The Exploding Rose
Surrealism in Portland
I first encountered André Breton’s surrealist manifestoes as a young anarchist in the late ‘80s, and was attracted to the ideas within.
Surrealist poetry had a familiar resonance: I recognized how psychic automatism existed in my own experience. The quality of that expressive revelation reminded me of how long sentences, scenes and pictures would unfold before me, independent of conscious direction, as I was near sleep. Breton even mentions such hypnagogic phenomena in the first manifesto. But I had no idea anything like a surrealist movement still existed until I saw a review of Arsenal: Surrealist Subversions in a midwestern anarchist publication.
May 15, 2021
a review of
Ron Sakolsky’s Surrealist Subversions: Rants, Writings, and images by the Surrealist Movement in the United States. Autonomedia 2002. Please see page 55 for details on how to order your copy.
“Surrealism can help us break the constraints of social realism and take us to places where Marxism, Anarchism, and other isms in the name of revolution have rarely dared to venture.”
May 15, 2021
Free feasts, erotic play and the eruption of the marvelous
Looking back on the Gardeners Against the Work Ethic Association with Unruh Lee and M.K. Shibek
Unruh Lee: In 1994, we started the Gardeners Against the Work Ethic Association (or GAWE) together. I later wrote in a ‘zine with this name, that this project was an “anti-work experiment in self-sufficiency, creating a new way of life based on play. And much playful subversion of all that gets in the way.” Really, it was a joke of a formal organization, that was part of an upsurge of Surrealist-oriented experimentation towards expanding the quality and quantity of our realm of play, no? The core of it was trying to seduce people to rip up their lawns with us and plant gardens for free feasts. But as I remember it, a lot of zany and erotic stuff, in private and public, was going on under the GAWE umbrella.
Jul 2, 2014