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Not everyone has much faith in art-activism, but you can’t please ’em all. Do symbolic protests accomplish anything more than raising morale for the protesters? If not is it enough to simply raise morale? Or do actions like this War prank create temporary autonomous zones and manifest, albeit briefly, the type of reality the activists desire to live in? Maybe today’s protesters just don’t believe violent resistance is a viable strategy and it’s better to moon the oligarchy than throw bombs at their carriages. Maybe Laser Tag is the new moltov.

Also where were the parliment guards when this went down? You shoot a laser beam at Congress and it’s Guantanamo time here in the good ol’ USA. Nice to know there’s still some Dukes of Hazard style parity in Russia.


via: Exiled Online

Last weekend (Nov. 7 actually–ed), a Russian anarchist revolutionary art group called War pulled a fast one on Prime Minister Putin. Or at least they thought they did. Russian revolutionaries sure do fall far from the tree these days.

On the night of November 7, a group of them set up a laser on top of a building across the river from the Russian White House — that’s the place where the prime minister carries out daily his business — and projected a 150-ft. wide toxic green skull and bones on its facade. But the protest didn’t end there. While a laser was sweeping across the building, a half-dozen people were scaling the building’s 20-ft. front gate. But they revolutionaries didn’t linger, staying on hostile territory long enough to pose for a few photos and a quick Rocky victory jog up the stairs. They were in and out so fast, the cops didn’t have enought time arrive at the scene. Take that Vladimir Vladimirovich! (More pictures below.)


The stunt was meant to commemorate the anniversary of the Russian Revolution, with the laser beam symbolically standing in for the revolutionary signal shot fired from the Aurora cruiser. My first thought was, “Cool!” But then I thought, “Whoa! Are Russian revolutionaries going candy raver?” I mean, this was one of those non-violent and non-confrontational attempts at political change through art. Laser art, probably to techno. It really put Russia’s rich history of revolutionary violence to shame.

Comments 2 comments

  1. February 14, 2009 at 7:56 pm Duncan

    ((Wearing my Marxist hat))

    I think it’s necessary to include some thinking about the relationship of self-expression to the conditions of production – and it’s happy friend, policing.

    Dis-incorporated revolution is associated with the reduction of politics to self-expression and discussion, itself a product of the bourgeois economy that creates the individual as the subject forced to sell their skills, and reduces social interaction to the exchange of symbols. So, old school Leninist revolution is hard to accomplish, because our social system (including spatial design, schooling, politics writ large) is designed to discourage collective organizing at the cost of self-preservation, and because people understand power/revolution in terms of abstract notions of consent engendered by bourgeois/liberal theory linked to our norms of self-expression.

    Marx would interpret these changes dialectically, and look to see what opportunities it opens up for new change. The goal is to think past what we think of as possible in political expression, and identify the best ways to target the new forces that structure our world (which in fact, might not be the state or Putin, in this case)

    ((takes off marxist hat))

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