Jesa Dior Brooks is a musician and artist. Their work positions the individual experiences of anti-racist and anti-capitalist struggle in an art historical context. They are part of the “Afropunk” duo Thee Mistakes and a member of the band Meathorse. Brooks will be performing and participating in the inaugural exhibition of the Dollar Art House, “The Hard Times Art Show,” on September 30 in St. Louis. I interviewed them in the lead-up to the event.
Alex Pullman claimed to have been abducted by aliens. While aboard their spacecraft he had the following visions of the future. The bombs and missiles of World War Three were frozen above the world's cities just as the UFOs arrived. Later that day long-dead communards reappeared as zombies and ghosts – walking anachronisms in the streets of each city and town. The "Evicted Art Blog" will, over the coming months, share Pullman's account of his visions.
The harsh noise, glitchcraft album NJENA by St. Guillotine & The Red Mass is an experimental, musical sigil (an inscribed or painted symbol considered to have magical power) which acts as a meditative soundtrack to the adepts initiation into The Communal Order of the Ouroboros. The Communal Order of the Ouroboros is an open coven for all communist witches, warlocks, and other magical and/or mystical Marxists. The only initiation to become a member of this anonymous coven, is to become possessed by the Spectre of Communism (the communal ghost of every living and dead communist). Through communion with the Spectre, the class consciousness of the adept is raised, and the initiate gains the revolutionary magical skills necessary to combat Moloch and the dictatorship of capital.
The uses and abuses of Rosa Luxemburg as a revolutionary icon are many, and they tend to focus excessively on the tragedy of her death or on her intellectual relationship with Lenin. Old Stalinists display great alabaster busts that disfigure her as a mute, empty eyed martyr to the cause of the mass murderer with whom she shares a bookshelf. Far worse than irrelevant or instrumental, the left has managed to render one of the most magnetic, vivacious and daring of its intellectuals as boring. Consequently the most exciting thing about, Red Rosa, Kate Evans’ graphic biography of the Polish-born German revolutionary is that when she undertook this extremely ambitious project, she scarcely knew anything about her.
Capitalism, contrary to really any architectural experience, is not concerned with memory or with nostalgia or with remembering anything at all. Rather, capitalism is out to expand and reconfigure its gains, to exploit and, as you say, disavow. It forgets, and it forgets purposefully in order to expand further, and in its forgetting there is a bleaching forgiveness that is so total and permanent that it is negating in its testimony.
Recent years have seen an application of the Marxist concept of uneven and combined development (UCD) to the study of cultural and aesthetic production. With a few exceptions, however, this application has been limited to the medium of literature.
This panel interrogates the framework of UCD and aesthetics through questioning the nature of the relationship and expanding said framework into music and visual art. It also discusses the relationship between aesthetics and the geographic changes of neoliberalism.
Red Wedge is currently fundraising to attend the Historical Materialism conference in London. We need your help.
Red Wedge is the only English-language Marxist cultural website and publication dedicated to all aspects of creative culture (art, music, film, poetry, fiction, dance, etc.). We believe that art and creativity aren’t just side issues to the fight for a radically different future, but integral to it. The ability of ordinary people to imagine something different is essential to the socialist vision, and we seek to highlight art, music, poetry, fiction, film and analysis that help feed this radical imagination.
What’s the best thing about Gary Ross’s The Free State of Jones? It is clearly a film that will rile the “All Lives Matter” crowd. For conscious white-supremacists and “color blind” racists alike, the portrayal on screen of a white Southerner – an army deserter – in league with runaway slaves in defiance of the tax man, the war machine, and the system of human bondage, amounts to a giant slap in the face. And it should be. But The Free State of Jones is much more than that. Here we have a mainstream film about a band of rebels in conscious opposition to economic inequality and horrendous racial injustices. What's more, they are led by a proponent of a utopian, agrarian-socialist vision of society.
As Ernst Fischer observed in The Necessity of Art, the origin of art in hunter-gatherer societies resulted in the projection of the human imagination on all that which could not yet be understood. Fischer argued that this was both a social and spiritual aspect of early art. Humans, he argued, rebelled against consuming themselves in the confines of their own life. At the same time art served to unite small bands of human beings around common concerns and a common narrative.
This text begins with facts, they will not be argued here. We live in a police state founded on white supremacy. Philando Castile has been murdered along with thousands of others for being black. For white supremacy blackness is both a necessary other and its greatest threat.
Any analysis of what Diamond Reynolds did when she livestreamed the aftermath of Philando Castile’s murder will be incomplete and totally insufficient to meet the demands of her call for justice. “Truth makes a hole in knowledge.”