The Temporary Travel Office produces a variety of services relating to tourism and technology aimed at exploring the non-rational connections existing between public and private spaces. The Travel Office has operated in a variety of locations, including Missouri, Chicago, Southern California and Norway.
The ACLU has provided a primer on how NSA probably eavesdrops on electronic communications:
The NSA is not only the world's largest spy agency (far larger than the CIA, for example), but it possesses the most advanced technology for intercepting communications. We know it has long had the ability to focus powerful surveillance capabilities on particular individuals or communications. But the current scandal has indicated two new and significant elements of the agency's eavesdropping:
1. The NSA has gained direct access to the telecommunications infrastructure through some of America's largest companies
2. The agency appears to be not only targeting individuals, but also using broad "data mining" systems that allow them to intercept and evaluate the communications of millions of people within the United States.
The ACLU has prepared a map illustrating how all this is believed to work. It shows how the military spying agency has extended its tentacles into much of the U.S. civilian communications infrastructure, including, it appears, the "switches" through which international and some domestic communications are routed, Internet exchange points, individual telephone company central facilities, and Internet Service Providers (ISPs). While we cannot be certain about these secretive links, this chart shows a representation of what is, according to recent reports, the most likely picture of what is going on.
Event organizing. Over the past year many experiments with conferencing formats took place. They were aimed at escaping the same old predicaments. People are fed up with the orthodoxy of traditional, hierarchical proceedings of keynote speakers, panels, and unconcentrated topical orientation! There is the soporific style of delivering a 30-page paper to an audience that could have read this text online beforehand. Paperism! There is the work-shy re-inscription of yet the same players of the virtual intelligentsia over and over again! Peeps and masters! Why look at proposals of the “young nothings
Tax the Rich!
"Tax the Rich" is an online political campaign/net artwork created to diffuse the taboo that surrounds this very loaded phrase. It is being presented on the liberal blog The Huffington Post, and is part of a Contagious Media Festival. This net artwork uses humor to bring the phrase "Tax the Rich" into the common venacular. After visiting the following link, you can help me acheive this goal by passing it on to everyone and anyone you think will enjoy it.
An official press release describing "Tax the Rich" can be found here:
I am taking requests for the randomly presented blurbs - please feel free to email me if you have a good idea!
Jason Van Anden
According to James Nachlin, New York City's streets are full of interesting and potentially useful things that have been thrown out.
If you like to snoop around garbage and dig up something good, snap a picture of it with your camera phone, add a description + location and email it to GarbageScout. It will be added on a Yahoo Maps for others to go and fetch it (treasures include so far: a rowing machine, a mirror, candy canes an electric heater, etc).
To keep up with the latest from the bins, there are even feeds.
I think the idea is brilliant, i remember arriving in a new flat, new city and thinking "if only i could find one discarded chair to make do until i'm settled and want better furniture."
Answers.com profits of those of us who contribute to Wikipedia! Many talk about the potential of free, user-driven web spaces. Sharing blossoms! Free Culture flourishes! Knowledge repositories like Wikipedia have hundreds of thousands of contributors who believe in what Yochai Benkler called the unregulated commons. Complaints surfaced when BBC allegedly put up a fake entry in Wikipedia to promote one of their programs. Yesterday In an online search I came across the fact that Answers.com plugs into Wikipedia. I was stunned! "Answers.com is an ad-supported reference search service, which displays concise answers drawn from over 100 encyclopedias, dictionaries, glossaries and atlases." I have not read any complaints about this feeding practice yet. This is surprising as the online-many who put their blood, sweat and tears into creating all these Wikipedia entries surely did not intend for their labor to be commercialized by the Answers Corporation. (Answers.com is "ad supported").
In the Wikipedia entry for Answers.com it states that: "Advertising revenues in March totaled approximately $91,000 in comparison to revenues of $16,000 in January and February. For the second quarter of 2005, revenues rose to $424,552 and in the next quarter rose to $563,576, a 33% growth." The economies are comparable to that of Google. (Google Base is a good example. But also Google Video milks the content provided by the many online.) Search engines as leeches? One thing is clear-- money is made from our voluntary, unpaid participation in centralized web-based databases.
CUP's office is now located in a potential SUPERFUND SITE. Superfund is a federal program that investigates and cleans up the most complex uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country. There are over 1,331 final and proposed sites on the National Priorities List (NPL), and thousands more wait for approval. Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed adding the Gowanus Canal to this list.
Please join the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), and Urban Omnibus for a different kind of Superfund discussion. Artist Brooke Singer, advocate Anne Rabe, and historian Sarah Vogel will discuss the history of the Superfund program, the politics of designation, and the changing legal definitions of toxins, risk, and responsibility. Local experts will also give updates on the status of the Gowanus’ designation.
Anne Rabe is the BE SAFE campaign coordinator for the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice. Anne has 25 years of organizing experience on environmental and social justice issues. From 1990 to 2003, she was director and co-founder of Citizens' Environmental Coalition, a statewide grassroots organization in New York State helping communities harmed by toxic pollution and organizing campaigns on State Superfund, radioactive waste disposal, Kodak's dioxin pollution, and other issues. She has received eight state and national awards for her work.
Brooke Singer is a media artist who lives in New York City. Her work blurs the borders between science, technology, politics, and arts practices. She works across media to provide entry into important social issues that are often characterized as specialized or opaque to the general public. She is currently Assistant Professor of New Media at Purchase College, State University of New York, and co-founder of the art, technology, and activist group Preemptive Media. She recently created Superfund365, an online data visualization and communication tool that highlights 365 of the worst toxic sites across the U.S.:
Sarah Vogel is currently the Program Officer for the Environmental Health program at the Johnson Family Foundation. She received her PhD from Columbia University’s Department of Sociomedical Sciences. Her dissertation, The Politics of Plastics: The Molecular Biography of Bisphenol A, tells the history of the science and politics of this chemical, used in plastics production since the 1950s, known to have estrogen-like properties, and now found in the vast majority of American bodies. Her research and writing considers the question of how we all became a little plastic and the changing meaning of chemical risks and safety over time.
Risk, Responsibility, and Toxins in the Landscape
Tuesday, July 7, 2009, 7-9 pm
The Old American Can Factory (In the courtyard, weather permitting)
232 Third St at Third Ave
Free and open to the public, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
The People and Buildings series is made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and by the New York Council on the Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
We have released on Public Record the fourth and final collection of one-minute audio responses to the question: What is the sound of the war on the poor? This instalment in the series features recordings from the below contributors and can be linked to directly at; http://publicrec.org/archive/2-06/2-06-005/2-06-005.html
Pablo Alvarez, Basingstoke, UK
Ava Bromberg, Los Angeles
Sean Burn, Newcastle Upon Tyne, U.K.
William Crisp, The Heygate Estate
Elders of Zion, Milan/Seattle
Ismail Farouk, Johannesburg
GitAr, Santa Rosa, California
Susanne Lang & Franziska Frielinghaus, Berlin
Augusto Palma, Mérida, México
Andrew Poppy, London
Ilich Sabotage, Tijuana
Starry Zafara, Melbourne
T Ernest Wilbey, London
Union de Vecinos, Los Angeles
All sixty contributions are be available for free download at www.publicrec.org and are licensed under Creative Commons.
For those of you who receive the music magazine THE WIRE, you probably saw the half-page ad we placed in the June issue to publicize the series. I have attached a GIF version of the advertisement for your archive.
Thanks to everyone for contributing to the series! I welcome feedback from everyone on the overall experience of hearing the pieces and organizing your own sound of the war on the poor.
U L T R A - R E D
PO Box 291578
Los Angeles, CA 90029
Info Secretary Blog: blog.myspace.com/publicrec
MySpace Page: www.myspace.com/publicrec
Thousand Kites is excited to offer community radio stations and individuals the 9th annual national radio program Calls from Home. The program features phone calls from mothers and children, brothers and grandparents, sharing the intimate power of families speaking directly to their incarcerated loved ones. Calls from Home, produced in the coalfields of central Appalachia, reaches a national network of prisoners, their loved ones and public listeners through community radio in an effort to educate the public about the criminal justice system.
GET INVOLVED with our national radio broadcast for prisoners: CALLS FROM HOME. This year there are 5 ways you can participate!
1) Help spread the word in your community about when and how to call in
2) Contact your local community radio station and ask them to broadcast CALLS FROM HOME
3) Send your shout-out to your friend or family member inside
4) Host a CALLS FROM HOME House Party and listen to the 10-minute Special Broadcast
5) If you're local in Whitesburg, stop by and help us mail postcards!
Check out the CALLS FROM HOME event page to learn more details about these 5 steps!
Have you wanted to host a film screening of Up the Ridge, or stage a reading of the Thousand Kites play but it just seemed too hard? Well now there's help! Check out our new Facilitation Guide on our website (www.thousandkites.org) to learn the easy steps you can take to launch Thousand Kites in your community!
How does the criminal justice system affect your community? Maybe you have been incarcerated or have a loved one who has been incarcerated. Maybe you work inside a prison. Maybe you're just concerned about the growing prison population in the United States. What do you want the public to know about your experience? What story do you have to share?
Be part of the dialogue.
Call toll-free 877-518-0606.
Share your story today.
It has been a while since we last wrote you and we have some exciting things to report.
Temporary Services has started our own publishing house and online store: Half Letter Press. With that, we have just released our first self-published book. It is titled Public Phenomena and let us tell ya, it looks beautiful! 152 glossy full color pages. We can't wait for you to see it.
This book is the result of over ten years of photographic documentation and research on the variety of modifications and inventions people make in public. From roadside memorials to makeshift barriers, people consistently alter shared common spaces to suit their needs, or let both man-made and natural aberrations run wild. The result is a new kind of public space - with creative and inspiring moments that push past the original planned design of cities.
Images and text by: Temporary Services, Polonca Lovšin, Joseph Heathcott & Damon Rich, Boštjan Bugaric, Ana Celigoj, Maša Cvetko, Marko Horvat, Meta Kos, Darjan Mihajlović, Danijel Modrej, Maja Modrijan, and Sonja Zlobko
You can purchase the book directly from us for $15.000 using Paypal:
Half Letter Press takes its name from the half of a "Letter"-size sheet of paper printing format that we have used for nearly ten years and 80 publications. In addition to publishing books, which will include books by other authors in the future, Half Letter Press was created to better distribute our own work and the work of other creative people whose work we admire. We have created a online store toward this end:
This endeavor is just getting started. We hope you'll check back regularly. The store is the first step in building long-term independent infrastructure for supporting the work of others. You can read more of our ideas about this here:
Half Letter Press offers volume discounts for multiple copies of Public Phenomena. We also offer a variety of alternative payment methods including trading. Please consider telling your book and booklet-loving friends about us! If you make something you feel we should sell, or if you would like to help us distribute our new book Public Phenomena, please get in touch.
Thank you and all the best,
Temporary Services / Half Letter Press
(Brett Bloom, Salem Collo-Julin, Marc Fischer)
P.O. Box 121012
Chicago, IL 60612 USA
Fire displaces youth media makers and residents
West Town's Street Level planning next moves
By MICAH MAIDENBERG
At least four West Town residents and a prominent youth media organization based in the neighborhood have been displaced following a major fire at 1856 W. Chicago early Sunday morning.
No one was hurt in the blaze, which drew at least 100 firefighters and multiple trucks to the block. Firefighters saved one woman from the third floor of the building, said department spokesman Richard Ricardo. He did not immediately know its cause.
The fire has left Street Level Youth Media, based in the building since 1997, with an unexpected challenge. Manwah Lee, executive director of the organization, said the space is unusable. Staffers are currently sifting through the wreckage.
"It's not only a resource for young people, but a resource for the community," Lee said. "It's a great loss for all of us."
She estimated a minimum loss of $150,000 in production equipment, computers, office supplies and furniture.
The group's programming has been affected. An after-school initiative called Neutral Ground-which offered a computer lab, free Internet access and drew an average of 35 students a day to the building's storefront-is shuttered. A lab used for math tutoring and community events is ruined.
Other programs are continuing elsewhere. An audio and radio production course have relocated to a nearby music studio. Programs run at various Chicago Public Schools locations haven't been affected either, Lee said.
Lee said the organization is trying to determine if they'll be able to reopen on in their longtime location on Chicago Avenue or whether the organization will move elsewhere.
"We're optimistic about moving forward and rebuilding," Lee said.
Street Level Youth Media was founded in West Town in 1993 and provides media and technology education for young people from across the city. A fall course schedule posted online shows radio, audio and television production classes, and even a DJ workshop. The group has a bevy of partnerships with various non-profits, public schools, city agencies and arts organizations.
Paul Tereul, a director at Columbia College's Center for Community Arts Partnerships and a co-founder of Street Level, said the group has an important place in the youth media scene in Chicago. The group opened one of Chicago's first free internet cafes back in the 1990s, he said, and teachers from the organization have spun off new groups like Co-op Image and Free Spirit Media.
"It's going to take help and effort of a lot of people out there," he said. "It's more than just material things burned. The youth in hood do not have a center to go."
Lee said after clean-up and salvage, Street Level will approach funders and supporters about grants and next steps. Those wishing to contribute to the organization can mail donations to 1856 W. Chicago or call Lee at 773-862-5331. Their Web site, www.street-level.org, has an online donation option.
"It's definitely one of the biggest challenges," the group has faced, Lee said. "It's hard to compare this to anything else."