Sarai Reader 06
Sarai MEdia Collective
At some point during the closing half in the ‘extra time’ of the Italy vs. France match in this year’s FIFA World Cup final game on 8 July, the world changed. Again. The synapses in the brain of a man named Zinedine Zidane went into a state of momentary turbulence. A wave of rage surged into a headbutt that we mourned and saluted, seconds later, glued to television screens halfway across the world. The world seemed to change that instant, as it always does when the angel of the unexpected flaps his wings in the middle of a great game. Many prayers went unanswered that night.Read more about: Turbulence »
All this was happening as e-mails bearing notes and queries about the book you now hold in your hands, or scan with your eyes on a screen, flew across the world. This book, a book titled Turbulence, was on its way into the world....
Dialogues with the Virtual Intelligentsia
For Geert Lovink, interviews are imaginative texts that can help to create global, networked discourses not only among different professions but also among different cultures and social groups. Conducting interviews online, over a period of weeks or months, allows the participants to compose documents of depth and breadth, rather than simply snapshots of timely references.
The interviews collected in this book are with artists, critics, and theorists who are intimately involved in building the content, interfaces, and architectures of new media. The topics discussed include digital aesthetics, sound art, navigating deep audio space, European media philosophy, the Internet in Eastern Europe, the mixing of old and new in India, critical media studies in the Asia-Pacific region, Japanese techno tribes, hybrid identities, the storage of social movements, theory of the virtual class, virtual and urban spaces, corporate takeover of the Internet, and the role of cyberspace in the rise of nongovernmental organizations....Read more about: Uncanny Networks »
Tracking Critical Internet Culture
According to media critic Geert Lovink, the Internet is being closed off by corporations and governments intent on creating a business and information environment free of dissent. Calling himself a radical media pragmatist, Lovink envisions an Internet culture that goes beyond the engineering culture that spawned it to bring humanities, user groups, social movements, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), artists, and cultural critics into the core of Internet development.
In Dark Fiber, Lovink combines aesthetic and ethical concerns and issues of navigation and usability without ever losing sight of the cultural and economic agendas of those who control hardware, software, content, design, and delivery. He examines the unwarranted faith of the cyber-libertarians in the ability of market forces to create a decentralized, accessible communication system. He studies the inner dynamics of hackers’ groups, Internet activists, and artists, seeking to understand the social laws of online life. Finally, he calls for the injection of political and economic competence into the community of freedom-loving cyber-citizens,...Read more about: Dark Fiber »
Justice, Sustainability, and Peace
Boldly confronting the neoconservative Project for the New American Century, world-renowned physicist/activist Vandana Shiva responds with Earth Democracy, or, as she prophetically names it, “The People’s Project for a New Planetary Millennium.” A leading voice in the struggle for global justice and sustainability, here Shiva describes what earth democracy could look like, outlining the bedrock principles for building living economies, living cultures, and living democracies.
Starting from the initial enclosure of the commons-the privatization of 6 million acres of public land in 18th-century Britain—Shiva goes on to reveal how the “commons” continue to shrink as more and more natural resources are patented and fenced. Accompanying this displacement from formerly accessible territory, she argues, is a growing attitude of disposability that erodes our natural resources, ecological sustainability, and cultural diversity. Worse, human beings are by no means safe from this assignment of disposability. Through the forces of neoliberal globalization,...Read more about: Earth Democracy »
Introduction by Avital Ronell
SCUM Manifesto was considered one of the most outrageous, violent and certifiably crazy tracts when it first appeared in 1968. Valerie Solanas, the woman who shot Andy Warhol, self-published this work just before her rampage against the king of Pop Art made her a household name and resulted in her confinement to a mental institution. But the Manifesto, for all its vitriol, is impossible to dismiss as just the rantings of a lesbian lunatic. In fact, the work has indisputable prescience, not only as a radical feminist analysis light-years ahead of its time…predicting artificial insemination, ATMs, a feminist uprising against under-representation in the arts…but also as a stunning testament to the rage of an abused and destitute woman.
The focus of this edition is not on the nostalgic appeal of the work, but on Avital Ronell’s incisive introduction, “Deviant Payback: The Aims of Valerie Solanas.” Here is a reconsideration of Solanas’s infamous text in light of her social milieu,...Read more about: SCUM Manifesto »
Books for Burning
Between Civil War and Democracy in 1970s Italy
Long before Antonio Negri became famous around the world for his groundbreaking volume Empire, he was infamous across Europe for the incendiary writings contained in this book. Books for Burning consists of five pamphlets that Negri wrote between 1971 and 1977, which attempt to identify and draw lessons from new conditions of class struggle that emerged in the course of the 1970s.
Conceived as organizational hypotheses intended for debate among the members of the political movements Workers’ Power (Potere operaio) and Organized Autonomy (Autonomia organizzata), these texts were later misread and misrepresented by the Italian state in its attempt to frame Negri as responsible for the assassination of former Italian president Aldo Moro, as the leader of the Red Brigades, and as the mastermind of an armed insurrection against the state. In the more than twenty-five years since their first publication, these texts have lost none of their originality,...Read more about: Books for Burning »