36-1 / Editorial

Promiscuous Infrastructures ou La lutte pour l’invention de possibles

EDITORIAL

La grève générale illimitée (GGI) ne mène pas nécessairement à la grève humaine [1], car l’ennemi de la première est surdéterminé et circonscrit. Mais, par moments, la GGI nous a rapproché-es de cette forme-de-vie que pourrait être la grève, celle d’un refus délicieusement affirmatif, inconditionnel, puissant. À la mobilisation totale, nous préférons la fête des trouble-fête. La grève de la vie (cette vie qui ne nous appartient pas, celle qu’on nous vend), où chacun-e se retrouve sous un nouveau jour. Les « communs » ne sont pas donnés d’avance, ils émergent dans la lutte, dans l’invention de nouvelles relations, dans une réactivation psycho-affective du corps social [2] qui rend possible une solidarité jadis plutôt souterraine sous le capitalisme contemporain.

This first bilingual issue was edited by members and friends of the Montreal-based Artivistic collective, alongside FUSE editorial director Gina Badger. [3] The curatorial decisions largely came out of the collective’s engagement with the Québécois student strike and social uprising of 2012, in relation to their ongoing project on “promiscuous infrastructures.” [4] As described by Anne Bertrand, the current issue is one of the outcomes of an iterative experiment in “commoning” between the Artivistic collective, Skol artist-run-centre and FUSE magazine.

What are Promiscuous Infrastructures? They are strategies of resistance in a hostile political and economic environment that threatens creativity. They are about community building across practices, disciplines, categories and identities. Promiscuous Infrastructures are affectionate, trustworthy, anticapitalist, antiauthoritarian, experimental and fun.

For more than 6 months, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to protest an imposed tuition hike and, later, to disobey the government’s special law — echoing a global uprising against austerity measures and neoliberal politics. In this issue, we wish to further investigate the infrastructures of creative resistance in that context. Le lien entre la GGI et les infrastructures entrelacées se situe dans la lutte pour l’invention de possibles. What does the indefinite general strike allow for? What does it keep alive?

This issue is not meant to synthesize what happened or to tell people what they already know, but is an occasion to be self-reflexive, critical and continue the struggle. À cet effet, Mark Paschal dresse un portrait de l’université comme institution capitaliste. Quelle université défend(i)ons-nous? Au lendemain de la grève, plusieurs questions restent en suspens… Nous avons cherché des signaux auprès d’alliés qui ont également vécu les lendemains d’un soulèvement, à Londres (Grace Kyne-Lilley), en Italie (Anna Adamolo), ou en France (Atelier Populaire). En outre, à Montréal, Faiz Abhuani s’intéresse au problème de l’éducation en donnant forme à un projet qui élargit le sens de la discussion.

By interweaving material culture and analysis of the movement through graphic treatments of a few of our favorite chants of the GGI alongside photographs by Thien V., we aim to embrace the idea of political action as a form of art, as Philippe Enver’s meteorological essay suggests. That is, to give value to the aesthetics of the strike rather than to presuppose that only artists and overt artistic actions within the strike merit our aesthetic attention. Au-delà d’une critique légitime du rôle des artistes « professionnel-les » dans la GGI [5], il y a effectivement la contre-effectuation d’un « beyond critique » que chérit particulièrement Artivistic, fondé sur l’invention continuelle et collective d’une pensée politico-pratique comme forme de résistance, affinitaire à un certain faire-grève [6]. As such, and echoing FUSE’s interest in the forms of the struggle, [7] we investigate the idea of the strike as a form of life and as an end in and of itself. Par exemple, Cindy Milstein raconte dans les menus détails la mise en place d’une journée de grève sociale, Jonah Campbell fait une critique littéraire de la loi 12, et Ronald Rose-Antoinette offre une critique d’Insurgence, un film-essai non documentaire sur le soulèvement du printemps dernier.

While acknowledging the good intentions that underlie the term, whenever possible we avoided referring to Québec’s student strike and social uprising as the “Printemps érable.” L’expression participe au processus de branding et de marketing dont notre société se nourrit. It flattens the distinctions between different struggles and sacrifices that have been made. It is particularly absurd as, while we are writing, occupied Gaza [8] is being raided by Israel. Still, in Québec, more than 3000 have been arrested and many still face criminal charges. It is thus clear that our framework is not one of victory vs. failure but one of solidarity. Libérez nos camarades!

— Artivistic

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[1] « La grève générale laissait entendre qu’il y avait une exploitation limitée dans le temps, et dans l’espace, une aliénation parcellaire, due à un ennemi reconnaissable, et donc vincible. La grève humaine [quant à elle] répond à une époque où les limites entre le travail et la vie achèvent de s’estomper ». Tiqqun, « Comment faire? », 2001.

[2] Franco Berardi Bifo, “The Right to Insolvency and the Disentanglement of the General Intellect’s Potency,” Through Europe (5 December 2012).

[3] We would like to affectionately thank the editorial committee of this issue: Faiz Abhuani, Gina Badger, Sydney Hart, Sophie Le-Phat Ho, Ronald Rose-Antoinette & Kevin Yuen Kit Lo.

[4] Artivistic is currently in transition, experimenting ways of being perpetually creative within a hostile political and economic context. From 2004 to 2009, the Artivistic collective organized thematic events including four large-scale, international and transdisciplinary gatherings on the interPlay between art, information and activism, bringing together diverse artists-organisers and other thinkers & makers. Artivistic emerges out of the proposition that not only artists can talk about art, activists about activism, and academics about theory. Artivistic aims to inspire, proliferate, activate. artivistic.org

[5] « Lendemain de grève », Hors-d’Øeuvre (12 août 2012).

[6] Fragments pour une reprise des hostilités (5 février 2012).

[7] See FUSE 35-1, “Forms of the Struggle” (Winter 2011/12).

[8] FUSE 36-2, guest edited by Nasrin Himada and Reena Katz, will circulate and unpack perspectives critical of settler colonialism in Palestine. Including new work from filmmaker Kamal Aljafari and an attentive critique of Decolonizing Architecture’s Common Assembly, the issue will present fresh anti-colonial frameworks of thought and practice. The issue will also debut two regular columns —the first devoted to the critical review of contemporary Indigenous art and curating penned by longtime FUSE protagonist, Richard William Hill, and the second focusing on the political economy of cultural production.

 Image pris par Thien V., et fait partie de son project Quelques gestes (2012), aussi dans FUSE 36-1.

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