “mounted police with drawn swords were dispersing a crowd: several men had been ridden down and were being trampled under the hoofs of horses”; to another, where they arrive “just in time to see a procession of unemployed workmen being charged by the military police”; and, back in “Merry Hingland,” to scenes of domestic starvation, homelessness, and a procession of “2,000 able-bodied men who are not allowed to work” (324-27). Though the workers’ cinema that Bert’s Pandornama anticipated never came into being in England, something like it did in the age of television. A century later working-class people were using a similarly rudimentary apparatus and a similarly amateur mode of production to show virtually the same images of popular mobilisation against unemployment, impoverishment, and police rioting. But this time the medium was video: the Miners’ Campaign Tapes, their own newsreels about their own strike.1
Continue reading here.

The Militant Image: A Ciné-Geography

Introduction by Kodwo Eshun and Ros Gray (Third Text special issue, Volume 25, Issue 1, 2011)









How is the militant image to be understood at this moment in this
special issue that assembles research from London, Buenos Aires, Paris,
New York and Lisbon? Expansively, capaciously, exorbitantly: the militant image comprises any form of image or sound – from essay film to
fiction feature, from observational documentary to found-footage ciné-
pamphlet, from newsreel to agitational reworkings of colonial film
production – produced in and through film-making practices dedicated
to the liberation struggles and revolutions of the late twentieth century.
This special issue on the ciné-geography of the militant image revisits the
archives of these moments in order to reconstitute necessarily partial
examples of the most contested and the most influential as well as the
most overlooked formulations of the militant image that were proposed
throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s. The former include
Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino’s notion of Third Cinema; the
latter, Getino’s notion of militant cinema as an internal category of
Third Cinema and Edouard de Laurot’s notion of cinéma engagé. Continue reading here.


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