[Air-L] REFerents: CFP for Neo-Situationist edited book

David Kreps D.G.Kreps at salford.ac.uk
Tue Jan 11 05:43:35 PST 2011

Dear AoIRists,

“Capitalism transforms life into the money necessary for living. One 
tends to do any particular thing towards an end other than that implied 
by the content of the activity.” Funding for academic activity that is 
tied to the needs of industry ties academic thought to the capitalist 
system. As John le Carre put it, once the Cold War against the failings 
of Communism had been won it was time to focus on the failings of 
capitalism, but such a project is impossible when “the wage system makes 
one foreign to what one does, to what one is, to other people.” Research 
Assessment in such an academic environment requires each academic, 
focussed on her/his c.v., to yoke their thought to the capitalist 
pragmatic, write what will get into print for the sake of being in 
print, bid for funds that are made available in the service of industry 
for the sake of having funds to justify one’s continued employment and 
progression in academic heirarchies.

REFerents seeks to explore what academics might do in their spare time, 
so to speak, to showcase work divorced from the industrial referent, to 
provide an unassessed – but peer-reviewed - space for true exploration. 
REFerents will be a free bound book, published annually with 
discretionary funds. Authors are invited to break free from standard 
academic paper formats, to make their work visual as well as cerebral: 
Information is Beautiful. Documentation of disruptive events is 
especially welcomed. REFerents pays homage to Semiotexte and to the 
creative naivety of May 1968 and the radicalism of Seattle 1999. In the 
Society of the Surveilled, creating GPS psychogeographies with our 
mobile devices, the spectacle of hyperreality has us mesmerised: 
post-industrial capitalism as counter-revolutionary baroque inspires a 
geeked-up awe in our techno-commodity fetishism, dominating our lives 
with the exchange of pixels. REFerents invites playful outrage and 
Not-Safe-For-Work lampoon.

David Kreps is a cultural theorist, and currently the Director of the 
Information Systems, Organisations and Society (ISOS) Research Centre at 
the University of Salford, a former Local Authority Arts Centre 
Director, and one-time 1980s Glastonbury hippy. Gordon Fletcher is 
Salford Business School’s Associate Head of Marketing and unashamedly 
flirts with the ‘creative industries’ but, after first hand experience 
with a collectively managed media outlet, knows that the feelings are 
only platonic. Marie Griffiths is a onetime Madchester raver, a 
technophile and digital society observer. Bruce Robinson lived through 
May 68 from the UK side of the Channel, going on two marches to the 
French embassy while it was happening. David, Gordon, Marie and Bruce 
are all active members of the ISOS research centre. Paul Sermon is 
Professor of Creative Technology, both academic, as Associate Head of 
School of Art & Design (Research) and practicing artist and pioneer of 
telematic artworks, having worked in the field for nearly 20 years.

We welcome all subversive and radical contributions that combine the 
immediacy of contemporary communication with questioning of the 
assumptions of the information society.

Abstracts for contributions to REFerents should be received by the 
editors by 28th February 2011, not limited to but including:

• Documentation of happenings
o Experimental theatre
o Disruptive events
• Write-ups about Academic presentations at conferences turned into 
performance art pieces
• Situationism in an “Information Everything” era
• Are we still within the Society of the Spectacle?
• Spectacle : Hyperreality?
• Self-critique of REF – academia succumbing to the Society of the 
• The Society of Surveilled
• Location-based-services / GPS apps Happenings
• DRIFTING and PSYCHOGEOGRAPHY on the internet

Short pieces for a special section title “irREFerents” also welcomed.

If any questions please don't hesitate to contact any of us offlist.

David Kreps d.g.kreps at salford.ac.uk, Gordon Fletcher 
g.fletcher at salford.ac.uk, Marie Griffiths m.griffiths at salford.ac.uk, 
Bruce Robinson bruce at brucerob.eu
ISOS, University of Salford
Paul Sermon p.sermon at salford.ac.uk, Art & Design, University of Salford

More information about the Air-L mailing list