Municipalism Research Group: Assembly Reading Group
What are you doing tonight at 7pm? Come down to the shop and join the Municipalism Research Group for the start of our reading group centered around Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt’s new book, Assembly. Better still… the Twins are actually in the playoff’s and once finished we can stumble over to Eastlake to have a beer and watch the game!
Here’s a great interview with Hardt around the issue of organizing published in Roar Magazine back in 2015.
伝承者 (Denshosha): individuals who learn the stories and experiences of a person who survived the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, designated, after their passing, to continue to share the memories of the survivor.
This is fascinating, and a model that we could adopt here in the United States. As capitalism and technology across generations has effectively dismantled millennia old frameworks of telling the stories of our family and communities, could models such as this begin to re-graft bonds, and help restore fractured empathy, in the face of an increasingly nameless, and history-less, other? How might we begin to see one another differently were it to become common to listen to, and speak, the stories of how we got to where we are at now, well beyond the memories of our own lived experiences?
The amazing Alan Moore visited us this past spring to launch the Municipalism Research Group. Along with John Kim, Robby Herbst, and others Alan penned this great article for the current issue of Lumpen Magazine on the contemporary history of municipalist work. Check it out!
Come join the Municipalism Research Group in reading Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s newest book, Assembly. We’ll be meeting at Beyond Repair for two evenings, with a lecture at Macalester College on the book, by Michael Hardt, in between.
The book relates to themes that we’ve discussed in the group so far, in particular, how to organize ourselves democratically outside of currently existing forms of representation? How do we build transformative forms of assembly and decision-making structures that rely on the broadest democratic base?
If you need a copy of the book get in touch. Also, we’ll have copies to give away of the new, municipalism centered, issue of Lumpen Magazine.
October 3, 7pm at Beyond Repair – Reading group (pgs 1 – 70)
October 6, 4:30 – Lecture by Michael Hardt (John B. Davis Lecture Hall, Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center at Macalester College)
October 10 at Beyond Repair – Reading group (add details)
“Whoa… where the hell has everyone been?” you may be asking. That’s a good question. I took a much needed family vacation in early August and was away for a few weeks. Prior to leaving I was going through some health trouble, and was expecting a visit for a second opinion on a diagnosis when I returned home to MPLS. Well, that second opinion turned into my needing immediate surgery for cancer, testicular, to be precise. It’s been a whirlwind, and I’ve had my up’s and down’s. Mainly fatigue. All said, I was definitely away from the shop for quite some time. But here I am, sitting in Beyond Repair and writing into the void… hello.
I’m incredibly grateful for all the folks who volunteered to mind the shop while I was convalescing. It really took a load off my mind. The well wishes and unprovoked help from so many made my heart swell.
I’m excited to be back, and looking forward to some transformation at the shop that have been a long time coming, but delayed for the aforementioned reasons. Expect exciting changes and announcements on the horizon. But, for now, hello again. I’m happy to be back (if not, still, pretty fucking tired and a little achy). Onward into the unknown!
Hey Folks… MPLS based writer, Safy Farah and collaborators are in the process of launching a new publication project, 1991, a zine about the past and present written and produced from the perspective of young Somali-Americans artists and authors. It looks like a fantastic project and deserves all the support it can muster to get off the ground. If you have the ability, here’s an opportunity to help with a current fundraiser for the publication.
This past week I closed up Beyond Repair for a few days to head out with Louis into Ho Chunk land within the Driftless region of southeastern, Wisconsin at the invitation of Nicholas Brown and Sarah Kanouse. Nick and Sarah are part of an old, extend crew of “critical spacial practice” artists from around Chicago that I fell into orbit with about 17 years ago now. The reason for our gathering, and the many thoughts that have arisen from it, I’ll get to at length in writing soon. My experiences over the last few days were rich, complex, and inspiring, not the least of which can be attributed to having spent so many days with people whose desires, imaginings, actions, and ethics I admire so much. But for now I wanted to briefly comment on our experience together with Bill Quackenbush, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Ho-Chunk Nation, and our guide for a long and deeply effecting tour through Ho Chunk land within the Kickapoo Valley Reserve. I think it helped a lot that I had visited parts of the reserve with Nick and the kids last summer to climb “Blackhawk Rock.” Having a small taste of the area allowed me the perspective to look on it freshly through another perspective. As with our gathering in full, our time with Bill I’ll need more time to reflect upon, but for now, I want to, in some fashion, simply let the world know how effecting our experience with Bill on his tribal land was. His ability to distill, expand, and complicate ideas around the environmental, social, and historical landscape that he shared with us provided me a wealth of ideas and histories to consider, not least of which was how the land itself allows us to read stories about ourselves, and in turn, tell stories about our present and future.
I love being in rural areas, but I was born in New York City and have spent the majority of my day-to-day life in cities. Bill’s deft ability in sharing the social histories and tools embedded within the tribal land of the Ho Chunk has opened up new ways for me to think about time and our time here together. I am grateful for the experience and plan on giving all that was provided us as much time in return as we were offered.
For the recent G20 meeting of “world leaders” in Hamburg, Germany hundreds of activists staged an action, dressing like the walking dead in gray clothes and faces, passively walking the streets, they illustrated the myriad effects which can, do, and may in the future result from the callous, petty, and greedy actions of the summit attendees. They did this not simply with catchy (or tired) slogans, posters, or even throwing trash bins threw the windows of Starbucks. They did this by visually distilling into abstract all that is possible when we choose money, power, and nationalism, over consideration, solidarity, peace, and cooperation. It was an astounding, and brilliant demonstration and serves, not simply as a wake up call, but a pivot point for all of us. What matters? What more can we do? What haven’t we done? What may come in the future? We need more of this.