Saturday, November 29, 2008

“They kept shopping”

“When they were saying they had to leave, that an employee got killed, people were yelling, ‘I’ve been on line since yesterday morning,’ ” Ms. Cribbs told The Associated Press. “They kept shopping.”

Jdimytai Damour died after being trampled when hundreds of shoppers smashed through the doors of a Long Island Wal-mart store on Friday morning, police and witnesses said. The 34-year-old employee, a temporary maintenance worker, was rushed by the chaotic crowds just after the Valley Stream store opened at 5 a.m. Witnesses said the surging throngs of shoppers knocked the man down. He fell and was stepped on. As he gasped for air, shoppers ran over and around him.

Here is the full article from the New York Times (November 29, 2008) by Robert D. McFadden and Angela Macropoulos
Wal-Mart Employee Trampled to Death: A crush of shoppers tore down the front doors and thronged into a store in suburban New York, killing a temporary employee.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"Meet Animal Meat" Conference

Still from "Meat Joy" (1964) by Carolee Schneeman

"Meet Animal Meat" International Conference: May 21-23, 2009
Center for Gender Research at Uppsala University, Sweden

Informed by feminist investigations of embodiment and bodiliness, we ask: How do we understand our bodily relationship to other animals? How do we embody animals, and how do animals embody us? How are carnal modes of incorporation, intimacy, and inhabitation kinds of contacts forged between “HumAnimals”? If, as Donna Haraway writes, “animals are everywhere full partners in worlding, in becoming with,” then how do embodied encounters with animal matter necessarily constitute categories of “human” and “animal”? What is the meaning of meat, and the meat of meaning? How do we think and write about human and animal power relations in a way that acknowledges the discursive traffic, the actor-ship, agency, and the life conditions of these differently bounded socio-historical, political populations? How do we attend to the ways that animals and humans co-constitute each other in the flesh? What is the consequence of taking embodiment and corporeality as the starting point of inquiry into questions of relationality? How do we make meat “matter” in cultural/social/political studies of animals, and/or problematize preconceived notions of animals as “food”? How do animal parts and body-matters figure in politico-economic stories, processes, and institutions? We seek proposals for papers, panels, and other public presentations connecting representation, language, embodiment, animals, consumption, power, and culture. We especially welcome interdisciplinary approaches; readings of corporeally inflected HumAnimal fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction; films, videos, and slide presentations of artwork that explore carnal human and animal encounters; and proposals from outside the academy, including submissions from artists, writers, practitioners, and activists.

Keynote Speakers:
Carol J. Adams, author of "The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory" and "The Pornography of Meat".
Judith Halberstam, author of "Skin Shows: Gothic Horror" and The Technology of Monsters" and "In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives".

This conference comes out of a concerted research effort (at Uppsala University and elsewhere) that seeks to examine human-animal relationships in a new light. As the the HumAnimal Group at Uppsala explains:
The study of human-animal relations is a fascinating but still relatively unexplored research area. One of the reasons why the social sciences and humanities in general have been reluctant in dealing with the issue is the classical nature/culture divide. While “society” consists of humans and their interaction in institutions and culture, other animals become excluded and conceptualized as “nature”. The presence of animals can thereby, on the one hand, ”decivilize” human activities and urban places. But on the other hand, we have a strong Western tradition of linking the treatment of other animals with degrees of civilization: the more “humane”, the higher the civilisation. Put together, this points to an interesting potential openness of categories and flexibility in the understanding of humans and other animals. This potential openness creates a space for questioning taken for granted discourses and truths, and this is where the critical potential of animal studies lies. Internationally, human-animal studies is a growing interdisciplinary field with specialized journals, conferences and networks. However, in the Scandinavian context, the existence and activities of a research collaboration such as the Humanimal group has no precedence.
The HumAnimal group currently represent a vast diversity of disciplines and perspectives, from evolutionary biology, through sociology and pedagogy, to arthistory and philosophy. This is not a mere coincident. In line with the overall aims of GenNa, the HumAnimal group finds it an important advantage to cross over the nature/culture divide in science, also in the area of human-animal studies. Thus, interdisciplinarity is a given in the group. We believe that disciplinary and other differences, can become methodological advantages and present us with new insights, but also new questions and problems. The overall aim is to promote better understanding of human-animal relations in society, science and culture by way of exploration and analysis, to explore the critical potentials of such understanding. of human-animal relations in society, science and culture, and to establish human-animal studies as a field of academic inquiry in Sweden.

More about GenNa (Centre for Gender Research at Uppsala University):
Nature/culture and transgressive encounters The Centre for Gender Research at Uppsala University is working to promote sustainable interdisciplinary encounters and networking. The aim of our GenNa-programme is to study empirically and reflect theoretically on the ways in which knowledge about gender and gendered knowledge are produced in the intersection between the natural and cultural sciences. We continuously identify different focus areas for research, collaborate with internationally renowned researchers, and organise transgressive seminars and conferences. By bridging organisational and conceptual divisions, we offer a unique meeting place for researchers and students from different disciplinary backgrounds. We have been awarded the Swedish Research Council’s funding for Centres of Gender Excellence 2007–2011, in order to continue building a centre of international excellence in empirical research, theoretical development and teaching.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

2008 World AIDS Day

The 1st of December, World AIDS Day, is the day when individuals and organizations from around the world come together to bring attention to the global AIDS epidemic. 2008 marks the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day. While we have come a long ways since 1988, there is still much more to be done.
For more info, please look at the World AIDS Campaign website.
World AIDS Day 2008 materials are available online here.

According to UNAIDS (the U.N. Report of HIV & AIDS), there are:
  • 33 million people living with HIV worldwide
  • 30.8 million adults
  • 15.5 million women
  • 2.0 million children under 15

New HIV cases in 2007:

  • 2.7 million total new cases
  • 2.3 million adults
  • 370,000 children under 15

HIV-related deaths in 2007:

  • 2.0 million total deaths
To begin preparing for World AIDS Day 2008, you can do the following:
* Download World AIDS Day materials for 2008.
(For events in the USA, go to "U" section)
* Read more about leadership and why 2008 is the time to LEAD-EMPOWER-DELIVER
* Learn more about events and SMS pledge campaign happening for World AIDS Day in India
* Read about what happened on World AIDS Day in 2007
* Find out about more information about themes and resources for World AIDS Day 2007, 2006 and 2005
* View the campaigners tools available for 2008, 2007 and 2006

Monday, November 24, 2008

New Art at Just Seeds Collective

Justseeds/Visual Resistance Artists' Cooperative is a decentralized community of artists who have banded together to both sell their work online in a central location and to collaborate with and support each other and social movements. Our website is not just a place to shop, but also a destination to find out about current events in radical art and culture. Our blog covers political printmaking, socially engaged street art, and culture related to social movements. We believe in the power of personal expression in concert with collective action to transform society.

Here is some new artwork that you can purchase online.

Roger Peet: "Baiji" ($65)
This is the Yangtze river dolphin, known in China as the Baiji. One of the world's few species of freshwater dolphin, and now one with the snows of yesteryear. The Baiji's habitat was destroyed by the construction of the Three Gorges Dam, its prey species were wiped out as a result of overfishing, and it suffered huge losses to boat traffic, pollution, and probably existential malaise. What's so important about this creature? Why should anyone care? These are questions that I pose to myself when making these pieces about extinct animals. These beautiful, graceful creatures were around on this planet for more than ten million years. They lived lives of swift elegance in the muddy Yangtze water, curling and spiralling through the turbidity and chaos of spring floods. They snapped up their meals of fish with their long, toothy beaks clacking like chopsticks. Like many beautiful lost things, they were eliminated not necessarily by human rapaciousness, but by the byproducts of human industrial development and overpopulation. People didn't kill the Baiji off, but they made it impossible for the Baiji to survive. Who is responsible? We all are. This is what we do. Not to beat a dead horse, but the baiji is a victim of humanity. Our essence is this death. We are truly become gods, destroyers of worlds, but we've no need of atomic bombs to do the work; it can be accomplished just as well with simple household tools and a prideful smile. We are the losers, if only because only we can be tortured by the knowledge of what we have done.

Santiago Armengod: "Tus heroes son nuestros enemigos" ($25)

Este grabado es un llamado a informarnos y aprender por nuestros propios medios aquellas historias ya desgastadas por los gobiernos e instituciones. Todas nuestras vidas se nos bombardea visual y psicologicamente con imagenes de supuestos heroes y heroinas de la historia. Esta en nuestras manos decidir si los heroes de las instituciones son tambien nuestros heroes.

This woodcut is a call to educate ourselves by our own means, of all those worn out stories told by the goverment and institutions. We are bombarded our whole lives visually and psychologically with pictures of supposed heroes of history. It lays in our hands the decision to choose if those heroes of the institutions are also our heroes.

Swoon: "Alden" ($400)

This print is adapted from a block print of my grandfather, and all of the money from this one will go to rehabbing the church that is being taken over in Braddock, PA. is the project website. Silk screened with hand cutting, on dyed paper. Stitched to a sewn paper background.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss Turns 100

NPR audio documentary by Frank Browning on All Things Considered, November 23, 2008

Listen Now [6 min 20 sec]

This week in Paris, one of the last icons of 20th century French intellectual life turns 100. Claude Levi-Strauss not only reshaped the nature of how anthropologists do their work, he changed the world's perception of so-called "primitive" tribes in Asia, Africa and America.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

International Experimental Media Congress 2010

The International Experimental Media Congress, April 7-10, 2010 in Toronto, will provide a forum for exchange between artists, curators, programmers, gallerists, theorists, activists, writers and lovers of Canadian and international film, video and related time-based media art.

The first Congress since 1989, this gathering will promote ongoing international conversation and provide a platform for creative discussions about the burning issues related to experimental media production, exhibition, dissemination, criticism, pedagogy and reception.

Without the luxury of endless time and space, this thematically-focused event aims to include voices both young and old, from near and far, and across disciplines and practices in order to address the most pressing topics and to further develop the world wide networks of individuals working in this field. To make the process as inclusive and open as possible, major themes of discussion will be identified on the basis of responses to a short online survey at the link to your left.

Timed to coincide with the 23rd Images Festival, the Congress will extend free Festival passes to all registered attendees. The conference will feature morning and afternoon panels with plenty of time for networking and attending contemporary experimental programs at Images and throughout Toronto in the evenings and on the weekend.

Please share this exciting information with your networks.