Schiz-Flux: “War Chest Tour” (1988)

WAR CHEST TOUR

Schiz-flux held a ‘roving’ demonstration last May Day called the War Chest Tour. We sought to emphasize a total critique of the war economy by ‘hitting’ various businesses and institutions ranging from McDonald’s to the ROTC. In between these confrontations were excursions into ‘liberated zones’, areas pre-designated for the free (fore)play of radical subjectivity. Plans included a smoke-in at the Memorial Union, the burning of American, Soviet and McDonalds flags, and a May Pole dance in Peace Link park where participants would dart from the dance to the porn shops on State St. where, charged with fertile adrenalin, they would form a circle inside of which a ‘free exchange of pleasure’ could occur. Artsy props and banners were prepared for the whole occasion and over 500 flyers were distributed prior to the event asking other activist groups to plan actions on the same day.

The response was dismal. At noon we arrived with sundry props at the steps of the union and danced around while taking turns with the bullhorn exhorting students to quit work, quit school and join the ‘revolution of desire’. About 40 students gathered while huge joints of homegrown were shared with all in the vicinity. Chief of Campus Police Bozo Hansor appeared with a walkie talkie in hand to keep an eye on this small-scale insurrection as we walked around the back of the union chanting “Smash the war machine”. Once inside more joints were shared and students were invited to join  the march.

The pot must’ve spaced everyone out, though, because only 10 of us made it to the next target on the tour, the ROTC building. Also, the concept behind the Tour was not understood by the initial participants: the War Chest Tour was conceived as a fast-moving, highly-charged performance which integrated a militant anti-capitalist perspective with the liberating energy necessary to subvert the system. It was a failure because the crucial link between art, politics and pleasure is unfamiliar to most of the liberals, peaceniks and leftists that the Madison area is positively crawling with; where political asceticism and sad militancy are the prevailing models. But WATCH OUT! We may be back. If you’re interested in organizing War Chest Tour this May Day, get in contact with us!

SCHIZ-FLUX
Madison, WI

from SMILE #2 (Madison, WI), 1988,  p13.

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3 Responses to “Schiz-Flux: “War Chest Tour” (1988)”


  1. 1 panther September 13, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    oh this is exciting to see this posted. I wrote that article and even though that was in 1988, it seems very pertinent today – although, establishing material zones of non-economic activity is more important. Could whoever posted this make a small correction? In the sentence that reads:

    “Plans included a smoke-in at the Memorial Union, the burning of American, Soviet and McDonalds flags, and a May Pole dance in Peace Link park where participants would dart from the dance to the porn shops or State St. where, charged with fertile adrenalin, they would form a circle inside of which a “free exchange of pleasure’ could occur”,

    t should actually say “porn shops on State St.” – the idea was not to go into the porn shops where pleasure in quantified according to the logic of the market, but to stand in front of the store and have free pleasure (outside of relations of commodiification and objectification.

    thanks!

    Panther Sequoia


  1. 1 Neues aus den Archiven der radikalen (und nicht so radikalen) Linken « Entdinglichung Trackback on March 2, 2011 at 9:49 am

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