Tuesday, August 02. 2016
By fabric | ch
As we continue to lack a decent search engine on this blog and as we don't use a "tag cloud" ... This post could help navigate through the updated content on | rblg (as of 07.2016), via all its tags!
HERE ARE ALL THE CURRENT TAGS TO NAVIGATE ON | RBLG BLOG:
(to be seen just below if you're navigating on the blog's page or here for rss readers)
Posted by Patrick Keller in fabric | ch at 16:58
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Monday, April 04. 2016
On Algorithmic Communism - Ian Lowrie on Inventing the Future : Postcapitalism and a World Without Work | #algorithms #future #postcapitalism
Note: in a time when we'll soon have for the first time a national vote in Switzeralnd about the Revenu de Base Inconditionnel ("Universal Basic Income") --next June, with a low chance of success this time, let's face it--, when people start to speak about the fact that they should get incomes to fuel global corporations with digital data and content of all sorts, when some new technologies could modify the current digital deal, this is a manifesto that is certainly more than interesting to consider. So as its criticism in this paper, as it appears truly complementary.
More generally, thinking the Future in different terms than liberalism is an absolute necessity. Especially in a context where, also as stated, "Automation and unemployment are the future, regardless of any human intervention".
By Ian Lowrie
January 8th, 2016
IN THE NEXT FEW DECADES, your job is likely to be automated out of existence. If things keep going at this pace, it will be great news for capitalism. You’ll join the floating global surplus population, used as a threat and cudgel against those “lucky” enough to still be working in one of the few increasingly low-paying roles requiring human input. Existing racial and geographical disparities in standards of living will intensify as high-skill, high-wage, low-control jobs become more rarified and centralized, while the global financial class shrinks and consolidates its power. National borders will continue to be used to control the flow of populations and place migrant workers outside of the law. The environment will continue to be the object of vicious extraction and the dumping ground for the negative externalities of capitalist modes of production.
It doesn’t have to be this way, though. While neoliberal capitalism has been remarkably successful at laying claim to the future, it used to belong to the left — to the party of utopia. Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams’s Inventing the Future argues that the contemporary left must revive its historically central mission of imaginative engagement with futurity. It must refuse the all-too-easy trap of dismissing visions of technological and social progress as neoliberal fantasies. It must seize the contemporary moment of increasing technological sophistication to demand a post-scarcity future where people are no longer obliged to be workers; where production and distribution are democratically delegated to a largely automated infrastructure; where people are free to fish in the afternoon and criticize after dinner. It must combine a utopian imagination with the patient organizational work necessary to wrest the future from the clutches of hegemonic neoliberalism.
Strategies and Tactics
In making such claims, Srnicek and Williams are definitely preaching to the leftist choir, rather than trying to convert the masses. However, this choir is not just the audience for, but also the object of, their most vituperative criticism. Indeed, they spend a great deal of the book arguing that the contemporary left has abandoned strategy, universalism, abstraction, and the hard work of building workable, global alternatives to capitalism. Somewhat condescendingly, they group together the highly variegated field of contemporary leftist tactics and organizational forms under the rubric of “folk politics,” which they argue characterizes a commitment to local, horizontal, and immediate actions. The essentially affective, gestural, and experimental politics of movements such as Occupy, for them, are a retreat from the tradition of serious militant politics, to something like “politics-as-drug-experience.”
Whatever their problems with the psychodynamics of such actions, Srnicek and Williams argue convincingly that localism and small-scale, prefigurative politics are simply inadequate to challenging the ideological dominance of neoliberalism — they are out of step with the actualities of the global capitalist system. While they admire the contemporary left’s commitment to self-interrogation, and its micropolitical dedication to the “complete removal of all forms of oppression,” Srnicek and Williams are ultimately neo-Marxists, committed to the view that “[t]he reality of complex, globalised capitalism is that small interventions consisting of relatively non-scalable actions are highly unlikely to ever be able to reorganise our socioeconomic system.” The antidote to this slow localism, however, is decidedly not fast revolution.
Instead, Inventing the Future insists that the left must learn from the strategies that ushered in the currently ascendant neoliberal hegemony. Inventing the Future doesn’t spend a great deal of time luxuriating in pathos, preferring to learn from their enemies’ successes rather than lament their excesses. Indeed, the most empirically interesting chunk of their book is its careful chronicle of the gradual, stepwise movement of neoliberalism from the “fringe theory” of a small group of radicals to the dominant ideological consensus of contemporary capitalism. They trace the roots of the “neoliberal thought collective” to a diverse range of trends in pre–World War II economic thought, which came together in the establishment of a broad publishing and advocacy network in the 1950s, with the explicit strategic aim of winning the hearts and minds of economists, politicians, and journalists. Ultimately, this strategy paid off in the bloodless neoliberal revolutions during the international crises of Keynesianism that emerged in the 1980s.
What made these putsches successful was not just the neoliberal thought collective’s ability to represent political centrism, rational universalism, and scientific abstraction, but also its commitment to organizational hierarchy, internal secrecy, strategic planning, and the establishment of an infrastructure for ideological diffusion. Indeed, the former is in large part an effect of the latter: by the 1980s, neoliberals had already spent decades engaged in the “long-term redefinition of the possible,” ensuring that the institutional and ideological architecture of neoliberalism was already well in place when the economic crises opened the space for swift, expedient action.
Srnicek and Williams argue that the left must abandon its naïve-Marxist hopes that, somehow, crisis itself will provide the space for direct action to seize the hegemonic position. Instead, it must learn to play the long game as well. It must concentrate on building institutional frameworks and strategic vision, cultivating its own populist universalism to oppose the elite universalism of neoliberal capital. It must also abandon, in so doing, its fear of organizational closure, hierarchy, and rationality, learning instead to embrace them as critical tactical components of universal politics.
There’s nothing particularly new about Srnicek and Williams’s analysis here, however new the problems they identify with the collapse of the left into particularism and localism may be. For the most part, in their vituperations, they are acting as rather straightforward, if somewhat vernacular, followers of the Italian politician and Marxist theorist Antonio Gramsci. As was Gramsci’s, their political vision is one of slow, organizationally sophisticated, passive revolution against the ideological, political, and economic hegemony of capitalism. The gradual war against neoliberalism they envision involves critique and direct action, but will ultimately be won by the establishment of a post-work counterhegemony.
In putting forward their vision of this organization, they strive to articulate demands that would allow for the integration of a wide range of leftist orientations under one populist framework. Most explicitly, they call for the automation of production and the provision of a basic universal income that would provide each person the opportunity to decide how they want to spend their free time: in short, they are calling for the end of work, and for the ideological architecture that supports it. This demand is both utopian and practical; they more or less convincingly argue that a populist, anti-work, pro-automation platform might allow feminist, antiracist, anticapitalist, environmental, anarchist, and postcolonial struggles to become organized together and reinforce one another. Their demands are universal, but designed to reflect a rational universalism that “integrates difference rather than erasing it.” The universal struggle for the future is a struggle for and around “an empty placeholder that is impossible to fill definitively” or finally: the beginning, not the end, of a conversation.
In demanding full automation of production and a universal basic income, Srnicek and Williams are not being millenarian, not calling for a complete rupture with the present, for a complete dismantling and reconfiguration of contemporary political economy. On the contrary, they argue that “it is imperative […] that [the left’s] vision of a new future be grounded upon actually existing tendencies.” Automation and unemployment are the future, regardless of any human intervention; the momentum may be too great to stop the train, but they argue that we can change tracks, can change the meaning of a future without work. In demanding something like fully automated luxury communism, Srnicek and Williams are ultimately asserting the rights of humanity as a whole to share in the spoils of capitalism.
Inventing the Future emerged to a relatively high level of fanfare from leftist social media. Given the publicity, it is unsurprising that other more “engagé” readers have already advanced trenchant and substantive critiques of the future imagined by Srnicek and Williams. More than a few of these critics have pointed out that, despite their repeated insistence that their post-work future is an ecologically sound one, Srnicek and Williams evince roughly zero self-reflection with respect either to the imbrication of microelectronics with brutally extractive regimes of production, or to their own decidedly antiquated, doctrinaire Marxist understanding of humanity’s relationship towards the nonhuman world. Similarly, the question of what the future might mean in the Anthropocene goes largely unexamined.
More damningly, however, others have pointed out that despite the acknowledged counterintuitiveness of their insistence that we must reclaim European universalism against the proliferation of leftist particularisms, their discussions of postcolonial struggle and critique are incredibly shallow. They are keen to insist that their universalism will embrace rather than flatten difference, that it will be somehow less brutal and oppressive than other forms of European univeralism, but do little of the hard argumentative work necessary to support these claims. While we see the start of an answer in their assertion that the rejection of universal access to discourses of science, progress, and rationality might actually function to cement certain subject-positions’ particularity, this — unfortunately — remains only an assertion. At best, they are being uncharitable to potential allies in refusing to take their arguments seriously; at worst, they are unreflexively replicating the form if not the content of patriarchal, racist, and neocolonial capitalist rationality.
For my part, while I find their aggressive and unapologetic presentation of their universalism somewhat off-putting, their project is somewhat harder to criticize than their book — especially as someone acutely aware of the need for more serious forms of organized thinking about the future if we’re trying to push beyond the horizons offered by the neoliberal consensus.
However, as an anthropologist of the computer and data sciences, it’s hard for me to ignore a curious and rather serious lacuna in their thinking about automaticity, algorithms, and computation. Beyond the automation of work itself, they are keen to argue that with contemporary advances in machine intelligence, the time has come to revisit the planned economy. However, in so doing, they curiously seem to ignore how this form of planning threatens to hive off economic activity from political intervention. Instead of fearing a repeat of the privations that poor planning produced in earlier decades, the left should be more concerned with the forms of control and dispossession successful planning produced. The past decade has seen a wealth of social-theoretical research into contemporary forms of algorithmic rationality and control, which has rather convincingly demonstrated the inescapable partiality of such systems and their tendency to be employed as decidedly undemocratic forms of technocratic management.
Srnicek and Williams, however, seem more or less unaware of, or perhaps uninterested in, such research. At the very least, they are extremely overoptimistic about the democratization and diffusion of expertise that would be required for informed mass control over an economy planned by machine intelligence. I agree with their assertion that “any future left must be as technically fluent as it is politically fluent.” However, their definition of technical fluency is exceptionally narrow, confined to an understanding of the affordances and internal dynamics of technical systems rather than a comprehensive analysis of their ramifications within other social structures and processes. I do not mean to suggest that the democratic application of machine learning and complex systems management is somehow a priori impossible, but rather that Srnicek and Williams do not even seem to see how such systems might pose a challenge to human control over the means of production.
In a very real sense, though, my criticisms should be viewed as a part of the very project proposed in the book. Inventing the Future is unapologetically a manifesto, and a much-overdue clarion call to a seriously disorganized metropolitan left to get its shit together, to start thinking — and arguing — seriously about what is to be done. Manifestos, like demands, need to be pointed enough to inspire, while being vague enough to promote dialogue, argument, dissent, and ultimately action. It’s a hard tightrope to walk, and Srnicek and Williams are not always successful. However, Inventing the Future points towards an altogether more coherent and mature project than does their #ACCELERATE MANIFESTO. It is hard to deny the persuasiveness with which the book puts forward the positive contents of a new and vigorous populism; in demanding full automation and universal basic income from the world system, they also demand the return of utopian thinking and serious organization from the left.
Monday, September 08. 2014
Inflatable cobblestone, action of Eclectic Electric Collective in cooperation with Enmedio collective during the General Strike in Barcelona 2012. © Oriana Eliçabe/Enmedio.info
The V&A presents the first exhibition to explore objects of art and design from around the world that have been created by grassroots social movements as tools of social change from the late 1970s to the present. Disobedient Objects demonstrates how political activism drives a wealth of design ingenuity and showcases forms of making that defy standard definitions of art and design. The objects on display are mostly produced by non-professional makers, collectively and with limited resources as effective responses to complex situations.
Friday, June 27. 2014
Note: Bracket just announced the line up for the 4th edition of the "bookazine". This time, BRACKET [takes action]!
After reviewing over 170 exciting entries, the jury has selected the projects and articles posted on the Bracket website for [Takes Action]. To view the selected entries, click here. All of the entries made for a great discussion and difficult decision for the jury. Many thanks to everyone who participated in the Bracket [Takes Action] Call for Entries and our jury: Pier Vittorio Aureli, Vishaan Chakrabarti, Adam Greenfield, Belinda Tato, and Yoshiharu Tskuamoto. Lastly, a special thanks to Archinect for handling the web interface and creating our new website (which also went live today). We will be in touch with the selected contributors shortly regarding the next phase of the submission.
— Neeraj Bhatia & Mason White, Bracket [Takes Action] Editors
Tuesday, October 15. 2013
Regardless of your feelings about Occupy Wall Street, we can all agree that its genesis was unlikely, to say the least. It appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, in New York's Financial District (of all places). And it continued to exist only because of a lucky break: basing the protests in Zuccotti Park, formerly Liberty Plaza Park, was a fallback plan, following a failed attempt to protest in front of the New York Stock Exchange. It was the unusual rules for Zuccotti—as a Privately Owned Public Space (POPS), it is not bound by the normal city parks curfew, and is required by charter to stay open 24 hours a day—that enabled the encampments to get a foothold. This may have been a lucky break, but one that was earned through years of organizing, cultivating the expertise and tools and networks that allow a movement to grow and sustain itself.
Occupy.here began two years ago as an experiment for the encampment at Zuccotti Park. It was a wifi router hacked to run OpenWrt Linux (an operating system mostly used for computer networking) and a small "captive portal" website. When users joined the wifi network and attempted to load any URL, they were redirected to http://occupy.here. The web software offered up a simple BBS-style message board providing its users with a space to share messages and files.
Unlike most wifi connections, this one wouldn't let you check your Facebook. It was designed to run entirely disconnected from the internet. Only people physically close enough to the router can could reach the local web forum with their mobile phone or laptop. I imagined it becoming a kind of intranet for Occupiers, filtering users by proximity to specifically support the people at the park.
During the Occupation, I was getting up extra early to visit the park on weekdays before work. I'd chat with whoever was awake and hear what was going on with the upcoming General Assembly, or who'd been making a ruckus the night before. When I described my strange wifi project, I was surprised at the encouraging reactions I got. "That's awesome, you should do it!" or "we were talking about building something like that—does it handle video?"
So I showed up one morning and left my first prototype with the volunteers at the Info desk. Just keeping the router powered consistently was a big challenge; I'd plug it into whichever diesel generator I could find running in the park. After the park was cleared, I refocused my thinking about how best to support a decentralized movement. Since then Occupy.here has become my zen garden, a tiny self-contained internet I've been developing slowly and methodically.
This past Spring, I began stashing wifi routers wherever I could find an electrical plug near a freely accessible space. For a few months, a friend hosted an Occupy.here router from his studio at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council residency in the One Liberty Plaza building. His 12th floor window looked down right onto Zuccotti Park, close enough to get two out of three bars of wifi coverage in the park.
In this second, decentralized phase, I've seen a modest volume of use by internet standards, perhaps a handful of posts per week. There are patterns in how it gets used according to where the router is situated. The Zuccotti Park router was a popular venue for middle-aged men to upload selfies. Another one, hidden in the lobby of the Museum of Modern Art (installed without permission), mostly receives multi-lingual variations on "hello world" or "why doesn't the wifi work?" A handful of users have written more substantially, but it amounts to a message in a bottle, floating in the 2.4 Ghz spectrum.
It's been exciting to see Occupy.here used "in the wild," but it also has some shortcomings—its lack of visibility makes discovering the network difficult, and the slim likelihood that a user will return makes conversations difficult to achieve. As a growing digital library, the project can surely offer an alternative to "junk food media," but building a slow web movement is not enough. I'd like for the project to be fun to use, but ultimately I'm interested in fostering conditions that might credibly challenge the status quo.
I need to destroy the zen garden and replace it with something more like a town square. Less tidy, more communal. I would like to create something you would want to use every day to share with people whose opinions matter to you. I'm interested in finding collaborators who have a stake in its development. It's becoming clear that, collectively, we all need online spaces that aren't undermined by the surveillance state.
Whether or not the big tent incarnation of Occupy has a future, the 99% are just as dissatisfied as we were in 2011. Much like Napster gave us a taste of what a digital commons could be, Occupy showed us how massively distributed activism can materialize seemingly overnight. It's time to put in the hard work organizing for the next Occupy, to create the right conditions for a lucky break.
On Sunday October 6th I'll be participating in the PRISM Breakup event at Eyebeam. I'll be conducting a hands-on workshop as 12:30pm, followed by a talk later in the afternoon. Please come with radical ideas, and bring a laptop!
Monday, June 03. 2013
Note: interesting post by Léopold Lambert about body, presence and activism, as a tribute to all "occupy" movements of parks, streets, squares, etc. and in particular the recent ones in Turkey: body presence in public physical spheres completed by social media communication.
Via The Funambulist
de Léopold Lambert
A Body of Gezi Park. 31 May 2013. From Yücel Tunca via Nar Photos.
For the last five days, the small park of Gezi near Taksim square in Istanbul has been occupied by dozens of thousands of people protesting, at first, against the urban project in development for this site that involves a shopping mall. Such a project that transforms a public space into an instrument of capitalism is part of a long series of others that has been changing Istanbul’s urban landscape and politics in the last decade. Very quickly however, the protest generalized itself and reached other cities of Turkey (Ankara, Izmir and more) in an attempt to globally constitute a strong resistance against the conservative and religious Turkish government and its Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The latter used to be Istanbul’s mayor and still has strong interests in its development. The police violently attacked the protesters, injuring severely some of them, but reinforcing the movement’s determination and legitimacy.
It is interesting to observe that such a news has been spread out much rapidly on the international level than on the national one since the Turkish Press – just like the American one, including the New York Times, at the beginning of the Occupy movement – did not communicate about this information in a clear submission to the political status quo. In New York, hundreds of occupiers went back on Zucchotti Park to show their international solidarity with the Turkish movement of the same name.
For the last two years, many “professional politicians” in power learned what it is to be afraid of the multitude. All answered with brutality (from Cairo to Santiago, via Benghazi, Damascus, Athens, Montreal, New York and many more), some stepped down, some kept their status, some others are still ordering massacres against their own people but all of them seems to have feared the power of the crowds, gathered by their common will to resist against totalitarianism and capitalism. Something needs to be understood here: despite all the media attempts to “surf” on these political waves with a common approach of the use of social media as a new form of political act – to a certain extent, it is not completely wrong – the thing that veritably choked the status quo is the gathering of bodies in the public space. Of course, some gathering of bodies are less political than others – sport events related ones for example – and therefore, there needs to be a certain performativity involved in this process; however, there is something inherently political in this act of forming a group of bodies in the public realms. As I have been writing often, especially to exclaim the sense of this notion of occupying, our body can only be at one place at a time and, because of its materiality, no other body can be at the very same place at the same time. This involves a certain necessity as our body is always spatialized but, at the very same time, it also involves the radical choice for this space at the exclusion of every other in the world. At each moment of our life, we have therefore to re-accomplish the necessary yet radical choice of the localization of our body. When thousands of bodies choose to be localized together in the streets or on a square, in such a way that they are not participating to the economy and might even have to confront the physical violent encounter with the various forces of suppression, rather than choosing the comfort of the private realms, a strong political gesture is being created.
It would be too easy to necessarily applaud any political gesture of this kind. The recent numerous demonstrations of catholic extremists and other movement of right wing activists in France against the legislation authorizing gay marriage – now in vigor - prove it well. In this latter case, the bodies that were demonstrating were the bodies representing the norm: white Christians heterosexuals. The latter do not really suffer from the way society is organized as they constitute the bodies that society considers to organize itself. The streets of Istanbul, on the other hand, are filled by people whose bodies are getting more and more constrained by the conservative religious dominant ideology – by dominant, I don’t imply as much a question of majority than one of relationships of power.
As always, architecture is not innocent here. The fact is that these bodies are gathering in the public realms, but more precisely, outside, in the streets, on the squares, in the parks. Architecture through its internality always has a limitation of the amount of bodies it can host (the maximum occupancy as the urban code defines it); the outdoor world does not really. Choosing for our body to be outside is to potentially contribute to a crowd that theoretically won’t be limited in its number by physical borders, hence the fear of politicians to see the movement spreading. Architecture is inherently participating to the striation of space, nevertheless, it can attempt to create a substantial porosity between the space it contains and the public one that surrounds it, in such a way that the political bodies can appropriate it.
For an excellent reflective digest about Occupy Gezi and these last five days in Istanbul, read this article on Jadaliyya.
Thursday, May 16. 2013
The image of the “blue planet”, a new perspective of the earth as seen from the outside, is one of the most popular images in history. This image, more than any other, has shaped the popular notion of the age of the “whole world” and globalization, from a worldwide society linked by the Internet to the current debate on the climate. Using artworks and materials from cultural history, the exhibition will critically explore the application of ecological-systemic concepts to society, politics, and aesthetics.
The exhibition The Whole Earth – until July 1, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin – is one of the first to explore the history of the photograph of the “blue planet”, and reflects in a comprehensive way the power of the Whole Earth Catalog…
Wednesday, April 03. 2013
Following on from their previous ‘videopolemic’ tribute to Lebbeus Woods, 32BNY has released their second video featuring artist and designer Vito Acconci’s response to the question, “Is architecture art?”. Having straddled both architecture and art throughout his carrer, Acconci is cleary comfortable in discussing their relationship, as he talks passionately about the importance of putting people at the center of both. “Because architecture is used… it can possibly be misused, and once it is misused, I think, the user goes one step further…than the architect”.
More about Acconci after the break…
Although he first became prominent for his radical performance and installation art in the 1970′s, Vito Acconci was deeply involved in furniture design and architecture towards the end of the 1980′s – a natural step considering his belief that the public should be ‘participants in’ art rather than ‘viewers of’ it . After founding Acconci Studio in 1988 to explore theoretical design and building, he undertook many architectural and landscape projects – notably his collaboration with Steven Holl to design the facade of the Storefront for Art and Architecture in 1992. The facade, comprised of independently rotating panels which open the gallery to the street, blurs the distinction between the inside and the city and allows for several different configurations.
Although 32BNY admit they do not know what the terms ‘cinematic architectural discourse’, or ‘videopolemic’ mean, they are undeterred from their exploration. You can find out more about them and their work on their website.
Great yet simple considerations about image vs architecture as well as interaction. The misuse part of architecture is very interesting as well and reminds me a lot of Derrida's approach of language and architecture.
Thursday, February 23. 2012
While the subject of online piracy is certainly nothing new, the recent protests against SOPA and the federal raid on Megaupload have thrust the issue into mainstream media. More than ever, people are discussing the controversial topic while content creators scramble to find a way to try to either shut down or punish sites and individuals that take part in the practice. Despite these efforts, online piracy continues to be a thorn in Big Media’s side. With the digital media arena all but conquered by piracy, the infamous site The Pirate Bay (TPB) has begun looking to the next frontier to be explored and exploited. According to a post on its blog, TPB has declared that physical objects named “physibles” are the next area to be traded and shared across global digital smuggling routes.
TPB defines a physible as “data objects that are able (and feasible) to become physical.” Namely, items that can be created using 3D scanning and printing technologies, both of which have become much cheaper for you to actually own in your home. At CES this year, MakerBot Industries introduced its latest model which is capable of printing objects in two colors and costs under $2,000. With the price of such devices continuing to drop, 3D printing is going to be part of everyday life in the near future. Where piracy is going to come in is the exchange of the files (3D models) necessary to create these objects.
A 3D printer is essentially a “CAD-CAM” process. You use a computer-aided design (CAD) program to design a physical object that you want made, and then feed it into a computer-aided machining (CAM) device for creation. The biggest difference is that traditional CAM setups, the process is about milling an existing piece of metal, drilling holes and using water jets to carve the piece into the desired configuration. In 3D printing you use extrusion to actually create what is illustrated in the CAD file. Those CAD files are the physibles that TPB is talking about, since they are digital they are going to be as easily transferred as an MP3 or movie is right now.
It isn’t too far outside the realm of possibility that once 3D printing becomes a part of everyday life, companies will begin to sell the CAD files and the rights to be able to print proprietary items. If the technology continues to advance at the same rate, in 10 or 20 years you might be printing a new pair of Nikes for your child’s basketball game right in your home (kind of like the 3D printed sneakers pictured above). Instead of going to the mall and paying $120 for a physical pair of shoes in a retail outlet, you will pay Nike directly on the internet and receive the file necessary to direct your printer to create the sneakers. Of course, companies will do their level best to create DRM on these objects so that you can’t freely just print pair after pair of shoes, but like all digital media it will be broken be enterprising individuals.
TPB has already created a physibles category on its site, allowing you to download plans to be able to print out such things as the famous Pirate Bay Ship and a 1970 Chevy hot rod. For now it’s going to be filled with user-created content, but in the future you can count on it being stocked with plans for DRM-protected objects.
Monday, December 26. 2011
de Karissa Rosenfield
Tunisian Revolution via cjb22 on flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/cjb22222222/5373435731/
It began on December 17th, 2010, when 26-year-old street vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi drenched himself in paint thinner and lit a match in front of the provincial-capital building in Tunisia. Mannoubia Bouazizi stated, “My son set himself on fire for dignity.” Her 16-year-old daughter added, “In Tunisia, dignity is more important than bread.”
All over the world, the protestors of 2011 have stood-up for fairness and freedom. “Do-it-yourself democratic politics became globalized, and a real live protest went massively viral.” Authoritarian acts of violence and forceful evictions from “public” squares further exposed what the protestors were fighting for. In effort to honor the individuals who have made the greatest impact on our world during these past twelve months, TIME has named the 2011 person of the year as “The Protester”.
Day 36 Occupy Wall Street © David Shankbone
“Public” space has played an important role in this fight for social justice. Occupy Wall Street’s (OWS) eviction from the privately owned public space (POPS) Zuccotti Park, raised awareness on the privatization of the city and the illusion of being public. Architects became actively involved, assisting the development of temporary cities to support the movement, while questioning the “cult of homeownership” and the architect’s role in evolving the idea of housing.
Day 60 Occupy Wall Street © David Shankbone
“Among the ruins left behind by the eviction of bodies and the demolition of tents in lower Manhattan are the ruins of what the philosopher Hannah Arendt called the “space of public appearance.” Ever since the ancient Greeks, who served as Arendt’s model, the right to participate in this space has been conditional on the possession of personal wealth. One of the many contradictory functions of the modern state, addressed politically by unionized workers and by civil rights activists alike, has been to redistribute wealth — that is, to mediate the distribution of resources, services, and value. Any structural alternative must ultimately come to terms with this mediating function.” – Design Observer: Occupy: The Day After
Tanks in front of the Qasba in Tunisia © Gladys Martínez López
Citizens across the world continue to fight for social justice, occupying the streets and inhabiting public space in efforts to achieve significant change. Coverage of the indignados taking back Puerta del Sol in Madrid exclaimed, “The sun has risen. The people cried. The square is ours.”
Indignados taking back the square in Madrid © Jesus Solana
Follow this link to the must-read TIME Cover Story: The Protestor.
"The protester" will be our last post on rblg for 2011, before we leave to the Alps and the snow for a couple of days!
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fabric | rblg
This blog is the survey website of fabric | ch - studio for architecture, interaction and research.
We curate and reblog articles, researches, writings, exhibitions and projects that we notice and find interesting during our everyday practice and readings.
Most articles concern the intertwined fields of architecture, territory, art, interaction design, thinking and science. From time to time, we also publish documentation about our own work and research, immersed among these related resources and inspirations.
This website is used by fabric | ch as archive, references and resources. It is shared with all those interested in the same topics as we are, in the hope that they will also find valuable references and content in it.
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