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


Workshop 4: Tower Hamlets Freestate CASE STUDIES __EXTREME GREEN GUERILLAS

Workshop 4: Tower Hamlets Freestate CASE STUDIES: ___LA BOUCHERIE

La Boucherie’s most popular dish: The MRI steak.

The Chef at La Boucherie select the most beautiful anatomy from the original animal with which to work.

An image showing the process of production. A mould is made and different meat cultures sampled from various location on the master animal are grown inside, to form MRI steak.

An example of the contemporary state of main-stream in-vitro meat production. Unsatisfactory, bland food.


An illustration expressing how we are loosing our connection with the original animal.

Workshop 4: Tower Hamlets Freestate CASE STUDIES __BIOPHILIA CLINIC

Ghost Bikes

Just 5 minutes from where I live is a ghost bike: a painted white bicycle that has been locked to a fence to act as a memorial to a recent bike fatality in the area. I ride past it every day and every time I see it I am extremely aware of how easy it is to be destroyed by an oncoming vehicle. It is disturbing but a moving gesture of remembrance and warning to all those on the road and not just to cyclists. The idea of the ghost bike memorial has its roots in St. Louis, Missouri since 2003. The ghostbike.org site it is intended to act as a meeting point for discussion and locates incidents in various cities around the world and was set up by the NYC Street Memorial Project. It is a space where those lost on dangerous streets can be remembered by their loved ones, members of their local communities, and others from around the world. They hope to inspire more people to start installing ghost bikes in their communities and to initiate changes that will make it safer to travel on the streets.

links for 2008-06-04