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Realizing the Impossible: Art Against Authority

Realizing the Impossible: Art Against Authority

Realizing the Impossible is an inclusive and sprawling collection of art and writings that addresses this gap in our understanding of revolutionary movements.

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There has always been a close relationship between aesthetics and politics in anti-authoritarian social movements. And those movements have in turn influenced many of the last century's most important art movements, including cubism, Dada, post-impressionism, abstract expressionism, surrealism, Fluxus, Situationism, and punk. Today, the movement against corporate globalization, with its creative acts of resistance, colorful puppets and posters, inflammatory actions and interventions, has brought anarchist and anti-authoritarian politics into the forefront of the global consciousness. 

Realizing the Impossible: Art Against Authority explores this vibrant history. It's a sprawling and inclusive collection bursting with ideas and images. With topics ranging from turn-of-the-century French cartoonists to modern-day Indonesian printmaking, from people rolling giant balls of trash down Chicago streets to massive squatted urban villages and renegade playgrounds in Denmark, from the stencil artists of Argentina to the radical video collectives of the US and Mexico—as well as conversations with pioneering anarchist artists like Clifford Harper, Carlos Cortéz, Gee Vaucher, and members of Black Mask—Realizing the Impossible is a richly illustrated history of art and anarchism.

Josh MacPhee is an artist, writer, curator, and activist. His work often revolves around themes of anti-authoritarian politics, privatization, and public space. Josh's other books include Stencil Pirates (2004) and Reproduce & Revolt (co-edited with Favianna Rodriguez, 2007).

Erik Reuland (AKA Erik Ruin) is a Minneapolis-based, Michigan-raised puppeteer, printmaker, and erratic editor of Trouble In Mind, a zine about the intersection of art, everyday life, and radical politics. He works/has worked with several art collectives, including UpsidedownCulture, Street Art Worker, Prison Poster Project, and Barebones Productions.

 

Cindy Milstein (Contributor), Anne Elizabeth Moore (Contributor), Flavio Constantini (Interviewed), David Graeber (Contributor), Carlos Cortez (Interviewed), Gee Vaucher (Interviewed), Allan Antliff (Contributor), Clifford Harper (Interviewed), Erik Reuland (Editor), and Josh MacPhee (Editor)

 

Realizing the Impossible is an inclusive and sprawling collection of art and writings that addresses this gap in our understanding of revolutionary movements. Do-it--yourself printmaking, Zapatista video, street art in Argentina’s popular uprisings, radical puppetry, the monuments to Haymarket martyrs, turn-of-the-century Australian Industrial Workers of the World printmakers, illustrator Clifford Harper, and wobbly poet Carlos Cortez are just a few themes in this collection that bridges time and geographical and cultural boundaries.

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