Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Idea of Communism in Seoul w/ Badiou and Zizek

Now in its fourth installment with further chapters planned for Bolivia and South Africa, The Idea of Communism (surely now a "communist party" in its own right) left its impression on Seoul last month, with lectures and roundtables spanning four venues between 24 September and 2 October.
Speakers at this event included Marx Reloaded director (and now professor at Kyung Hee University in Seoul) Jason Barker, Wang Hui, Alain Badiou and Slavoj Zizek (all pictured above) as well as Alessandro Russo, former Badiou student Yong Soon Seo, and Alex Taek-Gwang Lee. As is also usual the event was international in perspective, drawing together researchers from Asia (China, India, Japan and Korea) and Europe. 

Although the subject of intense scrutiny in the Korean media (the word "communism" was absent from the conference's Korean title) what these communist gatherings (including an “occupy with poems” event) would have meant to the wider Korean public is less clear. The simultaneous translations were limited to Slavoj Zizek's talk to a crowd of around 3000 people at Kyung Hee University (the event's host), at Platoon Kuntshalle (above), and to Badiou’s lecture on art at Seoul City Hall. Neither of the volumes from the London or Berlin conferences, both published by Verso, have been translated into Korean so far, while the only comprehensive introduction to the Idea of Communism for Korean audiences is the Korean-language edition of Marx Reloaded: Interviews on Capitalism and Communism, published by Nanjang Press last month.

However, interpellations aside, the conference included decent talks by Zizek on “Capitalism and Psychoanalysis”, Badiou on “Affirmative Dialectics”, the latter's former student Yong Soon Seo on the Gwangju massacre, and Alex Taek-Gwang Lee on “Communism and the Void”. Congratulations to Kyung Hee University and especially Taek-Gwang Lee and Yong Soon Seo for their energy, dedication and intiative in putting on this staggeringly popular event.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

<맑스 재장전>이 9월에 책으로 출간됩니다

여덟 명의 정치철학자가 다시 장전하는
맑스주의라는 비판의 무기!

21세기 초반 전 세계를 강타한 사상 초유의 경제•금융 위기는 과연 자본주의의 종말을 예고하는 것일까? 아니면 세계의 종말을 상상하는 것이 자본주의의 종말을 상상하는 것보다 정녕 더 쉬운 일일까?

계급투쟁, 착취, 상품물신주의, 비물질노동, 공통적인 것, 코뮤니즘이라는 이념 등 오늘날의 자본주의를 이해하는 데 없어서는 안 될 개념들의 향연을 통해 자본주의의 위기와 코뮤니즘의 전망을 진단한다.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Cinema at European Graduate School, Saas Fee

This week students at the European Graduate School in Saas Fee, Switzerland have been taking classes in The Cinema of Anti-capitalism with Marx Reloaded writer-director and co-producer Jason Barker. (Other seminars comprising the graduate programme this summer have been given by Judith Butler, Jacques Rancière, Avital Ronell, Jeffrey Eugenides, Giorgio Agamben, Elie During, Boris Groys, Graham Harman and Michael Schmidt). 

Jason's seminars explored Marxist-materialist, metaphysical and post-metaphysical cinema theory and practice, and included film screenings and discussions of films by Cronenberg, Mulvey and Wollen, Gidal, Godard, Vertov, Sekula and Burch, Dojo Cinéma, among others (including a special screening of Marx Reloaded). 

The seminars (12 in total) generated fascinating and stimulating discussions - thanks in large part to a superb and highly-motivated class of MA and PhD students - around questions and problems of pursuing a revolutionary cinema practice in a capitalist film industry. Today, in a world of 3D Hollywood triumphalism, is a "cinema of anti-capitalism" conceivable? What films might be described as "anti-capitalist"? Under what practical and institutional conditions can and should anti-capitalist films be made? How might a revolutionary cinema practice be conducted? According to what principles, ideologies, theories?         

Jason's cinema courses are aimed at students, artists, teachers, theoreticians, film-makers, practitioners and other workers of all persuasions and professional backgrounds, and will continue to evolve at the European Graduate School (and elsewhere) over the coming years.  

For more information about attending future courses and for PhD supervision enquiries email Prof. Dr. Jason Barker at: 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Cinema of Anti-Capitalism at EGS - Latest News

Here are some final notifications relating to Jason Barker's forthcoming lectures on the Cinema of Anti-Capitalism at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. For those due to attend the three day course, beginning on Tuesday 20 August, please note that students will be asked to present a short seminar paper on the second day, either individually or in pairs. A more detailed brief will be given in the lectures, but students should supplement existing reading for lectures 4 and 5 with the following article: 

The following film will be crucial to the aforementioned seminar paper and discussion, so students should endeavour to watch it prior to the start of the course:

Cronenberg, D. Cosmopolis. 2012. 109 min. 

Students are advised to check back here over the coming days for further minor course alterations. Thanks. - JB, 6 August 2013         

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mao Reloaded in Shanghai and Wuhan, China

From 6th-8th April Marx Reloaded director Jason Barker will be making an "intervention" at The Third Sino-British Bilateral Forum on Marxist Aesthetics. This forum is to be held in Shanghai, at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University. The title of the forum is "Marxism and the Future".

We have no information at this time regarding the details of Jason's intervention, other than it will be accompanied by a screening of Marx Reloaded. However, while in China Jason will also be speaking at The Second International Conference on Chinese Form of Marxist Literary Criticism at Central China Normal University, Wuhan. Comrades will know that Wuhan was the location of Mao's summer "retreat" during the Cultural Revolution, which he affectionately named "Home of the White Clouds and Yellow Cranes". 

We understand the (ideologically correct) title for Jason's speech in Wuhan will be "Master Signifier: Mao Tse-tung in French Theory". We trust that comrades will greet Comrade Barker's ideas with the correct degree of enthusiasm.  

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Marx Reloaded DVD en Español

Marx Reloaded es un documental cultural que examina de qué modo las ideas del filósofo y socialista alemán Karl Marx pueden ayudarnos a entender la crisis económica y financiera global del 2008-2009. Dicha crisis provocó la recesión global más profunda que se había visto en setenta años e hizo que el gobierno de los Estados Unidos invirtiera más de un trillón de dólares en salvar del colapso a su sistema bancario. Todavía hoy no sabemos hasta dónde llegarán las consecuencias de esta crisis en Europa y en el resto del mundo. Pero, ¿debemos aceptar esta crisis como un desafortunado efecto secundario del libre mercado? O ¿existe otra explicación de por qué sucedió lo que sucedió y de cuáles serán sus posibles efectos en nuestra sociedad, nuestra economía y nuestra forma de vida?

El DVD de Marx Reloaded (con subtítulos en español y nuevo material hasta ahora inédito) está ya a la venta para bibliotecas universitarias en la siguiente dirección:

Friday, March 22, 2013

Anticapitalist Cinema at European Graduate School

Marx Reloaded director Jason Barker will be giving an intensive summer course on "The Cinema of Anti-Capitalism" this coming August at the European Graduate School, Saas-Fee, Switzerland. Past and present EGS professors include Giorgio Agamben, Alain Badiou, Judith Butler, Simon Critchley, Jacques Derrida, Jean Baudrillard, Peter Greenaway, Jean-Luc Nancy, plus a handful of the contributors to Marx Reloaded, including Slavoj Zizek.

The outline at the EGS website describes the course as an exploration of "cinematic representation and crisis capitalism through mutual relations of time, space, subjectivity and revolution". Planned screenings include films by Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker, Noel Burch and Allan Sekula, and Alexander Kluge, whose formidable News from Ideological Antiquity is cited in Marx Reloaded.