Reading List (nightly group initiated)

[This basic reading list initiated by A&C Wednesday Night Group on October 22, 2011. We are looking for titles to offer a kind of internal education on the relationships between art and activism inside the context of the Wall Street Occupation.]

Alternative Art, New York, 1965-1985 :
a cultural politics book for the Social Text Collective

Julie Ault, editor. Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press ; New York : Drawing Center, c2002.

A Chronology of Selected Alternative Structures, Spaces, Artists’ Groups, and Organizations in New York City 1965-1985. Complete Index/Contents by Left Matrix.

available at NYPL for in library use only.

edited by Claire Bishop.
London : Whitechapel ; Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, 2006.
Available of in library use: NYPL-Schwarzman

description: The desire to move viewers out of the role of passive observers and into the role of producers is one of the hallmarks of twentieth-century art. This tendency can be found in practices and projects ranging from El Lissitzky’s exhibition designs to Allan Kaprow’s happenings, from minimalist objects to installation art. More recently, this kind of participatory art has gone so far as to encourage and produce new social relationships. Guy Debord’s celebrated argument that capitalism fragments the social bond has become the premise for much relational art seeking to challenge and provide alternatives to the discontents of contemporary life. This publication collects texts that place this artistic development in historical and theoretical context.

Participation begins with writings that provide a theoretical framework for relational art, with essays by Umberto Eco, Bertolt Brecht, Roland Barthes, Peter Bürger, Jen-Luc Nancy, Edoaurd Glissant, and Félix Guattari, as well as the first translation into English of Jacques Rancière’s influential “Problems and Transformations in Critical Art.” The book also includes central writings by such artists as Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica, Joseph Beuys, Augusto Boal, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Thomas Hirschhorn, and Rirkrit Tiravanija. And it features recent critical and curatorial debates, with discussions by Lars Bang Larsen, Nicolas Bourriaud, Hal Foster, and Hans-Ulrich Obrist.

Artistic Activism and Agonistic Spaces
essay by Chantal Mouffe
full essay online

Can artistic practices still play a critical role in a society where the difference between art and advertizing have become blurred and where artists and cultural workers have become a necessary part of capitalist production? Scrutinizing the ‘new spirit of capitalism’ Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello have shown how the demands for autonomy of the new movements of the 1960’s had been harnessed in the development of the post-Fordist networked economy and transformed in new forms of control. The aesthetic strategies of the counter-culture: the search for authenticity, the ideal of self-management, the anti-hierarchical exigency, are now used in order to promote the conditions required by the current mode of capitalist regulation, replacing the disciplinary framework characteristic of the Fordist period. Nowadays artistic and cultural production play a central role in the process of capital valorization and, through ‘neo-management’, artistic critique has become an important element of capitalist productivity.

please continue to add more!