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Spaces of encounter: the performative art of reading | Thinkpiece | Architectural Review
"When the ‘counter novel’ Hopscotch by Julio Cortázar was published in 1963 it was celebrated as one of the most innovative experiments in 20th-century literature. The book was written to allow and encourage many different and complementary readings. As the author’s note at the beginning of the novel suggests, it can be read either progressively in the first 56 chapters or by ‘hopscotching’ through the entire set of 155 chapters according to a ‘Table of Instructions’. Cortázar also allows the reader the option of choosing their own unique path through the book. It’s no coincidence that the narrative – from the title of the book to the several overlapping stories that are contained in it – is based on a game often played in small groups in public spaces and playgrounds, in which the player has to hop or jump to retrieve a small object tossed into numbered patterns drawn on the ground. The book’s main structure has strong allusions to the notions of ‘space’ and the way we navigate through it, with its three main sections entitled ‘From the Other Side’, ‘From this Side’, and ‘From Diverse Sides’.

[image: "Since 2010, the ‘book bloc’ has been a visible feature of protests"]

Similarly, but from a different perspective, one of the first things the reader notes when flipping through Fantasies of the Library edited by Anne-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin and published in 2016 by MIT Press, is that the book itself can be understood as a kind of public space. In effect, it presents a brilliant dérive through books, book collections and the physical spaces of libraries from a curatorial perspective, going from private collections and the way their shelves are organised, to more ad hoc and temporary infrastructures, such as the People’s Library at Occupy Wall Street in New York, or the Biblioburro, a travelling library in Colombia that distributes books from the backs of two donkeys, Alfa and Beto. Various configurations and layouts have been designed in response to these narratives. They include essays, photos and interviews, setting up different kinds of encounters between authors, editors, readers, photographers and illustrators. Once you have the book in your hands, you gradually start to apprehend that the four conversations are printed only on left-hand pages, interspersed with other essays on right-hand ones. So it is only when you start reading voraciously and are interrupted by the ‘non-sense’ of these jumps, when the understanding of the dynamics imposed by the layout manifests itself, that you become aware you are already ‘hopscotching’ from page to page. The chapter ‘Reading Rooms Reading Machines’ is not only a visual essay about the power of books to create spaces around them and gather a community, it is also a curated, annotated and provocative history of these spaces as a conceptual continuation between the book and the city, ‘two environments in conjunction’, as Springer writes.

In some ways, it resembles the encounters you have in the streets of your neighbourhood. Some people you only glance at, others you smile at, there are a few with whom you talk and if you’re lucky, you might meet a friend. Within the texts, you can hop back and forth, approving, underlining, or absorbing in more detail. From individual object to the container known as the library, the idea of the book as a territory is explored in depth. Different kinds and sizes of spaces and the interactions that happen in and between them emerge. Springer describes the library as ‘a hybrid site for performing the book’ – a place where the book is not a static object but a space in which the reader is an active agent, coming and going from the outside; outside the pages and outside the library. It recalls Ray Bradbury’s assertion that: ‘Books are in themselves already more than mere containers of information; they are also modes of connectivity and interrelation, making the library a meta-book containing illimitable intertextual elements.’

[image: "Improvised book blocs on the street" from source: Interference Archive]

In moving from the ‘hopscotching’ suggested by Cortázar to the idea of the ‘library as map’ as discussed by Springer and Turpin, it is clear that the inextricable relationship between books and space forms the basis of our understanding of books as spaces of encounter, and the importance of heterogeneous books – whether fiction, poetry or critical theory – as spaces of encounter for architectural discourse. In that sense, books can be perceived as new kinds of spaces, where empathy, alterity and otherness are stronger than ideologies. Catalysing dissent and open dialogue, they can be one of the most effective tools of resistance in times of censorship, fake news and post-truth. Social anthropologist Athena Athanasiou explains how books have been used in public space as part of political struggles. ‘People have taken to the streets to fight for critical thinking and public education, turning books into banners and shields against educational cuts and neoliberal regimes of university governance’, she writes. This activism emphasises the strong symbolic power of the relationship between books and architectural spaces, ‘where the books were not only at the barricades, they were the barricades’. Such agency can transgress almost any kind of limit or boundary, and can happen in any sort of space – from your mobile device to the library or the street. But it is in the public sphere where the book’s agency can have the ‘power to affect’, becoming ‘a hybrid site for performing the book’ beyond the confines of the library.

Books can be ‘performed’ in many ways, especially when critical writing and the act of reading create spaces of encounter in the city. In June 2013, after plans were unveiled to develop Istanbul’s Gezi Park, artist Erdem Gunduz initiated his Standing Man protest while he stood motionless in Taksim Square for eight hours. This thoughtful form of resistance inspired a group of ‘silent readers’ who successfully transformed a space of fighting and friction into a meaningful space of encounter by simply standing still and reading books. It became known as the Tak sim Square Book Club, paradoxically one of the most dynamic demonstrations in recent years. The strength and energy contained in the bodies of each reader, but also in every book and the endless stories and narratives between covers, transformed Taksim Square into a highly politicised space. Instead of being compromised by conflict between government and citizens, it became a space of encounter that gave agency to each silent reader and to the wider collectivity they brought into being.

[image: "Readers in Istanbul’s Taksim Square transform the space through peaceful activism"]

The moment when writing, often carried out in solitude, is published, circulated and made accessible to everyone is the moment of generating public space, argues the French philosopher and art historian Georges Didi-Huberman. This was demonstrated in the ‘Parasitic Reading Room’, a nomadic, spontaneous and parasitic set of reading spaces staged during the opening days of the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial. Initially consisting of a series of out-loud readings of texts at selected venues, it then expanded to become an urban dérive across the streets of the city in the company of a mobile radio broadcasting the live readings. In that moment, the ‘walking reading room’ became a space of exchange, knowledge and collaboration. Different points of view coexisted, enriching each other, forming knowledge assemblages. It reminds us that reading together, whether silently or aloud, forces us to interact, to respect the times and rhythms of others, to learn new words and their sounds and to think new thoughts. In doing so, we rediscover new territories of empathy that become visible when visiting these spaces of encounter, where we learn that we can host otherness as part of the self. Where comradeship is a means instead of an end. Books create the spaces in which to play hopscotch together again."
ethelbaraonapohl  césarreyesnájera  books  reading  howweread  howwewrite  rayuela  2019  neilgaiman  fiction  space  performance  etienneturpin  derive  collections  libraries  raybradbury  connectivity  interrelation  hypertext  athenaathanasiou  architecture  protest  biblioburro  nomads  nomadism  nomadic  ows  occupywallstreet  conversation  neighborhoods  urban  urbanism  cities  istanbul  geziprk  erdemgunduz  taksimsquare  georgesdidi-huberman  comradeship  solidarity  empathy  writing  visibility  hopscotch  juliocortázar  anna-sophiespringer  dérive 
january 2019 by robertogreco
Bauhaus bus embarks on world tour to explore the school's global legacy
"A bus that looks like the Bauhaus school in Dessau will travel around the world this year, aiming to "unlearn" the influential school's Eurocentric attitudes.

Called Wohnmaschine, which means "living house", the small-scale Bauhaus bus will travel between four cities in 2019, the school's centenary year.

Designed by Berlin-based architect Van Bo Le-Mentzel, the 15-square-metre mobile building is created in the image of the iconic workshop wing of the Bauhaus school building in Dessau – a building conceived by founding director Walter Gropius and built in 1919, to embody the school's core principles and values.

It features the same gridded glass walls that wrap around the building, as well as the famous lettering down one side.

Inside is an apartment-like space, containing an area to host exhibitions and workshops, plus a reading room filled with books charting the Bauhaus' history and legacy.

The project, called Spinning Triangles, begins in Dessau. From there the bus will travel to Berlin, where the Bauhaus-Archiv is located, before travelling overseas to Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Hong Kong.

Over the 10-month tour, design collective Savvy Contemporary will host a series of symposiums and workshops that attempt to challenge and "unlearn" colonial attitudes towards modernity, to develop a more global interpretation of the school's teachings.

"This school will not be developed by the geopolitical west, but through the accelerated movement between deeply interwoven places," said Savvy Contemporary.

"Design has power. It creates our environments, our interactions, our being in the world," added the organisation. "For too long, practices and narratives from the global south have been kept at the periphery of the design discourse, been ignored altogether, or appropriated."

Open to the public, the installation is beginning with four workshops in Dessau between 4 and 22 January, exploring the relationship between colonialism and modernity.

"We will face the relations of coloniality and design as well as its various visibilities and invisibilities," explained Savvy Contemporary.

The Wohnmaschine will travel to Berlin between 24 and 27 January to coincide with the opening festival 100 Years Bauhaus, before making its way to Kinshasa for workshops between 4 and 12 April.

Here, hired actors will play out the roles of various colonies, to discuss how everyday environments can be used to create a "collective future". The intention is to develop an inclusive modernist manifesto, devoid of Eurocentric views.

Five representatives from the workshops in Kinshasa will travel back to Berlin to share their research with 40 students at Savvy Contemporary's headquarters between 22 July and 18 August. The aim is to show that "it may not be the south that needs development but the north".

"Words and actions aim to challenge and transform Bauhaus traditions and narratives of modernity and modernism," said the organisers.

Finally, the school will move to Hong Kong's Para Site art space, where it will discuss its research further.

The Bauhaus school in Dessau was only in operation from 1919 until 1923, when it was forced to close by the rising Nazi Party. It later moved to Berlin under the steer of third and final director Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, where it occupied a converted factory building.

Today the school operates as a centre for design, research and education, and part of it functions as a hotel. A museum is set open on the campus this year, as the building becomes the centre for the 100 Years Bauhaus festival.

The Bauhaus is the most influential art and design school in history. To mark the centenary of the school's founding, we've created a series of articles exploring the school's key figures and projects."
bauhaus  unlearning  mobile  mobility  nomads  nomadism  learning  education  buses  2019  art  design  vanbole-mentzel  wohnmaschine  berlin  kinshasa  drc  democraticrepublicofthecongo  collective  collectivism  schools  research  architecture  miesvanderrohe 
january 2019 by robertogreco
Miru Kim
"Miru Kim is a New York-based artist and explorer. Her first series, “Naked City Spleen” is based on her exploration of urban ruins such as abandoned subway stations, tunnels, sewers, catacombs, factories, hospitals, and shipyards. Her next series, “The Pig That Therefore I am” juxtaposes her skin against the pig’s skin in industrial hog farms to explore the changing relationship between humans and animals. Her latest series, “The Camel’s Way” has followed her journey to deserts around the world, including the Arabian Desert, the Sahara in Mali, Morocco, and Egypt, the Thar in India, and the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, where she lived with desert nomads, slept in caves, and photographed herself with camels.

Miru's work has been highlighted by countless international publications and online media, and is now in public collections including National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Korea, Seoul Museum of Art, The Museum of Photography Seoul, Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, Borusan Contemporary Turkey, Addison Gallery of American Art, and The Francis J Greenburger Collection"

[Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/miru_kim/ ]

["For her dog from Arabian desert 🐪 follow @guernas"
https://www.instagram.com/guernas/ ]

[See all projects, performances, and writing (pig, camel, city).]
mirukim  art  artists  animals  human-animalrelations  human-animalrelationships  photography  exploration  cities  urban  urbanism  morethanhuman  pigs  rats  eels  camels  dogs  nomads  nomadism 
may 2018 by robertogreco
Survival of the Kindest: Dacher Keltner Reveals the New Rules of Power
"When Pixar was dreaming up the idea for Inside Out, a film that would explore the roiling emotions inside the head of a young girl, they needed guidance from an expert. So they called Dacher Keltner.

Dacher is a psychologist at UC Berkeley who has dedicated his career to understanding how human emotion shapes the way we interact with the world, how we properly manage difficult or stressful situations, and ultimately, how we treat one another.

In fact, he refers to emotions as the “language of social living.” The more fluent we are in this language, the happier and more meaningful our lives can be.

We tackle a wide variety of topics in this conversation that I think you’ll really enjoy.

You’ll learn:

• The three main drivers that determine your personal happiness and life satisfaction
• Simple things you can do everyday to jumpstart the “feel good” reward center of your brain
• The principle of “jen” and how we can use “high-jen behaviors” to bootstrap our own happiness
• How to have more positive influence in our homes, at work and in our communities.
• How to teach your kids to be more kind and empathetic in an increasingly self-centered world
• What you can do to stay grounded and humble if you are in a position of power or authority
• How to catch our own biases when we’re overly critical of another’s ideas (or overconfident in our own)

And much more. We could have spent an hour discussing any one of these points alone, but there was so much I wanted to cover. I’m certain you’ll find this episode well worth your time."
compassion  kindness  happiness  dacherkeltner  power  charlesdarwin  evolution  psychology  culture  society  history  race  racism  behavior  satisfaction  individualism  humility  authority  humans  humanism  morality  morals  multispecies  morethanhuman  objects  wisdom  knowledge  heidegger  ideas  science  socialdarwinism  class  naturalselection  egalitarianism  abolitionism  care  caring  art  vulnerability  artists  scientists  context  replicability  research  socialsciences  2018  statistics  replication  metaanalysis  socialcontext  social  borntobegood  change  human  emotions  violence  evolutionarypsychology  slvery  rape  stevenpinker  torture  christopherboehm  hunter-gatherers  gender  weapons  democracy  machiavelli  feminism  prisons  mentalillness  drugs  prisonindustrialcomplex  progress  politics  1990s  collaboration  canon  horizontality  hierarchy  small  civilization  cities  urban  urbanism  tribes  religion  dogma  polygamy  slavery  pigeons  archaeology  inequality  nomads  nomadism  anarchism  anarchy  agriculture  literacy  ruleoflaw  humanrights  governance  government  hannah 
march 2018 by robertogreco
Microscopic Colonialism - e-flux Architecture - e-flux
"For much of their history European cities have been unhealthy places. Until the end of the nineteenth century, they were traversed by waves of infection that would thrive in the close assemblage of people and livestock. Urban mortality rates were so great that sustained migration from the countryside was the only way cities could maintain their population levels stable.1

This may seem a distant past now that “health” is understood in opposition either to aging or to diseases, such as cancer, that are non-communicable. Yet, not only do infectious diseases remain a major cause of death outside Western countries, but scientists agree that the number of epidemic events around the world has actually been increasing. Zika and Ebola are only two prominent examples of “emerging infectious diseases” (EID), a definition that was put forward in the 1990s by American virologist Stephen S. Morse.2 It is also widely accepted within biomedical science that there is a strong nexus between EIDs and the material footprint of capitalist processes of extraction and accumulation: mining, logging, and intensive agriculture have the effect of fragmenting wild habitats, increasing the risk of human exposure to pathogens in the wildlife.3

In spite of such evidence, infectious diseases are conspicuously absent from the architectural discourse on urbanization. This arguably stems from a narrow understanding of the “urban,” which is still limited to the scale of the Western city. As Rem Koolhaas and others have argued, our focus on urban cores has made us blind to the human-driven changes that are taking place outside of them—whether in the countryside or in tropical rainforests.

Among the epidemics that are new to the twentieth century, HIV is by far the deadliest. Discovered in 1983, its cumulative death toll currently exceeds thirty million people and shows little sign of abating.4 The history of its appearance—when and how it first became a human virus—exposes the root of the contemporary entanglement between pathogens, humans, and the environment.

Modernity and Health

Contrary to non-communicable diseases, epidemics are a direct function of urbanization: viruses, bacteria, and parasites can propagate only where enough people live close to one another. If a person catches a virus but dies before having a chance to transmit it to someone else, no epidemic will take place. The size, density, and distribution of human settlements are thus crucial in determining how an epidemic spreads. This is why epidemics can only develop in settled societies—nomadic or seminomadic communities are generally too small and far apart for pathogens to spread effectively. Recent evidence indicates that it was only after the onset of agriculture and of animal husbandry—around 10,000 years ago—that epidemics became a regular presence in human history.5"
andreabagnato  2017  colonialism  civilization  cities  disease  remkoolhaas  ebola  hiv  zika  health  urban  urbanism  density  entanglement  pathogens  modernity  nomads  nomadism  epidemics  settlements  history  urbanization  viruses  bacteria  society 
december 2017 by robertogreco
How Civilization Started | The New Yorker
"In “Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States,” James C. Scott, a professor of political science at Yale, presents a plausible contender for the most important piece of technology in the history of man. It is a technology so old that it predates Homo sapiens and instead should be credited to our ancestor Homo erectus. That technology is fire. We have used it in two crucial, defining ways. The first and the most obvious of these is cooking. As Richard Wrangham has argued in his book “Catching Fire,” our ability to cook allows us to extract more energy from the food we eat, and also to eat a far wider range of foods. Our closest animal relative, the chimpanzee, has a colon three times as large as ours, because its diet of raw food is so much harder to digest. The extra caloric value we get from cooked food allowed us to develop our big brains, which absorb roughly a fifth of the energy we consume, as opposed to less than a tenth for most mammals’ brains. That difference is what has made us the dominant species on the planet.

The other reason fire was central to our history is less obvious to contemporary eyes: we used it to adapt the landscape around us to our purposes. Hunter-gatherers would set fires as they moved, to clear terrain and make it ready for fast-growing, prey-attracting new plants. They would also drive animals with fire. They used this technology so much that, Scott thinks, we should date the human-dominated phase of earth, the so-called Anthropocene, from the time our forebears mastered this new tool.

We don’t give the technology of fire enough credit, Scott suggests, because we don’t give our ancestors much credit for their ingenuity over the long period—ninety-five per cent of human history—during which most of our species were hunter-gatherers. “Why human fire as landscape architecture doesn’t register as it ought to in our historical accounts is perhaps that its effects were spread over hundreds of millennia and were accomplished by ‘precivilized’ peoples also known as ‘savages,’ ” Scott writes. To demonstrate the significance of fire, he points to what we’ve found in certain caves in southern Africa. The earliest, oldest strata of the caves contain whole skeletons of carnivores and many chewed-up bone fragments of the things they were eating, including us. Then comes the layer from when we discovered fire, and ownership of the caves switches: the human skeletons are whole, and the carnivores are bone fragments. Fire is the difference between eating lunch and being lunch."



"It was the ability to tax and to extract a surplus from the produce of agriculture that, in Scott’s account, led to the birth of the state, and also to the creation of complex societies with hierarchies, division of labor, specialist jobs (soldier, priest, servant, administrator), and an élite presiding over them. Because the new states required huge amounts of manual work to irrigate the cereal crops, they also required forms of forced labor, including slavery; because the easiest way to find slaves was to capture them, the states had a new propensity for waging war. Some of the earliest images in human history, from the first Mesopotamian states, are of slaves being marched along in neck shackles. Add this to the frequent epidemics and the general ill health of early settled communities and it is not hard to see why the latest consensus is that the Neolithic Revolution was a disaster for most of the people who lived through it.

War, slavery, rule by élites—all were made easier by another new technology of control: writing. “It is virtually impossible to conceive of even the earliest states without a systematic technology of numerical record keeping,” Scott maintains. All the good things we associate with writing—its use for culture and entertainment and communication and collective memory—were some distance in the future. For half a thousand years after its invention, in Mesopotamia, writing was used exclusively for bookkeeping: “the massive effort through a system of notation to make a society, its manpower, and its production legible to its rulers and temple officials, and to extract grain and labor from it.” Early tablets consist of “lists, lists and lists,” Scott says, and the subjects of that record-keeping are, in order of frequency, “barley (as rations and taxes), war captives, male and female slaves.” Walter Benjamin, the great German Jewish cultural critic, who committed suicide while trying to escape Nazi-controlled Europe, said that “there is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism.” He meant that every complicated and beautiful thing humanity ever made has, if you look at it long enough, a shadow, a history of oppression. As a matter of plain historical fact, that seems right. It was a long and traumatic journey from the invention of writing to your book club’s discussion of Jodi Picoult’s latest."



"The news here is that the lives of most of our progenitors were better than we think. We’re flattering ourselves by believing that their existence was so grim and that our modern, civilized one is, by comparison, so great. Still, we are where we are, and we live the way we live, and it’s possible to wonder whether any of this illuminating knowledge about our hunter-gatherer ancestors can be useful to us. Suzman wonders the same thing. He discusses John Maynard Keynes’s famous 1930 essay “The Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren.” Keynes speculated that if the world continued to get richer we would naturally end up enjoying a high standard of living while doing much less work. He thought that “the economic problem” of having enough to live on would be solved, and “the struggle for subsistence” would be over:
When the accumulation of wealth is no longer of high social importance, there will be great changes in the code of morals. We shall be able to rid ourselves of many of the pseudo-moral principles which have hag-ridden us for two hundred years, by which we have exalted some of the most distasteful of human qualities into the position of the highest virtues. We shall be able to afford to dare to assess the money-motive at its true value. The love of money as a possession—as distinguished from the love of money as a means to the enjoyments and realities of life—will be recognized for what it is, a somewhat disgusting morbidity, one of those semi-criminal, semi-pathological propensities which one hands over with a shudder to the specialists in mental disease.

The world has indeed got richer, but any such shift in morals and values is hard to detect. Money and the value system around its acquisition are fully intact. Greed is still good.

The study of hunter-gatherers, who live for the day and do not accumulate surpluses, shows that humanity can live more or less as Keynes suggests. It’s just that we’re choosing not to. A key to that lost or forsworn ability, Suzman suggests, lies in the ferocious egalitarianism of hunter-gatherers. For example, the most valuable thing a hunter can do is come back with meat. Unlike gathered plants, whose proceeds are “not subject to any strict conventions on sharing,” hunted meat is very carefully distributed according to protocol, and the people who eat the meat that is given to them go to great trouble to be rude about it. This ritual is called “insulting the meat,” and it is designed to make sure the hunter doesn’t get above himself and start thinking that he’s better than anyone else. “When a young man kills much meat,” a Bushman told the anthropologist Richard B. Lee, “he comes to think of himself as a chief or a big man, and he thinks of the rest of us as his servants or inferiors. . . . We can’t accept this.” The insults are designed to “cool his heart and make him gentle.” For these hunter-gatherers, Suzman writes, “the sum of individual self-interest and the jealousy that policed it was a fiercely egalitarian society where profitable exchange, hierarchy, and significant material inequality were not tolerated.”

This egalitarian impulse, Suzman suggests, is central to the hunter-gatherer’s ability to live a life that is, on its own terms, affluent, but without abundance, without excess, and without competitive acquisition. The secret ingredient seems to be the positive harnessing of the general human impulse to envy. As he says, “If this kind of egalitarianism is a precondition for us to embrace a post-labor world, then I suspect it may prove a very hard nut to crack.” There’s a lot that we could learn from the oldest extant branch of humanity, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to put the knowledge into effect. A socially positive use of envy—now, that would be a technology almost as useful as fire."
jamescscott  fire  technology  hunter-gatherers  2017  anthropology  johnlanchester  anthropocene  sedentism  agriculture  nomads  nomadism  archaeology  writing  legibility  illegibility  state  civilization  affluence  abundance  jamessuzman  bushmen  kalahari  namibia  khoisan  mesopotamia  egalitarianism  humans  self-interest  jealousy  greed  inequality  accumulation  motivation  society  happiness  money 
october 2017 by robertogreco
Teju Cole en Instagram: THE NOMAD'S SONG by RANJIT HOSKOTE
"THE NOMAD'S SONG
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Don’t judge me by this keel-hung boat
on which the river has printed its sleep.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Judge me by the thin red line that glows
where my finger ends and the sky begins.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Pilgrim from before the harsh logic of the plough,
I cultivate my mirages.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The horizons trail in my mind
like watered silk.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
RANJIT HOSKOTE"
poem  poetry  ranjithoskote  nomads  motion  movement  pilgrims  cv  tejucole 
may 2017 by robertogreco
BBC Four - John Berger: The Art of Looking
[video currently available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3VhbsXk9Ds ]

"Art, politics and motorcycles - on the occasion of his 90th birthday John Berger or the Art of Looking is an intimate portrait of the writer and art critic whose ground-breaking work on seeing has shaped our understanding of the concept for over five decades. The film explores how paintings become narratives and stories turn into images, and rarely does anybody demonstrate this as poignantly as Berger.

Berger lived and worked for decades in a small mountain village in the French Alps, where the nearness to nature, the world of the peasants and his motorcycle, which for him deals so much with presence, inspired his drawing and writing.

The film introduces Berger's art of looking with theatre wizard Simon McBurney, film-director Michael Dibb, visual artist John Christie, cartoonist Selçuk Demiral, photographer Jean Mohr as well as two of his children, film-critic Katya Berger and the painter Yves Berger.

The prelude and starting point is Berger's mind-boggling experience of restored vision following a successful cataract removal surgery. There, in the cusp of his clouding eyesight, Berger re-discovers the irredeemable wonder of seeing.

Realised as a portrait in works and collaborations, this creative documentary takes a different approach to biography, with John Berger leading in his favourite role of the storyteller."
2016  johnberger  documentary  towatch  simonmcburney  michaeldibb  johnchristie  selçukdemiral  jeanmohr  katyaberger  yvesberger  waysofseeing  seeing  looking  noticing  biography  storytelling  skepticism  photography  rebellion  writing  howwewrite  collaboration  canon  conspirators  rebels  friendship  community  migration  motorcycles  presence  being  living  life  interestedness  interested  painting  art  history  france  belonging  place  labor  home  identity  work  peasants  craft  craftsmanship  aesthetics  design  vision  cataracts  sight  teaching  howweteach  attention  focus  agriculture  memory  memories  shit  pigs  humans  animals  childhood  perception  freedom  independence  storytellers  travelers  nomads  trickster  dead  death  meaning  meaningmaking  companionship  listening  discovery  understanding  sfsh  srg  books  publishing  television  tv  communication  engagement  certainly  uncertainty 
january 2017 by robertogreco
The things you keep On being a guest
"Yesterday I was standing in an immigration line at the tail end of a two-leg, 20 hour journey from London to Kuala Lumpur. As is to be expected under these circumstances, my patience level was critically low. As the line crept forward slowly, I noticed there were about 20 men without any carry-on baggage standing in front of me. They stood very close together, each clutching a piece of paper and a green passport, each with an expression of anxious uncertainty on their faces.

I quickly realized these little green books were the reason for the line’s glacial pace. These men were from Bangladesh, arriving in Malaysia to join the estimated 6 million migrant-laborer force that builds skyscrapers, roads, trains as well as cleans houses, bathrooms and shopping malls.

Border security guards are rarely known for their gregariousness, but those on duty yesterday at KLIA seemed downright hostile to this particular group. Each man was questioned and fingerprinted on finicky electronic machines. One guard reached over his desk and a knocked the baseball cap of a terrified Bangladeshi man to get his attention. Another unlucky fellow got chased through the arrivals hall for what I can only guess was entering the wrong way.

After the men made their way through the line, I approached a desk, said hello and handed over my UK passport. The guard didn’t even need to look at me. He stamped my little red book and waved me through in a process that took about seven seconds maximum.

Somewhat stunningly, one in seven persons in the world is a migrant. However, depending on if you’ve got the red book I had or the green one those men had, the way you experience being a migrant is wildly different. Malaysia is a perfect example of that expat versus immigrant divide. The security guards and housing staff at the complex where my cousin lives in Kuala Lumpur are one kind of migrant, who cater almost exclusively to the kind that lives within the security gates.

You’ll often hear people like those Bangladeshis referred to as “guest workers,” a preposterous euphemism if ever I heard one. As a nomad and writer—whether I’m reporting a story or crashing on a couch—I’m often a guest in people’s houses, apartments, cities, cultures, and neighborhoods. But because of the two very powerful passports I possess, I’ll never have to feel the kind of anxiety those men felt at the security gate when I arrive in these places. I will almost always be considered a guest, invited, welcomed.

There’s nothing more human than wanting to better one’s situation, to do whatever is in your power improve the life of yourself or your family. Anyone who has moved to another country can relate to that. What we can’t all relate to, is the experience we have once we get there."
guests  migration  immigration  passprorts  privilege  2015  bangladesh  malaysia  kualalumpur  london  uk  us  airports  nomads  nomadism  neo-nomads 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Gestalten: The New Nomads: Temporary Spaces and a Life on the Move
"The life of urban nomads places new demands on cities, residences, and working spaces. This book presents temporary architecture, flexible room and furniture concepts, and tools for a generation that feels at home in every corner of the globe.



Mobility is the ultimate new form of freedom: freedom from routine, traditional values, and geographic restraints. Today's creatives thrive on a lifestyle that enables them to work six months in a shared office in Berlin, spend the summer in a caravan in Chile, and show up in time for their next project at a temporary desk in New York.

This growing trend has generated visionary ways of designing products and spaces that facilitate a nomadic yet high-tech life. From a modular dwelling system on wheels to an inflatable classroom in a repurposed dumpster, this book compiles a wide range of flexible spaces and innovative products that define today's nomads. Through innovative technology, and by (literally) thinking outside the box, the designers behind these concepts give people the freedom to call the entire world their home."
nomads  nomadism  neo-nomads  2015  books  robertklanten  svenehmann  michellegalindo  mobility  temporary  architecture  design  inflatables  portability  inflatable 
april 2015 by robertogreco
White Hole Gallery
"White Hole is a platform devoted to the production and dissemination of critical investigations into the relationship between technology, authority, the landscape and everyday life.

It operates through an international network of people invited to curate one-month exhibitions, combining strategies of artistic practice and journalism to investigate, document and debate the forces — visible and invisible — that shape society and the landscape.

The space functions as a remotely-controlled micro-gallery. Borrowing from the theory of general relativity, in which a white hole is a hypothetical region of spacetime which is inaccessible from the outside, the space itself cannot be entered, although matter and light can escape from it. It projects critical debate, increasingly confined to the online realm, into the public domain.

The network of people contributing to the gallery operates as a peer-to-peer system, exchanging, producing or commissioning new contents that is fed into the network through a Dropbox folder activating and controlling the gallery from distance.

The first White Hole project space opened in Genoa, Italy, on January 31st, 2015 and will run until January 31st, 2016. It will exhibit 12 works over the course of its lifespan, displaying each piece for the duration of one month.

White Hole is a project by Lorenza Baroncelli, Marco Ferrari, Joseph Grima, Antonio Ottomanelli, Elisa Pasqual, in collaboration with Fitzgerald G. Saenger. Scientific direction by Simone C. Niquille.

The logo animation is by Aaron Siegel."



""White Hole is a new research platform and a project space in Genoa, Italy, which opened on January 31st, 2015, and will run until January 31st, 2016.

White Hole is a project by Lorenza Baroncelli, Marco Ferrari, Joseph Grima, Antonio Ottomanelli and Elisa Pasqual, in collaboration with Simone C. Niquille and Fitzgerald G. Saenger.

The third exhibition, Drone Strikes. The Miranshah Case by Forensic Architecture, will be on show from March 28th to April 24th, 2015. The opening will be on Saturday, March 28th at 7 PM in the square in front of the gallery."



"Environmental Migrants [28.02—27.03.2015]

As the pace of climate change accelerates, each year millions of people are forced to abandon their places of origin. By 2050, of the six billion people who live in cities, two hundred million will be climate refugees: six times more than political refugees. It is a phenomenon that is destined to become the humanitarian emergency of this century.

Environmental Migrants is a unreleased video recorded by Alessandro Grassani between Mongolia and Bangladesh. The video, edited by White Hole, is an uninterrupted sequence of discontinuous material sampled from Grassani’s archive. It is divided in two chapters, each of which dedicated to one country.

As the photographer reported: “The choice of these two sites was dictated by the desire to represent the different types of climate change that cause environmental migration to the cities, in the geographic areas most affected by this new phenomenon: from the extreme cold of Mongolia, through floods, cyclones and sea level rise in Bangladesh.”
whiteholegallery  italy  genoa  italia  galleries  technology  landscape  authority  everyday  everydaylife  lorenzabaroncelli  marcoferrari  josephgrima  antonioottomanelli  elisapasqual  simoneniquille  fitzgeraldsaenger  refugees  climatechange  migration  mongolia  nomads  alessandrograssani  bangladesh  urbanization  cities  environment  drones 
march 2015 by robertogreco
An Ancient Design in a Modern Age by Per Kristian Bergmo (Works That Work magazine)
"The lávvu served for centuries as portable housing for reindeer herders. Its practical, efficient design and cultural heritage are attracting new users across Scandinavia."



"More than just a functional shelter, however, the lávvu is also important as a gathering place, a structure that creates community. As Reider Breivik, a 72-year-old Norwegian teacher and lávvu enthusiast, says, ‘I fell in love with it in 1980 for its use as a social arena with people sitting in a circle inside, facing each other. The feeling is very similar to sitting around a campfire, and in a way, that is what you do in a lávvu. It creates a great atmosphere where everyone is equal. It is a structure people from all over the world will feel at home in. I once hosted colleagues from Kenya, and as soon as they entered the lávvu they said that it reminded them of their grandmother’s house. They ended up choosing to sleep there instead of in the house for the duration of their stay.’For Herman Rundberg, the drummer of Violet Road, one of Norway’s most popular bands, the lávvu that his family puts up every year at the Riddu Riddu music festival is a connection to fundamental values: ‘I love the silence when you wake up in the lávvu on the tundra, or in the mountains, or at a festival camp. The sound of my father lighting the fire at dawn is a moment beautiful beyond words. I also really appreciate that even in these busy, fast-paced, modern times there is a place where you can do something as simple as sitting in a circle around a fireplace and just talking and feeling. It heals your soul and calms you.’"
architecture  design  portability  culture  perkristianbergmo  sami  sweden  finland  scandinavia  nomads  nomadism  lávvu 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Mongolian nomads: Ambitious program uses solar panels to connect region’s 800,000 nomads to the grid.
"An ambitious program is bringing modern tech to Mongolia’s 800,000-strong nomadic population."



"Before the program, about 90 percent of nomads relied on candles, coal, and yak dung to light and heat their homes, shelling out more than the cost of a solar panel in the space of a few years for smoky and inefficient power. Just over half managed to power a phone or radio with a diesel generator or motorcycle battery, draining more of their meager budgets. In cutting down on energy costs and increasing availability, the solar panel program freed up cash, creating a brand new industry of small appliance providers in the countryside. The industry is so robust that now 70 percent of nomads have a color TV and satellite dish and 90 percent are hooked into a mobile phone network.

Those mobile phones and televisions, in turn, have hooked nomads for the first time into the information superhighway. Gaaj now has access to weather reports and makes phone calls to markets to manage his livestock, keeping more animals alive and fetching a higher price for their wool, milk, and meat. His phone allows him to stay connected with young family members attending boarding school in the towns and to seek out medical advice from distant clinics."



"Many nomads believe that the power of mines, 90 percent of the national economy today, allows mineral extractors and developers to flout laws protecting the forests, water reservoirs, and grazing grounds vital to nomads from degradation.

The sense of encroachment made national heroes out of four nomads who, in 2010, opened fire with their old hunting rifles on an empty mining camp and, the next year, organized a 100-man horseback demonstration in Ulaanbaatar, firing arrows at the Government House. In 2013 President Tsakhia Elbegdorj won his second term on a platform of tighter foreign mining controls. And even with these boosts to the rural economy, more than 800,000 Mongols, many of them nomads, still live below the national poverty line.

Their way of life is under threat, and they have not achieved parity with their urban kin. Some contend that these forces are breeding a nascent anti-mining, pro-traditionalist eco-terror movement. Tsetsegee Munkhbayar, one of those who fired on the mines, and his Gal Undesten movement now stand accused of planting bombs outside government buildings in 2013. “We are a small group of simple herders fighting powerful people,” Munkhbayar told a New Zealand journalist in 2011. “It’s not an easy fight but we cannot stand by idly and watch our land and way of life come to an end.”

But Gaaj is a savvy and entrepreneurial man. He has the tools to utilize his wits and to sustain his family without just scraping by now. The flimsy tinfoil-looking contraption outside his ger is enough of a lifeline to stand on and fight from, and that’s worth something out in the brutal emptiness of the steppe."
mongolia  nomads  2015  technology  solar  markhay  electricity  energy  television  mobile  phones 
january 2015 by robertogreco
furniture - T I L L Y   B L U E
"A bespoke range of travel inspired furniture that connects traditional woodworking ideals with conceptual design. Seeking to create a range that offers functionality and an innovative variation on space saving design, the furniture has been crafted to fold away to reference luggage. Inspiration is taken from the space we occupy: selecting markings, textures, colours and shapes from the landscapes we live in and applying them to surface pattern. Through this the collection evokes the idea of design that stimulates engagement and a sense of adventure in everyday life."
furniture  travel  portability  mobility  neo-nomads  nomadism  tillyblue  nomads 
december 2014 by robertogreco
“people with ADHD have an overactive imagination as opposed to a learning disability” | The Rest Project
"The Takeaway with John Hockenberry has a brief piece on Scott Barry Kaufmann’s work on the neurological evidence that the same parts of the brain that are most active during creative work are more active in kids with ADHD:

[The brains of] people diagnosed with ADHD and people who we consider to be creative thinkers are actually extremely similar.
The brain’s default mode network, which controls cognitive processes like perspective taking, daydreaming, and mind wandering, is most active when our mind is resting. And when examining FMRI studies, Kaufman says that this part of the brain is more active in people diagnosed with ADHD.

“I refer to it as the imagination brain network because I think that’s what it really is,” he says. “The latest research shows that the imagination brain network is highly conducive to creativity and creative thought. And those who are diagnosed with ADHD seem to have greater difficulty than those who are not diagnosed with ADHD in suppressing activity in this imagination brain network. In a way, you can actually conceptualize that people with ADHD have an overactive imagination as opposed to a learning disability.”


John Ratey in his great book Spark also talks about how ADHD is misunderstood, and I think there’s not quite a consensus, but at least a strong argument that part of what we diagnose as a malady is— at least in its milder forms— actually something else.

This is an argument that Kaufmann has been developing for a while. Earlier this month he wrote that research
has supported the notion that people with ADHD are more likely to reach higher levels of creative thought and achievement than those without ADHD…. What’s more, recent research by Darya Zabelina and colleagues have found that real-life creative achievement is associated with the ability to broaden attention and have a “leaky” mental filter– something in which people with ADHD excel.

Recent work in cognitive neuroscience also suggests a connection between ADHD and creativity (see here and here). Both creative thinkers and people with ADHD show difficulty suppressing brain activity coming from the “Imagination Network“ [what we usually call the default network].


The problem, as Kaufmann points out, is that in most schools kids who are diagnosed with ADHD get shut out of AP and honors classes, even when their cognitive capacity— as shown in tests of fluid reasoning, for example— was high."

[See also:
http://www.thetakeaway.org/story/innovations-and-creative-power-adhd/
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/2014/10/21/the-creative-gifts-of-adhd/
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/beautiful-minds/201102/why-daydreamers-are-more-creative

and (not cited)
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/02/opinion/sunday/a-natural-fix-for-adhd.html

"Consider that humans evolved over millions of years as nomadic hunter-gatherers. It was not until we invented agriculture, about 10,000 years ago, that we settled down and started living more sedentary — and boring — lives. As hunters, we had to adapt to an ever-changing environment where the dangers were as unpredictable as our next meal. In such a context, having a rapidly shifting but intense attention span and a taste for novelty would have proved highly advantageous in locating and securing rewards — like a mate and a nice chunk of mastodon. In short, having the profile of what we now call A.D.H.D. would have made you a Paleolithic success story.

In fact, there is modern evidence to support this hypothesis. There is a tribe in Kenya called the Ariaal, who were traditionally nomadic animal herders. More recently, a subgroup split off and settled in one location, where they practice agriculture. Dan T. A. Eisenberg, an anthropologist at the University of Washington, examined the frequency of a genetic variant of the dopamine type-four receptor called DRD4 7R in the nomadic and settler groups of the Ariaal. This genetic variant makes the dopamine receptor less responsive than normal and is specifically linked with A.D.H.D. Dr. Eisenberg discovered that the nomadic men who had the DRD4 7R variant were better nourished than the nomadic men who lacked it. Strikingly, the reverse was true for the Ariaal who had settled: Those with this genetic variant were significantly more underweight than those without it.

So if you are nomadic, having a gene that promotes A.D.H.D.-like behavior is clearly advantageous (you are better nourished), but the same trait is a disadvantage if you live in a settled context. It’s not hard to see why. Nomadic Ariaal, with short attention spans and novelty-seeking tendencies, are probably going to have an easier time making the most of a dynamic environment, including getting more to eat. But this same brief attention span would not be very useful among the settled, who have to focus on activities that call for sustained focus, like going to school, growing crops and selling goods." ]
adhd  creativity  nomads  nomadism  neoroscience  brain  imagination  johnratey  psychology  positivepsychology  2014 
november 2014 by robertogreco
Risk, Reward, and Digital Writing - Hybrid Pedagogy
"Digital writing is political because in every pixel, every DNA-like strand of code, we are placing ourselves into the public. Even if we are not writing for a wide audience, even if we make no plans to disseminate our work, the craft of writing now takes place within other people’s software, in other people’s houses. This page the borrowed sheets. Me the writer a couch surfer.

Owning our own homes in the digital requires an expertise that this writer does not have. I don’t own my own server, I haven’t learned to code, I haven’t designed my own interfaces, my own web site, nor even my own font. I must content myself to rent, to squat, or to ride the rails. But in this I find a certain freedom, a resistance in the willy-nilly. I cannot build my own home in the digital, but I can mark my territory.

In November, Hybrid Pedagogy — along with the UW-Madison Division of Continuing Studies — will once again host Digital Writing Month, a 30-day writing challenge that asks participants to create works of text, image/video, and sound. The form these works take, and what they say, do, expose, problematize, or solve, is entirely up to the author(s) and artist(s) who join the fray. The work should be challenging, inventive, and should give the digital writer a chance to do something they’ve always wanted to do.

Here, in this piece, I am offering an additional challenge: to make the act of digital writing truly political. To rouse and incite, to question and provoke, to mark our territories on the spaces delimited by their designers. By creating, hack; by writing, rebel. We must make the sites of our work little bitty Bastilles, our tweets and Vines and sound clips tiny marches on Versailles. Imagine a blog that flies the Jolly Roger, a podcast that bows to no one, a Vimeo channel that riots and runs amok. These are the ways the insurgence begins.

In this, I recognize I speak of rebellion playfully, when in truth most revolutions are terrible, bloody affairs. That playfulness, though, is the invitation. We are creating a revolution of digital handicraft, of makers and shakers. We shall not throw our bodies upon the machines, but we shall throw our words there — and our images — and our voices. The approach may look joyous and celebratory, and the fervor may delight and inspire, and the result will have meaning.

Hybrid Pedagogy has been accused of being Pollyanna, our work too blithe and easy, our seriousness not nearly serious enough. Our editors on the tenure track have been reminded to publish with traditional journals, lest their academic work wither under the glare of rigor and double-blind peer review. But there is nothing casual about Hybrid Pedagogy, just as there is nothing casual about any other digital work. What digital work does is change the landscape of all work. When we write in the digital, our words behave differently; when we broadcast our ideas, the reception re-broadcasts and re-purposes those ideas. Digital publishing, digital writing, digital humanities, digital literacy, digital citizenship — these are not terms à la mode, but rather they are new components of very real human communities, very real human craft. We may approach them with equal part suspicion and exaltation, but approach them we must.

Insisting on such requires a certain risk, especially in academia. We must be prepared to look back in the faces of those who think our digital work lacks merit and tell them otherwise. And we must do so to the ends of our wits.

To change the perception that the digital is not as consequential as work in traditional media we must participate in it. We must put our best work there, and eschew the paper-bound, readerless journals that grow mold in library basements. We must reinhabit libraries, as sites for conference and debate, crafting and creation, community and not simply curation. We must likewise redefine what matters, what has impact factor, and grow the traditional so it’s not so obsolete. We must show up in digital places in throngs and masses. No algorithms will change unless we move against them. The LMS will not die its death until we put it in the ground. Our work in the digital will not begin if we never recognize that it is work that must begin.

Digital Writing Month, and digital writing at any time, is never frivolous. In doing things differently, we sow difference. “Essays quake and tremble at the digital,” I said. “They weep in awe and fascination. And they throw themselves into the abyss … Digital writing is a rebellion. An uprising against our sense and sensibility. Différance.” By refusing to do what’s expected, we frame a space of new expectations, new possibilities. When we recognize the oppression of autocorrect, the hegemony of the algorithm, the charade of rigor, we light the fires of revolution. And though they may glow softly at first, enough of them gathered together will burn down towers."
seanmichaelmorris  2014  writing  digitalwriting  communication  pirates  squatting  hobos  nomads  digitalnomads  adomainofone'sown  blogs  blogging  googledocs  renting  creation  conversation  vine  twitter  photography  podcasts  lms  revolution  academia  participatory  participation  howwewrite  digiwrimo  culturecreation 
november 2014 by robertogreco
POSZU
"Some thoughts about Ello, the new social network of the moment.

Spoiler Alert: Ello will one day suck.

Take this as network pessimism if you want, or take it as a dare for Ello to last as long as it can. I was excited about Facebook once, and joined because I thought it might be everything that was good about the internet communities that I knew and loved. It wasn't. So I quit. There were blogs and I loved those, Twitter was amazing, but Google killed blogs along with RSS and now Twitter takes turns being tiresome and emotionally draining. I still have a blog, and I still use Twitter. But for how long?

Networks are important to us. My entire line of work stems from Twitter--it's how I get jobs. But I'm not going to either let it suck me under or go down with it furiously trying to bail. And I know many of you do important advocacy work to make sure that networks are egalitarian in their accessibility; i.e. as potentially fun for all as they are for some. But there are so many places that need defending.

My point is, for what little it might be worth: it doesn't seem that we are going to find the one resilient network that stands the test of time. We're never going to re-invent and preserve that one moment when everything seemed like it was going to be perfect for ever. At the risk of cascading waves of nostalgia for networked bliss that echo the non-existent generation of the golden age of newspapers, novels, radio, paintings, or whatever, we must reject this Christian utopianism. It is better, I think, to live out of our cars, so to speak, than try to set up roots on a terrain that is not solid, owned by others, and often times doesn't exist.

The best situations are those in which, when someone begins complaining, I can say, "great idea, how can I support you fixing that?" Instead of complaining about being hungry, you start chopping up vegetables. We commit to things, we ally ourselves with them, and invest in the project to give it some lasting life. But networks aren't like that. You can't really crowd-source building an interstate highway (or lack of one) without a state, as it turns out. A personal boycott isn't going to thwart Walmart. States and corporations are things that are bigger than us. They don't care what we think, and see no problem in running us over rather than slowing down. That doesn't mean they are permanent. It just means that history is going to be beset by disappointment and tragedies, because the people with the right ideas throwing themselves at the system just aren't big enough. Because of the frightening scale of our current networks, some of these tragedies are large enough to potentially kill us all. Far better than preparing to throw yourself underneath the wheels, is preparing to run.

Luckily, the fate of Ello isn't as cataclysmic as all this. But I am still fairly convinced that it will one day suck. Could be six months, three years, or ten years. I don't know when, and I don't know exactly why. But this particular network is being controlled by someone other than me, and I'm not going to barge into their offices and demand that they make changes that will satisfy my idea of what is not suck. Networks couldn't be more important, but to me, they couldn't be less worth it. Instead, I'll just leave when it is time to do so. I am fairly convinced that I will use a succession of social network like things for the rest of my life. Eventually, someone might really get it, and fix all the things, so that I feel good using a particular social network for more than six years of its evolution. But right now, that seems unlikely. (Just a single example: if a social network can't figure out that it will need a block button on its own, I don't have much hope for it's survival. There are tens of other examples.)

It's been said that the ability to not be connected is the greatest privilege of all. But as someone who regularly has his cell phone shut off because he can't pay to re-up his SIM, I know where all the open WiFi networks are in my immediate area. There's two ways of dealing with the raw deal at the bottom of the network customer food chain. You either give all your money to the ISP and spend all your time begging and pleading with them to not disconnect you. Or you get ready for when the internet is shut off, and you have a contingency plan.

See you all on IRC after the fire."
adamrothstein  socialnetworking  socialnetworks  networks  twitter  ello  cv  nomadism  digitalnomadism  resilience  onlycrash  nomads  neo-nomads  ephemeral  intentionalephemeral  migration  digitalmigration  2014  ephemerality 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Redesigning The Office — David McKinney
"I think most things around us can be designed to be better for people. Here’s my take on the modern office — a better place to do good work.

It has all the usual office things like Wi-Fi, AC power, and a desk for working. It also has a couch for thinking, and a view and fresh air. And it’s always near the ocean or a place for exploring.

This has been my main office for the last year or so, and it’s my favorite place for intense, focused work. But what about working together with your colleagues? That's easy — just drive over… I love it."



"FAQ

I received a heap of questions after this post. Here are some answers to the most common questions.

How do you get power?

I have two batteries in the van: a 12v “Start” battery which starts the engine, and a 12v “House” battery which runs everything else. The House battery is connected to an inverter which converts 12v DC to 240v AC (I’m in Australia). From there I just plug all of my devices into the inverter, as if it were normal office power.

What about charging?

The Start battery and House battery both get charged whenever the van is running. The start battery is also isolated from the inverter system and House battery, so it’s not possible for the Start battery to get run down accidentally when using normal 240v devices.

How long do the batteries last?

Just running off the House battery I can do a full day’s work with no problems at all. All of the batteries are constantly getting charged up as you drive around, and you can obviously charge your devices and laptop battery while driving as well. Running out of juice hasn’t been an issue so far, except for extended camping trips in which case a quick drive charges everything up again.

What about a window at the back?

I like being super focused when I’m working at the monitor workstation, which is why I didn’t install a window there. If I need a view I sit on the couch with my laptop with both side doors open and work like that.

How much did it cost?

I spent a couple of hundred bucks on hardware supplies (timber, plywood, paint etc). The couch was $300, the inverter was $100, the 4G Wifi Hub was $100.

How does network connectivity work?

I have a Telstra 4G Wi-Fi Hub which is connected to a booster aerial (used for 4wd CD radios). You can see this aerial on the front left of the van. This gives me great network coverage everywhere I need to go."
office  officedesign  via:maxfenton  mobility  nomads  nomadism  mobile  2014  davidmckinney  design  vans 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Three Cups of Fiction
[also here: http://carolblack.org/three-cups-of-fiction/ ]

[previously bookmarked here: https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:8d8c57761fd4 ]

"The reality is that there are few better ways to condemn a child to a life of poverty than to confine her in a bad school, and a very high percentage of schools in low-income areas are and will remain bad schools.  Many NGO’s as well as international programs like “Education for All” are focused on the body count, on getting more and more children into classrooms.  What happens to those kids in those classrooms is harder to quantify or to track.  One thing that seems clear is that an awful lot of them learn very little. A Brookings Institution study of education in Pakistan by Rebecca Winthrop and Corinne Graff reports that “the education system produces many unemployable youths with few skills for economic survival…..In a recent survey of Pakistani youth, half the students say that they believe they lack the skills necessary to compete in today’s labor market.”  A World Bank Policy Research working paper indicates that, contrary to popular belief, money spent on education often increases inequality in a country. This is partly because those who already have substantial assets are better positioned to take advantage of educational resources than those who have their hands full trying to get food on the table.  But it’s also because from its inception school was designed as a sorting mechanism, a rigged competition where only one form of intelligence is valued, only one way of learning is permitted, and one child’s success means another child’s failure.  We forget that the structure of schools as we know them today was developed during a time when people believed in racist eugenics and Social Darwinism; modern schools were structurally designed to perpetuate a hierarchical class system, and – despite the best efforts of many dedicated teachers – that’s exactly what they still do, through the non-democratic, hierarchical ranking of children which is hard-wired into our entire system of grading, testing, and one-size-fits-all standards.  Until we change that – at home as well as abroad –  education will continue to perpetuate and justify poverty, not to ameliorate it.

Of course, even if everybody succeeded at school, you would just run into the fact that the current structure of the global economy does not provide enough good jobs for the growing number of graduates. As Winthrop and Graff say about Pakistan, “Many young people express fears about their ability to find employment, and they believe there are too few jobs available and that their prospects are getting worse, not better. One complains that ‘if you have an MA or an MBA you do not get a job. People are roaming around with degrees in their hands.’” Economists at the World Bank have a fanciful theory – a fairy tale much bigger than any of Greg Mortenson’s – that by schooling the world and expanding our “human resources” we will endlessly expand the growth economy to a point where we will all live in affluence. This is pure fantasy, of the “it’s-okay-to-buy-this-house-that-you-can’t-afford-because-the-housing-market-always-goes-up” variety. The planet doesn’t have the physical resources to sustain a middle-class lifestyle for a white-collar world, and in any case, who will mine the coal, collect the garbage, and work at Walmart when all seven billion of us have college degrees? China now has millions of unemployed college graduates, and it turns out they are as free to work in sweatshops as everybody else. As the New York Times reports, “While some recent graduates find success, many are worn down by a gauntlet of challenges and disappointments. Living conditions can be Dickensian, and grueling six-day work weeks leave little time for anything else but sleeping, eating and doing the laundry.” Zhang Ming, a political scientist and vocal critic of China’s education system says, “College essentially provided them with nothing…. For many young graduates, it’s all about survival. If there was ever an economic crisis, they could be a source of instability.”"



"The World Bank isn’t giving us any data on this. Girls’ education raises GDP, the development agencies all crow! Yes, but transitioning rural people from self-sufficient farming into sweatshops also raises GDP. Girls’ education lowers the infant mortality rate! Yes, but what if introducing school failure into rural areas also raises the sex trafficking rate? It’s commonly assumed that lack of education in developing areas is a risk factor for trafficking, but apparently the evidence suggests the opposite; according to the Strategic Information Response Network, vulnerability to human trafficking correlates with more schooling and the migration to urban areas in search of money that usually follows it. “Dream big,” Greg Mortenson exhorts girls from tiny villages in Pakistan. But what happens when those dreams don’t materialize, and a well-oiled international network that trades in girls not just for sex but for domestic servitude and sweatshop labor is ready to fill the breach? A multitude of pathologies, including suicide, drug and alcohol addiction, mental illness, obesity, and diabetes go up when traditional cultures are disrupted and people transition rapidly from a land-based non-cash economy into the modern global economy, but news like this doesn’t get you on the bestseller list. The aid agencies cherry-pick statistics to prove that the impact of their programs is good, and the popular press repeats their conclusions without question the way they repeat much official propaganda."



"Most importantly, solutions begin with the truth. We can’t start working toward real answers until we stop lying to ourselves about what schools do to children – in the real world, not in our dreams. We need to acknowledge that no system that discards millions of normal, healthy kids as failures – many of them extremely smart, by the way – will ever provide a lasting or universal solution to anything. We need to innovate with learning here at home and abroad, to put our resources into developing the many promising models that already exist for sharing knowledge, skills and ideas without humiliating children or branding them as failures. We need to recognize the real value of the intellectual traditions of other cultures – including non-literate cultures – and look for ways to share useful information in both directions which does not completely disrupt or undermine the social structures, traditional livelihoods, and knowledge systems of those cultures.

And most of all, we need to stop falling for the popular fiction of schooling as a cure for everything and recognize that a romanticized idea of education is being used as a PR device and a smokescreen to obscure the real economic issues at play for powerful nations and corporations – who extract natural resources and cheap labor from weaker nations, and then turn around and tax their own citizens to provide “aid” and “education” to help “end poverty.” It’s an elaborate shell game, a twisted road to nowhere. It should be clear by now that the “rising tide” does not “float all boats” – that’s another fairy tale – and it’s time to start talking seriously about the underlying global economic structures which are creating poverty, so that people everywhere can educate their own children in the way they think best –– without charity.

Greg Mortenson’s second book, Stones Into Schools, revolves around his efforts to build a school for Kyrgyz nomads in Afghanistan. He built the school, and it stands empty, never having been used. Many development people, including Mortenson, would tut about this, and try to find ways to convince the Kyrgyz people of the importance of education for their children’s futures. But to me, this empty school is a small sign of hope. I mean, Greg. Hello. They’re nomads. Should they give up their horses and their high mountain valleys and their yurts and sit in a classroom for years so at the end they can look for work hauling bricks or driving trucks in Kandahar or Kabul? As it turns out, the New York Times reports that Kyrgyz parents want their children to learn to read and write; it’s just that they also want them to herd sheep. Mortenson’s representative in the region was frustrated by this: “The Kyrgyz only care about sheep and yaks…They say if we have sheep and yaks, we have success in life.” Hmm. Perhaps the Kyrgyz don’t understand the value of education. Or perhaps they still have a sense of what’s real and what’s not in this world. Sheep are definitely real; “big dreams” may not be. The Afghan government, to its credit, seemed to recognize this, and sent teachers to teach the children at home in their yurts. Apparently it’s working out quite well. I just hope the Kyrgyz remain unschooled enough to continue to be able to tell fact from fiction."
metrics  quantification  education  schooling  gregmortenson  children  schools  carolblack  unschooling  deschooling  nomadism  nomads  trafficking  failure  girls  worldbank  development  economics  competition  society  poverty  colonization  colonialism 
august 2014 by robertogreco
I Drank a Cup of Hot Coffee That Was Overnighted Across the Country - Robinson Meyer - The Atlantic
"Normcore moves away from a coolness that relies on difference to a post-authenticity coolness that opts in to sameness. But instead of appropriating an aestheticized version of the mainstream, it just cops to the situation at hand. To be truly Normcore, you need to understand that there’s no such thing as normal. […]

Normcore seeks the freedom that comes with non-exclusivity. It finds liberation in being nothing special, and realizes that adaptability leads to belonging."

[quote from: http://khole.net/issues/youth-mode/ ]
k-hole  normcore  liberation  freedom  adaptability  flexibility  nomadism  nomads  appropriation  codeswitching  authenticity  mainstream  exclusivity  youth  generations  internet  specialness  openmindedness 
july 2014 by robertogreco
The Gerrard Winstanley Mobile Field Center, New York City Chapter | Dismal Garden
"The Gerrard Winstanley Radical Gardening Space, Reclamation Mobile Field Centre and Weather Station, (European Chapter). 2000
 
A custom made bike trailer that, when in transit, becomes a compact, weatherproof, lockable unit; roadworthy and user-friendly. It is designed to travel between allotments, parks, playgrounds, schools and squares, where it is parked, quickly assembled and made ready for action.
 
When stationary the trailer opens to reveal a small photocopier, a library of books available for photocopying and a small weather station. On top is a solar panel which harvests solar energy while the trailer is outside. (A full battery is enough energy to make one copy.)
 
The library consists of a unique collection of books on DIY culture, permaculture, urban gardening, alt/energy systems, utopias and issues of gentrification. The bike is named after Gerrard Winstanley, the leader and spokesperson for "the Diggers", a group of 17th Century indigent peasants who tried to defy the enclosure of common land by private interests: occupying it en masse, digging it up and cultivating it for food."

[See also: The Gerrard Winstanley Mobile Field Center, European Chapter, 2000
http://www.dismalgarden.com/projects/gerrard-winstanley-mobile-field-center-european-chapter

and http://clconleyarhs4973.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/sustainable-structures-41-43/
http://www.temporaryservices.org/mobile_struct_rsrce3.html
http://www.frieze.com/issue/article/free_radical/ ]
2000  nilsnorman  mobile  bikes  biking  gardening  openstudioproject  lcproject  diy  unschooling  deschooling  permaculture  urbangardening  urban  urbanism  utopia  pocketsofutopia  weather  weatherstations  nomadism  cityasclassroom  nomads 
july 2014 by robertogreco
Where is home for the child of nomads? – Ruth Behar – Aeon
"My connection to place is fluid and complex. In a nomadic world, do we still need a home?"



"Pondering the relationship between feeling at home and being homesick has long been an anthropological obsession. The discipline took off from the idea that an anthropologist had to leave home in order to study otherness in a distant place. Knowledge was built through reflecting on the meaning of insider and outsider, familiar and exotic, native and stranger. But in the quest to get from place to place, everything in between, the vast infrastructure of modern life, escaped our notice. We missed the transient places that the French anthropologist Marc Augé has called ‘non-places’ – airports, shopping malls, hotels, highways, bus terminals, and subways.

These ‘non-places’ have radically changed the concept of home, not only for most of us in the first world but for a growing number of those in the developing world. Perhaps nothing has left so strong a mark on our identities as the periods spent in the sky and in the airports that gather together assorted strangers before sorting them on to different planes. An airport ‘hub’ is a stopping point between places. The ‘hub’ is an apt metaphor for how many of us among the privileged are living out the meaning of home in everyday practice. Those who are frequent flyers and spend much of the year moving between places might find that the place we call home has come to seem like the route to elsewhere. Home is where you do your laundry, run to the dentist to get your teeth cleaned, and frantically rest your weary bones before embarking on the next odyssey. In turn, airport hubs are trying to become our homes, offering outlets to recharge our numerous devices so we can continue to communicate from afar, as well as shopping, restaurants, prayer rooms, and massage.

As ‘non-places’ expand from centres to peripheries all around the world, there is renewed pressure to work hard to prevent the home from becoming a long-term hotel room. Sentimental notions of the sanctity of the home are enlisted as a means of challenging the threat of ‘non-places.’ A preponderance of guides, including websites such as Apartment Therapy and Houzz, exist for the sole purpose of assisting us in making our homes uniquely charming and irreplaceable. Home Depot and Pier One have become the iconic commercial outlets offering practical supplies and decorative touches for these homemaking projects that alternately encourage us to be richly rococo or humbly Zen.

But there is another choice we can make, and that is to give up home altogether and be homeless by choice – not as a result of poverty or broken family ties, but to let go of the weight of the things that prevent us from fully engaging with the world and becoming true cosmopolitans, people at home everywhere."
ruthbehar  nomads  nomadism  neo-nomads  2014  anthropology 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Alberto Mendoza Day Care Center - Christian Ervin
"The central issue for the Alberto Mendoza Day Care Center is the perilous relationship between institution and community in an area whose future is uncertain. This low-density, low-income, largely Hispanic neighborhood in Houston’s Second Ward is soon to be destroyed and replaced with extensive parkland as part of the Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s master plan. The typical role of any institution-even one as small as a day care facility-is to provide a stable place for public activities. However, in this case, stability would be inconsistent with the future needs of the community. With this condition in mind, this proposal accepts that the flexibility of a nomadic architecture is necessary for the survival of a nomadic people.

The three programmatic requirements for the building--a caretaker’s house, administrative offices, and a general playroom area--are divided into three potentially transient objects. These programmatic plugs are clustered together on a given site within a site-specific armature containing the utility infrastructure for the building to form the institution, essentially from a kit-of-parts. The sizes of the volumes are designed such that they may be easily transported to a new site, rearranged, and plugged-in. The plugs are not generic; they are specific to this program but not intrinsically specific to site.

In the instance of the Neagle Street lot, the configuration of the programmatic plugs and the surface that cradles them are both carefully calibrated to local siting conditions. The caretaker’s residence is placed in the opposite corner of the site from the day care facility to allow for some privacy, but ensures the required level of safety and vision in its watchtower-like form. Indeed, as a three storey structure, it is the only plug that rises above the site-specific surface."
christianervin  2006  design  architecture  nomadism  mobility  transience  ephemerality  portability  popupschools  schools  education  schooldesign  houston  texas  ephemeral  nomads 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Flyways: Change Observer: Design Observer
"When the swallows twitter excitedly overhead, I envy how lightly they manage to live. I compare their tiny needs for external energy to the prodigious amounts needed to keep us humanoids fed and watered. I contrast the way the swallows throw their nests together — from found materials — with the billions of tons of resources, often gathered from faraway lands, that we pour into our own structures. And which we basically sit in, waiting to be provisioned.

For ninety nine percent of human existence we lived far more like the swifts than we do today. We had very few possessions. Materials for shelter, clothing, and tools were all at hand. Because we needed little, we wanted little. We got by without a state, a market, or advanced technology. We thrived in the absence of strategic visions, design thinking, concepts, plans, budgets, or controls. We worked, for the most part, cooperatively. We didn’t borrow from the future. We shared."
johnthackara  birds  swallows  nature  mobility  nomads  nomadism  lightness  simplicity  anarchism  self-organization  designthinking  strategicplanning  control  government  organizations  migrations  migration  cooperation  humans  slow  small 
september 2013 by robertogreco
Public Assembly
"Public Assembly is a nomadic platform for collective works of art. Founded by Lawrence Lek in 2011, we champion the creation of events, experiments and environments driven by interdisciplinary participation. This approach enables us to challenge existing power structures in contemporary culture, creating social situations where critical forms of knowledge and creative practice can emerge."
art  nomads  nomadism  collective  lawrencelek  events  interdisciplinary  participation  participatory  ncmideas  openstudioproject  pop-ups  culture  society  creativepractice  london 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Landays: Poetry of Afghan Women
"In Afghan culture, poetry is revered, particularly the high literary forms that derive from Persian or Arabic. But the poem above is a folk couplet — a landay — an oral and often anonymous scrap of song created by and for mostly illiterate people: the more than twenty million Pashtun women who span the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Traditionally, landays are sung aloud, often to the beat of a hand drum, which, along with other kinds of music, was banned by the Taliban from 1996 to 2001, and in some places, still is.

A landay has only a few formal properties. Each has twenty-two syllables: nine in the first line, thirteen in the second. The poem ends with the sound “ma” or “na.” Sometimes they rhyme, but more often not. In Pashto, they lilt internally from word to word in a kind of two-line lullaby that belies the sharpness of their content, which is distinctive not only for its beauty, bawdiness, and wit, but also for the piercing ability to articulate a common truth about war, separation, homeland, grief, or love. Within these five main tropes, the couplets express a collective fury, a lament, an earthy joke, a love of home, a longing for the end of separation, a call to arms, all of which frustrate any facile image of a Pashtun woman as nothing but a mute ghost beneath a blue burqa.

From the Aryan caravans that likely brought these poems to Afghanistan thousands of years ago to ongoing U.S. drone strikes, the subjects of landays are remixed like hip-hop, with old words swapped for newer, more relevant ones. A woman’s sleeve in a centuries-old landay becomes her bra strap today. A colonial British officer becomes a contemporary American soldier. A book becomes a gun. Each biting word change has much to teach about the social satire that ripples under the surface of a woman’s life. With the drawdown of American forces in 2014 looming, these are the voices of protest most at risk when the Americans pull out. Although some landays reflect fury at the presence of the U.S. military, many women fear that in the absence of America’s involvement they will return to lives of isolation and oppression, just as under the Taliban.

Landays began among nomads and farmers. They were shared around a fire, sung after a day in the fields or at a wedding. More than three decades of war has diluted a culture, as well as displaced millions of people who can’t return safely to their villages. Conflict has also contributed to globalization. Now people share landays virtually via the internet, Facebook, text messages, and the radio. It’s not only the subject matter that makes them risqué. Landays are mostly sung, and singing is linked to licentiousness in the Afghan consciousness. Women singers are viewed as prostitutes. Women get around this by singing in secret — in front of only close family or, say, a harmless-looking foreign woman. Usually in a village or a family one woman is more skilled at singing landays than others, yet men have no idea who she is. Much of an Afghan woman’s life involves a cloak-and-dagger dance around honor — a gap between who she seems to be and who she is.

These days, for women, poetry programs on the radio are one of the few permissible forms of access to the outside world. Such was the case for Rahila Muska, who learned about a women’s literary group called Mirman Baheer via the radio. The group meets in the capital of Kabul every Saturday afternoon; it also runs a phone hotline for girls from the provinces, like Muska, to call in with their own work or to talk to fellow poets. Muska, which means smile in Pashto, phoned in so frequently and showed such promise that she became the darling of the literary circle. She alluded to family problems that she refused to discuss.

One day in the spring of 2010, Muska phoned her fellow poets from a hospital bed in the southeastern city of Kandahar to say that she’d set herself on fire. She’d burned herself in protest. Her brothers had beaten her badly after discovering her writing poems. Poetry — especially love poetry — is forbidden to many of Afghanistan’s women: it implies dishonor and free will. Both are unsavory for women in traditional Afghan culture. Soon after, Muska died."
afghanistan  beauty  poetry  2013  brevity  culture  drones  war  sisters  gender  hiphop  oppression  poems  projectideas  photography  nomads  landays 
june 2013 by robertogreco
Paris Review - The Art of Poetry No. 91, Jack Gilbert
"He failed out of high school and worked as an exterminator and door-to-door salesman before being admitted, thanks to a clerical error, to the University of Pittsburgh. There he met the poet Gerald Stern, his exact contemporary. Gilbert started writing poetry, he says, because Stern did."



'INTERVIEWER: Do you think it’s important for American writers to live abroad?

GILBERT: At least at some point—so you have something to compare to what you think is normal, and you encounter things you aren’t used to. One of the great dangers is familiarity."



"INTERVIEWER: Did being removed from the literary community benefit you?

GILBERT: Sure.

INTERVIEWER: What did you like most about it?

GILBERT: Paying attention to being alive. This is hard—when I try to explain, it sounds false. But I don’t know any other way to say it. I’m so grateful. There’s nothing I’ve wanted that I haven’t had. Michiko dying, I regret terribly, and losing Linda’s love, I regret equally. And not doing some of the things I wanted to do. But I still feel grateful. It’s almost unfair to have been as happy as I’ve been. I didn’t earn it; I had a lot of luck. But I was also very, very stubborn. I was determined to get what I wanted as a life.

INTERVIEWER: Do you think that your idea of happiness differs from most people’s idea of happiness?

GILBERT: Sure. I’m vain enough to think that I’ve made a successful life. I’ve had everything I’ve ever wanted. You can’t beat that."



"INTERVIEWER: Did school influence you as a young writer?

GILBERT: No, I failed high school; I got into college by mistake. I failed freshman English eight times. I was interested in learning, but I wanted to understand too, which meant I was fighting with the teachers all the time. Everybody accepted the fact that I was smart but I wouldn’t obey. I didn’t believe what they said unless they could prove it.

INTERVIEWER: Was your defiance—your resistance—ultimately an advantage?

GILBERT: Yes and no. It takes much longer if you have to find it all and do it all for yourself. My mind was not available for the impress of teachers or other people’s styles. The other arts were important to me. At one time I was working in photography with Ansel Adams. He offered to help me with my photographs if I would help him write his books, which was fine until we ran short of money and the woman I was with finally said she was tired of cooking pancakes.

INTERVIEWER: How did you get involved with Ansel Adams?

GILBERT: I was teaching a class and some of his students got to know me. I wish I’d been able to continue working with him, but it was either him or the woman. I chose the woman. After that I went to Italy and everything went into my falling in love for the first time. I did some painting there and won a fourth prize. I wish I had continued with painting and photography—novels too. But I was excited.

INTERVIEWER: What was Ansel Adams like?

GILBERT: Very German.

INTERVIEWER: Have you ever looked to other writers for inspiration?

GILBERT: I liked many writers but never found a teacher."



"INTERVIEWER: Do you think this has anything to do with the fact that so many poets come out of M.F.A. programs and go right on to teach?

GILBERT: If I answer that I’ll get into a rant, but I’ll tell you—I think poetry was killed by money. When I started out, no poet in America could make a living in poetry except Ogden Nash. And he did it with light verse."



INTERVIEWER: You taught in universities very rarely, only when you had to—just enough so that you could travel and write. Do you think writing poetry can be taught?

GILBERT: I can teach people how to write poetry, but I can’t teach people how to have poetry, which is more than just technique. You have to feel it—to experience it, whether in a daze or brightly. Often you don’t know what you have. I once worked on a poem for twelve years before I found it."



"INTERVIEWER: What, other than yourself, is the subject of your poems?

GILBERT: Those I love. Being. Living my life without being diverted into things that people so often get diverted into. Being alive is so extraordinary I don’t know why people limit it to riches, pride, security—all of those things life is built on. People miss so much because they want money and comfort and pride, a house and a job to pay for the house. And they have to get a car. You can’t see anything from a car. It’s moving too fast. People take vacations. That’s their reward—the vacation. Why not the life? Vacations are second-rate. People deprive themselves of so much of their lives—until it’s too late. Though I understand that often you don’t have a choice."



"INTERVIEWER: It sounds like even in your San Francisco days you sustained a rather remote life away from others. Is solitude important for you?

GILBERT: I don’t know how to answer that because I’ve always lived a life with a lot of quiet in it—either alone or with someone I’m in love with."



"INTERVIEWER: Is being childless good for a poet?

GILBERT: I could never have lived my life the way I have if I had children. There used to be a saying that every baby is a failed novel. I couldn’t have roamed or taken so many chances or lived a life of deprivation. I couldn’t have wasted great chunks of my life. But that would be a mistake for other people. Fine people. Smart people."



"INTERVIEWER: Do you keep to a work schedule?

GILBERT: No, I have an approximate rhythm, but I don’t like the idea of anything creative being mechanical. That’ll kill you. On the other hand, if I was not satisfied with how much I’d written in a year, then I would set out to write a hundred poems in a hundred days. I force myself to write poems even though I don’t approve of it because it does keep something alive. So I guess I have a little bit of a pattern that I live by. For instance, the other day I woke up at one in the morning and worked until four in the afternoon. I do that a lot. I can do that because I don’t have to accommodate anybody but me.

INTERVIEWER: So discipline is important to you?

GILBERT: Yes, because I’m lazy. If you have it in you, you want to create, but I won’t force myself—because it’s dangerous. People who are organized are in danger of making a process out of it and doing it by the numbers."



"INTERVIEWER: What’s your relationship with the contemporary literary community now?

GILBERT: I don’t have one.

INTERVIEWER: Does that bother you?

GILBERT: No. Why? Why would it bother me? Those people are in business. They’re hardworking.

INTERVIEWER: Don’t you work hard?

GILBERT: Not in the same meaning of the word hard. I put in a lot of effort because it matters to me. Many of these people who teach would do anything not to teach. I don’t have any obligations. I don’t have a mortgage. These people are working hard at a great price.

INTERVIEWER: I’m struck by how rarely I see your poems in anthologies and how 
often I see the same poems by other poets over and over again. Do you think there’s a disadvantage to spending most of your life abroad or outside of literary circles?

GILBERT: It’s fatal, which is all right with me.

INTERVIEWER: Do you ever feel any professional antagonism toward other writers?

GILBERT: Them toward me or me toward them?

INTERVIEWER: You toward them.

GILBERT: No.

INTERVIEWER: Do you feel it from them toward you?

GILBERT: Sure. I contradict a lot of what they’re doing. I don’t go to the meetings and dinners. I don’t hang out."



"INTERVIEWER: Have you ever followed a particular religion?

GILBERT: Presbyterianism. Till I was about seven, I guess. My mother never went to church, but she was a believer. She loved God and believed God would be good to her. She sang when she cleaned the house on Sunday mornings.

INTERVIEWER: Do you consider yourself religious now?

GILBERT: I’d like to be. I think I’m very religious by temperament. I think it would be a great comfort to believe. But you don’t have a choice. Either you believe or you don’t. It’s not a practical matter. Religion is a beautiful idea, but I don’t have a choice.

INTERVIEWER: Where does your preoccupation with mythology and the gods come from?

GILBERT: Careless reading. I never read mythology or any fiction as if I were in a class. Myths give shape to what I feel about the world and my instinct about what I’m looking at. They inform what I think about the past."



"INTERVIEWER: Have you ever thought of writing your memoirs?

GILBERT: Yes. Every once in a while someone asks to do it for me. Sometimes I’m interested because I’ve forgotten so much of the past and I like the idea of walking through my life. What’s more, it’s a profound experience to be with people from my past again. To be with my memories. Things that I thought I’d forgotten all of a sudden become visible, become present.

INTERVIEWER: Like a film?

GILBERT: Different than that. It’s more like a feeling rising from the tops of my knees. Then I start remembering. It’s complicated; a child seldom remembers anything before he’s four years old. I just wonder how much I know, how much I’ve been through, that I no longer remember."



"INTERVIEWER: Does the United States—Northampton—feel like home to you now?

GILBERT: No, I don’t have a home. Not anymore. When Linda’s not teaching anymore we’ll probably leave this lovely Massachusetts world for another fine world. To be happy. Very happy."
jackgilbert  jackspicer  allenginsberg  anseladams  poems  poetry  writing  howwewrite  teaching  learning  dropouts  education  life  living  happiness  loneliness  solitude  quiet  love  children  parenting  community  purpose  experience  travel  livingabroad  expatriates  business  mfa  mfas  obligations  work  labor  howwework  relationships  inspiration  geraldstern  familiarity  difference  routine  process  success  photography  ogdennash  aging  death  organization  laziness  schedules  interviews  parisreview  nomads  nomadism  belonging  place  memory  memories  forgetting  religion  belief  myths  reading  howweread  mythology  sarahfay  idleness 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Chinese DIY Inventions - In Focus - The Atlantic
"One visible sign of China's recent economic growth is the rise in prominence of inventors and entrepreneurs. For years now, Chinese farmers, engineers, and businessmen have taken on ambitious do-it-yourself projects, constructing homemade submarines, helicopters, robots, safety equipment, weapons and much more. Some of the inventions are built out of passion, some with an eye toward profit, (some certainly safer than others), and a few have already led to sales for the inventors. Gathered here are recent photos of this DIY movement across China."
china  engineering  photos  photography  invention  inventions  robots  housing  arks  submarines  2013  vehicles  motorcycles  slides  houses  portability  mobility  nomads  disasters  airplanes  diy  making  makers  bikes  prosthetics  helicopters 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Telling the Story of Our Cultural Neighbors Through a Mobile Museum | Creativity on GOOD
"Phil and I brought together our skills as a graphic and industrial designer respectively. We were interested in re-designing a museum, in a portable, and temporary way. It felt appropriate to create something that had a relevance to travel, as a counterpoint to the pop-up cafés, boutiques and bookstores that were starting to show up everywhere at the time.

Our intention was to celebrate small gestures through curating temporary shows that were light on resources and brought culture to places that a traditional museum could not. Unlike a conventional museum, the collection is always changing, with every new location dictating a different curatorial theme. Since it’s humble origins in April, 2011 the Mobile Museum has popped up in Milan, London, Brussels, Helsinki, Luxembourg, Beijing, and Hong Kong."

[More at: http://www.themobilemuseum.net/ ]
pop-ups  pop-upmuseums  museums  mobile  nomadism  fabrica  2013  dean  brown  themobilemuseum  lcproject  openstudioproject  glvo  curation  curating  nomads 
april 2013 by robertogreco
Deconstructing the Experience of the Local: Toward a Radical Pedagogy of Place | Ruitenberg | Philosophy of Education Archive
"A radical pedagogy of place is a pedagogy of “place” under deconstruction, a pedagogy that understands experience as mediated, that understands the “local” as producing and being produced by the trans-local, and that understands “community” as community-to-come, as a call of hospitality to those outside the com-munis. In a radical pedagogy of place, students are taught to see the multiplicity of and conflicts between interpretations of a place, the traces of meanings carried by the place in the past, the openness to future interpretation and meaning-construction. A radical pedagogy of place does not pretend to offer answers to or “correct” interpretations of hotly contested places. A forest is a site of economic benefit to the logging and tourism industry, as well as an ecosystem, as well as land formerly inhabited by Indigenous people. An inner city neighborhood is a crime statistic, as well as an architectural site, as well as a social system held together by resilience and solidarity. A radical pedagogy of place acknowledges the local contextuality of discourse and experience, but it examines this locality for trans-local traces, for the liminal border- zones, for the exclusions on which its communal identity relies. It encourages not entrenchment in one’s locality and community but rather hospitality and openness.

It is ironic that one of the strengths of place-based education, touted by Orr and others, is that it forces educators and students alike to think and work in interdisciplinary ways: to leave the home of their discipline, to wander and engage in relationships with other disciplines. The hybridity of interdisciplinary approaches needed for place-based education is not possible without a certain nomadism. It might be objected that successful interdisciplinary work is possible only if the theorist is sufficiently rooted in the “home” discipline not to get lost in the wandering. This only underscores, however, that a home is not a home until one can leave it and open it to the other — otherwise, it is a prison.

If one wishes to educate students to have a commitment to their social and ecological environment, one needs to start with an emphasis on commitment rather than on locality or community. Despite the commonly used metaphor, human beings do not grow actual roots on which they depend for their physical, intellectual, or ethical nourishment. Instead, nomads who have learned the ethical gestures of hospitality and openness to a community-to-come will bring nourishment to any place in which they land."
claudiaruitenberg  community  communities  learning  commitment  place  location  local  2005  via:steelemaley  nomads  neo-nomads  roots  ecology  interdisciplinary  education  pedagogy  place-basededucation  environmentaleducation  davidorr  michaelpeters  jacquesderrida  thomasvanderdunk  gregorysmith  mckenziewark  robinusher  janicewoodhouse  cliffordknapp  paultheobald  shaungallagher  henrygiroux  anthropology  experience  radical  radicalpedagogy  johncaputo  drucillacornell  canon  place-basedlearning  place-based  place-basedpedagogy 
march 2013 by robertogreco
The Zero Yen House and other unimaginable habitats of Kyohei Sakaguchi | Spoon & Tamago
"As an architecture student at Waseda University in the late 90s Kyohei Sakaguchi encountered a structure that would forever shape his future career. It wasn’t Oscar Niemeyer’s Brazilian National Museum, nor was it Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation. Not even Kisho Kurokawa’s Nakagin Capsule Tower. It was a home built on a budget of zero yen on the bed of Tokyo’s Sumida River. …"
neo-nomads  nomads  2012  homeless  lowcost  housing  houses  zeroyenhouse  tokyo  japan  design  architecture  kyoheisakaguchi 
january 2013 by robertogreco
Tumblr: David Karp's $800 Million Art Project - Forbes
"“He owns, like, three items…He’s always looking for ways he can get rid of something.” Even Karp’s person is spare in the extreme: His one suit, though trimly cut, flaps around his 6-foot-1 frame when he fidgets, which he does a lot. Maybe it’s all the calories he burns this way that keeps him skinny, like a teenager who has yet to fill out his bones. “I’ve always been 40 pounds underweight,” he says.

For Tumblr’s CEO, minimalism isn’t just an esthetic choice. It’s the key to freedom. When he travels he avoids making plans more than a few days in advance, even on his trips to Japan, and packs only the sveltest of carry-ons. “It’s my Jason Bourne or James Bond fantasy, wanting to be perfectly mobile,” he says. One of Tumblr’s directors, Roelof Botha of the Silicon Valley venture firm Sequoia Capital, recalls showing up at a board meeting in New York toting only “the tiniest of duffel bags” for his trip. “David took one look at me and said, ‘You really brought all that stuff?’ ”"
packinglight  nomads  neo-nomads  postmaterialism  minimalism  davidcarp  2013 
january 2013 by robertogreco
American Beuys: "I Like America & America Likes Me"
"During Sacred Time, the time of Creation, Coyote taught humans how to survive, and the incredible survival of the coyote, both mythologically and biologically, continues to be one of the great American mysteries."

"Mythologically and biologically, Coyote is a survivor and exemplar of evolutionary change. This is what attracted Beuys to Coyote."

"Many people feel that the Vietnamese mistake was the first war that the United States didn't win. That isn't true. For forty-five years, Uncle Sam has fought a war against coyotes...and lost!"

"Beuys's intentions in the Coyote action were primarily therapeutic. Using shamanic techniques appropriate to the coyote, his own characteristic tools, and a widely syncretic symbolic language, he engaged the coyote in a dialogue to get to ”the psychological trauma point of the United States' energy constellation”; namely, the schism between native intelligence and European mechanistic, materialistic, and positivistic values."
navajo  transformer  stephenjaygould  jamesgleick  lewisthomas  fritjofcapra  systemsthinking  holisticapproach  holistic  science  adaptation  adaptability  survival  jeannotsimmen  heinerbastian  christianity  semiotics  josémartí  standingbear  nomads  shamanism  anthroposophy  intelligence  evolution  pests  garysnyder  carolinetisdall  johnmoffitt  1974  benjaminbuchloh  susanhowe  davidlevistrauss  1999  ilikeamericaandamericalikesme  history  rudolfsteiner  environmentalism  animalrights  glvo  trickster  shamans  europe  us  art  myth  coyotes  josephbeuys 
november 2012 by robertogreco
122. The Archipelago | I Have A Voice Too
"…Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag. Use your memory! Use your memory! It is those bitter seeds alone which might sprout and grow someday.

Look around you—there are people around you. Maybe you will remember one of them all your life and later eat your heart out because you didn’t make use of the opportunity to ask him questions. And the less you talk, the more you’ll hear. Thin strands of human lives stretch from island to island of the Archipelago. They intertwine, touch one another for one night only in just such a clickety-clacking half-dark car as this and separate once and for all. Put your ear to their quiet humming and the steady clickety-clack beneath the car. After all, it is the spinning wheel of life that is clicking and clacking away there.”

[via: http://caterina.net/2012/09/29/our-memories-are-what-make-us-kathleen-dean-moore/#comment-2207 ]
cv  travel  consumerism  possessions  memories  noticing  listening  cynics  stoics  buddha  christ  living  life  languages  memory  simplicity  lightness  neo-nomads  nomadism  nomads  aleksandrsolzhenitsyn 
october 2012 by robertogreco
cloudhead - knowmad
"if a nomad is a person that roams and wanders in search of new pastures and hunting grounds rather than settling down permanently in one location * then …

A knowmad is a person that roams and wanders in search of new knowledge, skills, and experiences, rather than settling down permanently in one specialized silo of awareness.

A knowmad is not a nomadic knowledge worker …
roaming from coffee shop to boardroom with a laptop under her arm. The term doesn’t belong to the workplace because
a knowmad doesn’t work, she plays … like a child or an artist.

“The primitive hunter or fisherman did no work, any more than does the poet, painter, or thinker of today. Where the whole man is involved there is no work. Work begins with the division of labor and the specialization of functions”—McLuhan

* (nomas = wander, nomos = pasture)"


[Previous version when first bookmarked]

"if a nomad is a person that roams and wanders in search of new pastures and hunting grounds rather than settling down permanently in one location 
(nomas = wander, nomos = pasture)

then

a knowmad is a person that roams and wanders in search of new knowledge, new skills, experiences and insights, rather than settling down permanently in one specialized silo of awareness.

A knowmad is not a knowledge worker on the run …
roaming from coffee shop to boardroom with a laptop under her arm.
The term doesn’t belong to the workplace because 
a knowmad doesn’t work, she plays … like a child or an artist. 

“The primitive hunter or fisherman did no work, any more than does the poet, painter, or thinker of today. Where the whole man is involved there is no work. Work begins with the division of labor and the specialization of functions”—McLuhan"

[McLuhan quote from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Understanding_Media:_The_Extensions_of_Man ]
informationage  generalists  specialization  cv  roaming  wanderers  wanderlust  wanderingmind  neo-nomads  wandering  hunter-gatherer  labor  work  play  knowledgeworkers  knowledge  nomads  nomadism  1964  2012  cloudhead  marshallmcluhan  knowmads  shiftctrlesc  headmine 
august 2012 by robertogreco
An interview with Max Shron
"What would be your dream setup?

Someday perhaps I will go around carrying only a book, a change of clothes, a pen, a water bottle, a folding umbrella, and a little capsule that turns into my livelihood when opened. Rollable hi-res screen and keyboard, tiny computer the size of a cell phone or smaller but as light as a pen, with high-speed satellite connectivity anywhere on the globe. In this world, my sleeping bag, pad and windproof hammock weigh only a pound put together. For half of the year I travel the world, alone and with companions, with a small bag slung over my shoulder like Kwai Chang Caine. We sleep outdoors, travel on trains, and a few days of the week sit some place cozy and create beautiful software or solve interesting problems that improve the world."
outdoors  travel  via:bettyannsloan  2012  neo-nomads  nomads  thesetup  maxscron  usesthis 
march 2012 by robertogreco
Unknown Fields Division
"The Unknown Fields Division is a nomadic design studio that ventures out on annual expeditions to the ends of the earth exploring unreal and forgotten landscapes, alien terrains and obsolete ecologies. Join the Division as each year we navigate a different global cross section and map the complex and contradictory realities of the present as a site of strange and extraordinary futures.
 
Here we are both visionaries and reporters, part documentarians and part science fiction soothsayers as the otherworldly sites we encounter afford us a distanced viewpoint from which to survey the consequences of emerging environmental and technological scenarios."

[Blog: http://www.unknownfieldsdivision.com/blog/ ]
travel  galápagos  amazon  arcticcircle  ecuador  australia  alaska  roswell  chernobyl  sciencefiction  scifi  obsoleteecologies  exploration  unknownfieldsdivision  neo-nomads  nomads  fiction  design  architecture 
march 2012 by robertogreco
Immerse yourself in the sounds of the Arctic (Wired UK)
"Adams, Plaid and Persen combined the poem with electronic music and the ambisonic field recordings to produce a piece titled Nord Rute -- the first in a four-part collection of performances about indiginous peoples titled The Compass Series, which merge poetry from Valkaeapää, music from Plaid and ambient audio from Adams. Nord Rute is a narrative account of the Sami people's annual migration.

The resulting performance is described as a "three dimensional psycho-acoustic experience" and an "ambisonic narrative evocation". During a performance the floor is covered with reindeer pelts and surrounded by speakers that create a plane of sound within which blindfolded audience members can immerse themselves in the atmosphere of the journey across the frozen wastes. To enhance the experience, there'll be absolutely no heating -- blankets will be provided and schnapps will be served instead."
ambient  surroundsound  ambisonics  rossadams  sháman  korpiklaani  music  singing  joik  yoik  nomadism  nomads  sound  sápmi  russia  finland  sweden  norway  sami  tundra  arctic  2010 
february 2012 by robertogreco
designswarm thoughts » Blog Archive » Unexportables
"As I walked through the markets of Hong Kong, staring at jade jewellery & Angry Birds paraphonalia, it occured to me that I could order everything on eBay or Amazon. The foreign land’s treasures have been globalised to a point of total consumer disinterest. The only thing that was left to consume was food & architecture…

Could it be that When you are drowning in a digital culture that says that social is everything then you might forget what makes you special? When Amazon and every ad banner online knows what you like, what happens if you forget what you like. Anti-consumption…

When you can be anywhere, you have to celebrate where you are right then and there. That’s luxury.

True affirmation of identity and uniqueness has become tricky when you are constantly forced into relationships with “friends”, Groupon deals and “other people also bought this” prompts. Perhaps travel and food, as sensorial experiences that one cannot share, will become even more prized than they are now."
ebay  amazon  transferability  nontransferable  transference  postnational  homogeneity  experienceasproduct  anti-consumption  experience  uniqueness  travel  globalization  2012  kevinslavin  digitalnow  now  place  nomadism  nomads  neo-nomads  identity  via:preoccupations  food  luxury 
february 2012 by robertogreco
Itinerant - Wikipedia
"An itinerant is a person who travels from place to place with no fixed home. The term comes from the late 16th century: from late Latin itinerant (travelling), from the verb itinerari, from Latin iter, itiner (journey, road)."

[Boomarked for the lists "Types of itinerants" AND "Itinerants throughout history and today" AND "Notable itinerants"]
drifters  migration  refugees  hobos  bedouins  people  history  glvo  nomadism  neo-nomads  nomads  travellers  mobility  itinerants 
january 2012 by robertogreco
"Knowmads and The Next Renaissance" - My TedxBrisbane Talk - Edward Harran
"Edward Harran shares his personal story into the knowmad movement: an emerging digital generation that has the capacity to work, learn, move and play - with anybody, anytime, and anywhere. In his energetic talk, Edward gives us a compelling insight into his story and highlights what the knowmads represent: the beginnings of the next renaissance."

[See also the video, the rest of the post, and http://www.educationfutures.com/2011/11/17/knowmads-and-the-next-renaissance/ ]
edwardharran  socialinnovation  polymaths  generalists  renaissancemen  knowmads  neo-nomads  nomads  nomadism  learning  adaptability  unschooling  deschooling  glvo  cv  education  freedom  complexity  messiness  simplicity  well-being  introverts  communication  web  online  internet  2011  tedxbrisbane 
november 2011 by robertogreco
Living with 100 items. No, 50. No, only 15. Screw it, just get beautiful, useful things – marks.dk
"Bruce Sterling’s “Last Viridian Note”…puts things into the following categories:

1. Beautiful things.
2. Emotionally important things.
3. Tools, devices, and appliances that efficiently perform a useful function.
4. Everything else.

There are no numbers, no set rules for how much stuff you “must” own. I like the idea some have of only owning 100 things, or even just 50 things. But it’s only an idea. I couldn’t do it myself but I can, however, cut down on the stuff that I already own and don’t use.

DVDs go category 4…espresso machine in 3…couch, bed & chair in 3 as well…Half my clothes go in 4…& I need to buy after a pattern of 1 & 3 from now on.

…don’t think you can even buy after category 2 most of the time. That’s the kind of stuff that evolves over time…

Question yourself with everything you are about to buy; if there is a reasonable chance it will be placed in category 4 anytime soon, don’t buy it."
brucesterling  markjensen  possessions  consumption  minimalism  2011  lastviridiannote  things  simplicity  sustainability  consumerism  stuff  qualityoverquantity  viridianism  nomads  neo-nomads  materialism 
november 2011 by robertogreco
Ranu Mukherjee: Contemporary Nomads on Vimeo
"Artist Ranu Mukherjee builds expansive video visions of nomadic existence, based on fragments of experiences by strangers. Her works draws from nomadic lifestyles of all sorts, from geopolitical displacement to daily business travel."
travel  nomads  nomadism  neo-nomads  art  video  2011  ranumukherjee  glvo  film 
october 2011 by robertogreco
The mission: never come back (Ships Not Shelters, a non-Earth heterotopia) : socks-studio
“–Evadere ad auras,
Hoc opus, hic labor est.”

To escape into the upper air,
This is the task, this is the labour.

The underlying premise behind Ships not Shelters is to abandon the idea of shelter, in favour of the development of unstatic in transit non-Earth living situations.

Published by the Peckham Outer-Space Initiative, a thinktank of sort, formed by the guys at Anvil and El Ultimo Grito, the handy manifesto (170 pages), is an overall ode to the ship (both physical and mental) as a tool for the prospect and fascination of the uncharted, aiming at the evolution of human species and its culture. A vehicle as a solution to current forms of planetary based society and living:"

[See also: http://www.shopwork.net/projects/peckham-outerspace-initiative/ via ªªhttp://nomadicity.tumblr.com/post/10174302145/evadere-ad-auras-hoc-opus-hic-labor-est-to ºº]
peckhamouter-spaceinitiative  space  shelter  ships  spaceships  nomads  neo-nomads  unstatic  design  architecture 
september 2011 by robertogreco
On Going Feral
"Cloudworker lifestyles…create a psychological transformation that is very similar to what happens when animals go feral. In animals, it takes a couple of generations of breeding for the true wild nature to re-emerge…But in humans it can happen faster, since most of our domestication is through education & socialization rather than breeding.

You might think that the true tabby-mutt human must live outside the financial system…that’s actually a mistaken notion, because that sort of officially checked-out  or actively nihilistic person is defined & motivated by the structure of human civilization. To rebel is to be defined by what you rebel against. Criminals & anarchists are civilized creatures. Feral populations are agnostic, rather than either dependent on, or self-consciously independent of, codified social structures. Feral cloudworkers use social structures where it accidentally works for them…and improvise ad-hoc self-support structures for the rest of their needs."
mobile  cloudworkers  cloudworking  venkateshrao  2009  feral  mutts  cv  society  socialization  deschooling  unschooling  illegiblepeople  illegibles  domestication  lordoftheflies  anarchism  anarchy  conformity  lifestyle  work  thirdplaces  introverts  neo-nomads  nomadism  nomads  telecommuting  labor  thirdspaces 
august 2011 by robertogreco
A Big Little Idea Called Legibility
"The Authoritarian High-Modernist Recipe for Failure…

• Look at a complex and confusing reality, such as the social dynamics of an old city
• Fail to understand all the subtleties of how the complex reality works
• Attribute that failure to the irrationality of what you are looking at, rather than your own limitations
• Come up with an idealized blank-slate vision of what that reality ought to look like
• Argue that the relative simplicity and platonic orderliness of the vision represents rationality
• Use authoritarian power to impose that vision, by demolishing the old reality if necessary
• Watch your rational Utopia fail horribly

Central to Scott’s thesis is the idea of legibility. He explains how he stumbled across the idea while researching efforts by nation states to settle or “sedentarize” nomads, pastoralists, gypsies and other peoples living non-mainstream lives…"
politics  history  philosophy  problemsolving  imperialism  colonialism  jamescscott  design  architecture  urbanplanning  urbanism  nomads  nomadism  gypsies  pastoralists  mainstream  radicals  radicalism  2011  venkateshrao  legibility  illegiblepeople  illegibles  stevenjohnson  patternmaking  patterns  patternrecognition  complexity  unschooling  deschooling  utopianthinking  india  high-modenism  lecorbusier  forests  brasilia  bauhaus  control  decolonization  power  nicholasdirks  rome  edwardgibbon  civilization  authoritarianism  authoritarianhigh-modernism  elephantpaths  desirelines  anarchism  organizations  illegibility  highmodernism  utopia  governance  simplification  measurement  quantification  brasília 
august 2011 by robertogreco
kevin cyr: home in the weeds
"brooklyn-based designer / artist kevin cyr has sent designboom images of his latest work and exhibition. known for his sculptural pieces such as 'camper kart' and 'camper bike', that explore themes of mobility and shelters in our contemporary society, cyr currently presents 'home in the weeds', a solo exhibition at 941 geary in san francisco on now until june 4th, 2011. he has developed all new work for the show, including new large-scale installations that continue to explore the idea of shelters at different stages or circumstances, each one serving a different function, expressing ideas of mobility, concealment and protectionism. 'home in the weeds' is cyr's personal reaction to the fragility of our society today, he also explores these themes through drawing, painting and photography, looking at ideas of shelter as a safe haven for a future worst-case scenario, along with more optimistic considerations of the home and self-preservation. 
kevincyr  mobility  tinyhouses  small  neo-nomads  nomads  nomadism  art  trailers 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Why I quit my job: « Kai Nagata ["Until Thursday, I was CTV’s Quebec City Bureau Chief, based at the National Assembly, mostly covering politics."]
"I’m trying to think of the reporters I know who would do their job as volunteers…people who feel so strongly about importance & social value of the evening news that, were they were offered somewhere to sleep, three meals a day, & free dry-cleaning – they would do that for the rest of their days…such zeal is scarce.

Aside from feeling sexually attracted to the people on screen, the target viewer, according to consultants, is also supposed to like easy stories that reinforce beliefs they already hold…

I have serious problems w/ direction taken by Canadian policy & politics in last 5 years. But as a reporter, I feel like I’ve been holding my breath…

“I thought if I paid my dues & worked my way up through ranks, I could maybe reach a position of enough influence & credibility that I could say what I truly feel. I’ve realized there’s no time to wait…

I’m broke, & yet I know I’m rich in love. I’m unemployed & homeless, but I’ve never been more free.

Everything is possible.”
politics  media  journalism  tv  ctv  cbc  canada  policy  kainagata  2011  neo-nomads  nomadism  meaning  purpose  meaningfulness  via:jeeves  truth  viewers  junktv  news  reporting  environment  superficiality  junknews  distraction  integrity  credibility  influence  yearoff  bias  nomads 
august 2011 by robertogreco
On Being an Illegible Person
"For the nomad, the question of why you are temporarily somewhere is simply ill-posed. It’s like asking a settled person, “why aren’t you moving?” For the nomad, a period of rootedness is unstable, like travel for the rooted…a disturbed equilibrium that requires explanation. An explanation of non-movement, & eventual resumption of movement, are required…

It is not inconceivable that the world could be arranged to provide all these in a way that supports both rootedness & nomadism.…it is becoming easier every year. I’d like to see trains getting cheaper…health insurance becoming more portable…government identity documents becoming anchored to something other than physical addresses…executive suites and coworking spaces sprout up all over…

There is no necessary either-or between nomadism & rooted living. Technology has evolved to the point where the apparatus of the state should be able to accommodate illegible people w/out pinning them down."
neo-nomads  nomads  nomadism  venkateshrao  travel  rootedness  illegiblepeople  identity  movement  lifestyle  2011 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Roberto Bolaño's essays: More clues for detectives | The Economist
"For Bolaño, even his non-fiction defies clarity. He shows little interest in providing order or streamlining his thoughts. For him, order is a lie. The purpose of both his fiction and non-fiction then is to capture this disorder on the page and make it feel as real as possible. In Bolaño’s writing one can only recognise sanity within the context of insanity. Answers—if there are any—are found not by searching, but in searching.
 
Bolaño was a nomad of the planet and the mind. While much of this collection is standard criticism or brief observations, the pleasure is less in the writing than in experiencing—for just a brief moment—the world of a man immersed in his art."
robertobolaño  nonfiction  nomads  nomadism  essays  neo-nomads  writing  toread  books  fiction 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Dymaxion: Transnationality and Performance
"…I crossed an international border to install an app on my cellphone. That wasn't the nominal purpose of the trip, but if we step back from our understanding of internationalization & international copyright law, that interaction btwn border crossing & the performance of an effectively physical act is almost surreal. More surreal is possibility…that I could have simply traded my Icelandic SIM card for my US one &…effectively, virtually, performed that border crossing…

Like everyone else, my life is bound up mostly w/ those of some few hundred other people, & lived in a specificity of place mostly across some few square km. Unlike many other people, the future is rather more heavily salted into it, & that space is split over various countries. It is unclear if transnational culture or border performance will win, or how long a compromise of ever-increasing osmotic pressure can last. I dearly hope…immediate awareness of our ultimate interconnectedness will triumph regardless."
international  global  borders  simcards  law  copyright  interconnectedness  transnationalism  transnationality  porous  porosity  future  present  eleanorsaitta  bordertown  culture  permeability  osmosis  neo-nomads  nomads  ip  intellectualproperty  vpn  translation  history  serfdom  language  jacobapplebaum  moxiemarlinspike  us  cities  interconnected  interconnectivity 
july 2011 by robertogreco
three cups of fiction | Schooling the World
[broken link, new bookmark here: https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:cca28f5634e5
article now at: http://carolblack.org/three-cups-of-fiction ]

"…anything that causes humiliation & anger in men is going to cause increased rates of violence against women…the way education is currently framed means it does good for some children at the cost of doing great harm to many others, & this is not good for families, for communities, or for societies.  The answer is not to hold girls back…it’s to challenge the ranking-&-failure paradigm as the only way to help children learn."

"The bottom line is that the modern school is no silver bullet, but an extremely problematic institution which has proven highly resistant to fundamental reform, and there is very little objective research on its impact on traditional societies. When we intervene to radically alter the way another culture raises and educates its children, we trigger a complex cascade of changes that will completely reshape that culture in a single generation.  To assume that those changes will all be good is to adopt a blind cultural superiority that we can ill afford."
threecupsoftea  gregmortenson  afghanistan  education  unschooling  deschooling  learning  nomads  ngo  development  culturalsuperiority  culture  reform  teaching  systems  systemsthinking  2011  inequality  power  charity  economics  designimperialism  humanitariandesign  humanitarianism  stonesintoschools  money  failure  rankings  sorting  testing  children  women  girls  society  competition  hierarchy  class  onesizefitsall  grading  poverty  gender  colonization  carolblack  colonialism 
may 2011 by robertogreco
Placticity, Global Movements and Bioregion Change
"The first half of the twentieth century was drenched in the blood spilled by German and Japanese aggression, yet only a few decades later it is hard to think of two countries more pacific. Sweden spent the seventeenth century rampaging through Europe, yet it is now an icon of nurturing tranquility. Humans have invented the small nomadic band and the continental megastate, and have demon- strated a flexibility whereby uprooted descendants of the former can function eaectively in the latter. We lack the type of physiology or anatomy that in other mammals determine their mating system, and have come up with societies based on monogamy, polygyny, and polyandry. And we have fashioned some religions in which violent acts are the entrée to paradise and other religions in which the same acts consign one to hell. Is a world of peacefully coexisting human Forest Troops possible? Anyone who says, “No, it is beyond our nature,” knows too little about primates, including ourselves.”

[Quote from Robert Sapolsky here: http://www.foreignaffairs.com/files/articles/natural_history_of_peace.pdf ]
thomassteele-maley  plasticity  adaptability  anthropology  society  human  ingenuity  change  gamechanging  robertsapolsky  bioregions  happiness  schools  schooling  deschooling  unschooling  primates  ecology  culture  lcproject  tcsnmy  history  sweden  germany  japan  war  agression  utopia  baboons  nomads  citystates  scale  humannature  phenotypicplasticity  environment  environmentalism 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - The Setup
"A person only flails around in regards to their rig when they don’t have a clear idea of what constitutes their work. Suitability and fit is paramount, and one is never going to find what they’re looking for if they don’t know what they need. So, I looked at my work, I watched how I used my computer for a day, and found out all I do is draw vector shapes, surf the web, listen to music, and bash words out in plain text. That’s hardly the type of activity that requires computational brute force, though I understand there are some of you out there that require just that. Not me though. Nope.

And these computers? As much as I love fiddle-faddling with the damn things, I mostly just want to forget I have one and get on with saying stuff and making things. I realized that I valued freedom more than power, flexibility more than blazing speed. I want the choice of being able to be mobile, and to carry around my whole setup with me at all times without much inconvenience."
frankchimero  setup  mac  osx  macbookair  ipad  iphone  applications  work  workflow  workspace  mobilestudio  software  cv  freedom  mobility  neo-nomads  nomadism  nomads  computers  computing  fit  howwework  thesetup  2011  workspaces  ios  usesthis 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Alex Payne — Settling Down Without Settling
"About six months ago, in May, my wife and I moved from San Francisco to Portland, Oregon. We expected to rent an apartment in Portland for at least a year, maybe two. Yesterday, in a major diversion from that path, we closed on our first home. We move in this coming Saturday.

In this post, I’m going to talk about why we bought a home, how we went about it, and the context of the particular socioeconomic moment we find ourselves in."

"There’s a simplicity that comes from transience, and a simplicity that comes from permanence. Both are illusions, and one will present itself before the other. For now, I’m eager to be wrapped up in the illusion of permanence, serene and arboreal."
homebuying  tips  money  portland  housing  finance  transience  simplicity  illusion  houses  alexpayne  2010  permanence  neo-nomads  nomads  lifestyle  silence  quiet 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Up In The Air | > jim rossignol
"Now, I am not trying to devalue or deride family life, because I enjoy and value it myself. I do, however, think that film was mistaken in not allowing Bingham the strength of his convictions, or some kind of ultimate vindication. Although the plot eventually okays his lifestyle, it is done almost grudgingly. He is allowed to return to his unlimited travels, but only after his lifestyle has been argued to be somehow less than those of his colleagues and relatives. The story attempts to draw what is missing from his life, and can’t really manage it, since Bingham is actually so well adapted. “I am lonely,” he says, joking but not joking, in the least convincing moment of the movie."
life  lifestyle  families  nomads  neo-nomads  relationships  jimrossignol  2010  georgeclooney  jasonreitman  travel  detachment 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Mongolian Diptychs Tell of Profound Change: A Yin and Sim Chi Yin Talk About His Work - NYTimes.com
"A Yin is documenting his home province of Inner Mongolia. He is a self-taught anthropologist-photographer who has made it his mission to record the last of the nomads there. The phenomenal changes he captures tell the broader story of China’s transformation. A Yin was cited by the National Geographic All Roads Film Project in 2007. Sim Chi Yin, a photographer and writer based in Beijing, interviewed A Yin for Lens. Their conversation has been translated from Mandarin."
photography  mongolia  culture  asia  china  urban  rural  tradition  clothing  fashion  urbanism  society  transformation  migration  nomads  nomadism  identity  innermongolia  lifestyle 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Element S(urvival): A Coat-and-Sleeping-Bag-in-One for the Homeless | Design for Good | Big Think
"Homelessness is perhaps the most disconcerting reminder of the staggering gap between the rich and the poor in some of the world's wealthiest nations. In Detroit alone, more than 18,000 people are homeless – a social circumstance most grueling over the cold winter months. To address the issue, 21-year-old Detroit design student Veronika Scott has developed a clever multifunctional garment – Element S(urvival), an inexpensive but highly insulated winter coat that quickly and easily transforms into a sleeping bag."
neo-nomads  design  sleepingbags  clothing  wearable  nomads  homeless  homelessness  detroit  glvo  wearables 
december 2010 by robertogreco
jagnefalt milton: a rolling master plan
"swedish architecture firm jagnefalt milton has been awarded third prize for 'a rolling master plan', their proposed development for the idea competition of andalsnes in norway.

the design utilizing new and existing train tracks to create a diverse system where buildings roll through the city on rails, providing an opportunity to reorganize programmatic requirements in relation to the urban space. the mobile flexibility allows the city to adjust for uses such as concerts, festivals, markets, and seasonal changes.

the integration of mobile structures - including a rolling hotel, public bath and concert hall - has the potential to transform the city into a dense, integrated and continually changing scenography. the temporary, small-scale structures sets the 'city in motion', providing an important connection between the land and the sea."

[See also: http://www.jagnefaltmilton.se/page4.html ]
design  architecture  urban  planning  mobile  mobility  nomads  neo-nomads  jagnefaltmilton  sweden  norway  rail 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Rebecca Solnit - Wikipedia
"Rebecca Solnit (born 1961) is a writer who lives in San Francisco. She has written on a variety of subjects including the environment, politics, place, and art. [1]

She skipped high school altogether, enrolling in an alternative junior high in the public school system that took her through tenth grade, when she passed the GED exam. Thereafter she enrolled in junior college. When she was 17 she went to study in Paris. She ultimately returned to California and finished her college education at San Francisco State University when she was 20.[2] She then received a Masters in Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley[3] in 1984 and has been an independent writer since 1988. Prior to this she was a museum researcher and art critic.[4] She has worked on environmental and human rights campaigns since the 1980s, notably with the Western Shoshone Defense Project in the early 1990s, as described in her book Savage Dreams, and with antiwar activists throughout the Bush era."
literature  rebeccasolnit  unschooling  deschooling  alternative  education  sanfrancisco  california  writing  writers  books  wanderlust  wandering  walking  nomads  neo-nomads  nature 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Finding Time | Rebecca Solnit | Orion Magazine
"conundrum is that language to describe ineffable splendors & possibilities of our lives takes time to master, takes a certain unhurried engagement w/ tasks of description, assessment, critique, & conversation; that to speak this slow language you must slow down, & to slow down you must have some inkling of what you will gain by doing so. It’s not an elite language; nomadic & remote tribal peoples are now quite good at picking & choosing from development’s cascade of new toys, & so are some of cash-poor, culture-rich people in places like Louisiana. Poetry is good training in speaking it, & skepticism is helpful in rejecting the four horsemen of this apocalypse [Efficiency, Convenience, Profitability, & Security], but both require a mind that likes to roam around & the time in which to do it.

Ultimately…slowness is an act of resistance, not because slowness is a good in itself but because of all that it makes room for, the things that don’t get measured and can’t be bought."

[My take: http://robertogreco.tumblr.com/post/2393325961/slowness-is-an-act-of-resistance ]
culture  productivity  technology  music  efficiency  convenience  profitability  pleasure  poetry  sociability  security  slow  slowness  cash-poor  culture-rich  inspiration  nomads  skepticism  language  conversation  time  resistance  neo-nomads  distraction  well-being  2010  rebeccasolnit  comments  cv  canon 
december 2010 by robertogreco
egg shaped mobile home
"undoubtedly one of the most interesting project getting featured on the world wide web, the egg-shaped mobile home by twenty-four year old dai haifei is a response to beijing's soaring rental prices. haifie, a recent architecture school graduate, has designed and lived in this temporary unit for the last two months.

the 'egg', measuring six feet in height sits on two wheels and is constructed from basket woven bamboo splints. the exterior features a patchwork of small sacks containing seeds of grass that will grow to eventually provide insulation. a south facing solar panel 'provides' power to a single lamp on the inside. during the day, natural daylight enters through an opening in the ceiling. the entrance can be propped open to facilitate natural ventilation.

given the small size and simple shape, the layout is minimal: a half circumference bed and low, built in storage line the perimeter, making the space efficient for bare living. "
design  architecture  mobile  mobility  neo-nomads  nomads  realestate  china  housing  homes  minimalism  small  tinyhomes 
december 2010 by robertogreco
LRB · Slavoj Žižek · Nobody has to be vile
"Being smart means being dynamic and nomadic, and against centralized bureaucracy; believing in dialogue and co-operation as against central authority; in flexibility as against routine; culture and knowledge as against industrial production; in spontaneous interaction as against fixed hierarchy."
zizek  communism  journalism  hierarchy  nomads  nomadic  neo-nomads  bureaucracy  anarchism  flexibility  routine  culture  knowledge  spontaneity  spontaneous  interaction  dialogue  cooperation  decentralization  dialog 
november 2010 by robertogreco
JUST CHANGE « LEBBEUS WOODS
"At a certain point, the only attainable goal is to live within the state of change itself, like refugees, gypsies, or nomads. It seems likely that in the future, if the pace of change—social, political, economic, cultural—continues to increase, this condition will become common in all social classes.

In such a world, the design and construction of permanent buildings will become less important than it is today, and architects will turn their attention to the development of concepts and techniques of building temporary living spaces. At their most primitive, these will involve portable structures such as tents. With increasing sophistication they will involve site-specific constructions that are created and, just as importantly, disappear as needed or desired."
temporary  lebbeuswoods  architecture  design  change  future  housing  life  neo-nomads  nomads  flux  culture  society 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Camper Trailer - Bike Hugger
"So it’s attached to a electric assist comfort bike and you could cover the top of the camper with solar panels to generate electricty. It’s a Digital Bike Nomad’s hotel at SXSW or a Cargonista’s dream vacation. Even a place to stay warm at a cross race."
bikes  biking  trailers  nomads  neo-nomads  mobility 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Sign of the Times: Your Personal Hobo-mobile | Co.Design
"Naturally, you don't want to sacrifice too many comforts. And you definitely don't want a carbon-gulping RV. Designer Cornelius Comanns has a solution for you: Bufalino, which converts a simple Piaggio APE50 trike--familiar if you've ever traveled in Asia--into a full on rolling shelter with as many comforts as your local artisanal coffee shop.

Comanns, a former intern for Art Lebedev who created the design for his graduation thesis, tells Designboom: "The traveling vehicle is always with you like some kind of a base camp, while also being used for moving on in an easygoing and spontaneous way." Notice the words--"base camp," "easygoing," and "spontaneous." Spoken like a modern hobo prophet."
via:lukeneff  design  nomads  neo-nomads  mobility 
august 2010 by robertogreco
BBC News - Cult of less: Living out of a hard drive
"Many have begun trading in CD, DVD, and book collections for digital music, movies, and e-books. But this trend in digital technology is now influencing some to get rid of nearly all of their physical possessions - from photographs to furniture to homes altogether." [More discussion here: http://www.boingboing.net/2010/08/16/article-about-extrem.html ] [Some of these examples sound like trading in physical clutter for digital clutter.]
minimalism  simplicity  consumerism  2010  ownership  future  digital  lifestyle  lifehacks  less  psychology  society  technology  culture  trends  nomads  neo-nomads  travel  homes  homelessness  possessions  materialism  via:lukeneff 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Cool Tools: Cheap RV Living
"Roomier than a car, but cheaper than an RV, a retrofitted van makes a cool inexpensive house. Once popular during hippie days, the ancient American tradition of modifying a van is undergoing a resurgence as rents continue to rise. More folks each year commute from work and then park their home, instead of parking in front of it. On this lovely free website, you can find inspiring examples of cheap nomads, detailed instructions for conversions, gear recommendations, and lots of advice for living in a low rent or homemade RV from "them that's doin' it.""

[points to: http://cheaprvliving.com/index.html ]
kevinkelly  nomads  neo-nomads  vans  travel 
august 2010 by robertogreco
the double room - portable home
"american firm global homes has sent in images of his project 'the doubleroom' in sweden. the portable residence consists of a kitchen, bathroom, living and bedroom space all in one. the pre assembled structure can be easily transported to any location."
architecture  design  homes  housing  neo-nomads  nomads  portability  prefab  small  tiny  mobility 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Chairless by vitra.
"seating device for the modern nomad...sturdy strap of fabric allows user to sit down in relaxed manner – but w/ neither seat nor backrest...a solution par excellence for times when chairs are in short supply...so light & compact that you can carry it with you wherever you go...relieves spine & legs, so that hugging your knees or using a support is no longer necessary. because the pressure is taken off so many areas of the body, you feel relaxed all over. now your hands are free...
alejandroaravena  architecture  furniture  backpacking  design  fashion  vitra  nomads  neo-nomads  portability  fabric  gifts  glvo  srg  edg 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Learning by doing | Knowmads
"Our purpose is to create a life-long learning community that starts with a one –year-program and the possibility to add on half a year after that. We work from the principle of a team setting based on Action Learning; meaning we we work with our heads, hearts and hands. First we discover what is going on around us, then we design, then we start to build and then we amplify it in a learning setting and as a socio-economic venture. You will experience this setting with 29 other people, 3 members of staff as well as as experts invited from business, politics and media, from all over the world."
knowmads  nomds  neo-nomads  education  learning  lcproject  altgdp  nomads 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Anhoek School
"Our aim is to foster a reckless kind of genius that rips across disciplines and is always conscious that the work of the classroom should not stay in the classroom. Are we a training camp? Are we an observatory? Are we a university? It is yet to be determined.

What is certain is that we opt for a hands-on examination of marginal pedagogies that stress horizontal teaching methodologies (i.e.: the student is not an empty vessel filled with the teacher's knowledge. The student is a free agent responsible for applying a certain rigor and specificity to their investigation, interpretation and school-based collaboration with the teacher) In keeping with this sentiment, future teachers will curate syllabi that ricochet between their own field of investigation and materials that confound their expertise. Students and teachers will aid one another in navigating theories, strange and beautiful or say, repulsive but persuasive."
activism  gradschool  nyc  pedagogy  brooklyn  self-education  economics  education  nomadic  lcproject  mobility  neo-nomads  nomadism  tcsnmy  art  community  nomads 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Markasaurus » The House of the Future is in Your Pocket
"iPod = ultimate in self-contained gadgets- requires no hard-wired infrastructure connection, mouse, keyboard, peripherals...doesn’t even provide you w/ method for connecting them. While Evinrude outboard that Banham loved may have allowed you to mount motor on any boat...iPhone is limited only by what developers create for it. Banham focused on mechanical devices that did specific tasks & failed to see that in future you wouldn’t need “precise gadget” to deal w/ variety of tasks- 1 gadget can now function as phone, camera, research library, file cabinet, Rolodex & more. Social networked & augmented reality applications allow another world to be created on top of physical 1. Banham believed most futuristic home was RV that allowed residents to be endlessly mobile. Instead of needing traveling home, we live in virtual space enabled by gizmo that fits in shirt pocket. I think Banham would approve.

Today, you don’t need a new environment to live or work in. You just need a new app"
iphone  applications  reynerbanham  mobility  rvs  homes  technology  outboardmotor  nomads  neo-nomads  ipod  architecture  ios 
march 2010 by robertogreco
felipe campolina: portable housing
"brazilian architect felipe campolina has developed 'portable housing', a skyscraper design that is composed of hundred of mobile units. currently, the need to inhabit the
planet sustainably is an increasing concern for the future. thus, the concept of portable
housing was created with a construction system that deals with both, environmental and
social issues. these individual living units start from a modular system scaled from
the standard OSB plate (oriented strand board) of 1,22m x 2,44m."
design  architecture  buildings  prefab  neo-nomads  nomads  mobility  felipecampolina 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Today We Collect Nothing | varnelis.net
"We will need at least a decade to absorb the excess housing currently in the market...Mobility will rise, but homes will become less the spaces of self-realization that they were...& more shells to be filled temporarily, with only a few, highly-intelligent objects in one's possession...Is this an end condition to architecture? Maybe. But when hasn't architecture been in an end condition?...But maybe there are other possibilities? It strikes me that architects are missing a major opportunity here. All of this is very similar to what the Eameses were up to when they moved away from construction to media. They built the best house of the century but architecture couldn't hold their attention. It was too slow. Instead, they turned to media. Today's media are more spatial than film ever could be. Hertzian space—and the interface to it—is the new frontier. Architects should be sure not miss out."
neo-nomads  nomads  mobility  modernism  eames  architecture  kazysvarnelis  housing  housingbubble  realestate  future  reynerbanham  stevejobs  postdisciplinary  design  glvo  cv  unschooling  deschooling  gamechanging  change  hertzianspace 
march 2010 by robertogreco
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