July 29, 2004


This readworthy wired article delivers an update on GM food and the Flavr Savr tomato ...

Transgenic researchers treat the genome like software, as if it contained binary code. If they want an organism to express a trait, they insert a gene. But the genome is more complicated than software. While software code has two possible values in each position (1 and 0), DNA has four (A,C,T, and G). What's more, a genome is constantly interacting with itself in ways that suggest what complexity theorists call emergent behavior. An organism's traits are often less a reaction to one gene and more a result of the relationship between many. This makes the expression of DNA fairly mysterious.
form wired on GM food
... and lays out some threads of the inherent hubris of manipulated hybridisations to show nowadays methods working on the basis of genome knowledge to create the better food ...
Add the knowledge and tools of biotechnology, though, and we are on the verge of something enormous. Plant genomes carry age-old records that reveal the complex manner by which nature manages itself. .
form wired on GM food
Let's see ... .. more to follow
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After an effectless search for an article on blogging, which I thought to have been reading recently on wired ... drifting again .. Then finally I was lucky to come across that nice article of danah boyd, where she condenses so nicely some major points discussed over and over again on and about the blogging szene. Her pretty optimistic outlook is coming from within's embededness of blogging ..

Blogging will not replace traditional journalism, but it presents a threat to the normative press culture and an opportunity for radical reporting. Bloggers do place the issue of professionalism under attack, not by being unprofessional, but by exposing the ways in which the media operates.
... at salon

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July 26, 2004

Constraining metaphors and the transnationalisation of spaces in Berlin

As I promised to search some german texts on hybridity/identity issues .. and for reasons of sufficiency I will put them below here. But first I prefer - to post a hint (can't be a link - as the paper is not freely accessible) to Ayse S. Çaglar's paper, which I read another time .. she

argues that 'ghetto' is a root metaphor of German political culture and explores how this concept, which situates minorities in stigmatised ethnocultural sites in the city, confines the frameworks and the terminology of immigration debates and the representation of immigrants in the social imaginary in Germany. The ghetto trope of immigrant discourse in Berlin reduces the inscription of difference and belonging in urban space to a simple model of seclusion based on ethnic ties. ... the abstract is available here
following links are accessible, eventhough this one is even more specific on Berlin situation Stay As You Are! But At What Cost?, and those leading to mainly german texts on hybridity/identity, as mentioned ...
Kien Nghi Ha: Hybride Bastarde, Eva Kimmich, Identität in der Globalen Kultur / Identity in Global Culture, Ökzan Bucakli/Julia Reuter

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July 25, 2004

..and new blog form newsgrist

.. describing themselves as:
NEWSgrist is an e-zine devoted to the politics of art and culture in the digital age; dedicated to bridging gaps between the digital and the non-technical, art and activism, the diverse blog and non-blog worlds of readers and subscribers.
.. featuring in recent posts diverse articles like on comments and books by Siva Vaidhyanathan, the new magazine bidoun, activities like iraq-eye, etc....
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hope to get across a dividing gap again ..

.. as Mostar's 'old bridge' got rebuild....

The bridge's rebuilding has been welcomed by many, says our correspondent, but no-one is underestimating the gaps that still remain between Bosnia's ethnic groups.
from bbc

image source

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July 21, 2004

On opinions

The usefulness or uselessness of personal expression is going to be discussed since the first blogs appeared. Now blog entries are going to be linked at from google news page, as just happened via progressivetrail with this one: How Dare Linda Ronstadt have an Opinion!.
I guess it should be remembered that blogging eventually has become that popular as it 'coincidently' appeared to give room to some not yet heard voices around the same time as the iraq war started. It also allows a broader view on the unisono voice coming via massmedia across the atlantic. I don't want to say that there are only positive side effects (as critical posts concerning blogging issues can be as well found in earlier postings of this blog), but there are definitly reasons to support this informal form of expression - eventhough I would not compare it to journalism. There is anyway already a strict limitation of the blogging form through its technical concept.

It is a different subject and a different dimension, but with german history in mind - actually yesterday's 20th july was remembrance of Stauffenberg's group bomb attempt - I am grateful there were some like them, like 'Weisse Rose', ... among few others, who dared to have an opinion.
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July 20, 2004

again: on hybridity

"I find myself especially drawn by such engaging new beings as the tomato with a gene from a cold-sea-bottom-living flounder." -- Donna Haraway
.. some still provocative thoughts from D. Haraway on hybrid forms from her book Modest_Witness@Second_Millennium Female Man_Meets_OncoMouseTM have been re-thought in George Myersons essay on her attitude towards GM food. Eventhough we don't seem to care much about the issue in our daily lifes - as we meanwhile already got used to tomatoes, which don't rot anymore.
One of the interesting points he focuses on is the racist attitude at the core of the purity thought, but equally he analyzis connections of impurity for the new forms of capitalism, which also includes entanglement between academic and commercial interests.

This new 'technoscience' itself will always be a hybrid of pure and applied, commercial and arcane, practice and theory. As the new biology goes about its business of extracting profits, it will also be the agent that 'mixes up all actors'. In the wake of biological technoscience, the pseudo-scientific basis of 'racial purity' will at last fall into final disrepute. The world will reveal itself, irreversible, as a place of burgeoning ambiguities.
Still some difficult themes to think on regarding all aspects of consequences and it is not thought just to promote this form of hybrids, but to think about the already exsisting changes and implications. especially the eventual loss of a critical attitude if the difficult ambiguity in there is denied... therefore this is as well a direct link to CAE's work.
quoted from 'Donna Haraway and GM Foods' in The End of Everything
(missing links updated 21th, 10:09 am - :))

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July 16, 2004


... a new blog to participate in and share thoughts about advanced presence or as it is announced:

..augmented reality, distributed performance, environmental theatre, pervasive play, immersive gaming, telepresence?...???

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July 15, 2004

The attempt to shed light on another actual aspect of hybridity

got absorbed through overanxious official reactions, as it obviously has to be avoided to face the ambiguity of own and already - silently as common introduced - strategies, when looked at from a different angle. The recent work of CAE (critical art ensemble) tried to bring up aspects of yet barely known hybridity entering our lives on the level of daily groceries. It came just into focus lately with the accussations against CAE being first charged of 'bioterrorism', but then was changed as followed: ... not with bioterrorism, as listed on the Joint Terrorism Task Force's original search warrant and subpoenas, but with a glorified version of "petty larceny,"...

Perhaps with such an outcome in mind, preeminent science magazine Nature has called on scientists to support Kurtz. "As with the prosecution of some scientists in recent years, it seems that government lawyers are singling Kurtz out as a warning to the broader artistic community.... Art and science are forms of human enquiry that can be illuminating and controversial, and the freedom of both must be preserved as part of a healthy democracy--as must a sense of proportion"
... further information on the case as well as on the work of CAE can be found here

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July 13, 2004

The gap between those with different cultural perspectives

Today reading a post on a mailinglist my attention was brought back to the earlier mentioned film Control Room by Jehane Noujaim. I haven't been able to see the film yet, but eventhough this article focuses mainly on the difficulties of the film production it highlights some interesting aspects about different points of view (and gets one curious to get a possibility to see the film ....):

Jehane Noujaim, who directed the film, has her roots in both the Egyptian and the American cultural environments. She became interested in how the news contributes to different cultural perspectives of the world. In her film, not only does the film maker focus on the gap between those with different cultural perspectives, but she also explores the power of the the news and of film to foster communication which can overcome these cultural barriers.

In an interview, Noujaim describes her personal experience which led her to the idea for her film. She explains: The idea for the film came from a few different sources. Growing up and going back and forth between Egypt and the United States provided the initial entry point. Seeing the complete difference in perspectives on the same world events between the two cultures made me start thinking about news, the creation of the news, who's responsible, and then on to questions of how these two peoples are supposed to communicate if the world as provided by their news are different.

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July 11, 2004

borders - again on: a liminal space in between

... quoting a passage from Gender, Cultural Geographies, and Geopolitical Literacy by Susan Stanford Friedman published in the collection Gender_Cyber_Archive ...

A second form of geopolitical rhetoric invokes the geographical borders between nations to suggest not only those material conditions as they impact on gender formations but also their figural function to describe psychological, spiritual, and cultural borderlands in between differences of all kinds. As the liminal space in between, the interface of self and other, the interstitial location of syncretic transculturation, borders highlight the paradoxical processes of connection and separation. Regulatory borders are erected to defend against the pollution of the Other or to impose confinements of the Other. But borders are also porous sites of intercultural mixing, cultural hybridization, and creolization. Borders are spaces where murderous acts take place, where identity, particularly in its fundamentalist form, ensures clashing differences and fixed limits. They are also the spaces of desire for connection, utopian longing, and the blending of differences. The multiple meanings and possibilities of border rhetoric is evident in one of the most influential texts in transnational cultural studies, namely the hybridic and autobiographical essay/poem Borderlands/ La Frontera-The New Mestiza (1987) by Gloria Anzaldúa

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July 10, 2004

finally: Germany approves immigration law (BBC)
... hopefully this will help some of my friends to organize their lives as they like ...
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July 9, 2004

a slight gap to see through - today's actualities according to REUTERS

A Palestinian is seen through a gap in an unfinished part of Israel's controversial security barrier which separates east Jerusalem from the West Bank town of Abu Dis on July 9, 2004. The World Court will rule on Friday that Israel's West Bank barrier, which has wrought hardship for thousands of Palestinians, violates international law and should be torn down, a leaked copy of the ruling showed.
.. also as news accompanied by a longer indepth report at cbc
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July 8, 2004

... more news on the blogosphere

some further articles on blogging ..

This online, edited collection explores discursive, visual, social, and other communicative features of weblogs. Essays analyze and critique situated cases and examples drawn from weblogs and weblog communities. The collection takes a multidisciplinary approach, and contributions represent perspectives from Rhetoric, Communication, Sociology, Cultural Studies, Linguistics, and Education, among others: Into the Blogosphere
.. and as I am always searching blogs publishing from various places aside the usual media coverage - eventhough now mainly maintained from UK: rafahkid
.. and there will be more to come ..
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July 7, 2004

liminal spaces interpreted as hybrid sites as witnesses of the production of cultural meaning ...

This overview and some excerpts of Homi K. Bhabha give an interesting introduction to his definition and seen possibilities emerging from liminal spaces .... (as well as some thoughtful points to think about)

It is in the emergence of the interstices--the overlap and displacement of domains of difference--that the intersubjective and collective experiences of nationness, community interest, or cultural value are negotiated. How are subjects formed 'in-between', or in excess of, the sum of the 'parts' of difference (usually intoned as race/class/gender, etc.)? How do strategies of representation or empowerment come to be formulated in the competing claims of communities where, despite shared histories of deprivation and discrimination, the exchange of values, meanings and priorities may not always be collaborative and dialogical, but may be profoundly antagonistic, conflictual and even incommensurable?.....and more

Terms of cultural engagement, whether antagonistic or affiliative, are produced performatively. The representation of difference must not be hastily read as the reflection of pre-given ethnic or cultural traits set in the fixed tablet of tradition. The social articulation of difference, from the minority perspective, is a complex, on-going negotiation that seeks to authorize cultural hybridities that emerge in moments of historical transformation......and more

... and following the final advice ; ) on the site .. more on borders and other places of the in-between to follow soon ...
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July 4, 2004

Spaces of in-between

... collecting insights on the in-between ...
The space of the in-between is that which is not a space, a space without boundaries of its own, which takes on and receives itself, its form, from the outside, which is not its outside (this would imply that it has a form) but whose form is the outside of the identity, not just of an other (for that would reduce the in-between to the role of object, not of space) but of others, whose relations of positivity define, by default, the spa┬┤ce that is constituted as in-between.
The space of the in-between is the locus for social, cultural, and natural transformations: it is not simply a convenient space for movements and realignments but in fact is the only place - the place around identities, between identities - where becoming, openness to futurity, outstrips the conservational impetus to retain cohesion and unity....E.Grosz, 'Architecture form the Outside'

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July 1, 2004

Al Jazeera: The ambiguities of a revolution in Arab minds and screens

.. as layed out by Hazem Saghieh in an interesting article on opendemocracy describing this important point of view in the media landscape of today from various angles, as well as the impacts associating its development ...

Al-Jazeera's impact derives from its ability to fuse two dimensions of globalisation: sophisticated technology (what might be called "capitalist globalisation") and an appeal to ethnic and religious populism (what might be called, from old marxist phraseology, "lumpenproletarian globalisation"). The result is a fascinating combination of progress and regress - .. more

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