Experimental Politics and the Making of Worlds
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Experimental Politics and the Making of Worlds

Anja Kanngieser

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Experimental Politics and the Making of Worlds

Anja Kanngieser

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Creative strategies have been central to global social movements. From the theatrics of the 1999 Seattle protests, to the rebel clowns at the 2005 G8 summit in Gleneagles and the antics of the Yes Men, the crossovers between art and politics have increasingly become more visible and prolific. This book explores an innovative form of creative and communicative politics: the 'performative encounter', as a strategy for facilitating new ways of being, relating and making worlds. Unlike existing scholarship that frames such encounters in artistic or cultural terms, this book analyzes performative encounters through an organizational lens to accentuate their social-political potential, engaging a wealth of material from autonomist philosophy, political science, performance studies, geography and social movement texts. Intertwining conceptual and ethnographic research, it uniquely maps out one narrative of the encounter, tracing a line through the twentieth century from the Berlin Dadaists, to the Situationist International, to several contemporary German collectives and campaigns, showing how performative encounters intervene in global and local issues such as the privatization of public space and resources, human mobility and the corporatization of education.

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Re-materialising Cultural Geography
Dr Mark Boyle, Department of Geography, University of Strathclyde, UK, Professor Donald Mitchell, Maxwell School, Syracuse University, USA and Dr David Pinder, Queen Mary University of London, UK
Nearly 25 years have elapsed since Peter Jackson’s seminal call to integrate cultural geography back into the heart of social geography. During this time, a wealth of research has been published which has improved our understanding of how culture both plays a part in, and in turn, is shaped by social relations based on class, gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, disability, age, sexuality and so on. In spite of the achievements of this mountain of scholarship, the task of grounding culture in its proper social contexts remains in its infancy. This series therefore seeks to promote the continued significance of exploring the dialectical relations which exist between culture, social relations and space and place. Its overall aim is to make a contribution to the consolidation, development and promotion of the ongoing project of re-materialising cultural geography.
Also in the series
Creative Economies in Post-Industrial Cities
Manufacturing a (Different) Scene
Edited by Myrna Margulies Breitbart
ISBN 978-1-4094-1084-3
From the Ground Up
Community Gardens in New York City and the Politics of Spatial Transformation
Efrat Eizenberg
ISBN 978-1-4094-2909-8
Sanctuaries of the City
Lessons from Tokyo
Anni Greve
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Cities and Fascination Beyond the Surplus of Meaning
Edited by Heiko Schmid, Wolf-Dietrich Sahr and John Urry
ISBN 978-1-4094-1853-5
Swinging City
A Cultural Geography of London 1950–1974
Simon Rycroft
ISBN 978-0-7546-4830-7

Experimental Politics and the Making of Worlds

Anja Kanngieser
Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
Logo: Published by Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, London and New York.
For H.
Let a thousand flowers bloom on the terrains which attempt to undermine capitalist destruction. Let a thousand machines of life, art, solidarity, and action sweep away the stupid and sclerotic arrogance of the old organizations! What does it matter if the movement trips over its own immaturity, over its “spontaneism” – its power of expression will ultimately only be reinforced.
—Félix Guattari and Antonio Negri, Communists Like Us



The process of writing is a collective one. Numerous people, texts, conversations and voices have sustained and inspired this book. This work could not have been possible without the generosity and friendships of Berlin and Hamburg Umsonst, the Transnational Republic, Meine Akademie and the Bundersverband Schleppen und Schleusen. I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to friends who asked thoughtful questions, encouraged reflection through their comments and criticisms, and offered direction and support – Ricci Jane Adams, Aren Aizura, Tim Cresswell, Anna Feigenbaum, Isabelle Fremeaux, Gavin Grindon, Daniel Hassan, Jamie Heckert, Katie Hepworth, Alina Hoyne, Holly Ingleton, Daniel Jenatsch, John Jordan, Tilly Kanngieser, James Leadbitter, Stephanie Lusby, Fraser MacDonald, Angela Mitropoulos, Brett Neilson, Nikos Papastergiadis, David Pinder, Gerald Raunig, Ned Rossiter, Stevphen Shukaitis, The Protest Camps Collective, Ilaria Vanni and Manuela Zechner. The kind words and close attention of Valerie Rose and Kirsten Giebutowski at Ashgate were invaluable to the completion of this book. The cover image, a piece by Tom Civil taken by Lachlan John MacDowall, embeds this project within the communities in which it unfolded, and without whom it would not exist. This book was always for them.
For their assistance over the years of writing this, my thanks go to the faculty and staff at the School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne. Thanks also to the School of Geography, Royal Holloway University of London. The development and publication of this book was generously supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award and an Economic and Social Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship.
Some of the writing in this book has appeared elsewhere in various forms. The chapters ‘Everything for everyone and for free!’ and ‘Toward new creative politics’ have informed ‘… And … and … and … The transversal politics of performative encounters’, which appeared in Deleuze Studies. Parts of ‘Movements for human mobility’ feature in ‘“Mobility is our goal!”: Challenging perceptions towards citizenship, migration and asylum seeking through performative interventions’, published in Performance Paradigm. Sections of ‘Everything for everyone and for free!’ and ‘Revolution is not “showing” life to people, but making them live’ have been collated in ‘Breaking out of the specialist “ghetto”: Performative encounters as participatory praxis in radical politics’ from Theorising Cultural Activism_ Practices, Dilemmas and Potentialities. Material from ‘...