Activist Information, Activist Imagination

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  • Artists & Activists 1 - 12        Red76, Raqs Media Collective, Dyke Action Machine!, Ultra-red, The Center for Tactical Magic, Robert Ransick, Carlo Quispe, Bread and Puppet Theater, Fritz Haeg, Electronic Disturbance Theater, b.a.n.g. lab and Critical Art Ensemble        Books        $100.00
  • Blueprint for a Strike        Fred Lonidier        Books        $8.00
  • A Life        Åsa Sonjasdotter and Asif Mufeed        Books        $15.00
  • Free Shop : Anything the Customer Wants to Purchase Is Free        Superflex        Books        $24.00
  • Corrections and Clarifications        Anita Di Bianca        Books        $1.00
  • Solution 1-10 : Umbauland        Ingo Niermann        Books        $19.00
  • Alternative Economics, Alternative Societies        Oliver Ressler        Books / Catalogs        $11.00
  • GAAG : The Guerrilla Art Action Group        Jon Hendricks and Jean Toche        Books / Monographs        $27.00
  • Reproduce & Revolt / Reproduce y Rebélate        Josh MacPhee and Favianna Rodriguez and editors        Books        $19.00
  • Revolution As An Eternal Dream        Mary Patten        Books / Monographs        $13.00
  • Solution 196-213: United States Of Palestine-Israel        Joshua Simon ed.        Books        $19.00
  • Marching Plague : Germ Warfare and Global Public Health        Critical Art Ensemble        Books        $10.00
  • Victory Gardens 2007+        Amy Franceschini        Books / Signed        $25.00
  • The Occupation Cookbook        [Anonymous]        Books        $10.00
  • Social Security Risk Machine        The Center for Urban Pedagogy        Books        $8.00
  • House Magic: Bureau of Foreign Correspondence        Alan Moore and editor         / Zines        $10.00
  • Survival House 1977 : 758 Haight Street, San Francisco        Bruce Pavlow        Books / Signed        $24.00
  • Institutionelle Rassismen : Institutional Racisms        Martin Krenn and Oliver Ressler        Books / Artists' Books        $10.00
  • Corrections and Clarifications        Anita Di Bianco        Periodicals        $1.00
  • Not for Rent : Conversations with Creative Activists in the U.K.        Stacy Wakefield        Books        $12.00
  • Barriers to Re-Entry        The Center for Urban Pedagogy        Books        $8.00

This is a broad selection of publications currently in stock at Printed Matter, which relate to activist thought and practice. They are born from a range of disciplinary frameworks and intellectual traditions: direct action, radical pedagogy, critical theory, utopian invention, and ethnographic research. Most are hybrids of these traditions, as each way of working and thinking tends to imply the others. These publications both work to critique our present circumstances, and as images of what our communal life could be. Each attempts to embody a truly democratic community, in its form, in its content, and through the kinds of social life engaged in its production.

Many of these publications work by providing information: as a form of action, as a public service, to transmit the knowledge gained in previous activist work, or as a form of ethnography. Working in New York, The Center for Urban Pedagogy teams up designers and advocacy organizations to produce fold-out posters that educate about the complex bureaucratic and legalistic structures which regulate our lives. Some simply explain how complicated bureaucratic or economic systems work, (eg. social security, the global supply chain of consumer goods) so that people may productively engage in their political life. Others are meant as protection, as tools to help people navigate structurally unjust systems (eg. the deportation process, or unscrupulous investor speculation on affordable housing). In voice and style little separates these posters from government produced public information pamphlets, but unlike government materials, the Center for Urban Pedagogy’s posters specifically point out key problems in the system, providing both strategies to deal with them in the present, as well as possible solutions for the future.

The Occupation Cookbook is a different kind of guide: a detailed description of the mechanisms and forms of direct democracy used by students and faculty during a month long occupation of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, one of the largest educational institutions in Croatia. The occupation was a response to the introduction of tuition fees in Croatian higher education, part of a wider neo-liberal ‘modernization’ program for the country. In the Occupation Cookbook the functioning of each organ of the occupation is methodically gone over, from the general assembly and working groups, to the organization of security details and the media team. The books’ careful explication of the reasoning behind the specific forms of organization the occupation adopted makes a compelling case for this kind of action, and for the practice of direct democracy as a form of ‘pre-figurative politics’.

Blueprint For A Strike: A Fragmentary Capsule History of the Ironworkers and Other Unions at Nassco, by Fred Lonidier documents several years of relations between a large westcoast shipbuilding yard and the people who work there. The workers belong to a variety of different unions, and the book narrates the ongoing cyclical conflicts between different worker constituencies and the company board as their contract comes up for re-negotiation. Lonidier gives voice to the different players in the yard, weaving documentary photos, news copy, and letter exchanges between the unions and board together with interview excerpts from individual workers. This practice is both sociological and pedagogical. Working with labour organizers and exhibiting his work in union halls, he makes dense representations of the issues at stake available to rank-and-file union members, aiming in this way get people talking, to reinvigorate grassroots engagement within the labour movement.

The Solutions series, edited by Ingo Niermann, and published by Sternberg Press, takes a nearly pataphysical approach to social imagination. Each book consists of a set of proposed ‘solutions’ for the problems of a chosen nation state. Authors posit futures both likely and unlikely for various national cultures, framing their propositions within the concrete unrealities of mainstream national debate or the most obscurely subtle qualities of day-to-day life. Delivered in an ambivalently light tone, The Solutions give permission to the kinds of utopian play which it feels that we have been denied for so long. After all, how can things get better if we can’t annex for ourselves the agency to imagine something else? Maybe we should have all the policemen stand on their heads.

Checklist
  1. Red76, Raqs Media Collective, Dyke Action Machine!, Ultra-red, The Center for Tactical Magic, Robert Ransick, Carlo Quispe, Bread and Puppet Theater, Fritz Haeg, Electronic Disturbance Theater, b.a.n.g. lab and Critical Art Ensemble
    Artists & Activists 1 - 12
    New York, NY: Inc. and Printed Matter Inc., 2011
    50
    Out of stock
  2. Fred Lonidier
    Blueprint for a Strike
    San Francisco, CA: San Francisco Art Institute, 1992
    size unknown
    Out of stock
  3. Åsa Sonjasdotter and Asif Mufeed
    A Life
    Herning, Denmark: Herning Kunstmuseum, 2004
    unknown
    $15.00
  4. Superflex
    Free Shop : Anything the Customer Wants to Purchase Is Free
    Copenhagen, Denmark: Pork Salad Press and Superflex, 2009
    unknown
    Out of stock
  5. Ingo Niermann
    Solution 1-10 : Umbauland
    New York, NY: Sternberg Press, 2009
    unknown
    Out of stock
  6. Oliver Ressler
    Alternative Economics, Alternative Societies
    Frankfurt, Germany: Revolver Archiv Für Aktuelle Kunst, 2005
    unknown
    $11.00
  7. Jon Hendricks and Jean Toche
    GAAG : The Guerrilla Art Action Group
    New York, NY: Printed Matter Inc., 2011
    1500
    $27.50
  8. Josh MacPhee and Favianna Rodriguez and editors
    Reproduce & Revolt / Reproduce y Rebélate
    Brooklyn, NY: Soft Skull Press, 2008
    3000
    Out of stock
  9. Mary Patten
    Revolution As An Eternal Dream
    Chicago, IL: Half Letter Press, 2011
    1353
    $13.00
  10. Joshua Simon ed.
    Solution 196-213: United States Of Palestine-Israel
    New York, NY: Sternberg Press, 2011
    Unknown
    Out of stock
  11. Critical Art Ensemble
    Marching Plague : Germ Warfare and Global Public Health
    Brooklyn, NY: Autonomedia, 2006
    unknown
    Out of stock
  12. Amy Franceschini
    Victory Gardens 2007+
    San Francisco, CA: Gallery 16 Editions, 2008
    1000
    Out of stock
  13. [Anonymous]
    The Occupation Cookbook
    London, UK: Minor Compositions, 2011
    500
    Out of stock
  14. The Center for Urban Pedagogy
    Social Security Risk Machine
    New York, NY: The Center for Urban Pedagogy, 2006
    1000
    $8.00
  15. Anita Di Bianca
    Corrections and Clarifications
    Berlin, Germany: A. Di Bianco, 2010
    size unknown
    $1.00
  16. Bruce Pavlow
    Survival House 1977 : 758 Haight Street, San Francisco
    New York, NY: B. Pavlow, 2009
    500
    $24.95
  17. Martin Krenn and Oliver Ressler
    Institutionelle Rassismen : Institutional Racisms
    Vienna, Austria: O. Ressler and M. Krenn, 1998
    $10.00
  18. Alan Moore and editor
    House Magic: Bureau of Foreign Correspondence
    New York, NY: A. Moore, 2009
    open
    $10.00
  19. Anita Di Bianco
    Corrections and Clarifications
    Leuven, Belgium: STUK Arts Centre, 2010
    5000
    $1.00
  20. Stacy Wakefield
    Not for Rent : Conversations with Creative Activists in the U.K.
    New York, NY: Evil Twin Publications, 2003
    Out of stock
  21. The Center for Urban Pedagogy
    Barriers to Re-Entry
    New York, NY: The Center for Urban Pedagogy, 2011
    1000
    $8.00
Last updated 1/25/2018
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