Anarchism and Art: Democracy in the Cracks and on the Margins (Suny Series in New Political Science)

Anarchism and Art: Democracy in the Cracks and on the Margins (Suny Series in New Political Science)

Language: English

Pages: 196

ISBN: 143845919X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Situated at the intersection of anarchist and democratic theory, "Anarchism and Art" focuses on four popular art forms DIY (Do It Yourself) punk music, poetry slam, graffiti and street art, and flash mobs found in the cracks between dominant political, economic, and cultural institutions and on the margins of mainstream neoliberal society. Mark Mattern interprets these popular art forms in terms of core anarchist values of autonomy, equality, decentralized and horizontal forms of power, and direct action by common people, who refuse the terms offered them by neoliberalism while creating practical alternatives. As exemplars of central anarchist principles and commitments, such forms of popular art, he argues, prefigure deeper forms of democracy than those experienced by most people in today s liberal democracies. That is, they contain hints of future, more democratic possibilities, while modeling in the present the characteristics of those more democratic possibilities. Providing concrete evidence that progressive change is both desirable and possible, they also point the way forward."

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to Max Nettlau (1865–1944), “from isolation we take refuge in solidarity,” and “all those who revolt against authority [should] work on lines of general solidarity instead of being divided into little chapels.” Nettlau called for “a large sphere of solidarity” to balance the anarchist commitment to individual freedom and autonomy.68 Errico Malatesta (1853–1932) referred to “the great law of solidarity” that he believed should predominate in society. Solidarity, according to Malatesta, “tempered”

on a retail store in Manhattan to mill about and confuse storekeepers and customers. This first attempt was thwarted by the police, however, who had been alerted by one of the recipients of Wasik’s email summoning the flash mob. In subsequent attempts, Wasik adapted his design to reduce the likelihood of police preemption by instructing participants to gather at set locations where detailed instructions were distributed. His second, successful attempt occurred at Macy’s in Midtown New York City

domination impels them to challenge power, and who are willing to harness their own efforts to collective democratic action. These dispositions and skills are made possible or not by the cultural milieu in which individuals are embedded. Broadening and magnifying the democratic impact of the popular art forms addressed in this book through linkages with other social movements and progressive forces will require sustained attention and effort. Even if results fall short of hopes, we should not

margins—of capitalism and its imperatives. But their great “refusal to obey” also served as a “revolutionary vision” of an alternative world of autonomy. In short, their freedom resonated beyond the immediate concerns of each individual figure. They served as a model, a prefiguration of a freer, less alienated world to work toward. Many contemporary anarchists focus on the political importance of everyday life and culture as a source of potential “counter-rhythms” to the dominant society. Deric

in Moore and Prain, Yarn Bombing, 69. 36. Seno, Trespass, 10–11. 37. Seno, Trespass, 130. 38. Shannon Holopainen, “Six Theses on the Tag,”, 2006, 2, accessed 2/26/2012. 39. Chang, “American Graffiti,” 4. 40. Noble, “City Space,” 2. 41. Chang, “American Graffiti,” 6–7; Robert Lederman, “It’s All Under Control,”, 1997, 1, accessed 2/26/2012. 42. Kevin Element, “Hard Hitting Modern Perspective on Hip Hop

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