Max Haiven

Max Haiven is a writer, editor and teacher and is the Canada Research Chair in the Radical Imagination.

His most recent books are Palm Oil: The Grease of Empire (2022), Revenge Capitalism: The Ghosts of Empire, the Demons of Capital, and the Settling of Unpayable Debts (2020), and Art After Money, Money After Art: Creative Strategies Against Financialization (2018).

Haiven is editor of VAGABONDS, a series of short, radical books from Pluto Press.

He teaches at Lakehead University on Anishinaabe territories on the North Shore of Gitchigumi in the territories currently known as Canada.

Max is often found in Berlin these days.

Haiven directs the ReImagining Value Action Lab (RiVAL), a workshop for the radical imagination, social justice and decolonization.

Financialization

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Art After Money, Money After Art

Creative Strategies Against Financialization ~ Published in 2018 by Pluto Books

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The Entagled Legacies of Empire

Race, finance and inequality ~ Edited by Paul Gilbert, Clea Bourne, Max Haiven and Johnna Montgomerie ~ Published by Manchester University Press in 2023.

Cultures of Financialization 2014

Cultures of Financialization

Fictitious Capital in Popular Culture and Everyday Life ~ Published in 2014 by Palgrave Macmillan.

Struggles

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The Radical Imagination2014

The Radical Imagination

Social Movement Research in the Age of Austerity ~ by Max Haiven and Alex Khasnabish ~ Published by Zed books in 2014

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Is Amazon the Borg? We Asked their Workers

Part of a project to host speculative fiction writing workshops with rank-and-file Amazon workers to envision a world after Amazon (2021-present).

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Our Age of Uprisings

We are a world remaking itself ~ Reflections on the state of global struggles for ROAR Magazine, 2021

Games

The Society for the Promotion of Radical Analogue Games

Dedicated to hosting a supportive community of game designers, players and thinkers concerned with the radical imagination

Games under development

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Clue-Anon

A bluffing and deduction game for 3-4 players about what makes conspiracy theories so much fun... and so dangerous!

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Billionaires and Guillotines

It's all fun and games for 3-4 aspiring plutocrats, until someone triggers a revolution.

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Rebel City

In this tense 2-player game, the ruthless police chase a rebel leader through hostile streets on the brink of open revolt.

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We Dreamed a Dream

A game for many players that aims to restore the ancient power of collective dream guessing.

Events

2023

  • Community talk, "The Player and the Played: Power and Resistance in Gamified Capitalism," Sofia, Bulgaria, November 2023.
  • Invited talk, “Worker as Futurist,” Glasgow University Innovative Research Methodologies for a Digital Society, Glasgow (online), 1 December 2023.
  • Workshop, "States of Pay and Play: Gamification and Capitalism,"American University in Bulgaria, Blagoevgrad, 27 November 2023.
  • Invited talk, "Capitalism and the Radical Imagination: A Dialogue," American University in Bulgaria, Blagoevgrad, 27 November 2023.
  • Invited talk, "The Player and the Played: Power and Resistance in Gamified Capitalism" at the PLATFORM visiting lecture series, Abertay University, Dundee, 22 November 2023.
  • Workshop, "Writing After Their Future: A Sci-fi Fictioning Workshop with Max Haiven" at SALT. CLAY. ROCK. (on nuclear pasts and radiant futures) research assembly, NGBK, Berlin, November 18 2023.
  • Paper, "Worker as Futurist: Speculative Fiction Writing as Workers Inquiry" at Historical Materialism 2023, London, November 2023.
  • Play/panel, GameChangers board game, Panke Gallery, Berlin, 28 Septermber 2023.
  • Discussion, "Working Writers and Writing Workers," Literaturforum im Brecht-Haus, Berlin, September 2023.
  • Launch event, "Entangled Legacies of Empire: Race, Finance and Inequality," online, June 2023.
  • Presentation, "Worker-as-Futurist: Writing speculative fiction with Amazon workers." The Marxist Literary Group’s Institute on Culture and Society, Boston, June 2023 
  • Invited talk, "Palm Oil: The Grease of Empire." Drugo More cultural centre, Rijeka, Croatia, April 2023.
  • Invited talk (with Cassie Thornton), "How to organise peer-to-peer healthcare support? / how to build the world after Amazon?" MaMa Multimedia Institute, Zagreb, Croatia, April 2023.
  • Invited talk, “Palm oil and the capitalist mode of human sacrifice.” Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten, Den Haag, Netherlands, April 2023.
  • Invited talk, “Four Ventures of the Radical Imagination: Experimental Projects about the Changing Faces of Capitalism,” Art Laboratory, Department of the Arts (DAR), Universita’ di Bologna, Italy, April 2023.
  • Book launch, “The Entangled Legacies of Empire,” Institute of Advanced Studies, University College London, UK, March 2023.
  • Workshop, “Board game design for social awareness,” Media and Journalism MA program, Macromedia Hochschule Berlin, Germany, March 2023.
  • Workshop, “Board games for planetary pedagogy,” Performance Studies, University of Giessen, Germany, February 2023.

2022

  • Invited talk, “Palm oil and the empire of sacrifice,” Aesthetics of Empire Research Cluster annual lecture, Linnaeus University, Sweden, December 2022.
  • Invited talk “Palm oil’s ghosts and money’s art,” School of Fine Art and Music Annual Lecture Series, University of Guelph, November 2022.
  • Online lecture, “Palm oil and sacrificial capitalism,” Marxist Education Project, October 2022.
  • Book event, Palm Oil: The Grease of Empire, Lakehead University, October 2022.
  • Conference track facilitation, “Disarming Resource Wars,” After Extractivism conference, Berliner Gazette, October 2022.
  • Panel discussion, “Empire and Ecology,” After Extractivism conference, Berliner Gazette, October 2022.
  • Online lecture, “Palm Oil: The Grease of Empire,” Connected Sociologies Curriculum Project: The Environment and Climate Change, June 2022.
  • Workshop, “Clue-Anon: Exploring conspiracy thinking through game design in a moment of gamified capitalism” Games, Inc. conference organized by ephemera journal, June 2022.
  • Invited panel talk, NFTs as Revenge Capitalism, Y-Lab of the National Gallery of Singapore (online), May 2022.
  • Invited talk, “Capitalist Sacrifice” At the No Linear Fucking Time workshop, BAK (Basis voor Actuele Kunst), Utrecht, May 2022.
  • Invited talk and workshop, “Should we play games with conspiracies?” Athens School of Fine Arts, March 2022.
  • Invited talk, “Financialization’s culture of revenge” Volatility Cultures series, Goldsmiths University London, February 2022.
  • Panel facilitator, “Debt, money and compromise” transmediale: for refusal symposium, January 2022.

2021

 

  • Invited talk, “Revenge Capitalism” The Marxist Education Project, November 2021.
  • Invited talk, “Risk management as human sacrifice and vice-versa” Schemas of Uncertainty series, Sandberg Institute (Amsterdam) (online), November 2021.
  • Invited talk, "The ghosts of Occupy: Notes on a haunted decade, in the spirit of David Graeber?" Art of Assembly, Volksbühne Theatre (Berlin), September 2021.
  • Invited talk, “Revenge capitalism and money's utopia" at &Utopia. University of Copenhagen and California Institute of the Arts (online), September 2021.
  • Invited talk, “Art, opium and anaesthetics now” at Opium Wars – Opium Cultures workshop, online. Universität Bielefeld (Germany), June 2021.
  • Panel talk, Debt After Graeber, Red May, Seattle (online), May 2021.
  • Panel talk, The Vengeance of Unpayable Debts, RiVAL: The ReImagining Value Action Lab (online), April 2021.
  • Invited talk, "The struggle for the post-pandemic imagination," part of the Third Age Learning Lakehead speaker series Pivot(al): Possibilities for a Post-pandemic World (online: Thunder Bay, Canada), March 2021.
  • Invited panel talk, Radical Imagination: Storytelling and Ways of Connection, part of University of British Columbia's Communities of Care Speakers' Series (online: Vancouver, Canada), March 2021.
  • Invited talk, "From the radical imagination to revenge capitalism (and back)" hosted by the Royal Institute of Art's Post-Masters Collective Practice Research Course (online: Stockholm, Sweden), March 2021.

2020

  • Invited panel talk, "Economic disobedience and the avenging imaginary in the age of never-ending culture wars" hosted by Contemporary Art and Social Transformation and the School of Art at RMIT University (online: Melbourne, Australia), October 2020.
  • Panel talk, "What is revenge capitalism?" at Revenge Capitalism and Revenge Communism, hosted by Common Notions, Pluto Press and RiVAL: The ReImagining Value Action Lab (online), October 2020.
  • Public talk, "Revenge capitalism." Hosted by Anitcapitalist Resistance (online: London, UK). October 2020.
  • Invited talk, “Money=social magic” at Moneylab 8 conference (Ljubljana, Slovenia), June 2020
  • Invited talk, "Art, debt, capitalism and revenge" at the Slade School of Fine Art (London), May 2020.
  • Invited talk, “Is ours an age of revenge capitalism?” at the University College of London Institute for Advanced Study Talking Points Seminar, online, May 2020.
  • Invited talk, “‘Revenge is a human dream” at Radical May online bookfair, online , May 2020.
  • Keynote, “Revenge cultures and dead zones” at Economies of Dispossession conference, OCAD University (Toronto, Canada), March 2020.
  • Invited talk, “The Radical Imagination” at Al-Quds Bard College (East Jerusalem, Palestine), February 2020.
  • Invited talk, “Art after money, money after art” at the Al Qattan Foundation (Ramallah, Palestine), February 2020.

Current projects

Radical Analogue Games Lab

A platform for exploring, creating, sharing and critiquing analogue games concerning critical theory and social justice.

The Strange Bedfellowship

We are seeking to discover the potential of dreaming together against a world of nightmares (with Phanuel Antwi and Cassie Thornton).

Conspiracy Games and Countergames

A podcast, publishing and experimental game initiative to explore what makes conspiracism fun... and dangerous (with Aris Komporozos-Athanasiou and A. T. Kingsmith).

Worker as Futurist

A collaboration with rank-and-file Amazon workers to write and read speculative fiction as a form of resistance to an unchosen future (with Xenia Benivolski, Graeme Webb and Sara Olutola).

Past projects

ReMatriating the Library

What would it mean for a library to return the land on which it sits to Inidgenous peoples from whom the land was taken?

The Art and Money Project

A 2011-2019 project, resulting in a book and a public image archive to investigate (a) the commodification and financialization of art, (b) the art-like dimensions of money and financial markets, and (c) the work of artists concerned with these themes.​ Results included the 2018 book Art After Money, Money After Art: Creative Strategies Against Financialization

Current initiatives

RiVAL: The ReImagining Value Action Lab

A workshop for the radical imagination, social justice and decolonization, with a space in Thunder Bay and activities around the world.

VAGABONDS book series

A series of peer-reviewed radical pamphlets to fan the flames of discontent. Published by Pluto Press in print and online and edited by Max Haiven.

The University of the Phoenix

An art/performance/ritual collective concerning the radical potential of ghosts (with Cassie Thornton).

Past initiatives

The Radical Imagination Project

From 2010 to 2017 Max Haiven and Alex Khasnabish operated a platform for working with social movements in Halifax, Canada, resulting in two books, a series of workshops, a film series and more.​ Results include the 2014 book The Radical Imagination: Social Movement Research in the Age of Austerity and the 2018 collection What Moves Us: The Lives and Times of the Radical Imagination