‘Untitled’, 2010. Charcoal on plywood.
thanks to all for the kind reviews!
a couple thought-provoking excerpts from Angry Youth by Evan Osnos in the New Yorker, July 28, 2008 (read entire article here):
“Because we are in such a system, we are always asking ourselves whether we are brainwashed. We are always eager to get other information from different channels. But when you are in a so-called free system you never think about whether you are brainwashed.”
“Do you live on democracy? You eat bread, you drink coffee. All of these are not brought by democracy. Indian guys have democracy, and some African countries have democracy, but they can’t feed their own people. Chinese people have begun to think, One part is the good life, another part is democracy. If democracy can really give you the good life, that’s good. But, without democracy, if we can still have the good life why should we choose democracy?”
Judith Butler: As a Jew, I was taught it was ethically imperative to speak up
By Udi Aloni
[...] I think we have to get over the idea that a state has to express a nation. And if we have a bi-national state, it’s expressing two nations. Only when bi-nationalism deconstructs the idea of a nation can we hope to think about what a state, what a polity might look like that would actually extend equality. It is no longer the question of “two peoples,” as Martin Buber put it. There is extraordinary complexity and intermixing among both the Jewish and the Palestinian populations. There will be those who say, “Ok, a state that expresses two cultural identities.” No. State should not be in the business of expressing cultural identity.
They are getting almost no help. We went from one family to another, and they said, continually, their lives are in the hands of God. The UN itself made the statement about security. And we wanted to know what was it they were referring to. We walk freely from one place to another. The people desperate, but certainly peaceful.
These refugee camps, these smaller and larger camps that number in the thousands, they are organized communities. At night they’ll put rocks across the street. If you didn’t know these communities, you’d say, “What’s going on here? Right? Are these, you know, anarchists? Are they violent? Are they menacing?” They are protecting their communities and those within. And they don’t want those from outside to come in, especially at night. It’s remarkably organized at the local level, among neighborhoods, people helping each other.
That’s what Sister Mary Finnick talked about. She said, when aid workers, when all the big journalists finally get here, they’ll be talking about the riots, because people are so desperate after a week. What do you think will happen if you bring out a pallet and there are so many more people than the food that’s being provided? She said, “But what’s not told is, in these first days, when the people showed all of their remarkable Haitian courage, courage and strength, and helped each other through these desperate times.”
the following article thoroughly grossed me out. it digusts me that google has all the patronizing pretensions of ‘liberating repressive regimes’, and that people actually buy this shit:
Google takes seriously its founding principle – “Don’t be evil” – even if outsiders are sceptical. The 2006 decision was informed, or at least justified, by a theoretical belief in the power of the web to shrug off efforts at state control. This was not just the Google view. Most media companies seeking access to the Chinese market have wrapped their business interests in a moral argument about information as a liberalising force. The idea was that even a limited taste of western-style media would create an appetite for openness that oppressive states would be unable to contain. Information technology was supposed to be the Trojan horse inside brutal regimes. The belief was that freedom was programmed into the digital age. Individual expression was meant to be unstoppable.
Property rights lead to human rights. So it is OK to invest in repressive countries because the act of investment is a kind of lobbying for freedom. But this idealistic theory has been disproved by the two biggest case studies: Russia and China. In both, the growth of capitalism and the penetration of new digital technologies have coincided with a consolidation of authoritarian government. Moscow and Beijing have proved that a newly rich, digitally equipped middle class will accept political repression as the price for economic security and social stability.
- the Guardian
Jan. 20, 2010
Is China an Enron? (Part 2)
Op-ed by: Thomas L. Friedland
“Finding ways to connect with people and institutions possessing new knowledge becomes increasingly important,” says Hagel. “Since there are far more smart people outside any one organization than inside.” And in today’s flat world, you can now access them all. Therefore, the more your company or country can connect with relevant and diverse sources to create new knowledge, the more it will thrive. And if you don’t, others will.
- from nytimes.com
at a time when art education seems to lose relevance, this article gives more or less a real-world example that corresponds closely to what i think art education should be about: making associations between two or more seemingly-unrelated concerns, hence creating new relations and insights, knowledge and capital.
why does it require a large-scale disaster before people pay attention? upsetting enough that haiti was already framed as the ‘poorest western nation’, usually with no context given as to WHY it was in such a poor state. it would be terribly unfortunate if such continuation of decontextualised framing were to continue – that it will only be thought of in relation to the earthquake, or its ‘helplessness’.
france, america, britain and other post-imperial powers: do not forget that being ‘generous’ with aid after the fact does not excuse you from past oppression, present oppression.
Extension of this destitution to the country as a whole was guaranteed by the isolation of its ruined economy in the decades following independence. Restoration France only re-established the trade and diplomatic relations essential to the new country’s survival after Haiti agreed, in 1825, to pay its old colonial master a ‘compensation’ of some 150 million francs for the loss of its slaves—an amount roughly equal to the French annual budget at the time, or around ten years’ worth of total revenue in Haiti—and to grant punishing commercial discounts. With its economy still shattered by the colonial wars, Haiti could only begin paying this debt by borrowing, at extortionate rates of interest, 24 million francs from private French banks. Though the French demand was eventually cut from 150 to 90 million francs, by the end of the nineteenth century Haiti’s payments to France consumed around 80 per cent of the national budget; France received the last instalment in 1947. Haitians have thus had to pay their original oppressors three times over—through the slaves’ initial labour, through compensation for the French loss of this labour, and then in interest on the payment of this compensation. No other single factor played so important a role in establishing Haiti as a systematically indebted country, the condition which in turn ‘justified’ a long and debilitating series of appropriations-by-gunboat.
- Peter Hallward, Option Zero in Haiti (2004)
read the rest on New Left Review