Anagramatic ABC



A radical paradigm shift from traditional industrial production to immaterial production in the last thirty year has ushered in a period of “Post-Fordist” economy. As Gilles Deleuze noted, this transformation was accompanied by the corresponding shift from the discipline of Fordist societies to present day societies of control. The concept of collectivity and all the notions connected with the idea of the collective are also affected by this change. Notions such as “the people” or “the masses” must be reconsidered from the standpoint of the idea of multitude, as Paolo Virno argues: “The two polarities, people and multitude, have Hobbes and Spinoza as their putative fathers. For Spinoza, the multitudo indicates a plurality which persists as such in the public scene, in collective action, in the handling of communal affairs, without converging into a One, without evaporating within a centripetal form of motion. Multitude is the form of social and political existence for the many, seen as being many: a permanent form, not an episodic or interstitial form. For Spinoza, the multitudo is the architrave of civil liberties (Spinoza,Tractatus Politicus, 1677)” [from Virno P., A Grammar of the Multitude: For an Analysis of Contemporary Forms of Life, (NY: Semiotext(e), 2004) p.21].

Genealogies of practice

  • VIDEO NATION,  (UK / Reino Unido) BBC
    As camcorders became cheap and easy to use in the 1980s and ‘90s, amateur or home video recordings became very popular. In 1993 Chris Mohr and Mandy Rose of the BBC’s Community Programmes Unit founded the Video Nation project. Fifty people across the UK were given Hi-8 camcorders and training and recorded aspects of everyday life during the course of a year. During Video Nation’s first decade, ten thousand tapes were shot and 1,300 shorts were screened on TV. Video Nation followed the precedent of the Mass Observation Project launched in Britain in the 1930s, which focused on the observation of the working classes’ everyday life, generating alternatives to the then dominant media representations. The main feature of the Video Nation project, which set it apart from the “reality tv” format, was that camcorders and training were given to participants who wanted to record their own video-diaries and join public life as political subjects in their own right.  The project migrated to the web in 2001 and continues today in a new format as Video Nation Network, an archive where all the recordings that were screened may be accessed for free.


  • Disobedient Video in France in the 1970s: Video Production by Women’s Collectives. Stéphanie Jeanjean. 2011, Londres: Afterall Journal n. 27,

  • Micropolíticas de los grupos. Para una ecología de las prácticas colectivas.  David Vercauteren, Olivier 2010, Madrid: Traficantes de Sueños

  • Gramática de la multitud. Para un análisis de las formas de vida contemporáneas.  Paolo Virno. 2003, Madrid: Traficantes de Sueños

  • Collectivism after Modernism. The Art of Social Imagination after 1945.  Blake Stimson & Gregory Sholette (eds.), 2007, Minneapolis: University of Minisota Press.

  • Proyecto Mutirão. Graziela Kunsch, Sao Paulo ,
    Projeto Mutirão is an open-ended dialogical research process that exists solely in the form of ‘excerpts’- conversations, lectures and classes depicting the collective production of a city. The starting point for these verbal exchanges are single-take videos that investigate the ways in which self-organized cities are generated. The videos, shot by Graziela herself, document her political involment in struggles for free housing and transportation and other issues in Brazil. [In Portuguese Mutirão (from the Tupi-Guarani word moti’ro), translates as a gathering of people who assist one another during the harvest or work together on some other common goal. In Brazilian Portuguese, the term is used to designate mutual assistance collectives that work for some common goal; it may refer to communal agricultural work, or to a popular construction method whereby neighbours get together to construct their homes, and assist one another exchanging work days through a rotation system that functions without wages or hierarchies. The term has been expanded to designate collective initiatives of participatory mutual aid or community work: a mutirão to paint the school, to clean and fix the park, etc. The original Tupi-Guarani notion of mutirão has equivalents in other indigenous communities in Latin America: minga in Colombia, Perú, Ecuador, Chile, Paraguay and Bolivia; or yanama for the Wayuu communities in Colombia and Venezuela. Cooperative work was also a typical African pattern in the rural black communities in Brazil, linked to Yoruba, Dahomean and other African traditions.]