WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 29, at 5pm
A citizens’ meeting open to all: cookies and tea. Together, let’s devise strategies for freedom of digital expression.
(Sala Conservas, c/Sant Pau 58, ground floor, 08001 Barcelona. Metro: Liceu)
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 29 at 7.30pm
WU MING 1 PRESENTS THE BOOK “NEW THING” IN BARCELONA
(Sala Conservas, C/ Sant Pau 58, ground floor, 08001 Barcelona. Metro: Liceu)
(see Wu Ming in the Oxcar Awards Ceremony section)
ABOUT “NEW THING” (ACUARELA LIBROS & A. MACHADO)
Spring 1967. America is in flames, rocked by race riots and the protests against the Vietnam war. In New York, various musicians with some connection to the “new thing” – the free jazz played by Alber Ayler, Archie Shepp and Bill Dixon – turn up dead in strange and violent circumstances. In the Black Power ghettoes there is talk of a murderer called The Son of Whiteman. Does he really exist? If so, is he acting on his own account or is he just an instrument of a frightened establishment.
Meanwhile, John Coltrane, warrior and guardian of the spirits in that freewheeling cutting edge of black culture, looks back over his life in a harsh, poetic soliloquy. A tape slips into the Butoba MT5 tape recorder belonging to Sonia Langmut, a young chronicler of the “new thing”. And a cloud of memories, characters and smoke is unleashed in a phantasmagorical sax solo. Polyphonic research, detective story, political jam session… New Thing is the first solo novel by Wu Ming 1.
“The publishing house Acuarela Libros was formed in 1999 as a result of the unbearable tedium of zombi-university life in Spain mixed with some earlier self-production experiences with music and fanzines. It was created by a group of friends who hadn’t had anything to do with publishing till then, but shared similar backgrounds and a similar way of doing things. The initial idea was to share with others some of the books that had changed our lives (…)
On one hand, the control that real time has over our day to day life isn’t easily compatible with reading – an activity that requires duration, attention, a certain “disconnection”. On the other, the supposed “end of books” coincides – paradoxically? – with the massive spread of books, as is well known. How is this possible? In any case, our total faith in the explosive potential of the written word when it comes into contact with lived experience remains intact. From the very beginning, we tried to resist taking on the role of the publisher-parasite who simply buys rights and translates books: we tried to enrich the published works with our own contributions (singular graphics, an interview, an introduction, an unpublished document…). Many of our books are also an excuse and/or a message in a bottle that try to set up new complicities, new friendships. For years (actually, since Wu Ming’s “This Revolution has no Face” was published), we have been committed to the use of creative commons licences (creativecommons.org), which go against the flow by allowing the public some of the uses that are usually denied them in a hegemonic view of intellectual property that sees them as potential enemies, never accomplices. Creative Commons encourages circulation and visibility, and for us this is essential in a market that is actually saturated. Some of the books we have published under creative commons licences have turned out to be among the biggest sellers. For just under a year, we’ve been co-publishing with Antonio Machado, where our ideas and madness are improbably met with warmth, attention, care and support.”
(excerpts from an interview by José Andrés Rojo for El País, 02/05/2008).