Trevor Paglen - They Watch the Moon (2010)
"This photograph depicts a classified ‘listening station’ deep in the forests of West Virginia.
The station is located at the center of the National Radio Quiet Zone, a region of approximately 34,000 square kilometers in West Virginia and parts of Maryland.
Within the Quiet Zone, radio transmissions are severely restricted: omnidirectional and high-powered transmissions (such as wireless internet devices and FM radio stations) are not permitted.
The listening station, which forms part of the global ECHELON system, was designed in part to take advantage of a phenomenon called moonbounce.
Moonbounce involves capturing communications and telemetry signals from around the world as they escape into space, hit the moon, and are reflected back towards Earth.
The photograph is a long exposure under the full moon light.”
fuck yeah Trevor Paglen dot everything
…More about life inside the Quiet Zone.
8:50 am • 21 July 2014 • 5,843 notes • View comments
When drones fall from the sky
The crews of two doomed Predators that crashed in 2008 and 2009 told investigators that their respective planes had been “possessed” and plagued by “demons.”
Met a pilot the other day who referred me to the aviation maintenance acronym PFM, which actually stands for “pure fucking magic”. Typically used when a system with incomprehensible errors is turned off, let sit for a few minutes, and turned back on to work perfectly. Fixed via PFM.
Also see etymology of pilot parlance: gremlins. No, not the 80s movie, but dating back to pre-WWII.
6:30 pm • 27 June 2014 • 19 notes • View comments
"Successful people no longer ‘win’ anything in our culture. They take it. Take it, steal it, hack it, fuck it, pink slip it, bury it, break it, throw it away and buy another. You can’t afford another one? Steal it, dumbass. No one’s going to give it to you. Like Coach said: If you want it, you have to take it.
That attitude isn’t just guiding some out-of-control youth football program in Texas. It’s guiding our government, our financial institutions, and our corporations. It’s cutting funding for our schools. It’s trying to gut food stamps, unemployment, and Social Security. It’s letting our infrastructure rot. It’s minting money on charter schools and private prisons…
…So if you want to get a degree in Social Work? Fine, whatever. Plenty of schools will take your tuition money; hell, we’ll even lend it to you, and you can spend a couple of decades paying it back with interest. You want to make a living wage after you graduate? Fuck you, loser. Go back and get an MBA. If you can help a global corporation sell more burgers, you might be worthy of a decent living. Otherwise, you flip burgers for minimum wage, and raise your kids in poverty.”
— Susan Schorn, from a pretty standard review of Friday Night Tykes that turns into something else entirely.
5:33 pm • 6 June 2014 • 19 notes • View comments
Title: [WITH PATIENT LAND BELOW]
April 16th 2014, 3:09:00 am
i am scared of the future and the people i love are unfamiliar to me. i feel like ive suddenly started dreaming and i wonder how or if i ever sincerely cared about anything. i feel disconnected.
(support problem glyphs on Patreon)
9:00 am • 3 June 2014 • 161 notes • View comments
“I’ve made a bot that ‘likes’ everything on Facebook,” said Julien Deswaef […]
While it sounds an easy project to execute, it turns out that Facebook has its own scripts programmed to penalise ruthless automation. Because of this, Julien has had to mimic the sporadic interactions of humans to keep the bot under the radar. The artist has also had to forfeit his own Facebook account to the bot — you could interpret this as performance art, but Julien calls it software art. Many of his friends instantly complained about having everything liked by him. I follow him/it on Facebook, and yes it’s frustrating, but it is only irritating because it holds up a mirror of how pathetic your Facebook life really is; the bot likes every single mundane trace you leave on the site.
— Popular Protest | Grafik (via new-aesthetic)
12:55 pm • 2 June 2014 • 192 notes • View comments
Robot Artifice, pt. 1
"…Why is it interesting for artists and poets to mechanically operate words and signs in a time when we carry computers in our pockets to do this for us? What’s more interesting is how that constant proximity to machines generates a visceral flow of language in and out of them all the time. Our material engagement with the world and with other people is mediated by networked computers, and yet it’s not fully determined by them. Our modes of engagement aren’t exactly equal to the computer’s. The constant proximity of machines reminds us that we’re not machines - that we’re weird and hungry and messy and queer and lonely and gross in ways that they (the machines) can’t be.
This is why self-design is less interesting than the selfie. Self-design makes a big, legible version of the self, while the selfie is its diminutive. It is the abject residue of personhood’s digital molting, images shed in square, flat flakes like bits of a snake’s skin. With the selfie, social media sites facilitate a naked openness of the self as it changes and grows. The personal brand flounders and drowns in the swampy reality of personhood…”
— Brian Droitcour, from “The Poet’s Materials”
3:07 pm • 26 May 2014 • 3 notes • View comments