Sorry for the delay, I was working the polls from 5AM-10PM yesterday! Fucking wild! We will discuss it and SPX next week when I escape the hurricane zone. Today we read Ben Davis to you. For more, buy his entire book of the same name.
Boots Riley interview where he mentions Ben Davis:
Jingoism! For the inherently racist American imperial project?? Capitalism with a conscious??? We’re NOT having it. We talk destroying and deconstructing the American flag at home and abroad. Please check out the full show notes of this one.
We go through the demands of Bad Art World’s A contribution towards a programme for the arts on a brutally hot August evening in NYC. It’s a contemporary application of Trotsky’s manifesto on revolutionary art. “Eighty years ago the world was entering another great opening. Then, too, there was a gap between what was necessary to defeat capitalist catastrophe and workers’ general political understanding.”
We’ve decided to start reading art manifestos in full and providing light commentary. First up, of course, is 1938’s Towards a Free Revolutionary Art ghostwritten by Leon Trotsky, signed by Diego Rivera and André Breton. Trotsky was one of the leaders of the Russian revolution, he was famously forced to flee to Mexico. Thanks to funding from the American communist party, he was able to stay near Rivera and Frida Kahlo, but was eventually assassinated there. The manifesto denounces both fascism and Stalinism, and is a seminal text to the history of Muralism and Surrealism/Dada.
We yelled at the mayor! This episode is a response to a recent Chapo Trap House interview about music, identity politics, and activism (listen here: https://soundcloud.com/chapo-trap-house/unlocked-amber-interviews-aaron-j-leonard). We want to challenge the podcast left to do better coalition building, and to think more critically about art’s potential in revolution. We encourage folks to consider Rivera’s Manifesto: Towards a Free Revolutionary Art, and will be posting another episode where we read the whole thing.
A Fucking Didactic Educational AUDIO File! We basically spin a weird collage about surveillance and privacy (a lost cause). A lot of time traveling this episode. We go back in time 5-7 years when folks were rushing Youtube with How To videos like it was the dang gold rush. We receive a prescient transmission from Jack Smith about the commodification of counterculture and the hyper capitalization art fairs were about to cause. We also heed lessons from David Wojnarowicz. Thank you queer history. Folks on the margins are often destroyed by the state, listen to them, and give them space.
The department of defense, the CIA, and the FBI have all had a hand in influencing art, culture, and academia. We discuss the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, Marvel movies, Rockefeller, modernism, futurist fascism, and Mexican muralism. Are you bummed about MFAs and institutional partnerships with banks? Us too buddy. If you like us please consider donating for bonus writing, memes, and art:https://d.rip/art-and-labor
Content warning right at the top, this episode we discuss guns, violence, and suicide. We read through the Hito Steyerl essays “Is the Internet Dead?” and “The Terror of Total Dasein: Economies of Presence in the Art Field” We get into the complicated life and death of Nasim Najafi Aghdam, algorithms, junktime, access, and therapy. If you like us please consider donating for bonus writing, memes, and art:https://d.rip/art-and-labor
We saw Sorry to Bother You and it was THE BEST MOVIE and THE ONLY MOVIE! We celebrate Chairman Boots Riley’s new masterpiece. We try to process the race and gender roles depicted in the film, but we’re way more excited to do a working class analysis. We’re now offering bonus materials on our Drip page! Feel free to skip the first 15 minutes of this ep that is just an ad for it. If you like us please consider donating for bonus writing, memes, and art:https://d.rip/art-and-labor