[spectre] A Users Guide to (Demanding) the Impossible

Stevphen Shukaitis stevphen at autonomedia.org
Wed Jun 1 08:16:53 CEST 2011

New booklet on art and activism…

A Users Guide to (Demanding) the Impossible
Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination

This guide is not a road map or instruction manual. It’s a match  
struck in the dark, a homemade multi-tool to help you carve out your  
own path through the ruins of the present, warmed by the stories and  
strategies of those who took Bertolt Brecht’s words to heart: “Art is  
not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.”

It was written in a whirlwind of three days in December 2010, between  
the first and second days of action by UK students against the  
government cuts, and intended to reflect on the possibility of new  
creative forms of action in the current movements.


“Art is useless, so they tell us, as soon as it truly affects the  
world it loses its status as art. (You never know, it might slide down  
the slippery slope, becoming instrumental, propaganda, or even worse  
craft!) The strange thing is that those who tell us this are often the  
same people who put art to the crudest instrumental use – the art  
market. Maybe what they mean is that – art is useless when its not  
ultimately used to make a profit. Perhaps it’s the same logic as that  
which argues that education has no use outside slotting us into the  
mutilated world of work and consumption. This guide is for those of us  
who suspect that art has other uses and who are prepared to seek them.”

PDF available freely online (http://www.minorcompositions.info/usersguide.html 
), discounts for ordering multiple copies.

64 pages, A6 size (4.134 x 5.827)

To be released June 1st, 2011

Released by Minor Compositions, London / New York / Port Watson
Minor Compositions is a series of interventions & provocations drawing  
from autonomous politics, avant-garde aesthetics, and the revolutions  
of everyday life.

Minor Compositions is an imprint of Autonomedia
www.minorcompositions.info |info at minorcompositions.info

Stevphen Shukaitis
Autonomedia Editorial Collective

"Autonomy is not a fixed, essential state. Like gender, autonomy is  
created through its performance, by doing/becoming; it is a political  
practice. To become autonomous is to refuse authoritarian and  
compulsory cultures of separation and hierarchy through embodied  
practices of welcoming difference... Becoming autonomous is a  
political position for it thwarts the exclusions of proprietary  
knowledge and jealous hoarding of resources, and replaces the social  
and economic hierarchies on which these depend with a politics of  
skill exchange, welcome, and collaboration. Freely sharing these with  
others creates a common wealth of knowledge and power that subverts  
the domination and hegemony of the master’s rule." - subRosa Collective

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