Max Haiven

Max Haiven is a writer and teacher and 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. He is often found in Berlin.

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

Events

Upcoming

coming soon

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.

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.

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

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

RiVAL: The ReImagining Value Action Lab

A workshop for the radical imagination, social justice, and decolonization, co-directed by Max Haiven and Cassie Thornton, with a base in Anishinaabe territories on the North Shore of Lake Superior (Thunder Bay, Canada) and activities online and around the world.

VAGABONDS pamphlet series

A series of radical pamphlets to fan the flames of discontent. Too combative for polite academic company and too thoughtful for the outrage spin cycle. Published by Pluto Press in print and online and edited by Max Haiven.

Conspiracy Games and Countergames

A network of scholars and a research project to explore and confront contemporary conspiratorialism through the power of games and gaming.

The Amazon Observatory

A collaboration of scholars, activists and artists seeking to understand and challenge the form of capitalism that the Amazon corporation is trying to create.

University of the Phoenix

The world’s first for-profit institution for higher learning that trains the living and the dead to rise up together to avenge the crimes and cruelties of global capitalism. A platform for performance, ritual, and revenge, often operating as an art project, from Cassie Thornton and Max Haiven.

The Strange Bedfellowship

In an era when capitalism and colonialism have stolen our dreams or put them to work, how can we dream together anew?

Past projects

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.

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.