Radical media, politics and culture.


Surveillance Camera Players writes

"Surveillance Cameras in Harlem"

Not Bored

"[In the 1930s and '40s] after-hours clubs thrived on white celebrities and society folks and those slummers weren't mistreated — the ex-slaves stood off to the side in awe, watching the wealthy visitors like they was gods arriving for inspection. Crimes were ten to one in Brooklyn and the Bronx compared to Harlem — man, we policed the district ourself for muggers 'cause we knew it would kill business. But the white press ran night-life business out of Harlem with propaganda that still lasts today — that in every shadow there's a big black nigger with a knife or gun ready to rape or stick up white folks." — Charles Mingus, Beneath the Underdog, 1971.

In June 2001, members of the New York Surveillance Camera Players (SCP–New York) scouted and mapped out the locations of public surveillance cameras in a portion of Harlem, a large and very famous neighborhood in Manhattan. Once called Spanish Harlem, this Upper East Side neighborhood in New York City is defined to the south and north by 125th and 135th Streets, and to the east and west by Lexington Avenue and Frederick Douglass Boulevard. The SCP–New York chose this area for mapping because, as recently as 1998, it was still pocked by large numbers of abandoned buildings and empty lots where burnt-out buildings used to stand, and so could be used as a starting point for documenting the connections between public surveillance and capitalist reclamation ("gentrification").

Surveillance Camera Players writes:

1,400 Percent Growth in Surveillance Cameras
Manhattan's Lower East Side

Formerly a completely immigrant (mostly Jewish and Latino) neighborhood, the Lower East Side (LES) fell prey to speculation and gentrification in the mid-1990s, when it came to be called "the East Village." (Note: there is no "West Village," there's only Greenwich Village, of which the LES has never been a part.) Since the mid-1990s, rents in the LES have increased dramatically, squatters have been illegally evicted and their buildings have been demolished, community gardens have been auctioned off and then destroyed, and gleaming homes, restaurants and "hip" shops for yuppies have been constructed in their places. And yet (fortunately!) the place remains a gritty and relatively undesirable place for yuppies to breed. There is little subway service and the immense Con Edison power-plant on 14th Street and Avenue D — which has been closed off to the public since 11 September 2001 — regularly spews poisons into the air.

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Tenth Anniversary of the First Netstrike"

Alessandro Ludovico, Springerin

You won't find many references to Tommaso Tozzi in international media art
sources. You won't find him in Wikipedia (yet), nor in MIT Press books or
Ars Electronica catalogues. Nevertheless, this Italian artist and theorist
is the inventor of one of the key online protest tools. Ten years ago he
conceived and realized the first "netstrike" (network strike) on the
Internet. It took place during the international protest against the French
atomic test at the Mururoa Atoll in Polynesia.

"Sharing Music: Property Gone Wild"
Michael Neumann, Counterpunch

No one is so naive as to think there's something intellectual or creative about 'intellectual property rights'. They protect even the worst Britney Spears wannabe from Britney-Spears-wannabe wannabes. Music company lawyers may talk about protecting an 'artist's works' against debasement or corruption, but the 'protection' of intellectual property is also a licence to debase and corrupt. For those who don't posses them, intellectual property rights do indeed protect the 'works' against debasement, or for that matter ennoblement. Those that do possess the rights to a work - not necessarily the artists themselves - can debase and corrupt it as much as they like. I'm pretty sure I've heard a composition by Little Walter, one of the three or four true giants of the blues, used to advertise tampons. Whoever came up with that had no doubt intellectual property in the music. On the other hand, the composition techniques central to classic blues, which involve extensive borrowing from others, now count as piratical. Today, Robert Johnson or Blind Lemon Jefferson would be looking at fines or lawsuits for their work.

Dutch Municipality Wants To Ban Hacker Gathering

What the Hack

The organisers of 'What the Hack', the 2005 edition of a series of
famous Dutch outdoor hacker conferences, were told that their conference
will not receive the municipal permit needed for the event to happen.

'What the Hack" is planned to take place on a large event-campground in
Liempde, between the 28th and 31st of July 2005.
About 3.000 participants from all over the world are expected. 'What The
Hack' is appealing the decision.

Autonomia Pirata/ Me...

A Week Against the Intellectual Property industries

The international boycott of the media industry begins tomorrow April 24th and continues until the 30th. The event is being promoted by p2p software developers and their business interests (who have borne the brunt of the industry assault) but supported by many consumer and user groups.

"Corporate Conquest, Global Geopolitics:

Intellectual Property Rights and Bilateral Investment Treaties"

Aziz Choudry, Seedling, January 2005

Since the breakdown of World Trade Organisation talks in Cancun in September 2003, there has been much talk of the rise of bilateralism. But bilateral trade and investment agreements aren’t so much replacing the multilateral agreements that have foreshadowed them in the last decade as working with them to create a ratcheting system to increase the levels of intellectual property protection worldwide. Interestingly, and perhaps more significantly, bilateral trade and investment agreements are also proving to be quite effective in pushing the foreign policy goals of the US and EU.

hydrarchist writes:

What The Hack? Festival
July 28-31, 2005, Den Bosch, Netherlands

What The Hack?, a large hacker's festival, has been organized as part of a interesting series of
events held every four years in The Netherlands. The events are known as a
great opportunity to meet others working on the same things. It started
with "The Galactic Hacker Party", also known as the "International
Conference on the Alternative use of Technology, Amsterdam". Since then
the festival moved outdoors, and the next three editions were held on a
large field. The last edition was visited by nearly 3000 people. Hackers
enjoy exploring the details and capabilities of tech-systems or engage
with technology on the basis of a do-it- yourself philosophy. Contrary to
popular misconception hackers do not, by definition, break into systems.

The festival will be taking place between July 28th and 31th July, 2005
in a camp near Den Bosch, The Netherlands. Common themes are freedom of
speech, government transparency, computer insecurity, privacy, open
software, open standards & software patents and community networking.

hydrarchist writes "Glyn Moody is also the author of a very good book about the history of the free software movement"Rebel Code..

Second sight

Glynn Moody

Thursday March 10, 2005

The Guardian

If you think computer patent law is boring, think again. Over the
past year, factions for and against the patenting of programs
have fought a battle for the soul of European software, and the
ramifications of a recent EU decision on the subject are likely
to be huge - and not just for anoraks.

Mara Kaufman writes

"A Hacker's Perspective on the Social Forums"
Mara Kaufman

Of the 155,000 people at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre this January, some were chosen by their communities to represent them. Some were sent by their organizations. Some were delegated by their constituencies. But many of us were there because we could be — paid activists, paid students, and people who can afford to take a week off of work in the middle of January. This is a key issue for the forum phenomenon: anybody can go, but going so far rests largely on a kind of privileged volunteerism.


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