follow us in feedly
Anti-propaganda street posters tell the truth about the police

001totalpolicingstrike1.jpg
 
A series of posters questioning the London Metropolitan Police’s record on racism, violence and corruption have appeared on advertising hoardings across London. The billposters are the idea of STRIKE! Magazine, which produced them in response to the Metropolitan Police’s own promotional campaign—as the magazine explains:

The Metropolitan Police Force spend ridiculous sums of our money trying to convince us – and themselves – that they’re not violent, racist and corrupt. In 2012 it was £12.6m and in 2013 it was £9.3 – in two weeks alone last year they wasted nearly half a million pounds of public money on pointless poster campaigns. This is from the webpage promoting the local policing pilot scheme:

“Evidence tells us that giving people very local information about police action in their area may increase the confidence they have in police. These boroughs were chosen as places where confidence in policing is lower than average.”

It’s propaganda pure and simple: they want us to forget that they murdered Mark Duggan, an unarmed civilian, and caused the 2011 riots; they’d rather you didn’t talk about being 28 times more likely to be stopped and searched in London if you don’t have white skin; and if the heavily redacted Operation Tiberius report is anything to go by, they definitely don’t want you to know about the 42 corrupt senior Metropolitan Police officers caught literally letting criminals get away with murder. Their entire barrel is rotten, so they want to keep the lid tight shut.

STRIKE! Magazine is a bi-monthly anti-profit, advertisement free newspaper covering politics, philosophy, art, subversion and sedition. The magazine launched the campaign two months ago, but claim they do not know who is behind printing the posters and putting them in bus shelter advertising hoardings.

However, one designer from STRIKE! told Vice UK that he had seen about twenty posters since they first appeared on Saturday December 13th, and was “[e]normously pleased” with them. Photographs of the posters have been shared by many users on Twitter.
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
follow us in feedly
‘They wanted to be rock stars’: Crass co-founder disses Sex Pistols and Clash in Positive Force doc
12.16.2014
08:13 am

Topics:
Activism
Punk

Tags:
Sex Pistols
Crass
Clash

Positive Force
 
Positive Force is a Washington DC-based activist collective that’s been around since 1985. The documentary, Positive Force: More Than A Witness; 30 Years Of Punk Politics In Action, explores the history of this organization, which often stages benefits with like-minded bands to promote various causes. There’s a wealth of archival performances in the film—including footage of Fugazi playing in front of the White House on the eve of the Gulf War—and this updated edition of the DVD has another 30+ minutes of rare live clips. The documentary also features interviews with such notables as Ian MacKaye, Kathleen Hanna, Jello Biafra, and Dave Grohl, who talks about his first-ever live gig, drumming for the band Scream at a Positive Force benefit.

One of the highlights of Positive Force is the interview with Penny Rimbaud, drummer and co-founder of the UK group Crass. Rimbaud’s band, which existed from 1977-1984, very much influenced the principles of Positive Force. Crass not only put out their own records and were critical of the mainstream, but they were also activists, believing that it wasn’t enough to just sing about social justice, you had to practice what you preached. In the clip, Rimbaud accuses the members of the Clash and the Sex Pistols of not meaning it, man, as he feels their drive to make it as rock stars came before all else.

If you have any interest at all in the history of American punk and/or activism, Positive Force is definitely worth your time. Pick up the new edition of the DVD via PM Press or Amazon.

All right, here’s Mr. Rimbaud:
 

Posted by Bart Bealmear | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Hiding from Big Brother with style: Make-up tutorial to confuse facial identification software
12.16.2014
06:09 am

Topics:
Activism
Art

Tags:
1984
Big Brother
make-up


Photo via Anti-Surveillance Feminist Poet Hair and Makeup Party
 
As facial recognition technology makes the transition from dystopic science fiction boogie-man to modern Big Brother reality, folks are becoming understandably concerned about being tracked and recorded without their permission. In many cities, including New York, it is at least unwise if illegal to wear a mask in public, so completely obscuring your face is out of the question. As an alternative, artist and designer Adam Harvey has developed a make-up technique—CV Dazzle—that hides from facial recognition software but falls well within the parameters of legal fashion. Confusing the machines is surprisingly simple:

The name is derived from a type of World War I naval camouflage called Dazzle, which used cubist-inspired designs to break apart the visual continuity of a battleship and conceal its orientation and size. Likewise, CV Dazzle uses avant-garde hairstyling and makeup designs to break apart the continuity of a face. Since facial-recognition algorithms rely on the identification and spatial relationship of key facial features, like symmetry and tonal contours, one can block detection by creating an “anti-face”.

“Anti-Surveillance Makeup Parties” have made waves with a subset of young feminists, but I don’t see CV Dazzle actually catching on in our highly aesthetically-minded urban centers. The source pattern, “Dazzle” is most relevant in today’s culture as the inspiration for an ugly-ass, Jeff Koons-designed yacht. The look is bad enough on a boat, but it certainly runs counter to what most people consider attractive on a female face. Meanwhile most men stubbornly refuse to even try mascara (even though you’d look so pretty!)

Still, while the practical applications of CV Dazzle may be limited, especially as facial recognition becomes more and more accurate, as an art project this dystopic raver of an “anti-face” is a fascinating take on privacy. Check out the makeup tutorial from artist Jillian Mayer below to get the basics—your life may depend on it, enemy of the state!
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
follow us in feedly
‘Sit on my Face’: Pro-pr0n protest goes all Monty Python outside of Parliament today
12.12.2014
10:20 am

Topics:
Activism
Crime
Sex

Tags:
protests


 
If you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and check out the hashtag #pornprotest on Twitter, it’s the best thing on the Internet right now. It seems that Parliament has recently been messing with what you can and can’t do in adult videos, and right-thinking individuals on the scepter’d isle came out in numbers today to protest the legislation.
 

 

 

 

Photo by Ms Slide @sliderulesyou
 
More pics from today’s protest after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Idiotic hipsters complain about the font of ‘I Can’t Breathe’ protest shirts


 
A new entry of the annals of monumentally missing the point…

“I Can’t Breathe” may be the sentence of 2014. They are, of course, the last words, uttered many times, of Eric Garner, the 43-year-old NYC Department of Parks horticulturist and occasional loose cigarette salesman whose inexplicable death by police chokehold in the Tompkinsville neighborhood (where I lived until quite recently) last July has led to a great deal of outcry.

The sentence has achieved the ultimate that can happen in our society—it has become a free-floating signifier in social media, just like Paula Deen’s supposedly homophobic fried chicken recipes or something. This past week several prominent athletes in the predominantly African-American NBA, including the Bulls’ Derrick Rose, the Cavaliers’ LeBron James, the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, and the Nets’ Deron Williams, have warmed up wearing T-shirts heartbreakingly emblazoned with that simple message of solidarity with a blameless victim of police brutality: “I CAN’T BREATHE.”

All across America, a small minority of observers reacted in the expected way: they tut-tutted the shirts’ choice of font. The shirts, while admittedly embodying a courageous stand against the combined forces of intolerance, had committed the unpardonable sin of violating a bit of design etiquette.

Among people who take design very seriously, the Comic Sans typeface has been a bête noire for at least a decade, because it is often used by “design-blind” “normals” outside of its optimal range of uses, frequently lending an unserious air to messages of stern import. Designed by Vincent Connare, Comic Sans was released by Microsoft in 1994, which surely contributed to its popularity.

For instance, Tony Seddon named a book after it (Thou Shall Not Use Comic Sans: 365 Graphic Design Sins and Virtues: A Designer’s Almanac of Dos and Don’ts) in which he calls it “arguably the most inappropriately used typeface in history” (although a page later he sort of takes it back).

Eventually, on the McSweeney’s website, Mike Lacher defended the honor of the typeface with “I’m Comic Sans, Asshole,” which contained the immortal line “I’m the best thing to happen to typography since Johannes fucking Gutenberg.” The piece simultaneously seemed to agree with the design critics’ peeve while putting them in their place.

On the T-shirts, for instance, Caroline Fredericks, of “California/Alabama,” tweeted, “how many people will be able to look past the choice of comic sans?” Ryan Hubbard, of Kansas City, tweeted, “Who’s giving all of these NBA players “I can’t breathe” shirts set in Comic Sans? I love that they’re wearing them, but come on, man.”

The New York Times report on the shirts emphasizes the outsize efforts of Jay-Z and others to replicate the gesture made by Derrick Rose of the Bulls and makes no mention of Comic Sans or any other aspect of the shirts’ design, except to note that “Rameen Aminzadeh, a member of Justice League NYC, drafted a simple design for the text of the T-shirt, which other members of the group approved sometime after 1 a.m. [referring to late Sunday night/early Monday morning].”

Here are a few of the tweets—there’s plenty more where these came from.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
via Vocativ

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
follow us in feedly
PETA inflicts ‘indecent’ billboard-sized facial on unprepared town
12.09.2014
10:37 am

Topics:
Activism
Advertising
Animals
Sex

Tags:
PETA


 
The cheeky introduction of sex into other subject matter has long been a staple of advertising that seeks to use word of mouth and/or media reverb to make its impact. Everyone enjoys a good chuckle at a banana positioned to resemble a willie, for instance, and why not? It’s all a lot of fun, the banana lobby is happy, and everybody wins. However, sex in advertising can also be a bit of a tightrope walk, as the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals recently learned.

Only one day after it was put up, PETA was ordered to take down an “indecent” billboard poster in Nottingham after a request from the Notts County Football Club. The poster, which was appealing to consumers to stop using dairy products, had been placed just outside the club’s playing arena.
 

 
The billboard read, “Some bodily fluids are bad for you” and a photo of a woman having experienced the, ahem, “aftermath of a sex act,” as one report delicately phrased it.

PETA has defended the billboard by calling it “cheeky,” but some pedestrians disagreed. As a local resident named Richard Brown said, “It’s clear what they are doing but I think it’s a bit naughty. I’ve got a seven-year-old daughter and young people aren’t stupid, they can read and it’s not great that they can see things like this that are indecent.”

The billboard was the only one of its type in England;  PETA commented that it used the location because it was “suitable.” Damian Irvine, commercial director at Notts County, said: “Once the content of this advert was identified we informed advertising company Space Outdoors who agreed the content was not in keeping with our community and family-focused values.”

via Arbroath

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
follow us in feedly
‘In Drones We Trust,’ a grassroots protest of the U.S. military’s use of drones
12.08.2014
10:44 am

Topics:
Activism
Art
Economy

Tags:
money
drones


 
Joseph DeLappe is not your ordinary artist. He’s a professor of art at the University of Nevada, and some have called him the first “gamer artist.” In October 18, 2002, with the TV show Friends still on the air, he and five gamer friends staged a recreation of “The One Where No One Proposes,” the premiere episode of Season 9, in the medium of a Quake III Arena game server (that is, a massively multiplayer environment where hundreds of players compete in the same arena). The project was called “Quake/Friends.” Each character in the show was given an avatar in the violent shoot-‘em-up, and the players used the in-game messaging system to render the episode’s dialogue: “Our performers functioned as passive, neutral visitors to the game—we were constantly killed and reincarnated to continue the performance. The piece was presented a second time in 2003 using six projected points of view, multiple audio channels and microphones for each performer.” The episode they were reenacting was not quite a month old at the time of the first performance. It was kind of a big deal at the time—the New York Times gave the second performance of the piece a writeup with the title “Take That, Monica! Kapow, Chandler!

More recently, DeLappe’s work has shown a more explicitly political flavor. From 2006 to 2011, DeLappe undertook the impressively subversive “Dead in Iraq” project, which involved logging on to the U.S. Army recruiting game “America’s Army” with the username dead-in-iraq and typing in the names of all 4,484 (at that time) service persons who had died to date in Iraq. In 2013 DeLappe commenced the “Cowardly Drone” project, which was essentially an elaborate effort to fuck with Google Image search results. He would take images of e.g. MQ9 Reaper Drones and Photoshop the word “COWARDLY” on the vehicle’s side in large bold letters, then re-upload the images with unprepossessing titles like “predator drone” in the hopes that some of his images would come up as hits in Google Search. The images are intended as “a subtle intervention into the media stream of US military power.”

DeLappe’s newest idea, “In Drones We Trust,” is combining a critique of the U.S. military’s use of drones with the defacement of U.S. currency. He noticed that all U.S. bills in wide circulation (except for the $1 bill) feature an etching of an august edifice connected with the U.S. government on its reverse side. (The $2 has a reproduction of Joseph Trumbull’s painting The Declaration of Independence.) In each case the building comes with an entirely featureless, placid sky, so DeLappe figured, why not add a menacing image of a drone to them? “It seems appropriate,” writes DeLappe, “considering our current use of drones in foreign skies, to symbolically bring them home to fly over our most notable patriotic structures.” He has created a couple hundred rubber stamps with the drone image and you can get one for yourself for a nominal price that simple covers the price of postage ($3 for domestic orders). I ordered one, and I can’t wait to ... er, use it on non-currency bits of paper! (Actually, if I’m reading this right, it’s not illegal to draw on or add markings to U.S. paper currency.)
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
No video of “In Drones We Trust” that I could find, but here’s a look at “Quake/Friends”:
 

 
via Internet Magic.

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
follow us in feedly
‘BobbyQue’: Cooking with Black Panther Bobby Seale
11.19.2014
07:07 am

Topics:
Activism
Food

Tags:
Bobby Seale
barbecue


 
You may have been born too late for radical chic, but you’re just in time for, uh, radical chicory? Yes, Bobby Seale, founding chairman and national organizer of the Black Panther Party, has a cookbook, cooking show and “BobbyQue” website, all devoted to the lost art of barbecue (or “barbeque,” as he insists it should be spelled). Seale has even formulated his culinary principles in the “Barbeque Bill of Rights”:

WHEN IN THE COURSE OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT it becomes necessary for us, the citizens of the earth, to creatively improve the culinary art of barbe-que’n in our opposition to the overly commercialized bondage of “cue-be-rab” (barbecuing backwards); and to assume, within the realm of palatable biological reactions to which the laws of nature and nature’s God entitle us, a decent respect for all the billions of human taste buds and savory barbeque desires; we the people declare a basic barbeque bill of rights which impels us to help halt, eradicate, and ultimately stamp out “cue-be-rab!”

As the commercialized backwards “bottle-back” recipe methods pursue and invariably evince a design to reduce our backyard-picnics into burnt, half done, bland, badly seasoned, improperly pit-qued entrees, then it is the right of we the barbeque lovers of the world, to alter the cue-be-rab phenomenon and creatively change our recipe process for a more righteous saucy, down-home, wood-smoking, delectable, baste-marinating, barbeque’n methodology.

 

Seale oversaw one of the Black Panthers’ most ambitious and popular projects, the People’s Free Food Program.
 
Filmed in front of a live studio audience in Philadelphia, Barbeque with Bobby Seale is co-hosted by Seale and his wife Leslie. Sun Ra Arkestra trombonist Tyrone Hill and his band, the Deep Space Posse, are live in the studio. You can watch the cooking show on Seale’s YouTube channel. (The video is low-resolution and the sound is out of sync—if you want a hi-fi experience, it looks like you’ll have to buy the DVD.) Meat-eating radicals can find six free recipes here and a couple more here. You’ll have to tell me what it tastes like; I’m vegetarian.

As you will have guessed, not everyone loves the idea of one of the world’s most famous black revolutionaries selling BBQ recipes, though accusing Seale of “selling out” by writing a cookbook strikes me as more than a little silly. When the first edition of Barbeque’n with Bobby was published in 1988, Seale told the Chicago Tribune that Jerry Rubin first suggested the idea while the two were in jail during the Chicago Conspiracy Trial. Seale talks about how he responds to cries of “sellout” in this interview clip:
 

 

Posted by Oliver Hall | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Unplugged: Controversial Xmas ‘Tree’ sculpture deflated by vandals
10.18.2014
07:05 am

Topics:
Activism
Amusing
Art

Tags:
Paul McCarthy
Christmas tree
Tree

xxfrgsnktrepmcc.jpg
 
This morning Parisians awoke to find Paul McCarthy’s controversial sculpture “Tree” looking like a discarded giant prophylactic after it was deflated by vandals at the Place Vendôme, Paris, during the night.

Since its installation the art work has divided opinion with many Parisians outraged by the 80 foot sculpture’s similarity to an… er… adult novelty item. Well, it now turns out that “Tree” was indeed inspired by that very item as artist McCarthy told Le Monde newspaper that “It all started as a joke.”

“...I realised it resembled a Christmas tree, but it is an abstract work. People can be offended if they want to think of it as a plug, but for me it is more of an abstraction.”

The “abstraction” was lost on some Parisians with one irate passerby slapping the 69-year-old artist in the face and shouting:

“You’re not French and this has no place in the square.”

McCarthy was allegedly dazed but unhurt by the assault and asked:

“Does this sort of thing happen often in Paris?”

The sculpture was specially created by the artist for Paris’s International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC) that is being held in the city between 23rd-26th October. McCarthy’s previous work includes an enormous Santa Claus with what some critics claim is an unfeasibly large implement in his hand and a sculpture of former US President George W Bush getting intimate with pigs.

In the early hours of Saturday morning, vandals climbed the metal fence surrounding the giant sculpture before cutting the power supply that pumped air into the inflatable and slashing the tether that kept it upright.

According to the Daily Telegraph, McCarthy said he did not want the sculpture re-inflated or repaired. However, the paper also reported that organisers at FIAC said the sculpture would be “re-installed” as soon as possible. Now, that sounds painful…
 

 
Via the Daily Telegraph

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Nothing lost in translation: The ‘acute malevolence’ of Morrissey
10.17.2014
10:47 am

Topics:
Activism
Amusing
Heroes

Tags:
Morrissey

Morrissey hugs a cat
 
In an interview earlier this month with El País, the largest newspaper in circulation in Spain, Morrissey unleashed his thoughts on bullfighting, his musical peers, his tenth studio record World Peace is None of Your Business, and compared the British royal family to the brood of Syrian President, Bashar Hafez al-Assad. In other words, Morrissey is still behaving just like Morrissey.

Since I ran the interview through Google’s translator so I could read it in English, it ended up a bit rough. However this only made the interview all the more amusing. It starts off with journalist Diego A. Manrique (whose own translated Wikipedia bio says he’s been “specializing in criticizing music since 1975”) noting that after sending off a “questionnaire” to Moz, the answers that were returned to him were unequivocally “Morrisseynianas,” and could without a doubt be attributed to him as they were filled with “acute malevolence” and Morrissey’s “recognizable narcissism.” It also states that Morrissey always comes to interviews with “loaded guns.” Here’s a few highlights from Google’s translated version of the interview:

Morrissey on bullfighting:

Bullfighters are vermin: they should kill each other.


 
There’s a track on World Peace titled “The Bullfighter Dies.” Remember, Moz is giving this interview to the largest newspaper in Spain where bullfighting continues to be an important part of Spanish culture. But just like Sweet Brown and her bronchitis, Morrissey just ain’t got time for that.

On the autobiographies of his peers (again, the text is translated by Google and I haven’t adjusted it):

I’m surprised that so many colleagues who actually think they have something to say! When you read his books, it does not. My Autobiography exists, is self-explanatory. So I will not talk about the book on television, radio or newspapers.

Translation aside, this is pretty much classic Moz refusing to answer a question while using many words to communicate said refusal.

On parting ways with his former label, Harvest Records:

I was not me, kicked me! They tried to keep my record but found that they had no rights. A very stupid mess, caused by an officer named Steve Barnett, who has less brains than an artificial flower. The fact that someone like that carry a label is a sign of how bad things are in the musical world.

You may remember that at a gig in Lisbon on October 7th, Moz’s band all wore “Fuck Harvest” t-shirts in protest of Morrissey’s claims that the label had “dropped” him and “botched” the release of World Peace. Despite this, the record ended up in the number two spot on the UK charts back in July following its release proving the fact that nobody kicks Morrissey, Morrissey kicks YOU!

On the upcoming apocalypse and the never-ending ecological destruction of the world:

Industrial agriculture and factory farming are destroying the planet. Every time I see the yellow M of McDonald’s think about death. Governments tolerate whatever brings money; benefit from the inclination of the human race by suicide. It amuses me that there are countries where the suicide attempt is punished while governments spend billions on nuclear weapons, which facilitate collective suicide. Just to be used once to disappear all here.

And there you have it. Morrissey translated by Google from Spanish to English is just as morose and as acutely malevolent as he ever was. God save the Queen.

Posted by Cherrybomb | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Page 1 of 34  1 2 3 >  Last ›