BASTARD Conference 2021

The Berkeley Anarchist Study Group will hold the 2021 BASTARD Conference at 12pm on Saturday, November 13, at The Long Haul Infoshop in Berkeley, CA. BASTARD is an annual gathering of informal, autodidactic conversations and presentations about anarchy. It functions as a forum for participants in the study group as well as guests from around the world to share their interests and pursuits. We took the year off in 2020 for obvious reasons, but we’re back this year for an afternoon of discussions around the theme of Excess.

Anarchy considered as a continual going beyond: beyond the constraints of power, the limits of the imagination, beyond morality, identity, metaphysics. Anarchism as exceeding the progressive, managerial impulses of politics towards new anti-political horizons. Accursed share, decadence, transgression, waste. William Blake reminds us that, “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom; for we never know what is enough until we know what is more than enough.” That is precisely what we’d like to consider this year: what is more than enough?

We invite anyone who would like to participate in this year’s conference to submit their proposal for a talk. The theme of “Excess” is meant to be considered broadly and we welcome anarchists with a paper to read, an art piece to perform, or a conversation they’d enjoy facilitating to submit ideas for presentations even if the connection with the theme isn’t immediately obvious. The deadline will be November 5th. Sorry for the late notice this year. Please email proposals to birdsoffire [at] riseup [dot] net or drop by the study group Tuesday evenings from 7:30-9:30pm at The Long Haul and pitch it in person.

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Whichever option is more excessive in either way, as per the theme.


We never know what is enough until we know what is more than enough.

Start piling on masks until you’re suffocated or crushed by their weight, whichever happens first.
Start injecting vaccines until the dose is toxic or you’re crushed by its weight, whichever is more excessive. Both and. It will be like those infamous nazi human experiments, and subsequent experimentation on rats and other lab animals.

Wouldn’t it be more sensible to guestimate what would be in excess and aim for just right or whatever’s your fancy?


Anarchy is not about being sensible.
It’s about being extremely excessive and excessively extremist.

*joissances all over your face

I am excessively cautious in my approach and excessively skeptical and critical of your approach.

Someone should filibuster as an art performance and be the first to go so as to take up the maximum amount of time, really unnecessarily excessive. The rest of the performances or presentations or conversations could happen at the same time, overlapping each other in a really loud and excessive cacophony.

Will there be a dangerous space anti-policy? That’d be really excessive.

Am I running this joke- I mean concept to the ground? Yeah that’s really unnecessarily excessive. Or not excessive enough. Such a puny imagination, it needs excessive imagination, maybe excessive silence or excessive care in being commensurate, excessive tact poise and grace. Hmm maybe excessive means excessive?

How can the oceans overflow if the sky’s the limit? How can mirrors be real if your eyes aren’t real?

i’m not attributing this question to them. read it again with excessive care or with excessive carelessness or with excessive indifference or ambiguity. question excess, affirm excess, inhale excess, exhale excess.

blockquotes are not to be take as literal quotes, but as a way to make the text of the comments excessively big and annoying.

maybe this explanation is excessive, maybe your comment was excessive. i consider all this exchange to be in the spirit of excess, the theme, but not near satisfactory yet. much more is needed to reach sufficient, let alone excess.

yet when when the interest runs low, even a litte seems excessive.

Will there be an eating competition? A fasting competition? A water drinking contest to see who gets water poisoning or bursts a bladder first? A staring contest? A reading of the Guinness Book of World Records? Binge watching a series while eating a pint if ice cream?

Hmm someone better keep the naloxone handy for this one.

How will you know when it’s more than enough? When you tire? When your conscience nags you to stop? When someone physically stops you? When the community or an authority figure intervenes? When you die?


All this commotion, hoopla, ballyhoo in the comments goes to show how provocative this premise is. How marvelous is theme of excess to explore the myriad of ways we’re impoverished by an inordinate overabundance of excedent, like in the social surplus theory of civilization. But we’re no misers, no tightwads, oh no. We are profligate squandering spendthrifts! Forever onward with the reckless indulgence in the bountiful!

To infinity and beyond!

Excess is something embraced by capitalism. Check the success of the excess of progress. Witness the process of access to the unceded, concede that to excede is success in killing us.

no, the endless expanding near vacuum of outer edges of the universe is a tad bit excessive. in perspective, the sun is a lukewarm dot

Nah. The Sun is just doing their thing. We live in the wake of the generosity of their complete indifference.

Relative to us. Then States, in an effort to control the miraculous amount of excess and possibilities within us and the earth, sacrifice us to gods, money, productivity

life is abundant on this planet, yet we parcel it out and make it complicated. excess is how this man takes care of 500 dogs and feeds many birds, yet some people struggle to feed themselves and their family

people were throwing dogs in the trash, as if in excess, an unwanted surplus of dogs to be cleared or liquidated and not warehoused or silo-ed

how is excess in abundance of life-giving resources and conditions, like a cornucopia, fit in with an excess in population and minds that regulate with the quantitative lens of limits? a vocation to surpass limits vs a vocation to impose limits, but limits are still the reference point. how to exceed such a framing?

B - bro

A - "anarchists"

S - stole

T - this

A - acronym.

R - rename it

D - defunct

Nah. I was in the room when we came up with it snd I'm still involved. Nice try though. Besides, you can't steal something if all property is theft.

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