----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
Hey everyone sorry for late reply … 

The transition between mycelium and performing acts within a network of 
activism is wonderful. For us at the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination, 
we try to break all separations, especially that between everyday life, 
activism and art and its for this reason we are inspired by mycelium and use it 
in our work to create tools of creative disobedience against capitalism and all 
those who profit from the economy of death, the logic that puts life after 
commodities, profit before people, algorithms infront of the living relations 
that we all share…

Mycelium teaches us like Deleuze, to begin alway in the middle, to see the 
world as relationship, not a network of things, not a web of objects, but a 
rich interdependent always changing, always situated complex system from which 
emerges the intelligence of life… 

We live at the moment on the zad, 4000 acres of land squatted against an 
airport and its world, in france, that despite winning against the airport is 
now being destroyed, because as David Graeber writes (in the preface to a 
recent book about the zad)  “ Over the past 40 years it become an imperative of 
global governance to destroy any sense of possible alternative futures and to 
stamp them out, or, when that's not possible, to make sure no one knows about 
them. The rulers don’t mind if people say, “I hate you, I want to overthrow 
you” nearly so much as they say “You guys are ridiculous and unnecessary.” 
That’s why they really fear places like the zad. For the rulers of the world, 
such visible alternatives shatter the sense of inevitability, that despite 
crisis after crisis, the system must, necessarily be patched together in the 
same form. It has become a kind of obsession to those that try to govern us, 
that those who challenge existing power arrangements can never, under any 
circumstances, be perceived to win..”
 Below is a chapter just written by us,  for the same book which comes out in 
 h writing about what the zad has given us, by Bruno Latour, David Graeber, 
Vandana Shiva, Starhawk, Kristin Ross etc.. )  which might be a good way of 
starting a conversation about these issues… 

FOR MORE INFO about the zad see this english language blog ZAD FOR EVER 
<https://zadforever.blog/> and a long read we wrote about the violence of the 
evictions these last few months THE REVENGE AGAINST THE COMMONS  
<https://zadforever.blog/2018/04/24/the-revenge-against-the-commons/> (also 
published on further field  

love and rage 


The police helicopter hovers above, its bone rattling clattering never seems to 
stop. At night its long godlike finger of light penetrates our cabins and farm 
houses. It has been so hard to sleep this last week. Even dreaming, it seems, 
is a crime on the zad. And that’s the point: these 4000 acres of autonomous 
territory, this zone to defend (zad), has existed despite the state and 
capitalism for nearly a decade and no government can allow such a place to 
flourish. All territories that are inhabited by people who bridge the gap 
between dream and action have to be crushed before their hope begins to spread. 
This is why France’s most largest police operation since May 1968, at a cost of 
400,000 euros a day, has been trying to evict us with its 2500 gendarmes, 
armoured vehicles (APCs), bulldozers, rubber bullets, drones, 200 cameras and 
11,000 tear gas and stun grenades fired since the operation began at 3.20am on 
the morning of the 9th of April 2018.

The state said that these would be “targeted evictions”, claiming that there 
were up to 80 ‘radical’ zadists that would be hunted down, and that the rest, 
the ‘good’ zadists, would have to legalise or face the same fate. The good 
zadist was a caricature of the gentle ‘neo rural farmer’ returning to the land, 
the bad, an ultra violent revolutionary, just there to make trouble. Of course 
this was a fantasy vision to feed the state’s primary strategy, to divide this 
diverse popular movement that has managed to defeat 3 different French 
governments and win France’s biggest political victory of a generation: 
l’abandon de l’aéroport de Notre-Dame-des-Landes.

The zad was initially set up as a protest against the building of a new airport 
for the city of Nantes, following a letter by residents distributed during a 
climate camp in 2009, which invited people to squat the land and buildings: 
‘because’ as they wrote ‘only an inhabited territory can be defended’. Over the 
years this territory earmarked for a mega infrastructure project, evolved into 
Europe’s largest laboratory of commoning. Before the French state started to 
bulldoze our homes, there were 70 different living spaces and 300 inhabitants 
nestled into this checkerboard landscape of forest, fields and wetlands. 
Alternative ways of living with each other, fellow species and the world are 
experimented with 24/7. From making our own bread to running a pirate radio 
station, planting herbal medicine gardens to making rebel camembert, a rap 
recording studio to a pasta production workshop, an artisanal brewery to two 
blacksmiths forges, a communal justice system to a ­library and even a full 
scale working lighthouse – the zad has become a new commune for the 21st 
century. Messy and bemusing, this beautifully imperfect utopia in resistance 
against an airport and its world has been supported by a radically diverse 
popular movement, bringing together tens of thousands of anarchists and 
farmers, unionists and naturalists, environmentalists and students, locals and 
revolutionaries of every flavour. But everything changed on the 17th of January 
2018, when the French prime minister appeared on TV to cancel the airport 
project and in the same breath say that the zad, the ‘outlaw zone’ would be 
evicted and law and order returned.

A true culture of resistance has evolved in parallel with the zad over the 
years. Not many people are psychologically or physically prepared to fight on 
the barricades, but thousands are ready to give material support in all its 
forms, from helping set up a medicinal herb garden to providing free 
acupuncture to activists, from donating old windows to build cabins with to 
teaching people how to forage mushrooms, donating free printing services for 
flyers to doing the plumbing for a new squat Sometimes a culture of resistance 
involves beautiful clandestine gestures of solidarity. After the February 2014 
anti-airport riots in Nantes, some municipal workers admitted to not putting 
too much mortar in-between the cobblestones they were setting back into place, 
‘just in case!’ they said.

Every successful movement, from the Suffragettes to the Abolition of Slavery, 
had a rich culture of resistance. Everyone as important as the other and just 
as heroic and as necessary as the fighters - as a banner on the zad said: 'Pas 
de barricadieres sans cuisiniers' ‘There are no women on the barricades without 
men in the kitchen’.

But a culture of resistance is not just material. It needs to provide emotional 
and affective support as well - and that can come through storytelling. We need 
stories that remind us that resistance is never futile, that we are part of a 
long history of struggle and that everything we take for granted in this world 
was won through disobedience. We need stories of shared life and 
interdependencies that counteract capitalism's stories that imagine life as a 
battlefield of ruthless competition. We need stories that emerge from the 
bodies of those of us living the struggles directly, rather than wait for 
academics and journalists to tell them for us from the comfort of their desks 
and the distant safety of history.

But a culture of resistance also means opening up to those who might be 
different, those that might not have the same revolutionary analysis as us, 
those who some put in their box named ‘reformist’, this is what building a 
composition is all about, it is how we weave a true ecology of struggle, and 
this ecology brought us to live on the zone.

We had heard the stories emerging from this place, stories that had resonances 
of many of the historical territorial struggles that had built the horizons 
towards which our movements aspired. Echoes of the Paris Commune of 1871, 
evocations of the zapatista caracoles of Chiapas. We also had rebel friends who 
lived here, but most importantly it was because it had the essential entwined 
strands of DNA of any Ecology of Struggle: the yes and the no. resistance and 
creation, fighting and building at the same time. We had seen so many 
alternatives that refused protest and politics, becoming new start ups, coopted 
by capitalism. We had suffered so many protest movements loose their 
desirableness, because they had no material examples of the future that they 
wanted. When the yes and the no come apart we lose our force, we lose what 
gives life to rebellion, and rebellion to life.

And now that the No against the airport has won, what happens without it, will 
we become a new green silicon valley ?Absolutely not. The way to refuse this, 
is to strengthen our links with other movements and to continue to transform 
this place into a powerful provider of a material base that nourishes (in every 
way) revolutionary movements. Without inhabiting a territory, if we are 
scattered again across the country, we are nothing. The zad was always against 
the airport and its world, we still have a world to win, and many worlds to 
resist and refuse. But we also want to stay here becauseof something very 
simple, we have fallen deeply in love. In love with the bocage, its stories and 
all its forms of life, both human and non.

The government wants the inhabitants of the zad to regularise themselves one by 
one, to enter into the framework of law and order . “Ecology is not Anarchy” 
the minister of ecological transition and solidarity, Nicola Hulot, declared to 
the press following one of the negotiations. An easy soundbite to underline 
this process of regularisation, this bureaucratic truncheon that falls upon us, 
that if we refuse will mean the entire zone will be destroyed by tanks and 
gendarmes. But the statement shows his ignorance of the history of ecological 
thinking, many of the first theoreticians were anarchists. Élisée Reclus, world 
famous geographer and poet, whose beautiful idea that humans are simply “nature 
becoming aware of herself,” fought on the barricades of the 1871 Paris Commune. 
19th century geographer Peter Kropotkin, spent many years in jail and exile for 
his politics, but was renowned in scientific circles as an early champion of 
the idea that evolution is not all a competitive war of “red tooth and claw” 
but instead involves a cooperation, what he termed Mutual Aid. From the 1950s 
onwards, US political philosopher Murray Bookchin (now best known for the 
influence he has on the Kurds to build a stateless form of Municipal 
Confederalism, taking place in the autonomous territory of Rojova – Northern 
Syria) brought ecology and anarchy together with his concept of Social Ecology. 
Humans dominate and destroy nature because we dominate ourselves. He claimed. 
To avert ecological collapse we had to get rid of all hierarchies – man over 
woman, old over young, white over black, rich over poor.

When we truly inhabit a place it becomes obvious that life has no control 
centre, no heirachy, no chiefs or bosses, no governments or presidents. Every 
form of life is a self organising form of commons – deeply connected and 
interdependent, always changing, always embedded and entangled – from the cells 
in your fingers to worms in your the garden, from the trees in the forest of 
Rohanne to the bacteria in your gut. As biologist and cultural theorist Andreas 
Weber says, all life forms “are continuously mediating relationships among each 
other – relationships that have a material side, but also always embody 
meaning, a sense of living and the notion of belonging to a place.” Every one 
of these relations follows one higher principle: only behaviour which allows 
for the productivity and diveristy of the entire ecosystem over the long term 
will survive. The more we observe the living world in all its complexity the 
more we are able to understand how to become commoners, how to truly inhabit 
and understand that the separation between the individual and the whole is a 

 <>To be really free is not to be an individual able to operate free from 
constraints, but to be tied to beneficial relationships with people and 
habitats, relationships that feed you materially and psychologically. Without a 
tie to your food – you starve, without the tie to lovers – you sadden. We are 
free because we are linked. Freedom is not breaking our chains but turning them 
into living roots and veins that connect, share, flow together and enable us to 
change and evolve in common. The struggle for the zad is not about bringing 
‘law and order’ back to the zone, but a battle between private property and 
those who share worlds, of capitalism against the commons. This is a battle for 
the future, one that we cannot loose.

> On 9 Jun 2018, at 10:41, Shu Lea Cheang <shu...@earthlink.net> wrote:
> dear all
> It seems like our week1 focus on Mycelium network is just heating up, i am 
> sure we will be coming back to reflect on mycelium's network nature...
> Now we enter  rehearsal of a network - [week 2], with a focus on networked 
> activism and performance.
> We are interested in reviewing a glory past/present/future with  update on 
> strategies of intervention including applications with social networks and 
> analogue tactics of 'body counts matter". 
> I introduce the very very special guests for this week2.
> with great respect.
> sl
> John Jordan (UK/France)
> Labelled a  "Domestic Extremist" by the police, and “a magician of rebellion” 
> by the press, John Jordan has spent the last 25 years merging art and 
> activism. Working in various settings from Museums to squatted social 
> centres, International Theatre Festivals to climate camps, he Co-founded 
> Reclaim the Streets and the Clown Army, Co-edited We Are Everywhere: the 
> irresistible rise of global anti-capitalism" (Verso), and co-wrote the 
> film/book Les Sentiers de l’Utopie (Editions Zones,2012). He now 
> co-facilitates the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination (Labofii), with 
> Isabelle Fremeaux. Infamous for fermenting mass disobedience on bicycles, 
> throwing snowballs at bankers, launching a rebel raft regatta to shut down a 
> power station, running workshops in postcapitalism and refusing to be 
> censored by the Tate Modern, the Labofii now lives on the autonomous zone of 
> la zad of Notre-dame-des-Landes, 'a territory lost to the republic,' 
> according to the French government. For more info about the zad see 
> www.zadforever.blog <http://www.zadforever.blog/> 
> Nitasha Dhillon (India/USA)
> Nitasha Dhillon is one of two artists who make up the MTL Collective, a 
> collaboration joining research and aesthetic, theory and practice, action and 
> organizing. With Amin Husain as MTL, they are co-founders of Tidal: Occupy 
> Theory, Occupy Strategy magazine, Global Ultra Luxury Faction (G.U.L.F.), the 
> direct action arm of Gulf Labor Artist Coalition, Strike Debt and Rolling 
> Jubilee, Direct Action Front for Palestine (DAFP), and most recently, as 
> MTL+, Decolonize This Place, a movement space and decolonial formation in New 
> York City that combine organizing, art, and action around five strands of 
> struggle: Indigenous Struggle, Black Liberation, Free Palestine, Global Wage 
> Worker, and De-Gentrification. Nitasha is currently a PhD candidate at 
> Department of Media Study, University at Buffalo.
> Ricardo Dominguez (USA) 
> Ricardo Dominguez is a co-founder of The Electronic Disturbance Theater 
> (EDT), a group who developed virtual sit-in technologies in solidarity with 
> the Zapatistas communities in Chiapas, Mexico, in 1998. His recent Electronic 
> Disturbance Theater 2.0/b.a.n.g. lab project (http://tbt.tome.press/ 
> <http://tbt.tome.press/>) with Brett Stalbaum, Micha Cardenas, Amy Sara 
> Carroll, and Elle Mehrmand, the Transborder Immigrant Tool (a GPS cell phone 
> safety net tool for crossing the Mexico/US border) was the winner of 
> “Transnational Communities Award” (2008), an award funded by Cultural 
> Contact, Endowment for Culture Mexico–US and handed out by the US Embassy in 
> Mexico. It also was funded by CALIT2 and the UCSD Center for the Humanities. 
> The Transborder Immigrant Tool has been exhibited at the 2010 California 
> Biennial (OCMA), Toronto Free Gallery, Canada (2011), The Van Abbemuseum, 
> Netherlands (2013), ZKM, Germany (2013), as well as a number of other 
> national and international venues. The project was also under investigation 
> by the US Congress in 2009-2010 and was reviewed by Glenn Beck in 2010 as a 
> gesture that potentially “dissolved” the U.S. border with its poetry. 
> Dominguez is Associate Professor of Visual Arts at the University of 
> California, San Diego, a Hellman Fellow, a Society for the Humanities Fellow 
> at Cornell University (2018), and a Rockefeller Arts & Humanities Fellow 
> (2019) and Principal Investigator at CALIT2/QI, UCSD. He also is co-founder 
> of *particle group*, with artists Diane Ludin, Nina Waisman, Amy Sara 
> Carroll, whose art project about nano-toxicology entitled *Particles of 
> Interest: Tales of the Matter Market* has been presented at the House of 
> World Cultures, Berlin (2007), the San Diego Museum of Art (2008), Oi Futuro, 
> Brazil (2008), CAL NanoSystems Institute, UCLA (2009), Medialab-Prado, Madrid 
> (2009), E-Poetry Festival, Barcelona, Spain (2009), Nanosférica, NYU (2010), 
> and SOMA, Mexico City, Mexico (2014): 
> http://hemisphericinstitute.org/hemi/en/particle-group-intro 
> <http://hemisphericinstitute.org/hemi/en/particle-group-intro>. 
> FRAUD is a métis duo of critical art practitioners. Their backgrounds include 
> computational culture, post-colonial and critical feminism, performance, 
> disruptive design, and space system engineering. They develop art-led 
> inquiries into the multiple scales of power and governmentality that flow 
> through physical and cultural landscapes. The duo focuses on critical 
> ecologies, exploring forms of slow violence and necropolitics that are 
> embedded in the entanglement of archiving practices and technical objects, 
> and erasure as a disruptive technology in knowledge production. 
> http://fraud.la/ <http://fraud.la/>


ZAD FOR EVER <https://zadforever.blog/> a new blog in english, dispatches from 
the liberated territory where we now live.

 <https://labofii.wordpress.com/>The Laboratory of Insurrectionary 
Laboratoire d'Imagination Insurrectionnelle 
Mailing list <https://lists.riseup.net/www/subscribe/labofii>
<https://www.facebook.com/groups/58916936705/?fref=ts> group
twitter:  @labofii 
mobile:+33 (0) 6 80 85 71 88

Notre livre-film "Les Sentiers de L'utopie" (Editions Zones/La Découverte 2011)
twitter: @nowtopia. 


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