Zero Squared #71: Towards a Conceptual Militancy

This week’s podcast is a recording of Mike Watson’s talk with Mark McGowan (AKA the Artist Taxi Driver) at the Open School East. Mike Watson is an art theorist and curator based in Italy and he writes regularly for Frieze, Art Review and Radical Philosophy. His book, Towards a Conceptual Militancy, is currently out from Zero Books.

Zero Books will be rolling out a membership site towards the end of this month. Members will get access to members only podcasts, online workshops with our authors, and audiobooks. To find out more follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or check out Zero Books blog at zero-books.net.

Also, Zero Books authors will be reading in libraries this summer in an effort to promote summer reading as a time for thinking as well as thrillers, celebrity gossip, and beaches. And if you enjoy Zero Books you might recommend us to your local librarian. Let your library know about us, our website, our monthly newsletter announcing new titles, and urge them to include our books in their collection.

The music in this episode includes what the Swingles performing Bach’s Fugue n.5 in D Major as well as Crosley Bendix at Jamcon ’84.

Zero Squared #69: Blueprints for Revolution?

Our Cairo correspondent and Zero Books Reader C Derick Varn is the guest this week as we follow up on an episode of the Alpha to Omega podcast with a conversation about overcoming capitalism. In the Alpha to Omega podcast there was, what I consider to be, a failure of communication as Varn tried to explain how Capitalist logic sneaks into even the most utopian of projects.

In this episode you’ll hear an excerpt from a Rocketbloom youtube video entitled “Ontological Paradox,” a computer reading an email from Andrew Kliman, computer generated dubstep, Will Durant reading “The Philosophy of Nietzsche,” Maynard Ferguson and Bill Chase’s rendition of the theme for the 50s television show The Adventurs of Superman, and Maze Rockwell’s synthesizer cover of the Willy Wonka classic “Pure Imagination.”

Zero Squared #30: Participation or Revolution

Margaret Kimberley has been an editor and Senior Columnist of Black Agenda Report since its inception in 2006. Her work has also appeared on sites such as Alternet and Counterpunch and in publications such as The Dallas Morning News and The Chicago Defender. She is a regular guest on radio talk shows and has appeared on Al Jazeera English, Russia Today, the Real News Network and GRITtv, and this week she’s on Zero Squared to discuss two seemingly separate subjects. First we talk about the Greek economic crisis and then we cover a small incident at the Netroots conference involving leaders from the Black Lives Matter movement and US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. On this topic Bruce Dixon, the managing editor at the Black Agenda Report, wrote:

All in all, the NetRootsNation confrontation wasn’t the stirring of black women activists “taking their rightful place at the front of the progressive movement,” as one breathless tweet called it. It didn’t tell us anything we didn’t know about O’Malley or Sanders, or about hypocritical Hillary.

It was about flying the #BlackLivesMatter flag to jockey for positions inside the machinery that is the Democratic party and its affiliates.

In this episode you’ll hear a clip from Rick and Morty, the music of Negativland from their album Negativland, a clip from an interview with Michael Nevradakis at the Real News network, Blonde Redhead’s For the Damaged Coda, Mazzy Star’s Look On Down From the Bridge, Bernie Sanders as he’s interrupted by Black Lives Matters, and another Negativland song called Booper Symphony.

Zero Squared #13: Heavy Radicals

Aaron Leonard is the guest this week and we discuss his book Heavy Radicals which was published by Zero Books in February. With the subtile: The FBI’s Secret War on America’s Maoists, Aaron Leonard’s book covers Maoism in America from the 60s through to 1980.

Sarah Khan at the Washington Book Review praised the book.

“Heavy Radicals is an excellent addition to the literature on the history of revolutionary groups which played important roles in the 1960s and 1970s. It is the first comprehensive and complete history of … the Revolutionary Union. It is a well-researched book which fills the gap created by the absence of historical literature on an important period in the history of the United States.”

In this episode you’ll hear a clips from Bob Avakian, the American propaganda film “What is Communism,” the 1963 instrumental hit Pipeline by the Chantays, Mario Savio at Sproul Hall in 1964, Andrew Kliman, a String Quartet cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” and the aria “I am the wife of Mao Tse-Tung” from John Adam’s opera Nixon in China as well as John Adams’ “The Chairman Dances.”