The HIV epidemic animates this collection of essays by a noted artist, writer, and activist. “So total was the burden of illness—mine and others’—that the only viable response, other than to cease making art entirely, was to adjust to the gravity of the predicament by using the crisis as a lens,” writes Gregg Bordowitz, a film- and video-maker whose best-known works, Fast Trip Long Drop (1993) and Habit (2001), address AIDS globally and personally. In The AIDS Crisis Is Ridiculous—the title essay is inspired by Charles Ludlam, founder of the Ridiculous Theater Company—Bordowitz follows in the tradition of artist-writers Robert Smithson and Yvonne Rainer by making writing an integral part of an artistic practice.
Bordowitz has left his earliest writings for the most part unchanged—to preserve, he says, “both the youthful exuberance and the palpable sense of fear” created by the early days of the AIDS crisis. After these early essays, the writing becomes more experimental, sometimes mixing fiction and fact; included here is a selection of Bordowitz’s columns from the journal Documents, “New York Was Yesterday.” Finally, in his newest essays he reformulates early themes, and, in “My Postmodernism” (written for Artforum’s fortieth anniversary issue) and “More Operative Assumptions” (written especially for this book), he reexamines the underlying ideas of his practice and sums up his theoretical concerns.
In his mature work, Bordowitz seeks to join the subjective—the experience of having a disease—and the objective—the fact of the disease as a global problem. He believes that this conjunction is necessary for understanding and fighting the crisis. “If it can be written,” he says, “then it can be realized.”
Text and Image via MIT PRESS
Pumzi, 2010, Wanuri Kahiu
Kempinski, 2007. Video installation. Artist : Neil Beloufa
Common Task (Mali), 2008. Photographic documentation of an action by Wieslaw Niedzwiecki. Artist : Pawel Althamer
The spaceship Icarus13, view from the Chicala Island, Luanda, 2007. Digital Chromogenic Print on matt paper.
Astronomy Observatory, Namibe Desert, 2007. Digital Chromogenic Print on matt paper.
Superpower: Africa in Science Fiction surveys the recent tendency for artists and filmmakers to apply the forms and concerns of science fiction to narratives situated in the African continent. It considers the complex undercurrents for this occurrence in art today, and posits other and possible realities existing simultaneously, via careful re-orientations of tense; elevating the need for vigilance towards the present and future over a concern for the past.
Africa has had a rare yet distinct place in popular science-fiction, from the opening scenes of Stanley Kubrick’s iconic 2001: A Space Odyssey, depicting the mysterious appearance of a black monolith in the cradle of civilization, to the recent success of Neill Blomkamp’s debut movie District 9, a multi-layered allegory on South Africa’s recent internal and external tensions. Imagining a new space-time to the typical “third worldist” representations of the African continent, caught in a perpetual state of crisis, the works in Superpower project an alternative landscape of possibilities.
João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva
Kiluanji Kia Henda
Mark Aerial Waller
The ARPANET Dialogues
Text via Arnolfini. More Info HERE. Images via This is Tomorrow
Trailer For PUMZI a Short film Produced By Inspired Minority and Writer/Director: Wanuri Kahui and Producers: Simon Hansen, Hannah Slezacek and Amira Quinlan.
Award-winning broadcaster Tavis Smiley and one of the nation’s leading democratic intellectuals, Cornel West, challenge us to examine our assumptions about poverty in America. The Rich and the Rest of Us is the next step in the journey that began with “The Poverty Tour: A Call to Conscience.” Smiley and West’s 18-city bus tour gave voice to the plight of impoverished Americans of all races, colors, and creeds.
Book Intro PDF HERE
Via The Rich And The Rest Of Us
Real Estate 4 Ransom is a documentary by Prosper Australia, a not for profit organization devoted to economic justice for all Australians. Co-Directors Gavin Emmanuel and Karl Fitzgerald say:
“Real Estate 4 Ransom is a documentary about global property speculation and its impact on the economy. Real Estate 4 Ransom considers the changing motivations behind property investment and challenges the notion that the Global Financial Crisis was caused by bank lending alone.
Shot over 5 years, the film focuses an economics lens on many of the big picture issues world politics are grappling to deal with. The 40 min documentary looks at whether genuine freedom has been delivered by the democratic system.
We investigate the inefficiencies of the economic system and the impact this has on potential homeowners and small businesses. The documentary argues that with a simpler tax system, entrepreneurs have a better chance to succeed and the average Australian has a better chance of owning their own home.
What role did real estate play in the crashing of the global economy?
Co-Directors Karl Fitzgerald and Gavin Emmanuel have crafted a 40 minute documentary which features high profile economists, international guests, local home-buyers and renters, all who discuss their take on the state of Australia’s economy.”
As a 42-year-old man born in England, I can expect to live for about another 38 years. In other words, I can no longer claim to be young. I am, without doubt, middle-aged.
To some people that is a depressing realization. We are used to dismissing our fifth and sixth decades as a negative chapter in our lives, perhaps even a cause for crisis. But recent scientific findings have shown just how important middle age is for every one of us, and how crucial it has been to the success of our species. Middle age is not just about wrinkles and worry. It is not about getting old. It is an ancient, pivotal episode in the human life span, preprogrammed into us by natural selection, an exceptional characteristic of an exceptional species.
Compared with other animals, humans have a very unusual pattern to our lives. We take a very long time to grow up, we are long-lived, and most of us stop reproducing halfway through our life span. A few other species have some elements of this pattern, but only humans have distorted the course of their lives in such a dramatic way. Most of that distortion is caused by the evolution of middle age, which adds two decades that most other animals simply do not get.
Excerpt of an article written by David Bainbridge, WP. Continue HERE
Last year physicists commemorated the centennial of the discovery of the atomic nucleus. In experiments carried out in Ernest Rutherford’s laboratory at Manchester in 1911, a beam of electrically charged particles from the radioactive decay of radium was directed at a thin gold foil. It was generally believed at the time that the mass of an atom was spread out evenly, like a pudding. In that case, the heavy charged particles from radium should have passed through the gold foil, with very little deflection. To Rutherford’s surprise, some of these particles bounced nearly straight back from the foil, showing that they were being repelled by something small and heavy within gold atoms. Rutherford identified this as the nucleus of the atom, around which electrons revolve like planets around the sun.
This was great science, but not what one would call big science. Rutherford’s experimental team consisted of one postdoc and one undergraduate. Their work was supported by a grant of just £70 from the Royal Society of London. The most expensive thing used in the experiment was the sample of radium, but Rutherford did not have to pay for it—the radium was on loan from the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
Nuclear physics soon got bigger. The electrically charged particles from radium in Rutherford’s experiment did not have enough energy to penetrate the electrical repulsion of the gold nucleus and get into the nucleus itself. To break into nuclei and learn what they are, physicists in the 1930s invented cyclotrons and other machines that would accelerate charged particles to higher energies. The late Maurice Goldhaber, former director of Brookhaven Laboratory, once reminisced:
The first to disintegrate a nucleus was Rutherford, and there is a picture of him holding the apparatus in his lap. I then always remember the later picture when one of the famous cyclotrons was built at Berkeley, and all of the people were sitting in the lap of the cyclotron.
Excerpt of an article written by Steven Weinberg, The New York Review of Books. Continue HERE
Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory/Photo Researchers. Construction of an underground shaft for the Superconducting Super Collider in Texas. The SSC was supposed to be the largest particle accelerator in the world, but its funding was canceled by Congress in 1993.
In many ways, the artistic debates prevalent in the 1970s are recurring in our time: the relation between art and ecology, the position of the artist within a information and media society and the crisis of (neo)liberalism. Although the societal context and diameters of these discussions have changed profoundly, their basis can be found in the period from 1965 to 1975, considered a paradigmatic shift in art and society. But how well do we actually know our immediate past and what can we learn from it? Smithson’s artistic heritage provides an interesting and relevant case study in this respect. Rethinking Robert Smithson aims to open up a discussion about current concerns in art and theory at the intersection of art historical debate and contemporary art practice. Along the line of two thematic approaches related to Smithson’s work, Art and Ecology and The Cinematic Condition, topical concerns in artistic practice are reconsidered by internationally renowned theorists and artists.
Rethinking Robert Smithson
Text via Alauda Publications