When The 1% Start Singing Whalesongs …

January 14th, 2015

Bangladesh-15Proof1

{ Photo was taken in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where children bathe in water that is contaminated with lead paint and scrap metal. One of the places where retired and abandoned cargo ships -that transport products across the globe to feed our civilization’s consumer addictions – end up to be “recycled”. S. Salgado? }

An investigative analysis of the 1% dreams for the future.

work-in-progress

When The 1% Start Singing Whalesongs … In the Long Now… Run !

( part 1 )

Last night we got a beautiful invitation from some old friends to come and experience the lecture series from The Long Now Foundation. And Jesse H. Ausubel, Director of the Program for the Human Environment and Senior Research Associate at The Rockefeller University in New York City was presenting : Nature is Rebounding: Land- and Ocean-sparing through Concentrating Human Activities. more here. Note: An a/v archive of this talk w/ slides should be available soon.

Jesse’s an extraordinarily clever character. And in the back of your mind as your listening to him speak, you’re probably having little synapses going off in your brain: If I owned a company I’d want to hire this guy! No chance I’m gonna lose my shirt with this guy on my team !

But IF you start putting his talk into context of everything in the headlines today, from the funeral of the four hostages killed in Paris, to the possible return of that Romney billionaire buffoon into the political arena, to Woody Allen doing a new TV series distributed by Amazon, to the horrific slaughters in Africa … oh nevermind that last one, it’s barely in the news…  Just about every sign of a global population breathing in the toxic fumes of its own inability to change its ways, screams at you daily !

And suddenly these messianic visions for the seamless continuation of the white male technotopian corporate+venture capitalist futures hosted in the luxury of the gorgeous new San Francisco Jazz center begins to strike us as a surreal black comedy.

Don’t get us wrong, we could appreciate his calm and jovial demeanor, and his unusual optimism and rosy outlook for conserving the natural world. Apparently the planet is, to Some extent, undergoing a Global Greening. Nature and species are supposedly rebounding in Some places. And this can be a result of humans increasingly concentrating into dense urban areas. And YES many technological innovations can alleviate the environmental wreckage and all the miseries heaped upon developing nations, the indigenous and the working class in the era of 20th century consumerism. And there ARE infinitely brilliant things we can do to change destructive , greedy and clueless behaviors.

Championing the systems inherent to corporate ventures and visions IS NOT one of them !  As Ausubel repeatedly mentioned the Amazons and Apples as bringing us all this ingenious progress and the increasing de-materialization* of 21st century products and production, we began to notice how cherry-picked his narratives and statistics are. And advocating that such powerful corporate monopolies ( beholden to market logic ) continue to steer the course for our future, after the track records we have all witnessed, is an intolerable travesty. Incomprehensible. Incongruous. A sick joke.

chaos_new

As we listened, in our own cognitive dissonance, we could picture those mountains of e-waste that land in places like Nigeria.* Having met an extraordinary artist from Lagos last year, who explained to us the toxic impacts and the suffering there in terrifying details. See the enagaged and compassionate work of Jelili Atiku.

Now it would take time to analyze completely and/or deconstruct many of these wonderfully positive statistics and charts Ausubel provided to show us how our society IS supposedly making the necessary and incredible transitions. Many whom we spoke to after were doubtful about the data he provided.

We don’t have the time, nor the Rockefeller funding to do that kind of research adequately and scholarly. And we’ll have to rely on others out there to provide more data that exists to reveal the contrary Other side of this dreamy enterprising eco-futurist coin. Cause there’s undoubtedly a dark side to all this cheery western-affluent delusion, and conveniently omitted aspects in his pitch for urban density futures. i.e. The rate of species extinction worldwide.

There’s definitely dozens of good NGOs out there doing crucial watchdogging that would have made fascinating counterpoints to his thesis. But no, we were in the heart of the [California Ideology] bubble, a Long Now Foundation testament to mega-city trajectory plans and big technotopian business investments. There was no open debate, just cards passed out for questions to be selected by Stewart Brand, the moderator.

This seminar fit like a glove into what we’ve read before about Brand’s own vision for accelerating mass migration from rural areas into the ’smart’ high-production and hi-tech mega-cities, places which all require massive resources from Elsewhere. And in these versions, it apparently involves extending dependence on nuclear energy sources, whose unresolved toxic menace still looms over the safety of citizens everywhere.* In other words, this futurist “Brand” does not exactly foster autonomous self-sustaining cultures nor decentralized community structures. On the contrary, one can argue that it also fuels massive plundering mechanisms, pyramid schemes and the resource wars.

For us, this push may resemble more an advancing, aggressive techno-fascism, displacing people from their lands and independent local-scale livelihoods ( as in having to hustle to survive by working for big industry players like Google, Facebook, Genentech or Cisco to afford places like San Fran) , and thrusting them into the rarely meaningful workforce, the high-rent market of preying landLords, and the shopping zones where the shelves are stocked full for all those welcomed new exploitable refugees-cum-consumer/debt-slaves.

In Part 2, we can provide you with some extremely simple analogies to provide other informed perspectives. Let’s call them starting points to a MUCH-needed debate on how we can actually get to those goals of a truly greening planet … for ALL.

Let’s start w/ an analysis of E-Readers vs. The Book… which Ausubel referenced frequently… two vastly different realms of technologies and information systems.

But first, re: Whalesongs…

We’ll have to explain this in greater detail, cause it’s so poignant to the comedy and this critique. Ausubel’s talk concluded by showing us the beauty of sea life and whales somewhere off the coast of Tahiti, where the water is still crystal clear. And he added that whales are starting to come back into to waters off NYC, a polar opposite place on the map that will unlikely attempt to restore the full beauty of nature for anyone slaving for the 1% in, say the Bronx, in our lifetime… And in fact, the chance of any family living in any of the mega-slums around the world, will ever save enough money to visit Tahiti and experience the pristine, unfucked beauty there is SLIM.

It seemed a super slippery wriggling twisted mix of facts, academics + business trends to sell an agenda for the corporate technology sectors in today’s competitive and predatory climate, while tugging on the emotions of those of us so deeply concerned for saving planet earth.

Is this a real convergence point for viable paradigm shifts?  And does anyone still really buy into the theory that the marketplace is going to get us there…  all together … and in one piece ?

John-Maher-Hungry-Walrus-Tahiti-Moorea-Sailboat-Harbor-Cooks-Bay

{ a yacht in Tahiti }

Added: A couple fresh articles below that point out the need for a departure from corporate capitalist strategies, w/ some more alarming facts that Ausubel is unwilling to provide:

That Was Easy: In Just 60 Years, Neoliberal Capitalism Has Nearly Broken Planet Earth

Humans Have Brought World’s Oceans to Brink of ‘Major Extinction Event’

And not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, Ausubel pointed to Some interesting innovations ( we”l have to revisit when the archives are up), that could be utilized within structures of a different economic operating system, but in the context of what we currently are subjected to, there is no guarantee that 1st world business will not continue to reap the advantages, while dumping the negatives in someone else’s backyard.

to be cont.

Now THere’s A Sharp Pen Calling Out The BULLSHIT ! #CharlieHebdo

January 11th, 2015

pencils

Now THere’s A Sharp Pen ! #CharlieHebdo

No, we don’t mean the cartoon artist above – Mark Knight, Herald Sun, we mean the incredible analysis provided by Corey Oakley in REDFLAG, an Alternative Socialist newspaper out of Australia. His piece is called Charlie Hebdo and the hypocrisy of pencils … And it’s like this whole can of worms, and all the debates we’ve been getting into on this squirmy matter, have finally been given the proper context and a fully articulated light. A must read !

we might feel the need to post more resources on this story, or it may be time to move on to other work, but if you feel you still need some exceptional clarification on the issues at stake, we recommend Glenn Greenwald’s piece for The Intercept, and cartoonist Joe Sacco’s take …

Dysneytopia and/or Ai WeiWei on Planet Alcatraz

January 5th, 2015

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( vj podinski mix of an Ai WeiWei portrait * )

-work-in-progress -

Dysneytopia

Coincidentally the same week we went to go see the Ai WeiWei exhibition on Alcatraz, we got a couple emails about a razor sharp talk at #31c3 – The 31st Chaos Communications Congress – by Hans de Zwart, a civil rights activist with @bitsoffreedom.  A presentation about living under permanent surveillance, which is not just the state of the famed Beijing artist embattled with the Chinese govt., but a glimpse of all our technopolized futures. It’s now been converted into an article for The Medium -  a site started by a co-founder of Twitter, and in order to comment there one needs to log in via Twitter or Facebook. Itself, a kind of escalation of data-mining opportunities meets journalism.

In any case ( w/o logging in), you’ll still be able to read about Zwart’s revealing work on some disturbing Dysneytopian trends already in mass production.

( We’ll also try to find the archive lecture link from #31c3 )

Ai WeiWei on Planet Alcatraz

Until the Alcatraz exhibition, the XLterrestrials were a little ambivalent about Ai WeiWei, who seemed highly influenced by his years in New York and picking up on strategies of the art world game played by the likes of Warhol, (an artist we consider to be one of the most banal in the history of modern art & product ).

A strong desire for freedom of expression, personal identity and individualism in the context of celebrity/spectacle platforms and the gallery bubbles, far removed from the daily life and struggles of everyday citizens and oppressive systems and situations. And this NYC period appears to be for him the place of learning the art market navigations, which helped eventually catapult him into a massive museum star commodity. ( we’d like to examine how that actually transpired, cause that rise does not seem to be ‘an organic process’. the sausage making of stars ? )

[ And here is a theme within the theme, that we'd like to elaborate on later:  the Spectacle culture is a kind of collapsing remnant of the late 20th western century, and is not in synch with the needs of a 21st century global society, which is perhaps requiring a stronger community commitment, communal interactions and taking on collective responsibilities. Is there something in eastern cultures which already embodies this (?), but which is also being diffused and disrupted by life ruled by the markets and corporate culture ?  Of course there is some nasty state censorship and the  authoritarian operating systems we see entrenched in so many nations, but it would also be interesting to examine if Ai WeiWei is perhaps now, in some sense, colliding with eastern traditions b/c of his bringing an artistic ideology and enterprises of western origin. It is as if Ai WeiWei has returned to China to inject western values, and a system there is attempting to reject them. And there appears to be an aspect that he is promoted so heavily in the west, as to play the thorn in China's governing structures. ]

For us, no longer idolizing the self-absorbed modern art trajectories, this was some of our first impressions of Ai Weiwei.

But now examining his evolution as an artist, it was his first internet activity back in China, beginning in 2005, that his creativity took on a fight for truth, and a fight for the people, and he began to explore more dedicated maneuvers w/ a cultural sword. It was his speaking out about the Sichuan earthquake (corruption/scandals) and the various  damaging effects on citizens’ lives leading up to the Beijing Olympic Games, when things got interesting ! And also the point at which he courageously and defiantly ventured into some very dangerous waters !

Was it because of his struggles within China and its tightly-managed culture , that his content took a sudden turn towards powerful actions of resistance, solidarity, and praxis ? We still haven’t researched this enough to know if this was indeed a major shift, a re-direction of his work, and are still not able to know all that triggered this far more serious output. But definitely the experiences at Alcatraz have given us the possibility to see him in a much more tactical and subversive light !

alemu1

Art In Solidarity

“Speaking up for courageous political prisoners around the world is one of the most beautiful things you can make for political art… thx Ai Wei Wei ! … we were inspired 2day !” XLterrestrials

Ai Weiwei: @Large is at Alcatraz, San Francisco through April 26, 2015

“@Large” has been written about in many media outlets, so we won’t spend alot of time on that, but we would like to include here  THE LIST of political prisoners which have been included in the Trace section – as Lego portraits - One portion of the Alcatraz installations housed in 4 different buildings on the island.

Each story is astounding, and if you visit the exhibition, one touching and tactical element is to invite the attendees into writing prison letters/postcards. Beautifully engaging, and very meaningful to the lives of the incarcerated, should those addresses indeed be reached. No doubt, not all of the cards will reach their destination.

‘Infiltrating” one of San Francisco’s major tourist attractions, and a former prison which becomes mostly a monument to law and order, discipline and punishment, and the power of the state, he introduces this kind of crowd to the plight of mostly unknown and unseen political prisoners. Quite a magical feat to inspire the deviant artist in all of us ! A most compelling art hack !

to be cont.

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Propaganda (2012) vs. The Interview (2014), And Fast Forward to Liberation in 2015 !

December 31st, 2014

propaganda123NK

” In case you swallowed too much Hollywood this year, this media might help you untangle your brain… while not 100% verified, it supposedly comes from N. Korea.. ( which may also be a clever hoax). In 2012 it went viral, and was the hit of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), possibly the most important doc festival for the industry. It kinda makes Seth Rogen, The Interview and the Hollywood censorship ruse look like just another profit-making hemorroid on the asscrack of humanity. http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/propaganda_2012/

XLterrestrials analyst

Happy New Years to all the friendly organisms !  Losar Year of The Goat … May truth + beauty thrive among the peoples’ pursuits for Other Possible World(s) !

Note#1 : This IS a disturbing film. Not recommended to watch alone. Share with friends and discuss… *

Note#2: “Would we wish to live in N. Korea ? ” No, we prefer to live w/ No Nations, No Borders, No Masters !

*Note #3: We screened excerpts from Propaganda for CiTiZEN KiNO in 2012, a tactical media + community cinema project, hacking the corporate media uploads, and de-colonizing hearts and minds since c. 2132.

#31c3 : The Internet’s (Not) Over If You Want It …

December 27th, 2014

29c3

{ picture possibly from 29C3, the 1st of Hamburg returns }

Hmm, a quick glance from the program, of the 31st Communications Congress we see Alec Empire as keynote and Laura Poitras in the deeper mix…

But this article is a good preface for us, sent via the Uncivilization list ( some sharp, warm and fuzzy folks we met at 30c3 :

The Internet’s Unholy Marriage to Capitalism

by and

In the meantime, as we get our bearings around where the net culture and the state of net resistance are today…. here’s our friend’s Sven’s excellent resource guide:

some notes on #?31C3 :
http://www.guckes.net/31C3/notes.txt
what to do after #31C3 in berlin:
http://www.guckes.net/31C3/
chat: freenode or hackint #31C3

highlight resource for those watching from afar, “recordings” + streams :

Fahrplan ( program )

http://streaming.media.ccc.de

+

http://media.ccc.de/browse/congress/2014/index.html
http://31c3.ex23.de/html/recording_index.html
http://dumps.muling.lu/31c3/

standby for the XLterrestrials rants and escape routes

Beneath The Planet of The Republicrats

December 22nd, 2014

beneathplanet

{ Artist: Yuri Shwedoff }

This is not a plog on a specific topic. It’s a latenight weaving together all the info that has been streaming through our brain portals over the last weeks… And an attempt to connect the dots. *

Beneath The Planet of The Republicrats

Sometimes a powerful image will pull up a big picture of what all these latest jumbled scenarios might mean when combined… Like taking in the latest news of the #NYPD murders and putting it beside the #ferguson and #ericgarner ( and so many others !! ) protests, and then stringing it further along into this bullshit Sony hack, which seems more like a drummed up little wagging of the dog to make us look past those hideous reports of CIA torture atrocities, and have us worry about a CIA Comedy called “The Interview” instead. Weapons Of Mass Distraction. Hollywood is still a swarm of central un-intelligence avatars and applications, spinning cobwebs of dead end plots and pulling us out into useless far off orbits.

From industry executives to presidential puppets, from Sony to Clooney to Roguen Frankonia Entertainment Inc., people used the media not to address the crises of our planet, discuss and respond to the latest US atrocities, the spiralling racial + economic divide, another failed climate conference ( in Lima).. No they used it to say a new cyberwar has begun against N. Korea. Nevermind that Snowden told us about the very real one’s already been in play against us all, but that’s stale news in the daily blinky net-loads.

Now that’s comedy !

Like landing a robot rover on a lifeless asteroid and using it to mine for fecal celebrity stickyness and exploring how to turn it into gold and snacky edibles and political clout at the top of a pyramidal food chain, while the world right in front of your face is screaming with injustices and on a path toward mutually assured desecration.

to be cont.

* Not unlike what journalist Nafeez Ahmed has attempted to do in his work The Crisis Of Civilization ( book and film ) or in his articles for The Guardian UK, before he was censored and fired. For being too sharp on connecting the political + environmental machinations seen up close through the humanitarian lense.

You Cannot Be Neutral On This Murderous Moving Train !

December 13th, 2014

rosa123B

If you are living in the US and have not been standing with the #ferguson #blacklivesmatter #mikebrown #ericgarner #AlexNieto protests YET, now’s an appropriate time to ask yourselves why the f*ck not ??

You cannot be neutral on this murderous moving train ! What are you doing to break from the injustices of the current power structures and systemic inequalities ??

LOts of demos and actions around the country … check your local listings ! Or go out and make Your Own Protests !

For SF Bay Area, see Indybay.org Calendar

Oakland and Berkeley have been inspirationally stepping up to tell the nation these ongoing travesties of justice, this racist bullshit, this suicidal operating system will not be allowed to continue  ! The Eastbay shutdown highways, commuter rail and the Bart trains for four days in a row, and this movement is just beginning !

eastbayfreeway

{ eastbay freeway last week }

ftp187

{ make art in solidarity ! }

tbc…

Demand Justice ! #Ferguson ( Day 4 + 5 )

November 27th, 2014

Blackfriday1

We will try to throw together a list of resources for actions in response to the injustices in Mike Brown’s killing and subsequent Grand Jury (mis)trial of police officer Darren Wilson in Missouri.

Currently the most compelling articles we read these last couple days were from Davey D Cook from KPFA’s Hard Knock Radio and the Hip Hop Corner blog, one of the most engaged journalists we’ve come across on the problems of racism in the US. One text describes the whole corporate media Set-Up for escalating the racial tensions, so precisely ! (Currently only on his facebook page ) It’s a complicated psychological mix, a staging, a peddling of fear ( for the black man, and the other ).  And we should be very alert to how the situation gets further manipulated. As this keeps us divided and not working on the root causes of injustice .We’ll have to come back to analyzing that.

The other was a piece in Counterpunch by Robin D.G. Kelley called Why We Won’t Wait :

“We’ve all been waiting for the grand jury’s decision, not because most of us expected an indictment… District Attorney Robert P. McCulloch never indicted a cop in his life, so why expect anything different now?

Some waited hoping for a miracle; most waited because they knew a crisis was brewing.

As we waited for the grand jury’s decision, a twelve-year-old Black boy named Tamir Rice was shot and killed by police in Cleveland because the officer mistook his toy gun for a real one.

As we waited, Cleveland cops took the life of Tanisha Anderson, a 37-year-old Black woman suffering from bipolar disorder.

As we waited, police in Ann Arbor, Michigan, killed a forty-year-old Black woman named Aura Rain Rosser.

As we waited, a Chicago police officer fatally shot 19-year-old Roshad McIntosh.

As we waited, police in Saratoga Springs, Utah, pumped six bullets into Darrien Hunt, a 22-year-old Black man.

As we waited, a twenty-eight-year-old Black man named Akai Gurley met a similar fate as he descended a stairwell in the Louis H. Pink Houses in East New York, Brooklyn.

As we waited, LAPD officers stopped 25-year-old Ezell Ford, a mentally challenged Black man, in his own South Los Angeles neighborhood and shot him to death. The LAPD stopped Omar Abrego, a 37-year-old father from Los Angeles, and beat him to death.

And as we waited and waited and waited, Darren Wilson got married, continued to earn a paycheck while on leave, and received over $400,000 worth of donations for his “defense.

Each is a case with details which mark them as a problem of systemic racism, and no one should hold their breath for justice ! Because there is no intervening force other than the people demanding justice, and no system of independent / judicial oversight in place to hold police abuses accountable. The terror just goes on and on and on…

We should by all means consider and expect that there will be ONGOING DAYS OF ACTION until the system is forced to make a change. NOW is the time !

Day 4:

And a fine Thanskgiving weekend to remember the history of white supremicism, and  the LOOTING of indigenous lands :

AbriefhistoryofLOOTING

Day 5

Black Friday, No Business As Usual !

#BlackFridayProtests || #JusticeForMikeBrown || # Ferguson ||

Please feel free to send us links to news, resources, actions, we’ll compile them here as best we can…

For SF Bay Area, keep an eye on the indybay.org calendar for upcoming actions !

to be cont.



From Situationist Cracks to Transmigrations to Cinema Hacking … and Upcoming Shows!

November 17th, 2014

So, ladies, gents and all migrant aliens on-the-upside-attack …

Our upcoming shows:

CkiNO40_667post

{ Image from Murphy Anderson’s cover of Mystery In Space v. 1 #22 – 1954 }

< Postponed until early February >

< Dec 10th > CiTiZEN KiNO # 40.6 : Technotopia, All You Can’t Eat – w/ very special guests at The Internet Archive in SF, 19:00h

And here’s the new PIRATE PAD for developing the theme ! This is our open source curating device, where you can suggest media and tactical angles, constructive rants and feedback.

And we’ll be meeting on weds. nites ( at Noisebridge? ) to analyze materials together and explore new ways to experiment and upgrade our audience interactivities. Contact dr. Podinski’s Not-A-Bot [ X ], if you’d like to work with us.    …

work-in-progress, more soon !

We were just reflecting our own trajectory of sci-fi media activist forms as we prepare for one of our biggest shows to date… We went from “The Transmigration Of Cinema” to “Radio Organisms Unite” to CiTiZEN KiNO in the short blip of … close to a decade.

XLt_trajectory_abc

We’ve had the great pleasure of working with some killer collaborators, and just to highlight one in this short post, the Zulah master… a graphics artists and designer wizard ( among other myriad talents )… see more poster work here on the flip-side of the XLt pages, Collapsible Institute

You can peruse the posters in full size HERE below :

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CiTiZEN KiNO #41: The Occupied Territories

November 10th, 2014

CK41_v222

{^}

The next episode on The Cali-cidal Tendencies Tour…

< Friday Nov 14th > CiTiZEN KiNO #41: The Occupied Territories on the housing struggles at Noisebridge, SF – doors at 20:00h w/ intro films. C-kino performance begins at 21:00h

Our XLt analysts ask: Can Home & Shelter as traded market commodities and rent traps STILL be hacked !?

What is C-KiNO ?

ABOUT CItiZEN KiNO:
It’s media self-defense,
it’s cinema hacking,
it’s curated screenings mixed with performance and community
brainstorming.
It’s screen and nettime anarchy, and 4th wall experiments.
It’s ripping gaping holes in the spectacle 2.0, and getting you out of
your comfy over-mediated seats to strategize in the embodied urban
dimensions and on multiple fronts ! It’s indigenous and feminist-infused corporate capitalist critique, and community lab organizing.

Each episode takes on a theme of critical engagement w/ an urgent sociological non-fiction dilemma … this month’s theme : The Occupied Territories, more here

COLLABORATE : And there’s a PIRATE PAD (notes) so you can participate right NOW! It’s for developing the playlist, sharing your thoughts, suggestions, tactics , blowing our minds, etc. It’s a part of the expanded-citizen-cinema platform + concept to make the research and media playlist available open source and rhizomatic, you can make a version of CiTiZEN KiNO wherever you are [ Help needed ].

the Fedbook invite here ( an evil social media convenience , at your own risk. )

And more XLterrestrials analysis on hacking the housing problems, coming soon ! We’re furiously researching, and all your suggestions welcome …

to be cont.

CK41_postdrop1

Added :: Follow-up ::

So we had a Great Audience at Noisebridge, and we engaged everyone in a little XLterrestrial experiment towards the end of the C-Kino media playlist. In order to expand our visions for solutions to housing, and raise the bar for our horizons and what we actually want. We asked people to suggest things we could fight for, beyond what we might deem winnable in election scenarios, beyond the electoral crumbs. Each participant wrote them out on an index card, and was told they should create a pseudonym…

Read the rest of this entry »