Thursday, June 26, 2008

Global Labels

I've been curious lately about the origins of the products and items I use every day. For example, the clothing I wear. I don't know whether I'll keep track every day, but this morning, I did a quick global inventory of the clothes I'm wearing. And the results were intriguing:

  • Boxers -- made in Cambodia using fabric from China (Fruit of the Loom)
  • T-shirt -- made in Haiti (Hanes)
  • Khakis -- made in Jordan (Gap)
  • Shirt -- made in China (Uniqlo)
  • Jacket -- made in the United States (Hart, Schaffner & Marx)
  • Shoes -- made in China (Vans)

Where are the clothes you wear from? It's an interesting question.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Loping Toward a Psychogeography

I've never been to Manchester, but were I there this weekend, I'd check out the Manchester Mental Mapping Workshop run by Davide Fasic of the Nottingham Psychogeographical Unit. It's part of the Territories Reimagined: International Perspectives festival, and it takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, June 21, at Urbis, Cathedral Gardens, Manchester M4 3BG.

Come and draw your mental map of Manchester. Maybe you won't remember where things are, but know how to get there. You've got a mental picture of the place, your personal map of the city. Nothing compared to the O&S: no grids, no proportions, no miles to the inch. Mental maps are a fluid collection of areas, paths and landmarks; gaps and blurs abound. Buildings and streets are shrouded in emotions, the city changes according to the observer and the sum of all observations is its aura.

Shades of Will Self's recent book, the event also reminded me of a project I learned about at NYU ITP's spring show: World Mappings.

What do the places you love and remember look like inside your head? When I dream of the town in which I was born, sometimes there are entire neighborhoods that don't actually exist.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Andy Warhol's Time Capsules

The staff of the Andy Warhol Museum is currently in the process of opening and cataloguing each of Warhol's more than 600 time capsules. I wasn't aware that Warhol kept time capsules, but it appears that it was a standard practice of his.

"Now I just drop everything into the same-size brown cardboard boxes that have a color patch on the side for the month of the year. I really hate nostalgia, though, so deep down I hope they all get lost and I never have to look at them again." -- The Philosophy of Andy Warhol

This is a short list of some of the items they've found recently:

  • 121 torn pieces of US 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 dollar bill edges
  • Fan letter and nude photograph of Lance Loud, age 16ish
  • Gift box sent to Warhol from a fan containing a doll and several handmade doll outfits
  • Note of well wishes from Allen Ginsberg on a list of chanting mantras from the New School
  • Necklace of Gumby figures crafted by Billy Boy
  • A collection of stationery, menus, napkins, and brochures stolen from hotels around the world
  • Photographic negatives of Campbell's soup cans and Coke bottles used as source material for artworks
  • A selection from several hundred get well cards sent to Warhol following the 1968 shooting
  • A postcard from Valerie Solanas criticizing Warhol for misspelling her name
  • Two doggie sweaters for Andy's dachshunds, Amos and Archie
  • A bag containing approximately 20 spools of wig tape
  • One of Warhol's silver and black wigs
  • Invoices from Stephen Sprouse's clothing store totaling $70,000.00
  • A selection of kinky newspapers and magazines

And here's a sample capsule.

Grassroots Use of Technology

This looks like an interesting conference:

When: Saturday, June 28th - All Day (8:30am to 6pm)
Where: University of Massachusetts Lowell - Wannalancit Building, 600 Suffolk Street, Lowell, MA

Highlights of the day:

* Keynote Speaker, Nick Jehlen of Action Mil draw lessons from his recent work on the Winter Soldier campaign organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War.
* Non-profit Internet Starter Kit: Take Your Website to the Next Level with These Free Online Tools
* Online Mentoring: Innovative Uses of Technology in Creating and Managing Mentor-Mentee Relationships
* You Can't Get What You Want Until You Know What You Need: Choosing the Right Software
* Making the Most Out of the Organizers' Database
* The Untapped Power of Social Networks for Grassroots Action
* Getting the Clicks: e-Campaigning in Communities with Few Computers
* Managing Your Website with Today's Tools
* Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Roadmap
* HAVA Great Idea? (HAVA stands for Help America Vote Act)
* Facebook to Phone Trees: Multi-Generational Outreach Strategies
* Organizing the Organic Internet
* Helping Your Computer System Grow Up
* Keeping it Simple: technology tools that won't make you want to rip your hair out.
* Collaborative eLearning
* The Point: A Web-Tool for Collective Action
* Managing & Recruiting Tech volunteers
* Strategies for shaping the media/tech future: Policy, funding & organizing
* Open Media Boston: Building a News Portal with Drupal

Lowell is a beautiful, historic city that still remembers its working-class roots The intersection of rivers and canals make it a wonderful place to be on an early summer day. So join us for some engaging connections and some rock-solid knowledge sharing.

If any Media Dieticians go, consider submitting a report! (Or blogging it yourself.)