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.
’This is an important book. It is important because it provides a persuasive argument for the ongoing creativity and pleasure involved in the continual transformation of the world through productive, performative encounters. We’re so often reminded of the invincibility of capitalism and the inevitability of the way things are. What this book brilliantly shows is that the way things are is already better than you might think thanks to a multitude of encounters in realms of politics, education, work and leisure that are already doing things differently and, importantly, with pleasure. In the era of the Arab Spring and Occupy, Kanngieser provides a timely reminder of the political potential and actuality of doing things otherwise. What could be more important than that?’ Tim Cresswell, Northeastern University, USA ’Beware! This book is not just another orderly, academic, art historical domestication of radical political practices. Not only does it represent some of the most current performative encounters as molecules of radical transformation, it becomes itself a component of inventing a new composition of art and revolutionary machines.’ Gerald Raunig, Zurich University for the Arts, Switzerland