Tag Archives: economics

The Kingdom of Survival

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THE KINGDOM OF SURVIVAL explores modern skepticism in America, challenges the status quo and uncovers provocative links between survivalist philosophy, ecumenical spirituality, radical political theory, and outlaw culture. The audience is invited into a thoughtful conversation with the likes of Prof. Noam ChomskyDr. Mark Mirabello, Ramsey Kanaan, and the riveting final interview with beloved author, Joe Bageant. These unique thought leaders cast a rare shadow of doubt over our most blindly accepted American traditions. By remaining observantly agnostic to the subjects, the film is able to honestly investigate the physical and psychological practices of diverse individuals in a conflict-ridden and confused post-modern world. In a time of brainwashing corporate and political propaganda, The Kingdom of Survival reunites us with the life-changing spirit of the outlaw highway. 

by M.A. Littler

An interview with Joe Bageant, author of “Deer Hunting with Jesus” and “Rainbow Pie”

Slowboat Films 

Screenings

10/09    RAINDANCE FILM FESTIVAL, London
10/13    BABYLON MITTE, Berlin
10/14 – 10/19 SPUTNIK, Berlin
10/15    MOUSONTURM, Frankfurt
10/18 – 10/19 CASABLANCA, Dresden
10/20 – 10/23 MAL SEH’N KINO, Frankfurt
10/20 – 10/26 FILMHAUS, Saarbrücken
10/24   CINEMA/GLEIS 22, Münster
10/29 – 10/30 CINÉMATTE, Bern

Festivals

2011 Montreal World Film Festival
2011 Raindance Film Festival London
2011 Rappahannock Independent Film Fest

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The dustbin of art history

Briefhistory

 

There is a pattern typical of these end-phase periods, when an artistic movement ossifies. At such times there is exaggeration and multiplication instead of development. A once new armoury of artistic concepts, processes, techniques and themes becomes an archive of formulae, quotations or paraphrasings, ultimately assuming the mode of self-parody.

Over the last decade, not only conceptualism—perhaps the dominant movement of the past three decades—but the entire modernist project has been going through a similar process. Of course, some important and inspired artists have made important and inspired work in recent years—from famous photographers like Andreas Gursky and painters like Luc Tuymans to lesser-known video artists like Lindsay Seers and Anri Sala. But there is something more fundamentally wrong with much of this century’s famous art than its absurd market value.

I believe that this decline shares four aesthetic and ideological characteristics with the end-phases of previous grand styles: formulae for the creation of art; a narcissistic, self-reinforcing cult that elevates art and the artist over actual subjects and ideas; the return of sentiment; and the alibi of cynicism.

But in order clearly to see what is in front of our eyes, we must acknowledge that much of the last decade’s most famous work has been unimaginative, repetitious, formulaic, cynical, mercenary. Why wait for future generations to dismiss this art of celebrity, grandiosity and big money? To paraphrase Trotsky, let us turn to these artists, their billionaire patrons and toadying curators and say: “You are pitiful, isolated individuals. You are bankrupts. Your role is played out. Go where you belong from now on—into the dustbin of art history!”

Read the article:

 

The dustbin of art history

by BEN LEWIS 

 

Why is so much contemporary art awful? We’re living through the death throes of the modernist project—and this isn’t the first time that greatness has collapsed into decadence

Art by John Campbell via Comics Alliance

 

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Wild Dogs Commute

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Wild dogs that commute from suburbs to scavenge in city The clever canines board the Tube each morning. After a hard day scavenging and begging on the streets, they hop back on the train and return to the suburbs where they spend the night.

Experts studying the dogs say they even work together to make sure they get off at the right stop — after learning to judge the length of time they need to spend on the train. The mutts choose the quietest carriages at the front and back of the train. They have also developed tactics to hustle humans into giving them more food on the streets of Moscow.

Dr Poiarkov told how the dogs like to play during their daily commute. He said: “They jump on the train seconds before the doors shut, risking their tails getting jammed. They do it for fun. And sometimes they fall asleep and get off at the wrong stop.” The dogs have learned to use traffic lights to cross the road safely, said Dr Poiarkov. And they use cunning tactics to obtain tasty morsels of shawarma, a kebab-like snack popular in Moscow.

 

from Wild Dogs Take Chewbilee Line by Virginia Wheeler | The Sun

 

via 1 Nation | dern

 

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Scarp by Jarod Charzewski

Jarod Charzewski’s exhibition titled Scarp opened at the Halsey Institute for Contemporary Art on September 5th 2008. This installation project encapsulates North America’s consumer culture which leads to overcapacity landfill sites.

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A precise wooden and cardboard armature held up the 5000 articles of clothing.

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Senegal unveils colossal statue amid criticism

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(CNN) — Senegal on Saturday unveiled a colossal statue during a lavish ceremony amid reports of criticism over the monument's construction at a time when the western African nation is struggling financially.

The 164-foot structure — about a foot taller than the Statue of Liberty — shows the figures of a man, a woman and a child, arms outstretched, facing the Atlantic Ocean.

President Abdoulaye Wade says the statue, which he designed, is a monument to Africa's renaissance. Critics say the opulent copper structure is merely the product of the president's own self-indulgent vision and poor governance.

And though it dominates the skyline of Senegal's capital, Dakar, the monument falls far short of the president's claim that it is the world's largest. Several other statues are listed by multiple sources to be taller, including China's Spring Temple Buddha, which stands just under 420 feet.

Opposition group Benno Siggil Senegal called on the Senegalese people to "refuse to associate themselves with a fraudulent scheme designed to satisfy the fantasies of Abdoulaye Wade and to lay the foundations of dynastic reign of Wade on our country," according to the African Press Agency.

A spokeswoman for the president sought to downplay criticism Saturday, saying the statue — valued at roughly $20 million — was made possible by a land deal between Wade and North Korea, and that proceeds from the monument will benefit Senegalese children.

The statue is "an affirmation to be proud of Africa — to be proud to be black," said spokeswoman Gia Abrassart.

Other dignitaries in attendance at Saturday's ceremony, which coincided with the 50th anniversary of Senegal's independence, echoed that message.

"This renaissance statue is a powerful idea from a powerful mind," said the Rev. Jesse Jackson in remarks to the crowd of hundreds waving flags at the foot of the lighted monument. "This is dedicated to the journey of our ancestors, enslaved but not slaves."

Malawi President Bingu Wa Mutharika praised Wade for constructing a monument that represents Africa.

"This monument does not belong to Senegal," he said. "It belongs to the African people wherever we are."

North Korea, which made the statue's construction possible, also sent Wade a congratulatory message, the state-run Korean Central News Agency reported.

In exchange for the money to build the statue, North Korea received a piece of Senegalese land, Abrassart said.

The message from top North Korean official Kim Yong Nam "expressed belief that the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries would grow stronger in various fields in the future, too," according to KCNA.

via CNN

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The Great Contemporary Art Bubble

Media_httpwwwartdaily_qyffd

Ben Lewis stands outside of Christie’s.

LONDON.- The contemporary art boom is now over, but between 2003 and Autumn 2008 the world witnessed a craze for collecting contemporary art unprecedented in history.

During the last frenzied year of this boom, art critic and film-maker Ben Lewis followed the contemporary art market, travelling to art fairs, auctions, museums, and the offices and homes of billionaire art collectors,, interviewing dealers, auctioneers, gallery-owners, art market analysts and art collectors, trying to find out the reasons behind this historic phenomenon. He uncovered a world of complicated deals, distinctive market practices and widespread secrecy as well as passionate enthusiasm for contemporary art.

On September 15th 2008, the day of the collapse of Lehmans, the worst financial news since 1929, Damien Hirst sold over £70 million of his art, in an auction at Sotheby’s that would total £111 million over two days. It was the peak of the contemporary art bubble – the greatest rise in the financial value of art in the history of the world.

One art critic and film-maker was banned by Sotheby’s and Hirst from attending this historic auction: Ben Lewis.

Why? He had spent a year making a documentary searchng for the reasons behind the booming contemporary art market, and they claimed he was “biased” against them and contemporary art.

During the easy-credit boom years, there were bubbles in many assets – property, wine, copper, oil. But there was one bubble that was bigger than all the rest: contemporary art. An Andy Warhol sold for $72 million, a Rothko for $73 million, and a Francis Bacon for $86 million. While the rest of the economy began to falter under the Credit Crunch in late 2007, the contemporary art bubble kept on inflating, bigger and fatter than ever before.

Art critic and film-maker Ben Lewis spent all of 2008 investigating this contemporary art bubble. Everywhere he went, the art world told him that the contemporary art boom would go on forever, fuelled by a new passion from the world’s super-rich. But Lewis found other big reasons for the contemporary art boom – a world of unusual market practices, speculation, secrecy and tax breaks that involved the whole art world – dealers, collectors, galleries, auction houses and, in some senses, even public museums.

In the climax of the film, Lewis’ discoveries lead him to play his own part in the bursting of the contemporary art bubble, which is revealed for the first time in this film.

Finally the moment came that he had long predicted. A month after the Hirst auction at Sotheby’s, the contemporary art market crashed, dropping by 40% in November 2008 and 75% by February 2009, and still falling today.

The Great Contemporary Art Bubble is not only a film about the art market , it may be read as a parable for the delusion and greed which drove the world economy over the edge in 2008. In future years the contemporary art bubble may come to be seen as the epitome of the boom-times we have been living through.

The Great Contemporary Art Bubble

http://benlewis.tv/

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Joseph Hirsch – Street Scene (1938)

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Joseph Hirsch, “Street Scene”, 1938. Oil on canvas, 22 x 24 inches. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, The University of Oklahoma, Norman; WPA Collection, 1942.

NORMAN, OK.- In light of the current U.S. economy and its historic correlation to the 1930s, the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art premieres a new exhibition of New Deal-era artwork this spring. Revisiting the New Deal: Government Patronage and the Fine Arts, 1933-1943 opens Friday, Feb. 5, with a special public opening reception at 7 p.m.

Revisiting the New Deal surveys the large collection of painting, sculpture and prints that the museum acquired from the federal government between 1935 and 1943. Selections from the exhibition include works by Stuart Davis, Joseph Hirsch, Jon Corbino, Louis Lozowick, Paul Goodbear and Patrociño Barela. A collection of posters designed by Louis Siegriest and reproductions of Navajo blankets by Louis Ewing are highlighted as well.

http://www.ou.edu/fjjma

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Who Made Who?

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via No Sugar Added

 

I’m searching my storage facility this week for an old VHS dub of a former bank president who discloses information related to Chomsky’s comments here.  As far as I recall the tape was copied and distributed to public access television stations around the country.  It’s a hoot.  If I can’t locate it, or the quality is lacking, I’ll do my best to find a producer who has a better copy. 

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