Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Civil Disobedience

Civil Disobedience at Izbet Tabib
I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. ...

Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse. Why is it not more apt to anticipate and provide for reform?

- Thoreau, "Civil Disobedience"
Read Henry David Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience" online.

A search on Flickr for "civil disobedience" surfaces some remarkable photos, including several depicting the above action in Izbet Tabib, where Israelis and Palestinians joined to remove part of the wall between the two states.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fashion Forward: The New Beta

I'm proud to announce the launch of the new in Beta. Women's Wear Daily is the fashion industry paper sometimes referred to as "the fashion bible." It's been published in one form or another for almost 100 years.

Updates to the Web site include image search, improved slideshow functionality, the ability to clip and save images and articles, as well as an improved navigational structure for browsing and discovering great fashion journalism.

My role in this effort was as senior content strategist, and I had the pleasure of working with many of my fine colleagues from Avenue A | Razorfish, as well as the talented staff at Women's Wear Daily.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Conversation with Jim Power, Mosaic Man

Jim Power, Mosaic Man

"R.I.P. NYC," says the script on tombstone drawn in chalk on the sidewalk outside the Gap on Broadway. "Died of no funding." In larger lettering beneath that "Mosaic Man's Trail" and then ""

Residents of the East Village probably know Jim Power by that more colorful attribution "Mosaic Man." He's responsible for the trail of some 80 mosaic-covered lamp poles covering New York's Lower East Side, East Village, and Greenwich Village. He started decorating them over 20 years and today he's repairing one, which pays homage to police and firemen who served on 9/11. He says he found a photo in a book about the East Village, which is helping him reconstruct some of the details of this particular mosaic. I mentioned to him that he could probably find many photos of his work on Flickr. Yes, he confirmed, he has many photos online.

Mr. Power hopes to raise funds, which would allow him to continue restoring his work across this large swathe of Manhattan. His work is mentioned in guidebooks, but has never been officially recognized by the city.


Friday, July 18, 2008

Propaganda Indeed

The WSJ's Christina S.N. Lewis writes about Shepard Fairey and others' iconic depictions of Obama in "Picturing Obama" and especially how Fairey's have skyrocketed in value since they were initially distributed. Originally hailing from Charleston, NC, Fairey is best known as the creator of the Obey graffiti campaign, as well as his propaganda style.

Time magazine photoessay featuring Fairey's art, as well as other prominent street artists.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sara Rahbar

Sara Rahbar

New York artist Sara Rahbar incorporates the American flag into her work in ways that would send Rush Limbaugh, et al, into fits of apoplexy.

In a week when the intent of a plainly satirical New Yorker cover flew over the heads of many people, you realize how volatile and necessary the work of an artist like Rahbar's is: to shock perhaps, but in doing so also to pinpoint the truly important against the backdrop of the merely symbolic.

There's an American flag burning in the background of that Obama cover, too: of course, many people couldn't get past the mere depiction of this piece of tri-colored fabric to approach the point being made. I imagine some of these same outraged people were puzzled by the reactions of some in the Muslim community to depictions of Mohammad.

Artwork from Ehsan Jami's controversial documentary "The Life of Muhammad."

Also: "Satire takes a beating when the truth is so ridiculous," Detroit Free Press


Lonely Planet Cuba

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Immigrant is Not an F-word

Discovered this blog Immigrant is Not an F-word via a postcard at Think.

One notes that when conservative pundit use the term "illegal" - a shorthand for "illegal alien" - they use it with the same dismissive disdain that someone might use the term "wetback." reducing a human being to an adjective is an only slightly more sophisticated form of bigotry than reducing them to a noun.

Says the anonymous writer of this blog:
Some cringe at the word "immigrant"; some take and use it as an insult. Many believe that it's an F-word; a word that's a curse, a taboo, something dirty, a word people aren't suppose to use, it's thrown around like a weapon of hate.

The history of the word, from my understanding, is that it was used to place an identifier on a group that was seen as an "other." It has been posed to me that perhaps the word "immigrant" should not be used in the first place. But I disagree; eradicating the word isn't a protest of disregard of the power of the ruling class. but rather it's an admittance of their power.
I'm an immigrant, too. I just happened to follow the rules to the letter, earned a greencard, and eventually citizenship. But nobody calls me a "legal."