On November 2, 2017, Chris Mansour interviewed Brendan O’Neill, editor of Spiked! and a panelist on a conversation that took place the night before entitled Is the Left Eating Itself?, part of an international discussion linked to Spiked!’s Unsafe Space Tour, which aimed to tackle issues such as campus culture, free speech, and Title IX. A recording of the conversation can be found at
Art does not have an ahistorical essence but is a multivalent term referring to a set of ideas and practices that function differently in society throughout time.
On September 21, 2012, Chris Mansour interviewed Stephen Eric Bronner, a professor at Rutgers University and author of Rosa Luxemburg: A Revolutionary for Our Times (1980), Socialism Unbound (1990), Of Critical Theory and Its Theorists (1994), and Reclaiming the Enlightenment: Toward a Politics of Radical Engagement (2004), among many others. His most recent book is Modernism at the Barricades: Aesthetics, Politics, and Utopia. What follows is an edited transcript of the interview.
On November 28, 2011, Chris Mansour interviewed Julia Bryan-Wilson, Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of California, Berkeley and the author of Art Workers: Radical Practice in the Vietnam War Era (2009). Mansour and Bryan-Wilson talked about the history of the Art Workers' Coalition and its political relevance today, in light of the increasing involvement of artists and artistic strategies in the Occupy movement. What follows is an edited transcript.
At the 2011 Left Forum, held at Pace University between March 18–21, Platypus hosted a conversation on the theme of Aesthetics in Protests. Panelists Stephen Duncombe (Reclaim the Streets), Marc Herbst (Journal of Aesthetics and Protest), Chris Mansour (Platypus), Laurel Whitney (The Yes Men), were asked to consider: “What are the historical roots that contribute to the use of current aesthetic interventions in political protests? In what ways do they expand or limit the possibilities for protests to transform the social order? How does experimenting with aesthetic and artistic sensibilities influence our political consciousness and practice?” The same theme was the subject of another event held at the New School in NYC on May 23, which featured Marc Herbst (Journal of Aesthetics and Protest), Chris Mansour (Platypus), A.K. Burns (W.A.G.E.), and Beka Economopoulos (Not An Alternative). The article that follows is a modified version of the opening remarks made by Chris Mansour of Platypus at both events.
On February 11, 2011—the day Hosni Mubarak resigned the office of President of Egypt—Chris Mansour interviewed Susan Buck-Morss, professor of political philosophy and social theory at Cornell University and author of The Origin of Negative Dialectics and Thinking Past Terror: Islamism and Critical Theory on the Left, on behalf of the Platypus Review. What follows is an edited transcript of their conversation.
On February 19, 2011, Chris Mansour of Platypus interviewed Robert Hullot-Kentor, noted Adorno translator and author of Things Beyond Resemblance: Collected Essays on Theodor W. Adorno. What follows is an edited transcript of the interview.
IN WALTER BENJAMIN’S MAGNUM OPUS, The Arcades Project, capitalist modernity is in several instances depicted as a “hellish” existence. He describes this condition as history continuing to truck along in its course, but only doing so regressively. Hell, in short, is “transiency without progress.” Here, Benjamin is not voicing a Romantic sensibility; he does not bemoan modernity for having trampled over the once “harmonious” and organic way of life supposedly experienced in premodern times.
NO GAMES CHICAGO WAS FOUNDED in the summer of 2008 when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that Chicago was among the bid cities for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. The group’s aim is to prevent Chicago from hosting the games—nothing more, nothing less. The reason for this opposition is No Games Chicago’s claim that, if Chicago wins the bid to host the Olympics, the city’s working class would bear the bulk of the costs. They substantiate their claim by pointing to the experience of previous host cities, the lack of transparency in the decision process within Mayor Richard Daley’s Chicago Bid Committee, and economic statistics that show Chicago is already too financially strained to host the games.