Martha Rosler’s “The Artistic Mode of Revolution: from Gentrification to Occupation”

May’s Reading: “The Artistic Mode of Revolution: from Gentrification to Occupation” by Martha Rosler
Wednesday May 16 2012
VIVO Media Arts (1965 Main Street), Vancouver BC
7pm Salon Free
Facilitated by Randy Lee Cutler

The Artistic Mode of Revolution“, published on E-Flux this year, is a survey of the contemporary political landscape, as it relates to the denizens of the so-called ‘creative class’. It is a reconciliation of discussions pertaining to gentrification, precarity, and contemporary resistance movements. Whilst it contextualizes the discussion of ‘artists’ and/or ‘creatives’ against the historical instrumentalization of this class and its precursors within the broader designs of the governing elite, the essay is interested in taking up the prospect of agency–as against or in contrast to sheer complicity. It takes the time not only to question the capacity of the corporate state to deliver convincingly on its promises to an aesthete subset of the middle class, but to pose the possibility of ‘sincerity of identity’ (a substance rising to meet its attendant style) as something other than a negatively foregone conclusion for this professedly progressive class.

Martha Rosler was born in Brooklyn, New York. She took her B.A. from Brooklyn College in 1965 and her M.F.A. from University of California, San Diego in 1974. Rosler works in video, photo-text, installation, and performance, and writes criticism. She has lectured extensively nationally and internationally. Her work in the public sphere ranges from everyday life — often with an eye to women’s experience — and the media to architecture and the built environment. (excerpted from website:

Whether through performance art, experimental video, photographs, recipes, interventions in gallery windows, or creative andcritical writing, Randy Lee Cutler’s practice explores the aesthetics of appetite, sustenance and embodiment. She has authored numerous essays published in C Magazine, Pyramid Power, The Fillip Review, FUSE magazine, Vancouver Art & Economies, Uncanny: Experiments in Cyborg Culture, West Coast LINE, n.paradoxa, Backflash Magazine, Canadian Art and Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art on topics as diverse as digestion, truth-telling, orientalism, feminism, photography and social change. Originally from Montreal, she lives in Vancouver where she maintains an experimental relationship with pedagogy, gardening and reading.

No Reading After the Internet is a monthly opportunity to gather and read a text aloud in hopes that it might provoke theoretical illumination on particular art works, or the broader scape within which such work exists. This program departs from Cineworks’ Thought on Film series, conceived by Cheyanne Turions. Whilst still very interested in cinema, the focus of this incarnation is softened to accommodate the more broad (and ever expanding) scope of media art.

The idea of a reading group isn’t new. No Reading nonetheless poses itself as an experimental learning and discussion space. Simply put, we are suspicious of our own reading abilities, and the extent to which our readings are conversant with one another. No Reading means to offer a slow space within which to retrace oursteps in the hopes of discovering individual and collective ways through the realms of language and interpretation. The strategieswe have at our disposal are twofold: through the yoking of our discussion to a text; and inducing conversation, where possible, between text and specific, local, contemporaneous art discussions and happenings.

Participation in No Reading After the Internet is free and open to everyone, regardless of his or her familiarity with a text or its author. Texts will be handed out at the gathering. No pre-reading or research is required. Those who wish to access the text in advance can find it here.