Vooruit (1): waar liep het de jongste jaren mis? | rekto:verso

Vooruit, Belgie, Belgium, Belgique, kunstencentrum, rekto verso


“Wat is er loos in Vooruit? Achter de indrukwekkende façade in eclectische stijl heeft zich de voorbije vijf jaar een flinke crisis afgespeeld. Het bleef een publiek geheim, maar het voormalige Gentse kunstencentrum – tegenwoordig Kunstinstelling – zat op zijn gat. Van artistieke bloedarmoede tot falend personeelsbeleid: rond een wankelende organisatie leken enkel nog de stenen van het historische monument overeind te staan. Wat liep er fout en hoe wil Vooruit zichzelf in de toekomst heruitvinden?”

Vooruit (1): waar liep het de jongste jaren mis? | rekto:verso

(via The number of people using search engines is in decline - Business Insider) Actually looking for data/studies on the…


(via The number of people using search engines is in decline - Business Insider)

Actually looking for data/studies on the *effectiveness* of search engines. Personally I feel that Google in particular, but others as well, are less and less useful as they return ever more (targeted?) results which tend towards recent events, products etc.

Case in point: I just googled the phrase “as above so below”, and all but one result on the first page was for a 2014 horror movie. The history of this phrase is much wider, and older, than this movie. The one exception was for a very ropey old summary page - which also included a mention of the movie. Duckduckgo’s first page at least included the wikipedia page on Hermeticism, perhaps the most relevant result I would imagine, among various mysticism sites - and more links to the movie.

The same occurs when I google almost anything and mostly get a lot of near-identical news reports (selecting for recency?) that mention something similar to the topic, but usually totally obscuring what I’m actually searching for. Perhaps the result of contemporary SEO-driven web design, rather than an explicit fault of the search engine, but a failure nonetheless.

Short version: I’m finding search engines increasingly useless, and am looking for studies on this.

We eventually reached a distant, all but silent corner of the airfield. This was where suspected bombs were dealt with. Moore,…

“We eventually reached a distant, all but silent corner of the airfield. This was where suspected bombs were dealt with. Moore, whose mother also once worked for LAWA police, pointed my attention down to a number of painted blue grids. These indicated spots where suspicious baggage could be detonated. She then gestured to a massive blue circle surrounding it all, a shape so large I would not even have noticed it. This circle, visible on Google Earth, marked the outer perimeter within which an entire aircraft would be parked during a bomb scare.”

Inside LAX’s New Anti-Terrorism Intelligence Unit (viaiamdanw)



“A working definition of contra-Internet is the refusal of Internet totality, but this is not a simple outright refusal. Rather,…


“A working definition of contra-Internet is the refusal of Internet totality, but this is not a simple outright refusal. Rather, it is a refusal of naturalizations, hegemonies, and normalizations of the Internet that have contributed to its transformation into a locus of policing and control. Supplementing this, contra-Internet is also the search for and constitution of Internet alternatives. I consider the examples of alternative infrastructure outlined above as crucial to the contra-Internet because they reveal that social movement no longer necessarily see the Internet as a political horizon—it is, rather, about finding something else. This is where the commons comes in for me, as a collective and open project of thinking, imagining, and building something other than “the Internet.” From an artistic perspective, I would like Contra-Internet to give a particularly queer consistency to this activity, and this must happen not only by documenting Internet alternatives but also by imagining beyond the network form itself.”

Zach Blas in conversation with surveillance scholar Simone Browne

Electricity now flows across continents, courtesy of direct current



WHOA great story! DC power grid? For real? Apparently China has been working on it for years. This is nuts. I asked my engineering friends over at FB for any critiques, because this could save the planet. No joke.

Simple version: most houses and electrical grids are wired for AC (alternating current) electricity. The majority of consumer electronics are designed to use AC power. However, solar and other forms of energy are DC (direct current). One of the things about installed PV solar systems in your home is that you usually have to get a converter (which converts your DC power to AC power), which is inefficient and causes you to lose some of that electricity you generated with your panels. 

For years the talk has been that solar is wasteful and inefficient, because for over a hundred years we’ve set up entire national electrical grids based on AC. But this newer technology changes that. Apparently China has been on top of this, and has been installing ultra high voltage direct current (UHVDC) projects, to move energy all around their country. 

The author points out at the end of the story that this isn’t truly a technological problem - we apparently have most of the technology we need for this - the problem once again is the political will to implement such projects. 

For all the Tesla fans out there, DC was his baby.

But holy shit this could change everything.

This is very cool. I’ve collected some links to HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) Projects below

Growing DC Power - US (discussion)

HVDC has a very important role to play in transmission networks and is an economical viable option at ultra-high voltages (800 kV) in several regions in the USA. These DC links need to operate as hybrid HVAC and HVDC networks for integrating and controlling remote renewable resources, and they are well established to interconnect asynchronous areas. At the relative low capacity factors of wind (40%) and solar PV (20%) power production, HVAC networks are not utilized at an economic level for integrating these intermittent resources to the load centers, especially over long distances

Via http://tdworld.com/grid-opt-smart-grid/growing-dc-power

North-East Agra project - India

North-East Agra project is planned for commissioning in 2016. It will be rated 8000 MW, 800 kV using four bipolar lines, and will transmit power from two converter stations in the east to a converter at Agra, a distance of 1728 km.


HVDC Sileru–Barsoor - India

The HVDC Sileru–Barsoor is a high voltage direct current transmission system between Sileru, India and Barsoor, India, which went in service in 1989 as the first HVDC line in India.The HVDC Sileru Barsoor couples two asynchronously operated parts of Indian electricity mains over a 196 kilometers long overhead line, which was originally a double-circuit 220 kV AC line from which three conductors are parallelized.


There is a great deal of technical factors that influence the type of HVDC required for site to site wikipedia is very detailed on this subject.

And lastly for those that enjoy Tesla nerdiness - I love this section on wikipedia about the last holdouts in the ‘War of Currents’.

War of Currents

This was the building in which AC pioneer Nikola Tesla spent his last years, and where he died in 1943. In January 1998, Consolidated Edison started to eliminate DC service. At that time there were 4,600 DC customers. By 2006, there were only 60 customers using DC service, and on November 14, 2007, the last direct-current distribution by Con Edison was shut down.


There is something very @99percentinvisible​ about the last DC holdout int he US closing in 2007.

Electricity now flows across continents, courtesy of direct current

The supposedly new forms of governance emerging from these technologies look partly archaic and partly superstitious. What kind…

“The supposedly new forms of governance emerging from these technologies look partly archaic and partly superstitious. What kind of corporate/state entities are based on data storage, image unscrambling, high-frequency trading, and Daesh Forex gaming? What are the contemporary equivalents of farmer kings and slaveholders, and how are existing social hierarchies radicalized through examples as vastly different as tech-related gentrification and jihadi online forum gamification? How does the world of pattern recognition and big-data divination relate to the contemporary jumble of oligocracies, troll farms, mercenary hackers, and data robber barons supporting and enabling bot governance, Khelifah clickbait and polymorphous proxy warfare? Is the state in the age of Deep Mind, Deep Learning, and Deep Dreaming a Deep State™? One in which there is no appeal nor due process against algorithmic decrees and divination?”

A Sea of Data: Apophenia and Pattern (Mis-)Recognition - Journal #72 April 2016 - e-flux (vianewdarkage)

KATE CRAWFORD. Actually I was about to go exactly to the history, so your comment is absolutely dead-on. I was thinking of…


KATE CRAWFORD. Actually I was about to go exactly to the history, so your comment is absolutely dead-on. I was thinking of physiognomy, too, because what we now have is a new system called Faception that has been trained on millions of images. It says it can predict somebody’s intelligence and also the likelihood that they will be a criminal based on their face shape. Similarly, a deeply suspect paper was just released that claims to do automated inferences of criminality based on photographs of people’s faces. So, to me, that is coming back full circle. Phrenology and physiognomy are being resuscitated, but encoded in facial recognition and machine learning.

There’s also that really interesting history around IBM, of course back in 1933, long before its terrorist credit score, when their German subsidiary was creating the Hollerith machine. I was going back through an extraordinary archive of advertising images that IBM used during that period, and there’s this image that makes me think of your work actually: it has this gigantic eye floating in space projecting beams of light down onto this town below; the windows of the town are like the holes in a punch card and it’s shining directly into the home, and the tagline is “See everything with Hollerith punch cards.” It’s the most literal example of “seeing like a state” that you can possibly imagine. This is IBM’s history, and it is coming full circle. I completely agree that we’re seeing these historical returns to forms of knowledge that we’ve previously thought were, at the very least, unscientific, and, at the worst, genuinely dangerous.


I ain’t seen the sunshine


… since I don’t know when

- Johnny Cash, Folsom Prison Blues

We don’t normally write about our travels at Crap Futures, but last week’s trip to Longyearbyen, Svalbard seems worth a mention. The archipelago lies between Norway and the North Pole, far above Iceland, and at 78 degrees north Longyearbyen is the world’s northernmost settlement. There are 30% more polar bears than humans. There are northern lights, apparently. We did not see the northern lights, or any other natural light, during the six days we were there. The conference we attended was called, in all caps, REMOTE.

If you ever get a chance to visit Svalbard, even in January, take it. Despite the 24-hour darkness of polar night, drawn like a heavy curtain over Longyearbyen from October to February, the people we met there were lively and happy, even slightly giddy, drunk on the melting together of night and day. School children wearing reflective vests built snow forts under stark electric lights. People rode past on bicycles even in -20 degree temperatures, or on snowmobiles with rifle mounts. Huskies were tied up outside shops, and you had to check your gun at the door. It all had a Wild West feel about it.


The day after we arrived a mother polar bear and her two cubs wandered into town and were gently escorted out again in the most Scandinavian way, only to return the following day. The three bears also showed up at our dogsledding camp outside Longyearbyen, news that was conveyed to us by a man with a gun as we warmed ourselves with coffee and brandy in the lodge. (By law you can only leave the city limits with a high-powered rifle, or a guide who carries one.) The exchange between the man with the gun and our guide, who also had a rifle but carried it discreetly and put it in a locker at the camp, went as follows:

‘These people have all signed the waiver.’

‘Ah good, they’ve signed the waiver.’ (The waiver stipulated that if we were eaten by a bear it was not the company’s fault.) 

‘Look – they’re in Philip’s camp, near his tent.’

‘Is Philip there?’

‘Ja, I think so.’

‘Yesterday they scared them away and said everything was okay, but they came right back.’

‘Ja, they must be hungry. They came up here maybe because of the meat.’ 

Then they turned to us and said: ‘So stay with the boss, okay?’


The scary thing about bears wandering into settlements – aside from the obvious menace of a large white bear hiding in a blizzard during the polar night – is the suggestion that something is going seriously wrong with nature; that hungry bears are a visible sign of climate change. Rising temperatures in the Arctic mean melting sea ice, which in turn makes it harder to find food (in the form of seals), and the whole sea ice ecosystem starts to collapse. The desperate mother bear – for what bear in its right mind would go near a place full of dozens of barking dogs, shouting humans, and vehicles – was likely trying to find enough food to feed her cubs.

The Arctic weather was generally cold and clear, with soft, drifting snow, but again, dark. The surrounding mountains and fjord could be glimpsed only in dim outline. The effect of day after day of total darkness is hard to describe. It wasn’t far to reach the end of the road in any direction, and the end of the streetlights – after which there was only an abyss, like falling off the map. Gale force winds whipped up unexpectedly, turning a walk to the pub into a blind life-or-death journey in which your colleagues suddenly disappeared and you were walking down an endless icy road, alone. This made one pub on the edge of town feel a bit locked in, like Minnie’s Haberdashery in The Hateful Eight. On the other hand there was the hygge factor: everywhere indoors, for example, in restaurants and pubs and shops, people padded around in woolly socks; we even presented in socks, which certainly gave the conference room a cosy vibe.


At the conference itself we met Owe Ronström, ethnologist and musician, a warm and generous soul from the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea, who gave the keynote (and showed us Don Martin cartoons of desert islands). We sat drinking wine from the Nordpolet late into the night with colleagues like our subversive friend Kirsten Marie Raahauge, from the Design school at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. We talked about anticipation and wish fulfilment, needs and desires, the late Zygmunt Bauman and our own beloved Borgmann, as well as more topical questions: What is the best (peaceful) defense against polar bears? What are you supposed to do with brown cheese? How long can a human survive without sunlight? Is it healthy to jump into the snow after a jacuzzi? Credit must go to the organisers, Adam Grydehøj and Yaso Nadarajah, for keeping things running smoothly and losing not a single delegate.

We’ve been to larger events in the past year, but none so remote or intimate. Bringing together an eclectic mix of Island Studies researchers, the presentation topics ranged from medieval Norse-Sámi relations to intercorporeality and islandness to cultural identity and animal husbandry on the Estonian island of Ruhnu (pop. 97). For our part, we spoke about designing energy solutions for Madeira, ending with a video of our first prototype that James cut together on the plane. (We’ll post the video along with the latest project news in the next week or so.)

The theme of our panel was ‘Remote Island Sustainability’, and our talk was about ‘Promise in the Periphery’ – so how did Madeira fit in? In many ways Madeira is not remote or peripheral at all: it is the second wealthiest region in Portugal, it has decent air links to the rest of Europe, a centuries old tourism industry, and historically it was a major stopping point on transatlantic journeys. Nevertheless, it is peripheral in the sense of dependence; that – for example – much of its energy is still imported, along with much of its food and other goods – more than need be the case, given its natural attributes. Why is this? The constraints of infrastructure make it easier and cheaper to buy into the larger grid than to find local solutions. But is it easier and cheaper? What are the real costs of ignoring the local?


Judith Schalansky has a useful description of islands as ‘footnotes to the mainland’: ‘expendable to an extent, but also disproportionately more interesting’. Similarly, after her recent trip to Svalbard, Rebecca Solnit wrote: ‘More than anyplace I’ve ever been, [Svalbard] imposes a dependency…. Which is also an independency, from the rest of the world.’ Being peripheral should not be viewed as an obstacle, but as an advantage and an opportunity.

We’re exploring ideas of dependency and independency in relation to energy – taking the shape of a speculative design approach to energy generation, infrastructure and behaviour in Madeira. In our work we’re seeking to exploit remoteness and peripherality as drivers of creativity, possibility, resilience. In particular we aim to challenge the traditional radial model of centrally generated electricity, with the aim of allowing communities to reclaim ownership of energy generation and storage. We want to create new ecologies of energy relationships among islanders.

Darwin called the Galapagos Islands ‘a little world within itself’. The insulated species he found there – the tortoises and finches – give us an analogy for tailoring solutions to island-specific challenges. Bespoke innovation requires you to see the island as a whole, as a unique, self-contained site. Unlike the finches of the Galapagos, however, we intend that our bespoke energy solutions for Madeira will fly abroad, to be adapted to other Macaronesian Islands – in the case of one of our projects – and places further afield, as in the case of another project we’re developing.

The first line of the Madeiran anthemDo vale à montanha e do mar à serra (‘From the valley to the mountain and from the sea to the highlands’) – gives a sense of how extreme this landscape is. The highest point, Pico Ruivo, is almost 2km above sea level, and it gets snow in the winter when it is still 20 degrees at the coast (and in the sea).

As a recent BBC documentary on Svalbard states: ‘ This is not a place for normal.’ We found this to be true – certainly after a week in the dark – but we also found the potential for experimentation, both in the case of Svalbard and our own remote island. We saw the sun again at last as we flew back to Oslo via Tromsø. That night we re-entered the world just in time to watch Trump’s ‘American carnage’ inauguration speech on CNN. Suddenly the remote expanse of Svalbard looked far less like a hostile and frozen wasteland, far more like an oasis in the midst of a greater apocalypse.

Introversion | Andrew Meredith


‘Introversion’ is an exploration of subjective ambiguity and scale within a dark landscape devoid of landmarks and identity. A probe into spatial awareness, vagueness and keeping interpretation very much out in the open. Leaving the mind to search for answers.

There is something so beautiful about being alone within a landscape, introverted, quiet and at peace with your mind, somehow, very little matters when you are surrounded by nothing in particular. The senses are heightened by the utter lack of built environment and people. The silence can be meditative and yet, somehow, deafening.

Introversion is influenced and loosely based upon the Mars landscape images that NASA released on finding evidence of historic traces of water on the red planet. The intention was to recreate a landscape that could be otherworldly, microscopic or somewhere in between.




All images and text © Andrew Meredith

January 26th was an assault on a strong, phenomenal culture — and that is why you shouldn’t…


“January 26th was an assault on a strong, phenomenal culture — and that is why you shouldn’t…” via @Medium https://medium.com/@amymcquire/january-26th-was-an-assault-on-a-strong-phenomenal-culture-and-that-is-why-you-shouldnt-d29389b0c6f1?source=ifttt————–1

via https://medium.com/@amymcquire/january–26th-was-an-assault-on-a-strong-phenomenal-culture-and-that-is-why-you-shouldnt-d29389b0c6f1?source=ifttt————–1

Last week Jonathan Albright, an assistant professor of communications at Elon University in North Carolina, published the first…


Last week Jonathan Albright, an assistant professor of communications at Elon University in North Carolina, published the first detailed research on how rightwing websites had spread their message. “I took a list of these fake news sites that was circulating, I had an initial list of 306 of them and I used a tool – like the one Google uses – to scrape them for links and then I mapped them. So I looked at where the links went – into YouTube and Facebook, and between each other, millions of them… and I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing. “They have created a web that is bleeding through on to our web. This isn’t a conspiracy. There isn’t one person who’s created this. It’s a vast system of hundreds of different sites that are using all the same tricks that all websites use. They’re sending out thousands of links to other sites and together this has created a vast satellite system of rightwing news and propaganda that has completely surrounded the mainstream media system.

Google, democracy and the truth about internet search | Technology | The Guardian

When your boss is an algorithm - FT.com It’s hard to spread the word when you don’t even know who your colleagues are. But the…



When your boss is an algorithm - FT.com

It’s hard to spread the word when you don’t even know who your colleagues are. But the couriers have an idea. They open their apps as customers and order food to be delivered to them. As UberEats couriers arrive with pizzas at the place their app has sent them, the strikers tell them about the protest and urge them to join in. Algorithmic management, meet algorithmic rebellion.

Deliveroo’s algorithm monitors couriers closely and sends them personalised monthly “service level assessments” on their average “time to accept orders”, “travel time to restaurant”, “travel time to customer”, “time at customer”, “late orders” and “unassigned orders”. The algorithm compares each courier’s performance to its own estimate of how fast they should have been. An example from one of Kyaw’s assessments: “Your average time to customer was less than our estimate, which means you are meeting this service-level criterion. Your average difference was -3.1 minutes.” 

The Unbearable Present – Paul Currion

Futures, Present, Paul-Currion, dark-mountain, singularity, futurism, Accelerationism, Neoreaction

Marinetti’s automobile races on, but now it is Musk’s Tesla, an electric car that runs silently. What Musk lacks in Tsiolkovsky’s cosmic awareness, he makes up for in survival instinct, calculating that humanity has more chance of surviving if it becomes a multiplanetary infection, with Mars as Patient Zero. If Musk’s plans to colonise the red planet sound like science fiction to many people, this is partly because, like all entrepreneurs, creating his own mythology is almost as important as creating his own business. What could be more mythological than conquering the God of War himself, on a planet whose redness signifies the rubedo8Rubedo (“redness” in Latin) is the fourth, final stage in the Great Work of alchemy: the creation of the philosopher’s stone capable of transmuting the elements. of the alchemists’ Chymical Wedding, the point at which we discover our true nature? Yet the possibility of colonising other parts of the solar system is real, and they only sound like science fiction because science fiction was talking about it long before Elon Musk.

via http://www.zentmagazine.com/en/zent/nepodnosljiva-sadasnjost/

Remembering Mark Fisher

music, politics, quietus, Mark-Fisher, obituary, ccru, writing, theory, 2017

The loss of Mark Fisher, aged just 48, has not just left family, friends and colleagues shocked and devastated; it leaves a gaping crater in modern intellectual life. The poet and writer Alex Niven, with whom he worked at Repeater books, described him as “by some distance the best writer in Britain” and, as a flood of tributes on social media have come appended with links to his work, whether on k-punk, his much-read blog, interviews he conducted for The Wire or extracts from his very latest book The Weird And The Eerie, that is a judgment with which it is hard to disagree.

via http://thequietus.com/articles/21572-mark-fisher-rip-obituary-interview

President Trump: The Inauguration

Trump, BBC, STV, twilight zone

 4pm, BBC One/ STV

 After a long absence, The Twilight Zone returns with one of the most ambitious, expensive and controversial productions in broadcast history. Sci-fi writers have dabbled often with alternative history stories – among the most common is the “What If The Nazis Had Won The Second World War” setting – but this huge interactive virtual reality project, which will unfold on TV, in the press, and on Twitter over the next four years, sets out to build an ongoing alternative present. The story begins in a nightmarish version of 2017 in which huge sections of the US electorate have somehow been duped into voting to make Donald Trump president. It sounds far-fetched, and it is, but as it goes on it becomes more and more chillingly plausible. Today’s feature-length opener concentrates on the gaudy inauguration of President Trump, and the stirrings of protest and despair surrounding the ceremony, while pundits speculate gravely on what lies ahead. It’s a flawed piece, but a disturbing glimpse of the horrors we could stumble into, if we’re not careful.

(via Sunday Herald Scotland )

The History of Electronic Music in 476 Tracks (1937–2001)

electronic, history, music, ubuweb, musicology

Spanning the years 1937-2001, the collection should especially appeal to those with an avant-garde or musicological bent. In fact, the original uploader of this archive of experimental sound, Caio Barros, put these tracks online in 2009 while a student of composition at Brazil’s State University of São Paulo. Barrios’ “initiative,” as he writes at Ubuweb, “became some sort of legend” among musicophiles in the know. And yet, Ubuweb reposts this phenomenal collection with a disclaimer: “It’s a clearly flawed selection”

via http://www.openculture.com/2016/03/the-history-of-electronic-music-in–476-tracks–1937–2001.html

Chelsea Manning to Be Released Early as Obama Commutes Sentence

Chelsea-Manning, wikileaks, whistleblower, US, Military, leaks

President Obama on Tuesday commuted all but four months of the remaining prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the Army intelligence analyst convicted of a 2010 leak that revealed American military and diplomatic activities across the world, disrupted Mr. Obama’s administration and brought global prominence to WikiLeaks, the recipient of those disclosures. The decision by Mr. Obama rescued Ms. Manning, who twice tried to kill herself last year, from an uncertain future as a transgender woman incarcerated at the men’s military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. She has been jailed for nearly seven years, and her 35-year sentence was by far the longest punishment ever imposed in the United States for a leak conviction.

via https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/01/17/us/politics/obama-commutes-bulk-of-chelsea-mannings-sentence.html

Over time, social, religious, and medical changes made dying and death gradually withdraw from view; by mid twentieth century…

“Over time, social, religious, and medical changes made dying and death gradually withdraw from view; by mid twentieth century they became virtually invisible in most large metropolitan centers, especially in America and England. An odd and suggestive aspect of this process is that it roughly coincided with a long increase in depictions of death, some driven by new technologies. Although hard proof is lacking, circumstantial evidence strongly suggests that these two phenomena are related. The diminution of the visible presence of death was not the primary cause of the expansion of depictions, but history and psychology indicate that representation rapidly supplanted actual experience as a new and newly anxious audience sought novel ways to cope with its fears.”

Light Matters. Writings on Photography

Vicki Goldberg


The Best Kitchen Gadget of the 1600s Was a Small, Short-Legged Dog

automation, cooking, history, food, animals, domestication

For hundreds of years the now-extinct turnspit dog, also called Canis Vertigus (“dizzy dog”), vernepator cur, kitchen dog and turn-tyke, was specially bred just to turn a roasting mechanism for meat. And weirdly, this animal was a high-tech fixture for the professional and home cook from the 16th century until the mid-1800s. Turnspit dogs came in a variety of colors and were heavy-set, often with heterochromatic eyes. They were short enough to fit into a wooden wheel contraption that was connected to ropes or chains, which turned the giant turkey or ham on a spit for the master of the house.

via http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-best-kitchen-gadget-of-the–1600s-was-a-small-shortlegged-dog

Check out this stunning drone shot captured by our friend, Micah Marshall. He was flying above the state border at Moyack, North…


Check out this stunning drone shot captured by our friend, Micah Marshall. He was flying above the state border at Moyack, North Carolina and Chesapeake, Virginia when he noticed that half of the trees were still green, and the other half had no leaves at all. This view offers a beautiful reminder that there are always new perspectives to discover, even when we don’t expect to find anything at all.

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2j517O0

Learn more about our new book here: http://amzn.to/2aND71C

Remarkable 3D-printed conceptual furniture


Gilles Retsin has been experimenting with 3D-printed design concepts, but he’s also been working with computational mereology to engage in large-scale discrete fabrication. Think of it like Tetris or LEGO: a set of prefabbed interlocking parts that can then be assembled by a robot programmed to create a specific shape.

From the course description taught with Manuel Jimenez:

Continuous fabrication processes have intrinsic problems with fundamental issues such as speed, structural performance, multi-materiality and reversibility. Discrete, or “digital” fabrication processes are based on a small number of different parts connecting with only a limited number of connections possibilities. The design possibility, or the way how elements can combine and aggregate is defined by the geometry of the element itself - which leads to a “tool-less” assembly. The geometry of the parts being assembled provides the dimensional constraints required to precisely achieve complex forms. This year’s research will explore fabrication techniques which are digital, rather than analog, discrete rather than continuous and increasingly fast and assemblage-based. Some of the research strands will specifically focus on the bridge between assemblage, voxelprinting and 3Dprinting.


Finding darkness in the light

Medium, Vera Rubin

As a galaxy rotates, the stars move around its core. If it’s edge-on to us, then on one side, the galaxy rotates “towards” us, while the other side rotates “away from” us. The faster the galaxy rotates, the faster the “towards” and “away” motions are. If the rotations are fast enough and your instruments are good enough, you can actually measure this effect. This was the incredible possibility that Vera Rubin began investigating. Thanks to advances in spectroscopy — the capability of breaking light up into individual wavelengths, detecting emission and absorption lines — Vera Rubin and Kent Ford started taking measurements of nearby galaxies in an attempt to measure their rotation speeds.

via https://medium.com/starts-with-a-bang/finding-darkness-in-the-light–976a613bdaca

The UBI already exists for the 1%

Medium, Matt Bruenig, UBI, citizens dividend, capital

The fact is that capitalist societies already dedicate a large portion of their economic outputs to paying out money to people who have not worked for it. The UBI does not invent passive income. It merely doles it out evenly to everyone in society, rather than in very concentrated amounts to the richest people in society. The idea of capturing the 30% of national income that flows passively to capital every year and handing it out to everyone in society in equal chunks has been around since at least Oskar Lange wrote about it in the early parts of the last century. This is, to me, the best way to do a UBI, both practically and ideologically. Don’t tax labor to give money out to UBI loafers. Instead, snag society’s capital income, which is already paid out to people without regard to whether they work, and pay it out to everyone.

via https://medium.com/@MattBruenig/the-ubi-already-exists-for-the–1-d3a49fad0580

Murmurs from a Shadowless Land: Fragmentary Reflections on the Cinema of Werner Herzog

Medium, Werner Herzog, Alkan Chipperfield, cinema, sublime

The images and characters of Werner Herzog’s cinema have come to inhabit or possess me deeply, and yet their habitation or possession has occurred so fluidly that I suspect they were inside me all along, requiring only to be articulated in the inimitably concrete and idiosyncratic way they are in Herzog’s films. Few other filmmakers have so silently and gently explored the abysses of ecstasy and darkness; few have observed, from such an inscrutable, Olympian remove, the ludicrous and grotesque minutiae of life. For surely Herzog’s conception of the sublimity and ridiculousness of what is called the human condition brings him as close in spirit to the ancient Greeks as it does to that dark and satirical current of Germanic Romanticism represented by Kleist, Hölderlin, or Büchner, and which remains his indelible cultural heritage. Yet through the eye of Herzog’s lens the world is transfixed, rendered hopelessly, exquisitely weightless, ultimately diffusing beyond grasp the solid structures within which tragedy or satire can take root.

via https://medium.com/@alkan/murmurs-from-a-shadowless-land-fragmentary-reflections-on-the-cinema-of-werner-herzog–3bb1b89ecfd2

In Conversation with Stevie Wishart

Medium, Stevie Wishart, Alkan Chipperfield, music, art, interview, FoAM

Stevie Wishart was FoAM’s “composer in transience” at the Brussels studio for most of 2015. Her residency emerged as a natural consequence of a long involvement with FoAM spanning several years and numerous projects, including most recently Wheel & Time(less), Candlemas Concerto, FutureFest, Smoke & Vapour, and Inner Garden. When I had the opportunity to talk with her in the spring of 2015 she was deeply immersed in a large composition that would be performed by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in May. Our discussions therefore gravitated around the particular challenges and musical innovations she was imminently preoccupied with at the time — which made for some fascinating comparisons and contrasts between these and the very different contexts and approaches entailed in working on a musical project at FoAM.

via https://medium.com/@alkan/in-conversation-with-stevie-wishart-e95eeaa29b28

Serbian society has pioneered a lot of situations that spread elsewhere. Today’s religious wars, economic sanctions, breaking of…

“Serbian society has pioneered a lot of situations that spread elsewhere. Today’s religious wars, economic sanctions, breaking of economic sanctions, financial collapse, ultra rich moguls robbing the middle class, major air powers blowing the daylights out of an unfriendly regime with allegedly precise bombs: daily life in Serbia 1999 is something most everybody understands now. It’s the “Globalization of Balkanization. (…) Serbs are also exceedingly good at dealing with disasters. They complain incessantly in normal daily life, but when ever life gets genuinely hazardous, they scarcely beef at all. Everybody diligently stacks the sandbags, and nobody wrings their hands or slacks off. That’s a difficult virtue to acquire, but it is indeed a virtue.”

 Bruce Sterling& Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2016

Internet Counterevolution doesn’t mean a return to the status quo ante of the world before the Internet.  Globalization goes on,…

Internet Counterevolution doesn’t mean a return to the status quo ante of the world before the Internet.  Globalization goes on, it just loses its glamour; where there was spreading prosperity there is offshored exploitation, where there was free-moving discussion there are cyberwar trolls, where there was your happy face in a Facebook there’s in instant police dossier that you foolishly built yourself, where nobody knew you were a dog you are now branded-and-sorted Stack livestock, and so on.  

Twenty-teens globalization looks less like jet-set free-spending yuppie tourism and more like hordes of illegal Syrians arriving via Facebook support groups.  The wanderers are mostly Moslems, because the effect of the digital“Arab Spring” on their somnolent societies was catastrophic.  It’s amazing how badly that harmed them, and they show no sign of getting over it; on the contrary. But refugee life is for anybody, now.  Rich or poor, they can all be fleeing, at a moment’s notice, if they get a sudden deluge of Greenhouse rain.  People everywhere are afraid of immigrants now because they see their own face in that mirror.

Bruce Sterling& Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2016