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politics

WordPress readers,

We are so sorry that we have been so lame in posting anything on here in such a long time that it seems like I have not been on here, in like, forever. So what have we been doing? One of us has got a traineeship in Italy whoop and will be moving there soon so thats exciting whilst I am creating new art and freelancing. So all in all very busy, speaking of art check out the new work below, let me know what you think? Its called Borghese Speculation, pencil on paper, 2012, and its part one of a triptich exploring the boundries between individualism and collectivism, Self and other. Furthermore it investigates recent social events within the media, i.e Murdoch’s Hacking scandal which brought up a quite nasty side to todays new’s industry. Below that is some music, Enjoy

 
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Borghese Speculation, Pencil on Paper, Paul Harrison, 2012
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www.paulharrison-artist.co.uk

Dancehall Hobby – Mr. Williamz by MAFFI

So some of you may know, although I doubt many of you do because it hasn’t been exactly big news, that the Dutch coalition government has effectively collapsed. For a long time the government has had to run its plans by the PVV (‘Freedom Party’) leader Geert Wilders, who, although not a direct member of government, won enough votes to secure this dubious position. Recently while trying to push through more cuts (or ‘savings’, to employ a commonly used euphemism) to adhere to the not-more-than-3%-deficit rule enforced by Brussels, Wilders withdrew his support and made a grandiose (see: dramatic) exit, citing ‘attacks on the elderly’ and ‘excessive demands from elitist bureaucrats in Brussels’ as his reasons. (Wilders is a typically outspoken, fear-mongering Eurosceptic.)

Essentially, no big deal right? Elections will be held again in September and a new government will be formed. The real issue however is the time lapse and the damage it creates: financial markets lose faith in Dutch political will to enforce necessary budgetary reform, borrowing costs increase, effectively nullifying the point of Wilders’ stance as increased borrowing costs will be felt in the pockets of every consumer anyway (oh, including the elderly). The fine received for breaching the 3% rule is also considerable. The loss of triple-A status isn’t even that big an issue: in a world where AA is the new AAA, there are bigger concerns. What does this mean, however, for the rest of Europe? In a worst case scenario, other EU countries will point to the Netherlands and argue that hey, if they aren’t following the rules, why would we? Who could blame them, especially countries like Spain and Italy where existing cuts are already causing so much resentment?

So it’s no surprise really, that these are no fun times to be a politician – nothing you do is going to be popular. Sarkozy losing the first round elections is evidence of that.

 

Renzo Martens film Episode 3: Enjoy Poverty Is one of those visual experiences that will stay with you forever I was lucky enough to have seen it in a lecture theatre. It made me feel uncomfortable its fleshy ness and unavoidable narrative where the lesser contributors to my discomfort above these lay the fact that the works premise was true. The notion that poverty its self is a resource one that is manipulated and currently does not help those who are subjected to what the west calls ‘Absolute Poverty’, Instead international aid makes the wealthy wealthier. Martens video journalism even now months after first witnessing it still carry’s a refreshing sense, an artist perhaps with a social conscious one that does care about this alarming issue. Episode 3 wields real people and uses them as puppets and actors on a stage in which the play is all to real, portraying the power relationships between people watching (the audience) and the people being watched (Africans, Aid workers etc). He uses a neon sign as the focus of a party an emancipatory tool Renzo sets out to inform the people of the Congo that they should be benefiting from their poverty. He articulates the idea that if only they benefited from their poorness and used it as a resource then it would be their biggest source of revenue or capital. In this narrative I find the artists dissection and advance on the remnants of colonialism rejuvenating it shows the perpetuation of a distorted reality an example being when he takes an African photographer with images of death and poverty to Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders  and the african is turned down because the NGO has to use western photographers thats its policy. Thus effectively demonstrating the wests hold on the resource that Martens has successfully termed as the ‘Poverty Industry’ and the exclusion of locals benefitting from the resource of poverty. An alarming Idea right?     

George Orwell is a genius without a doubt he was very motivated and an incredibly imaginative writer that really put forth a nightmare of a futuristic Dystopian vision. In 1984, the main character Winston finds himself in a dystopian totalitarian regime that controls every individual with its propaganda and forces them into servitude for the greater good of the party. This book has content that is really relevant to the issues and tensions we are currently facing with regards to the public’s relationship to the state. And the states power over its people, what I find fascinating about this book is the party forces its control onto people by controlling individualism and free thinking. So much so that it’s actively engaged in changing history, language and truth. Replacing it with crimes and falsifications this for me bares remarkable resemblance to issues surrounding the welfare state and multinational news organisation’s. This book re-affirms the importance of human rights such as political action and the freedom of information its something that often gets overlooked and ignored but the news is controlled and manipulated and television is used to advertise a certain lifestyle of consumption a certain ideology. At all times we must be aware that to maintain independence is of the utmost importance and that there are in existence ideologies that would seek to keep the majority of us in poverty.

The internet is a marvel of the technological age a global web of networks upon networks each one containing billions of data and information. If one is able to view or comprehend the vast social and physical change this technology has had on our lives then an individual may adapt the viewpoint that the Internet could represent a different reality. A digital space or world; with social networking and role-playing games like world of warcraft we have this literal digital life or even freedom. A freedom to inhabit a different existence to learn freely, there is so much information on the world-wide web that it really is  a great tool for learning and the acquisition of knowledge. This for me is embodied in how the open source community has boomed, we now have entire operating systems that are built through the digital interactions of a global community. Most importantly the main notion behind open source is that its free to use and develop and this for me optimizes what the internet should allow to happen. Free communication free interaction, with this idea there has always been states and governments that have censored the internet however recently the hugely popular Wikipedia had a 24 hour strike in response to recent legalistic stupidity that has not even made it to Congress. This action clearly shows a need to worry about this because if their are people in the American Government attempting to censorship and control something that was designed to provide free exchange then the outcomes could be quite painful for creatives and people who rely on user upload sites to transport digital work. One thing I am looking forward to seeing is the reaction to efforts to control digital space by Hackers Anonymous. As they are capable of huge hactivist action and can disable any website on the web I believe we are at a stage where we will soon see the battle lines for the soul of digital space be drawn.

Not so long ago I can remember being confronted by the loud uproar in the media surrounding the new U.S.A presidents Birth place. I even remember thinking how mad the whole thing was, this rare event of a man who visually represents a new age in the history of the country. Was getting attacked by the bullish, bastard, brute, Donald trump and his Fox retards about wether he was a genuine American, their point being he had ancestors and living family from another country, how isolationist is that? This man who won the election through carrying with him an idea of hope, one articulated  so well that all you had to do was listen and you believed that change could happen. And it has happened, It is a minor miracle that Obama has managed to influence the image of his country and its direction by moving away from the hypocrisy and idiocy of the Bush administration. Which included an illegal war that has cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and banks and financial systems that screwed over the global economy. Obama not only is the first president since Clinton to actually have a brain but is an amazing enigmatic leader and communicator. He observes and witnesses whats really happening before deciding what action to take, he is an amazing speaker absolutely flawless in his voicing of his policies and ideas. America should keep him as their leader handing the reigns to anyone else would be extremely wrong, on another front his name in Swahili means ‘One who is blessed’ and on his desk he has a wooden carving of a hand holding an egg a Kenyan symbol of the fragility of life.