The Plan: More Bloodshed and Expense

The man known to some as General Betray-us and to others as a God who walks the earth is back in front of Congress this week. From Democracy Arsenal:

Petraeus and [Ambassador] Crocker have no problems projecting out the potential implications of leaving Iraq - but they refuse to make projections of what staying will look like. That double standard is absurd. Is there a strategic plan for our presence in Iraq? If so what? The answer is pretty clearly no. They have no end game. There is no exit strategy. The Bush/McCain/Petraeus/Crocker plan is simply to stay and to stay a very very long time in the hopes that things slowly get better.

Not Cheap, "Green"

Just received a press release from an established alternative space art gallery that has decided to go paperless--as in, no more printed announcements or PR. Instead of saying "we can't afford it anymore" they said they are "going green." The announcement comes in a PDF with green letters and a logo of yes, a leaf. Someone at the institution missed their calling--he or she should be doing public relations for one of the big corporations.

How else could it be spun?

"We have decided to stop paying money to the postal service, which is subsidized by a fascist regime in the US."
"We believe in AT&T and want to use its 'pipes' for all our communications."
"We believe more use of electrons will move the US closer to tapping its valuable coal resources and keeping industry local."

Evidently they are not reading Ed Halter at Rhizome and haven't learned about the rematerialization of art.

[This page apologized to Halter for trolling him on this issue but finds that's it's too rich a subject not to exploit. There are solid economic reasons why society is "dematerializing" by going paperless and moving former physical activities online. The reason for making physical objects, sending out cards on nice paper stock, and moving into a white cube display environment at this point has to be because you like it (or feel you have something to say that can't be said on a website), not because you are being compelled to by some inexplicable reverse zeitgeist or because you want to scratch the lotto card and be the one out of a million artists who "makes it." On the Rhizome thread* Halter says his word "rematerialization" is descriptive and shouldn't be taken as an endorsement of anything. But he made his argument for it rather well, ironically or not, and this page anticipates its embrace by those seeking to position new media art within a market. At the end of the thread Yves Bernard, one of the curators of "Holy Fire" (the show about selling new media work under discussion), says "Moreover, this immaterial -> material drift is much more than a side-effect: it is just a part of a much larger trend: software is driving the material world, now generating objects and atoms as well as processes, interactions and communications."]

See also: "Protocol" discussion.

*Update, 2011: The Rhizome link has been changed to