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How Do You Respond to the Economic Depressions of the World?

The Journal of Aesthetics & Protest and Journal of Aesthetics & Protest Press evolved as a collectively-run, DIY publishing project concurrent with the globalization movement. In the late 90s, the less monetized territory of networked protests and the insurgency of relational and tactical media opened up a stage for new forms of collectivities, movements and publics.

For the editors, publishing was an opportunity to create a critical platform—a public space where the benefits to large groups act to ameliorate the ambitions of individual writers, subjects, or editors. Public also related to an unstated understanding between writers and editors regarding the goals of the project—to engage a common discursive space around issues of art and culture, media, and activism toward social and political change. Perhaps we now have a better understanding of this “public” as “movement”, except that the word “public” on first glance maintains the non-ideological space of a true inquiry.

The question of how to create a structure for the sharing of our collective wealth has become a key question for both our small network, and the greater community as well.

Public also holds to our understanding of how to define our work’s exchange value. Any profit (symbolic or monetary) accrued within the creation, distribution, application or broadcasting of the concepts are to be intrinsically redistributed to the larger collective, and not to be withheld for personal economic gain.

Our group, The Journal of Aesthetics & Protest Editorial Collective, has not accrued monetary profit in the creation of The Journal of Aesthetics & Protest. Our situation is quite the opposite. We run at a loss with no funding and high printing costs. However, like other projects that rely upon the input of contributors and a larger group or network, The Journal of Aesthetics & Protest has gained cultural and social capital. Some of us editors think that this question, the question of how to create a structure for the sharing of our collective wealth, has become a key question for both our small network, and the greater community as well. This notion of collectivity threatens capitalism itself, a system that relies on the exploitation of the collective labor of others.

In Go Post-Money!!!, our seventh issue of The Journal of Aesthetics & Protest we address some of these issues when our writers investigate the structures and the aesthetics that contribute to supporting public and common projects. Many articles address the creation of shared networks in ways that attempt to leverage out money-based economies.

Economic crisis in capitalism is system-immanent. Critical analysis is needed. We are facing the further privatization of knowledge production, the further economization of social space and social practice as symbolized by web 2.0, and an increasing precarity in thought labor. The defunding and neglect of traditional institutions all constitute to this situation. Unfortunately, this is nothing new. Under the Bush administration, it was clear that an element of this pressure for criticality was partially a result of something beyond the economic—the damping down of the democratic process through fear-mongering, corruption, media manipulation and lies, which impacted heavily the nature of knowledge. It is still unclear how the current administration will affect this space.

Our hopes are high. We choose to move forward, collectively.


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