Saturday, February 25, 2012

Superb set of Google Street View photos captured by Jon Rafman

The Nine Eyes of Google Street View

The Google Street View panopticon camera has nine lenses for capturing images. Sometimes unintended content gets photographed. Artist, Jon Rafman has brilliantly selected these screenshots and assembled them on his website:

Also a set of these images can be found here:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Drive Across Mongolia in Four Minutes

Jeff Diehl drove across the barren landscape of Mongolia, and made this video of the 11 day trip condensed to four minutes. It's a time-lapse video with real-time breaks and his comments. A great way to represent wandering

"Experience the roadlessness, the bandits, the breakdowns, the yaks, and the camels, without ever having to figure out how to steer and shift a right-driving mini-car through some of the remotest land on the planet. And see it out the windshield just like we did."

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Nancy Holt "Sun Tunnels"

wandering the cosmos while sitting still
the sun illuminates the concrete through holes that align with constellations in the sky

Monday, February 20, 2012

What is Nothing?

Is the possibility of the "Void" or nothingness possible in space? This animation is from The New Scientist" online magazine.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

51 Declarations for the Future, by Francis Whitehead

1. Climate change = culture change
2. Sustanability is a cultural problem
3. Culture is everywhere
4. Ethics and aesthetics are inseparable
5. We need a new metaphysic
6. This is ideological
7. This is pragmatic
8. This is a call to arms

9. Opt in
10. Question autonomy
11. Seek agency
12. Claim knowledge not just creativity
13. Move beyond critique
14. Demonstrate alternatives
15. Put up or shut up
16. Connect the dots
17. Be suspicious of expertise
18. Redirect contemporary practice

19. Think systematically
20. Contend with complexity
21. Champion diversity
22. Create legibility
23. Solve more than one problem at a time
24. Sit at the collective table
25. Innovate through collaboration
26. Account for intangibles
27. Subvert the cultural quo
28. Violate your own taste
29. Get comfortable being uncomfortable

30. Start where you are
31. Re-localize radically
32. Envision place-based practice
33. Develop spatial literacy
34. Work at all scales
35. Create situated knowledge

36. The world is dynamic
37. Adaptation is key
38. Our perception is limited
39. The future arrives every day
40. We are running out of time

41. We are world makers
42. We are culture workers
43. We are change agents and double agents
44. We are proactive
45. We are problem-finders
46. We are at home in the future
47. We claim intentionality not morality
48. We practice in public
49. We know we don't know
50. We make new knowledge
51. We change culture.

Monday, February 13, 2012

inner/outer explorations

explore inside your mind and body, engage with your surroundings in a deeper way
check out Deep Listening Institute Deep Listening Institute website
What is Deep Listening?
Deep Listening® is a philosophy and practice developed by Pauline Oliveros that distinguishes the difference between the involuntary nature of hearing and the voluntary selective nature of listening. The result of the practice cultivates appreciation of sounds on a heightened level, expanding the potential for connection and interaction with one's environment, technology and performance with others in music and related arts.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Florence + The Machine_ Leave my Body

The words in this song relate to the inner wandering research I intend to do

(...I don't want your future, I don't want your past, one bright moment is all I ask  
I'm gonna leave my body, going up to higher ground, lose my mind, my history keeps pulling me down...)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Janine Antoni_Walk on Water

                                 Janine Antoni talking about practicing walking in imbalance...

Monday, February 6, 2012

Gomez & Gonzalez | Zoe Strauss

Philagrafika Presents Gomez + Gonzalez: Doing Time / Depth of Surface from Philagrafika on Vimeo.

Maybe a few of you know of these artists already, seeing that they came to MICA for a talk, but I'm posting this in the hopes that this will be news for some. These two have done a body of work titled Doing Time/Depth of Surface, in which they've tried to preserve the interior of closed prison in Philadelphia by means of large scale monoprints. How they do this is by a technique (similar to one used to preserve frescos) called strappo (literally translating in Italian as "pulled"), in which they apply fabric to the wall with glue, wait for it to dry and pull it off with the top most layer of the wall on the fabric. Another part of the project (that's not shown in the video) is having to do with the prison guard's log books that the artists stumbled upon. In them, there are reports, at fifteen minute intervals, of the status in the prison. Most all lines, with little interruption, say "All appears to be normal". The irony is twofold: That prison life is much less than normal, and that the guards seemed to be "doing time" in the same way as the prisoners. The artists included this discovery as a sound piece in which a former guard read from the book over a six hour period. The show is up at Moore College of Art in Philly, so it's not too far from here if some of you wanted to see their installation in person.
You can read more here:

Simultaneously, Zoe Strauss is exhibiting her decade long project at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In it she gives an "epic narrative" or portrait of Philadephia, its related cities and the people who inhabit them. She first launched her project to the public by exhibiting her photographs under Interstate 95, and continuing to do this once a year over a ten year period. In this way, her artistic practice, her subjects and her art fan base mingle.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Possible life supporting planet found just 22 Lightyears away

"A potentially habitable alien planet — one that scientists say is the best candidate yet to harbor water, and possibly even life, on its surface — has been found around a nearby star.
The planet is located in the habitable zone of its host star, which is a narrow circumstellar region where temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold for liquid water to exist on the planet's surface.
"It's the Holy Grail of exoplanet research to find a planet around a star orbiting at the right distance so it's not too close where it would lose all its water and boil away, and not too far where it would all freeze," Steven Vogt, an astronomer at the University of California, Santa Cruz, told "It's right smack in the habitable zone — there's no question or discussion about it. It's not on the edge, it's right in there."
Vogt is one of the authors of the new study, which was led by Guillem Anglada-Escudé and Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution for Science, a private, nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C.
"This planet is the new best candidate to support liquid water and, perhaps, life as we know it," Anglada-Escudé said in a statement."

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Map of Energy Use in NYC Buildings
Columbia University Engineering school creates model to map energy consumption in cities across the globe. As urban places develop plans to cut down their energy consumption and lower their carbon footprint by reducing the associated greenhouse gas emissions, a visualization tool focusing on individual buildings helps renters, owners, and real estate property managers understand their energy use, and work towards lowering that use. By incorporating more energy efficient lighting, windows, and building systems, deeper reductions will call for changes beyond individual buildings, requiring a rethinking of how future infrastructure and energy policies should evolve.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Maurice Merleau-Ponty on the Phenomenology of Perception:

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] - The Critique of the Phenomenology of Perception

 The Visible and the Invisible does attempt to effect a transition from something like a phenomenology of consciousness (which is basically just an analysis of how the objects we perceive present themselves to us), to a philosophy of Being. Being is another of those words in philosophy that is frequently thrown around, but perhaps relatively rarely understood. This is partly because it is not something that we can pin down or define, because it exceeds all of our resources for attempting to describe it. Let us suggest, hesitatingly, that Being is that which allows existence to be possible at all, and Merleau-Ponty becomes increasingly concerned with such matters. 
Merleau-Ponty also makes one other important comment about the Phenomenology of Perception, and his reasons for writing a new ontology, which is worth exploring. According to him, a major factor behind him setting out upon this different path, was the conviction that the tacit or pre-reflective cogito of his earlier philosophy is problematic (VI 179). The pre-reflective cogito is basically just the idea that there is a cogito before language, or to put it crudely, that there is a self anterior to both language and thought that we can aim to get in closer contact with. The notion of a pre-reflective cogito hence presumes the possibility of a consciousness without language, and it exhibits something of a nostalgic desire to return to some brute, primordial experience. This is something that thinkers like Irigiray have criticized Merleau-Ponty for, and in The Visible and the Invisible he has come to share these type of concerns.  
In his own words, he suggests that while this concept of the pre-reflective, or tacit cogito, can make understood how language is not impossible, it nevertheless cannot make understood how it is possible (VI 179). While a logician might grimace at such a suggestion, Merleau-Ponty is certainly aware of this paradox, and seeks to explicate the problems that he associates with this concept of the tacit cogito. He suggests that like all other philosophies of consciousness, his notion of the pre-reflective cogito depends upon the illusion of non-linguistic signification and The Visible and The Invisible attempts to call into question the very coherence of such a concept. As he states in one of his “Working Notes”:
  •  “What I call the tacit cogito is impossible. To have the idea of thinking (in the sense of thought of seeing and thought of feeling), to make the phenomenological reduction to the things themselves, to return to immanence and to consciousness, it is necessary to have words. It is by the combination of words that I form the transcendental attitude” (VI 171).
He later goes on to speak of the “mythology of self-consciousness to which the word consciousness refers”, and contends that “there are only differences between significations” and language (VI 171).
According to Merleau-Ponty, the tacit cogito is therefore a product of language, and the language of the philosopher, in particular. He continues to speak of a world of silence, but the concept of the pre-reflective cogito imports the language of the philosophy of consciousness into the equation, and hence misrepresents the relationship between vision and speech. The famous phenomenological reduction to the things themselves, which tries to bracket out the outside world, is hence envisaged as a misplaced nostalgia rather than as a real possibility.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Greenpoint, Brooklyn, believe the hype!

The BBC just did this short video about the neighborhood where I live in Brooklyn: Greenpoint or as the locals say, Greenprnt.

Traditionally a working-class Polish immigrant 'hood, it has transformed to a hipsterized domain fringed with luxury condos. Thankfully, there are still lots funky old woodframe houses covered in ugly vinyl siding (like mine) camouflaging the beautiful backyards that are the green-core of each block. A neighborhood where one wakes up to the sound of birds in the middle of New York City.

Here's a pic of the Greenpoint Rooftop Farm:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

most distant object in the universe

while on the subject of the universe,
The most distant "object" or "place" detected in the universe

the small red dot in the image may not look like much but it is a burst of light traveling 13.1 billion light years to earth...