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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.

Word and image in Chicago Surrealism
Joanna Pawlik

Cartooning the marvelous: word and image in Chicago Surrealism Joanna Pawlik In December 1965 Franklin Rosemont and his wife Penelope travelled to Paris to meet André Breton and the Parisian group of Surrealists. The young Americans from the mid-West stayed for five months, participating in the daily meetings of the circle, which were held between six and eight at the café on Promenade de Vénus.1 The visit testified to the Rosemonts’ burgeoning interest in Surrealism and they returned to Chicago with Breton’s blessing to start the first organised group of

in Mixed messages
Abigail Susik

. Their local Chicago surrealism was steeped in the practicalities of protest and activism – actions based in the now and often directly underfoot, through dissent in the street. 94 Chicago’s radical past as a hotbed for proletarian resistance – for example, via events such as the 1886 Haymarket workers’ rally for an eight-hour workday – was an ever-present factor. 95 In that regard, Chicago surrealism’s fondness for what they called ‘vernacular surrealism’, or cultural phenomena that were

in Surrealist sabotage and the war on work
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American correspondences in visual and verbal practices

Mixed Messages presents and interrogates ten distinct moments from the arts of nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century America where visual and verbal forms blend and clash. Charting correspondences concerned with the expression and meaning of human experience, this volume moves beyond standard interdisciplinary theoretical approaches to consider the written and visual artwork in embodied, cognitive, and contextual terms. Offering a genuinely interdisciplinary contribution to the intersecting fields of art history, avant-garde studies, word-image relations, and literary studies, Mixed Messages takes in architecture, notebooks, poetry, painting, conceptual art, contemporary art, comic books, photographs and installations, ending with a speculative conclusion on the role of the body in the experience of digital mixed media. Each of the ten case studies explores the juxtaposition of visual and verbal forms in a manner that moves away from treating verbal and visual symbols as operating in binary or oppositional systems, and towards a consideration of mixed media, multi-media and intermedia work as brought together in acts of creation, exhibition, reading, viewing, and immersion. The collection advances research into embodiment theory, affect, pragmatist aesthetics, as well as into the continuing legacy of romanticism and of dada, conceptual art and surrealism in an American context.

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Abigail Susik

be lazy. The final two sections of the chapter explore how Chicago surrealism conceptualised direct action artistically and rhetorically. I begin with a discussion of artworks by the Chicago surrealist and labour activist Robert Green that were constructed with ‘sabotaged’ machines and exhibited in 1968 in Lincoln Park. I then proceed to an analysis of the Chicago surrealists’ encounter with Herbert Marcuse at the 1971 TELOS Conference in Buffalo, New York, and their communications with him thereafter

in Surrealist sabotage and the war on work
Abigail Susik

the surrealist work critique focused on Charles Fourier’s utopian socialism and Herbert Marcuse’s critical theory even while the surrealist attraction to anarcho-communist concepts of mutual aid, collectivism, cooperative behaviour, and a stateless society persisted. All of these concerns witnessed further development with Chicago surrealism and its investment in direct-action militancy, as tied to their alignment with the Industrial Workers of the World union (IWW; founded in Chicago in 1905) and Vietnam-era New Left

in Surrealist sabotage and the war on work