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MECCSA  January 2019

MECCSA January 2019

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Subject:

Combination Acts. Notes on Collective Practice in the Undercommons

From:

Stevphen Shukaitis <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Stevphen Shukaitis <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 10 Jan 2019 23:50:25 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (94 lines)

Now available for direct ordering and/or free download…

Combination Acts. Notes on Collective Practice in the Undercommons
Stevphen Shukaitis

Dialogues and essays exploring collaboration in artist collective & 
self-organized cultural production

During the industrial revolution artisans and craft workers sparked 
struggles against exploitation while the force of law drove unions 
underground. Today conditions are different… yet they are not. 
Collective organizing is pre-empted not by legal prohibition but rather 
by a perverse internalized neoliberal logic that celebrates the 
precarious creative worker as its exemplar.

Combination Acts draws together fifteen years of conversations with 
artists, musicians, activists, and theorists about the nature of 
collaborative practice. What sociality is produced by their practices? 
What forms of collectivity do they animate and embody? Taken together 
these dialogues provide a series of study notes for and from the 
self-organization of the undercommons, gesturing towards an aesthetics 
that occupies a space of power for itself by coming to close to, but 
never finally reaching, a set form.

“The mood and tense of revolution can be obscure even to those who act 
it out – as polyphonic combination, cutting normative conceptions of 
person and number – in beautifully everyday experiments that strain 
against the brutally ongoing. Thankfully, in this timely primer, 
Stevphen Shukaitis reminds us how to conjugate the verbs to live, to 
fight, and to enjoy.” – Fred Moten, New York University

“Combination Acts offers an overview of political cultural tools and 
tactics radicals have mobilized over the 20th century and into the 
21st.  Shukaitis steers through rebellious terrain, from cyberhacking 
and forms of sabotage to critiques of global neoliberal institutions and 
horizontal re-commoning, opening new terrains of speculative imaginative 
possibilities. A necessary guide to militant culture in the new 
millennium.” – Jaleh Mansoor, University of British Columbia

“Combination Acts is an exhilarating read as it boldly combines optimism 
(the always renewed burden of struggles on the left) and pragmatism (the 
requirement of actually existing praxis). Engaging dialogues and 
theoretical analysis are also combined in this cutting-edge study, on 
material and in ways that are indispensable for carrying forward the 
spirit and actuality of insurgent togetherness. The key question of the 
book – what interventions would be needed so that the grammar of 
self-organization would not find itself rendered into the fixed forms of 
capital’s continued accumulation demands? – is answered through multiple 
narrative documents of real-life experience crossing through the art 
field. At the very least, the book informs us of the depth of critical 
thought from which practices of anti-status-quo alternatives stem; as 
for what the book achieves at its best, this is dependent on whether and 
how we seek to implement what we learn from it. An essential and 
inspirational reality check on collaboration, labour, its content and 
discontent, and the conundrum of art activism, among numerous other 
markers of the zeitgeist.” – Angela Dimitrakaki, University of Edinburgh

Bio: Stevphen Shukaitis is Senior Lecturer at the University of Essex, 
Centre for Work and Organization, and a member of the Autonomedia 
editorial collective. He is the author of Imaginal Machines: Autonomy & 
Self-Organization in the Revolutions of Everyday Day (2009) and The 
Composition of Movements to Come: Aesthetics and Cultural Labor After 
the Avant-Garde (2016). His research focuses on the emergence of 
collective imagination in social movements and the changing compositions 
of cultural and artistic labor.

PDF available freely online: http://www.minorcompositions.info/?p=915

Ordering Information: Available direct from Minor Compositions now for 
the special price of £10.

Release to the book trade June 2019

Released by Minor Compositions, Colchester / Brooklyn / Port Watson
Minor Compositions is a series of interventions & provocations drawing 
from autonomous politics, avant-garde aesthetics, and the revolutions of 
everyday life.

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