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OAPEN Library - Haiti Unbound: A Spiralist Challenge to the Postcolonial Canon, by Kaiama L. Glover
"Touching on the role and destiny of Haiti in the Americas, Haiti Unbound engages with long-standing issues of imperialism and resistance culture in the transatlantic world. Glover's timely project emphatically articulates Haiti's regional and global centrality, combining vital 'big picture' reflections on the field of postcolonial studies with elegant close-reading-based analyses of the philosophical perspective and creative practice of a distinctively Haitian literary phenomenon. Providing insightful and sophisticated blueprints for the reading and teaching of the Spiralists' prose fiction, it will serve as a point of reference for the works of these authors and for the singular socio-political space out of and within which they write."
haiti  literature  spiritualism  spiralism  kaiamaglover  2011  fiction  postcolonialism  frankétienne  jean-claudefignolé  renéphiloctète 
november 2018 by robertogreco
Frankétienne, Father of Haitian Letters, Is Busier Than Ever - The New York Times
"Frankétienne has had prophecies of death (his own) and destruction (Haiti’s).

The earthquake that wrecked this country in January 2010? It was foreseen, said Frankétienne, the man known as the father of Haitian letters, in his play “The Trap.” It was written two months before the disaster and depicts two men in a postapocalyptic landscape, now a familiar sight in his Delmas neighborhood here.

“The voice of God spoke to me,” said Frankétienne, 75, later noting he had also long dwelt on the ecological ruin he believes the planet is hurtling toward. As for his death, that will come in nine years, in 2020, he says, at age 84. He is not sick, he says, but he has learned to “listen to the divine music in all of us.”

And so the prolific novelist, poet and painter — often all three in a single work — hears his coda. He is vowing to complete a multivolume memoir “before I leave, physically,” while keeping up an increasingly busy schedule of exhibitions and conferences.

“I am going to talk about everything I have seen from age 5 or 6,” he said recently at his house-cum-museum and gallery. “And stuff that hasn’t happened yet because I am a prophet.”

Eccentric. Abstract. A “spiralist,” who rejects realism and embraces disorder. Frankétienne — he combined his first and last names years ago — embraces chaos as a style he believes befits a country with a long, tumultuous history birthed in a slave revolt more than 200 years ago and scarred by a cascade of natural and man-made disasters.

In chaos he finds order.

“I am not afraid of chaos because chaos is the womb of light and life,” he said, his baritone voice rising as it does when he gets worked up over a point. “What I don’t like is nonmanagement of chaos. The reason why Haiti looks more chaotic is because of nonmanagement. In other countries it is managed better. Haiti, they should take as reference for what could happen in the rest of world.”

Scholars widely view Frankétienne as Haiti’s most important writer. He wrote what many consider the first modern novel entirely in Haitian Creole, “Dezafi,” in 1975, and a play well known here that challenged political oppression, “Pelin Tet.” It is a biting work from 1978 that is aimed, not so subtly, at Jean-Claude Duvalier, the son of the dictator François Duvalier and himself a former dictator known as Baby Doc, who returned here from exile in January.

Although not well known in the English-speaking world, Frankétienne has star status in French- and Creole-speaking countries and was rumored to be on the short list for a Nobel Prize in Literature in 2009.

After the quake, his works gained more international attention, particularly in Canada and France. “The Trap” debuted in March 2010 at a Unesco forum in Paris that named him an artist for peace; galleries in New York have organized shows featuring his artwork. Still, he also holds informal Sunday workshops with young artists in Haiti to talk about and critique their work.

“He is not only a major Haitian writer, he is probably the major Haitian writer, forever,” said Jean Jonassaint, a Haitian literature scholar at Syracuse University.

Frankétienne’s output, about 40 written works and, by his count, 2,000 paintings and sketches, comprises dense, baroque affairs. He invents new words, blending French and Haitian Creole. Long digressions are de rigueur. His paintings, which he says are selling particularly well these days, blur swirling blacks, blues and reds, often covered with poems.

He admires James Joyce, and it shows. “ ‘Finnegan’s Wake’ was like a crazy book, just like I write crazy books,” he said.

Still, the Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat said Frankétienne remained popular among Haitians, in part because some of his plays had been videotaped and passed around in Haiti and in immigrant communities in the United States.

“Pelin Tet,” in which the grim life of two Haitian immigrants in New York deliberately echoes the oppression of the Duvalier era on the island, is a touchstone for many Haitians, said Ms. Danticat, who grew up in the same neighborhood as Frankétienne and was, in part, inspired to write by his rise to the top.

“His work can speak to the most intellectual person in the society as well as the most humble,” she said. “It’s a very generous kind of genius he has, one I can’t imagine Haitian literature ever existing without.”

Frankétienne was born as Franck Étienne on April 12, 1936, and raised in the Bel-Air neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, the son of a Haitian farmworker and an American businessman, who later abandoned her.

Frankétienne’s mother worked as a street vendor — selling cigarettes, charcoal, candies, moonshine — while raising eight children.

“Since I was 5 or 6 I was smoking or drinking, but my mother never knew,” he recalled. He was the oldest, and she strove to send him to school (he, in turn, tutored his younger siblings, leading him to establish his own school).

The school he attended was French-speaking. Frankétienne initially did not know a word of French, but angered at being teased by other students, he set about mastering the language and developing an affinity for words and artistic expression.

His best-known works came in the 1960s and ’70s, and he ranks his novel “Dezafi” as one of his most cherished. Set in a rural Haitian village, it weaves cockfighting, zombification, the history of slavery and other themes into an allegory of the country’s pain and suffering.

“It is the challenge of finding the light to liberate everyone,” he said. He wrote it in Creole, he said, because that was the voice of the characters he imagined.

But Frankétienne also felt a need to assert his Haitian identity, as people often look at his fair skin, blue eyes and white hair and doubt he is from this predominantly black country.

“They might think I am white or mulatto or whatever, but I am not,” he said. “I have black features, Negro features. My mother was an illiterate peasant and she had me when she was 16. She was taken in by an American, a very rich American. The American was 63 and my mother was 16 at the time.”

Switching from Creole to English, which he is usually too timid to speak, he added, “You understand who I am now?”

After completing “Dezafi,” he was frustrated that so few of his compatriots could read it, with nearly half the adult population illiterate. He switched to plays, even if that meant irritating the dictatorship.

“Dictators are mean but not necessarily stupid, so they knew I didn’t have any readers,” Frankétienne said. “What really gave them a problem was when I started with plays.”

Other writers and artists left Haiti during the dictatorship, but he stayed as his reputation grew outside the country and human rights groups closely followed him, providing, he believes, some cover from Mr. Duvalier.

Later, he joined other intellectuals in denouncing Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the first democratically elected president after Jean-Claude Duvalier was overthrown. Mr. Aristide, he said, became fixated on power and tolerated corruption and thuggery in his administration.

“He is a ghost, too,” Frankétienne said of Mr. Aristide’s return in March after seven years in exile.

His only regret, he said, is that his work is not widely translated and better known. If he knew Chinese, Japanese, Italian or other languages, he said, he would put them in his works.

“Everything is interconnected,” he said. “We are connected to everything, everyone.”

Frankétienne added, “The only thing not chaotic is death.”"
frankétienne  haiti  2011  literature  chaos  death  writing  form  theater  poetry  creole  language  identity  education  zombies  voodoo  vodou  voudoun  slavery  history  jeanjonassaint  edwidgedanticat  babdydoc  papadoc  jean-claudeduvalier  françoisduvalier  disorder  order  nonmanagement 
november 2018 by robertogreco
RnB sensation Janelle Monáe is here because we need her | London Evening Standard
"It's her loyalty to a shirt and trousers that led many to assume that she is a lesbian. She responded: "I only date androids" (referring to her EP and album, which together tell the story of her android alter-ego Cindy Mayweather, liberator of the android race).

"That's great, they can claim me as well as the straight community, as well as androids," she says. "I speak about androids because I think the android represents the new 'other'. You can compare it to being a lesbian or being a gay man or being a black woman ... What I want is for people who feel oppressed or feel like the 'other' to connect with the music and to feel like, 'She represents who I am'.""
janellemonáe  2011  oppression  others  othering  androids  solidarity  sexuality  sexualidentity 
october 2018 by robertogreco
Where’s Earl Sweatshirt? | The New Yorker
"Word from the missing prodigy of a hip-hop group on the rise."

[bookmarking this as a standalone, but it was already here:
https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:5f4973c0f027 ]

[follow-up:
"How's Earl"
https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/hows-earl ]

[See also:

"Complex Exclusive: We Found Earl Sweatshirt"
https://www.complex.com/music/2011/04/complex-exclusive-we-found-earl-sweatshirt

"Odd Future's Earl Sweatshirt – found in Samoa?"
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2011/apr/15/earl-sweatshirt-odd-future-samoa

"Odd Future’s Earl Sweatshirt Speaks"
http://www.vulture.com/2011/05/odd_futures_earl_sweatshirt_sp.html

"What’s Life Like for Odd Future’s Earl Sweatshirt in that Secret Samoan Academy?"
http://www.vulture.com/2011/05/whats_life_like_for_odd_future.html

"Earl Sweatshirt's Coral Reef Academy Friend Says "New Yorker" Story Is False"
https://www.complex.com/music/2011/06/earl-sweatshirt-coral-reef-academy-friend-says-new-yorker-story-is-false

"The story of Odd Future's Earl Sweatshirt gets another knot"
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/2011/06/the-story-of-odd-future-earl-sweatshirt-gets-another-knot.html

"Earl Sweatshirt in Samoa"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHiqNeVTj7c
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqLdt-s944s ]
oddfuture  ofwgkta  music  parenting  2011  newyorker  kelefasanneh  hiphop  keorapetsekgositsile  fame  youth  adolescence  identity  earlsweatshirt  thebenerudakgositsile  rap 
july 2018 by robertogreco
Buddhism and the Brain § SEEDMAGAZINE.COM
"Many of Buddhism’s core tenets significantly overlap with findings from modern neurology and neuroscience. So how did Buddhism come close to getting the brain right?"
buddhism  neuroscience  brain  religion  science  2011  davidweisman 
july 2018 by robertogreco
Harvest of Empire – Harvest of Empire
[Available on YouTube, for now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyncOYTZfHE ]

[See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvest_of_Empire:_A_History_of_Latinos_in_America ]

"The Untold Story of Latinos in America

“We are all Americans of the New World, and our most dangerous enemies 
are not each other, but the great wall of ignorance between us.”
Juan González, Harvest of Empire

At a time of heated and divisive debate over immigration, Onyx Films is proud to present Harvest of Empire, a feature-length documentary that reveals the direct connection between the long history of U.S. intervention in Latin America and the immigration crisis we face today.

Based on the groundbreaking book by award-winning journalist and Democracy Now! Co-host Juan González, Harvest of Empire takes an unflinching look at the role that U.S. economic and military interests played in triggering an unprecedented wave of migration that is transforming our nation’s cultural and economic landscape.

From the wars for territorial expansion that gave the U.S. control of Puerto Rico, Cuba and more than half of Mexico, to the covert operations that imposed oppressive military regimes in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador, Harvest of Empire unveils a moving human story that is largely unknown to the great majority of citizens in the U.S.

As Juan González says at the beginning of the film “They never teach us in school that the huge Latino presence here is a direct result of our own government’s actions in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America over many decades — actions that forced millions from that region to leave their homeland and journey north.”

Harvest of Empire provides a rare and powerful glimpse into the enormous sacrifices and rarely-noted triumphs of our nation’s growing Latino community. The film features present day immigrant stories, rarely seen archival material, as well as interviews with such respected figures as Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rigoberta Menchú, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Junot Díaz, Mexican historian Dr. Lorenzo Meyer, journalists María Hinojosa and Geraldo Rivera, Grammy award-winning singer Luis Enrique, and poet Martín Espada."
film  documentary  us  history  immigration  latinamerica  puertorico  mexico  guatemala  honduras  juangonzález  cuba  nicaragua  elsalvador  rigobertamenchú  jessejackson  anthonyromero  junotdíaz  lorenzomeyer  maríahinojosa  geraldorivera  2011  martínespada  luisenrique  dominicanrepublic  latinos  imperialism  politics  policy  foreignpolicy  braceros  wwii  ww2  civilrights  race  racism  migration  communism  redscare  centralamerica  caribbean  colonialism  socialism  capitalism  fidelcastro  rafaeltrujillo  spanish-americanwar  inequality  exploitation  sugar  cotton  revolution  resistance  fulgenciobatista  dictatorships  oppression  deportation  texas  california  newmexico  arizona  mexican-americanwar  nevada  colorado  florida  nyc  óscarromero  harrytruman  democracy  jacoboárbenz  unitedfruitcompany  eisenhower  cia  intervention  maya  ethniccleansing  land  ownership  civilwar  iran-contraaffair  ronaldreagan  sandinistas  contras  war  bayofpigs  refugees  marielboatlift  1980  jimmycarter  language  spanish  español  miami  joaquínbalaguer  hectortruji 
july 2018 by robertogreco
Worlds of sense and sensing the world: a response to Sarah Pink and David Howes
"In a recent debate with Sarah Pink in the pages of Social Anthropology, concerning the prospects for an anthropology that would highlight the work of the senses in human experience, David Howes objects to what I have myself written on this topic, specifically in my book The Perception of the Environment (Ingold 2000). In doing so, he distorts my arguments on six counts. In this brief response, I set the record straight on each count, and argue for a regrounding of the virtual worlds of sense, to which Howes directs our attention, in the practicalities of sensing the world."

[See also: "The future of sensory anthropology/the anthropology of the senses"
https://monoskop.org/images/5/54/Pink_Sarah_2010_The_Future_of_Sensory_Anthropology_The_Anthropology_of_the_Senses.pdf ]
sarahpink  davidhowes  sensoryethnography  senses  ethnography  socialsciences  multisensory  anthropology  timingold  2011  perception  phenomenology  visualstudies  culture  sensoryanthropology 
may 2018 by robertogreco
Sarah Pink: A sensory Approach to Digital Media: beyond representation, beyond culture - YouTube
"A sensory Approach to Digital Media: beyond representation, beyond culture, Sarah Pink in DCC Section ECREA 3rd Workshop: Innovative practices and critical theories"
sarahpink  2011  ethnography  digitalmedia  senses  multisensory  culture  online  web  internet  anthropology  digital 
may 2018 by robertogreco
Hip-Hop & Shakespeare? Akala at TEDxAldeburgh - YouTube
"Akala demonstrates and explores the connections between Shakespeare and Hip-Hop, and the wider cultural debate around language and it's power."
akala  hiphop  poetry  shakespeare  music  2011 
january 2018 by robertogreco
How to find your voice
"Young artists are always being told to “find your voice.”

Whatever that means!

I’ve never heard anyone explain it better than Billy Collins at a White House poetry workshop. I couldn’t find the text anywhere, so I transcribed it below. (If you’ve read Steal Like An Artist, this might sound really familiar…)
What I don’t like about the expression ‘finding your voice’ is that it’s very mystifying in the minds of young people. It makes you feel — made me feel when I first heard it — that your voice is tied up with your authenticity, that your voice lies deep within you, at some root bottom of your soul, and that to find your voice you need to fall into deep introspection… you have to gaze deeply into yourself. The frustration and the anxiety is that maybe you won’t find anything there. That you’re on this terrible quest to nowhere.

Let me reassure you that it’s not that mysterious. Your voice has an external source. It is not lying within you. It is lying in other people’s poetry. It is lying on the shelves of the library. To find your voice, you need to read deeply. You need to look inside yourself, of course, for material, because poetry is something that honors subjectivity. It honors your interiority. It honors what’s inside. But to find a way to express that, you have to look outside yourself.

Read widely, read all the poetry you can get your hands on. And in your reading, you’re searching for something. Not so much your voice. You’re searching for poets that make you jealous. Professors of writing call this “literary influence.” It’s jealousy. And it’s with every art, whether you play the saxophone, or do charcoal drawings. You’re looking to get influenced by people who make you furiously jealous.

Read widely. Find poets that make you envious. And then copy them. Try to get like them.

You know, you read a great poem in a magazine somewhere, and you just can’t stand the fact that you didn’t write it. What do you do? Well, you can’t get whiteout, and blank out the poet’s name and write yours in — that’s not fair. But you can say, “Okay, I didn’t write that poem, let me write a poem like that, that’s sort of my version of that.” And that’s basically the way you grow…

After you find your voice, you realize there’s really only one person to imitate, and that’s yourself. You do it by combining different influences. I think the first part of it is you do slavish imitations, which are almost like travesties, you know. But gradually you come under the right influences, picking and choosing, and being selective, and then maybe your voice is the combination of 6 or 8 other voices that you have managed to blend in such a way that no one can recognize the sources. You can take intimacy from Whitman, you can learn the dash from Emily Dickinson…you can pick a little bit from every writer and you combine them. This allows you to be authentic. That’s one of the paradoxes of the writing life: that the way to originality is through imitation.”


You can watch video of the whole workshop below. (Collins speaks at around the half hour mark.)"

[video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVIOKLXK9uY ]

[via: https://twitter.com/austinkleon/status/950133096610967552 ]
2015  2011  austinkleon  billcollins  writing  voice  multitude  poetry  art  beauty  personhood  williamcarloswilliams  influence  influences  remixing  agglomeration  authenticity  interconnectedness  interconnected  interconnectivity 
january 2018 by robertogreco
How a Cult Infiltrated the California Institute of Integral Studies
"In 2011 the California Institute of Integral Studies concluded a several month long investigation into Cultural Anthropology professors Angana Chatterji and Richard Shapiro. Both were fired citing a “cult-like environment,” “exploitation,” and a “siege mentality” among other reasons. In 2007 I was one of four students who walked out of the program reporting serious dysfunction. This is the never been told story of how it unfolded."



"“Dr. Angana Chatterji is the most powerful being I have ever met…Her capacity borderlines on Mastery. Her power is deeply complex…She uses concentrated rage with Mastery…I am becoming a Master — like her I conjure divinity…These beings [Angana and Richard Shapiro] resonate on degrees of consciousness barely comprehensible to others…She [Angana] is the one whom we fear, to whom we gravitate… and in her presence we share divine expression, visions of practice, healing, and transformation. She conjures Kali and she is a destroyer.” — Former Anthropology student"
californiainstututeofintegralstudies  ciis  bescofield  anthropology  cults  highered  highereducation  2007  2011  foucault  pedagogy  abuse  intimidation  sanfrancisco  2018  socialchange  michelfoucault 
january 2018 by robertogreco
Zarina Bhimji: Yellow Patch
"A film installation entitled "Yellow Patch". This film was shot in India.

I am interested in the spaces, micro details and the light of these distant interiors. The location of light is an element of my composition and becomes just as intricate and important as having a figure in my work. The stillness has a suspension of everyday life and yet narrative is deferred by mood and mystery and incompleteness. So that atmosphere is tactile, moist light. But as I worked further I kept coming back to disconnection and belatedness."

[See also: "Zarina Bhimji's world without people"
http://www.phaidon.com/agenda/art/picture-galleries/2012/january/18/zarina-bhimjis-world-without-people/ ]

[via: "Hapticality in the Undercommons, or From Operations Management to Black Ops," by Stefano Harney https://www.academia.edu/6934195/Hapticality_in_the_Undercommons_or_From_Operations_Management_to_Black_Ops

"I want to take just two examples, very different. The first is the performance artist Athi-Patra Ruga. The second is photographer and filmmaker Zarina Bhimji. I don’t intend to read these artists nor to place them in a school or tradition. I want to say instead that they inspire me to think about the line today and its killing rhythm, and to think about the ways this line runs through us, and how it bypasses subject formation at work. But most of all I want to look at their work to think about what Fred calls Black Ops, and the undercommons their work invites us to feel around us.



Empty but not unoccupied, rooms, buildings, and fields, the access in Zarina Bhimji’s aesthetically gorgeous film Yellow Patch at first might seem to be about memory. But memory for the line is a matter of metrics, of not making the same mistake twice. It is useful for improvement. And Bhimji’s camera resists the application of memory to the present for purposes of improvement. Her sound rumbles with labour and logistics, above the empty buildings, echoing in the rooms. But with her we enter a militant preservation, not keeping up, not improving, not looking for productive variance. I would say that old administrative papers stacked on the aging wooden office bookcases, or the yellow shutters cut by blocks of light from outside are aestheticised not to make memory useful through nostalgia, where it can be preserved and sold, or judgement where it can be used for improvement. Instead her film displays a calmness, peace, rest, in history, in contemporary history. Not the de-historicised rest of the meditation industry nor the preservation of the history industry, but a militant rest for history, in history, in struggle, right now. Her rooms, ships, fields, and bays do not leave history to give us preservation or provide us with rest in the struggle. Other lines are right here, the film suggests to me, the undercommons is never elsewhere, its touch is also a reach. Its touch is a rest, a caress. Hapticality occupies these rooms with a tap, tap, stroke rhythm of love."]
zarinabhimji  film  towatch  belatedness  disconnection  2011  haptic  hapticality  tactile  everyday  undercommons  stefanoharney  art  artists  uganda  india 
december 2017 by robertogreco
Stefano Harney on Study (Interview July 2011, Part 5) - YouTube
"we’re talking about getting together with others and determining what needs to be learned together and spending time with that material and spending time with each other without any objective, without any endpoint"



"[Study] almost always happens against the university. It almost always happens in the university, but under the university, in its undercommons, in those places that are not recognized, not legitimate…"

[See also Margaret Edson: https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:181e6f50825b ]
2011  stefanoharney  study  studies  highered  highereducation  resistance  unschooling  deschooling  labor  work  informal  community  interdependence  cv  credit  credentialism  accreditation  slavery  blackness  debt  capitalism  fredmoten  universities  undercommons  freedom  practice  praxis  learning  communities  objectives  messiness  howwelearn  productivity  production  product  circumstance  producing  nothing  nothingness  idleness  relationships  imperatives  competition  howestudy  self-development  sharing  subversion  education  baddebt  studentdebt  completion  unfinished  margaretedson 
december 2017 by robertogreco
The Hit List – BLDGBLOG
"We might say with only slight exaggeration that the United States exists in its current state of economic and military well being due to a peripheral constellation of sites found all over the world. These far-flung locations—such as rare-earth mines, telecommunications hubs, and vaccine suppliers—are like geopolitical buttresses, as important for the internal operations of the United States as its own homeland security.

However, this overseas network is neither seamless nor even necessarily identifiable as such. Rather, it is aggressively and deliberately discontiguous, and rarely acknowledged in any detail. In a sense, it is a stealth geography, unaware of its own importance and too scattered ever to be interrupted at once.

That is what made the controversial release by Wikileaks, in December 2010, of a long list of key infrastructural sites deemed vital to the national security of the United States so interesting. The geographic constellation upon which the United States depends was suddenly laid bare, given names and locations, and exposed for all to see.

The particular diplomatic cable in question, originally sent by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to all overseas embassies in February 2009 and marked for eventual declassification only in January 2019, describes what it calls “critical foreign dependencies (critical infrastructure and key resources located abroad).” These “critical dependencies” are divided into eighteen sectors, including energy, agriculture, banking and finance, drinking water and water treatment systems, public health, nuclear reactors, and “critical manufacturing.” All of these locations, objects, or services, the cable explains, “if destroyed, disrupted or exploited, would likely have an immediate and deleterious effect on the United States.” Indeed, there is no back up: several sites are highlighted as “irreplaceable.”

Specific locations range from the Straits of Malacca to a “battery-grade” manganese mine in Gabon, Africa, and from the Southern Cross undersea cable landing in Suva, Fiji, to a Danish manufacturer of smallpox vaccine. The list also singles out the Nadym Gas Pipeline Junction in Russia as “the most critical gas facility in the world.”

The list was first assembled as a way to extend the so-called National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP)—which focuses on domestic locations—with what the State Department calls its Critical Foreign Dependencies Initiative (CFDI). The CFDI, still in a nascent stage—i.e. it consists, for now, in making lists—could potentially grow to include direct funding for overseas protection of these sites, effectively absorbing them into the oblique landscape of the United States.

Of course, the fear that someone might actually use this as a check list of vulnerable targets, either for military elimination or terrorist sabotage, seemed to dominate news coverage at the time of the cable’s release. While it is obvious that the cable could be taken advantage of for nefarious purposes—and that even articles such as this one only increase the likelihood of this someday occurring—it should also be clear that its release offers the public an overdue opportunity to discuss the spatial vulnerabilities of U.S. power and the geometry of globalization.

The sites described by the cable—Israeli ordnance manufacturers, Australian pharmaceutical corporations, Canadian hydroelectric dams, German rabies vaccine suppliers—form a geometry whose operators and employees are perhaps unaware that they define the outer limits of U.S. national security. Put another way, the flipside of a recognizable U.S. border is this unwitting constellation: a defensive perimeter or outsourced inside, whereby the contiguous nation-state becomes fragmented into a discontiguous network-state, its points never in direct physical contact. It is thus not a constitutional entity in any recognized sense, but a coordinated infrastructural ensemble that spans whole continents at a time.

But what is the political fate of this landscape; how does it transform our accepted notions of what constitutes state territory; what forms of governance are most appropriate for its protection; and under whose jurisdictional sovereignty should these sites then be held?

In identifying these outlying chinks in its armor, the United States has inadvertently made clear a spatial realization that the concept of the nation-state has changed so rapidly that nations themselves are having trouble keeping track of their own appendages.

Seen this way, it matters less what specific sites appear in the Wikileaks cable, and simply that these sites can be listed at all. A globally operating, planetary sovereign requires a new kind of geography: discontinuous, contingent, and nontraditionally vulnerable, hidden from public view until rare leaks such as these."

[via: https://twitter.com/jbushnell/status/933014185675513856 ]
geoffmanaugh  bldgblog  geography  2011  wikileaks  bighere  geopolitics  military  2010  us  gabon  africa  middleast  israel  canada  germany  landscape 
november 2017 by robertogreco
How the Appetite for Emojis Complicates the Effort to Standardize the World’s Alphabets - The New York Times
"nshuman Pandey was intrigued. A graduate student in history at the University of Michigan, he was searching online for forgotten alphabets of South Asia when an image of a mysterious writing system popped up. In eight years of digging through British colonial archives both real and digital, he has found almost 200 alphabets across Asia that were previously undescribed in the West, but this one, which he came across in early 2011, stumped him. Its sinuous letters, connected to one another in cursive fashion and sometimes bearing dots and slashes above or below, resembled those of Arabic.

Pandey eventually identified the script as an alphabet for Rohingya, the language spoken by the stateless and persecuted Muslim people whose greatest numbers live in western Myanmar, where they’ve been the victims of brutal ethnic cleansing. Pandey wasn’t sure if the alphabet itself was in use anymore, until he lucked upon contemporary pictures of printed textbooks for children. That meant it wasn’t a historical footnote; it was alive.

An email query from Pandey bounced from expert to expert until it landed with Muhammad Noor, a Rohingya activist and television host who was living in Malaysia. He told Pandey the short history of this alphabet, which was developed in the 1980s by a group of scholars that included a man named Mohammed Hanif. It spread slowly through the 1990s in handwritten, photocopied books. After 2001, thanks to two computer fonts designed by Noor, it became possible to type the script in word-processing programs. But no email, text messages or (later) tweets could be sent or received in it, no Google searches conducted in it. The Rohingya had no digital alphabet of their own through which they could connect with one another.

Billions of people around the world no longer face this plight. Whether on computers or smartphones, they can write as they write, expressing themselves in their own linguistic culture. What makes this possible is a 26-year-old international industrial standard for text data called the Unicode standard, which prescribes the digital letters, numbers and punctuation marks of more than 100 different writing systems: Greek, Cherokee, Arabic, Latin, Devanagari — a world-spanning storehouse of languages. But the alphabet that Noor described wasn’t among them, and neither are more than 100 other scripts, just over half of them historical and the rest alphabets that could still be used by as many as 400 million people today.

Now a computational linguist and motivated by a desire to put his historical knowledge to use, Pandey knows how to get obscure alphabets into the Unicode standard. Since 2005, he has done so for 19 writing systems (and he’s currently working to add another eight). With Noor’s help, and some financial support from a research center at the University of California, Berkeley, he drew up the basic set of letters and defined how they combine, what rules govern punctuation and whether spaces exist between words, then submitted a proposal to the Unicode Consortium, the organization that maintains the standards for digital scripts. In 2018, seven years after Pandey’s discovery, what came to be called Hanifi Rohingya will be rolled out in Unicode’s 11th version. The Rohingya will be able to communicate online with one another, using their own alphabet."



"Unicode’s history is full of attacks by governments, activists and eccentrics. In the early 1990s, the Chinese government objected to the encoding of Tibetan. About five years ago, Hungarian nationalists tried to sabotage the encoding for Old Hungarian because they wanted it to be called “Szekley-Hungarian Rovas” instead. An encoding for an alphabet used to write Nepal Bhasa and Sanskrit was delayed a few years ago by ethnonationalists who mistrusted the proposal because they objected to the author’s surname. Over and over, the Unicode Consortium has protected its standard from such political attacks.

The standard’s effectiveness helped. “If standards work, they’re invisible and can be ignored by the public,” Busch says. Twenty years after its first version, Unicode had become the default text-data standard, adopted by device manufacturers and software companies all over the world. Each version of the standard ushered more users into a seamless digital world of text. “We used to ask ourselves, ‘How many years do you think the consortium will need to be in place before we can publish the last version?’ ” Whistler recalls. The end was finally in sight — at one point the consortium had barely more than 50 writing systems to add.

All that changed in October 2010, when that year’s version of the Unicode standard included its first set of emojis."



"Not everyone thinks that Unicode should be in the emoji business at all. I met several people at Emojicon promoting apps that treat emojis like pictures, not text, and I heard an idea floated for a separate standards body for emojis run by people with nontechnical backgrounds. “Normal people can have an opinion about why there isn’t a cupcake emoji,” said Jennifer 8. Lee, an entrepreneur and a film producer whose advocacy on behalf of a dumpling emoji inspired her to organize Emojicon. The issue isn’t space — Unicode has about 800,000 unused numerical identifiers — but about whose expertise and worldview shapes the standard and prioritizes its projects.

“Emoji has had a tendency to subtract attention from the other important things the consortium needs to be working on,” Ken Whistler says. He believes that Unicode was right to take responsibility for emoji, because it has the technical expertise to deal with character chaos (and has dealt with it before). But emoji is an unwanted distraction. “We can spend hours arguing for an emoji for chopsticks, and then have nobody in the room pay any attention to details for what’s required for Nepal, which the people in Nepal use to write their language. That’s my main concern: emoji eats the attention span both in the committee and for key people with other responsibilities.”

Emoji has nonetheless provided a boost to Unicode. Companies frequently used to implement partial versions of the standard, but the spread of emoji now forces them to adopt more complete versions of it. As a result, smartphones that can manage emoji will be more likely to have Hanifi Rohingya on them too. The stream of proposals also makes the standard seem alive, attracting new volunteers to Unicode’s mission. It’s not unusual for people who come to the organization through an interest in emoji to end up embracing its priorities. “Working on characters used in a small province of China, even if it’s 20,000 people who are going to use it, that’s a more important use of their time than deliberating over whether the hand of my yoga emoji is in the right position,” Mark Bramhill told me.

Since its creation was announced in 2015, the “Adopt a Character” program, through which individuals and organizations can sponsor any characters, including emojis, has raised more than $200,000. A percentage of the proceeds goes to support the Script Encoding Initiative, a research project based at Berkeley, which is headed by the linguistics researcher Deborah Anderson, who is devoted to making Unicode truly universal. One the consortium recently accepted is called Nyiakeng Puachue Hmong, devised for the Hmong language by a minister in California whose parishioners have been using it for more than 25 years. Still in the proposal stage is Tigalari, once used to write Sanskrit and other Indian languages.

One way to read the story of Unicode in the time of emoji is to see a privileged generation of tech consumers confronting the fact that they can’t communicate in ways they want to on their devices: through emoji. They get involved in standards-making, which yields them some satisfaction but slows down the speed with which millions of others around the world get access to the most basic of online linguistic powers. “There are always winners and losers in standards,” Lawrence Busch says. “You might want to say, ultimately we’d like everyone to win and nobody to lose too much, but we’re stuck with the fact that we have to make decisions, and when we make them, those decisions are going to be less acceptable to some than to others.”"
unicode  language  languages  internet  international  standards  emoji  2017  priorities  web  online  anshumanpandey  rohingya  arabic  markbramhill  hmong  tigalari  nyiakengpuachuehmong  muhammadnoor  mohammedhanif  kenwhistler  history  1980  2011  1990s  1980s  mobile  phones  google  apple  ascii  facebook  emojicon  michaelaerard  technology  communication  tibet 
october 2017 by robertogreco
(2) '"A dog who I know quite well": everyday relationships between children and animals.' Children’s Geographies, 9(2) | Becky Tipper - Academia.edu
"Adult discourses often represent relationships between children and animals as beneficial for children's psycho-social development or as reflecting a natural‟ connection between children and animals. In contrast, this paper draws on recent work in sociology and geography where human – animal relationships are seen as socially situated and where conventional constructions of the human–animal boundary are questioned. Focussing on children's own perspectives on their connections with animals, it is argued that these relationships can also be understood within the social and relational context of children's lives. It is argued that this "relational‟ orientation to children's relationships with animals might significantly enhance our understanding of children's lives and also open up ways of thinking about the place of animals in children's (and adults') social lives."
animals  multispecies  2011  becktipper  human-animalrelationships  dogs  pets  sociology  geography  human-animalrelations  children 
june 2017 by robertogreco
Alessandro Colizzi: Bruno Munari and the Invention of Modern Graphic Design in Italy, 1928-1945 (2011) — Monoskop Log
[See also: https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/handle/1887/17647

"This study examines Bruno Munari’s work as a graphic designer from the late 1920s to mid-1940s, with the aim of understanding the emergence and characteristics of the modernist trend in Italian graphic design. Taking shape in Milan, an original ‘design culture’ eclectically brought together two quite different strains of Modernity: a local tradition represented by the Futurist avant-garde, and a European tradition associated with Constructivism. Munari (1907–1998) worked simultaneously as painter and as advertising designer. Concentrating on Munari’s stylistic development, the study seeks to explore the interaction between the Futurist visual vocabulary and conceptions coming from architecture, photography, abstract painting, and functionalist typography that trickled in from central and northern Europe. The discussion positions the designer in his time and place, concentrating as much on the artefacts as on the broader cultural framework. Secondly, the study attempts to assess Munari’s reputation against a body of exemplary work, based on firsthand documentation. It is the first extensive, detailed record of Munari’s graphic design output, and as such provides a substantial base for a full understanding of his œuvre."]
brunomunari  via:shannon_mattern  alessandrocolizzi  2011 
june 2017 by robertogreco
'"A dog who I know quite well": everyday relationships between children and animals.' Children’s Geographies, 9(2) | Becky Tipper - Academia.edu
"Adult discourses often represent relationships between children and animals as beneficial for children‟s psycho-social development or as reflecting a „natural‟ connection between children and animals. In contrast, this paper draws on recent work in sociology and geography where human–animal relationships are seen as socially situated and where conventional constructions of the human–animal boundary are questioned. Focussing on children‟s own perspectives on their connections with animals, it is argued that these relationships can also be understood within the social and relational context of children‟s lives. It is argued that this„relational‟ orientation to children‟s relationships with animals might significantly enhance our understanding of children‟s lives and also open up ways of thinking about the place of animals in children‟s (and adults‟) social lives."
children  animals  multispecies  sociology  pets  kindship  family  relationality  relationships  beckytipper  2011  human-animalrelations  human-animalrelationships  dogs  sfsh 
march 2017 by robertogreco
The best of Atherton police blotter – The Mercury News
"Atherton police officers (as reported in this article on the department) routinely respond to “resident concerns” that would be a low priority in many other departments. Among the incidents reported in 2010 and 2011:

• Police assisted a man who stepped out onto a balcony and had the door close behind him.
• A resident hired a locksmith who hadn’t returned with the key.
• A person sitting in a vehicle outside a residence was waiting for a friend who lives there.
• A man was reported to be sitting down and talking to himself. Police made contact and confirmed he was using a cellphone.
• A large statue was stolen.
• A resident worried that a noisy hawk in a tree was in distress. When authorities arrived, the hawk was quiet and enjoying dinner.
• Four or five juveniles were reported to be running around at Selby Lane School and involved in “horseplay” on a summer afternoon.
• A resident asked for help finding a lost cat.
• A woman whose finger got stuck in a drain was reported to be conscious and breathing.
• A pedestrian was reported after midnight wearing black pants and a white dress shirt.
• A woman told police someone rang her doorbell but when she called out to ask who it was, no one answered. Police responded and determined the visitor had delivered a package.
• A resident called police to report that someone had tipped over his recycling containers.
• A man was reported to be lying on the ground, possibly writing.
• A person reported a man tried to hide his face, then turned and walked away.
• Police responding to reports of a suspicious person hollering “ho-ho-ho” on Christmas Eve encountered a man in a Santa costume who makes a habit of going up and down the street greeting his neighbors every year.
• Police assisted an Atherton man in a San Francisco bar who forgot where he was and called 9-1-1.
• A person seen walking at midday for two days in a row was contacted and determined to be using lunch breaks to get some exercise.
• Fruit has been disappearing from a tree.
• Loud birds were reported. Police responded and settled the situation.
• A resident reported two people came to the door seeking someone who spoke French.
• A banana, chocolate and whipping cream were found on a vehicle.
• A male truck driver wearing gloves reportedly made a U-turn and then stared at a person.
• A family reported being followed by a duck who resides on Tuscaloosa Avenue.
• And an all-time favorite, from 2002:
• A resident reported a large light in the sky. It was the moon.

The South Bay and Peninsula police blotter can be read online at www.mercurynews.com/crime-blotter."
atherton  humor  crime  police  2011  lawenforcement 
february 2017 by robertogreco
Denise Gigante on the life and poetry of John Keats
"A conversation with Stanford professor of English literature Denise Gigante on the life and poetry of John Keats and his relationship with his family, in particular, with one of his brothers, George Keats.

Denise Gigante is a professor in the English Department at Stanford University and teaches eighteenth and nineteenth-century British literature with a focus on Romanticism. Her books include "The Keats Brothers: The Life of John and George" (Harvard UP, 2011), "Life: Organic Form and Romanticism" (Yale UP, 2009), "The Great Age of the English Essay: An Anthology" (Yale UP, 2008), "Taste: A Literary History" (Yale UP, 2005), and "Gusto: Essential Writings in Nineteenth-Century Gastronomy" (Routledge, 2005). She has published several essays, notably on Milton (Diacritics), Blake (Nineteenth-Century Literature), Coleridge (European Romantic Review), Keats (PMLA), Sartre and Beckett (Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net), Tennyson (NCL), Mary Shelley (ELH), and the philosopher Slavoj Zizek (New Literary History). She is currently working on a new book entitled The Book Madness: Charles Lamb's Midnight Darlings in New York, which is forthcoming from Harvard University Press."
johnkeates  2011  denisegigante  via:mattcallahan  beauty  georgekeates  poetry  lordbyron  percybyssheshelley  romanticism 
february 2017 by robertogreco
John Berger on Ways of Seeing, being an artist, and Marxism (2011) - Newsnight archives - YouTube
"John Berger - artist, writer, critic and broadcaster - has died at the age of 90. His best-known work was Ways of Seeing, a criticism of western cultural aesthetics. For Newsnight, Gavin Esler, met him back in 2011."
johnberger  spinoz  descartes  gavinesler  2011  marxism  waysofseeing  seeing  storytelling  lenses  correction  iteration  bento'ssketchbook  looking  culture  aesthetics  future  progress  justice  dignity  capitalism  growth  storytellers  art  artists 
january 2017 by robertogreco
John Berger: a life in writing | Books | The Guardian
"I just keep on writing and thinking and drawing, which I continued even after I stopped painting. I don't know whether this is true for other people, but it is certainly true for me, that after years and years of drawing it does become a little easier. Unlike writing, which remains as difficult as ever. So while I'm at the stage of a new writing project where I am vaguely hearing, rather deafly, the demands of a new train of thought, the drawing goes on every day. It is that rare thing that gives you a chance of a very close identification with something, or somebody, who is not you. So maybe it is not so different from storytelling after all."

[via: http://jarrettfuller.tumblr.com/post/5697765219/i-just-keep-on-writing-and-thinking-and-drawing ]
johnberger  2011  writing  thinking  drawing  storytelling  noticing  seeing 
january 2017 by robertogreco
Fellow Prisoners – Guernica
"The best way to understand the world, writes Berger, is not as a metaphorical prison but a literal one. And what better way to inspire solidarity than seeing ourselves (them) as fellow prisoners?"



"The wonderful American poet Adrienne Rich pointed out in a recent lecture about poetry that “this year, a report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics finds that one out of every 136 residents of the United States is behind bars—many in jails, unconvicted.”

In the same lecture she quoted the Greek poet Yannis Ritsos:

In the field the last swallow had lingered late,

balancing in the air like a black ribbon on the sleeve

of autumn.

Nothing else remained. Only the burned houses

smouldering still.

***

I picked up the phone and knew immediately it was an unexpected call from you, speaking from your flat in the Via Paolo Sarpi. (Two days after the election results and Berlusconi’s comeback.) The speed with which we identify a familiar voice coming out of the blue is comforting, but also somewhat mysterious. Because the measures, the units we use in calculating the clear distinction that exists between one voice and another, are unformulated and nameless. They don’t have a code. These days more and more is encoded.

So I wonder whether there aren’t other measures, equally uncoded yet precise, by which we calculate other givens. For example, the amount of circumstantial freedom existing in a certain situation, its extent and its strict limits. Prisoners become experts at this. They develop a particular sensitivity towards liberty, not as a principle, but as a granular substance. They spot fragments of liberty almost immediately whenever they occur.

***

On an ordinary day, when nothing is happening and the crises announced hourly are the old familiar ones—and the politicians are declaring yet again that without them there would be catastrophe—people as they pass one another exchange glances, and some of their glances check whether the others are envisaging the same thing when they say to themselves; so this is life!

Often they are envisaging the same thing and in this primary sharing there is a kind of solidarity before anything further has been said or discussed.

I’m searching for words to describe the period of history we’re living through. To say it’s unprecedented means little because all periods were unprecedented since history was first discovered.

I’m not searching for a complex definition—there are a number of thinkers, such as Zygmunt Bauman, who have taken on this essential task. I’m looking for nothing more than a figurative image to serve as a landmark. Landmarks don’t fully explain themselves, but they offer a reference point that can be shared. In this they are like the tacit assumptions contained in popular proverbs. Without landmarks there is the great human risk of turning in circles.

***

The landmark I’ve found is that of prison. Nothing less. Across the planet we are living in a prison.

The word we, when printed or pronounced on screens, has become suspect, for it’s continually used by those with power in the demagogic claim that they are also speaking for those who are denied power. Let’s talk of ourselves as they. They are living in a prison.

What kind of prison? How is it constructed? Where is it situated? Or am I only using the word as a figure of speech?

No, it’s not a metaphor, the imprisonment is real, but to describe it one has to think historically.

Michel Foucault has graphically shown how the penitentiary was a late eighteenth-, early nineteenth-century invention closely linked to industrial production, its factories and its utilitarian philosophy. Earlier, there were jails that were extensions of the cage and the dungeon. What distinguished the penitentiary is the number of prisoners it can pack in—and the fact that all of them are under continuous surveillance thanks to the model of the Pantopticon, as conceived by Jeremy Bentham, who introduced the principle of accountancy into ethics.

Accountancy demands that every transaction be noted. Hence the penitentiary’s circular walls with the cells arranged around the screw’s watchtower at the center. Bentham, who was John Stuart Mill’s tutor at the beginning of the nineteenth century, was the principal utilitarian apologist for industrial capitalism.

Today in the era of globalization, the world is dominated by financial, not industrial, capital, and the dogmas defining criminality and the logics of imprisonment have changed radically. Penitentiaries still exist and more and more are being built. But prison walls now serve a different purpose. What constitutes an incarceration area has been transformed.

***

Twenty years ago, Nella Bielski and I wrote A Question of Geography, a play about the Gulag. In act two, a zek (a political prisoner) talks to a boy who has just arrived about choice, about the limits of what can be chosen in a labor camp: When you drag yourself back after a day’s work in the taiga, when you are marched back, half dead with fatigue and hunger, you are given your ration of soup and bread. About the soup you have no choice—it has to be eaten whilst it’s hot, or whilst it’s at least warm. About the four hundred grams of bread you have choice. For instance, you can cut it into three little bits: one to eat now with the soup, one to suck in the mouth before going to sleep in your bunk, and the third to keep until next morning at ten, when you’re working in the taiga and the emptiness in your stomach feels like a stone.

You empty a wheelbarrow full of rock. About pushing the barrow to the dump you have no choice. Now it’s empty you have a choice. You can walk your barrow back just like you came, or—if you’re clever, and survival makes you clever—you push it back like this, almost upright. If you choose the second way you give your shoulders a rest. If you are a zek and you become a team leader, you have the choice of playing at being a screw, or of never forgetting that you are a zek.

The Gulag no longer exists. Millions work, however, under conditions that are not very different. What has changed is the forensic logic applied to workers and criminals.

During the Gulag, political prisoners, categorized as criminals, were reduced to slave-laborers. Today millions of brutally exploited workers are being reduced to the status of criminals.

The Gulag equation “criminal = slave laborer” has been rewritten by neoliberalism to become “worker = hidden criminal.” The whole drama of global migration is expressed in this new formula; those who work are latent criminals. When accused, they are found guilty of trying at all costs to survive.

Over six million Mexican women and men work in the U.S. without papers and are consequently illegal. A concrete wall of over one thousand kilometers and a “virtual” wall of eighteen hundred watchtowers were planned along the frontier between the U.S. and Mexico, although the projects have recently been scrapped. Ways around them—though all of them dangerous—will of course be found.

Between industrial capitalism, dependent on manufacture and factories, and financial capitalism, dependent on free-market speculation and front office traders, the incarceration area has changed. Speculative financial transactions add up to, each day, $1,300 billion, fifty times more than the sum of the commercial exchanges. The prison is now as large as the planet and its allotted zones can vary and can be termed worksite, refugee camp, shopping mall, periphery, ghetto, office block, favela, suburb. What is essential is that those incarcerated in these zones are fellow prisoners.

***

It’s the first week in May and on the hillsides and mountains, along the avenues and around the gates in the northern hemisphere, the leaves of most of the trees are coming out. Not only are all their different varieties of green still distinct, people also have the impression that each single leaf is distinct, and so they are confronting billions—no, not billions (the word has been corrupted by dollars), they are confronting an infinite multitude of new leaves.

For prisoners, small visible signs of nature’s continuity have always been, and still are, a covert encouragement.

***

Today the purpose of most prison walls (concrete, electronic, patrolled, or interrogatory) is not to keep prisoners in and correct them, but to keep prisoners out and exclude them.

Most of the excluded are anonymous—hence the obsession of all security forces with identity. They are also numberless, for two reasons. First because their numbers fluctuate; every famine, natural disaster and military intervention (now called policing) either diminishes or increases their multitude. And secondly, because to assess their number is to confront the fact that they constitute most of those living on the surface of the earth—and to acknowledge this is to plummet into absolute absurdity.

***

Have you noticed small commodities are increasingly difficult to remove from their packaging? Something similar has happened with the lives of the gainfully employed. Those who have legal employment and are not poor are living in a very reduced space that allows them fewer and fewer choices—except the continual binary choice between obedience and disobedience. Their working hours, their place of residence, their past skills and experience, their health, the future of their children, everything outside their function as employees has to take a small second place beside the unforseeable and vast demands of liquid profit. Furthermore, the rigidity of this house rule is called flexibility. In prison, words get turned upside down.

The alarming pressure of high-grade working conditions has obliged the courts in Japan to recognize and define a new coroners’ category of “death by overwork.”

No other system, the gainfully employed are told, is … [more]
johnberger  prisoners  solidarity  metaphor  2011  adriennerich  yannisritsos  zygmuntbauman  imprisonment  panopticon  jeremybentham  capitalism  nellabielski  power  tyranny  hanstietmeyer  cyberspace  misinformation  rumors  commentary  humankind 
january 2017 by robertogreco
BRASÍLIA by Rem Koolhaas – EN | REVISTA CENTRO
"UNESCO often threatens to strip a site of its status when it or its surroundings are becoming too drastically or too visibly modern. Dresden lost its status because of a new bridge that was thought to threaten the beauty of its protected riverbank landscape. Saint Petersburg is at risk of losing it because of the construction of a Gazprom tower.

Tiring of these endless frontline battles, UNESCO is developing a new definition of the Historic Urban Landscape: heritage is no longer considered as a single object or a single urban ensemble, but as ‘all natural and historical layers of a site, its empty spaces, its infrastructure, and its social, cultural, and economic processes’. Brasília might be one of the most interesting tests for this new definition.

In CRONOCAOS [1], we concluded that the interval between ‘now’ and that which has been ‘preserved’ is shrinking continuously. Shortly, heritage might even acquire a prospective character instead of a retrospective one.

In Brasília, this is already happening. A federal ukase from 1992 demands that any addition to the ‘plane’ be designed by Niemeyer himself (at that time, 85 years old). From this moment, Niemeyer’s future plans were automatically considered World Heritage. And this might make him the biggest threat to his own posthumous reputation: Niemeyer’s most recent additions are nonchalant, sometimes grim, seldom convincing, and always situated somewhere in the wide range between the sublime and the worthless. Just as the ‘older De Kooning’, his recent work makes one wonder whether there still is a functioning mind guiding the master’s hand, or whether the hand has taken over."
brasil  brazil  architecture  remkoolhaas  2011  design  unesco  cities  heritage  worldheritagesites  preservation  urbanism  urban  oscarniemeyer  luciocosta  urbanplanning  brasilia  brasília 
september 2016 by robertogreco
LBJ Orders Pants - YouTube
"

In 1964, Lyndon Johnson needed pants, so he called the Haggar clothing company and asked for some. The call was recorded (like all White House calls at the time), and has since become the stuff of legend. Johnson's anatomically specific directions to Mr. Haggar are some of the most intimate words we've ever heard from the mouth of a President.



We at Put This On took the historic original audio and gave it to animator Tawd Dorenfeld, who created this majestic fantasia of bungholiana.

"
2011  1964  lyndonjohnson  pants  humor  clothing  lbj 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Austin Kleon — the only mofos in my circle are people that I CAN...
"the only mofos in my circle are people that I CAN LEARN FROM. i believe THAT is the first and foremost rule to a successful life. you are going to be as educated and successful as the 10 most frequented people you call/text on your phone"

[See also: http://tumblr.austinkleon.com/post/142031465032 ]
questlove  learning  howwelearn  2011  friendship  success  education  austinkleon 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Education Needs a Digital-Age Upgrade - The New York Times
[via: https://twitter.com/ecomentario/status/741833701999280128 ]

"To take an example of just one classroom convention that might be inhibiting today’s students: Teachers and professors regularly ask students to write papers. Semester after semester, year after year, “papers” are styled as the highest form of writing. And semester after semester, teachers and professors are freshly appalled when they turn up terrible.

Ms. Davidson herself was appalled not long ago when her students at Duke, who produced witty and incisive blogs for their peers, turned in disgraceful, unpublishable term papers. But instead of simply carping about students with colleagues in the great faculty-lounge tradition, Ms. Davidson questioned the whole form of the research paper. “What if bad writing is a product of the form of writing required in school — the term paper — and not necessarily intrinsic to a student’s natural writing style or thought process?” She adds: “What if ‘research paper’ is a category that invites, even requires, linguistic and syntactic gobbledygook?”

What if, indeed. After studying the matter, Ms. Davidson concluded, “Online blogs directed at peers exhibit fewer typographical and factual errors, less plagiarism, and generally better, more elegant and persuasive prose than classroom assignments by the same writers.”"
writing  virginiaheffernan  2011  howwewrite  education  blogging  learning  socialmedia  digital  sfsh 
june 2016 by robertogreco
A place to talk | A Working Library
"
Today, we are witnessing the reemergence in electronic form of oral patterns that have been hiding in plain site for generations. So deeply ingrained is our cultural disposition toward literacy, however, that many of us fail to recognize the oral characteristics of electronic media. Today, writers inevitably tend to describe the web in terms of “publishing” or, like H.G. Wells, to compare it to a vast library. And while the web does indeed support new kinds of publishing, it is also a place to “talk.”
Wright, Glut, page 232

Walter Ong calls this “secondary orality,” that is, orality which is written in the technical sense (via pecking at a keyboard) but which is fundamentally an element of oral culture. So, when you rant on Twitter about your coworker who can’t stop twirling her hair, or text your spouse to please pick up a bottle of wine on the way home, you’re engaging in an oral tradition, not a literate one.

Think that through, and it’s not surprising that replies emerged organically on Twitter and elsewhere; having a conversation means talking to other people. Absent the technical means to do that, we invented a method that was then widely, and rapidly, adopted.

Interestingly, with secondary orality, we have orality that looks like literacy, but isn’t. Strange things can happen when you miss that point. Flipboard aggregates content from your social graph in really lovely ways, but the juxtaposition of oral culture in an essentially literate design doesn’t always make sense. It’s quite odd to see your friend’s tweet about their breakfast burrito elevated to a strikingly designed pull quote. The pull quote is a design pattern that emerged from a culture of publishing—from a process by which an editor would carefully select a bit of text that, when extracted and enlarged, would resonate with the greater work. But here, there is no greater work, and no editor: only the blind act of an algorithm.

That algorithm knows a lot about who your friends are, and what they recommend, but it does not (yet, at least), recognize the difference between talking and publishing. The result is content that looks beautiful, typographically speaking, but whose effect is dissonant, rather than engaging. Designing for secondary orality is going to require developing new patterns, not merely pouring words into the old ones."

[via: https://twitter.com/litherland/status/717739487829299201 ]
walterong  secondaryorality  alexwright  manybrown  2011  twitter  flipboard  via:litherland  socialmedia  conversation 
april 2016 by robertogreco
2 × 4: Essay: Ways of Seeing
"Everyone is talking about the way in which digital media is destabilizing print. I thought it was interesting to choose the reverse scenario: something that started digital but found its real audience in print. Ways of Seeing started as a four-part television series on the BBC in England conceived of and written by art critic John Berger. Berger was reacting specifically to the traditional connoisseurship of Kenneth Clark in the Civilisation series, another famous television program, which inscribed the canonical march of Western culture in heroic terms. As a critique of Clark, Berger created a popular reading of the icons of western art not as aesthetic objects, but deeply cultural artifacts that reveal, upon close “reading”, the limitation, prejudice, bias, and obsession of the culture from which they sprang.

This form of cultural criticism was established in the Universities, especially Marxist leaning polytechnics, but had never before had such a popular airing. The idea that classic paintings could be decoded to reveal social facts — and in fact Berger compared them to modern advertising — was heretical and his work was met with incredulity and anger in the hallowed halls of University Art History departments around the country, But Berger’s position, especially his proto-feminist critique of female nudes, would grow to become the dominant form of art criticism in the years ahead.

The television program had moderate success but shortly after it aired Berger joined with producer Mike Dibb and graphic designer Richard Hollis to produce a printed version of the televised series. Clark had also produced a book to accompany Civilisation: a huge, lavish, full-color coffee table monster that must have weighted 10 kilos. In contrast Berger, Dibb and Hollis produced a slim paperback, 127 x 203mm, of only 166 pages. Even more radical, the book was produced in black + white, reducing the famous art to mere notations on standard, uncoated paper of a trade book. It was published by the BBC Books under the Pelican Books imprint, a division of the venerable Penguin Press organized to publish books to educate rather than entertain the reading public.

Even more striking was the book’s design. Hollis starts the text of the first essay on the cover: “Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak.” This simple typographic trick gives the book both a certain modesty (saves on pages) and an urgency (no time to waste). Starting on the outside also suggests a digital quality, the content is broadcast to the reader even as they pass the shelf.

The interior is equally unusual. Hollis set the entire book in a bold sans serif font, a very unlikely choice and aggressively un-civilized. There is no nod to classicism, the book is an entirely modern form. The text is broken down into short bursts, usually no more than a paragraph coupled with a visual example. Again reflecting its origin as a televisual experience the text and images work simultaneously, one form leveraging the other. There are five such text-and-image essays on everything from renaissance nudes to modern advertising. But Berger also adds for entirely visual essays. He assembles a series of examples that by the power of his selection and through their aggressive juxtaposition, he makes his thesis without any words at all. In so doing he presages the development of the curated playlist as a predominant contemporary form and creates the first pre-digital book."
johnberger  michaelrock  waysofseeing  books  2011  bookdesign  richardhollis  fiveparagraphessays 
march 2016 by robertogreco
Jessica Rankin in the Studio | White Cube
"In this film, Jessica Rankin discusses inspiration and the methods of production of her work with White Cube's Tim Marlow. Rankin talks about the genesis of her embroidery technique, her decision to depart from painting and how she was initially inspired by the work of the Feminist artists from the late 1960s and '70s. Revealing her enjoyment in the mediative process of sewing, she discusses positively embracing the ethereal and the subconscious as well as her interest in ghost story writer M.R. James.

Filmed in New York, November 2011"

[See also: http://old.likeyou.com/archives/jessica_rankin_whitecube_07.htm ]
2011  jessicarankin  art  embroidery 
february 2016 by robertogreco
cityofsound: Journal: 'In Studio: Recipes for Systemic Change' book, and Helsinki Design Lab
"In particular, much strategic work for government clients in particular suffers from a major flaw—the lack of a ‘hinge’ connecting the work to a clear pathway to projects, or further work. If the workshop is free, as it often is in new, challenging, transformational areas where there is no clear understanding of value from previous efforts, it's particularly difficult, Here, the client is barely a client at all in one of the more meaningful senses i.e. they haven’t paid for it, they don’t have ‘skin in the game’.

Equally, studios can usefully bring together multiple stakeholders. Yet with complex interdependent problems requiring holistic thinking and action—e.g. climate change, health, urbanisation, education—this can lead to no one body taking responsibility, and so potential solutions fall through the cracks between organisations or within one organisation's architecture (fig.2 below) i.e. education is no longer the sole responsibility of the Department of Educaiton; it's more complex, hybrid, layered, networked than that (add your descriptor of choice).

Finally, workshops or studios lend themselves to a particular kind of focus, based on conversation and collaboration—yet they rarely provide the depth of analysis to tightly define an issue such that it can be developed into action. This often requires subsequent work, by which time the potential client has left the building and achieved escape velocity, easily side-stepping momentum generated in the workshop. The workshop model, which is often the foot-in-the-door for consultancies in this field, is intrinsically flawed.

The Helsinki Design Lab studio model is designed to side-step or otherwise deal with many of these problems. This is partly due to the nature and position of Sitra itself, particularly if strategic connections can be generated across relevant government bodies. Sitra has, to some extent, the capacity to can reach into and manipulate the 'dark matter' of organisation, governance, culture, industry (fig.3). [PS. "Dark matter" is a phrase I've been using in recent presentations and conversations (drawn from Wouter Vanstiphout in a great interview with Rory Hyde) and one I'll return to. It's not as bad as it sounds, just like real dark matter. Though it can be.]"



"The Helsinki Design Lab approach, which we're developing rapidly now, is an attempt to flesh out many strands of strategic design that we're pursuing. This first aspect, the studio, is about sketching vision. The idea of studio itself is at least three-fold, simultaneously conjuring up the idea of a space, a team or organisation, and an act of being 'in studio'."



"I think, I hope, that it suggests one possible meaningful way forward for design itself, as well as suggesting new cultures for the public sector, for thinking about complex, interdependent problems, and for rapidly creating practical yet compelling visions built on a clear understanding of 'the architecture of the problem', as we call it. "



"More fundamentally though, we intend that this is the first in a series of projects which describe how design can be used beyond these details of production of space, realisation of product or service. Often, of course, design is used in this traditional if limited role of process improvement and problem solving—the realisation of 'the thing'—without addressing the core issue, the core strategy, the vision and organisations behind 'the thing' in the first place. We think design has a role to play before we even know what the questions are, never mind the solutions. That's what this book begins to address. Subsequent projects—some products/services/things, some events, some discussion—will develop this idea."
danhill  2011  lcproject  openstudioproject  culture  decisionmaking  process  studios  studioclassroom  strategicdesign  design  vision  organization  organizations  bryanboyer 
february 2016 by robertogreco
A Flag for No Nations | booktwo.org
"This is the moment at which our ideas of technology as a series of waymarks on the universal march of human progress falter and fall apart. A single technology – the vacuum-deposition of metal vapour onto a thin film substrate – makes its consecutive and multiple appearances at times of stress and trial: at the dawn of the space age, in orbit and on other planets, at the scene of athletic feats of endurance, in defence and offence in the mountains of the Hindu Kush, on the beaches of the European archipelago. These are moments of hope as well as failure; moments when, properly utilised, technological progress enables us to achieve something which was beyond our capabilities before. And yet: we are still pulling bodies from the water wrapped in material which was meant to send us into space."



"Technologies are stories we tell ourselves – often unconsciously – about who we are and what we are capable of. By analysing their traces we may divine the progress they are capable of assisting, but they are not in and of themselves future-producing, magical, or separate from human agency. They are a guide and a hope. The reality of these technologies and the place of their deployment shows us plainly that another world is not only possible, but coming into being, should we choose to recognise and participate in it. Technology alone will not achieve such change, merely reflect back our failure to capitalise upon it. Its proper use is not as a bandage for the present, but as a banner for the future."
jamesbridle  techology  humanism  humanity  nasa  space  skylab  refugees  skylab2  1973  jackkinzler  josephkerwin  nationalmetallizing  jerryross  1988  hubbletelescope  spaceblankets  heatsheets  afghanistan  rubenpeter  2011  2013  2005  pakistan  lesbos  greece  lampedusa  2014  2015  2016  mediterranean  migration  chios  hope  flags  kimstanleyrobinson  technology 
january 2016 by robertogreco
Art + tech (13 Oct., 2015, at Interconnected)
"There's something about art + tech which is niggling at me. The process I'm interested in is when a technology organisation commissions or supports art as a way to understand itself.

I don't quite understand this itch or why I've got it, so I've spent a day looking at examples."
mattwebb  art  design  technology  1951  belllabs  1960s  1990s  lilianschwartz  rachelduckhouse  kitchens  amtrak  randcorporation  1971  andywarhol  advertising  marketing  davidchoe  eames  eamesoffice  2011  1968  electricobjects  eo1  brendandawes  mailchimp 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Peter Galison, 2011 Sheffrin Lecture at UC Davis - YouTube
"Peter Galison delivered a lecture on the political history of secrecy from the Espionage Act to Wikileaks at UC Davis for the annual Sheffrin Lecture in Public Policy on June 1, 2011. Galison is the Pellegrino University Professor of the History of Science and of Physics at Harvard University.

The Sheffrin Lecture in Public Policy supports an annual lecture by distinguished scholars from across the social science disciplines on the day's most relevant issues of national public policy.

The annual series was established in 2008 by former Dean of the UC Davis Division of Social Sciences Steve Sheffrin, and his wife Anjali."
petergalison  2011  secrecy  law  politics  history  tolisten 
september 2015 by robertogreco
Where to Live to Avoid a Natural Disaster - Map - NYTimes.com
"Weather disasters and quakes: who’s most at risk? The analysis below, by Sperling’s Best Places, a publisher of city rankings, is an attempt to assess a combination of those risks in 379 American metro areas. Risks for twisters and hurricanes (including storms from hurricane remnants) are based on historical data showing where storms occurred. Earthquake risks are based on United States Geological Survey assessments and take into account the relative infrequency of quakes, compared with weather events and floods. Additional hazards included in this analysis: flooding, drought, hail and other extreme weather."
2011  via:vruba  maps  mapping  disasters  naturaldisasters  nature  usgs  earhquakes 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Austin Kleon — Would I had phrases that are not known in new...
"“Would I had phrases that are not known in new language that has not been used not an utterance which has grown stale, which men of old have spoken.”

—The Egyptian poet Khakheperresenb, 2000 B.C.E. (Quoted by John Barth in “Do I Repeat Myself?” Yes, friends, the idea that “nothing is original” is about 4,000 years old. Completely unoriginal! Says Barth: “If I could time-travel back to the Egyptian Middle Kingdom, I would console Khakheperresenb with the familiar paraphrase of Walt Whitman: “Do I repeat myself? Very well then, I repeat myself.” Or André Gide’s comforting remark, “Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.” Originality, after all, includes not only saying something for the first time, but re-saying (in a worthy new way) the already said: rearranging an old tune in a different key, to a different rhythm, perhaps on a different instrument. Has that been said before? No matter: on with the story!”)"
belatedness  originality  khakheperresenb  austinkleon  2011  johnbarth 
june 2015 by robertogreco
Michael Arcega - Lexical Borrowing: Saw Horse by the Sea Shore- Understanding Manifest Destiny2011Mat board, wood, found plastic bottles, river water, and mixed media4' x 7' x 3'
"This work describes lexical borrowing through the transformation of an American kayak into a Pacific outrigger canoe. Lexical borrowing is a linguistic process that contribute to the generation and changes in languages- a process that is essential for generating Pidgin and Creole languages. The structure, saw horses and table tops, obscures the boat models and the makeshift outrigger, suggesting instability and constant shift.

At the base of the saw horses is a make-shift outrigger that was made on the James River, VA. During an extremely rough tidal event, we fashioned this pontoon onto the American canoe- inspired by Baby, the Pacific outrigger canoe. This object is a material analog of how linguistic shifts occur."

[See also: “Baby (Medium for Intercultural Navigation)”
http://arcega.us/artwork/2258125_Baby_Medium_for_Intercultural_Navigation.html

"This work explores contact languages (Pidgins and Creoles known as Medium for Interethnic Communication) as a metaphor for intercultural navigation. Baby, the protagonist, is a tandem Bangka (Pacific outrigger canoe) derived from a mutation from a single plyak (plywood kayak- 50's era), and a collapsible kayak design.

Through the summer of 2011, Baby navigated numerous bodies of water across the United States. The first leg of Baby’s journey occurred on May 21, 2011 from Richmond, VA (seat of the Confederacy) and concluded near Jamestown, VA (the first successful British colony). Later Baby sailed in Chincoteage Bay, Pokemoke River, Mississippi River, Bayou St. John, Rio Grande/Pecos River, and San Francisco Bay.

Loosely imitating Lewis & Clark's expedition, this endeavor was to describe the people of the Nacirema. These plates, cultural artifacts, and water samples (not shown) were collected during this time. These artifacts serve as a cultural constellation for navigation."]
michaelarcega  art  language  boats  kayaks  2011  instability  change  borrowing  linguistics 
june 2015 by robertogreco
El Anatsui: Studio Process | "Exclusive" | Art21 - YouTube
"Episode #160: Filmed at his Nsukka, Nigeria studio in 2011, artist El Anatsui describes the collaborative and contemplative setting where his artworks are made. Anatsui employs a team of assistants to construct "blocks" of joined bottle caps that are then shifted around on the studio's floor. In looking at the patterns and textures created by this process, often through his digital photographs, Anatsui is able to form ideas for new work.

Working with wood, clay, metal, and the discarded metal caps of liquor bottles, El Anatsui breaks with sculpture's traditional adherence to forms of fixed shape while visually referencing the history of abstraction in African and European art. Anatsui's works trace a broader story of colonial and postcolonial economic and cultural exchange, told in the history of cast-off materials, while exploring ideas about the everyday function of objects and the role of language in deciphering visual symbols.

Learn more about El Anatsui at:
http://www.art21.org/artists/el-anatsui "
elanatsui  art  nigeria  ghana  artists  edg  srg  glvo  2011  africa  postcolonialism 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Finding the River: An Environmental History of the Elwha: Jeff Crane: 9780870716072: Amazon.com: Books
"In 1992 landmark federal legislation called for the removal of two dams from the Elwha River to restore salmon runs. Jeff Crane dives into the debate over development and ecological preservation in Finding the River, presenting a long-term environmental and human history of the river as well as a unique look at river reconstruction.

Finding the River examines the ways that different communities--from the Lower Elwha Klallam Indians to current-day residents--have used the river and its resources, giving close attention to the harnessing of the Elwha for hydroelectric production and the resulting decline of its fisheries. Jeff Crane describes efforts begun in the 1980s to remove the dams and restore the salmon. He explores the rise of a river restoration movement in the late twentieth century and the roles that free-flowing rivers could play in preserving salmon as global warming presents another set of threats to these endangered fish.

A significant and timely contribution to American Western and environmental history--removal of the two Elwha River dams is scheduled to begin in September 2011--Finding the River will be of interest to historians, to environmentalists, and to fisheries biologists, as well as to general readers interested in the Puget Sound and Olympic Peninsula and environmental issues"
elwha  elwhariver  rewilding  rivers  washingtonstate  olympicpeninsula  nature  dams  2011  books  jeffcrane  1992  ecology 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Elwha River: Rebirth of a River | Science Features
"USGS is monitoring and analyzing river fish, waters and sediment before and after the removal of the Elwha and Glines Canyon Dams."
elwha  elwhariver  rewilding  rivers  washingtonstate  olympicpeninsula  nature  dams  usgs  2011 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Othering 101: What Is “Othering”? | There Are No Others
"By “othering”, we mean any action by which an individual or group becomes mentally classified in somebody’s mind as “not one of us”. Rather than always remembering that every person is a complex bundle of emotions, ideas, motivations, reflexes, priorities, and many other subtle aspects, it’s sometimes easier to dismiss them as being in some way less human, and less worthy of respect and dignity, than we are.

This psychological tactic may have had its uses in our tribal past. Group cohesion was crucially important in the early days of human civilisation, and required strong demarcation between our allies and our enemies. To thrive, we needed to be part of a close-knit tribe who’d look out for us, in exchange for knowing that we’d help to look out for them in kind. People in your tribe, who live in the same community as you, are more likely to be closely related to you and consequently share your genes.

As a result, there’s a powerful evolutionary drive to identify in some way with a tribe of people who are “like you”, and to feel a stronger connection and allegiance to them than to anyone else. Today, this tribe might not be a local and insular community you grew up with, but can be, for instance, fellow supporters of a sports team or political party.

It’s probably not quite as simple as the just-so story we’re describing here. But there’s no doubt that grouping people into certain stereotyped classes, who we then treat differently based on the classes we’ve sorted them into, is a deeply rooted aspect of human nature. Intergroup bias is a well established psychological trait.

“If you’re not with us, you’re against us” is a simple heuristic people often use to decide whether someone is part of their tribe or not. If you are, then you can be expected to toe the line in certain ways if you don’t want to be ejected; if you’re not, you can be dismissed and hated as an “other”, the enemy.

A number of psychological experiments, such as the Asch Conformity Experiment, demonstrate the extent to which we feel compelled to make sure we fit in, as part of the tribe, in some situations.

Other research into, for instance, the Benjamin Franklin effect, shows that we have a startling tendency to come to hate people who we treat badly. If we’re experiencing guilt about our treatment of some person, or group, or class, and having trouble reconciling that guilt with our notion of ourselves as good people, our brains are extremely adept at resolving the situation by othering the people we feel that we’ve wronged. If we dehumanise someone, and distance our empathy with them, then we won’t have to feel bad about the shabby way we’ve treated them.

Political partisanship is a common area for othering to be found, and will likely be a prominent focus on this site. Any American readers will surely have noticed a tendency in many of their countryfolk to speak of “Democrats” or “Republicans” with derision, imagining this “other” to be a homogeneous group. The desire to associate with one party or the other is so strong that people will even support the other party’s policies, when they believe they’re identifying with their own group. To some extent, one’s political allegiances seem to have more to do with the label somebody has adopted than their actual opinions. (This has also been noted by Howard Stern, although he seemed to miss the point that this is something we’re all capable of, not just Obama supporters in Harlem.)

Furthermore, experiments such as the Brown Eyes, Blue Eyes exercise demonstrate just how readily we can be swept up in a group identity, learning to embrace only those of our tribe and reject the “others”, even when the difference is entirely arbitrary and meaningless."
othering  psychology  via:litherland  benjaminfranklineffect  2011  hate  hatred  disassociation  tribes  race  racism  politics  homogeneity  behavior  guilt  dehumanization 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Orality and Literacy | A Working Library
"Ong’s is perhaps the only book I’ve discovered that carefully and thoroughly addresses the differences between oral and literate cultures. In pointing out that Plato used writing to deliver his objections to the written word, he says “Once the word is technologized, there is no effective way to criticize what technology has done with it without the aid of the highest technology available” (page 79).



A place to talk
[http://aworkinglibrary.com/writing/a-place-to-talk/ ]
Today, we are witnessing the reemergence in electronic form of oral patterns that have been hiding in plain site for generations. So deeply ingrained is our cultural disposition toward literacy, however, that many of us fail to recognize the oral characteristics of electronic media. Today, writers inevitably tend to describe the web in terms of “publishing” or, like H.G. Wells, to compare it to a vast library. And while the web does indeed support new kinds of publishing, it is also a place to “talk.”
[Wright, Glut, page 232 http://aworkinglibrary.com/reading/glut/ ]

Walter Ong calls this “secondary orality,” that is, orality which is written in the technical sense (via pecking at a keyboard) but which is fundamentally an element of oral culture. So, when you rant on Twitter about your coworker who can’t stop twirling her hair, or text your spouse to please pick up a bottle of wine on the way home, you’re engaging in an oral tradition, not a literate one.

Think that through, and it’s not surprising that replies emerged organically on Twitter and elsewhere; having a conversation means talking to other people. Absent the technical means to do that, we invented a method that was then widely, and rapidly, adopted.

Interestingly, with secondary orality, we have orality that looks like literacy, but isn’t. Strange things can happen when you miss that point. Flipboard aggregates content from your social graph in really lovely ways, but the juxtaposition of oral culture in an essentially literate design doesn’t always make sense. It’s quite odd to see your friend’s tweet about their breakfast burrito elevated to a strikingly designed pull quote. The pull quote is a design pattern that emerged from a culture of publishing—from a process by which an editor would carefully select a bit of text that, when extracted and enlarged, would resonate with the greater work. But here, there is no greater work, and no editor: only the blind act of an algorithm.

That algorithm knows a lot about who your friends are, and what they recommend, but it does not (yet, at least), recognize the difference between talking and publishing. The result is content that looks beautiful, typographically speaking, but whose effect is dissonant, rather than engaging. Designing for secondary orality is going to require developing new patterns, not merely pouring words into the old ones."

[via: https://twitter.com/aworkinglibrary/status/554765730458370048

in response to “Digital Culture is Like Oral Culture Written Down: Calling a selfie stick or lunch pic narcissistic reflects a written culture perspective. Here’s how I reframe things.”
https://medium.com/the-civic-beat/digital-culture-is-like-oral-culture-written-down-df896b287782

which came via: https://twitter.com/mathpunk/status/554666572716187648 ]
manybrown  walterong  orality  secondaryorality  literacy  2011  1982  oraltradition  conversation  oralculture  culture  multiliteracies  publishing  internet  web  aggregation  talking  speech  technology  digital  online  internetweb  twitter  socialmedia 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Scale-Free Schools / An Introduction on Vimeo
"Scale Free Schools is a design proposal for a new infrastructure of education in the 21st century. What do the changing roles of educators, new ideas for learning, emerging technologies and constrained resources mean for the infrastructure of learning? 'A Day In The Life' is the second video of the Scale Free Schools project. It was commissioned by Architecture + Design Scotland and produced by Architecture 00, London"

[See also: “Scale-Free Schools / A Day In The Life” https://vimeo.com/20281560
"Scale Free Schools is a design proposal for a new infrastructure of education in the 21st century. What do the changing roles of educators, new ideas for learning, emerging technologies and constrained resources mean for the infrastructure of learning? 'A Day In The Life' is the second video of the Scale Free Schools project. It was commissioned by Architecture + Design Scotland and produced by Architecture 00, London." ]

[Posted to Tumblr in 2011: http://robertogreco.tumblr.com/post/9821168078/theres-so-much-to-like-about-scale-free-schools ]
schools  education  decentralization  cityasclassroom  2011  learning  urban  cities  institutions  architecture00  london  scale-freeschools 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Icelandic Author Sjón on Myths and Crackpot Theories - Publishing Perspectives
"The Icelandic writer Sjón, whose international breakthrough came with his novel The Blue Fox, is a renaissance man. Sjón started his career as a poet at age 15, and took part in Reykjavik’s cultural explosion in the 1980s when “there was no hierarchy in the arts.”

He was a member of a neo-surrealist group called Medusa. “We then all became anarcho-surrealists,” he added.

It was during this period that he met singer-songwriter Björk and began his collaboration writing lyrics for her that has lasted until today; Sjón has three songs on Björk’s newly released album Biophilia. In 2000, one of his songs for Björk was used in the Lars von Trier’s film “Dancer in the Dark” and nominated for an Academy Award. Sjón went to Hollywood for the ceremony. “That was one of the experiences in my life that I can truly call surreal,” he said.

Sjón is not foreign to the world of film as he also pens screenplays. He wrote a screenplay for a film that made the rounds of horror film festivals several years ago entitled “Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre.”

“It’s a nitty-gritty splatter film, a dark comedy about innocent tourists massacred by disgruntled whale hunters,” he commented.

The Blue Fox, a story about a priest hunting for an enigmatic blue fox, won the Nordic Literary Prize and has been translated into 21 languages. Sjón is currently finishing his eighth novel, which is the last volume of a trilogy that he began in 1994. His UK publisher, Telegram Books, has world rights to his works in English. Besides The Blue Fox, Telegram has published From the Mouth of the Whale and next year will bring out The Whispering Muse (working title) that was published in Iceland in 2005 and has already been translated into six languages.

“It’s the story of an 80-year-old guy, a former editor of Fish and Culture magazine that focuses on the Nordic race and its consumption of fish. He is invited on the maiden journey of a ship exporting paper pulp from Norway to Russia. One of the crew members claims to have been on the Argo with Jason. They begin to tell each other tales,” said Sjón.

Sjón’s inspiration has always come from melding ancient Icelandic traditions with the avant-garde. “I go into pockets of Icelandic history . . . I love to bring diverse cosmologies alive on the page. I mix myths and crackpot theories together with my need to tell a story.”

Working with 17th century Icelandic texts is also a motivation for Sjón, who said he enjoys managing “the peculiarities of the Icelandic language and its twists and turns.”

This is not easy for his translators, he acknowledges, but because of his excellent grasp of English, he has been able to work closely with Victoria Cribb, his English translator. In other languages Sjón said, “of course I can’t know if the translation is good but I can tell if the person is a good translator by the questions they ask. I am open to working relationships with translators and always find a way.”

At Frankfurt, Sjón said he was enjoying meeting some of his foreign publishers for the first time from Serbia, Portugal, Lithuania and Turkey, where The Blue Fox was published last week. His experience with foreign publishers has taught him that, “it’s better to go with small publishers who are truly dedicated.”

Sjón is currently working on an adaptation of his novel The Whispering Muse for opera (his wife is a mezzo soprano) and is putting the finishing touches to his eighth novel.

In the end, said Sjón, “Man is a narrative animal.”"
sjón  narrative  iceland  myths  mythology  literature  storytelling  belief  myth  2011 
december 2014 by robertogreco
highly prized | A Walker in LA
"When I first moved to Los Angeles I would take long runs high into the hills around my Hollywood house to learn the lay and splay of the land—to clear my head from the unsettling visual cacophony of this strange city, where beauty existed uncomfortably close with ugliness.

Almost every day I ran by the Immaculate Heart College, oblivious to its significance, until one day I noticed a tiny sign on the gate written in what looked like hastily-dashed script: Corita.

For 20 years during the ‘60s and ‘70s a Catholic nun named Sister Mary Corita Kent ran a tiny printmaking studio here that became an internationally-recognized art institution, one visited by Buckminster Fuller, Saul Bass, Charles Eames. Her messages of peace and love were tempered with a raw, visual urgency, ushering in a new language of democratized design which would influence an era of protest banners and pop art. In the spring her students organized a massive public art show on the school’s lawn for Mary’s Day, unfurling banners out the windows and stacking silkscreened cardboard boxes into towers, as they whirled between them in a pastel blur of sundresses and hats sewn from daisies.

Kent took her cues from what she called “marvelously unfinished Los Angeles,” gathering imagery from field trips to car washes and supermarkets. The serigraph highly prized was ripped quite literally from the streets of L.A., slathered in traffic-cone orange paint, and transformed into an appropriately-messy, hand-scrawled celebration of urbanity, freedom and hope. All this, I marveled, happened right up the street from where I lived.

Years later I attended a Mary’s Day celebration. Wearing floral dress and carrying a screenprinted sign, I walked onto that same grassy hill poised at the edge of the endless gray grid and gazed out over the city I which I now so proudly called my home. It was Corita Kent’s radical work that taught me how to truly embrace Los Angeles, for all its freeways and freakishness, all its ugliness and unfinishedness. This serigraph now hangs in my living room."
alissawalker  2011  sistercorita  coritakent  losangeles  seeing  unfinished  screenprinting 
december 2014 by robertogreco
08 | November | 2011 | AN EMPIRE OF ONE
"Two recent books, Alan Moore: Storyteller (which my wife was lucky enough to win from this site) and Grant Morrison’s Supergods, have re-sparked a question I’ve had regarding the connection between England’s social welfare system and the Eighties invasion of American comics by British writers and artists. There’s no doubt there were several factors, with perhaps the emergence, in the late Seventies, of comics magazines such as 2000 A.D., Warrior, the Marvel U.K. line being especially important. But the most intriguing factor? The dole.

So what is my hypothesis? That comic book artists such as Alan Moore and Grant Morrison would not exist without having had the benefit of being supported for several years by the British unemployment benefits system, otherwise known as “the dole,” thus giving them time to develop their skills such that they could survive without the dole.

The evidence?

Alan Moore: Storyteller:
Moore left the financial security of the office job [in 1977] and signed on at the Department of Health and Social Security for unemployment benefits. (p. 44)

Grant Morrison’s Supergods:
Perhaps at last, this [ie, superhero comics as represented especially by Alan Moore’s version of Marvelman, which first appeared in 1982] could be a way of making enough money to quit the dole and get noticed doing something I loved. (p. 186)
At twenty-four [1984],… I was still on the dole and living at home… (p. 208)

I do not know if Morrison and Moore are typical or exceptions, but I’m leaning towards their being representative of the writers and artists who constituted the British Invasion of American comics in the Eighties. The unemployment system in the USA in the Eighties did not allow anyone to continue collecting benefits for several years and, unlike Alan Moore’s case, it was not possible to obtain benefits after quitting or refusing a job. Another requirement was to have worked (on the books) for a certain number of weeks during the previous x number of months. In other words, to qualify for unemployment benefits in the USA, you had to have been employed a minimum amount of time, laid off (not fired), provide proof every other week of looking for work during the previous two weeks, and, even if you could not find a job, after a period of about six months the benefits would cease. The British system appears to have been very different.

Imagine an Earth-2 where Great Britain had no unemployment benefits. Would Alan Moore and Grant Morrison have been able to become Alan Moore and Grant Morrison without the benefit of the dole?"

[Continue reading for multiple updates to the post.]
alanmoore  grantmorrison  welfare  creativity  imagination  2014  uk  thedole  labor  work  cognitivesurplus  comics  socialsecurity  unemployment  comfort  money  benefits  2011 
december 2014 by robertogreco
Pico Rivera, tattoo: Gang member's tattoo of a liquor store slaying leads to his conviction - Los Angeles Times
"Inked on the chest of a Pico Rivera gang member was the detailed scene of a liquor store slaying that had stumped an L.A. County sheriff's investigator for more than four years. It leads to a jailhouse confession from Anthony Garcia — and a first-degree murder conviction."
losangeles  gangs  picrivera  tattoos  crime  stories  2011  via:alexismadrigal  police  murder 
november 2014 by robertogreco
20 More Fruits You Probably Don't Know - Listverse
The ten that I have eaten:

19. Strawberry tree 2: Arbutus unedo

16. Buddha’s Hand: Citrus sarcodactylis

14. Cloudberry: Rubus chamaemorus

12. Feijoa: Acca sellowiana

11. Imbe: Garcinia livingstonei

10. Natal Plum: Carissa macrocarp

9. Jack Fruit: Artocarpus heterophyllus

5. Black Sapote: Diospyros digyna

4. Strawberry Guava: Psidium littorale

1. Durian: Durionaceae
fruit  food  2011  lists 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Television Commercial for Communism | The Propeller Group
"Television Commercial for Communism
2011

Imagine for a brief moment, that the world’s last five remaining communist countries decided to unite forces and hire the world’s top advertising agencies to re-brand and create a resurgence in the ideologies of Communism? Television Commercial for Communism [TVCC] embarks to re-position our relationship to current global economics and socio-politics by getting the world’s leading advertising companies to pitch their most radical ideas to re-brand Communism. How will capitalism’s most influential by-product, the advertising machine, process its former political opponent in a post Cold War context, still saturated with Cold War idiosyncrasies?

PROJECT OVERVIEW

This video installation work has 2 components, a synchronized 5 channel video installation projection and a single channel video presented on an LED monitor. It is a collaboration with TBWA \ Viet Nam. TBWA [tbwa.com] is the advertising team behind Apple’s “Think Different” campaign as well as the award-winning advertising campaigns for Nissan and Adidas.

The first component is a synchronized 5 channel video installation that documents the creative team at TBWA \ Viet Nam in their process of brainstorming, discussing and presenting their pitch as they develop a media campaign to promote and gain positive “brand identity” for Communism.

As the brainstorming sessions are the meat of the advertising process, every round-table discussion is documented with 5 cameras shooting simultaneously into the ‘round-table’ setup. These synchronized video channels are then projected outwards in a pentagonal configuration inside the exhibition space; rendering a complex viewing experience, turning a round-table advertising brainstorming session shot from the outside-in into an inside-out panoramic view of how advertising processes it’s Cold War antithesis.

The agency’s animatic, a video mock-up of the actual commercial that utilizes storyboard images, music, and voice over to help clients visualize the final commercial, is displayed on a large LED monitor as the second component of the installation.

The project’s ultimate ambition is to work with more of the world’s top advertising agencies and realize a series of compelling television commercials and advertising campaigns. The campaign will launch featuring cinema, TV, print, out-of-home installations, digital elements and more. All of the media will be made available as free downloads via an official website and made available on social media sites such as facebook, youtube and vimeo.

THE FINAL CONCEPT & ANIMATIC

In this first iteration of the TVCC project, the creative team at TBWA\VIETNAM decides on a final concept that combines the look-and-feel of handmade paper animation with a voice over of a pledge for the new communism. The animation depicts a young girl character who traverses a world that’s portrayed using layers of paper, and as she interacts with the various sorts of people in this environment, they exchange smiles with her. The only things in color are the symbolic smiles exchanged. The smiles, the new “currency” of Communism are then brought together to form the new flag of Communism.

Visit the Television Commercial for Communism website: http://www.everyoneisequal.com "
communism  advertising  art  2011 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Request for Comments | Gardner Writes
"As Naughton tells the story, the young graduate students who were at the center of the Network Working Group found themselves with the future of the Internet in their hands. The big corporate brains knew about the machines that made up the network, but they didn’t know much about the network itself–it was too new, and it was an emergent phenomenon, not a thing they had built. The grad students in the NWG felt they were at great risk of offending the honchos, of overstepping their bounds as “vulnerable, insecure apprentices,” to use Naughton’s words. Crocker was especially worried they “would offend whomever the official protocol designers were….” But the work had to go forward. So Crocker invented the “Request for Comments,” what he called “humble words for our notes” that would document the discussions that would build the network.

Here’s how Crocker himself put it in this excerpt from RFC-3, “Documentation Conventions”:
Documentation of the NWG’s effort is through notes such as this. Notes may be produced at any site by anybody and included in this series…. [Content] may be any thought, suggestion, etc. related to the HOST software or other aspect of the network. Notes are encouraged to be timely rather than polished. Philosophical positions without examples or other specifics, specific suggestions or implementation techniques without introductory or background explication, and explicit questions without any attempted answers are all acceptable. The minimum length for a NWG note is one sentence.

These standards (or lack of them) are stated explicitly for two reasons. First, there is a tendency to view a written statement as ipso facto authoritative, and we hope to promote the exchange and discussion of considerably less than authoritative ideas. Second, there is a natural hesitancy to publish something unpolished, and we hope to ease this inhibition.

You can see the similarity to blogging right away. At least two primary Network Working Groups are involved: that of all the other people in the world (let’s call that civilization), and that of the network that constitutes one’s own cognition and the resulting “strange loop,” to use Douglas Hofstadter’s language. We are all of us in this macrocosm and this microcosm. Most of us will have multiple networks within these mirroring extremes, but the same principles will of course apply there as well. What is the ethos of the Network Working Group we call civilization? And for those of us engaged in the specific cognitive interventions we call education, what is the ethos of the Network Working Group we help out students to build and grow within themselves as learners? We discussed Ivan Illich in the Virginia Tech New Media Faculty-Staff Development Seminar today, and I was forcibly reminded that the NWG within sets the boundaries (and hopes) we have with which to craft our NWG without. School conditions what we expect in and from civilization.

I hope it’s also clear that these RFC-3 documentation conventions specify a praxis of intellectual discourse–indeed, I’d even say scholarly communication–that is sadly absent from most academic work today.

Would such communciation be rigorous? Academic? Worthy of tenure and promotion? What did these RFCs accomplish, and how do they figure in the human record? Naughton observes that this “Request for Comments” idea–and the title itself, now with many numerals following–has persisted as “the way the Internet discusses technical issues.” Naughton goes on to write that “it wasn’t just the title that endured … but the intelligent, friendly, co-operative, consensual attitude implied by it. With his modest, placatory style, Steve Crocker set the tone for the way the Net developed.” Naughton then quotes Katie Hafner’s and Matthew Lyon’s judgment that “the language of the RFC … was warm and welcoming. The idea was to promote cooperation, not ego.”

Naughton concludes,
The RFC archives contain an extraordinary record of thought in action, a riveting chronicle of the application of high intelligence to hard problems….

Why would we not want to produce such a record within the academy and share it with the public? Or are we content with the ordinary, forgotten, and non-riveting so long as the business model holds up?

Or have we been schooled so thoroughly that the very ambition makes no sense?

More Naughton:
The fundamental ethos of the Net was laid down in the deliberations of the Network Working Group. It was an ethos which assumed that nothing was secret, that problems existed to be solved collaboratively, that solutions emerged iteratively, and that everything which was produced should be in the public domain.

I think of the many faculty and department meetings I have been to. Some of them I have myself convened. The ethos of those Network Working Groups has varied considerably. I am disappointed to say that none of them has lived up to the fundamental ethos Naughton identifies above. I yearn for documentation conventions that will produce an extraordinary record of thought in action, with the production shared by all who work within a community of learning. And I wonder if I’m capable of Crocker’s humility or wisdom, and answerable to his invitation. I want to be."
gardnercampbell  internet  web  online  commenting  johnnaughton  2011  arpanet  stevecrocker  via:steelemaley  networks  networkworkinggroups  ivanillich  standards  content  shiftytext  networkedculture  networkedlearning  blogs  blogging  inhibition  unfinished  incomplete  cicilization  douglashofstadter  praxis  cooperation  tcsnmy  sharing  schooling  unschooling  academia  highered  highereducation  authority  humility  wisdom  collegiality  katiehafner  matthewlyon  rfc-3  rfc 
september 2014 by robertogreco
David Foster Wallace's Unfinished Novel - and Life - NYTimes.com
[Quoted here, but never bookmarked. Thanks, Nicole, for resurfacing.
http://robertogreco.tumblr.com/post/6839277872/unfinished-brian-eno-and-konrad-glogowski ]

"Fortunately, one of the human brain’s many tricks is that it automatically finishes unfinished things. This is remedial psychology — Sensation-Perception 101. If we see part of a circle, our mind closes it. If we see part of a word, our mind fills in the mssng lttrs.

Something analogous happens, I think, with unfinished novels: we always end up finishing them with something. We fill in the blanks, unconsciously, with what is closest at hand: the gestalt, the legend, the vibe, the tone, the aesthetic of the author in question. This is, after all, part of what a great author does: he trains us not just to receive his vision but also to extend it — to read the world (its landscapes, people, events, texts) in the peculiar way that he would have read them. He infuses the world, almost like a religion. (After a few Dickens novels, everything starts to look Dickensian.) So it makes sense that we would carry that vision through to an author’s own last work.

This explains an uncanny aspect of unfinished novels: the way their real-life back stories usually seem like something the authors themselves might have written. Max Brod’s famous nonburning of Kafka’s unpublished writing, for example, only reinforces one lesson of the unincinerated work: that the suffering individual is no match for the big bullying system of the world. Similarly, Nabokov’s “Original of Laura” (the blockbuster unfinished novel of 2009) played out like something out of “Pale Fire”: a mysterious manuscript written on index cards, squirreled away from the public for decades, then released with an elaborate apparatus that makes you wonder, slightly, if the editors were actually crazy. The publication of Roberto Bolaño’s “2666” (the blockbuster posthumous novel of 2008) mimicked a Bolaño story: porous and unresolved, with the tantalizing possibility that there’s still more of it secretly out there somewhere, getting ready to leap out at us and unsettle everything. It’s as if an author’s unfinished work is his last and best (or the least improvable) fiction."



"These complications are further complicated by the fact that it’s hard to even talk about how “unfinished” “The Pale King” is. The book is a collation of material that was left in Wallace’s office at the time of his death — 12 polished chapters stacked neatly on his desk, the remaining hundreds of pages scattered through notes and files and disks in various stages of revision. All of which is yet further complicated by the fact that, in his finished work, Wallace always used incompleteness, very consciously, as a narrative tool. (“Infinite Jest” ends nowhere, with a million big questions unresolved.) A truly unfinished Wallace novel, then, is exponentially hard to chart — it’s as if Picasso had accidentally tipped a bucket of blue paint over the corner of one of his blue-period paintings. How do we distinguish between intentional and unintentional blue? What does unfinished unfinishedness look like?"
davidfosterwallace  2011  samanderson  unfinished  thepaleking  cocreation  writing  death  incomplete  unknowing  notknowing  posthumous  novels  books  publishing  vladimirnabokov 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Teach for America: The Hidden Curriculum of Liberal Do-Gooders | Jacobin
"I teach at a second-tier state university in the Midwest that houses a large college of education, not exactly TFA’s prime recruiting territory. And yet, every year a TFA representative briefly stops by our campus to sell our students on TFA and encourage them to apply. Three of my best former students have, to my surprise, been chosen TFA corps members. Although I would never begrudge such hard-won personal victories for my students—well-meaning individuals who hail from decidedly non-privileged backgrounds—in the future I am determined to strongly encourage those students interested in becoming TFA corps members to read Paul Goodman’s  Compulsory Mis-Education (1964), in my opinion the single-best critique of the kind of education that the TFA insurgency seeks to perfect.

Goodman’s disdain for what the corporate-organized society did to young people was first made apparent in his 1959 bestseller, Growing Up Absurd, a response to the “curious” fact that two of the most analyzed phenomena of the 1950s—the “disgrace of the Organized System” and the problem of disaffected youth—were given mutually exclusive treatment. Goodman combined these two popular strands of social commentary—a critique of the bureaucratic society with an analysis of juvenile delinquency—and argued that the former caused the latter. In Compulsory Mis-Education, Goodman extended this general critique of the “organized society” to a more specific attack on its socialization method: compulsory schooling. Schooling as socialization, which he described as “‘vocational guidance’ to fit people wherever they are needed in the productive system,” troubled Goodman in means and ends. He both loathed the practice of adjusting children to society and despised the social regime in which children were being adjusted to—“our highly organized system of machine production and its corresponding social relations.” For Goodman, compulsory schooling thus prepared “kids to take some part in a democratic society that does not need them.”

Goodman was not against education in the strict sense of the word. For him, the question of education was always of kind. In Goodman’s world, which I imagine as a sort of utopia, those who seek to institutionalize the poor are the enemies of the good. And teachers—real teachers, those who commit their lives (not two years) to expanding their students’ imaginative universes—they are the heroes. I can hardly imagine a better inoculation against the hidden curriculum of liberal do-gooders."
institutions  institutionalization  2011  tfa  andrewhartman  paulgoodman  education  compusoryschooling  schooling  colonization  kipp  teachforamerica 
july 2014 by robertogreco
Hyper-Public: A Symposium on Designing Privacy and Public Space in the Connected World: June 9–10, 2011
"Technology is transforming privacy and reshaping what it means to be in public. Our interactions—personal, professional, financial, etc.—increasingly take place online, where they are archived, searchable, and easily replicated. Discussions of privacy often focus solely on the question of how to protect privacy. But a thriving public sphere, whether physical or virtual, is also essential to society.

Hyper-Public: A Symposium on Designing Privacy and Public Space, hosted by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, will bring together computer scientists, ethnographers, architects, historians, artists and legal scholars to discuss how design influences privacy and public space, how it shapes and is shaped by human behavior and experience, and how it can cultivate norms such as tolerance and diversity."
2011  civilrights  events  publicspace  privacy  web  online  internet  toread 
june 2014 by robertogreco
School’s Out Forever – The New Inquiry
"Education has become the way to talk about class and labor in an American political system that is profoundly uncomfortable with both. In the hands of reformist technocrats, inequality is a matter of nuanced social engineering rather than a conflict between two unequal and opposed sides – those who profit and those who only work. If society wanted to reduce the growing discrepancy between rich and poor, we would worry less about tweaking the educational system and simply pay or give the poor more money. Marsh writes, “Given the political will, whether through redistributive tax rates, massive public works projects, a living wage law, or a renaissance of labor unions, we could decrease poverty and inequality tomorrow regardless of the market or the number of educated and uneducated workers.”

Although Marsh takes the reader back to historical junctions when choosing such paths toward a more equal country seemed possible — like President Johnson’s war on poverty or President Nixon’s proposal for a national income — those days are long gone. As Governor Walker’s successful move against public unions in Wisconsin shows, organized labor’s fight for survival isn’t conducive to winning higher wages. Marsh is not optimistic about the likelihood of an American labor renaissance; the best outcome he can imagine is that we might hold the debate about class and wealth distribution in undisguised terms. “We ought to acknowledge the limited but nevertheless real role education plays in providing individual economic opportunity and may play in generating national economic growth,” he writes, “At the same time, we should seek to make education more of an end it itself and less of a means toward some other end.”

While Marsh uses all his considerable analytical prowess to dispel the myth of class mobility through education, he accepts the conventional wisdom about the “true” purposes of education without a second look. If schools can’t solve society’s economic problems, he suggests, then they should focus on what they can do. Citing Thomas Jefferson through Christopher Lasch, Marsh offers only these two possibilities: “To give everybody the intellectual resources — particularly the command of the language — needed to distinguish truth from public lies” and “to train scholars, intellectuals, and members of learned professions.”

A school system devoted to those two goals wouldn’t make the country more equal, but it might restore English professors like Marsh to their former glory. He writes, “The liberal arts might regain the stature their inevitably central locations on campus indicate they once had. How much better for students’ souls — for their future happiness — to have studied the humanities or some branch of the liberal arts?” Putting aside the supposed strength of the correlation between majoring in literature and happiness, the answer to “How much better for their souls?” isn’t graphable. But being an English professor means never questioning the transcendent impact of your own thought on others."



"Just like the aberrational student elevated out of poverty through education, the exceptional teacher who can impact a student’s soul provides a flawed justification for a system which fails to provide anything of the sort on a larger scale. The hope is that every student has a teacher or two over a decade and a half that really makes them question and think, but either way, we silently acknowledge that they’ll spend the majority of their young vigor-filled lives quivering at the arbitrary mercy of petty kooks and jowly tyrants. Schools train students in what business professor Stefano Harney says every diploma really proves: “that the student can follow arbitrary authority, endure boredom, and compete against others.” Classrooms, tellingly, are usually depicted in popular culture as excruciatingly boring. Teachers post Calvin and Hobbes cartoons about the soul-crushing banality of compulsory attendance on the classroom walls. In TV shows and movies about young people, class time is depicted only so that it can be interrupted by something more important — whether it’s whispered gossip, singing montages, or vampire slaying. Or, à la Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, class is so awful as to be a self-explanatory joke.

With the economic logic ripped apart, the only reasoning Marsh presents for keeping students in the prison/school for 12 to 16 years is that their souls might benefit from compulsory membership in a gerontocratic book club, even if we have to put a sizable proportion of them on amphetamines for it to work. This isn’t coincidental, it’s prefigurative, a determining sneak-peek at the adults they’ll become. High schools and colleges knowingly teach and enable the Adderall-seeking behavior that graduates will need to compete in the work world — that is if they don’t have standing prescriptions from elementary school. When a sixth-grader isn’t paying attention in class because he’s too busy clenching his knees together so as not to piss his pants before the bell rings, he’s not learning to be a better citizen or intellectual, he’s learning to be a better prisoner, employee, or soldier.

One of Marsh’s most suggestive comparisons is the number of striking workers against the number of new college admittances over time. Although the lines crossed long ago, the juxtaposition suggests the classroom is only one possible choice in pursuing a better life, and not necessarily the best one. Elsewhere around the world, young people try to construct better lives for themselves outside the classroom, as in Spain and Greece, where students fight against the austerity and increasing economic inequality Marsh fears, or in Egypt or Tunisia where revolution is not to be confused with an SAT-prep company. Using expert knowledge no teacher could have inculcated, young hackers risk jail to expose public falsehoods and build solidarity with peers overseas by fucking around on the internet. They’re not willing to leave the problems of their inherited world for moribund labor unions or withering socialist parties. Students in America could try a different kind of strike based on what’s occurred in Cairo and Athens — out of the classroom and into the streets. And how much better would that be for their future happiness, how much better for their souls?"
2011  education  schools  schooling  schooliness  learning  labor  unions  economics  solidarity  capitalism  corporatization  unschooling  deschooling  teaching  authority  conformity  conditioning  clavinandhobbes  poverty  inequality  malcolmharris  johnmarsh  politics  class  classmobility  socialmobility  policy  edreform  why  tyranny  control  supression  liberalarts  opportunity  corporatism 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Project MUSE - <i>Survivance: Narratives of Native Presence</i> (review)
"In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Ten years ago a book like this would have invigorated American Indian literary studies, overtly challenging its typical practices by demonstrating the generative possibilities of a focus not on loss, victimry, or mere survival, but rather on survivance, Gerald Vizenor's (then) iconoclastic concept of active native presence, of survival as resistance. Back then Vizenor was still more outlaw than insider, a self-declared postmodernist working across multiple genres—poetry, fiction, the essay, and, importantly, critical theory—within a still largely undertheorized field. His adapted use of the recovered word "survivance" was still considered idiosyncratic and odd, even a little threatening in its disregard for convention. There were still heated debates about the precise meanings of survivance, and of the many other terms from the developing lexicon of Vizenor's neologisms and adaptations, and whether they would have any lasting importance. Vizenor and his lexicon have earned ardent admirers over the past ten or fifteen years, and these fans will readily embrace Survivance. The collection will have a more limited impact, however, than a similar collection might have had in the past. It will less likely provoke ideas or practices that are radically new.

Of particular interest to fans—and readers of SAIL—will be Vizenor's own contribution to the eighteen essays collected here, "Aesthetics of Survivance: Literary Theory and Practice," which opens the volume. In the early and late paragraphs, Vizenor lays out surprisingly accessible definitions for the collection's key critical term, a stark contrast to the discursive tactics more typical of his previous works. As readers of SAIL will be aware, Vizenor first demonstrated—rather than clearly defined—the potential meanings of survivance in a series of provocations about American Indian representation, published in 1994 as Manifest Manners: Postindian Warriors of Survivance; he continued this demonstration—with somewhat more clear definitions—in Fugitive Poses: Native American Indian Scenes of Absence and Presence, his similarly suggestive provocations published in 1998. Both Manifest Manners and Fugitive Poses have been highly influential. Over time, as Vizenor's difficult prose style and fast-paced riffs on poststructuralist and postmodernist theories have become more familiar to readers in the field, survivance has become a common element of our scholarship, pushing beyond the ubiquity of Vizenor's earlier emphasis on "trickster discourse," a concept demonstrated in venues such as Narrative Chance: Postmodern Discourse on Native American Indian Literatures, his edited collection first published in 1989. Indeed, survivance is increasingly deployed in performed and published scholarship, across the inter-disciplines of Native American and Indigenous studies, without clear attribution, critical genealogy, or extensive explanation.

Vizenor's new willingness to define survivance in relatively straightforward terms may reflect, in part, the degree to which this postmodern adaptation of a recovered word no longer feels especially radical or complex within the increasingly sophisticated and increasingly professionalized fields of Native American and Indigenous studies. It has become part of how we "do" our work, especially within American Indian literary studies. Survivance may be close to achieving the status of the phrase "Native American Renaissance," the title of Kenneth Lincoln's early celebration of contemporary American Indian literature, much read and often cited following its publication in 1983, but mostly ignored in the current conversation. Lincoln's title has outlived the actual content of his poetic meditations, so that his phrasing is routinely deployed as shorthand for the complexities of the post-1968 era but without attribution, genealogy, or justification. Survivance appears similarly on its way to becoming a shorthand for the complexities of "active native presence" and "survival as resistance." The publication of this edited volume may be a first major sign of the term's rapid detachment from Vizenor's postmodernist specificity, irony, and radical potential.

More in line with Vizenor's previous analytical work, the majority of "Aesthetics of Survivance" is devoted to provocative meditations on American Indian representation through new and repeated stories of particular instances of active native presence and to ironic if somewhat incomplete engagements with recent debates in American Indian literary studies. Vizenor engages in direct responses to Anishinaabe novelist David Treuer's controversial Native American Fiction: A User's Manual, published in 2006, and to the rise of so..."

[via this thread (at the end):

"I started reading about crowd-control drones and South African mines but then I started watching gumboot dance videos http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gumboot_dance "
https://twitter.com/coreycaitlin/status/479123577673752576

"I'm ready for the part with new art forms for resistance. I'm ready for new movement vocabularies that turn the tools of oppression around."
https://twitter.com/coreycaitlin/status/479123969589522432

"Most of my lit research/writing was about the practice of using prior/oppressive/"legitimate" language to do surprising/subversive things."
https://twitter.com/coreycaitlin/status/479124981352103937

"But I still don't know whether the presence of that prior-language made it more powerful or undermined the subversion. I don't know."
https://twitter.com/coreycaitlin/status/479125298974175233

"The gumboot dance is this gorgeous shred of humanity and art, but...racism and labor exploitation."
https://twitter.com/coreycaitlin/status/479125737350234114

"Gestures (however essential) seem so...gestural next to weaponized drones and broadly ignoring due process &c."
https://twitter.com/coreycaitlin/status/479126936191381504

"@coreycaitlin I would love to read more about this+previous tweets. Hard to differentiate between acts of resistance, subversion, survival?"
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/479126755551088640

"@rogre yeah. That might be it. (IIRC this is better spelled out in Native American lit studies, with a concept of survival-as-resistance.)"
https://twitter.com/coreycaitlin/status/479127766290280449

"@coreycaitlin Reminds me that I'd like to read this gem again: http://www.amazon.com/Was%C3%A1se-Indigenous-Pathways-Action-Freedom/dp/1551116375 … by http://taiaiake.net/ "
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/479129096165683200

"(And I'm not even the one gesturing; I can't even figure out what gestures might be useful, from me.)"
https://twitter.com/coreycaitlin/status/479128176782614528

"I don't know, guys. I don't know. Don't weaponize drones. People matter. Freedom is more important than power or safety."
https://twitter.com/coreycaitlin/status/479129549246955522

"@rogre *survivance* is the word I was looking for! http://z3950.muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/studies_in_american_indian_literatures/v023/23.4.allen.html …"
https://twitter.com/coreycaitlin/status/479131080495099904

@rogre (thank you for this; this question got exactly to the perspective I needed to get past vague frustration and see its limits.)
https://twitter.com/coreycaitlin/status/479131583962574848
]
2011  survivance  survival  resistance  via:coreycaitlin  victimry  victims  subversion  gestures  coreycaitlin  drones  power  weapons  violence  chadwickallen  geraldvizenor  nativeamericans 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Jorge Otero-Pailos: The Ethics of Dust at the Venice Biennale: Places: Design Observer
"If Otero-Pailos wasn’t trying to mimic Marcel Duchamp, what exactly was he trying to do? Although he is a licensed architect (with a Ph.D. in architectural history, theory and criticism), and also a professor in the preservation program at Columbia, Otero-Pailos is not a traditional preservationist; nor is he simply an architect or theorist or artist. He characterizes what he does as “an aesthetic practice, an artistic practice,” and he explains: “I never thought it was a choice of either ‘you’re an intellectual’ or ‘you’re an artist or architect.’” Mark Wigley, dean of architecture, planning and preservation at Columbia, sees Otero-Pailos as expanding the legacy of the school’s historic preservation program — launched in 1964, the first of its kind in the country — and its iconoclastic founder, James Marston Fitch, an architect, social activist and historian who argued that complete restoration was undemocratic because it didn’t allow the public to see what had been restored and how. While most people regard preservation as a way to hold off or even deny change, Wigley explained, Fitch emphasized the ways in which preservation implies transformation and progress.

In projects and writings, Otero-Pailos has become the provocateur of the field, posing fundamental questions — if not outright, then by the nature of his work — that embattled preservationists and conservationists have perhaps been too busy, or too unwilling, to ask. Why do we preserve buildings? What do we preserve? What is our cultural heritage? If preservationists are restoring objects that have already been made, is the field still a creative discipline? These are complicated queries, and articulating answers doesn’t seem as important to Otero-Pailos as stirring up conversation. Which he did, for example, in a recent project for Philip Johnson’s Glass House: Noticing the smoke stains on the ceiling of the living room — the scene of countless soirees — Otero-Pailos and Rosendo Mateu, perfumer and head of the Puig Perfumery Center, worked to recreate the atmosphere, the smells, that would have been so strong a part of the social experience of the place during Johnson’s long and convivial life.

And in addition to such unorthodox projects, Otero-Pailos has been challenging what may seem like the least arguable area of the preservation discipline; for the last several years he has been asking obsessively: Why do we clean buildings? And which ones? And how?

The Ethics of Dust
In 2008 Otero-Pailos was invited to create a work of conservation and art for the European Biennial of Contemporary Art (also known as Manifesta) in Bolzano, Italy. In the disused aluminum factory where the biennial was housed, and from which the curators expected artists to take inspiration, he spent a month on scaffolding with three former students, cleaning a wall with latex. He and his team spent every day at the factory, from morning to night. They painted a latex cleaning solution (called Arte Mundit) on the wall, waited for it to dry and peeled it off. They had decided earlier that the wall was too enormous to hang the latex skin as a continuous work of art: the latex would be too heavy and would snap; so instead they devised a grid system based on the factory window mullions, and hung rectangles of latex from the scaffolding. Together the rectangles created a tarnished, tissue-thin antique mirror, a reflection of the wall itself. Light from the factory windows shone though the pollution that had been transferred to the latex. Otero-Pailos called the Bolzano piece “The Ethics of Dust.”

The project was inspired, in part, by one of Otero-Pailos’s heroes, John Ruskin, the British art and architecture theorist whose prodigious literary output included a book called The Ethics of the Dust (Otero-Pailos omitted the second “the”), originally published in 1865. Ruskin, who spent long periods in Venice, believed that dust and dirt had value, and when deposited on buildings, became intrinsic to their history. He called the accumulation of grime a “time-stain” and encouraged Venetian conservators to preserve the city’s dark and dirty facades. Soiling meant age, and age was a building’s “greatest glory,” he wrote. “Restoration may possibly … produce good imitation of an ancient work of art; but the original is then falsified, and in its restored state it is no longer an example of the art of the period to which it belonged … [Restoration] is a Lie from beginning to end.” [2] "
2011  preservation  dust  via:shannnon_mattern  jorgeotero-pailos  lauraraskin  conservation  architecture  ethics  history 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Can “Leaderless Revolutions” Stay Leaderless: Preferential Attachment, Iron Laws and Networks | technosociology
"Many commentators relate the diffuse, somewhat leaderless nature of the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia (and now spreading elsewhere) with the prominent role social-media-enabled peer-to-peer networks played in these movements. While I remain agnostic but open to the possibility that these movements are more diffuse partially due to the media ecology, it is wrong to assume that open networks “naturally” facilitate “leaderless” or horizontal structures. On the contrary, an examination of dynamics in such networks, and many examples from history, show that such set-ups often quickly evolve into very hierarchical and ossified networks not in spite of, but because of, their initial open nature."



"I agree and have said before that this was the revolution of a networked public, and as such, not dominated by traditional structures such as political parties or trade-unions (although such organizations played a major role, especially towards the end). I have also written about how this lack of well-defined political structure might be both a weakness and a strength.

A fact little-understood but pertinent to this discussion, however, is that relatively flat networks can quickly generate hierarchical structures even without any attempt at a power grab by emergent leaders or by any organizational, coordinated action. In fact, this often occurs through a perfectly natural process, known as preferential attachment, which is very common to social and other kinds of networks."



"Disposition is not destiny. In one of my favorite books as a teenager, The Dispossessed, Ursula K. Leguin imagines a utopian colony under harsh conditions and describes their attempts to guard against the rise of such a ossified leadership through multiple mechanisms: rotation of jobs, refusal of titles, attempts to use a language that is based on sharing and utility rather than possession and others. The novel does not resolve if it is all futile but certainly conveys the yearning for a truly egalitarian society.

If the nascent revolutionaries in Egypt are successful in finding ways in which a movement can leverage social media to remain broad-based, diffused and participatory, they will truly help launch a new era beyond their already remarkable achievements. Such a possibility, however, requires a clear understanding of how networks operate and an explicit aversion to naïve or hopeful assumptions about how structures which allow for horizontal congregation will necessarily facilitate a future that is non-hierarchical, horizontal and participatory. Just like the Egyptian revolution was facilitated by digital media but succeeded through the bravery, sacrifice, intelligence and persistence of its people, ensuring a participatory future can only come through hard work as well as the diligent application of thoughtful principles to these new tools and beyond."
egypt  anarchism  horizontality  hierarchy  hierarchies  socialnetworks  2011  groupdynamics  sociology  zeyneptufekci  organizations  tunisia  arabspring 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Extreme How-To Skills - How to Launch a Camera into Space - Popular Mechanics
"MIT students Justin Lee and Oliver Yeh stuffed a camera in a cooler, tied it to a helium balloon, and—with FAA approval—launched the rig 17.5 miles into the stratosphere. "The results were fantastic," Lee says. "We tracked the device with a GPS-enabled cellphone and found it 20 miles from the launch site." The 5-hour flight, which cost $150 in materials, took photos of Earth every 5 seconds. Then, at 90,000 feet, the balloon popped. See the results at 1337arts.com.

Step-By-Step, as told to PM by Lee and Yeh:

1. Find A Suitable Launch Site
"The site should be relatively flat with no obstacles such as trees or light poles that could snag the balloon after launch. Also, be sure not to launch near military installations. Stay at least 100 miles away."

2. Check the Weather
"Weather should be completely sunny with minimal wind. If it's not bright enough, the pictures will be underdeveloped. Minimal wind decreases the chances of blurring and reduces the preparation needed to launch a balloon."

3. Alert the FAA
"Be sure to notify the FAA at least 24 hours before launch. Technically, balloons under four pounds are unregulated. But notifying the FAA decreases your chance of flying into restricted airspace."

4. Set the Camera
"We used a standard point-and-shoot camera and achieved automatic triggering with CHDK software. Shutter speed is a very important factor in the quality of the pictures. We used 1/800s shutter speed and got excellent results."

5. Set the GPS
"The phone messenger sent the GPS coordinates of the landing location to a website we had (go to www.instamapper.com or www.accutracking.com for more info). Without GPS, it would have been impossible to retrieve the camera and its awesome pictures."

6. Get Some Extra Charge
"We found out in our tests that the battery life of the phone was too short for the predicted flight time of the capsule. We decided to supplement the battery with a Duracell USB charger powered by Lithium AA batteries. These are specially designed batteries that have the ability to withstand extreme temperature."

7. Pack Your Capsule
"We had a Styrofoam cooler (2x3 foot) with a detachable lid. We used an X-acto knife to cut holes in the container: one for the camera lens, one for the antenna. Placing the camera lens on the side allows for horizon views, while a hole in the bottom gives ground views. We used zip ties and hot glue to properly secure the electronic equipment to the box. We also used zip ties to attach the parachute to the capsule and rope between the parachute and the balloon. Put plenty of newspaper in for insulation and crumble up some aluminum foil to act as a radar reflector so pilots can see the capsule and steer clear of it.

8. Put Helium in the Balloon
"We did a lot of research to decide how much helium to put in the balloon. It varies depending on the size of your balloon. Each cubic foot of helium can lift 28 grams. Each pound of free lift would mean 300 feet per minute of ascent rate. Increasing the free lift and therefore the ascent rate decreases the flight time of the balloon, making it less likely for your electronics to run out of battery power. However, too much helium in the balloon could make the bursting height too low."

9. Test Prior to Launch
"Test everything component by component. Make sure the parachute works and that the impact felt by your devices is minimal. Make sure that your camera works at freezing temperatures. We put ours inside of a freezer to test it. Also, to ensure a soft-enough landing, we put eggs inside of our capsule and dropped the capsule from the top of a 5-story building. When the eggs didn't break, we were convinced that our device's landing would be sufficiently soft to not damage the hardware or anyone nearby."

10. Up, Up and Away
Time to let it go and hope for the best. Keep track of its progress using your mobile devices.

11. Go Find It
"Given the launch location, predicted maximum altitude and time of launch, this website gives a general idea of the landing location: http://weather.uwyo.edu/polar/balloon_traj.html.

Since you're finding it via cellphone, the capsule must land in an area with cell coverage. To increase our chances, we turned on cell tower location transmission. This allows the phone to send off the location of its cell tower if a GPS location cannot be fixed. If you have a more generous budget, go with the SPOT satellite messenger. Since it communicates through satellites, it can operate almost anywhere."

Warning: "Check with the FAA to ensure you're not launching into restricted flight zones and that your payload isn't over the five pound limit. Also, use a balloon-trajectory predictor to predict the locations where the balloon will go on the day of your flight so that you don't have it falling in the middle of a city, which could be quite dangerous."

Glossary:

CHDK (Cannon Hack Development Kit): Software that allows your camera to do things like continuously take pictures every 5 seconds or have a really fast shutter speed.

Free Lift: A term used to describe the difference in the amount of lift provided by helium and the weight of the capsule.

Here's a time-lapse video of the camera's journey: [video]"



[via: https://twitter.com/MrBlendy/status/458746878750765056 ]
howto  2011  imagery  balloons  gps  oliveryeh  justinlee 
april 2014 by robertogreco
The Craftsman, the Trickster, and the Poet, by Edith Ackermann [.pdf]
"I suggest that art as a way of knowing is about “re-souling” the rational mind. This, in turn,occurs as a consequence of being mindfully engaged, playful in spirit, and disposed to usection—or the powers of myth—as windows into our inner and outer realities. Here, I of-fer a few thoughts on how people make sense of their experience, envision alternatives intheir minds, and most importantly, how they bring forth what they envision in ways thatcan move and inspire others (those at the receiving end of a creator’s oerings)."

[quoting: http://linkedith.kaywa.com/p138.html ]

"The craftsman, the trickster, and the poet are emblematic of the creative side in all of us: a deeply-felt reluctance to freeze the nuances of human experience into set categories, or representations, that rid themselves of the imaginal for the sake of proof or "reason". The artist sticks to the image. And that is why s/he captures our imagination. When art is "true", we know how to read between the lines! What the poet especially warns us against is to look at words as signs (instead of symbols, or indices),: “As we manipulate everyday words, we [shouldn’t] forget that they are fragments of ancient stories, that we are building our houses with broken pieces of sculptures and ruined statues of goad as the barbarians did” (Schultz, 1993. p. 88). The scientist instead is more of a Saussurian. He wants words to be signs, and he cringes when their meanings are “sticky” (fused to their contexts), “thick” (polysemic), or ambiguous (could be seen in more than one way). As for he rationalist in us: s/he wont seek to delight, amuse, or move us (spark insights). Instead, s/he’s here to reason, argue, and prove (provide evidence)!"

[video: http://www.exploratorium.edu/knowing/video.php?videoID=1241851064001 ]

[Edith Ackermann: http://web.media.mit.edu/~edith/ ]
poetry  poets  crafts  craftmanship  trickster  editchackermann  mindfulness  2011  art  artists  creativity  science  stickiness  reason  imagination  beginnersmind  neoteny  play  playfulness  richardsennett  ellenlanger  georgsimmel  jesters  clowns  bricolage  gastonbachelard  making  piaget  ernstcassirer  mending  tinkering  jeanpiaget 
march 2014 by robertogreco
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