A User’s Guide to Demanding the Impossible

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A Users Guide to Demanding the Impossible
Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination

This guide is not a road map or instruction manual. It’s a match struck in the dark, a homemade multi-tool to help you carve out your own path through the ruins of the present, warmed by the stories and strategies of those who took Bertolt Brecht’s words to heart: “Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.”

It was written in a whirlwind of three days in December 2010, between the first and second days of action by UK students against the government cuts, and intended to reflect on the possibility of new creative forms of action in the current movements.

“Art is useless, so they tell us, as soon as it truly affects the world it loses its status as art. (You never know, it might slide down the slippery slope, becoming instrumental, propaganda, or even worse craft!) The strange thing is that those who tell us this are often the same people who put art to the crudest instrumental use – the art market. Maybe what they mean is that – art is useless when its not ultimately used to make a profit. Perhaps it’s the same logic as that which argues that education has no use outside slotting us into the mutilated world of work and consumption. This guide is for those of us who suspect that art has other uses and who are prepared to seek them.”

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