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Reading Room

 


In the ideal world of cultural hijack you’d be reading by streetlamp from a reading room suspended over the street, or a hideout in a disused subway tunnel or perhaps a tent-shaped-car appropriating a parking bay.

In the imperfect world Wide Web the playful idea of a contemplative space reclaimed from the chaos of the urban everyday, becomes instead an online reference tool for further reading. Here you will find books, websites and articles we think are worth spending some of your hard-earned-free-time with. They chart some of the key references and ideas that have informed our thinking, and some of these publications are by artists featured in the programme.


 

Welcome to our Reading Room!

Enjoy browsing and please send us your recommendations.

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Mir ist seltsam zumute, 1998, Bremen, Germany, Tatsuro Bashi (Photographer: Carsten Gliese)

Cultural Hijack: Rethinking Intervention explores our unforeseen encounters with creative action in the sites and situations of the urban everyday. These interventions and disruptions of habitual behaviours and perceptions by the anomalous and the out-of-place challenge us in radical ways to rethink our relationship to the urban environment.

more on Cultural Hijack

Art is big business, with some artists able to command huge sums of money for their works, while the vast majority are ignored or dismissed by critics. This book shows that these marginalised artists, the 'dark matter' of the art world, are essential to the survival of the mainstream and that they frequently organize in opposition to it.

more on Dark Matter

Rousing manifesto on the city and the commons from the acclaimed theorist

Long before Occupy, cities were the subject of much utopian thinking. They are the centers of capital accumulation as well as of revolutionary politics, where deeper currents of social and political change rise to the surface. Do the financiers and developers control access to urban resources or do the people? Who dictates the quality and organization of daily life?

more on Rebel Cities

It’s the Political Economy, Stupid brings together internationally acclaimed artists and thinkers, including Slavoj Žižek, David Graeber, Judith Butler and Brian Holmes, to focus on the current economic crisis in a sustained and critical manner.

more on It’s the Political Economy, Stupid

From Cairo to cyberspace, from Main Street to Wall Street, today’s social movements have a creative new edge that’s blurring the boundaries between artist and activist, hacker and dreamer. But the principles that make for successful creative action rarely get hashed out or written down.

Until now.

more on Beautiful Trouble

Crack Capitalism, argues that radical change can only come about through the creation, expansion and multiplication of 'cracks' in the capitalist system. These cracks are ordinary moments or spaces of rebellion in which we assert a different type of doing.

more on Crack Capitalism

Over the past twenty years, an abundance of art forms have emerged that use aesthetics to affect social dynamics. These works are often produced by collectives or come out of a community context; they emphasize participation, dialogue, and action, and appear in situations ranging from theater to activism to urban planning to visual art to health care. Engaged with the texture of living, these art works often blur the line between art and life. This book offers the first global portrait of a complex and exciting mode of cultural production—one that has virtually redefined contemporary art practice.

more on Living As Form

Allan Kaprow's "happenings" and "environments" were the precursors to contemporary performance art, and his essays are some of the most thoughtful, provocative, and influential of his generation. His sustained inquiry into the paradoxical relationship of art to life and into the nature of meaning itself is brought into focus in this newly expanded collection of his most significant writings. A new preface and two new additional essays published in the 1990s bring this valuable collection up to date.

more on Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life

Krzysztof Wodiczko is the first complete collection of the politically charged installations and projects of internationally renowned artist, Krzysztof Wodiczko.

more on Krzysztof Wodiczko

Collaborative and collective art practices have proliferated around the world over the past fifteen years. In The One and the Many, Grant H. Kester provides an overview of the broader continuum of collaborative art, ranging from the work of artists and groups widely celebrated in the mainstream art world, such as Thomas Hirschhorn, Superflex, Francis Alÿs, and Santiago Sierra, to the less-publicized projects of groups, such as Park Fiction in Hamburg, Networking and Initiatives for Culture and the Arts in Myanmar, Ala Plastica in Argentina, Huit Facettes in Senegal, and Dialogue in central India.

more on The One and the Many

"A superb critical exploration of the underside of utopian thought over the last hundred years and its continuing relevance in the here and now for thinking about possible urban worlds. The treatment of the Situationists and their milieu is a revelation."

more on Visions of the City

@earth is as revolutionary in form as it is in content. It is a story without words told in the universal language of photomontage, long the favoured medium of radical artists. For the past four decades Peter Kennard has consistently challenged power structures and injustice, from his anti-nuclear works of the 1980s to the powerful images he created in response to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan..

more on @earth

At a time when art world critics and curators heavily debate the social, and when community organizers and civic activists are reconsidering the role of aesthetics in social reform, this book makes explicit some of the contradictions and competing stakes of contemporary experimental art-making.

more on Social Works

Art is not political action. Art is not education. Art does not exist to make society stronger, or the world a better place. Art disrupts and resists the comfortable, the stiflingly familiar and the status quo, or it only serves to deaden a disenfranchised society further. So argues This Is Not Art, a radical and vigorous critique that debunks myths about art in order to celebrate its real and unique importance.

more on This is not art