Reading

Assembling the New Machineries of Revolt by José M Bueso and Sally Gutierrez

Close reading of an essay from the fourth issue of ...ment journal (titled Move...ment), which explores how the voice can inform political praxis and aesthetics.

From the perspective of firsthand accounts during the 2011 anit-austerity demonstrations in Madrid, the essay 'Assembling the New Machineries of Revolt' by José M Bueso and Sally Gutierrez takes a look at the role social media has in these kinds of protest movements.

The occupation of the Sol square was a precursor to the more widely known Occupy movement, and the author considers the events in Madrid as one of the earliest examples of an urbanspace and cyberspace working together to create a form of 'mass intelligentsia' that the old media outlets broadcasting on Television could not keep up with, neutralise or reduce to mere spectacle like the May 68 protests of the past. It is suggested that this was a correlation of art and politics coming together, but without experts (artists and politicians) needing to be present.

As a group, we thought that it is good to look to the past to understand current times, though we felt that the mention of the events of May 68 were maybe overused and Baudrillard's comments relied on too much for context. However, allusions to William Gibson's cyberspace and the urbanspace – the internet now being the tool to link the two – was an interesting point to consider. Also, the mention of subvertising generated some good discussion on the possibilities of using a subtle appropriation of a known style rather than a sloganistic approach to disseminate an overall message.

Full PDF of text can be read here.

For more information about ...ment journal visit their website and if you like the essay you can support them by getting a copy of issue four published by Bookworks from their online bookshop.