Tuesday, May 31, 2011

a patsy a day...

my R&D hat is firmly wedged this week for group art exhibition awareness muscle which is an exercise primarily in critical thinking in an environment of immediacy under the umbrella of format art.

an international endeavor spawned by progressive artist thierry geoffrey in copenhagen, i'm one of the artists involved in the thematic sydney incarnation which opens next week at much loved gallery ATVP. an emergency art initiative which thankfully i'm still able to emulate productivity from the confines of my sickbed due the wonders of technology.

all i need is the internet, switched brain, paper and pen. social psychology/commentary meets artistic expression = love.

enroute via alt media streams i encounter all sorts of interesting treasure [once more i fall prone to the dictates of prior formatting - long and skinny is so in right now]. this is a cut & paste job via the american free press:

Worst Computer ‘Hacker’ in U.S. History Reveals He Was Paid Informant for Federal Government
By Frank Whalen
In 2008 Albert Gonzalez was charged with committing the largest cyber crime in U.S. history. Today, Gonzalez claims the Secret Service, with whom he was working as a paid informant, sanctioned his actions. An examination of the facts seems to validate his claims that he is a scapegoat used to protect far deeper conspiracies.

Gonzalez was recruited by the Secret Service in 2003 and officially released from its employ in 2008. He assisted the government in arresting dozens of the world’s most wanted cyber criminals. It was also during this time that the pieces of a much larger criminal puzzle came into focus by the Justice Department. According to The New York Times last year, the Justice Department’s chief cyber crime prosecutor, Kim Peretti, described in 2005 that she encountered a new cyber crime wave unlike anything ever seen before.

“The service keeps calling me, saying, ‘We’ve got another company that contacted us.’ The volume was getting bigger and bigger,” Ms. Peretti said. It is true. Cyber crime is huge business, netting criminals in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe hundreds of billions of dollars in stolen money every year. No one is immune from cyber crime, either.

In 2010, AmericanFreePress.net, the website operated by AFP, was targeted by cyber criminals on two occasions. The second attack was so destructive that it took down the entire website for a week, forcing drastic changes in the way the site is managed.

As far as Gonzalez is concerned, the Secret Service worked closely with and was educated by Gonzalez for years. The Times states that Ms. Peretti achieved her position because of Gonzalez.

Gonzalez’s reported annual salary of $75,000 from the Secret Service seems to validate the U.S. agency’s belief in his
skills. Mark Rasch, a former federal prosecutor, said to Wired in 2010, “It’s a significant amount of money to pay an informant, but it’s not an outrageous amount if the guy was working full time and delivering good results.”


Were those results on behalf of the U.S. government criminal in nature? In an April 8, 2011 Wired report, Gonzalez wrote, in a legal motion to withdraw his guilty plea, that Secret Service agent Steve Ward once told him, “Go do your thing . . . just don’t get caught.”

SC Magazine also cited Gonzalez’s motion. “The agents had me infiltrating chat rooms, setting people up, and then the agents would bust them. . . . They told me do what [I] have to do, just try not to get caught. All the time, I was educating the agents as to hacking methods and computer crimes.”

It seems possible that Gonzalez was following orders by hacking some 170 million credit card files from America’s biggest retailers, including the highly publicized TJ Maxx case. Perhaps he was allowed to keep some of the profits while recruiting other hackers to assist him in the acquisition of data, or he was instructed to use the evidence to frame other hackers whom the government was chasing.

Maybe the scope of this operation is the only reason Gonzalez hasn’t been “suicided” while in prison. The Times reporter states, “One of the imprisoned hackers told me there were major chains and big hacks that would dwarf TJ Maxx. I’m just waiting for them to indict us for the rest of them.”

Conceivably, after sitting in jail for a few years, Gonzalez realizes that his former employers intend for him to actually serve his 20-year sentence, and that’s why he’s now speaking out.

With the potential for credit card data theft to be monumentally larger, Gonzalez could have been an unwitting participant in a much bigger plan: worldwide financial collapse. In February 2010 the U.S. government had an exercise called Cyber Shockwave to see how this could manifest. 

Frank Whalen has been a radio talk show host for the past 17 years, and worked as a consultant for Maxim magazine. To read more from Frank Whalen or to tune in to his radio show, see www.franklyspeakingradio.com.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

the revolution will not be televised

the revolution will not go with coke... the revolution will not make you look five times thinner... the revolution will not be televised.

words to dream, live, breathe & act by. RIP gil scott-heron.

situations arise because of the weather

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

auspicious date

24 may 1968 - marianne faithfull & mick jagger are arrested for drug possession. and i am reborn.

cellphones kill bees

this is a direct repost. because it's deadly important. [excuse inherited formatting]

Cell phones signals really are killing the bees, study shows

If there’s one thing people around the world love to do — in fact, need to do — it’s eat. Unfortunately, another thing everyone likes to do is talk on their cell phones. And according to a new study (PDF), these two activities are completely at odds because of a cell phone signal’s confusing effects on one key player: bees.

Researcher Daniel Favre of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology has found that wireless signals cause honeybees to become so disoriented that they finally just die. Favre’s team conducted 83 separate experiments that tested bees’ reactions to a nearby cellphone.

The team found that honeybees made 10 times the amount of noise when a cell phone made or received a call than they did when the phone was in off or standby mode. As Fast Company reports, this noise (generally known as “worker piping”) usually signals the bees to leave the hive. But when the reaction is triggered by a cellular signal, the bees just became tragically befuddled.
So, what about a cell phone signal makes bees suicidally crazy? As Favre’s report explains: “Worker piping in a bee colony is not frequent, and when it occurs in a colony, that is not in a swarming process, no more than two bees are simultaneously active…The induction of honeybee worker piping by the electromagnetic fields of mobile phones might have dramatic consequences in terms of colony losses due to unexpected swarming.”
It’s the “dramatic…colony losses” part that everyone should be concerned about. Honeybees are responsible for pollinating about 70 percent of the 100 or so crops on the entire planet that humans use for food.
So-called “colony collapse disorder” among the world’s bee population has been recorded since 1972. But it wasn’t until 2006 that the drop in the bee population took a nosedive, with beekeepers noting a 30 to 90 percent loss of their bee colonies, up from 17 to 20 percent in previous years.
Favre’s study corroborates a 2008 report that showed that honeybees would not return to their hive when a cell phone was placed nearby, which sparked the theory that wireless signals are the problem.
There are other reasons scientists believe the world’s crucial bee population is plummeting, things like the use of clothiandin, a pesticide used to treat corn seeds. But Favre’s study shows that our cell phone habit is playing a major role in the current bee holocaust. New iPhone, anyone?

Monday, May 23, 2011

falling in love again

i'm shooting a little punk monk film this week largely inspired by long-standing love affair with marlene dietrich & femme erotica. a light twisted not quite vanilla propaganda film of sorts. the proof of successfully meeting these objectives will be in the pudding. 

whilst quickly bashing out a script, i want to share this.

marlene's signature song 'falling in love again" became synonymous with the blue angel icon. her sensual fallout was immense with her rendition of lilli marlene gaining universal wartime appeal & prompted the UK home office to declare her a prostitute in the hope that it would halt the "unholy" obsession of british wartime solidiers with the third reich femme fatale.

eventually a version was released with english lyrics which weren't as problematic for the allied PR team. she then proceeded to jump ship across enemy lines with paramount pictures, magically regain her vestal virgin cross dressing status & became a US citizen well before WWII was officially declared.

let's do it. let's fall in love. over and over again.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

crees free

secret wars - round 4: shannon crees vs vars one.

in the beginning there were two blank canvases. and a shitload of roaring peeps. hardcore graf artists, paste-up kids & hipsters & wannabes rubbing shoulders with groupies, corporate cling-ons & the curious who just heard that graffiti got cool.

the rules: one massive artistic diss off. in ninety minutes. use your black posca pen or paint to pimp your talent with the objective of winning the crowd noisemeter. and the judges. take no prisoners.

inside jokes & popular culture references rule.

a crowd of almost 500 drink & watch nouveaux rock stars reign supreme onstage. it's a good time to flash your backpack spray can in a flourish to wouldbe converts & get laid. electricity mounts.

the artist visions come to fruition as the clock ticks. some disrespectful bitches get in our way & we stomp all over their asses. respect your elders. and we are so much older... they move on.

the paint flies on deftly wielded brushes. can you tell shannon [this season's sole femme] has my vote?

she finishes after pulling a couple of last minute swifties. see mars to vars et al. and then watches vars apply the finishing touches to his masterpiece.

the crowd heaves & hos like a rhythmic football crowd. thankfully the music is better than ricky martin, with considerably less brawn & more brain. for some more than others. 

we meet a 21 year old who is having his birthday. he thinks i am swedish. i casually destroy his fantasy. he showers us in beer & moves on. everything is OK. but the old school crowd is in transition as accessibility of the art increases. secret wars is getting successful. this commercial ascension is often problematic.

but the art is still fucking great [and shannon wins].

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

flightless black dove

the aging burlesque star... 

paloma negra's [chavela vargas' classic black dove] depiction of this tangible tragedy is nothing short of poignant & powerful poetry. her performance was breathtakingly beautiful at the supper club this weekend past, courtesy of the cohesively choreographed anything goes cabaret showcase. 

the calibre of performers & the journey of the show were crafted like an exceptionally well produced album or film. the beginning flowed like a meandering river into the middle & end. 

reality lurked hidden in curtain shadows, temporarily suspended as the audience were enveloped into dark mystical worlds which overlapped each preceding one.

over the years i've experienced many performances through film & theatre addressing this ubiquitous & heartfelt theme: the demise of the star. the appearance based use-by date of women a societal conundrum experiencing increased velocity, compounded in this case beyond belief. 

how can one retire gracefully into the wings when eternally destined for centre stage?

the ghosts of memories past still bind the flesh to the present.

even if unwilling or in/unfirm. oh how the mighty have fallen.

silver screen icon jane russell when asked, once retorted "why did i quit movies? because i was getting too old. you couldn't go on acting in those years if you were an actress over 30." 

nor was she able to have children of her own later through a range of back street abortions she endured throughout her career as pregnancy was not an option. the silver lining of the screen/stage has sharp edges.

but it is mercilessly hard to let go of the compulsion to fly, especially having once felt the wind beneath your wings. stage left & stage right.

Monday, May 16, 2011

another day, another muse

this is venus vamp. i'm in love with her.

we officially met friday night when i ventured off into the night to shoot anything goes cabaret. a dark burlesque event which hearkens to old school roots which she runs & features in.

we've got so much in common. we both love fake blood...

have full back tattoo fetishes...

love subversive erotica, gorgeous women, dramatic performance & fake blood... oh did i mention that already?

we're making a film together in the next two weeks! where there's a will, there's definitely a way. then we can consolidate our new love affair by swapping recipes. for fake blood.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

crazy pigeon

it's ok. i'm confused too.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

leaning tower of piss

it's saturday night. we're at roller derby. suicide seating ringside. it's half-time. 

obviously an appropriate opportunity to create our own spectacular spectacular scene freshly inspired by all those lycra-clad bottoms which have flown like flirtatious bumping & grinding birds before our very eager eyes. ky has to keep her restless hands busy [look at her happy little face].

she builds a recycled tower with our empties. quite the talent in her own right. an audience slowly draws.

kate looks on, waiting for the inevitable. our neighbour is suitably impressed. the tower is at skyscraper proportions. comparably.

it's all very hilarious. there's a direct correlation with the amount of empty bottles/glasses in the tower to the degree of laughter which ensues. it is a pretty tall structure. right now, everything seems fairly amusing. we're driven by all sorts of intoxication.

ky pushes the limits [how unusual]. the tower is no more.

kate still manages to look surprised. and there's still another half to go... it is a good night.

[next installment with bottoms. coming V soon.]

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

fujiyama mama eats brain shortcake

before discovering merzbow & japanese noise artists this was my favourite all-time japanese album. i practically played this CD to death in the nineties.

pizzicato five opened up the doorway to shonen knife, petty booka [not one but two ukeleles!!], TsuShiMaMiRe [], noodles & their fun nihonjin punk girl band ilk. these chicks go off.

seriously, what's not to love?

shower tag

no incentive to clean.

Monday, May 9, 2011

graffiti with nature

graffiti is often credited with being spawned from urban sprawl & popularised in the 70s political meets gang "pioneering" movement which traversed the city of new york spilling out into its streets & subways.

but this is not the case at all. like almost everything in this alleged fifth age of the sun, our history is that of reinvention. the desire & ability to make a mark, artistically impress, juxtapose or tag our environment has roots steeped in the very origins of humankind. ancient tribal mementos still stain paths of ochre in caves from humanity's earliest days.

so called higher & lower forms of art wedged into close association with those who have come before & after sharing the same canvas. it is refreshing to embrace the space & take the art back from whence it once came. 

there are pros & cons to having more space on a dance floor. either results in entirely different forms of experimental expressionism. but more elbow room is wonderful. a different rhythm is afforded when there's room to groove. and fresh air/canvas to breathe.

i follow craig bunker AKA bunkwaa, beloved graffiti artist, preferred alien & lightbearer of laughter. his icons are ubiquitous in the inner west scape of sydney & adelaide too but today his creatures are way out of town on a new-found quest. it is the beginning. the place of doors. we're not on google maps now dorothy.

the objective according to bunkwaa: is making the familar unfamilar, playing with the environment. reacting & responding to it.

nature versus nurture. escape from the hedonism of jungles urban. reverted expansionism starts here, graffiti style.

the bunkwaa characters are erroneous entities that dwell in the hidden folds of this dimension. they live off the energy that comes from human emotions & desires. in a forest once we leave, do they even still exist. or will they self-sustain & take-over?

this little guy obviously belongs here.

there's limited documentation of other current artists working with natural scapes although i've really been enjoying the work of erik myxa [halitov] a siberian graffiti artist whose work is really inspiring if not somewhat upscale.

copyright: erik myxa [halitov] - the freedom series

 copyright: erik myxa [halitov] ЗИМА series
russia actually has a really cool scene. not since christo and jeanne-claude have i seen such awesome, fun & ultimately subversive environmental based works of art.

christo & jeanne claude [the christos] were popular heroes in my youth. i pinned their work on my walls & fell in love with their politicized artworks which ran amok over world landscapes.

viewed by millions of people, the umbrella series segregated & unified perception throughout continents where the work was featured in blue [japan] and yellow [USA] & enabled people to interact beyond their vehicle with not just the installations but the social, cultural and physical restrictions which typified the bureaucratic functions which they sought to illustrate metaphorically. one had to travel not just emotionally to engage with their works.

who is to say which is the alien? the motifs, the man, or the environment...