Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Cory Doctorow Event: Friday

Make sure to RSVP! Link is here

Global Netroots vs. Secret Trade Deals
Secretly negotiated trade deals like TPP, TTIP and ACTA are the exact opposite of "public diplomacy:" smoke-filled rooms where bureaucrats and industry figures negotiate binding private law that affects the lives of hundreds of millions of people without any legislative scrutiny, let alone public participation. But across the world, netroots activists have found that their common interest in fundamental justice, their common expertise in technology and their common presence in virtual spaces provides for a surprisingly effective check against these offensives run by the most powerful multinational corporations in the history of the world. This unlikely turn of events points to a model for global solidarity, but it will only bear fruit if the network itself can be kept free, fair and open.
Cory Doctorow was the first Canada-U.S. Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Public Diplomacy in 2006 and co-editor of Boing Boing. Join us as on September 30 as the USC Master of Public Diplomacy program celebrates ten years of Canadian Fulbright Scholars, 25 years of Fulbright Canada, and 70 years of the Fulbright program.
Moderating this discussion is Henry Jenkins, Provost Professor of Communication, Journalism, Cinematic Arts and Education at USC.
About Cory Doctorow
Cory Doctorow is a science fiction author, activist, journalist, and blogger. He is the author of the YA graphic novel In Real Life, the nonfiction business book Information Doesn’t Want to be Free, young adult novels including HomelandPirate Cinema, and Little Brother, and novels for adults including Rapture of the Nerds and Maker. He works for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and co-founded the UK Open Rights Group. Born in Toronto, Canada, he now lives in Los Angeles.
Refreshments will be served.
On-campus parking permit can be purchased for $12.00. The closest parking structure is located at USC Gate 3, Parking Structure X at Figueroa Street and McCarthy Way.


Friday, September 30, 2016 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm


USC; Annenberg School Room 207

Snail Sex + Telegrams

More on snail telegrams if you are curious:


Encryption Resources from PGP Workshop

Secure Drop:  https://securedrop.org/

Signal Encryption App via Open Whisper Systems:  https://whispersystems.org/

Recreating Noah's Ark


I wasn't particularly taken with any of the critical making projects that I found online as I prepared for class, but I couldn't get Morehshin's work out of my head. I thought it was brilliant. Self-aware, filling a void (I'm always a fan of design with a purpose) and leaving a legacy for the future. I started to think about what else had been irreparably destroyed in the world, and what could be done about it... and realized that nature was my answer. Extinction is a real and serious threat, and the sad truth is that gratification and profit are more valuable than the life of an entire species.

With this in mind, I decided to riff off of Morehshin's work and re-create Noah's Ark. I came up with a plan to 3D print models of animals that have become extinct. Just as ISIS destroyed relics in Palmyra, so we are responsible for the destruction of thousands of species. The designs will be put online (perhaps on Rhizome) and open to anyone that is both willing and able to recreate them. Of course, 3D printers are a privileged resource, as is electricity, especially in the developing world (which has been most affected by the loss of species). This project is for posterity, a recognition of our responsibility, and a small way of preserving knowledge that will otherwise be lost. Just like Morehshin's work, these models will contain USBs with the STL information.

I included a few pictures to show what the models could look like.

To conclude, I think it is important to keep issues of reclamation, replacement, and recreation in mind. This does not undo generations of damage to the ecosystems, and I worry about a future where we kill nature only to replace it with resin figures. I hope that 3D printers will not continue to be used to bring back what we have destroyed. Also, issues of privilege. As usual, it is the regions of the world that have been most affected by this issue that are least likely to be able to take part in this project. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Black Lives Matter Fall 2016 Syllabus


ART of the MOOC: Activism and Social Movements

"About this course: This course is for activists, artists, and thinkers who wish to better understand and participate in social change. We will focus on the prolific and exciting overlap between socially engaged art and cultural practices generated by recent social movements around the world. Rather than assess the political efficacy of activities like mourning, listening, organizing, dancing, or partying, the lectures examine such cultural activities next to, and within, contemporary art practice.

Included in the course are guest presentations by key artists, activists, and scholars, like: Rebecca Gomperts, Chido Govera, Gulf Labor, Hans Haacke, Sharon Hayes, Jolene Rickard, Gregory Sholette, Joshua Wong, and many more. Designed by artist and Duke professor, Pedro Lasch and co-taught by Creative Time artistic director, Nato Thompson, the course challenges learners to treat the MOOC itself as a social and artistic form. This happens mostly through the practical components, local project productions, global exchanges, and critical feedback.
 While no prior art making or activist experience is required, projects also offer challenging options for advanced learners."


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Art + Politics Lecture at USC

Mónica Mayer, Artist, Archivist, Mexico City 
Lecture: Feminist Art: ¿An effective political tool?
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Free and open to all
Wong Auditorium
Harris Hall (HAR) 101
Co-Presented with the Hammer Museum
In conjunction with Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-1985


Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Manifesto Against Manifestos

Writing a Manifesto

The manifesto uses strong, emotive, and accusatory language.
The position must be clearly stated.
The audience must feel compelled to join the position, and to fight for it.
The boundaries must be clearly defined.
Black or White.
Justice or Evil.
Nuance is for the apologetic.
The manifesto must not be apologetic.
The manifesto is urgent.
It is immediate.
Its goals are to be carried out now, in this moment, hurry up!
The manifesto leaves no time for critical analysis. It appropriates theory, it appropriates intellectualism, it presents itself as having done all the work for the reader.
Trust the author of the manifesto. The author has done all necessary thinking.
It is now time to ACT!
The manifesto is romantic. It is idealistic. It promises a new future, a new human being.
We can be this new human being - but only if we work collectively, and follow the instructions
Of the manifesto.
There is no freedom without struggle.
There is no justice without struggle.
We must fight for our liberation! Now!
With Camera and Gun
With Twitter and Facebook
Camera as Twitter as Facebook as Gun
Are you concerned about the intersections of (name all oppressive constructs here)?
Don't worry. We will deal with those later.
After the revolution.
But first, we follow the manifesto.
Evil has been identified. It has been named. It is clearly recognizable.
The manifesto defines it for us.
Or does it?
In May of 2016, as part of a Master Class held in Los Angeles
Haile Gerima told us that all manifestos are fascist.
Haile Gerima
of the LA Rebellion
Who's films have been taken by many
As manifestos
Speaking truth to power.
Since then I have been thinking about all those manifestos that I love so deeply
Thinking with them
Thinking against them
I am reminded of that scene
In The Battle of Algiers 
Standing on a rooftop overlooking the world
Ben M'Hidi tells Ali La Pointe:
It is hard to start a revolution. Even harder to continue it. And hardest of all to win it. But it is only afterwards, when we have won, that all the true difficulties begin. In short, Ali, there is still much to do. 
So I offer you this manifesto
Against manifestos
Because there is still so much to do.

My apologies for the lateness of this post.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Jon Wilkman Book singing

Where? LA City Club 9/15 6-8pm

Who? Jon Wilkman Emmy Award-winning filmmaker & author of  

What? Book signing event at the LA City Club

If anyone is interested please let me know by 9/13 6pm so that I can sign you up since it’s a member only event  


To be a woman in the United States means to
have to accept the burden of childbirth as a solo act.

To be a woman in the United States healthcare system means to
have to accept the burden of childbirth as a solo act.

To protect yourself against the burden of childbirth,
well you have some options:

1. Hormones. Don’t worry, those hormones are “free.”

And what about those women who can’t take hormones due to health,
or those women who reject hormone-regulation in their bodies?

2. Non-hormonal IUDs. Don’t worry, some insurance companies cover this.

What about the local anesthetics used to make the procedure of inserting the IUD (both hormonal and non-hormonal) much more comfortable? You have to pay that hefty sum out-of-pocket. Otherwise, ready yourself for a day full of pain.

And what if you don’t want to feel like someone has taken a knife to your insides for 24 hours, and don’t want to deal with the incredibly heavy menstrual bleeding the non-hormonal IUD produces for the first year after its insertion? (Oh yeah, tampons, pads, and thinx are not covered too).

3. Diaphragms and spermicide. Don't worry, these may be covered by health insurance.
And are also less effective.

And what if they don’t work? Well, you know the drill procedure.

And what if you reject having to accept the burden of childbirth as something only a woman has to deal with?

Well, as per The New York Times, “Sexually active women who are not using birth control should refrain from alcohol to avoid the risk of giving birth to babies with fetal spectrum disorders, even if those women are not yet known to be pregnant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended” (03 Feb. 2016).

Take back the female body. 


A story is a story is a story

Grace, 10, rescued Tutsi newborn Vanessa
Despite her Hutu family's disapproval
A story is a story is a story

Find Oscar, only a child in Guatemala when
His family was killed and their killers took him in
A story is a story is a story

Anne from Amsterdam was pulled
Out of the attic, never to go home again
A story is a story is a story

Sam, 8, walked the plank into the Euphrates
In front of a Turkish bayonet
A story is a story is a story

Jiashou fell to the ground once the Japanese
Bullets fired, hiding life in a sea of dead bodies
A story is a story is a story

Sisowath tracks down her father's executioner,
Former Khmer Rouge have no truths to hide
A story is a story is a story

Ismail, Zakaria, Ahed, and Mohamed,
Lived and died in the lands of
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John,
Bless the field they play upon

A nation founded on ideals,
Free from persecution,
A sanctuary for the oppressed,
Simultaneously the oppressor

It is possible to become the very thing
You ran away from
Very easy to provide
Life to some and
Death to others
Easier still to
Shut your eyes

It is harder to do what is right
To admit that the promised land
Has broken its promises
To listen to the stories
On the other side of the wall
To share them with the world
To stand by your mission
To expand your vision
To treat others as you want
Others to have treated your ancestors
To make a change

Say the word
P in Hebrew
F in Arabic
But G is for genocide
Testimony can be your mission
Peace can be your vision

If, and only if,
A story is a story is a story
And a life is a life is a life.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Content vs Quality

Per our conversation in class about forms of production and my comment on the Mexican blogger here is the video- (in Spanish)

Overall translation - Four Main Concerns

    1. Quality over views – one of his videos (Harlem shake) took him 10 minutes to make and a sketch on a social issue took him 60 hours but the former had more views than the latter

    2. Content – we need to think about the content produce since lets remember that the yourtubers of today are the result of yesterdays you tubers

    3. Future – where are we heading if people rather see a Harlem shake over a video with a social message? And what does that mean for youtubers that make a living out of video blogging, what are they going to be force to make? And what about those youtubers who create great content but done have lots of views?

    4. Youtube and its Algorithm- it shows tendencies base on views. He feels youtube is killing itself. He has appear in the front page several times but other youtubers with less views can only dream of such. Before the content was a base on categories. Today the place where we see new videos is – Facebook. 

Manifesto: against white anti-racist organizing in the united states


week 4 : manifesto

Manifesto for a Critical Memory

Saturday, September 10, 2016

"On Art Activism"

This week's readings reminded me of this article, which, while not on digital work, nonetheless takes up the question of art activism, its genealogies, and political anxieties around the terms.


Friday, September 9, 2016

Events focused on environmental issues

This 3-day set of events at UCLA is well-timed for our class.  While not explicitly focused on activism, they may be of interest to many of you with a focus on environmental issues.  The 20th looks especially intriguing to me, although, alas I will be in northern California the 19th and 20th!


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Links from class 9/6/16

Links from today's class, some covered some not:

Ihab Hassan on postmodernism:
Doctors, Liars and Women:AIDS Activists Say No To Cosmo

More from Gran Fury:

Kissing Doesn't Kill PSA:

Tom Kalin:
Quick clip: of They are Lost to Vision Altogether

Ashes, a later piece for Commissioned by VISUAL AIDS for the 25th Anniversary of Day Without Art: