Wednesday, March 30, 2005

april 5th

to be hip on next classes stylz please read "enclosing the genome" by james boyle

Monday, March 28, 2005


There's a huge amount happening tomorrow so hold on to your hats. In-class presentations on two of my favorite essays in the world: Wilde's Soul of Man Under Socialism, and Solanas' SCUM Manifesto. Links available elsewhere on the blog, so scoop them up and read them. I suspect it will take more than one class to work our way through these pieces. The Hyptertext as Collage essay from DD will start us off. I have papers to hand back and discuss, plus we'll need to get back our bearings in general. Fun/intriguing stuff on the blog to play around with as well. There's lots to talk about, so see you bright and early.

speed freaks-Communism-and internet scams

alright ya'lls,
so I posted that pyramid scam thing to theblog a while ago, I didn't fully have a grasp of the magnitude of this bullshit that exists on the internet. Recently this forum and database that I look at frequently has been baraged with this kind of crap. I can't believe the boredom that consumes these people who draft up this trash. Anyway I've put together some crazed religious propaganda that I found on the street with a quick letter I've composed that I'm going to send to each of the people in the pyramid I posted here. In it I explain that these attempts at communism and internet sodomy will not solidify any true path to ritiousness. I also am including a print I made of a goblin about to feed a shackled bird man a fish in a dungeon. ..
I'll bring in the materials to class tomorow, maybe it can be an experiment as to whether any physical response can have a effect or interaction with cyber trash... who knows.

An intervention in social virii

About two years ago, I started to post my name in the Wikipedia, under video artists, along with other people, friends mostly, who also made video art. My hope was that, although we ARE video artists, we are not "real" video artists, in the same sense as someone like Bill Viola, Mathew Barney, or Douglas Gordon, but if we could be linked to them, by approximate association, through the web, then perhaps that line would blur. Happily, at least, this intervention, has paid off in the sense that now, I am all over the web as a "video artist" due in large part to the degree to which the Wikipedia has proliferated my name. Because it is also gaining ground as a somewhat legitimate resource, other sites, mostly wikis have also linked to the original and this is what has led to the current proliferation. I posted here on my blog, the original intention, and now want to link this blog to that one. Anyway, I thought this would be an interesting subject/object for discussion, regarding the George P. Landow's essay, “Hypertext as Collage-Writing.” Check this link for more: Justin: Googled

Super George

This was a relatively ubiquitous poster around Paris, on the rue St. Denis, in the 1st arrondisement. I think it is genius, and tore one down for my own.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

scum manifesto

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Back in the Saddle Again

Howdy, all. Taura, I have you down for an in-class presentation Tuesday, but I cannot remember what you'll be talking about. Can you let us all know again, and possibly post a link to the text online? We'll also be talking about Wilde's Soul of Man Under Socialism, so be sure to look over that piece again before you arrive. We'll also discuss George P. Landow's essay, “Hypertext as Collage-Writing,” from The Digital Dialectic. I'm still missing one mid-term paper that needs to get handed in to me, preferably via e-mail asap. If you have questions, comments, recriminations, etc. you know how to reach me. Enjoy the last bits of the break, see you all soon.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Under Mars

This online archive of soldiers' photographs is powerful, numbingly so. If you want to see the Iraq war as experienced by the occupying army in crystal blinding clarity in terms of dirty, in your face reality, then have a look at this. It's images of the war taken by U.S. soldiers and doctors, and it covers everything from dusty touch football to very very graphic images of the wounded and the dead. It isn't, however, a good source for insight into the day to day situation for the Iraqis. It's not for the faint of heart, but I don't think I have seen anything yet that is this direct and so I think it's a very good touchstone for being reminded of the gravity of this tragedy, if you need reminding. Have a look. Also, the more I looked at the images, the more I realized that photojournalists are just people that get paid to take pictures that get published, but they are in no way shape or form taking better pictures than the best ones here, there are images in here of deeply haunting beauty, though I know that word is loaded in this context. I think sometimes that only difference between artists and non artists, is that we just call ourselves artists, that we understand that possibility, that mode, but the two paths can so easily meet in the end. Looking forward to getting back to class, BD.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Spooky in San Fran!

I hope some of you guys are checking this! I wanted to let you know that DJ Spooky is SF and will be putting on a few shows. On Thursday there is a show that is free to SFAI students. On Friday and Saturday he is doing "Rebirth of a Nation" and these shows are more expensive, but with a student id they are $34-$24. All performances are at the Yerba Buena. There is more information in the SFAI newsletter or you can check online.

Monday, March 14, 2005


Maybe when we return to class from break at the end of the month we can turn our attention briefly to issues of exponentially recursive dissemination and ponzi schemes and other assorted annoyances that propagate with special virulence on digital networks.

Sunday, March 13, 2005


If you have any interest in understanding more about the concept of recursion, go here

Saturday, March 12, 2005

I'll be teaching a couple of courses at SFAI next fall

So, you know, tell your friends, warn your friends, or what have you...

English Composition A: "Ranting, Raving, Writing"

This is a course in argumentative reading and writing, which means for me a course in expository writing and critical thinking. But the works we will be reading together are anything but exemplary argumentative texts. Our texts rant and rave, they are brimming with rage, dripping with corrosive humor, suffused with ecstasies. In ranting and raving arguments are pushed into a kind of crisis, and in them rhetoric becomes a kind of poetry.

What does it tell us about argument in general to observe it in extremis like this? How can we read transcendent texts critically, in ways that clarify their stakes without dismissing their force, and enable us to communicate intelligibly to others the reactions they inspire in us and the meanings we find in them?

Anonymous, “Fuck the South”
Plato, Symposium
Friedrich Nietzsche, Ecce Homo
Oscar Wilde, “The Soul of Man Under Socialism”
Fiodr Dostoievski, “Notes From the Underground”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
Allen Ginsberg, Howl
William Burroughs, “Immortality”
Film, Network. Dir: Sidney Lumet
Valerie Solanas, The SCUM Manifesto
Donna Haraway, “A Manifesto for Cyborgs”
Gary Indiana, “Reproduction”
Diane Dimassa, Hothead Paisan
Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body
Cintra Wilson, “Statement of Intent”

Critical Theory A: "Critique, Subjection, Prostheses"

The potted description in the catalogue says that "[t]he Critical Theory sequence develops students¹ facility in understanding and assessing theoretical models such as psychoanalysis, historical and dialectical materialism, structuralism and semiotics which extend their understanding of the visual image, the written word, and cultural phenomena."

My reading list begins with the very basic post-Emersonian turn against Platonic philosophy (in Europe post-Nietzschean philosophies, in America pragmatisms) and so Richard Rorty's “Hope in Place of Knowledge” provides the broad situation, then we shift into ideologiekritik, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The German Ideology, into culture and ideology, Oscar Wilde, “The Decay of Lying,” Roland Barthes, Mythologies, and then use Louis Althusser's, “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses” to take us from ideology into subjection. For subjection we read from Michel Foucault's, History of Sexuality, Part One, then Wendy Brown, “Wounded Attachments” and Judith Butler, “The Lesbian Phallus and the Morphological Imaginary,” turning then to Franz Fanon's, Black Skin, White Masks, and then read Gayatri Spivak's, “History.” There we turn into "prostheses," techocriticism and technopolitical discourses, Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” Marshall McLuhan, “Understanding Media,” Laura Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,” sections of Hannah Arendt's magisterial, The Human Condition, and then conclude with Donna Haraway's, “Manifesto for Cyborgs.”

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

An (older) review of the text

While looking for further information regarding the text's authors, I came across this review. The author is a curmudgeon, but some points are valid. Near the end he mentioned Slavoj Žižek, which I did more reading about, and who appears to be an interesting thinker/person indeed.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


Here are a few easy, and reliable free image hosting services:

They are self explanatory, but if you have questions, email me: justincostanzo @ (remove spaces)

Monday, March 07, 2005

Progress Report

Howdy, all. I've just returned from New York where I gave a talk on Peer-to-Peer Network Culture to a conference of advocates for a Basic Income Guarantee. It was a great meeting, but I've spent a whole lot of time in airplanes (no games of Simon Says with the pilots, I'm happy to report) and am a bit wiped out. So, I'm sorry I haven't kept up with the blog very well, and I realize I have a few e-mails in my inbox to respond to. Never fear, I'll get around to everything.

For tomorrow, the crucial thing, of course, is that your papers are due. I'll get those graded and back to you, along with presentation papers you've handed in, when we all return from the Spring Break later in the month.

Also, be sure to read Oscar Wilde's wonderful, hilarious (in my opinion) rant "The Soul of Man Under Socialism," for which we'll have an in-class presentation, and also Florion Brody's "The Medium Is the Memory," from The Digital Dialectic anthology. Big day coming up, but a big break afterwards in which to recuperate. Reading over the blog from the last few days, things are looking pretty good -- keep up the conversation and I'll see you all tomorrow.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

blogging technicalities

Is there any way for someone to access this blog without being a member.
Can anyone look at our blog, and how would they do that?


could, possil¥,great artists of the past, just reapproprated material to create the artistic revolutions. Did Carl Marx, concieve of someing so different, that our perceptions of our everday existence would be forever changed? Does the digital dialectic mean that identity exista only in the sense that one must reapropriate material in order to survive as an accepted identity? Do we jua exist for the purpose of furthering information? Or do we exist for the satisfaction of furthering the conceptualization of human existence as a reason for being?
-Comments are very welcome-
-even contrary posts- M doyle-

THESUS-any comments welcome... aha

Lev Manoviche's essay What Is Digital Cinema? attempts to narrow down the effects of digital tools on cinema and boldly claims that digital media will redefine the very identity of cinema. Lev's primary idea behind this perspective was developed by recognizing the ongoing shift from entirely live action based film making to the recent incorporation of non-live action based, computer generated, material. While I see a large conceptual difference between live action and computer generated recordings there was nothing in Manoviche's essay which suggested this change was anything more than conceptual. Lev's theories about digital effects on cinema seem to have been manipulated by the hype which often surrounds new medias used to create special effects. His essay disregards frame by frame manipulation of film and supplies no evidence for why mattes and models would have any different psychological effects on viewers as digitally rendered scenes. Thusly, this is an exaggerated and off key argument. The cutting edge is always relative to its time. I believe that digital special effects in a current film have relatively the same effect on audiences now as the once current analog effects did on previous generations. Holly Wood films have always continued to push the level of spectacle, grandeur, and "realism" and a computer is simply a new tool for taking cinema illusions even further. Mainstream film has never been a medium for documentation. It, as Manochive mentions, has always been about telling a story. I do not see how digital tools will change the very identity of this.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Alfred hitchediscock

So I was thinking about these ingrained symbols for various phenomenon existing in reality that are unexplainable in movie time, such as sitting in a doctors office waiting room for three hours...(a close up shot of a large clock slowly clicking in half hour incraments with a subjects face intertwined.)
-or the passing of many years...(expressed by the passing of clouds over a mountain range, time lapsed and sped up as a traveler or sickly child metamorphasizes into a strong and unphazable stoic wise one) anyway... In referance to the thing about the creation of language through cinema, and the idea of the jump cut, then the idea of the perspective viewing of situations... I was thinking about the language of viewing 2 dimensional pieces of drawing and images in genearal... when I started thinking about it I realized that there are all of these symbols that are used to describe things on paper in code that we completely take for granted. Like the strieking lines that are drawn at diagonals on all reflective surfaces when making line drawings in comics or whatever. or maybe it's just a matter of the human perception, I guess maybe it could be a phenomenon that all of us experience a similar way of seeing reflective things that we are able to identify reflection as looking like that. Maybe all of us look through a window and see a line of black streak disorting the picture in our heads just a little bit. Well unfortunately....I suppose in extreme states of fatigue and after much dramatics; all there's to be said is: it's interesting that people always draw black diagonal lines across reflective surfaces, and we all understand that that means it's glass.