March 2005 Archives

Poised above

My fingers poised above the keyboard are a lip-gloss red mouth waiting to kiss a narrative into being.


(Modified detail of image sourced here)

March 31, 2005 | 06:20 PM | Permalink
Raising mobiles

Seville is this incredible city where traditions keep breathing fresh. Where flamenco and gitana dresses still change with the flow of fashion. Where kids get more excited over the respective merits of the Madonnas of Triana and Macarena than the local football clubs. And where "the street finds its own use for things" mantra has the taste of a chilled mutant manzanilla.


(Oye Antonio que te voy a ofrecer una cruzcampo muy fresquita un dia!)

March 30, 2005 | 06:34 PM | Permalink
Teleblaster: born to explode TV


Available through Electroboutique, the Teleblaster is part of a New age of television.


March 18, 2005 | 05:16 PM | Permalink
Gary Taxali's illustrations



March 18, 2005 | 05:07 PM | Permalink
suicide bomber


(Image by linda zacks - from her freshly revamped site)

March 17, 2005 | 10:33 PM | Permalink
Message from Miller (Henry, not the beer)

Some food for thought has no expiry date:

"One can live joyously - one must! in the midst of a world peopled with sorrowing, suffering creatures. What other world is there in which to enjoy life? I know this, that I will no longer perform for the sake of performing, nor take action for the sake of being active. Nor can I acknowledge as necessitous or inevitable what goes on in the name of law and order, peace and prosperity, freedom and security."

(Henry Miller)

March 17, 2005 | 10:30 PM | Permalink
Ogi's graphics



March 16, 2005 | 06:47 PM | Permalink
How to disappear (surveillance DK:UK)



March 16, 2005 | 06:40 PM | Permalink
Consuming creativity 4 free

The Economist reports on the rise of the creative consumer.

"At the heart of most thinking about innovation is the belief that people expect to be paid for their creative work: hence the need to protect and reward the creation of intellectual property. One really exciting thing about user-led innovation is that customers seem willing to donate their creativity freely, says Mr Von Hippel. This may be because it is their only practical option: patents are costly to get and often provide only weak protection. Some people may value the enhanced reputation and network effects of freely revealing their work more than any money they could make by patenting it. Either way, some firms are starting to believe that there really is such a thing as a free lunch.


March 16, 2005 | 12:40 PM | Permalink
Joi Ito and the Milan anarchist club

It's late evening in the northern outskirts of Milan as I stop for a bite to eat in a Chinese take-away. The place is empty aside from a couple of young South Americans that sit in a corner kissing from time to time, oblivious to the naked light above and the rocking floor that simulates a mini earthquake each time a tube train runs below.

I am off to a long-standing anarchist club to listen to Joi Ito speak about Creative Commons. I have an admiration for the guy's boundless energy and hands-on curiosity and, more importantly, a fascination for the fact that he is a rare representative of what I term a border hacker: someone capable of interacting across diverse environments. In this case, a person priviledged enough to engage in discussion with business and political leaders one week and grassroot activists the next.

The place is plastered with political posters and photographs of a mid-spring dream that took place in Paris back in '68. It is fittingly chilly inside and the wine is served on a donation basis. The turnout is rather low - 30/40 people - and the organizer blames it on the crack cocaine of Italian consumer culture: a football match on TV.

The scene however is somewhat right for the topics tackled. After all, the implications of free culture, wikipedia-like projects, open source mentality and P2P all point to a paradigm shift away from competition towards cooperation. The rise of a gift culture and the democratization of the means of cultural production share many of the features found in anarchist philosophies.

This opens a whole series of questions that remain for the most unanswered and are linked to the fact that we cannot live off culture alone. Allow me to explain: among other things Joi talks about the shifting relations between amateurs and professionals. As I point out the common view still invests the latter of more authority and more knowledge. The amateur,
after all, is simply the hobbyist while the professional - and this I believe is a crucial point - gets paid for his/her activities. And yet our perceptions are always subjective. In ancient Rome for example, whoever exchanged their talents/services for financial gain was seen as a slave. The amateur, on the other hand, acts on love.

Which bring us back to gift culture: if we start to find too many benefits in giving away our work, how will we end up paying our bills? Is not a degree of financial security necessary, a priori, to take part in this new culture?

But I digress. Back in more pragmatic terms Joi asks if the widespread practice among Creative Commons adopters to choose a non-commercial module is the right choice: "Wouldn't you be happy to see the New York Times use your content?". Now, I never saw this format as precluding commercial use. What I would expect is some form of financial return from whoever sells my content, some kind of revenue share, an ad-hoc agreement.

In the case of this blog, however, I realize how the expression my content is often tenous and unclear. As regular visitors know full well NFSB is composed of visual quotes and the building blocks of a remix discourse. And with Joi looking for clarifications on the legal status of creative commons in Italy I also realize that my adoption of the agreement has been driven more by moral than regulatory concerns. How bizarre.

March 16, 2005 | 10:41 AM | Permalink


(Images: top drawn from the von Anna und Barney galerie; middle refers to the artwork of Jeffery Scott; bottom illustrates a history of gay bathhouses in the US - 2 via)

March 12, 2005 | 02:49 PM | Permalink
The hip-hop feud Israeli-style


March 11, 2005 | 02:16 PM | Permalink
The Leif Parsons brand guidelines

In this age of individuals as brands, Leif Parsons draws up his own brand manual. Deliciously funny.


(Thanks Fabio!)

March 10, 2005 | 02:18 PM | Permalink


And if you want to get pulpier check out Lucifera and Biancaneve.

(Vampirella via elastico. Euro pulp links found here)

March 09, 2005 | 01:59 PM | Permalink
Tranced-out ties & scatty skirts

Tranced-out ties and scatty skirts calmy commit complex crimes against the art of everyday living.

March 09, 2005 | 01:56 PM | Permalink
Rant ant


March 09, 2005 | 01:01 PM | Permalink
The so-sad 15-minute laugh

Now I totally agree that laughing is good for you. It's something I just know - a gut feeling that originates from the same inner sanctum of a belly laugh. So it's great to see new studies suggesting that a good laugh is good for your heart.

But when I read in the same article that "Thirty minutes of exercise three times a week and 15 minutes of hearty laughter each day should be part of a healthy lifestyle" (my italics) I just burst out laughing a sorrowful laugh. Now what kind of absurd advice is that? Am I supposed to schedule a laughing routine using my MS Outlook calendar function? Should I receive a reminder five minutes before?

March 08, 2005 | 02:02 PM | Permalink
It's a buzzwor(l)d!

Shopdropping. Life caching. SexBaying.

March 07, 2005 | 06:49 PM | Permalink
01 Call Missed


March 04, 2005 | 06:22 PM | Permalink
Rebecca Campbell's figurative americana

Fleeting flavours fill the figurative americana depicted in the artwork of Rebecca Campbell.


March 04, 2005 | 02:16 PM | Permalink
Tango electronica

I've always been fascinated by tango, so I was delighted to discover through this Buenos Aires based-blog a renaissance of the genre as sonic landscapes of eletronic tango. From the beautifully-named bajofondo tango club to gotan project and narcotango.


March 04, 2005 | 01:33 PM | Permalink
Everything but the kitschen sync

Everything But The Kitschen Sync is a group show running at the La Luz de Jesus Gallery in L.A. between March 4-27.


(From the top to bottom the images are by Alex Meyer, Dennis Larkins and Genevive Zacconi)

March 02, 2005 | 06:48 PM | Permalink
Serpica Naro: the details

As my previous post on Serpica Naro was rather vague and hyperlinked to italian texts, here are more details of the prank played by the collective behind San Precario and Serpica Naro. The quotes that follow are taken from the press release/case study (available as a zipped PDF here - translation by the blogger):

"If San Precario represents the rebellion in us precarious (workers), then Serpica Naro will represent our style...

In a moment of collective ecstasy, perhaps enlightened by San Precario, we knew we could invent (her) and place (her) in the official circuit of "Milano Moda Donna".

Through our contacts we discovered that to take part a new designer needs to be approved by a commission. This involved presenting: a collection of clothes; a list of buyers; media reviews of the stylist's work; the trademark registration number; a VAT number and office address; 1850 euro to register at the chamber of commerce.

What we needed was: a credible style; the right website; a credible portfolio; a press office; (our) man in Havana who was actually in Tokyo; a lot of help from those working in the industry."

In a creationist fashion, the mythopoeia exports a six-day timeline for the set-up of this cultural confidence trick. A ficticious fashion gossip site was also launched to create interest in Serpica Naro and to draw in the press, while a gay exploitation scandal was spread by counterculture queer groups. Collaborating at the protest/show/happening were Yo Mango and the crew at Conscious Fashion Week.

March 01, 2005 | 12:46 PM | Permalink