Cardboard Castles and Other Amenities...

I am really interested in using different forms of cultural action to help build better communities. Communities are a vital social model, allowing us to tackle problems beyond the ability of individuals with the focus of a defined (usually relatively small) group of people. How do the arts and cultural work in general help communities grow more sustainable futures? If you have a cool website or project or your own ideas on these subjects please let me know.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Cool stuff

Some really cool murals artists David Choe did for the Facebook building.

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Benefit and Message: When Great Things Unite

Michael Rakowitz's paraSITE project is a really awesome blend of material benefit with social message. The basic idea is of a plastic inflatable shelter for homeless people which provides a warm place to spend the night when hooked up to an outside heating vent. Worldchanging has a good post of the project.

Blogging Hoffman Style

Mike Tronnes, co-founded the website, was a blogger before most people knew what that was. Like Abbie Hoffman, he used live news broadcasts to criticize the emptiness of TV news, while at the same time advertising for his website.

There is a interesting (short) interview of him at Eyeteeth. Talking about liberal funding he said,

Since most left-of-center foundations don't give grants for general operating support, unlike their counterparts on the right, our proposals have centered on specific projects relating to Media Transparency.

This has reminded of Van Jones speech in which he talked about the need to reorganize how we fund liberal organizing in order to encourage honest critical dialogue about the organizations we are a part of.

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Worth the Thought

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A Thought for Manifestoists.

I came across this article, A Manifesto for ustainability in Design, at Worldchanging the other day. The first thing that grab my attention was what the author, Allan Chochinov from Core77, said about manifestos.

I don't like the word manifesto. It reeks of dogma and rules—two things I instinctively reject. I do love the way it puts things on the line, but I don't like lines, or groups. So a manifesto probably isn't for me. The other thing about manifestos is that they appear (or are written so as to appear) self-evident. This kind of a priori writing is easy, since you simply lay out what seems obviously—even tautologically—true.

Of course, this is the danger of manifestos, but also what makes them fun to read. And fun to write. So I'll write this manifesto. I just might not sign it.

It makes me think about my own manifesto writing, which was definitely a lot of fun to write. However, it makes sense to say that manifestos draw lines, which are problematic, and that we should consider carefully which, if any, lines we want to draw.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Want to See a Compelling Image

You all should check out the World Press Photo Awards for 2006. There are some pretty incredible images. This photo is a great example. The dynamics and contrast (numbers, costume, color,) are really quit amazing. It’s also interesting to how “truthful” images can be so clearly politicized. Anyway check ‘em out.