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Julian Oliver: Cartography – the most influential art form? July 13, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in art, politics, religion, science, sociology.
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from: Julian Oliver Vimeo
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Video documentation of Julian Oliver’s keynote: Cartofictions: Maps, the Imaginary and GeoSocial Engineering at Inclusiva-net, Madrid 2008.

From the earliest world maps to Google Earth, cartography has been a vital interface to the world. It guides our perceptions of what the world is and steers our actions in it. As our knowledge about the world has changed, so have maps with it (or so we like to think).

In this lecture Julian shows a darker side of map-making, covering various reality-distorting effects innate to the graphic language of cartography and how they can be easily exploited for gain..

In doing so Julian positions cartography as an abstract and influentual creative practice, rich with the power to engineer political views, religious ideas and even the material world itself.


Can A Poet Be More Accurate Than A Journalist? – II.- Cuba June 27, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in art, people, politics, writing.
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by Andrei Codrescu*

I went to Cuba in 1997, just before Pope John Paul IIs visit to the island. This time, I only had an NPR producer with me, Art Silverman, who did all his own recording, and a photographer, David Graham, who’d never been out of the U.S., but was well known for his photographs of middle-class Americans and the contemporary North American landscape. So we had one experienced producer, who’d been almost everywhere, including China, a poet with occasionally crazy ideas, and a photographer who found the tropical colors of Cuba dizzying. In fact, he never got over the fact that Cuba, seen through a photo lens, looks so sexy and fotogenic, that it’s almost impossible to photograph anything else. Having grown up in Romania, I was more alert about the hidden horrors that lay under all that tropical shimmer, and I was planning on not letting myself be seduced by it. Consequently, the sober prose in the book contrasts starkly with David’s delirious photographs. There is an interesting parallel here: David’s work has often been compared with that of Walker Evans (a “Walker Evans in color” as someone dubbed him). In 1933 Walker Evans went to Cuba with a left-wing journalist, Carleton eals, and together they produced a book called “The Crime of Cuba.”


Marc Hauser + Errol Morris June 11, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in art, film, politics, science.
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The evolutionary psychologist and the documentary filmmaker discuss game theory, Stanley Milgram, and whether science can make us better people.

From: Seed Magazine

Errol Morris Credit: Julian Dufort

Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris has made a career of trafficking in moral ambiguity and complexity. Evolutionary psychologist Marc Hauser has pioneered research into the idea of a universal morality grounded in biology. Hauser believes humans possess a moral grammar; Morris isn’t so sure. The two met when Morris asked Hauser to be part of his short film for the 2007 Oscars. They kept in touch, exchanged ideas, and Hauser attended an early screening of Standard Operating Procedure, Morris’s film about the abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib. Recently in Boston they debated game theory, Stanley Milgram, and whether science can make us better people.


Naked Cyclists June 8, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in people, politics.
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June 06, 2008 – Press Dispensary – The World Naked Bike Ride ( http://www.worldnakedbikeride.org ) is now in its fifth year, and the rides in early June 2008 are expected to mobilise 2,000+ riders across seven UK cities (London, Brighton, Manchester, York, Southampton, Sheffield and Cardiff). Worldwide, the World Naked Bike Ride takes place in over 50 locations and is believed to be the largest nude protest event in history. The ride is an environmental demonstration against oil dependency and is also a celebration of cycling and the human body.

Riding under the slogan “real rights for bikes”, participants cycle naked to highlight their vulnerability on city streets and draw attention to the destructive effects of car culture. The ride is a body-positive event where nudity is optional – riders are encouraged to go “as bare as you dare”.