Dimitris Ntokos

November 2, Solo Show at @theblendergallery #dimitrisdokos #theblendergallery #exhibition #sighns #symbols #canvas #painting

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*2013* Photo @dimbouras #scarab #mural #dimitrisntokos

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Check out more of his work dimitrisntokos.com


Iakovos Volkov

#installation #clothes #found #athens #abandoned #circle #iakovosvolkov

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From his blog iakovosvolkov.blogspot.com.br

Iakovos Volkov (NAR) was born in Novorossiysk, Russia in 1982 and in 1991 moved to Greece. Currently lives and works in Athens. Since he was a child, streets have been the ultimate place for inspiration and personal expression. In recent years, his desperate need for unconstrained creativity and lack of money led him to collect materials that most people usually throw away and been neglected next to garbage bins, in abandoned buildings and ex industrial zones. Iakovos makes surprising and unexpected constructions and in situ installations with found objects such as clothes, toys, shoes, fabric etc. Not only outdoor but also indoor, he is experimenting with materials such as fuel oil, nails, threads, cans, making constructions, engraves on spray‐cans, burns carpets forming shapes from shadows and do anything else that inspires him. He spends all of his time in what he does, just creating.


Saul Williams – The Stone Bench

By Chryde

watch the video

It was Saul that came to us with something specific in mind: he wanted to do a movie under the city, in the catacombs of Paris. The “real ones”, the ones that are hard and illegal to access. The ones without guides or stacked up skulls simply there for show. He hoped we were crazy enough to follow him underground. And we were.

You might as well get in the mood. Close the windows of your office, disable your notifications, and start loading the video. You can even dim the lights. Set the video in full screen mode, put on a good set of headphones, and immerse yourself in the music for 30 minutes.
No doubt you will then feel the intensity of the experience. Those eight hours spent underground with Saul Williams. Off we go.

It was Saul that came to us with something specific in mind: he wanted to do a movie under the city, in the catacombs of Paris. The “real ones”, the ones that are hard and illegal to access. The ones without guides or stacked up skulls simply there for show. He hoped we were crazy enough to follow him underground. And we were.
François recruited one of his catacomb-lover friends and we bought the required equipment. François and Colin went off on a half a day of spotting and preparing the location and tried to figure out how the crew would survive… We were alas ready to take Saul and his musicians with us.

Those galleries sure are unwelcoming. They are cold and as damp as they get. Most of them are flooded, others are just wide enough to thread your way through. You need to climb, to duck, to bend yourself, walk for hours knee high in water with your frontal flashlight for only guide.
You need to fight cramps, get your equipment through an opening before painfully following it in, walk in pitch black and when you eventually discover a larger room, take a deep breath… and play.

In this claustrophobic, dark atmosphere, the build, the presence and the voice of Saul Williams are enhanced. His howling echoes, his gaze is penetrating, his voice is composed when he goes into an impro as powerful as a sermon. When only the dimming light of a mass of candles remains, when the crew is beat and embarks in the peaceful conclusion of this journey during a calm and restful song, the power can still be felt. It is diffuse. Saul inspires rest.

Voilà, show’s over. 30 minutes. Freedom. They had been there for eight hours.

Translated by Helena Kaschel

Taken from blogotheque.net/

Barricades and Boulevards: Material transformations of Paris, 1795-1871

by Carl Douglas

“Destroying and constructing are equal in importance, and we must have souls for the one and the other”.1

Large-scale urban violence is a tumultuous, messy and distressing affair. Materials and patterns of everyday life are blown apart. Amongst death and disarray, important spatial operations that take place in urban conflict are easily overlooked. However, the construction of street barricades and boulevards in Paris between 1795 and 1871 transformed the city. The struggles over these transformations can be described as both the disruption and the policing of what Rancière calls the “distribution of the sensible”. 2

The barricades built in the streets of Paris in the revolutionary years that followed the Great Revolution of 1789, and closed with the suppression of the Paris Commune in 1871, were not the first or the last artefacts of urban insurgency. Nor was Paris the only city in history – even European history – to be barricaded. However, in Paris, barricading became a revolutionary technique, the development and decline of which can be traced with some precision. Barricading served complex social purposes, of which defense was only one, and not always the most significant. Thus, barricades are also an ephemeral city-scale architecture occasioned by, and changing, the social.3

History and Tectonics of a Rubbish Heap

At first, the Parisian barricades were temporary barriers, or walls erected quickly across streets. They were built by anonymous groups of insurgents from whatever loose materials could be found nearby: carts, furniture, barrels and, most typically, paving stones torn up from the roadway. They were constructed en masse. In July 1830 there were over 4,000 barricades; in June 1848 there were as many as 6,000.

The first recorded instance of barricading in Paris occurred in 1588, when the popular Comte Cossé de Brissac lead Parisians in a rebellion in response to the posting of soldiers in the streets of the city. Chains were sometimes used to close streets to traffic, and these points of closure were reinforced with barrels (barriques) filled with stones to restrict military movement. In 1648, the arrest of a popular politician lead to the erection of over a thousand barricades in the city. Thereafter, barricades did not recur for nearly 150 years, playing no part in the Revolution of 1789. When they did reappear, with the Jacobin uprising of 1795, it was in a different context. While civil disobedience had previously been used as a way of gaining leverage over political leaders, the intention was now the complete overthrow of the state. Between 1795 and 1871, historian Mark Traugott records twenty-one instances of barricading (1993: 315). The most famous of these incidents were the July Days of 1830 (portrayed by Delacroix in his 1830 painting La Liberté guidant le peuple), and the revolutions of February and June 1848. According to Traugott (316), while barricading, by 1848, had achieved ”a genuinely international status as a tactic of revolt”, it was already losing effect in the face of mobile artillery and improving military tactics.4
In the streets of Paris, the last time barricades were used in a major way was during the Paris Commune of 1871, when the socialist government of the city declared itself independent of Versailles. Although barricades continued to be used in other cities in Europe, including Barcelona and Berlin, and reappeared in Paris in 1945 and 1968, barricading as a technique had ceased to be decisive in urban insurgency.

1. Paul Valéry, quoted in Pallasmaa (200: 6).
2. For Rancière’s political philosophy, see Disagreement:Politics and Philosophy (998), and The Politics of Aesthetics (2004), which contains a useful glossary of  Ranciére’s terms.
3. The barricades’ history is in some ways distinct from the history of ad-hoc fortifications (trenches, seige works, emplacements) in general. For the barricades, see Corbin and Mayeur (997) and Mark Traugott (99). In addition, nearly all historical accounts of the French revolutionary period mention the barricades, but few consider their significance in a sustained manner. For the general historical context, see Hobsbawm (962) and (975).                         3. The French uprising of 848 sparked others in cities across Europe, incluing Brussels, Vienna, Berlin, Munich, Milan, Naples, Budapest, Frankfurt, Prague and Dresden.
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Taken from athens.indymedia.org/

El Seed – Perception

El Seed

In my new project ‘Perception’ I am questioning the level of judgment and misconception society can unconsciously have upon a community based on their differences.
In the neighborhood of Manshiyat Nasr in Cairo, the Coptic community of Zaraeeb collects the trash of the city for decades and developed the most efficient and highly profitable recycling system on a global level. Still, the place is perceived as dirty, marginalized and segregated.
To bring light on this community, with my team and the help of the local community, I created an anamorphic piece that covers almost 50 buildings only visible from a certain point of the Moqattam Mountain. The piece of art uses the words of Saint Athanasius of Alexandria, a Coptic Bishop from the 3rd century, that said: ‘Anyone who wants to see the sunlight clearly needs to wipe his eye first.’
‘إن أراد أحد أن يبصر نور الشمس، فإن عليه أن يمسح عينيه’

The Zaraeeb community welcomed my team and I as we were family. It was one of the most amazing human experience I have ever had. They are generous, honest and strong people. They have been given the name of Zabaleen (the garbage people), but this is not how they call themselves. They don’t live in the garbage but from the garbage; and not their garbage, but the garbage of the whole city. They are the one who clean the city of Cairo.

Taken from elseed-art.com

GhalamDAR قلمدار

ghalamdar01 ghalamdar02 ghalamdar03

ghalamDAR (which means “the writer” in Farsi) Is an emerging artist working primarily as a graffiti artist. He experiences and creates by using calligraphy, Miniature painting (Negar-gari) and folk objects as parts of his subject inspirations. Traditions and such art movements like saqqakhana hs directly inspired ghalamDAR to challenge the dominant pictorial material of Iranian street art aiming for developing an aesthetic with particular Iranian markers. His works share an affinity with the interlocking aesthetic of “wild style” graffiti and traditional calligraphy which demonstrate an amalgamation of these two cultures. While other artists look at the western hip hop as the source of graffiti, ghalamDAR thinks of the relations between his works and the graffiti of Iranian revolution of 1979 and past artistic streams as his roots.

More about ghalamDAR

Animal Spirits – A Bestiary of the Commons

Matteo Pasquinelli

Hoe groter de geest, hoe groter het beest.

[The greater the spirit, the greater the beast]

Traditional Dutch saying



What constitutes the common? While I was exploring the dark sides of digital commons and culture industry, the awakening of the animal spirits of the financial crisis during 2008 became in fact the horizon of the political debate. The idea of investigating the animal spirits of the commons was actually conceived a few years earlier, when the global mediascape following stock indexes were fed by the pornography of war terrorism. Yet the irrational fears and forces struggling behind media networks were never illuminated by critical thinkers and politi- cal activists or, more specifically, considered as a productive component of economic flows. John Maynard Keynes once defined ‘animal spirits’ as precisely those unpredictable human drives that influence stock markets and push economic cycles. Similarly, in his recent work, Paolo Virno has underlined how all institutions (from the nation-state to contemporary digital networks) represent an extension of the aggressive instincts of humankind. In this reading, language and culture form the basis of the common (networking), but also new fields of antagonism and chaos (notworking).

While the playground of Free Culture is celebrated and defended today only on the basis of copyright legalese like Creative Commons, a vast bestiary of conflicts is propagating beneath the new factory of cul- ture. In this book, while avoiding any reactionary position on such phe- nomena, I explore how animal spirits belong to the contemporary notion of multitude and also positively innervate the production of the common. Against the ‘creative destruction’ of value characteristic of stock mar- kets that has become the political condition of current times, a redefini- tion of the commons is needed and urgent. Besides the familiar mantra of supply-and-demand, a purely imaginary fabrication of value is today a key component of the financial game. What might occur if the urban and network multitudes enter this valorization game and recover a common power over the fragile chain of value production?

The common is not an independent realm. It is a dynamic object that nevertheless falls into a field of forces surrounded and defined by the laws of value and production. The new parasitic forms of network econ- omy and monopolies of communication (from IBM to MySpace) can easily exploit, for instance, the generous stock provided by Free Culture without imposing any form of traumatic enclosure or strict regime of intellectual property. To debunk a fashionable and superficial politi- cal posturing, this book pursues a spectre, a sub-religion of separation that has come to dominate media culture, art critique, radical activism and academia over the last decade. The chapters of this book point to three different but contiguous domains that have been conceptualized and celebrated as autonomous spheres or virtuous economies: digital networks and the so-called Free Culture, the culture industry and the European ‘creative cities’, the mediascape of war terrorism and Internet pornography neutralized by intellectual puritanism.

The separation of these media domains is patrolled by a legion of postmodern thinkers, that are widely employed by cultural theory (especially in the field of art criticism). Authors such as Jean Baudril- lard and Slavoj Žižek are taken here as a symptom of a typical Western language fetishism that locks any potential political gesture in the prison- house of Code. In this confinement, any act of resistance is inhibited as fatalistically reinforcing the dominant ideology. The Empire is suffering its own diseases, but postmodernism indulges its curious claustropho- bia. An investment in this critique, however, does not mean a naïve return to good old materialism, but on the contrary, aims to illuminate the frictions and conflicts in the interstices between material and im- material, biological and digital, desire and imaginary. Each sphere of separation cultivates its own inbred languages: digitalism and freecultur- alism in the circuits of network economy, the hype of creativity for the culture industries and new city policies, the hysteric left-wing puritanism against ‘warporn’ and ‘netporn’. Each sphere hides its peculiar kind of asymmetrical conflict. Undoubtedly, as Giorgio Agamben suggests, the profanation of these hidden separations is the political task of the coming political generations.

Crucially, these three separated spheres are coextensive with three forms of commons, whose glorious autonomy is haunted and infested here by three conceptual beasts: the corporate parasite of the digital commons, the hydra of gentrification behind the ‘creative cities’, the bicephalous eagle of power and desire ruling the mediascape of war pornography. This bestiary is introduced to advance a non-dialectical model for media politics and radical aesthetics. In particular, such beasts represent new biomorphic concepts to replace the binary abstractions of postmodernism, such as simulacra and symbolic code. Moreover, they are not necessarily evil creatures: an alliance with them is the un- told of radical thought. The parasite discloses, for instances, the tactical alliance of Free Software with media corporations; the hydra reveals the conflictual and competitive nature of labour in the culture industries; the bicephalous eagle incarnates the fetishism for power and desire that seduces any political imaginary. Together, they constitute a primary bestiary for the age of neo-archaic capitalism, and can hopefully inspire a generation of new political animals.

This book attempts a sort of linear Dantesque journey along a steep mediascape: descending from the gnostic plateaux of digitalism and pure peer cooperation to the reptilian unconscious of the metropolis beneath the benevolent totalitarianism of the Creative Industries, deep into the underworld of netporn and warporn, unveiling the shadows of an ap- parently immaculate digital colonization. As an old Dutch-Jewish say- ing puts it, ‘the greater the spirit, the greater the beast’. All immaterial commons have a material basis, and in particular, a biological ground. Seeking a new political terrain for media theory through the concept of an energetic unconscious, I try to incorporate the Zeitgeist of the biosphere (energy crisis, climate change, global warming) into the belly of the me- diascape. This energetic interpretation of technology directly contests the dominant paradigm of Media Studies that reduces and neutralizes the network to a dialectics of two internal coordinates: (digital) code and (desiring) flows. In contrast, I argue that any system should be defined by the external excess of energy that operates it. Similarly, the puritan activist imperative to ‘consume less’ will continue to remain ineffective until the capitalist core of production is questioned. Between code and flow, a dystopian vision of desire and economic surplus is introduced.

In fact, what is the creative gesture that produces the commons? A widespread belief considers creativity as naturally ‘good’ and immacu- late, energy-free and friction-less, untouched by compromise or conflict. A famous slogan shared by the supporters of Free Culture and the wealth of networks alike reads: ‘Information is non-rival.’ In reality, beyond the computer screen, precarious workers and freelancers experience how Free Labour and competition are increasingly devouring their everyday life. Digital commons have become pseudo-commons, an ideal space detached from the material basis of production, where surplus-value and exploitation are virtuously expunged. Indeed, the ‘age of digital re- production’ has accelerated both immaterial commons and competition in a more general sense. Global financialization, for instance, and its volatile derivatives are also made possible by digitalization. The slogan ‘information is non-rival’, therefore, has its doppelgänger: accumulation of information on the one side feeds speculation and new communica- tion monopolies on the other. The new commons are fragile if they are established only from a formal perspective like that of Creative Com- mons licences. This book strives for a stronger political definition of the commons and, in particular, investigates the wider material impact and ramifications of the cultural capital.

The ephemeral Creative Cities rising across the European skyline are the latest attempt to incorporate the collective factory of culture into corporate business and real-estate speculation. The artistic mode of production has innervated the economy of European cities, but more for the sake of gentrification than for cultural production itself. This critique, however, does not lament the malicious nature of the cultural economy. On the contrary, an invigorated cultural scene can only be established by reversing the chain of value generation. By legitimately expanding the notion of ‘creativity’ beyond economic correctness, this book explains how sabotage can equally be seen as creative and productive. Against the old political museum of Fordism, a dynamic and combative definition of the commons is advanced. Neoliberalism first taught everybody the sabotage of value. Sabotage is precisely what is considered impossible within the postmodern parlance (where each gesture supposedly rein- forces the dominant regime), or conversely what Antonio Negri consid- ered a form of self-valorization during the social struggles of the 1970s.In a dynamic world system shaped by a lunatic and an irrational stock market, the power of creative destruction must likewise be understood as belonging also to the contemporary multitudes and the common.

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