• ( egoistic ) • activistic • architectural • audible • cinematic • conceptual • graphic • strategic • surface • urban • wireless
Ten is an award-winning exhibition which took place during 100% Design in London earlier this year.
For the exhibition, the curator and organizer Chris Jackson invited 10 designers to produce an object with materials found within a 10 km radius of their studios and a budget of 10£.
The aim of the Ten was to express the designers personal perspectives on sustainable design issues in London.
In this part of the world, all we hear of Kabul is usually related to war, crime and misery.
However, they actually have an emerging art scene as well and much of it seems to be connected to The Center of Contemporary Art Afghanistan, which is occasionally frequented by international artists.
One of them Luis Berrios Negron - an MIT graduate - recently went there to carry out a workshop with local students.
Provoked by the brutal past of the Taliban regime as well as the absurd amount of advertisements which US driven democracy apparently has enriched present day Kabul with, Luis Berrios Negron decided to set up an architectural performance with his students.
Together they took over a huge abandoned billboard overlooking the city and covered it with a green cloth. In Afghanistan green is the color of rebirth and from everywhere in Kabul people could see the intervention.
In a conceptual protest against the privately owned public spaces in New York City, members of the Graffiti Research Lab came up with a way of making these non-spaces a bit more user-friendly.
Inspired by the FedexFurniture project, the GRL team created a bunch of chairs, made of free-of-charge US postal mail boxes and brought them to one of the locations in question.
Thanks to the DIY chairs, the space was momentarily turned into real place where people could actually sit and relax.
The Graffiti Research Lab is dedicated to outfitting people with open source tools for urban communication. Their goal is to empower individuals to creatively alter and reclaim their surroundings from commercial and corporate culture. One of their most celebrated tools is the LED Throwie - a small, battery-powered light, attached to a magnet, which can be used to make 'light-graffiti' on metal surfaces.
A few years ago, French artist Christophe Bruno created the Google AdWords Happening, in which he utilized the AdWords program to publish abstract poetry instead of ads. Google didn't find the happening appropriate hence, he got banned.
Last year Bruno's happening was followed up by GWEI - Google Will Eat Itself, an artistic click-fraud scheme developed by Hans Bernhard & Alessandro Ludovico. GWEI turned Google's ubiquitous AdSense program against Google itself in order to draw public attention to the fact that Google's immense popularity constitutes a democratic paradox. The operation was quickly discovered and stopped by Google.
Now, US artist Cory Arcangel has added to the list of conceptual Google-ad hacks.
Arcangel recently put up a webpage containing the entire text from Kurt Cobain's suicide note and paired it with Google AdSense.
Naturally, the text-ads generated by Cobain's suicide note are totally absurd and so, the site demonstrates just how clueless AdSense is despite Google's claim that 'AdSense can deliver relevant ads because Google understand the meaning of a webpage'.
The Institute for Infinitely Small Things is a highly original research organization based in Boston, whose mission is to invent and distribute new practices of political engagement in everyday life.
This June, they are inviting members of the public to join them in a series of renaming expeditions in Cambridge, which will result in the publication of a new map of The City Formerly Known as Cambridge.
To rename a street, park, square or other part of Cambridge, MA, simply attend an expedition and fill out a form to justify your reasons for renaming.
The first expedition takes place on June 1st at the public opening ceremony of the newly redesigned Porter Square plaza. As soon as it is officially named, it will be renamed!
As an attempt to bridge the communication-gap between Danes and the local muslim community, a group of academic muslims have launched a novel form of home-service.
The service is called 'Book en Muslim' (Book a Muslim) and it enables people to book a meeting with a young Danish muslim. The meeting takes place either at people's own homes or at their workplaces.
The objective is to create a platform for dialogue between Danes and Danish muslims who feel caught in between the religious and political fronts that emerged as a result of the Mohammed cartoon saga.
Bookings can be placed through the internet, free of charge.
The illustration is from a previous library-event called "borrow a prejudice".
Posted by Sebastian on Jan 29, 2006
Fighters+Lovers is a new controversial brand that combines fashion and politics.
The Danish based company behind the brand, has created a range of t-shirts in support of PFLP in Palestine, and FARC in Colombia. For every sold t-shirt, 5 euros are donated to non-violent activities of the two organizations.
But if you're considering buying one, you might want to ensure that your financial support doesn't violate any national law. PFLP and FARC are both listed as terrorist organizations in the EU and US.
The Danish authorities are currently trying to figure out if they can take legal action against Fighters + Lovers. Meanwhile, the shirts are on sale, either from the official website or at a hot-dog stand in central Copenhagen.
Edit: Fighters + Lovers' website and operation was shut down about a week after this entry. They now face serious charges - February 2006.
Nb. This site is not supporting the activities of Fighters + Lovers.
• www.fightersandlovers.com (website shut down)
On November 16, 2005 a parking space in San Fransisco was momentarily turned into a mini-park.
At noon, the parking-space transformed into a small public area with grass, a tree and a bench where people could rest and relax. After two hours, the park reversed back into a parking space.
The intervention was performed (and paid for) by REBAR, a collaborative group of creators, designers and activists based in San Francisco.
GAYmobile is the name of a new mobile-network operator that is targeting homosexual subscribers in Denmark.
GAYmobile is offering services that are gay all the way and 25% of the profit will be channeled back to the gay community via a special fund called GAYtrust, according to the CEO Thomas Bilgram who is also the head of Copenhagen Pride.
GAYmobile's service line - called HOMOBILE - might soon be offering a wireless dating service as well as subtle ringtones that indicate the users sexual preferences. Until then, GAYmobile suggests that subsribers use songs like "I am what I am" or anything by ABBA as ringtone.
Just like other Danish MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operator), GAYmobile is internet-based and the prices are thus among the country's most affordable.
System Azure and Evidence Locker are two separate artworks by Jill Magid that explore the creative potential of surveillance cameras. Magid demonstrates how CCTV cameras can be used to create and record beautiful moments and interactions instead of just watching for problems.
System Azure is a series of jeweled security camera installations, conceived in 2003. Magid originally approached the Police Headquarters in Amsterdam and asked if she could cover the surveillance cameras on their facade with fake jewels as an art project.
When the police rejected her request, she created a spoof company called System Azure and re-approached them with the exact same question. This time around, she introduced herself as Head Security Ornamentation Professional and presented the idea in terms of 'public relations instead of art. Naturally, she asked for a fee.
Bingo! After a lengthy period of negotiations, she succeeded in in covering four of the Headquarters’ cameras with glittering rhinestones.
In 2004 - commisioned by the Liverpool Art Biennial - Magid created Evidence Locker in which she employs Liverpool's CCTV infrastructure to stage a conceptual cinematic narrative.
The work is composed of 31 days of CCTV footage, which features Magid traversing the city while being wirelessly guided, monitored, and recorded by an 'observer' in the central CCTV control room.
The project's website is a narrative in itself and contains lots of interesting information. Visitors can get access to 31 fragments of CCTV footage as well as diary-like letters written by Magid to her 'observer'.