Monday, November 27, 2017


Sunday, September 6, 2015

please sign this petition

this image of a tiny baby lying lifeless on the shore is, like so many, too heartbreaking to watch. what’s really appalling is that instead of being shocked to take urgent action, our leaders are stuck in a fighting match on whose problem this is. but for the first time ever, there’s a glimmer of hope for a solution. 

after massive public calls to welcome refugees, german chancellor merkel and the president of the eu commission are leading efforts to deliver a new, strong european union plan that would give refuge to people fleeing war and hunger. france is on board, but shamefully the uk, hungary, and other eastern european countries have been blocking this emergency action. whether eu politicians lead the world to a humane 21st century refugee plan, or turn their backs, depends on how much they feel the public demands it. that’s where we come in.

right now we are at a tipping point. it’s time for us to lead our leaders. eu ministers are meeting in the next few days to set their positions, so there’s no time to lose. join the call for a plan to give these terrified families safe haven now -- avaaz will deliver our proposal to all key decision makers before their summit.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

line of control

when they knew all people wanted was to fulfill their basic desires, they created religion in hope of controlling them.

change gone wrong 2

when steve jobs wished to change the world, he never said he was going to change it for the better...


invention of land line telephone brought people together from far away even when they were physically hundreds, even thousands of miles apart. cell phone invention destroyed that by emotionally navigating people far away even when they are physically next to each other.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

g g

photographs of eyes affixed to dwellings in rio de janeiro are part of google’s street art project database. creditmosa

street art in dallas by the duo known as faile, captured by a group with street view technology.creditdallas contemporary

paris — there’s a portrait of an anonymous chinese man chiseled into a wall in shanghai, a colorful mural in atlanta and black-and-white photographs of eyes that the french artist jr affixed to the houses of a hillside favela in rio de janeiro. these are among the images of more than 4,000 works included in a vast new online gallery of street art that google is unveiling here on tuesday.
called the street art project, the database was created by the company’s paris-based google cultural institute. using images provided by cultural organizations worldwide, some of which were captured with google’s street view camera technology, it includes street art from around the globe, including work that no longer exists, like the 5pointz murals in long island city, queens, or the walls of the tour paris 13 tower in france.
with the initiative, google is the latest organization to wade into debates about how or whether to institutionalize, let alone commercialize, art that is ephemeral and often willfully created subversively. a private database of public art, it also poses questions about how to legally preserve what in some cases might be considered vandalism.
in a sense, google is formalizing what street art fans around the world already do: take pictures of city walls and distribute them on social media. yet for google to do so could raise concerns, given the criticism of its aggressive surveillance tactics, especially in europe, where its street view satellite mapping is widely seen as a violation of privacy.
google is taking pains to avoid offense by setting strict conditions. it will include only images provided by organizations that sign a contract attesting that they own the rights to them. it will not cull through street view images but will provide the technology to organizations that want to use it to record street art legally. some groups have provided exact locations of the artworks; others have not.
aiming to steer clear of one of the most contentious debates in the street art world, google says it will not include images from groups seeking to sell the art or images of it. many street artists object to their public work being sold without their permission. for instance, banksy, the anonymous british street artist, has objected to attempts to sell his artworks after they are stripped from public walls, saying the stencils belong to the community.
google also said it would remove images if artists complained to the groups that contributed them to the database.
the company sees the platform as a way of making more art available to viewers. “i’m not treating street art as anything different from what i would do with the impressionist collection i’m getting on art project,” said amit sood, director of the google cultural institute, referring to a philanthropic initiative that has provided technical support to more than 460 museums to help put their collections online.
the institute, which was founded in 2011 and has a staff of around 30 engineers, has also helped create online archives for historic figures likenelson mandela and used street view to provide multimedia renderings of unesco world heritage sites like angkor wat in cambodia.
mr. sood acknowledges that the street art program, like the cultural institute, is a way for google to generate good will in privacy-conscious europe. “it helps make people realize we are doing a lot of things that actually support the community,” he said.
the database is searchable by artist, city, genre and other categories, and even includes a special section on new york walls of the 1990s. among the 30 institutions that have furnished images so far are the museum of the city of new york; the dallas contemporary exhibition space in texas; the city speaks in atlanta, which finances street art and disseminates it online; and the museum of street art in france.
working with the french organization project tour paris 13, google filmed the rooms of tour 13 in paris, which had been entirely covered in street art, before its owners destroyed the building. google also used a powerful camera to capture works by the portuguese graffiti artist vhils, who uses an electric chisel to carve images into the sides of buildings. viewers can zoom in on the chisel marks.
shepard fairey, who is best known for his image of president obama, said he had “no problem” with being included in the database. “i’ve always used my street art to democratize art, so it would be philosophically inconsistent for me to protest art democratization through google,” he said through a publicist. and the belgian artist known as roa said he would be pleased to be part of it, “as long as they credit the mural to me, and it’s not being used for commercial purposes or corporations.”
some past attempts to institutionalize street art have not gone over so well. the police commissioner of los angeles criticized a 2011 exhibition called “art in the streets” at that city’s museum of contemporary art, arguing that it encouraged vandalism.
philippe vergne, who took over as director of the los angeles museum in january, acknowledged, “street art often comes with a bad reputation where people don’t know how to discriminate art from vandalism.” lois stavsky, who runs the nonprofit group street art nyc, said that most street artists liked the idea of enabling more people to see their work. she said she had sorted through thousands of photos taken by her group at 5pointz over the years and painstakingly uploaded hundreds to the google platform. the owners of the building painted over the art last fall and plan to demolish it to make way for luxury condos.
“the fact that 5pointz was whitewashed, it was covered up with white paint, just proves how important it is to document this,” she said.
the google street art platform is to be presented at a news conference at the palais de tokyo, a contemporary art space owned partly by the city of paris, which is opening an exhibition on saturday called “the lasco project,” a play on words referring to the prehistoric art painted in the caves of lascaux. street artists have been invited to create works on the museum’s basement walls.
on a recent afternoon, the new york street artist futura was wearing yellow rubber gloves as he spray-painted black dots on a striped wall for the paris exhibition.
the artist, 58, said he liked the idea of google’s street art project, given that he and other artists mostly learn about one another’s work online anyway. “instagram accounts — most artists are there,” he said.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

change gone unhealthy

“do you want to sell sugary drinks for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change people's lives?” when steve jobs said this to pepsi executive john scully to lure him to apple, what he did not know (even though he meant good) was that his devices would make the new generation visually impaired, if not totally blind, by the age of 40 (and that is a liberal estimate, it could very well be 30!) because of the close proximity of harmful light his devices bring to the eyes of kids... (this is my own statement, not a quote from someone else's statement, after observing my daughter the way she constantly uses her ipod for chat). now that is still a change in people's lives (even though that change he did not mean to bring about)!