CARNE Y ARENA

In retrospect the whole process of actually getting to experience Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s situated VR installation CARNE Y ARENA at the Fondazione Prada in Milano now looks like a privileged white man’s version of what the protagonists of the installation have gone trough: The almost overwhelming uncertainty if i would ever manage to get there (the result of overwhelmed web servers that could not keep up with the demand for the microscopic amount of tickets available), the realisation that a gro…

Catching up with the global south...

Almost 6 year ago (on the first of january 2007) i started taking an interest in the use of Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) as exterior lightening. I first noticed this use of this type op lightbulbs on a new years day stroll to the recently bombed out southern suburbs of Beirut. A large number shops and market stalls has improvised lamps made from large CFLs. The next day i observed the same while visiting a number of recently destroyed villages along the Lebanese/Israeli border. While this k…

Migrants erecting fences to keep out migrants

The border between Israel and Egypt certainly counts as one of the most dangerous borders for migrants. So far the main danger for african migrants trying to enter Israel from Egypt has been the Egyptian military, which seems to be exceptionally trigger happy when faced with migrants attempting to cross the border. Photo by Ahikam Seri Seems that the Israeli government is not satisfied with the services rendered by the Egyptian Army (or they expect that a post-Mubarak military has bette…

Required reading? de schijn-élite van de valse munters

Two days ago i finished reading ‘De Schijn-élite van de Valse Munters‘ the much-hyped book by Martin Bosma who is credited with being the strategic brain behind the rise of the populist/islamophobic PVV that is enabling the current right wing minority government in the Netherlands. I am not exactly sure why i started reading this book in the first place, but i guess it was because i wanted to get a better understanding some of the reasoning behind the (often extreme and seemingly irrational) pol…

Why the U.S is and will remain miles (sic!) ahead of europe.

If you want to understand this you simply have to listen to the below excerpt from a planet money interview with Mark Zandi the chief economist of Moody’s Analytics and contrast that with the petit bourgeois, xenophobic attitude towards immigration that is prevailing in Europe: and again, fundamentally we are fine. we can’t loose the sight of what makes our economy really tick though and that is: the most educated population, the best infrastructure and most importantly of all that we continue t…

Beyond City Limits

Kimon pointed me to this impressive article by Parag Khanna in which he argues that (mega)cities are slowly emerging as the dominant international actors replacing nation states along the way. His article titled ‘Beyond City Limits’ is well worth a read and a refreshing take on the subject of urban growth. Ever since the publication of Mike Davis’ ‘Planet of Slums‘ in 2006 contributions to the discussion about this subject seem to have deteriorated to become a constant stream of repetitions of t…

A beach near the city of Syracuse

In november 2007 i added the following entry to the ‘meanwhile at the borders…‘ page on noborder.org: 29.Oct.07: The bodies of 12 migrants were pulled from the water at a beach near the city of Syracuse on Sicilys eastern coast. Seven survivors were found on shore and two others were considered missing. (Update: by 6 november 4 additional bodies had been found bringing the total dead count to 16 (source: reuters AlertNet) This month i spend a week of vacation on that same eastern east cost of Si…

Parallel infrastructures #4

Over the last year or so Sara (together with Suzanne Valkenburg and Eefje Blankevoort) has explored the world of vacation parks in the Netherlands. Many of these parks that had originally been designed for dutch families to spend their summer vacations have – over the years – attracted new types of temporary and permanent residents: Kenyan athletes competing for price money in dutch running events, Afghani refugees, African agriculture students, Dutch drop outs and polish contract workers and th…

Parallel infrastructures #3 (Torino revisited)

Have been spending the last 2 days in Torino for a succession of workshops and conferences, and have used my spare time to revisit some of the places that here we had planned to install the expertbase during the big torino biennial back in 2002 (before we were kicked out of the exhibition). Seems that those parts of the city that we were working in have remained relatively unchanged by the construction madness caused by the 2008 winter games. However it appears that there has been a change among…

Floating sand snake

For some reason this photo had escaped my attention when i first viewed it back in march on the big picture’s edition covering the drug war in mexico. fortunately it’s animal-like beauty did catch Bryan Finoki’s eye over at subtopia, who calls it the sand dragon: What looks like some creature from a science fiction movie is actually part of the border fence that is being erected by the US along the border with Mexico. This particular stretch covering 7 miles of in Imperial [sic!] County in Calif…