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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Video of the Day: Urban eXperiment, the French Hacker-Artist Underground

Posted By on Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 8:30 AM

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Much is made about our city's storied history in subversive art, with iconic groups like the Billboard Liberation Front, Survival Research Laboratories, the Cacophony Society, and the Suicide Club. A group in Paris, however, gives all of it a run for its money, if not a shellacking.

Meet the secretive Paris Urban eXperiment, aka the UX. It came into being in 1981, when the group came across (stole) plans detailing Paris' numerous underground passages, catacombs, and tunnels, and went exploring. Then UX started throwing events down below: staging plays, throwing up a movie theater and a bar, serving guests at a restaurant. The group also -- and here UX becomes part of the holy underground -- began restoring stuff. Fixing things.

See also:

Video of the Day: A Tale of Underground Artists Mike Giant and Mike Maxwell

BadBadBad , a "Transmedia Underground Novel," Has Frustratingly Brilliant Debut

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Video of the Day: Victory Over the Sun

Posted By on Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 8:30 AM

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We glimpse strange man-made structures through the trees. Their forms seem out of date, pointing to a future that never was. The soundtrack shifts from the ambient noise of chirping birds into something more sinister, while flickering psychedelic images take over the screen. Eventually the pastoral scenery returns and in the background we suddenly recognize with a jolt the violin from "November Rain" by Guns N' Roses. This is Michael Robinson's short film Victory Over the Sun, a creative reimagining of the buildings and statues left behind after several different World's Fairs, and it is an excellent example of the way Robinson freely melds pop culture references with original footage to create something new and wonderfully disorienting.

See also:

Take a Drug-Free Trip through San Francisco with Kalle Mattson's "Water Falls"

Video of the Day: The Altered Barbie Exhibition

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Video of the Day: Dance Meets Electronic Sculpture Art

Posted By on Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 8:30 AM

RJ MUNA
  • RJ Muna

When it comes to dance innovation, San Francisco thinks outside the bun. Our dance troupes perform off the sides of hotels (Niagara Falling), collaborate with indie-pop musicians (Oh, Inverted World), and use laundromats as venues (Laundromatinee). All the more reason for Alonzo King LINES Ballet -- a contemporary ballet company, school, and dance center for all skill levels -- to join hands (and feet) with S.F.-based electronic sculpture artist Jim Campbell, whose work has appeared at the Smithsonian, the Whitney, and New York's MOMA.

See also:

Video of the Day: Dance Choreographed to Erotica

Fishnet Follies' Wild Women Make Our Tassels Spin

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Video of the Day: D.I.Y. Is Changing the World

Posted By on Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 8:30 AM

HANNA QUEVADO
  • Hanna Quevado

As home to Maker Faire, not to mention a lot of counterculture and counter-intuitive invention, the Bay Area is no stranger to D.I.Y., but it usually takes the rest of the country a while to catch on. For years, Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired magazine, has pointed to the far-reaching consequences of emergent ideas. And, despite some accusations of Wiki-plagiarism in his last book, he's been pretty good.

See also:

Heineken R2D2, Lego Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, and Other Geek Glory from Maker Faire

Video of the Day: Videogames Make Us Smarter

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Video of the Day: The Surprising Decline in Violence

Posted By on Mon, Oct 8, 2012 at 7:30 AM

Steven Pinker - REBECCA GOLDSTEIN
  • Rebecca Goldstein
  • Steven Pinker

Conventional wisdom states that when you take the long view, the arc of history is brutal. We live within a weird historical blip, some aberrant time of relative luxury and safety. But is this really the case? In his 2011 book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, multi-disciplinary researcher Steven Pinker argues against this despairing view of history and human nature.

See also:

Video of the Day: Literary Doucebag-Fools Pantheon

Video of the Day: Videogames Make Us Smarter

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Video of the Day: Why We're Such Lying Liars

Posted By on Wed, Aug 22, 2012 at 8:30 AM

Dan Ariely
  • Dan Ariely
Dan Ariely, behavioral economist, is giving a talk tonight about why we lie and still think of ourselves as honest people. Here's a brief clip of Ariely on the phenomenon. If you go tonight, be sure to bring flame-retardant pants.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

These Walls Can Speak: Documenting and Preserving Queer Landmarks in S.F.

Posted By on Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 7:30 AM

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For the first time in history, the San Francisco Architectural Heritage will cosponsor a panel on historic preservation with the GLBT Historical Society. The San Francisco Architectural Heritage is a misunderstood organization, falsely believed to be monomaniacal about the city's most elite landmarks. Seeking greater collaboration and new audiences, both organizations prioritize significant physical locales associated with the community. "These Walls Can Speak: Telling the Stories of Queer Places" will explore the ways in which queer historic sites are being preserved, documented, and interpreted.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Go to this Talk on the History of "Asshole" -- No, Ifs, Ands, or Butts

Posted By on Mon, Aug 13, 2012 at 11:30 AM

SURIAN SOOSAY
  • Surian Soosay

The last time we found ourselves around someone waxing poetic about indexicality and polysemy at a cocktail party, our instinctual reaction was, "Shut up, asshole." We would have been less damning if the discussion in question was about assholism itself. Thankfully, Fresh Air contributor and Professor of Linguistics at Stanford and UC Berkeley, Dr. Geoffrey Nunberg, is here with a companion lecture to his new book, Ascent of the A-Word: Assholism, the First Sixty Years.

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Cory Doctorow Wages War Against Computers

Posted By on Mon, Jul 30, 2012 at 7:30 AM

Rage against the machine! - BRETT TAYLOR
  • Brett Taylor
  • Rage against the machine!

Much of the war against computer freedom has centered on things like copyright, net neutrality, and SOPA, but Cory Doctorow argues that this isn't a war at all. It's a skirmish, the opening salvos in what could soon be an overwhelming attack by commercial and governmental entities.

We ain't seen nothing yet, basically.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bayard Rustin's Story Reveals Civil Wrongs in the Civil Rights Movement -- Homophobia

Posted By on Tue, Apr 10, 2012 at 1:30 PM

A True Hero Gone Unnoticed.
  • A True Hero Gone Unnoticed.

Bayard Rustin was a fervid orator and incisive rhetorician who served as a key figure in the civil rights movement for more than 60 years. He introduced Mahatma Gandhi's principles of nonviolence to American activists, and he organized the 1963 March on Washington, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. So why doesn't Bayard Rustin receive equal standing with King in American history? It's a question of considerable debate, but Rustin's status as an openly gay man who served jail time as a conscientious objector during World War II guaranteed his marginalization during the 1960s among civil rights leaders, who feared such traits could be used by opponents to discredit their movement.

Religious studies professor, activist, and author Michael Long delves into Rustin's legacy in I Must Resist: Bayard Rustin's Life in Letters, a collection that provides intimate insight into the relationships and principles that fueled Rustin's work for social justice until his death in 1987. Long reads from his work and talks about Rustin's legacy Wednesday night at City Lights.

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    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"