InDEBTed to Intervene

This highly original book looks at debt as an instrument for social control and investigates the connections between debt, design, art and communication. Aiming not just to advance scholarship, but to push ahead real change in the world, the book offers analytical insights and conceptual apparatuses, as well as practical tools and radical inspirations. A powerful analysis of a concept that has become ever more central to everyday society, InDEBTed to Intervene is essential reading for scholars and citizens alike. It is a most beautifully designed political book and we have worked hard to keep its price low.

InDEBTed to Intervene, Critical Lessons in Debt, Communication, Art and Theoretical Practice

Debt has become the primary mechanism that takes power from the people and gives it to the hands of the 1%. But debt is rarely questioned. Its moral obligation is culturally embedded. It is shaming. Its power lies in its violent normalcy. During the global protests against the austerity measures and financialisation, one thing became clear. Debt is no threat to the capitalist economy. In fact, it lies at the very core of the neoliberal project. What is to be done?

If communication, design and art are to play a relevant role in shaping a future worth having, we need to further redirect, reinvent, and re-imagine our own understanding and the way we think, theorize, and practice them. The burden of debt and its social consequences not only offer an opportunity to do so, but also an urgent responsibility.

InDEBTed to Intervene is inspired by the global "Occupy" uprisings in response to Occupy Wall Street in NYC in 2011 and 2012. Memefest was actively involved in this historic movement and responded with a radical festival themed ‘Debt’. The toppic was chosen because debt was reveiled as the key instrument of capitalist domination and we wanted to contribute to a better understanding of debt and how to fight it. Our interest was in the role debt is playing in relation to design, communication and art and in possible ways this very disciplines and professions can respond to debt. This book shows especially curated results of this process and also presents new additional work on the theme.

The book starts with new texts written on the subject for this publication by a unique group of scholars, educators, and activists from Slovenia, Australia, and the US. Debt is discussed through the lens of public communication, art, design, technology, political economy, social struggle, surveillance, protest, education, enforced subjectivities, and urban as well as virtual space. This is followed by an international selection of works from the 2012 Memefest festival process: visual communication, critical writing and participatory radical art. Works include written contextual articulations by participants and commentaries by Memefest’s curators. This extradisciplinary contextual, public, and dialogic approach to analyze and evaluate communication design and art is unique to Memefest. It shifts the focus beyond the image and towards communication. Finally, an essay about the extradisciplinary seminar/workshop/intervention held in Brisbane at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University in November 2012 talks about a specific approach to research and institutional critique.

This collection of response-able essays, theoretical discussions, art, and communication design works presents findings about debt through the lens of communication, design and art for social and environmental change; in this sense, it is the first of its kind. It offers analytical insights, conceptual apparatuses, practical tools, and radical inspiration. Debt defines our lives and lies at the core of human relations; this book is an intervention that aims to contribute to the process of real change. The time for change is now.

Check table of contents here and the Introduction to the book here.

We kept the price (23 USD) as low as possible to make it accessible for everyone. It is a 224 full color book with amazing original content and beautiful design. Books on such production level cost usually 2 or 3x the price.

Buy the book here.

*you will have a very hard time to find a more beautiful designed book with such radical ideas