Friday, December 22, 2017

"The 'Adorno-Ampel' (Adorno-traffic light) on Senckenberganlage, a street which divides the Institute for Social Research from Goethe University Frankfurt—Adorno requested its construction after a pedestrian death in 1962, and it was finally installed 25 years later." (Wikipedia)
"The most prominent and largest smart contract to date, an investment vehicle called the Distributed Autonomous Organization (DAO), enabled its members to invest directly using their private cryptographic keys to vote on what to invest in. No lawyers, no management fees, no opaque boardrooms, the DAO 'removes the ability of directors and fund managers to misdirect and waste investor funds.' And yet, due to a software bug, the DAO 'voted' to 'invest' $50m, a third of its members’ money, into a vehicle controlled by very clever programmers who knew a lot about recursion issues during balance updates. Some said this was a hack or an exploit because the software had not functioned as intended, while others said that there was no such thing as a hack — the whole point was that the software made decisions autonomously and there were no two ways to interpret it, and if you didn’t understand how the software worked you shouldn’t have participated. In the end, everyone got together and voted to retroactively amend the software contract and move the money back to its original owners. What’s the takeaway? Even the most die-hard blockchain enthusiasts actually want a bunch of humans arguing about the underlying intention behind a contract, rather than letting the software self-execute."
Sunday, December 17, 2017
The Wister Mud Pot Lineament: Southeastward Extension or Abandoned Strand of the San Andreas Fault?


We present the results of a survey of mud pots in the Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area. Thirty-three mud pots, pot clusters, or related geothermal vents (hundreds of pots in all) were identified, and most were found to cluster along a northwest-trending line that is more or less coincident with the postulated Sand Hills fault. An extrapolation of the trace of the San Andreas fault southeastward from its accepted terminus north of Bombay Beach very nearly coincides with the mud pot lineament and may represent a surface manifestation of the San Andreas fault southeast of the Salton Sea. Additionally, a recent survey of vents near Mullet Island in the Salton Sea revealed eight areas along a northwest-striking line where gas was bubbling up through the water and in two cases hot mud and water were being violently ejected."
(aka, a noise like photography, January 2018)

Open Letter: Against Westbank

"From this point forward, we, the undersigned, commit to not working for Westbank Corp in any capacity, including commissions for Westbank-sponsored public artworks.

In solidarity with communities facing gentrification, we disavow art that perpetuates and/or justifies the displacement of a wide range of demographics that include but are not limited to: long-term communities within the Downtown Eastside and Chinatown such as Indigenous peoples (whose violently stolen, unceded, traditional land we are guests on) and first generation Chinese (who live in Chinatown formed out of racial segregation in the late 18th century), working class families surrounding the Joyce Station development, artists and grassroots arts organizations and other non-profit organizations across unceded Coast Salish territory.

Westbank is not a cultural producer. Gentrification is not an art practice. It’s crucial that the colonial implications of Westbank’s development practices are recognized. By sustaining imperial narratives of an untouched, unclaimed city, developers play a part in the ongoing displacement of Indigenous peoples.

As Westbank continues to expand across Canada, we reject their efforts to instrumentalize artists and ‘cultural creators’ as their projects continue to deteriorate standards of living and ways of life.

The imperial developer 'aesthetic,' that treats housing as an elite commodity, rather than a right, is an insult to the notion of art itself. Westbank’s 'cultural practice' does not support artists; in reality, its real estate ventures are instrumental in the long-term disenfranchisement and precarity of the majority of working artists. Luxury developments artificially inflate property values driving rents skyward, and ultimately place artists’ homes, places of work, and livelihoods in perpetual uncertainty as a result.

We as artists come together in solidarity with our communities and all communities suffering in the face of ongoing housing crises. Westbank profits from these crises. We refuse their attempts to appropriate the vernacular of art, creativity, aesthetics, and to use the arts and artists as a facade from which they continue to strip culture and the communities that make it."

Signed by me, & many others

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