‘This is Forever’: From Inquiry to Refusal

A Discussion Series Dedicated to Understanding the Current Composition of Political Movements and Struggles Using the Lens of Autonomist Thought.

@ Bluestockings Books, Cafe & Activism Center
172 Allen St. NYC
www.bluestockings.com


‘This is Forever’ presents two upcoming events in the series:

Friday, July 21st - 7pm - $5 to $10 donation
Discussion: Will Weikart “Critical Mass, War Machine: Anarchy on Wheels? (or, What the Left can Learn from a Bunch of Bicyclists)” as part of the ‘This is Forever’: From Inquiry to Refusal Discussion Series

On August 27 2004, just before the anti-RNC protests, the NYC critical mass bike ride reached its largest numbers here and possibly anywhere worldwide (est. 5000+). Nearly 300 were arrested, this also marked the beginning of an NYPD crackdown against the monthly phenomenon and now discourse, itself, about the ride. The presenter will give some background on the CM phenomenon (globally, but mainly locally, via his participation in NYC-CM). Why it is that NYC-CM has been the object of so much concern by local law enforcement? His thinking here is influenced by theories of affect, Deleuze and Guattari's notion of nomadic war machine and smooth/striated space, and by Eugene Thacker's article "Networks, Swarms, Multitudes". He will go on to theorize critical mass-type movement (relatively leaderless and spontaneous, joyous) as an invaluable tool for Left tactics and praxis, one not characterized negatively by lack. The constant cry of "we need more organization!" is challenged and the inverse is argued - that we need more willful disorganization and "noise" to open the spaces of radical potential.

Friday, September 1st - 7pm - $5 to $10 donation

Discussion: Chris Carlsson “Seeds of the New” as part of the ‘This is Forever’: From Inquiry to Refusal Discussion Series

Beneath the visible madness and barbarism of life at the dawn of the 21st century, an invisible social transformation is underway. As capitalism continues its inexorable push to corral every square inch of the globe into its logic of money and markets, while simultaneously seeking to colonize the very essence of biological life and dominate our very thoughts - new practices are emerging that are redefining politics. In myriad behaviors, people are appropriating their time and technological know-how from the market and in small "invisible" ways, are making life better right now - but also setting the foundation, technically and socially, for a genuine movement of liberation from market life. Outlaw bicycling, urban permaculture, biofuels, free software, even the Burning Man festival are windows into these new social dynamics. Chris Carlsson, author of ‘Critical Mass: Bicycling's Defiant Celebration’, among other books. He is one of the original founders and participants in Processed World magazine, as well as the Critical Mass bicycling movement in San Francisco. His talk is based on a new book that he is currently writing.


Series information:

‘This is Forever’ – this is for the future. What we will in the present cracks open the actually-existing to unleash potentials for the yet-to-come. What we affirm now will return to us, accumulating a set of powers and virtues into a body capable of refusing command and of claiming its own irreversible destiny. This is an inquiry into the current composition of political movements and struggle, which seeks to understand acts of refusal that are taking place on the terrain of everyday life and on the level of planetary antagonisms. This is the attempt to theorize from these positions toward new ways of life, and new ways of organizing society.

‘This is Forever’: From Inquiry to Refusal is a series of discussions dedicated to an inquiry into class composition: into the current political composition of movements and struggles particularly in the United States, and generally across the planet; the technical composition of the imposition of work and under capital, in both productive and reproductive spheres, and its changing nature in capitals neoliberal phase; the myriad of mechanisms which capture, overcode, divide, and suppress our desires and creative capacities; and the ways in which act of refusal and resistance are in exodus from the relations of power that define capital and the state-from, as well as the gender binary, heteronormativity, race, legal status, and other socially constructed divisions and power relations.

Additional upcoming events: George Caffentzis (Fall 2006), Todd May (Winter 2006), and others discussions are currently being planned.

Series website: www.teamcolors.blogspot.com