Author Archive

(99) Wasteland the Movie

Is now available streaming on Netflix

with the great line around 28:00 about recycling one can – why? Because 99 is not 100.

Okay so I know I am writing as I am watching, but one thing which strikes me which I mentioned earlier in the semester vis a vis the student doc on the trash scavengers in Ha Noi, is how there can be this happiness, this joy, this sense of community … I obviously do not want to Romanticize this nor deny the suffering, but when joy happens it confirms what the one fellow says driving to the dump (to paraphrase) “it’s better to be poor and without shame than rich without morals.” That itself is also not necessarily only what it seems, but having spent a fair amount of time in the higher end workspaces of the USA – they are pretty lifeless compared to what I see in this movie. It is disturbing to think that spontaneous celebrations, community, and solidarity among workers are not productive practices within society, thbut rather are pushed to the dump where such is allowed to exist. Agsin, when the night picker says she is working honestly, it requires some critical thought, but unlike Kenneth Lay I think she believes it …

Okay well now this is the subjhect of the movie “I mistakenly thought they were happy … denial”  Okay – time to watch and not comment


(99) Prophylactics, Foucault and Unplanned Life

In an age that has found its hygene, both mental and physical, conditioned by all too real STDs, it should be noted that the isolation of experience and materials by any number of prophylactics (material and immaterial) still also conditions transgression, and indeed highlights it. As an AIDS activist I know in Africa noted, the unwillingness to discuss why one would not use a condom creates many communication problems … anyways no reason to belabor the obvious, but one aspect I failed to get across yesterday is the adminsitered or disciplinary strucutre of these health programs. Despite many of these public health campaigns being often driven by insurance companies and concerns, despite the moral campaigning, there is a comforting justification of the greatest good for the greatest number.  I won’t bring up the still distrubing end of Foucault who may or may not have courted his own death from AIDs, but the prophylactic always defines and positions the unsafe, the fluid and Out of Control. This too is highly moralized (is there a prophylactic against moralizing). Anyway, all of which is a long winded way of saying that the Catholic idea of wasting life by not following the natural methods available has a more radical shadowside which is a dance with death. If waste is thought of as a design problem that can be solved by capturing, isolating and disposing of danger in a million rubber “body hats” then it is inevitable that the majority of people will undoubtingly  what embrace such prophylactic measures, but if rational, administered life also grounds resistance to control, a pleasure in transgression and a sense of being a more alive individual, then as my friend from Africa notes, people will keep doing they enjoy despite what they know and there will be no dialog about the consequences or meaning of a choice that the administrators of life believe can be eliminated. It all may seem rather obvious, but when was the last time someone other than a Right to Lifer actually criticized the rationalism of planned parenthood. The sensible is that which is too obvious for words.

(99) Green Library Project

GREEN ISLAND 2011- Isola District Milano (12th-17th April)


The first Garden of wild plants in Milano
and a large ‘green’ network of exhibitions, events and presentations.

A project by Claudia Zanfi (director of aMAZElab / Laboratorio del Paesaggio)

GREEN ISLAND is a moment of reflection on key subjects such as sustainability, urban green and landscape as a whole. The GREEN ISLAND project, aimed at valorizing the public space, has been operating since 2002 in the Isola neighborhood of Milan, between Garibaldi Train Station and via Pepe, involving a large network of arts and crafts workshops, design and architecture studios, as well as proposing site-specific installations and projects. Many kinds of contributors (artists, photographers, designers, architects, theorists and students) have been involved in the previous editions (i.e.: Andrea Branzi; the Dutch designer Ton Matton; Lois Weinberger and his Mobile Garden, etc).

For this ninth edition Claudia Zanfi, founder of the GREEEN ISLAND project, has invited botanists, designers and landscape artists, to come up with the first garden of wild plants in Milan. The urgency of wild gardens in the city is for the ecological value, wild plants provide an ecosystem which has largely been lost; for the cultural value, although many are of distant, exotic origin, these wild plants are now an integral part of the autochthonous urban flora; for the public value, as wild plants, if cultivated carefully, are capable of displaying a range of colors and scents. An unexpected beauty, to be made available to the different communities of the neighborhood.

The project ‘The Green Public Library’ will be realized at Cavalcavia Bussa (at the back of the Garibaldi Railway Station) with a series of green patches and botanical tables that will decorate the wall along the back of the garden, serving as a proper ‘book’ for the spread and understanding of these grass species.
The seeds of the plants has been entrusted to the various international designers taking part in the project.

The garden will be inaugurated in the days of the Milano Design Week/Fuori Salone 2011 (12th – 17th April), along with a large network of exhibition and events ‘green, bio, slow’ in Isola District.
Among other : urban installations, photographic and art exhibitions, live music, food, design.
In this edition the GREEN NETWORK will host more than 20 international authors (from The Netherlands, Switzerland, Brazil, New York, Riga, Prague, London, etc…).

In collaboration with: Adopt a piece of Green, by Elena Comincioli + Daniele Belleri (London/Milan); with international team of designers: Andrea Branzi, Marco Ferreri, Duilio Forte, Makio Hasuike, Anna Gili.

With the partnership of: Milan City Council, department of Green Areas and Urban Policy; Province of Milan, department of Culture; Centostazioni, Roma; Polidesign, Milano; Dutch Consulate, Milano; Museo Alessi.

Media Partners: AT Casa; TKmedia; Andy Magazine; Paysage.

(99) Plastic Economy

Too many puns to be made even for me – lots of spatial hay to be made with downturns and up tucks

There was another article from UK Guardian which noted that breast augmentation was up and males had more “male boob” reductions, leading many to scramble for some sort of body fat, speed dating, metro swap joke that still exists only in potential

(99) Bardini on plastic and organic forms of money, waste

Shit, of course, is our first template for garabge: … garbage is organic. It is formless and stinks. (And Freud added, this is what money is to us shit).

This very dream [of consumption alligned with destruction as in composting the organic]: make any poroiduct an organic counterpart. Adne sepcially commodities, so-called durabole goods: garbage in the making. That is whay natural products are preferred, they ar biodegradable or elese. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Rock to sand, metal to rust

And then came plastic: the real ordeal. Plastic … the acme of modernity, the summa of style, the maker of fortunes. Durable, moldable, shiny plastic (…) Owning plastic is like having a little industry in yor hand. It is like belonging here, with the civilized. Plastic is ordered, shaped informed. Even money became clean …

p 61, 62

(99) Debord on Garbage

Young people everywhere have been allowed to choose between love and a garbage disposal unit. Everywhere they have chosen the garbage disposal unit.

Read more:

(99) Quotes from Junkware

“Some years ago I noticed that there are two kinds (of) rubbish and that most langauges have different words to distinguish them. There is the rubbish we keep which is junk and the rubbish we throw away, which is garbage.” Quoting Sydney Bremner, p 49
To purge the earth of garbage would be to destroy our own reflection.’ Quoting John Knetchtel (61)
From Junkware Theirry Bardini
btw almost 99%! of DNA is arguably “junk DNA” or perhaps “garbage DNA”  often referred to as psuedo or non productive DNA.  So I guess Ivory Soap had it wrong, 99% impure is a measure of civilization.