urban space

architecture / urban space

Squat Space - Sydney

Squat Space was born from the energy of artists and activists of the Broadway Squats.

The organisers cleared out an old locksmith shop and launched a dynamic art and event space in December 2000. The gallery played host to political film screenings, free dinners, durational performances, experimental sound nights, site-specific installations...

SquatSpace opposed the standard "pay-as-you-show" system used by many high-rent artist-run-galleries in Sydney. Exhibiting was free, with artists usually becoming involved in the life of the squatting community in some way.

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VloMo08 : day21 - kids & kites

in January if you look at the sky in Delhi (& likely other parts of India) you'll see the kids on the roof of the apartment buildings flying kites. they do this in the festival season

this evening as we were leaving I saw a boy on a roof near the road flying a kite so I grabbed the camera

sorry I probably didn't explain it properly and the guys I was with didn't want to speak on camera

in january there's a kite festival - in delhi on this day there's more kites than birds in the sky and children on the flat roofs of the apartment blocks flying the kites. so I always look out for them now. but there seems to be less other times of the year. so this was a nice surprise across the road from the office as we were leaving work this afternoon - to see a boy flying a kite and a few others in the sky.

this video was taken in mumbai but I've spent more time in delhi - so it's always interesting to see the similarities / differences in the different cities, as the languages, religions and some customs are different in different regions in india.

from :
http://www.liveindia.com/rajasthan/2.html

Kite Festival
14 January is celebrated in India as Makar Sankranti - heralding the transition of the sun into the Northern hemisphere. It is also a big kite day in most parts of India when children from 6 to 60 can be seen with their heads turned to the sky. In Jaipur kites virtually blot out the sky. Everyone joins in this riotous celebration and shouts of " Woh Kata Hai !" reverberate from rooftops to the accompaniment of drums as adversaries’ kites are cut down. And everyone’s an adversary! Any kite in the sky is fair game.

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21/11/2008
mumbai / bombay
india

blog post :
http://www.aliak.com/content/vlomo08-day21-kids-kites

http://vimeo.com/2306000

http://blip.tv/file/1492895

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mumbai digital arts, new media & urban research links

looking for digital arts, new media & urban research projects or exhibitions in mumbai - I'm only here for 2 weekends so might not make it to any festivals. here's some I found so far - some are past projects & some are not strictly mumbai based but I came across them whilst following links for mumbai related items

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Comet Media & COSMOS
a non profit group working in educational communication & new media. they have festivals, projects & publications
http://www.cometmedia.org
http://groups.google.com/group/cosmos_mumbai
upcoming events
aliak.com Comet & Cosmos page

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Digital artists - THE WEBMUSEUM CYBERCULTURE RESEARCH LIBRARY page
http://www.lastplace.com/page177.htm

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CRIT
http://crit.org.in

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ELECTROFRINGE 2008 :: 2nd - 6th October :: Newcastle, Australia

Australia's largest festival of experimental electronic arts and culture, "Electrofringe", will burst through the cracks of Newcastle from October 2 – 6, 2008, for its eleventh year as part of "This Is Not Art". More than 100 emerging and established artists from Australia and overseas will take part in 80 events over five days including workshops, gigs, screenings, performance and public intervention.

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GPS Film : Not a Moving Picture - a Picture Moving

GPS Film is new media artwork from filmmaker Scott Hessels that invents a new way of watching movies based on the viewer's location and movement. Using a GPS-enabled PDA or mobile phone, the audience creates a new type of film experience that reveals the story through their journey. Released as a free, open-source application, the project will premiere on 4 September 2008 along with the first film made specifically for the system, Singaporean filmmaker Kenny Tan's chase comedy "Nine Lives".

Cross Street Studios - Auckland

Cross St Studios is an artist-run space, organized by young artists. It acts as a hub for networking as to nurture an emerging artist community. Cross St Studios will function as a platform for encouraging professional practices. It is an incubator for ideas that can be easily generated, executed and exhibited. Our emphasis is on creating the freedom to experiment with unconventional ideas and presenting them to a public audience.

http://www.crossstreetstudios.com

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Salon Mazal

Salon Mazal was established in 2001, in Tel Aviv, Israel, by a group of social-environmental activists. Salon Mazal is a non-for-profit registered charity that serves as an information distribution center for social, environmental and political change The place functions as a store (including books, magazines and fair-trade products), a lending library, an artist gallery, a vegetarian bar and a community center where movie screenings, lectures, workshops and meetings take place.

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Find a Bird - make something wonderful!

Hidden away on the Watch/Listen section of the the Darrren Hayes website is a link saying Found a Bird?. What is this you ask?

It's a project on the neonbird website involving writing a wish inside a folded note / paper bird & leaving it for a stranger to find. Write the NEONBIRD.COM website on the outside of the note, then take a photo of it & where you left it. Upload the photo to the Made a Bird page.

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relocation of Nangla Machi, Delhi

when I finished my work project in Delhi last year, I was taken out for lunch by some of the people I worked with. the lunch was really nice, we went to Gurgaon, to a Chinese restuarant. part of the conversation as we were leaving was about how places in Delhi were being rebuilt.

call centres, video magazines & more from India

I'm back in Auckland again for work, and have been catching up on emails over the Easter weekend break. A couple of emails to the Sarai reader list have led me to read about workers in Gurgaon (an industrial city with many call centres near Delhi) and watch videos from Indian women in villages producing their own video magazines.

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The first email was a blog post by Shivam Vij called "Who is a Bairagi?" asking questions about OBC (other backward classes) in India and do people there really know who these people are and how they live. The post was from a journalist who sometimes writes for Tehelka (the people's paper). The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) has lists of names / castes for people classified as OBC. The Delhi list can be found here and full list for Indian regions found here. There's even a Questionnaire for consideration of requests for Inclusion and complaints of Under-Inclusion of backward classes in Central list - criteria such as Social, Economic and Educational.

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Another email to sarai reader list highlighted a new law resource in India - Between Law and Justice: A Law and Society Reader, a DVD database with (so far) over 400 articles on topics such as :

1. Legal histories
Colonial
Postcolonial
2. Constitutional promises and perils
3. Siting struggles: human rights and social justice
4. Roti, kapadda aur makaan: law, livelihood and development
5. Supreme, yet fallible
6. Crime and punishment
7. Access to justice
8. Citizens/denizens
9. Edge of desire: law, gender and sexuality
10. In a minority
11. Green justice
12. Media law & free speech
13. Governance
14. Life of law amidst globalisation
15. Legal education
16. Interdisciplinary challenges
17. International law

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Another email was a promo for a new documentary :

"INDIA UNTOUCHED - Stories of a People Apart" is a new documentary directed by Stalin K. and produced by Drishti. Drishti is a a collective of film & documentary makers in India.

Video Volunteers is part of the Creative Visions foundation and aims to setup Community Video Units and train local Community Video Producers to produce video magazines based on local issues which are screened monthly in 25 villages reaching more than 10000 people in these communities. Members of the communities speak about what matters to them and the CVU allows them to have a voice which is then shared with other members of the community.

http://videovolunteers.org/
http://videovolunteers.org/videogallery.php - to view the videos

India's Frontline magazine has a story about Video Volunteers.

http://videovolunteers.org/video_change.php
[quote]
The impact of social change media

Video empowers the poor with leadership and critical thinking skills and makes them partners in the development process. Even non-literates can learn to make videos in a matter of months. Here are some success stories from NGOs around the world:

* Bangladesh: Village women submitted video testimonies of the domestic abuse they have suffered and avoided intimidation in the village court.
* India: Rickshaw drivers made articulate video pleas that convinced local banks to give them loans for the first time.
* Mexico: Merely the site of a camera and fear of being caught caused police to withdraw from an illegal raid in Chiapas.
* Nigeria: A cholera outbreak was less severe in villages where a video on clean water was shown.
* Egypt: A group of women abandoned the practice of genital mutilation when they heard the call for change from community members' video interviews.
[/quote]

Other related organisations helping to teach people video making skills in India are :

Barefoot Workshops, a not-for-profit media and music based educational organization where adults and youth are taught video, photography, music, and art as a way to document their surroundings, make change in the world, and most importantly, make change within themselves.

Velugu is the largest poverty project in the state working in over 860 mandals in 22 districts and aims to reach 29 lakhs (1 lakh = 100 000) of the poorest of rural poor. Velugu enhances the poor's capacities to manage their resources and helps access public services. SERP's uniqueness is in the blend of professionals and trained activists working at the grassroots. SERP has committed professionals, Community Coordinators who are working with the poor communities. It also creates the necessary critical mass by building the social capital through facilitating the identification of community activists and trains them as barefoot professionals, as paravets, botanists, social activists etc. This cadre of rural development professionals are managed by the mandal federations.

Creative Visions - The Creative Visions Foundation was inspired by the life of Dan Eldon -- artist, adventurer and activist - who was killed in 1993 while covering the conflict in Somalia as a photojournalist for Reuters News Agency. He was 22. Founded by his family and friends, CVF is a publicly supported 501 (c) (3) organization that supports "creative activists" like Dan -- social entrepreneurs who use media, technology and the arts to create awareness of environmental, social or humanitarian issues -- and inspire positive change.

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Translocations 1: New media practices in the urban context (Delhi)

Workshop @ Sarai: FLOSS Fellowships Final Presentations

Translocations 1: New media practices in the urban context

17th and 24th November 2006,Seminar Room, Sarai-CSDS

Facilitated by Tapio Makela, researcher and artist in residence at Sarai

This workshop looks at new media practices in urban contexts.

The introductory session will take place at SARAI/CSDS seminar room on Friday, November 17th 11.00-13.00/14.00-16.00.

Second session on November 24th, same time.

http://www.sarai.net

Translocations 1: New media practices in the urban context (Delhi)

Workshop @ Sarai: FLOSS Fellowships Final Presentations

Translocations 1: New media practices in the urban context

17th and 24th November 2006,Seminar Room, Sarai-CSDS

Facilitated by Tapio Makela, researcher and artist in residence at Sarai

This workshop looks at new media practices in urban contexts.

The introductory session will take place at SARAI/CSDS seminar room on Friday, November 17th 11.00-13.00/14.00-16.00.

Second session on November 24th, same time.

http://www.sarai.net

nomadology

I've been reading the Nomadology book and blog posts lately. it's an interesting concept. I've found myself travelling more in the last few years but I'm not sure that my mode of travel could be classed as nomadic.

eg from Encyclopedia Britannica - searching on nomad / nomadism
http://www.britannica.com/ebc/article-9373574

[quote]
"Way of life of peoples who do not live continually in the same place but move cyclically or periodically."

"It is based on temporary centres whose stability depends on the available food supply and the technology for exploiting it. A hunting and gathering society is a type of nomadic group. Pastoral nomads, who depend on domestic livestock, migrate in an established territory to find pasture for their animals. Tinker or trader nomads, such as the Roma (Gypsies; see Rom) and the Irish and Scottish Travellers, are associated with a larger society but maintain their mobile way of life. Nomadism declined in the 20th century as urban centres expanded and governments sought to regulate or eliminate it."
[/quote]

or nomadism on wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nomadism

[quote]
"Communities of nomadic people move from place to place, rather than settling down in one location. Many cultures have been traditionally nomadic, but nomadic behaviour is increasingly rare in industrialised countries. There are three kinds of nomads, hunter-gatherers, pastoral nomads, and peripatetic nomads. Nomadic hunter-gatherers have by far the longest-lived subsistence method in human history, following seasonally available wild plants and game. Pastoralists raise herds and move with them so as not to deplete pasture beyond recovery in any one area. Peripatetic nomads are more common in industrialised nations travelling from place to place offering a trade wherever they go."
[/quote]

currently I'm a cross between Perpetual Traveller, expat or perhaps even a touch technomad. for the moment I have given up the sedentary lifestyle. living in different place whilst on work projects gives you a great opportunity to see how other people live and to realise how little you actually need to be happy and to live a good life yourself. it definitely makes you appreciate the life we lead in Australia.

there's a whole other world out there and some people are taking advantage of it. in doing a couple of quick html hops whilst googling nomadism, I came across microship.com the website of Steven Roberts who left suburbia behind to travel in teched up vehicles such as Winnebiko and BEHEMOTH. Now he's decking out a catamaran to do some more leisurely and comfortable sailing. but wow! what an adventure. his site mentions he's had help from numerous people on places to stay and go. there'd be a few books worth of stories to tell!

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