July 2011

mainly sand
















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general statements about art suck even if they satisfy and other failed attempts or is it better to live to be a caricature of oneself or die a cliché? (RIP Amy Winehouse)























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to placard: sufficient conditioning; a call to raise expectations of and from conditions considered sufficient

[-with minor alterations, the following was sent to the Listserv Unlike Us: Understanding Social Media Monopolies and their Alternatives-]

Dear Un-Alike,
I’m intrigued by the support here for decentralization as a condition for a desirable network. Decentralization is what the social graph aspires to, lighting up the dark zones of the net, growing virally, accumulating capital from a closed circuit of service – P2P, yes, and emphasising personalization alongside offering software as a service. A network as I understand it leans towards a hub and feeder model before either a centripetally hierarchical, an egalitarian, or a random distribution.

The problem of social media is the many and the one and the various non-processual practices to which we, one, they are submitted. The box/circle/cutter of normalisation and presumptive (profiling) generalisation (based on a consumption-use dictatorship – i.e. what a majority will commit to, with a click – and what the power to sell will prescribe) strikes me, in other words, the constraint of expression of the individual and the reciprocal constraint of articulation of the societies, strike me as being more critical, and more problematic, in existing online social-individual arrangements.

Time, it seems to me, is of the essence in what is at stake for social networks to work: processual, non-presumptive – and non-patronising (!), constructive of both individual and social identities, multiple and whole – by turns, in time -, further, relational in so far as difference enters between and before the one and the many, you, me, one them …us.

I am working in the field of this problematic, this critical milieu, in order to build a poly-lingual dialogical commons, an online social processual and differential simulacrum, and am seeking collaborators in many fields, pre-eminently – where the need is greatest – in code-writing. Please contact me if you are interested. [here]

I feel I should add that I agree neither that entrepreneurial activity has a natural proclivity towards promoting unethical behaviour, nor that the commercial can somehow be separated from the constructive, creative and artistic – and socially responsible – spheres. In fact, it seems to me that a lot of art is exploitative and static, non-progressive, cynical, repressive, however enjoyable it may be; and a lot of commercial activity is affirmative, creative, constructive and ethical – despite erring on the side of lack of imagination, vision… often. I am interested in building an apparatus for online interaction with the support of entrepreneurs and expect this project to be artistically and commercially viable, adequate and effective: in fact, the standards that I am applying are those of both artistic and commercial efficacy – real-world intervention – for this constructivist undertaking.

…further, you can show your support for this project by signing in here – yes, it’s legit and safe, not a scam, and it is a help.

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genetic principles: an iteration

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to placard: letter & following to Spectre Listserv for media art and culture in Deep Europe

[-The following is the elsewhere of Deep Europe referred to here -]

respectrespectrespectre…

reading with interest the causes and claims, from Nederlands, to Brasil, Slovenia, England, cutting funding for the arts and culture, I would like humbly to submit another explanation, other, that is, than economic expediency, or ignorance and gross (and net) stupidity on the part of policy-makers. The state is scared.

I would suggest that it is the institutional throat that is being cut, having seen a similar culling of institutions in NZ: cutting funding goes together with removing the autonomy of arts and cultural institutions, same as universities – any erstwhile politically autonomous institution, and therefore locus of critique. But when I say critique, I mean at the level of a power, which is that of institutions, of the power.

Where is the undermining of the power actually occurring that governments might be frightened? At a wholly other level. Yet the muting of institutional critique can be seen as a reaction to certain events, the recent financial crisis among them, the ongoing crisis around energy consumption/production – and its economics – included. I suggest this muting to be in reaction and to entail two actions on the part of states and nations: cutting funding to and removing autonomy from educational, arts and cultural institutions.

Best,

Simon Taylor

[- here is Spectre -]

[- what follows followed -]

cultural value is being substituted for economic value, yes … as the state sells out … to its own hunger for justification, authenticity, that “altes Europa” rag … and betrays itself.

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to placard: letter to Listserv of the Institute for Distributed Creativity

Dear Institute,

It is sad that the Arts and Humanities have not survived their own critique, a revisionism with which scholars, teachers and students – following the ‘discipline’ – have been engaged for at least the last fifty years. But it is no surprise. Surprising is how complicity – at the level both of institutions and of individuals – can be advocated for as a way … to do what? protect jobs?

Or is there a value here out of reach of the techno-corpocratic estimation of STEM [wiki] subjects (and subjections), out of reach, that is, of political meddling in institutions?

The loss of autonomy of institutions where Arts and Humanities have had a place appears to be the flaw being exploited to political ends (on economic pretexts). But I would rehearse an argument I have advanced elsewhere: the state will eat its own before admitting its powerlessness before the corporational network; and eating its own begins with denying society, public life exists, except in order to be consumed; it has as its main dish the institutions under the aegis of which erstwhile civic life has been conducted; and ends in a Promethean petrochemical flambé of the financial organs feeding the ‘growth of trade,’ and ‘national economies,’ which organs are assumed to regenerate, like livers, overnight! but which have long since ceased to be organic and will expire in the smoke of the energetic consumption that sustains them. With a faint smell of burning rubber.

Best,

Simon Taylor

[- posted here – in this thread -]

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enter the image below & sign up to see what it is I think we should do

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Glass Owls: ‘Griffin Boy’

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Keeping one’s head above the blood-line or North, where gorgeous girls are



























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World City Christchurch – building a city for the future

We, the people of New Zealand, give the glass-fibre infrastructure along with a data-pipeline connecting it to the world to Christchurch.

This is the cap-stone of my idea to build Christchurch as an economically productive – high-tech, sustainable – green, and above all a new city.

The cost of the UFB – Ultra-Fast Broadband – network proposed for NZ is said to be in the vicinity of $6 billion, the product of a government partnership with Telecom. Without a serviceable data-cable connecting it to the world, an additional $400 million or so, the UFB is subject to existing data-caps on the single service New Zealand currently has connecting it with the United States.

I suggest we deal directly with the issue of Christchurch’s productivity by connecting it with an integrated civic-wide UFB network that has built into its cost the necessary international data-pipeline. The national UFB project and the need to think about the future of the city of Christchurch are opportunities for economic progress that can be brought together and must be thought of conjointly as an unprecedented opportunity.

Rebuilding Christchurch’s infrastructure should not be limited to restoring it. We ought to be looking at both future-proofing it and using the rebuild as incentive to encourage investment in the city. Restoration is not sustainable; innovation is.

What will sustain the city is what will build World City Christchurch: an environment that will inspire businesses to come is connected globally; an environment that will inspire people to live in it is connected locally and nationally.

I said that rethinking the national UFB without an international cable as a civic UFB with an international cable was the cap-stone of my idea for Christchurch. There are two further aspects to the vision that work in harmony with it.

A system of canals is built for the transportation of heavy goods throughout the city. The system would be woven in to the fabric of the city, joining it to the wider water-network of the Canterbury Planes: the Garden City linked to its gardens.

Such a system of water-ways has been considered before, at the period of Christchurch’s establishment. Since aquifers and subterranean rivers and streams are a feature of the Planes, it is a plan that deserves another look. Not only a Venice of the South but a city determined not to sink back into the swamp of liquefaction.

The third element to this plan already has widespread endorsement: the Copenhagenization of Christchurch; a network of cycle-ways connect the city, with ‘green corridors’ through parks, encouraging people to ride by taking cycle-paths away from roads, making them safe, and also enhancing the natural beauty of the city. (Perhaps Christchurch would then be helmet-free, in consideration of the fact that cities where cycle-helmets are mandatory clearly indicate they are not cycle-friendly.)

These architectures, of a glass-fibre infrastructure hardwired to the world, of a system of canals, and a network of cycle-ways, duly provide for the foundation of a new civic architecture. A new style of city. To start with the buildings and the houses is to recreate the past, to try and bring it back, rather than to discover in the middle of this crisis anything new. The city could again be beautiful, but it will never be as it was.

If the Christchurch earthquakes constitute a national disaster, then the nation ought to be doing more than being asked to pay up. If Christchurch’s disaster has had, as the Prime Minister has stated, a deleterious affect on GDP unparalleled in New Zealand’s history, then New Zealand ought to be encouraging the building of a productive city, a city that can pay back.

In its rush into public relations disaster, in the guise of disaster-control, I don’t think the prospect of economic growth has been seriously considered as a part of the so-called rebuild. Through building a city that will by the very nature of its civic architecture and infrastructure attract investors, entrepreneurs and inhabitants, Christchurch ought to make a greater economic contribution. The build needs to take on this vision of a city with the potential for real and sustainable growth.

Please contact me here if you support this plan and wish to promote its cause.

notes:

On Silicon Valley Christchurch:

“Christchurch has a window of opportunity” – here

Mention of the Venice of the South:

“The Venice of the South Pacific we might have been had the proposal gone ahead for the city to be connected to the sea via the Avon-Heathcote estuary to the south and the Waimakariri River to the North.” – here

On Copenhagenization:

“JG: We’re commissioned to rebuilding efforts in Christchurch, New Zealand, after the recent earthquake. They want to use the opportunity to get rid of many of the bad compromises from the 20th century, which are burdening all cities in the western world. They want to make a very good city for the 21st century, rather than just repeating all the errors from the past. Interesting…and humbling.” – here

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