Archive for the ‘publicizing’ Category

“The Third Floor: Free Speech Zone” is an exhibition curated by Arteco in collaboration with the International University College Student Association in Turin. Recommended.


“[…] A lot of people think we were facing our last century as a viable civilization, maybe even as a species. Global warming, overpopulation, the death of the seas, the loss of arable land, the proliferation of disease, the threat of nuclear or biological warfare…”
“We might have destroyed ourselves, but at least it would have been our own fault.”
“Would it, though? Whose fault exactly? Yours? Mine? No, it would have been the result of several billion human beings making relatively innocuous choices: to have kids, drive a car to work, keep their job, solve the short-term problems first: When you reach the point at which even the most trivial acts are punishable by the death of the species, then obviously, obviously, you’re at a critical juncture, a different kind of point of no return.”
Robert Charles Wilson, Spin.


Another plug: Clara Montoya (more here) will be displaying an important piece (of salt and wood 49 x 49 x 180 cm) also in Madrid at Galería Marta Cervera (vernissage tomorrow).


Plug: blog readers in Madrid might want to pop up at Tom Skipp‘s exhibition at Espacio Menosuno (vernissage tomorrow).

Economists Camille Landais, Thomas Picketti and Emmanuel Saez do two things. First, they graphically demonstrate how aggregate taxation proves blatantly regressive in France (considering all types of taxes, the top rich pay less than the rest). Second, with student Guillaume Saint-Jacques, they provide everybody (including politicians) with the possibility of simulating alternative fiscal policies. Their website is called “fiscal revolution” — the name is not really an exaggeration, the device is quite a landmark in the politics of economic demonstration.

Test your skills in French with this quiz on the parliamentary debate about the “Loi Besson”. The quiz is kindly proposed by La Cimade as part of its campaign against this act of institutional xenophobia.

Luc Boltanski, on the social-racial urge of Sarkozy’s clique and their war against the Roma:

“Political blasphemy consists in shaking moral standards, in proclaiming loud and clear a discourse of hate that is usually censored or hidden. This has always been the strategy of the extreme right. Adopted now by the current power in place, it has two objectives. The first is to remove censorship over hatred. The second is to provoke the moral consciousness of those who are worried by this discourse of hate, to shock them, to make them react so as to tighten the border between the “idealists”, who are depicted as irresponsible, and the “realists and courageous”, those who are truly responsible, those who can speak and act in the name of a silent majority.” (Luc Boltanski, “Nous ne débattrons pas de la ‘question Rom'”, Médiapart, September 13 2010)

This is very much true. But would that mean that counter-blasphemy would be a fair way to respond? Would an intellectual among the “idealists” be compelled to utter something such as, for instance, “Sarkozy, if you like France that much, go and stick it in your ass”? Wow, that would be too wild. A bad idea. (And sticking something in one’s ass is a form of love, after all).

Counter-blasphemy is a difficult political technique.

Quite nicely put by Jackson Lears:

“Since 9/11, a cult of the warrior has settled over America like morning fog over the Mekong Delta.” (Jackson Lears, 2010, “Mad Monkey”, London Review of Books, vol. 32 n. 18, 23 September)

A scrutiny of the mentality behind a recent bestselling war novel — with reference to the foundational, thrilling “I do not know the meaning of the universe” Holmes quote — leads alas to the sad objection:

“The political questions remains: why are these men in that place? Who is responsible? Is this what we want? Until we learn how to ask them more insistently, we will be stuck with the demons of Vietnam, which won’t be exorcised any time soon, and more imperial misadventures are on the way. There it is.” (Jackson Lears, 2010, “Mad Monkey”, London Review of Books, vol. 32 n. 18, 23 September)

Agents of the Test Society were seen last Wednesday at Anar in Shanghai listening to the amazing tunes of Yabaso, an encyclopedia of the throat (listen to this and this).

Update: also seen at the Yuyintang listening to the totally convincing tunes of Boojii and Duck Fight Goose (more here).

The Test Society blog proudly presents the first of a series of qualitative indicators on pre-fascist tendencies. This one, still in development, consists in spotting books displaying the notion of “vampire” to refer to any collective instance of the Great Oriental Menace, and openly getting a mainstream media nod. For today’s indicator hit, the vampires are the Chinese:  Philippe Cohen and Luc Richard’s Le Vampire du Milieu: comment la Chine nous dicte sa loi (advertised here, here, here or even here).

A more refined version of the indicator shall include in the future a correlation between the use of “vampires” and the use of political deictics, in particular of the resourceful “them or us” thing (today’s finding is a gem in that sense: the title reads “The Middle Vampire: How China Imposes its Law upon Us”).