What follows is an essay we first learned of via our friend El Chavo! His description is an apt introduction to this important essay. The only thing we’ve done is removed the gendered language of some of the essay. Though we may not agree with everything in this essay, we think it stands as a powerful counter-narrative that viewed the Chicano riots of 1970 as merely a police riot. This essay has been pivotal to our own anti-political understanding of the possibilities for revolt and life in Los Angeles:
The following is a hard to find text about the 1970 Chicano riots in East LA, supposedly written by Herbert Marcuse but really written by the Bay Area 1044 situ group of that time. I find these essays on riots quite illuminating in their attempt to understand these periods of intensity as opposed to the typical lefty line of denouncing all violence.. Unfortunately, these views are rare in LA (or the rest of the world for that matter) and most locals subscribe to the line touted by whatever ideology is currently in favor.
This text was originally published by Antagonismo, a Mexican anarchist project, on May 6th, 2018. What follows is our translation.
This text was distributed on May 1st, 2018 in Mexico City, at the end of the usual union procession, celebrating Worker’s Day.
No, we don’t love work;
We hate it.
It is not our liberation,
It condemns us!
It does not raise up or free us of vices;
It beats us down
And morally annihilates us
To such a degree
That is leaves us incapacitated. (1)
We’ve being getting creative this weekend with a series of comics/memes/etc. very Situationist-inspired and yet also locally inspired. We’ve posted these on social media like our Twitter account and our Instagram account. We’re sharing this creations here for the social media antagonistic. Enjoy + feel free to share.
Gentrification as the intensification of the psycho-geography of the real subsumption of everything to Capital. No place for cultural remanants outside its logic. The banalisation of all spaces, streamlining consumption. You don't live here, you just buy here.
Much has been written about gentrification, but simply put it is the name for the rise of property values (and then ipso facto rent prices), resulting in displacement and often cultural erasure of those who were displaced. As Stuart Hall said, “race is the modality in which class is lived” and so by this logic gentrification is also deeply racialized. But what is the cause of this rise is more contentious. Some point to art galleries/spaces; others to international & national real estate speculation looking for new markets to profit off of; some see it is as a natural process of re-vitalization of areas once thought of as blight (if life under Capital could be seen as natural); some see the incursion of the (white) hipster as the cause. Suffice to say the cause is complex and may include all of these.
The wood-slate fence has jumped from being a simple signifier of “this house has been flipped” to becoming a part of the construction of the house itself. The above is a photo of an actual house in Boyle Heights being offered for rent at $2995 for 3 bedrooms.
Whereas previously the function of this fence was to shield its new, well-heeled owners from the insufficiently gentrified neighborhood, these wood-slates now are free to signify “flipped” no matter where they are placed on the home. (more…)
Basically the art world exists to make money for a small number of people and to make a larger number of people feel like they’re cool. The first purpose is just capitalism. The second is an effect of capitalism, because only in a world as ridiculous as ours would standing around in mostly empty white rooms be considered a valid form of community. This probably sounds cynical, and in a way it is. But if you think about it, the fact that lots of people have nothing better to do with their “free” time than to stand around in mostly empty white rooms, rooms that make a huge amount of money for other people, is a good reason to destroy pretty much everything.
Originally published on Ediciones Chafa on May 24th, 2016. Here we re-publish it so that it can continue to be accessible for those of us with a critical view on Art and its role under Capital.
Eli Broad is a multibillionaire. He made his fortune constructing tract homes, which is to say by pumping hot air into the pre-2007 real estate bubble. Later he moved into life insurance as well. Some of that money ended up bailing out LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) around the time the housing market was going south – the museum had been hemorrhaging funds for years. It was a maneuver that some have described as closer to a hostile takeover than an act of philanthropy. Notably, Broad’s intervention was closely tied to the arrival of a new director – the gallerist Jeffrey Deitch – who fired the museum’s widely admired chief curator, Paul Schimmel, in 2012. Other wads of cash ended up at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) – where the donor had Renzo Piano build the quasi-autonomous Broad Contemporary Art Museum – as well as the Los Angeles Opera, which promptly used the funds to stage a full production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle. These actions, among others, won Broad a reputation in the art world as LA’s resident Maecenas-cum-Evil Emperor, with Deitch, perhaps, playing the role of a bumbling Darth Vader.