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Author: Abigail Susik

Surrealist sabotage and the war on work is an art-historical study devoted to international surrealism’s critique of wage labour and its demand for non-alienated work between the 1920s and the 1970s. The Introduction and Chapter 1 frame the genealogy of surrealism’s work refusal in relation to its inter-war investment in ultra-left politics, its repudiation of French nationalism, and the early twentieth-century development of sabotage theory in the labour movement. Chapter 2 proposes an interpretation of surrealist automatism in 1920s France as a subversion of disciplined production in the emerging information society and also reperformance of feminised information labour. Chapter 3 is a study of autoeroticism and autonomy in Spanish surrealist Óscar Domínguez’s depictions of women’s work tools, such as the sewing machine and the typewriter, in works of art across media during the 1930s. Chapter 4 provides a historical account of labour activism in Chicago surrealism during the 1960s and 1970s, including an analysis of the Chicago surrealist epistolary exchange with German philosopher Herbert Marcuse. An Epilogue considers the paintings that German surrealist Konrad Klapheck made depicting sewing machines, typewriters, and other tools of information labour during the 1960s, in conjunction with related works by other surrealists such as Giovanna. As a whole, Surrealist sabotage and the war on work demonstrates that international surrealism critiqued wage labour symbolically, theoretically, and politically, through works of art, aesthetics theories, and direct actions meant to effect immediate social intervention.

Catherine Spencer

The history of Carolee Schneemann’s relationship with the Happening is a conflicted, critical one. The artist appeared in Claes Oldenburg’s 1962 Ray Gun Theater performances at The Store (1961–62) and, as the decade progressed, developed her own interpretation of the form that she termed ‘Kinetic Theatre’, involving group work, the combination of bodies with collage and junk materials, and the incorporation of projected images from her own films into performance environments. 1 But by the time she featured in Harald Szeemann’s survey of the field with

in Beyond the Happening
Jasmine Kilburn-Toppin

some of its character – architectural and social – from the private units around it’, but ‘the converse was also true … Public uses and private values complemented and reinforced one another.’  3 The primary focus in this work has been upon the internal structure and organisation of institutional artisanal buildings and their guild communities. The view here, however, is extended outward, to consider what exterior walls, designs, and materials signified in the wider urban environment of the City of London

in Crafting identities
Abigail Susik

In the post-World War I period, the surrealists were not alone in their position of needing to work and yet promoting work avoidance – or, for that matter, in their intention to support a proletarian revolution while maintaining a stance antagonistic to the productivism of the Communist Party in France and the USSR. The human desire to find meaning and purpose in life within and beyond the sphere of work, especially waged work, was not necessarily a question of political or class affiliation in France

in Surrealist sabotage and the war on work
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Art in the distributed field and systems of production
Johanna Drucker

Contemporary artists are taking advantage of digital platforms to create works in what we can call a ‘distributed field’ of production. In some instances, their approaches follow older models of versioning and iteration. But in other cases, their projects explore contingencies specific to transmedia practices to produce a work that more closely

in Perspectives on contemporary printmaking
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Oral history and institutional photographs
Jesse Adams Stein

2 The visual at work: oral history and institutional photographs All these pictures would have been posed for. Ha! You know, in reality, it wasn’t as orderly as that!1 – Former NSW Government Printer Don West Oral history can serve a vital role when interweaving labour history with design and material culture. The way that printers speak, for example, is often rich in visual and material detail and peppered with industry slang. In the interviews undertaken for Hot Metal, the conversations revealed that retired printers typically retain an exceptionally thorough

in Hot metal
Allison Myers

Materialist translations of Maoism in the work of Supports/Surfaces Allison Myers Comrades! Without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary practice! Down with dogmatism, empiricism, revisionism and opportunism! Long live Mao Tsé-Tung Thought! Peinture: Cahiers Théoriques, 19711 With red paper covers, Chinese ideograms and translations of Chinese philosophical texts, the journal Peinture: Cahiers Théoriques, published from 1971 to 1983, stood out among Paris art reviews for its sloganeering militancy and Maoist sympathies.2 Its position was unique

in Art, Global Maoism and the Chinese Cultural Revolution
Andy Campbell

34 2 Bound together The work of the Master’s hand Archives: Band of Bikers album; ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives Artwork: Die Kränken, Sprayed with Tears, 2017 The art dealer, poet, and found photography collector Scott Zieher tells the following story: In the spring of 1999, I was doing laundry when my superintendent greeted me coming off the basement elevator with the estate of a man who’d recently passed away. He had apparently lived on my floor, though I’d never seen any elderly neighbors. I had no prior knowledge of this apartment, but its

in Bound together
Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
John Morrow

Carlyle regarded the Reformation as a seminal event in the history of modern Europe, the starting point of an ongoing stage in human development. Reformation Protestantism gave birth to a more general and pervasive spirit of ‘reformation’ that Carlyle identified with the moral destiny of all individuals and communities. These qualities were epitomized by heroic figures such as Luther and Cromwell but they were also embedded in cultures that responded productively to the ongoing challenge of reformation. Having traced the history of the ethos of reformation through English Puritanism and in the commitment to transformative action or ‘work’ that gave rise to Britains emergence as a leading industrial and imperial power, Carlyle brought this reinvention of the Reformation to bear in his critique of the counter-reforming tendencies in early Victorian society that he saw as posing a profound threat to it.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library