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How Much Do Bay Area Companies Make From Pentagon Contracts? #FortressBayArea Counties, Ranked
"Contracts listed from period 2000–2016. Each link directs to an alphabetical listing of that county’s defense contract recipients.

Congratulations to Sonoma County for being the least war-dependent county in the bay.

#1- Santa Clara County: $76,954,218,592 with 44,064 contracts awarded
-Avg. contract size: $1,746,419

#2- San Francisco County: $24,452,034,199 with 4,627 contracts awarded
-Avg. contract size: $5,284,641

#3- San Mateo County: $10,203,267,253 with 18,760 contracts awarded
-Avg. contract size: $543,884

#4- Contra Costa County: $9,763,505,720 with 12,626 contracts awarded
-Avg. contract size: $773,285

#5- Alameda County: $4,900,517,599 with 36,329 contracts awarded
-Avg. contract size: $134,892

#6- Napa County: $1,400,374,105 with 580 contracts awarded
-Avg. contract size: $2,414,438

#7- Solano County: $1,303,146,825 with 4,328 contracts awarded
-Avg. contract size: $301,096

#8- Marin County: $897,324,225 with 2,319 contracts awarded
-Avg. contract size: $386,944

#9- Sonoma County: $645,835,278 with 4,030 contracts awarded
-Avg. contract size: $160,256

Counties On The Periphery Of The 9-County Bay Area, North to South

Yolo County: $8,233,195,943 with 2,114 contracts awarded
-Avg. contract size: $3,894,605

Sacramento County: $40,545,388,816 with 13,113 contracts awarded
-Avg. contract size: $3,091,999

San Joaquin County: $1,205,428,067 with 3,396 contracts awarded
-Avg. contract size: $354,955

Santa Cruz County: $1,246,878,193 with 1,764 contracts awarded
-Avg. contract size: $706,847"
bayarea  sanfrancisco  siliconvalley  war  military  militaryindustrialcomplex  via:javierarbona 
4 weeks ago by robertogreco
The Self-Help Myth by Erica Kohl-Arenas - Paperback - University of California Press
[See also: https://www.ericakohlarenas.com/book-the-self-help-myth ]

"Can philanthropy alleviate inequality? Do antipoverty programs work on the ground? In this eye-opening analysis, Erica Kohl-Arenas bores deeply into how these issues play out in California’s Central Valley, which is one of the wealthiest agricultural production regions in the world and also home to the poorest people in the United States.

Through the lens of a provocative set of case studies, The Self-Help Myth reveals how philanthropy maintains systems of inequality by attracting attention to the behavior of poor people while shifting the focus away from structural inequities and relationships of power that produce poverty. In Fresno County, for example, which has a $5.6 billion-plus agricultural industry, migrant farm workers depend heavily on food banks, religious organizations, and family networks to feed and clothe their families. Foundation professionals espouse well-intentioned, hopeful strategies to improve the lives of the poor. These strategies contain specific ideas—in philanthropy terminology, “theories of change”— that rely on traditional American ideals of individualism and hard work, such as self-help, civic participation, and mutual prosperity. But when used in partnership with well-defined limits around what foundations will and will not fund, these ideals become fuzzy concepts promoting professional and institutional behaviors that leave relationships of poverty and inequality untouched."
philanthropicindustrialcomplex  philanthropy  charitableindustrialcomplex  charity  via:javierarbona  ericakohl-arenas  inequality  economics  poverty  capitalism  power  control  2015 
october 2018 by robertogreco
A RESPONSE TO ABOLITIONIST PLANNING: THERE IS NO ROOM FOR ‘PLANNERS’ IN THE MOVEMENT FOR ABOLITION | Progressive City | International
"Abolition is a movement that seeks to end prisons, police, and border walls. Why? They are institutions of war built on colonial and capitalist legacies of indigenous, Black, brown, Asian and poor violence. They only produce violence and need to be abolished. The fight for abolition is aside from, and not something that can be fully incorporated into, ‘professional planning’ because planning has been a central conduit of this violence. This is a crucial point not stated in the Abolitionist Planning article; the authors solely focus on our contemporary context of Trump and the role of professional planning in fighting against it. However, the problem is more expansive than the era of Donald Trump. The problem is professional planning as an institution of harm complicit in the making of penal systems, directly or indirectly. In my response to Abolitionist Planning, I want to foreclose the use of abolition as rhetoric for bolstering the institution of planning while also suggesting what limited possibilities ‘professional planning’, an act of disciplining space, can contribute to this movement.

DITCH THE WHITE COLLAR

Abolition is a verb. Another word for abolition is freedom. Freedom is to end violence or unfreedom. If someone is not free we are all not free. Therefore, there is no final plan when it comes to abolition. We know many unfreedoms occur through planning: segregation, fracking, disenfranchisement and slum housing, to name a few. These unfreedoms we take as common-sense inequalities, yet, they are interdependent to the planning of prisons, implementation of police and surveillance through virtual and physical border walls. Cities with budgets, big and small, plan their jails, police and surveillance techniques as connected to how neighborhoods are planned (see Jack Norton's work).

What does this mean for ‘planners’? Here, I am not referring to insurgent planners – those who continuously put freedom into motion to turn the tide of the violence of land extraction and enslavement without a paycheck or job title – but to the ‘planners’ who get degrees and/or compensation from institutions of colonial harm. It means that planners must see how, from the neighborhood block to the jail cell, inequity is unfreedom. It means that ‘planners’ must evade their job titles, offices and practices of resource-hoarding. The Abolitionist Planning piece suggests that planners have a role if they become more inclusive in their practice and eliminate racial liberalism. However, inclusivity continues to put the power in the ‘planners’ hand. What we end up doing is suggesting that professional planning work is participatory, meaning we invite people without the paycheck or title of planners to plan with us. If liberal, we ask participants to tell us what to do only to use a part of it, and if conservative, we have them fill out a survey. Neither of these approaches of incorporation help; rather, they exacerbate the frustrations of those whose lives depend on the outcomes of such professional planning. Thus, participation disciplines and maintains forms of harm and stifles resistance.

To this point, let me turn to the limited capacity ‘planners’ have. The seemingly social justice orientation of social justice ‘planners’ has many tenets. Nonetheless, social justice planners often have full time jobs working at a not-for-profit organization, being the community relations personnel for a business improvement district, or worse, contributing to municipal economic development departments, which in most cases are servicing developers. Most of these jobs do one thing: they contribute to moderate or reformist solutions. Yet, reformist solutions keep institutions of oppression intact, they do not transform them. For example, let us think about Skid Row, Los Angeles, a social service hub that serves homeless and poor downtown Angelinos. The implementation of a Homeless Reduction Strategy or Safer Cities Initiative in 2006 led to mass incarceration of these residents where within the first two years Los Angeles Police Department conducted 19,000 arrests, 24,000 citation issuances as well as the incarceration of 2,000 residents, and the dismantling of 2,800 self-made housing (see Gary Blasi and Forrest Stuart).

Edward Jones and other plaintiffs won a class action lawsuit against these examples of the criminalization of the homeless. The settlement resulted in a reform: policing homelessness did not occur through homeless sleeping hours. In addition, police received diversity training. This did not limit policing. Similar rates of incarceration occurred. Here, state reforms that support gentrification continue policing the homeless. Instead we must aim to produce what Ruth Wilson Gilmore calls non-reformist reforms, reforms that transform institutions to produce life-fulfilling alternatives rather than harm. Out of the Jones settlement, a non-reformist reform occurred: the city was mandated to build 1,300 single room occupancy units to house the nearly 1,500 to 2,500 homeless people in Skid Row.

This reoriented public discourse, revealing that policing the homeless was not about housing them. Furthermore, it led to abolitionist vision to “House Keys Not Handcuffs”. If the job leaves little room for What Abolitionists Do, ‘planners’ must ditch the white collar. Here, we can actively engage and contribute to movements outside of our job title as ‘planners’. In a history and theory of planning class I taught, I asked my students: ‘what are you willing to do on your Saturdays if your planning job is not contributing to change?’ We must realize and encourage an off-the-books approach or informal participation in radical movements that are not attached to promoting careers.

THE HELL WITH TRAINING

Students become ‘planners’ through planning education. These departments often have students do studio work for a non-profit or a for-profit organization. I will not belabor the point about divesting from profit-making/resource-hoarding organizations; however, non-profits are an important location of concern. They are often where planners send their planning kids to work, but they are a form of professionalization. As INCITE!’s The Revolution will not be Funded has described, not-for-profit organizations have been created out of the 1960s revolutionary movements with government and foundation funding to control such movements and quell dissent. Nonetheless, we send our ‘planning’ students to non-profit jobs which make reformist changes. Our students then think that they are contributing to the solution. In some cases, they are. In the case of abolition, many are not. Is it the students’ fault? No. It is often that students are pushing up against curriculum in the white planning profession. The larger problem is the field of professional planning which is complacent in the reproduction of institutional violence.

Adding to this point, we can divert from training students and ourselves from perpetuating institutional harm by changing the curriculum and strategy of professional planning. For starters, stop centering the legacy of dead white planners who have been a tool of colonization. The work of the late Clyde Woods on regional and local planning in Mississippi and New Orleans should be assigned in the first week of our theory and history courses rather than listed as suggested readings or not even on the syllabus. As well, collective syllabi like Prison Abolition Syllabus should be adopted. Most importantly, let us teach our students how to subvert the limitations of professional planning. adrienne maree brown’s groundbreaking book Emergent Strategy may be a technique of pedagogy. Upset at the limited possibilities for change as an executive director of a non-profit, Brown synthesized a framework of planning that emanates out of the work of Black queer scientific fiction writer, Octavia Butler. In her work, Brown suggests that the way change occurs is through our active reworking of barriers: grant deadlines and protocols, limited policies and strictures of organizing. She asks us to experiment within and outside of institutions and organizations to change them. Let’s read and teach Octavia Butler as well as adrienne maree brown (in that order) so that we can de-professionalize to organize. This will give students strategies of circumnavigating thick institutions that perpetuate harm. I believe more training in this way may lead to students’ ability to produce abolitionist, non-reformist reforms through organizing within organizations that would otherwise maintain institutions of harm. This is already happening. Students writing the Abolitionist Planning guide and the Hindsight planning conference that took place in New York which spotlighted women of color in planning, are steps in that direction. However, most of these approaches continue to hone in on incorporation – inviting the language of abolition, blackness, brownness, or indigenous knowledge. They don’t contribute to them. However, in order to be a part of liberating movements, we must build those movements, not incorporate them to build the profession of planning.

Abolition is not, nor ever will be, about ‘planners’. It never has been. Instead, it is about practitioners of freedom dreams that occur outside of planning education and profession. Contributing to these movements and redistributing resources to them is a step in what ‘planners’ can do."
abolition  deshonaydozier  via:javierarbona  2018  planning  edwardjones  policing  homeless  homelessness  ruthwilsongilmore  reform  jacknorton  borders  capitalism  colonialism  donaltrump  professionalization  unfreedoms  freedom  liberation  planners  race  racism  liberalism  socialjustice  skidrow  losangeles  garyblasi  forreststuart 
august 2018 by robertogreco
Forum 34 | Sara Ahmed | Complaint: Diversity Work, Feminism, and Institutions - YouTube
"This lecture will draw on interviews with students and staff who have made (or have considered making) complaints about abuses of power within universities. It will show how feminist complaint can be a form of diversity work: as the work you would have to do before some populations can be included within institutions. We learn about the institutional “as usual” from those who are trying to transform institutions. Finally, the lecture will discuss how identifying and challenging abuses of power teaches us about
the mechanics of power."
saraahmed  2018  via:javierarbona  power  highered  highereducation  bullying  complaint  diversity  race  racism  feminism  gender  institution  ableism  abuseofpower  universities  colleges 
february 2018 by robertogreco
Critic and poet Fred Moten is profiled by Jesse McCarthy | Harvard Magazine
"IN 2013, a manifesto entitled The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study began making the rounds among the growing pool of nervous graduate students, harried adjuncts, un-tenured professors, and postdocs whirling through the nation’s faculty lounges. The Undercommons was published by the small anarchist press Autonomedia and made freely available for download; in practice, however, it circulated by word of mouth, copies of the PDF forwarded like samizdat literature for those in the know. On the surface, the text is an analysis of alienated academic labor at the contemporary American university. But it’s also more radical than that: it is a manual for free thinking, a defiant call to dissent within educational institutions that betray their liberal credos, filling their coffers even as they prepare students, armed with liberal arts degrees and “critical thinking” skills, to helm a social and economic order in which, “to work…is to be asked, more and more, to do without thinking, to feel without emotion, to move without friction, to adapt without question, to translate without pause, to desire without purpose, to connect without interruption.”

For those with little or no knowledge of black studies, the text’s deployment of terms like “fugitivity” and “undercommons” may seem baffling. To those in the circle, however, this lexicon of continental philosophy, remixed with a poetic and prophetic fire resembling Amiri Baraka’s, bears the signature of one of the most brilliant practitioners of black studies working today: the scholar and poet Fred Moten ’84."



"This past fall, Moten took up a new position in the department of performance studies at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, arriving from Los Angeles and a teaching appointment at the University of California at Riverside. In early September, his office was still a bare room with a single high window looking out over Broadway. He hadn’t had a chance to unpack his library, but already a small stack of books on jazz theory, performance, and quantum mechanics rested in a pile near his desk. It soon became clear, however, that he is the kind of thinker who keeps all his favorite books in his head, anyway. His Paul Laurence Dunbar is always at his fingertips, and he weaves passages from Karl Marx, Immanuel Kant, or Hortense Spillers into his conversation with equal facility.

In someone else this learnedness could come off as intimidating, but in Moten it’s just the opposite. Something about his composure, his relaxed attentiveness, the way he shakes his head with knowing laughter as he pauses over the direction he’s about to take with a question, instantly erases any stuffiness: one can imagine the exact same conversation taking place on the sidelines of a cookout. And then there’s his voice: warm, low, and propelled by a mellow cadence that breaks complex clauses into neat segments, their hushed, conspiratorial air approaching aphorism. At one point, Moten asked about my dissertation, which I confessed, sheepishly, was kind of a mess. His eyes lit up. He leaned back with a wide grin, his hands spreading out in front of him. “You know what a mess is?” He said. “In Arkansas, a mess is a unit of measure. Like of vegetables. Where my people come from folks might say: ‘You want a bushel?’ And you’ll say, ‘Nah, I want a mess.’ You know, like that great James Brown line: ‘Nobody can tell me how to use my mess.’ It’s a good thing to have. A mess is enough for a meal.”"



"One difficulty for outside readers encountering Moten’s work is that he tends to engage more with the avant-garde than with pop. It’s easy to see why the art world has embraced him: his taste gravitates toward the free-jazz end of the spectrum so strongly it’s as if he were on a mission, striving to experience all of creation at once—to play (as the title of a favorite Cecil Taylor album puts it) All the Notes. This spring, Moten is teaching a graduate course based on the works of choreographer Ralph Lemon and artist Glenn Ligon. In recent years he has collaborated with the artist Wu Tsang on installation and video art pieces, where they do things like practice the (slightly nostalgic) art of leaving voicemail messages for each other every day for two weeks without ever connecting, just riffing off snippets from each other’s notes. In another video short directed by Tsang, Moten—wearing a caftan and looking Sun Ra-ish—is filmed in “drag-frame” slow motion dancing to an a cappella rendition of the jazz standard “Girl Talk.”

By way of explanation, Moten recalls his old neighborhood. “I grew up around people who were weird. No one’s blackness was compromised by their weirdness, and by the same token,” he adds, “nobody’s weirdness was compromised by their blackness.” The current buzz (and sometimes backlash) over the cultural ascendancy of so-called black nerds, or “blerds,” allegedly incarnated by celebrities like Donald Glover, Neil deGrasse Tyson, or Issa Rae, leaves him somewhat annoyed. “In my mind I have this image of Sonny Boy Williamson wearing one of those harlequin suits he liked to wear. These dudes were strange, and I always felt that’s just essential to black culture. George Clinton is weird. Anybody that we care about, that we still pay attention to, they were weird.”

Weirdness for Moten can refer to cultural practices, but it also describes the willful idiosyncracy of his own work, which draws freely from tributaries of all kinds. In Black and Blur, the first book of his new three-volume collection, consent not to be a single being (published by Duke University Press), one finds essays on the Congolese painter Tshibumba Kanda-Matulu and C.L.R. James, François Girard’s Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould, a comparison between Trinidadian calypso and Charles Mingus records composed in response to the Little Rock Nine, David Hammon’s art installation Concerto in Black and Blue, Wittgenstein and the science fiction of Samuel Delany, a deconstruction of Theodor Adorno’s writings on music and a reconstruction of Saidiya Hartman’s arguments on violence. Sometimes the collision can happen within a single sentence: “Emily Dickinson and Harriet Jacobs, in their upper rooms, are beautiful,” he writes. “They renovate sequestration.”

Taken together, Moten’s writings feel like a Charlie Parker solo, or a Basquiat painting, in their gleeful yet deadly serious attempt to capture the profusion of ideas in flight. For him this fugitive quality is the point. We are not supposed to be satisfied with clear understanding, but instead motivated to continue improvising and imagining a utopian destination where a black cosmopolitanism—one created from below, rather than imposed from above—brings folks together.

For Moten, this flight of ideas begins in the flight of bodies: in the experience of slavery and the Middle Passage, which plays a crucial role in his thinking. “Who is more cosmopolitan than Equiano?” he asks rhetorically, citing the Igbo sailor and merchant who purchased his own freedom, joined the abolitionist movement in England, and published his famous autobiography in 1789. “People think cosmopolitanism is about having a business-class seat. The hold of the ship, among other things, produces a kind of cosmopolitanism, and it’s not just about contact with Europeans and transatlantic travel. When you put Fulani and Igbo together and they have to learn how to speak to each other, that’s also a language lab. The historical production of blackness is cosmopolitanism.”

What can one learn from the expression of people who refuse to be commodities, but also once were commodities? What does history look like, or the present, or the future, from the point of view of those who refuse the norms produced by systems of violence: who consent not to be a single being? These key concerns course through the entirety of Moten’s dazzling new trilogy, which assembles all his theoretical writings since In the Break. At a time of surging reactionary politics, ill feeling, and bad community, few thinkers seem so unburdened and unbeholden, so confident in their reading of the historical moment. Indeed, when faced with the inevitable question of the state of U.S. politics, Moten remains unfazed. “The thing I can’t stand is the Trump exceptionalism. Remember when Goldwater was embarrassing. And Reagan. And Bush. Trump is nothing new. This is what empire on the decline looks like. When each emperor is worse than the last.”

* * *

A THESIS that has often been attractive to black intellectuals (held dear, for example, by both W.E.B. Du Bois and Ralph Ellison) was that the United States without black people is too terrifying to contemplate; that all the evidence, on balance, suggests that blackness has actually been the single most humanizing—one could even say, slyly, the only “civilizing”—force in America. Moten takes strong exception. “The work of black culture was never to civilize America—it’s about the ongoing production of the alternative. At this point it’s about the preservation of the earth. To the extent that black culture has a historic mission, and I believe that it does—its mission is to uncivilize, to de-civilize, this country. Yes, this brutal structure was built on our backs; but if that was the case, it was so that when we stood up it would crumble.”

Despite these freighted words, Moten isn’t the brooding type. He’s pleased to be back in New York City, where he’ll be able to walk, instead of drive, his kids to school. He’s hopeful about new opportunities for travel, and excited to engage with local artists and poets. His wife, cultural studies scholar Laura Harris, is working on a study of the Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica, who is currently being “re-discovered” by American artists and critics. “I circulate babylon and translate for the new times,” opens another poem in The Feel Trio, … [more]
fredmoten  2017  2013  highereducation  highered  work  labor  anarchism  race  slavery  blackstudies  dissent  radicalism  via:javierarbona  resistance  blackness  bodies  aesthetics  amiribaraka  dukeellington  adrianpiper  billieholiday  nathanielmackey  poetry  scholarship  academia  rebellion  subversion  karlmarx  marxism  hortensespillers  kant  paullaurencedunbar  attentiveness  messes  messiness  johnashbery  ralphellison  webdubois  everyday  writing  undercommons  margins  liminality  betweenness  alternative  preservation  uncivilization  decivilization  consent  empire  imperialism  body  objects  cosmopolitanism  charlieparker  basquiat  weirdness  donaldglover  neildegrassetyson  issarae  georgeclinton  tshibumbakanda-matulu  charlesmingus  samueldelany  saidiyahartman  clrjames  françoisgirard  davidhammon  héliooiticica  lauraharris  charlesolson  susanhowe  criticism  art  stefanoharney  jacquesderrida  jean-michelbasquiat  theodoradorno 
december 2017 by robertogreco
Delete Your Account Podcast: An American Colony
"On this episode, Kumars is joined by guest co-host Samantha Jacobs, a Chicago-based comedy writer and member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL). Become a Patreon subscriber to hear our premium After Hours episode with Sam, in which we run the gamut from her PSL work to socialist memes, rap, and standup comedy. In the intro, we talk about the People's Congress of Resistance, a project of PSL and other organizations that Sam has been organizing around, as well as the health care debacle.

For the interview, Kumars and Sam talk to Sofía Gallisá Muriente, a Puerto Rican activist and artist who works mainly with video, photography, text and installation. Sofia's work has been displayed at the San Juan Poligraphic Triennial, Teorética, the Walker Art Center and the Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires. She’s currently one of the co-directors of Beta-Local, a non-profit supporting art and critical thought in Puerto Rico. After learning about how Sofia became involved in politics, we learn the history of Puerto Rico's transition from a US colony to a "free associated state", a gimmick designed to relieve scrutiny of Puerto Rico's lack of sovereignty while still facilitating exploitation by US companies. Sofia explains how the current crises gripping Puerto Rico, caused or exacerbated by the US government, are rooted in the legacy of colonialism and enshrined in Puerto Rico's own constitution. Puerto Rico owes over $70 billion to foreign investors, money it is constitutionally required to pay back before it can spend a penny on social services. We also learn about the often overlooked $50 billion needed to fund Puerto Rico's pension system, as well as steep Medicaid cuts and loss of tax breaks affecting the island. We discuss the recent referendum on statehood vs. independence vs. status quo, boycotted by over 80% of the country. Sofia explains that no side of the debate has a plan for how to deal with the current crises, making the statehood vs. independence question less relevant. The only thing that is certain is that prevailing institutions will never save Puerto Rico, and alternative, grassroots structures must be built to weather the storm.

You can follow Sam on Twitter at @comradeSammy. You can check out Sofia's work at her website [http://hatoreina.com/ ]."
puertorico  history  2017  via:javierarbona  sofíagallisámuriente  kumarssalehi  samanthajacobs  us  politics  resistance  activism  sanjuan  betalocal  colonialism  exploitation  socialism  statehood  independence 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Book Review: Academic Conferences as Neoliberal Commodities by Donald J. Nicolson | LSE Review of Books
"What role do academic conferences play in the construction of an academic career? In Academic Conferences as Neoliberal Commodities, Donald J. Nicolson examines the link between the value attributed to participation in academic conferences and the broader neoliberalisation of the academy. Fawzia Haeri Mazanderani welcomes this short book for beginning a meaningful conversation about the significance of this aspect of academic life.

******

While rarely interrogated for the role that they play, academic conferences form a significant part in the construction of an academic career. Any aspiring, or indeed expiring, academic has at some point presented at, or attended, a conference. How many researchers have sat sleepily in a stuffy room, listening to the chap who ate all the egg-and-cress sandwiches at lunch drone on about something that they suspect might be interesting and important, but which they can’t quite pay attention to because they are too distracted with thoughts of their own impending presentation? How many researchers have made obligatory nods to a slideshow that could have been in a different language for all they understood, and then bit their lip in silence when someone asked a ten-minute question that was not really a question but instead sounded suspiciously like self-aggrandisement?

If such ponderings resonate with you, then you have probably found yourself like Donald J. Nicolson, speculating on the value and purpose of attending an academic conference. Nicolson’s book Academic Conferences as Neoliberal Commodities provides an exploratory study into conferences in the social sciences, looking explicitly at the link between conferences and the neoliberalism of academia itself. In this strikingly original work, the author draws upon an assortment of methods, including an analysis of five conference case studies, notes made at conferences he personally attended, conference records, abstract booklets and interviews with people from a range of backgrounds. The novel layout of the book starts each chapter as though a conference presentation, with an abstract and keywords. Opening with a ‘Welcome’, the reader moves through several ‘parallel’ sessions before the ‘Closing Keynote’. Nicolson, a freelance writer with a background in academic research, writes independently of any university or funding body and employs a lucid writing style that makes for an accessible and enjoyable read.

After reflecting upon the difficulties of defining ‘neoliberal’, he argues that, ultimately, the neoliberalisation of the university has resulted in changes whereby in place of the traditional professional culture of open intellectual enquiry and debate, there is now an institutional stress on measurable performance. By seeing knowledge as a product that can arise from a conference, Nicolson considers such events as having a role in the ‘knowledge enterprise’ industry that by promoting a method, data set or research cause as a commodity, becomes the product and marketplace itself. The academic culture of conferences themselves may vary: a point noted by Les Back when he characterises Australian ones as ‘vicious and boozy’, US conferences as ‘status conscious and networking-obsessed’ and British equivalents as ‘polite and consensual’. While recognising that reasons for attending conferences are also variable, the book nonetheless demonstrates how the overarching function of the conference lies in its premise of promoting intellectual communication.

Acknowledging that academia plays out differently across contexts, the book alludes to what conferences of our increasingly neoliberal future may look like. Nicolson makes brief references to the rise of ‘5 minute presentations’ and ‘posters’, and relays the potential role of Twitter as well as variants on the academic conference, such as TED Talks. While his own study is not extensive, this raises the need for further exploration of the different directions in which academic conferences could be heading and the ways in which technology is changing the traditional structure of the conference.

Appreciating that ‘the Helsinki Conference would not have been the same had it been conducted as a group email’ (17), the author also considers the constraints of conference attendance where travel plays a pertinent role. He raises concerns about the environmental impact of carbon emissions from airplanes and money wasted on conferences. While academics from universities in the northern hemisphere may enjoy generous travel budgets and mobility, this is generally not the case for researchers coming from the Global South. Nicolson reflects upon how last year, at the biannual conference of the African Studies Association of the United Kingdom, an unconfirmed number of delegates were unable to attend due to visa refusals. Where a conference is hosted inevitably influences who can attend, and as such has implications for knowledge sharing and development: a pressing concern in a world of increasing walls. Nicolson importantly points out that while conferences are often labelled ‘international’ and ‘global’, the reality is that they often have a homogenising effect given that the intellectual environment within which they are held largely celebrates Anglo-American, English-speaking academic culture.

The book notes that a key reason for people to go to conferences is to engage with colleagues in their field and establish networks. As such, conferences can help prevent the isolation often associated with academia. In reality, however, conferences can themselves be potentially alienating, and such socialising may not come naturally to everyone. This is particularly the case given the ambiguous nature of ‘professional socialisation’, whereby one partakes in the awkward juggling act of grasping at something intelligent to say, while at the same time not too intelligent, lest you come across as if you aren’t a well-rounded person who has no interests beyond the article that is currently keeping you up at night. This socialisation may be traditionally performed over the conference dinner, a seemingly cordial opportunity for delegates to make new acquaintances or catch up with colleagues. Some of Nicolson’s respondents reflected upon how the ‘real work’ at a conference happens at the bar (53). While this point is not merely about enjoying an alcoholic beverage but rather the significance of face-to-face interaction, it again reflects the Eurocentric manner by which professional socialisation often takes place within academia. This is a point that Nicolson unfortunately does not reflect upon, but which might have bearing for scholars who do not drink alcohol for personal reasons or due to religious practices. Another limitation of the book, which the author duly acknowledges, is that the research reported does not provide a representative sample of conferences or interviewees.

Nonetheless, while narrow in its scope, Academic Conferences as Neoliberal Commodities represents the start of a meaningful conversation, and is highly recommended to anyone working within the social sciences who aspires to make the most out of this unexplored yet integral part of performing and producing academia. The lingering impression for me is that while calls for abstracts at conferences often express ambitious aims and desires to transform the face of a field, there is little evidence that conferences in themselves have led to ground-breaking change. Yet, as noted by Nicolson, the very notion of conferences having a measurable impact is in itself a reflection of neoliberal thinking whereby everything has a cost and a value. The examples in the book highlight how the impact of a conference need not be that it is paradigm-defining, but can be experienced at a personal level. This might just be through the strategic rationale of fluffing out one’s CV or through the way in which, if the conference is a good one, it could make the attendee feel excited and enthused about research, triggering new ideas. While demonstrating that the individual gain of conferences fits with neoliberal ideology, there is room to explore how conferences could serve as spaces for collaboration, and indeed, for resistance of the same structures that perpetuate their existence."

[via: https://twitter.com/AlJavieera/status/883043997362470912 ]
via:javierarbona  books  conferences  events  economics  2017  academia  scholarship  highered  highereducation  fawziahaerimazanderani  donaldnicolson  lesback  education 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Ethnographies of Conferences and Trade Fairs - Shaping | Hege Høyer Leivestad | Springer
"This anthology is an attempt to make sense of conferences and trade fairs as phenomena in contemporary society. The authors describe how these large-scale professional gatherings have become key sites for making and negotiating both industries and individual professions. In fact, during the past few decades, conferences and trade fairs have become a significant global industry in their own right. The editors assert that large-scale professional gatherings are remarkable events that require deeper analysis and scholarly attention."

[via: https://twitter.com/AlJavieera/status/883044558099030016 ]
ethnography  conferences  tradefairs  economics  via:javierarbona  books  attention  academia  scholarship  professionalization  highered  highereducation 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Under the Mango Tree—Sites of Learning - documenta 14
"To come under the shade of this mango tree with such deliberateness and to experience the fulfillment of solitude emphasize my need for communion. While I am physically alone proves that I understand the essentiality of to be with.
—Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Heart

The structures of formal education systems are increasingly reaching their limits due to their outmoded and inflexible foundations. However, informal and artist-led educational initiatives are taking root. documenta 14’s aneducation and ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) are organizing the gathering of Under the Mango Tree—Sites of Learning, which addresses current educational shifts by inviting different artistic initiatives and schools from multiple geographies to come to Kassel. These different organizations are critically positioned both within and outside the Western canon.

With a special emphasis on historical and contemporary accounts and examples from nonhierarchical models of learning, the gathering presents Indigenous, communal practices of producing and preserving knowledge as well as initiatives that reflect on postcolonial knowledge production in nonhierarchical settings.

The some twenty contributors are each working towards new vantage points for a contemporary and broadened understanding of learning and knowledge production. Their work is presented in forms ranging from lectures to performances and workshops, in which active participation is welcome. Drawing on the model of a communal garden as a place of teaching and learning, the gathering takes place at various sites in Kassel during documenta 14.

Contributing projects, initiatives, and schools: Óscar Andrade Castro and Daniela Salgado Cofré (Ciudad Abierta), David Chirwa (Rockston Studio 1985), Sanchayan Ghosh (Santiniketan), Rangoato Hlasane (Keleketla! Library), Anton Kats (Narrowcast House), Duane Linklater, Tanya Lukin Linklater and cheyanne turions (Wood Land School), Sofía Olascoaga, Alessandra Pomarico (Free Home University), Marcelo Rezende, Syafiatudina (KUNCI), Jorge I. González Santos (Escuela de Oficio), Marinella Senatore (The School of Narrative Dance), and others

*Please register for the gathering by filling in the form at: www.ifa.de/en/events/under-the-mango-tree.html. More information will be provided upon registration.

Under the Mango Tree is a cooperation between documenta 14 aneducation and the Visual Arts Department of ifa (Institut für Auslandbeziehungen).

The gathering is supported by a partnership with ArtsEverywhere, an online platform by Musagetes, which discusses the arts in relation to all aspects of the world around us."
via:javierarbona  documenta14  artschool  artschools  education  sfsh  pedagogy  unschooling  deschooling  aneducation  learning  paolofreire  ciudadabierta  óscarandradecastro  danielasalgado  davidchirwa  rockstonstudio1985  sanchayanghosh  santiniketan  rangoatohlasane  keleketla!library  antonkatsnarrowcasthouse  duanelinklater  tanyalukinlinklater  cheyanneturions  woodlandschool  sofíaolascoaga  alessandrapomarico  freehomeuniversity  marcelorezende  syafiatudina  KUNCI  jorgegonzálezsantos  escueladeoficio  marinellasenatore  theschoolofmarrativedance  altgdp  knowledgeproduction  workshops  events  horizontality  indigenous  communal  postcolonialism  hierarchy  amereida 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Richard Walker: The Golden State Adrift. New Left Review 66, November-December 2010.
"Since the apotheosis of the state’s favourite son Ronald Reagan, California has been at the forefront of the neoliberal turn in global capitalism. The story of its woes will sound familiar to observers across Europe, North America and Japan, suffering from the neoliberal era’s trademark features: financial frenzy, degraded public services, stagnant wages and deepening class and race inequality. But given its previous vanguard status, the Golden State should not be seen as just one more case of a general malaise. Its dire situation provides not only a sad commentary on the economic and political morass into which liberal democracies have sunk; it is a cautionary tale for what may lie ahead for the rest of the global North."



"California’s government is in profound disarray. The proximate cause is the worst fiscal crisis in the United States, echoing at a distance that of New York in the 1970s. Behind the budgetary mess is a political deadlock in which the majority no longer rules, the legislature no longer legislates, and offices are up for sale. At a deeper level, the breakdown stems from the long domination of politics by the moneyed elite and an ageing white minority unwilling to provide for the needs of a dramatically reconstituted populace.

The Golden State is now in permanent fiscal crisis. It has the largest budget in the country after the federal government—about $100 billion per year at its 2006 peak—and the largest budget deficit of any state: $35 billion in 2009–10 and $20 billion for 2010–11. The state’s shortfall accounts for one-fifth of the total $100 billion deficit of all fifty states. These fiscal woes are not new. They stem in large measure from the woefully inadequate and inequitable tax system, in which property is minimally taxed—at 1 per cent of cash value—and corporations bear a light burden: at most 10 per cent. Until the late 1970s, California had one of the most progressive tax systems in the country, but since then there has been a steady rollback of taxation. In the 1970s, it was one of the top four states in taxation and spending relative to income, whereas it is now in the middle of the pack.

The lynchpin of the anti-tax offensive is Proposition 13, passed by state-wide referendum in 1978, which capped local property taxes and required a two-thirds majority in the state legislature for all subsequent tax increases—a daunting barrier if there is organized opposition. Proposition 13 was the brainchild of Howard Jarvis, a lobbyist for the Los Angeles Apartment Owners’ Association. Support for it came not so much from voters in revolt against Big Government as from discontent with rising housing costs and property-tax assessments. But it was to prove a bridgehead for American neoliberalism, which triumphed two years later with Reagan’s ascent to the presidency."



"The fiscal crisis overlays a profound failure of politics and government in California. The origins of the stalemate lie in the decline of the legislative branch, which has popularity ratings even lower than Schwarzenegger’s. Led by Assembly Speaker Jesse Unruh in the 1960s, California’s legislature was admired across the country for its professionalism. But by the 1980s, under Speaker Willie Brown, it had become largely a patronage system for the Democratic Party, which has controlled the state legislature continuously since 1959. Republicans went after Brown and the majority party by means of a ballot proposition imposing term limits on elected officials in 1990. Term limits neutered the legislature, taking away its collective knowledge, professional experience and most forceful voices, along with much of the staff vital to well-considered legislation. Sold as a way of limiting the influence of ‘special interests’, term limits have reinforced the grip of industry lobbyists over legislators."



"Efforts to jettison Proposition 13, such as that by the public-sector unions in 2004, have been stillborn because the Democratic Party leadership refuses to touch the ‘third rail’ of California politics. Most left-liberal commentators attribute this impasse to an anti-tax electorate and organized opposition from the right, but this does not square with the evidence. Electorally, the Democrats have easily dominated the state for the last four decades: both houses of the legislature, one or both us Senate seats, the majority of the House delegation, and the mayoralties of Los Angeles, San Jose, Oakland and San Francisco; and, from Clinton onwards, every Democrat presidential candidate has carried the state by at least 10 per cent.

Rather than electoral vulnerability, it is the Democrats’ fundamental identification with the agenda of Silicon Valley, Hollywood and financiers—and dependence on money from these sources—that explains their unwillingness to touch the existing system."



"The victor, septuagenarian Democrat Jerry Brown, was governor of the state from 1975–83 and mayor of Oakland from 1999–2007; his most recent post was that of state Attorney General. Once a knight-errant of the liberal-left, it was his blunders in dealing with a budget surplus that paved the way for Proposition 13, and his harping on the theme of an ‘era of limits’ made him a rhetorical precursor to neoliberalism. In Oakland, his main contribution was to revivify the downtown area through massive condo development in the midst of the housing boom; he was also instrumental in pushing through charter schools. Brown’s low-key campaign kept its promises vague, but adhered to a broadly neoliberal agenda: pledging to cut public spending, trim the pensions of public employees, and put pressure on the unions to ‘compromise’. He has a fine nose for the political winds, but lacks any strong connection to a popular base."



"Yet whites have continued to dominate electoral politics, still making up two-thirds of the state’s regular voters. The majority of colour is vastly under-represented, because so many are non-citizens (60 per cent), underage (45 per cent) or not registered to vote. Turnout rates among California’s eligible Latinos are an abysmal 30 per cent, and the number of Latino representatives in city councils, the legislature and Congress remains far below what would be proportionate; Antonio Villaraigosa is the first Latino Mayor of Los Angeles since the 19th century. The fading white plurality continues to exert a disproportionate influence on the state. Markedly older, richer and more propertied, the white electorate has correspondingly conservative views: for many, immigrants are the problem, the Spanish language a threat, and law and order a rallying cry. Even the centrist white voter tends to view taxes as a burden, schools of little interest, and the collective future as someone else’s problem."



"The current economic and fiscal crises are just the latest symptoms of the slow decline of California’s postwar commonwealth. Here, as much as anywhere in the us, the golden age of American capitalism was built on a solid foundation of public investment and competent administration. Here, too, the steady advance of neoliberalism has undermined the public sector, and threatens to poison the wellsprings of entrepreneurial capitalism as well. This is especially apparent in the realm of education, from primary to university levels. The state’s once-great public-school system has been brought to its knees. Primary and secondary education (K–12: from kindergarten to twelfth grade) has fallen from the top of national rankings to the bottom by a range of measures, from test scores to dropout rates; the latter is currently at 25 per cent. There are many reasons for the slide, but the heart of the matter is penury—both of pupils and of the schools themselves, as economic inequalities and budget cuts bear down on California’s children."



"The upper middle class shield themselves by simply taking their children out of the public-school system and sending them to private institutions instead; previously rare, such withdrawals have now become commonplace—along with another alternative for the well-off, which is to move to prosperous, whiter suburbs where the tax base is richer. If public funds are insufficient, parents raise money amongst themselves for school endowments. In July of this year, a combination of civil-society groups launched a lawsuit over the injustice of school funding, hoping to produce a ‘son of Serrano’ ruling."



"California has been living off the accrued capital of the past. The New Deal and postwar eras left the state with an immense legacy of infrastructural investments. Schools and universities were a big part of this, along with the world’s most advanced freeway network, water-storage and transfer system, and park and wilderness complex. For the last thirty years, there has been too little tax revenue and too little investment. To keep things running, Sacramento has gone deeper and deeper into debt through a series of huge bond issues for prisons, parks and waterworks. By this sleight of hand, Californians have been fooled into thinking they could have both low taxes and high quality public infrastructure. The trick was repeated over and over, in a clear parallel to the nationwide accumulation of excessive mortgage debt. As a result, California now has the worst bond rating of any state."
richardwalker  california  via:javierarbona  2010  politics  policy  proposition13  inequality  education  schools  publicschools  highereducation  highered  government  termlimits  democrats  neoliberalism  liberalism  progressivism  elitism  nancypelosi  jerrybrown  ronaldreagan  race  demographics  history  1973  poverty  children  class  economics  society  technosolutionism  siliconvalley  finance  housingbubble  2008  greatrecession  taxes 
april 2017 by robertogreco
Recoil Operation – The New Inquiry
"Gun violence is an undeniable problem in the United States, but as with so many social issues, our perception of it is constrained by a deeply ingrained chauvinism, an American exceptionalism that is both self-righteous and hypocritical. “Gun violence” is our embarrassment, as a “developed nation,” as civilized, advanced, and wealthy. And so we divide the rest of the world between two categories. There are states with fewer gun deaths than ours, with whom we imagine ourselves as being on a parallel plane of sophistication, and whose superior track record shames us. And there are the squalid, undeveloped hellholes with more gun deaths than ours. We might make billions destabilizing their regimes and flooding their borders with weapons, but our complicity in that violence is not what shames us. Our shame is the fear that “we” might somehow be like “them.”"



"For her part, Hillary Clinton has called for a renewed Assault Weapons Ban, to keep “weapons of war off our streets.” She has also backed a lawsuit by the families of Sandy Hook shooting victims against Remington Arms, whom, the suit alleges, marketed the AR-variant used in the massacre “in a militaristic fashion.” Of course, in her role as Secretary of State, Senator Clinton approved the sale of thousands of assault rifles to our “partners” in Iraq and Afghanistan, including a 2011 contract of $4.2 million for Remington specifically. The outrage is over whose “streets” such weapons wind up on, and where the “militarism” of the arms industry comes to roost.

All of this means that connections between America’s implication in violence abroad and violence at home are foreclosed from the get-go; the more troubling answers to the question of how “a weapon used in Vietnam and streets of Fallujah” ended up in an elementary school Connecticut are easily deferred when blame can be tidily left at the door of a single manufacturer. But we shouldn’t be surprised. The American capacity to wash our hands of blood while simultaneously pointing fingers is nonpareil; when it comes to small arms, our exceptionalism is so much NIMBYism. Not on “our” streets – but yes, by all means, on yours.

* * *

One of the basic things any firearm must do is manage the energy generated when a bullet is fired.

A cartridge’s primer is struck, propellant ignites, and a bullet flies forward down the barrel. Per Newton’s Third Law, this controlled detonation and forward momentum entails a correlative momentum in the opposite direction, the felt force experienced as recoil. Mitigating this recoil is vital to maintaining a shooter’s accuracy, and is thus an important part of firearms design.

Rifles like the AR-15 offer extremely high velocity coupled with comparatively low recoil. Explosive forward motion is ingeniously harnessed, contained, leveraged. Rounds are sent rushing out and forward, again and again, and “kick” is minimized.

In its perfection of these mechanics, the AR-15 embodies a quintessentially American fantasy for engaging the world: maximum impact, minimum pushback, all bundled up in sleek aesthetics and sold at a hefty profit margin. America’s rifle is thus an overdetermined object: the symbol of the violence we visit on others, and which we thrive on exporting. We are accustomed to standing on one side of it, the right side; we expect to have our finger on the trigger, or to be standing behind the counter and taking a check in return. Only when we imagine being on the wrong end of our own icon, when we envision the AR coming home to America, to do to us what it is has done to others abroad, only then, do we recoil."
us  capitalism  society  policy  chauvinism  exceptionalism  2016  ptrickblacnhfield  via:javierarbona  guns  violence 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Refusal as Research Method in Discard Studies « Discard Studies
"Researchers examining waste issues have the potential to uncover particularly sensitive information—that specific places, people or animals might be contaminated— that has very real social and material consequences for communities being studied. We also might be given access to report on potentially painful community events and experiences. As researchers interested in social justice, how do we proceed helpfully in our research?

The concept of ‘ethnographic refusal’ is one way forward. Ethnographic refusal is a practice by which researchers and research participants together decide not to make particular information available for use within the academy. Its purpose is not to bury information, but to ensure that communities are able to respond to issues on their own terms. An ethnographic refusal is intended to redirect academic analysis away from harmful pain-based narratives that obscure slow violence, and towards the structures and institutions that engender those narratives. It is a method centrally concerned with a community’s right to self-representation.

This method comes out of an ethical commitment to decolonize research. For example, the recent ‘ontological turn’ in discard studies encourages researchers to engage with Indigenous knowledge systems and ontologies, as a way of better understanding how issues of contamination and waste are understood and experienced within Indigenous communities—something that is easily (and often) misconstrued by non-community members, including academics. In turn, researchers might have access to internal conversations, knowledge that is considered sacred, or that the academy otherwise “doesn’t deserve” (Tuck and Yang 2014a: 813). Engaging in ethnographic refusal as method, then, is intended as an ethical intervention that provides research participants the opportunity to dictate whether knowledge is to be made available within the academy (among other places), how environmental and human health issues are responded to, and by whom.

The following annotated bibliography is an introduction to ethnographic refusal. The first two texts in this bibliography (Tuhiwai Smith 1999; Zavala 2013), provide overviews of decolonization as a methodology, outlining the colonial traditions that inform contemporary anthropological practices and the need for decolonizing research. Both texts indicate the importance of research collaboration and emphasize efforts by Indigenous people to take control over their representation in research. The more recent piece (Zavala 2013), suggests that decolonial research must place Indigenous perspectives and interests as the marker through which research is evaluated and practiced. Based on readings written primarily by Indigenous researchers, I suggest that ‘ethnographic refusal’— whereby certain information about Indigenous knowledge and experiences is kept out of the academy— is a method that helps keep researchers accountable to the communities they research. The different perspectives on ‘ethnographic refusal’ held by Ortner (1995) and Simpson (2007) showcase how the method developed through two different bodies of literature, driven by very different goals and objectives. The final papers by Tuck and Yang (2014a & b) provide examples of ways that researchers can incorporate ‘refusals’ throughout their research process."
ethnography  method  refusal  2016  via:javierarbona  research  representation  self-representation  fieldwork  decolonization  ethnographicrefusal  illegibility  legibility 
march 2016 by robertogreco
I have no idea what a smart city means: Rahul Mehrotra - Livemint
"There can’t be one solution for India like the Corbusian model was for Nehru. The trajectory of architects in the 1960s and 1970s was clearer than it is now, because they had state patronage. Now the only architecture that the state talks about is GDP (gross domestic product)—it’s a statistical architecture by which the state defines its identity. All state projects now are of infrastructure, telecommunications, highways, freeways, rapid trains, etc. Even smart cities are never talked about in terms of their architecture, but only in terms of their infrastructure. So, of course, there is a crisis for young architects.

For me, personally, I do believe that architecture is always of a place. My aspiration is to take global programmes like corporate offices and information technology centres, and root them in the place through material, climate and the way that people in that city use a building. We are now trying to reconcile fundamental values that make good architecture with a new form of patronage and that opens up its own sets of problems."



"I have no idea what a smart city means because this is a universal term that has no real value except for the people who are sloshing capital around. The problem with smart cities is that they are founded on capital and investment, but don’t consider the human being as part of this equation. I fear these will end up being gated communities for an elite, skilled, upper middle-class population. People say a smart city is one that uses technology to create connectivity and efficiencies. So I can stand at a bus stop and know that the bus is going to arrive in 10 minutes, and that’ll save me 10 minutes, but if it’s an inhuman city then I’m not interested in saving those 10 minutes."
smartcities  architecture  urban  urbanism  2015  rahulmehrotra  via:javierarbona  capitalism  qualityoflife  gdp  infrastructure  telecommunications 
november 2015 by robertogreco
ANTIATLAS OF BORDERS
The Antiatlas of borders is a group of researchers, artists and professionnals offering a unique approach on the mutations of control systems along land, sea, air and virtual states borders. Our website presents archives of our research (seminars, international conference, articles, interviews with researchers) and artistic activities (exhibitions and  online gallery). It is also a platform monitoring and communicating on events, publications, articles, news and artworks adressing the mutations of 21st century borders.

[AntiAtlas Manifesto:
http://www.antiatlas.net/en/towards-an-antiatlas-of-borders/

TOWARDS AN ANTIATLAS OF BORDERS
Border Changes in the 21st Century…
From flow control to risk management…
Mutations of borders and shifting forms of mobility…
Threspassing and diverting the rules of the game…

WHY AN ANTIATLAS?
A dynamic and critical approach…
From scientific exploration to artistic experimentation…
From reality to virtuality…"

[via: https://twitter.com/IanAlanPaul/status/643258248435511296 ]
art  borders  maps  mapping  atlases  boundaries  mobility  flow  geography  via:javierarbona 
september 2015 by robertogreco
Intervention – “Vernacular Values: Remembering Ivan Illich” by Andy Merrifield | AntipodeFoundation.org
"Illich had it in for professional institutions of every kind, for what he called “disabling professions”; this is what interests me most in his work, this is what I’ve been trying to revisit, trying to recalibrate and reload, in our own professionalised times. I’ve been trying to affirm the nemesis of professionalism: amateurs. Illich said professionals incapacitate ordinary peoples’ ability to fend for themselves, to invent things, to lead innovative lives beyond the thrall of corporations and institutions. Yet Illich’s war against professionalism isn’t so much a celebration of self-survival (letting free market ideology rip) as genuine self-empowerment, a weaning people off their market-dependence. We’ve lost our ability to develop “convivial tools”, he says, been deprived of our use-value capacities, of values systems outside the production and consumption of commodities. We’ve gotten accustomed to living in a supermarket.

Illich’s thinking about professionalisation was partly inspired by Karl Polanyi’s magisterial analysis on the “political and economic origins of our time”, The Great Transformation (Beacon Press, 1944). Since the Stone Age, Polanyi says, markets followed society, developed organically as social relations developed organically, from barter and truck systems, to simple economies in which money was a means of exchange, a mere token of equivalent worth. Markets were always “embedded” (a key Polanyi word) in social relations, always located somewhere within the very fabric of society, whose institutional and political structure “regulated” what markets could and couldn’t do. Regulation and markets thus grew up together, came of age together. So “the emergence of the idea of self-regulation”, says Polanyi, “was a complete reversal of this trend of development … the change from regulated to self-regulated markets at the end of the 18th century represented a complete transformation in the structure of society.”

We’re still coming to terms with this complete transformation, a transformation that, towards the end of the 20th century, has made the “disembedded” economy seem perfectly natural, perfectly normal, something transhistorical, something that always was, right? It’s also a perfectly functioning economy, as economic pundits now like to insist. Entering the 1990s, this disembedded market system bore a new tagline, one that persists: “neoliberalism”. Polanyi’s logic is impeccable: a “market economy can exist only in a market society.”

Inherent vices nonetheless embed themselves in this disembedded economy. Land, labour and money become vital parts of our economic system, of our speculative hunger games. But, says Polanyi, land, labour and money “are obviously not commodities” (his emphasis). “Land is only another name for nature, which is not produced by man”, he says; “labour is only another name for human activity which goes with life itself”; “actual money … is merely a token of purchasing power which, as a rule, is not produced at all, but comes into being through the mechanism of banking or state finance”. Thus “the commodity description of labour, land and money is entirely fictitious”, a commodity fiction, the fiction of commodities.

Still, we live in fictitious times (as filmmaker Michael Moore was wont to say): land, labour and money as commodities provide us with the vital organising principle of our whole society. So fiction remains the truth, and fictitious truth needs defending, needs perpetuating; the postulate must be forcibly yet legitimately kept in place. But kept in place how, and by whom? By, we might say, a whole professional administration, by a whole professional cadre, by a whole professional apparatus that both props up and prospers from these fictitious times. Professionalism is the new regulation of deregulation, the new management of mismanagement, an induced and imputed incapacitation."



"Vernacular values are intuitive knowledges and practical know-how that structure everyday culture; they pivot not so much—as Gramsci says—on common sense as on “good sense”. They’re reasonable intuitions and intuitive reason: words, habits and understandings that inform real social life—the real social life of a non-expert population. Illich reminds us that “vernacular” stems from the Latin vernaculam, meaning “homebred” or “homegrown”, something “homemade”. (We’re not far from the notion of amateur here.) Vernacular is a mode of life and language below the radar of exchange-value; vernacular language is language acquired without a paid teacher; loose, unruly language, heard as opposed to written down. (“Eartalk”, Joyce called it in Finnegans Wake, a language for the “earsighted”.) To assert vernacular values is, accordingly, to assert democratic values, to assert its means through popular participation."



"Illich chips in to add how professionals peddle the privileges and status of the job: they adjudicate its worthiness and rank, while forever tut-tutting those without work. Unemployment “means sad idleness, rather than the freedom to do things that are useful for oneself or for one’s neighbour”. “What counts”, Illich says, “isn’t the effort to please or the pleasure that flows from that effort but the coupling of the labour force with capital. What counts isn’t the achievement of satisfaction that flows from action but the status of the social relationship that commands production—that is, the job, situation, post, or appointment”.

Effort isn’t productive unless it’s done at the behest of some boss; economists can’t deal with a usefulness of people outside of the corporation, outside of stock value, of shareholder dividend, of cost-benefit. Work is only ever productive when its process is controlled, when it is planned and monitored by professional agents, by managers and the managers of managers. Can we ever imagine unemployment as useful, as the basis for autonomous activity, as meaningful social or even political activity?"



"Perhaps, during crises, we can hatch alternative programmes for survival, other methods through which we can not so much “earn a living” as live a living. Perhaps we can self-downsize, as Illich suggests, and address the paradox of work that goes back at least to Max Weber: work is revered in our culture, yet at the same time workers are becoming superfluous; you hate your job, your boss, hate the servility of what you do, and how you do it, the pettiness of the tasks involved, yet want to keep your job at all costs. You see no other way of defining yourself other than through work, other than what you do for a living. Perhaps there’s a point at which we can all be pushed over the edge, voluntarily take the jump ourselves, only to discover other aspects of ourselves, other ways to fill in the hole, to make a little money, to maintain our dignity and pride, and to survive off what Gorz calls a “frugal abundance”.

Perhaps it’s time to get politicised around non-work and undercut the professionalisation of work and life. In opting out, or at least contesting from within, perhaps we can create a bit of havoc, refuse to work as we’re told, and turn confrontation into a more positive device, a will to struggle for another kind of work, where use-value outbids exchange-value, where amateurs prevail over professionals. If, in times of austerity, capitalists can do without workers, then it’s high time workers (and ex-workers) realise that we can do without capitalists, without their professional hacks, and their professional institutions, that we can devise work without them, a work for ourselves. Illich throws down the gauntlet here, challenges us to conceive another de-professionalised, vernacular non-working future. He certainly gets you thinking, has had me thinking, and rethinking, more than a decade after I’ve had any kind of job."
via:javierarbona  ivanillich  professionals  experts  amateurs  economics  conviviality  karlpolanyi  politics  capitalism  neoliberalism  empowerment  self-empowerment  unschooling  deschooling  production  consumption  corporatism  corporations  institutions  self-survival  invention  innovation  markets  society  labor  land  commodities  nature  money  michaelmoore  andymerrifield  bureaucracy  control  systems  systemsthinking  deregulation  regulation  management  incapacitation  work  vernacula  vernacularvalues  values  knowledge  everyday  culture  informal  bullshitjobs  andrégorz  antoniogramsci  marxism  ideleness  freedom  capital  effort  productivity  socialactivism  maxweber  time  toolsforconviviality 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Q&A: Tackling taboos in Morocco's art scene - Al Jazeera English
"Morocco's location on the Mediterranean Sea has made it a departure point for undocumented migrants in Africa hoping to cross to Europe.

These dangerous journeys have resulted in many migrants drowning and the Mediterranean earning the morbid nickname of "the sea cemetery", with a recent incident claiming 800 victims. Some who do not cross opt to settle instead in Morocco, where they have reportedly experienced abuse from the local population.

Moroccan-French photographer and video artist Leila Alaoui has attempted to tackle such issues through her art. At the Traces of the Future exhibit at the Marrakech Museum of Photography and Visual Arts, which runs until September, Alaoui's video installation Crossings showcases testimonies of sub-Saharan migrants against the backdrop of the Mediterranean. 

Al Jazeera spoke with Alaoui about Crossings, as well as her focus on migration throughout her larger body of work.



Al Jazeera: The testimonies of sub-Saharan migrants in Crossings could be perceived as a controversial topic within Morocco, because migrants are often targets of repression. Why did you decide to focus on sub-Saharan migrants? How did you research this project?

Alaoui: As a Moroccan, I felt very ashamed and felt some kind of responsibility to fight against the violent treatment of sub-Saharan migrants, who because of their "clandestine" status are deprived of basic human rights.

When I decided to work on this subject, I spent many months as a participant observer among migrant communities in very under-privileged neighbourhoods in Rabat and Tangier. I became involved with activists, journalists and humanitarian organisations working on the migration crisis in Morocco.

This experience nurtured the idea of an immersive audiovisual experience through which to share personal stories of migration and re-enact the disturbing sensations of the journey. I truly wanted to do a project that humanised and dignified the migrants.



"Al Jazeera: You've previously spoken up about art and self-censorship in Morocco. Could you elaborate on the prevalence of self-censorship? Do you think this artistic self-censorship is more ubiquitous in Morocco than in other parts of the Arab world?

Alaoui: We see Moroccan artists still suffering from censorship in the latest debate on Nabil Ayouch's film on prostitution, Much Loved.

However, when looking at contemporary artists in the Middle East and North Africa, there is very little engaged art emerging from Morocco.

Most of the artists whose work has a strong political message are usually from the Moroccan diaspora or living abroad, such as Mounir Fatmi or Mohamed El Baz.

I personally think artists should be engaging more on sociopolitical issues. In my opinion, art plays an important role in reflecting and questioning our societies.

Moreover, Moroccan society is going through a major transition. We are lost between modernity and traditions, freedom of expression and fear of the authority. We still don't know where to position ourselves and aren't ready to face our real selves.

We prefer to stay quiet, in denial and make sure the country keeps its positive image to stay in peace.

I believe the lack of engagement of artists is more a result of auto-censorship than censorship itself.

But we also have strong examples of artists living in Morocco whose work is very political, such as Mahi Binebine's work on the dark years of Moroccan political repression. This shows us that there is space for freedom of expression as long as we respect the values of the kingdom.

Al Jazeera: You say that in France, you're considered Moroccan, and in Morocco, you're considered French. How does this affect your work in both countries?

Alaoui: Although I feel at home in Morocco, I always felt like a foreigner in both countries.

I certainly believe that my hyphenated identity and my experience living abroad have deeply influenced my work and interest in cultural diversity, identity and migration.

My current project questions the contemporary reality of immigration in a post-colonial era and focuses on North African communities in France. Through this project, I try to understand the shared history of both countries, but it may also be a personal quest for own identity."



Al Jazeera: What are your future plans?

Alaoui: After living in New York, Marrakech and Beirut, I am now in France.

My current work explores the contemporary reality of post-colonial immigration through a visual art project mixing photography, video installations and archival documents.

Following weeks of research as a participant observer among different generations of North African immigrants and their children, I am building a body of work that reflects on individual memories, collective history and identity reconstruction.

My work uses a visual language that combines the narrative depth of documentary storytelling and the aesthetic sensibilities of visual art.

I will also be presenting my series The Moroccans in a solo show at the prestigious Maison Européennede la Photographie in Paris as part of the Arab Photography biennale in November.
via:javierarbona  morocco  leilaalaoui  2015  art  photography  migration  mediterranean  rabat  tangier  race  racism  repression  portraits  self-censorship  politics  society 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Infrastructure as a divination tool: Whispers from the grids in a Nigerian city - City - Volume 19, Issue 2-3
"In the Nigerian city of Jos, everyday life is shaped by interlacing rhythms of disconnection and reconnection. Petrol, electricity, water, etc., come and go, and in order to gain access inhabitants constantly try to discern the logics behind these fluctuations. However, the unpredictable infrastructure also becomes a system of signs through which residents try to understand issues beyond those immediately at hand. Signals, pipes, wires and roads link individuals to larger wholes, and the character of these connections informs and transforms experiences of the social world. Not only an object, but also a means of divination, infrastructure is a harbinger of truths about elusive and mutable social entities—neighbourhoods, cities, nations and beyond. Through the materiality of infrastructure, its flows and glitches carefully read by the inhabitants, an increasingly disjointed city emerges. Through new experiences of differentiated modes of connectedness—of no longer sharing the same roads, pipes, electricity lines, etc.—narratives are formed around lost common trajectories. By focusing on how wires, pipes and roads are turned into a divination system—how the inhabitants of Jos try to divine the city's infrastructure and possible ways forward, as well as how they try, through the infrastructure, to predict a city, a nation and a world beyond—this paper strives to find ways to grasp a thickness of urban becomings—a cityness on the move according to its own unique logic."
via:javierarbona  2015  nigeria  africa  cities  anthropology  urban  urbanism  materiality  divination  jos  erictrovalla  ulrikatrovalla 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Why company towns are bad for people | The Sacramento Bee
"City of Industry lives on incestuous ties between corporations and government

City embodies California’s tendency to hand over public institutions to private enterprise

City of Industry shows that we need to change how we think about government"



"Don’t expect much from the investigations. There have been about nine of them over the years. Although Stafford went to prison, the city of Industry’s structure has proven to be resilient. And business interests there find the city’s present configuration too good to give up.

To change the city of Industry, California would need to dismantle those specific technologies that have transformed governmental functions into property and that have, as a result, made so many California cities immune to meaningful reform. Industry’s most important strains of governmental DNA include its industrial-only purpose; creative boundary drawing that keeps out the meddling rabble; media narratives that code its recurring “corruption” scandals as breaches of individual morality; a model of city management that outsources municipal services to private contractors; the old California redevelopment laws and financing mechanisms that paid for its industrial development; and city charter laws that guarantee Industry its sovereignty in the face of repeated scandals.

The best way to address our city of Industry problem, in other words, is to change how we think about government. We need to shift our focus from blaming all systemic corruption on the moral failings of individuals, and look for the specific technologies that have made the privatization of government, from City Hall to the White House, seem natural and necessary."
losangeles  cityofindustry  lapunete  cities  companytowns  2015  victorvalle  via:javierarbona  california  government  corruption  corporations  corporatism  governance  privatization  property  management 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Ello | illllllllllllli
"national public radio

let's start with the notion "public",
no, it's a disturbing half-measure.

national, be serious it is a federation,
you have these wyoming pyramids broad-
casting new york city programs

and radio? it's mostly online
these days.

Zero for Three. Or Oh for Three
as they say in baseball."
npr  radio  public  2015  poetry  baseball  humor  via:javierarbona 
july 2015 by robertogreco
California, it's time to dump the Bear Flag - LA Times
"One hundred and sixty nine years ago in a frontier town, a band of thieves, drunks and murderers hoisted a home-made flag and declared themselves in revolt from a government that had welcomed them. Instigated by an expansionist neighboring power, the rebels aimed to take over completely and impose their language, culture and mores on the land. The revolt succeeded beyond anyone's expectations.

That frontier town was Sonoma, the land was California, and the rebels, American settlers spurred on by promises of help from U.S. Army Captain John Fremont. The rebel standard, the flag of the so-called California Republic, became the California State Flag. It's time California dump that flag, a symbol of blatant illegality and racial prejudice. Like the Confederate cross of St. Andrew, the Bear Flag is a symbol whose time has come and gone.

When the Legislature voted to adopt the rebel standard as the state flag in 1911, California was in the grip of a racist, jingoistic fever. The measure was sponsored by Sen. James Holohan from Watsonville, a member of the Native Sons of the Golden West. This was an organization whose magazine, the Grizzly Bear, declared in the very issue in which it announced the introduction of the bill, “Close the public school doors to Japanese and other undesirables NOW! Close the doors through which aliens can legally own or lease the soil of California NOW!”

The obvious intent of the measure was to glorify the Bear Flaggers, who were hailed as wholesome patriots. But that was far from the truth.

Its leader, Ezekiel Merrit, was described by historian H.H. Bancroft as “an unprincipled, whiskey drinking, quarrelsome fellow.” Known as Stuttering Merrit, he was a thief who in 1848 reportedly stole 200 pounds of gold from his business partner. William Todd, who designed the flag, came from a family of Kentucky slave owners (his aunt was Mary Todd, Abraham Lincoln's wife). The group's first lieutenant, Henry L. Ford, was a U.S. Army deserter who had impersonated his brother to escape detection. Sam Kelsey, the second lieutenant, along with his brother Ben, was a genocidal maniac who killed hundreds of Pomo Indians in Clear Lake. Americans visiting their ranch reported that “it was not an uncommon thing for them to shoot an Indian just for the fun of seeing him jump.”

Why did the Bear Flag revolt occur? Because these rogues were also illegal immigrants who feared they might be deported by the Mexican government. They despised the native, Spanish-speaking Californios, whom they called greasers. Refusing to become citizens, a move that would have granted them voting rights and land, they looked to the American takeover of Texas as an example.

Encouraged by Fremont, the Bear Flaggers kidnapped the military commander of Sonoma, stole hundreds of horses and proclaimed a republic that at best represented a few hundred Americans out of a population of 10,000 in California.

Although the California Republic was short-lived — it lasted from only June to July 1846 — the Bear Flaggers were partially responsible for how the state ultimately entered the union.

Tensions between Mexico and the United States had been growing for years and already an American Pacific squadron was anchored off California's Central Coast. When U.S. Commodore John Drake Sloat was informed of the Bear Flag revolt, he felt his hand had been forced. Saying he'd rather be accused of doing too much than too little, he began the U.S. occupation of California, landing 250 sailors and Marines and hoisting the Stars and Stripes over Monterey. With few weapons, little ammunition and no organized military, the Californio government was unable to put up much resistance.

Ironically, the commodore chose to invade right when U.S. Consul John Larkin was bringing him a Californio plan to declare independence from Mexico as a prelude to annexation by the United States. Had California entered the Union voluntarily, it might have been able to import its own laws and customs, much like Louisiana had done with its jurisprudence of Spanish and French origin. Instead, as a conquered territory, California was subject to American laws.

Californios had instituted a democratic government, paternalistic and often beset by political conflicts, yet multi-ethnic and racially integrated, whereas the Americans, among other things, denied civil rights to blacks and Indians.

Native Americans were the first victims of the violent conquest provoked by the Bear Flaggers. In 1846, there were about 150,000 Native Americans in California. While many of them had integrated into Californio society, about 75% continued to live as they always had in the state's central valleys and mountains.

Once subject to the U.S. government, however, they faced mass extermination. At the slightest provocation miners and settlers would burn entire rancherias, or Native American villages, slaughtering all the inhabitants, men, women and children. By the late 1850s, after years of murder and virtual slavery, only about 30,000 were left alive in California.

Californios did not fare well either. They saw their lands, the main engine of their cattle raising economy, taken over by squatters.

Americans would descend on a property, build homes, put up fences and till the fields without paying rent or compensating the owner in any way. Among them was William Ide, once president of the California Republic, who squatted and then filed a preemption claim for property in what is now the southern part of the city of Red Bluff. By the 1880s, Californios were broken, politically and financially.

So — slave owners, murderers, thieves, drunks and squatters. These are the people we want to remember with their standard as our state symbol?"
california  history  flags  2015  alexabella  ezekielmerrit  sonoma  californios  mexico  us  johndrakesloat  bearflag  bearflagrepublic  bearflaggers  slavery  violence  williameide  californiarepublic  racismjamesholohan  hhbancroft  henrylford  samkelsey  nativeamericans  via:javierarbona 
june 2015 by robertogreco
The Line on the Map — Failed Architecture
"Last year, photographer Ignacio Evangelista published his work on abandoned border crossings in Europe. After the Schengen Treaty, they were left behind as crumbling remnants of a geopolitical situation that no longer exists. At the same time, they can be seen as a reminder today, in times when the European project isn’t necessarily thriving.

Evangelista continued his visual exploration of borders on the other side of the Atlantic. Earlier this year, he captured the physical border between the United States and Mexico. Through the project, he highlights the implications of borders for the places where they’re located, especially when the ‘line on the map’ becomes a physical barrier cutting through habitats that weren’t necessarily strongly divided before the fences and walls were put up.

The backdrops are often natural settings, whose continuity contradicts the separation created by mankind.

Additionally, the series makes one wonder about themes such as migration, nationalism, tolerance, and bilateral relations."
border  borders  us  mexico  ignacioevangelista  via:javierarbona 
june 2015 by robertogreco
One Trap or Another | Nowtopian
"It has never been more urgent to formulate and pursue a radical break with the regime of private property. It may also be true that it has never felt more distant and impossible to attack this pillar of American society.

Deindustrialization and globalization, fueled by the dramatic financialization of the economy during the past generation or two, has led us to this dark situation. Homes where we live, which should be an undisputed human right, are instead seen as commodities to be bought and sold in an endless marketplace of supply and demand. But playing with the loaded dice we’re given as renters or home buyers has no resemblance to a free market. The gaming of the system by the big financial players is equivalent to the operations at the casinos that have also proliferated in these past decades. The “house” always wins. The odds are completely stacked in their favor, they own the buildings and the tables, and they set the rules by which you are allowed to “play.” Stories about friends or family cashing out their homes for great profits are like the widely publicized stories of those few people who actually win lotteries. Yes it happens. No it won’t happen to you!

Our dependence on housing organized into a speculative market dominated by millionaires and large companies ensures that we will keep scrambling to get money however we can, no matter how stupid or pernicious or ecologically damaging or pointless the work. We are less able to ask why, to challenge the organization of life, when we are working all the time, and when our work is grindingly stressful, heavily surveilled, and measured to the second. For those of us lucky enough to still enjoy some version of self-employment, that abusive control is absent, but the larger whip-hand of financial need, usually strongly reinforced by the monthly housing payment, keeps us conforming to the whims of clients and the demands of contract employers, no matter how petty, degrading, and insulting those may be.

I guess our focus on the untold story of what work is actually like in Processed World made sense then, and probably still makes sense today. But the larger web of coercion and control held together by the ratcheting up of housing costs needs better analysis, and a more comprehensive and philosophical opposition. Private property is the basic building block of capitalist society. We will not get justice, equity, or a comfortable life as long as we pin our hopes on getting “our own” piece of property. The abolition of private property is the key to unleashing our potential, our capacity for joy, our untapped creative possibilities. Along with that, all debts should be abolished! It’s long past time to break the hold of the wealthy over future life by ending their claims (through debt) to the wealth we produce together going forward.

Taxing the rich might be a halting first step, but given the priorities of the wealthy and their free use of state terror via police and military, I think we have to focus our efforts on a deeper rejection of this world. We together have produced the complex technologies and urban environments we live in and depend on. It’s time we appropriated that collectively produced wealth and make sure everyone has a fair share of it, starting with basic guarantees to housing, transit, communications, health care, food, and so on. A good life for every single person is not only possible, it’s urgently necessary! But we’ll never get there if we keep letting the people who have rigged the system to maintain their wealth and power control the rules, the government policies, and the assumptions we share about how the world is made day in and day out. Our effort to get the Pigeon Palace off the market forever through its purchase and incorporation into the Land Trust model is a very tiny step that may save our homes, and may help inspire more people to organize to get their buildings out of the market forever. But we really have to go much further!"
via:javierarbona  2015  housing  capitalism  property  economics  inequality  wealth  sanfrancisco  systemschange  work  labor  chriscarlsson  society  socialsafetynet 
june 2015 by robertogreco
A conversation with President David Skorton and Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Díaz MFA '95 - CornellCast
"Each year, the Olin Lecture brings to campus an internationally prominent speaker to address a topic relevant to higher education and the current world situation. Junot Díaz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and creative writing professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)."

[Great chat with Junot Díaz (is there any other kind?) and I especially love the part towards the end in response to a prompt from the audience about social action.

“There is no more important mandate to anyone living in a society than civic engagement. Civic engagement is just what's owed. There is no person, poor or rich, who does not take more out of this country than what they put back in. No one. There is no one so afflicted that doesn't owe this nation a debt. Civic engagement is how we begin to pay the interest on that debt. And, part of civic engagement is looking for places that we think that we can improve and trying to improve it. It is just something that has been lost for a long time, something that I think isn't valued enough. I think that what you are doing is incredibly important under the most fundamental level of what it means to be alive in a civic society. To give back, to attempt to engage yourself in that way is absolutely essential.

The thing is that we live in a society that has spent the last thirty or forty years promulgating, convincing people that the only thing that matters is you and how much money you have made. A perverse neoliberal individualism that has collapsed a lot of what we would call our civic communities. People aren't just bowling alone, gang. People are also not engaged in civic society the way they used to. They've got us all mad at each other, whether we're Republican or Democrats because that is a way to convince people that this is civic engagement. Partisan politics is not civic engagement. We think it's civic engagement, but it's not. And I think the nature of civic engagement is that in a country like ours, in a moment like ours, it is going to be very hard to convince people to go against the pied piper music of individualism and neoliberal profit-making and to think more seriously about what our community requires and what is owed of all of us. And I think that the nature of this work, is that you are going to find that it is going to be difficult to engage large movements of people. And that despite this, what you do is utterly invaluable.

My sense of this is that you've got to constantly model, you've got to constantly reach out, and you've got to everything you cant that when you're home, or wherever you settle, to go to every damn school and get every teacher who is an ally and let you make a presentation. And try to get allied teachers to come and visit your project so that at least the young people are exposed and given some modeling. And it is the same thing. How many people are at home looking for things to do? And, again, I don't know what community you are in or what kind of space, but if you can sort of figure out a place where there is a lot of traffic that you could present and model your work, you can begin to slowly pull people in. Will it be a lot? No. Will it be as much as you need? Perhaps. Will it be transformational and save individual lives through that engagement and through that reaffirmation of the most important values of our civic society? Absolutely. Being an artist in some ways is no different than being someone who wants to make this country better. there is very little money in it, especially if done correctly.

You know, there is little acclaim and respect. And in fact, there is very few signs that what you're doing is working. And yet, without your presence, what remains is not worth calling a society. Nothing is more a faith-based initiative than the kind of work you're doing. But I would argue, trying to get into the schools, trying to get into the places where a lot of adults flow through who don't have that kind of training or don't have that kind of literacy, and tying to kind of increase the exposure, that is what tends to work best in this battle. And I leave you with this: whether you're someone who is trying to do the work this young sister is doing or you're a teacher trying to convince their students that reading is good, in this battle, it is hand to hand. If you can transform one life, you've given more than most of us can dream. And, that life may do the work the future needs to make the future that we all dreamed possible. And therefore you must stick with it.”

See 1:02:29 for that.]
junotdíaz  art  activism  writing  race  2015  via:javierarbona  howwewrite  whywewrite  experience  socialjustice  us  education  highered  highereducation  inclusion  inclusivity  diversity  immigrants  immigration  elitism  politics  struggle  mfas  hardship  gratitude  civics  citizenship  engagement  migration  bilingualism  language  accents  rutgers  cornell  stigma  latinos  patriarchy  capitalism  publicadministration  socialaction  society  movements  storytelling  neoliberalism  individualism  money  wealth  inequality  transformation  modeling  lcproject  openstudioproject  inlcusivity 
june 2015 by robertogreco
Officer-Involved Shootings in the Los Angeles Area
"From 2009 to August 2014, police throughout the Los Angeles area have been involved in 644 shootings that we can document. Because there is no official database from law enforcement, this is not a complete dataset.

The KNBC I-Team compiled our own data from public record requests, press releases, and news stories. We looked at five surrounding counties – Los Angeles, Riverside, Ventura, Orange, and San Bernardino. There may be other officer related shootings that we do not know about. The data we received varied from county to county. Not all the information has been independently verified.

Explore correlations between officer involved shootings and race, poverty, crime, and year. Scroll down to continue."
losangeles  lawenforcement  police  maps  mapping  data  2014  race  poverty  via:javierarbona 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Caminar como último acto de libertad que nos queda | VICE | España
""No hay que olvidar que el trayecto es lo mejor del camino". Así se despide en nuestra entrevista Francisco Navamuel. El fotógrafo decidió crear un grupo en Facebook:Caminar como práctica anarquista, ética, estética y de pensamiento. Ahora reconoce que esta idea se le ha ido un poco de las manos. "Cuando te comento esto tiene que ver con el propio funcionamiento de la red social, en el que la información pasa a una velocidad incompatible con la reflexión".

En estos momentos el grupo cuenta con más de 4.600 seguidores. "Pero no siempre fue así. Arrancar el grupo costó más de tres años. El grupo contaba con unos 150 seguidores y decidí hacer administrador del grupo a todos. Actualmente, el grupo se autogestiona y seguimos creciendo, no solo en cantidad sino en calidad".

¿Y por qué esa necesidad de reivindicar el acto de caminar? "Sobre todo para mí es una manera de relacionarme con el territorio, de conocer en primera persona el espacio que habito, de reconocerme en las personas que voy encontrando cuando camino. Es una forma de conocimiento personal donde el espacio-tiempo confluyen al mismo ritmo que el pensamiento. Caminar tiene la capacidad de igualarnos, de hacernos ciudadanos en la medida que ocupamos y utilizamos un espacio y lo transitamos".

VICE: Entonces, ¿caminar va más allá del acto de desplazarse?

Francisco Navamuel: Caminar es un acto de libertad. Pero también de resistencia frente a las urgencias impuestas y las velocidades ajenas. Caminar se ha convertido en algo subversivo si no se practica para producir o para consumir y me niego a renunciar a esa capacidad transformadora y de conocimiento que recibimos cuando se camina, sea la manera elegida que sea: por placer, por obligación o por salud. Caminar tiene esa parte lúdica y pedagógica que tenemos que recuperar como fuente de conocimiento. Pero también entiendo el caminar como una experiencia estética. El paseo está asociado al paisaje y me interesa la percepción que cada persona tiene sobre cómo interpreta el territorio.

Y el grupo de Facebook, ¿cómo surge?

El grupo surge en un momento en el que comienzo a realizar una tesis doctoral en la que vinculo el caminar, la fotografía y el llamado 'Modelo Barcelona'. Desde el principio empecé a ser consciente de la cantidad de información que existía sobre el caminar desde disciplinas como la antropología, la sociología, el arte, el urbanismo. No todo lo que recopilaba para la tesis me era útil y pensé que ese esfuerzo de investigación y toda esa información no debía quedarse guardada en una pestaña del navegador. Decidí crear el grupo Caminar como práctica anarquista, ética, estética y de pensamiento porque pensaba que podría ser útil a otras personas el poner en común todo lo que generaba la investigación. Al mismo tiempo daba la oportunidad a otros caminantes a compartir sus experiencias, vivencias o conocimientos sobre el tema. Soy partidario de la transmisión de conocimientos de manera horizontal y el grupo permite esa transmisión no jerárquica que existe en espacios como la enseñanza reglada o la académica. Cualquiera puede compartir la información que considere oportuna, desde un paseo alrededor se su casa hasta el último proyecto participativo o la última publicación. Si bien Facebook no es precisamente un espacio de conocimiento, respeto y libertad, sí que permite este flujo de información compartida sobre un mismo tema.

Y el anarquismo del título.

Hay algo en la acción del caminar que lo vinculo con valores del anarquismo. Caminar es una manera de posicionarse en el mundo. Cada persona decide cuáles son los motivos que tiene para caminar, tiene libertad para decidir hacia dónde se desplaza y el mismo acto genera un bien en la comunidad. Las personas que caminan respetan y protegen los espacios por donde transita. Se es solidario con las personas que encuentras a tu paso. Caminar se ha convertido en un acto de resistencia y en muchos momentos de desobediencia, de compromiso y de acción directa. Caminar como experiencia libertaria, de respeto, conocimiento y reconocimiento del 'otro', caminar como acto de rebeldía, como respuesta a la especulación urbana. Caminar como penúltimo acto de dignidad, como último acto de libertad.

¿A qué te refieres cuando hablas de ética y estética?

La ética y la estética están íntimamente relacionadas en la medida que una experiencia estética está cargada de ética. La observación responsable genera pensamiento crítico. Como consecuencia de esa observación el ser humano ha materializado esa experiencia estética en objeto artístico por medio de la literatura, la escultura, la pintura, el dibujo, el sonido o como es en mi caso por medio de la fotografía. Caminar por tu entorno más inmediato te invita a mirar, a percibir, a conocer, a reflexionar y te permite ser crítico hacia las diferentes transformaciones que el poder fáctico impone. Ese conocimiento junto a ese pensamiento crítico genera un compromiso ético.

¿Se pueden cambiar las cosas con el acto de caminar?

Las cosas no se cambian por sí solas simplemente caminando. Se necesita el compromiso de una parte de la sociedad. Las personas que deciden caminar están en continuo cambio y ese movimiento genera unas sinergias que son capaces de transformar cualquier cosa. No basta con salir a la calle a caminar si no va implícito un grado mínimo de compromiso y de acción.

¿Necesitamos volver a ocupar los espacios públicos?

Necesitamos recuperarlos en la medida en que necesitamos socializar el espacio que ya ocupamos, y el desplazarse a pie ayuda a mantener ese equilibrio entre lo privado y lo público. Si algo caracteriza ese espacio público es la posibilidad de transitarlo con total libertad. Un espacio imperfecto y en continua transformación, donde el ser humano debe ser el protagonista frente a la especulación y a los intereses partidistas. El antropólogo Manuel Delgado llega a afirmar que el espacio público no existe en esta sociedad capitalista mientras se excluya de él a las personas y colectivos más vulnerables. Creo incluso que es necesario recuperar el espacio público como espacio de confrontación, donde dejemos de ser simples autómatas obedientes y materialicemos nuestros deseos. Una parte de urbanistas modernos, junto a ciertas políticas neoliberales, se han empeñado en proyectar las calles, las plazas, los barrios de tal manera que todo esté en orden, controlado y vigilado, de crear la ciudad perfecta con la intención de desactivar cualquier tipo de discrepancia y conflicto. Esto va en contra del propio concepto de ciudadano en la medida que se hace ciudad activando y socializando el espacio público.

¿Cómo ha influido tu pasión por caminar en tu proyecto personal?

Esa experiencia estética la materializo a través de mi trabajo artístico por medio de la fotografía y los registros sonoros. Pongo en práctica diferentes maneras de caminar, desde las deambulaciones perceptivas de los surrealistas, las derivas psicogeográficas de los situacionistas hasta las transurbancias que nos propone Francesco Careri con el grupo 'Stalker/Osservatorio Nomade'. De estas experiencias nace el proyecto WALKCELONA, en el que llevo trabajando los últimos siete años. Registro mis desplazamientos por la ciudad, que no dejan de ser pequeños momentos cotidianos, donde el conflicto está presente en sus calles, donde las contradicciones urbanas nos hacen errar en todas direcciones, donde los paisajes lingüísticos nos hace más humanos, sabiendo que la mayoría de las veces acaban censurados, generando muros de estéticas imposibles. Donde la arquitectura nos habla de cómo el espacio se convierte en tiempo y éste en historia, de lugares concretos que la cámara aísla y rescata de su anonimato para ser observados con la tranquilidad que la fotografía nos permite y que el ritmo de la propia ciudad nos arrebata."
walking  freedom  fernandobernal  2015  via:javierarbona  ethics  anarchism  aesthetics  thinking  solviturambulando  walkcelona  psychogeography  francisconavamuel  barcelona  españa  spain  knowing  scale  situationist  observation  criticism  criticalthinking  publicspace  space  manueldelgado  transurbanism  urbanism  urban  cities  anthropology 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Classic Italian Risotto with Strawberry & Balsamic | Gennaro Contaldo - YouTube
"Yes -- that's right: Strawberry Risotto! It's not a pudding but a beautiful savoury recipe made easy by the maestro of Italian cooking. Gennaro shows you how to make a quick, simple risotto base which tastes great and then introduces the amazing combination of strawberries and balsamic vinegar. It looks great and tastes even better."
food  risotto  strawberries  glvo  gennarocontaldo  via:javierarbona  recipes 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Fred Moten Talk: "Blackness and Poetry" - YouTube
[30:47] “We've had a really hard time learning how to be on the earth. We're not doing such a good job. Or maybe a more precise way to put it would be we've had a hard time living in the earth or with the earth or living *as* the earth."
fredmoten  via:javierarbona  2015  poetry  blackness  race  sovereignty  democratization  democracy  demos  colonialism  colonization  settlers  phenomenology  subjectivity  objects  ownership  possession  possessiveness  poems  edouardglissant  extralegality  illegality  place  being  waysofbeing 
may 2015 by robertogreco
“Faking It:” Counterfeits, Copies, and Uncertain Truths in Science, Technology, and Medicine :: Center for Science, Technology, Medicine, & Society
"Symposium Abstract:

We invite colleagues to join us for a two day symposium at the University of California, Berkeley on “faking it”–here construed broadly as fudging, imitating, juking, playing the trickster, pretending, feigning, re-creating, manipulating, falsifying.  Our aim is to bring together a wide variety of scholars whose work, in some way, touches upon this issue.  We invite colleagues to consider any aspect of the practices, epistemologies, ontologies, and politics of faking, copying, counterfeiting, or quackery.  We seek to amplify and incubate a growing attention to the theory and practice of fake truths on Berkeley’s campus and beyond.

Over the past several decades, science studies scholars have explored the ways in which scientific knowledge and practice is socially constructed, debated, contested, and deemed credible by the public.  Others have turned their attention to the politics and poetics of “agnotology,” or the social, political, economic, and cultural circumstances that promulgate and substantiate ignorance.  Both of these takes on the sociology of knowledge have opened up room for examining the creative ways in which actors fake, fudge, and forge. In the contested space between corporations and the broader public, for example, sociologists and historians have explored the tobacco wars, global warming debates, and the regulatory boundaries of “permissible exposure” to industrial toxins.  So too, anthropologists and STS scholars working from below are increasingly turning attention to artisanal knowledge and ingenuity, be it cultures of repair or improvisation in medicine. At each of these registers, there are possibilities for both creativity and catastrophe.

For this symposium, we invite scholars working on issues as diverse as climate change, voting machines, and art forgery, as we probe the validity of data, the fabrication of evidence, and the harmful as well as potentially liberating practices and ramifications of faking it.

Keynote Speaker:

Joseph Masco is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago. He writes and teaches courses on science and technology, U.S. national security culture, political ecology, mass media, and critical theory. He is the author of The Nuclear Borderlands: The Manhattan Project in Post-Cold War New Mexico (Princeton University Press, 2006), which won the 2008 Rachel Carson Prize from the Society for the Social Studies of Science and the 2006 Robert K. Merton Prize from the Section on Science, Knowledge and Technology of the American Sociology Association. His work as been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Wenner-Gren Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. His current work examines the evolution of the national security state in the United States, with a particular focus on the interplay between affect, technology, and threat perception within a national public sphere."
via:javierarbona  faking  fakingit  trickster  events  2015  imitation  fakes  impostors  falsification  manipulation  copying  counterfeiting  quackery  agnotology  ignorance  fraud  science  sociology  knowledge  forgery  anthropology  improvisation  notknowing  medicine  creativity  fabrication  evidence  truth  josephmasco  technology  culture  society  academia  ethics  invisibility  bullshit 
march 2015 by robertogreco
"Bonded Life: Technologies of Racial Finance from Slavery to Philanthrocapitalism" | Zenia Kish and Justin Leroy - Academia.edu
"Amid public critiques of Wall Street’s amorality and protests against sharpening inequality since the financial crisis of 2008, the emergent discourse of philanthrocapitalism – philanthropic capitalism – has sought to recuperate amoral centre for finance capitalism. Philanthrocapitalism seeks to marry financecapital with a moral commitment to do good. These strategies require new financial instruments to make poverty reduction and other forms of social welfare profitable business ventures. Social impact bonds (SIBs) – which offer private investors competitive returns on public sector investments – and related instruments have galvanized the financialization of both public services and the life possibilities of poor communities in the USA and the Global South. This article maps new intrusions of credit and debt into previously unmarketable spheres of life, such as prison recidivism outcomes, and argues that contemporary social finance practices such as SIBs are inextricable from histories of race – that financialization has been and continues to be a deeply racialized process. Intervening in debatesabout the social life of financial practices and the coercive creation of new debtor publics, we chart technologies meant to transform subjects considered valueless intoappropriate, even laudable, objects of financial investment. Because their proponents frame SIBs as philanthropic endeavours, the violence required to financialize human life becomes obfuscated. We aim to historicize the violence of financialization by drawing out links between financial capitalism as it developed during the height of the Atlantic slave trade and the more subtle violence of philanthropic financial capitalism. Though the notion that slaves could be a good investment – both in the profitable and moral sense of the word – seems far removed from our contemporary sensibilities, the shadow of slavery haunts SIBs; despite their many differences, both required black bodies to be made available for investment. Both also represent an expansion to the limits of financialization."
charitableindustrialcomplex  philanthropy  slavery  capitalism  philanthrocapitalism  zeniakish  justinleroy  slaveinsurance  insurance  finance  banking  inequality  race  racism  financialization  neoliberalism  via:javierarbona  socialfinance  poverty  socialimpactbonds  investment  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  power  control 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Allan Sekula: Facing the Music | Available now from East of Borneo Books
"This is a book that those of us who are still proud to call ourselves documentary makers need, and it is a book that we will cherish." —Thom Andersen

"Allan Sekula was the son of the San Pedro docks and gantry cranes; the Walter Benjamin of a Los Angeles forever suspended between sweat and make-belief, riot and boosterism. His sensibility was so powerful because it was completely native and yet as internationalist as the IWW maritime workers whose heroic lore he celebrated. Above all, he had a unique eye: who else recognized that Frank Gehry is actually a shipbuilder and that his Disney Hall and the Bilbao Museum are corsairs with billowing concrete sails?"  —Mike Davis

“Facing the Music has its own way of keeping time. Read it aloud and you will hear Allan Sekula’s voice. He is still on the march, raising questions, wanting human kindness to prevail, demanding social justice for all, writing like all get-out.” —Molly Nesbit

[Also here: http://www.eastofborneo.org/books/sekula ]
via:javierarbona  allansekula  mikedavis  frankgehry  shipbuilding  losangeles  books  walterbenjamin  thomandersen 
march 2015 by robertogreco
FIELD | A Journal of Socially-Engaged Art Criticism
"FIELD: A Journal of Socially-Engaged Art Criticism

We are living through a singular cultural moment in which the conventional relationship between art and the social world, and between artist and viewer, is being questioned and renegotiated. FIELD responds to the remarkable proliferation of new artistic practices devoted to forms of political, social and cultural transformation. Frequently collaborative in nature, this work is being produced by artists and art collectives throughout North, South and Central America, Europe, Africa and Asia. While otherwise quite diverse, it is driven by a common desire to establish new relationships between artistic practice and other fields of knowledge production, from urbanism to environmentalism, from experimental education to participatory design. In many cases it has been inspired by, or affiliated with, new movements for social and economic justice around the globe. Throughout this field of practice we see a persistent engagement with sites of resistance and activism, and a desire to move beyond existing definitions of both art and the political. The title of this journal reflects two main concerns. First, it indicates our interest in a body of artistic production that engages the broadest possible range of social forces, actors, discursive systems and physical conditions operating at a given site. And second, it signals a concern with the questions that these projects raise about the “proper” field of art itself, as it engages with other disciplines and other modes of cultural production.

How do these practices redefine our understanding of aesthetic experience? And how do they challenge preconceived notions of the “work” of art? For many in the mainstream art world this opening out is evidence of a dangerous promiscuity, which threatens to subsume the unique identity of art. As a result this work has been largely ignored by the most visible journals and publications in the field. At the same time, an often-problematic concept of “social engagement” has become increasingly fashionable among many museums and foundations in Europe and the United States. There is clearly a need for a more intelligent and nuanced analysis of this new tendency. However, it has become increasingly clear that the normative theoretical conventions and research methodologies governing contemporary art criticism are ill-equipped to address the questions raised by this work. FIELD is based on the belief that informed analysis of this practice requires the cultivation of new forms of interdisciplinary knowledge, and a willingness to challenge the received wisdom of contemporary art criticism and theory. We seek to open a dialogue among and between artists, activists, historians, curators, and critics, as well as researchers in fields such as philosophy, performance studies, urbanism, ethnography, sociology, political science, and education. To that end the journal’s editorial board will include a diverse range of scholars, artists, historians, curators, activists and researchers. It is our belief that it is only at the intersections of these disciplines that can we develop a deeper understanding of the cultural transformations unfolding around us.

–Grant Kester, founder and editor, FIELD


FIELD Editorial Board

Tania Bruguera is an artist and the founder of Immigrant Movement International. Her most recent project is The Museum of Arte Útil.
Teddy Cruz is Professor of Public Culture and Urbanism in the Visual Arts department at the University of California San Diego, and Director of the UCSD Center for Urban Ecologies.
Tom Finkelpearl is the Commissioner of Cultural Affairs for New York City and the editor of What We Made: Conversations on Art and Social Cooperation (Duke University Press, 2013).
Fonna Forman is Associate Professor of Political Science, founding co-director of the UCSD Center on Global Justice and author of Adam Smith and the Circles of Sympathy: Cosmopolitanism and Moral Theory (Cambridge University Press, 2009).
Dee Hibbert-Jones is Associate Professor of Art and Founder and Co-Director of the Social Practice Research Center at UC Santa Cruz.
Shannon Jackson is the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Chair in the Arts and Humanities at UC Berkeley and author of Social Works: Performing Art, Supporting Publics (Routledge 2011).
Michael Kelly is professor of philosophy at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, author of A Hunger for Aesthetics: Enacting the Demands of Art (Columbia University Press, 2012) and editor of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Aesthetics.
Grant Kester, Field editor and founder, is professor of art history at UCSD and author of The One and the Many: Contemporary Collaborative Art in a Global Context (Duke University Press, 2011).
Rick Lowe is an artist, founder of Project Row Houses in Houston, and member of the National Council on the Arts.
George Marcus is the Director of the Center for Ethnography and Chancellor’s Professor and chair of the department of anthropology at UC Irvine, and author of Ethnography Through Thick and Thin (Princeton University Press, 1998).
Paul O’Neill is the Director of the Graduate Program, Center for Curatorial Studies, Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, New York.
Raúl Cárdenas Osuna is an artist, theorist, and the founder of Torolab collective and the Transborder Farmlab in Tijuana, Mexico.
Francesca Polletta is Professor of Sociology at UC Irvine and author of It Was Like a Fever: Storytelling in Protest and Politics (University of Chicago Press, 2006).
Greg Sholette is an activist, artist and professor in the Social Practice Queens program at Queens College and the author of Dark Matter: Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture (Pluto Press, 2011).
Nato Thompson is Chief Curator, Creative Time, New York City and editor of Living as Form: Socially Engaged Art from 1991-2011 (MIT Press, 2012).

FIELD Editorial Collective

Paloma Checa-Gismero
Alex Kershaw
Noni Brynjolson
Stephanie Sherman
Julia Fernandez
Michael Ano

Thanks

FIELD would like to acknowledge the generous support of the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts (UCIRA), the UCSD Division of Arts and Humanities, and the UCSD Visual Arts department."
ucsd  art  criticism  artcriticism  grantkester  taniabruguera  teddycruz  tomfinkelpearl  fonnaforman  deehibbert-jones  shannonjackson  michaelkelly  ricklowe  georgemarcus  paulo'neill  raúlcárdenasosuna  francescapolletta  gregsholette  natothompson  palomacheca-gismero  alexkershaw  nonibrynjolson  stephaniesherman  juliafernandez  michaelano  ucira  socialpracticeart  knowledgeproduction  urbanism  environmentalism  2015  education  alterative  experimental  participatorydesign  design  participatory  glvo  via:javierarbona  politics  arts  culturalproduction  aesthetics  socialengagement  museums  interdisciplinary  ethnography  sociology  philosophy 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Sonic Contagions: Bird Flu, Bandung, and the Queer Cartographies of M.I.A. | Ronak Kapadia - Academia.edu
"This article explores the complex relation of image and sound in the work of Sri Lankan diasporic musician, producer, and designer Mathangi Maya Arulpragasam (a.k.a. MIA). With her eclectic visual style and synthesis of hip-hop, electronica, dance, and global pop music, MIA has now been a trailblazer in music, fashion, and political culture for a decade. Recently named one of Time Magazine’s “75 Most Influential People” of the 21st century, MIA is the first artist of Asian descent to be nominated for anAcademy and Grammy Award in the same year. This article introduces the concept of “queer cartographies,” a critical listening to MIA’s beats, which allows us to grasp not only the nexus of race, gender, and globalizing security in the context of US warfare, but also the unlikely intimacies between diverse histories of terrorism and the political agendas of social movements and radical uprisings across the globe. “Sonic Contagions” is motivated by the emergent articulation of global public health surveillance programs with recent security panics over bird flu and swine flu. Together, these biopolitical developments provide the discursive terrain in which to ask how existingUS security apparatuses are being reconfigured to shape new assemblages of organizations, techniques, and forms of biopolitical expertise. At stake here, and in contrast to this emergent “biosecurity” framework, are the aesthetic practices of artists like MIA, which provide a critical moment of refreshment—an opportunity to reactivate our political imaginations and conceptualize “contagion” anew. After a brief elaboration of her complex visual performances, I prioritize an account of the sonic realm in MIA’s work to argue that sonic processes of affective contagion, or “sonic contagions,” make available alternative utopian possibilities that offer other ways of hearing and conceptualizing queer collectivity, belonging, and pleasure in the midst of the devastations wrought by security panics and warfare."
mia  2014  music  security  contagion  war  warfare  ronakkapadia  via:javierarbona  sonic  soniccontagion  race  gender  politics 
february 2015 by robertogreco
The Institute for Infinitely Small Things
"The Institute for Infinitely Small Things conducts creative, participatory research that aims to temporarily transform public spaces and instigate dialogue about democracy, spatial justice and everyday life. The Institute’s projects use performance, conversation and unexpected interventions to investigate social and political “tiny things”. Based mostly in Boston, MA, and occasionally under the leadership of kanarinka, James Manning, Jaimes Mayhew, Forest Purnell or Nicole Siggins the group’s membership is varied and interdisciplinary."

[via: https://twitter.com/AlJavieera/status/536609502464704512 ]

[See also:
http://www.ikatun.com/kanarinka/
http://www.ikatun.org/ ]
theinstituteforinfinitelysmallthings  small  kanarinka  jamesmanning  forestpurnell  nicolesiggins  interdisciplinary  via:javierarbona  interventions  publicspace  democracy  conservation  unexpected  tinythings  boston  participatory  ikatun 
november 2014 by robertogreco
My letter of application to the Harvard Kennedy School's Senior Professorship of Social Innovation
"Dear Sir or Madam, But Most Likely Sir:

I am writing to apply for your advertised position in Social Innovation. As a Comparative Literature Ph.D, I am proficient in the fabrication of closed tautological circles of non-meaning; this makes me the ideal candidate for a job seeking “innovative teachers…for the position of lecturer in innovation.”

On the other hand, as an Assistant Professor of English, I know only too well the dangers of failing to innovate. For example, I am often forced to talk to human students who are sitting in bounded classrooms often wired for multimedia applications I am unable or simply unwilling to use. Paper books are an obsolete technology barely worthy of the word, and poetry, despite its promising shortness, takes far too long to understand. These hardships have granted me an acute understanding of the innovation deficit your department so bravely seeks to overcome.

In spite of English Literature’s disciplinary hostility to “innovation,” change agency, and both entre- and intra-preneurship, my training as a literature scholar would offer immediate benefits to your department’s offerings in Social Innovation. For example, I would be pleased to proofread your job advertisements, in order to innovate their presently sub-optimal levels of intelligibility.

The professorship is open to both distinguished practitioners, especially those with a deep understanding of social entrepreneurship, and to tenure-level scholars in fields related to social innovation, including social entrepreneurs, social intrapreneurs and, more broadly, social change makers.

“Social entrepreneurs” are not a field, as the sentence’s syntax suggests, and that final clause could be made nimbler by using the adjective “social” only once, as here: “social entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and change makers.” In addition, it’s not clear that “change makers” constitutes a broader category than “entrepreneurs,” yet neither is it obviously more specific. Given my exposure to creative industries like literature, I would be excited to invent more terminology to make this list of synonyms for “businessman” even longer.

But innovating new ways of saying “entrepreneur” isn’t the only thought-leadership I would exercise within the field of Innovation Studies. As thinkfluencers have argued persuasively, disruption must occur not only within fields and businesses but institutions and organizations. My first intrapreneurial initiative, therefore, would be to fatally disrupt your (hopefully soon to be our) department. Moving our courses entirely online and replacing department faculty other than myself with low-wage adjuncts armed with xeroxes of J.S. Schumpeter quotations would improve efficiency, reach even more students, and ultimately make a bigger difference.

To paraphrase a great disruptor: We must destroy the Professorship of Social Innovation in order to save it. I am available for immediate Skype interviews.

Sincerely,

John Patrick Leary"
2014  via:javierarbona  johnpatrickleary  language  business  education  highered  malarkey  highereducation  bullshitjobs  intrapreneurs  entrepreneurs  changeagency  thoughtleaders  leadership  thinkfluencers  disruption  endoftimes  socialentrepreneurship  entrepreneurialism  jsschumpter  innovation  canon  changemaking  changemakers 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Should You Fear the Pizzly Bear? - NYTimes.com
"In New England today, trees cover more land than they have at any time since the colonial era. Roughly 80 percent of the region is now forested, compared with just 30 percent in the late 19th century. Moose and turkey again roam the backwoods. Beavers, long ago driven from the area by trappers seeking pelts, once more dam streams. White-tailed deer are so numerous that they are often considered pests. And an unlikely predator has crept back into the woods, too: what some have called the coywolf. It is both old and new — roughly one-quarter wolf and two-thirds coyote, with the rest being dog.

The animal comes from an area above the Great Lakes, where wolves and coyotes live — and sometimes breed — together. At one end of this canid continuum, there are wolves with coyote genes in their makeup; at the other, there are coyotes with wolf genes. Another source of genetic ingredients comes from farther north, where the gray wolf, a migrant species originally from Eurasia, resides. “We call it canis soup,” says Bradley White, a scientist at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, referring to the wolf-coyote hybrid population.

The creation story White and his colleagues have pieced together begins during European colonization, when the Eastern wolf was hunted and poisoned out of existence in its native Northeast. A remnant population — “loyalists” is how White refers to them — migrated to Canada. At the same time, coyotes, native to the Great Plains, began pushing eastward and mated with the refugee wolves. Their descendants in turn bred with coyotes and dogs. The result has been a creature with enough strength to hunt the abundant woodland deer, which it followed into the recovering Eastern forests. Coywolves, or Eastern coyotes, as White prefers to call them, have since pushed south to Virginia and east to Newfoundland. The Eastern coyote is a study in the balancing act required to survive as a medium-size predator in a landscape full of people. It can be as much as 40 percent larger than the Western coyote, with powerful wolflike jaws; it has also inherited the wolf’s more social nature, which allows for pack hunting. (In 2009, a pack of Eastern coyotes attacked and killed a 19-year-old Canadian folk singer named Taylor Mitchell in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.) But it shares with coyotes, some 2,000 of which live within Chicago’s city limits, a remarkable ability to thrive in humanized landscapes.

“We’re kind of privileged in the last 100 years to watch the birth of this entity,” White told me, “and now the evolution of this entity across this North American landscape that we’ve modified.” Evolutionarily speaking, coyotes diverged from gray wolves one million to two million years ago, and dogs from wolves roughly 15,000 years ago. Yet over the past century, as agriculture moved to the Midwest and California, farmland in the East reverted to woodlands. The rise of fossil fuels reduced the demand for firewood. Forests spread, and deer and other prey proliferated, while human intolerance for wolves kept a potential competitor at bay.

Thus did humans inadvertently create an ecological niche for a predator in one of the most densely populated regions of the country. In an exceedingly brief period, coyote, wolf and dog genes have been remixed into something new: a predator adapted to a landscape teeming with both prey and another apex predator, us. And this mongrel continues to evolve. Javier Monzon, an evolutionary biologist at Stony Brook University, has found that Eastern coyotes living in areas with the highest densities of deer also carry the greatest number of wolf genes. Another scholar of the Eastern coyote — Roland Kays, a zoologist at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh — estimates that the Eastern coyote’s hybrid ancestry has allowed it to expand its range five times as fast as nonhybrid coyotes could have. In the urbanized Northeast, of all places, an abundance of large prey seems to have promoted a predator whose exceptional adaptability has derived, in large part, from the hodgepodge nature of its genome."



"The widespread evidence of intermixing has spurred a reassessment of the notion that hybrids are born failures. In its place a more nuanced view has taken hold: While hybridization can certainly be destructive, it may also expedite adaptation. New creatures may emerge seemingly overnight from cross-species mating. “Long after speciation, even nonsister species can actually exchange genes, some of which are useful,” James Mallet, an evolutionary biologist at Harvard, told me.

Indeed, today’s hybrids may signify more than just the erosion of biodiversity. They may signal a kind of resilience in the face of sudden environmental change."
biology  evolution  species  nature  animals  hybrids  hybridity  anthropocene  climatechange  crossbreeding  via:javierarbona  science  2014  biodiversity  genetics  environment  ecology  ecosystems 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Loop 60Hz: City of Drones by Liam Young + John Cale + FIELD.io
"City of Drones is an interactive digital environment developed by musician John Cale, speculative architect Liam Young and digital artists FIELD. Charting the story of a lost drone drifting through an abstract cityscape, players are invited to pilot a virtual craft and remotely explore this imaginary world. Samples from Cale’s original soundscape compositions echo across the landscape as we see the city through the eyes of the drone, buzzing between the buildings, drifting endlessly, in an ambient audio visual choreography."
animation  art  drones  audio  liamyong  johncale  2014  via:javierarbona 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Radio Ambulante: La Balada de Daniel D. Portado
En 1994, en medio de un debate tenaz sobre la migración en California, el caricaturista Lalo Alcaraz se inventó un nombre y un personaje: Daniel D. Portado. Veinte años después, D. Portado ha vuelto a cobrar relevancia.
via:javierarbona  danieldeportado  proposition187  laloalcaraz  california  immigration  satire  radioambulante  1994  telemundo  petewilson  2012  policy 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Con la nueva burguesía aymara nace en Bolivia la arquitectura “neoandina” — La Jornada
[See also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkkPSpokAXg
http://artecontemporaneoboliviano.blogspot.com/2014/03/la-arquitectura-de-freddy-mamani.html
http://blog.salinasanchez.com/2014/03/arquitectura-andina-de-bolivia-de-freddy-mamani-silvestre/
http://www.nuevacronica.com/pinacoteca/mamani-silvestre-freddy/ ]

"El Alto. Con su estilo barroco y atrevido, lleno de símbolos andinos, las minimansiones que afloran en las calles de El Alto, la pujante ciudad pegada a La Paz que crece a paso acelerado, no pasan inadvertidas.

Identifican a nuevos ricos indígenas, muchos de ellos comerciantes informales que hicieron fortuna vendiendo cosas en la calle. Sus propietarios a menudo invierten millones de dólares en edificios opulentos y gastan fortunas en salones de bailes con colores brillantes.

"Son una nueva burguesía aymara que migró del campo y logró éxito en el comercio", a la que además le gusta ostentar su cultura a la par que su poder económico, dice el antropólogo jesuita Xavier Albó.

Las minimansiones combinan arquitectura moderna con diseños tradicionales y reflejan sobre todo dos cosas: la riqueza de los dueños y su condición de aymaras. Hay unos 120 edificios de ese tipo en Bolivia, la mayoría de ellos en la gigantesca barriada pobre de El Alto, según la historiadora de la arquitectura Elisabetta Andreoli, quien describe el estilo como "neoandino". Y hay muchas más bajo construcción.

La mayoría surgieron tras la llegada a la presidencia de Evo Morales, el primer gobernante indígena del país, un aymara, en el 2006. Y coinciden con un modesto boom económico, producto de los buenos precios de las materias primas, y de un creciente orgullo que sienten los aymaras por su cultura. La industria de la construcción creció un 8.6% el año pasado, a un ritmo que es dos veces el del crecimiento económico en general.

Descendientes de los tiwanacotas, uno de los pueblos andinos más antiguos, los aymaras nunca fueron sometidos, ni siquiera por los incas, y se expandieron por el norte de Chile, el sur de Perú y en Bolivia son la etnia más influyente. El Alto es su hechura."
architecture  bolivia  aymara  neoandina  2014  design  via:javierarbona  cholets  evomorales  lapaz  elalto  freddymamanisilvestre 
may 2014 by robertogreco
SOPHIA AZEB /// The “No-State Solution”: Power of Imagination for the Palestinian Struggle « ARCHIPELAGO | The Podcast Platform of the Funambulist
"This conversation with Sophia Azeb is the first of a series recorded along the American and Canadian West Coast. Sophia and I talk about our frustrations to see the lack of imagination offered by the “solutions” (a highly problematic term) often given to end what remains problematic to call “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” In opposition to the traditional “two-state solution” and “one-state solution,” Sophia proposes a “no-state solution,” that refuses the recognition of any property on the land and thus, state-sovereignty. We talk about the land being practiced by the bodies, and the bodies being fragments of the land, through a corpus of anti-colonial poetry. Finally we address science-fiction as a provider of narratives whose imaginative power can have important political impact in the construction of a collective future.

Sophia Azeb is a PhD Candidate in the Department of American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. Her dissertation project, Ceci (n’)est (pas) une Arabe: Cultural Explorations of Blackness in the North African Diaspora, 1952-1979, explores articulations of blackness within multilingual and transnational anti-colonial cultural practices of expatriate African Americans, Algerians, and Egyptians during the Cold War era. She writes on these and related topics for Africa Is A Country, The Feminist Wire, and KCET Artbound. Sophia is an ardent Gooner, and can be found on Twitter: @brownisthecolor.

WEBSITES:

- http://africasacountry.com/author/smallsilence/
- http://thefeministwire.com/2012/09/introducing-sophia-azeb/
- http://www.kcet.org/arts/artbound/columnists/sophia-azeb/

REFERENCE BOOKS:

- Mahmoud Darwish, “Ana Atin ila Zit ‘aynaki (I am coming to the shadows of your eyes).”
- Mike Krebs and Dana M. Olwan. “‘From Jerusalem to the Grand River, Our Struggles are One’: Challenging Canadian and Israeli Settler Color Colonial Studies 2:2, 2012.
- Achille Mbembe. De La Postcolonie, essai sur l’imagination politique dans l’Afrique contemporaine. Éditions Karthala, 2000.
- Joe Sacco. Palestine. Fantagraphics, 2001.
- Raja Shehadeh, Palestinian Walks: Forays into a Vanishing Landscape, Scribner, 2008.
- Raja Shehadeh, 2037: Le Grand Bouleversement, Galaade, 2011.

REFERENCE ART WORK:

- Larissa Sansour, “Nation Estate” (2012): [image]

- Larissa Sansour, “A Space Exodus” (2009): [image]

REFERENCE PHOTOGRAPHS:

- Israeli settlement of Kochav Ya’akov near Qalandiya checkpoint (West Bank) /// Photograph by Léopold Lambert (2010): [image]

- Palestinian settlement in the North of Ramallah on the road to Birzeit University /// Photograph by Léopold Lambert (2010): [image]"
sophiaazeb  via:javierarbona  2014  palestine  israel  colonialism  decolonization  collectivism  property  indigeneity  history  sciencefiction  scifi  sovereignty  land  borders  border  settlements  culture  postcolonialism  maps  mapping  ownership  mobility  speculativefiction  poetry 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Museum as Hub: Interview with Beta-Local by Ruba Katrib :: New Museum
[See also: http://www.conboca.org/2012/05/29/entrevista-a-michelle-marxuach-y-beatriz-santiago-de-beta-local/
and http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/14/greathomesanddestinations/14gh-puertorico.html ]

"Beta-Local is a nonprofit center for contemporary art initiated in 2009 and located in the heart of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. I met the three cofounders, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Michy Marxuach, and Tony Cruz in 2010 in their storefront space, which was filled with long tables and chairs, surrounded by bookshelves packed to the brim, sofas, and a small kitchen. While Beta-Local doesn’t exhibit art, it is an essential site that fosters interdisciplinary production and dialogue within Puerto Rico. While I was there, international visitors (myself included) were using the space to have studio visits with local artists; meanwhile, the São Paulo-based artist Carla Zaccagnini led a course. In a time when the university system in Puerto Rico is especially volatile, Beta-Local has become a safe haven for artists and others interested in education and exchange. I was invited to interview Beta-Local for Museum as Hub, who feature the space in their Art Spaces Directory.

Ruba Katrib: Can you talk a little bit about why you started and what you consider to be the central focus of your program?

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz: Beta-Local grew out of our interest in rethinking aesthetic thought and artistic practice from our local context. We began the project in 2009, during the economic crisis. We viewed the lack of local institutional support structures, such as contemporary galleries, museums, and art schools—along with the crisis in traditional modes of production and art economies—as an opportunity to develop alternative support structures for art and vernacular pedagogies. We insist on artistic practice and aesthetic thought as an essential social and political practice part of life.

Beta-Local is organized around three main programs: La Práctica, a nine-month production-based program, The Harbor, a residency program, and La Ivan Illich, an open school through which anyone can propose a class that they want to take or teach. These three programs generate many independent projects from performances to seminars, concerts to collective meals.

Our most important role is to support artists in making work. This making/thinking happens in the midst of projects, classes, lectures, and research. The multiple directions that the conversation can take can be disorienting, but we think this is a good thing.

We wanted to create a space that supported art-making—very broadly defined—and we wanted to do this while responding to and rethinking our physical context, the places where we live, our relationship to the people we collaborate with, their abilities and interests, as well as their imaginative visions of what was possible. We wanted to think about and create links across disciplines, and find connections between artistic practice and other ways of thinking and doing.

When we began the project, it was important for us to emphasize the lack of functionality in institutions, not a lack of exhibition space. We really looked to bring home the point that if there was no functionality in institutions, if the museums provided neither the resources, the relationship to a public, nor the critical context, than your living room—a street corner or a factory was just as good or perhaps an even better space for exhibition/presentation. We also wanted to de-emphasize the exhibition as the only point of contact between public and artist by opening up the process of production to the public, and allowing it to be challenged and enriched in the process.

We do actually orchestrate exhibitions/presentations when that is the logical end result of a project. We have brought in Alia Farid, a young curator living in Barcelona and Kuwait, to work with artist Rosalin Suero on the exhibition “Almacén/Habitación,” which took place in an industrial park. We also collaborated with the local Association of Architects to present Ashley Hunt’s lecture/performance Notes on the Emptying of a City and we presented Jeanine Oleson’s performance La Gran Limpia in contested public spaces and published a related text—these are just some examples. Generally, we don’t present work in our space; this forces us to create collaborations and open up other spaces for art. In general, these spaces have the resources, the space, and the electricity bills, they just don’t have the programming.

RK: With these different components comprising your structure, how do you balance the courses and workshops that are initiated by Beta-Local (that have your interests in mind) with the more “user-generated” elements of the program? Do these aspects of the program correlate or do you see them as separate initiatives entirely?

BSM: It is very hard to disentangle the two as there is a certain flow and synchronicity between them. Beta-Local has some clear interests—they are evident in the structure of Beta-Local, in the physical space, in our personal work as artists and cultural producers—but as the community of participants grows, those interests also grow, overlap, and meander. We follow our interests, but we leave all sorts of doors open for others to do the same. We are moved by the commitment of others to their own work and vision.

For example, we have received a lot of proposals related to bike culture, from mapping routes to bike mechanics. There is also a community of architects who are interested in experimental practices and architecture as research who participate regularly in programming, proposing, and leading classes; we have had classes and lectures proposed by economists, neuroscientists, ninety–year-old cooks, and teenagers. During 2011–12, we had a movement researcher participating in La Práctica. She initiated a project that involved the participation of many dancers, improvisers, and other movement researchers. This project opened the door to a local history of movement practices and all of a sudden we were in the middle of the dance community—not a place we could have anticipated at all. Similar instances have happened, all branching out in many directions—the space attracts like-minded people from other disciplines.

On the other hand, we also have found ways to pursue a sustained investigation into ideas of interest to Beta-Local. This year, we have begun a new series of intensive seminars anchored in our specific geography, local knowledge, and emerging art practices. This January, we are holding our first two-week session on the subject of land, place, and its visual representation. The ways in which our landscape is read and reinscribed through images is a subject that has come up a lot in the work of artists that we admire. The seminar puts together geographers, artists, and others who have been working on these ideas, including Chemi Rosado, Javier Arbona, and many others. We hope it will be the first of many. We have also pursued research and collaboration into experimental pedagogy, and have sustained long-term collaborations with artists and researchers whose work we are interested in exploring more in-depth.

In the most practical sense, we can do this because we are wiling to literally and figuratively lend them the keys. During our first and second year, we had so many proposals for courses (interesting ones!) and programming that we had to decide early on how to handle this. We would have collapsed if one of the three of us had to be there for everything. Andrea Bauzá, an architect who participated in La Práctica during our first year, organized an eight-week course on architecture, public space, and activism. We gave her the key to the space and from that point on we have done it many other times. On the one hand, it solves a practical problem, on the other, it really gives programming autonomy to the public school project. Also, all La Práctica participants have the ability to program the space and pursue their interests through programming. As we bring more people in, we have more and more reliable collaborators who can run programs, create projects, and teach classes.

RK: How do you believe Beta-Local’s program is perceived locally? There is a dynamic community of artists, curators, and collectors in Puerto Rico, what role do you think your program plays in the local art scene?

BSM: We have been very lucky to have the support and collaboration of the local community of artists and curators—as well as architects, designers, and non-art neighbors. They create programs and are our main audience and participants. Without their support and participation this simply would not work. This, in part, has to do with the fact that the public or La Práctica participants propose at least half of our programming. Establishing a steady connection with collectors is a bit trickier. We are not a traditional presenting institution. Some unconventional collectors avidly support our programs and regularly participate in events. We have also collaborated with Espacio 1414, a private collection, in creating a public program, which was very successful. But more conservative collectors may still be working on figuring out what we do and how this supports a healthy art community. Our place in the local ecosystem is as an engine through which new art and other relationships are forged, tested, and experimented with.

RK: Beta-Local is very integrated into the regional fabric; much of your program is a direct response to the immediate needs of the community in San Juan. But you also have international aspects to your program, how do you connect and communicate your activities to a broader contemporary art context?

BSM: We invite artists to Beta-Local whose work has interesting ties to or challenges local practices, Ana María Millán/Helena Producciones, Amílcar Packer, Carla Zaccagnini, Pablo Guardiola, Adriana Lara, Alia Farid, Center for Land Use Interpretation, Felipe Mujica, and … [more]
via:javierarbona  2014  beta-local  sanjuan  puertorico  beatrizsantiagomuñoz  art  openstudioproject  lcproject  glvo  tonycruz  michymarxuach  studios  studioclassroom  freeschools  education  community  ivanillich  residencies  rubakatrib  funding  fundraising  galleries  local  pedagogy  vernacularpedagogies  openschools  open  place  interdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  transdisciplinary  multidisciplinary 
march 2014 by robertogreco
The Reparations of History - Politics - Utne Reader
"Haitian slaves began to throw off the “heel of the French” in 1791, when they rose up and, after bitter years of fighting, eventually declared themselves free. Their French masters, however, refused to accept Haitian independence. The island, after all, had been an extremely profitable sugar producer, and so Paris offered Haiti a choice: compensate slave owners for lost property—their slaves (that is, themselves)—or face its imperial wrath. The fledgling nation was forced to finance this payout with usurious loans from French banks. As late as 1940, 80% of the government budget was still going to service this debt.

In the on-again, off-again debate that has taken place in the United States over the years about paying reparations for slavery, opponents of the idea insist that there is no precedent for such a proposal. But there is. It’s just that what was being paid was reparations-in-reverse, which has a venerable pedigree. After the War of 1812 between Great Britain and the U.S., London reimbursed southern planters more than a million dollars for having encouraged their slaves to run away in wartime. Within the United Kingdom, the British government also paid a small fortune to British slave owners, including the ancestors of Britain’s current Prime Minister, David Cameron, to compensate for abolition (which Adam Hochschild calculated in his 2005 book Bury the Chains to be “an amount equal to roughly 40% of the national budget then, and to about $2.2 billion today”)."



"The idea that slavery made the modern world is not new, though it seems that every generation has to rediscover that truth anew. Almost a century ago, in 1915, W.E.B Du Bois wrote, “Raphael painted, Luther preached, Corneille wrote, and Milton sung; and through it all, for four hundred years, the dark captives wound to the sea amid the bleaching bones of the dead; for four hundred years the sharks followed the scurrying ships; for four hundred years America was strewn with the living and dying millions of a transplanted race; for four hundred years Ethiopia stretched forth her hands unto God.”

How would we calculate the value of what we today would call the intellectual property—in medicine and other fields—generated by slavery’s suffering? I’m not sure. But a revival of efforts to do so would be a step toward reckoning with slavery’s true legacy: our modern world."
reparations  slavery  haiti  us  2014  via:javierarbona  slavetrade  imperialism  capitalism  humanrights  medicalexperimentation  history 
february 2014 by robertogreco
New, privatized African city heralds climate apartheid | Environment | theguardian.com
"Nigeria's Eko Atlantic augurs how the super-rich will exploit the crisis of climate change to increase inequality and seal themselves off from its impacts"
nigeria  ekoatlantic  cities  inequality  2014  martinlukacs  climateapartheid  segregation  wealth  class  climateurbanism  via:javierarbona  seasteading 
january 2014 by robertogreco
BRATTON.INFO - talks - "we need to talk about ted"
"So what is TED exactly?

Perhaps it's the proposition that if we talk about world-changing ideas enough then the world will change. But this is not true, and that's the second problem.

TED of course stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and I’ll talk a bit about all three. I Think TED actually stands for: middlebrow megachurch infotainment.

The key rhetorical device for TED talks is a combination of epiphany and personal testimony (an “epiphimony” if you like ) through which the speaker shares a personal journey of insight and realization, its triumphs and tribulations.

What is it that the TED audience hopes to get from this? A vicarious insight, a fleeting moment of wonder, an inkling that maybe it’s all going to work out after all? A spiritual buzz?

I'm sorry but this fails to meet the challenges that we are supposedly here to confront. These are very complicated are not given to tidy just-so solutions. They don’t care about anyone’s experience of optimism. Given the stakes, making our best and brightest waste their time –and the audience’s time— dancing like infomercial hosts is too high a price. It is cynical.

Also, it just doesn’t work.

Recently there was a bit of a dust up when TED Global sent out a note to TEDx organizers to not book speakers whose work spans the paranormal, the conspiratorial, New Age, quantum neuroenergy, etc: what is called Woo. Instead of these placebos, TEDx should instead curate talks that are imaginative but grounded in reality. In fairness, they took some heat, so their gesture should be acknowledged. A lot of people take TED very seriously, and might lend credence to specious ideas if stamped with TED credentials. "No" to placebo science and medicine.

But the corollaries of placebo science and placebo medicine are placebo politics and placebo innovation. On this point, TED has a long ways to go.

Perhaps the pinnacle of placebo politics and innovation was featured at TEDx San Diego in 2011. You’re familiar I assume with Kony2012, the social media campaign to stop war crimes in central Africa? What happened here? Evangelical Christian surfer Bro goes to help kids in Africa. He makes a campy video explaining genocide to the cast of Glee. The world finds his public epiphany to be shallow to the point of self-delusion. The complex geopolitics of Central Africa are left undisturbed. Kony’s still there. The end.

You see, when inspiration becomes manipulation, inspiration becomes obfuscation. If you are not cynical you should be skeptical. You should be as skeptical of placebo politics as you are placebo medicine."



"E and Economics

A better 'E' in TED would stand for Economics, and the need for, yes imagining and designing, different systems of valuation, exchange, accounting of transaction externalites, financing of coordinated planning, etc. Because States plus Markets, States versus Markets, these are insufficient models, and our conversation is still stuck in Cold War gear.

Worse is when economics is debated like metaphysics, as if the reality of a system is merely a bad example of the ideal.

Communism in theory is an egalitarian utopia

Actually existing Communism meant ecological devastation, government spying, crappy cars and gulags

Capitalism in theory is rocket ships, nanomedicine, and Bono saving Africa.

Actually existing Capitalism means Walmart jobs, people living in sewers under Las Vegas, McMansions, Ryan Seacrest…plus —ecological devastation, government spying, crappy public transportation and for-profit prisons.

Our options for change range from basically what we have plus a little more Hayek, to what we have plus a little more Keynes. Why?

The most recent centuries have seen extraordinary accomplishments in improving quality of life. But the paradox is that the system we have now --whatever you want to call it-- is in the short term what makes the amazing new technologies possible, but in the long run it is also what suppresses their full flowering. Another economic architecture is prerequisite."



"As for one simple take away... I don't have one simple take away, one magic idea. That’s kind of the point. I will say that when and if the key problems facing our species were to be solved, then perhaps many of us in this room would be out of work (and perhaps in jail).

But it’s not as though there is a shortage of topics for serious discussion. We need a deeper conversation about the difference between digital cosmopolitanism and Cloud Feudalism (toward that, a queer history of computer science and Alan Turing’s birthday as holiday!)

I would like new maps of the world, ones not based on settler colonialism, legacy genomics and bronze age myths, but instead on something more… scalable.

TED today is not that.

Problems are not “puzzles” to be solved. That metaphor assumes that all the necessary pieces are already on the table, they just need to be re-arranged and re-programmed. It’s not true.

“Innovation” that moves the pieces around and adds more processing power is not some Big Idea that will disrupt a broken status quo: that precisely is the broken status quo.

One TED speaker said recently, “If you remove this boundary, ...the only boundary left is our imagination.” Wrong.

If we really want transformation we have to slog through the hard stuff (history, economics, philosophy, art, ambiguities, contradictions). Bracketing it off to the side to focus just on technology, or just on innovation, actually prevents transformation.

Instead of dumbing down the future we need to raise the level of general understanding to the level of complexity of the systems in which we are embedded and which are embedded in us. This is not about “personal stories of inspiration," it's about the difficult and uncertain work of de-mystification and re-conceptualization: the hard stuff that really changes how we think. More Copernicus, less Tony Robbins

At a societal level, the bottom line is if we invest things that make us feel good but which don’t work, and don’t invest things that don’t make us feel good but which may solve problems, then our fate is that it will just get harder and harder to feel good about not solving any problems.

In this case the placebo is worse than ineffective, it's harmful. It's diverts your interest, enthusiasm and outrage until it's absorbed into this black hole of affectation

Keep calm and carry on "innovating"... is that the real message of TED? To me that’s not inspirational, it’s cynical.

In the U.S. the right-wing has certain media channels that allow it to bracket reality... other constituencies have TED."

[Now posted at the Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/30/we-need-to-talk-about-ted ]
benjaminbratton  ted  tedxsandiego  2013  politics  technology  sandiego  lajolla  communism  capitalism  kony2012  geopolitics  drones  nsa  surveillance  innovation  ambiguity  contradiction  demystification  cynicism  skepticism  cloudfeudalism  digitalcosmopolitanism  via:javierarbona 
december 2013 by robertogreco
The Silent University
"The Silent University is an autonomous knowledge exchange platform by and for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. It is led by a group of lecturers, consultants and research fellows. Each group is contributing to the programme in different ways which include course development, specific research on key themes as well as personal reflections on what it means to be a refugee and asylum seeker. This platform will be presented using the format of an academic program.

In 2012 the Silent University has involved those that have had a professional life and academic training in their home countries, but are unable to use their skills or professional training in the UK due to a variety of reasons related to their status. Working together, the participants have developed course topics connected to their qualifications. The Silent University started initially in London in 2012 in collaboration with Delfina Foundation and Tate and later hosted by The Showroom. It is currently being established in the Sweden in collaboration with Tensta Konsthall and ABF Stockholm, and in France, at Le 116 in Montreuil, Greater Paris region.

The Silent University aims to address and reactivate the knowledge of the participants and make the exchange process mutually beneficial by inventing alternative currencies, in place of money or free voluntary service. The Silent University’s aim is to challenge the idea of silence as a passive state, and explore its powerful potential through performance, writing, and group reflection. These explorations attempt to make apparent the systemic failure and the loss of skills and knowledge experienced through the silencing process of people seeking asylum."

[Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bv_h8mOzxQU ]

[Related: http://www.visibleproject.org/blog/ ]
education  refugees  asylum  migrants  migration  openstudioproject  open  freeschools  ahmetögüt  2012  via:javierarbona 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Beta-Local
"Beta-Local es una organización sin fines de lucro dedicada a apoyar y promover la práctica y el pensamiento estético a través de varios programas:

La Práctica, una programa post-académico centrado el pensamiento estético y la producción artística mediante el cual becarios de diversas disciplinas llevan un proyecto desde conceptualización hasta presentación mediante procesos abiertos y frecuentemente colaborativos.

The Harbor, un programa de residencias artísticas, a través del cual artistas, arquitectos y otros hacedores residen en Beta-Loca y desarrollan proyectos o talleres.

La Ivan Illich, una plataforma mediante la cual cualquier persona puede proponer una clase que puede ofrece o que quiere tomar,

y un nutrido programa público de exhibicions, charlas, Pin-ups (críticas abiertas), muestras, exhibiciones y publicaciones.

Nuestra biblioteca de consulta, La Esquina está abierta al público un día a la semana y por cita."

[video (in English): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXEfZ3rxEck ]

"Beta-Local is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and promoting aesthetic thought and practice through various programs:

La Práctica, a post-academic study and production program, through which Fellows coming from diverse disciplines take a project from concept to production.

The Harbor: a residency program for visiting international artists, architects, designers and other cultural producers. Visitors to Beta-Local, develop projects, workshops and offer lectures on a variety of subjects related to art and other creative disciplines to the general public and to La Práctica Fellows.

La Ivan Illich, an open experimental school through which the participating public suggests, requests and creates courses and workshops.

and a full schedule of public programming which includes exhibitions, lectures, Pin-ups (open critiques), screenings and publications.

We also have a small reference library, La Esquina, focused on art and designopen once a week to the general public."
puertorico  ivanillich  education  art  arts  learning  colearning  via:javierarbona  studios  residencies  lcproject  freeschools  artmaking  materials  society  research  workinginpublic  tonycruz  pabloguardiola  michymaxuach  toolsforconviviality  conviviality  bosqueauxiliar  tooltotool  collaboration  socialpracticeart  walking  politics  beta-local 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Covert Capital - Andrew Friedman - Paperback - University of California Press
"The capital of the U.S. Empire after World War II was not a city. It was an American suburb. In this innovative and timely history, Andrew Friedman chronicles how the CIA and other national security institutions created a U.S. imperial home front in the suburbs of Northern Virginia. In this covert capital, the suburban landscape provided a cover for the workings of U.S. imperial power, which shaped domestic suburban life. The Pentagon and the CIA built two of the largest office buildings in the country there during and after the war that anchored a new imperial culture and social world.

As the U.S. expanded its power abroad by developing roads, embassies, and villages, its subjects also arrived in the covert capital as real estate agents, homeowners, builders, and landscapers who constructed spaces and living monuments that both nurtured and critiqued postwar U.S. foreign policy. Tracing the relationships among American agents and the migrants from Vietnam, El Salvador, Iran, and elsewhere who settled in the southwestern suburbs of D.C., Friedman tells the story of a place that recasts ideas about U.S. immigration, citizenship, nationalism, global interconnection, and ethical responsibility from the post-WW2 period to the present. Opening a new window onto the intertwined history of the American suburbs and U.S. foreign policy, Covert Capital will also give readers a broad interdisciplinary and often surprising understanding of how U.S. domestic and global histories intersect in many contexts and at many scales."
nova  virginia  2013  books  via:javierarbona  andrewfriedman  toread  cia  nsa  government  us  history  immigration  citizenship  nationalism 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Ibraaz Talks: Trevor Paglen on Aesthetics | Ibraaz
"Ibraaz Talks is a series of specially curated conversations with artists, curators and writers. Participants are invited to respond to a particular issue or keyword that addresses formal and conceptual issues affecting both their personal practices and contemporary visual culture. Initiated at Art Dubai in 2013, this latest series was staged at SALT Beyoğlu during the opening days of the 13th Istanbul Biennial. In this talk, artist Trevor Paglen and Ibraaz Senior Editor Omar Kholeif ask the question: why aesthetics? The discussion considers the notion of aesthetics in the context of a practice that often deals with ideas of anti-aesthetics. The talk takes into account a project Paglen presented during the Istanbul Biennial with Protocinema titled Prototype for a Nonfunctional Satellite (Design 4; Build 3) (2013) – a 4-metre tall model for an orbital spacecraft, which considers how such a functional object might operate in a non-functional context."
ibraaztalks  trevorpaglen  2013  aesthetics  objects  function  art  anti-aesthetics  via:javierarbona  economics  politics  taste  relationships  class  inequality  time  mortality  space  satellites  immortality  elitism 
october 2013 by robertogreco
The Ambitious Restoration of An Undammed Western River by Caroline Fraser: Yale Environment 360
"With the dismantling of two dams on Washington state’s Elwha River, the world’s largest dam removal project is almost complete. Now, in one of the most extensive U.S. ecological restorations ever attempted, efforts are underway to revive one of the Pacific Northwest’s great salmon rivers."
washingtonstate  elwha  salmon  dams  damremoval  via:javierarbona  renaturalization  restoration  nature  elwhariver  rivers  rewilding  olympicpeninsula 
october 2013 by robertogreco
White definitions of merit and admissions change when they think about Asian Americans, study finds | Inside Higher Ed
"But what if they think they favor meritocracy but at some level actually have a flexible definition, depending on which groups would be helped by certain policies? Frank L. Samson, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Miami, thinks his new research findings suggest that the definition of meritocracy used by white people is far more fluid than many would admit, and that this fluidity results in white people favoring certain policies (and groups) over others.

Specifically, he found, in a survey of white California adults, they generally favor admissions policies that place a high priority on high school grade-point averages and standardized test scores. But when these white people are focused on the success of Asian-American students, their views change."
race  us  policy  meritocracy  bias  testing  asian-americans  franksamson  access  sociology  admissions  highered  highereducation  via:javierarbona 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Rhizome | Allan Sekula's Letter to Bill Gates
"November 30, 1999

Dear Bill Gates,

I swam past your dream house the other day, but didn't stop to knock. Frankly, your underwater sensors had me worried. I would have liked to take a look at Winslow Homer's Lost on the Grand Banks. It's a great painting, but, speaking as a friend and fellow citizen, at $30 million you paid too much.

HIGHEST PRICE EVER PAID FOR AN AMERICAN PAINTING!!!

So why are you so interested in a picture of two poor lost dory fishermen, momentarily high on a swell, peering into a wall of fog? They are about as high as they're ever going to be, unless the sea gets uglier. They are going to die, you know, and it won't be a pretty death.

And as for you, Bill, when you're on the Net, are you lost? Or found ?

And the rest of us—lost or found—are we on it, or in it?

Your friend"
allansekula  1999  billgates  paintings  internet  web  mortality  wealth  luddism  via:javierarbona 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Birdland Jazz » FAQ
"What is your business model?

Our business model is to lose money every bbq/jazz event; and we are very good at it; so good at it that we have expanded bbq/music programming to three days a week and will soon add Thursday nights when we get another neighborhood dog to volunteer to clean up after rib bones in the venue. We are not for profit nor are we non-profit. We are a for loss social venture. It is based on an old Northwestern Native American tradition of competitive wealth destruction called Potlatch where members of the tribe or community destroy their wealth occasionally and shower the entire community with food and gifts; in our case we shower our members with food and music three times a week. Even if that means the week’s sponsor eats Top Ramen or sardines in a can the entire week to pay for the weekend’s bbq, our sponsors in the neighborhood will do it.

How can I support Birdland?

1. Sponsorship: Don’t eat for a week or eat top ramen and sardines, save that money and pay for the bbq that weekend.

2. Weekly Funraisers: Jazzistas are all about raising the level of fun, hence fun raisers, get it? So bring your positive vibe and fun energy to Birdland. Come to Birdland not to wind down from the week’s beatdown from work but to wind up and energize the folks around you.

3. Donation: Support the musicians at the door with your donation while you eat free bbq for 10 hours(9pm-6am, look at our menu–it’s straight, no chaser comfort food) and drink non alcoholic drinks, usually aqua frescas. You don’t need to bring food since it’s a POTLATCH, not potluck. BYOB to share with other jazzistas. If you don’t share your beer or wine, jazzistas will gossip about you and will call you all sorts of names behind your back and look at you like you just stole from their mothers.

4. Email List: Pinky, the beagle and Herschel, the black lab/mastiff mix have not learned how to type or use the internet; they are too busy eating leftover ribs on the sidewalk, the backyard, and the park so good luck getting an email from both of them. You know where Birdland is and when the party is going on and the websites: we have an alternative website:http://jazzista.org/

5. Wish List:

- Jazzistas should take their naps so they can stay up later in the night…ideal time to go home is 3am, at least.

- Jazzistas should have a voracious appetite for BBQ, music, and conversation.

- Jazzistas should be generous with other human beings and throw their plates and beer bottles in the right container and give their rib bones to the neighborhood dogs that attend.

- Jazzistas have 30 minute(that usually means it takes one hour to say goodbye at Birdland)goodbye conversations;

- Jazzistas don’t leave without saying goodbye to the new friends they met at Birdland.

- Jazzistas leave the last piece of meat for someone else who might be hungry or offer their last beer to some other stranger even if they really need another drink.

- If all else fails, go back to grandmother; she’ll put some common sense into your head. As my grandma used to tell me, “Use your common sense, boy!!!!!”

6. Volunteer: Clean up after yourself at the social club. Didn’t your momma train you right that you treat somebody else’s house like you treat your own house? Take two minutes before you leave each time you come to clean up after yourself, your friends, and other Jazzistas.

7. Sponsor a bbq because sometimes the bbq sponsors in the neighborhood are broke on that weekend too. But give from the heart without expecting something in return. We can always party with hot dogs and hamburgers but we prefer our seafood and ribs, chicken, and hot links. Either way, the party will continue with or without new bbq sponsors, but it sure would be nice. We had one new one this year in 2011, yayayayyyy."
bridlandjazz  nonprofits  loss  potlatch  wealthdestruction  via:javierarbona  community  canon  nonprofit 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Undercover Agents Infiltrated Tar Sands Resistance Camp to Break up Planned Protest | Latest News | Earth Island Journal | Earth Island Institute
"After a week of careful planning, environmentalists attending a tar sands resistance action camp in Oklahoma thought they had the element of surprise — but they would soon learn that their moves were being closely watched by law enforcement officials and TransCanada, the very company they were targeting."
transcanada  tarsands  2013  resistance  politics  lawenforcement  activism  policestate  protest  oklahoma  energy  bigenergy  via:javierarbona 
august 2013 by robertogreco
John A. McCone, Head of C.I.A. In Cuban Missile Crisis, Dies at 89 - New York Times
"In 1973 he was called before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to testify in an inquiry into whether I.T.T. and other multinational companies had tried to bring about the downfall of the Marxist Government of Chile under Salvador Allende Gossens. Testifying about $1 million that was offered by I.T.T. to the United States for use in Chile, Mr. McCone insisted that the money was to build housing and to assist agriculture, not to bribe members of the Chilean Congress who would help bring down Mr. Allende."
chile  1973  johnmccone  salvadorallende  intervention  via:javierarbona 
june 2013 by robertogreco
How NASA scientists are turning LA into one big climate change lab | California Watch
"Today, Mount Wilson is the site of a more terrestrial but no less ambitious endeavor. Scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and elsewhere are turning the entire Los Angeles metro region into a state-of-the-art climate laboratory. From the ridgeline, they deploy a mechanical lung that senses airborne chemicals and a unique sunbeam analyzer that scans the skies over the Los Angeles Basin. At a sister site at the California Institute of Technology, researchers slice the clouds with a shimmering green laser, trap air samples in glass flasks and stare at the sun with a massive mirrored contraption that looks like God’s own microscope."
losangeles  climate  science  jpl  nasa  via:javierarbona  emissions  air  airquality  cities  climatechange  research  megacities 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Ruderal Academy | 2012
"…an itinerant school, providing site-specific educational programs on techniques of landscape analysis, interpretation and design. The given landscape serves as both the campus and the primary text.

Previous sites of investigation include: hypersaline lagoons in the SF Bay, a reservoir breach in the Missouri Ozarks, a channelized industrial river in the Berkshire region of Massachusetts, and the landscape of the US-Mexico border in El Paso and Juarez.

Ruderal is an ecological term that refers to species that are adapted to thrive in conditions of scarcity and disturbance. Ruderal species are often called pioneer species in that they hold territory in advance of more stable species. The ruderal suggests a means of practice that begins with the given. To work from the ground up, to work fast, iteratively and with minimal means.

As such, Ruderal Academy lands in sites of transition and disturbance, places with rich political, historical social, industrial and ecological contexts."
cities  bayarea  border  elpaso  juarez  missouri  ozarks  nomadicschool  scarcity  iterative  via:javierarbona  ruderalacademy  ruderal  space  place  design  sanfrancisco  urbanism  architecture  landscape  juárez  ciudadjuárez 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Why You Should Be Skeptical of Statistics on City vs. Suburban Population Growth - Arts & Lifestyle - The Atlantic Cities
"One of the reasons it's frustrating that you just hear about city versus suburbs is there's so much heterogeneity of suburbs, that it's really not fair to treat all suburbs as the same. Some suburbs are dense. Some are old streetcar suburbs. Some have been trying, through transit investment and investment in main streets downtown, to create walkable denser communities. This has been happening throughout the country.

What we need to do is stop looking at these crude city-versus-suburb divides and we need to start looking at where is the growth actually happening. Is it happening in places where we'd expect — are people voting with their feet, so to speak, to go to these denser places? Is it actually the case that people want more urban existence? I think we'd probably find evidence that's the case. That does not mean the overwhelming majority of Americans want that. One of the issues is how big of a market is there for the urbanist ideal. We just don't know."
trends  us  urbanism  urban  demographics  davidking  ericjaffe  via:javierarbona  2012  density  suburbs  cities 
july 2012 by robertogreco
"Learning from Lagos", Matthew Gandy [.pdf]
"To treat the city as a living art installation, or compare it to the neutral space of a research laboratory, is both to de-historicize & to depoliticize its experience. The informal economy of poverty celebrated by the Harvard team is the result of a specific set of policies pursued by Nigeria’s military dictatorships over the last decades under IMF & World Bank guidance, which decimated the metropolitan economy."

"Lagos provides ample evidence for Mike Davis’s contention that rapid urban growth in the context of structural adjustment, currency devaluation & state retrenchment has been a ‘recipe for the mass production of slums’."

"The scale of the city, its extreme poverty & ethnic polarization now present real obstacles to rebuilding its social & physical fabric. Though informal networks & settlements may meet immediate needs for some, & determined forms of community organizing may produce measurable improvements, grassroots responses alone cannot coordinate the structural…"
society  grassroots  informalnetworks  mikedavis  history  imperialism  politics  policy  economics  postcolumbian  colonialism  projectonthecity  transportation  infrastructure  urbanplanning  planning  growth  mutations  westafrica  africa  chaos  nigeria  urbanism  urban  cities  design  remkoolhaas  architecture  lagos  via:javierarbona 
may 2012 by robertogreco
Headlands Center for the Arts
"Headlands Center for the Arts is a multidisciplinary, international arts center dedicated to supporting artists; the creative process; and the development of new, innovative ideas and artwork.

Where we are is as important as what we do. Our campus comprises a cluster of artist-rehabilitated military buildings, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge at historic Fort Barry in the Marin Headlands, a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Headlands artists programs support artists of all disciplines—from visual artists to performers, musicians, writers, and videographers—and provide opportunities for independent and collaborative creative work. Our impact is evident in the lives and careers of the artists who have participated in our programs and the experiences of our visitors."
via:javierarbona  headlandsartcenter  headland  fortbarry  museums  galleries  residencies  community  art  marin  sanfrancisco  bayarea  glvo  marincounty 
april 2012 by robertogreco
REALRURAL
"Ever since Americans have had to define what “rural” means, they have done so simply by saying what it is not. In common usage, rural is any place not populous, not developed, not easily reached by an interstate. Our national authority on demographics, the U.S. Census Bureau, classifies it merely as a remainder: “‘Rural’ encompasses all population, housing, and territory not included within an urban area.” That’s it.

And yet, anyone who has ever left the highway in the Golden State knows that rural California is a place far too diverse to lump into the category “other.” From Modoc County to Raisin City, from the Carissa Plains to the Coachella Valley, the experience is in fact one of diversity and depth. The stories here are about rural California as a world unto itself—not a list of the things it is not, but an exploration of the things that it is."
stories  rural  documentary  photography  california  lisahamilton  via:javierarbona  realrural 
january 2012 by robertogreco
Remix Your City - Fresh Push Play by HIFANA - YouTube
"Armed with their Fresh Push Play iPhone App, HIFANA took to the streets of a once again bustling and vibrant Tokyo to sample the city sounds, followed by an electrifying live set at night performed with only iPhone and iPad. We invited a small group of fans to the exclusive Yakatabune boat party on Tokyo Bay and recorded their performance."

[See also: http://www.wk.com/campaign/remix_your_city AND http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fresh-push-play/id450761414?mt=8 ]
sound  urbanism  urban  recording  iphone  ipad  via:javierarbona  cities  tokyo  japan  hifana  music  remix  applications  ios 
january 2012 by robertogreco
En La Punta del Pie: ¿Por qué crucificamos a nuestros Mensajeros de PAZ?
“El crimen no comienza en el punto, alli se expresa. El crimen comienza en el abrazo ahorrado, en la cuna ignorada, en el libro no leido, en el pupitre vacío, en el silencio de los corazones. Es un fenómeno complejo porque nos retrata por dentro, es el efecto terminal de una herida que nunca ha sanado.” — José A. Vargas-Vidot
josévargasvidot  via:javierarbona  2011  humanism  humanity  psychology  society  culpability  crime 
january 2012 by robertogreco
The best American wall map: David Imus’ “The Essential Geography of the United States of America” - Slate Magazine
"These days, almost all the data cartographers use is provided by the government and is freely available in the public domain. Anybody can download databases of highways, airports, and cities, and then slap a crude map together with the aid of a plotter. What separates a great map from a terrible one is choosing which data to use and how best to present it.

How will you signify elevation and forestation? How will you imply the hierarchy of city sizes? How big must a town (or an airport, or a body of water) be to warrant inclusion? And how will you convey all of this with a visual scheme that’s clean and attractive?"
informationdesign  sweatingthedetails  mapmaking  via:javierarbona  davidimus  us  gifts  cartography  mapping  maps  nationalgeographic 
january 2012 by robertogreco
The Human Motor - YouTube
"The Human Motor: A Documentary on the San Francisco Critical Mass Bike Ride, created by Ellie Vanderlip, 2011"
via:javierarbona  carculture  cars  activism  transportation  biking  bikes  toshare  studentfilms  documentary  2011  history  sanfrancisco  criticalmass  ellievanderlip 
january 2012 by robertogreco
Mess Hall
"Mess Hall is an experimental cultural center in the heart of Rogers Park, Chicago. It's a place where visual art, radical politics, creative urban planning, applied ecological design & other things intersect & inform each other."

"Mess Hall is an experimental cultural center. It is a place where visual art, radical politics, creative urban planning, applied ecological design and other things intersect and inform each other. We host exhibitions, discussions, film screenings, brunchlucks (brunch + potluck), workshops, concerts, campaigns, meetings (both closed and open) and more."
chicago  activism  art  performance  community  culture  gallery  collective  artists  events  via:javierarbona  lcproject  machineproject 
december 2011 by robertogreco
ID from User - Find your twitter ID
"Use this tool to find a twitter id from a username."
twitter  id  tools  rss  via:javierarbona  identity  socialmedia  api 
october 2011 by robertogreco
Slavoj Zizek: The Monstrosity of Christ - YouTube
"Philosopher Slavoj Zizek discusses his new book, The Monstrosity of Christ: Paradox or Dialectic?, and explains how the Christian concept of the "toxic neighbor" impacts political, economic, sexual, and cultural thought."
towatch  zizek  christianity  politics  economics  toxicneighbor  via:javierarbona  2009  toxic  parenting  toxicity  others  change  environment  ecology  foodcrisis  capitalism  consumerism 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Et tu, Mr. Destructo?: Fuck You, Warren Buffett
"Then again, perhaps you've done enough. Negative Nancies might argue that philanthropy is simply the right hand of capitalism, its moral pressure valve, divesting The Super Rich of their guilt over the means by which they hoard wealth, offering the public carefully staged signs of humanity in an otherwise mechanistic and amoral system, but I like to think of it as good folks pitching in.

Perhaps then it's time to return to divesting yourself of your billion-dollar fortune before you die. Funding the charities of your choice affords you a philanthropic immortality, keeping your hand on the levers of power and advancement long after death, while keeping that fortune away from the predatory and anonymizing hands of the American Estate Tax."
warrenbuffett  power  money  capitalism  2011  taxes  taxation  government  philanthropy  via:javierarbona  ethics  elite  lobbying  charitableindustrialcomplex  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  control 
august 2011 by robertogreco
AL UNISONO on Vimeo
"Documental sobre los inicios de Javiera Mena y Gepe. Dirigido por Rosario Gonzalez y Pablo Muñoz
2007"

[Subtitles because el chileno is so hard to understand?]
chile  music  via:javierarbona  javieramena  gepe  alunisono  pablomuñoz  rosariogonzalez  documental  vacenica  sebastiánsantieri  2007  autodidacts  unschooling  srg  edg  glvo 
august 2011 by robertogreco
BART Cuts Cell Service to Foil Protest - Pulse of the Bay - The Bay Citizen
"BART took the unusual step of shutting off cell phone service on BART station platforms Thursday night to prevent protestors from using their cell phones to communicate with each other. 

Demonstrators snarled the evening commute July 11, evading police for hours and shutting down several BART stations, as they protested the shooting death of Charles Hill by a BART police officer last month. 

BART warned commuters that a similar protest could take place Thursday and a posting on the web site of the group No Justice No BART invited protestors to gather at 5 pm at Civic Center. Only a few demonstrators showed up, but then quickly left.

The commute went on without a hitch, but no one could get cell phone service on the platforms or the trains. KTVU reported that BART's media relations department suggested cutting off the cell service during the protests…"
bart  sanfrancisco  bayarea  via:javierarbona  protest  technology  mobile  phones  cellservice  2011  control  police 
august 2011 by robertogreco
The Spirit of the Spacesuit - NYTimes.com ["The success of this “soft” approach — ad hoc, individualistic, pragmatic — should be a lesson to us."]
"Props and costumes mattered in this theater of war. That NASA’s equipment should be painted white, and feature no military shields or corporate brands but only “USA,” “NASA” and the flag, was a deliberate decision by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Yet American rockets were nevertheless cobbled together from instruments of war, their craftsmen drawn from the same network of systems engineers that was devised to manage the arms race and its doomsday scenarios. Our first astronauts went to space hunched into an improvised capsule atop ICBM’s, squatting in place of warheads. The brilliance with which the resulting achievements shone was — like a diamond’s — the result of terrible pressure. We should be glad that this era is past.

But if the dazzling image of midcentury spaceflight obscures its dark origins, close scrutiny of the Apollo spacesuit reveals a different and more robust approach to innovation — one that should inspire us at this uncertain moment in space exploration."
space  spacerace  history  war  2011  ingenuity  nicholasdemonchaux  via:javierarbona  spaceexploration  spacesuits  spaceflight  coldwar  adhoc  innovation  nasa  us  bureaucracy  militaryindustrialcomplex  possibility  optimism  dwightdeisenhower 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Graph Commons
"“The diagrammatic or abstract machine does not function to represent even something real, but rather constructs a real that is yet to come, a new type of reality.” Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari<br />
<br />
In a world where everything is connected to everything else, we need new ways to make sense of our new realities. Graph Commons provides a collective network mapping platform to create, navigate, share, and discuss relations among people, organizations, or concepts."
via:javierarbona  maps  visualization  network  graphs  commons  socialgraph  graphcommons  deleuze&guattari  gillesdeleuze  mapping  networks  organizations  relationships  deleuze  félixguattari 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Unsmiling Indians : Denver Museum of Nature & Science [See also "Smiling Indians": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ga98brEf1AU ]
"In an interview with the filmmaker, Ryan Red Corn, he talks about the lingering stereotyping of Native Americans in American contemporary culture. Think about the Washington Redskins, or even the military's use of the code name "Geronimo" for Osama bin Laden. Red Corn claims that even a cursory search on Google would prove his case.<br />
<br />
This passing comment led to Culture Lab's little experiment. A Google image search for different terms of American ethnicity-African American, Asian American, White American, Hispanic, and Native American-proved Red Corn's statement with astonishing precision.<br />
The image search results showed that only after some 200 photos can you find a Native Americans represented by a single contemporary, living person. The first eight pages of images are filled with feathered traditionalists, new age fantasies, and old black and white photos of stoic (that is, unsmiling) Indians."
nativeamericans  search  photography  images  film  fulmmaking  ryanredcorn  google  2011  via:javierarbona  indians  smilingindians  unsmilingindians 
july 2011 by robertogreco
The Problem With Silicon Valley Is Itself - TNW Entrepreneur
"As a Brit who gave up cheerleading the European tech scene to make the pilgrimage to Silicon Valley to live, eat & breath the world’s leading hub for technology startup innovation, I’ve been largely unimpressed and disappointed by the quality of startups here.<br />
<br />
…I’ve interviewed around 200 startups & there’s only 2, out of 200, I think are game changers. Now, don’t get me wrong, Silicon Valley is an incredibly inspiring place to be. Everyone is doing something amazing and trying to change the world, but in reality much of the technology being built here is not changing the world at all, it’s short-sighted and designed for scalability, big exits & big profits…<br />
<br />
…building technology to solve trivial issues…entrepreneurship in the Valley has become productized…Many entrepreneurs are in it for the wrong reasons, they should be more focused on doing something big and good for the world…entrepreneurs are not exposed to enough real-world problems…"
entrepreneurship  via:javierarbona  siliconvalley  vc  realworld  realworldproblems  clones  goldrush  rinseandrepeat  gamechanging  2011  money  funding  socialentrepreneurship  airbnb  startups  ycombinator  capitalism  getrichquick  hermioneway 
july 2011 by robertogreco
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