Radical Film Network Meeting Berlin: OPEN CALL Book “Radical Film at the Dawn of a New Society”

HaFI is cooperation partner of the second edition of the upcoming three-day event Radical Film Network Meeting taking place from October 7-10, 2021, in silent green, Berlin. We would like to draw your attention to the Open Call for the book project “Radical Film at the Dawn of a New Society,” which deadline has been now extended to February 15, 2021.

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS
Radical Film at the Dawn of a New Society

You are invited to make a contribution to a new book arising from the Radical Film Network Meeting Berlin (RFNMB). Under the working title “Radical Film at the Dawn of a New Society”, the book aims to critically interrogate how various actors working at the intersection of radical film, art and digital culture are engaging with issues of our present time shaped by changes and disruptions of seismic proportions.

The events of the year 2020 have fundamentally transformed public life almost beyond recognition. It remains to be seen if these transformations are here to stay or just a passing phase. These events and many of the transformations they have given rise to have fostered a surge of anxiety, feelings of powerlessness and a dark vision of the future. However, if we take a second look at the current situation, we can also see a newly developed focus on the importance of community, of solidarity and on maintaining sociality, all of which hold the promise of a new society. And while anxiety is often said to embody paralyzing features, one could argue that anxiety — a basic human emotion like joy, lust and anger — is a strong motive for collective human action because nobody wants to stay alone in the dark.

We propose to overcome the anxiety together and to collectively develop productive solutions to reclaim control. We are seeking contributions which investigate the possibilities of radical film cultures to regain agency and to offer productive ways out of the current bleakness. How can this state of affairs be aesthetically translated into new forms of radical film or cinema? We welcome contributions from individuals and communities both inside and outside of academia, in particular, from activists, artists, filmmakers, policymakers and researchers. Contributions can either capture entirely new work or engage with past work taking a new perspective. They can take the form of any of, but not limited to, the following formats: academic papers, interviews, essays, photo stories, poems, short stories, diaries, codings or drawings or even memes.

Contributions should engage with expressions of ‘radicality’ that articulate democratic and progressive Leftist politics and culture in their treatment of topics during this moment relating to issues like racism, sexism, classism, identity politics, capitalist exploitation, social care, gentrification, conflict, migration, curatorial and archival practices, digitalization, surveillance, revolutionary movements, concepts of nature, climate change, pollution, pharmaceutics, drug politics and the pandemic measures among other topics.

If you are interested in making a contribution to the book, please send a 500-word proposal or sample contribution to pub@radicalfilm.net by February 15, 2021.

Important Dates:

15 February 2021: Proposal Submission Deadline;
15 March 2021: Notification of Acceptance;
15 August 2021: Full Chapter Submission;
15 December 2022: Peer Review Comments Returned;
15 January 2022: Contributor Revisions Due;
15 February 2022: Final Acceptance Notification.

More information on publisher, contributions to the event RFMNB in Berlin, and the RFMNB team, please consult the website:

www.radicalfilm.net

 

January 15th, 2021 — Projects / Publication
Interface

Lauren Berlant, the brilliant theorist of “cruel optimism” and related issues, died of a rare form of cancer on June 28. The following, devastatingly optimistic quote is from a 2016 essay on the commons as “infrastructures for troubling times,” part of a book that they worked on with the typically double-edged title On the Inconvenience of Other People: “What remains for our pedagogy of unlearning is to build affective infrastructures that admit the work of desire as the work of an aspirational ambivalence. What remains is the potential we have to common infrastructures that absorb the blows of our aggressive need for the world to accommodate us and our resistance to adaptation and that, at the same time, hold out the prospect of a world worth attaching to that’s something other than an old hope’s bitter echo. A failed episode is not evidence that the project was in error. By definition, the common forms of life are always going through a phase, as infrastructures will.”

 

Some basics from the Strike MoMA site: “Campaigns, actions, and letters chip away at the regime’s facade from the outside. Inside, every time workers organize, defy the boss, care for a coworker, disrespect secrecy, or enact other forms of subversion, cracks are created in the core. Cracking and chipping, chipping and cracking. As the walls that artificially separate the museum from the world collapse, we reorient away from the institution and come together to make plans. Let us strike in all the ways possible to exit from the terms of the museum so we can set our own.”

 

via Hyperallergic on the environmental impact of blockchain referring to recent NFT (non-fungible token) art sales: “This is not the first time the art world has come under scrutiny for being on the wrong side of the climate conversation. Artists and activists have protested everything from the carbon footprint of physical art fairs to the fossil fuel money funding major museums. But some say the energy consumption of cryptocurrencies is particularly egregious, and research shows it’s relatively easily quantifiable. A study by Cambridge University, for instance, estimates that bitcoin uses more electricity per year than the entire nation of Argentina. (Ethereum mining consumes a quarter to half of what Bitcoin mining does, but one transaction uses more power than an average US household in a day, according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.)”

 

Nicholas Mirzoeff on “Artificial vision, white space and racial surveillance capitalism”: “Based as it is on ‘epidermalization’ (the assertion of absolute difference based on relative differences in skin color), AI’s racial surveillance deploys an all-too-familiar racialized way of seeing operating at plan-etary scale. It is the plantation future we are now living in. All such operations take place in and via the new imagined white space of technology known as the cloud. In reality, a very material arrangement of servers and cables, the cloud is both an engine of high-return low-employment capitalism and one of the prime drivers of carbon emissions.”

 

Sara Ahmed on the performativity of disgust (from The Cultural Politics of Emotion, 2004): “To name something as disgusting is to transfer the stickiness of the word ‘disgust’ to an object, which henceforth becomes generated as the very thing that is spoken. The relationship between the stickiness of the sign and the stickiness of the object is crucial to the performativity of disgust as well as the apparent resistance of disgust reactions to ‘newness’ in terms of the generation of different kinds of objects. The object that is generated as a disgusting (bad) object through the speech act comes to stick. It becomes sticky and acquires a fetish quality, which then engenders its own effects.”

November 7th, 2020

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

T.J. Demos on why cultural practitioners should never surrender, via tranzit.sk:  “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
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