Zoe Laughlin of UCL’s Institute of Making has a new podcast, Things That Make Us. Following the model of Desert Island Discs, each week, Laughlin interviews someone asking them to chose five things that they feel have shaped and moulded their lives and practice. The first two weeks interview the artist, Cornelia Parker, and food critic and journalist, Jay Rayner.
Haidy Geismar, UCL
As I’m sure you are all aware, last week Vanuatu was devastated by Cyclone Pam, battering the country with winds of over 270 mph. The storm knocked out the country’s telecommunications and transport infrastructure and now, just a few days later, it is estimated that more then 70% of the population are left homeless, without adequate drinking water, and without food. The long term prospects for food security are also bad as most of the garden crops that people live off have been destroyed. President Baldwin Lonsdale has announced that the storm had “wiped out” recent development and that “everything” would have to be rebuilt.
Vanuatu is the place that I have worked as an anthropologist since 2000.…
Molly Johannson and Sarah McFalls, UCL Anthropology
This posting is one part of a wider project called Properties and Social Imagination – a collaboration between UCL Anthropology and Artists working at the School for Material and Visual Culture at Massey University, New Zealand. The project took several objects from the UCL Ethnography Collections and MA students and faculty conducted a series of experimental research projects, which explored the material properties, qualities and affordances of the collection.
This posting focuses on a Green Stone adze, from Papua New Guinea, and forms part of a wider essay which will shortly be published as a Material World Occasional Paper Series.
Over the course of the project we realised our interactions with the adze brought life to all types of stone, and subsequently also animated our surroundings.…
Contains a good number of conversations and talks about Material culture, including a talk by Wendy Bellion entitled “What statues remember: sculpture and affect in nineteenth century New York”, by Elizabeth Povinelli called “The Dwelling Science: embodiment, obligation, knowledge.” and by Fath Ruffins, “Do Objects have Ethnicities: Race and Material Culture.”
The link to the full collection is here
Lane DeNicola, Anthropology Department, University College London
The meme of the Internet’s radical transformation of commerce, and specifically the consumer-level experience of e-commerce, recognizes an amalgam of shifts. Perusal of commodities via keyboard and display, for example, engender a quite different posture than traditional “brick-and-mortar” venues. Shoppers are less “on display” themselves in the former case, and so the cosmetic preparations that attend shopping in physical spaces are typically eliminated. Further, groups of more than perhaps two or at most three who attempt to shop online “together” (i.e. using a single display or interface) will likely find it a less-than-satisfying experience, in contrast to traditional shopping, a highly social activity. Most significantly, some have levelled a critique of e-commerce (or “online shopping” more specifically) as an unfortunate abstraction, an excision of consumption from its traditional context of social interaction and the experience of local spaces.…
This account is taken from a site hosted by Joy Garnett: www.firstpulseprojects.com/joywar.html.
NY artist Joy Garnett makes paintings based on found photographs gathered from the mass media [more info]. In January 2004 she had a solo exhibition of a series of paintings called “Riot,” which featured the figure in extreme emotional states. One of the paintings, Molotov, was based on an uncredited image found on the web that turned out to be a fragment of a 1979 photograph by Susan Meiselas.
When Meiselas and her lawyer learned of the painting, they sent a cease-and-desist letter to Garnett accusing her of “pirating” the photo. They demanded she remove the image of Molotov from her website, and that she sign a retroactive licensing agreement that would sign over all rights to the painting to Meiselas, and to credit Meiselas on all subsequent reproductions of Molotov.…
Haidy Geismar, NYU
This is our first effort at podcasting and we’ve had some trouble integrating audio into our blog template so please excuse us if this is somewhat clunky. The audio quality isn’t bad at all for the speakers (recorded on an ipod with a belkin mike) but the questions at the end aren’t too clear, so apologies for that. Many of the images referred to can be accessed at the links below.
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This is the audio for a panel entitled Visual Culture, Digitalization, and Cultural Heritage in Oceania which took place at the conference Pacific Alternatives: Cultural Heritage and Political Innovation in Oceania, March 23 – 27 2009, at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.…