Strange Culture at the Designing Safe Living conference

Next month during the Designing Safe Living conference in Lancaster, director Lynn Hershman-Leeson‘s film about the artist Steve Kurtz called ‘Strange Culture’ will be screened on Friday, July 11th. Lynn will then be giving an interview live on Second Life after the screening.

Strange Culture examines the case of artist and professor Steve Kurtz, a member of the Critical Art Ensemble (CAE). The work of Kurtz and other CAE members dealt with genetically modified food and other issues of science and public policy. After his wife, Hope, died of heart failure, paramedics arrived and became suspicious when they noticed petri dishes and other scientific equipment related to Kurtz’s art in his home. They summoned the FBI, who detained Kurtz within hours on suspicion of bioterrorism.

As Kurtz could not legally talk about the case, the film uses actors to interpret the story, as well as interviews with Kurtz and other figures involved in the case. Through a combination of dramatic reenactment, news footage, animation, and testimonials, the film scrutinizes post-9/11 paranoia and suggests that Kurtz was targeted because his work questions government policies. At the film’s close, Kurtz and his long-time collaborator Dr. Robert Ferrell, former chair of the Genetics Department at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, await a trial date.

As of late May, 2008, the Buffalo Prosecutor has declined to reopen the case within the 30 day window in which he was allowed to do so. So, Steve Kurtz is free.

Eco-Cardboard coffins and Natural burial sites

Eco coffins are made from environmentally sound plain cardboard (they can be customised too) to cater for a  non wasteful funeral and your last dying wish.

Reflecting a worldwide trend towards environmentally friendly burials, eco burial sites are popping up all over Australia. Relatives and friends will require a satellite navigation device to find graves of loved ones in New South Wales’s first eco-burial site. The deceased will be buried in biodegradable coffins between gum trees in a protected koala sanctuary on bushland attached to Lismore Memorial Park Cemetery in the Northern Rivers region. The company LifeArt provide a range of cardboard coffins that can be ordered via participating funeral parlours in Australia.

The London based “Natural Death Centre” recently hosted the green funeral exhibition at the Conway Hall where exhibitors from all over the UK displayed diverse examples of biodegradable coffins, shrouds and jewellery as well as offering funeral specific green advice and services.

Dilbert and surveillance in the workplace

Workshop 4: Tower Hamlets Freestate CASE STUDIES __THE FATE INSTITUTE

Workshop 4: Tower Hamlets Freestate CASE STUDIES __TOWER HAMLETS NUCLEAR TRUST

Workshop 4: Tower Hamlets Freestate CASE STUDIES __INSTITUTE for ETHICAL LIVING

Workshop 4: Tower Hamlets Freestate CASE STUDIES __ARK INC