Charismatic Megapigment

A collaborative project between Charley Peters, Wesley Goatley and Tobias Revell. Charismatic Megapigment is a sculptural installation that examines the politicised nature of the colour green and the tensions between formalist and conceptual art practice, as explored through the practices of painting and machine learning. 

The screen moves across the painting randomly while feeding the image the camera on the back captures through a machine learning system that draws a closest neighbour match from a bank of 102,000 images related to ‘green’ found on Google.

Loved this work since I first saw it. There’s so much to unpack, especially every time the screen finds an example of a specific green. Never wrote much about art but works like that makes me want to.

There’s also a bit of extra writing about it on Tobias’s blog.

The hypersane are among us

Found this article thanks to Arikia:

Many ‘normal’ people suffer from not being hypersane: they have a restricted worldview, confused priorities, and are wracked by stress, anxiety and self-deception. As a result, they sometimes do dangerous things, and become fanatics or fascists or otherwise destructive (or not constructive) people. In contrast, hypersane people are calm, contained and constructive. It is not just that the ‘sane’ are irrational but that they lack scope and range, as though they’ve grown into the prisoners of their arbitrary lives, locked up in their own dark and narrow subjectivity. Unable to take leave of their selves, they hardly look around them, barely see beauty and possibility, rarely contemplate the bigger picture – and all, ultimately, for fear of losing their selves, of breaking down, of going mad, using one form of extreme subjectivity to defend against another, as life – mysterious, magical life – slips through their fingers.

The hypersane are among us, if only we are prepared to look – Neel Burton

This is an interesting term, “hypersanity“. Came across first time with this article and to be honest, it fills many holes about some of things I’ve been thinking about.

One thing that connected directly in my head with hypersanity is how people are always looking for normal, sane and ordinary. So they can feel safe. To do that, they even attack what is not normal and sane enough for them without thinking. But when you’re going through the mad times, normal and sane is the most useless thing. You have to be something more than sane. I think that’s where hypersanity can come into play.

This is going to be something I’ll dive deep into researching at some point. But I’m just putting a note here for now. Feel free to jump in and turn this into a conversation.

Infinite Detail by Tim Maughan

Tim Maughan’s Infinite Detail was published in March and since then it was sitting on my Kindle for reasons. Finally got my hand around it and finished the book today. And I have to say that this book is amazing.

The smile grows into a self-deprecating chuckle; and she’s strangely embarrassed that part of her had imagined walking out into some huge abandoned space: a bourgeois science-fictional fantasy of a long-lost civilization where she’s the special one, the only survivor that could see past the crass commercialism of the masses and got out in time, the intrepid, educated explorer unearthing this forgotten, archaic relic of barbaric capitalism, an empty cave filled with unfamiliar, alien branding.

The topic and how Tim handles it is just brilliant. Although Infinite Detail is a near future speculative fiction, you can easily see that all of it can happen next week. The politics of technology and the current situation of capitalism is analyzed in a mind opening way for anyone who isn’t already familiar with it and while the story shows you how messed up it is, it also shows you why just getting rid of it is not enough.

What’s different is that the massive inhuman artificial intelligence wasn’t enslaving us with nuclear bombs or turning us into batteries (how WOULD that work?) or crushing our feeble human skulls with its metal feet, but by finding the best ways to sell us stuff. SkyNet is real, and it wants to sell you shoes made by child slaves.

Tim’s storytelling is also strong. Going back between before and after, you can easily feel the change between those two timelines. The story pulls you inside its world and at some point, you can feel that those two timelines are about to merge and you get nervous and anxious just like the characters you’re reading. Although Tim has a unique way of telling his story, this feeling also reminded me Gibson’s The Peripheral, and I’m saying this as a huge compliment.

In short, in my opinion Infinite Detail is a must read book. Not just because it’s a great story but also this is the type of speculative/science fiction we need more today.

Until you can dismantle them, he tells himself, always use the oppressors’ tools against them.

Start Select Reset Zine #001: Your Attention is Sovereign

Jay (previously) has a new digital zine out, which includes his writings and podcast transcriptions about the internet, social media and attention economy. He talks about many things such as multitasking, how we’re using our devices, productivity and how he changed his social media use and more. I’ve finished it in one sitting and already waiting for the new issues.

I am also deeply suspicious of the term productivity in general. It has its origins on slave plantations and the British Empire, and it makes me uneasy how management consultants and the wider business world just throw the term around.

SSRZ – 001 – Your Attention Is Sovereign

On a related note: This format —PDF collections of writings either as a zine or a book— is something I’ve been thinking about lately. Seeing good examples like this one motivates me more to experiment with it. Maybe not right now but definitely in the near future.

#CoveringClimateNow Week is Here

From the project website:

Our initiative includes more than 250 outlets worldwide, and dozens of institutional and independent partners, with a combined audience of more than 1 billion people.

From September 15-23, our partners have committed to emphasizing climate stories. The goal is to maximize coverage of the climate crisis and its impacts in the lead up to the United Nations Climate Summit on September 23.

Many major outlets such as The Guardian, The Nation, BuzzFeedNews, Bloomberg and Gizmodo joined as a partner to this project. Which is quite important considering the issue. Seeing that journalists taking it seriously and using their tools and power to cover the climate crisis as powerful as possible to create a pressure over the UN Climate Summit is something we really needed.

We’re also part of it as NewsLabTurkey and our aim for this week to help Turkish journalists and media people to have a wider perspective on climate crisis and climate journalism and help them to reach new tools to cover this issue. This is the least we can do.

Helping this project and coverage put out during this week to reach as many people as possible is really important. We don’t have much time left to take some serious action and we should be in support of any attempt in that direction. So go visit the partner outlets, share their stories and use the hashtag #coveringclimatenow so more people will learn about it.

mono.kultur #44 & #47

Recently decided working on to change and add more diverse stuff to my information diet. This also includes thinking about where I’m spending money on and make sure it goes to people and ideas will feed my brain more and actually needs and deserves support.

So I started with mono.kultur and these two arrived yesterday afternoon. From the moment I pulled those out from the envelope it was obvious to me that I made the right decision. Stuff like these makes it clear that people who made it creates things because they care about things or they have something to say and that thing you’re holding is important for them —whether it’s a book, album, zine or a mag. 

That feeling is something I look up to and try to create while I’m working. I hope I can achieve that. And I really wish I had more money to support everything which gives me that feeling.

#Olay ve #Susamam

Bir günde iki şimdiden klasik olacak rap şarkısının gelişini blogda paylaşmamak olmazdı. Hem Ezhel hem de Şanıser ve çetesinin (daha iyi nasıl tanımlayabilirim bilemedim) aynı anda böyle şarkıları ortama salması kesinlikle bir şeylere işaret. Şarkıları dinlediğimden bu yana kafamda dönen birkaç şeyi de buraya not almak istedim.

Eğer internette daimi olarak saçmalayanları bir kenara bırakacak olursak iki şarkının da istedikleri etkiyi bıraktıklarını ve hakettikleri sevgiyi ve övgüyü aldıklarını görmekten fazlasıyla memnun oldum. Elbette biri daha klasik rap, diğeri ise trap; birinde Ezhel’in söz yazma şekli var, diğerinde farklı birçok tarz. O yüzden ikisini kıyaslamak ne kadar anlamlı bilemiyorum. Fakat her ikisi de kendi tarzları içerisinde hem teknik hem de söz olarak çok sağlam olmuş.

Ancak ikisini birleştiren en önemli nokta elbette sözlerin içeriği ve söyledikleri. Elbette buradaki rapçilerin büyük bir kısmı zaten politik duruşa sahip olan ve dinleyenlerinin fazlasıyla farkında olduğu isimler. Ezhel, Şanıser, Aga B, Tahribad-ı İsyan ve diğerleri politik duruşlarını ve mesajlarını hâlihazırda şarkılarında yazan isimler. Fakat bu kadar konsantre, gayet sert ve net bir şekilde ve aynı günde karşımıza çıkmaları da aslında belirli bir eşiğin işaretçisi olarak okunabilir. Özellikle de her iki şarkının yakın dönemi ve onun etkisini özetleyen, buna yeter diyen bir havaya sahip olması ortak bir ruh hâlini işaret ediyor. Bu ruh hâlinin toplumda da bir karşılığı var ki, iki şarkı da dev bir ilgiyle karşılandı.

Buradan bir politik analiz falan çıkartacak değilim. Sadece sevdiğim rapçilerin böyle sağlam işlerle çıkması ve ikisinin de ortak bir ruhu paylaşıyor olması dikkatimi çekti. Bunun nasıl bir karşılığı olur ya da bu şarkıların devamında ne gelir zaman gösterecek.

Rethinking How I Use Internet: 5

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Rethinking the Internet

Decided to experiment on my social media use: I’ll be giving most of the control to the automation for a while.

It’s not that I’m trying to go Hard Waldenponding. (Thanks for pointing that term out Warren.) But instead, taking a step back during the adjustment process. Because that’s what I need right now.

With September on its way, workload is getting heavier and #1000mphclub life is coming back strong. This means I have to give up something to save some space in my mind. But at the same time, totally quitting social media is not an option. Not just because I’m a freelance writer but also there are people I’m actually interested in what they’re doing.

So I decided to go with lurking and automation for a while. Meaning, I’ll be mostly in read-only mode (exception will be the private channels) and most of the posting will happen through automated stuff. This also means more blog posts, regular newsletters and Patreon posts, because those are, in a sense, private channels too.

I’m going with this option not just because I need to save some energy but also want to see if and how my perspective about those platforms will change. Stepping back and looking from a distance may help me to gain a different perspective.

Not sure how long it’s going to last but the current situation already forces me to stay away until the end of September. We’ll see how it goes.

IFLA WLIC 2019: 20 Years of the IFLA Intellectual Freedom Statement: Constancy and Change

This year I was invited to speak at IFLA’s World Library and Information Congress, as a part of a session focusing on intellectual freedom and freedom of information. As a part of the session, I talked about the current situation in Turkey and how it effects the librarians and freedom of information in general.

Although there was small connection issues and me not being able to go to Athens, I was glad to be a part of this congress and hopefully everyone listening the conversation had found it useful.

You can watch the whole session above. If you’re more of a reading person, there’ll be an article that summarizes my talk and adds more data and source over at IFLA/FAIFE blog soon. I’ll both link it here when it’s out and cross-post to the blog.

‘Ralphing’ and Compass Memes

Last week I talked a bit about compass memes on my newsletter. It was something came out of nowhere but the more I think about it, I feel like there is more to think and talk about it.

Jay, who introduced me to the compasses, also recently wrote about it on his blog. Including a good amount of reading and some connections to ‘Ralphing.’

One of the things I think is clear about this form of compass media object is that they rapidly open up new cognitive territory. But they also seize and claim the new territory the moment that you realise that it has formed in your brain. Like laying tarot cards of a kind you have never seen before on the table, and before you can read the spread shouting SNAP and pulling them back.

In the meme theory back channels I frequent this is known as “Ralphing”.

095 :: Half formed thoughts On ‘Ralphing’ and Compass Memes

If this whole conversation sounds interesting, you should read the whole thing. And then start writing your own thoughts or making your own compasses.