In 1918, there was plenty of speculation about 2018; in 2018, no one is talking about 2118. Bruce Sterling discusses the relationship of industrial design to science fiction; the New Aesthetic and Turinese architecture; and many other subjects with Benjamin Bratton. (via Beyond the Beyond)
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Postcolonial Enlightenment is an exhibition of churches and movie theatres that were built in the wake of independence in 1947, with a bold new aesthetic in mind. As the curators describe: Read the rest
Viola Desmond was the badass mother of the Canadian civil rights movement.
Born in 1914 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, she grew up in the predominately pale-faced province avoiding notoriety until until she was old enough to leave home. In her home province, her skin color made it impossible for her to attend beauty school – local educators wouldn't have her. Determined to better herself, Desmond traveled to Montreal for her education as an aesthetician, before continuing on to Atlantic city and New York City to round out her skills. Returning to Nova Scotia, she opened her own beauty salon – the first by a black woman in the province. While chasing down her dream of being a business owner is impressive, it's not what brought her the most notoriety in our country.
While attending a movie in the village of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia in 1946, she called bullshit on the theatre's bigoted ticketing rules. The owner of the theater demanded that whites and blacks sit in different parts of the building. Additionally, anyone with skin that wasn't as white as the driven snow was forced to pay an additional penny for the privilege of seeing a film. Desmond refused to pay more than the white moviegoers did, nor would she comply with the owner's order to leave the whites-only seating area. For her trouble, she was charged for a tax violation – it was the only way that the government of her day could punish her for daring to defy the horse shit of racial segregation. Read the rest
Imagine driving home from work clean and sober, getting stopped by police, then arrested on suspicion of DUI. Several people describe the months of stress and thousands of dollars they spent to clear their names. Read the rest
Last month, James "New Aesthetic" Bridle published an influential essay exploring the prolific and disturbing video-spam that had come to dominate Youtube Kids, in which seemingly algorithmically generated videos endlessly recombined a handful of Disney characters and assorted others engaged in violent, abusive and even psychosexual conduct, over a soundtrack of a few repeated public-domain kids' songs, with all sorts of trickery designed to uprank them in Youtube's play-next, recommendation and search results -- keyword stuffing, duration-stretching and more.
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James Bridle takes a deep dive into the weird world of Youtube Kids videos, whose popular (think: millions and millions of views) genres and channels include endless series of videos of children being vomited on by family members and machinima-like music videos in which stock cartoon characters meet gory, violent ends.
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The American Civil Liberties Union has released a brief overview of the transgender rights movement, focusing on the 1960s and 1970s, beautifully illustrated by Molly Crabapple. Read the rest
James "New Aesthetics" Bridle (previously) wants to confuse your autonomous vehicle, so he's designed this Autonomous Trap 001, a sequencing scheme with lots of room for growth. Read the rest
Street artist Plastic Jesus recruited artists to affix signs at construction sites and fenced-off lots around the country that say "Lot Reserved for: Future Interment Camp." Download and print your own here. Read the rest
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has just updated its 2011 guide to Digital Privacy at the U.S. Border with an all new edition that covers the law, administrative rules, technological options and potential repercussions of crossing the US border while not undergoing the warrantless seizure and indefinite retention of all of your sensitive data -- in a guide that breaks out the different risks for US citizens, US permanent residents, and visitors to the USA. Read the rest
In this recruitment video for America's elite Bathroom Police, Officer Tammy Cox explains the duties and obligations of the crack force who will be carrying out Trump Administration mandates in public bathrooms. Read the rest
This debate is always worth watching again.
Revered poet, playwrite and social activist James Baldwin debated a young William F. Buckley at The Cambridge Union in 1965, the question was "Is the American dream at the expense of the American negro?"
The students voted 540-160 in favor of Baldwin's thesis. Buckley demonstrates early moves to couch racism and bigotry as States Rights issues.
Here is a transcript of Baldwin's speech. Read the rest
After dismissing civil rights icon John Lewis as "all talk," Donald Trump catapulted Lewis' March trilogy comic on the civil rights movement back to the best-seller charts, where it has stayed all month. This week, it won four American Library Association Awards. Read the rest
Emma Goldman was dubbed "one of the most dangerous women in America" by J. Edgar Hoover. But that's just the beginning of a legendary life of keen insight, uncompromising anarchism, and burned bridges. Read the rest