Workshop. Autonomy In Crisis. openhagen. November though January 2013.

8/11 + 29/11 + 06/12 + 10/01 + 21/01 + 31/01 – 10:00-15:00h

Please sign up with Lena Rodgers if you wish to attend this course. Students who sign up should be prepared to attend the whole course.

Form: Seminar/workshop

Language: English

Course Description

We live in a time of crisis, a time of exhaustion and a time of transformation. Ever since the 1970’s, the neoliberal regime has been waging a war against people and nature in many parts of the world, only now the time has come for a full-scale attack on the workforces in Europe and we begin to feel the capitalist crisis in our own lives. But this crisis is not only an economic crisis caused and cultivated by a few greedy financial speculators, it is a crisis that has deep roots and effects us both socially, culturally and psychologically – some would argue that it effects most things as we know them, including our creativity and visions for another possible world. According to Italian theorist and activist Franco Bifo Berardi, we are no longer able to create fantasies, we loose our emotions and the very concept of ‘the future’ has been totally undermined – all that is left is a system of virtual life and actual death. 

Running for a period of 5 months, the course offers a space to collectively think of what it means to be living, working and thinking as artists and cultural producers in the context of this crisis. What impact does the crisis have on our lives and work? How does it effect politics and the arts, our potential for action? How can we take on the challenges it poses, and – even more importantly, what possibilities could it offer? 

Informed by the ideas and experiences of Franco Bifo Berardi, Silvia Federici, George Caffentzis and MayDay Rooms, we will share our knowledge, ideas, thoughts, visions and concerns. In the light of our own experiences, we will address questions related to meaning in artistic and cultural praxis today – and hopefully allow ourselves to again imagine futures and lines of flight. 

About openhagen

openhagen is a Copenhagen based collective of artists, activist and academics engaged with urban politics. We work around a common interest in the city and the potential of creating politics within it. We share an anti-capitalistic approach and desire to change the way we think and talk about the city. Our collective has the characteristics of an open network of people who work in different fields on an everyday basis, but are driven by the need to meet and raise questions – both in theory and in forms of collective action – that everyday practices do not always give time and space for. 

Course material

What follows is a list of references, or resources, that we find relevant to begin with in our forthcoming course. We wish to present each author on the first day, November 8th; this is only for those who could be interested in starting the reading before.

We would like to stress that this list should not be thought of as a curriculum, but of course we encourage everyone who is interested to explore the list. While we hope for an engaged reading of Bifo’s After the Future book, we will not force anyone to read all the suggested material. We were thinking of starting with this rather simple list and then add on during the course, with the help from all of you. In this way we hope to collectively develop an interesting list of common references throughout the course, a list that can serve as inspiration and a pool of relevant materials. These resources, or materials, shouldn’t necessarily be limited to texts; films, audio, images and objects could just as easily be relevant.

As mentioned above, we will encourage everyone to read the introduction and chapter 1 and 4 in Bifo’s After the Future, for the second time on November 29th.

List of references:

Franco Berardi ‘Bifo’, After the Future, book as pdf:

Franco Berardi ‘Bifo’, After the Future, introduction on video:

Silvia Federici, podcast about Reproductive Work:

We hope all this makes sense, if not let us know. Look very much forward to meet you all and start the course on November 8th. Until then,


8.11 – A Multiplicity of Crises     

10h-12h · Short Presentation of openhagen and the course plan 

– General discussion on notions of crisis 

13h-15h · Experiencing the Crisis (what, how, where, when is the crisis?) 

– Individual presentations and discussion

29.11 – After the Future 

10h-12h · Text discussion: Franco Bifo Berardi, After the Future

13h-15h · Discussion and film screening: Bifo: After the Future ( 

– Preparing and reflecting questions and wonderments before the Bifo visit 

5/6/7.12 – Franco Bifo Berardi

10h-12h · Talk by Franco Bifo Berardi

13h-15h · Questions and discussion

10.01 – Lines of Flight

10h-12h · Text discussion: Silvia Federici, Revolution at Point Zero and George Caffentzis, In Letters of Blood and Fire  

13h-15h · Autonomy as alternatives 

– Individual presentations and discussion

21.01 – Silvia Federici, George Caffentzis & Mayday Rooms

10h -15h · Talks by Silvia Federici, George Caffentzis and Mayday Rooms 

– Questions and discussion 

31.01 – Future Again! (an evaluation)

10h-12h · Discussing on what we’ve learned and what to make of it

13h-15h · What makes sense to be done now?

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