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Arnolfini presents a two-day event with Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Lars Bang Larsen and Federico Campagna, exploring relationships between work, play, and resistance.

The event will coincide with the last days of Olivia Plender’s exhibition, Rise Early, Be Industrious, which closes on 9 September.

In talks, discussions and a film screening, the speakers will discuss the 1960s and 1970s as a decisive moment for a contemporary understanding of subjectivity and politics. With a new emphasis on information, and an emerging global network of trade and production, a new regime of power was forming in which also the meaning of “resistance” was changing. The events will highlight the role of play and pedagogy, both in relation to their function in the emancipatory thinking of the counter movements and political activism of the 1960s and 1970s, and within the contemporary culture of “self-improvement” and a neoliberal claim of “life-long learning”.

On the first evening, Lars Bang Larsen and Franco “Bifo” Berardi will present lectures about two specific aspects: the ideal of a ludic society (a society of play) and the relationship between the body and capital, in what Berardi calls “Semiocapitalism”. On the second evening, a screening of the film Il Trasloco (Moving out of the Future) about the Italian Autonomia movement will be introduced by Federico Campagna and followed by a discussion with Berardi, who is one of the film’s protagonists.


5 September
6.30pm: Welcome
6.45pm: Franco “Bifo” Berardi: “The general intellect is looking for a body. Lines of escape from the agony of financial capitalism”
7.30pm: Lars Bang Larsen: Palle Nielsen’s Model for a Qualitative Society (1968)
8pm: Discussion

6 September
6.30pm: Screening Il Trasloco (Moving out of the Future), Renato de Maria, Italy, 1991
Introduction: Federico Campagna
After the film: Discussion with Franco “Bifo” Berardi

As they move out of the Bologna squat, a key site where the Autonomia movement was organised during the 1970s, Bifo and other residents reminisce about the house and its role in three decades of radical political struggles. Framed within personal memories, this film is a funny, moving account of Italian revolutionary history, and a document of a moment of epochal transition.
Biographical information:

Born in 1949, Franco “Bifo” Berardi is a writer, media theorist, and media activist. He founded the magazine “A/traverse” (1975-81) and was part of the staff of Radio Alice, the first free pirate radio station in Italy (1976-78). Involved in the political movement of Autonomia in Italy during the 1970s, he fled to Paris, where he worked with Félix Guattari in the field of schizoanalysis. Bifo’s most recents books are “After the future” (2011) and “The Soul at Work” (2010). He is currently collaborating with e-flux Journal and is the coordinator of the European School for Social Imagination (SCEPSI). His forthcoming book “Poetry and Finance” will be published in September by Semiotext(e).

Lars Bang Larsen is an art historian and a curator. He has co-curated exhibitions such as Pyramids of Mars (2000), Populism (2005), and A History of Irritated Material (2010). His PhD was about psychedelic concepts in neo-avantgarde art, and his books include “The Model: Palle Nielsen’s Model for a Qualitative Society (1968)” (2010).

In 2009 Federico Campagna started a long-term collaboration with Franco Berardi, whose reader he is currently editing for the Italian publisher Il Saggiatore. He collaborates on the magazines Loop and Alfabeta2 and on the radio show Novara on Resonance FM.