Partially Automated Dystopias + Utopias (Call for Submissions)

Every new technology seems to promise both liberation from drudgery and new forms of economic and social control. The contradictions between dead labor (accumulated productive capital) and living labor (workers), between the forces and relations of production, have always been at the center of Marxism. The way these contradictions play out in the cultural realm is contingent and evolving. Karel Capek’s 1920 play, R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), was translated into dozens of languages, popularizing both the idea of the robot – and the idea of robot rebellion. Working-class audiences, at the time, tended to identify with Capek’s robots – who were not exactly mechanical automatons, but rather artificial persons of a sort. Within a few decades, however, the mechanical automaton “robot” replaced Capek’s artificial humans in popular consciousness. The mechanical robot was increasingly viewed as a threat; perhaps in response to the growth of unemployment by automation, the mechanical slaughters of the imperialist and world wars, and the alienation of post-war corporatism.

Read More

The Barista Who Could See the Future

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

The Communal Order of the Ouroboros #4

The Communal Order of the Ouroboros is written by St. Guillotine and illustrated by Craig E. Ross. You can read this comic from the beginning by clicking here. The Communal Order of the Ouroboros is a highly esoteric yet self-proclaimed open coven for all Communist witches, warlocks, and other magical and/or mystical Marxists. This comic is the magical diary or "Communist Grimoire" told through the first person perspectives of 5 communist witches who start a coven dedicated to using any magical means necessary to overthrow the dictatorship of capital. 

Read More