Posts tagged ‘Activist’

May 20, 2011

Lawrence Lessig

remix

lessig

Lawrence Lessig (b. 1961) is an American academic and political activist. He is best known as a proponent of reduced legal restrictions on copyright, trademark, and radio frequency spectrum, particularly in technology applications. He is a professor of law at Harvard Law School. Lessig is a founding board member of Creative Commons, a board member of the Software Freedom Law Center, an advisory board member of the Sunlight Foundation, and a former board member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

After graduating from law school, he clerked for a year for Judge Richard Posner, at the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, Illinois and another year for Justice Antonin Scalia at the Supreme Court. Lessig has emphasized in interviews that his philosophy experience at Cambridge radically changed his values and career path. Previously, he had held strong conservative or libertarian political views, desired a career in business, was a highly active Teenage Republican, and  in 1978 and almost pursued a Republican political career.

April 20, 2011

Chef Ra

chef ra

Chef Ra (1950 – 2006), born Jim Wilson, Jr., was an marijuana advocate, author, and cook in the United States. After gaining notoriety as a ganja gourmet, he began writing his High Times column, ‘Chef Ra’s Psychedelic Kitchen,’ in 1988 at the request of editor Steve Hager.

Ra was a fixture of Ann Arbor’s Hash Bash, speaking out about the benefits of cannabis for 19 consecutive years.

March 28, 2011

Keith Haring

Radiant Baby

untitled 1985

Keith Haring [hah-ring] (1958 – 1990) was an artist and social activist whose work responded to the New York City street culture of the 1980s. Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, at age 19 he moved to NYC, where he was inspired by graffiti art, and studied at the School of Visual Arts. Haring achieved his first public attention with chalk drawings in the subways. The exhibitions were filmed by the photographer Tseng Kwong Chi. Around this time, ‘The Radiant baby’ became his symbol. His bold lines, vivid colors, and active figures carry strong messages of life and unity. Starting in 1980, he organized exhibitions in Club 57, a performance venue.

He participated in the Times Square Exhibition and drew, for the first time, animals and human faces. In 1981 he sketched his first chalk drawings on black paper and painted plastic, metal and found objects. Haring died of AIDS-related complications. By expressing concepts of birth, death, love, sex and war, his imagery has become a widely recognized visual language of the 20th century. His work was featured in several of the Red Hot Organization’s efforts to raise money for AIDS and AIDS awareness. Specifically, its first two albums, ‘Red Hot + Blue’ and ‘Red Hot + Dance’ — the latter of which used Haring’s work on its cover.

January 11, 2011

Noam Chomsky

chomsky by shepard fairey

interventions

Avram Noam Chomsky (b. 1928) is an American linguist, philosopher, political activist, author, and lecturer. He is a professor emeritus of linguistics at MIT. Chomsky created one of the most important contributions to the field of linguistics made in the 20th century: the theory of generative grammar, a branch of theoretical linguistics that works to provide a set of rules that can accurately predict which combinations of words are able to make grammatically correct sentences. In the 1950’s he helped start the cognitive revolution in psychology through his review of B. F. Skinner’s work.

He challenged the behaviorist way of looking at behavior and language. His natural approach to the study of language also changed the philosophy of language and mind. He invented the Chomsky hierarchy, a way of looking at formal languages in terms of their power to explain language. In the 1960s he criticized the Vietnam War. Because of that, Chomsky became more widely known for his media criticism and politics. He is a key intellectual figure within the left wing of United States politics.