CHALLENGES TO AUTONOMY

•April 30, 2009 • Leave a Comment

jorn-19671

A potential pandemic flu possibly created by an industrial pig slaughtering farm in Mexico.

A world where the state of exception/emergencies are commonplace and citizen rights are but a fictitious romance as they are taken away, as the most natural and powerful act of a Republic is the power of the sovereign to centralize executive power.

A world where any dissent, civil disobedience, sabotage, revolt, insurrection within any manifestation can be judged as an act of pre-terrorism by government authorities.

A situation where to become anonymous and self-sufficient is to be coined a criminal.  Meanwhile states continue to bomb and occupy other countries, proliferate weapons, kill and torture their own journalists.

A natural habitat that is disappearing and in its place a multitude of failed states, favelas, slums,  shanty towns controlled and inevitably manipulated by world institutions (IMF and World Bank) and bastions of poverty, disease, and crime.

The yearning for Empire to push for the uneventuful life and to isolate every individual, turn them into conformist, consumerist, drugged, impotent, reactionary, suicidal tools of private interests.

Allegiance to wealth and authority, blind worship of celebrity and mediated banalities, acceptance of class differences and of further austerity measures to bail out the gangster families that run the world.

A manufactured adoration of a mythological paradise or sanctuary called a “nation” or kingdom of heaven to keep people pacified and focused on the  dream – which is to one day join the ranks of the wealthy elite.

Mindless conspiracy theorists fighting windmills showing a lack of critical thinking, hard scholarship and instead shields cryptic fascist sentiments.

Most accepted “radical” thought and art proliferated in society is allowed because it is recuperated back into the system.   It’s a nice distraction – and distraction is key to running their form of  pseudo-democracy.

Without creating free spaces for interpersonal liberation and sharing to foster moments of  mutual experience we will continue to inhabit the jail cell of the static metropolis (i.e  cubicle,  church, the mosque, the temple, the mall, the car, our own living quarters) frightened of what lurks outside. Out there.

Those who refuse to succumb to the dominant social structure are labeled pirates, thugs, vagabonds, “violent”, as unpredictable humans by a world system that would rather breed careerist yuppies to purchase up the overcapacity then to set up a basic infrastructure of health and education for all its inhabitants.

Humanity has turned politics into a specialization and doesn’t care.

But, are the workers lazy? And will things change since their toys and sweets have vanished?

What if they wake up?

AHFA – Communique #4

HAPPINESS MACHINES OR….

•April 2, 2009 • Leave a Comment

happy_face_

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”

Edward Bernays Propaganda (1928)

The historical mission of capital is almost complete. You and me – the inside of our minds and bodies – these are the remaining areas of capital’s ongoing exploitation to homogenize the planet where the speed of monetary exchange is the only valued asset. The ultimate act of society.

 

All around the world people are forced by gunpoint or through manufactured consent to accept austerity measures, asked to make even more sacrifices, to work harder in specialized jobs that alienate them from each other and their means of production, make them more dependent on an external entity for daily sustenance, surveilled, manipulated and lied to by the spectacle.

 

The populations’ perpetual ignorance is shaped into reactionary and useful anger against other people of the same class and then possibly recruited to fight nationalist wars of aggression. Yet, we are not at war against terror, but are living in various terrorist zones within the affluent post-industrial civilization itself, perpetuated by the criminal class of the system.

A majority of the populace is too fearful in conducting a revolution from constant fear of repression from capital’s vicious agents (Police, domestic and international intelligence services, paramilitary, militia and vigilante groups, criminals/mob syndicates, right wing terrorists, agent provocateurs, national guard units, military and special forces, Homeland Security, bureaucratic nationalist unions that stifle workers self management, liberal reformist groups that placate militant worker struggles and attempt to improve the system of exploitation by making it hip)…

All layers meant to protect the sanctity of the free enterprise system.

And this is the truth we all know deep down – that NO laws, NO constitution will stop them – and once these entities who have justified their pillage feel threatened they will resort to anything to maintain their power.

Is this the true face of our future?

The military-financial-prison-virtual complex has fostered a coup d’ etat against the world. We are an ever expendable and expandable labor surplus – mental and physical slaves asked to perform menial tasks and to merely consume the cheap, toxic products with a smiley face.

What’s worse – they make us pay extra to heal ourselves.

So where is the real “hope”? Is it in the messianic BRAND image of a Barack Obama or the nostalgic Nazi mother cult of Sarah Palin? Someone used by the ruling class to push through its unpopular policies to bail out a way of life that consistently benefits the few at the expense of the multitude.   

How can one change it? We can’t, not overnight and not without a unified, heterogeneous world social movement against capitalism itself focused on self-management, the end of the wage, class, use value and a creation of a new social relation. The criminal class holding us hostage fears this awakening with all of their hearts…

But with such an insurmountable and utopian mountain to climb what can we do in the meantime?

To us – it is to understand human history…

Play the court jester, a contrarian or a devil’s advocate…

Puncture all myths, illusions, and lies in any way or means possible using whatever medium is available.

We must take to task any overt or veiled attempts at culturally justified greed, social Darwinism and exclusion, narcissism, blind nationalism, religious and sexual bigotry, racism and the extension of white privilege, the blind worship of irrational and reactionary emotions, the privatization of need and the end of the commons coupled with subverting and redefining the true essence of the green movement and trying to recuperate it into a viable economic model of growth. 

Collectively, we are fighting as singular individuals and communities who are attempting to withdraw from the system and to ultimately build non temporary autonomous zones that will share the created abundance of goods and services in an egalitarian manner.  

Comrades! Stay alert – move out of your comfort zone and engage with people, detach yourself from moral indignation, apathy and misanthropy so that we may all look at the world clearly for what it is and what it could become.

 

AHFA – Communique #3

PROJECT #1 – THE FIG LEAF AND THE FURNACE OF THE NOVICE STARS

•March 25, 2009 • Leave a Comment

1967-weekend_11

“A Film Found on a Scrap Heap.”    Jean Luc Godard’s WEEKEND (1967)

PROJECT #1 will be entitled, THE FIG LEAF AND THE FURNACE OF THE NOVICE STARS. 

This will be an experimental narrative provocation mixing documentary still photography and incongruous non-diegetic narration.  Similar to Jean Luc Godard’s WEEKEND, it will attempt to depict capitalist society in the year 2009 through the distorted lens of “independent film narrative”.  Inspired by Godard’s groundbreaking film, we will display a deeply disturbing picture of the world, but instead of a capitalist versus socialist battleground we intend to show the effects of political vapidity on a group of people involved within a typical love triangle. 

 

We will explore the inability of humans to connect and become intimate, a yearning for a kind of self-perpetual utopia through self-help, eastern religion and cults, hyper sexual drives with no real outlet that quickly degrade into extreme fetish, and the effects of our technologically alienated society on human relationships. The ultimate accident played out in slow motion.

 

However, as the devastation is catalogued we will not allow the audience to forget the turbulent past of labor struggles against capital. The attempt for the human race to become agents of change is crucial and we adhere to its continued viability. Dramatic art must find ways to illuminate these troubles and find a common understanding towards a redemptive political consciousness of solidarity and internationalism, instead of reinforcing necessary illusions.  Our collage video project will serve as all things to all people, i.e. curious obscure oddity, soft porn, intellectual manifesto, educational tool and campy melodrama. The perspective gained will depend on the person.

 

Even with the sad decimation of newspapers and the end of the media as a viable fifth estate due to corporate consolidation, alternative sources of investigate journalism emanating from local citizen and community sites throughout the world such as INDYMEDIA and the rediscovery of NEWSREEL and CINEMA VERITE type documentary format give one much hope. Especially with the inexpensive Prosumer tools available.      

 

OUR CONCERN IS THE AUTHENTIC LIFE.  THE STRUGGLE TO MAKE ONE’S ACTIVE LIFE SIGNIFICANT. TO MAKE IT A WORK OF ART.  

Stay tuned!

3/25/09 – AHFA COMMUNIQUE #2

MANIFESTO OF THE AUTONOMOUS HUMAN FILM ASSEMBLY

•March 21, 2009 • 2 Comments

ingirum1

MICROCINEMA OF POVERTY

We are tired of having our artistic voices stifled by a lack of money, the constraints of the corporate format of length, genre elements, post-production costs, and name actors along with the politics of getting noticed. Like FOOD DONATIONS – we seek CINEMA TALENT AND EQUIPMENT DONATIONS with the creation of an ongoing community (physical and virtual) to perpetuate a shadow entity running parallel to Hollywood that will feel free to pursue radical political filmmaking and embody a horizontal organizational structure. As a rhizome we will branch out and ultimately converge with the mainstream.

We are an Autonomous Human Film Assembly comprised of citizens who want cinema to serve more than the spectacle. We want our projects to reflect the current material and political issues and their effect on everyday people’s lives through experimental narrative devices with no rules of restraint.  We have powerful feelings for life. We want to make films or video projects that convey the truth about this current reality no matter how painful or complex that may be.

For our assembly – there is no auteur, no elite wizard behind the curtain, no rich investor backing us out of some rebellious mid life crisis temptation.

We are you and you are us.

Our projects are copyright free, open source type ventures.  Everyone, including the actors will work on this for the love of the project and process. Everyone will be a producer. Everyone will try to bring something to the table. A shroud of purposeful mystery will surround the group as our projects will not exhibit credits.

And if a project happens to find its way by mistake into the circuits of exchange any “profits” will be equally distributed to each individual who worked on it.  The director will be a circus ringleader, not a CEO.

If all goes well – we intend to exhibit our first project within ‘events’ – such as guerilla gardening reclaiming space endeavors where we will exhibit it on abandoned buildings, at union shops, cine-clubs, film societies, universities, night clubs, drive-in theaters across the country and maybe even (underground) film festivals and house parties. This will be self-distributed and we will potentially consider offering this on our website for a suggested donation so that we can later fund additional projects.

Most cinema today is part of the spectacle. A way to divert revolutionary impulses within someone into a sedate, passive spectator/consumer of fictitious propaganda. Basically the spectacle is the relationship between people which is mediated by images. These images are the manifestation of concentrated capital, hiding its own obscelecence.

A majority of American independent films take place in a political vacuum and in order to maintain their cool edge and clever, hipster credibility, these films must go overboard with the depiction of eccentric and obscure behaviors or with purposely confusing fragmented editing that has absolutely no bearing on human material reality – no room for critical reflection. We are overwhelmed by ever evolving symbols without meaning.

Ironically, even if these films (like most) are dependent on creating archetypes, myths, or a stereotype – who does the audience try to emulate in life – or find a common kinship with? Of course, it is these characters/actors as portrayals of the life and troubles that we wish would befall us. We live in this predetermined boredom of manufactured consent in post-industrial society and the system creates “experiences” for us, tells us how to live, flaunts in our faces that we are losers unless we can acquire this or that. It’s a society for the winners, promoting unbridled competition and greed, division, anti-intellectualism, a hyper individualism that focuses on blaming oneself for problems with the only remedy being self-help books, authoritarian religion and/or pseudo-spiritual movements that attempt to focus people inwards at the expense of solidarity. All this leads to a lack of intimacy, especially during sexual encounters as everything is viewed within the realm of value and exchange. We are all commodities. Human futures.

It is near impossible within the current milieu to film authentic lives. What are authentic lives? What is the good life? Why have we lost our political consciousness and why is it so mediated on intrinsic identity alone?

If everything has been done before, then why are we still only filming literature and remaking previous banal television shows or ground breaking bourgeoisie films from 30 years ago?

The Autonomous Human Film Assembly will find amusement in destroying these various limitations imposed by the market system by utilizing the new democratizing opportunities of digital format and self-distribution mechanisms.

We applaud and nurture the excessive, pure, self-indulgent, poetic, anarchic, truly direct democratic forms of expression. We look forward to failing valiantly to achieve our goals.

Our influences are such groundbreaking, misunderstood, and much maligned titans as Dusan Makajayev, Guy Debord, Rene Vienet, Robert Bresson, Rainer Fassbinder, Werner Herzog, John Waters, Peter Watkins, Jean Luc Godard, Leos Carax, Alex Cox, Nagashi Oshima, John Cassavetes and Dziga Vertov.

3/20/09  – AHFA Communique #1

Hello world!

•March 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment

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