People's Climate Sporatorium @ Brooklyn Museum


Image credit: event photo graphic uses art by Swoon.

Calling all makers and re-makers, thinkers and rethinkers, composers and decomposers!

Please join us at The Brooklyn Museum this July 31st for the next People's Climate Sporatorium*: a monthly space for artists, curators, cultural producers, technologists, performers, and activists to network, incubate and present works-in-progress in support of the world's largest climate march and mobilization this September. Learn more at http://peoplesclimatemarch.org/

People's Climate Sporatorium*
Thursday, July 31
6:30-9:30pm
@ Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Pkwy
Trains: 2, 3, 4, 5, S
RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/399987470139353

This month we present the Sporatorium* in two acts:

ACT I: A Collective Journey in a Submerged Unconscious: A Ritual of Alignment with Swoon and Friends
(6:30-7:30pm)

We begin with a special tour and presentation by the artist Swoon. Her monumental site-specific installation, "Submerged Motherlands", on display at the museum currently, engages with climate change as a response to the catastrophic Hurricane Sandy that struck the Atlantic Coast in 2012, and Doggerland, a landmass that once connected Great Britain and Europe and was destroyed by a tsunami 8,000 years ago. These places and events separated by thousands of years and miles form a salient image to draw upon and to explore the numerous and complex results of climate change.

Instructions: Please meet on the steps of the Brooklyn museum at 6:30pm sharp, and look for the oracle. They will show you where to go. This will be a story-journey through the dry waters of the world that will flow on into an alignment of ideas. This ritual will prepare us to cultivate our own capacity to overthrow the narrative that has captured the world. Strongly recommended for all dissidents.

* * * *
ACT II: Plotting, Scheming and Dreaming in the Anthropocene
(7:30-9:30pm)

In this act we continue to form the foundation for a consortium of cultural practitioners engaging anthropogenic climate change and its consequences. From artistic interventions, performances, installations, creative actions, data visualizations, design, and community-based practice, we expand the discourse on the geologic turn to include aesthetic, curatorial, and artistic strategies for confronting, criticizing, and creating.

With the historic People's Climate March fast approaching, climate concerned creatives have been developing projects large and small. From exhibitions to sea-faring flotillas, critical journals to wheat-pasted agit-pop, stroller brigades to beekeeper blocks, come hear from Sporatorium Artists-In-Residence and other participants to learn what's in the works and how you might plug in. Or let us know what you're up to. Or what you'd like to be up to. We'll have time for presentations and for small group break-outs to allow for networking and planning.

Job: Exhibition Events Producer + Volunteer Opps

Hey friends,

Not An Alternative is looking for someone ASAP for a 6-8 week gig to help bottom line logistics and events production for an upcoming exhibition at the Queens Museum this September. The ideal candidate is a kick-ass events producer, on top of logistics, good with managing budgets, possessing strong organizing and communications skills via email and phone. Must be very organized, have fire in the belly, and be comfortable working under pressure. Experience working with museums a plus. Experience anchoring conference logistics a plus. Must be NY-based. Any suggestions or interest please email info@notanalternative.net.

About the exhibition: we're launching a new multi-year project called The Natural History Museum. We do everything natural history museums do--exhibitions, expeditions, educational workshops, public programming--but we include the social and political forces that shape nature, yet are left out of natural history museums.

The Queens Museum show is the curtain-raiser for the project: the exhibition programming--with artists, organizers, historians, media theorists, anthropologists, and scientists--will introduce the theoretical and historical framework. We'll also have workshops, performances, screenings, and creative actions in the context of the historic People's Climate March/ mobilization this September.

Besides this event producer / logistics coordinator role, there's lots of opportunities for volunteers to plug in over the next several months. If you're interested in creative interventions, graphic and architectural design, offline actions, physical production / making stuff, photography, videography, etc. etc...be in touch?! info@notanalternative.net

End The McHunger Games

End The McHunger Games from Not An Alternative on Vimeo.

The Hunger Games are REAL. They are a reality for 3 million New Yorkers exchanging hard work for low wages. Global chains like McDonalds and Walmart make record profits while their workers barely get by on public assistance.

It’s time to end the McHunger Games. We're banding together to change the rules of the game. And we won’t stop until the odds are in EVERYONE'S favor.

Join the resistance.

nyworkersrising.org

Radical Naming Strategies in Art and Politics

Please join us for an evening with Slovenian artist Janez Janša and media theorist Marco Deseriis on the subversion of the proper name in art and politics.  

Thursday, March 13, 7 PM
@ Not An Alternative
67 West Street, #304
Brooklyn, NY 11222

In 2007, three artists joined the conservative Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) and legally changed their names into the name of the party leader, the Prime Minister of Slovenia at the time, Janez Janša. Was this an act of support for the leader or a subtle attack on his brand? Whenever asked for the reasons for the name change, the artists simply answered that they did it "for personal reasons." Since the change of their legal status, the boundaries between their lives and their art has blurred in numerous unforeseen ways.
 
Janša's presentation will include excerpts from My Name Is Janez Janša (Slovenia, 2012), a film that is a journey through different stages and aspects of the name changing and its consequences--including public, relational and intimate ones. Drawing from history, popular culture, and personal experiences, the movie takes the Janša experience as a departure point for a wider reflection on how the legal name may coincide with (or differ from) notions of personal identity in a Western society.

Following Janša’s presentation, Northeastern University professor Marco Deseriis will present a brief genealogy and theory of the improper name, which he defines as the adoption of the same pseudonym by organized collectives, affinity groups, and individual authors. Linking the pseudonyms shared by nineteenth-century English textile workers (Ned Ludd), Hollywood film directors (Alan Smithee), North American and European mail artists (Monty Cantsin and Karen Eliot), European anti-copyright activists (Luther Blissett), and the global “hacktivist” network Anonymous, Deseriis argues that improper names are assemblages of enunciation that are neither collective nor individual, but rather “condividual” or “transindividual.” In thinking the subject as an unfinished project, the theory of the improper also calls for a new theory of media.
 
* * * * * * * *
  
Janez Janša is a conceptual artist, performer and producer. He is co-founder and artistic director of Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana.
www.aksioma.org
 
Marco Deseriis is an Assistant Professor in the Program in Media and Screen Studies at Northeastern University. His manuscript Improper Names: Collective Pseudonyms from the Luddites to Anonymous is currently under contract at the University of Minnesota Press.
 
Janez Janša, Janez Janša, Janez Janša
http://www.janezjansa.si
 
My Name is Janez Janša
www.mynameisjanezjansa.com
  
Marco Deseriis
http://neu.academia.edu/MarcoDeseriis

Summer Update 2013

Hi friends, it’s been a long time since we’ve been in touch with y'all with an update. As you may know in the Fall of 2011 we were “rentrified” out of our Williamsburg storefront, and thanks to the support of you and others in our extended family we relocated to Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Since then, we’ve been busier than we've ever been in our 9 year history. Here's a sampling from the last 2 years:

* We dialed back public programming and event curation for a spell, and ramped up our work as an arts collective and production company, producing visual communications anonymously in support of the Occupy movement and other mobilizations. Some of that work can be seen here, and here, and even here.

* We’ve written some articles about the politics of representation in social movements, and the idea of organizing around a “name in common”.

* We’ve expanded our team. We birthed a new comrade and collaborator, just 20 inches tall and a real pistol. Occupy Baby (aka Mila Amie Economopoulos Jones) came into this world like a true direct actionista, as evidenced by the lights, sirens and media cameras...this child has a bigger google footprint than most folks we know. We also welcomed new collaborators Jodi Dean, Anjali Cadambi, Lucky Tran, Jonathan King, and Victoria Sobel, as well as interns Mon Ellis and Josh Yoder. Learn more about our team here.

*We’re incubating new projects. We’re excited to be working with Occupy Homes Minnesota and Occupy Homes Atlanta on their anti-foreclosure and eviction defense efforts, and in 2014 we’ll launch the biggest project we’ve worked on to date, relating to climate change and natural history museums.

Amidst all that, we’ve been missing you. And so we’re thrilled to start hosting public events again. As always, our programming lies at the intersection of art, activism, and theory, bringing together filmmakers, artists, activists, and academics, with an aim toward putting theory into practice.

We hope you can join us for our inaugural event in the new(ish) space on Thursday, August 29 at 7pm. Brandon Jourdan and Marianne Maeckelbergh from the Global Uprisings team will screen their latest film about Occupy Gezi Park and the Taksim Commune. Event deets on Facebook here.

Taksim Commune: Gezi Park and the Uprising in Turkey

Film Screening and Discussion
Thursday, August 29th @ 7:00 PM
@ No Space, 67 West St, #304

Join us for a night of film and discussion with Brandon Jourdan and Marianne Maeckelbergh from the Global Uprisings team. They will screen their latest film about Occupy Gezi Park, the Taksim Commune, and the ongoing uprising in Turkey.

About the Film
In the latest documentary in their Global Uprisings series, Brandon Jourdan and Marianne Maeckelbergh tell the story of the occupation of Gezi Park, its violent eviction, and the mass uprising it sparked.

Since the end of May 2013, political unrest has swept across Turkey. In Istanbul, a large part of the central Beyoğlu district became a battle zone for three consecutive weeks with conflicts continuing afterward. So far five people have died and thousands have been injured.

The protests were initially aimed at rescuing Istanbul’s Gezi Park from being demolished as part of a large scale urban renewal project. The police used extreme force during a series of police attacks that began on May 28th 2013 and which came to a dramatic head in the early morning hours of Friday May 31st when police attacked protesters sleeping in the park.

Over the course of a few days, the police attacks grew to shocking proportions. As the images of the heavy-handed policing spread across the world, the protests quickly transformed into a popular uprising against the Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his style of authoritarian rule.

This short documentary tells the story of the occupation of Gezi Park, the eviction on July 15, 2013, and the protests that have continued in the aftermath. It includes interviews with many participants and never before seen footage.

About Global Uprisings

Fall Internship: POSITION FILLED

PLEASE NOTE: This position has now been filled. We are no longer reviewing applications.

Not An Alternative (NAA) is seeking a Fall intern to assist with our current and upcoming writing projects. The ideal candidate has strong writing chops and a background in art, media/culture, or political theory (or a bit of all the above). The ability to comprehend theory and translate it for a lay audience is important.

You will work closely with NAA resident theorist and author Jodi Dean, as well as other NAA team members, on the following: packaging case studies for a new website for the organization; writing rapid response articles for publication responding to key political moments; drafting video animation scripts; and researching and writing grant applications for Fall fundraising season.

We’re looking for candidates who are detail-oriented, organized, and motivated. Solid communications skills and an interest in Not An Alternative’s mission are a must.

Compensation: positions are PAID, and academic credit may be possible depending on the institution.
Location: Brooklyn, NY (Greenpoint)
Hours and Duration: Quarterly 2013; 25-30 hours per week
Application Deadline: Rolling until filled. We would love to begin the internship as soon as possible so that there is overlap with our summer team. Applicants are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO APPLY BY AUGUST 9TH.

TO APPLY: Please send cover letter, CV, a minimum of 2 writing samples, and contact information for two references to info@notanalternative.net. Please use the subject line “WRITING INTERN Application FALL 2013”

VOLUNTEERING
Volunteer opportunities are available for a number of Not An Alternative projects. Volunteers can assist with art production, design, research, social media outreach, and more. Interested applicants should send an email to info@notanalternative.net with "VOLUNTEER" in the subject line. Applicants will be contacted as opportunities arise.

ABOUT NOT AN ALTERNATIVE
Not An Alternative is a hybrid arts collective and non-profit organization with a mission to affect popular understandings of events, symbols, and history. The group curates and produces interventions on immaterial and material space, leveraging the tools of architecture, exhibit design, branding, and public relations.

Not An Alternative's actions, installations, and presentations have been featured within art institutions around the world, and in the public sphere, where they collaborate with community organizations and activist mobilizations. They host programs at a variety of venues, including their Brooklyn-based gallery No-Space (formerly known as The Change You Want to See Gallery).

ABOUT WRITING INTERNSHIP SUPERVISOR JODI DEAN
Jodi Dean is a political and media theorist who has been a core collaborator with Not an Alternative since 2010. She has given invited lectures in galleries, universities, and public fora around the world. Her most recent book is The Communist Horizon (Verso 2012). Previous titles include Blog Theory (Polity 2010), Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies (Duke 2009), Zizek's Politics (Routledge 2006), Publicity's Secret (Cornell 2002), Aliens in America (Cornell 1998) and Solidarity of Strangers (California 1996).

Stand for Justice: Repeal Stand Your Ground

It's been a dark week since the Zimmerman trial verdict, but the breadth of actions across the country is inspiring.

The hoodie continues to be a powerful symbol, with dozens of distributed events this week that include "million hoodies" or "hoodies up for trayvon", etc. in their name. Countless people turn out in hoodies of different colors.

Looking at what's already happening in the visual/symbolic landscape, Not An Alternative is producing more visuals that marry the hoodie to a demand: Stand for Justice, Repeal Stand Your Ground.

We've made a life-sized torso/hoodie stencil and cut coroplast to create figures that function as signs. They say "Stand for Justice" on one side and "Repeal Stand Your Ground" on the other (not depicted in images above). We've also sourced hoodies in different colors that we'll screenprint to have both messages.

The online and offline visuals share an aesthetic vocabulary. As documentation of on-the-ground actions makes its way to mainstream and social media, the graphics and field photos can reinforce each other. Ideally, charging the symbol that exists in cultural consciousness and the media stream with a pointy-ended political demand.

In a lot of our work, bringing the excluded subject that isn't present into the equation is something we aim for. In this case, representing Trayvon, but Trayvon as a collective subject, not just an individual. This collective subjectivity is represented by the cut-outs; the individual by the people in the demo wearing the different colored hoodies with the messages on them. And so, not trying to BE Trayvon or say that "we are all Trayvon". (We like the "iamnottrayvon" tumblr for that reason). Because of Stand Your Ground there are many many Trayvons, most of whom we'll never hear about.

From the Zapatistas to Super Barrio Man to Anonymous to Pussy Riot, anonymity plays an important role in social movements. The thousands of people who make the small gesture of giving up their individuality when they change their Facebook pics to a symbol in common, to an image of Trayvon Martin, embody an Idea.

The symbol of the hoodie asserts, in relation to justice, that we are not individuals. It doesn’t matter to whom the law commits an injustice, we must respond in the same way. It is said that 'justice is blind'. This means that, if true, justice must apply to everyone equally.

We wear masks of de-individualization, of liberating anonymity, of Standing For Justice.

'You cannot evict an idea whose time has come'. Or as the anonymous character behind the Guy Faulks (Anonymous) mask said in V For Vendetta, 'Beneath this mask there is an idea... and ideas are bulletproof'.

You cannot kill an Idea!

Occupy Homes Mobilization at the Department of Justice

Dozens of underwater homeowners from around the country and hundreds of allies took to the streets on May 20th, 2013 to confront the Department of Justice, demanding an end to their "too big to jail" policy. Despite rampant fraud, abuses, and illegal foreclosures, not a single bank has been prosecuted. The home defenders marched, stormed the door at the DOJ, blocked all building exits, set up street blockades and an encampment on the front lawn.

On the following day, home defenders occupied the lobby of Covington & Burling in DC, the law firm that defends Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs, among others. It's where senior DOJ officials came from (and are expected to return). 8 underwater homeowners were arrested blockading the revolving door. Both actions were organized by Occupy Homes and Home Defenders League.

Not An Alternative produced all the visuals for the event, including mili-tents: tents emblazoned with messaging that could function as mobile protest signs or as sleeping tents; a 100-foot flexible mesh netting with messaging that could serve as a banner or as a street barricade; banners, flags, signs, and a mobile stage and float in the form of the facade of a foreclosed home.

We also created social media graphics during the action that were pushed via multiple Facebook pages and Twitter feeds, telling the story of the day as it unfolded in a form that was easy to share. Here they are in reverse chronological order.

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