Basic Income and the Crisis

A Presentation by Andrea Fumagalli

A Toronto School of Creativity & Inquiry event

Wednesday, October 14, 2009, 7:00-9:00 pm
Room 066 | John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design | University of Toronto | 230 College Street

“Money,” said Francis Bacon, “is like muck, not good except it be spread.” As incomes polarize, unemployment rises, precarious employment spreads, and capital’s use of ‘free labour’ and social knowledge grows more sophisticated, unorthodox economists and social movements are increasingly advocating a radical reform of the welfare system. Basic income is a social policy proposal for a new welfare in the form of an annual income that would be distributed universally and unconditionally. Aiming to guarantee a basic level of income security for all, the basic income proposal is receiving unprecedented attention, particularly in Europe. Join us for a presentation by the Italian economist Andrea Fumagalli on basic income security as a policy response to the inequalities inherent in contemporary cognitive capitalism.

Read paper presentation was based on here: Fumagalli-Lucarelli.pdf

Andrea Fumagalli is Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Pavia. He also teaches political economy at Corso di laurea interdisciplinare in scienze multimediali, University of Pavia and advanced macroeconomics at Bocconi University. Professor Fumagalli is member of UniNomade Network, Vice-President of Bin-Italy (Basic Income Network, Italy), and Honoured member of BIEN (Basic Income Earth Network).

Not an Alternative

A talk by Beka Economopoulos and Jason Jones

A Toronto School of Creativity & Inquiry event

Sunday June 14, 2009, 4:00pm
Toronto Free Gallery
1277 Bloor Street West (just east of Lansdowne), Toronto

naa_dh_cityfrombelow-793624Not An Alternative is a volunteer-run non-profit organization based in Brooklyn, New York, whose mission is to integrate art, activism and theory in order to affect popular understandings of events, symbols and history. The organization operates a multi-purpose venue, The Change You Want to See Gallery and Convergence Stage, where free and low-cost lectures, screenings, panel discussions, workshops and artist presentations occur. The space also consists of a production workshop, filming studio and video editing suite. During the day it is a collaborative office space (aka coworking) for like-minded cultural producers. Not An Alternative’s recent projects have focused on combating gentrification in Williamsburg (The Fugheddaboudit Project, Gentrification Tour), the whitewashing of protest from Union Square in Manhattan (Heroes of Union Square), the current housing crisis (The Real Estate Industry), and an ongoing collaboration with New York City’s Picture the Homeless. For more information see:

Beka Economopoulos has been a field organizer for various causes for the past 12 years. She directs the Greenpeace online organizing program, where she develops and uses technology tools to coordinate scalable online/offline grassroots organizing and volunteer efforts, and develops outreach and advocacy strategies in online social networks. She is a founding member of Not an Alternative.

Jason Jones is a practicing artist based in New York. Since completing the Whitney Independent Study Program in 2001, he co-founded Black Out Media, a nationally syndicated TV show and in 2004 acted as one of the principle organizers for Arts and Media Clearing House in preparation for the Republican National Convention. He is a founding member and Creative Director of Not An Alternative.

Grasping the Financial Crisis

A TSCI event with Sam Gindin and Leo Panitch

Wednesday, November 26, 2008, 7-9 pm
John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design
Room 066 (basement)
University of Toronto
230 College Street

Listen to mp3 audio of event

“This sucker could go down”: the outcome feared by George W. Bush has, for the moment, been averted. But global capitalism is, like the planet itself, in panic: stock markets continue to plunge and soar; entire countries verge on insolvency; fiercely pro-market governments nationalize their banking systems. Our political-economic system is experiencing a profound upheaval. The future of the financial crisis, and the response to it, is sure to shape the economic context of our lives for years to come.

What are the roots of the ongoing financial crisis? What might its impact be on an already dreadfully unequal world economy? What effects might it have on our cities and communities? What does it say about the place of personal finance in everyday life? What are the political possibilities and risks it carries for progressive social movements? If casino capitalism makes our lives precarious, what elements would a stable alternative to it include?

These are some of the questions we will explore with Sam Gindin and Leo Panitch, who will present an explanation of the current financial crisis. Eric Cazdyn and Kanishka Goonewardena will offer responses, and then there will be a collective discussion in which the audience will be invited to participate.

Sam Gindin is Professor in the Department of Political Science at York University, and has served as research director of the Canadian region of the United Auto Workers and chief economist and Assistant to the President of the Canadian Auto Workers.

Leo Panitch is Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Political Science at York University and an editor of the Socialist Register.

Eric Cazdyn is professor of Comparative Literature and East Asian Studies at the University of Toronto. He has recently edited a volume of South Atlantic Quarterly on the philosophical and political problem of disaster.

Kanishka Goonewardena is professor in Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto. He recently co-edited Space, Difference, Everyday Life: Reading Henri Lefebvre.

Toronto School of Creativity & Inquiry (TSCI) designs education events inquiring into the new enclosures: enclosures on time, space, creativity, thought, ecology, love… We seek to understand how these enclosures work. But combating against cynicism, we also inquire into creative pathways within, against, and beyond the enclosures: pathways of thinking, collaboration, organization, experimentation…

TSCI would like to thank the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.

Political Acts of Love

An informal conversation with Michael Hardt

Sunday 20 May 2007
2:00 – 4:00
Tequila Bookworm (upstairs)
512 Queen Street West

With Michael, we want to take up the question: Can love act as a political concept? In the final pages of Multitude, Hardt and Negri approach the concept of love as what is needed to grasp the constituent power of the multitude. They end by writing, “We can already recognize that today time is split between a present that is already dead and a future that is already living — and the yawning abyss between them is becoming enormous. In time, an event will thrust us like an arrow into that living future. This will be the real political act of love.” (Multitude, 358)

It is with these last words that we would like to begin our conversation on how to construct a new concept of love — a love that is both personal and political; a love capable of constructing new networks and new subjectivities; a love that is learnt and developed in relation to the network; a love based on differences; a love that creatively experiments with singularities; a love that is ontologically productive. Michael Hardt will begin with a few thoughts on why the concept interests him as well as the advantages, problems and limitations he sees with the concept. Together, we will move outwards from there.

In anticipation of the conversation we suggest reading the following texts:
Hardt and Negri, Multitude, 348-358
Hardt, “Conclusion: An Apprenticeship in Philosophy,” in Gilles Deleuze, 112-122

Autogestión: Self-Management in Argentina

A conversation with Mario Alberto Barrios
General Secretary of the National Association of Self-Managed Workers of the Industrial Federation, Argentina Workers’ Central


Monday, April 16, 7-9 pm
Tequila Bookworm
512 Queen St. West, Toronto

In Argentina, especially since the socio-economic crisis of 2001-02, an array of grassroots groups has been carrying out experiments in autogestión, or self-management. To self-manage is not only to organize and produce cooperatively. It is also to transform traditional economic relations into ‘social economies’ that foster more equitable, humane, and horizontal relations among individuals and groups. Toronto School of Creativity & Inquiry invites you to join us for a conversation about self-management with Mario Alberto Barrios, who is active in struggles for the rights of self-managed workers in Argentina. This conversation is a continuation of TSCI’s Laboratory Latin America series, a series built on the exchange of collective experiments in the production of new forms of working, living, and creating

See other events and writings in Laboratory Latin America series: Recovering and Recreating Spaces of Production | Recovery! Recreation!

Defining States. Mattering Differently.

A Conversation with Brian Massumi and Erin Manning

A Toronto School of Creativity & Inquiry Event

Saturday, November 25, 2006
2:00 – 4:00 pm
Rm 066, Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design [Building]
University of Toronto

230 College Street

Let’s get to the heart of the matter. Nation state. Rogue state. Natural state. State of exception. State form. Head of state. Police state. State of grace. State of mind. State variable. State of fear. State of emergency. Indeterminate state. Nascent state. Static. State your point. Mental state. Emotional state. Altered state. State jurisdiction. State of the union. State of affairs. State your name. Stately. Statism. Subject of the statement. State your purpose. Smattering. Grey matter. Anti-matter. Love matters. Matter and energy. Matter and memory. Matter of principle. Reading matter. Matter of minutes. Matters of the heart. Matter of course. Matter of opinion. For that matter. Money matters. What does it matter? Mind over matter. Fecal matter. No matter what. Matter-form. Matter of fact. Matter of habit. What’s the matter? Matter of life and death.

“… the question is not how to elude the order-word but how to elude the death-sentence it envelops, how to develop its power of escape.”
–Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari

What can be done in the face of states of domination that are able to thrive on the assaults against them? Can we defy these states? Can we matter differently? Join us for an intimate conversation around these questions with Brian Massumi and Erin Manning.

Brian Massumi specializes in philosophy, media theory, and visual culture. He is the author of Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation and A User’s Guide to Capitalism and Schizophrenia: Deviations from Deleuze and Guattari. His translations from the French include Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus. He teaches in the Communication Department of the Université de Montréal, where he directs the Workshop in Radical Empiricism.

Erin Manning is a philosopher, visual artist and dancer. She is assistant professor in Studio Art and Film Studies at Concordia University and director of The Sense Lab, an interdisciplinary research-creation laboratory. She is the author of Ephemeral Territories: Representing Nation, Home and Identity in Canada and Politics of Touch: Sense, Movement, Sovereignty.

Entangled Territories

A Toronto School of Creativity & Inquiry event
With/in Adrian Blackwell’s carpool + Republic of Safety
Sunday, August 6, 2006

download poster

Idomo east parking lot
1100 Sheppard Ave. W.
Near the Downsview Subway station

The gentrification of Toronto’s downtown has displaced low-income residents. New immigrants, often precariously employed, are warehoused in high-density structures within low-density suburbs. City land is rezoned for optimum profit extraction rather than for livability. The costs of using public transit are rising as new programs of surveillance carefully monitor the smog-saturated city.

This neoliberal agenda remains contested by urban social movements committed to the building of a new commons: street protests, squats, community gardens, housing co-ops, public-space interventions, regularization campaigns.

Toronto’s territory is entangled in divergent forces of neoliberal enclosure and public commons. Animating this play of forces is a triad of actors: capitalists, governments, and multitudes. At stake in their balance of power is access to affordable places to live, sources of healthy food, a secure income, mobility, pleasurable forms of life.

+ How is capital capturing urban territories? Which spaces are currently under threat of enclosure?
+ What possibilities exist for the state to protect existing public spaces or initiate new ones, when its role has increasingly become the policing of space?
+ What capacities do we have for escaping existing enclosures, in the name of constructing new urban commons?

Join us for a conversation in and about the city’s entangled territories. We’ll move ourselves through a series of small-group discussions, and then end off the event with a collective conversation.

The event will be held in a parking lot near Downsview Park. This space is entangled, at the end of a subway line, yet in the middle of the city: in the inner suburbs, next to an army base, big boxes, and warehouses, at the confluence of highways, subways, and an airport. Our site is an abstract space of pause within this non-place of circulation.

Yvonne Bambrick (Streets are for People) + Sue Bunce (Planning Action) + Rob Gill (York) + Heather Haynes (Toronto Free Gallery) + Joe Hermer (UT) + Luis Jacob (artist) + Peter Nyers (McMaster) + Darren O’Donnell (artist) + Jay Pitter (artist) + SYN- (artists) + Leah Sandals (Spacing) + Jeff Shantz + Kika Thorne (artist) + Rinaldo Walcott (OISE) + others TBC

About carpool
carpool (apparatus of capture) is a tent that connects four cars to form a larger composition. The cars are caught in fabric, creating a structure as they move apart from one another, temporarily immobilizing them while opening their private interiors to public use.

About Entangled Territories
Entangled Territories is Act 16 of Public Acts 1-29, a network of lines of flight for the experiences and experiments of 29 artists, activists and researchers situated along the Trans-Canada Highway.

Recovery! Recreation! | ¡Recuperación! ¡Recreación!

Recovery! Recreation!
A Conversation about Argentina’s Worker-Recovered Enterprises Movement with Eduardo Murúa

Saturday, June 3, 2006
4pm – 7pm
Ideal Coffee
Ossignton Ave., 2 blocks south of Dundas St.

recovery-event-776869Much of today’s global Left sees in Latin America inspiring instances of creative resistance to the neoliberal emergency. “Recovery! Recreation!” is a public conversation about a living experiment in Laboratory Latin America: Argentina’s movement of worker-recuperated enterprises, or ERTs (empresas recuperadas por sus trabajadores).

Since 1998, in response to economic and political crisis in Argentina, the ERT movement has been reclaiming spaces of production in a struggle against social precarity and humiliating experiences of work. Not limited to the recovery of jobs, recuperated enterprises are reconfiguring workplaces along more participatory lines, are developing into a horizontal network, and are often doubling as alternative schools, art galleries, community centres, or free medical clinics.

Join us for a conversation with Eduardo Murúa, president of Argentina’s Movimiento Nacional de Empresas Recuperadas (MNER, National Movement of Recovered Enterprises), facilitated by local labour activist Jorge Garcia-Orgales. With Eduardo and Jorge, we ask: What is being recovered? What is being created? What challenges does the ERT movement face? What lessons might the movement yield for struggles to democratize workplaces and communities locally? What lines of affinity exist, or might yet be invented, between Canadian labour groups and Argentina’s newest workers’ movements?

Eduardo Murúa, President, Movimiento Nacional de Empresas Recuperadas de Argentina
Jorge Garcia-Orgales, Researcher, United Steelworkers of America, Toronto

Politics of the Plate

A slow-food dinner conversation about the politics of what we eat

Thursday, October 27, 2005
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Toronto Free Gallery

Admission? Free if you bring a desire for conviviality and a dish of your choice to share, made from something locally-grown. Dish or not, all are welcome!

politics_of_the_plateWhy should we “eat lower on the marketing chain”? Can a politically aware eating experience still be pleasurable? How have processed and packaged foods separated us geographically and psychologically from what we eat, and from each other? Is it realistic to ensure healthy and locally-grown food for all Torontonians all the time? Is it possible for city-dwellers to eat what they grow themselves? Can the fair food, slow food, organic food, and other such movements, help to eradicate the risky ecological footprints caused by our consumerist paradigm and over-consumptive lifestyles? How can we integrate fairer food practices into our everyday lives?

Join us for a slow-food dinner conversation where we will be engaging with these critical questions while partaking of a lively community dinner together.

The conversation around the dinner table will be enriched by the research and experiences of the following Toronto-area food activists:

Whose University?

Nick Dyer-Witheford and David Noble in Conversation

Monday, September 26, 2005
7:30pm – 9:30pm
Toronto Free Gallery

Back to school special! How are commercial interests reshaping Canadian universities? How is the neoliberal agenda playing out in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences? What is it like to teach and learn in a university in an age of entrepreneurship? Is the university a place of diversity? Relevance? Do students and young academics have just cause to be cynical? Can critics really say that the university today is simply a pawn to profit? What strategies might be used to challenge the corporatization of education? What might the university yet become?

Join us for an intimate conversation around these questions with Nick Dyer-Witheford and David Noble—two of Canada’s foremost analysts of global capitalism, higher education, and social movements. Nick and David will talk for about 45 minutes and then the event will be open to audience discussion.

There will also be a screening of John Greyson’s Motet for Amplified Voices (2004, 5 min.), documenting the recent megaphone choir action at York University.

Nick Dyer-Witheford is a professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at University of Western Ontario in London, where he coordinates the Media in the Public Interest program. He is author of Cyber-Marx: Cycles and Circuits of Struggle in High-Technology Capitalism. Dyer-Witheford’s essay on the university in the era of cognitive capitalism will be published in a forthcoming collection, Utopian Pedagogy.

Scholar and activist David Noble teaches at York University. His books America by Design, A World Without Women, The Religion of Technology, and Digital Diploma Mills have reshaped our understanding of the evolution of technology, religion, and education. His latest book is Beyond the Promised Land: The Movement and the Myth. Noble has an essay on the contemporary university in the September issue of Canadian Dimension.