"The Hard Problem" is a new episode of the Into The Impossible podcast
from the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination
: it features the outcome of a collaboration
between legendary performance artist Marina Abramović (previously
) and environmentalist science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson (previously
): a short story about an interstellar journey incorporating elements of Robinson's outstanding 2015 novel Aurora
-- a novel that is pitiless in its insistence on rigor
in our thinking about the problems of living in space and on other planets.
What happens if you allow a group of onlookers to do anything they want to you for six hours? Marina Abramovich found out in 1974 when she laid out dozens of items on a table, including a gun with one bullet, and allowed strangers to use the items on her however they saw fit. Read the rest
John Podesta practices Aleister Crowley-inspired blood sex semen magic, reports Drudge Report, citing Infowars, which cites Wikileaks. They just went Full Drudge.
You never go full Drudge. Read the rest
As I understand it, being the parent of children is consistently terrifying -- like herding cats, except suddenly minor environmental conveniences, like power outlets and stairs and cars, suddenly turn lethal. Everything is to be either managed with your last shredded nerve or avoided. Read the rest
Noemi sends us a Kickstarter campaign: "to help re-imagine education and establish an Art Circus for the Kids of Canning Town in East London run by the good folks at The House of Fairy Tales. International art stars Sir Peter Blake, Marina Abramovic, Jeremy Deller, Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, Rachel Whiteread and other high-profile art world names are collaborating with The House of Fairy Tales and Gavin Turk to create the world's first permanent Childrens' Art Circus, opening in East London in Autumn, 2013." Read the rest
Years ago during the reign of Milosevic in Serbia I wrote an essay called "Decent people". It was about that 80 percent of Serbian people, the classic silent majority, who lived in denial of the genocide in Srebrenica, the snipers in Sarajevo, the shelling in Dubrovnik.
These so called decent people who could not grasp cruel political and military reality. Eventually the damage to daily life became impossible; the decent people could not go through with their charade of normality as postmen, engineers and dentists. On October 5th 2000 a million people took to the streets in Belgrade and physically deposed the tyrant.
However, time stopped then in Serbia. An October 6th never dawned for a bewildered Serbia, not even 12 years later, on the anniversary. Milosevic died behind the bars in the Hague, my Yugoslav-era parents are deceased, my postman is on pension but the inhabitants of the Serbian parliament today are the next generation of those decent people. No painful truths were admitted and confronted; there was a rebellion of the decent, but not a thorough change in the society.
Typically, a few days ago the new elected premiere of Serbia forbade the Gay Pride annual parade. He claimed that 80 percent of the Serbian population is against gay manifestations, and warned against the risky and inevitable gay-bashing that would follow in the streets. This new premiere is an old member from the deposed Milosevic' s party. Crushing the aspirations of Serbian gays has become routine, and he has already handled the trouble successfully before. Read the rest
Image (click for large): The map of the genome of the first synthetic cellJ. Craig Venter: Genome Scientist, J. Craig Venter Institute; Author, A Life Decoded
From the Edge.org Serpentine Map Marathon. John Brockman writes:
Read the rest
Three years ago, Edge collaborated with The Serpentine Gallery in London in a program of "table-top experiments" as part of the Serpentine's Experiment Marathon . This live event was featured along with the Edge/Serpentine collaboration: "What Is Your Formula? Your Equation? Your Algorithm? Formulae For the 21st Century."
Hans Ulrich Obrist, curator of the Serpentine, has invited Edge to collaborate in his latest project, The Serpentine Map Marathon, Saturday and Sunday, 16 - 17 October, at Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR (Map).
The multi-dimensional Map Marathon features non-stop live presentations by over 50 artists, poets, writers, philosophers, scholars, musicians, architects, designers and scientists. The two-day event takes place in London during Frieze Art Fair week.
The event features maps by Edge contributors, and an Edge panel of Lewis Wopert, Armand Leroi, and John Brockman, on Sunday (17 October) 1:15pm-2:15pm. The gallery is a work-in-progress. We are posting Edge Maps as they are received.Information Technology, Genetics, Neurobiology, Psychology, Engineering, Chemistry of Materials (yes, even the chemistry of materials. We are made of matter, and therefore any effect on what we are or we will also become the chemistry of the elements that we are made or not?). All these matters, pertaining to domains that are essential for understanding what "means" to be "human."
Since April 10th of this year, Torino, Italy has been crowded by a strange mob of tourists: endless streams of international and local people, old and young, pious and less pious. They are Catholics, and believers of other religions, too.
The Shroud Crowd walks the majestic straight streets under the portici of this city, the first capital of Italy. Italy is celebrating its 150th anniversary next year, in 2011. Actually, people in Torino are wondering if that event will become an official "celebration," since the right-wing government of premier Silvio Berlusconi is so eager to split the country between the north and south, the rich and poor, the locals and the foreigners. With the separatists of the Northern League in power, the unification of Italy is presented as a curse more than a benefit.
The crowd meandering the streets of Torino is not here for political reasons. They are here to see the shroud of Christ: a piece of fabric appertaining to the most famous martyr in the world, after his crucifixion. Now, that's the legend. The scientific and historic truth is that this frail and stained cotton wrapping, of obscure origin, was brought to this part of the world by Anne de Lusignan, Princess of Cyprus, and Duchess of Savoy. In the year 1452, Anne bought the Shroud from yet another woman, the widow Jeanne de Charney, in exchange for a minor castle. Read the rest
(Guest-essay by Jasmina Tešanović, video here.)
Silvio Berlusconi, the controversial Prime Minister of Italy, suffered a severe physical attack in Milan this past week. The man who attacked him with the plaster model of the Duomo cathedral, at the site of the same Duomo cathedral, is said to have a history of mental illness. He was immediately arrested and found to have also possessed a vial of pepper-gas.
Berlusconi's face was bleeding, his teeth were broken, and his lips torn when he stood up from his car to wave with a desperate face at his confused audience. He was immediately taken to the hospital.
The day after, his first question was: why do they hate me so much? The scandal-prone prime minister has been the center of sexual, political, and mafia-linked scandals over the past year. Only a week ago, a big worldwide demonstration was held to demand that he resign from power, and set Italy free from his dubious ways of ruling, which involve corruption, underage girls, prostitutes, and attacks on freedom of press and the civil rights of both citizens and immigrants.
Read the rest
(Guest-essay by Jasmina Tešanović, photos by protest participants.)
Italian people are at their best in a piazza. Yesterday, the international "No B day" was held all over the world, in public squares. The largest event happened in Rome in Piazza San Giovanni. For those few who don't understand, "No B" means No Berlusconi, the right-wing Italian prime minister who has been ruling Italy for the past two decades, undermining its brightest democratic traditions with his private and public scandals.
Only a couple of days ago, a protected mafia witness testified that Berlusconi was involved in mafia crimes. This latest allegation among many triggered many protestors to carry the banners: "no mafia in the state." However, the real hero of this manifestation was Berlusconi's ex wife, who a year or so ago denounced him as womanizer and a corruptor.
The organizers claim that they were one million participants in the Rome march, which ended in a big piazza where non politicians addressed the crowds. This country has too many parties without people and too many people without a party, said one of the participants.
"No Berlusconi" day was organized via internet, without political parties or partisan movements. The people on the streets were dressed in purple as a sign of protest, with many masks and disguises. Read the rest
Author Jasmina Tešanović writes this guest-essay on the work of 63-year old Serbian artist Marina Abramovic (above), the "grandmother of performance art" whose work will be honored in 2010 in a MOMA retrospective:
All her work is centered on body, her body which went through severe trials all these years: cutting, beating starving, public exposure... the dividing line between spirituality and trials is almost invisible, the path of living leads to death. An artist should be prepared to die and prepare her own funeral, that the last performance of her life.
Read Jasmina's entire essay, after the jump. Read the rest
John Brockman's Edge "World Question Center" and the Seprentine Gallery in London debuted a new collaborative project where they asked dozens of smart people--scientists, authors, big thinkers--this question: "What is your formula? Your Equation? Your Algorithm?" People like Craig Venter, Keith Devlin, Freeman Dyson, Drew Endy, Brian Eno, and Douglas Rushkoff answered. The collected responses, like Edge itself, blur the line between science, art, and culture. (Above, Rudy Rucker and Marvin Minsky's responses.) From John's introduction:
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I recently paid a visit to the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens, London to see Swiss curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, a long-time friend with whom I have a mutual connection: we both worked closely with the late James Lee Byars, the conceptual artist who, in 1971, implemented "The World Question Center" as a work of conceptual art.
The walls of Obrist's office were covered with single pages of size A4 paper on which artists, writers, scientists had responded to his question: "What Is Your Formula?" Among the pieces were formulas by quantum physicist David Deutsch, artist and musician Brian Eno, architect Rem Koolhaas, and fractal mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot.
Within minutes we had hatched an Edge-Serpentine collaboration for a "World Question Center" project, to debut on Edge during the annual Serpentine Gallery Experiment Marathon, the weekend of October 13-14. The plan was to further the reach of Obrist's question by asking for responses from the science-minded Edge community, thus complementing the rich array of formulas already assembled by the Serpentine from distinguished artists such as Marina Abramovic, Matthew Barney, Louise Bourgeois, Gilbert & George, and Rosemarie Trockel.