Nina Röder: A Little Deeper Than You Thought.

Nina Röder.

This is a wonderful series, from Nina Röder:

Berlin-based artist Nina Röder’s series “A little deeper than you thought” explores the meaning of existence through a series that captures the relationship between humans and the natural environment.

Inspired by Jean Paul Sartre’s exploration of existentialism as propounded in “Nausea”, the series explores the nuances of human existence, focussing on the chasm between presence and absence, being and nothingness. Shot across the rugged landscapes of Iceland, Ireland, Spain and the Harz Mountains, the images evoke a sense of mystery, inviting contemplation on the nature of our existence. “Ancestry, gender, education, religion – all are factors with an invisible influence on our existence,” explains the artist in a statement. To make such factors visible, we need images to expose what determines our fate and creates a distance between ourselves and our personae.”

Have a wander through a bit of Nina Röder’s world. Via iGNANT.

Driftwood People.

Installation at Mount Fuji, November 2008.

 

“Gathering bits of wood from here and there, like an insect building a nest, I create sculptures”.

Artist Nagato Iwasaki‘s lifelike driftwood sculptures are perfect examples of the uncanny valley — the feelings of revulsion and uneasiness one experiences from non-human objects that appear a bit too similar to real human beings. Japan seems to excel at this in areas like robotics technology, and indeed, the term “uncanny valley” itself was coined in 1970 by a Japanese roboticist, Masahiro Mori. Iwasaki takes this concept out into nature, blurring the line between flesh and wood.

Over the past 25 years, Iwasaki has been crafting these sculptures as part of a collection he simply calls “torso.” The sculptures themselves are life-sized at around 180 centimeters tall, or 5 feet 9 inches and made entirely of driftwood the artist collects in various locations in Japan. No one sculpture is exactly like another which makes them all seem like individuals with their own quirks and personalities. Descriptions of Iwasaki’s sculptures by viewers run the gamut from scary, unsettling, and imposing, to profound, intriguing, and otherworldly.

I love these sculptures, perhaps because I’ve always seen wood as flesh. You can read and see much more at Spoon & Tamago.

DAPL Approval Illegal, Judge Finds.

Trump on DAPL. © Marty Two Bulls.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated the law in its fast-tracked approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), a U.S. District Court Judge in Washington D.C. has ruled. Judge James Boasberg said the Corps did not consider key components of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in granting the Lake Oahe easement under the Missouri River when directed to do so by President Donald Trump shortly after his swearing-in.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, with the Cheyenne River Sioux as interveners, had challenged the approval on the grounds that adequate environmental study had not been conducted. Boasberg agreed on many points, though he did not rule on whether the pipeline should remain operational. It has been carrying oil since June 1.

“Although the Corps substantially complied with NEPA in many areas, the Court agrees that it did not adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, hunting rights, or environmental justice, or the degree to which the pipeline’s effects are likely to be highly controversial,” Boasberg said in his 91-page decision. “To remedy those violations, the Corps will have to reconsider those sections of its environmental analysis upon remand by the Court. Whether Dakota Access must cease pipeline operations during that remand presents a separate question of the appropriate remedy, which will be the subject of further briefing.”

A status conference will be held next week, according to the environmental law firm EarthJustice, which is representing the tribes in this case. Energy Transfer Partners, the pipeline’s builders, did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

“This is a major victory for the Tribe and we commend the courts for upholding the law and doing the right thing,” said Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II in a statement. “The previous administration painstakingly considered the impacts of this pipeline and President Trump hastily dismissed these careful environmental considerations in favor of political and personal interests. We applaud the courts for protecting our laws and regulations from undue political influence, and will ask the Court to shut down pipeline operations immediately. ”

Indian Country Today has the full story.

Where there’s the smallest good news, there’s always bad news, and in this case, it comes in the form of Zinke:

“I think, talking to tribes, they’re very happy,” Zinke said of his proposal, adding that he “talked to all parties, and they’re pretty happy and willing to work with us.”

But this is not so, according to tribal representatives. In a June 12 press call hosted by U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), the vice-chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Navajo Nation Attorney General Ethel Branch said the tribe’s leaders have “maintained a consistent position that they support the monument designation.

“If there is any happiness,” Branch said,” it’s probably that the monument remains intact as of now.

“I think [the ‘happy’ characterization] is probably just a characterization coming from Trump,” Branch added.

Natalie Landreth, a lawyer with the Native American Rights Fund who represents the Hopi, Zuni and Ute Mountain Ute Tribes on Bears Ears issues, said during the Udall call that the proclamation that set up Bears Ears as a national monument had already formed a structure in which five tribes, known as the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, work together to co-manage the monument.

“It’s unclear exactly what the secretary is suggesting, so until we know more details about what he’s talking about, it’s difficult to have a view on it,” Landreth said. “Our initial reaction on behalf of the three tribes we represent is that this was really a cynical effort to distract Indian country from the devastating blow of reducing the size of the monument.”

Landreth said that some of her impacted tribal clients told her as of June 12 that Zinke had not been in touch with them on this matter.

“We don’t know who he’s talking to and what they may have said,” Landreth said.

Full story here.

Pollution Popsicles.

All images © Hung I-chen of Polluted Water Popsicles.

Initially appearing to be a new artisanal food trend, these popsicles are actually a creative approach to spreading awareness of Taiwan’s issue of water pollution. The project, entitled ‘Polluted Water Popsicles’, was initiated by Hung I-chen, Guo Yi-hui and Cheng Yu-ti–a group of art students from the National Taiwan University of the Arts. To create the popsicles, the young artists collected water samples from 100 locations in Taiwan, with each sewage specimen then frozen and set in polyester resin for preservation. The project is successful in its innovative and deceptive conceptual approach–each counterfeit ice treat contains waste and domestic refuse extracted from the samples, 90% of which was plastic. The students also designed wrappers for the popsicles, and their work has been recognised by the Young Pin Design Award, as well as being exhibited at Taipei World Trade Center’s Young Designers Exhibition 2017.

All images © Hung I-chen of Polluted Water Popsicles.

Polluted Water Popsicles.  Via iGNANT.

Valley Fever and No Healthcare.

Dust storms spike with Valley fever cases. The largest number of dust storms from 1988 to 2011 are concentrated in the SW states reporting the highest numbers of fever cases.

The infection rate of Valley Fever in the Southwest United States has gone up a stunning 800 percent from 2000 to 2011, as dust storms have more than doubled.

New research directly links the rise in Valley Fever to the rise in dust storms, which in turn is driven by climate change. Valley Fever, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls “a fungal lung infection that can be devastating,” is caused by inhaling soil-dwelling fungus. When the soil dries out and turns to dust, the wind can make the fungus airborne.

“Dust storms are found to better correlated with the disease than any other known controlling factor,“ a new study led by NOAA scientists concluded.

[…]

But the biggest concern about modern Dust-Bowlification is the tremendous challenge of “feeding some 9 billion people by mid-century in the face of a rapidly worsening climate.” This is why climate action is so urgent and vital.

This all goes along nicely with the rethuglican agenda of making sure a whole lot of people will die from a lack of good nutrition and healthcare. Until the day comes along they are personally threatened, there won’t be minds changing. Unfortunately, money makes a very nice cushion against what always hits the poorer people first. Speaking of the Fuck You Care Plan, the secrecy continues:

Senate Republicans plan to send their health care bill to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) for analysis but don’t yet have a plan to release a draft of the bill for public scrutiny, according to Axios.

“We aren’t stupid,” an aide to a Senate Republican told Axios.

It’s perhaps understandable that Senate Republicans would want to shine as little light as possible on an unpopular bill that could cause millions of people to lose their health insurance.

The Senate is reportedly putting the final touches on a health care bill that looks very similar to the so-called American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed by the House. According to the CBO, the House version would cost 23 million Americans their health insurance while dramatically increasing costs for older Americans and people with pre-existing conditions, in part because of the bill’s $834 billion cut to Medicaid over the next decade.

[…]

“We have no idea what’s being proposed,” McCaskill said, addressing chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT). “There’s a group of guys in a back room somewhere that are making these decisions… Listen, this is hard to take.”

“You couldn’t have a more partisan exercise than what you’re engaged in right now,” she continued. “We’re not even gonna have a hearing on a bill that impacts one-sixth of our economy. We’re not going to have an opportunity to offer a single amendment. It is all being done with an eye to try to get it by with 50 votes and the vice president.”

[…]

McCaskill went on to blast McConnell for his hypocrisy. Before the 2014 election that returned control of the Senate to Republicans, McConnell “pledged to send bills through committees, even if it might upset members of his own conference,” as The Hill reported in May of that year. But last week, McConnell gave the health care bill “fast track” status, meaning it can skip the committee process altogether.

Republican hypocrisy was also evidence during the House process. Before the 2010 election that returned control of the House to Republicans, House Republican leaders unveiled their “Pledge to America.” The pledge contained a “Read the Bill” promise vowing, “We will ensure that bills are debated and discussed in the public square by publishing the text online for at least three days before coming up for a vote in the House of Representatives.” But a number of House Republicans admitted to not even reading the AHCA before they cast a vote for it.

Think Progress has the full stories: Valley Fever and What Healthcare?

Cool Stuff Friday.

The Creatures of Yes take on climate change; Maizz maps endangered animals onto trees in Mexico; and the importance and controversy of colour, along with the white is right is might connection.

You can read and see more at The Creators Project.

You can see and read more about Animal Watching at The Creators Project.

The Apollo Belvedere, now at the Vatican Museums, was viewed in the 18th century as the model of beauty. Artists became fascinated with the statue after its discovery in the late 15th century, including Albrecht Dürer. (photo by Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia)

The Apollo Belvedere is the basis for much of racist thought and models, which persist to this day. This beautiful sculpture became a model for the epitome of beauty, proper physiognomy, and of course, the best skin colour, white. The whiter the better. The study of classical antiquity was of all consuming importance in previous generations, and many wrong and devastating conclusions were formed. Greco-Roman works were considered to be of a higher order and very pure, because everything was overwhelmingly white. Except it wasn’t. Science has confirmed that many ‘white’ works weren’t, they were painted, and reflected the diversity of the Greco-Roman world. This is, of course, very upsetting to people for pretty much every reason under the sun. It is a shock to see these pale works come to life in vivid, unapologetic colour, and it changes our perception greatly. No longer do such works have such a detached, pale, cerebral feel.

Modern technology has revealed an irrefutable, if unpopular, truth: many of the statues, reliefs, and sarcophagi created in the ancient Western world were in fact painted. Marble was a precious material for Greco-Roman artisans, but it was considered a canvas, not the finished product for sculpture. It was carefully selected and then often painted in gold, red, green, black, white, and brown, among other colors.

A number of fantastic museum shows throughout Europe and the US in recent years have addressed the issue of ancient polychromy. The Gods in Color exhibit travelled the world between 2003–15, after its initial display at the Glyptothek in Munich. (Many of the photos in this essay come from that exhibit, including the famed Caligula bust and the Alexander Sarcophagus.) Digital humanists and archaeologists have played a large part in making those shows possible. In particular, the archaeologist Vinzenz Brinkmann, whose research informed Gods in Color, has done important work, applying various technologies and ultraviolet light to antique statues in order to analyze the minute vestiges of paint on them and then recreate polychrome versions.

We are a visual species, and colour is of extreme importance in artistic representations, and it’s absurd to think that all of the astonishing art of the Greco-Romans was utterly devoid of colour in some sort of odd worship of paleness. There’s a great deal of resistance to the evidence of colour, which not only upsets set ideas and perceptions, but it’s yet another stake in the heart of persistent systemic racism. Much of modern white supremacy is founded on the white purity of Greco-Roman art, and people will cling stubbornly to that blind belief in white. It’s time to see reality, and reality is full of colour. Hyperallergic has an in-depth and excellent article on why we need to see the classics in colour.

Jumping Spiders, Galileo, and Twitter.

Kaldari/Wikipedia.

A fascinating story about a rain of jumping spiders, their penchant for hunting laser dots, scientists being brought together on Twitter, and how Jumping Spider eyes are built just like Galilean telescopes – they can see the moon. If you, like me, start following videos from the main one at the site, you’ll find all manner of people who keep these friendly and smart beings as companions.

The Atlantic has the full story.

Sunday Facepalm.

Okay, this is going to be something of a roundup, because there is a whole lot of facepalm to be had on this fine Sunday. We start with that Prince of Purple Prose, Lance Wallnau, who simply gets goofier and more absurd as he attempts to find good things about the Tiny Tyrant. His latest took place on a Christian Cruise of Nuttery.

“That same unpredictable, erratic Twitter twitch that he has is in the hand of the Lord,” Wallnau said, asserting that Trump’s tweets about China forced Chinese president Xi Jinping to come to America “to try to just get a handle on him because he’s tweeting these crazy tweets.”

That meeting was fortuitous, he explained, because it happened just as Trump ordered airstrikes on Syria for its use of chemical weapons against civilians.

Wallnau said that “it was the hand of the Lord” that Trump bombed Syria while President Xi was visiting because that move showed China that it must take steps to rein in North Korea.

On top of that, Wallnau celebrated Trump’s ignorance about world events, saying that he doesn’t have to understand these sorts of issues because “when you are anointed, you can get away with a lot of things.”

Where to start? I suppose ‘unpredictable, erratic Twitter twitch’ suits Jehovah well enough; it is a bundle of psychopathy, whims, and tantrums. I rather doubt the Tiny Tyrant’s Twitter Twitch has forced anyone to do anything. Meetings with global leaders is standard protocol anytime there’s a new president Fucking Idiot in the white house. The supposed reason for the Syria bombing was Ivana Jr’s upset over those poor babies. I expect it was more in the line of “I can use my toys! Look what I can do!”

I have described the current regime in terms of Nineteen Eighty-Four more times than I can count, and now I don’t think that’s quite enough. Yes, people can get away with a lot of shit here in Amerikkka if they have enough money, are white, and in particular, in politics. We have an outdated constitution, which is closer to dogma than policy, and a highly broken, fucked up political system. It’s not being anointed. Although, I wouldn’t be averse to oil being dropped all over Donny, followed by a ton of glitter. I’m evil like that.

Via RWW.

Yesterday, Religious Right pundit Michael Snyder unveiled “a list of 100 things liberals hate about America,” warning that if liberals get their way, “the country that you and I love so much today will be gone forever.”

The list of things liberals hate about America includes big trucks, big cheeseburgers, Jesus, Israel and Dolly Parton.

Oh, Sweet Zombie Jesus, this post would be a mile long if I tackled each item on the list. I will note that Jesus comes in at #29, well below both Trump and Pence. Pretty sure that qualifies as some kinda sin. If you’d prefer to stay away from Charisma News, and who could blame you, RWW has the full list. And for the record, I like Johnny Cash. Just sayin’.

And then there’s trumPence, trying to sound all veeply, opining over why climate change became an issue at all:

Pence hailed Trump for demonstrating “leadership” by pulling out of the international accords and standing “without apology for the American people.”

He added that he was perplexed as to why people, particularly liberals, even care about climate change: “For some reason or another, this issue of climate change has emerged as a paramount issue for the left in this country and around the world.”

I can answer your bafflement, sir – we don’t want to fucking die, and we don’t want to live in utter hellholes, tortured in every way, before we fucking die. Not so sure if I mind if you drop dead and spare us the oxygen.

Via RWW.

And last, we have that sterling moron, Wayne Allyn Root, who, after boasting about his abilities to beat the shit out of a liberal, went on to whine about how mean young people are, especially on Twitter. After that, he went on a rant about race. I’ll let you good folks click over and read that part, I haven’t had enough tea or functioning server for that one yet.

Despite his tough talk, Root spent a good portion of his radio program yesterday complaining that vulgar liberals were being mean to him on Twitter, at one point saying that calling him “old” is no different than calling a black person the N-word.

Root said that he has been the target of “the most disgusting, low down, revolting profanity-laced, filthy, wash your mouth out with soap gutter language you ever heard from liberals” on Twitter. He was particularly upset by the fact that “every single young liberal in the world, every single one of them [was] calling me ‘old man,’” despite the fact that he is only 55 years old.

“There’s no difference in when you call someone ‘old’ versus when you call someone the N-word,” Root said. “There’s no difference. It’s a lack of respect. It’s filthy. It’s disgusting.”

Root said he was shocked by the racism of the “millions and millions of Hillary voters, Bernie voters, Obama voters, liberals in general, young liberals who think anyone over the age of 30 should be called an old effin’ white man.”

“Every young liberal in this country, from what I’ve seen answering me, needs a bar of soap to wash their filthy little mouths out and maybe a mother with some class who would have taught them something about how you speak to somebody,” he stated.

I’m 59 years old, looking at 60 in November. Yeah, I’m old. So what? I know when I moan about old people, in particular, old white men, it’s not their age as much as that their brains atrophied about 50 years previously. As an old hippie, I well remember don’t trust anyone over 30. We had that on stickers, man. Nothing new under the sun, and at 55 years old, Root should at least be aware of hippies and the counterculture. It’s not an insult to be called old. Lots of places, societies have a great deal of respect for their elders. I suggest if you’re getting such flak, it’s because your tiny pea brain is indeed atrophied, and there’s that whole fucking idiot business. You really need to climb down off that cross, Mr. Root, it’s very flimsy and about to collapse.

RWW has the full story.

Target: The Tiny Tyrant. Brilliant!

As always, artists are at the forefront of the latest Tiny Tyrant Total Fuck Up, brilliantly skewering Trump’s idiotic, uniformed, grossly mistaken decision to withdraw from the Climate Accord. Apparently, Trump asked “at what point do they start laughing at America”, being utterly oblivious to how people have viewed this lost country since his campaign and election. Ever the Fucking Idiot.

Marian Kamensky, America First. Click for full size.

You can see more of Marian’s shiny skewering here.

 

Vasco Gargalo, Little Man.

You can see more of Vasco’s work here.

Ose Koer.

You can see more of Ose’s work here.

David Rowe. Excusez Moi.

You can see more of David’s extremely sharp work here.

You can see more at Raw Story.

Make The Planet Great Again.

Most have probably seen this, but if you haven’t, it’s a must.

French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a stunning response to the U.S. president, calling his decision “a grave mistake.”

“If we do nothing, our children will know a world of migrations, of wars, of shortage. A dangerous world,” Macron said, referencing the cataclysmic effect of climate change all but completely ignored by the Trump administration.

He also encouraged American scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs to come to France where their contributions and innovation would be appreciated. As for Trump’s vague promise to rework the terms of the Paris agreement, Macron issued a staunch warning.

“The Paris agreement [will] remain irreversible and will be implemented not just by France but by all the other nations,” he said, the two exceptions being Syria and Nicaragua.

“We will succeed,” he continued. “Because we are fully committed, because wherever we live, whoever we are, we all share the same responsibility: ‘Make our planet great again.’”

And there you have what a lot of people are going to do here in uStates – leave. Oh, by the way, California has passed single payer healthcare. Even though I’m a native, I won’t go back, the SoCal I know was gone long ago. I’m sure that won’t stop another massive influx of people.

Via Alternet.

And, The Idiot Fucks Us All Into The Ground.

President Trump announced Thursday afternoon that he is withdrawing the United States from the landmark Paris climate agreement, a move that honors a campaign promise but risks rupturing global alliances and disappointing both environmentalists and corporate titans.

But Trump said he would seek to negotiate a new climate deal that is, in his view, “fair” to America’s interests.

“In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord but begin negotiations to reenter either the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers,” Trump said.

“We’re getting out,” he added, “but we will start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair. If we can, that’s great. If we can’t, that’s fine.”

Trump argued that the Paris agreement would “punish” the United States and instituted “onerous energy restrictions” that would stymie economic growth, especially in manufacturing industries. The president claimed that meeting the accord’s greenhouse gas emission standards would cost the United States close to $3 trillion in lost gross domestic product and 6.5 million industrial jobs.

I can’t go on. Not right now. Jesus Fuck, the idiot is going to kill us all. Full story is at The Washington Post. Read at your peril. Also, stay the hell away from twitter, it’s infested with fucking idiots, waving their tiny flags, which are considerably bigger than their brains.

There’s also this, but there’s no funny business with Russia, no, no.  And this: Trump’s argument for withdrawing from Paris agreement contains multi-trillion dollar math error: In a cost-benefit analysis, you’re supposed to analyze the costs and the benefits.

Climate Accord: Trump To Pull Out.

“Montenegro Prime Minister Dusko Markovic, center right, after appearing to be pushed by Donald Trump, center.” CREDIT for caption/photo: AP/Matt Dunham.

There’s been a great deal of anxiety laden speculation over the Paris Climate Accord, as that represents our last, best hope. It seems it’s a last, best hope that the Tiny Tyrant wants no part of, and plans to withdraw from.  This is not yet formal, and the Tiny Tyrant is subject to doing rapid turnabouts on a whim, but he’s never been secretive about his scorn for the climate accord, or his desire to pull out. The damage he has already done here in uStates is tremendous, it won’t be long before we’re back to 1970s levels of pollution, with smog alerts and steeping in trash and toxicity once again. Naturally, this will lead to a much sicker populace, one which will not be able to take care of themselves, thanks to the Fuck You Care Plan. There’s one other country which is also adamantly against the climate accord. Bet you don’t need three guesses, either. It’s Russia.

President Donald Trump has privately told “confidants” he intends to leave the Paris accord on climate change, “according to three sources with direct knowledge,” Axios reported Saturday.

After persuading voters that America isn’t great anymore, Trump apparently intends to make sure of it — by having this country lead the effort to kill humanity’s last, best hope of avoiding catastrophic climate change.

Quitting a unanimous agreement by 190+ nations after a two-decade negotiating process would make us a rogue nation, a global pariah, like Vladimir Putin’s Russia. And, it could make Putin happy, as we’ll see.

While Trump tweeted out Saturday from Italy that “I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters after the G7 meeting, “The whole discussion about climate has been difficult, or rather very unsatisfactory.” She added, “Here we have the situation that six members, or even seven if you want to add the EU, stand against one.”

Axios notes that “Although Trump made it clear during the campaign and in multiple conversations before his overseas trip that he favored withdrawal, he has been known to abruptly change his mind.” They add, however, top political appointees at EPA “were relieved” when Trump refused to join a consensus G7 statement reaffirming “their strong commitment” to the Paris accord.

While the White House’s attack on domestic climate action already undermines the global effort to avert climate catastrophe, we shouldn’t discount the importance of a U.S. withdrawal from Paris — especially if Trump teams with Russian President Vladimir Putin to undermine the whole global negotiating process.

Think Progress has the full story.