Joey Skaggs features monochrom's "Citizens' Initiative for the Accomplishment of Total Population". Join the movement!
Ray Tallis peers into the future, without fear.
Link"Tereza is staring at herself in the mirror. She wonders what would happen if her nose were to grow a millimetre longer each day. How much time would it take for her face to become unrecognizable? And if her face no longer looked like Tereza, would Tereza still be Tereza?"There is increasing concern amongst a wide range of commentators that human nature is in the process of being irrevocably changed by technological advances which either have been achieved or are in the pipeline. According to a multitude of op-ed writers, cultural critics, social scientists and philosophers, we have not faced up to the grave implications of what is happening. We are sleep-walking and need to wake up. Human life is being so radically transformed that our very essence as human beings is under threat.
Scientists said yesterday they had transplanted a microbe's entire, tangled mass of DNA into a closely related organism, a delicate operation that cleanly transformed the recipient from one species into the other.
Link (via Isis Kowarik, metalab internal list)
monochrom in London: "The Innermost Unifier" / Corporate Anthems
The Innermost Unifier: Today it's the Corporate Anthem
A talk/audio performance by Johannes Grenzfurthner, monochrom (Vienna, Austria)
The advancement of pre-capitalism (ie. the form of organisation for the social production of goods and of its distribution) to post-capitalism (ie. the form of organisation for all social relations in a particular economical ideology) is seldomly as apparent as in a modern company or enterprise, the most dominant type of organisation of the post-capitalist endeavor. The company has taken the place once inhibited by the factory. The factory thrived on the opposites of worker and owner. The modern company, however, is built around the core-idea of the post-antagonostic concept of work itself. The employees have become co- and sub-entrepreneurs. Yet of course they are not, which becomes evident when looking at who actually owns the means of production within the company. The employees however are being turned onto the illusion of being an active part, even a decision-making part of the "big family" (I love this company!).
The modern company wants to return to the pre-capitalist crisis of class-struggle. That means: Contradictions within, and indeed clashes of interest take a step back behind the curtain of the "community". (A visit at the Google Campus in Silicon Valley illustrates this concept drastically). The return to old ideas of community also brings with it certain forms of rituals, like the usage of a corporate anthem. But there is no right feel-good in something that is wrong.
Using different historical and current examples (especially from the area of the hardware/software-industry), Johannes Grenzfurthner gives a theoretical and applied - and not unamusing - overview on the musical genre of corporate anthems.
Come and sing along. Powernapping is welcome, too.
July 2, 2007.
The talk is part of a public space tour called "Peripatetic disco" (alt.SPACE Festival 2007). Meeting point for the whole tour is 4 PM in front of the main gates of Buckingham Palace. Johannes Grenzfurthner's talk and audio show will start 5 PM in front of IBM South Bank (directions to IBM South Bank).
Check 'em out.
Tunguska crater found?
After nearly 100 years of searches, researchers have found what may be an impact crater made by the object that caused a huge blast over the remote Siberian area of Tunguska on 30 June 1908.
Tots, don't believe everything you read
Parents, beware: Beloved childhood classics such as Winnie the Pooh may be teaching kids false facts about the world -- like tigers are bouncy and donkeys are chronically depressed.
I Contain Multitudes: Mikhail Bakhtin
Review "Mikhail Bakhtin: The Word in the World" (Graham Pechey) by Terry Eagleton.
For the past three decades, Mikhail Bakhtin has been more of an industry than an individual. Not only an industry, in fact, but a flourishing transnational corporation, complete with jet-setting chief executives, global conventions and its own in-house journal. In the field of cultural theory, this victim of Stalinism is now big business. Most of the mouth-filling terms he coined – dialogism, double-voicedness, chronotope, heteroglossia, multi-accentuality – have passed into the lexicon of contemporary criticism. A cosmopolitan coterie of scholars, some of whom have devoted a lifetime to his texts, have long since struggled to appropriate him for their own agendas. Is he a Marxist, neo-Kantian, religious humanist, discourse theorist, literary critic, cultural sociologist, ethical thinker, philosophical anthropologist, or all these things together?Link
Bill Gates' Legacy: Tech Titan Or Tyrant?
Microsoft's co-founder and chairman has been a polarizing figure in the computer industry. As he eases out of day-to-day management, the debate begins on how he will be remembered.
Soviet Unterzoegersdorf @ aniMOTION Festival
Soviet Unterzoegersdorf (Sector 1) will be presented at aniMOTION Festival in Sibiu, Romania (3-8 July 2007).
Facebook registration procedure.
Goddamn liberals. They have 3 to 4 different ways to declare their bloody political worldview, and I have to declare myself "Other" because I'm a leftist? No way, I'm not registering to this site. Very unsocialist social tool.
Genital Injuries, Prosthetic Devices and the War on Terror
David Rosen tells us about the hidden cost of war.
The Possessed / Macchu Picchu
Did a Yale archeologist come across Macchu Picchu in 1911 and smuggle its gold out through Bolivia?
Germany Bans Tom Cruise Movie Shoot
"Germany has barred the makers of a movie about a plot to kill Adolf Hitler from filming at German military sites because its star Tom Cruise is a Scientologist, the Defence Ministry said on Monday. Cruise, also one of the film's producers, is a member of the Church of Scientology which the German government does not recognize as a church. Berlin says it masquerades as a religion to make money, a charge Scientology leaders reject."Link
Google may close Gmail Germany over privacy concerns
Spiegel a german news site is reporting that Google is threatening to shut down the german version of its Gmail service if the german Bundestag passes it's new Internet surveillance law. (via Lynx, quisse-list)
"Speak of the Devil": Anton LaVey
A film by Nick Bougas.
Having had his fill of the world's relentless mediocrity, hypocrisy and repression, Anton LaVey declared war in 1966 by shaving his head and founding the Church of Satan. His literary blueprint for responsible self-indulgence, The Satanic Bible, soon sold millions of copies worldwide thus generating decades of media furor and Judeo-Christian wrath. But, as revealed in his presentation, LaVey's detractors remain largely fanatical and uninformed and continue to attribute foul practices such as ritual animal sacrifices to his church, when, in truth, the nature-loving LaVey was an outspoken animal activist long before it was fashionable.
Noises and Exceptions: Pure Mediality in Serres and Agamben
What is a Medium or, what do the means mean?
Isn't it strange that our desire for newer and ever more dazzling media machines is equaled only by our wish to escape them? From mathematical perspective to the camera obscura, from photography to cinema -- television, the internet, virtual reality environments and all the more far-out sorts of artificial intelligence -- innovations in media have always been driven by the desire to overcome mediation. Whether it is the frame, the wire, location, bodies or simply physical presence that it eliminates, each new device promises to deliver the same content as its predecessor, only more immediately, which is to say without the clumsy medium in which the signal had been trapped. Jay Bolter and Robert Grusin have shown how this desire to escape media by means of media has developed according to a logic that they call "remediation." Television gives us everything film offered, but without the apparatus of the projector and the centralized theater. The laptop accomplishes what the portable computer was supposed to do, just as the PDA puts us in touch with everything the laptop promised but failed to deliver. And now wireless technology promises to accomplish all of this without the restrictions of any centralized location at all.Link
Why can an opera singer be heard over the much louder orchestra?
John Smith, a physicist at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, belts out an answer to this query.
Is the spread of sushi to middle-class American malls a good globalization story?
monochrom: Fieldrecording in St. Wechselberg
Jerry Zachary Adamski on YouTube (German, English subtitles).
monochrom Link (with film script to re-read)
Science marches on
Dark art: What makes a film ''noir"?
A new book highlights the surprising European origins of an iconic American genre.
"Film Noir" is notoriously difficult to define. Once you move past the familiar images (trench coats, shadows), stock characters (the femme fatale, the private dick), standard moods (urban malaise, fatalism), and a core group of classic films (John Huston's "The Maltese Falcon," for example, or Tay Garnett's "The Postman Always Rings Twice"), there's wide disagreement among critics and scholars about what actually makes a movie "noir." Does film noir belong to a specific historical time and place (Hollywood from 1941 to 1958, say) or can it be made anywhere, at any time?Link
Drinking Too Much Water Can Kill
In a hydration-obsessed culture, people can and do drink themselves to death.
Liquid H2O is the sine qua non of life. Making up about 66 percent of the human body, water runs through the blood, inhabits the cells, and lurks in the spaces between. At every moment water escapes the body through sweat, urination, defecation or exhaled breath, among other routes. Replacing these lost stores is essential but rehydration can be overdone. There is such a thing as a fatal water overdose.Link
monochrom: Unterhaltung (Entertainment)
Our short film "Unterhaltung" ("Entertainment") is available on YouTube (in semi-French, well...).
Brain has two captains?
A probe of the upper echelons of the human brain's chain-of-command has found strong evidence that there are not one but two complementary commanders in charge of the brain.
Poems From Guantanamo: the Detainees Speak
Poems written by Guantanamo Bay prisoners about their lives as US captives have been compiled in a book that will be published with an endorsement from the former US poet laureate Robert Pinsky.
Poems From Guantanamo: the Detainees Speak will be on sale in the US by August. The 84-page volume was assembled by lawyers representing some of the captives.
Dorkbot Vienna #3: Hacking Game Machines
monochrom is organizing a new Dorkbot Vienna meeting... and the special guest star is Martin Pichlmair.
Games are a defining medium of our time. The majority of them is produced by multinational corporations, designed to appeal to the mass audience, locked on DRM-protected and region-coded data media, and sold, shrink-wrapped in plastic. Yet resourceful hackers and artists are working on the liberation of this medium. Serious games, homebrew games, and game art are results of their great efforts. Martin Pichlmair and his guests will present a number of game machine hacks - from a modified pinball machine dating back to the 1970s to musical instruments running on the Nintendo DS.
Let's crack open the game machine a bit further.
Lecture/workshop in English language.
Saturday, June 23, 2007, 8:30 PM @ Metalab, Rathausstrasse 6, 1010 Vienna. Duration: ~90 minutes
Soviet Unterzoegersdorf: The Party demands Music!
We are looking for quickening music for "Soviet Unterzoegersdorf / Sector 2". Our glorious "Radio Free Soviet Unterzoegersdorf" wants to update its audio data storage database!
Send your compositions! The commitee accepts the Western format "MP3" (128+), maximum duration: 8 minutes.
Deadline is October 31, 2007.
We wish you success, comrades!
Soviet Unterzoegersdorf / Game Page
Liquid mirror could be used for Moon-based telescope
A new liquid mirror works at very low temperatures, a vital step towards making a telescope far more sensitive than Hubble.
Canada and Comics: Invaders from the North
A new book unearths the hidden curiosities of Canadian comic book art: "Invaders from the North: How Canada Conquered the Comic Book Universe" by John Bell.
The link between superheroes and nationalism is one lesson that can be gleaned from John Bell's Invaders from the North: How Canada Conquered the Comic Book Universe. Despite its bombastic title, Bell's book is, at least in the chapters dealing with the superhero genre, a chronicle of failure. Bell speaks of "the somewhat quixotic search for distinctly Canadian superheroes." "Quixotic" is le mot juste. No Canadian superhero has ever been successful for a sustained period or left a mark on the popular imagination, although there have been many rolls of the dice.Link
Cabinet split over Rushdie knighthood
Mounting Muslim protests over Salman Rushdie's knighthood led to an embarrassing UK Cabinet split last night plunging the Government into disarray.
monochrom: PC/DC patch
Patches to patches, seam to seam. The following textile patch – of captivating structural integrity and with sappy declaration – is available for DIY stitch on. Get it, proceed it. For jeans and corduroy, for caftan and calfskin, for Metallica turtle necks, Neubauten-satchels, for panties, singlets and lacey thongs.
If you don't wanna splurge, here's a colorful pattern for embroidery.
Call for Mars500 Candidates
Want to live in a fake space ship for 520 days?
Within the framework of the Mars500 programme, the European Space (ESA) initiates a call for candidates to participate in up to three isolation confinement studies. ESA is looking for 2 European candidates and 2 candidates per study. The first in a series of isolation and confinement will commence in the timeframe May-July 2008. Serious applicants are fill out an application form, which can be obtained by download from: www.spaceflight.esa.int/callforcandidates
The Comprehensible Cosmos: Where Do the Laws of Physics Come from?
A review of Victor Steger's book "The Comprehensible Cosmos: Where Do the Laws of Physics Come from?" (Prometheus Books, New York, 2006).
After the backlash comes the return to orthodoxy. In A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking suggested that physics was on the verge of solving the final puzzles of creation: the marriage of quantum physics and gravity and the origin of the universe. Since then, there has been a general sense of disappointment at the progress made by pretenders such as string theory. A number of works have suggested that mankind is still scrabbling around in the foothills of understanding, and that the universe may not even be ultimately explicable by our scientific and mathematical tools. Now, in a new magisterial account of the state of modern physics, Stenger reasserts the original optimistic outlook: physics has explained almost all that is and has been, and the few remaining pockets of resistance must soon fall.Link
What Gives Freezing Its Sting?
Freeing knotted shoelaces with fingers that are frozen stiff is extremely difficult and can even be painful. The reason that sensitivity and dexterity are poor is that both nerves and muscles perform their tasks reluctantly when they are cold. Nevertheless ice-cold fingers ache and do so all the more in response to the lightest of knocks or squeezing.
Good at spelling, bad at life.
In America, the spelling bee contest was long considered a way to separate the bright students from the dim light bulbs. But as this video demonstrates, mastery of a discipline comes at a price. So choose carefully.
Illustrated history of trepanation
Shining -- The Feel Good Movie of 1980
monochrom @ Anzengruber Biennale
A Biennial in a Viennese coffeeshop?
Long before what is now called discourse had taken over the institutes of fine arts all over the world, it was in fact already being conducted every evening. Long before what is now called critique of institutions had begun to rattle the foundations of the museums, buildings and programmes were already being vehemently argued about. And the practice, so greatly loved by curators and travelling lecturers, of talking ritually past each other under the umbrella of so-called symposiums has also been cultivated there for years. In the Anzengruber, as far as the fine arts are concerned, there is always Biennale (including buffet and video room) - a little less formal, certainly, than elsewhere, sometimes a little more vehement as well, but always marching onward. And this needs to be stated quite clearly now, when every village between Shanghai and Dubai, Prague and goodness knows where, decks itself out magnificently with its own Biennale and is convinced that it is quite special for doing so. So now: Anzengruber Biennale, for a change, as something official, with pictures for once. After all, not everyone has the entire history of art in mind all the time!Participating artists and art groups: Olaf Nicolai, Andreas Schlaegel, Frances Stark, Flora Neuwirth, Christian Kobald, Douglas Gordon, Gelitin, Gottfried Bechthold, Hans Schabus, Hotel Morphila Orchester, Julia Schulz, Lois + Franziska Weinberger, Manfred Pernice, Marco Lulic, Markus Schinwald, monochrom, Richi Hoeck / john Miller, Rita Vitorelli, Christian Wallner, Sol Le Witt, Stefan Sandner, Davide Balula, Anita Leisz, Cedar Lewisham, Marcus Geiger, Gilbert Bretterbauer/Tom Baldwin, Olga Neuwirth, Nedko Solakov, Octavian Trauttmannsdorff, Otto Zitko, Darren Almond, Fritz Ostermayer.
Opening: June 20, 2007; 6 PM.
Exhibition June 21-23, 2007.
Cafe Anzengruber, Schleifmühlgasse 19, 1040 Vienna.
FaceResearch.org allows you to participate in short online psychology experiments looking at the traits people find attractive in faces and voices.
Link (via DaddyD)
Psychologist Robert Epstein argues in a provocative book, "The Case Against Adolescence," that teens are far more competent than we assume, and most of their problems stem from restrictions placed on them.
Ouch, I saw that: Some people literally feel what they see
'Mirror touch' synaesthesia is a strange but real condition, and it might be wide-spread, psychologists have found. So-called mirror-touch synaesthetes actually feel a touch on their own skin when they watch someone else being touched. Perhaps as a consequence, they also show more emotional empathy than normal people.
You can now find our short film "Irark" on YouTube.
1988: Retired US-Soldier John R. fights along with his former superior and side by side with islamic jihadis against a foreign occupying power in the central-asian desert.
Scramjet hits Mach 10 over Australia
A supersonic scramjet engine has been successfully launched from a test range in Australia. The Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) said the scramjet achieved reached 10 times the speed of sound during the test.
Scramjets are supersonic combustion engines that use oxygen from the atmosphere to burn onboard fuel. By contrast, conventional rockets carry their own oxygen to burn fuel. The hope is that scramjets can be made lighter and faster than oxygen-carrying rockets.
But mixing oxygen with a fuel in a supersonic airflow and then igniting it is tricky. The tests involved accelerating the scramjet to several times the speed of sound and switching it on.
Mugabe gets email snooping green light
Lynx (via quisse-list) points out to this article:
Zimbabwean despot "laughing" Bob Mugabe's government has rubber-stamped new laws granting his cronies free reign to snoop on communications in the impoverished state.Link
Well, well... one more fetish I had no idea about.
Do you like veins on the hands and arms?
Outsourcing risks: Neither informed nor consenting
By Sonia Shah.
Since fewer than 1% of Indians have health insurance, most people pay upfront for care and a personal relationship with a physician is highly prized. The balance of power between doctor and patient is therefore different from the way it is in the West. Farhad Kapadia, a clinical investigator at Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai, says that only those who "have absolutely no choice" agree to forsake the judgment of their physician for a protocol randomly selected by a computer which would leave them ignorant about what is being administered to them. So those who take part in clinical trials are the poorest, living in a different world from socially powerful doctors.Link
What Else Is New?
How uses, not innovations, drive human technology.
Film: Doing more with less
Some filmmakers hack at novels, but others fully explore the short story.
"Why wrestle an unwieldy 500-page novel into a screenplay, lopping off key characters and subplots, when you can tackle a much more manageable 20 pages, with a third of the characters and half the irony?"Link
Roboexotica @ RoboGames 2007
RoboGames 2007 is over and we are glad being able to inform you that Chris Veigl's "Cockbot One" -- a regular robotic guest at Roboexotica -- won the gold medal for "bartending" at RoboGames 2007! Congratulations!
monochrom: Bye Bye
The foul stench of Firestone
Slavery isn't dead, writes Robtel Neajai Pailey. Its modern-day variant is just found on a different kind of plantation.
Emmanuel B is 30, a slender five foot three, and a labourer whose piercing brown eyes tell unspeakable truths. He's not the kind of slave-labourer we're familiar with from 19th-century plantations in the Deep South of the United States. Instead, Emmanuel is a modern-day plantation labourer in 21st-century, post-conflict Liberia, and the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company is his unyielding master. Like many workers on Firestone’s largest rubber plantation, Emmanuel was born in Harbel, has lived in Harbel all his life, and will most likely waste away in Harbel.Link
No rights for robots
A new study called Robo-rights proposes that if true artificial intelligence is ever developed then robots might have to be given similar rights to humans, including the right to vote and the right to 'robo-healthcare'. However the study, commissioned by the UK's Dept of Trade and Industry and conducted by a management consultancy, has been decried by various scientists in robotics research who have denounced it as superficial, poorly informed and a diversion from more pressing ethical issues. A new generation of more autonomous robots will come onto the market soon, and the Times quotes Prof. Alan Winfield as saying that a key issue should be to decide who is responsible if such a robot injures or kills someone.
Dwarf planet found to be heftier than Pluto
Whether you call it a planet or not, Pluto has officially been overtaken by a more massive planetary object — Eris (previously nicknamed Xena). Eris is bigger and heavier than our Solar System's 'ninth planet'.
Photoshop Contest: Graz Apocalypses
You live in Graz/Austria and always wanted to destroy it? Or you live somewhere else and still want to destroy it? Take part in "Graz Apocalypses", a postapocalyptic photoshop contest.
Roboexotica @ RoboGames 2007
The greates robot show in earth is running: RoboGames 2007! And Magnus Wurzer (Shifz) and monochrom blogger (and soon-to-be-monochrom-artist-in-residence) David Fine are serving you (and your electronic friends) cocktails and cocktail robots!
If you are in San Francisco, don't miss RoboGames 2007... and get a drink!
Vectors Of The Biopolitical
Essay by Malcolm Bull.
Man is by nature a political animalLink
Recursion And Human Thought: Why The Piranhã Don't Have Numbers
A Talk With Daniel L. Everett.
"As I look through the structure of the words and the structure of the sentences, it just becomes clear that they don't have recursion. If recursion is what Chomsky and Mark Hauser and Tecumseh Fitch have called 'the essential property of language', the essential building block--in fact they've gone so far as to claim that that might be all there really is to human language that makes it different from other kinds of systems--then, the fact that recursion is absent in a language --Pirahã-- means that this language is fundamentally different from their predictions."Daniel L. Everett, a former evangelical Christian missionary to the Pirahãs in the Brazilian Amazon for more than 20 years, is Chair of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures and Professor of Linguistics and Anthropology at Illinois State University.
Turning Plants into Plastic—And Replacing Oil in the Process
A new process may allow plants to become the root of chemicals, plastics and fuels rather than oil.
Global warming? Call their tax
Why not tie carbon taxes to actual levels of warming? Both skeptics and alarmists should expect their wishes to be answered.
monochrom: When you
Pac Man Chart
The Cracked Ambience: new and recommended sounds for your personal space
LA FA CONNECTED - urban (la fa connected)
FUGU & THE COSMIC MUMU - s/t (no label)
GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU - wer hat von meiner installation gegessen? (22. jahrhundert)
BOOZLE BAM / ROKKO ANAL - my favorite singletrail split (Dhyana)
VARIOUS - Al Peng Lühen (Dhyana)
Lord Jim Lodge powered by monochrom / Exhibition closing
In 1985 a number of Austrian and German artists (Jörg Schlick, Martin Kippenberger, Albert Oehlen and Wolfgang Bauer) had an idea over late-night schnapps to found an "art lodge". They birthed it as "Lord Jim Lodge" and created a slogan (Nobody Helps Nobody) and a logo (Sun Breasts Hammer), with the intention that the logo should become more well-known than that of Coca-Cola. This, we might say, was a somewhat classic way of being stuck in the powerlessness of 1980ies-antiart-art. The members of the lodge used the logo on many of their artworks and tried to distribute it that way. Martin Kippenberger -- who became one of the bestselling German artists of the 20th century only after his death in 1997 -- used it on his installations and self-portraits. The Lodge was quite active, at one moment even publishing a low-circulation magazine, but after Kippenberger's death a growing disinterest of the other members the Lodge seemed to predominate. It seems the project had been charged with high symbolic capital, but low in effort. So in 2005 Jörg Schlick invited members of the group monochrom to a talk and informed them about a severe sickness then over-taking him - essentially indicating that he can't take care of the Lodge any longer. He asked monochrom to use it and to do more projects, to "let it rock". monochrom thought about the concept of "rocking" and had the idea of a "hostile take-over", of "restarting the Lodge", creating "franchises", "profit-maximizing" the prestitious brand that nobody cared about in a long time. monochrom created a fake art-consulting company called Teyssandier-Springer that would represent the "investment group monochrom". Teyssandier-Springer called in a press conference in Berlin and invited journalists and people from the art world. Teyssandier-Springer reported that they had sent out letters to all the important museums and galleries worldwide (like MOMA, etc.) containing the information that monochrom had bought all the Lodge's rights including the trademark rights for the logo - and monochrom is now investigated as exploiting possible infringements of the trademark. Many extremly valueable artworks would feature the logo -- including Kippenberger's beststelling paintings. So monochrom asserted its rights to proportionate financial remuneration for the use of its intellectual property and that the group intended to take legal action to ensure compliance. The responding letters and telephone calls were dominated by the wish for "a settlement out of court", for example gallery X in Y: "Our associate, Mr. Z, will contact you regarding a more exact appraisal of the sum involved." The media reported about the "legal art crisis". The process caused big trouble in the so-called "art world". This was an interesting effect, because it seemed to indicate that that "art world" was not at all briefed about something like "copy/trademark rights". The rumor geysers didn't stop. The "profit-oriented group monochrom" wanted to speed up business and took part in an art contest called "Coca Cola Light Art Edition", mainly because the members remembered that one of the original ideas of the Lodge was to beat Coca-Cola in the mass market of signs. monochrom stamped the logo onto a piece of paper, sent in the application and won. The logo was printed on 50.000 bottles of Coca-Cola Light and the group got 5000 euros of prize money. Not a bad performance for six months of business activity. monochrom sought out a possibility to present their "market leadership" and chose the format of twelve oil paintings. monochrom created twelve photoshop files and sent them to China. Guo Cun Can, a Chinese painter painted them in oil (140x100cm) in three weeks, sent them back to Europe and charged 2500 euros. monochrom is now selling them for 4500 euros per piece. Guo Cun Can will get a big portion of the sales, and will probably live from it for a long, long time. China, the biggest copy market in the world, is not only interested in copying Harry Potter books, DVDs or Nike shoes, they are also reproducing paintings. Here we meet professional faker, forgers, copiers... at least as long as capitalist economics of low labour costs allows it. But that's another story, isn't it?
Closing of exhibition. Discourse performance and party: June 15, 2007. 8 PM @ Galerie Bleich-Rossi, Vienna.
monochrom: "When you"
A short film.
"We were on vacation in Central Florida from the 10th to the 25th of September in 2001. After intensive tele-visual disaster consumption (shared with the world, no less), we decided for a visit to Walt Disney World (to be more precise, we were mainly concerned with the Magic Kingdom) on 15 September 2001. We entered the premises and strolled along "Main Street USA", when we heard a Disney tune, well-known to us. And as it is usual for a chain-reaction of associations, a strange video-like sequence emerged in our subconsciousness..."
Prayer: A Neurological Inquiry
Are silent prayers transmissible to, or readable by, a supernatural being?
"Engine Nearing Perfection?" / Utopia.com(mons) and Steorn-Power, UnLtd.
Essay by John Freeman.
Nearly five centuries separate Thomas More, saint and author of Utopia, from Sean McCarthy, engineer and genial CEO of Steorn, Ltd., an Irish technology development company. Both men have laid claim to utopian discoveries. More's discovery -- related through the voyager Raphael Hythloday -- involves a 1760-year-old society that provides a model of social and economic perfection. McCarthy offers a no less extraordinary claim. His company, so it goes, has stumbled upon a configuration of magnets producing the equivalent output of a perpetual motion machine. Its applications will solve the world's most pressing concerns: energy production, fresh water supplies, even Global Warming. Instant Utopia. Both men's claims have been met, each in its own day, with responses ranging from fawning discipleship to scornful disbelief. After Utopia was published, one theologian asked for directions there so he might convert its inhabitants. In a later edition, More had to drop hints the island was not real, although he still enjoyed pointing "the long nose of scorn" at those naïve enough to take his account of this New World island seriously.Link
Man Sues Health Drink Maker Over Erection
A man has sued the maker of the health drink Boost Plus, claiming the vitamin-enriched beverage gave him an erection that would not subside and caused him to be hospitalized.
Amber collectors hit on oldest mushroom find
100-million-year-old fungus brings hints of Cretaceous ecology.
An unusual fossil-hunting team has hit upon an unusual discovery: the oldest found mushroom fossil yet, encased in amber along with a striking example of a parasite feeding upon a parasite. Dated to 100 million years ago by the age of material surrounding the amber, the mushroom joins the exclusive company of just a handful of fossilized fleshy fungal bodies ever found.Link
Versions of a War
A PBS movie about the 1967 war between Israel and its neighbors was edited into different versions depending on which country it would be aired in.
Brave New World at 75
Huxley's most famous novel, Brave New World, was published in 1932, and the occasion of this seventy-fifth anniversary should lead us to wonder about his peculiar description of how we understand the future. We live in a time of biotechnological leaps forward that have made the term "Brave New World" almost a reflex for commentators worried we are rushing headlong toward a sterilized post-human society, engineered to joyless joy. It is easy to imagine that we see the shadows of our society in Huxley's vision of the future. But could it be that our insistence on seeing Huxley's book as an exceedingly successful prophecy actually prevents us from recognizing its real insight? Is there a way for us to understand the book free of the great distorting influence of our own times?Link
Watch List Of 100 Most Endangered World Monuments
A Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites was recently announced by Bonnie Burnham, president of the World Monuments Fund (WMF), the nonprofit organization that, for more than 40 years, has helped save hundreds of endangered architectural and cultural sites around the world. This year's list highlights three critical man-made threats: political conflict, unchecked urban and industrial development, and, for the first time, global climate change.
Example: Scott's Hut and the Explorer's Heritage of Antarctica.
pranks.com features ARAD-II
TorrentSpy Ordered By Federal Judge to Become MPAA Spy
TorrentSpy, one of the world's largest torrent dump sites, has been ordered by a federal judge to monitor its users in order to create detailed logs of their activities which must then be handed over to the MPAA. (via Lynx, quisse-list)
Salty Oceans Provide Early Warning For Climate Change
Monitoring the saltiness of the ocean water could provide an early indicator of climate change. Significant increases or decreases in salt in key areas could forewarn of climate change in 10 to 20 years time. Presenting their findings at a recent European Science Foundation (ESF) conference, scientists predicted that the waters of the southern hemisphere oceans around South Africa and New Zealand are the places to watch.
Nigeria's New Literay Voice
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie won this year's Orange Prize.
"After the publication of her first book Purple Hibiscus, one critic described Ms Adichie as 'Chinua Achebe's 21st Century daughter'. With a mathematics professor father and her mother a university administrator, Ms Adichie was not expected to become a writer."
Live Audiostream // Next Step Politics 09?! Pirates to Brussels in 2009!?
Conference live audio stream:
Rick Falkvinge @ Next Step Politics 09?!
Sunday, June 10:
3 PM : Wake up! - European Digital Futures at stake? Eva Lichtenberger / Christian Engström
5 PM: Snack and talk @ QDK; provided by the conference organizers: monochrom, Team Teichenberg, Transforming Freedom and Metalab.
7 PM: Next Step Politics!? Pirates to Brussels 2009?!
- Keynote by Rick Falkvinge
- Panel discussion with Eva Lichtenberger, Erich Möchel (tbc), Rick Falkvinge a.o.
9 PM: Drinks
Location: ErsteArena @ Museumsquartier, Vienna.
Robot bear will carry soldiers to safety
Daring battlefield rescues of wounded comrades may one day be a thing of the past as the US army is developing a robot that can recover injured or abducted soldiers.
MIT Demonstrates Wireless Power Transfer
Imagine a future in which wireless power transfer is feasible: cell phones, household robots, mp3 players, laptop computers and other portable electronics capable of charging themselves without ever being plugged in, freeing us from that final, ubiquitous power wire. Some of these devices might not even need their bulky batteries to operate. A team from MIT's Department of Physics, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies (ISN) has experimentally demonstrated an important step toward accomplishing this vision of the future.
Victor Davis Hanson, an expert on ancient Greece, says that 300 is told in the way ancients would have told the story of fighting the Persians.
CBS Bows To Fans, Un-Cancels "Jericho"
In response to fan protests, CBS orders new episodes of the post-apocalyptic drama.
"Although it's common for fans of a canceled series to protest, it's extremely rare that the effort pays off with network executives changing their minds."Link
How the West Really Lost God
Many agree that the decline of religion may be a cause of the decline of the family. But what if it's the other way around?
Talk Report / TECHNOLOGY MYTHS Creative Summer Camp #2
Johannes just held his talk at the TECHNOLOGY MYTHS Creative Summer Camp #2 in Aizpute, Latvia.
He talked about
Georg Paul Thomann
Lord Jim Lodge powered by monochrom
Soviet Unterzögersdorf / Sector 1
Roboexotica @ RoboGames 2007
Over 500 robots from 30 countries will be competing in the greatest show on earth! You'll jump as 340 pound Combat robots smash into each other! Be amazed by androids that can wrestle, play soccer or do somersaults; intelligent robots that can drive themselves around; and Art Robots that move and even some that make cocktails.Yes, that's right. Magnus Wurzer (Shifz) and monochrom blogger (and soon-to-be-monochrom-artist-in-residence) David Fine will serve you (and your electronic friends) with cocktails and cocktail robots!
If you are in San Francisco, don't miss RoboGames 2007... and get a drink!
Unplugger Report / TECHNOLOGY MYTHS Creative Summer Camp #2
Having a great time in Aizpute, Latvia at the TECHNOLOGY MYTHS Creative Summer Camp #2.
We just took part in a workshop held by Rainer Prohaska. His latest project is the development of E.S.I. devices [Electricity Saving and Interfering].
And so we just constructed our first interfering device. An unplugger.
Robert Glashuettner 2nd place in Pac-Man World Championships
Our monochrom co-blogger Robert Glashuettner achieved 2nd place in the Pac-Man World Championships in New York! Congratulations!
Finalists Robert Glashuettner from Austria (age 28) and Carlos Romero from Mexico (age 27) went head to head on the new version, in lieu of the classic '80s title. Both were competing for the chance to win 100,000 Microsoft points (valued at about $1,250), a special Pac-Man edition of the Xbox 360, and free Quizno's sandwiches for the next 26 years. Romero, who has been playing video games since age 6, won the face-off, beating Glashuettner 22,160 to 17,730. As a runner-up, Glashuettner nets 40,000 Microsoft points, which is valued at about $500.
The really expensive skull
What's interesting about this story of Hirst's $98,000,000.00 dollar piece of art is not the fact that someone made a diamond encrusted platinum skull. If this were just about creating an object, a rhinestone skull would be as impressive. So though I don't find it interesting as fine art, the sheer opulence of the piece actually makes it interesting as conceptual art. Like Duchamp's toilet, it's a good conversation starter.
For fun, I did some moronic calculations and found that if every country on earth pooled their collective GNP for one year, they could buy 425,530 skulls. This means that one in every 15,500 people would get one. I feel like this could turn into a great commentary on art and economics, but I'm not sure what more to say.
monochrom @ TECHNOLOGY MYTHS Creative Summer Camp #2 / Aizpute, Latvia
monochrom will talk and perform at TECHNOLOGY MYTHS Creative Summer Camp #2 in Aizpute, Latvia.
The theme of 2nd Creative Summer Camp is "Technology myths" - interpretations and myths about the development, use and facilities of technologies and its' place in the life of modern human and society. Myth – lies, fantasy or subjective reality? Taking into consideration that myth has been arised from human imaginations or singularity of perception about things. Interpretations about things and occurencies could vary into countless and inconceivable directions.Link
Next Step Politics 09?! Pirates to Brussels in 2009!?
A conference weekend with Rasmus Fleischer, Rick Falkvinge, Christian Engström (Swedish Pirate Party), Eva Lichtenberger (MEP of Green Party, Austria), Chris Jeitler, Erich Möchel (Quintessenz.at).
June 8-10, 2007; Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. All talks in English language.
Presented by: Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Transforming Freedom, Metalab, monochrom, Teichenberg and Quartier für Digitale Kultur (QDK).
Link (German language)
monochrom essay published in "Und jetzt?"
"Und jetzt? - Politik, Protest und Propaganda" (edited by Heinrich Geiselberger) was published by Edition Suhrkamp.
Among the featured essays is monochrom's "The Medium is the Messiah".
Link / "The Medium is the Messiah" (German only)
Link / "Und jetzt?" (German only)
Young and Restless in Tehran
Reviewed by Marla Braverman.
It is customary to think about Iran in terms of two ticking alarm clocks, one nuclear, and the other democratic. If the democratic one does not ring first, so this thinking goes, military intervention may be required to stop the nuclear one from going off.Link
Bradbury Explains "Fahrenheit 451"
Ray Bradbury still has a lot to say, especially about how people do not understand his most literary work, Fahrenheit 451, published in 1953. It is widely taught in junior high and high schools and is for many students the first time they learn the names Aristotle, Dickens and Tolstoy. Now, Bradbury has decided to make news about the writing of his iconographic work and what he really meant. Fahrenheit 451 is not, he says firmly, a story about government censorship.
Build Your Own Sex Doll
>>Want a custom sex doll, but don't have $7,000 to shell out? No problem. You can build one with off-the-shelf parts for a fraction of the cost. Is this the ideal love doll or Bride of Frankenstein? We'll let you be the judge.<<
Fathers of the zodiac tracked down
Using modern techniques -- and some rocks -- a US astronomer has traced the origin of a set of ancient clay tablets to a precise date and place. The tablets show constellations thought to be precursors of the present-day zodiac.
'Noah's Ark' of 5,000 rare animals found floating off the coast of China
Endangered, hunted, smuggled and now abandoned, 5,000 of the world's rarest animals have been found drifting in a deserted boat near the coast of China. The pangolins, Asian giant turtles and lizards were crushed inside crates on a rickety wooden vessel that had lost engine power off Qingzhou island in the southern province of Guangdong. Most were alive, though the cargo also contained 21 bear paws wrapped in newspaper.
DaddyD overwhelmed: The Void's Foaming Ebb
DaddyD blogs "The Void's Foaming Ebb"...
Being a media monkey, my federally allowed contingent of 3 functioning braincells is somewhat overwhelmed by the projects message, so I can't really tell you what it's about. It does, however, vaguely remind me of some of the conventions I went to during my dotcom days.Link
The corporate takeover of U.S. intelligence
Need a job?
More than five years into the global "war on terror," spying has become one of the fastest-growing private industries in the United States. The federal government relies more than ever on outsourcing for some of its most sensitive work, though it has kept details about its use of private contractors a closely guarded secret. Intelligence experts, and even the government itself, have warned of a critical lack of oversight for the booming intelligence business.(Via Lynx, quisse-list)
Venezuela and the Media: Fact and Fiction
By Robert McChesney and Mark Weisbrot.
To read and view the U.S. news media over the past week, there is an episode of grand tyranny unfolding, one repugnant to all who cherish democratic freedoms. The Venezuelan government under "strongman" Hugo Chavez refused to renew the 20-year broadcast license for RCTV, because that medium had the temerity to be critical of his regime. It is a familiar story.Link
Ryan Stewart, Cinematical, writes about Spielberg's movie... in context of a review of a new documentary on "Jaws" titled The Shark is Still Working.
"Flaws aside, Spielberg's masterpiece is, I believe, a rather important and uniquely American work of art. The idea of a small-town flatfoot realizing that his duty requires him to step on a boat and head off to sea is a metaphor that not only resonated with WWII veterans in the 70s, but still resonates today with anyone who's had to leave the comforts of home to go confront a threat. Also, with its entire story circling down to that amazing moment when the grizzled old seadog Quint has gotten a look at the beast he's going to be confronting and decides to unpack and assemble a fearsome harpoon, the film strongly echoes Melville, as well as all the other literature and art that's been inspired by America's centuries-long quest to tame the Atlantic ocean. This is one of our touchstone movies that won't go out of style until people have lost their fear of sharks, the ocean, drowning and the unknown in general--in other words, never."(via metaphilm)
The cult of pharmacology & Intoxication in mythology
Review by Richard Barnett. Quote: "the distinction between clinical medicines and drugs of addiction is a social construct and responsible for the Ballardian car-crash of modern attitudes towards drugs."
The Cracked Ambience: new and recommended sounds for your personal space
FUNCTION - the secret magic fountain (locust music)
KEENE - the river and the fence (poeta negra)
MEMBRANE - a story of blood and violence
NINA NASTASIA & JIM WHITE - you follow me
THE NORTHERN RATTLE - 1000 sun broadcast (lathelight)
PORTASTATIC - be still please (acuarela)
STUERTZ - so lange es ohne Luftholen geht (sopot)
VARIOUS - Al Peng Lühen (Dhyana)
monochrom is an art-technology-philosophy group having its seat in Vienna and Zeta Draconis. monochrom is an unpeculiar mixture of proto-aesthetic fringe work, pop attitude, subcultural science, context hacking and political activism. Our mission is conducted everywhere, but first and foremost in culture-archeological digs into the seats (and pockets) of ideology and entertainment. monochrom has existed in this (and almost every other) form since 1993.
External monochrom links:
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