This video was presented as part of the Red Wedge stream of panels at the Historical Materialism conference in London last November. Its author, Red Wedge editor Adam Turl, was unable to attend as he got sick at the last minute, but the video was well received. It is based on Turl’s article, “The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction” in Red Wedge #6, “In Defense of Transgression.” That article begins as follows:
Social media asserts a massive multi-subjectivity. This is a conundrum for those who aimed to speak to/on behalf of the masses (for good or ill). It is a disaster for those who thought that without overdetermined capitalist media the masses would embrace their own emancipation, beauty and pathos. Read More
Called a “Corbynite cartoonist” by The Sun and a “Britain hating anarchist who knows the value of nothing” by Tory MP Johnny Mercer after he showed his work at Momentum’s The World Transformed festival in September 2016, Darren uses the language of advertising to make art about the “empty promises of consumerism and the lies of military recruiters”.
Whilst training for a career in advertising he became “steadily horrified at the ethical implications involved”, and instead began to use the techniques he had learned to subvert and satirise it. “I see advertising as being a kind of horrible glue which holds it all together: miltarism, neoliberalism. It’s the Spectacle”. In the interview Darren describes himself as “a conscientious objector in the war against consumers”. One of his main themes is advertising by corporations and the army which targets children through psychological or emotional manipulation. Read More
There are different methods of celebrating an anniversary. There is that which looks back with pure nostalgia; a soft, uncritical reification that half expects time to repeat itself. It is safe to say that the vast majority of anniversaries are celebrated in such a way.
Then there is the method of commemoration that looks forward, that intrinsically understands history as a constant process, unfolding in this way or that depending on who pushes, who is pushed, and whether they are willing to push back. Not events as blueprints, but as ruptures and openings though which we can see a different future. Read More
This video is part of Adam Turl's installation, The Barista Who Could See the Future, on display as part of the Exposure 19: Jumbled Time exhibition at Gallery 210 in St. Louis through December 2, 2017 (also featuring artists Lizzy Martinez and Stan Chisholm). The installation and short video “documentary” above center around the story of Alex Pullman – a coffee shop worker and artist who claimed he had visions of the future. A zine accompanying the installation, supposedly written by Pullman, reads as follows. Read More
Red Wedge is now taking orders for our third issue "Return of the Crowd." Get a copy on wedge shop or subscribe. We are also strongly encouraging all supporters to become part of our patron program through Patreon.
As the above video details, we are hoping for issue three to be a big step forward for a publication that deserves to play a role in building the kind of imaginative and militant left we so sorely need. As with any radical project, it doesn't happen without support. Lend us some and we will do our best to return the favor in the form of a fantastic magazine and website. Read More
Red Wedge lost a friend and supporter this past week when Matthew Caygill died. Matthew was a longtime fixture in the British socialist movement and most recently was involved in Left Unity. He was a keen thinker and well-known as a warm and dedicated comrade. His nearest and dearest have our sincerest condolences.
Matthew was also someone fascinated with the intersection of arts and radical politics. When those of us with RW first encountered him, it was on panel at the Historical Materialism conference in London where he spoke on the connections between the Beatles and the left of the 1960’s, a topic far too often unacknowledged past the most general discussions of John Lennon’s post-Beatles days. In fact, it was the topic of culture and the Left in the Sixties to which he was dedicating his PhD studies. Read More
The world must know. The world simply must know, must be shaken by the shoulders until it collectively acknowledges that something like the Monks can exist. That there can be such a thing as “avant-garde garage rock,” and that it can be played by active American G.I.’s increasingly alienated with the army. It needs to know, fifty years to the calendar month after the release of their only album.
Ten years back there was in fact something of a surge in interest around the Monks. A documentary was made, a tribute album was put out featuring the (International) Noise Conspiracy, the Fall, and a few other recognized inheritors of the garage rock sound. Read More
On January 8th, 9th and 10th, hundreds of activists, scholars, radicals and revolutionaries gathered in Philadelphia for the Black Radical Tradition conference at Temple University. The conference was a success. Featuring Angela Davis, Robin D.G. Kelley, Vijay Prashad, Charlene Carruthers, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Glen Ford, a call-in from Mumia Abu-Jamal, and many others, the conference interjected into the current moment of Black struggle in the United States a particular reminder of the rich and varied interaction between socialist and anti-capitalist ideas and the goal of Black liberation. Read More
The success of the film Trumbo – starring Bryan Cranston as the titular blacklisted screenwriter and Communist Party member – has come at an interesting time in the American cultural landscape. Discussion of socialism is now commonplace. As is free and open discussion of stripping people of their civil rights because of what their beliefs may or may not be. As a gauge of how important it might be, the film has gladly pissed off the right people.
Filmmaking is a fickle art-form; it is of course impossible to cram every single element of a person’s life into a biopic. Nonetheless, that the film doesn’t mention in any way Dalton Trumbo’s masterpiece novel Johnny Got His Gun is frustrating for those familiar with his work. Telling the story of a young soldier fighting in World War I who, caught in an explosion, loses both arms and both legs as well as his sight, hearing and... Read More
"Flawless" is a dance performance piece about gender and sexuality choreographed for pre-professional dancers ranging in age from 13-17. We asked some of them to describe the piece and its development in their own words.
Choreography by Jenny Espino Read More
Video editing by Aaron Garcia