"Before the revolution, there’s always a book club." (Extinction Rebellion)
1. Scandalous Feminism
Silvia Federici. Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation. Brooklyn, NY: Autonomedia, 2009.
Virginie Despentes. King Kong Theory. New York: Feminist Press, 2010.
Family, warlike virility, modesty — all the traditional moral values are intended to keep the genders in their assigned role. Men as soldiers for the state, women as the slaves of men. In the end, we are all enslaved, our sexualities confiscated, policed and normalized. There is always a social class which has an interest in maintaining things as they are…
Jo Freeman. “Bitch Manifesto.” 1968.
Shulamith Firestone. The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution. New York: Bantam Books, 1970.
Monique Wittig. The Straight Mind and Other Essays. New York: Beacon Press, 1992.
Karen Finley. A Different Kind of Intimacy: A Memoir. New York: Thunder Mouth Press, 2000.
Shannon Bell. Fast Feminism. New York: Autonomedia, 2010.
Mira Bellwether. Fucking Trans Women. 2018. [buy this zine & support the author!!]
Bini Adamczak. “On Circlusion.” Mask Magazine, July 2016.
I wish to propose to you a new term, one that has been missing for a long time: “circlusion.” It denotes the antonym of penetration. […] We need it because the affliction of penetration still rules supreme over the heteronormative imaginary and its arbitrary division of bodies into “active” and “passive.”
Melissa Grant. Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work. New York: Verso, 2014.
2. Cruising as a Way of Life
Gayle Rubin. “Thinking Sex: Notes for an Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality.” 1984.
Pat Califia. Public Sex: The Culture of Radical Sex. San Francisco: Cleis Press, 1994.
Tim Dean. “Chapter 4: Cruising as a Way of Life.” Unlimited Intimacy: Reflections on the Subculture of Barebacking. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2009.
…what seems salutary about cruising is how it can involve intimate contact with strangers without necessarily domesticating the other’s otherness. Thus I would like to rephrase my opening question more pointedly: Why should strangers not be lovers and yet remain strangers?
Samuel Delany. Times Square Red. Times Square Blue. New York: New York University Press, 1999.
Samuel Delany. “Ash Wednesday.” Boston Review, May 2017.
Elisa Glick. “Sex Positive: Feminism, Queer Theory and the Politics of Transgression.” Feminist Review 64. Spring 2000.
Meg-John Barker. Re-writing the Rules: An Anti Self-Help Guide to Love, Sex and Relationships. London: Routledge, 2018.
3. Permanent Queer Becoming
[Queerness] is not about an identity in and of itself. Nor is it about some Liberal fantasy for the absence or overcoming of identity. Queerness is about the struggle against identity construction, knowing full well that one can never escape or transcend those cultural systems which dominate us through the imposition of identities.
Paul B. Preciado. Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era. New York: The Feminist Press, 2013.
Tim Dean. “Homosexuality and the Problem of Otherness.” In Homosexuality and Psychoanalysis, eds. Tim Dean and Christopher Lane. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001.
McKenzie Wark. “The Potential of the Queer: On Jose Esteban Munoz.” Public Seminar, February 2019.
Paul B. Preciado, “Letters from a Trans Man to the Old Sexual Regime.” Texte zur Kunst, January 2018.
Two differential factors nevertheless separate the queer aesthetic from that of the straight normativeness of the old regime—the ancient régime: consent and the non-naturalization of sexual positions. The equivalence of bodies and the redistribution of power.
Julia Serano. Whipping Gild: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity. Berkeley, CA: Seal Press, 2016.
Juliet Jacques. Trans: A Memoir. New York: Verso, 2016.
Richard Seymour. “None Shall Pass: Trans and the Rewriting of the Body.” Salvage, March 2017.
Terre Thaemlitz. “The Revolution Will Not Be Injected.” June 2015.
VIDEO: ContraPoints. “Gender Critical.” March 2019.
4. Reduce< Refuse< Rave : Are Parties Political?
Barbara Ehrenreich. Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy. New York: Henry Holt, 2007.
Jose Esteban Munoz. “Conclusion: Take Ecstasy with Me.” In Cruising Utopia. New York: New York University Press, 2009.
Taking ecstasy with one another, in as many ways as possible, can perhaps be our best way of enacting a queer time that is not yet but nonetheless always potentially dawning.
Luis-Manuel Garcia. “An Alternative History of Sexuality in Club Culture.” Resident Advisor, January 2014.
Terre Thaemlitz. “Midtown 120 Blues.” 2008.
Terre Thaemlitz interviewed by Luis-Manuel Garcia. “Terre Thaemlitz on Queer Nightlife: Un Unabridged Interview.” February 2014.
Ashkan Sepahvand. “Everything I Learned about Technocapitalism, I Learned at Berghain.” As part of the conference #FOMO, curated by Steven Cairns and Rosalie Dubal, Institute of Contemporary Arts. London, May 29-31, 2015.
Ashkan Sepahvand. “When the Body Seems Destined to Experimentation.” In …ment, Issue 6: “Displacement,” eds. Rebecca Bligh and Federica Bueti. London: journalment, 2015.
Martti Kalliala. “Club Ruins.” Flash Art, November 2016.
It is ostensibly funny how power plants and factories have assumed a function — the club — diametrically opposed to their original use: dissipating excess energy through physical and affective work without obvious utility, such as dancing, the chemically accelerated depletion of dopamine and serotonin stocks, and nonreproductive sex. But only ostensibly, as today we live with an energetic surplus so far beyond what we require for survival and reproduction, that the vast majority of human activity is devoted to pursuits that fall under the categories of ritual and ceremony: the seemingly irrational sacrifice of time and resources for no obvious gain. If the pointlessness of clubs is comical, so is pretty much everything else we do.
tobias c van Veen. “Technics, Precarity and Exodus in Rave Culture.” Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture, 1(2), 2010: 29-49.
RA Exchange. “EX220. Der Klang der Familie.” October 2014.
George McKay (ed.). DIY Culture: Party & Protest in Nineties Britain. London: Verso, 1998.
Michel Gaillot with Jean-Luc Nancy & Michel Maffesoli. Techno: An Artistic and Political Laboratory of the Present.Paris: Editions dis voir, 1998.
Good Trouble. Utopia Now: Rave and Resistance in the Middle East. December 2017.
The Queer Mafia. “Safe(r) Spaces Remixed: Ground Rules for Our Parties.” Toronto.
5. On Labor (of Love) in the Age of Clubbing
Bojana Kunst. “Prognosis on Collaboration.” First published in: Prognoses über Bewegungen, ed. Gabriele Branstetter, Kai van Eikels, Sybille Peters, B-Books, Berlin, 2009.
Vika Kirchenbauer. “Aesthetics of Exploitation.” 2017.
Jan Verwoert. “To All Those Who Set the Stage.” Keynote Lecture at Smart Museum of Art’s symposium “Of Hospitality,” May 2012.
Jan Verwoert. “Exhaustion and Exuberance: Ways to Defy the Pressure to Perform.” Pamphlet for Art Sheffield 08 “Yes, No and Other Options”, 2018.
Sex work is one of the fastest growing industries today. And, without wanting to turn ‘sex work’ into a loose metaphor, I still feel that the unconditional readiness to perform whenever and wherever that is expected from freelancers as well as from artists and intellectuals operating in a project-based arts economy somewhat resembles the pressure put on the sex worker to always get it on.
6. O R G A N I Z E for Social Change
To truly organize oneself has never been anything other than loving each other.
The Invisible Committee. The Coming Insurrection. LA: Semiotext(e), 2009.
Mathijs van de Sande. “‘Why did it work this time?’ David Graeber on Occupy Wall Street.” ephemera: journal of theory and politics in organization, 2014.
Plan C. “Building Acid Communism.” Transmediale, 2018.
Plan C. “C Is for Consciousness Raising.” May 2015.
adrienne maree browne. Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds. Oakland: AK Press, 2017.
Sarah Schulman. Conflict Is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility and the Duty of Repair. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press.
abolitionjournal. “If You're New to Abolition: Study Group Guide.” June 2020.
Abolition is about presence, not absence. It's about building life-affirming institutions.
carla bergman & Nick Montgomery. Joyful Militancy: Building Resistance in Toxic Times. Oakland: AK Press, 2017.
Extinction Rebellion. This Is Not a Drill: The Activist Handbook. London: Penguin Books, 2019.
7. Anti-Racism, Black Radicalism and Black Liberation
Audre Lorde. Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 1984. We Especially recommend: “The Uses of the Erotic”; “The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism”; “The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House”.
Racism and homophobia are real conditions of all our lives in this place and time. I urge each one of us here to reach down into that deep place of knowledge inside herself and touch that terror and loathing of any difference that lives there. See whose face it wears. Then the personal as the political can begin to illuminate all our choices.
Kehinde Andrews. Back to Black: Retelling Black Radicalism For the 21st Century. London: Zed Books, 2018.
It is impossible to eradicate microaggressions and making them the focus of our work is the worst and most insular way we could approach the issue. [...] You cannot build a revolution by trying to make it more comfortable for the lucky few to endure the master's house. The idea that we are a broken people who first need to be fixed is the perfect example of putting the symptom before the disease. [...] We cannot theorize or perform our way to revolution. When Kwame Ture visited Birmingham in 1983 his message was simple: "if you're not part of an organisation then you are against your people". The only vehicle to liberation is building an organisation that can empower the global Black nation. [...] The challenge for Black Lives Matter, or any movement that was born in the West, [will be] to build meaningful connections to the African Diaspora.
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor. From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2017.
Angela Davis. Abolition. Feminism, Now. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2021.
ZINE: A World without Police.
Walter Benn Michaels & Adolf Reed. “The Trouble with Disparity.” September 2020.
Resmaa Menakem. My Grandmother's Hands. Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies. Las Vegas: Central Recovery Press, 2017.
Rev. angel Kyodo williams, Lama Rod Owens & Jasmine Syedullah. Radical Dharma. Talking Race, Love and Liberation". Berkely: North Atlantic Books, 2016.
That mandate is to control Black bodies.
The need is to have the constant specter of the other.
When the other exists, it strengthens your need to belong.
Your belonging is necessary for compliance.
Your compliance maintains the system.
You are policed, too.
You are policed by your need of belonging.
Your need for belonging requires control of the other.
... Or at least the illusion of it.
You are policed through the control of my body.
You are policed, too.
Catherine Breillat [whatever you can get your hands on]
Daisies (Chytilova, 1966)
The Killing of Sister George (Aldrich, 1968)
Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Akerman, 1975)
Bildnis einer Trinkerin (Ottinger, 1979)
A Question of Silence (Gorris, 1982)
Born in Flames (Borden, 1983)
The Gold Diggers (Potter, 1983)
Vagabond (Varda, 1985) [her entire work is worth your time]
Working Girls (Borden, 1986)
Daughters of the Dust (Dash 1991)
Party Girl (Scherler-Mayer, 1995)
Watermelon Woman (Dunye, 1996)
Naar de Klote (Kaganof, 1996)
Baise Moi (Despentes, 2000)
Strella (Koutras, 2009)
Wildness (Wu Tsang, 2012)
Victoria (Schipper, 2015)
Portrait of a Woman on Fire (Sciamma, 2019)
Animals (Hyde, 2019)
I May Destroy You (Coel, 2020)
NB: Theory is the theory, kindness is the praxis. 🖤