Machete at the American Comparative Literature Association

Machete Group Members Avi Alpert and Gabriel Rockhill are organizing a panel at next year’s ACLA in New York. Description below. Interested parties should submit abstracts through the ACLA’s website.

 

The Times of Social Transformation: Narratives of Change and Changing Narratives

Seminar Organizer(s):

  • Gabriel Rockhill (Villanova University), Avram Alpert (University of Pennsylvania)

Some commentators say that the grand era of revolutionary social transformation began around 1776 and ended in 1989.  “Popular capitalism” then came to impose itself as the normative horizon of human time, if not the veritable end of history.  This historical narrative was quickly challenged, however, by the Zapatista Rebellion, the Bolivarian Revolution, the Seattle protests and other uprisings.  History was not following its proposed script.  More recent revolutionary activity around the world has further discredited the historical narrative that frames our current conjuncture as one that is beyond the pale of radical social transformation.

These practical contestations of the supposed framework of contemporary politics have given rise to important reflections on the temporality of social transformation, including renewed interest in categories such as prefiguration, untimeliness, belatedness, recuperation, revolutionary rupture and the longue durée.  In the context of the ACLA, we would like to open an inquiry into the narratives of change as well as these changing narratives.  This includes a preoccupation with contemporary social movements, a concern with their aesthetic and literary framing, and a consideration of how such framings relate to different notions of time.  We envision this seminar, therefore, as an opportunity to reflect on the variety of ways in which change becomes meaningful through social praxis and its narrative encoding (or decoding) in time.  Papers addressing these issues from theoretical, historical, practical, aesthetic or literary perspectives are all welcome.

SEMINAR KEYWORDS: Social transformation, revolution, historiography, Marxism, anarchism, critical theory, pluralism, cultural politics, aesthetics, the avantgarde, narratology

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Occupy Time

October 6th, City Hall, 1pm

Join Machete Group members Avi Alpert and Gabriel Rockhill as they take part in a teach-in to usher in the second year of the Occupy Movement. Alpert and Rockhill will be discussing how the Occupy movement relates to other long-term political struggles, and how we need to understand the movement not as a means to accomplish a finite end, but as part of an ongoing struggle for global justice.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fall Update

While the Blog was down this summer, a few Machete Group member activities occurred. Here is a sample:

Alexi Kukuljevic spoke on the topic, “Almost Nothing” at the annual MaMa conference in Zabgeb.

Gabriel Rockhill took part in the conference “The Avant-Garde at the New Stage of Institutional Criticism” at the National Center for Contemporary Arts in Moscow

A performance by Avi Alpert, alongside Danny Snelson and Mashinka Firunts, was favorably reviewed on the blog of the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Philadelphia.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Attention w/ The Order of the Third Bird

SATURDAY / 26 / MAY/ 2012 / 2PM
Institute of Contemporary Art @ University of Pennsylvania
118 S. 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 · 215 898-7108 

As part of their participation in First Among Equals, Machete Group has organized a series of performances that will take place in the exhibition gallery. This, our final event, will be run by The Order of the Third Bird, whom we have invited to explore they key term “Attention” with gallery visitors. The afternoon will consist of a kind of training session in sustained attention to artworks. They describe the event as follows:

Art and Attention: The Protocols of Practical Aesthesis. An extramural foray by indiscreet members of The Order of the Third Bird, who may be expected to lead interested and suitable participants through peculiar rites of sustained attending on made things. Temporary metempsychosis may occur, but must not become permanent. Space limited.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Unsearchable

6:30PM, Wednesday May 23 @ the ICA Philadelphia
A lecture-performance presented by Avi Alpert, Danny Snelson, and Mashinka Firunts.

As part of their participation in First Among Equals, Machete Group has organized a series of performances that will take place in the exhibition gallery.

“Unsearchable” with Avi Alpert, Daniel Snelson, and Mashinka Firunts.

Examining citation and erudition, Machete Group member Avi Alpert joins Philadelphia-based artists Danny Snelson and Mashinka Firunts to present an untraceable lecture performance that asks, what remains beyond the database?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Machete and Shifter at the ICA: “The Intention of the Unintentional”

SATURDAY / 28 / APRIL / 2012 / 2PM
Institute of Contemporary Art @ University of Pennsylvania
118 S. 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 · 215 898-7108 

As part of their participation in First Among Equals, Machete Group has organized a series of performances that will take place in the exhibition gallery.

“Intention” with Shifter Magazine (Sreshta Rit Premnath and Matthew Metzger).

From Aristotle to John Cage, intention and non-intention have been key components of aesthetic practice. Part-launch for Shifter Volume 18 (on intention) and part-discussion about the concept itself, Machete Group members, Shifter editors and others will investigate the relevance of the concept of “intention” and its social dimensions.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dictionary of the Present at the ICA

WEDNESDAY / 28 / MARCH / 2012 / 6:30PM
WHENEVER WEDNESDAY
Institute of Contemporary Art
118 S. 36th St. Philadelphia, PA 19104-3289 

In conjunction with First Among Equals, a presentation of the Machete Group’s Dictionary of the Present. 

Are there a set of key terms, events,and images that can help us better understand our present condition? Machete Group members Gabriel Rockhill, Alexi Kukuljevic and Avi Alpert will discuss the idea of making a Dictionary of the Present, as well as present some of their entries thus far.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment