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Abigail Susik

Simone Breton and the gendered labour of the surrealist automatist Work hazards My preoccupation with reading surrealism’s psychic automatism as a subversive form of gendered labour begins by chance, while I am at work, teaching an introductory undergraduate art history class. I am looking with my students at a reproduction of the cover of the first issue of the journal La Révolution surréaliste from December 1924 ( Figure 2.1 ). There are three images of black-and-white photographs by

in Surrealist sabotage and the war on work
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.

Abstract only
Enlightenment, automata, and the theatre of terror
Victor Sage

superstition, a phalanstery of mastery and slavery which anticipates the rigorous automatism of de Sade. Diderot himself had been imprisoned in Vincennes and had been unnerved by the experience to the point of apparent capitulation to the authorities, so he had studied at first hand the condition he writes about. Suzanne, the narrator of La Religieuse, articulates this link between automatism and the enforced

in European Gothic
Abstract only
The parallel world of photography
Ernst Rebel

, rules and respect for materials. If, for example, photographers today demonstratively cling to the production principles of black-and-white analogue photography, then they do so partly in order to cultivate an individual, manual intensity of picture-making in contrast to the new digital automatism. Or take young people in the computer-scene competing in sports-like fashion for

in Perspectives on contemporary printmaking
Recording technologies and automisation
Aura Satz

disengaged the hand and eye in such blind writing, and typing or keying was used to elevate the automatism of typewriting to the skill of musical performance, as the eyes rest ‘not on the keys but on the copy, as the eyes of the pianist rest on the score’.5 Later spiritualist manifestations involved the handless use of a typewriter held up in the air by partici­ pants, for example in the séances of the Bangs sisters, who, in 1893, produced typed spirit messages in sittings with G. W. N. Yost, the inventor of a typewriter. Likewise, Madame Blavatsky’s Posthumous Memoirs

in The machine and the ghost
Surrealism, occultism, and postwar poetry
Mark S. Morrisson

an example of a formally challenging female poet publishing outside the periodical circuits of the British Poetry Revival. At the heart of Colquhoun's project as a writer and artist during this period was her exploration of the productive tensions between the individual consciousness and processes that could transcend it: essentially, between the personal and transpersonal. Though not all of Colquhoun's poetry was grounded in automatism – whether that of group composition, such as in the chain poem, using dream material as the basis of her

in Surrealist women’s writing

Karl Polanyi (1886–1964) returned to public discourse in the 1990s, when the Soviet Union imploded and globalization erupted. Best known for The Great Transformation, Polanyi’s wide-ranging thought anticipated twenty-first-century civilizational challenges of ecological collapse, social disintegration and international conflict, and warned that the unbridled domination of market capitalism would engender nationalist protective counter-movements. In Karl Polanyi and Twenty-First-Century Capitalism, Radhika Desai and Kari Polanyi Levitt bring together prominent and new thinkers in the field to extend the boundaries of our understanding of Polanyi's life and work. Kari Polanyi Levitt's opening essay situates Polanyi in the past century shaped by Keynes and Hayek, and explores how and why his ideas may shape the twenty-first century. Her analysis of his Bennington Lectures, which pre-dated and anticipated The Great Transformation, demonstrates how Central European his thought and chief concerns were. The next several contributions clarify, for the first time in Polanyi scholarship, the meaning of money as a fictitious commodity. Other contributions resolve difficulties in understanding the building blocks of Polanyi's thought: fictitious commodities, the double movement, the United States' exceptional development, the reality of society and socialism as freedom in a complex society. The volume culminates in explorations of how Polanyi has influenced, and can be used to develop, ideas in a number of fields, whether income inequality, world-systems theory or comparative political economy. Contributors: Fred Block, Michael Brie, Radhika Desai, Michael Hudson, Hannes Lacher, Kari Polanyi Levitt, Chikako Nakayama, Jamie Peck, Abraham Rotstein, Margaret Somers, Claus Thomasberger, Oscar Ugarteche Galarza.

Open Access (free)
Design and material culture in Soviet Russia, 1960s–80s
Author: Yulia Karpova

The major part of this book project was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 700913.

This book is about two distinct but related professional cultures in late Soviet Russia that were concerned with material objects: industrial design and decorative art. The Russian avant-garde of the 1920s is broadly recognised to have been Russia’s first truly original contribution to world culture. In contrast, Soviet design of the post-war period is often dismissed as hackwork and plagiarism that resulted in a shabby world of commodities. This book identifies the second historical attempt at creating a powerful alternative to capitalist commodities in the Cold War era. It offers a new perspective on the history of Soviet material culture by focusing on the notion of the ‘comradely object’ as an agent of progressive social relations that state-sponsored Soviet design inherited from the avant-garde. It introduces a shared history of domestic objects, handmade as well as machine-made, mass-produced as well as unique, utilitarian as well as challenging the conventional notion of utility. Situated at the intersection of intellectual history, social history and material culture studies, this book elucidates the complexities and contradictions of Soviet design that echoed international tendencies of the late twentieth century. The book is addressed to design historians, art historians, scholars of material culture, historians of Russia and the USSR, as well as museum and gallery curators, artists and designers, and the broader public interested in modern aesthetics, art and design, and/or the legacy of socialist regimes.

Ruth Pelzer-Montada

links the seemingly self-generative propensity of the new visual technology of photography in the early nineteenth century to earlier graphic processes. These exhibited a similar, if less comprehensive ‘automatism’ as photography did later. Rebel then traces the development of photography during the nineteenth century which he identifies as ‘the second

in Perspectives on contemporary printmaking
Notes sur le cinématographe
Keith Reader

editing to bring it back to life reflects the twofold powerlessness, over their ‘performance’ and the use made of it in the finished film, often enough attested to by those who have worked with him. He refers in this connection to the importance of automatism, calling Montaigne in evidence (‘Tout mouvement nous descouvre [Montaigne]. Mais il ne nous découvre que s’il est automatique [non commandé, non voulu]’) 4 (130). Arnaud

in Robert Bresson