Public Screening #02: Ann and Eduardo Guedes et al. Rocinante, March 17, 2017, Arsenal

Friday, March 17, 2017
Arsenal at “Kino 2”

Great Britain, mid-1980s: In the very moment neoliberalism’s triumph in the realm of Margaret Thatcher seems irreversible, Ann and Eduardo Guedes, two veteran members of the socialist documentary film collective Cinema Action (founded in 1968), shoot their first feature film: ROCINANTE (UK, 1986) is a mythological road movie, a squatter and hacker story, starring John Hurt, Maureen Douglass, Ian Dury, Carol Gillies and others. Raymond Williams’ cultural analysis of Britishness and socially produced landscape is being tied up with the dramatic bucolics of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and Derek Jarman’s transgressive dreamy England. We haven’t seen the movie, but we are curious how the conjunction of documentary and fictional practice, a problem Harun Farocki became very familiar with in the 1970s and 1980s, is being played out here.

Ann and Eduardo Guedes, Rocinante, GB 1986, with John Hurt, Maureen Douglass, Ian Dury, Carol Gillies and others, 35mm, 93 min

March 17th, 2017, Event / Projects

David Graeber (1961-2020) on What Would It Take (from his The Democracy Project. A History, a Crisis, a Movement, 2013, p. 193): “We have little idea what sort of organizations, or for that matter, technologies, would emerge if free people were unfettered to use their imagination to actually solve collective problems rather than to make them worse. But the primary question is: how do we even get there? What would it take to allow our political and economic systems to become a mode of collective problem solving rather than, as they are now, a mode of collective war?”

September 7th, 2020, Tom

T.J. Demos on why cultural practitioners should never surrender, via  “For artists, writers, and curators, as art historians and teachers, the meaning-production of an artwork is never finished, never fully appropriated and coopted, in my view, and we should never surrender it; the battle over significance is ongoing. We see that battle rise up in relation to racist and colonial monuments these days in the US, the UK, and South Africa. While the destruction of such monuments results from and is enabling of radical politics, it’s still not enough until the larger institutions that support and maintain their existence as well as the continuation of the politics they represent are also torn down. This is urgent as well in the cultural sphere, including the arts institutions, universities, art markets, discursive sphere of magazines and journals, all in thrall to neoliberalism, where we must recognize that it’s ultimately inadequate to simply inject critical or radical content into these frameworks, which we know excel at incorporating those anti-extractivist expressions into further forms of cultural capital and wealth accumulation. What’s required is more of the building of nonprofit and community-based institutions, organizing radical political horizons and solidarity between social formations.”

August 21st, 2020, Tom

Bernard Stiegler, quoted from The Neganthropocene (trans. Daniel Ross): “Does anyone really believe that it is possible to ‘solve’ the problems of climate change, habitat destruction and cultural destruction without addressing the consumerist basis of the present macro-economic system, or vice versa, or without addressing the way in which this system depletes the psychic energy required to find the collective will, belief, hope and reason to address this planetary challenge? Can this consumerism really survive the coming wave of automation that threatens to decimate its customer base and undermine the ‘consumer confidence’ that is fundamental to its perpetual growth requirements, themselves antithetical, once again, to the problems of biospherical preservation?”

August 14th, 2020, Tom
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