Rhizome Today: A split-screen society

This is Rhizome Today for Thursday, December 4, 2014.

Rhizome Today is an experiment in ephemeral blogging: a series of posts that are written hastily in response to current events, and usually taken offline within a day or so. The latest post can always be found at rhizome.org/today. This post will not be deleted.

 

Today, we're republishing our past Today columns on #Ferguson, thinking of Eric Garner's family, and considering how to address our own involvement in a brutal and racist system.

This is Rhizome Today for Thursday, August 14, 2014. (By Rhizome Staff)

Dread Scott, Sign of the Times (2001)

Peter Watkins, Punishment Park (1971)

James Baldwin, via Huw Lemmey:

When a city goes under martial law, everybody in the city is under martial law. If I can't go out and buy a loaf of bread safely, then neither can the housewife. That’s why she's on the range, learning how to shoot a pistol, in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

They're confusing themselves with the Indians, you know, they're back on the wagon train. But we all know who's in the streets of America. We all know to whom we are referring when we talk about "crime in the streets". We know the son of the president of Pan Am is not in the streets. Only one person in the streets—that's me! And they’re plotting to shoot me, in the name of "freedom", dignified by "law". And I'm supposed to agree.

No, no, no sir. I won't be disorderly no more. Alas, the party is over. The question is "what shall we do?". Everybody knows it. The question is in everybody’s lap. From Washington to London, to Bonn. Everybody knows it. They're trying to figure out what to do. We should figure out what to do. 

Martine Syms, Reading Trayvon Martin (2012-ongoing)

Tracy Clayton's Twitter list of people actually in Ferguson right now.

Isaac Julien, Territories (1984). Still frame from video.


This is Rhizome Today for Monday, August 18, 2014 (by Michael Connor)

Forensics

With the escalating attacks by government security forces on the civilian population of Ferguson, Missouri, we've seen a number of people take to social media to ask why police in the United States don't have dashboard cameras and helmet cameras as a matter of course.

These arguments reminded me of the fact that the video made by George Holliday of Los Angeles Police Department officers Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind, Theodore Briseno, and Rolando Solano assaulting Rodney King was included in the 1993 Whitney Biennial. In the context of the biennial's focus on art as a political practice, the video was seen to have merit because of the social transformation it wrought, even though it wasn't intended as an artwork per se; Holliday probably had the shortest artist bio ever found in a Biennial catalogue.

The killing of Michael Brown, in contrast, was not caught on tape, and this is one of the reasons it has become such a flash point. In the context of differing claims made by witnesses and police, the absence of a video record begins to seem suspicious. Video forensics can be a powerful tool, and in the months to come I fully expect and hope that video evidence be used to convict those officers who went just over the legal line in an otherwise officially sanctioned effort to bring violence and chaos to the community of Ferguson.

But forensic evidence, video and otherwise, has its limits. This point was underlined over the weekend when a private autopsy concluded that Michael Brown was shot once in the top of the head. Per the presiding Dr. Michael Baden: "This [wound] here looks like his head was bent downward...[this] can be because he’s giving up, or because he’s charging forward at the officer."

Forensic objects must be interpreted and narrated, and the ways in which they are narrated often reflect existing power imbalances. This is true for medical reports as well as for helmetcams. As Anselm Franke and Eyal Weizman pointed out in the wall text of their co-organized exhibition Forensis at HKW, the Roman forum was a "multi-dimensional space of negotiation and truth-finding in which humans and objects participated together in politics, law and the economy." In their review of the exhibition for Rhizome, Harry Burke and Lucy Chinen observed that this multi-dimensional space has been replaced with a cultural bias towards material evidence; in this context, witness accounts are "deemed unverifiable and thus illegitimate by scientific communities."

To contest the official "truths" of Ferguson, we need to advocate not only for helmet cams, but for a public discourse in which witness accounts are considered legitimate even when scientifically unverifiable, in which human accounts participate equally with forensic objects. As Burke and Chinen put it, "forensics is a political practice primarily at the point of interpretation." The truth is not only documented, it is also narrated.

What is most urgent now is not only to celebrate the new generation of George Hollidays livestreaming the protests via smartphones, but to listen to the witnesses as well. To listen to #Ferguson. [MC]

@brokeymcpoverty's Twitter list of people in Ferguson:https://twitter.com/brokeymcpoverty/lists/ferguson-locals-journos

Burke & Chinen on Forensis:http://rhizome.org/editorial/2014/apr/1/forensis-haus-der-kulteren-der-welt-berlin/

Baden and Parcell's Report on the autopsy:http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/18/us/michael-brown-autopsy-shows-he-was-shot-at-least-6-times.html


This is Rhizome Today for Wednesday, November 26, 2014. (By Lucy Chinen)

As when the news of Michael Brown's death first broke through into national conversation, the past few days I've seen people tweeting and facebooking about the level of filtering that goes on in our social media feeds during times of public outcry. Sensing distortion in her own feed during the August #Ferguson protests, sociologist Zeynep Tufekci compared filtering across platforms for related terms. She made clear the threat, asking: "Would Ferguson be buried in algorithmic censorship?"

Yet in the days following the grand jury decision, while on certain sites still slow to trend, Ferguson is now more or less everywhere, being felt and experienced visibly and globally. (See, for instance, the hashtags in solidarity circulating in other regions.). It is unknown whether this is the result of a skew in the algorithm in response to criticism about the lack of visibility in August, or an increase in personal responses that burst a strong-as-ever bubble.

The study of "digital phenomena"—how they are shaped by algorithms and locale, how they leak into the streets, the efficacy of online or offline protest, the quantification of circulation via that trope of the sudden spike in a graph—doesn't really describe the difficulties and pitfalls inherent in trying to interpret the events of Ferguson from a geographic, or academic, distance. To correct for that, I think it's helpful to look, as well, to a project like Martine Syms' continually compelling Reading Trayvon Martin. The project collects Syms' personal bookmarks in a long, text-only list, serving as a record of the intense attention she paid to the trial. This simple bibliographic format speaks to the familiar and widely shared experience of navigating through the onslaught of press, witness accounts, and opinions in order to position yourself within a broader "public opinion."

But the bibliography is overlaid by images of the objects that surrounded Martin's killing, and became synecdoches for that loss and for the larger public tragedy of racism and violence in America: the hoodie, the Skittles, the Arizona iced tea. If immersing oneself in the flows of news can lead to a problematic sense of detachment, objectivity, or fascination, Syms' project is a reminder that at the heart of this conversation is very real grief, demanding empathy and solidarity.

Rhizome Today: A split-screen society

This is Rhizome Today for Thursday, December 4, 2014.

Rhizome Today is an experiment in ephemeral blogging: a series of posts that are written hastily in response to current events, and usually taken offline within a day or so. The latest post can always be found at rhizome.org/today. This post will not be deleted.

 

Today, we're republishing our past Today columns on #Ferguson, thinking of Eric Garner's family, and considering how to address our own involvement in a brutal and racist system.

This is Rhizome Today for Thursday, August 14, 2014. (By Rhizome Staff)

Dread Scott, Sign of the Times (2001)

Peter Watkins, Punishment Park (1971)

James Baldwin, via Huw Lemmey:

When a city goes under martial law, everybody in the city is under martial law. If I can't go out and buy a loaf of bread safely, then neither can the housewife. That’s why she's on the range, learning how to shoot a pistol, in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

They're confusing themselves with the Indians, you know, they're back on the wagon train. But we all know who's in the streets of America. We all know to whom we are referring when we talk about "crime in the streets". We know the son of the president of Pan Am is not in the streets. Only one person in the streets—that's me! And they’re plotting to shoot me, in the name of "freedom", dignified by "law". And I'm supposed to agree.

No, no, no sir. I won't be disorderly no more. Alas, the party is over. The question is "what shall we do?". Everybody knows it. The question is in everybody’s lap. From Washington to London, to Bonn. Everybody knows it. They're trying to figure out what to do. We should figure out what to do. 

Martine Syms, Reading Trayvon Martin (2012-ongoing)

Tracy Clayton's Twitter list of people actually in Ferguson right now.

Isaac Julien, Territories (1984). Still frame from video.


This is Rhizome Today for Monday, August 18, 2014 (by Michael Connor)

Forensics

With the escalating attacks by government security forces on the civilian population of Ferguson, Missouri, we've seen a number of people take to social media to ask why police in the United States don't have dashboard cameras and helmet cameras as a matter of course.

These arguments reminded me of the fact that the video made by George Holliday of Los Angeles Police Department officers Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind, Theodore Briseno, and Rolando Solano assaulting Rodney King was included in the 1993 Whitney Biennial. In the context of the biennial's focus on art as a political practice, the video was seen to have merit because of the social transformation it wrought, even though it wasn't intended as an artwork per se; Holliday probably had the shortest artist bio ever found in a Biennial catalogue.

The killing of Michael Brown, in contrast, was not caught on tape, and this is one of the reasons it has become such a flash point. In the context of differing claims made by witnesses and police, the absence of a video record begins to seem suspicious. Video forensics can be a powerful tool, and in the months to come I fully expect and hope that video evidence be used to convict those officers who went just over the legal line in an otherwise officially sanctioned effort to bring violence and chaos to the community of Ferguson.

But forensic evidence, video and otherwise, has its limits. This point was underlined over the weekend when a private autopsy concluded that Michael Brown was shot once in the top of the head. Per the presiding Dr. Michael Baden: "This [wound] here looks like his head was bent downward...[this] can be because he’s giving up, or because he’s charging forward at the officer."

Forensic objects must be interpreted and narrated, and the ways in which they are narrated often reflect existing power imbalances. This is true for medical reports as well as for helmetcams. As Anselm Franke and Eyal Weizman pointed out in the wall text of their co-organized exhibition Forensis at HKW, the Roman forum was a "multi-dimensional space of negotiation and truth-finding in which humans and objects participated together in politics, law and the economy." In their review of the exhibition for Rhizome, Harry Burke and Lucy Chinen observed that this multi-dimensional space has been replaced with a cultural bias towards material evidence; in this context, witness accounts are "deemed unverifiable and thus illegitimate by scientific communities."

To contest the official "truths" of Ferguson, we need to advocate not only for helmet cams, but for a public discourse in which witness accounts are considered legitimate even when scientifically unverifiable, in which human accounts participate equally with forensic objects. As Burke and Chinen put it, "forensics is a political practice primarily at the point of interpretation." The truth is not only documented, it is also narrated.

What is most urgent now is not only to celebrate the new generation of George Hollidays livestreaming the protests via smartphones, but to listen to the witnesses as well. To listen to #Ferguson. [MC]

@brokeymcpoverty's Twitter list of people in Ferguson:https://twitter.com/brokeymcpoverty/lists/ferguson-locals-journos

Burke & Chinen on Forensis:http://rhizome.org/editorial/2014/apr/1/forensis-haus-der-kulteren-der-welt-berlin/

Baden and Parcell's Report on the autopsy:http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/18/us/michael-brown-autopsy-shows-he-was-shot-at-least-6-times.html


This is Rhizome Today for Wednesday, November 26, 2014. (By Lucy Chinen)

As when the news of Michael Brown's death first broke through into national conversation, the past few days I've seen people tweeting and facebooking about the level of filtering that goes on in our social media feeds during times of public outcry. Sensing distortion in her own feed during the August #Ferguson protests, sociologist Zeynep Tufekci compared filtering across platforms for related terms. She made clear the threat, asking: "Would Ferguson be buried in algorithmic censorship?"

Yet in the days following the grand jury decision, while on certain sites still slow to trend, Ferguson is now more or less everywhere, being felt and experienced visibly and globally. (See, for instance, the hashtags in solidarity circulating in other regions.). It is unknown whether this is the result of a skew in the algorithm in response to criticism about the lack of visibility in August, or an increase in personal responses that burst a strong-as-ever bubble.

The study of "digital phenomena"—how they are shaped by algorithms and locale, how they leak into the streets, the efficacy of online or offline protest, the quantification of circulation via that trope of the sudden spike in a graph—doesn't really describe the difficulties and pitfalls inherent in trying to interpret the events of Ferguson from a geographic, or academic, distance. To correct for that, I think it's helpful to look, as well, to a project like Martine Syms' continually compelling Reading Trayvon Martin. The project collects Syms' personal bookmarks in a long, text-only list, serving as a record of the intense attention she paid to the trial. This simple bibliographic format speaks to the familiar and widely shared experience of navigating through the onslaught of press, witness accounts, and opinions in order to position yourself within a broader "public opinion."

But the bibliography is overlaid by images of the objects that surrounded Martin's killing, and became synecdoches for that loss and for the larger public tragedy of racism and violence in America: the hoodie, the Skittles, the Arizona iced tea. If immersing oneself in the flows of news can lead to a problematic sense of detachment, objectivity, or fascination, Syms' project is a reminder that at the heart of this conversation is very real grief, demanding empathy and solidarity.

‘Phillip Seymour Hoffman Died, Are You Over Me?’

Promotional images for Tex (Penny Ante, 2014)

In my brief appearance in Beau Rice's new book, TEX, I tell the narrator he lives in a perpetual state of "topping from the bottom." I submit the whole book as further evidence. Compiled from about a year of the writer's digital correspondence, TEX brandishes a kind of authorial whip only the masochist understands. It is an ultimately relational authority, diffused into multiple voices of friends, potential Craiglist sex partners, and mostly "Matt G."

If it was possible to say exactly who Matt G was to "Beau R," the book would lack one of its central joys: tracking the shifting relationship between Beau R (an employee of an alt bookstore in LA) and Matt G (a social worker in Austin, Texas), or Beau R (socially dysfunctional, well read) and Matt G (socially dysfunctional, well read), or Beau R (biting) and Matt G (deadpan), or Beau R (texter) and Matt G (textee), or, finally, Beau (the lover) and Matt G (the loved).

"I'm around today if you want to connect and share," Beau R not un-seriously offers Matt G. The line that follows is a time stamp, a full day gone by with no reply—just one example of the pathos the text message form can pack. Rice's ultimate success is making the intertexual digitalscape translate for the page: poems shaped like butt plugs, bracketed descriptions instead of emojis (ex. "[kiss face]"), YouTube links—including Christian Marclay's Telephone—revealed as their URLS, iPhone photos, quotes from the relevant likes of Michel Foucault, Ryan Trecartin, Anne Carson, and Liz Phair, even celebrity deaths are volleyed, made metabolic, used and abused.

Who knew the epistolary form was so ripe for a queering? In many ways, the exchange of seduction and wordplay is as old as Plato's Phaedrus. In many ways, this book continues Alt Lit's genre-defining digital-chat trend (and suffers as it suffers—for being pretentious). Yet in many ways, its precedents aren't Alt Lit's lonely, manipulative boys but the lonely, manipulative girls of Chris Kraus's I Love Dick, Frances Stark's Osservate, Leggete Con Me, even, dare-I-say, Lena Dunham's Girls. Which is to say, what queers have always been better able to say (and straights have always known) is that sex is often about unhooking gender, and that both are really just words. "I'm so sick of ass connoisseurs who think bold fags have no feelings." Honey, amen.

Rice's attention to the textures of texting demonstrates what wordplay really makes possible. A phrase conjures a character and a set—not a subject speaking, but an amalgam of the roles they play. Beau R re-mixes a Catullus poem into a lover's guilt trip; Matt G responds, "I'm telling the whole school about your embarrassingly intense emoticons."  Digital missives descending from the would-be ether, these performances seem utterly un-tethered from the human body. Yet, echoing the subterranean field of leaks that emerge from communication technologies, all this chat is countered with visceral descriptions of the body's fluids: viral boils, pussing zits, piss, shit, and cum. "Beau R: "i'm only able to text this much cos i'm on the toilet. Matt G: "Im eating. It comes in my mouth and goes out your ass." Here is the physical place us materialists are always looking for to name what info-tech might be doing to us. Besides guarded servers and fiber optic cables, it's where emotions live inside us, where we see them erupt from our bodies, and, where, to our humiliation or delight, the feedback loop kicks up once more.

Humiliation, as we know, has a politics. In TEX, it is the sticky substance that ties the characters to each other. It is the sticky substance that ties the reader to the text. Foregrounding the abjection of the body, the desperation of the lover, and the authoritative fiction of authorship in the digital era, TEX makes humiliation essential to queer solidarity. And it might just make a masochist of us all.

Disclosure: Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal is Beau Rice's friend and a bratty bottom.

The House of Electronic Arts Basel reopens its doors

A few days ago, the Haus der elektronischen Künste Basel (House of Electronic Arts) inaugurated its new premises with a three-day festival of drones, music performances, immersive data explorations and giant mushrooms.

HeK space is a cultural center dedicated to the new art forms of the information age. The programme is as sleek and geek as its buildings but its spirit is critical and inquisitive. HeK takes technology out of consumer culture and looks at its more meaningful, socially-engaged or aesthetic uses.

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Ryoji Ikeda

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The first show in the programme is a solo of Ryoji Ikeda, an artist and musician whose immersive installations and sculptural works give data a tangible physical presence.

The entrance space is all luminous, white and empty except for a speaker on the wall. The sound emitted by the directional speaker can be perceived at one point only in the room. You can walk through the space 10 times and never notice it. Or you might stop at the exact spot of the sound and be able to listen to it.

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Ryoji Ikeda, Untitled, 2014. Photograph: Franz Wamhof. Copyright: HeK (Haus der elektronischen Künste Basel

The main exhibition space, made of pure blackout and pure data, is the exact opposite. The data.tron projection drowns you into pixels of image composed from a combination of pure mathematics and various sets of data that define and control our world.

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Ryoji Ikeda, data.tron, 2008. Photograph: Franz Wamhof. Copyright: HeK (Haus der elektronischen Künste Basel

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Ryoji Ikeda, data.tron, 2008. Photograph: Franz Wamhof. Copyright: HeK (Haus der elektronischen Künste Basel

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Ryoji Ikeda, data.tron, 2008. Photograph: Franz Wamhof. Copyright: HeK (Haus der elektronischen Künste Basel

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Ryoji Ikeda, data.tron, 2008. Photograph: Franz Wamhof. Copyright: HeK (Haus der elektronischen Künste Basel

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Ryoji Ikeda, data.tron, 2008. Photograph: Franz Wamhof. Copyright: HeK (Haus der elektronischen Künste Basel

Nine monitors across the room form data.scan, a more intimate installation that continues the artist's exploration of data. The work presents an audio-visual relationship relating to large sets of data from two recent meta-scientific investigations that have mapped the human body and the astronomical universe. The horizontal field of the monitor-based data.scan is registered intimately in relation to the viewer's body.

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Ryoji Ikeda, data.scan, 2014. Photograph: Franz Wamhof. Copyright: HeK (Haus der elektronischen Künste Basel

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Ryoji Ikeda, data.scan, 2014. Photograph: Franz Wamhof. Copyright: HeK (Haus der elektronischen Künste Basel


Ryoji Ikeda, data.scan [nº1-9]

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Ryoji Ikeda, systematics, 2012. Photograph: Franz Wamhof. Copyright: HeK (Haus der elektronischen Künste Basel

The opening weekend also involved a performance of REMOTEWORDS by Achim Mohné and Uta Kopp. The duo painted BILD ≠ KUNST (image ≠ art) in huge red letters on the rooftop of HeK and used a small semi-professional drone to show us what it looked like from above. Over the past few years, Knopp and Mohné have painted similar permanent texts around the world, waiting for satellite image tools such as Google Earth to update their images and visualize the messages for everyone to read. 


The text of this one, BILD ≠ KUNST, is a reference to the book "The Myth Of Media Art" by philosopher and art historian Hans Ulrich Reck. His wording mirrors the paradigmatic shift in the meaning of images by digital media. Images no longer stand solitarily at the center of art but are defined by artistic strategies. The House of electronic Arts, Basel (HeK) stands symptomatically for this relationship between (electronic) image and art, a relationship that is subject to constant change.

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There's actually quite a lot of rooftop action at HeK...

Huge mushrooms are sprouting on its roof. Titled, A Band of floating Mushrooms, the artwork is a 6.5 meters high group of music-making mushrooms by Monica Studer and Christoph van den Berg. If you want to listen to the sound randomly generated by the sculpture while you're at HeK, just ask for a set of headphones. Or just click this way.

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The wires so noticeably attached to the mushrooms (they are not functional) made me realize that you see no wire nor trace of technological structure at Haus der elektronischen Künste Basel. There's just you and the artworks.

But HeK is more than just an exhibition space. Its strong education programme makes it a place for media literacy and critical analysis of technologies. When i visited the space for the inauguration, there was a workshop to build robots for kids and another one to create photos using yeast. In the coming month, the team will organise workshops to learn Processing, build a mobile charger powered by bikes and make theremin instruments.

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Workshop with viennese artists group Pavillon_35 during the opening weekend of HeK. Image: HeK (Haus der elektronischen Künste Basel)

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Robot workshop with Karl Heinz Jeron. Image: HeK (Haus der elektronischen Künste Basel)

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Robot workshop with Karl Heinz Jeron. Image: HeK (Haus der elektronischen Künste Basel)

The Ryoji Ikeda show remains open until 29 Mars 2015.

Other events coming up at Haus der elektronischen Künste Basel:
December 04, 2014 and January 22, 2015: Screensaver like Ikeda, Processing Workshop for adults; December 7, BitBadge Christmas Workshop; February 22, 2015: Do it Yourself Workshop „DIY Ikeda", 8Bit-mixTape Workshop for children, adults and professionals.

Photos of the opening at HeK flickr album and mine but it contains all sorts of Basel images.

A few of my favourite books in 2014

It's the end of the year and yet again, i'm looking at a huge pile of books i've enjoyed but never found the time to review on the blog. So i'm going to file them here and you can think of this list as a christmas gift guide for the many smart and curious people in your life.

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Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy. The Many Faces of Anonymous by cultural anthropologist Gabriella Coleman (available on amazon UK and USA.)

Publisher Verso writes: Propelled by years of chats and encounters with a multitude of hackers, including imprisoned activist Jeremy Hammond and the double agent who helped put him away, Hector Monsegur, Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy is filled with insights into the meaning of digital activism and little understood facets of culture in the Internet age, including the history of "trolling," the ethics and metaphysics of hacking, and the origins and manifold meanings of "the lulz."

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High Society: Mind-Altering Drugs in History and Culture, by Mike Jay (also on Amazon UK and USA.)

Four years ago, i visited the wonderfully informative exhibition High Society: Mind-Altering Drugs in History and Culture at the Wellcome Collection in London. It only recently occurred to me that i could re-visit the show through its catalogue.

Publisher Thames & Hudson writes: Cultural historian Mike Jay paints vivid portraits of the roles that drugs play as medicines, religious sacraments, status symbols and trade goods. He traces the understanding of intoxicants from the classical world through the mind-bending self-experiments of early scientists to the present 'war on drugs', and reveals how the international trade in substances such as tobacco, tea and opium shaped the modern world.


Mike Jay's talk at Breaking Convention, October Gallery, London, Tuesday, 31st January, 2012

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Maker Dad. Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects, by author, illustrator, bOING bOING co-founder and chief of MAKE magazine Mark Frauenfelder (available on amazon USA and UK.)

Maker Dad is the first DIY book to use cutting-edge (and affordable) technology in appealing projects for fathers and daughters to do together. These crafts and gadgets are both rewarding to make and delightful to play with. What's more, Maker Dad teaches girls lifelong skills--like computer programming, musicality, and how to use basic hand tools--as well as how to be creative problem solvers.

My dad taught me how to build electronic circuits. Obviously, no dad could every be as wonderful as mine was but they can have a try by following Frauenfelder's super clear instructions and build all kinds of drawbots, crazy jewellery, retro arcade video game and kite video camera with their kids.

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The Crossing of Antarctica. Original Photographs from the Epic Journey that Fulfilled Shackleton's Dream, by George Lowe and Huw Lewis-Jones (on amazon USA and UK.)

Publisher Thames & Hudson writes: The expedition of 1957/58, led by Vivian 'Bunny' Fuchs, was one of the 20th century's triumphs of exploration - a powerful expression of technological daring as much as a testament of sheer, bloody-minded human willpower. As a key member of the expedition, Everest veteran George Lowe was there to capture it all in photographs and on film

Awe-inspiring landscapes, candid portraits and action shots evoke the day-by-day moments as the expedition travelled across snow and ice, facing extraordinary challenges and dangers.

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Typewriter Art: A Modern Anthology, by Barrie Tullett, a graphic designer and senior lecturer in graphic design at the Lincoln School of Art and Design, and cofounder of The Caseroom Press (available on amazon UK and USA.)

Publisher Laurence King writes: This beautiful book brings together some of the best examples by typewriter artists around the world. As well as key historical work from the Bauhaus, H. N. Werkman and the concrete poets, there is art by contemporary practitioners, both typewriter artists who use the keyboard as a 'palette' to create artworks, and artists/typographers using the form as a compositional device. The book will appeal to graphic designers, typographers, artists and illustrators, and anyone fascinated by predigital technology.

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Ruth Broadbent, String Wrapped (Typewriter), 2012-13

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Eduard Ovčáček, Hlava ('Head'), 1966

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Franciszka Themerson and Stefan Themerson, Semantic Divertissements, 1962

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Jo Mansfield, Nothing, 2008

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Dirk Krecker, I´m not a Pirate I´m a fisherman, 2011

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Dirk Kreckers, Blood Pain & Violence, 2010


Interview with typewriter artist Dirk Krecker

Views inside the book:

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Materiology: The Creative Industry Guide to Materials and Technologies, by Daniel Kula and Elodie Ternaux (available on amazon USA and UK.)

Publisher FRAME writes: After several print runs that have almost sold out, Frame has now updated the existing content and added 36 pages with completely new material to one of its best-sellers. (...) This edition contains 17 new material catalogue cards, including lithium, rare earth elements, photovoltaic cells, non-newtonian fluids, gallium, mercury, horn, diamond, nacre, precious stones, carbon and more. Ordered alphabetically and illustrated with photos, each of the cards holds a description of the material with its main properties, strengths and weaknesses, and possible uses.

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And a few favorites among the ones i did review in 2014:

Post-Photography: The Artist with a Camera, by Robert Shore, arts journalist and editor of quarterly Elephant (on amazon USA and UK.)

Art and the Internet, edited by Phoebe Stubbs, with contributions from Joanne McNeill, Domenico Quaranta and Nick Lambert (on amazon UK and USA.)

Ways of Looking: How to Experience Contemporary Art by Ossian Ward, Head of Content at the Lisson Gallery and former chief art critic at Time Out London (on Amazon USA and UK.)

Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture by Justin McGuirk (on amazon USA and UK.)

Photography: A Cultural History (Fourth Edition) by Mary Warner Marien (on Amazon USA and UK.)