Archive for the ‘culture’ category


January 11th, 2012

The digital revolution of the last decade has unleashed creativity and talent of people in an unprecedented way, unleashing unlimited creative opportunites.

But does democratized culture mean better art, film, music and literature or is true talent instead flooded and drowned in the vast digital ocean of mass culture? Is it cultural democracy or mediocrity?

This is the question addressed by PressPausePlay, a documentary film containing interviews with some of the world’s most influential creators of the digital era.


watch on VIMEO: http://vimeo.com/34608191 


November 19th, 2011


December 16th, 2010


July 22nd, 2010

Cittaslow (literally Slow City) is a movement founded in Italy in October of 1999. The inspiration of Cittaslow was the Slow Food organization. Cittaslow’s goals include improving the quality of life in towns while resisting “the fast-lane, homogenized world so often seen in other cities throughout the world” — as the official slowmovement.com description puts it. Celebrating and supporting diversity of culture and the specialties of a town and its hinterland are core Cittaslow values.

Cittaslow is part of a cultural trend known as the Slow movement.

There are 50 goals and principles that each Cittaslow town commits to work to achieve. Although there will always be place for improvement these goals serve as tangible benchmarks to improve the quality of life in the city.[2].

The main aims of the movement are:
- making life better for everyone living in an urban environment

- improving the quality of life in the cities

- resisting the homogenization and globalization of towns around the globe

- protecting the environment

- promoting cultural diversity and uniqueness of individual cities

- provide inspiration for a healthier lifestyle

“Cittaslow is about more than a set of 50 goals and principles. It is a way of thinking. It is about caring for your town and the people who live and work in it or visit it. It is about celebrating and promoting diversity and avoiding the ‘sameness’ that afflicts too many towns in the modern world. It is about finding a place in a changing world where values are often uncertain and the needs and aspirations of local communities can often be overlooked.”[3]



July 15th, 2010


Arario Gallery is very proud to present Irrelevant: Local Emerging Asian Artists Who Don’t Make Work About Being Asian, an ambitious survey exhibition featuring the work of nearly fifty artists curated by Joann Kim and Lesley Sheng.

Irrelevant wishes to highlight artists who are more American than Asian, based in New York, and embedded in an expansive community of emerging artists struggling to show and succeed in this cutthroat city. You will not find paintings about the Cultural Revolution or Mao Zedong that sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. You will not find manga-infused characters performing acts of hypersexuality nor will you find decorative miniature drawings with motifs embedded within a specific cultural history.

What you’ll find is a surging flow of creativity where artists actively engage in their practice, exploring the absurd within everyday experience, the use and misuse of materials both new and found, and the curiosity of defining artistic practice. Food and consumption is considered within an urban agricultural environment, and social interaction is taken out of norm and reenacted in refreshing alternative ways. Pictured narratives gear toward a dark and isolated realm and obsession is the source behind abstracted images.

A major focus of this exhibition is to formulate a community, building a foundation for artists to gather and exchange ideas and experiences. There is an endless array of amazing underrepresented artists in NY, thriving yet unheard. Through this exhibition we get to see artists engaging with their given role and their interests within a particular medium, exploring on both conceptual and idealistic levels with painting, photography, performance, sculpture and installation. We get to see abstraction within the everyday and the everyday within abstraction. We get to see materials unfolded, manipulated, reworked and dysfunctioned. We get to feel self-conscious and hyper aware of our stance as viewers, where time and space is altered and questioned.

Irrelevant is a friendly and humorous, and somewhat ridiculous, rejection of a neurotic art market and its obsession with specifying artists to a particular culture and ethnicity. This exhibition purifies and de-labels the artist as Asian, by labeling the artist as Asian, to be shown inside a contemporary Asian art gallery.

Seong Min Ahn, Shin Young An, Sophia Chai, Louis Chan, Karen Chan, Rona Chang, Gigi Chen, Yoon Cho, Micah Ganske, Hyoungsun Ha, Geujin Han, Takashi Horisaki, Jane V. Hsu, Hidenori Ishii, Hong Seon Jang, Kyoung Eun Kang, Heige Kim, Seung Ae Kim, Nancy Kim, Hein Koh, Shizuka Kusayanagi, Amy Fung-yi Lee & Caroline Jung-ah Park, JaeEun Lee, Sinae Lee, Soo Im Lee, Jiyoun Lee-Lodge, Pixy Liao, Juri Morioka, Tadashi Moriyama, Joel Morrison, Dominic Neitz, Christian Nguyen, Asuka Osawa, Eung Ho Park, Youngna Park, Jung Eun Park, R&D, Ruijun Shen, Satomi Shirai, Hidemi Takagi, Tattfoo Tan, Kikuko Tanaka, Jason Tomme, Mai Ueda, Kako Ueda, InJoo Whang, Mika Yokobori, Yejin Yoo, Jayoung Yoon, Seldon Yuan

Beat It by Red Army

July 5th, 2010


June 18th, 2010

We are living in interesting times.
The world is goiing through a huge transformation.
Old powerstrucures are gone, and we need new models and solutions.
We and you are part of this.
We are part of the change.
We love to transform fear into curiousity.
The desire to connect is much bigger as the old desire to divide the world.

Couscous Global is a platform to discuss and debate for teenagers and young adults world wide.
The first generation growing up with technology,in global social networks, and on line.
Also the first globalized generation with lots of mixed identities, more than ever before in human history.

CouscousGlobal wants to use the online platforms to connect you with your opponnent, so there will be a true debate on line. Social networks are used to find friends, people who think like you and like the things you like. This is sóóóó boring. Connecting opposites is much more thrilling.
We film the debates with opponents or help you to get them filmed, subtiteld and uploaded.
We are the technological version of Voltaire:
“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. ”
“If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”Noam Chomsky

The media are very biased about youth. We like to give people a voice and a face who are not heard or seen in the main stream media.
We learn the most by connecting with our beloved enemy. It is with talking to him or her that we start to open up to the world. Youth culture worldwide is a great tool to do so.


Some countries just do things better than other countries. America exports films and fast food; France is famous for its wine and snooty red berets; Cuba has cigars and dudes named Castro. And Japan, in addition to many other feats of geek-related awesomeness, can claim the coolest and most creative videogame box art in the world.You’ve seen cover comparisons before, of course, but have you ever wondered exactly what makes the Japanese versions so preferable? Or why gamers are constantly complaining about the mangled translations? We did, and after scouring through hundreds of examples, we discovered these nine undeniable trends.

Game covers are usually pretty predictable. Is it a shooting game? Put a gun on the front! Is it a cartoon action game? Make sure to include a wacky animal with saucer-sized eyes! How about a kids’ game? Eh, just throw together a bunch of shiny, candy colors.

In Japan, they take chances. Strange and wonderful chances. The kids’ title is marketed with images of healthy food and kitchen utensils. The cartoon actioner gets a photo of a foot. Yes, a foot. The shooter is sold with nothing more than a naked man, curled into a decidedly un-badass position.

Ironically, these bizarre scenes are actually much more accurate to the game experience than their Western counterparts.

Guess what? Having fun is not necessarily a bad thing. Being happy is sometimes rather pleasant, really. Japanese developers understand this mysterious truth, but while they keep trying to export their eternally sunny characters to us, we just keep transforming them into gloomy, moody tough guys. And when we send over our own short-tempered mascots, they’re forced to give them a makeover, lest our incessant misery rub off on any innocent Japanese children.

Hmm. In this case, we’ll take the adorable Pikmin family, posing and waving, over the terrifying taxidermal lineup on the Japanese cover.

Ah, the disembodied head. So helpful. So necessary! Without those inexplicably hovering faces, how would we ever know whether the game has characters or not? Without that eye contact, how would we ever be convinced to buy?

Japanese box art assumes that things like lightsabers, spaceships, fighter planes and school girls will be enough. How naïve.

Eternal Sonata or Trusty Bell: Chopin’s Dream? You have to admire that direct of a title, but points off for the lazy, probably last-minute addition of a drifting cloud head. Hey everyone, there’s a girl in here!

Okay, you’d think this would be simple. If you’ve got a game about dragons, you put friggin’ dragons on the cover. Zombies? Zombies! Superheroes? Superheroes!

If you’ve got a game featuring both fantasy adventure and knockoff Bejeweled gameplay, you highlight the former and not the latter. If you’ve got a game about sweaty, shirtless men wrestling in their backyards, you lie and put a picture of half naked women on the front. Simple, see?

Whatever the hell your game is about, do not emphasize two balding middle-aged men on the box. If you must, at least don’t force us to stare into the depths of every scar and wrinkle. Yuck.

from http://www.gamesradar.com/f/why-japanese-box-art-is-better/a-20080729123833874037

Elliot Schrage, vice president for public policy at Facebook, responded to questions from concerned users about recent changes to Facebook’s privacy settings in a post at The New York Times.Privacy advocates and members of the technology media have been fiercely critical of Facebook’s latest changes, which make all users’ interests public. Elliot answered a range of questions on the issue, but his response boils down to the following:

  • Facebook is very sorry that the changes confused people, and it will do a better job ensuring that its privacy settings are more transparent in the future.
  • Facebook is not at all sorry about the substance of the changes. No one is being forced to join Facebook, and no one who does join is being forced to list their interests. “If you’re not comfortable sharing, don’t.”

Elliot never gives a convincing explanation for why the option to keep interests private was removed, so his responses are unlikely to satisfy many of Facebook’s critics. But so far, there isn’t any indication that more than a handful of Facebook’s 400 million users care.

Fake money in China

March 23rd, 2010


More on Green Dam Girl

March 8th, 2010

Green Dam Girl was the Chinese netizens’ Moe anthropomorphic response to the release of the Chinese government-developed content control software Green Dam Youth Escort (绿坝·花季护航; Lǜbà·Huājì Hùháng). Under a directive from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) that took effect on July 1, 2009, all computers in mainland China were required to have the software pre-installed.

The Software

The Green Dam Youth Escort software is designed to mainly filter pornography, however it has been found to filter political terms as well. After spending 41.7 million yuan ($6.1 million) on the project, the MIIT announced on May 19 that manufacturers are required to ship computers with the software “in order to build a green, healthy, and harmonious online environment, and to avoid the effects on and the poisoning of our youth’s minds by harmful information on the internet”.


The software itself has many defects. To filter pornographic images, it analyzes skin-colored regions of the picture. However the software could not filter red or dark skinned nude pictures, but was able to censor pictures of Garfield. It also introduced a security hole that internet hackers can easily exploit to steal personal information. The program itself can also be easily hacked; the master password of the MD5 checksum is in a simple text file with a .dll extension slapped on the end.

Public Response

The public responded negatively. Over 70% of users in online polls voted they have absolutely no interest in using Green Dam Youth Escort, and many said they think it will not stop minors from browsing inappropriate websites.

Green Dam Girl (绿坝娘)

One of the responses by Chinese internet users was to satirically create an Moe anthropomorphic version of the Green Dam Youth Escort software. While there are several derivatives to the character’s design, they all contain common elements: She is usually dressed in green, wearing a river crab hat and an armband with the words “discipline” on it, and carrying a rabbit (Green Dam mascot, a paint can and paintbrush to paint over explicit content.

The Green Dam Girl was very popular among Chinese netizens, later evolving into more fan art and a song. Some depict her with the OS-tans, usually sexually harrassing them.


The massively discussed “Green Dam – Youth Escort” Censorship Software is the hottest topic on Chinese Internet during this week.

Spoofing is a very classical Chinese Internet culture. Netizen absolutely won’t let the disgusting Green Dam off. Thus, the “Green Dam Bitch” has been created by netizens.















The “alpaca” in the pictures refers to the “Grass Mud Horse“, a very popular dirty pun on China Internet.

The “crab” logo in the pictures refers to “harmonize”, a term directly derived from President Hu Jintao’s regular exhortations for Chinese citizens to create a harmonious society. In spoken Chinese, “river crab” sounds very much like “harmony”, which in China’s cyberspace has become a synonym for censorship.

via http://www.chinasmack.com/more/green-dam-girl-chinese-netizens-art-ridicule/


Spider-Man may be able to spin a web of any size, but how far can his secret identity, Peter Parker, stretch a dollar? The wall-crawling Marvel Comics hero will have to depend on his thrifty sense as much as his Spidey-sense in the months to come as a new story sees him become the latest addition to the nation’s ranks of unemployed. On Monday, Marvel said that in a plot line that begins in issue No. 623 of Amazing Spider-Man, Peter Parker — who has lately given up his gig at The Daily Bugle to become the official photographer of the mayor of New York — will lose that job and, potentially, his career as he becomes blacklisted throughout the city.


Great opening band called “Wildbird and Peacedrums”. This is their song “My Heart” with a great video.

St. Vincent tour videos! Almost a mini-documentary but simply amazing, check out the rest on her channel.

The artist’s dilemma. “I have stockpiles of terrible music. There’s no way to know it or circumvent it. You just have to go through it.”

Carin Froehlich has help from her granddaughter Ava as they hang some laundry in the front yard of her residence in Perkasie Reuters – Carin Froehlich has help from her granddaughter Ava as they hang some laundry in the front yard of her …

PERKASIE, Pennsylvania (Reuters) – Carin Froehlich pegs her laundry to three clotheslines strung between trees outside her 18th-century farmhouse, knowing that her actions annoy local officials who have asked her to stop.

Froehlich is among the growing number of people across America fighting for the right to dry their laundry outside against a rising tide of housing associations who oppose the practice despite its energy-saving green appeal.

Although there are no formal laws in this southeast Pennsylvania town against drying laundry outside, a town official called Froehlich to ask her to stop drying clothes in the sun. And she received two anonymous notes from neighbors saying they did not want to see her underwear flapping about.

“They said it made the place look like trailer trash,” she said, in her yard across the street from a row of neat, suburban houses. “They said they didn’t want to look at my ‘unmentionables.’”



November 4th, 2009

re: Japan: Robot Nation

October 19th, 2009

“When Saya displays a very angry face, small children start crying. They seem to feel a sense of authority from Saya, like she’s somewhere between being God and human.”


LOL WTF, I would cry too, that robot is ugly as hell.

Japan: Robot Nation

October 19th, 2009

Japan, the world’s second largest economy, is facing a demographic crisis that will shrink the population dramatically. The Japanese aren’t having babies, and the country won’t accept immigrants to help bolster the population. But Japan may have a unique solution — Robots!

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