Author Archives: taliyaa

taliya blog 12

Chto Delat’s video film What is to be Done provokes thought on the issues government creates in disregarding humanity of its citizens. It serves as a social critique on how the government values paperwork over human lives. Delat touches on similar ideas that Hakim Bey mentions Temporal Autonomous Zone, and Alexander Galloway and Eugene Thacker mention in Tactics of Nonexistence. These ideas revolve around the notion that you can claim nonexistence by eliminating the objects by which you can be accounted for and focus on caring about the things that really do matter in life. This is possible because of the government’s narrow eyed view on people. Such claims can be viewed in the film when the “actors” or immigrants are arrested solely because they did not have their papers, and the fact that they were participating in something that mattered was disregarded.

 

The film begins with a man strolling through a gallery until the music rattles, and the view turns group of people huddled together behind a museum glass. The scene is then transported to a man reporting the escape of a few immigrants from a deportation train. These people fled the departing train and sought shelter in the Het Oog (The Eye) of the Dutch Museum of Contemporary Art. These people, protected within the Eye, are being called criminals for escaping and breaking into the museum. There is questioning as to whether it is considered breaking and entering because the Eye is an outdoor portion of the museum that does not have a roof. So, is it the architect’s fault for leaving the space open for one to seek refuge, or is it the immigrant’s crime that led them into this viewing patio? A chorus chimes in demanding an explanation. The chorus insists on receiving an explanation as to why the immigrants are in the museum, and what is going to be done about their presence. This shows the irrational fear that people hold towards other’s perception of their “national values.” They believe that if they do the more humane thing, and help these immigrants, they will be labeled accomplices. The museum is faced with the concern that if they chose to incorporate the immigrants into an art show, they will be labeled “too bold” and funding will be cut because of their ‘dangerously extreme’ actions. The director of the museum relays a powerful line explaining perhaps why the fleeing group chose the museum for their safe haven, “Art is on the side of the oppressed.” The purpose of the museum itself is to wake up society, and for this it is open to all—including the immigrants. The decision is made to reach out to these misplaced people despite the fact that the museum is running the risk of loosing their opportunity of further exposing truths to their community. The show runs, the chorus sings, “humanness hasn’t been abolished.” But the following actions lead me to believe otherwise. The law and order of the Dutch, they claim, is to be hospitable to those who respect their laws; however, the peaceful performers were immediately arrested not because what they were doing was harming the peace of the country in anyway, but because they lacked the documentation needed for their presence to be allowed. No protests will occur because no one will be directly affected by this arrest other than the people who shortly will be shipped off to deportation camps notoriously known for their mistreatment.

taliya 11- the coming insurrection

 

The Invisible Committee sees the world with no hope for the future. They claim it to be the wisdom of a new generation that can see the real truth of the present situation. They describe the political realm of the ruling class as a closed body at an impasse state. Passion has dissipated from within the masses, and the leaders we are left with are only impostures posing as “emperors or saviors.”

The Invisible Committee views the world with displeasure as they see that we have arrived to an age where people have given up caring about anything. The lack of ardor and acceptance of mediocrity will lead to “the future having no future.” The authors depict seven circles to focus on the shortcomings of society. The first circle, “I Am What I Am,” demonstrates how the world is simply content with accepting the false labels they are given. It is not a slogan, but a military tactic to strip people of their defiance and uniqueness, and ensure order. The second through sixth circles, “Entertainment is a vital need,” “Life, health, and love are precarious—why should world be an exception?,” “More simple, more fun, more mobile, more secure!,” ”Less possessions, more connections!,” and “The environment is an industrial challenge.,” continue critiquing the issues of society. In the last of the seven circles, “We are building a civilized space here,” the authors deduce that civilization must be destroyed in order to create one that will thrive. This idea is much like the movie Fight Club, and we can see through the film that carrying out such actions is in no way a good thing; however, the Invisible Committee believes action, whether it be peaceful or not, is better than carrying on with life in a controlled world without making your own contributions.

The seven circles are representing the wrongs in society. Accepting these circles as truths is detrimental. The Invisible Committee is calling on people to create havoc in hopes of stirring up commotion in a dull world. The idea of not accepting a monotonous life is reminiscent to the Situationalist, except for the fact that the Invisible Committee calls for an “all means necessary” plight.

In 2005, riots and outrages sparked hope for a new hunger. The burning of the streets of Paris was not memorable because of its profanity, but rather because of its disaffiliation with any organized group. Participating in the banlieue were groups of people that had no apparent connections through race or class status but were brought together by their negative view of society. People in desperation took action to, just as the Coming Insurrection suggests, “not become one.” The riot was an “assault that made no demands, a threat without a message, and it had nothing to do with “politics.” It was only a response in detestation to a mundane society. The Invisible Committee praised the idea of violence as a temporary solution for a stalemate world; however, sees no permanent one other than destruction.

taliya blog 10

Omnia sunt communia. Everything belongs to everyone. This is the message that guides the students who are occupying the campuses all along the coast of California in the quest of restructuring the educational system. If this idea is true, why is it that California universities, which are supposed to be public, decided to raise their tuition during the financial crisis thus depriving many students from an education or engulfing them in an insurmountable debt? In opposition to the increase in tuition, students have banded together to make changes to the system. In a paradoxical approach, they have closed down parts of universities in order to open them up. The occupation of major buildings reminds the state and all its residents that the universities are theirs and do not belong to a higher restrictive power.

Education has shifted from being of public access to only being available to those who have enough money to afford it. Occupying the campuses all along the state calls attention to this issue. By blocking out areas of the university, students are claiming what was once never theirs and creating a space that can be free and open to everyone. This is a call to alter the system. Locking themselves into buildings, the occupiers are separating themselves from the police officials who are determined to shut them down. It is necessary for them to stand firm, chained in buildings, until they have accumulated enough persons to join them in their plight that unlocking the doors would only open the platform for people to come and go as they please. The space should be free to change its purpose as needed. The movement itself has no demands that can be negotiated because they believe that this is only a way of destroying the momentum of the undertaking. If a compromise can be made than their whole structure will fall and only small gains can be made. They instead remain a threat in their numbers and unlimited potential. Because they haven’t defined themselves by stating their wants, they can be associated with anyone who experiences exploitation in any manner. In this way they are similar to the Zapatistas who welcomingly invite anyone who is struggling under the pressures of oppression to join their fight.

Their goal is to call attention to the profanities that the government and capital have caused in their negligence to the wellbeing of the denizens of California. Their protests show people that they cannot just sit around while their government and state fail at providing them security. Action must be done to reverse this failure and reclaim what should be rightfully theirs. Exploitation is wrong and shouldn’t be accepted in any manner. The occupation of California is giving hope to all those who wish to see a better future.

 

 

 

blog 9 taliya

The Cyberfeminist movement described by Sadie Plant and Sandy Stone hopes to de-attach itself from the “feminist” movement. The word feminism evokes the thought of “equal rights” across all genders. The majority of Americans believe that the quest for equal rights has been accomplished; however, this, for the most part, is not true. There is a large misunderstanding in the characterization of the Feminist movement, and therefore people assume that there is no longer need for it to exist. The objective of the Cyberfeminism movement is not to point out the inadequacies of the past, but to reveal the claim the feminists already have on technology in the present. This makes for a more powerful and effective stance because it only threatens the stability of masculinity without dwelling on an insufficient history. In the case of technology, there is no history that debunks women, because as Plant sees it, it was and is women who run the technological world. Women’s deep-rooted importance with technology began with telecommunications while women served as the operators that were widely depended on for communication, continued with the women who laboriously spent hours on typewriters, and thrives today with the women who run VNS Matrix. She speaks about Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer whose critical contribution to early computer science lied in her invention of calculation machines, and Grace Hopper who discovered the first eve computer bug. Plants point is to show that technology is and always has been feministic which is clearly drawn from her quote, “hardware, software, wet- ware—before their beginnings and beyond their ends, women have been the simulators, assemblers, and programmers of the digital machines.” “Cybernetics is feminization,” writes Plant. She believes that the rise of technology leads to the overtaking of emasculation. The binary code creates a leveled playing field for both women and men by deteriorating the social entities that impede feministic progress by valuing men higher to simple zeros and ones.

 

Galloway defines Cyberfeminism as a type of tactical media that exposes the inadequacies created within the protocol. Cyberfeminism disturbs and corrupts the protocol by exposing the negative spaces within technology that can be corrupted by hackers and viruses. This provided, Galloway considers the Cyberfeminist movement a computerer virus or bug in of itself. In his article “Possibility,” Alex Galloway describes the importance of hackers and defines hacks as “machines for the identification of possibility.” In “Failures of Protocol,” he discusses the and defines computer viruses as “machines for the exploitation of logical flaws within a computer system.”  Therefore, it can be deducted that the Cyberfeminist movement is a machine for the identification of possibilities that can arise from addressing the problems in technology—one key issue being that women are discredited for their value in the technological world.

 

 

 

Taliya Blog 8

Brian Holmes describes the vanguard art of the early twentieth century as contradictive: consisting of both an expansionary and a destructive mode. It wasn’t until 1960, that the Situationalist International was able to merge these two sides of forefront art in a new way. The Situationalist created a new field of possibility where the idea of ‘vanguard art’ dissipated and a platform arose where everyone was able to participate. This Do-It-Yourself movement transcended the boundaries of class and societal positions in its autonomous style, and created a new territory of art where the “aesthetics of everyday practice is considered a political issue.” The post-vanguard undertaking boomed exponentially with the introduction of the Internet in the early 1990’s. The rise of this new medium allowed the collective to easily “grasp and transform the new world map,” in other words, interventions were able to diffuse from the physical world into the online domain.

The poetry of this movement lied within the encouragement to seek a new world of possibility. It unified the masses by allowing them to express themselves and strive for change where they saw fit. The events of J18 demonstrate the power invested in the people. Hidden behind their masks, tens of thousands of people flooded the streets of London calling for change in the financial realm. With their hidden identities they were able to act as one and create a “resistance as global as capital.” They not only relied on the cooperation of local individuals but also urged interventions to occur worldwide. J18 drew on the growing ideas and actions of other anti-neoliberal groups who also rose up in their deprivation of rights. The RTS (Reclaim the Streets) activist used their physical bodies to intervene with the wrong doings of a negligent government. The RTS was part of a larger network called the People’ Global Action which sought to indorse change on a global level.

Taking on the courage of the Zapatistas, and the fire of the Situationalist, the PGA capitalized on their ability to enact change by spreading their message “by any media necessary.” The growing popularity of the Internet allowed for a faster mobilization of ideas of a global level. This effective and rapid means of communication is what is known today as Tactical Media. Tactical Media gives strength to the once weak by revealing the possibilities that once remained latent behind the limitations of media.

Today, we can easily see how these movements have influenced the actions of modern day protestors. Occupy Wall Street is a perfect example of how people striving for change are taking a communal stance by a physical resistance. Because of Tactical Media there are no longer the strong limitations that once bound the collective’s voice.

Taliya #7

Taliya Golzar

Blog 7

The Empire

The problem with world leadership lies within the separate sovereign entities that attempt to govern an international world. Lockean and Hobbesian ideologies that once dominated the theoretical mindset of world powers faulted in their compliance with the idea of separate nation-state powers. In order to bring rise to a leadership that creates an ongoing prominence, Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt create the idea of an all-pervading Empire. This said Empire could suffuse the boundaries that once deterred the past empires from succeeding on a global level by remaining decentralized and deterritorialized. Its mobility, and flexibility gives it its power. The development of ‘governance without government’ seems to give rise to a machine that “imposes procedures of continual contractualization that lead to systematic equilibria—a machine that creates a continuous call for authority” (Hardt & Negri 14).

 

Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s  “The Empire” addresses the issues and effectiveness of international order and the progressive movement towards global order. In other words, they are describing the transition from international law consisting of contracts and treaties to a new supranational power. Hans Kelson served as one of the pivotal men in forming the United Nations; Negri and Hardt touch on his work more closely explain this transition in juridical terms. Kelsen idea is actualized through the formation of the United Nations, which is to create social order through its logical and ethical nature that entails equality amongst the powerful nations that can create an international community.  The UN, however, led to the empirical structure taking form and left the question of what juridical source can support a new order and avoid the fall into global disorder. The answer is the Empire. This Empire consists of the United States, the G8, the United Nations, NATO and WTO. The constitution of the Empire fundamentally relies upon capitalism and the shift in global power relations. The Empire is a novel inscription of authority and a new design of norms and tools to resolve conflicts. It transcends the boundaries of time within its ethical foundation, and envelopes the entirety of civilization in its order. There are no longer separate nation-state boundaries, but rather a single sovereign entity. “The new paradigm is both system and hierarchy, centralized construction of norms and far-reaching production of legitimacy, spread out over world space” (Hardt & Negri 13). They believe that a singular mobile dictatorship can lead to an ideological world without the prospect of wars between large nations. Although Hardt and Negri fathom an almost ideal situation, if this would be actualized, it could be detrimental. To have a singular powerful entity, would repress the possibility of individuality of nations.

Taliya Blog 5

 

 

The Yes Men: Fixing the World One Prank at a Time

 

The Yes Men dedicate themselves to making change. The changes that they make, however, extended further than the tweaks and alternations they developed on imposture websites, such as gwbush.com or gatt.com, or fake headlines that often fool the unsuspecting viewer’s eye. Even though these modifications seem trivial and comedic, they ignite the masses to think deeper about where power lies and how it is being used in the modern-day social structure. Their original way of presenting the core issues of today’s political and financial leadership has become an art form with their satirical messages and carefully planned presentations. Similar to the Hacktivists, the Yes Men take what already exists and tweak it to reveal new possibilities. Just as Cory Archangel warped the Super Mario Brothers game to re-present the familiar images with different new meanings, the Yes Men used the GATT website to connect with many outsiders by drawing people in by recognizable features of the WTO while presenting an altered and sometime exaggerated version of relevant information to make a bold statement.

 

The Yes Men push the line of obscenity to reach their audience—yet sometimes their crass remarks fly over people’s head and are taken as truths. By making outrages claims such as recycling human feces for people in developing countries to ingest, the Yes Men stir up commotion that is needed to wake people up from their oblivion. College students at the University of New York in Plattsburgh were outraged by the Yes Men’s presentation, but were able to believe that it was in fact a authentic proposition. The group also proved a point by demonstrating how easily even the highest educated audience is willing to accept the most obscene proposals and presentations because they are coming from an official entity. They managed to convince a group of highly educated textile industrialist to admire an almost pro-slavery presentation that Andy Bichlbaum gave in Finland as he posed as a WTO representative while sporting an absolutely ridiculous metallic gold “Management Leisure Suit.” The audience was able to accept this outrageousness with seriousness because they believed it was coming from a source of high power—the WTO. Unlike the college students who protested the development of the fecal-filled ReBurger, the well educated who applauded Andy Bichlbaum’s gold-member suit and position on modern-day slavery proved that some people are willing to accept whatever shit they are served.