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OUT of Site, performance-driven walking tours, March and May 2018

January-June 2018

Free Public Talks

Wednesday evenings 7:30-9:30 unless otherwise noted.

At Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics
518 Valencia Street (near 16th), in San Francisco

A place to meet and talk unmediated by corporations, official spokespeople, religion, political parties, or dogma.


Our Public Talks are partly underwritten by City Lights Foundation, The Seed Fund and Rainbow Grocery.



Download the Spring 2018 calendar as a pdf

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Archive of past talks

Online audio archive of past talks, listed by type:

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April 25

Universal Basic Income, Is It time?

Touted by the tech industry as a way to preserve livelihoods in a time of automation replacing workers, Universal Basic Income (UBI) is not a new concept. As a poverty alleviation idea, it has resonance in the EPIC program of 1930s California, and similar ideas were floated by leaders of social movements of the 1960s, including MLK, Jr. and the Black Panthers in their Ten Point Program. Through a discussion of UBI we take a look at the nature of work and classifying invisible work as work, and open up a larger conversation around economic and racial inequalities. Proponents see UBI as a way to get at a new social contract in the U.S., one that builds trust and a chance for truth and reconciliation. Christian Nagler discusses his research into UBI, including performative economics, economic futurity and forecasting, and the divergent political ideologies held within the perceived prefigurative communitarian movement. Anne Price discusses how UBI differs from the social welfare system in being steeped in racial justice rather than race, and how her work at the Insight Center for Community Economic Development in Oakland is addressing economic security. Sandhya Anantharaman of the Universal Income Project, an advocate of Universal Basic Income, talks about the radical impacts it could have on society.

Photo: From Christian Nagler's 2011-12 economic performance art project, "Market Fitness".

May 1-6

Festival: Imagining Post-Capitalism

Bookended by the UBI talk on April 25 and the Platform Cooperatives Talk on May 9, this six-day festival is a collaboration with the ProArts Gallery in downtown Oakland off Frank Ogawa Plaza, and supported by media partners Upstream podcasts and Shareable.net. Rejecting Frederic Jameson's admonition that it's easier to imagine the end of the world than it is to imagine the end of capitalism, we put together this mini-festival. All are invited to participate in the conversations and gatherings to push each other to think concretely and imaginatively about what is coming. Capitalism is on its last legs as a world-system, but what will follow? Perhaps a dark authoritarian world dominated by police and military that claims to be capitalist but is really a despotic simulacra? Or a newly liberated grassroots democracy, reinventing urban life on an ecological basis, a society that values everyone's contribution without coercing anyone, a world in which a good life is guaranteed to all. Or something else altogether? What do you think?

On Wednesday May 2, Thursday May 3, and Friday May 4, from 12-1 pm we will host a Brownbag Lunch discussion (outdoors at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland CA), FREE and Open to All. The Brown Bag Lunch Series aims to engage passersby and workers on their lunch break in impromptu conversation on a specific topic. The series will encourage engagement through an open format discussion, facilitated by the Imagining Post-Capitalism organizers and guest artists, who will help mediate thoughts and ideas proposing a different future for us all.

Image: Mona Caron

150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland CA 94612 * ProArts Festival Calendar

May 1

7pm: MAY DAY PLAY, HEY!

at Pro Arts (Oakland). Artist L.M. Bogad repurposes the structure of role-playing games to create a new game of “re-enacting” the history of social movements. (Door/$5-10 donation, no one turned away for lack of funds. No host bar.)

9pm: Precarious Labor Films

 

Shorts from P2P Fightsharing III: Precarity; Mayday Barcelona (8:52); St. Precarious Goes Shopping (5:51); Yomango Tango (6:11); Gimme an occupation of the premises with that McStrike (4:05) at The New Great Wall of Oakland, right outside of the Pro Arts Gallery, Oakland.

May 2

12 noon: Brown Bag Lunch Discussion

outdoors at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland CA, FREE and Open to All

Topic: Working With Nature to Reduce Work and Waste

How does nature shape the post-capitalist imaginary? How can we conserve time and resources to produce a better life for all?

Guest artist: Asya Abdrahman. Asya develops conceptual strategies and physical structures in an effort to find future solutions to existing challenges, i.e. food, water, shelter, power.

7:30 pm: Do Androids dream of surplus value?

Robotic Labor Exploitation and the Falling Rate of Profit

A performative lecture by Eddie Yuen and Kal Spelletich at

Shaping San Francisco, Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics (518 Valencia St, San Francisco).

Photo of Jade Ariana Fair by Nicole Miles

May 3

12 noon: Brown Bag Lunch Discussion

outdoors at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland CA, FREE and Open to All

Topic: Topic/Fragmented Attention, Stunted Cognition

How does our current techno-obsessed frenzy reinforce confusion and isolation? How can we nurture a calmer, more contemplative pace of life? How is our ability to know the world impaired by the massive speed-up we are all living through? Who remembers life before the personal computer?

6-8pm: The Body as Resistance

at Pro Arts Gallery (Oakland). (Door: $5-10 donation, no one turned away for lack of funds. No host bar.)

The Body As  Resistance features the work of two radical local performance artists and cultural practitioners Titania Kumeh & Jade Ariana Fair. Both Kumeh’s and Fair’s work deal with deconstructing our relationships with the body and its role within the capitalistic system of oppression. Through amplifications of their own histories and ancestries they are actively and systematically subverting the agents of  oppression which spearhead erasure of black female narratives of struggle, history, healing, and documentation. Capitalism serves as  an agent of destruction against the already violenced bodies of the oppressed citizens of earth, and these artists seek to imagine a future beyond violence, beyond erasure, beyond white supremacy, and thus beyond capitalism. In a capitalistic world, radical self-care is a revolutionary act of anti-violence and anti-capitalism and envisioning this world within an artistic context is the first step.

8:30pm: Intentions. Transfer and Disappearance II

 

Interactive public projection by Eva Davidova at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza (Oakland’s City Hall building) 

Intentions. Transfer and Disappearance II is a new body of work by Eva Davidova, presented for the first time in Oakland CA, as part of the Imagining Post-Capitalism Festival. It is a short animation loop addressing a post-capitalist future in which our future technocentric identity, constantly manipulated by computers and ‘cold’ data, has the potential to expose the power relationship of control between the powerful and the powerless. This form a synthetic freedom, largely based on the latest technological advances, is constructed rather than natural. What if we employ the digital tools available to us and use the failure in representation to our own end, as a means of protest? Will we see the emergence of non-dualistic, perhaps even primitive, early version of ourselves? Can this dystopian future be subverted through a software glitch, one that exposes the limitation of technology to authentically represent humanity?

May 4

12 noon: Brown Bag Lunch Discussion

outdoors at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland CA, FREE and Open to All

Topic: The Future of Work

After capitalism, what work should humans/robots/nature do? What does democracy look like when applied to work? What do we need? What do we want? Who will do the work? What  are the ecological consequences?

Guest artist: Dan Nelson. Dan Nelson is an interdisciplinary artist, musician, and author who plays with words, symbols, signals, and sounds to explore how humans communicate and create meaning.

7-9pm: Never Work

Symposium & Provocation at Beneficial State Bank, 1438 Webster St., Suite 300, Oakland.

Join an unpredictable symposium led by Franco-German anti-work advocate Guillaume Paoli, all the way from Berlin, Marina Gorbis, Executive Director of the Institute for the Future (IFTF), and Isaac Cronin, one of the founders of the Situationist movement in the Bay Area, as the evening’s host. (Door: $10-$20 donation suggested, no one turned away for lack of funds. Cocktails & Cake FREE.)

May 5

2-4pm: Energy Plan for the Western Man: Art after Capitalism

Round table discussion with Sylvie Denis (author), Keith Hennessy (artist), and Andrew Mount (artist), Praba Pilar (artist/educator) at Shaping San Francisco, Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics (518 Valencia St, SF)

Each of the participant’s practice and individual work will be framed with an accent on the post-capitalist future. Largely drawing on themes that are present in Joseph Beuys work—e.g. his pioneering concept of social sculpture, money and universal basic income—we will use his figure to discuss the future of art and the future of art/artist/author/performer, post-capitalism. The first steps toward a post-capitalist practice involve the redefinition of art itself. Art after capitalism starts right now. Is the promised future artist’s emancipation providing only a contemplative respite from the exploitation, hierarchies and conflict present in the art world today? What does the future hold for artists, authors, performers? Will the artist abandon the authorial form? Will there be massive exodus from the museum/from the bookstore/from the performance venue? Will art finally merge with our lived experience? What new avenues can lead us toward an exit from our failed artistic paradigms? Will the rules of competition and money remain alive in the background and it is important to learn how to struggle absolutely for changes that are still only partial? Can we build a truly inclusive adequate, equitable and decentralized system that puts the artist/author/performer/curator at the forefront of this change?

8:20pm–10:05pm San Francisco – Tiburon Boat Trip!

Multi-media Art ExperiencePIER 41 San Francisco (Please arrive 15 minutes prior to departure) Adult round-trip ferry ticket: $25 (No Host Bar)
*Purchase your round trip ticket(s) online at: HERE
*Choose Kiosk pick-up
*Print voucher
*Bring voucher with you to the boat for entry

Join the Blue Collar Green Water Art & Culture Collective, for an hour-long multimedia art experience on the water. In addition to stunning views of the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge, the evening will include readings, a short video screening, slideshow and animated video presentation on San Francisco waterfront history, presented by San Francisco Bay maritime working artists.

May 6

1-5pm: For the Workers Right to Unionize

durational performance with artist Regina Larre Campuzano at Pro Arts Gallery (Oakland)

Campuzano opens up the traditionally taboo act of tattooing and transforms the gallery into a public forum for Tesla workers to speak out and reclaim their injured bodies – we subvert the isolation created by capitalism.

2-3pm: Rethinking Economics

at Pro Arts Gallery (Oakland) Della Duncan of Upstream podcast will examine the problems of economic paradigms and the fascinating and wide range of alternative frameworks that point to a post-capitalist future.

4- 6pm RIP Capitalism – a WAKE

at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland CA

In order to imagine Post-Capitalism, we have to come to terms with the demise of Capitalism, which has shaped our psyches and our memories. Thus, we come together, to share our memories, both fond and traumatic, of this economic system that has so profoundly shaped our lived experiences. We will gather on the grass of Oscar Grant/Frank Ogawa Plaza with food and beverages to share in a non-transactional way, and collectively reminisce about Capitalism. There will be an open floor (well, literally, lawn) for those to share memories and stories of Capitalism. What better way to come to terms with the demise of something so significant than in the company of others? And in order to pay proper tribute to Capitalism, you are encouraged to bring souvenirs, mementos, and objects produced by the labor of exploited workers to send Capitalism on its way to its post-life. This event will conclude with a short funeral procession for Capitalism. Please wear suitable clothing if you choose to participate.

May 9

Platform Cooperatives

More of our lives are being tightly integrated through the commercial social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google, private corporations that are monetizing the enormous creative and cooperative activity that takes place there. A movement among tech workers and cooperative activists to create real alternatives through building self-managed platform cooperatives is taking shape. Yes, Virginia, there IS an alternative! The micro-rental economy masquerading as "sharing" is unmasked, and another way forward is explored. Neal Gorenflo of Shareable.net and Melissa Hoover, director of the Democracy at Work Institute, and Dennis Hayes (author and tech writer)

Photo: Money falling, online clipart

May 23

Archives and Memory: New Ways of Making History

How do we “hold” (record/store) history now compared to the past? How do we “tell” history now, and has the relationship between archival sources and narrative arcs/presentation changed with digitalization? What do we learn from narration-free archival materials (a la Prelinger home movies, foundsf photo pages, etc.)? And popular attitudes towards history: who cares about footnotes? How are archivists beginning to shape new ways of making history public? Film archivist and librarian Rick Prelinger, and city archivist/librarian Susan Goldstein, scholar Howard Besser.

Photo: Smithsonian

June 9

Unsettled in the Mission (Special Offsite event)

Shaping San Francisco is co-sponsoring Adriana Camarena’s reading at the Paseo Artistico from her series “Unsettled in the Mission,” appearing in the pages of El Tecolote as well as on her website unsettlers.org. Crisscrossing the neighborhood’s history and present-day conundrums, Camarena presents a penetrating literary dissection of the inequality, racism, amnesia, and cultural confusion of our time.

Photo: El Tecolote