“The works displayed on mybiennialisbetterthanyours.com are not subversive because they are trying to deconstruct established systems of dot.capitalism. They are subversive because they are referring to these systems through the use of amateur “original” content production standards set up by meta-producers of online containers, which are radical in their mass popularity and ease of use.”
Amusing Ourselves to Death is a great book written by Neil Postman in 1985. A very effective summary is provided by this comic. Are we gonna be killed by our “infinite appetite for distractions”? Postman basically referred to television, but what about the Web, paradise of non-stop and always available distractions?
“…the Kiosk of Piracy is proud to announce the launch of “The Pirate Kiosk”! From last night own, a copy of the infamous Pirate Bay is available to the public, but – here comes the catch – offline-only. Yes, offline, the Kiosk is not connected to the Internet in any way, but the interested public is invited to use the service in a wifi-radius around it.”
“A Durban IT company pitted an 11-month-old bird armed with a 4GB memory stick against the ADSL service from the country’s biggest web firm, Telkom. Winston the pigeon took two hours to carry the data 60 miles – in the same time the ADSL had sent 4% of the data.”
“I thought it was a mirage the first time I saw it. I was driving through the wastes of the Mojave Desert, two hours from anywhere, when off in the shimmering distance appeared the silhouettes of a hundred parked jetliners. I pulled off and tried to get closer to them, but a mean-looking perimeter fence keeps onlookers far away. All I could do was stand and stare, wondering what the hell this massive armada of airplanes was doing here, silently baking in the 110 degree heat. For years afterward I’d ask people what they knew about it, and I kept hearing the same thing: the place has been on lockdown since 9/11, and they won’t let civilians anywhere near the boneyard.”
“Experience the censored Chinese internet at home!
The Firefox add-on China Channel (by Aram Bartholl, Evan Roth and Tobias Leingruber) offers internet users outside China to surf the web as if they were in China. Take an unforgetable virtual trip to China and experience the technical expertise of the Chinese Ministry of Information Industry (supported by western companies). It’s open source, free and easy.”
“A 10-meter high, real magnolia tree planted in the center of Chile’s National Stadium where dictator Pinochet tortured political prisoners 30 years ago. For a week the stadium was open to the public as a park. A soccer match played before 15,000 people, with the tree in the middle, was the closure of the piece.”
“Imagine this: You have to deliver a PowerPoint presentation about an unfamiliar topic, with slides you’ve never seen, to an audience eager to heckle and laugh at you. If you’re in your underwear, you’re having a nightmare. If you’re clothed, it’s called PowerPoint Karaoke…”
Common Task is a project by Pawel Althamer.
“Common Task is a documented group activity, a social sculpture, realised within the science – fiction formula. The artistic project is a combination of an activity performed in public spaces with the social aspects such as exclusion related to the systemic transformation process, self-organisation and bottom-up initiatives which may change the world and shape the future. In broader terms, the Project alludes to the ideals of freedom and solidarity.”
Archinect.com launched a design competion for a monument dedicated to Michael Jackson. Entries are available on the website from today. In the picture above you can see one of them: The Freedom Tower by Harrison & White, “a 1km high gold statue of him with anti-terrorist laser scanning/disintegration rays from his eyes”. LOL
Here‘s a funny (but also depressing for us to read) report written by David Byrne after his trip to Rome. Featuring Radisson Hotel, the Vatican (with all the kitschy souvenirs), Renzo Piano’s Auditorium, Altare della Patria and much more… He seemes to understand very clearly what’s wrong with Italy’s sense of history:
“Do we have to respect every piece of rubble? What can we really hope to learn from these pathetic foundations and remaining stumpy bits of wall? Have the Italians sacrificed some part of their future in honoring and maintaining their glorious past? Am I being cynical? (I would certainly rather see ruins than block after block of ugly, concrete apartments!) The Italians must, I imagine, feel hamstrung by their past, which must justify in their minds the escape from the past represented by the ugly apartment and office buildings that fill these cities outside their historic zones.”
In 2004, Francis Alÿs collaborated with the National Portrait Gallery to create a piece generated by the gallery’s state-of-the-art internal CCTV system. Surveillance cameras observe a fox exploring the Tudor and Georgian rooms of the Gallery at night…
According to art critic Jonathan Jones, James Cameron’s new 3D film Avatar has something to teach us about the Renaissance:
“In the 15th century, artists discovered how to paint bodies and landscapes as if they had depth and solidity. Painting triumphed over the flat surface to create the illusion of a real scene glimpsed through the square enclosure of the wooden panel or canvas, as if you were watching a play on a stage. The effect was just as dazzling, just as unexpected as 3D cinema – and it has lasted a lot longer than the gimmicks of 1950s science fiction.”