Sociology Gold: The sociology research of Goldsmiths, University of London

Experimental Politics and the Making of Worlds (2013)

Anja Kanngieser

Creative strategies have been central to global social movements. From the theatrics of the 1999 Seattle protests, to the rebel clowns at the 2005 G8 summit in Gleneagles and the antics of the Yes Men, the crossovers between art and politics have increasingly become more visible and prolific. This book explores an innovative form of creative and communicative politics: the ‘performative encounter’, as a strategy for facilitating new ways of being, relating and making worlds. Unlike existing scholarship that frames such encounters in artistic or cultural terms, this book analyzes performative encounters through an organizational lens to accentuate their social-political potential, engaging a wealth of material from autonomist philosophy, political science, performance studies, geography and social movement texts. 

Intertwining conceptual and ethnographic research, it uniquely maps out one narrative of the encounter, tracing a line through the twentieth century from the Berlin Dadaists, to the Situationist International, to several contemporary German collectives and campaigns, showing how performative encounters intervene in global and local issues such as the privatization of public space and resources, human mobility and the corporatization of education.

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