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We Want The Asteroid!

Presentation by Wu Ming 1 at the conference «Proper and Improper Names. Identity in the Information Society», Kino Šiška, Ljubljana, on October 18th, 2017. An event by Aksioma.

Wu Ming Foundation

on 12 September 2018

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Transcript of We Want The Asteroid!

Nicoletta Bourbaki
Wu Ming's Music Projects and the Wu Ming Contingent
Wu Ming Labs
Wu Ming & Giap
Alpinismo Molotov
Quinto Tipo
Resistenze in Cirenaica
A grassroots federation of collectives, inquiry groups, laboratories and cultural projects which were born on or around
(Wu Ming's blog), developing from discussions on Wu Ming's books.
Since 2012. An inquiry group devoted to the merry debunking of rightwing historical revisionism, history-related fake news and neofascist ideologies.The group comprises historians, researchers in various disciplines, writers and activists.

The collective pseudonym is a tribute to the ensemble of mathematicians collectively known as «Nicolas Bourbaki». They were active in France from the 1930s to the 1980s. The woman in Nicoletta's avatar pic is Serbian physicist Mileva Marić.
Since 2000, but with a new beginning in 2010. A collective of writers that wrote a lot of novels and UNOs - Unidentified Narrative Objects.

is Wu Ming's blog. It is named after the great Vietnamese general Vo Nguyen Giap, 1911-2013.
During the years the blog has become a laboratory teeming with experiments, collective inquiries and collaborative writing, continually influencing and reshaping Wu Ming's work.
In 1995-96 several psychic attacks were performed by Luther Blissett in Bologna and Rome.

Wu Ming's work, about 20 years later.
Alpinismo Molotov performs antifa rituals of decontamination on sites and peaks where neofascist mountain clubs raised their banners and flags.

In 2014 a gang of Italian mountaineers (members of neofascist party CasaPound) raised an Italian flag on top of Mount Učka, Croatia, and opened a banner with the text «TERRA E SANGUE D'ITALIA» [Blood and Soil of Italy].

«The union of blood and soil causes thetanus.»
(Karl Kraus)

In March 2015 Alpinismo Molotov decontaminated Mount Učka, first by staging a parody of Casapound's ascent - with members of the collective wearing pig masks and giving fascist salutes - then by reading aloud from books describing fascist war crimes in former Yugoslavia and the multinational Resistance fought by Italian, Croatian and Slovenian partisans.

Rituals of defascistization
In June 2013 the WMF issued a call for short stories for a free e-book entitled
Tifiamo asteroide
A Hundred Stories on the Catastrophic End of the Letta Government.

All stories had to belong to the sci-fi genre, depict the annihilation of then prime minister Enrico Letta by a falling asteroid or large meteor, and end with the same lines:
Luther Blissett's
Psychic Warfare

Wu Ming Foundation
The multiple-use name «Luther Blissett»
(1994 - xxxx)
and the
Luther Blissett Project
(1994 - 1999)
Since 2015. A permanent workshop and a meta-collective including Wu Ming and many others. RIC operates in the Cirenaica neighbourhood of Bologna, which was built in 1913 and named after the eastern region of (then recently conquered) Lybia.

RIC digs up stories of resistance to Italian colonialism and fascism, organises urban trekking walks, researches the history of the neighbourhood, paints murals, and protests the administration’s neoliberal city (un)planning.
Since 2014. A collective of antifascist, anticapitalist trekkers, climbers and mountain bikers. The group's task is to develop critical approaches to trekking and mountaineering, two practices that are too often plagued with machismo, nationalism, competitiveness and commodification.

Alpinismo Molotov takes part in - and reports on - enviromental struggles in the Alps and the Appennines, and has close relationships with the No Tav movement in Piedmont.

Since 2014. Simultaneously a series of books edited by Wu Ming 1 and published by Edizioni Alegre, a blog, and a collective of authors and editors.

At a certain point, the intense debate on Unidentified Narrative Objects and hybrid nonfiction made clear that we needed yet another laboratory, and a place where to publish other people’s experiments.

So far, Quinto Tipo has published 9 books.
Since 2013. An itinerant factory where stories are disassembled, analyzed and collectively rewritten in a quest for alternative, «detoxified» ways of telling them. There have been Wu Ming Labs on how radical movements can tell about their struggles, Wu Ming Labs for kids, Wu Ming Labs on the meaning of landscapes etc. Out of the Wu Ming Labs sprang new collectives of writers, such as Joana Carda and MetalMente. The latter is a collective of factory workers writing stories about their condition and working class life.
Since 2013. Wu Ming has always experimented with such forms as interpretative readings, spoken songs, literary recitals, and collaborated with many musicians, singers, rappers and other kinds of performing artists. Out of these activities sprang Wu Ming's musical section, the Wu Ming Contingent, a band that has issued two albums:
(2014) and
Schegge di Shrapnel
(2015). The third one is in the making.
Wu Ming

Eva and Franko Mattes


Psychic Warfare (Sweden)

and other offshots

(2000 - ...)
Psychic Attacks in Sweden, 2011 - 2013
Negative energies were channelled against political and cultural targets, as well as projects of invasive mega-infrastructures.
#Renziscappa - The Storymap
«By attacking Renzi you're helping the Right!»


«Psychic warfare» is a floating signifier: it doesn't point to any precise doctrine or theory.

The floating signifier is organized into a perlocutionary narrative: describing a practice as «psychic warfare» triggers strategical concatenations of dividual inputs.

Each concatenation expands the set of «psychic» tactics and practices giving agency to the «condividual of condividuals» we call Wu Ming Foundation.
Since 2014. Wu Ming 4 did a lot of research on how JRR Tolkien’s literature and Tolkien-related imagery had been hijacked and appropriated by Italian neofascists since the early 1970s. He debunked their interpretations and in the process he co-founded AIST, Associazione Italiana Studi Tolkieniani. AIST is now curating the new, revised Italian translation of
The Lord Of The Rings
2012-13. Using
to collectively construct a narrative on Italian war criminal Rodolfo Graziani - first Viceroy of Ethiopia after the Fascist occupation - being a JINX.
(Not exactly critical theory, let alone cultural marxism. Not even a sophisticated tactic, but it works. We don't believe in jinxes, but fascists do.)
The Abyssinian Curse
(aka #EffettoGraziani)
Graziani prinaša nesrečo, part 1. A wave of scandals, feuds and resignations within the Latium «centre-right» – that is, «post-fascist», which means fascist – milieu
«A dark curse weighs on Latium.» said Gianni Alemanno, right-wing Mayor of Rome from 2008 to 2013.
Alessandra Mussolini, foul-mouthed politician and granddaughter of Il Duce, fell into a sinkhole with her car and angrily put the blame on the Mayor. Antifas made fun of her and joked about a new foiba discovered in Rome.
Top regional leader of Berlusconi's party arrested for embezzling public money. A relevant detail: the guy was from the same town as Graziani (Filettino).
The right-wing president of Latium had to resign, swept away by the scandals
Graziani prinaša nesrečo, part 2: disasters in Grazianiland soon after the monument's inauguration
The sewers broke in Filettino (Graziani's hometown). Evil shit polluted the local river.
A few days later, in Filettino again, fire destroyed 15 hectares of forest.
Some time later, a snowstorm caused a huge blackout in Filettino.
Alemanno's luxury apartment was then broken into and robbed in broad daylight.
...and so on and so forth.
YouTube search suggestions: «Protest against Renzi in...» almost every Italian city.
Why is this pic upside down?
The Psychic Warfare Chronicles
«After the deafening roar, with our ears ringing, we could still hear that music.
There, where up to a moment before, Enrico Letta, leader of the
large entente
coalition government, was standing, was now an incredible chasm. Clouds of black smoke were rising from the huge crater.»

The operation was actually a large-scale psychic attack against the newly formed «centre-left»-«centre-right» coalition government led by Letta.

Hundreds of short-stories poured in. A hundred of them were selected. The resulting ebook soon became a viral success. In a few days, it was downloaded tens of thousands of times.

Since then, the hashtag #tifiamoasteroide has become a classic on the Italian Twitter, long surviving the Letta government, which lasted only a few months and was replaced by the Renzi government, which looked more or less like the same crap, but in fact was even worse.

Could we leave the new government in peace? Hell no! A further psychic attack was around the corner: #Renziscappa.
2014-16, Matteo Renzi runs away (chased by angry crowds)
Dozens of riotous protests against our then prime minister's official visits took place all over Italy in the 2014-16 period. It kept happening, but there was no broad, consistent narrative: journalists treated each event as an isolated fact and never connected the dots. The
community launched the #Renziscappa hashtag to name the practice, and provided useful tools to monitor - and incite - the phenomenon.
So far, the best - ie less incomplete - account of the LBP available in English.
Leaflet distributed in Rome, Autumn 1995: Instructions on how to perform a psychic attack.
On January 12th, 1995, the Bologna LBP performed a preemptive psychic attack on the to-be-constructed gigantic railway station designed by catalan archistar Ricardo Bofill. The attack was broadcast live on two local radio stations. Two nights later, fire broke in Bofill's Barcelona studio. Spanish newspaper
El Pais
reported the event. Of course, the LBP claimed responsibility. In 1999 the project was cancelled.
...we celebrate the Italian tradition of hanging fascists upside down, starting from the top boss himself. Here's a playful take on the subject: «Cut out the Duce silhouette and hang it according to old partisan tradition.»
Since 2015. An ongoing collective inquiry on documented relationships between PD leaders and far-right groups.
...on the night of October 12th, 2012, several Bologna urinals were entitled to Graziani and twinned to the Affile mausoleum. The original word «HONOUR» was replaced with «ODOUR».
«Edits and historical falsehoods, here's how the far right pollutes Wikipedia pages... The inquiry was held by Nicoletta Bourbaki, a collective of historians, writers and activists, and published on the blog

Can you imagine a mausoleum dedicated to Heinrich Himmler in Lüneburg? In August 2012 the right-wing mayor of Affile, the small Latium town where Graziani is buried, inaugurated a mausoleum dedicated to the «illustrious fellow citizen». The Ethiopian authorities and the Ethiopian community in Italy complained. Antifascists protested and asked for the building's demolition. The Mayor was indicted for misuse of public funds and apology of fascism. However, the mausoleum is still there. It's flabbergastingly squalid and looks very much like the typical
(street public urinal). That's why...
Long Term Effects of Voting the Alleged «Lesser Evil»
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