Ivan Pope
Since the beginning
Works in Brighton United States of America

BIO
In the place where analogue and digital overlap, that's why you will find me in the kitchen at parties.
Everything is at my site, http://blog.ivanpope.com
Discussions (225) Opportunities (0) Events (0) Jobs (0)
DISCUSSION

The Gulag Archipelago


I keep seeing the US government system of offshore and third country
prison camps (Guantanamo, Baghram, etc), secret prison camps and that
euphemism, 'rendition', referred to as the US 'gulag' or 'archipelago'
(The Guantanamo Gulag, the Pentagon Archipelago) but seldom as the
'gulag archipelago', which is of course the title of Alexander
Solzhenitsyn's expose of the Soviet system of prison camps.
I thought I'd go back and re-read The Gulag Archipelago, as I hadn't
read it for over twenty years. I had come to a view of Solzhenitsyn as a
dour humourless right-wing dinosaur, but re-reading Gulag Archipelago, I
find I'm quite wrong and he's really very funny, if funny is something
you can be about such a system. I guess he uses dry humour to point up
the endless absurdities of the system.
This also speaks powerfully to the UK situation, with our 'little Gitmo,
Belmarsh' and our appeals systems that lead nowhere and our supreme
court decrying the system, which the politicians just ignore.

Anyway, I'm constantly struck at how alike the basic system in the
Soviets was with the 'legal' setup in the US today. Not of course that
I'm suggesting that the US is managing to kill millions of its detainees
(though how of course would we know?). Maybe it will all come out one
day. Where is the US Solzhenitsyn?

In the Engine Room (edited version)

Real scope entered the picture with the twenties, when /permanently/
operating /Troikas -- /panels of three operating behind closed doors --
were created to bypass the courts permanently. In the beginning they
even flaunted it proudly. Not only did they not conceal the names of the
members, they publicized them. Yes, and what a word it was, in fact --
/troika!/ It bore a slight hint of sleigh bells on the shaft bow; the
celebration of Shrovetide; and, interwoven with all this, a mystery Why
"troika"? What did it mean? After all, a court wasn't a quartet either!
And a Troika wasn't a court! And the biggest mystery of all lay in the
fact that it was kept out of sight. We hadn't been there. We hadn't seen
it. All we got was a piece of paper. Sign here! The Troika was even more
frightening than a Revolutionary Tribunal. it set itself even farther
apart, muffle itself up, locked itself in a separate room, and -- soon
-- concealed the names of its members. Thus we grew used to the idea
that the Troika members didn't eat or drink or move about amoug ordinary
people. Once they had isolated themselves in order to go into session,
they were shut off for good, and all we knew of them were the sentences
handed out through typists.
These Troikas satisfied a persistent need that had arisen: never to
allow those arrested to return to freedom. If it turned out that someon
was innocent and could therefore not be tried at all, then let him have
his "minus 32" via the Troika -- which meant he couldn't live in any of
the provincial capitals -- or let him spend two or three years in exile,
after which he would have a convict's clipped ear, would always be a
marked man, and, from then on, a recidivist.
(Please forgive us, reader. We have once more gone astray with this
rightist opportunism -- this concept of "guilt", and of the guilty or
innocent. It has, after all, been explained to us that /the heart of the
matter is not personal guilt, but social danger/'. One can imprisin an
innocent person if he is socially hostile. And one can release a guilty
man if he is socially friendly.)
...
Up to 1924 the authority of the Troika was limited to sentences of three
years, maximum. From 1924 on, they moved up to five years of camp; from
1937 on, the OSO could turn out "ten ruble bills"; after 1948, they
could rivet a "quarter" -- twenty-five years -- on you. And there are
people who know that during the war years the OSO even sentenced
prisoners to execution by shooting. Nothing unusual about this.
The OSO was nowhere mentioned in either the Constitution or the Code.
However, it turned out to be the most convenient kind of hamburger
machine -- easy to operate, undemanding, and requiring no legal
lubrication. The Code existed on its own, and the OSO existed on its
own, and it kept ondeftly grinding without all the Code's 205 articles,
neither invoking them nor even mentioning them. As they used to joke in
camp: "There is no court for nothing -- for that there is an OSO."

Of course, the OSO itself also needed for onvenience some kind of
operational shorthand, but for that purpose it worked out on its own a
dozen "letter" articles which made operations very much simpler. It
wasn't necessary, when they were used, to cudgel your brains trying to
make things fit the formulations of the Code. And they were few enough
to be easily remembered by a child.

ASA -- Anti-Soviet Agitation
KRD -- Counter-Revolutionary Activity
KRTD -- Counter-Revolutionary Trotskyite Activity
PSh -- Suspicion of Espionage
SVPSh -- Contacts Leading to Suspicion of Espionage
KRM -- Counter-Revolutionary Thought
VAS -- Dissemination of Anti-Soviet Sentiments
SOE -- Socially Dangerous Element
SVE -- Socially Harmfull Element
PD -- Criminal Activity (a favourite accusation against former camp
inmates if there was nothing else to be used against them)
And then finally, there was the very expansive category:
ChS -- Member of a Family (of a person convicted under one of the
foregoing "letter" categories)

There is one more qualification. The OSO did not claim to be handing
down a /sentence/. It did not sentence a person but, instead, /imposed
an administrative penalty/. And that was the whole thing in a nutshell.
Therefore it was, of course, natural for it to have juridicial independence!
But even though they did not claim that the administrative penalty was a
court sentence, it could be up to twenty-five years. Thus, a person
could disappear from the face of the earth with the help of the OSO even
more reliably than under the terms of some primitive court sentence.
The OSO enjoyed another important advantage in that its penatly could
not be appealed. Thee was nowhere to appeal to. There was no appeals
jurisdiction above it, and no jurisdiction beneath it. It was
subordinate only to the Minister of Internal Affairs, to Stalin, and to
Satan.
Another advantage the OSO had was speed. This speed was limited only by
the technology of typewriting.
And, last but not least, not only did the OSO not have to confront the
accused face to face, which lessened the burden on inter-prison
transport: it didn't even have t have his photograph. At a tim when the
prisions were badly overcrowded, this was a great additional advantage
because the prisoner did not have to take up space on the prison floor,
or eat free bread once his interrogation had been completed. He could be
sent off to camp immmediately and put to honest work. The copy of the
sentence could be read to him much later.

...

Their primary and principal distinguishing feature was closed doors.
They were first of all /closed courts/ -- for their own convenience.
And by now we have become so accustomed to the fact that millions and
millions of people were tried in closed sessions an dhave become used to
this for so long that now and then some mixed-up son, brother, or nephew
of a prisoner will even snort at you with conviction: "And what would
you have wanted? ... There's /information/ here. Our enemies will find
out! You can't do it!"
Thus the fear that our "enemies" will find out makes us clamp our head
between our own knees. Who in our Fatherland, except some bookworms,
remembers how that Karakozov, who fired at the Tsar, was provided with a
defense lawyer? Or that Zhelyabov and all the Narodnaya Volya group were
tried in public, without any fear that the "Turks would find out"?

--
Ivan Pope
ivan2@ivanpope.com

Studio website -->http://ivanpope.com
Absent Without Leave --> http://blog.ivanpope.com

DISCUSSION

The 'Long Tail' of Contemporary Art


This is a repost of something I wrote for my blog Absent Without
Leave http://blog.ivanpope.com

The 'Long Tail' of Contemporary Art

January 10, 2005 What Envelops Me
<http://blog.ivanpope.com/awol/what_envelops_me/index.html>

The concept of the 'Long Tail' (LT) has suddenly become commonplace
across the networks. The Long Tail can be simplistically described as
the mass of product that is suddenly available to the mass of consumers
due to the effect of computer power and computer networks. For example,
in music it used to be almost impossible for musicians and bands who
didn't have contracts with major record labels to get their albums made
and distributed. Now, the combination of access to cheap reproduction
technology (including no-cost download systems), distribution via
networks, online payment systems and, crucially, an efficient word of
mouth recommendation structure, more and more 'unknown' music is selling
to more and more consumers. Record companies shriek that they are being
ripped off, when it is more likely that consumers have gone elsewhere to
find music that really appeals to them.

As we become more and more confident with the networks and we learn to
use tools, such as blogs and their associated management systems, that
give us constant interaction, the Long Tail of almost any area becomes
evident and valuable. There is also an element of trust and belief. The
first wave of recommendation sites were almost universally distrusted.
Why would you believe someone who had a vested interest in recommending
things?
Now we've all moved on. We have gotten to know how networks of sites
work, and to recognise authority, even without using tools such as
Technorati <http://www.technorati.com/>. Chris Anderson at The Long Tail
<http://longtail.typepad.com/the_long_tail/2004/12/recommendations.html>
on how Blogs are becoming key players in the LT recommendation game.

/Blogs are shaping up to be an equally powerful source of influential
recommendations. There are independent enthusiast sites such as PVRblog
and Horticultural (an organic gardening blog), commercial blogs such as
Gizmodo and Joystiq, and then the random recommendations of whichever
blogger you happen to read for any reason (there does seem to be a
natural connection between mavens, who know a lot and like to share
their knowledge, and blogging). What they may lack in polish and scope,
they more than make up in credibility: their readers know that there is
a real person there that they can trust./

So the Long Tail is when massive inventory can be made available to the
mass of consumers at minimal additional cost or effort. It's about
routing around bottlenecks and opening up supply to meet the demand.
Most industries have some form of artificial bottleneck, created over
time by the industry itself, the better to manage and assure profit. The
art world is notorious for this, from the creation and support of a
'superstar' system, to management of access to magazines, galleries, art
schools, agents, curators, museums, public venues and auction houses.
The glamorous world of contemporary art, with its round of international
festivals, prizes, exhibitions, collectors and top galleries, carries a
huge Long Tail. For every artist who makes a living through the gallery
system, there are hundreds or even thousands who carry on making art
alongside other ways of making a living.
Historically this Long Tail of art either suffered in silence or
attempted to make some return on their investment by selling through
local galleries. However, local galleries, by their very nature, will
never reach a sizable potential customer base. And a global customer
base which must by definition be fairly huge, can never find the artists
that move them and in whose work they may want to invest. Thus, a
classic Long Tail exists, swinging behind the small body that is
contemorary art.

It's not really that all the artists who currently struggle with a day
job or a teaching job and who make art on the side, who still dream of
'making it', will suddenly be able to quit their jobs and move full time
into the studio. It's that there exists a huge Long Tail of art and
artists, and there are countless opportunities to start to convert this
tail into sales, into collectors. A support system for the contemporary
art Long Tail is building by the week.

Since I have been blogging my art regularly I have noticed a lot more
artist blogs arriving on a regular basis. The more artists that blog,
the more regular reading there is for the non-artist public. The more
popular blogs are, the more likely people are to read artists blogs. The
more artists and curators and gallery workers and museum staff and
writers and teachers blog, the more power the movement will have against
the usual art press. No Artforum can cover more than a tiny subset of
the global exhibition scene. This have historically given them vast
power, a power that is guarded and welcomed by the equally bottlenecked
gallery system.

A global system of public writing about local art scenes, multiple
reports of high end art events, individual artists, collectors and
general public all blogging away, will create an alternative ecosystem
to the established art industry. This has obviously been happening for
years to some degree, with online galleries, individual sales sites and
collective endeavours springing up. But the critical underpinnings of
these endeavours has not been there - and it is hard for consumers to
find, let alone believe in, these outlets without a thriving media that
is intimately related to and interested in these projects.

Now we can see that the combination of blogging and online galleries may
give rise to a new ecosystem of art. The Long Tail of art may be about
to be exposed.

--
Ivan Pope
ivan2@ivanpope.com

Studio website -->http://ivanpope.com
Absent Without Leave --> http://blog.ivanpope.com

DISCUSSION

[Fwd: DEAR MR PRESIDENT, I CAN END THE WAR ON TERRORISM IM READY TO DO WHAT I WAS PUT ON THIS EARTH FOR. TO END 2000 YEARS OF ARMAGEDDON. WITH MY


http://people.lulu.com/users/113146 THIS SITE WILL BLOW UR MIND. TRUST !!
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http://forums.geri-halliwell.co.uk/viewtopic.php?p&223#26223
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<http://www.friendsreunited.co.uk/FriendsReunited.asp?wci=memberlist&school_key81166&member_year86> jesus
at school
*http://www.akiens.co.uk* <http://www.akiens.co.ukm/> under
construction ...
*Jesus is back !!with a whole new agenda*
the story of the akiens, is as close to out of this world as u can get.
as close as our name would suggest. who are the akiens....they landed in
belgrave leicester, way back in 1780......
these are the greatest websites on the entire internet. its what the
net was built for. the story on this site needs to be on everyones hard
drive this christmas. its the one that brings peace on earth to all men.
all the faiths unite because of this site. the book i have written, is
the saddest, funniest, most inspirational true story ever written.
because jesus died and was reborn, he had 2 souls. those 2 souls have
passed through history, going their seperate ways. always destined to
meet back up as part of gods masterplan. i am the half to tell the
other. he walks around totally unaware he is one half of jesus christ
today. just like i did until a few years ago. ive spent the time since
writin the book that proves it. believe it or not, i wasnt born with the
miracles jesus had. i was born with a whole new set of them. ive already
performed them. when the other half realises, its going to bend his
mind, like it did mine. hes the half you all know and love to hate. when
you put "My FCukin Side" with his "My Side" , you have boh halves of the
first chapter, of the next testament. our 2 half souls, have lived
parrallel lives. running side by side unknown to everyone. when i fell
down and got injured, so did he. not long after. when i performed one of
my miracles, when i scored, he scored when england really needed it. i
see his goals coming, and i see his injuries coimng. when you bring the
two halves of christ the king back together, and beckham stays injury
free for the rest of his life. this whole world will witness the true
almighty power of god the day we shake hands. i am dying, and it is
unthinkable that we do not meet. he has all the help i will ever need
and i am his. with his help, i may be saved and the heavens open up all
over the world. i dont mind either way, ideally id like to see fantasy
football overcome all the wars in this world. i would hate to take all
the credit for my work posthumously. if i do, dont worry, im coming back
for those that kept me a secret. if you ever wondered what armageddon is
like, let me die YOUR secret, and you get to fnd out. as i know the way
to the heavens in this life, i know the way back. once im in your
subconscience, and you know my name, im in your dreams. ive flicked the
light on in your mind, im in your imagination. there are two worlds
within this one, i can see as clear as you see this one. my fcukin side
shows you where to look. surely youd sooner be helpin me bring football
home to save all the kids, end all the wars etc, than worryin about goin
to sleep at night. once beckhams seen this website, hes on the way to
pick me up. if david beckham could make a wish, im all of it and so very
much more. im sick of tellin the vicars im jesus. none of the ones ive
contacted over the last 2 years has had the balls to call. ive sent
emails, letters, ive even told them in my own words, but still they
refuse to believe their holiest of books. the bible. the one that says,
the son of god is not to be tested, the one that says, the prophet of
god is not to be tested, because god will call that prophet unto him if
hes tellin fibs. hes callin him to him, because his words are falling on
deaf ears. those deaf ears in this life, will be deaf ones in the next
as well. yours included. has goldenballs got the balls to call.... ?
id say so, if he can take freekicks like that for england. i cant wait
to show him how i take em. faster, more accurate, higher success rate,
timed, asically, mines better. even tho i take em my workboots. i can
show him how to time them perfectly. he has the freekick in play then.
im the worlds first complete off pitch player, i can make him the worlds
first complete on pitch player. i cant if i die though. can i. and
besides, if he copies everything i do, how long before he follows me
out, denyin this world of both of us...?
would you have it on your conscience, knowing you could have helped, if
he does follow me out...? could you look at his kids. or mine. you dont
know mine yet, but you will do after beckhams been. please help me, by
telling everyone you know about this website. i only need one person to
see it. if the site is down, its because its got a lousy bandwidth.
being dirty beckham, im skint. i even take the freekicks in my
wokboots. theyve got holes in em now. im having to make do with these
nike football trainers. the closest iv got to a pair of bling trainers.
i have to say, what i can do with a football in these, my dad would be
turnin in his grave. he told me football was for puffs, the bible was
full of bullshit, and i was born pure evil. what a joker my dad was. i
believed all 3 growin up. when in fact, all three were very very wrong.
the miracles jesus performed in life 2000 years ago, are proven through
me. i repeated them in this life, in a 21st century way. for example, my
greek encounter came before bekhams as well. in order to pay for that
once in a lifetime lads abroad holiday, i had to take a second job. the
csa were fleecin me. i delivered food to well over 5000 people. a quid a
time. after greece, i took to deliverin people. again, well over 5
thousand people. going back to when i was a baby, my family moved away
from my birthplace before i was two. we moved away across the water. the
basket jesus was put in to ferry him across the water, i can make them.
im a carpenter, A Rapper. a specialist sort of carpentry. mothers name
is mary, and i was 32 when i told the vicars. you think that would be
enough surely. obviously they dont really read that book of theirs, or
theyd believe it. A very good example of a miracle, one that will even
make the american president laugh out loud. when i walked like jack the
lad, i encountered 52 women. all different kinds. i wrote about them all
in my diaries. their average age was 19. i fcuked 52 states, or mingers.
for england. some of em were alright. they werent all mingers. ive bin
celibate for a year an a half cos of writin this. where the hell hell is
the 53rd state...? she`s around here somewhere. ... what other
miracles have i performed... i know, what about my best miracle of all...
when i had twins born on my birthday, dad called me goldenballs. what
dad didnt tell me, was that i head the trinity in the here and now. not
readin the bible, i wouldnt know about the trinity. i had to watch
matrix 50 times before i twigged that one. they say in that film, the
matrix is all around you. whatever, gods power envelopes all that
bullshit. thats the matrix. i can show you how to decode it in a few
simple logical lines. like anything, its easy when you know how. imagine
having all your family tree dates in front of you. the last 400 years or
so. thats all you need, and a one year diary. scientists can now tell a
person when theyre going to die using dna. a very scarey concept. when
you take every birth marriage and death, from the last 400 years an
write them in a one year diary, you see a pattern forming. you see
people dying and getting back up over the years. with a regularity
impossible to call coincidence. when you can see de ja vu carved in
stone behind you, you know your going to get back up again. thats all
the incentive you need, to make this a better world for our children.
because one day, youre going to be one of those children. science will
never show you where you get back up again, because science cannot tell
you anything, about something that doesnt exist yet. i figured that out
with a pen and paper. dad always said i had the answer to every
question. he wasnt jokin there. he knew if i didnt know it, it was
always just a matter of time before i did.
the promise i made him the year he died, that i would finish writing the
story of our family without him, ive kept it. the story of the akiens,
is as close to out of this world as you can get. with a name like ours,
what do you expect. in 1600, our name changed from ALFINS TO ALKINS. IN
1670, IT CHANGED TO AKINES, AND IN 1730, IT CHANGED TO AIKENS. FROM
1780, IT CHANGED TO ITS PRESENT FORM, AKIENS. THE LAST TIME IT CHANGED,
TWINS WERE BORN. I HAVE TWINS BORN ON MY BIRTHDAY.......WHAT DOES IT
CHANGE TO NEXT....ALIENS...?????? nah, i aint never seen an alien
before. except for probbly andrew lloyd webber
pass this round like a football, til it reaches the england captain.
between us we can make all the changes. i have everything ready.
christmas is going to be extra special this year. everyone hits
millionaire status together. everyone all over the world.
help me make it happen. For the Kids sakes.
scott paul akiens

------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Business Blogging <http://blog.telememetics.com/blog.html>

DISCUSSION

Protest Censorship


Theatre ends play in Sikh protest
*A play which led to violent protests among the Sikh community in
Birmingham has had its run cancelled by the city's Repertory Theatre. *

The theatre said it had refused to censor the work and was abandoning it
purely on health and safety grounds.

Three police officers were hurt during clashes after 400 demonstrators
gathered outside on Saturday.

Protesters said Behzti, which depicts sex abuse and murder in a temple,
portrayed the Sikh faith negatively.

The theatre said the "ugly" violence had caused free speech to be curbed.

Stuart Rogers, the executive director of the Rep, told a press
conference that the decision had been taken after discussions with
police and Sikh community leaders on Monday morning.

Mr Rogers said: "The theatre vigorously defends its right to produce
Behzti and other similar high-quality plays that deal with contemporary
issues in a multicultural society.

"We sincerely hope that the play will be produced again as we are
certain that it is a work that should be seen and discussed.

"It remains a matter of great concern to us that illegal acts of
violence can cause the cancellation of a lawful artistic work."

A spokesman for the Sikh community in Birmingham, Councillor Chaman Lal,
predicted there would have been larger protests had the play's run
continued.

He said: "The theatre has made the right decision in response to a
peaceful protest.

"There are no winners or losers - common sense has prevailed."

Cllr Lal did not accept that the theatre had bowed to the threat of
violence and mob rule.

*Appease*

"We have nothing against freedom of speech, but you do not make a
mockery of someone's faith or beliefs. That is oppression."

Earlier, the theatre said short of "blatant censorship" and cancelling
the production, it could not have done more to appease the Sikh community.

Behzti, which translates as "dishonour", was written by a young female
Sikh, Gurpreet Kaur Bhatt, and was said to have been inoffensive to many
among a younger generation of Sikhs.

However, religious leaders, including the Roman Catholic Diocese of
Birmingham, had urged a boycott of the play.

Three people were arrested in connection with Saturday's demonstration.

The theatre said some protesters managed to get backstage, where they
smashed equipment and destroyed a foyer door.

Mr Rogers added that the Rep's other production, The Witches, would be
staged as usual.

--
Ivan Pope
ivan2@ivanpope.com

Studio website -->http://ivanpope.com
Absent Without Leave --> http://blog.ivanpope.com

DISCUSSION

Re: Re: Jacir Exhib. Goes Forward


Hey, success and honour. I feel well chuffed tonight. Everyone seems to
have realised the hornets nest they were stumbling into. I even think
the MKJF come out of it looking like sensitive sensible people.
Some people in this discussion had the attitude, 'hey, leave it be, its
the sticks, it's power, it's money, let it run its course, don't interfere'.
Well, I think we can see how this thing works and it makes me pleased.
Maybe we should all send everyone our congratulations for sorting the
thing out :-)
Cheers,
Ivan

> Thursday, December 16, 2004
> Emily Jacir Exhibition to Proceed without Conditions
> Wichita State University has announced that the Emily Jacir exhibition
> scheduled to run January 20 - March 6, 2005, at the Ulrich Museum of
> Art will do so without any conditions.
>
> Elizabeth King, Vice President for University Advancement, released
> the following statement late this afternoon:
>
> Wichita State University is aware of the discussion generated by the
> scheduled exhibition of work by artist Emily Jacir at the Ulrich
> Museum of Art. The University is committed to going forward with the
> exhibition without conditions or limitations that could be considered
> to compromise the integrity of Ms. Jacir's work as an artist. The
> University appreciates the widespread interest in the artist and the
> exhibition.
>
> Judy Press, Executive Director of the Mid-Kansas Jewish Federation,
> said yesterday that members of her group had seen images of Jacir's
> works on the Internet and had objected to what they perceived to be
> the single-sidedness of the exhibition. "The work focuses on the
> inability of Palestinians to travel freely, and it blames Israel for
> that inability. But it does not explain why Israel must take these
> measures," Press said.
>
> The Federation had asked the University to display additional
> information about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to balance the
> presentation. "We made a request to the University, and we are under
> the impression at this point that this was not an appropriate
> request," Press said. "We did not realize that this was considered
> inappropriate or infringing on the artist's rights. We need to not ask
> for that if it is not appropriate."
>
> David Butler, Director of the Ulrich Museum, said this afternoon, "I'm
> relieved that we are doing the right thing, and I am happy this has
> been resolved. I have not spoken with Emily yet, but I hope she will
> be pleased as well."
>