I guess about a week and a half ago, John Zerzan mentioned me on his radio show Anarchy Radio, which you can listen to online. I was a bit nervous about what he would say, when a friend told me he’d brought up my article Anarchism Versus Civilization, because he’s had some unfriendly words to say about the whole post-civilization thing in the past. He seems to be mostly favorable of the piece, and takes to task several of the commenters who critiqued my article who hadn’t really read it. This pleases me, because while I disagree with most of Zerzan’s conclusions and ideology, I find his critique to be very useful… and it seems like he returning that favor.
I’m going to cross-post from postcivilized.net for a little while, I hope you forgive me. This version will be more image heavy though.
Last week I had the privilege to witness (and photograph) the first sailing of The Silakka (silakka is Finnish for “baltic herring”), a boat built almost entirely from scavenged materials. Only the rope and some of the screws and bolts were purchased. The pontoons are made from empty drums, the platform is woven with firehouses. The frame is scrap metal and wood, the mast and sail are secondhand. And of course, it’s powered by the wind. They aim to prove it seaworthy this summer (though I believe their plans are sea-, not ocean-, worthy).
These same people built a river raft entirely out of debris in the past, in Lithuania. They collected empty plastic bottles into wooden crates to provide buoyancy. And that journey was photographed by an intensely capable artist.
Lest you think that they are doing this purely for fun, the Silakka’s mission statement will clear everything up for you in a rather surrealist way:
Unreasonably cheap energy is running out, climate conditions are changing radically, paradoxical economy of constant growth will bankrupt itself, governmental fascism will be declared, racial breeding is practiced to embryos, genetic manipulation will get out of hand, Coup d´état of racistic red necks will happen in the name of revolution, the language loses its meaning, virtual schizophrenia is getting pandemic among the Internet users, obsessed disciples of Tony Robins will get at each other´s throats in the search of lost childhood, fourth world war is waiting at the gates, psychedelic-communistic revolution will fly in the ring like a freshly whiten towel in a heavy weight boxing match while the master is beating the breath out of his competition, heavenly escalator is transporting Jesus down in between the supermarkets while aliens will return to planet earth to complete their work of creation, dystopies and utopies will shake hands, up and down will change the place, emerged birds will withdraw back to the shells. Shit is about to hit the fan, even though a good life needs just bearable conditions and a hand full of material mixed with a drop of good will. We are living strange times – are we? But why?
At the moment we are building a wind powered rescue boat out of waste that our contemporary lifestyle is producing. During the summer 2010 we will sail to Baltic sea and archipelago, far from rectangular conventions and dusty tasting logic of the mainland, to rescue some leftovers of endangered wisdom we are still able to rescue. Maybe we will find some time to think, maybe we will discover something that won´t leave us anything else to think about.
The rest of my pictures from the day below, of raising the mast and sails, and of the ungodly beautiful sky that crept up on us that evening.
Continue reading The Silakka – a sailboat built of scavenged parts
I’m crossposting this from Postcivilized.net, a site which is now up and running. Mostly, it features various articles related to post-civilization theory, but it will also include bits related to a sort of post-civilized culture, like the following:
I ran across this today: Route Couture. (site is in Finnish, but there are two galleries of images: fashion photos and art photos. There is also an artist statement in English elsewhere.) Some Finnish radical fashion designers have created “high fashion” clothing out of roadkill. According to google translate, and confirmed by my Finnish friend sitting next to me:
The group seeks to comment on the works for the fashion industry, a market economy and human-animal relationship.
What? There’s a bizarre anarchist magazine that you can buy in comic book shops that talks about guerilla gardening and the end of the world? With a homoerotic cover?
Indeed there is! Dodgem Logic is a counterculture magazine produced by Alan Moore, and I’m proud as hell to be a columnist. Of course, owing to the time lag, of an ocean and lacking a fixed address, I haven’t actually even seen issue #3 yet, but #4 is out already! Free shipping in the UK, what’s more.
(click on pictures for larger versions)
I’ve spent most of the past two weeks or so at a Wagenplatz (link is to a google-translated German wikipedia article) in Mainz. A Wagenplatz, in short, is a squatted trailer part. They’ve got them all over germany, and the two I’ve stayed at thus far are really amazing places. (I’m waiting on permission to publish photos of a different one). This one is behind Haus Mainusch, a venue/socialcenter here.
People here chop firewood, play music, cook communal meals for the residents and at a vokü (people’s kitchen), and drive a tractor to move the wagons or pick up trash to re-purpose. Rent is almost nothing, and large decisions are communal but everyone seems to have a great deal of autonomy.
At looking at these photos, they seem to be mostly of one of my friends being domestic: picking salad from the garden, cleaning, and cooking. I also continue with my strange interest in photographing bathrooms: the red trailer with two doors is the toilet trailer. The photo after it, of the graffiti, is actually of the wall of the garage where shows happen, not of the bathroom wall.
In the panorama, note the awesome pirate fort in the center.
The third issue of Dodgem Logic is almost out (I think it comes out tomorrow, but I’m not sure), and this one features an essay I’ve done about scavenger economics.
here’s the press release:
DODGEM LOGIC: THEY SAY THINGS HAPPEN IN THREES…
With only its third issue just about to be released, Alan Moore’s mystifying neo-underground magazine Dodgem Logic has evidently forced a General Election, brought a government to its knees and secured the release of Twin Peaks Season Two on DVD. Those are the kind of results you can’t argue with and which completely justify hiking our cover price to £3.50, even without our generous increase in size to eighty ad-free pages of wall-to-wall solid content in spectacular full colour.
With a beautiful but nightmarish wraparound cover provided by its increasingly unfathomable founder and this issue’s free gift of a tantalising iron-on T-shirt transfer both delineated and designed by the sublime Melinda Gebbie, Dodgem Logic #3 is our most sumptuous and substantial offering yet. We’ve got more bubblegum-card bios in our series of Historic Hipsters, we’ve got rowdy rationalist Robin Ince exploring the futility of trying to reason with mouthy reactionaries and a genius examination of town planning and its various iniquities by urban spaceman Gary Mills. Britain’s foremost self-defacing comedy darling Josie Long provides some excellent advice, but only if you’re her about ten years ago, while hilltop hierophant Steve Moore serves up a comprehensive absinthe-scented guide to the degenerates, dandies and demi-gods collectively known as the Decadents.
Fulfilling Dodgem Logic’s remit of unhelpful crazy talk, Alan Moore offers a straightforward user’s guide on how to practice hellish sorcery in your own living room, and frowning boy-king Steve Aylett’s sobering Johnny Viable concludes with a display of octopi and flirting Chinese warlords that maybe, just maybe, shows us how to love again. Melinda Gebbie takes us on the first leg of a two-part tour through the delinquent dreamtime of Beat-era San Francisco, the immensely civil but post-civilised Margaret Killjoy walks us through her blueprint for a scavenger economy, and self-sufficient-ish Dave Hamilton sows some genetically modified seeds of discontent. The awestruck reader will discover flavoursome yet frugal recipes, advanced guerrilla gardening gambits and a first-time voter’s unimpressed appraisal of the democratic process. There are trackside chats and snaps from the electrified-rail frontline of graffiti, diatribes from doctors, a cacophony of columnists, the esoteric etchings and embellishments of cryptic Kevin O’Neill or the mighty Savage Pencil, and instructions for the manufacture of those Joy Division oven-gloves you’ve dreamed of.
Currently funding much-needed school holiday crèche facilities in the mistreated but majestic district that it hails from, Dodgem Logic once again delivers on the promises it never made you in the first place, a refreshing contrast to what you’ll be getting elsewhere during this election period. We know that if our preternatural publication were a little human boy and not a magazine made out of paper, you’d appoint him to rule wisely over you in preference to all the flimsier and less coherent options on display. Frankly, thanks to you, we’re looking at a landslide moral victory.
Dodgem Logic ~ the incompetent paranoid despot of people’s hearts.
I haven’t gotten to see it yet (combine international shipping with my itinerant nature), but Dodgem Logic #2 is out now. Dodgem Logic is Alan Moore’s current brainchild, essentially a 60s counterculture magazine for the modern era (replete with strange illustrations of naked people, and advice about how to overthrow the government!). This second issue features an introduction to post-civilization that I wrote, expounding on the Post-Civ zine that Strangers In A Tangled Wilderness put out.
After the appreciative reception afforded to its premier edition, lauded throughout the gutters of the world, the second issue of Alan Moore’s mystifying new underground publication DODGEM LOGIC is available in early February. Delivering 52 pages of full-colour solid content thanks to its flinty-eyed Puritan policy of no advertisements, all for a frankly laughable £2.50, this plucky bi-monthly periodical is stuffed to the gills with wisdom and wonderment.
Behind a choice of three, count ’em, three luscious variant exteriors we have this issue’s cover feature, a sexy yet somehow sinister Burlesque photo spread from internationally acclaimed maestro Mitch Jenkins with an accompanying article on Burlesque past, present and future by our exotica expert, Melinda Gebbie. Former Steampunk supervisor Margaret Killjoy offers a pertinent and practical guide on ways to usefully pass our time before and after the collapse of civilisation, while Fortean Times godfather Steve Moore delivers a surreal survey of Northamptonshire’s bizarre phenomena, from phantom panthers to confused old men in treetops.
In addition to these delicacies, DODGEM LOGIC’s regular contributors continue to work their magic, with the exception of Josie Long who had a flimsy excuse and will be back next issue. Dave Hamilton’s environmental Eco Chamber column looks at the more worrying side of social network groups, while teenage mum Tink takes over our women’s page this time DL_covers_alt:Layout 1 around with an account of life on the disintegrating edge of England’s social services. Guerrilla gardener Claire Ashby dishes out another instructive communiqué from the urban undergrowth, spooky seamstress Tamsyn Paine knocks up an exploitative freak-show sock puppet, the magazine’s Spinning Doctors dispense more healthcare advice, winsome Wendi Jarrett cooks us a Valentine feast while M.C. Illuzion ruins our appetite for it with a discourse on Mechanically Recovered Meat. Meanwhile graffiti goddess Queen Calluz introduces us to three more Great Hipsters in History. Deities of delineation Savage Pencil and Kevin O’Neil continue to enthral, bewilder and unsettle with their subversive scrawls, while the unearthly Steve Aylett poaches the collective mind of the readership in tears of despair with his obscurely terrifying comic strip adventure, Johnny Viable. Then there’s the insurrectionary ranting and refined musical appreciation of eight-page local insert section, Notes from Noho, with the whole enterprise rounded out by Alan Moore’s illuminating dissertation on the history, difficulties and numerous delights of anarchy.
DL_covers_alt:Layout 1 Extending the ingratiating policy of quaintly and nostalgically including a free gift with every issue, and replacing the astonishing free CD of our debut, DODGEM LOGIC’s unkempt figurehead and founder also contributes a questionable eight-page mini-comic, Astounding Weird Penises, being the only solo comic book that he has managed to create in his otherwise lazy thirty year career.
With only one issue beneath its belt, DODGEM LOGIC has already managed to supply each of the sheltered-housing tenants of the area in which it had its origins with a halfway decent Christmas hamper, and is currently sponsoring its own top-rate basketball team from the same neighbourhood. If future issues do as well, the magazine hopes to extend its various activities across the district and then, ultimately, to construct an orbiting missile platform and demand all the Earth’s uranium.
DODGEM LOGIC ~ chuckling and stroking a white cat for a better tomorrow.
Also, comic book author Alan Moore mentioned me in a recent interview with Wired:
We’ve got an excellent article coming up in the second issue by Magpie, Margaret Killjoy, who was formerly an editor for the excellent Steampunk Magazine. She also helped bring out The Steampunk’s Guide to the Apocalypse, which was very useful. It included, and I think she designed it herself, a design for a desalination unit based upon a completely new principle, which was effective and easy to put together.
She’s moved on from that to the post-civilization movement, which is arguing that increasingly it is not becoming a matter of if civilization breaks down, it’s becoming a matter of when civilization breaks. She’s saying that when that happens, we’re probably going to have to do a lot of work to get things going again. She suggests that perhaps it will be a good idea to start doing this work before civilization has broken down, so that we still have some resources [laughs]!
I didn’t actually design the desalination unit, though… can’t take credit for that.
Well, the first issue of Dodgem Logic is out, the new “underground magazine” published by Alan Moore. It’s an attempt to bring elements of the ’60s counter-culture into the current era, I believe, and I’m pretty excited to get my hands on it. The second issue will feature an article I’ve written expounding upon post-civilized theory.
Earlier on Birds Before The Storm, I posted about Big Dog, a military-friendly quadruped robot that is kind of frightening. But fortunately, our attention has been brought to Lrry-1, the video of which appears above, by the boulevardier: (from our comments)
we have our own robodog too! and it is bigger and scarier than theirs and made entirely of scrap metal… i wasn’t savy to mutoid waste until kanye west (of all people) introduced me to this video and they are fucking rad! They were organizing illegal parties in the 80’s, fleeing from police raids in the 90’s and now are building giant monsters, i sort of have a crush going!
So yeah, this is where it’s at. Scrap-metal DIY monsters that spit fire, ridden by mohawked mad scientists, and in real life. Yes.
Lrry-1 is the product of Lyle of the Mutoid Waste Company. A bit more information about them is available on their wikipedia entry and through a documentary on youtube. Other videos of Lrry (including LRRY2 or possibly 4!) are available on youtube as well: 1, 2.