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News :: Education
Lies told about anarchists at MIT
08 Apr 2005
Reading a story about a recent seminar on evil at MIT I was shocked to hear a tired old lie about anarchists being rehashed two years after it had been slapped down.
The lie is that anarchists during the Spanish civil war had somehow used surrealistic torture chambers and practised torture. It was repeated by a ' Ronald Jones ' who claims he is an artist.

I am here to tell him he is a artist allright...a bullshit artist.

Ronald Jones bullshit artist.

Ronald Jones, a professor at Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts, and Design, in Stockholm, talked about the intersection of art and evil — like the Nazi crematoriums that were surrounded by peaceful gardens so as to avoid causing "unnecessary alarm" in the victims for whom they provided a last earthly glimpse. Or the "psychotechnic torture" employed by anarchists in the Spanish Civil War, where prison cells were spangled with wild colors, strange shapes, and shifting light in order to make their inhabitants confused and distressed.

Ronald Jones, an artist and critic, is Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, Sweden, and is on the Visiting Faculty at the Staatliche Hochschule fur Bildende Kunste, Stadelschule Frankfurt, Germany. Before taking these appointments, he served as the first Provost at Art Center College of Design where he guided the design and implementation of a new transdisciplinary curriculum for the College. He came to Art Center from Columbia University, where he was Professor of Visual Arts in the School of the Arts, and Co-Director of the Interactive Design Lab. Before joining the faculty at Columbia, Jones was Senior Critic at the School of Art, Yale University for nine years. He has also served on the faculty of The Royal Danish Academy of Art, Copenhagen, The Rhode Island School of Design, The School of Visual Arts, New York, among others.

Jones is represented by Metro Pictures and the Sonnabend Gallery in New York. He is a principle at o-b-o-k (ord, bilder, objekt and kunskap), an office for experience design he formed with Laurie Haycock Makela. o-b-o-k provides cross-discipline research, creative development, and experience design through the integration of writing, art, design, and history.

He holds a Certificate from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, took the MFA degree from the University of South Carolina, and the Ph.D. in art history from Ohio University. He has delivered over two hundred lectures at universities, museums, and art and design schools including Harvard University, The Art Institute of Chicago, Yale University, The Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Guggenheim Museum, The Rhode Island School of Design, Parsons School of Design, DIA Center for the Arts, New York City, Royal College of Art, London, Carnegie Mellon University, Brown University, Akademie Der Bildenden Kunste, Vienna, the Architectural Association, London, among others.

Jones contributes regularly to Art Forum and frieze and writes frequently on contemporary art for various publications including Art in America, Parkett, Zone, Flash Art. He is the author of numerous museum and exhibition catalogs most recently having written on David Salle, Elizabeth Peyton, Terry Winters, and Willem de Kooning.

A practicing artist Jones has exhibited internationally including solo exhibitions in New York, Berlin, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Paris, and Cologne. Recent projects include garden designs in Munster (for the Munster Sculpture Project) and ìAussendist,î a garden complex for the city of Hamburg, both in Germany. His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, among others.

His first opera ìFalling and Wavingî was produced by the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Arts at Saint Annís in New York City in 1999. He is at work on a second opera titled ìMoon Shot.î

Dr. Jones has received numerous awards, including the National Endowment for the Arts Visual Arts Fellowship, and a Mellon Grant. In addition, he was a member of the Executive Committee of the Lucent Project at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and sits on the boards of numerous cultural organizations including the Public Art Fund, and Artists Space.

Dean or professor?

Dean of the School of Arts at Columbia University.

Anarchist response to lies...

I could not find Ronald Mc Donalds email address yet but
when I do he will receive a copy of this article. I would appreciate its circulation widely and in Scandanavia if possible.
Thanks. ( skol )

This work is in the public domain
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Re: Lies told about anarchists at MIT
08 Apr 2005
Interesting case this. Both sides of the Spanish Civil war did use dubious methods to further their ends.

Generally speaking though the outrages such as the dragging of the corpses of nuns through the streets by the republicans was the result of excess on the part of the victorious forces.

The fascists however planned and executed their outrages as a matter of policy. The difference is more than simply a matter of semantics. The use of torture would have been planned by the fascists.

On the opposing side it would have been the result of over zealous troops going against standing orders.

There has been also a disturbing trend recently of revisionism to rehabilitate the extreme rightwing .

In europe it is either blunt denial, or the uggestion that the fascists have some good ideas (roads, railways, immigration).

The unedifying spectacle of xenophobia dressing itself up as intellectualism is disturbing and farcical at the same time.

When these include teachers, lawyers and judges, the whole society should be worried.

Voting for fascism is the preserve of the ignorant who dont understand history, or those whose axes are grinding night and day.

In France all professions seem to have numbers of people prepared to ignore their past to vote Le Pen.

As the maxim has it, those who do not understand the lessons of history are condemned to repeat it.