٠ I say whip it, whip it good ٠

R e s i s t a n t   v i s u a l   c u l t r e  is not about art or traditional activism. It is a method for building a real, living culture. As opposed to a vocation or sentimental pursuit, I think of this field as a way to productively communicate amongst those who are dedicated to social change. It is not about further investigating art history nor about tactics for getting into galleries. If this sounds naively vague that is on purpose. I don’t think we need to be specific and I believe that even a simple analysis of capital and control should be enough to bind a lot of disparate people together. These terms are methods for finding more effective ways to do this.

What follows are a series of terms that I have found many “rads” using. I introduce them in the hopes they lead to more productive discussions.
A. Visual Culture
B. Criticality (Ambiguity)
C. Resistance/Tactics/Strategies
D. Infrastructures of Resonance
E. Material Consequences
F. Legitimation”


I hope these terms might prove to be constructive. I notice that many of the words are developed in order to manage the tensions between an overtly dominant modernism and an all too relativist post-modernism. They also are attempts to position visual resistance within a framework conducive to the rise of the information economy. Using a more specific vocabulary allows us to avoid the boring pitfalls of“is it art?”or“is it political?”. By avoiding these traps to some degree, hopefully we can move towards developing a radical culture that can actually bust apart the dominance of capital and control.”

excerpt of Contributions to a Resistant Visual Culture Glossary, by Nato Thompson. Not posting the complete article for lack of time but will make it available if anyone asks for it.

┐ The word is: COMPROMISE └

A Line Made by Walking 1967 by Richard Long born 1945© Richard Long, A Line made by Walking, 1967.


robinson_in_ruins_2010_012 still from the documentary Robinson in Ruins, by Patrick Keiller.


kit© Heath Bunting, Natural reality – SuperWeed Kit that kills all GM crops


beuys-web.980x0© Joseph Beuys, How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare, 1965


123394053419_beuys_dasschweigenvonmarcelduchampwirdberwertet1338932283448© Joseph Beuys, The Silence of Marchel Duchamp is Overrated, 1964


WeiWeiSoSorry3 (1)© Ai Weiwei, So Sorry


┐ Jenny Holzer, You Must Disagree With Authority Figures* └

06-large© Jenny Holzer, Truism Projection, Venice 1999

06-largefg© Jenny Holzer, Truism Projection, Buenos Aires, 2000

holzer-035© Jenny Holzer, Truism Projection, New York

lustmord-1993-95jenny-holzer-selection-from-lustmord-in-new-york-exhibition-engraved-in-silver-bands-1993-95-via-the-whitney-museum-of-american-artholzer-008© Jenny Holzer, in collaboration with Tibor Kalman, Lustmord, 1993-94
Photographs of handwriting in ink on skin

“In many of her works Jenny Holzer explores political themes, in particular abuses of power and atrocities of war. In her series ‘Lustmord’ (1993-94) – meaning rape murder in German – Holzer created a number of works addressing war crimes in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990’s, in particular the violent physical abuse, rape and murder of women that occurred. In this series Holzer displays photographs of text on human skin, some of which includes women’s blood mixed with ink.

Holzer often creates tension by conveying bold statements and the use of contradictory terms and viewpoints. She deals with the public and the private, fact and fiction, the universal and the particular, and the body, including body politics. In ‘PROTECT PROTECT’, for example, Lustmord Table (1994) also references torture and bodily harm. In this work Holzer displays human bones with silver bands impressed with words by rape victims, perpetrators and witnesses. (…)

Many of Holzers work focus on unnecessary cruelty. She wants people to react and recoil. Holzer would like there to be less fear and cruelty in the world and her work is an expression of her empathy with human suffering and injustice. She is also exploring human fallibility, situational ethics and self-reflection, whilst often focusing on universal questions.” via acca education

holzer-lustmord© Jenny Holzer, Lustmord Table, 1994

* One of Jenny Holzer’s Truisms (1978-1983). Other truisms can be seen here and projections here

┐ Paola Zaccaria, Medi-terranean Borderization └

“At the end of the 1990s, as a result of the diasporas produced by new wars and new forms of colonialism, boats, rubber dinghies, and wornout ships started sailing in the direction opposite to that of colonial times: people emigrating from North Africa steered toward the closest Mediterranean shores, especially to the Italian island of Lampedusa, the southern gate to Fortress Europe. The reaction of the European nations in the Mediterranean region has been to erect a series of virtual yet impenetrable walls and borders, all created in the name of sovereignty, thus violating the international agreement on human rights ratified by the European Court in 1951. (…)

Activists and artists have begun to focus their attention and work on borders, national divides, and class and gender inequalities, and by now it is clear that migrants, rebels, oppressed women, and “mongrels” who keep on moving, notwithstanding the erection of walls, offer a perspective through which “citizens” can begin to perceive postcolonial, neopatriarchal violence. In doing so, these “others” inspire the disruption of dividing lines. Together activists and border-crossers teach how to resist passivity and produce el mundo zurdo, lateral or “left-handed” knowledge/understanding/conocimiento. Translinguistic and transcultural artivism shows the exclusion of diasporic migrant subjects, atravesados, oppressed women, and rebels from the still-patriarchal nation-state formation, but at the same time this artivism is a tool to make visible the invisible: the illegals, the violated, the multitudes on the move, the new European fronterizos, or “clandestines,” in Italy bring attention to the politics and poetics of borders.”

excerpt of the article Medi-terranean Borderization, by Paola Zaccaria, in Signs, Vol. 37, No. 1 (Autumn 2011), pp. 10-18

┐ Heath Bunting, artivist or anartist? └

A1003_a_terrorist_invert copy© Heath Bunting, Map Of Terrorism, strategic response to state terror funded by Tate, London, United Kingdom, 2008. to properly see the map click here

“It is unclear to many people exactly what terrorism is and which activities are now unsafe in the United Kingdom (UK) in terms of getting into trouble with the police. Making a map is often a prelude to colonisation and control. I have recently been under investigation and detention by the UK police for terrorism related offences. This case was fabricated by the Sussex police force, probably an attempt to frighten and probe me. My response to this, instead of seeking public sympathy and support, was to consolidate my existing links with national cultural institutions. Hence my proposal to make this map of terrorism, in context of an invitation for a new commission for Tate. This strategy resulted in me still being under state surveillance, but no longer facing Her Majesty’s (HM) detention.

My intention for this map was to find the borderline between ‘the everyday’, embodied by ‘the high street’ and the global terror fantastic. If goods and services are extended to people globally, we can expect feedback in return. If these goods and services are marketed by force, as for example in Iraq, then we can expect a violent customer returns. Important words to consider for mapping terrorism and the market are both reach and crossover. I have been thinking that perhaps our asymmetric reach has extended too far and that the crossover of unequal cultures has gone too deep. Only the criminally ignorant can act surprised when second generation immigrants become upset when their adopted national state starts to illegally bomb their grandparents back home. Perhaps terrorism has always been a violent response to inappropriate intimacy, similar to bullying.”

04_raquel-sign19_heath_hogge© Heath Bunting in collaboration with Kayle Brandon, mosaic surface squad maneuve (bellow), wall climb with sign suspension (above) Tour D’fence, hands and feet on tour of Bristol’s finest fences funded by None, None, None, 2002. More here

tour de fence acknowledges fence as metaphor for private property. fence as a supposedly temporary, often mobile barrier performing functions of inclusion and exclusion, entrapment and guided freedom, decoration, safety, user boundary, protection from hazard, flow control, visual screening and user separation.

fence is a permeable filter system defining permitted use and users. light, wind, insects, water, plants and sound pass unhindered while high order life forms such as ·humans, fish, cattle and cars are engaged:

development of fence.

up to now the vertical has generally been private while the horizontal public. increasingly, vertical fences are being rotated to the horizontal and enlarged over large areas of land, as all use and users are embraced in total control.

tour de fence recognises the transformation of framed freedom into restricted open-range roaming; the re-alignment of unknown possibilities into known repeatables. users are permitted to skate across flattened surface of fence, but not to pass through – the fence is everywhere.”

vahida_ramujkic_rio_chanca06vez_es_pt© Heath Bunting, BorderXing between Portugal (Mina de Sao Domingos) and Spain (Paymogo), Monday 25 June 2007, Borderxing Guide, make your own border check point funded by Tate/ Mudam, London/ Luxembourg, Uk/ Luxembourg, 2001-2011. Heath’s major project can be seen here

“Heath Bunting’s BorderXing Guide Web site primarily consists of documentation of walks that traverse national boundaries, without interruption from customs, immigration, or border police. The work comments on the way in which movement between borders is restricted by governments and associated bureaucracies.”

“Half way between Alcoutim and Mértola on the east bank of the river where the Guadiana turns inland towards the northwest and so ceases to be the border between Spain and Portugal is the very small village of Pomarão which in 1858 became a busy port as a result of a British company starting a mine at São Domingos 15 km to the north. Mining of gold, silver and copper had taken place in this area since Roman times, and with the advent of more modern machinery, between 1885 and 1966, 25 million tons of copper ore were excavated from this area. The ore was transported by a railway line from the mine to Pomarão where it was loaded onto ships and taken approximately 45 kilometres down the river and out to sea to various destinations for processing. Maps of the Guadiana made prior to 1885 show a ford between Alcoutim and Sanlúcar, the builders of this ford are not known, it could have been built by the Romans, the Visigoths or the Moors. It would have been built by filling barges with stone and sinking them in a long line across the river. With a maximum tidal range of around three meters it may have only been passable at low water on foot, but it would have been too shallow for ships laden with copper ore to pass over safely even at high water, it is therefore assumed that it was removed to allow their safe passage. There is no record of this, but remains of the ford extending from Alcoutim about 30 metres across the river are clearly still there.”

┐ Julius von Bismarck, what the fuck am I doing └

draw-1_detail© Julius von Bismarck, sketch for The Image Fulgurator machine, first version.

A camera device that projects images instead of capturing them. To understand how it works watch the video bellow.

6076488445_aaa71410d4_z© Julius von Bismarck & Santiago Sierra, as part of The No Project. more about the no projection here

1© Julius von Bismarck, from the project Punishment I, 2011/12 (above and bellow)6

some_pigeons_are_more_equal_than_other_Charrière_Bismarck9© Julius von Bismarck, in collaboration with Julian Charrière, Some Pigeons are more equals than others, Copenhagen, 2012 (above and bellow)

pigeon_safari_01pigeons© Julius von Bismarck, in collaboration with Julian Charrière, Some Pigeons are more equals than others, Copenhagen, 2012

“The project is about dyeing 35 pigeons in the city of Copenhagen. A ‘pigeon apparatus‘ was built with this purpose. The machine works as a bird trap with a conveyor-belt mechanism. Once inside the machine the pigeons get automatically airbrushed in different colors.”

Bismarck’s website here