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Arthur Jafa: Not All Good, Not All Bad on Vimeo
"We went to Los Angeles and visited the winner of the prestigious Venice Biennale's 2019 Golden Lion, American artist and filmmaker Arthur Jafa. In this extensive interview, he talks about black identity in connection with his critically acclaimed video ‘Love is the Message, The Message is Death’, which became a worldwide sensation.

“I’m trying to have enough distance from the thing, that I can actually see it clearly. But at the same time, be able to flip the switch and be inside of it.” Jafa describes how he has rewired himself to push towards things that disturb him. He grew up in the Mississippi Delta, one of the poorest regions in America, and admires the fearless and relentless pictures from that region by Danish photographer Jacob Holdt in ‘American Pictures’ (1977): “They exist outside of the formal parameters of art photography. I think they exist outside of journalism. They’re something else.”

Since childhood, Jafa has collected images in books, as if he was window-shopping, “compiling things that you don’t have access to.” The act of compiling and putting things together helps him figure out “what it is you’re actually attracted to.” When he “strung together” ‘Love is the Message, The Message is Death’, it was engendered by the explosion of citizen cellphone-documentation – the point in time where people discovered the power of being able to document. Jafa comments that his “preoccupation with blackness is fundamental philosophical” rather than political, and considers ‘whiteness’ a “pathological construction that’s come about as a result of a lot of complicated things.” In continuation of this, Jafa is against “highs and lows,” and some of the power of the work, he finds, is that it doesn’t make those distinctions. Instead of doing hierarchies, it accepts that opposites don’t have to negate each other, and tries to understand the diversity, differentiation and complexity in the world: “It’s not all good, it’s not all bad.”

Arthur Jafa (b. 1960) is an American Mississippi-born visual artist, film director, and cinematographer. His acclaimed video ‘Love Is the Message, The Message Is Death’ (2016), shows a montage of historical and contemporary film footage to trace Black American experiences throughout history. Jafa has exhibited widely including at the Hirshhorn in Los Angeles, Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, Tate Liverpool in Liverpool and Serpentine Galleries in London. His work as a cinematographer with directors such as Spike Lee and Stanley Kubrick has been notable, and his work on ‘Daughters of the Dust’ (1991) won the ‘Best Cinematography’ Award at Sundance. In 2019, Jafa was awarded the Golden Lion for best artist at the Venice Biennale for his film ‘The White Album’. Jafa has also worked as a director of photography on several music videos, including for Solange Knowles and Jay-Z. Jafa co-founded TNEG with Malik Sayeed, a “motion picture studio whose goal is to create a black cinema as culturally, socially and economically central to the 21st century as was black music to the 20th century.” He lives and works in Los Angeles.

Arthur Jafa was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner at his studio in Los Angeles in November 2018. In the video, extracts are shown from ‘Love Is the Message, The Message Is Death’ (2016) by Arthur Jafa. The seven-minute video is set to Kanye West’s Ultralight Beam.

Camera: Rasmus Quistgaard
Produced by: Marc-Christoph Wagner
Edited by: Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærkesen
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2019

Supported by Nordea fonden"
arthurjafa  art  film  filmmaking  identity  blackness  whiteness  photography  imagery  collection  images  books  compilation  compiling  access  collecting  collections  documentation  documentary  complexity  video  montage  marc-christophwagner  childhood  mississippi  bernieeames  distance  survival  experience  culture  mississippidelta  seeing  perspective  democracy  smarthphones  mobile  phones  cameras  jacobholdt  clarksdale  tupelo  patriarchy  race  racism  billcosby  duality  hitler  thisandthat  ambiguity  barackobama  keepingitreal  donaldtrump  diversity  hope  hierarchy  melancholy  differentiation  audience  audiencesofone  variety  canon 
10 weeks ago by robertogreco
Zines are the future of media
"My favorite Nieman Lab prediction for journalism in 2018 (including this one I wrote myself [http://www.niemanlab.org/2017/12/watch-out-for-spotify/ ]) is Kawandeep Virdee’s “Zines Had It Right All Along.” [http://www.niemanlab.org/2017/12/zines-had-it-right-all-along/ ]

His actual prediction is that in 2018, digital media “will reflect more qualities that make print great.” Virdee distills a shortlist of qualities of zines and quarterly mags that he thinks are portable to digital:

• Quarterlies are a pleasure to read with a variety in layout and pacing
• They’re beautiful to hold.
• They’re less frequent, and much better.
• Even the ads are well-crafted, and trusted.
• Zines have an enormous variety.
• They’re experimental and diverse.
• This gives them a freshness and surprise.
• They’re anti-formalist; they’re relatable.

“Most sites look the same,” Virdee writes. “It can be weird and wonderful.”

The positive example he gives isn’t a text feature, but the NYT video series “Internetting with Amanda Hess.” It’s an odd choice because digital video hasn’t had much of a problem picking up on a zine aesthetic or giving us that level of freshness and surprise; it’s digital text that’s been approaching conformity.

It’s also weird that Virdee works product at Medium, which is one of the sites that, despite or maybe because of its initial splash, is kind of the poster child for the current design consensus on the web. If Virdee is making the case that Medium (and other sites) should look a lot less like Medium, that would be the most exciting thing that Medium has done in a couple of years.

The other point I’d add is that zines and quarterlies look the way they do and feel the way they feel not because of a certain design aesthetic they share, or a design consensus they break from, but because of how they’re run, who owns them, and why they’re published. They look different because they are different. So maybe we need to look at the whole package and create an… oh, I don’t know, what’s the phrase I need… an “indie web”?"
timcarmody  kawandeepvirdee  zines  publishing  blogs  blogging  digital  publications  2017  2018  quarterlies  classideas  cv  conformity  medium  media  predictions  design  originality  weirdness  aesthetics  freshness  internet  amandahess  web  online  graphicdesign  layout  webdesign  indie  indieweb  diversity  anti-formalism  relatability  surprise  variety  craft  pacing  howwewrite  howweread  print  papernet 
december 2017 by robertogreco
Human Nature, Education, Ecology – Dewey, Darwin, Midgley, Kropotkin [Part I] « Lebenskünstler
[All but one of the parts in bold are here.]

"Our humanity is not expressed through developing our individual talents and abilities, but by building bonds outward into the world…"

"The good for the human species, like all species, emerges from within the evolutionary story, and is not independent or opposed to it."

"While education needs to foster growth, it also needs to help celebrate the meaning of the moment."

"The notion that we “have a nature,” far from threatening the concept of freedom, is absolutely essential to it."

"The very idea of dehumanization is predicated on the idea that there is a human essence which has, in some fundamental sense, been degraded."

"…equality is not sameness. A belief in sameness here is both irrelevant to the struggle for equal rights and inconsistent with the facts."

"We need the vast world…"

"Children, poets and scientists – that is, human beings who relate to life with a sense of humility and awe – have a particular prescience for wonder."
deschooling  unschooling  leisurearts  society  evolution  humans  human  equalrights  equality  variety  variation  humility  networks  peterkropotkin  marymidgley  community  connectivism  attention  presence  present  humanism  dehumanization  sameness  scientists  poets  curiosity  darwin  diversity  learning  education  ecology  wonder  religion  eilonschwartz  johndewey  2012  randallszott  neoteny  artleisure  charlesdarwin 
october 2012 by robertogreco
Collaborative Workspaces: Not All They're Cracked Up to Be - Design - The Atlantic Cities
"Being a part of group is awesome (go team!) but so is individual effort. The uncritical embrace of collaboration above all else can lead, as a social scientist at the SPUR panel remarked, to the reverse of what was intended: group-think, conformity, consensus for the sake of peace-making. Further, the suburban corporate campus, even when it attempts, as Facebook and Google are, to approximate urban environment, can often serve to exacerbate the type of self-reinforcing behaviors Bill Bishop explored a few years ago in his book, The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart. Forest City’s Alexa Arena, another participant in the SPUR panel, says that her company’s anthropological research while working on the more iterative workspace model seen in its 5M Project revealed that employees working in these environments found that their best ideas came not while in that bustling, lively office but more likely when they were in their own neighborhoods hanging…"
schooldesign  classroomdesign  2012  variety  adaptability  flexibility  work  attention  furniture  openstudioproject  openstudio  lcproject  tcsnmy  allornothing  unintendedconsequences  brainstorming  collaboration  susancain  extroverts  introverts  howwework  officedesign  architecture  design  workplace  workspace  allisonarieff  groupthink  solitude  productivity  workspaces 
january 2012 by robertogreco
SpeEdChange: Changing Gears 2012: reconsidering what "literature" means
"So my seventh step in Changing Gears 2012 is to look as widely as you can for the literature which will touch your students, for the canon which will help them know themselves and our world. This matters. When we prescribe a Common Core we proscribe all that lies beyond that, and what lies beyond is truly the 99 percent."
storytelling  variety  learning  deschooling  unschooling  communication  expression  video  literacy  2012  commoncore  literature  irasocol  culture  reading 
january 2012 by robertogreco
Quote of the Day :: IDEA ["Compulsory Mis-Education by Paul Goodman…quote…remarkably summarizes IDEA's goals."]
"Thus at present, facing a a confusing state of automated technology, excessive urbanization, & entirely new patterns of work & leisure, the best educational brains ought to be devoting themselves to *various* means of educating & paths of growing up, appropriate to various talents, conditions, & careers. We should be experimenting / different kinds of school, no school at all, the real city as school, farm schools, practical apprenticeships, guided travel, work camps, little theatres & local newspapers, & community service. Many others…Probably more than anything, we need a community, & community spirit, in which many adults who know something, & not only professional teachers, pay attention to the young."

…I recognize…experimentation Goodman is referring to.

Big Picture Learning
Democratic/SudVal/Free schools
Unschooling groups and families
Unschooling Adventures Group
Place-based education
Online Education
Specialized schools"
paulgoodman  education  unschooling  deschooling  variety  alternative  alternativeeducation  zulekairvin  bigpictureschools  onlinelearning  democraticschools  sudburyschools  freeschools  place-basededucation  situatedlearning  cityasclassroom  community  servicelearning  apprenticeships  guidedtravel  farmschools  diversity  learning  lcproject  tcsnmy  experimentation  choice  place-basedlearning  place-based  place-basedpedagogy 
july 2011 by robertogreco
OBIA, THE THIRD [Gary Provost on sentence variety in writing]
"This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals–sounds that say listen to this, it is important."<br />
—Gary Provost 
writing  sentences  variation  variety  classideas 
july 2011 by robertogreco
SpeEdChange: A physical place for virtual education
"…physical place is importan…beautiful…flexible…interactive. Kids should be free to come & go, but I'd like them to want to stay. Kids should have the tools they need there, & access to food & drink & other "comforts." & the faculty needs to be there too - not for supervision - but for interaction as students need & want.

…start w/ effective wireless capabilities in your "Physical Space for Virtual Learning," …4G comes in well…a Tool Crib of devices…lots of different kinds of seating. Tables and floor space for collaboration, and spaces - like music practice rooms - for solitude or quiet…furniture should all be movable, and probably whimsical in some ways…place for play…variety to the space, variety to the time, and variety in staff interaction…lighting varies…noise levels…vary…Don't pick "50 year" furniture.

Think of MeetUps linked to any possible subject of mutual interests. Hold Hack Days geared to music or games or teaching or anything. And invite the community in…"
schooldesign  tcsnmy  lcproject  learning  irasocol  2011  space  place  unschooling  deschooling  education  community  furniture  schools  teaching  meetups  meetingplace  play  hackdays  hackerspaces  variety  diversity 
july 2011 by robertogreco
How To Raise A Superstar [If true, this is huge endorsement of small, progressive schools where the emphasis is not on competition, but on exposure, experience, and unstructured time, where all students are given the chance to participate.]
"smaller cities offer more opportunities for unstructured play…to hone general coordination, power, & athletic skills. These longer hours of play also allow kids to experience successes (& failures) in different settings…likely toughens their attitudes in general…important advantage of small towns…actually less competitive…allowing kids to sample & explore many different sports. (I grew up in big city,…sports career basically ended at 13. I could no longer compete w/ other kids my age.) While conventional wisdom assumes it’s best to focus on single sport ASAP, & compete in most rigorous arena…probably a mistake, both for psychological & physical reasons…While deliberate practice remains absolutely crucial, it’s important to remember that most important skills we develop at early age are not domain specific…real importance of early childhood has to do w/ development of general cognitive & non-cognitive traits, such as self-control, patience, grit, & willingness to practice"
jonahlehrer  children  childhood  biology  learning  cognition  education  sports  psychology  practice  tigerwoods  performance  competition  urban  rural  tcsnmy  confidence  persistence  self-control  patience  grit  self-confidence  athletics  athletes  variety  toshare  topost  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  sampling  malcolmgladwell  burnout  specialization  generalists  coordination  success  failure  play  unstructuredtime  specialists 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Seth's Blog: Thirsty
"I've noticed that people who read a lot of blogs and a lot of books also tend to be intellectually curious, thirsty for knowledge, quicker to adopt new ideas and more likely to do important work.
curiosity  reading  success  sethgodin  entrepreneurship  cv  generalists  knowledge  variety 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » More Than One Degree
"No one should be allowed to do what they’re diploma (or whatever..) says, especially if they have three of those diplomas — e.g. BS, MS, Ph.D. all in Computer Science or whatever. Should be a law. The other law? Switch what you do every 3-5 years..really. Versatility & variety & polymathic approaches to doing things. Depth through expanse and experience beyond chasing the same stuff for an entire education, or an entire career."
undisciplinarity  polymaths  cv  education  reinvention  learning  tcsnmy  curiosity  variety  versatility  julianbleecker 
april 2009 by robertogreco
Dinosaurs and Robots: NY Times: The Los Angeles of Ry Cooder and Mister Jalopy
"There is the Los Angeles that people imagine of red carpet premieres, Botox lunches, velvet rope nightclubs, Venice bodybuilders and tony boutiques. It is not a fable. That is real. Or, at least, it physically exists. Then, there is the Los Angeles that I know. Aerospace surplus hardware stores...sprawling thrift stores...gold miners eager to show their biggest nuggets, fishing for carp in the Los Angeles River, optimists taking over art museums...the gem vault at the Natural History Museum, the szechuan peppercorns of Alhambra...sneaker shops of Little Tokyo, imported coldcuts at Monte Carlo Deli, Japanese garden on roof of the New Otani Hotel, bicycle swap at the Encino Velodrome...mustard at Philipes, the dimsum carts of Monterey Park...yardage of the Garment District...Abe Lincoln's hat at the Huntington Library, the camillia forest of Descanso Garden...genius at the Museum of Jurassic Technology, chile pepper booth at the Grand Central Market..."
losangeles  nostalgia  place  variety  glvo 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Online NewsHour: Report | Ca. High School Teaches High Tech | April 17, 2008 | PBS
"There is not one solution for a community of 100,000 people. Ergo, there is not one solution for a state; ergo, there is not one solution for a country. No, we need a quiver. That is what massive customization is about. That is what the future is about, and that's what globalization is about. We need a quiver of differentiated options for people. That's what we need. And this is one of them, and there are others."
education  policy  choice  variety  schools  public  larryrosenstock  change  reform  options  learning  technology  hightechhigh  sandiego  charterschools 
august 2008 by robertogreco
KPBS > News > Local News - High Tech High Leader Heads to DNC
"Rosenstock: I'm a strong believer in moving away from monolithic solutions. I think we need places like High Tech High and we need places like other types of schools that are differentiated from the norm in terms of practices. And we don't see enough of those."
education  policy  choice  variety  schools  public  larryrosenstock  change  reform  options  learning  technology  hightechhigh  sandiego  charterschools 
august 2008 by robertogreco
PopMatters | Columns | Rob Horning | Marginal Utility | The Design Imperative
"We are consigned to communicating through design, but it’s an impoverished language that can only say one thing: “That’s cool.” Design ceases to serve our needs, and the superficial qualities of useful things end up cannibalizing their functionality. The palpability of the design interferes, distracts from the activity an item is supposed to be helping you do. The activity becomes subordinate to the tools. You become the tool."
design  critique  criticism  function  form  utility  popular  aesthetics  retail  target  consumerism  consumer  society  competition  popularity  symbolism  industrial  products  customization  hipsters  marketing  image  personality  handmade  books  possessions  materialism  objects  fashion  style  commerce  variety  hipsterism 
january 2008 by robertogreco

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