Archive for February 7th, 2013

February 7, 2013

Dark Age Ahead

Dark Age Ahead‘ is a 2004 book by Jane Jacobs describing what she sees as the decay of five key ‘pillars’ in North America: community and family, higher education, science and technology, taxes and government responsive to citizen’s needs, and self-policing by the learned professions. She argues that this decay threatens to create a dark age unless the trends are reversed. Jacobs characterizes a dark age as a ‘mass amnesia’ where even the memory of what was lost is lost.

People are increasingly choosing consumerism over family welfare, that is: consumption over fertility; debt over family budget discipline; fiscal advantage to oneself at the expense of community welfare. Universities are more interested in credentials than providing high quality education. Economics has become as the main ‘science’ to consider in making major political decisions. Governments are more interested in deep-pocket interest groups than the welfare of the population. She describes, a culture that prevents people from understanding/realizing the deterioration of fundamental physical resources which the entire community depends on.

read more »

Tags:
February 7, 2013

Sturgeon’s Law

Sturgeon’s revelation, commonly referred to as Sturgeon’s law, is an adage commonly cited as ‘ninety percent of everything is crap.’ It is derived from quotations by Theodore Sturgeon, an American science fiction author.

The phrase was derived from Sturgeon’s observation that while science fiction was often derided for its low quality by critics, it could be noted that the majority of examples of works in other fields could equally be seen to be of low quality and that science fiction was thus no different in that regard to other art.

read more »

Tags:
February 7, 2013

Coney Island Waterboarding Thrill Ride

steve powers

In the summer of 2008 conceptual artist Steve Powers presented a work that came to be known as the Coney Island waterboarding thrill ride. As originally conceived Powers saw the public watching volunteers undergoing actual waterboarding.

‘The Washington Post’ reported that Powers brought in Mike Ritz, a former US official experienced in administering waterboarding, for a one time demonstration of waterboarding on volunteers. This demonstration was not open to the general public, but rather for an invited audience. Powers himself was one of the volunteers.

read more »

Tags:
February 7, 2013

Steve Powers

Steve Powers (b. 1968) is a New York City artist who at one time wrote graffiti in Philadelphia and New York under the name ESPO (‘Exterior Surface Painting Outreach’). Powers is from Philadelphia’s Overbrook neighborhood; he graduated from Robert E. Lamberton High School in 1987 and took classes at The Art Institute of Philadelphia and the University of the Arts. In 1994, he moved to New York with fellow writer and designer Ari Forman, in order to expand the reach of his magazine, ‘On the Go.’

ESPO’s work often blurred the lines of legality. For example, pieces like ‘Greetings from ESPOLand’ utilized the style of the Asbury Park Billboards and appeared to be a legitimate billboard. In 1997 ESPO began his most ambitious non-commissioned art. He painted on storefront grates in Fort Greene, Bedford-Stuyvesant, TriBeCa, and the South Bronx, covering the entire grate with white or silver paint and then using black to make each grate into a letter in his name.

read more »

February 7, 2013

XVALA

XVALA is an art project created by Jeff Hamilton (b. 1970). XVALA typically focuses on pieces that address celebrity and popular culture and he refers to this as ‘Tabloid Art.’ XVALA collaborated with sculptor Daniel Edwards on ‘The Brangelina,’ a house located in Oklahoma. In 2010, Jeff Hamilton walked away from his art and the name XVALA. Hamilton passed the name on to unnamed, upcoming artist.

‘Fear Google’ is the first street art sticker designed for the Post-PC era and was launched in 2010, the same year as Apple’s iPad and other Post-PC devices. The stickers fear message shows society’s growing inability to disconnect from the internet. First distributed by friends of the artist and some Apple Store employees the first stickers appeared on the California city streets.

read more »

February 7, 2013

Transphobia

Transphobia (or less commonly cissexism, transprejudice, trans-misogyny, referring to transphobia directed toward trans women and trans-misandry, referring to transphobia directed toward trans men) is a range of negative attitudes and feelings towards transsexualism and transsexual or transgender people, based on the expression of their internal gender identity.

Attacking someone on the basis of a perception of their gender identity rather the perception of their sexual orientation is known as ‘trans bashing,’ as opposed to ‘gay bashing.’ Transphobia need not be a phobia as defined in clinical psychology (i.e., an anxiety disorder). Its meaning and use typically parallel those of xenophobia (fear of foreigners).

read more »

February 7, 2013

Transsexualism

Transsexualism describes the condition in which an individual identifies with a gender inconsistent or not culturally associated with their assigned sex, i.e. in which a person’s assigned sex at birth conflicts with their psychological gender. A medical diagnosis can be made if a person experiences discomfort as a result of a desire to be a member of the opposite sex, or if a person experiences impaired functioning or distress as a result of that gender identification.

Transsexualism is stigmatized in many parts of the world but has become more widely known in Western culture in the mid to late 20th century, concurrently with the sexual revolution and the development of sex reassignment surgery (SRS). Discrimination or negative attitudes towards transsexualism often accompany certain religious beliefs or cultural values. However, some cultures have less difficulty integrating people who change gender roles, often holding them with high regard, such as the traditional role for ‘two-spirit’ people found among certain native American tribes.

read more »