Mar 082014
 
About [high] fashion

I’ve never written, or even articulated, anything about fashion before. But we just saw Mademoiselle C, which displays the eccentricity and waste of high fashion both honestly and sympathetically. And in the conversation afterward I found myself articulating a stronger, more coherent, and more pro-fashion viewpoint than I knew I had. Fashion serves four purposes Clothing Seduction Ritual/incarnation (choice of clothing to maximize your power in a given context) Expression I am concerned here with [...read the rest]

Feb 012014
 

Australia’s state government of Victoria has pledged $25 million in subsidy to Coca-Cola/Amatil to keep the SPC/Ardona produce cannery open in Shepparton. The federal government refused to match the funds to meet Coca-Cola’s demands. But even if the factory stay open for another period, with the farmers dependent on short-term contracts from the factory, their farms are insecure and their future precarious. Without domestic production, Australians become dependent on imported produce and global market prices. Here [...read the rest]

Aug 302013
 
I make an art exhibit about economics...

Social change happens when new ideas and desires are incubated in open spaces of experimentation. Local Objects invite customers into a space of meaning beyond the artist’s identity, into a landscape of reverence for materials and craftsmanship. A movement for artisan objects can ignite desire to invest in lasting objects and relationships with makers. The digital internet version of the exhibit is here.

Jul 082013
 

Gold bugs, income-tax-is-illegalists, illuminati cogniscentis, federal reserve suspicionists … get a bad rap from the left, who rebuke these analyses as “conspiracy theory”. We are part of an under- or de-educated population, who are -thankfully- waking up from an enchanted nap of patriotism to bravely question a country that daily betrays its promises of democracy and egalitarianism. They are teaching themselves economics and history. Those of us with the privilege of education should applaud and [...read the rest]

Jul 082013
 

Since consumption is one of the major places we express our values and try to make a difference in the world, conversations about ethics and sustainability are increasingly happening in the form of questions like “do you wear fur?” As it turns out, I own quite a lot of fur. Most of it was dead before I was born, passed down from grandmother or mom.  I believe in taking care of fine materials and fine [...read the rest]

Jul 012013
 

Ok, so we’re cyborgs now. This means that we will start to notice performance differences among us which are based on purchased augmentations. If you have one of the latest smartphones, you not only don’t need to remember telephone numbers, you don’t need to plan anything in advance. The phone knows where you are. It knows the places you go to often and it will let you know how to get there by various means [...read the rest]

May 262013
 
Lessons of the Local Food Movement at Vivid Sydney

I was invited to speak at Design your Day Job, organized by &Company, part of Vivid Ideas 2013. 25 May 2013 Sydney Australia I’m new to Australia, and since I arrived, I’ve really hoped to become part of something like this event, so I’m absolutely thrilled to be here with you today. Although I imagined we’d all be around a long table and I’d be cooking for you. But this is cool too. My talk today [...read the rest]

Jan 142013
 
Spatiality and consumership

Exploring Melbourne, we chanced upon a parking lot transformed.   The People’s Market in Collingwood opened this December at 64 – 68  Stanley Street as a Thursday-Sunday destination with food, coffee, alcohol, art galleries, pop-up retail, and live music (even a “band in residence”). Many other public spaces could fit this description, but there was something special about this one, and we sat there looking at it and feeling it and trying to figure out what made it [...read the rest]

Nov 162012
 

To build a movement, we need to spread the idea, far beyond the subculture which has nurtured it. We need to translate to older and newer ideas, and expand our way of seeing to recognize resonances and amplify them. As Matthew Crawford points out in Shop Class as Soul Craft, “by the mere fact that they stand ready to fix things, as a class [mechanics] they are an affront to the throwaway society.” He exhorts us [...read the rest]

Oct 292012
 

Matthew B. Crawford, Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work. 2009: Penguin Books. If the regard that many people now have for the wider ramifications of their food choices could be brought to our relationships to our own automobiles, it could sustain pockets of mindful labor… [102] This is the book I wanted to write, to try to get at the fulfilments of artisanship, and what this suggests for how we [...read the rest]

Oct 222012
 

Noam Chomsky is perhaps best known for the book he wrote with Edward Herman, Manufacturing Consent, also made into a wonderful film. They show how the mainstream media is used to manufacture political consent in purported democracies. I’m interested in how consent is manufactured to other kinds of changes in our worlds. For example, biotechnology crops have been so widely introduced and with so little oversight, that we now hear that we are eating biotech [...read the rest]

Oct 042012
 

I’ve been a great defender of the academy as “a living archive” of ideas, some of which were supposed to have gone away due to unpopularity…Ideas kept alive and lively by impassioned scholars who can impart detail and vividness to the next generation. But I’ve also always suspected, and now want to insist, that it is also a form of social control. Suck in “the best and brightest”, absorb whatever privilege has caused them to [...read the rest]