Friday, October 28, 2011
Sent to you via Google Readerop-ed by Dahlia Lithwick smashes the myth that the Occupy movement doesn't have a message: "Mark your calendars: The corporate media died when it announced it was too sophisticated to understand simple declarative sentences. While the mainstream media expresses puzzlement and fear at these incomprehensible 'protesters' with their oddly well-worded 'signs,' the rest of us see our own concerns reflected back at us and understand perfectly."
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Michael Klapthor's ceramic sculpture "The Price of Safety" is a one of a series of beautiful and evocative works featuring stylized houses on the backs of expressive dog-like creatures.
(via Super Punch)
Ariana Page Russell is a visual artist whose work features intricate patterns etched in her own skin. Russell has dermatographia, an immune system disorder that causes histamine swelling in response to light scratching. The effect lasts about 30 minutes: "This allows me to painlessly draw on my skin with just enough time to photograph the results. Even though I can direct this ephemeral response by drawing on it, the reaction is involuntary, much like the uncontrollable nature of a blush."
Korean sculptor Yeong-Deok Seo works with densely welded bicycle (and other) chains, creating beautiful, hollow forms with strange, irregular surfaces and voids.
Beyond Infinity, an installation by french artist Serge Salat, is described as "interweaving mirrors, light, music, and fractal art" to "conflate visitors' perceptions of space". Sponsored by Buick, it was also apparently the world's most awesome vehicle showroom for the two days it was installed in Shanghai's Westgate Mall.
Regine Ramseier's "Windstille" installation involved hundreds (thousands?) of fluffy dandelions, sprayed with fixative and hung from the ceiling of a tall, narrow white room. The result is both exuberant and calming, a kind of preserved fragile moment poised on the line between stillness and motion.
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But "Occupy" is anything but a protest movement. That's why it has been so hard for news agencies to express or even discern the "demands" of the growing legions of Occupy participants around the nation, and even the world. Just like pretty much everyone else on the planet, occupiers may want many things to happen and other things to stop, but the occupation is not about making demands. They don't want anything from you, and there is nothing you can do to make them stop. That's what makes Occupy so very scary and so very promising. It is not a protest, but a prototype for a new way of living.
Now don't get me wrong. The Occupiers are not proposing a world in which we all live outside on pavement and sleep under tarps. Most of us do not have the courage, stamina, or fortitude to work as hard as these kids are working, anyway. (Yes, they work harder than pretty much anyone but a farmer or coal miner could understand.) The urban survival camps they are setting up around the world are a bit more like showpieces, congresses, and "beta" tests of ideas and behaviors the rest of may soon be implementing in our communities, and in our own ways.
The occupiers are actually forging a robust micro-society of working groups, each one developing new approaches - or reviving old approaches - to long running problems. In just one example, the General Assembly is a new, highly flexible approach to group discussion and consensus building. Unlike parliamentary rules that promote debate, difference, and decision, the General Assembly forges consensus by "stacking" ideas and objections much in the fashion that computer programmers "stack" features. The whole thing is orchestrated through simple hand gestures (think commodities exchange). Elements in the stack are prioritized, and everyone gets a chance to speak. Even after votes, exceptions and objections are incorporated as amendments.
CNN: Occupy Wall Street is not a Protest but a Prototype
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Inhabitat has a great gallery of photos of sculptor Ray Villafane's zombies carved out of the world's largest pumpkin:
Last week, we brought you news that the world's largest pumpkin was going under the knife, and now we have actual photos of the carving in action! We were on the scene yesterday at the New York Botanical Garden, as carving master Ray Villafane whittled away sections of the 1,818.5 lb pumpkin to reveal an incredibly intricate three-dimensional scene of zombies and demons busting out of the orange shell.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
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Lemony Snicket has contributed 13 sharp-eyed and well-worded observations to the Occupy Writers project -- I think anyone standing in a glass tower watching the demonstrators down in Liberty Park would do well to read all 13.
1. If you work hard, and become successful, it does not necessarily mean you are successful because you worked hard, just as if you are tall with long hair it doesn't mean you would be a midget if you were bald.
2. "Fortune" is a word for having a lot of money and for having a lot of luck, but that does not mean the word has two definitions.
3. Money is like a child—rarely unaccompanied. When it disappears, look to those who were supposed to be keeping an eye on it while you were at the grocery store. You might also look for someone who has a lot of extra children sitting around, with long, suspicious explanations for how they got there.
4. People who say money doesn't matter are like people who say cake doesn't matter—it's probably because they've already had a few slices.
5. There may not be a reason to share your cake. It is, after all, yours. You probably baked it yourself, in an oven of your own construction with ingredients you harvested yourself. It may be possible to keep your entire cake while explaining to any nearby hungry people just how reasonable you are.