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Datacide Sixteen Editorial

May 1st, 2017

A short time after our last issue came out, the British population decided in a referendum to follow the lead of a section of ultra-reactionaries on the right wing of the Conservative Party and UKIP to leave the European Union. In prominent discourse, this development was attributed to some kind of working class revolt. Although there had been a call from sections of the left for a ‘Lexit’ (left exit), this wasn’t essentially an issue of the working class. Rather, it was undoubtedly put into motion by a conflict within the establishment, caused essentially by the fallout of the economic crisis and by their failing strategies to deal with it. Mainstream media – such as the Daily Mail and the Express (both famous for their relentless far right propaganda over the decades, which included support for Hitler in the 30s by the Mail) – managed to whip up xenophobia and managed to mobilise their constituency.

A similar mechanism seemed to be at work when Donald Trump was elected president in the United States. Much of the political class was gobsmacked, but the wanna-be stormtroopers on both sides of the atlantic felt empowered enough to let loose their pent up desire to commit hate crimes. Undoubtedly there is a rise of the far right, but in some ways it could be a golden opportunity for the left, if it is able to organise the resistance against it.

The leaders of the right – from Trump to Putin and Erdogan to Farage – all outwardly suffer extreme narcissistic personality defects and certainly lack any ability to solve even the most basic problems of the economic crisis, except when it comes to pushing aside opposition and profiting politically or even economically from the mess. What is happening isn’t fascism yet, but the tendency towards an authoritarian rule by decree. This is supported by those who used to be known as neo-Nazis, rebranded themselves as the ‘New Right’ in the late 60s, and more recently as the ‘Alt Right’. Many of these are people who hope to draw political capital from this climate. Since the 70s, the ‘New Right’ has been chiseling away at the gains the left had made in that period and has tried to create a discourse-hegemony promoting its racist ‘values’ and pseudo-science. Connected to this is the right’s ongoing fight to control women’s bodies, which makes these authoritarian movements comparable to Islamism, which, ironically, they claim to be fighting.

They are constantly decrying the supposed domination of the media by ‘liberals’, when a platform like Breitbart, which serves as a mouthpiece for the Alt Right, was living off mainstream advertising revenue. This included BMW, Lufthansa, T-Mobile, Visa, Zalando, and even Greenpeace and Oxfam – who all may or may not have known that their ads were featured via Google DoubleClick on the site. Whatever may be the case, the result was that the site appeared legit in a mainstream way.

Countering the apparent momentum of the right, there have been massive mobilisations and popular resistance. But it needs more for the left to come out of its crisis. Much of the traditional left is divided between bickering sects and outdated concepts, and even more so by the focus on identity politics, single issue campaigns, or, worse, the appeasement towards Islamism and other reactionary forces. There is also a widespread inability to see a perspective outside of the narrow perception of what the ‘left’ is. This manifests itself in the return of some left-Keynesian concepts, which are already seen as radical because they move away from the neo-liberal consensus, but they don’t abandon the terrain of capitalism, offering a different way of saving the system instead. A truly radical perspective would have to look beyond a world of commodity production, money and nation states.

One aspect that might well contribute to this weakness may be the fact that the precarisation that most of us are increasingly subjected to manifests itself not only in the conditions of labour, but also by the fact that millions voluntarily donate hours of unpaid work every day to companies like Facebook whose value depends on the participation of as many people as possible. If we add this un-activity to the work day, then little time and energy are left for actual organisation and struggles. We hope with our efforts with this magazine to contribute to meaningful discussions about how to counteract these developments.

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Support Datacide – but how?

April 25th, 2017

Datacide is a radical magazine covering the overlapping areas of countercultural noise & beats and (anti-) politics, critical theory, and post-situationist practice. The things that matter right now.
We have been around for a while. The first issue came out in spring 1997. It didn’t come out very often, but in recent years activities have picked up. In 2015 we published a complete collection of our first 10 issues, a big tome of 364 pages in A4 format and a massive word count, bringing together a unique compendium of the countercultures associated with hard electronic dance music.
This week the fourth printing came back from the printers.

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This year we step up the publication of the magazine to twice a year, with 68-76 pages and a colour cover each time. Since 2015 the magazine is amended with the publication of a yearly ‘Almanac for Noise & Politics’ in a pocket book format of 104 pages.
We are also planning several book releases, covering datacide issues in depth.
Luckily printing technology has developed in recent years to a point where it is possible to print small runs for relatively little money, giving a lot of flexibility to small publishers, including those with a radical or subversive agenda.
But digital technology not only made a number of things easier in the production process (such as printing small runs cheaper), it also has changed the ways how people interact with cultural production. This has thrown media outlets from the smallest size to the size of corporations into turmoil and putting many out of business.
Datacide is one of the tiny ones, but even we are not operating on an economically sustainable level. But we firmly believe that what we do is of crucial importance. For this reason we want/need to call on our readers to support these activities:

You can subscribe to datacide by sending EUR 15.00 (or more) to us for a subscription of 3 issues. Please state which issue you want your subscription to start with. You can include back issues in the subscription, issues 11-15 are currently available.

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You can donate money via paypal to info(at)datacide-magazine(dot)com
If you don’t have or don’t like to use paypal, write to the same address and find out about other options.

You can advertise in datacide. If you have anything to sell or to promote, consider putting an ad in the next print edition. Write for our very reasonable rates.
Attention record labels or book publishers: We usually will accept records or books as payment!
Attention zines: we are interested in ad swaps!

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Got records, books, anything of interest you don’t want anymore?If you think you have something for us, let us know.

We set up an ebay account of which all proceeds go towards making the next issue – and more – happen!

Last but not least get your records, books and coffee from Praxis Records & Books!

Datacide can not exist without the solidarity and support of its readers!

 

Die Menschenhauttrommel (The Human Skin Drum, 1988)

April 24th, 2017

Die Menschenhauttrommel (The Human Skin Drum) was first published in Flash Team Report (Vision 18) and reprinted in the Almanac for Noise & Politics 2016 as a companion piece to the article about the Vision label and to show a connection to the present, namely the release of ‘Skin Craft’ – RIND & NOL, works by Alex Buess and Daniel Buess on Praxis in 2016.

Interview with Osha Neumann: Up Against the Wall Motherfucker and the 60s Counterculture

April 1st, 2017


Osha Neumann, son of Franz Neumann and stepson of Herbert Marcuse, member of the Motherfuckers; lawyer, artist, and author of the book Up Against the Wall Motherf**ker. A Memoir of the ‘60s, with Notes for Next Time. Interviewed by Adrian Mengay and Maike Pricelius in 2010, first published in datacide fifteen in 2016.

AM: In the 1960s you were a member of a radical political group called “Up against the Wall Motherfuckers” based in New York City. Could you explain what the Motherfuckers were?

ON: The Motherfuckers were a small group that formed on the Lower East Side in 1967. The Lower East Side of New York was a predominantly Puerto Rican ghetto at this point. It had been the entranceway for immigrants for many, many years. It had been a Jewish ghetto before the Puerto Ricans moved in. We have been called many things. Some people called us ‘a street gang with an analysis’. Ben Morea, who was one of the key figures, was identified as an anarchist. Others of us did not particularly identify either as anarchists or as Marxists or in any of the traditional political categories. We considered our base to be what the media called hippies – dropouts, freaks, countercultural youth who swarmed into this ghetto around the time when we were forming. It had been a place where the beatniks had been before the hippies, and then the punks came afterwards. It had cheap, cheap rents. There were squatters mixed in with the Puerto Rican population. At that point our base was, as I say, these hippies primarily, although attached to us at various times were groups of young Puerto Ricans, who would come to our events and our demonstrations.

AM: How was life in the Lower East Side? And what exactly did you do as Motherfuckers aside from organizing demonstrations?

ON: We lived largely communally, in crash pads or houses we had. We put on free nights, we gave out free food, we had feasts, we had a free store where people could come and give away things for free, and various other institutions. We published lots of – at that point – mimeographed flyers and then some pages in an underground newspaper that was published in the Lower East Side. After only a couple of years, actually, the situation began to change, both internally and externally, and the Lower East Side, the counterculture, although subject to the stresses of survival and repression from the police, had been still more or less free and joyous. But it got a harder edge. The drugs changed from pretty good acid to heroin, crack and speed. Gangs moved in – biker gangs – to contest with us for the turf, and also our rhetoric changed.

MP: How was the interaction between the Motherfuckers, the black community, and the Puerto Rican community on the Lower East Side? [Read more →]

Pigeon

March 29th, 2017

The jungle foliage became a mist of green, the sandy floor a streak of brick red. Jamaal’s bare feet kicked up a cloud of dust as he tore down the road. There wasn’t a pigeon in the nest faster than him, but today he was late. He checked the timer on his wrist, he had thirty minutes. It was the short cut through the Itinerant Terminal, or he could kiss his legs goodbye.

Tarpaulins flapped on top of makeshift dwellings formed from planks of wood and pieces of corrugated iron; kids dressed in rags batted a hover ball back and forth with glow gloves that had seen better days. A group of ten IT’s huddled round an old laptop while two women peddled hard on a static cycle power conversion system. Jamaal ran onwards, these were not his people. He looked at outsiders partly through jealous eyes with their liberty to roam, but more than not with a sense of sadness. Yes, they might be free but they were generally hungry, homeless, and susceptible to the elements: vicious sand storms that rose from the West and acid rain that rolled down off the Eastern mountains.

The Terminal disappeared behind him and the path narrowed as it snaked round the side of a steep hill. At the top of the bend stood Shila, a thin girl, one of her front teeth missing and a look of mischief on her face. She was dressed in clothes made from rubbish, the faded logos of long since dead multinationals printed across dirty white straw.

“Where are you going all in a hurry, eh?” she asked.

“I don’t speak to Termites?” he replied.

Shila stretched out a finger and pushed it into his port. A flap of skin that shielded a socket mounted on his stomach. He slapped her hand away.

“Do you even know what message you’re carrying?”

“It’s not for you,” he told her.

“You don’t know what it is, do you?”
[Read more →]

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