Publisher: Minor Compositions
Released: June 11, 2019
During the industrial revolution artisans and craft workers sparked struggles against exploitation while the force of law drove unions underground. Today conditions are different…yet they are not. Collective organizing is pre-empted not by legal prohibition but rather by a perverse internalized neoliberal logic that celebrates the precarious creative worker as its exemplar.
"Combination Acts is an exhilarating read as it boldly combines optimism (the always renewed burden of struggles on the left) and pragmatism (the requirement of actually existing praxis). Engaging dialogues and theoretical analysis are also combined in this cutting-edge study, on material and in ways that are indispensable for carrying forward the spirit and actuality of insurgent togetherness. The key question of the book—what interventions would be needed so that the grammar of self-organization would not find itself rendered into the fixed forms of capital's continued accumulation demands?—is answered through multiple narrative documents of real-life experience crossing through the art field. At the very least, the book informs us of the depth of critical thought from which practices of anti-status-quo alternatives stem; as for what the book achieves at its best, this is dependent on whether and how we seek to implement what we learn from it. An essential and inspirational reality check on collaboration, labour, its content and discontent, and the conundrum of art activism, among numerous other markers of the zeitgeist."—Angela Dimitrakaki, University of Edinburgh