Category Archives: Activism

Exposing the Invisible

 
Exposing the invisible > A  series of case studies, interviews and tools that explore the far reaches of metadata in its capacity to protect, investigate and expose abuses of power.

EXCERPT: Interesting interview and important essay on metadata  Harlo Holmes: Metadata or it Didn’t Happen | Exposing the Invisible (much more on the site)

How would you describe metadata?
Metadata is data about data. Primarily it’s the site that portrays the actual, what one would call the “Ur event”, i.e. how a particular digital property came into existence. So going back to your previous question of why I find it so interesting, it all goes back to Walter Benjamin’s idea of the replicability of art, how art in the modern age loses some of its luster because it’s so immediately accessible and is infinitely replicable. But metadata, I find, is a site that actually preserves that uniqueness even though things might be on their surface copied and filmed all over the place continuously, metadata is that site of originality.

What is CameraV?
CameraV begun its life as a mobile app named InformaCam created by The Guardian Project and WITNESS. It’s a way of adding a whole lot of extra metadata to a photograph or video in order to verify its authenticity. It’s a piece of software that does two things. Firstly it describes the who, what, when, where, why and how of images and video and secondly it establishes a chain of custody that could be pointed to in a court of law. The app captures a lot of metadata at the time of the image is shot including not only geo-location information (which has always been standard), but corroborating data such as visible wifi networks, cell tower IDs and bluetooth signals from others in the area. It has additional information such as light meter values, that can go towards corroborating a story where you might want to tell what time of the day it is. [read more]

 

Fashion Photos with Outfits Made from Trash in Senegal

Fashion Photos with Outfits Made from Trash Found in Polluted Areas of Senegal

“The Prophesy” is a striking series of photographs by photographer Fabrice Monteiro that shines light on the problem of pollution in Africa, yet offers a message of hope. Each image is a “high fashion photo” in which the garment is crafted from things found at locations that have been altered by trash.

Partnering with costume designer Doulsy and the Ecofund Organization, Monteiro visited 10 different polluted sites in the country of Senegal. The team created haute couture outfits using bits of things found here and there, and then photographed the models in front of the polluted environment as a backdrop.

from Peta Pixel

Trevor Paglen

 Can an Artist Take on the Government (and Win)? A Q&A With Trevor Paglen
  Artspace

The artist and “Citizenfour” collaborator’s new show at Chelsea’s Metro Pictures is both an homage to Edward Snowden and an example of what he calls “institutional improvement.”

Trevor Paglen has tracked secret spy satellites, photographed so-called “black sites” like Area 51, cataloged hundreds of classified codes for military operations and their associated (and often bizarre) patches, and blasted images into space for the benefit of future civilizations or a visiting alien species. … Paglen approaches art with a steadfastly interdisciplinary and collaborative mindset, combining his academic training with an eye for aesthetics and a healthy dose of post-9/11 paranoia. [read interview]

Hank Willis Thomas on Black Male Identity

Re-blogging from photoandimaging.net

“What Is Common to All of Us?” Redefining Black Male Identity
by Hank Willis Thomas
Creative Time Reports.

Drawing from his collaborative transmedia project “Question Bridge: Black Males,” the artist Hank Willis Thomas examines the racial context of the 2012 killing of Jordan Davis as the man who shot the 17-year-old Florida resident, Michael Dunn, is retried for murder.

Screenshot from “Question Bridge: Black Males,” a collaborative transmedia project of Chris Johnson, Hank Willis Thomas, Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair.

Every person has a “day of infamy” in his or her life. For the parents of Jordan Davis, that day was November 23, 2012. For the parents of Trayvon Martin, it was February 26, 2012. For the parents of Michael Brown, it was August 9, 2014. For me, it was February 2, 2000—a Tuesday. That was the day I lost Songha Thomas Willis, my cousin, roommate, best friend and, for all intents and purposes, big brother. He was shot dead in front of dozens of people during a robbery in which he did not resist. [read more]

– – – – – – – – – – – – –
{Proud to say that Hank was a alumnus of Photography & Imaging and a student in my senior projects class.}

Document, Protest, Memorial: AIDS in the Art World

Document, Protest, Memorial: AIDS in the Art World
by Barbara Pollock, ARTnews

It’s been three decades since AIDS first made an impact on the New York art world, annihilating a community and activating one of the most highly effective artist-driven political movements of the 20th century. At that time, for every Keith Haring, David Wojnarowicz, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres lost to the disease, there were scores of lesser-known artists, such as Ray Navarro, Hugh Steers, and Robert Blanchon, who also left their mark with art that documented, protested, memorialized, and reinterpreted the devastation of the era. [read rest of article]

The Real Story About the Wrong Photos in #BringBackOurGirls

NY TIMES LENS BLOG, May 8, 2014
The Real Story About the Wrong Photos in #BringBackOurGirls.

A Twitter campaign using the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls has focused global attention on the plight of some 276 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by the Islamic militant group Boko Haram. Three photos of girls have been posted and reposted thousands of times, including by the BBC and by the singer Chris Brown (who himself has had issues with anger management and violence against women).

One problem: The photos are of girls from Guinea-Bissau, more than 1,000 miles from Nigeria, who have no relationship to the kidnappings.

The use of these pictures raises troubling questions of representation, and misrepresentation. Ami Vitale, the photographer who made the original images as part of a long-term project, spoke with James Estrin on Thursday. [read more]

Yes Lab: Operation Second Thanks

Our heroes at the Yes Lab strike again calling for renewable energy:

Yes Men at Dept of Homeland Security

To a dance-ready crowd of security and defense contractors at the Homeland Security Congress in Washington, one “Benedict Waterman”—a crazy-haired, bespectacled official supposedly from the U.S. Department of Energy—announces a revolutionary new energy plan to convert the U.S. power grid to entirely renewable sources by the year 2030, and give ownership of the new power-generation facilities to those on whose land they’re built—from Native American nations (thus serving as reparations for genocide) to anyone who puts a solar panel on his or her roof. (See full press release here.)

The plan, “Waterman” announces, will give us independence from the fossil fuel companies who are leading us to ruin, and will additionally create millions of jobs, eventually save half a trillion per year on health care costs, result in lower energy costs and greater price stability, and—bonus!—give our civilization a chance of surviving well into the future. (One such plan is described in some detail here.) [read more]

Link to interview on the Democracy Now site

PAD/D Archive of Political Art

 Highlights From the PAD/D Archive.

The PAD/D archive is comprised of over 2,700 items, split into two sections: Regular files made up of documents, flyers, photographs and slides, and large flat files for posters, prints, and stencils.

Highlights From the PAD/D Archive

Aside from material related directly to PAD/D, countless files are dedicated to socially conscious arts organizations active between 1979–1990. Alongside familiar names such as the Guerrilla Girls, Group Material, Gran Fury, and the Art Workers Coalition (AWC), one will discover a myriad of lesser known collectives such as Angry Arts and Carnival Knowledge. Were it not for the efforts of PAD/D, the histories of many of these groups would have gone undocumented. The archive was formally donated to MoMA in 1994 by PAD/D members Barbara Moore and Mimi Smith. The photographs below represent a tiny portion of the archive. [see photo essay on highlights from the collection]

Read the second article about PAD/D on Hyperallergic