Archive - 2007

rostock fotos

I've been way slower than I thought I'd be organizing my photos from my trip to Europe. imc in rostockI don't know what my problem is. I've had plenty of free time in the last month, but just haven't been bothered to deal with the hundreds of photos. Maybe this is telling. If I don't care, will anyone? And will I, later? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe I'm just a lazy dork.

Anyway, I've put together another Flickr set of the best of my photos from the G8 protests and just wandering the streets of Rostock. Coming up yet, a set of Prague photos, a set of photos from Documenta 12, and a set of other miscellaneous photos from Germany. Hopefully I'll get to these soon, but don't hold your breath, judging by my past few weeks of slothlike dedication.

Tierra y Libertad

Last night at Solar Culture there was a great event organized by a local group called Tierra y Libertad, which is not only a community youth organizing group but also contains within it a hip hop group of the same name. They mix radical hip hop of a really high musical quality together with radical political organizing that is nevertheless firmly grounded in the latino community here in Tucson. The event last night was a fundraiser and an outreach event for their Stop the Raids campaign, working to educate the community about the ICE deportation raids going on and what immigrants' rights are. They had tons of educational material, books, CDs, videos, and the hip hop group performed as well as a rapper from DF called Akil Ammar who was really great and politically militant as well.

Here's a rough clip I shot with my phone of Tierra y Libertad.

"Blast from the past that singes the present"

There's a great review in the New York Times of 2 shows in NYC of paintings by Peter Young, a really good friend of O's (she took the photo of him in Oaxaca, below, which appears in the article, though they failed to credit her). He's an amazing guy and a great abstract painter who sort of dropped out of the New York art scene and settled in Bisbee, Arizona 3 decades ago, lives in an old hotel downtown that he bought for almost nothing in the 70s.
I like this passage of the review:

He roamed about the American Southwest and spent several months in Spain and Morocco. By the time one of his dot paintings made the cover of Artforum in April 1971, he was gone for good. In 1972 he settled more or less permanently in Bisbee, Ariz., where he continues to live and work. He stopped painting when the war in Iraq began and involved himself more deeply in political causes.

He's a member of Bisbee-based humane border activists Citizens for Border Solutions and he appears in a video of mine about a bi-national fiesta in Naco.

O is pretty excited about this. It's the rediscovery of his career that Peter has always told her would happen. She has 2 of his paintings hanging in her apartment. The review is 3 pages in the paper version of the Times today and starts on the front page of the Arts section.

Read on for the complete article that i cut and pasted in case you don't want to log into the Times site or you're reading this after they archive it into the dumb non-free part of their site.


Went to Phoenix this past weekend, mainly for a meeting and benefit for the No Borders Camp. It was pretty productive but pretty frustrating too, because I'm not sure if I agree with the direction that plans for the camp are going. It may be too late to change, as well.

I also was at a meeting in Phoenix with a few people from AZ indymedia. The site is almost totally dormant and the collective has been in a lull for the last 6 months at least. We talked about what to do and I volunteered to spearhead solving the technical hurdles, but I can't help wondering how important indymedia really is, to me or Arizonans or to the world, anymore - especially the websites. I believe that as a loose network of resource-sharing media activists it still is quite useful (e.g. an aquaintance here in Tucson scored an interview with Noam Chomsky last month, and wanted me to go along and film it. I said, I can't, but here, email this person from Boston IMC that I know, and sure enough he hooked up with 2 awesome videographers there who filmed the thing with him), but as an online source of news and information for those that are "outside the fold" I'm getting more and more doubtful.

Various video projects of mine are churning away, including a couple for pay, which is great. It's definitely more fun to me than coding or other IT stuff, and it makes me more interested in volunteer IT work for activist projects.

Meanwhile O is quitting her job, or rather being forced to quit, and it's a job she has really loved, or at least the work. The management and a lot of the other staff are corrupt and unethical and petty jerks, but the organization does some great work still and has a lofty reputation in the field. It's so disillusioning to see non-profits devolve like this, but as one of her only cool co-workers said the other day, it's just like in the for-profit world, and people from that world aren't surprised at all. Why should people not lie and cheat and backstab, just because they work for a nonprofit that's supposedly about saving the environment? To think they wouldn't is to probably expect too much from humans.


Photos from the Streets of Berlin

tacheles - 12
I'm still working on uploading all the good photos from my trip to Europe, but I'm getting closer. The other day I finally finished a set of photos of street art and other interesting street scenes in Berlin. That city is just full of amazing art and politics scrawled, sprayed, and glued all over walls and signs. So I definitely shot a lot of snaps of it. Enjoy...

What Is Real?

"What is Real?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick out handle?"

"Real isn

A New Kind of Labor, A New Kind of Surplus Value, Same Old Exploitation

Via the Indymedia video listserv I just found a very interesting essay called "What the MySpace generation should know about working for free"

...labor has become performance, the act of being a speaker within communication systems. To paraphrase the old saying: The greatest trick that capital ever pulled was convincing the world that labor didn't exist. Labor today, is a 'casualized' and often distributed immaterial activity.

The mere presence of Tara and her friends on MySpace creates value. Surely, the generated monetary value varies; highly popular clips like the treadmill video on YouTube generated over ten million views, while others receive little attention. The quantity of small acts of labor makes YouTube profitable for Google.

Can a convincing teen-friendly version of this essay be concocted? What would kids say to this, even if it was in an easy to read, fun, non-academic tone? Would they just say "so what"? As the text goes on to say,

...I'd argue for the need of an awareness of servitude. This awareness has not been socialized among the most fervent participants of the sociable web: American teens. Despite misleading statistics, most 'MySpacesters' are young and live in the United States. Their upbringing did not instill an awareness of their embrace of market-based behavior [15] (5) . The fact that one person lives off another

Death of Newsreal?

I've been the editor for the Indymedia U.S. Newsreal for a little over one year now, and while it's been a valuable experience for me and it's felt good to keep the project going, it has been a constant struggle to elicit contributions for it. The monthly program consists of short (1-10 minute, usually) segments sent in by videoactivists from around the country. Since the show is broadcast on Free Speech TV it seems like a great opportunity to get your work shown in front of potentially millions of viewers, and segments producers get $50 as well, but apparently this isn't enough to motivate people. I don't know what the problem is, frankly, but I'm getting tired of constanly cajoling people to send stuff in. That wasn't supposed to be my job, I was only going to be the editor, but pretty soon after I started, the outreach coordinator, Ethan, dropped off the face of the earth and stopped doing outreach.

Last month we received exactly zero submissions and Sonya, subbing for me as editor while I was in Europe, just barely managed to cobble together material for a July show. If there's still no submissions, and no renewed interest, I fear the whole project is going to have to be put to rest...


Nick Broomfield, one of my favorite documentarists, is working on a drama about the massacre in Haditha. He's in post-production and there's a preliminary trailer that looks great, and is really really intense and graphic. It's shot in a very documentary style, with documentary-like cinematography as well. Don't watch the trailer unless you're ready for how heavy it is. (Haditha, btw, is the village in Iraq where U.S. Marines went apeshit and killed a bunch of innocent people in revenge for insurgents killing one of their men.)

It turns out Broomfield also completed a previous non-documentary feature film, his first, last year called "Ghosts," based on a true story about a migrant Chinese girl. Wow. Maybe he has reached the same conclusion that I've been leaning toward, that to reach a larger, different audience and reach them more profoundly, fiction films may be the way.

Speed Vest

Some friends of mine recently made this amazing piece of technology and bicycle activism called The Speed Vest. At first I thought it was a hoax, because one of them is well-known for his pranks and media-jamming projects. But they evidently actually built the thing, and won a contest in Minnesota. So cool!