[NetBehaviour] Variant, issue 27, Winter 2006

marc marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Mon Nov 6 14:46:43 CET 2006

Variant, issue 27, Winter 2006
...the free, independent, arts magazine. In-depth coverage
in the context of broader social, political & cultural issues.

text : full issue
pdf : full issue

Front cover
pdf  http://variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue27/Variant27-cover.pdf


* Putting Dada Flesh on the Bone
  John Beagles
"Historical Dada and Surrealism has found itself reassessed, revised and 
repackaged in numerous recent exhibitions...while the popularity of a 
litany of artists referencing, name checking and stealing from both 
movements is undeniable." Beagles examines "the contrasting aims of two 
recent projects to revise accepted ideas about the nature and legacy of 
New York Dada - Amelia Jones' book 'Irrational Modernism : A 
Neurasthenic History of New York Dada', and David Hopkins' publication 
and exhibition at Edinburgh's Fruitmarket Gallery 'Dada's Boys'."
text  http://variant.org.uk/27texts/dada27.html
pdf  http://variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue27/Variant27-DADA.pdf

* 'Get a Fucking Job: The Truth about Begging'
  A critical, but solidary review by a member of New Social Art School
Prompted by a campaign for a ban of begging in Aberdeen, the book 'Get a 
Fucking Job' by The New Social Art School is a collection of 
conversations with beggars, former beggars, relatives and support 
workers, that as a form of practice is critically assessed here.
text  http://variant.org.uk/27texts/begging27.html
pdf  http://variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue27/Variant27-begging.pdf

* Chemical-Cocktail-Fruit
  Jan Nimmo
Working with banana workers in Costa Rica, and being involved in labour 
rights and occupational health issues, personally brought home to Nimmo 
the parallels with what's happened to workers' health in Scotland. Nimmo 
works asan activist and artist to expose the human and environmental 
damage causedby the expansion of big cash crop plantations and their use 
of pesticides and agrochemicals, raising awareness amongst UK consumers 
of the hidden costs behind the fruit we eat.
text  http://variant.org.uk/27texts/purda27.html
pdf  http://variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue27/Variant27-purda.pdf

* Rose Coloured Spectacles
  Tom Jennings
"[T]he last few years have seen a growing tendency for supposedly 
progressive themes to be tackled in big-budget Hollywood fictions, along 
with the incorporation of originally marginal aesthetic choices and 
strategies in the production of cinematic blockbusters, brands and 
franchises. This survey describes some of these phenomena and the 
critical response to them, and discusses their ambivalent implications 
and limitations."
text  http://variant.org.uk/27texts/jennings27.html
pdf  http://variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue27/Variant27-palestine.pdf

* Competing Narratives Exposed
Did you hear that two Palestinians were captured the day *before* that 
Israeli soldier was?
  Rena Bivens
Many issues problematize mainstream media's coverage of conflict: the 
influence of public relations and intense pressure by well-organised 
lobby groups to supply journalists with information that supports their 
favoured narrative are just a few. The danger is of neglecting 
contextualization in favour of what appears to be a preconceived 
narrative of action followed by response and retaliation, as with the 
June 25th capture of Cpl Shalit by Palestinian militants...
text  http://variant.org.uk/27texts/palestine27.html
pdf  http://variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue27/Variant27-palestine.pdf

* Blairism on the walls at Kelvingrove
  Stephen Dawber
At a cost of nearly £28 million, Glasgow's Kelvingrove Art Gallery & 
Museum has been radically altered. There is even a 'new epistemology of 
museums' attached, drafted by Mark O'Neill, Glasgow's Head of Museums 
and Galleries. His apparent innovation is to cast out the old Victorian 
taxonomies, replacing them with a classification based on the 'telling 
of stories'. Yet the gulf between the 'theorising' and the actual 
experience of the museum, Dawber argues, reveals an arch propagandist at 
work - that the link between public policy and museum practice is not 
always direct, but in the case of Kelvingrove the bonds cut unusually 
text  http://variant.org.uk/27texts/kelvingrove27.html
pdf  http://variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue27/Variant27-Kelvingrove.pdf

* Academies, Religion and Private Philanthropy
  Peter Vlachos
Vlachos argues that with the forcing through of sponsored Academies: 
"What we are now seeing is a return to pre-welfare state economics. An 
attempt bygovernment to disengage itself from the delivery of key social 
services like education." And even more worryingly, that: "Academy 
schools will lead to more ... religious schools, and will 
correspondingly increase the fragmentary divisions between young people 
and whole societies."
text  http://variant.org.uk/27texts/academies27.html
pdf  http://variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue27/Variant27-academies.pdf

* Louis - The Round The World Rug Race
Louis is an unassuming little worker who lives with his pet bird FC 
(Formulaic Companion) in Hamlet, a colourful place in which all the 
houses are alike and fenced off. The stories follow Louis' attempts to 
live his dreams and draw grown ups and children alike into a scary-cute 
world where the citizens' lives are stiffled and their actions more or 
less controlled by Entertainment Centres and obscure regulations. A 12 
page black and white short story.
pdf  http://variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue27/RUGRACE.pdf

* Telling the Truth About Neo-liberalism:
The 2006 Socialist Register anthology
  Alex Law
"'A generalized pathology of chronic mendacity seems to be a structural 
condition of global capitalism at the beginning of the 21st century'. It 
is not just that lies are being told as the occupational hazard of 
politicians and their media courtesans, but rather that lying and 
hypocrisy have become an endemic condition of the neoliberal world 
order." Required reading!
text  http://variant.org.uk/27texts/Variant27-SR.html
pdf  http://variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue27/Variant27-SR.pdf

* Rebel Alliances
Interview with Ben Franks, author of 'Rebel Alliances', 'an applied 
philosophical perspective on contemporary class-struggle anarchism in 
Britain'. Franks comes up with illuminating and entertaining responses, 
not least regarding anarchism and academia.
text  http://variant.org.uk/27texts/alliances27.html
pdf  http://variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue27/Variant27-RA.pdf

* Ahmadinejad: Myth and Reality
  Yassamine Mather
"...as the threat of sanctions and military intervention against Iran 
has increased, sections of the anti-war movement outside Iran have 
launched a concerted effort in support of the Iranian president Mahmoud 
Ahmadinejad. However, inside the country the new government's failure to 
deliver any of itspromises of economic prosperity for the majority of 
the population has brought nothing more than increased poverty and 
repression for the working class, women, youth and minorities." Mather 
lays bare a solidary challenge forthe left!
text  http://variant.org.uk/27texts/Ahmadinejad27.html
pdf  http://variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue27/Variant27-Ahmadinejad.pdf

* From Self to Structure: Challenging the 'Happiness Industry'
  Colin Clark
"...how do we tend to define and understand 'happiness' (or, rather, 
what is called 'subjective well being' in certain disciplines); how to 
criticallyunpick the 'industry and business' of happiness; and how to 
situate these concerns within the contemporary debates we are witnessing 
in Scotland, especially centred around the 'confidence and well-being' 
agenda and the Scottish Executive drive (and money being spent) in this 

text  http://variant.org.uk/27texts/happiness27.html
pdf  http://variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue27/Variant27-Happiness.pdf

* Turkey's US-backed War On Terror: A Cause For Concern?
  Desmond Fernandes
With the US government aiming to vigorously assist the Turkish state in 
hunting down and eradicating the so-called 'rebel' Kurdistan Workers 
Party (PKK), many human rights organisations, Kurdish and Turkish 
civilians, peace campaigners and public interest groups fear a return to 
the genocidal practices and chilling psychological warfare that went on 
in the 1990s. This is arelentless exposé and analysis by Fernandes as to 
why there is concern over a resurgence of intensive US-backed support 
for the Turkish state's 'War on Terror'.
Edited text
text  http://variant.org.uk/27texts/Kurds27.html
pdf  http://variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue27/Variant27-TURKEY_US_WOT.pdf
Complete text
text  http://variant.org.uk/27texts/cause_for_concern.html
pdf  http://variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue27/TURKEY_US_WOT.pdf

* The Chinese Challenge: Hallucinations for Other Futures
  Think Art Lab
Cultures depend on their paradigm of writing, it being the most abstract 
mechanism and technology of cultural formations. China's writing is not 
limited by alphabetic linearism and digitalism, hence Kerr advances the 
possiblere-discovery of the operationality of its writing system for the 
design ofnew rational formal systems, such as mathematics and 
programming languages, emerging beyond what he sees as exhausted Western 
text  http://variant.org.uk/27texts/thinkart27.html
pdf  http://variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue27/Variant27-ChineseChallenge.pdf
Chinese version
text  http://variant.org.uk/27texts/thinkart_cn.html
pdf  http://variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue27/Variant27-ChineseChallenge.pdf

Variant issue 27 also contained the programme for Document 4 : 
International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival - 

New on the site - Variant Audio...
Robert Fisk, Great War for Civilisation - GFT talk, 14/10/05 (a Document 
& GSA collaboration)
MP3  http://www.variant.org.uk/audio/Fisk.mp3


* A fully accessible archive of back issues is freely
available at the Variant web site: http://www.variant.org.uk

* Newsprint Magazine Subscription details can be found
at: http://www.variant.org.uk/subs.html

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