Bush and Hussein

Have you seen the summary
of this interview
that Dan Rather did with Saddam Hussein? At minimum, we
know that this man is more articulate than the US president. Do I trust / believe
him? Not really. Do I trust / believe Bush? Not really. I think what’s smart about
this situation is that the Iraqi president is more than willing to engage in dialogue
about the possible (probable) war, something that may sway the rest of the world
into his favor. Hussein is a far cry from an angel; however, he has concisely
pointed out that the US justification for war (ties to al Qaeda and missiles)
are questionable, if not nonexistent. There are many "evil" (shall we
deconstruct this word and its ties to religion?) and powerful men in the world,
but the US tends to go where the oil is, it seems. Why not the Sudan/Congo/Zimbabwe?
The largest slave trade in the history of mankind is not in Iraq, but in
the Sudan, today. Interestingly enough, one could try swapping key quotes
from both Bush and Hussein (replacing the religion-specific words for God where
necessary), and they are often identical…

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art and tech stuff

sjoe (that’s a South African colloquialism, pronounced "shoo," which
is kind of a cross between a sigh and "wow" or "whoa"). I
just spent a few hours this afternoon working with marcus
on a proposal for ISEA2004
(International Symposium on Electronic Art), held by the Inter-Society
for the Electronic Arts.
It looks like it’s going to be a really great festival,
and here’s hoping we get to go :) I actually really like our proposal, called
transl[oc]ations, because it will be fun to work on, interesting to build and
see the outcomes, and I think it plays on both of our strengths, as well as how
we work together. What is it? Well, in short (this is a quote from our statement)
transl[oc]ations is an experiment in the translation of identities, or "Characters,"
and the forms they might take in various communications media, both in translocal
and physical communities. With a focus on transferring words and images via email,
web, SMS, fax, post and interactive installation, transl[oc]ations aims to communicate
our personal identities in the languages of all of these platforms, attempting
to privilege the benefits of each as we use them.
Sticking with how we love
puns, the piece is subtitled(a picture is worth a thousand words… how many
Characters is that?).
I guess it’s up to ISEA
if you, or Marcus and I,
will see any more…

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drive-in

So, my wife and I have a date to go to the drive-in on Saturday. "Big deal,"
you say? Well, as a New Yorker, I have never been to a drive in! I’m very excited
– I like the idea of bringing wine, cheese, etc. with you to the "movies
as picnic." Apparently, the TopStar Drive-in was built on top of an old mine
dump and has quite a view of Johannesburg. Not sure what’s playing yet, but I’m
hoping something good. I guess, if not, we can always bring extra wine, no?

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life learning

It’s really amazing what teaching can teach you. I just got back from giving a
lecture at The South
African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance (AFDA)
about
"postmodern narratives." This is not an easy topic, and it was to third
year, undergraduate artists (not theorists), to many of whom English is a second
(third or fourth) language. They very quickly grasped the basics of signs / semiotic
theory and the contrast of modernism as "the crisis of representation"
vs. postmodernism as "the crisis of the real." Effortless, was the transition
into "why is this important?" (they shrewdly asked me this; it’s the
main critique of those who might undermine postmodernism as an interventionist
space of thinking). Once we got going, the students were excited by that which
my fears said they would find boring. They started answering their own questions!
They loved Laugh it Off as a South
African example of intertextuality, and themselves brought up religion and The
Apartheid State as potential "grand narratives" that should be questioned,
by looking at the construction of history. Not only did they see all of the presented relationships
between modernism and postmodernism (one being how representation can actually effect our “reality”),
but internalized them in important ways, that I could never have thought of in prepping
the lecture. In fact, I’ve added their examples to my notes for future reference.
This is why I teach and make art…

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digital arts in joburg

Christo, Rita and Matt (his partner and son) came over for a really nice dinner,
and great conversation, last night. Christo
Doherty
is the Head of Digital Media at Witwatersrand
University’s
School
of Arts,
South Africa. You can read more about the new graduate program in
Digital Media here.

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YDEsire

Tonight is the Young Designers Emporium
YDEsire "softserve
event"
party / show! Friends Kathryn Smith (The
Trinity Session)
and Christian
Nerf
are setting up LoveBites, a beautiful video installation (which I, proudly,
helped them do some post-production on). They are also installing one of my pieces
there (what are friends for?). It should be a rollicking good time, so if you
are in Cape Town, check it out! (Tickets through Computicket
– click on the 20:15 "show.")

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