Author Archives: admin

Portable Media Resources – to Accompany DAI356 Lecture by David Cox, SFSU

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Boombox

Genius of Design – Better Living Through Chemistry – BBC doco on design – section on Transistors, then early Sony Radios then Walkman starts at 40:44 through 46:17

The Boombox Project

Boomboxラジカセ Creators – Documentary Preview

A New Set of Social Relations – essay by David Cox on Wearable Computers

Cassette recorder museum
Vintage Cassettes
Compact Cassette | Museum Of Obsolete Media
Spime – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ambient Findability: Talking with Peter Morville « Boxes and Arrows
Boomboxラジカセ Creators | Searching for the creators of the iconic boomboxes!
Blog | stereo2go
Electronic Plastic: a museum of handheld and tabletop games from the 1970s and 1980
Wearable Drone Camera story in Daily Mail (UK)

New Aesthetic Archive

Links on the Sony Walkman

http://youtu.be/r-O74_K5Cmo

http://youtu.be/qbH6njSlhEo

http://youtu.be/OtLn49UjM9k

http://youtu.be/7lipckhgG5g

http://youtu.be/lBqseObEt54

http://img.youtube.com/vi/lBqseObEt54/0.jpg]<http://youtu.be/lBqseObEt54

History of The Walkman

.http://youtu.be/lBqseObEt54>

http://mobilestormer.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/ipod-classic.jpg

http://www.zunethings.co.uk/images/zune4gblack.jpg

http://www.blavish.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/10/saint-b-cross-mp3-player.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_audio_player

http://technabob.com/blog/2007/02/08/a-brief-history-of-portable-media-players/

http://technabob.com/blog/2007/02/08/a-brief-history-of-portable-media-players/

http://technabob.com/blog/2007/02/08/a-brief-history-of-portable-media-players/

http://history.sandiego.edu/GEN/recording/notes.html

http://www.ehow.com/facts_4867615_history-cassette-players.html

http://copycatsmedia.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/cassette-tape.jpg

http://retrothing.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/philips_first_cassette_reco.jpg

http://technabob.com/blog/2007/02/08/a-brief-history-of-portable-media-players/

http://www.tampabay.com/multimedia/archive/00075/flo_walkman071209_v_75763c.jpg

http://technabob.com/blog/2007/02/08/a-brief-history-of-portable-media-players/

http://snakecoffee.files.wordpress.com/2006/04/walkman-tps-l2.jpg

http://technabob.com/blog/2007/02/08/a-brief-history-of-portable-media-players/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discman

Sadie Benning – PXL Vision Film maker

New book on Culture Jamming from Australia

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How to Make Trouble and Influence People: Pranks, Protests, Graffiti & Political Mischief-Making from Across Australia 
 
By Iain McIntyre
Publisher: PM Press; 2nd edition (October 15, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1604865954
Book Review by David Cox
Australia’s last election placed right-wing Prime Minister Tony Abbot into power. Official policies of racism and intolerance such as forcing boats carrying asylum seekers away from Australia toward Indonesia are the norm. The new neoliberal regime of Abbot does not however represent the political or economic interests of the majority of the Australian population. The big end of town are rewarded, everyone else has to suck it up, and as the band Midnight Oil once put it “The Rich Get Richer, the Poor Get the Picture”.
A new book by Iain McIntyre, How to Make Trouble and Influence People: Pranks, Protests, Graffiti & Political Mischief-Making from Across Australia comes at a good time.
McIntyre’s book adopts for most of its pages a chronological timeline structure, listing in order a series of historical events of protest, resistance and challenge to power and authority that has always been at the heart of the Australian body politic.
Somebody I worked with in Melbourne back in 1986 put it to me thus; “In Australia, you are either a tram conductor or you are a passenger”. Simplistic perhaps, but a kernel of truth resides in this appraisal of the nature of post-colonial official/unofficial power relations in this once very British and now increasingly independent of Asian countries. I never wore a uniform, but I know what it means to see the world in terms of someone possibly having a rulebook in their pocket at any given time to judge you with. It creates a sense of the tram-conductor-or-not-one in yourself, and this is something I think about a lot now that I live in the USA where a different kind of sense of self prevails.
Australia has different kind of spirit of individualism than that which defines the typical American sense we might say of personal entitlement. The American approach can be said to be born of a relationship to an abstraction: the Republic. Australia has yet to achieve a Republic . No revolution has taken place yet. Instead, the once global British colonial powers have given over to global corporate and local parliamentary structures at once vaguely representational yet simultaneously almost completely non-inclusive. The Queen is a symbolic figurehead as the head of state, a distant echo of the Commonwealth legacy. Australia is indeed in a strange place today. The “pursuit of happiness” for example, has yet to be made into something the Australian people can lay a formal claim to as in the US, though informally they do it every day with gusto.
Democracy in Australia, if we are honest, as in the USA, has yet to mean (if it ever did) as it does in Brazil for example,  that the population has a direct say in how it is governed. Power and authority, it is a truism to say, rest with those, now more than ever, who represent corporate interests. Powerful and increasingly  mercurial neoliberal policies define the body politic in ways that render the population with the sense that their expected role in the eyes of the rulers is simply to consume, to passively ‘live as if they were free’ as Zizek sometimes puts it. In the vacuum created by this gulf have emerged the voices of protest and creative dissent.
Coalitions form among allies and sometimes unlikely bedfellows alike: trades union, students, environmentalists, aboriginal leaders, women, gay and lesbian groups, asylum seekers, animal rights activists, anarchists, artists. The list goes on.  At the core of much protest is a uniquely Australian spirit of play. The prank or the ‘piss-take’ as an Australian is likely to call it, is often at the center of the radical gesture.
McIntyre’s book is replete with protest graphics of every description: posters, flyers, ‘zines, graffiti. Priceless black and white photos of culture-jammed billboards, and stenciled pavements. For a while in the mid 1990s, when I was making my film “Otherzone” on the streets of Melbourne, the city seems to the world capital for political street art and was reported as such. There are street logos from Melbourne in the book but also from every other Australian city – some absolute gems. “We’ll Keep You Pestered” being one – a detournment made possible with a single letter ‘e’ as “Postered” was the original word; billboard companies were promoting themselves!. There are hundreds of anecdotes, and interviews with many of those involved in the tens of thousands of struggles against injustice since Federation and prior.
I was particularly interested in the history between 1973 and 2005, the period of my life in Australia, most of it Melbourne, and deeply touched to see so many familiar images of posters and flyers and ‘zines and graffiti from the suburbs and various share houses I’d lived in during the ‘80s and early ‘90s. “Condom Man” for example, a poster that dominated the kitchens of many a student share house in Fitzroy in the late 1980s. A man of color, on Skull Island, decked out in the superhero garb of the Phantom (an Australian comic book superhero) declaring: “Don’t be Shame, Be Game – Use Condoms!”.
One of the greatest prankster culture jammer groups were formed, at least in part by a group of professional doctors, who formed BUGAUP to deface cigarette smoking billboards. dI wrote about this in part in my own book “Sign Wars: the Culture Jammers Strike Back” in 2010.
There are photos of the anti-nuclear warship actions of the ‘80s, events I also remember well, as well as images from the many environmental struggles such as the Tasmanian anti-woodchipping protests and the anti-uranium mining protests of the 1980s and 1990s. Australia is the size of the USA but with roughly the population of London. So much land, so many resources, an Aboriginal population who have yet to come anywhere close to genuine land rights.
The minute you land in Australia you are made aware of divisions and the struggles to find common cause have found expression in so many gestures of creative solidarity. Its on the walls of the streets. The posters of the houses. The expressions and ideas people talk about in the cities and street corners. It’s in the air. No official policies can undo this, or take steps to outlaw it. Like the ‘zero tolerance’ policies taken in the mid 2000s against graffiti in Melbourne for example, only one year after an official policy to absorb the graffiti via programs and other gestures. Graffiti and Melbourne are part of each other.
There is coverage of the S11 blockade of the World Economic Forum in Melbourne. As had happened in Seattle with the WTF the year prior, on November 11 2000 a massive protest brought the WEF to a complete standstill before two days later, with state backing, an enormous police crackdown brutally and violently suppressed it. It was never properly reported by the mainstream press, for obvious reasons. A classic piece of graffiti from the event says it all: “you can’t eat money”. I remember a cold wind blew up Spencer street that first day and someone had put baby shampoo in the hideously vulgar Romanesque Vegas-style fountains of the Crown Casino where the event was being hosted. Amidst the chants and the drums and the police sirens, the protest foam rose upward spiraling into the Melbourne sky.
Classic Culture Jams are shown in the book like the “SquatSpace” Abandoned UnrealEstate Offices set up in downtown Newcastle, NSW. These looked exactly like those of regular real estate agents, only were filled with available abounded buildings around Newcastle, New South Wales where people might find totally free housing. This was during the “This is Not Art” events held in Newcastle in the late 1990s and early 2000s which were hotbeds of political and artistic activity for Australians from every city at the time. Would that there such a service in San Francisco today.
The Antipodean chapter of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are represented via interview. Interviewed also is culture-jammer-turned TV-host John Saffran whose onscreen antics with his program Music Jamboree, a bitingly satirical look at the unfair and unscrupulous realities of the Australian commercial music industry, have blown the minds of many an Aussie tube-entranced suburbanite. Warming my heart is a section on the Aussie Occupy movement, about which I knew very little since the movement started several years ago.
Page after page of this remarkable book is filled with extraordinary stories of students, union workers, ordinary people engaged in political life that has always defined Australia as a country of resistance. What is best about the book though, is that its strident and forthright timeline format suggests not a dry, cut out academic ‘overview’ or some distanced and lofty anecdotal approach, but a continuum. The book is saying in effect: “These crucial things have happened. Australia is a democracy and its people resist attempts to silence their voices and their will at every opportunity…. and will CONTINUE to do so….”
My advice?
Buy it.
official website:
http://howtomaketroubleandinfluencepeople.org/
David Cox
January 2014.

Geert Lovink Interviewed on the New Aesthetic

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Have you seen James Bridle’s talks?

Heard about it, yes. He is the Iraqi War Wikipedia entry guy. James came to an event we organized last year here in Amsterdam called the Unbound Book. That’s where I met him: http://e-boekenstad.nl/unbound/index.php/james-bridle-social-reading/.

What do you think in general about the New Aesthetic?

It is our task as intellectuals and critics to name the things. Bruce Sterling is good at this, knows his duty and done a good job there. In fact I just met him in Torino, where he lives. I am now in Milan.

Is it really “New”?

Ever since there were media, there was this movement back into the psychical. Same with digital, multimedia, internet, rfid, cell phones. They all provoke their material counterparts, shadow existences in the so-called real world. The thing, we human thrive on this. We cannot take the virtual at face value.

How British UI design based is it?

It is pragmatic, but so are the Dutch and a few others. Ideas materialize. That’s also the idea of conceptual art.

What about its notion of machine agency?

Ask that to Andreas Broeckmann, he writes a book about that right now. I am not in the school of Latour but in general do not oppose these ideas,  as long as they are non-dogmatic and open for other directions.

Are there ghosts in the machine or is it more transhumanist McKenna hokum?

At the moment I do not see traces of that but it is good you mention it. Latour’s Politics of Things is not new age. It asks about agency of things.

http://networkcultures.org/wpmu/cpov/lang/de/2010/03/27/stuart-geigerwhat-is-in-control-of-wikipedia/

Stuart lives in Berkeley right now. I loved this presentation. It is also on Vimeo. It talks about bots in a very down to earth way.

 

Geert Lovink (born 1959, Amsterdam) is a Research Professor of Interactive Media at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam (HvA) and a Professor of Media Theory at the European Graduate School. From 2004-2013 he was an Associate Professor of New Media at the University of Amsterdam (UvA).[1] Lovink earned his master’s degree in political science at the University of Amsterdam, holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne and has been a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Queensland.

Lovink is the founding director of the Institute of Network Cultures, whose goals are to explore, document and feed the potential for socio-economical change of the new media field through events, publications and open dialogue.[3] As theorist, activist and net critic, Lovink has made an effort in helping to shape the development of the web.

Interview with Molly Hankwitz

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Molly Hankwitz Discusses the New Aesthetic

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David Cox: How much is the NA really about the impact of sensor technology on cities and people? Is it not the look and feel of these technologies on a largely unprepared population?

Molly Hankwitz: James Bridle is talking about emerging, increasingly ubiquitous zones between human and machine. Sensor technology is controversial and misunderstood. Cameras, processors and sensors are built in everywhere these days so they are getting response and he talks about machines actively melding with the city, which is ‘sentience’ an idea which starts to frame urban space in a wireless and augmented world at the point of the interface where the body ends and machine begins. Ubiquitous sensing “makes contact” thus with human subjects. I like his idea of exploring “machine vision” and “machine intelligence” as an urban experience.

In his talk, “Waving at the Machines”, Bridle reflects upon facades, parks, streets. He talks about Street View in particular and the elimination of restricted areas from view; how Paul McCartney blocks Google Street View’s access to his house. American citizens may start wanting “privacy settings” for Street View. The idea of making Google’s map an interrogated, non-map is so appealing. Google is deterministic and totalizing. This is to be avoided. I think Bridle is talking about the reverse panopticon when he acknowledges control, and also denies its importance. Americans, certainly, hate the idea of losing their privacy, but not all cultures are so concerned. Theoretically, the map/non-map would be loaded with cultures. Look at Germany. You can shut off Street View there.

National/military/industrial “nets” for surveillance seem acceptable when sugar-coated with Google Earth’s “freedom” to “see” but they need to be resisted, and they aren’t just American militarization. SIVE covers the Straits of Gibraltar, northern Africa, and Mediterranean countries.

William J. Mitchell wrote, after Foucault, surveillance “teaches us to behave as if we are being watched” and this starts to have its affect on social reality. Americans are gregarious people, so some of us get out and play with the surveillance cameras, others parade on Facebook or YouTube. Facebook, especially, supports a ‘me, me’ mentality. One is almost required to bare-all-to-be-real. These spaces are starting to exert substantial authority in real life though, as for example, more and more American lawyers now utilize Facebook information in divorce cases. Filmmaker Dominic Gagnon has commented in an interview I did on his films, about more and more people worldwide caught up in monocultural thinking. He’s French Canadian. The films I was interested in use personal webcam testimonial-type ranting from YouTube as their found footage and talk about subjectivity. (You can find that interview, which I wrote for Craig Baldwin, in Otherzine 22, here.)

Bridle positions himself as a universal subject and there really is no such thing, even though Google Earth would like “everyone” to think there is. There is nothing “universal” about the way the Internet is working today, nor how it was ever set up.

You can get out and flirt with the cameras as the Surveillance Camera Players have done, or get out and play with Art Against Algorithms in San Francisco to protest the pattern-detecting cameras coming in to our transportation system. As far as Web 2.0 is concerned, it’s the second wave, but, routinely our identities are scanned for ideas and information. Bridle sort of warns against thinking of surveillance as “creepy” and maybe he is right.Throughout the ages, inventors have made machines and inflicted them on humans. Industries have bought in and adopted machines and formed themselves through them. Dada artists dealt with their experience of industrialization through art and that’s what is occurring now.

David Cox: Is this not the “shock of the new” in audiovisual form?

Molly Hankwitz: Artists will respond to ubiquity of networks and devices and to the militarization of urban experience on a variety of levels and in different cultural contexts. London-based Proboscis’ designs a mobile software platform for public authoring of urban history. This work recognizes the ubiquity of devices as a positive condition and utilizes ubiquity to distribute public comment. Creative make-up is developed as British art to confuse facial recognition software as shown in Bridle’s talk. Hugo Ball might have done that. From another perspective, the New Aesthetic should connect to hacker culture more. Hackers often want a way out of the “seamless.” This subject of “machine vision” could become even more interesting that way.

Another idea I liked in “Waving at the Machines” was the technological “after image” left by machines sensing their electronic presence in some of the maps Bridle made while walking around London. It’s an “afterimage” like in photography that’s purely electronic; purely a function of the sensor tracing its own sensing. If Bridle gets further into locative media, he will leave his desktop for good. Given our surveillance society, I enjoy thinking about machines tracking each other and the possibility that they might eventually consume each other this way, instead of us. I find it comforting.

Long ago, digital architect Greg Lynn, observed that 3D modeling space was composed of computer-generated pieces called NURBs, which looked blobby. They were curvilinear form over quantities of Cartesian space. He then theorized that NURBs, a basic computer-generated building block of 3D space, could become a building block for a future architecture and used them to construct amorphous designs. This was the vision to use 3D computing softwares for architecture, beyond Auto Cad. This insight on the part of Lynn revolutionized architecture in ways which we have only just started to understand and now we are grappling with energy efficiency and climate change, where sensor technologies can play a major role. Many design aesthetics today recognize the crisis of a dwindling sustainability of planet Earth. Sensors help to locate structural and environmental data and to restore balance.

David Cox: Archimedia (collaboration between David Cox and Molly Hankwitz focusing on the overlap and interplay between Media, Technology, Urban Planning and Architecture) came up with an idea we called “archifracturing”. What is “archifracturing” and how does it relate to the NA?

Molly Hankwitz: You might have guessed that its meaning is still emerging. (smile) ‘artefact’–material decline in a digital image, ‘fracture’–breaking, splitting.. architecture- form, permanence. We were listening to “Waving at the Machines” and looking at Bridle’s samples of “glitches” and “pixellated” images and we connected them to popular CGI where material architecture is disintegrating, being destroyed, pulsating and dissolving into particles. Other times it’s about bodies having many parts, as if the networked self has become flesh. Inception, Tower Heist, 2012. In these films, lots of huge flat planes of glass granulate into dust and whole floors of office furniture slide and hurtle through space, or architecture represents psychological space as infinite simultaneously eroding structures in someone’s memory.

The graphic design that Bridle has picked upon is more like an accidental tearing or disruption in the images thorough artefacting, pixellation disturbing what would otherwise be perfect. I’ve never been a fan of illustrating such things as ‘tearing’ and ‘renting’. Famous models wearing expensive rags, but in this case, it’s kind of cool fakery, rustic. As if we are tired of ‘slick’ and going backwards. Lego bricks. 3D Lego ideas. Bridle references the influence of Minecraft.

Archifracture points to the metaphor of dissolution and disturbance in visual form. It could be interpreted as societal and economic breakdown, disintegration of surface, collapse, decay, erosion; degeneration, or a stand in for ubiquity, when the pieces are thousands. Not in a scary way, but as a digital metaphor. The architecture is digital, so its “permanence” as an idea, at least in terms of images and computer-generation, is immaterial and its archifracturing is part of it. Because what is material can so easily appear to be fluid, in the process of dissolution, malleability; sometimes shattering. It’s industrial modernity, again, this time as the effect of digital.

Bridle gives an example in the Telehouse West building, a seven story, data center in London which bears a facade of tiles, in shades of grey which appear to break down the surface of this building, itself an expression of networked space. The architects called it a “disturbance” when asked. In modern art there was asymmetry, a disturbance of symmetry. As far as “disturbance” designed into an architecture facade’s tile pattern? Brilliant. The solid is melting into air.

David Cox: Why does James Bridle insist upon the existence of render ghosts?

Molly Hankwitz: Render ghosts may be those caught in the networked culture who “lived” virtually within it. I don’t know. Are they cast off avatars, molted selves in the ether? My sense is that they might be an “imagined population” along the lines of Benedict Anderson, or the speculative citizens for a city like Dubai, who never moved in!
(smiles)

David Cox: Why do we need to invent specters in this high-tech of all possible worlds?

Molly Hankwitz: I can only suggest that invented specters are not necessarily conscious and may just represent a vulnerability or insecurity about identity that permeates culture because of theft, precarity, celebrity, mobility. Nowadays, Web 2.0 is underwritten by code-driven algorithmic ‘bots’ scanning our data and we can’t be sure who’s doing it. At the same time, as Geert Lovink pointed out in Eurozine recently, there’s a growing interest in netizens increasingly telling more personal details about themselves online, as if it makes us more “human” to do this. An abundance of human faces in Skype, Linked in, Facebook and profiles pages populate Web 2.0., significant difference from the 90s when people were disinclined to show themselves and made up false identities. Now its common. The Internet of People is a very recent international project which will bring social steering through design to the Internet of Things.

David Cox: The ‘cloud’ seems to have spawned new types of special ‘shed’ type buildings that house server farms and are largely uninhabited but for the engineers that tend the servers – what is the significance of this new combination – the myth of the ‘cloud’ on the one hand, and the large ‘sheds’ on the other, as James Bridle discusses in his talk “Waving at the Machines”?

Molly Hankwitz: Data centers are the physical equipment of ‘the cloud’ manifesting in cities and suburbs as hulking sheds with several floors of mainframe-type server space, air conditioned and rented to telecommunications companies. The Telehouse West building, we talked about earlier. One Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles is another, a completely uninhabitable building originally designed as multi-story office space by Skidmore Owens and Merrill now turned server space. It’s exterior (with a regular grid of windows) is nothing more than a sheath for the equipment. The scale of global networks is emerging out of cities themselves as built form. The real instantiating in the virtual. A lot could be done with this kind of physical transparency, in design. But, the ‘cloud’ is also inside everyone’s handheld device and connects us to our data.

There is some advantage to software stored in ‘the cloud’ because there is no need for manual installation of new software. It can be updated through the screen when cloud management sends update alerts. This saves cost for small companies, but users have less control over the storage of our data. It’s remote. The development of electrical grids in the late 19th century, is analogous to the current transformation to the cloud. Distributed electrical networks made multiple small-scale improvements possible. Clean light in homes and on streets and night-time illumination, for example, but, there were also large scale profits made by the centralization and consolidation of power companies and from citizens now having to pay for the service. ‘The cloud’ returns us to a more centralized organization for data management.

David Cox: Please tell me what you think is most positive about the NA and how it can help us formulate workable utopias?

Molly Hankwitz: James Bridle asks us to rethink the possible and he is drawn to everyday tools and signs in doing it. I also like the acceptance of low-res as an emerging trend in his images. It reminds me of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown’s attraction to the Las Vegas strip vernacular, but, also, British pop art traditions, the Independent Group and Archigram. Archigram’s Portapak project was portable chunks of the city packaged in pink cartons and available at supermarkets. ‘Cloud’-type grocery stores as urban revolution platform. The city as transformable through its own weirdly-new productive mechanisms, like big food chains. Archigram should have gone further with that one.

The New Aesthetic invites us to have fun with urban space; to instantiate bits of virtual vision into it. It might parallel Oldenburg’s oversized pieces of vinyl pie and overscaled ordinary objects appearing in public space. That work was all about the effects of advertising vision, TV, commodities, popular desire. Bridle is a conceptual artist. His artists’ books are very conceptual, like Sol Lewitt, Ed Ruscha. Where his critique begins to challenge the slickened surface of the city seen *only* through the screen, there may be some possible political engagement. Google Earth sabotage or something. (smiles)

David Cox: What is less helpful/worrying?

Molly Hankwitz: There is a lot of emphasis upon Facebook and Google. This does not suggest an autonomy. Drawing from them, even playfully, aesthetically, doesn’t really deal with what commercial spaces are doing in the Web 2.0 framework. Facebook is a privacy sucking market research device where we trade our privacy for public “feel” as it were. We do not have to know much of anything to make Facebook space. The popularity of FB is down by 8% because users are tired of the new Timeline function on their profile pages. I don’t know what this means, except that consumers have a say. The owners are busy making a bundle, while others avoid addiction. We’ve all heard about Facebook Moms obsessed with using social media community to manage their family and friends, spending all their time on line. The New Aesthetic tends to valorize the popularity of Facebook-type interaction. Guy Debord and the SI also played with modern media–television and film– and tried to be inside it and outside it, but they had a political focus not an aesthetic one. “Play” has obsessed new media art for the last decade, but this recuperation of the sixties SI vocabulary hasn’t led to revolution through the arts culture.

My major concern with the New Aesthetic is its universalism. There’s no critique which identifies gender, race, class. Digital cultures suffer terribly from this homogeneity and always have.

David Cox: Can the emphasis on drone technologies and machine vision help us formulate a new type of politics?

Molly Hankwitz: There probably needs to be considerably more mobilization around surveillance because its getting out of hand. Surveillance protects private space for the status quo, while violating it for others. Humans aren’t simply rats in a maze or ants in a hill to be observed and chided in our online lives.

Tim Pool’s hacker drone cams are a detournement. I stick with these hacker journalists for ideas because they are media activists and media activism has always hacked through the spectacle and created ways to see what’s going on. The problem today is accountability so I’m interested in the means by which news information, for example, always highly censored for home audiences, can be augmented by new technologies. PLOTS’ grassroots mapping kits (Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science) are designed for citizens’ to collect data and pictures. They have been around since at least the BP oil spill. This is a grounded, grassroots hacktivism because a) the kits are cheap and open source and b) to take back the aerial viewpoint in the era of Google Earth is a radical gesture.

David Cox: The NA’s ambivalent relationship to Occupy and Anonymous would seem to imply a political dimension, what do you make of this? How might this unfold in practical ways in the coming months/years? Could there be an “New Aesthetics of Politics” a “Processual Politics”?

Molly Hankwitz: Occupy grabbed reality back and called it financial theft. The movement has offered hope for democratic humanism, for revolutionary society, after Egypt and England and Greece and now Spain and Mexico and Syria. The movement is an instantiation of the virtualization of humanity into the real. This might unfold in practical ways by bringing renewed resistance to virtual life back into motion; by expressing it. “From ashes, quivers new life…” writes San Francisco poet, Jim Byron. The recent London riots and Occupy “encampments” already promise a new aesthetics of politics; dispersed, yet, organized.
___

Molly Hankwitz lives in San Francisco, California where she is a mother, a curator, a writer and a techno-artist. She was principal in the design and research collaboration, Archimedia from 1998 to 2007. Before that she was active in experimental film culture, anti-war, womens’ rights and housing. In 2010, she co-curated the locative media arts exhibition, citycentered.org and in 2011 completed a Ph.D.from Queensland University of Technology. She is interested in political dimensions of networks, social technologies and questions of aesthetics and history in electronic media. mollyhankwitz.org

David Cox is a writer, film maker, and instructor who lives in San Francisco. His email is davidalbertcox@gmail.comand his website is http://www.davidalbertcox.com

Aelita, Queen of Mars. What great outfits.

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Marveling today at the constructivist outfits worn by the characters in Aelita Queen of Mars

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All those angled triangle and circle constructivist forms on the costumes and sets. The constructivist future shown

as in need of some good solid Russian soul to bring some passion into it.

 

Interview with Christian Divine

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I interviewed researcher and American popular culture presenter Christian Divine. Chris’s ‘show and tell’ lectures cover a wide range of topics from drive-in movie history, through to Eco-Horror movies of the 1970s, to the monster craze of the 1960s, and ore recently the more obscure output of the men-in-rubber-suit kaiju genre from Japan’s Toho studios.

We talked about a wide range of subjects, from Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point to The Munsters all the way through to Godzilla versus Hedorah. It was a wild ride into the mind and work of one America’s most important keepers of cultural memory.

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Cox animation “Tatlin” in Russian Constructivist Art Show, GRAD Gallery, London

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My 1990 film TATLIN playing as part of UTOPIA LTD:
UTOPIA LTD 21 SEPTEMBER — 20 DECEMBER 2013
GRAD: Gallery for Russian Arts and Design presents an exhibition of Soviet avant-garde artwork reconstructed for a contemporary audience. Utopia Ltd takes the blueprints for change laid down by the radical Constructivist group and reimagines them in three dimensions. Model maker Henry Milner creates striking sculptures inspired by the geometric experiments of Soviet artists El Lissitzky and Aleksandr Rodchenko, and brings to life designs by Vladimir Tatlin and the pioneering graphic artist from Latvia, Gustavs Klucis.

http://www.grad-london.com/whatson/utopia-ltd-2013/