Posted: December 10th, 2012 | Author: JS | Filed under: PRESENTATIONS, PROJECTS | Comments Off
Ghosts of Katrina, 2012, 3:31.
For my first project I made a short film drawing on pre-existing footage from two significant natural disasters that have hit the Gulf Coast region, Hurricane Betsy in 1965 and The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. My aim is to suggest resonances between these two events and those of more recent calamities that have hit the region.
The film is set to a live, solo drum-set performance by Ari Hoenig, recorded at Loyola University in New Orleans on January 18, 2008. Hoenig has adapted for drum set the children’s Gospel song “This Little Light of Mine” by Harry Dixon Loes. Many believe this song was originally inspired by a passage from the Gospel of Matthew, where Jesus proclaimed: “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.” 5:14-5:15.
To see the film, click here.
Posted: October 8th, 2012 | Author: MT | Filed under: Co-operation Corp, Giving, Receiving, Exchanging, PRESENTATIONS, PROJECTS, PROPOSALS | Comments Off
I’d like to use the giving/receiving/exchanging project as an opportunity to connect my personal, quantifiable giving/exchange value to the Non-profit organization Co-operation Corp (http://co-operation-corp.tumblr.com/). I might be the legal “owner” of the corporation, so in a sense I am offering these 10 hours of immaterial labor to myself if it weren’t for the specific character and philosophy of the underlying corporation. It’s mission is to transcend money, so volunteering and exchange is the natural domain of the company. To make this gift more precious and “valuable” I’d like to double up the “investment” by matching it with a volunteer (or even multiple) for 10 hours of immaterial labor. During these 10 hours, coming together as a think-tank of sorts, I’d like to brainstorm alternative exchange values, contemporary incentives for productivity and innovation. My question is simple: Is money the only real exchange value modern society can think of and truly relate to. Must every human effort be compensated by a money value, and anyway, who establishes the value of any given effort in the first place? Why does the 12 hour workday of a janitor at Goldman Sachs World Headquarters valorize a millesimal of what a hot-shot I-Banker makes within the same premisses? So that’s the “deal”. Anybody out there who would like to engage in a conversation about such issues? Maybe we can come up with some groundbreaking new ideas for the society of the future? I’ll post the results on the corporate website of course.
Posted: October 7th, 2012 | Author: Laurenn | Filed under: PRESENTATIONS, PROJECTS | Comments Off
Attached, there should be a PDF of my project proposal. Feel free to take a look at it, and let me know if you have questions or comments. Experimental Communities Project 1
Posted: September 12th, 2012 | Author: MT | Filed under: IMAGES, PHOTO REPORTS, PRESENTATIONS, PROJECTS, SOCIAL METHODS, SUBCULTURAL & RADICAL GROUPS | Comments Off
I used to work in Manhattan in a corporate office. Every lunch, I would break out of this cubicle world and walk the streets. I wanted to be out there and be creative, although of course my job as a 3d artist was meant to be creative as well. But that’s not the same. Lunchbreak was my time to be an artist, a real artist not a creative professional. I had a crappy point and shoot camera in my hand and took pictures of random passerby’s, from the hip. Random pictures at first, but with practice I started seeing through my wrist; I began to roughly aim at interesting subjects, corporate people in a hurry, static homeless people, tourists etc. These walks and what I call “walk by shootings” became an obsession of sorts. The financial meltdown ended this chapter of my life. What follows are some of these shots:
Posted: March 31st, 2009 | Author: RS | Filed under: SCIENTIFIC & QUASI-SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENTS, Uncategorized | 89 Comments »
Stanley Milgram’s (Yale University psychologist) experiment with obedience can be described as follows: There are three individuals involved–the teacher, the learner, and the experimenter. The teacher is teaching the learner a set of words and, if the learner gets something wrong, the teacher has been instructed (and encouraged) by the experimenter to give the learner a shock. The shock treatment increases with every answer the learner gets wrong. The teacher was the only one who did not know what was going on in this experiment. The learner and experimenter were actors and the shocks were simulated.
Though some teachers stopped after a certain shock level or after the learner was shocked to the point of being unconscious, many of the teachers actually went on. Milgram wanted to experiment with people’s willingness to obey an authority figure.
I think these experiments are extremely interesting and disturbing. We all believe that we, ourselves, would never take part in such horrible actions but Milgram’s experiments show that human nature is a lot more universal than we thought.
Posted: March 31st, 2009 | Author: AT | Filed under: SCIENTIFIC & QUASI-SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENTS, Uncategorized | 128 Comments »
In the not too distant past (and still today), Native remains were studied for their “phrenological” value. Phrenology is the study of the structure of the skull to determine one’s character and mental capacity. Not surprisingly, much of the studies declared the skulls of “savages” to represent a lower form of humanity, comparing various Native peoples’ remains mainly to see how they were “differently lower” — indeed, oftentimes skulls of indigenous peoples were held up next to the skulls of criminals to suggest a sort of baseness to human activity the “higher forms” of humanity were seeking to rid from the species altogether.
For more on the pseudo-science, please see this.
<-- Here is a chart portraying the not-too-assemblage-y pseudo-science.
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Moving from membership in the “higher” form of humanity, to a more horizontal conception of membership — where does science try to make determinations in this way as well?
With indigenous peoples of course!
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Paradigmatic example: Kennewick Man
Skeletal remains of a human male were accidentally discovered in Washington state in 1996. The remains were close to 9000 years old. A controversy quickly ensued on many levels as several tribes disputed to which he belonged, and even some scientists argued his status as “Native American” at all. To exacerbate the controversy, primetime TV made sure to suggest that possibly, “white guys were here before the Indians!” in different television series.
Notwithstanding the glib hype, the argument was significant in that it brought the “who is Native” discussion a new dimension — macro-time. Senator John McCain, as a result, wanted to change NAGPRA to define Native American from one who “is indigenous to the United States” to one who “is or was indigenous to the United States.”
Whether this language is needed for courts to recognize ancestral remains as being, in fact, Native American is probably not an issue. However, the symbolic value of the debate is remarkable and brings to bear the nebulous, distributed state of dialogue with regard to belonging and identity with regards to indigeneity as it exists in the United States currently.
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Current Topic — Yalies still have Geronimo (?)
Read this article … nothing scientific about it, but does involve the microphysics of power.
Posted: March 31st, 2009 | Author: MB | Filed under: SCIENTIFIC & QUASI-SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENTS, Uncategorized | 4 Comments »
The Milgram experiments were designed by Stanley Milgram and began in 1961. They intended to answer the question as to whether it was possible that Nazi subordinates who killed and tortured were simply following orders. Thus, the experiment examines the effects of an authority figure giving instructions that conflict with individual consciences. The experiment was designed so that there was a teacher, learner and experimenter. The learner and experiment were separated by a wall and unable to see each other. The teacher was to attempt to teach word-pairs to the learner. He would read a list of word-pairs, then state the first word of a pair and give the learner four options. If the learner guessed wrong, the teacher was instructed to electrocute the learner with a shock, which he had sampled earlier. The teacher would hear screams from the learner, who supposedly had a heart condition. In reality, there were no shocks, the screams were pre-recorded, and the learner was always the same person. The voltage level would gradually increase, and the learner would bang on the wall and complain about his heart condition. Eventually, all responses form the learner stopped.
If the teacher ever wanted to stop the experiment, the experimenter would give four verbal prods:
1. Please continue.
2. The experiment requires that you continue.
3. It is absolutely essential that you continue.
4. You have no other choice, you must go on.
If he continued to try to quit after the fourth prompt, he would be allowed to go. Otherwise, the experiment would only end after three maximum-voltage (450 volts) shocks had been administered. 65% of the teachers reached this point. Locations were varied, but the rate of completion remained from 61-66%. Completion was maximized when the experimenter was there in person but not touching the teacher. This experiment raised considerable concerns about experimental ethics, given the undue stress placed on the teachers, but also revealed the ability of a human to inflict pain without consideration, given only an order.
Several theories used to explain the results are:
• The theory of conformism, based on Solomon Asch’s work, describing the fundamental relationship between the group of reference and the individual person. A subject who has neither ability nor expertise to make decisions, especially in a crisis, will leave decision making to the group and its hierarchy. The group is the person’s behavioral model.
• The agentic state theory, wherein, per Milgram, the essence of obedience consists in the fact that a person comes to view himself as the instrument for carrying out another person’s wishes, and he therefore no longer sees himself as responsible for his actions. Once this critical shift of viewpoint has occurred in the person, all of the essential features of obedience follow.
Posted: March 31st, 2009 | Author: MB | Filed under: SCIENTIFIC & QUASI-SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENTS, Uncategorized | 313 Comments »
The Stanford prison experiment was a small-scale simulation of a prison environment, where 24 college males were selected to play either the role of a prison guard or an inmate. Philip Zimbardo organized the experiment with the hope of proving that sadistic tendencies in prison could be traced back to personality traits. After a relatively tame first day, a riot broke out on the second day, after which the actors of either role began to deeply absorb their new identities. Prisoners, when given the opportunity to leave, would remain in the mock jail. Guards became increasingly sadistic and worked together to humiliate the prisoners. For example, the guards simulated homosexual sex with some of the prisoners, forced some to sleep on the concrete floor, forced others to give up their mattresses to free an inmate in solitary confinement, and removed the waste buckets from some of the cells, causing conditions to rapidly deteriorate. After a visiting graduate student called attention to the poor conditions of the experiment, it was shut down after only 6 days instead of the original intended 14.
The experiment has been criticized on a number of grounds, particularly the deterministic nature of the roles. Individuals tended to conform to roles based on hat was expected of them; for example, one of the guards imitated the warden from Cool Hand Luke. Also, language used to describe the experiment may have primed the behavior of the participants, as the setting of the prison likely did as well. Criticisms published in several leading psychology journals challenged the experiment’s conclusions that people slip mindlessly into roles and points out the importance of a leader, in this case, Zimbardo, in the development of tyranny, thus suggesting that Zimbardo’s briefing of the guards also primed them for sadistic action.
Posted: March 24th, 2009 | Author: VF | Filed under: SCIENTIFIC & QUASI-SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENTS, Uncategorized | 110 Comments »
Beyond Freedom and Dignity is a book written by American psychologist B. F. Skinner and first published in 1971. The book argues that entrenched belief in free will and the moral autonomy of the individual (which Skinner referred to as “dignity”) hinders the prospect of using scientific methods to modify behavior for the purpose of building a happier and better organized society.
Beyond Freedom and Dignity may be summarized as an attempt to promote Skinner’s philosophy of science, the technology of human behavior, his conception of determinism, and what Skinner calls ‘cultural engineering’.