Archive for the ‘art’ Tag

Sex Worker Open University

Sex Worker Open University

Sex workers are routinely portrayed in the media as victims.

At London’s first ever Sex Worker Open University, over two hundred sex workers and allies from the UK and abroad took part in workshops, discussions and actions.

This film presents an alternative and empowered image of the sex worker.

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Of MEART and Men

Today, via Cracked’s 9 real life mad scientists (one of the people involved came in at number four), I became aware for the first time of MEART.

In brief: MEART consists of a collection of rat neurons wired up to circuits in Atlanta. These are connected via the internet to a robotic arm in Australia. The arm is capable of drawing, and sends feedback to the neurons.

The creators put it like this:

MEART is suggesting future scenarios where humans will create/grow/manufacture intuitive and creative “thinking entities” that could be intelligent and unpredictable beings. They may be created by humans for anthropocentric use, but as they will be creative and unpredictable they might not necessarily stay the way they were originally intended.

We refer to the wetware/software/hardware hybrid we have created as a Semi-Living artist as it is made of both living and artificial components; part grown – part constructed. While the artistic values of the outcomes of the process (the marks on paper left by the drawing arm) are still in the eye of the beholder, the questions regarding the possibilities are real. What will happen when such a system starts to express qualities that are considered uniquely human aptitudes such as art? Its identity extends beyond our cultural comprehension of living systems. Made from living biological matter, mechanics and electronics simultaneously, it questions the viewer’s perceptions of the concept of sentience.

MEART has a technologically created identity. It is an identity created as a result of the progression and combination of various technologies. Its “brain” is growing in Atlanta and its “body” (or multi bodies) could be anywhere in the world thus highlighting the ubiquitous nature of its existence and identity.

I think my brain just melted.

Amanda Palmer on abortion, rape, art and humor

From the blog of Amanda Palmer:

my label in the UK has been gearing up to promote “oasis” as a radio and video single.
a few days before i left for london i got this email from someone at roadrunner:

”Hi Emily/Amanda,

Hope you are both well,
I just thought I’d let you know that we have been met by fierce opposition on the Oasis track.
Which is disheartening, as combined with the video, we all felt it was a great promotional tool and track.
All our TV outlets have refused to play the video due to it “making light of rape, religion and abortion”. This is the audio as well as visual.
Many of the stations like the track, and even the video but are bound by strict broadcasting rules. I personally find this quite ridiculous.”

dude.
wasn’t this the UK, land of black humor blacker than blackest black itself?

i emailed back and asked which outlets. the reply:

”NME tv, Scuzz, kerrang, MTV, Q, the box … to name a few. There is only a few networks: bauer, chartshow and MTV. They control all stations and they all had the same issue….”

and i sat there thinking, wow. here we go again.
why can’t ANYTHING just be effing EASY this year?

it isn’t a simple issue, obviously. but the fundamentals seem clear to me.

i sat down one day in or around 2002 and wrote a tongue-in-cheek, ironic up-tempo pop song.
a song about a girl who got drunk, was date raped, and had an abortion.
she sings about these things lightly and joyfully and says that she doesn’t care that these things have happened to her because oasis, (her favorite band) has sent her an autographed photo in the mail. and to make things even better (!!), her bitchy friend melissa, who told the whole school about the abortion, is really jealous.

if you cannot sense the irony in this song, you’re about two intelligence points above a kumquat.

The video and song in question:

Amanda Palmer – both solo and as part of the Dresden Dolls – is like an awesomeburger coated in win. Listen to her, for she is correct in all things.

£6m house, 30 rooms, one careful anarchist collective: inside Britain’s poshest squat

£6m house, 30 rooms, one careful anarchist collective: inside Britain’s poshest squat

It is one of London’s most exclusive addresses. Michelin-starred restaurants are just a block away, the US embassy is around the corner and Hyde Park is at the end of the road. To share the same postcode ought to cost millions.

But the new residents of 18 Upper Grosvenor Street, a raggle-taggle of teenagers and artists called the Da! collective, haven’t paid a penny for their £6.25m, six-storey townhouse in Mayfair.

The black anarchist flag flapping from the first-floor balcony gives a clue what they are up to: since finding a window open on the first floor on October 10, the group has been squatting in the house, and only plan to leave when evicted. This might take some time: after almost a month, the deed owner — a company called Deltaland Resources Ltd, according to the Land Registry — doesn’t appear to have noticed that the once-opulent building has been taken over.

The 30-plus rooms of the grade II-listed residence are now scattered with sleeping bags, mattresses, rucksacks spilling over with clothes and endless half-finished art installations. One room is full of tree branches while another hosts a pink baby bath above which dangle test tubes filled with capers.