Friday, June 11, 2010

Moving along.

this blog has moved. it exists at wordpress.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Wisdom of the Crowd

(excerpt from an article for my Fnews class)

Not three years ago, the term ‘Wikipedia’ was a classroom taboo.

Often associated with notions of unreliability or misinformation, this web-based, collaborative encyclopedia project was every research paper’s worst enemy.  But while some aspects of Wikipedia-based data remain questionable, it has become a notable and information tool. According to its own statistics, Wikipedia hosts over 3 million articles in English and an additional 6 million in over 250 additional languages. Since January it has attracted nearly 68 million visitors monthly. In addition to the huge amount of people reading Wikipedia, there is also an enormous group collectively contributing to it – more than 91,000 active contributors adding, subtracting, and editing content.

Noam Cohen is an Internet and Society columnist for the New York Times. Since 2006, he has chronicled the rise of Wikipedia as an encyclopedic source. “The staggering growth of Wikipedia has been read on many levels: for some, it represents the rise of the amateur at the expense of the professional… for others, it is about the power of the Internet to join people in voluntary enterprises for the common good… and on a third hand Wikipedia is credited with being the most powerful engine in promoting free culture.”

With so many people, from so many backgrounds and knowledge bases tapping into this burgeoning online resource, the key question surfaces: How can it be reliable? To understand its reliability, one must examine the process of contributing and editing content.

Editing and creating new pages is terribly simple. After creating a username and password, the user is free to scour Wikipedia’s endless landscape, making changes as they please. Additionally, users can also view a page’s history – a comprehensive list of every change that has been made for that particular entry. In its About section, Wikipedia states quite frankly that while older articles are more “comprehensive and balanced,” newer articles are more likely to carry misinformation.

So if a contributor can log in and post, say, “the steps for weaving a lanyard” under the definition of “String Theory,” it’s no wonder a Wikipedia source is the demise of any serious dissertation. While it may have no place in a formal works cited. Wikipedia can still be a good source of basic information when used properly. For one, many contributors provide references and citations. When the credibility of Wikipedia’s information becomes absolutely necessary, a user can easily follow in-text links to external sources from where the info originated. Additionally, Wikipedia will also provide notices on articles that are either lacking in source material or contain biased, non-objective information. When information is added to a page without a source, a friendly “citation need” link will appear, so other contributor can either add a data source or edit the information further.

As a test, I created a login and entered “hip hip hooray” randomly into the text of Wikipedia’s philosophy page. Not two hours later I checked the page and my little “insertion” had been removed. I received one message from Wikipedia about including sources with my entries and another message from a fellow contributor, “Hi! I hope you don't mind, but I reverted the changes you made to the article on philosophy. D15724C710N (talk • contribs) 17:44, 31 March 2010 (UTC.)” 

So while someone may have been briefly stumped on: “Metaphysics is the study of the nature hip hip hooray of being and the world.” The error was corrected in a matter of hours. Not too shabby. The conclusion – when looking for basic overview information on a term, topic or person, Wikipedia is a good place to start. It also, provides links to all related in-text topics – the philosophy page discussed people and terms such as post-structuralism or Soren Kirkegaard, these items lead to their own pages so the user can delve further into aspects of each topic and how they coexist together. Wikipedia almost exists as a collective world-schema – rather than simply isolating and defining a concept, it also contextualizes it with all other related material.

This consensual way of organizing data also makes an interesting argument for the democracy of information. Piotr Konieczny, author of Governance, Organization, and Democracy on the Internet: The Iron Law and the Evolution of Wikipedia, is also one of Wikipedia’s leading contributors. In his essay he says, “Wikipedia’s policy pages are no different from its encyclopedic articles: they can be edited and changed by any editor, reflecting either ‘‘a consensus’’ among them, ‘‘a slow evolution of convention and common practice eventually codified as a policy.’”

Wikipedia is one of the few systems that counteract the information flow in our current society. Where data typically travels from point A (an “authoritative” media-based source such as the news, a magazine article, a review or any other “informational” material) to point B (the consumer, us, or the “user”) Wikipedia completely alters this formula. It becomes point B to point B or AB to AB. The movement of information is no longer linear – it is a constant back and forth in a way that is much more democratic, anarchic even. The source of information is no longer the individual, rather it is the collective – two heads are potentially better than one. 91,000 heads? Even better. “It is no accident that the wikis allow people to communicate more effectively, democratize decision making, and reduce impact of oligarchies. They were designed from the bottom up with the very purpose of improving collaboration between masses, and hence their structure—their ‘‘code’’—affects the behavior of agents—the individual ‘‘wikipedians’’— influencing the creation of rules and norms,” Says Konieczny in his article.

So in addition to being constantly scrutinized, Wikipedia’s facts come from potentially the largest knowledge base in the world – the populace itself. In a survey of 40 students (age 18 – 25), the highest percentage, 20%, use Wikipedia everyday. 23 of the 40 use it 3 or more times a week – that’s 58%. While it may not be showing up in bibliographies, many students use Wikipedia as a good starting point in their research. Many even use it for entertainment. While taking the survey one student asked, “Have you ever played the Wikipedia game?”
I told him no.
“Yeah it’s where you choose two unrelated topics, say scuba diving and cupcakes. The person who can get from one to the other the fastest, using Wikipedia in-text links and related topics wins.”

Talk about educational fun. Regardless of why you may use it Wikipedia isn’t going anywhere and although it can be argued that there is no true objectivity, the ‘consensus’ style in which it manages information may be our closest solution yet.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Let It Enfold You

Charles Bukowski
either peace or happiness,
let it enfold you

when i was a young man
I felt these things were
I had bad blood,a twisted
mind, a pecarious

I was hard as granite,I
leered at the
I trusted no man and
especially no

I was living a hell in
small rooms, I broke
things, smashed things,
walked through glass,
I challenged everything,
was continually being
evicted,jailed,in and
out of fights,in and aout
of my mind.
women were something
to screw and rail
at,i had no male

I changed jobs and
cities,I hated holidays,
newspapers, museums,
marriage, movies,
spiders, garbagemen,
english accents,spain,
france,italy,walnuts and
the color
algebra angred me,
opera sickened me,
charlie chaplin was a
and flowers were for

peace an happiness to me
were signs of
tenants of the weak

but as I went on with
my alley fights,
my suicidal years,
my passage through
any number of
women-it gradually
began to occur to
that I wasn't diffrent

from the
others, I was the same,

they were all fulsome
with hatred,
glossed over with petty
the men I fought in
alleys had hearts of stone.
everybody was nudging,
inching, cheating for
some insignificant
the lie was the
weapon and the
plot was
darkness was the

cautiously, I allowed
myself to feel good
at times.
I found moments of
peace in cheap
just staring at the
knobs of some
or listening to the
rain in the
the less i needed
the better i

maybe the other life had worn me
I no longer found
in topping somebody
in conversation.
or in mounting the
body of some poor
drunken female
whose life had
slipped away into

I could never accept
life as it was,
i could never gobble
down all its
but there were parts,
tenous magic parts
open for the

I re formulated
I don't know when,
but the change
something in me
relaxed, smoothed
i no longer had to
prove that i was a

I did'nt have to prove

I began to see things:
coffe cups lined up
behind a counter in a
or a dog walking along
a sidewalk.
or the way the mouse
on my dresser top
stopped there
with its body,
its ears,
its nose,
it was fixed,
a bit of life
caught within itself
and its eyes looked
at me
and they were
then- it was

I began to feel good,
I began to feel good
in the worst situations
and there were plenty
of those.
like say, the boss
behind his desk,
he is going to have
to fire me.

I've missed too many
he is dressed in a
suit, necktie, glasses,
he says, "i am going
to have to let you go"

"it's all right" i tell

He must do what he
must do, he has a
wife, a house, children.
expenses, most probably
a girlfreind.

I am sorry for him
he is caught.

I walk onto the blazing
the whole day is

(the whole world is at the
throat of the world,
everybody feels angry,
short-changed, cheated,
everybody is despondent,

I welcomed shots of
peace, tattered shards of

I embraced that stuff
like the hottest number,
like high heels,breasts,

(dont get me wrong,
there is such a thing as cockeyed optimism
that overlooks all
basic problems justr for
the sake of
this is a sheild and a

The knife got near my
throat again,
I almost turned on the
but when the good
moments arrived
I did'nt fight them off
like an alley
I let them take me,
i luxuriated in them,
I bade them welcome
I even looked into
the mirror
once having thought
myself to be
I now liked what
I saw,almost
a bit ripped and
odd turns,
but all in all,
not too bad,
almost handsome,
better at least than
some of those movie
star faces
like the cheeks of
a babys

and finally I discovered
real feelings fo
like latley,
like this morning,
as I was leaving,
for the track,
i saw my wif in bed,
just the
shape of
her head there
(not forgetting
centuries of the living
and the dead and
the dying,
the pyarimids,
Mozart dead
but his music still
there in the
room, weeds growing,
the earth turning,
the toteboard waiting for
I saw the shape of my
wife's head,
she so still,
i ached for her life,
just being there
under the

i kissed her in the,
got down the stairway,
got outside,
got into my marvelous
fixed the seatbelt,
backed out the
feeling warm to
the fingertips,
down to my
foot on the gas
I entered the world
drove down the
past the houses
full and emptey
i saw the mailman,
he waved
at me.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

It's cool to be green. Too cool

(newsarticle excerpt)
“We keep all the plastic bags over here under the sink.” She opened the cabinet and an inexorable wave of Type 2 high-density polyethylene came cascading onto the floor.

“My god, what are you doing with all of these?”

“It’s okay, I’ll recycle them. Eventually.”

A cupboard full of old grocery bags is nothing unusual, whether your in SAIC’s dorms, Chicago’s neighborhoods, or anywhere else in the country. What is unusual, however, is the way we have come to regard the environment, and the ways we think we are protecting it.

Enter, the Green Movement. By now, green has become brand. It has been repackaged and sold back to us so many times we hardly even notice it. Earth-friendly products are bought without so much as a second thought, and recycling is not as environmentally avent-garde as it once was.

There was once a time when an individual with his or her own private recycle bin was dubbed “hippie” or “tree-hugger.” Now, those friendly blue bins have become a standard public service, and even now, SAIC is in the throes of RecycleMania!

The problem is that “being green” has become well, easy. “I choose the green products, and recycle my plastic, therefore I’m doing my part.”

This is where delusion comes in.

In this day and age, ‘eco-friendly’ is a label that associates business with compassion. Just about every establishment recycles in one way or another – some restaurants, like Sultan’s Market in the Wicker Park area, even go as far as to compost any food waste that is generated.

Cause to worry exists in the fact that “recycle” (in our cultural context) has become synonymous with, say, Google — it’s become so widely accepted, consumed, and digested — we forgot why it all started in the first place. Like a logo, the term recycle has almost morphed into a newspeak phrase, lodged into our schema with associations of earth-friendliness, love, trees – maybe even a smiley face here and there.

To get at the essence of recycling, we must remember why it started. Just as Google sought “to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful,” recycling began as a way to solve one of the world’s many problems:

Waste. Lots of it. American style.

According to recent figures by the EPA, we are still dumping about 4.6 pounds per person, per day. Half of that ends up in landfills or incinerators. The other half (recyclable materials) is gallantly reused so we can continue to get our fix of those disposable plastic products we love.

This brings two problems to mind. Could recycling potentially prolong American dependency on disposable, petroleum based goods? We are recycling those plastic forks simply so we can give them a second life. And all those plastic bags that accumulate under our sinks are stamped with cute little “recycle me!” logos – yeah, recycle me so I can become another plastic bag, destined for the landfill.

To concede, at least we aren’t relying on new material to create more of those plastic baggies. But the larger problem is the issue of dependency on disposables. We’ve created an environmental stalemate.

The second issue is that recycling is often used as an excuse. “It’s okay that the cashier at Jewel double-bagged $150 dollars worth of groceries. I will just recycle all 20 of those bags.” Bottom line: we shouldn’t need them in the first place.

What we need is a way to phase out of dispose-mode. We need a method that kills the “Use now, recycle later” mindset, and reduces the need for new materials. Luckily, some clever folks are one step ahead.

Welcome, friends to the world of Zero-Waste (or, Pre-cycling, if you want to get clever.) In this world there, are no plastic grocery bags, forks, spoons, cups, plates, containers, hats, cozies, napkins, towels, or anything else. In this world, each person has a mug, some silver wear, and a cloth grocery bag. When they go to Cosi for lunch, they give the barista their travel mug for coffee, use their own silverware, and (if you’re really fancy) a cloth napkin.

Pre-cycling would almost eliminate the need to recycle at all. By selecting products with very little packaging, we would reduce waste production and save money. Imagine not buying any more paper towels, paper napkins, paper plates, or plastic cutlery. Wiping up a spill with a cloth towel? Now that’s eco-friendly.

These propositions may sound a bit outlandish, but the times are changing. Currently, Zero-Waste is already in implementation in many areas such as Yellowstone National Park and the town of Nantucket in Massachusetts. According to the Leslie Kaufman of The New York Times, “An antigarbage strategy known as “zero waste” is moving from the fringes to the mainstream, taking hold in school cafeterias, national parks, restaurants, stadiums and corporations.” And restaurants that still employ disposable utensils have switched over to plant-based plastics that dissolve in a matter of minutes when heated.

Bottom line, recycling is essentially a market. Recyclable materials are stored by contractors and sold to buyers – buyers that now dwindle due to the world’s recent economic downturn. Storehouses are overflowing with waste waiting to be re-used. Recycling is a business, and right now, business is bad. Just take a look at the American economy.

China has been buying the U.S.’ recyclable waste for decades, but this has greatly diminished due to its recent economic downturn.  In an article for the Guardian about US recycling, Dan Glaister states, “The US exported 11m tonnes of scrap paper to China last year with a value of $11.5bn… The Chinese typically use the paper from the US to make packaging material for the exports they send, typically, back to the US.”

On top of that, one must take into account the oil that is expended every time America ships it re-usable refuse across the Pacific Ocean. Cliff Kuang is a writer for Wired and Popular Science, in his article “The Total Package,” he states, “Every year, the shipping industry—including trucking, traveling on container ships, and air freight—emits six percent of the world’s greenhouse gases, including 1.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide, twice as much as commercial aviation.”

SAIC recycles through Allied Waste Services, a company that collects, sorts, and compacts recyclables locally in 1 of 8 Chicago recycling centers. Kevin Kruis, the Recycling & Special Events Manager of Allied Waste Chicago, says that most commercial and residential recyclables are taken to an Allied sorting center on 43rd and Racine. Once sorted, the bales of ‘commodity’ are shipped nationwide and overseas for reuse.

This, combined with the petroleum we continue to circulate into our daily lives through the use of disposable plastic conveniences amounts to an awful lot for the planet to handle – all in the name of reuse.

So yes. Recycle all those baggies hiding beneath your sink. Recycle anything that can be recycled for that matter. The hook: next time you’re out – grocery shopping, eating out, or doing anything else that involves disposable waste – pass. Turn it down, or at least reduce it.

To recycle should be a last resort, not an excuse for excess consumption. The planet (and your wallet) will thank you.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Frances Stark

Perhaps not surprisingly, the recurrent motifs of Stark’s work evoke writing and the activities that often accompany it—from cutting, copying, repeating, and citing to the quotidian realities of sitting at a desk and reading the mail—as do her materials: carbon paper and rice paper, ink, and linen tape. Fragments of language, from blocks of repeated typewritten letters to passages by writers including Emily Dickinson, Henry Miller, and Robert Musil, are arranged on white paper fields in both abstract patterns and recognizable forms including furniture, flowers, and animals. In and In (2005) features dozens of strips of junk mail spliced together and “stacked” in two zigzagging towers as if piled atop a desk: it is a conflation of art space and work space whose subtle allusion to the increasing corporatism of the art world is tempered by its intricate polychromatic delicacy.


See you next year!

Around the world in 80 documentaries -- free:

Oh for the love of God.



Taylor is a familiar figure at the FDA. He began his career as a staff attorney at the agency in 1976. Then he worked for a decade at King & Spaulding, which represented Monsanto Corp., the agribusiness giant that developed genetically engineered corn, soybeans and bovine growth hormone.

In case you need a refresher on the Monsanto Corporation:
Monsanto Chemical company founded and incorporated the town of Sauget, Illinois, to avoid taxation from East Saint Louis.  For many years the company employed the city's people and polluted its environment while giving them no tax revenue in return, even during the city's decline throughout the latter half of the 20th century.
As of May 2008, Monsanto is currently engaged in a campaign to prohibit dairies which do not inject their cows with artificial bovine growth hormone from advertising this fact on their milk cartons.
Monsanto is accused of encouraging residents of Anniston, Alabama to use soil known by the company to be contaminated with PCBs as topsoil

 Marvelous. It seems the FDA, USDA, the EPA, and all our corporate friends have their hands deep into each other's pockets. Have a fun time at the grocery store.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Art, Obsolescence, and the Endangered Analog Species

A piece for my fNews class.
The film “Obselidia,” recently chosen as recipient of the Alfred P. Sloan Award at the 2010 Sundance film festival, is written and directed by Diane Bell. It follows the life of George, a lonely, “old-fashioned,” librarian with one goal: to create an encyclopedia of all things obsolete. In addition to a charming cast and beautiful score (composed by Liam Howe using only obsolete instruments), “Obselidia” identifies recurrent, and often relevant themes in both our society and the SAIC psyche.

As the self-proclaimed “last encyclopedia salesman on Earth,” George (played by Michael Piccirilli) finds himself in a mental state that is both cynical and fatalistic. While he finds extreme joy in simple interactions (say, a cluster of ladybugs on his hand) he also believes the world around him is quickly pushing valuable people, places, and things into a forgotten past. “The notion of perfection is platonic trick to make us feel inadequate,” he claims. And perhaps he is right.

For artists and art students, feelings of both insecurity and inadequacy often lead to a wild hunt – a quest for that-which-is-flawless. We deal with this feeling incessantly. Am I done? Should I change this? That? What we don’t realize, and what perhaps George means, is that the idea perfection is fleeting, even nonexistent, in a transitory world.

Later in the film, George befriends Sophie, a projectionist at a silent movie theater and they venture to Death Valley to visit an author-turned-hermit named Lewis (Frank Hoyt Taylor.) At this point, Bell’s film becomes subtly environmental. While Lewis’ perspective offers a pragmatic, albeit dark evaluation of humanity’s overconsumption of natural capital, his attitude is that of reserved contentment. His character is much like that of an Edward Abbey / Nathaniel Hawthorne hybrid – living in the desert, tending to his bees, blissful.

In addition, the character Sophie (played by Gaynor Howe) balances the attitude of the film with her wildly optimistic paradigm. “Nothing is obsolete as long as you love it.” Though her dialogue is clich├ęd at times, she effectively salvages the audience from total, apocalyptic depression. Sophie’s career and hobby have been eroded by changing times; yet rather than turning bitter or hermetic, she drives a Mini, texts on her iPhone, and uses a computer rather than a typewriter.

Sophie embraces the convenience of the modern world, and still remains connected to the roots of her analog past. She has a strong faith in humanity that counteracts George’s platform – that if everything is temporary, why risk involvement?

While there is much discourse (especially in the art world) regarding the ephemerality of human interaction and possession, this idea can also be applied on a larger scope. If each innovation, or idea loses meaning faster and faster, are we telescopically advancing towards an end that is bereft of all meaning?

Like I said, a tad fatalistic.

Many arguments can be made about the transient way in which society functions. In the early 19th century, a group of discontented British textile artisans, known as Luddites, set about destroying mechanized looms, in rebellion against the industrial revolution. 100 years later, Chaplin released “Modern Times,” a representation of people all as “cogs” in a giant, industrial machine. It seems this idea is nothing new.

Instead of being written in stone, our postmodern history will perhaps be written in stucco. Expiration dates necessitate future consumption, and at the speed technology advances, the iPad will look like TI-83 graphing calculator in a matter of years. The trajectories of planned obsolescence are all around us. It’s beginning to look as if an encyclopedia of the obsolete would just include, well, everything.

To most SAIC students, the concept of ephemerality is pervasive. While some suck at the teat of the ‘trend,’ or others thrive on ideas of spontaneous absurdity, we are constantly reminded that things tend to be short-lived.

Some believe that technology’s impact on the art world has been overall, advantageous. Cody Tumblin is enrolled in the VisCom Department as part of his first year program. When asked about the computer, he says, “It used to be you had to get your name out [in public,] but now a graphic designer has to have a huge Internet presence as well. I mean, your portfolio’s online, people find you online, and clients find you online… Social networking’s becoming key. You couldn’t survive in the design world without having that relationship with the computer. Which is kind of a shame. But I don’t mind it, I like it, it helps me connect to more people.”

Some would even argue that our mass-produced, consumer economy requires fast-paced technological advance to survive. But whether we worship it, or despise it, artists are always products of it in some way. There is always  level of assimilation into our culture, even if you are the one standing on a soapbox in dissent. “Everything thrives off the media. So it’s necessary for America, but it’s not necessarily helping it,” says Tumblin. I think most would agree.

Bell indicates through characters like Lewis that times, indeed, are changing. So rather than crawl into a hole somewhere, perhaps we should learn to situate ourselves accordingly to this new environment. Though “Obselidia” is considered by some to be a story about love, it is also a powerful commentary on the paradigms in our postmodern world.

Maybe what Lewis points to is that we shouldn’t just throw our hands in the air, rather, we should find our source of rapture. The late American mythologist Joseph Campbell said memorably, “If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living.”

So whether you’re a neo-luddite, an Apple advocate, an anarchist, a situationist, a Marxist, an activist, or a disgruntled art student that sits on a Target futon and grumbles about anti-consumerism and impending doom, the message is clear.  Find what you love – a person, place, object, idea – and scratch it up a bit. Make it imperfect so it’ll last. And then share the passion you have for it in the best way possible.

After all ‘obsolete,’ to quote Merriam-Webster, means, “No longer in use.” Well. If you’re still using, loving, or living something out, then that definition just doesn’t seem to apply, now, does it?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Monday, January 25, 2010

This was grand.

"The notion of perfection is a platonic trick to make us feel inadequate."

Saw Obselidia as part of Sundance yesterday. Tip of the hat.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Colors! Hoorah!

Get 'em while they're hot.

Because we've all had to face this.


32 minutes of your time.

If you can watch 30 minutes of Jersey Shore, you can watch this. The added bonus is a little brain activity.
Listen up.

The Business of Climate Change Conference 2009 Jeff Rubin, the former Chief Economist of CIBC World Markets and the author of Why Your World Is About To Get A Whole Lot Smaller built his reputation as one of Canada’s top economists based on a number of successful predictions including the housing bust of the early 90s and the rise of oil prices. In his recent book, Mr. Rubin predicts $225 per barrel oil by 2012 and with it the end of globalization, a movement towards local sourcing and a need for massive scaling up of energy efficiency.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Tino Sehgal

Mr. Sehgal, 31, who lives in Berlin, creates what he calls “staged situations”: interactive experiences that may not even initially declare themselves as works of art...
Part of the point is to free art from the glut of material overproduction. But Mr. Sehgal, unlike many performance artists, is not protesting the art market itself. His work is specifically conceived to function within the art world’s conventions: it is lent and exhibited, bought and sold. It is sold, in fact — now that Mr. Sehgal is becoming a star in Europe — for five-figure sums. The only stipulation is that his pieces cannot involve the transformation of any material, in any way. No written instructions, no bill of sale (purchases are conducted orally, in the presence of a notary), no catalogs and (to the dismay of photo editors in the art press) no pictures...
Mr. Sehgal’s work seems to revel in its own contradictions. It is ephemeral yet fixed; intangible yet expensive, because part of his concept is that his interpreters be fairly paid. It is created with extreme, even obsessive rigor, yet it is subject to change, as the only record exists in the minds of those who see it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Oh Yoko

Ono was an explorer of conceptual art and performance art. An example of her performance art, is "Cut Piece" (this instance of performance art is also known as a happening), performed in 1964 at the Sogetsu Art Center in Tokyo. Cut Piece had one destructive verb as its instruction: “Cut.” Ono executed the performance in Tokyo by walking on stage and casually kneeling on the floor in a draped garment. Audience members were requested to come on stage and begin cutting until she was naked. Cut Piece was one of Ono’s many opportunities to outwardly communicate her internal suffering through her art. Ono had originally been exposed to Jean-Paul Sartre’s theories of existentialism in college, and in order to appease her own human suffering, Ono enlisted her viewers to complete her works of art in order to complete her identity as well. Besides a commentary on identity, Cut Piece was a commentary on the need for social unity and love. It was also a piece that touched on issues of gender and sexism as well as the greater, universal affliction of human suffering and loneliness.

"For everyone, everything. For us, nothing."


from "Wandering"
by Hermann Hesse,
by James Wright

Monday, January 18, 2010


Unsustainable systems cannot be sustained. The American expansionist paradigm and why we could all use a little mindshift. 
In the contemporary United States, we are trapped in a similar delusion. We are told that it is “realistic” to yield to the absurd idea that the systems we live in are the only systems possible or acceptable based on the fact that some people like them and wish them to continue. But what if our current level of first world consumption is exhausting the ecological basis for life? Too bad. The only “realistic” options are those that view this lifestyle as nonnegotiable. What if real democracy is not possible in a nation-state with 300 million people? Too bad. The only “realistic” options are those that view this way of organizing a polity as immutable. What if the hierarchies our lives are based on are producing extreme material deprivation for the oppressed and dull misery among the privileged? Too bad. The only “realistic” options are those that view hierarchy as inevitable.

(photos courtesy of AdBusters)

Gettin' Tuff

King Tuff, that is. Been listening to this little diddy on repeat.
Download here, at Gorilla vs. Bear.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Alpenglow Designs

Made by yours truly. Stop by the new store, more things to come...

My kinda' mink

Foks Collection by Celapiu.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Something to aspire to.

String gardens. There's nothing more local than your living room.

Most communities grow about 1% of their food locally – imagine if we transformed that to 10%. The pushback from industrialized agriculture means we’re doing something right.

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