ryan griffis
Since 2002
Works in United States of America

Ryan Griffis currently teaches new media art at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He often works under the name Temporary Travel Office and collaborates with many other writers, artists, activists and interesting people in the Midwest Radical Culture Corridor.
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.

Eavesdropping 101: How NSA snoops

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.


The Social Event Machine

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!

Jason Van Anden:

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."

Via Glowlab.


Answers.com makes money off the unpaid labor of Wikipedians

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.


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Prefigurative Park Services: Call for Proposals

Fri May 01, 2015 23:50


In response to the upcoming centennial of the U.S. National Park Service (2016) and the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System (2018), Prefigurative Park Services is seeking proposals for new parks and trails, broadly defined, which contribute to its core mission of preserving political possibility and connecting otherwise. PPS is interested in projects that both interrogate the historical meanings of parks and trails and re-imagine their spatial forms, social processes, and emancipatory functions in the twenty-first century, particularly in relation to unfolding ecological and economic crises.

The final form(s) of the larger PPS project as well as the individual contributions remains undetermined and very open. We anticipate a heterogeneous mix of conceptual design proposals, essays, interviews, drawings, maps, tours, audio/video/photo essays, etc. Feel free to contact PPS if you would like to discuss potential forms prior to the deadline. Our goal is to compile these proposals and responses into forms that can be distributed and exhibited for multiple audiences: a comprehensive website; a series of posters that can be printed and exhibited; a guide book containing the proposals along with critical/creative writing on parks and trails.


Who can contribute? Anyone. Artists, geographers, historians, park enthusiasts, park detractors, thru-hikers, day hikers, writers, activists, educators, youth groups, designers, architects, landscape architects, etc. Send us a proposal and let’s talk.

How & When?

Proposals should not exceed 1000 words. Maps and images (drawings, photographs, pictures of models) are encouraged. Please submit your proposals to prefigurativeparkservices@gmail.com. The deadline for proposals is May 1, 2015, although we recommend you be in touch as soon as possible if you plan to submit a proposal. The tentative deadline for final projects is January 15, 2016.


GOO GONE: a People and Buildings talk, July 7

Tue Jul 07, 2009 00:00 - Tue Jun 30, 2009

1. People and Buildings: GOO GONE

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
Gowanus, Brooklyn
Free and open to the public, RSVP to info@anothercupdevelopment.org
Refreshments provided!

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.


What Is the Sound of the War on the Poor, 4th and final installment

Tue Jun 30, 2009 00:00 - Tue Jun 30, 2009

Dear Friends,

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.
Cassy, Berlin
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.

In solidarity,
Dont Rhine

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


Calls From Home

Tue Dec 09, 2008 00:00 - Tue Dec 02, 2008

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.


Public Phenomena

Sun Oct 26, 2008 00:00 - Sun Oct 26, 2008

Dear Friends,

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)

Temporary Services
P.O. Box 121012
Chicago, IL 60612 USA