This text theorizes political change from within social movement via an engagement with autonomist politics and radical aesthetics.
How does the avant-garde create spaces in everyday life that subvert regimes of economic and political control? How do art, aesthetics and activism inform one another? And how do strategic spaces of creativity become the basis for new forms of production and governance?
The Composition of Movements to Come reconsiders the history and the practices of the avant-garde, from the Situationists to the Art Strike, revolutionary Constructivism to Laibach and Neue Slowenische Kunst, through an autonomist Marxist framework. Moving the framework beyond an overly narrow class analysis, the book explores broader questions of the changing nature of cultural labor and forms of resistance around this labor. It examines a doubly articulated process of refusal: the refusal of separating art from daily life and the re-fusing of these antagonistic energies by capitalist production and governance. This relationship opens up a new terrain for strategic thought in relation to everyday politics, where the history of the avant-garde is no longer separated from broader questions of political economy or movement, but becomes a point around which to reorient these considerations.
Acknowledgements / Let’s Take the First Bus Out of Here: A User’s Guide / 1. Introduction: Class Composition and the Avant-Garde / Part I: Territories: Psychogeography / 2. Theories made to die in the war of time / 3. Metropolitan Strategies, Psychogeographic Investigations / Part II: Art/Work Sabotage / 4. Can Creative Practice Break Bricks / 5. Learning Not to Labor / Part III: Institutions: Overidentification / 6. Fascists as Much as Painters / 7. Icons of Futures Past / 8. Coda: The Composition of Movements to Come / Bibliography / Index