Ayreen Anastas & Rene Gabri
Notebook 089 is a result of the immense changes that took place in the world since 1989. With the end of the Cold War, the utopian neoliberal fantasy of a world-capitalist expansion unfettered by the limits of any borders (psychic, physical, ethical, national, or ecological) and governed through an extension of credit/debt coupled with correlated “structural adjustments” assumed a new function for nation-states globally—privatizer of gains, socializer of costs.
In a span of 20 years, the insolvency of this paradigm has become evident, not only has an entire world been gripped by conflict, depression, extreme inequalities, irreversible ecological damage, but also the economic basis underwriting all of this is unable to continue without the very state intervention that had supposedly been rendered unnecessary.
These notes do not recount this story, but rather take place in its wake and mark out the process of two artists thinking through this critical epoch, in the midst of collective meetings and discussions leading up to and through what would be called Occupy. Rather than fixing these movements, this notebook instead collects a series of positions, ideas, and conversations, which function as traces of singular articulations and multiple cartographies of experiences of refusal to regimes of concentrated wealth/power from Cochabamba to Tunis, from Cairo to Fukushima, from Madrid to Athens, from New York to Carbondale, and beyond. Here, one will find a continuation of those struggles for autonomy and affirmation of different forms-of-life in note form.