Thanks to Doll Yoko for making us aware of Caliban and the Witch - Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation by Silvia Federici. In Caliban and the Witch, Silvia Federici looks at the transition from feudalism to capitalism from the point of view of 'women, the body and primitive accumulation'. Her key thesis is that the witch hunts of the 16th and 17th century were instrumental to establishing a new capitalist order through 'the development of a 'new sexual division of labour subjugating women's labour and women's reproductive function to the reproduction of the workforce.' Yet by telling the story also from Caliban's point of view, symbol of the 'trans-Atlantic' proleterian, Federici achieves what she claims: to transcend the dichotomy between "gender" and "class". This book is also a brilliant description of the process of primitive accumulation, in particular the enclosures of the common land starting at the end of the middle age and the various forms of resistance to that by renegade women and the 'motley crowd' of the working classes.
In his essay All problems of Notation Will be Solved by the Masses, Simon Yuill claims that the emergent practice of livecoding 'most directly embodies the key principles of FLOSS production into the creation and experience of the work itself.' Unfortunately this claim is supportet by an argumentation which is elitist, draws on the criterium of virtuosity and thereby stands in stark contrast to the culture of particpation that FLOSS has engendered. While his central argument is not supported, the piece offers enough food for thought to be considered interesting reading.
The exhibition "Waves" is part of a long term research project into analogue and electromagnetic waves. "Waves" uses the process of making an exhibition as a form of practice based research. This research journal entry starts with a new abstract regarding Waves related research, and then introduces the two exhibitions in Riga 2006 and Dortmund 2008. This should be shortly followed by a new summary of the research project. There is also a new waves image gallery and these efforts are all combined by the fact that they use the second Waves exhibition for taking stock of what came from this research so far.
The experimental workshop day taxi-to-praxi at Goldsmiths started off with a positive vibe as about 35 people met in the seminar room underneath the 'squiggle' whereby this group consisted of about one third of people from Goldmiths, one third from other universities and one third of unaligned individuals working as artists or curators. After Prof Janis Jeffries, convenor of the PhD in Arts and Computation opened the session, a lively and stimulating day unfolded. In this account I try to piece together from notes and memories what were some of the main issues which emerged.
The Copenhagen Free University (CFU), together with other "self-institutions" such as the Universite Tangente http://utangente.free.fr/ in Paris and the University of Openness, London, successfully promoted the notion of the need to create ones own institutions and hijack the meaning of the established institutions. The free university exists outside the hierarchical and commercialised model into which Europe's universities have been turned. The CFU promoted a more egalitarian system where everybody could use the tag 'university' to their own ends. The CFU ceased its activities by the end of 2007 and in connection with the abolition of the institution its founders, Henriette Heise & Jakob Jakobsen have written the following statement:
In die Diskussion um den Schutz der Privatsphäre bzw. deren zunehmenden Verlust haben sich einige fundamentale Denkfehler eingeschlichen, weshalb diese Anliegen, so sie als defensive Verteidigung eines Menschenrechts aufgefasst werden, zum Scheitern verurteilt sind.
Taxi to Praxi
This text expands on some of the topics mentioned in the original call for participation for the taxi-to-praxi workshop. It explains some of the motivations and the general ideas behind the research day but is by now way a complete summary of all the topics we would like to address. Currently to this text have contributed Lindsay Brown, Adnan Hadzi and Armin Medosch. If you feel that you would like to add something, please feel free to rewrite this text or create a new one. To create a new revision, do the following: Once you are in the edit section with this article open, apply your changes and then go to the bottom and click "create new revision". You can also use the text field "Log Message" to explain your revisions.