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Directed by Bregtje van der Haak / produced by VPRO Backlight, The Netherlands
This VPRO Backlight documentary tracks down the amnesiac zeitgeist starting at the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam, whose world-famous 250-year old library was lost to budget cuts. The 400.000 Books were saved from the shredder by Ismail Serageldin, director of the world-famous Library of Alexandria, who is turning the legendary library of classical antiquity into a new knowledge hub for the digital world.
Gabriel García Márquez’s Nobel Prize Lecture, 8 December 1982.
The Solitude of Latin America
Antonio Pigafetta, the Florentine navigator who accompanied Magellan on the
first circumnavigation around the world, kept a meticulous log of his
journey through our South American continent, which, nevertheless, also
seems to be an adventure into the imagination. He related that he had seen
pigs with their umbilicus on their backs and birds without feet, the female
of the species of which would brood their eggs on the backs of the males,
as well as others like gannets without tongues, whose beak looked like a
spoon. He wrote that he had seen a monstrosity of an animal with the head
and ears of a mule, the body of a camel, the hooves of a deer and the neigh
of a horse. He related they had put a mirror in front of the first native
they met in Patagonia and how that overexcited giant lost the use of his
reason out of fear of his own image.
This short and fascinating book, in which we can perceive the gems of our
contemporary novels, is not, by any means, the most surprising testimony of
our reality at that time. The Chroniclers of the Indies have left us
innumerable others. Eldorado, our illusory land which was much sought
after, appeared on numerous maps over a long period, changing in situation
and extent according to the whim of the cartographers. The mythical Álvar
Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, in search of the fount of Eternal Youth, spent eight
years exploring the north of Mexico in a crazy expedition whose members ate
one another; only five of the six hundred who set out returned home. One of
the many mysteries which was never unravelled is that of the eleven
thousand mules, each loaded with one hundred pounds weight of gold, which
left Cuzco one day to pay the ransom of Atahualpa and which never arrived
at their destination. Later on, during the colonial period, they used to
sell in Cartagena de India chickens raised on alluvial soils in whose
gizzards were found gold nuggets. This delirium for gold among our founding
fathers has been a bane upon us until very recent times. Why, only in the
last century, the German mission appointed to study the construction of a
railway line between the oceans across the Panamanian isthmus concluded
that the project was a viable one on the condition that the rails should be
not of iron, a scarce metal in the region, but of gold.
The independence from Spanish domination did not save us from this madness.
General Antonio López de Santana, thrice dictator of Mexico, had the right
leg he lost in the so-called War of the Cakes buried with all funeral pomp.
General García Moreno governed Ecuador for sixteen years as an absolute
monarch and his dead body, dressed in full-dress uniform and his cuirass
with its medals, sat in state upon the presidential throne. General
Maximilian Hernández Martínez, the theosophical despot of El Salvador who
had thirty thousand peasants exterminated in a savage orgy of killing,
invented a pendulum to discover whether food was poisoned, and had the
street lamps covered with red paper to combat an epidemic of scarlet fever.
The monument to General Francisco Morazan, raised up in the main square of
Tegucigalpa is, in reality, a statue of Marshal Ney which was bought in
repository of second-hand statues in Paris.
Eleven years ago, one of the outstanding poets of our time, Pablo Neruda
from Chile, brought light to this very chamber with his words. In the
European mind, in those of good – and often those of bad – consciences, we
witness, on a forceful scale never seen before, the eruption of an
awareness of the phantoms of Latin America, that great homeland of deluded
men and historic women, whose infinite stubbornness is confused with
legend. We have not had a moment of serenity. A Promethean president
embattled in a palace in flames died fighting single-handedly against an
army, and two air disasters which occurred under suspicious circumstances,
circumstances which were never clarified, cut off the life of another of
generous nature and that of a democratic soldier who had restored the
dignity of his nation. There have been five wars and seventeen ‘coups
d’etat’ and the rise of a devilish dictator who, in the name of God,
accomplished the first genocide in Latin America in our time. Meanwhile,
twenty million Latin American children died before their second birthday,
which is more than all those born in Europe since 1970. Nearly one hundred
and twenty thousand have disappeared as a consequence of repression, which
is as if, today, no one knew where all the inhabitants of Uppsala were.
Many women arrested during pregnancy gave birth in Argentine prisons, but,
still, where or who their children are is not known; either they were
passed into secret adoption or interned in orphanages by the military
authorities. So that things should not continue thus, two hundred thousand
men and women have given up their lives over the continent, and more than
one hundred thousand in three, tiny wilful countries in Central America:
Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala. Were this to happen in the United
States, the proportionate ratio would be one million six hundred thousand
violent deaths in four years. A million people have fled from Chile, a
country noted for its tradition of hospitality: that is, ten per cent of
its population. Uruguay, a tiny nation of two and a half million
inhabitants, a nation which considered itself one of the most civilized
countries of the continent, has lost one in five of its citizens into
exile. The civil war in El Salvador has created, since 1979, virtually one
refugee every twenty minutes. A country created from all these Latin
Americans either in exile or in enforced emigration would have a larger
population than Norway.
I dare to believe that it is this highly unusual state of affairs, and not
only its literary expression, which, this year, has merited the attention
of the Swedish Literary Academy: a reality which is not one on paper but
which lives in us and determines each moment of our countless daily deaths,
one which constantly replenishes an insatiable fount of creation, full of
unhappiness and beauty, of which this wandering and nostalgic Colombian is
merely another number singled out by fate. Poets and beggars, musicians and
prophets, soldiers and scoundrels, all we creatures of that disorderly
reality have needed to ask little of the imagination, for the major
challenge before us has been the want of conventional resources to make our
life credible. This, my friends, is the nub of our solitude.
For, if these setbacks benumb us, we who are of its essence, it is not
difficult to understand that the mental talents of this side of the world,
in an ecstasy of contemplation of their own cultures, have found themselves
without a proper means to interpret us. One realizes this when they insist
on measuring us with the same yardstick with which they measure themselves,
without realizing that the ravages of life are not the same for all, and
that the search for one’s own identity is as arduous and bloody for us as
it was for them. To interpret our reality through schemas which are alien
to us only has the effect of making us even more unknown, ever less free,
ever more solitary. Perhaps venerable old Europe would be more sympathetic
if it tried to see us in its own past; if it remembered that London needed
three hundred years to build her first defensive wall, and another three
hundred before her first bishop; that Rome debated in the darkness of
uncertainty for twenty centuries before an Etruscan king rooted her in
history, and that even in the sixteenth century the pacifist Swiss of
today, who so delight us with their mild cheeses and their cheeky clocks,
made Europe bloody as soldiers of fortune. Even in the culminating phase of
the Renaissance, twelve thousand mercenary lansquenets of the Imperial
armies sacked and razed Rome, cutting down eight thousand of its
I have no desire to give shape to the ideals of Tonio Kröger, whose dreams
of a union between the chaste North and a passionate South excited Thomas
Mann in this place fifty-three years ago. But I believe that those
clear-sighted Europeans who also struggle here for a wider homeland, more
humane and just, could help us more if they were to revise fundamentally
their way of seeing us. Their solidarity with our aspirations does not make
us feel any less alone so long as it is not made real by acts of genuine
support to people who desire to have their own life while sharing the good
things in the world.
Latin America has no desire to be, nor should it be, a pawn without will,
neither is it a mere shadow of a dream that its designs for independence
and originality should become an aspiration of the western hemisphere.
Nevertheless, advances in methods of travel which have reduced the huge
distances between our Americas and Europe seem to increased our cultural
distance. Why are we granted unreservedly a recognition of our originality
in literature when our attempts, in the face of enormous difficulties, to
bring about social change are denied us with all sorts of mistrust? Why
must they think that the system of social justice imposed by advanced
European nations upon their peoples cannot also be an objective for us
Latin Americans but with different methods in different conditions? No: the
violence and disproportionate misery of our history are the result of
secular injustice and infinite bitterness and not a plot hatched three
thousand leagues distance from our home. But many European leaders and
thinkers have thought so, with all the childlike regression of grandfathers
who have forgotten the life-giving madness of youth, as if it were not
possible to live a destiny other than one at the mercy of the two great
leaders and masters of the world.
Nevertheless, in the face of oppression, pillage and abandonment, our reply
is life. Neither floods nor plagues, nor famines nor cataclysms, nor even
eternal war century after century have managed to reduce the tenacious
advantage that life has over death. It is an advantage which is on the
increase and quickens apace: every year, there are seventy-four million
more births than deaths, a sufficient number of new living souls to
populate New York every year seven times over. The majority of these are
born in countries with few resources, and among these, naturally, the
countries of Latin America. On the other hand, the more prosperous nations
have succeeded in accumulating sufficient destructive power to annihilate
one hundred times over not only every human being who has ever existed but
every living creature ever to have graced this planet of misfortune.
On a day like today, my master William Faulkner said in this very place, “I
refuse to admit the end of mankind.” I should not feel myself worthy of
standing where he once stood were I not fully conscious that, for the first
time in the history of humanity, the colossal disaster which he refused to
recognize thirty-two years ago is now simply a scientific possibility. Face
to face with a reality that overwhelms us, one which over man’s perceptions
of time must have seemed a utopia, tellers of tales who, like me, are
capable of believing anything, feel entitled to believe that it is not yet
too late to undertake the creation of a minor utopia: a new and limitless
utopia for life, wherein no one can decide for others how they are to die,
where love really can be true and happiness possible, where the lineal
generations of one hundred years of solitude will have at last and for ever
a second opportunity on earth.
via Mithru’s website >> more info there with detailed explanation of the project.
Aleph of Emotions is a project that was created during my study at LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore. The project is about emotions and the possible observable patterns in global emotions.
The Aleph, according to author, Jorge Luis Borges, is a point in the Universe where all other points exist. Therefore, anyone looking at the Aleph could see everything in the Universe at once. In this project, I use the Aleph as a metaphor for an archive; Aleph of Emotions refers to an archive of emotions. This archive is produced by data collected from twitter. Data is collected based on keywords that define certain emotions. The results are finally presented with an interactive object.
Aleph of Emotions is an interactive object that allows users to view worldwide emotions collected from twitter. The camera-like interface allows users to point along a particular direction, focus to a place along that direction and click to view a visualization of emotions in that place. The intention is to explore and find patterns in human emotions with relation to space and time.
Special Thanks to the following people for their guidance and feedback for this project.
Mui Rui Yi
Music Source: (Orbique: Always now never after)
Emotions are categorized on the basis of Plutchik’s theory into joy, sadness, trust, disgust, fear, anger, surprise and anticipation. Plutchik also created a wheel-like diagram to explain his theory. In most illustrations, each emotion has a particular colour (see link below). These exact colours were used to visualize each emotion in this project.
Data is visualized for each day of the week and overall as well. The top most bar shows an overall distribution of emotions for the place. Each bar that follows represents a day of the week starting from Sunday.
Yellow represents joy, light green represents trust, dark green represents fear, light blue represents surprise, dark blue represents sadness, pink represents disgust, red represents anger and orange represents anticipation.
more info at LASALLE >>
Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer digital currency:
Bitcoins can be sent easily through the Internet,
Transactions are irreversible,
They are safe from uncontrolled inflation
Bitcoin is an experimental new digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority: managing transactions and issuing money are carried out collectively by the network. Bitcoin is also the name of the open source software which enables the use of this currency.
The software is a community-driven open source project, released under the MIT license and originally created by Satoshi Nakamoto.
Bitcoin is one of the first implementations of a concept called crypto-currency which was first described in 1998 by Wei Dai on the cypherpunks mailing list. Building upon the notion that money is any object, or any sort of record, accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given country or socio-economic context, Bitcoin is designed around the idea of using cryptography to control the creation and transfer of money, rather than relying on central authorities.
Sourced from Bitcoin.org and Wikipedia.
Windows (exe) 9.3 MB (zip) 13 MB
GNU/Linux 12 MB
Mac OS X 13 MB
Bitcoins are sent easily through the Internet, without needing to trust any third party.
Are irreversible by design
Are fast. Funds received are available for spending within minutes.
Cost very little, especially compared to other payment networks.
The supply of bitcoins is regulated by software and the agreement of users of the system and cannot be manipulated by any government, bank, organization or individual. The limited inflation of the Bitcoin system’s money supply is distributed evenly (by CPU power) to miners who help secure the network.
Instant photography was introduced in 1948, a year after instant film in New York city. A remarkable fact from the action of taking an instant picture is that there is no post-editing, therefore the photograph results seconds later as an approximately faithful sample of a ‘moment’.
The Polaroid Land Camera model 103
In 2008 Polaroid announced it would discontinue the production of film, yet in 2009 it was announced the comeback of instant cameras. Instagram was launched in october 2010…
In its largest acquisition deal to date, Facebook made an offer to purchase Instagram (with its 13 employees) for approximately $1 billion in cash and stock in April 2012, with plans to keep it independently managed. The Office of Fair Trading gave the deal the ‘green light’ on August 14, 2012, and on August 22, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission in the United States closed its investigation, allowing the deal to proceed.
Yesterday I found out about the Impossible Instant Lab project via Kickstarter’s mailing list… amazingly it has managed to surpass its goal by more than 50% within 4 days. It somehow seems to me like the visual input and output ‘needed’ by the human eye is dominating culture in a way that leaves no room for thought nor reflection to penetrate the blindness of [i(eye)]. Smart phones are indeed a useful toy, and they also appear to be a time-compressed-handy-candy-for-individuals, optimism in the gates of a dusked dawn.
During early 2010, in caracas… i worked with trujillo on some tracks in his studio… one of those tracks, Dark Days… is now on a compilation released by a new english label (slo-mo house scene) called ISM Records, cool!
promotion is running now… and a forthcoming EP for the track… happy about that… looking fwd for reactions…
soon… a complete overview of this compilation album…
A COLLECTION OF SLO-MO CUTS & LATE NIGHT TAKES
For the first time ever Ism Records has globally compiled one of the strongest line-ups of todays studio technicians, striving to find a new sound, a zone between a slower house groove, bumping boogie, epic soul jams, and inspired sampling. Since early 2000 an entire legion of producers and new school editors emerged including Todd Terje, Yam Who? Mark E, with inspired reworks, modern day mid-tempo sonic affairs allowing the content to be quite diverse, obscure and downbeat minimalistic. Nearly a decade on and we are fully into the digital era, where bedroom musical sculptures appear overnight with a new take on this sound. Ism has brought a select few of them together and has carefully selected an album to highlight this highly refined style, music that reflects modern living, the perfect soundtrack for bar life, beach lounging and those lazy page turning weekend mornings.
Jona Saucedo – Nature (Original Mix)
Heion – It Can Be (Original Mix)
Martin Ruiez – Golden Sugar (Original Mix)
TRUJILLO Feat BERNARDO – Dark Days (Original Mix)
MR.CHICAGO – Bad Dub (Original Mix)
Beaten Space Probe – Rainy Night (Original Mix)
Rayko – So In Love (Original Mix)
Ajello – That Groove Again (Original Mix)
78 Edits – Serious (Original Mix)
Drop Out Orchestra – Get Up (Original Mix)
Magnetic Soul – Heads Over (Original Mix)
The Legendary 1979 Orchestra – The Living (Original Mix)
Deadly Sins – Give Me love (Original Mix)
Yam Bee – Natural Off (Original Mix)
Sleazy McQueen – What I Need (Original Mix)
Yam Who? – Talkin To Myself (Original Mix)
Electric Boogie – The Flow (Original Mix)
Matthew Kyle – Bad Days (Original Mix)
Out Soon on CD & Double 12″
Steve Jobs showed the world what human innovation and creative thinking can do. Steve Jobs not only had great products but he has changed the world with them. He was our modern day Benjamin Franklin. Thank you Steve and may you rest in peace! I think it’s only appropriate to thank you Bill Gates and Sergy Bin for your work as well that most of us have taken for granted.
Providing information about the Great East Japan Earthquake and the state of Japan today via an integrated visual language.
more info here: http://311scale.jp/en.html
1. No dramatization
2. No opinions
3. Communication that can be easily understood by people around the world
4. Maximum possible accuracy
Information provided here utilizes “Earthquake Hypocenter and Intensity Level Data Announced in Earthquake Reports (from March 11)*,” provided by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA). This information is updated at each announcement from the JMA.
The information lists the maximum intensity level at the center of each of the areas listed in “Names of Areas Used in Emergency Earthquake Information and Intensity Bulletins*,” provided by the Japan Meteorological Agency.
The graph begins from intensity level 3, described as “Felt by most people in buildings.”
M 9.0 indicates a moment magnitude of 9.0 based on CMT analysis.
Intensity: The intensity levels shown here are from the Seismic Intensity Scale of the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), and indicate the degree of ground shaking. This scale is composed of 10 levels (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5 Upper, 6 Lower, 6 Upper, 7). The intensity is measured by seismic intensity meters and the results are announced by the JMA.
Reference sites: “Summary of Tables explaining the JMA Seismic Intensity Scale””Methods of Calculating Measured Earthquake Intensity*”
*These titles are original translations by NDC of the Japanese source titles.
What is WikiViz 2011
WikiViz 2011 is about visualizing the impact of Wikipedia. We want to see the most effective, compelling and creative data-driven visualizations of how Wikipedia impacted the world with its content, culture and open collaboration model. Potential topics include: the imprint of Wikipedia on knowledge sharing and access to information; its impact on literacy and education, journalism and research; on the functioning of scientific and cultural organizations and businesses, as well as the daily life of individuals around the world. In the same way, we want to see visualizations of areas of knowledge, geographical regions, organizations and people Wikipedia has not been able to reach or has impacted less than one would have expected. In summary, the main goal of this competition is to improve our understanding of how Wikipedia is affecting the world beyond the scope of its own community.
For more info click here