Red Wedge presented two panels at last month’s Historical Materialism conference in Toronto. The first panel (audio above; can be faint at times so please listen with volume up) was designed to expound on the theme of our second issue, “Art Against Global Apartheid,” which was officially launched at the conference. The following presentations were part of the panel:
- “Time/Space/Resistance and the Aesthetics of Neoliberalism” by Alexander Billet
- “Bitch Better Have My Marxism: Notes On the Intersection of Politics and Pop Culture” by Crystal Stella Becerril
- “November Network of Anti-capitalist Artists” by Adam Turl
The panel was chaired by Jordy Cummings. Its starting point was that the neoliberal era – an era of austerity, profound inequality and a rate of exploitation previously unseen in human history – has dramatically changed both the world and the interaction of art with that world. Shifts in space, in how we use time and how time rules over us, in how culture is painted as a magical monolith beyond the intervention of human beings; all of these have have dramatically changed the form, content, and reception of artistic and aesthetic expression. So too have the assault on the left and the privatization of working class cultural resources. The three presentations examined these changes and how political resistance through the arts has been responded. The three presentations comprising this panel will provide an argumentative arc. Each one will touch on each question, but will have a particular emphasis on one over the others.
The second panel, which elaborated on these themes of space, time and artistic resistance, will be published in the coming weeks.
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Alexander Billet is the Red Wedge editor-in-chief and is a writer, poet and critic. His articles have appeared in Jacobin, The Nation, Z Magazine, In These Times, PopMatters.com, New Politics, International Socialist Review, Electronic Intifada and Marx & Philosophy Review of Books. Twitter: @UbuPamplemousse
Crystal Stella Becerril is a Chicago-based Xicana activist and writer. She is currently an editor at Red Wedge and is a contributing writer for Socialist Worker, In These Times, and Warscapes, where she writes about race, feminism, education, and the intersection of politics and culture. Twitter: @xicanaspice
Adam Turl is an artist, writer and socialist currently living in St. Louis, Missouri. He is an editor at Red Wedge and is presently pre-occupied with exploring past and present Marxist strategies in studio art. Turl recently graduated with an MFA from the Sam Fox School of Art and Design at Washington University in St. Louis. More of his work can be seen at his website.