[artinfo] Variant 31 Spring 2008

www.variant.org.uk variantmag at btinternet.com
Fri Apr 4 16:32:24 CEST 2008

Variant 31 Spring 2008
...the free, independent, arts magazine. In-depth coverage
in the context of broader social, political & cultural issues.


* Express Yourself!
Anna Dezeuze
...reviews Keri Smith's 'The Guerilla Art Kit' and 'Learning to Love 
You More' by Harrell Fletcher and Miranda July, publications that 
"share two crucial characteristics: a focus on small interventions 
within the fabric of everyday life and an emphasis on 
self-expression", with Dezeuze addressing "a problematic cuteness and 
text :
http://www.variant.org.uk/31texts/31dezeuze.html    pdf :

* Miraculous Mass-communication: Radioballet by LIGNA
Exercises on Adhocracy participants in a workshop on 'Collectives, 
Actions, Re-enactments', held in Estonia, discuss the Radioballet 
action - a co-ordinated performative action responding to the 
privatisation of public space - and consider its impact. Apprehensive 
of the ethics of collective action after the traumas of Communism, 
the speakers reveal the limits of expressing solidarity in the 
absence of material and reciprocal relationships.
text :
http://www.variant.org.uk/31texts/31masscom.html   pdf :

* Radical Popular?
Stefan Szczelkun
A highly personal review of Duncan Reekie's book 'Subversion: the 
definitive history of underground cinema' bringing into question an 
institutional framework that is "'fundamentally resistant to cultural 
text :
http://www.variant.org.uk/31texts/31radicalpop.html    pdf :

* Faceless: Chasing the Data Shadow
Manu Luksch & Mukul Patel
"With an estimated 4.2 million CCTV cameras in place, [the UK's] 
inhabitants are the most watched in the world." Insights into the 
process of making 'Faceless', a sci-fi film utilising Data Protection 
requests from CCTV systems. Exposing first-hand experiences, the 
makers detail the many different types of replies they received to 
their subject access requests made under the Data Protection Act; 
explaining the general confusion of many data controllers, how so 
many CCTV systems are not functional and why the process of obtaining 
images became much more difficult from 2004...
text : http://www.variant.org.uk/31texts/31faceless.html
pdf :

* CSI: The Big Sleazy
Tom Jennings
A truly seminal review of James Lee Burke's noir thriller 'The Tin 
Roof Blowdown': "The first major work of popular fiction dealing with 
the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans on 
29th August 2005, Blowdown demonstrates both the possibilities and 
problems of attempting to tell the truth through drama - from a 
writer who does "not trust people who seek authority and control over 
other people..."
text :  http://www.variant.org.uk/31texts/31CSI.html
pdf : http://www.variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue31/31bigSleazy.pdf

* Back to the Future of the Creative City: An Archaeological Approach 
to Amsterdam's Creative Redevelopment
Merijn Oudenampsen
"The dominance of entrepreneurial approaches to city politics is the 
feature of a new urban regime, labelled the 'Entrepreneurial City'. 
With origins in the reality of neoliberal state withdrawal from urban 
plight ... the claims of the new creative city as being a 'great 
equalizer' actually appear as the opposite; it is based on functional 
inequality. Now let's take a closer look at the city..."
text : http://www.variant.org.uk/31texts/31FutureCity.html
pdf : http://www.variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue31/31CreativeCity.pdf

* Reclaiming the Economy
Owen Logan
An intense, critical review of 'Reclaiming the Economy, Alternatives 
to Market Fundamentalism in Scotland and beyond'. "The market's 
abstraction of power, which has the effect of smothering needs with 
frivolous wants, leaves anyone interested in real transparency or in 
the co-determination of the economy with the difficult question of 
where to begin?" Logan's depth of interest helps unpick it, analysing 
the book's contributors' critical grasp of the state and their 
text :   http://www.variant.org.uk/31texts/31RecEcon.html
pdf : http://www.variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue31/31ReclaimEcon.pdf

* Lenin Reloaded... and engaged in friendly fire?
Benjamin Franks
'Lenin Reloaded: Towards a Politics of Truth' "... is Lenin a 
sufficient counter to the postmodern malaise regretted by the 
editors? The eloquent essay by Terry Eagleton suggests that rather 
than being a counterpoint to postmodernity, Lenin embraces some of 
its key features..."
text :  http://www.variant.org.uk/31texts/31Lenin.html
pdf : http://www.variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue31/31LeninRe.pdf

* Resisting New Labour's 'hard labour' : Work and 'Wreckers' in the 
Welfare Industry
Alex Law & Gerry Mooney
Drawing on the detailed research of their book 'New Labour/Hard 
Labour? Restructuring and Resistance Inside the Welfare Industry', 
the writers draw "attention to some of the many ways in which welfare 
workers are being adversely affected by the restructuring of the 
welfare state and, more importantly, how they are resisting New 
Labour in new and significant ways."
text :  http://www.variant.org.uk/31texts/31HardLabour.html
pdf : http://www.variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue31/31HardLabour.pdf

* Of bread and caviar
Colin Gavaghan
... reviews 'From the Womb to the Tomb: Issues in Medical Ethics' . 
"It is part of the ethicist's role to challenge sacred cows and 
shibboleths, and egalitarianism should receive no exemption from that 
treatment. Even the most progressive advocate of distributive justice 
would do well to revisit his/her first principles from time to time, 
to ask what equality means ... and why it is valuable."
text :   http://www.variant.org.uk/31texts/31Caviar.html
pdf : http://www.variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue31/31OfCaviar.pdf

* Artist's Page by Stuart Murray http://www.stuartmurray.co.uk
pdf : http://www.variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue31/31SMurray.pdf
* A fully accessible archive of back issues is freely
available at the Variant web site: http://www.variant.org.uk

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