Project sigma: the temporality of activism

Morariu, Vlad ORCID: and Karhunen, Jaakko (2020) Project sigma: the temporality of activism. In: Cultures of violence. Visual arts and political violence. Kinna, Ruth and Whiteley, Gillian, eds. Routledge, pp. 60-78. ISBN 9781138624917, e-ISBN 9780429460357. [Book Section] (doi:10.4324/9780429460357)

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This chapter focuses on sigma, a network of cultural practitioners that was active roughly between 1963–1965. This highly ambitious project involved a network of writers, artists, scientists and psychiatrists, including William Burroughs, Jeff Nuttall and R.D. Laing. Its successes were modest: the most tangible outcome of the project was the sigma portfolio, an expanding, self-published collection of texts (Trocchi, 1964), ‘part manifesto, part manual’ for art activism (Wark, 2011 : 126). Its initiator and convener was Alexander Trocchi, the Scottish novelist, poet, Situationist and drug addict. The intention of the text is to present a close reading of sigma essays to explore the unfolding of an art activist logic within the programmatic texts of the portfolio.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords (uncontrolled): Arts, Humanities, Politics & International Relations, Social Sciences
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design
Item ID: 30920
Notes on copyright: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge/CRC Press in Cultures of violence. Visual arts and political violence on 16/04/2020, available online: or
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Depositing User: Vlad Morariu
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2020 13:07
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2020 08:37

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