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… as sure as the rain

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Back in 2012, Anna and I travelled to Oaxaca with our friend Nick Stewart, an artist and regular co-conspirator from my London days. We had in mind to make a film together that would centre on my conversations with Gustavo Esteva – the activist, ‘deprofessionalised intellectual’, friend of Ivan Illich, political advisor to the Zapatistas and founder of the Universidad de la...

Convivial Tools: The Design Museum, London, 13 October

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During the next several years I intend to work on an epilogue to the industrial age… With these words, Ivan Illich opens Tools for Conviviality (1973), one of the series of short books written at the height of his fame. This month, the Design Museum in London are hosting a day-long symposium to explore the possibilities for Convivial Tools today. There’s a great line-up – and I was...

The Grounds for Hope, FSCONS 2017, Oslo

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In the English language, we speak about hope in a way that suggests foundations, the starting point for whatever you are going to build. I want to say that there are two stories about hope going around. You can choose which of these to build on – and that choice has implications, for what you build, and maybe for the kind of world we end up in…

The Fall of the Murdoch Wall

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The morning after the UK election of 2015, I posted a set of bleary-eyed thoughts under the title The Only Way is Down, and it became one of the most widely-read things I’ve ever written. Two years on, that title might have felt prophetic, but I had no intention of trying to write a follow-up. Still, the unexpected surge in support for Labour under Jeremy Corbyn prompted these reflections...

Upscaling, Training, Commoning: a collaborative PhD

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I still remember the night we were first brought together for dinner by a mutual friend and we laughed so much all night we said, we have to do this again tomorrow, and we did. That’s how we got tangled up with each other. It’s a strange experience to go to a friend’s PhD defence and hear them present words that I wrote. Together, Ana Džokić and Marc Neelen form the architecture...

Greenlightdistrict Art Festival, Porsgrunn

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A city navigating the transition from the old certainties of heavy industry to the promises of a post-industrial future. Out in the fjord, we passed a tanker with SHALE GAS FOR PROGRESS emblazoned on its side. The venue was a shiny new arts centre, the event a seminar to mark the opening of the Greenlightdistrict Art Festival. The welcome was warm and following the opening lecture from Ove...

We Love Holocene IV

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Well, here’s a thing. My friend Emelie Enlund is a choreographer who has taken the Dark Mountain manifesto as the starting point for a whole practice of ‘uncivilised dance’. We got to know each other when she was part of the Dark Mountain Workshop which I hosted at Riksteatern in 2015-16 – and now the latest phase of her project is on stage at Dansens Hus in Stockholm, under the...

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