Produced by Pro Arts in collaboration with Shaping San Francisco, the Imagining Post-Capitalism hybrid festival took place from May 1 – 6, 2018 and brought together activists, artists, speakers, and the general public to explore a future without capitalism. The festival took place in Oakland and San Francisco, CA. Scheduled activities included: lectures, community gatherings and salons, discussions, presentations, performances, workshops, screenings, art actions and interventions, podcasts and publications. Presentation topics include: social history of labor and labor organizing, universal basic income and alternative economies, debt abolition and jubilee, the end of work, what sustains racism and sexism beyond capitalism, revolutionary movements of the past, new social movements, ecological and social justice, urbanism and gentrification, technological innovations and techno-fetishism… and much more!
On Wednesday May 2, Thursday May 3, and Friday May 4, from 12-1 pm we will host a Brown Bag Lunch discussions (outdoors at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland CA), FREE and Open to All. The discussions aim to engage passersby and workers on their lunch break in impromptu conversation on a specific topic, facilitated by the Imagining Post-Capitalism organizers and guest artists, who will help mediate thoughts and ideas proposing a different future for us all.
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 is suggested with no one turned away for lack of funds.
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.
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 performative lecture by Eddie Yuen and Kal Spelletich at Shaping San Francisco, Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics (518 Valencia St, SF).
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 sharp The Body as Resistance at Pro Arts Gallery (Oakland).
Door: $5-10 donation is suggested with no one turned away for lack of funds.
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 deals with deconstructing our relationships with the body and it’s 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 the 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. Envisioning a post-capitalism within an artistic context is the first step towards better future for us all.
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 by Eva Davidova is a short animation loop, addressing a post-capitalist future in which our future techno-centric 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 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 is suggested with no one turned away for lack of funds.
2-4pm Energy Plan for the Western Man: Art after Capitalism round table discussion with Sylvie Denis (author), Keith Hennessy (artist), Andrew Mount (artist/educator), Elizabeth Thomas (curator), and Praba Pilar (artist) at Shaping San Francisco, Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics (518 Valencia St, SF)
The round table discussion will center on each of the participant’s practice and individual work with an accent on the future/post-capitalism. Largely drawing on themes that are present in Joseph Beuys work, and to be more specific 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 Multi-media Art Experience, PIER 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
*Bring voucher with you to the boat for entry
Join the Blue Collar Green Water Art & Culture Collective, for an hour-long journey multi-media art experience. 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.
1-2pm Rethinking Justice by Lou Viquerat at Pro Arts Gallery (Oakland)
A post-capitalist world will need a radically different way of thinking about and providing justice. Local experiments in restorative and transformative justice are underway and Lou Viquerat will present her own experiences as part of a larger community of collectivized households in using these new practices which seek prevention and transformation of those that commit harms, over retribution and punitive measures. The Alternative Justices project has been an attempt to positively impact both the justice system and rape culture. Alt-Justices have been working on various strands of this project for over two years in the framework of two co-living spaces, and are now moving beyond that. ‘Alternative Justices’ refers to the creation and application of multiple systems of justice that can transcend and transform the state and its flawed systems. This presentation will be part history of the project, part resources sharing, part Q&A and is envisioned as an invitation to take this work and use it to make impacts of your own.
2-3pm Rethinking Economics and Embodying the Post-Capitalist Economy We Want Right Now, a presentation by Della Duncan at Pro Arts Gallery (Oakland)
A presentation by Della Duncan of Upstream podcast, covering 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. Perhaps, even more than our parents, Capitalism 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 contributed so much to 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, which has been such a significant presence in all our lives. 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 it’s post-life. This event will conclude with a short funereal procession for Capitalism. Please wear suitable clothing if you choose to participate.
Download the Festival Poster and Calendar of Events Festival Imagining Post-Capitalism.
About the Organizers:
Pro Arts is a non-profit art institution working in the visual arts, performance, music, social practice, public art, and education. Founded in 1973, Pro Arts is one of the few remaining institutions in Oakland that is artist-centered and that continues to function as a platform for experimentation, supporting the freedom to create challenging, non-commercial work in critical art context.
Shaping San Francisco is a participatory community history project documenting and archiving overlooked stories and memories of San Francisco. We are committed to defining a new kind of public space, specifically around a shared interest in our interrelated social histories.
Beneficial State Bank is a B Corp Certified and community development bank whose mission is to build prosperity in our communities through fair and transparent beneficial banking services. We serve individuals, nonprofits, and businesses in California, Oregon, and Washington. Beneficial State Bank is owned by a nonprofit which means we have no private shareholders seeking to maximize profit at the expense of our communities our planet.
We believe that banks should nourish our communities, not extract from them, and so we commit at least 75% of our loan dollars toward a new, inclusive, and just economy. None of our loan dollars can work against our mission. Join the movement by aligning your money with your values. Visit beneficialstate.org/impact to learn more.
After Tomorrow is a season by the French Consulate in San Francisco,the Cultural and Scientific Services of the French Embassy in the United States, French Tech San Francisco, Institut Français and the French American Cultural Society. The season aims at confronting, in each event, the perspectives of scientists, artists and entrepreneurs, to imagine what our world will look like “after tomorrow”, with the year 2050 as our horizon.
OUR MEDIA PARTNERS:
Shareable.net (A fiscally sponsored project of Tides Center)
Shareable.net is a nonprofit media outlet and action network that empowers people to share for a more resilient, equitable, and joyful world. We inspire social change by publishing stories, analysis, and tools in collaboration with our global partners. shareable.net
Upstream is a radio documentary and interview series that invites you to unlearn everything you thought you knew about economics. Blurring the line between economics and storytelling, Upstream inspires listeners to imagine what a more just, sustainable, and beautiful economy might look like. upstreampodcast.org