Full transcript of the Yanis Varoufakis | Noam Chomsky NYPL discussion

The full transcript of my discussion with Noam Chomsky at the New York Public Library (26th April 2016) was just sent to me by Kelly Patrick Gerling. I thank him profusely. Here it is, just below the video window

April 26, 2016, LIVE from the New York Public Library, http://www.nypl.org/live, Celeste Bartos Forum

YANIS VAROUFAKIS: Good evening, we don’t have anyone to introduce us, so I’ve been asked to kick off by saying firstly that isn’t this wonderful that we are all here just to subvert the notion that nothing good can come out of the public sector? (laughter) Noam.

NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, the fact that I’m here, barely, actually has a relationship to that comment. I came from Boston, my wife and I came from Boston, it took seven hours, and any society that hasn’t been smashed by neoliberal policies of the kind you describe, it would have taken maybe an hour and a half, two hours. (laughter) There is a train, the pride of the public sector, which I took for the first time in 1950, and it’s about fifteen minutes faster now than it was then, (laughter) when it makes the schedule, which is a chancy situation, so we decided to come by airplane and spent most of the afternoon on the runway. Continue reading

Of Loss and Retrieval – latest and last article in WdW Review

Photo of an unknown boy, which we can imagine to have been Kostas, who went missing in 1992 during the evacuation of ethnic Greek refugees from Smyrna.<br /><br /> Image courtesy of Red Cross Archive, Greece.Photo of an unknown boy, which we can imagine to have been Kostas, who went missing in 1992 during the evacuation of ethnic Greek refugees from Smyrna. Image courtesy of Red Cross Archive, Greece.


Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 11.30.50 PMClick the image above to watch a 60′ keynote on Money, and its Aesthetics, after the Gold Standard, following by a presentation by Danae Stratou of her remarkable installation ‘It’s Time to Open the Black Boxes’ – click here for a full description (and pictures and video) of that work.


Chosen Cells – WdW Review

Chosen Cells  is a sequel to Solitary Subversives and our seventh article for Witte de With Review (an initiative of Rotterdam-based Witte de With Center for Contemporary Artof which we, vitalspace.org and I, are their…  ‘Athens Desk’). Click here for the  Witte de With Review site which contains several photos missing here. Or read on… Cells; Installation view of Maria Papanikolaou, Prison, 2008. The performance and video installation depicts a living prisoner-performer and a (video) projected inmate. During the performance, the two assist each other to escape. Image courtesy of Maria Papanikolaou and vitalspace.org


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Greek summer stops posting…

Dear Reader, You may have noticed that my posts have ceased over the past week. Summer is responsible. A wonderful Greek summer, spent mostly on a tiny boat in the Aegean. Back in mid-July, with posts mostly reflecting my total immersion in the writing of my next book, entitled EUROPE UNHINGED: The next phase of the global crisis (to be published in New York by Nation Books). Till then, an image (of partner Danae & friend) to go with the spirit of the moment…

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Easter wishes to all

Happy Easter photo from US-Mex Border
Who said that Easter has no significance in our cynical age, even to atheists like myself? Suffering, the sacrifice of the innocents, persecution of prophets of truth – it is all going on with a vengeance. On this note, Happy Easter to all. (The photo above was taken by Danae Stratou on the US-Mexican border in 2006, as part of her work CUT-7 dividing lines. Each of the smaller crosses, making up the larger one, has a name on it – of one that perished in the attempt to cross the border in search of employment). 

Is this an alien landing site, ancient monument, or something else?

Desert Breath ImageReaders of this blog are familiar with Danae Stratou‘s photographic works (her photos adorn the header above). In this post I copy a story from CNN.COM about  Desert Breath: one the largest and (in my eyes) most significant land art projects on the planet’s face. It is the creation of Danae Stratou, Alexandra Stratou and Stella Konstadinidis (the three members of D.A.ST. Art Team) who designed and created it in the Eastern Sahara Desert (Egypt) in 1997. Click here for the CNN.COM web-page or read on… Continue reading

The US-Mexican Border Fence 20 years after NAFTA – Danae Stratou’s installation

On 6th and 7th February 2014, the LBJ School of Public Affairs (University of Texas at Austin) organised a conference on the 20 years since the signing of the North America Free Trade Agreement Treaty, entitled NAFTA+20: Intended and Unintended Consequences. The organisers commissioned Danae Stratou to produce a photographic installation in the entrance of the auditorium in order to capture the experience of the US-Mexican Border Fence after NAFTA. The above video contains stills from that photographic installation plus the video (entitled THE GLOBALISING WALL) that Stratou presented and showed in the conference’s final panel.

The Serpent’s Greek Lair

Golden Dawn. The journal that grew into a party. Source: unknown photograher. All rights reserved.In this, the fourth article that vitalspace.org and I have contributed to the Witte de With Review (an initiative of Rotterdam-based Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art), I offer a short history of Golden Dawn, the Greek Nazi party. As with all my articles in WdW Review, the ‘take’ is always personal, intimate almost. In this piece on Golden Dawn, I begin with an encounter with an old, poor Peloponnesean farmer, some time in the 1990s, whose life revealed much about Greece’s Dark Side.
Click here for The Serpent’s Greek Lair, as it appears on the WdW Review site.

Of Public Phones and Besieged Humans – Our first contribution to Witte de With’s Review

Witte de With Contemporary Art Centre, of Rotterdam, has just launched its Review, both electronically and in print. As part of this effort, WdW have established desks in Athens, Cairo, Istanbul, Jerusalem and Ramallah – five ‘ancient’ cities. vitalspace.org, founded by Danae Stratou and yours truly, was selected as WdW’s Athens desk. Our first contribution is entitled Of Public Phones and Besieged Humans, a tale of migration, dislocation and the current Greek predicament. (For the WdW site click here – it includes complete photographic documentation) Continue reading

Interviewed by Kristina Bozic, for OBJECTIV

On 13th March Kristina Božič paid me a great complement by interviewing me for slovenian journal Objectiv.  The breadth and insightfulness of the questions gave me much pleasure. To read the article in its original home, click here. Alternarively, read on (Google translate does a decent job)… Continue reading

Raising Awareness in 60″ Video Competition

And now for something quite different: Since our words and arguments are failing to have a serious impact, despite their value and reasonableness, perhaps it is time to resort to the artist’s touch. Vital Space invites all artists to participate in the first of a series of open call competitions in the context of our ‘Raising Awareness’ theme. For our first competition we invite short, one-minute  video submissions under the broad title EAST | WEST – NORTH | SOUTH: Imperiled Vital Spaces. 

For more information, and submission guidelines, click here.
Raising Awareness VS

Radio Exarcheia: A collaborative art project, opening this week in Melbourne, Australia

Just received from Tom Nicholson, an excellent Melbourne-based artist, the following brief on a collaborative art project that touches upon the Greek economic crisis in a manner that acts as an apt reminder of the unique capacity that art has to cast the worst aspects of the human condition in fresh and insightful light. The work opens this Thursday 6 Sept 6-8pm at the VCA Margaret Lawrence Gallery. For more information, please write to Tom on tomjnicholson@hotmail.com

Radio Exarcheia is a collaboration between Melbourne artist Tom Nicholson and the Italian composer Riccardo Vaglini. The work draws upon two elements of the extraordinary responses to Greece’s current economic crisis evident in Athens, where Vaglini has been based part-time since last year: the palimpsest of inscriptions accumulating on the walls of the city’s streets (and in particular Exarcheia, the area of Athens where Vaglini resides, and which provides the project with its title); and the proliferation of shopping trolleys in the streets of Athens, pushed by the economically destitute in search of scrap metal (the piercing sound of which has become a notable feature of contemporary life in Athens and which becomes a key “musical” element in Vaglini and Nicholson’s work).  Radio Exarcheia sets in relation with one another this public collecting with Vaglini’s own collection of hundreds of photographs of inscriptions from the walls of Athens to create a work which draws upon the current situation in Greece – not only its severity but the profusion of energies and resistance it has precipitated – as the basis for an instruction-based participatory score.  The work responds to this situation – but also to Vaglini and Nicholson’s shared interest in the nature of the score, in the Italian Fluxus artist Giuseppe Chiari, and in the relations between the indeterminate and the political. The work seeks to transmit from this material in Athens the manifold links between forms of political imagination and the imaginative possibilities of art making, where forms and forms of living are re-thought anew.

Riccardo Vaglini is an influential creative figure in contemporary Italian culture – as professor of composition at the Venice Conservatorium, organizer of many events and festivals, and founder of the publishing cooperative ArsPublica, which has produced around 800 scores of works, representing a wide spectrum of new music from all generations of contemporary composers. He has explored his own performance approaches with his group Collettivo rituale, connecting with the Fluxus tradition in Italy and new currents that flow from it.

And the Good Ship Greece Sails On: ‘Letter’ to an italian colleague

A few weeks ago I was approached by Andrea Adriatico, a theatre director from Bologna’s Teatri Di Vita with an interesting request: Could I write a ‘letter’ to some fictional Italian economics professor, outlining on a colleague-to-colleague basis, the Greek ‘situation’ as it is experienced by a Greek economics professor. That letter would then be read out during a play, and be part of the play [entitled Cuore di… Grecia, i.e. Heart of… Greece). Well, I was intrigued and said I would do it. The ‘letter’ I ended up writing follows. The first performance is scheduled toward the end of July…

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IT’S TIME TO OPEN THE BLACK BOXES: Thursday April 19th, Athens

While ‘stuck’ in INET’s Berlin Conference, and before I get a chance to write here about that experience, I thought I should invite all those who may be in Athens on Thursday 19th April, to the opening of Danae Stratou’s new installation at the Zoumboulakis Gallery, Kolonaki Square, Athens (nb. it will open for a month, closing on 19th May). My text, offering a political economy perspective on the exhibition and its theme, and which appears in the catalogue, follows below. Hoping to see you there.

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