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Whitworth Manuals

Whitworth Manuals is a new book series that traces the ways in which art and art workers try to change the world.

From food production and economics to the environment and healthcare, artists increasingly use the systems of daily life as the materials and tools of their work, with the intention of organising them otherwise. Each book invites a practitioner or thinker to take up a set of ideas and practices and to imagine them anew.

The first book in the Whitworth Manuals series will be published by Manchester University Press and the Whitworth on 23 November 2021:

The ABC of the Projectariat: Living and Working in a Precarious Art World

Kuba Szreder

 

The ABC of Projectariat is a book about the life and work of the artistic projectariat, people who do projects to make a living.

Contributing new thinking on the problem of precarious labour in the field of contemporary art, it combines critical analysis and practical responses to the condition of freelancers worldwide.

In a world run on temporary projects, enthusiasm and exclusion, mobility and poverty, entrepreneurialism and anxiety are two sides of the same coin. In an accessible ABC format, the book exposes the structural underpinnings of these tensions, isolating traits such as opportunism, neoliberalism, inequality, fear and cynicism at the root of the condition of the projectariat. This discussion is paired with a practical account of different modes of action, such as art strikes, productive withdrawals, political struggles and better social time machines. The book argues that just as proletarians had nothing to lose but their chains, the projectarians have nothing to miss but their deadlines.

Pre-order your copy from the Whitworth online shop

Reviews

'Kuba Szreda's book is a bracing exposé of the lives and concerns of people who do projects for a living. Yes, it is based on the artist projectariat, but this book will speak to all workers across the world who "run on the fumes" of the recognised economy. This ABC offers critical insight into matters of individual survival, but more importantly it is a primer on strategies for recognising interdependence and living and working otherwise.'

J. K. Gibson-Graham, authors of Take Back the Economy: An Ethical Guide for Transforming our Communities

 

'Will we ever go back to "normal" again? Should we, even? Hell no, says Kuba Szreder! He returns to the A and O of philosophical thinking - an alphabetical list - trusting that the mess will sort itself out once articulated aloud. From A for "antifascism" to Y for "you are not alone", this is an essential compendium to recalibrate orientations amid the meteoric impacts of current history.'

Hito Steyerl, author of Duty Free Art: Art in the Age of Planetary Civil War

 

'A radical dictionary of key terms, Kuba Szreder's The ABC of the projectariat critically diagnoses what it means to live and work in the precarious art world. Organised alphabetically into incisive, readable elaborations, the book unpacks timely concepts of domination - neoliberalism, NGOisation, co-optation, entrepreneurs of the self, precarity - and with other vital selections - art strike, interdependence, productive withdrawal and instituting the commons - offers a crucial vocabulary for anti-capitalist transformation. For a more egalitarian, democratic and inclusive world, it's urgent that we learn this language together.'

T. J. Demos, author of Beyond the World's End: Arts of Living at the Crossing

 

'From his innovative research with the Free/Slow University of Warsaw to his breakthrough concept of the artistic projectariat, Szreder tenaciously levels our collective attention towards the paradoxes of a cultural economy in crisis, without abandoning hopes for its radical transformation.'

Gregory Sholette, author of Dark Matter: Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture

 

'Kuba Szreder's projectarians are a vanguard part of the precariat. We need a new subversive vocabulary for a new progressive politics, and this book provides much of what is needed.'

Guy Standing, author of The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class