Black Inc, Melbourne

DANIEL VON STURMER
Focus & Field

Focus & Field documents Daniel von Sturmer’s show at Young Projects Gallery, Los Angeles, 2014. The show comprises a solo survey of recent works (2008 – 2013) accompanied by a new 9-screen video installation, Camera Ready Actions. The book features ‘Notes from the Field’, an essay by Tara McDowell, former curator of SFMoMA and the CCA Wattis Institute.

Using video, photography, installation and architectural interventions, von Sturmer’s work draws on more traditional mediums of painting and sculpture, making direct – and often humorous – references to still life, modernism & minimalism.

Drawing connections between psychology and philosophy, von Sturmer interrogates the modes of perception at play when a viewer encounters an artwork, and how they are influenced by presentation and context.

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Marco Fusinato
Let's Destroy Work

On the eve of All the World’s Futures at the 2015 Venice Biennale, Schwartz City is pleased to announce the publication of Let’s Destroy Work, the first major monograph on Marco Fusinato. A comprehensive overview of the past two decades of Fusinato’s projects in art and music, featured projects include FREE (1998–2004), a series of guerrilla performances in unsuspecting music stores around the world; Mass Black Implosion (2007–), an ongoing series of propositional scores; Aetheric Plexus (2009–2013), a viewer-triggered installation of white noise and white light; and TM/MF (2000), a collaborative project with Thurston Moore.

Included is new writing by Branden W. Joseph, Professor in Art History at Columbia University; a text by US-based music critic Byron Coley; and essays from insurrectional anarchist writer Alfredo M. Bonanno’s publication ‘Let’s Destroy Work, Let’s Destroy the Economy’. The book is rich in colour and mono illustrations of Fusinato’s works, and a selection of reference images.

Marco Fusinato’s practice references the rhetoric of radical politics (its ambitions and failures), noise as music and the conditions and conventions of conceptual art. Through wide-ranging forms of work in gallery contexts and performances, he foregrounds moments of disruption and impact in which lie the possibility of a shift in perception or change in the course of events. Fusinato performs regularly in the international experimental music underground, obliterating the guitar into improvised noise-spit tsunamis.

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Quarterly Essay #58
Blood Year: Terror and the Islamic State

Last year was a ‘blood year’ in the Middle East – massacres and beheadings, fallen cities, collapsed and collapsing states, the unravelling of a decade of Western strategy. We saw the rise of ISIS, the splintering of government in Iraq, and foreign fighters – many from Europe, Australia and Africa – flowing into Syria at a  rate ten times that during the height of the Iraq War. What went wrong?

In Blood Year, David Kilcullen calls on twenty-five years’ experience to answer that question. This is a vivid, urgent account of the War on Terror by someone who helped shape its strategy, as well as witnessing its evolution on the ground. Kilcullen looks to strategy and history to make sense of the crisis. What are the roots and causes of the global jihad movement? What is ISIS? What threats does it pose to Australia? What does its rise say about the effectiveness of the War on Terror since 9/11, and what does a coherent strategy look like after a disastrous year?

‘As things stand in mid-2015, Western countries . . . face a larger, more unified, capable, experienced and savage enemy, in a less stable, more fragmented region. It isn’t just ISIS – al-Qaeda has emerged from its eclipse and is back in the game in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Syria and Yemen. We’re dealing with not one, but two global terrorist organisations, each with its own regional branches, plus a vastly larger radicalised population at home and a massive flow of foreign fighters.’ David Kilcullen, Blood Year

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Quarterly Essay #37
What's Right? The Future of Conservatism in Australia

What did George W. Bush and John Howard do to conservatism?  In their wake, the conservative parties in the US and Australia seem to have lost their way – they no longer have a vision of the future.  Their neoconservative foreign policies and neoliberal economics have been discredited, and they are split on climate change and much else.  How did the Right in Australia end up in this place?  How might it renew itself?

In this groundbreaking essay, Waleed Aly begins by unravelling the terms Right and Left, arguing that they have become meaningless – they only foster a political conversation that becomes more about ‘teams’ than ideas.  He discusses neoliberal economics and its corrosive effect on the social fabric, and how, in response, Howard-style conservatism was all too ready to dictate social values, even to the point of prescribing who or what is Australian.

Aly discusses what a better conservatism might look like.  He argues that the political issues of the day, such as climate change and the financial crisis, mean a reactionary brand of politics is unlikely to work because public opinion is swiftly leaving it behind.  He draws on the work of conservative thinkers such as John Gray, Owen Harries and even P.J. O’Rourke to sketch the kind of conservatism that seems scarce in Australia, but which would be a welcome presence.

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