You will not be able to stay home, brother.
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and
skip out for beer during commercials,
Because the revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruptions.
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John
Mitchell, General Abrams and Mendel Rivers to eat
hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary.

The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by the
Schaefer Award Theatre and will not star Natalie
Woods and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia.
The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal.
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs.
The revolution will not make you look five pounds
thinner, the revolution will not be televised, Brother.

There will be no pictures of you and Willie Mays
pushing that shopping cart down the block on the dead run,
or trying to slide that color television into a stolen ambulance.
NBC will not be able predict the winner at 8:32
on reports from 29 districts.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of Whitney Young being
run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process.
There will be no slow motion or still life of Roy
Wilkens strolling through Watts in a Red, Black and
Green liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving
For just the right occasion.

Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville
Junction will no longer be so god damned relevant, and
women will not care if Dick finally screwed
Jane on Search for Tomorrow because Black people
will be in the street looking for a brighter day.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no highlights on the eleven o’clock
news and no pictures of hairy armed women
liberationists and Jackie Onassis blowing her nose.
The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb or
Francis Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom
Jones, Johnny Cash or Englebert Humperdink.
The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be right back
after a message about a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.
You will not have to worry about a dove in your
bedroom, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.
The revolution will not go better with Coke.
The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath.
The revolution will put you in the driver’s seat.

The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised,
will not be televised, will not be televised.
The revolution will be no re-run brothers;
The revolution will be live.

Ihre Filme heissen «Ein proletarisches Wintermärchen» und «Ich will mich nicht künstlich aufregen». Zwei junge deutsche Filmemacher blasen zum Sturm gegen den deutschen Realismus und machen freches, symbolkräftiges, politisches Kino. Mit brechtscher Anmutung und marxistischem Vokabular.

Interview auf SRF.CH

For politics to take place, the body must appear. I appear to others, and they appear to me, which means that some space between us allows each to appear. We are not simply visual phenomena for each other – our voices must be registered, and so we must be heard; rather, who we are, bodily, is already a way of being “for” the other, appearing in ways that we cannot see, being a body for another in a way that I cannot be for myself, and so dispossessed, perspectivally, by our very sociality. I must appear to others in ways for which I cannot give an account, and in this way my body establishes a perspective that I cannot inhabit. This is an important point because it is not the case that the body only establishes my own perspective; it is also that which displaces that perspective, and makes that displacement into a necessity. This happens most clearly when we think about bodies that act together. No one body establishes the space of appearance, but this action, this performative exercise happens only “between” bodies, in a space that constitutes the gap between my own body and another’s. In this way, my body does not act alone, when it acts politically. Indeed, the action emerged from the “between.”

Bodies in Alliance and the Politics of the Street

Judith Butler


Doug Aitken . Electric Earth (1999).

In many ways the process of my work is an ongoing experiment to see how I can open myself to a larger field of experience and information. At times I live nomadically, wandering, going from project to project and city to city. I find myself moving through space and responding to experiences in a way that’s very different from the way you do if you stay in one place. A moment that might ordinarily just flash by now makes a deep impression on you. Your sense of time expands or contracts, and you become extremely sensitized to things you might not have noticed before. As I found myself in constant motion, I became increasingly attracted to in-between places, places that were not destinations, places that were somehow in limbo or were outcast and passed by.Electric Earth is a compendium of these in-between places and neutral spaces. It’s structured around a single individual, whom I imagined as being the last person on earth. He is in a state somewhere between consciousness and unconsciousness, and he is traveling through a seemingly banal urban environment in the moments before nightfall. As he moves, the world around him–a satellite dish, a trash bag spinning in the air, a blinking streetlight, a car window–begins to accelerate.

I wanted to see if I could break open the linear trajectory of his journey, which I imagine as a kind of walkabout, and unlock a different perception of the environment he moves through. Taking a walk can be an uncanny experience. Propelled by our legs we find rhythms and tempos. Our bodies move in cycles that are repetitious and machinelike. We lose track of thoughts. Time can slip away from us; it can stretch out or become condensed. Sometimes, the speed of our environment is out of sync with our perception of it. When this happens, it creates a kind of gray zone, a state of flux that fascinates me. The protagonist in Electric Earth is in this state of constant flux and perpetual transformation. The paradox is that it also creates a perpetual present that consumes him.


Excerpt from: On Art Activism by Boris Groys



I hope that the political function of these two divergent and even contradictory notions of aestheticization—artistic aestheticization and design aestheticization—has now became more clear. Design wants to change reality, the status quo—it wants to improve reality, to make it more attractive, better to use. Art seems to accept reality as it is, to accept the status quo. But art accepts the status quo as dysfunctional, as already failed—that is, from the revolutionary, or even postrevolutionary, perspective. Contemporary art puts our contemporaneity into art museums because it does not believe in the stability of the present conditions of our existence—to such a degree that contemporary art does not even try to improve these conditions. By defunctionalizing the status quo, art prefigures its coming revolutionary overturn. Or a new global war. Or a new global catastrophe. In any case, an event that will make the entirety of contemporary culture, including all its aspirations and projections, obsolete—as the French Revolution made all the aspirations, intellectual projections, and utopias of the Old Regime obsolete.

Contemporary art activism is the heir of these two contradictory traditions of aestheticization. On the one hand, art activism politicizes art, uses art as political design—that is, as a tool in the political struggles of our time. This use is completely legitimate—and any critique of this use would be absurd. Design is an integral part of our culture, and it would make no sense to forbid its use by politically oppositional movements under the pretext that this use leads to the spectacularization, the theatralization of political protest. After all, there is a good theater and bad theater.

But art activism cannot escape a much more radical, revolutionary tradition of the aestheticization of politics—the acceptance of one’s own failure, understood as a premonition and prefiguration of the coming failure of the status quo in its totality, leaving no room for its possible improvement or correction. The fact that contemporary art activism is caught in this contradiction is a good thing. First of all, only self-contradictory practices are true in a deeper sense of the word. And secondly, in our contemporary world, only art indicates the possibility of revolution as a radical change beyond the horizon of our present desires and expectations.


Speaking tonight at e-flux in New York City.