Artifice and Agency

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

student wiki - SFAI crisis

Possibly Running Late...

I'm pushing for arrival by 1.10 as usual today, but my schedule is wee bit tighter than usual today so if I'm running a bit late, don't worry I'll be there, just give a few extra minutes. Talk amongst yourselves... See you all soon, d

Open vs. Closed

From last weeks discussion:

See what the dreadlocked visionary thinks about Open Source and Linux!


Here's something new and interesting on Lawrence Lessig:

Freakonomics with Lessig

Monday, February 23, 2009

Smoking crack likened to fossil fuel consumption- who knew!?!

I stumbled across this article in the SFBG today. It talks about a recent conference in SF titled Compostmodern '09 (why didn't we have a field trip?).
This annual event is a collaboration between the American Institute for Graphic Artists (AIGA) and the Academy of Art University that examines the intersection of design and environmental sustainability.
Links to Compostmodern's blog and website are below. PS... If you make it to page two of the Bay Guardian article, you will understand what I mean by the (amazing) crackhead analogy.

The Compostmodern blog
And website

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Benkler A Go-Go!

I am going to recommend that you read a few chapters from Benkler's book, but in a different order than the one in which they appear in the book itself (just for reasons connected to our thematic preoccupations in the class). Also, I recommend that you read as much as you can of the contributions to the public discussion of Benkler's book that is archived over at Crooked Timber, the last link in the list below. Great stuff there.

Chapter 12: Conclusion: The Stakes of Information Law and Policy

Chapter 1: Introduction: A Moment of Opportunity and Challenge

Chapter 9: Justice and Development

Chapter 8: Cultural Freedom: A Culture Both Plastic and Critical

Crooked Timber's Benkler Seminar

Hope everybody's having a fine weekend so far.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


hey guys
with all this talk about music and the inter-web i thought i should highlight this site:
it's a project of a fellow diamond and pretty darn cool (i think!)


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Beyond Pastoral

This is a piece that my friend Rhys Gaetano did with the group he founded called The Bruce High Quality Foundation. A temporal installation at Exit Art in NY was installed across the street from a BP gas station. The installation consisted of a 1/5 model of the BP station run on approximately 7,000 lemons and limes (the fruit recreated the BP logo) using them as electrochemical cells converting chemical energy into electrical energy.

Beyond Pastoral

This is the same group that mounted Christo's and Jeanne-Claude gate (from Central Park) to a boat with the hopes of filming a floating gate next to Robert Smithson's floating central park.

Gate project

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Creative Commons and Nicolas Bourriaud

All of the dialogue that surrounds sampling and the "architecture" of sharing keeps reminding me of what Bourriaud writes about. I think this complex relationship extends far beyond that small group of artists that he coins as the practitioners of relational aesthetics. I hope that we can have a conversation about how the idea of networking, both formal and informal, has found its expression in the art world.

More Lessig

Please Read These Excerpts from Lessig's Book, Code:

2nd ed. Preface
1st ed. Preface
Code Is Law
What Things Regulate

Now, I'm very much not in the habit of doing this sort of thing, but links I'm used to using to point students to some other content by Lessig have broken and I don't like the remaining alternatives available now (we should really talk about the brittleness of online access to archived materials hyped as eternalized when in fact they are profoundly precarized by digitization), so I'm pointing you to a brief excerpt from something I wrote about the end-to-end principle that is indebted to the discussion by Lessig I was going to point you to instead. That will have to suffice, because I'm tired of looking for a better substitute, and I want to make sure you guys have enough time to read everything for Wednesday. Please don't rib me too much for megalomania in assigning something I wrote myself to students!


Friday, February 13, 2009

Lessig Interviews

Creative Commons. Read the transcript that accompanies the clip.

Developing Nations License

Remixing Culture.

Rethinking Remix

Change Congress

More to come -- short, and more conventionally academic, excerpts from Code, Future of Ideas, Free Culture coming this weekend. Keep coming back. Also, do please keep posting content to the blog that seems to connect up to our themes, and comment on your reactions to that content to get some conversation happening here outside the confines of our seminar together.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Art Projects

Some art-works to relate the readings to art practice...

1. Revival Field by Mel Chin

'In “Revival Field,” Chin worked with scientists to create sculpted gardens of hyperaccumulators—plants that can draw heavy metals from contaminated areas—in some of the most polluted sites in the world.' (

2. Tree Turbine by Joseph Smolinski

A windmill disguised as a tree. The tree turbine was at the Badlands show at MassMOCA which included environmental art.

3. Manufactured Landscapes by Jennifer Baichwal

Documentary film about the work of photographer Edward Burtynsky. The film is even better than the photos. Some of Burtynsky's photos use the landscape tradition to critique the practices of recycling e.g. of e-waste. (Couldn't snapshot from the DVD thus the photos below are from other sources on the web, not by Burtynsky).
Click on thumbs for larger image
E-waste is banned from going to developing countries where there are inadequate facilities or knowledge to process it safely, but almost all of our e-waste still goes to these countries, even when people are assured by recyclers that their e-waste would not. More info at Basel Action Network:


The Future is Here

This seems about as likely as the modern urban Coke bottle littering Johnny Appleseed. Here, we get to become really fashionable and thin, and get to race around in record breaking Darth Vader like vehicles. FASHIONABLY THIN=ENERGY

Eco-boat powered by human fat attempts round the world speed record | Mail Online

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Design and Science
I recently came across this video. While it is not related to permaculture, it is related to questions of legitimate science versus science that is created to implement an agenda.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Doctor Scienceman (not a joke)

In poking around on Wikipedia this week, I came across the tidbit that David Holmgren's book, Permaculture One (1978), was "promoted by David M. Scienceman as a platform for a scientific political party." I of course had to find out who this Scienceman was, and it turns out that it's actually Doctor David M. Scienceman (formerly David Slade). He changed his name because he "envisaged  a Scientific Party ... people [in the party] would need an identifying title, and so the then Dr. Slade proposed the title of 'Scienceman.'" (Later, met with criticism from feminists, he proposed "Sciencemate.") To be a member, you would have to have mastered "one easily available, readable and comprehensible book of general science." This might sound ridiculous, but it also could merely represent the extreme of what Holmgren calls "the radical political nature of the permaculture agenda", where in the end, it's the permaculture scientists who run the show. To say the least, Dr. Scienceman (as well as the systems ecologist H.T. Odum, variously called technocratic, and whom Scienceman and Holmgren both claim allegiance to) sheds somewhat of a creepier light on even Holmgren's innocent, colorful little Permaculture Flower (version 3).

Thursday, February 05, 2009

David Holmgren

For next week, seek out the text "Essence of Permaculture" (you can opt for html or pdf) over at David Holmgren's Home Page, and also explore his
Permaculture Principles as well.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Cradle-to-Cradle a la the WWW...

Did anyone else check out their website? Nice use of Egyptian-like bas-relief images...

Bill Clinton @ the US Mayors Conference

I may be a little late on the draw to post this video now (it is from the latter part of '07), but it is worth the watch. Considering Clinton bases his speech on efficiency and, essentially, the profitability in "going green", I thought that the occasion of Cradle to Cradle would be a good time to bring this into the mix. I am rather skeptical of his argument but he does make some interesting points. A little mercury with your CFL bulbs, anyone?

and a link to the original Worldchanging article: