Saturday, February 20, 2010

Kowloon Walled City, Hong Kong

Kowloon Walled City was a Chinese military fort in Kowloon, Hong Kong, which became an enclave after the New Territories were leased to Britain in 1898. Following Japanese occupation during World War II, the Walled City developed into an extremely dense, largely ungoverned urban settlement. From the 1950s through the 1970s, it was controlled by Triads and had high rates of prostitution, gambling, and drug use. In 1987, the Walled City contained 33,000 residents within its 6.5-acre (0.03 km2; 0.01 sq mi) borders.

In January 1987, the Hong Kong government announced plans to demolish the Walled City. After an arduous eviction process, demolition began in March 1993 and was completed in April 1994. Kowloon Walled City Park opened in December 1995 and occupies the area of the former Walled City. Some historical artifacts from the Walled City, including its yamen building and remnants of its South Gate, have been preserved there.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Back in early 1990s I spent many a night taking in this band around the finer underground dives of inner city Sydney. This is The Hub by Nunbait (1990 - Lansdowne Hotel)....rock on.

Shot by unknown persons at the Tatts Hotel, Lismore, Nth NSW on 24/06/92. Nunbait were touring up to Queensland, having previously played in the area with Fugazi at the Byron Bay Arts Factory.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

22C3: Changing Realities

The 3D digital world of Second Life has been completely built by its residents. Running on a growing grid of computers, SL's real-time collaborative-creation tools and physical simulation allow for creativity of stunning depth and breadth.

Visa de Censure

Pierre Clémenti‘s (shot in ‘67, released in ‘75) “Visa de censure no. X” with a stunning score by the catchily named Delired Cameleon Family. Dig the low-rent quasi -Jodorowsky stylings !

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Roman Empire in the First Century / Winds of Change

Claudius was Rome’s unlikely emperor. Despite his much-ridiculed appearance, he had become a good ruler, passing visionary laws and conquering Britain.

After the murder of his wife, Messalina, Claudius remarried – this time to his niece, Agrippina. Eager for power, she wasted no time removing her rivals and even convinced Claudius to make her own son, Nero, his heir.

The only obstacle left now was Claudius himself. Agrippina poisoned his food and immediately announced Nero as emperor. Nero was young and was guided by his mother and his tutor, the philosopher Seneca.

This did not last long: soon, Nero wanted to rule himself. Seneca used subtlety to control his student but Agrippina was much more heavy-handed. Before long, Nero was sick of his mother’s interference and decided to kill her. When his original plot failed, he sent soldiers to finish the job. The murder scandalized Rome.

Things got worse. In Britain, the tribal queen, Boudicca, mounted a huge rebellion, burning towns and killing thousands before finally being defeated. In Judaea, decades of oppression and a foolish governor combined into a massive revolt that would take years to put down.

In Rome, a huge fire destroyed much of the city. Nero opened up public buildings to house the homeless, but rumors that he had been singing and dancing while Rome burned turned public opinion against him. He looked for a scapegoat and found one in the Christians.

Jesus had died 30 years earlier, but energetic missionaries, such as Paul, had spread his message across the empire. Rome had relatively few Christians and they were not widely trusted. Nero rounded them up and executed them brutally, throwing some to the lions, burning others and crucifying many more.

As Nero’s reign descended into terror, Seneca found himself seriously compromising his deep-seated principles. Time and again, he asked Nero for permission to retire, but was always denied. Eventually he pretended to be ill and was released from service.

It would be a short retirement. After he discovered a plot, Nero began a brutal purge in which many were killed or, like Seneca, were forced to commit suicide. After the Senate declared him a ‘public enemy’, Nero escaped to the country and killed himself. The Augustan dynasty was dead and, with no heir, civil war loomed.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

The Evolution of Remix Culture

How Remix is becoming a platform for collective expression by—and conversations between—social groups