CHIROT ZERO ZINE--ANNOUNCING NEW BLOG

Dear Followers, Friends, fellow Workers:

I have just begun a new blog/zine called
Chirot Zero Zine A Heap of Rubble--
Anarkeyology of hand eye ear notations
---
http://chirotzerozine.blogspot.com
the blog is more exusively concerned than this one with presenting essays, reviews (inc. "bad reviews") , Visual Poetry, Sound Poetry, Event Scores, Manifestos, Manifotofestos, rantin' & raving, rock'roll, music all sorts--by myself and others--if you are interested in being a contributor, please feel free to contact me at david.chirot@gmail.com
as with this blog, the arts are investigated as a part of rather than apart from the historical, economic, political actualities of yesterday, today, & tomorrow
as with al my blogs--
contributions in any language are welcome

Free Leonard Peltier

Free Leonard Peltier
The government under pretext of security and progress, liberated us from our land, resources, culture, dignity and future. They violated every treaty they ever made with us. I use the word “liberated” loosely and sarcastically, in the same vein that I view the use of the words “collateral damage” when they kill innocent men, women and children. They describe people defending their homelands as terrorists, savages and hostiles . . . My words reach out to the non-Indian: Look now before it is too late—see what is being done to others in your name and see what destruction you sanction when you say nothing. --Leonard Peltier, Annual Message January 2004 (Leonard Peltier is now serving 31st year as an internationally recognized Political Prisoner of the United States Government)

Injustice Continues: Leonard Peltier Again Denied Parole

# Injustice continues: Leonard Peltier denied parole‎ - By Mahtowin A wave of outrage swept the progressive community worldwide at the news that Native political prisoner Leonard Peltier was denied parole on Aug. ... Workers World - 2 related articles » US denies parole to American Indian activist Leonard Peltier‎ - AFP - 312 related articles » # Free Leonard Peltier 2009 PRISON WRITINGS...My Life Is My Sun Dance Leonard Peltier © 1999. # Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance - by Leonard Peltier, Harvey Arden - 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages Edited by Harvey Arden, with an Introduction by Chief Arvol Looking Horse, and a Preface by former Attorney General Ramsey Clark. In 1977, Leonard Peltier... books.google.com/books?isbn=0312263805... - # Leonard Peltier, American Indian Activist, Denied Parole And Won't ... Aug 21, 2009 ... BISMARCK, ND — American Indian activist Leonard Peltier, imprisoned since 1977 for the deaths of two FBI agents, has been denied parole ... www.huffingtonpost.com/.../leonard-peltier-american_n_265764.html - Cached - Similar - #

Gaza--War Crime: Collective Punishment of 1.5 Million Persons--Recognized as "The World's Largest Concentration Camp"

Number of Iraquis Killed Since USA 2003 Invasion began

Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator

US & International Personnel losses in Iraq &Afghanistan; Costs of the 2 Wars to US


Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In America's War On Iraq: 4,667
icasualties.org/oif/

Number Of International Occupation Force Troops Slaughtered In Afghanistan : 1,453
http://icasualties.org/oef/


=

Cost of War in Iraq

$691,188,637,164

Cost of War in Afghanistan
$229,137,844,021

The cost in your community

www.nationalpriorities.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=182

flickr: DEATH FROM THIS WINDOW/DOORS OF GUANTANAMO--Essays, Links, Video-- US use of Torture

VISUAL POETRY/MAIL ART CALL Cracking World’s Walls & Codes Concrete & Virtual

Cracking World’s Walls & Codes Concrete & Virtual


VISUAL POETRY/MAIL ART CALL
No Sieges, Tortures, Starvation & Surveillance
GAZA-GUANTANAMO-ABU GHRAIB—THE GLOBE
Deadline/Fecha Limite: SinsLimite/ongoing
Size: No limit/Sin Limite
No Limit on Number of Works sent
No Limit on Number of Times New Works Are Sent
Documentation: on my blog
http://davidbaptistechirot.blogspot.com
Addresses: david.chirot@gmail.com
David Baptiste Chirot
740 N 29 #108
Milwaukee, WI 53208
USA

Miss Universe Visits Guantanamo: 'A Loooot Of Fun!'



Miss Universe Visits Guantanamo: 'A Loooot Of Fun!'


The current 'Miss Universe' Dayana Mendoza (formerly Miss Venezuela) and 'Miss America' Crystal Stewart visited US troops stationed in Guantanamo Bay on March 20th, the New York Times reports. Here's Mendoza's account of the visit from her pageant blog last Friday. She says the trip "was a loooot of fun!"

This week, Guantánamo!!! It was an incredible experience...All the guys from the Army were amazing with us. We visited the Detainees camps and we saw the jails, where they shower, how the recreate themselves with movies, classes of art, books. It was very interesting. We took a ride with the Marines around the land to see the division of Gitmo and Cuba while they were informed us with a little bit of history.


The water in Guantánamo Bay is soooo beautiful! It was unbelievable, we were able to enjoy it for at least an hour. We went to the glass beach, and realized the name of it comes from the little pieces of broken glass from hundred of years ago. It is pretty to see all the colors shining with the sun. That day we met a beautiful lady named Rebeca who does wonders with the glasses from the beach. She creates jewelry with it and of course I bought a necklace from her that will remind me of Guantánamo Bay :)

I didn't want to leave, it was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

eNews Jan 23, 2008.




Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2008 11:39:16 -0500
From: enews@mam.org
To: davidbchirot@hotmail.com
Subject: eNews Jan 23, 2008.

eNews for December 19, 2007.
Sensory Overload
Start your weekend with a jolt!
Opening Reception
Sensory Overload: Light, Motion, Sound,
and the Optical in Art since 1945

THURSDAY, JANUARY 24, 6:15 P.M. | FREE WITH GENERAL ADMISSION
Be among the first to engage your senses. Immersive light environments, optical illusions, and interactive sound installations—approximately fifty works of art (painting, sculpture, installation, film, video) explore the principles of perception in this re-installation of the Museum's contemporary galleries.

Guest lecturer Erwin Redl, whose extraordinary 25 x 50-foot LED installation Matrix XV (2007) is featured in the exhibition, will introduce visitors to his extraordinary work.
Enjoy slow sipping a drink from the cash bar and sampling the free tasty hors d'oeuvres over a scintillating conversation with friends.
Can't make the opening?
Don't worry. Catch the next Gallery Talk.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 1:30 P.M. | FREE WITH GENERAL ADMISSION

Join us on Milwaukee County Residents' Day for a tour with Chief Curator Joe Ketner of Sensory Overload. Free to Members and Milwaukee County residents.

Sensory Overload

Spacer
Mark your calendar for these upcoming events
Opening Events—Foto: Modernity in Central Europe, 1918–1945
Member-Only Preview Days

THURSDAY, FEB 7, 10 A.M.–8 P.M.; FRIDAY, FEB 8, 10 A.M.–5 P.M. | FREE FOR MEMBERS

Member Preview Celebration
THURSDAY, FEB 7, 5–8 P.M.; LECTURE, 6:15 P.M. | $20/FREE FOR MEMBERS

Member-Only Exhibition Talk
FRIDAY, FEB 8, 1:30 P.M. | FREE FOR MEMBERS

Exhibition Opens to the Public
SATURDAY, FEB 9, 10 A.M.–5 P.M. | EXHIBITION ADMISSION

Save
Forward email

This email was sent to davidbchirot@hotmail.com, by enews@mam.org

Milwaukee Art Museum | 700 N Art Museum Drive | Milwaukee | WI | 53202



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Lift the Gaza Blockade: Call on Congress to Speak Up and Join Us in the Streets!


The 1.5 million Palestinian inhabitants of the Gaza Strip are facing a tremendous humanitarian and medical crisis. Israel's sharp restrictions on fuel and electricity have severely damaged the provision of safe drinking water, forcing people to make do with extremely poor quality water which is dangerous to their health.

A group of Israeli organizations is planning a major action for Saturday, January 26th, to bring a relief convoy of desperately needed water filters to be distributed in Gaza by their Palestinian partner there, The End the Siege Campaign.

We must not stand idle.

Join our solidarity rallies THIS WEEK in Boston, Philly, and San Francisco!

Call on Congress to speak up! The United States must call for an immediate end to the siege on Gaza, urging Israel to open its border crossings to people and goods. Rep. Barbara Lee has called on Secretary of State Condolezza Rice to request that the Administration "do all it can to secure the delivery of these vital humanitarian goods and services to Gaza." (For full letter in pdf format,click here: page 1, page 2)

If you live in Rep. Lee's Congressional District, click here to send her a letter of thank you. If you live elsewhere in the United States, click here to send a letter to your Congressperson urging them to speak out on Gaza today.

To unsubscribe, click here.


[invito] versicolazioni - Realtà Non Ordinaria




From: maurizio.follin@tin.it
To: ;
Subject: Fw: [invito] versicolazioni - Realtà Non Ordinaria
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2008 10:32:50 +0100

 
 

REALTÀ NON ORDINARIA

 

presenta

 

nello spazio  virtuale dedicato alla "Parola."

 

 
 
 

le poesie di

 

Antonella Barina

 

Percorrendo gli argini della vita, vedo scorrere...parole

 

 

 

http://www.realtano.it/versi.htm

 

 http://www.realtano.it/versi_04.html

 

http://www.realtano.it/

 

  • Se non desidera ricevere gli inviti "Versicolazioni" di Realtà non Ordinaria, risponda  a questa mail scrivendo nel testo "cancellatemi


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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

End the Siege on the People of Gaza, Jan. 26 Day of Action




Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2008 10:42:22 -0500
From: uscampaign@mail.democracyinaction.org
To: davidbchirot@hotmail.com
Subject: End the Siege on the People of Gaza, Jan. 26 Day of Action

End the Siege on the People of Gaza
International Day of Action, Jan. 26

Call for a Comprehensive Ceasefire, End US Military Aid to Israel

Israel is continuing to escalate its attacks on Gaza, killing more than 40 Palestinians just this past week and wounding scores more, and has placed the already besieged territory under complete lockdown.That is eliminating what little access the besieged population had to food, fuel, clean water and ever-more-urgent medical services. By Sunday Gaza's only power generator was shut down because of a lack of fuel; hospitals are starting to be affected and Palestinian medical officials reported five gravely ill patients had died.

Israel's announcement, under international pressure, that it would allow one day's worth of fuel to re-start Gaza's only power generating plant does not mean an end to the crisis; Gaza will remain desperate as Israel continues to use the access to vitally needed fuel and other goods as a weapon of occupation to impose collective punishment on the entire population of Gaza. The conditions in Gaza have become desperate, and international solidarity organizations in London, Rome and elsewhere around the world are mobilizing to demand an end to the siege of Gaza in protests on January 26. That same day Israeli peace groups are organizing an emergency convoy to try to break the siege.

Israel's increasing attacks on Gaza - the economic blockade and military assaults - are not in response to the rocket attacks from Gaza. The Israeli attacks, and Israel's continuing occupation-through-siege of Gaza, are the reason for the rocket fire in the first place. But even if the Israeli attacks were in response to Gaza rockets, such a response would still be illegal (collective punishment is always illegal), disproportionate, and ultimately futile.

U.S. military support bolsters Israel's occupation and enables the current escalating punishment. The U.S. must stop all military aid to Israel, and demand that Israel end its collective punishment and indiscriminate bombing of the civilian population of Gaza. Further, the U.S. must push for a comprehensive ceasefire that covers all the occupied Palestinian territories. Otherwise, the U.S. will continue to be vilified for its support of collective punishment and attacks on civilians, U.S. citizens will be seen by the rest of the world as complicit in major human rights violations, and any future talks about "peace" will be viewed as providing continuing support for an Israeli-imposed military settlement.

TAKE ACTION:

Call the White House at 202-456-1111 and State Department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at 202-647-7209. Demand:

  • An immediate end to the assault on Gaza, and the opening of its border crossings to people and goods.
  • A comprehensive ceasefire that covers all territories and all parties to the conflict.
  • An end to U.S. military aid to Israel. Oppose the new $30 billion military aid package to Israel by clicking here.

Call your national as well as your local media. Demand:

  • Coverage of what's going on in the Occupied­ Palestinian territories. This is particularly important since the Israeli lock-down of Gaza has resulted in very little news emerging of the most recent attacks.
  • Write a letter to the editor in response to an article in your paper using the talking points in this action alert.

For contact information, click here.

If your group has consultative status at the United Nations, call the office of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon:

  • Demand that the UN hold Israel, as a member state, accountable for its human rights violations.

  • Protest the Secretary-General's statement of January 17, 2008, repeated on January 18, in which he demanded an "immediate halt" to Palestinian rocket and sniper fire from Gaza, but only urged "maximum restraint" from the Israeli occupation forces assaulting Gaza. In both statements he "reminds all parties of their obligation to comply with international humanitarian law and not to endanger civilians," without acknowledging the different obligations between an occupied population and an occupying power already violating numerous UN resolutions that demand an end to the occupation itself.

Contact:Office of the Secretary General, Chief of Staff Vijay Nambiar:

nambiar@un.org or 1-212-963-8922.

Find out about the January 26 convoy that will try to break the siege of Gaza with food and medicine:

http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/events/1200266785

Join Protests in the United States on Jan. 26 or Organize Your Own

-The Cleveland Middle East Peace Forum will sponsor a rally and town
meeting in support of the January 26 actions. For more information, contact donmbryant@yahoo.com


-In Philadelphia various groups are supporting the Jan. 26 day of action, with a press conference on Friday 1/25 and a march to the Israeli consulate on 1/26. For more information, contact rkamel@verizon.net

-January 24 Boston Action
COME JOIN OUR DEMAND TO ALLOW HUMANITARIAN RELIEF INTO GAZA
NOON, THURSDAY 24 JANUARY
ISRAELI CONSULATE, PARK PLAZA HOTEL, BOSTON
MEET AT HADASSAH WAY AND PROVIDENCE ST
in support of the Gaza Relief Convoy
http://gush-shalom.org.toibillboard.info/ConvJan08.htm

JEWS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IN GAZA
Let us know you are coming gazahumanrights@gmail.com
Please bring a food item to deliver to the consulate. We are going to present cartons of food and medical aid to the Israeli consul's office (Park Plaza Hotel, noon Thursday 24 January) and request that it be taken to Gaza, and that the Israeli government let the Gaza Relief Convoy through the Erez Checkpoint on 26 January.
On Saturday, January 26, from NOON to 1 PM in Harvard Square there will be a demonstration in support of the International Campaign to Break the Siege of Gaza.  On that date, Israeli peace groups will attempt to enter the Gaza Strip with a convoy of essential supplies and medicines.  Gaza no longer has sufficient fuel to keep its power station running.  Hospitals and homes are dark and cold, remaining food stocks are being spoiled, the water and sewage infrastructure is breaking down.  We American taxpayers — who make this collective punishment possible — must raise our voices.  Please join us if you can — the group will gather on the sidewalk in front of Au Bon Pain.
Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights

BACKGROUND & TALKING POINTS

1. Demand an immediate end to the assault on Gaza and open borders

The 1.5 million citizens of Gaza, half of whom are children aged 14 and
under, have been under an increasingly tight siege since January 2006 when Hamas was elected in free and fair elections - at least as free and fair as any election held under military occupation can be. The living standards of the population have plummeted and their access to medical services, education, and basic food has dwindled.Over 80% of Gazans now live in poverty according to the United Nations and the World Bank. The World Bank has identified Israel's tight control of movement of people and goods into and out of, as well as within, the occupied territories as the single most important reason for the collapse of the Palestinian economy. Israel has never implemented the agreement on movement and access that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice negotiated in November 2005. Israel must end its assault on Gaza and let Gaza have open borders to the rest of the world.


2. Call for a comprehensive ceasefire that covers all territories and all parties to the conflict


Israel and the Palestinian Authority signed a ceasefire that included Gaza on November 26, 2006. However, Israel continued to conduct incursions into the West Bank and carry out "targeted assassinations," some of which resulted in the murder of civilians. Between November 26, 2006 and April 3, 2007, Israeli forces killed 51 Palestinians in the West Bank. Rocket fire from Gaza into Israel came as a clear retaliation to these killings. The ceasefire collapsed on April 22, 2007. Although the U.S. media continually claims that Israeli attacks are in response to Palestinian rocket fire, the actual pattern of Israeli attacks provoking Palestinian responses has been documented by Israeli journalist Gideon Levy.(See his July 9 and December 3 2006 articles on www.haaretz.com, as well as Institute for Palestine Studies Policy Notes No. 15 on www.palestine-studies.org) Official U.S. statements supporting Israel's assaults on Gaza make the U.S. government complicit in Israeli violations of the Geneva conventions (which prohibit all collective punishment).

3. Urge an end to U.S. military aid to Israel.

Although Israel has not dismantled even the West Bank "outposts" as it had promised the U.S., let alone the rest of its illegal settlements and infrastructure in the West Bank, the U.S. has increased military aid to Israel by 25% for a total of $30 billion over the next 10 years. U.S. military and political support means Israel can ignore legitimate Palestinian aspirations for independence, sovereignty, equality and justice. It makes a mockery of claimed U.S. support for the "peace process," because the U.S. guarantees the overwhelming superiority of the Israeli occupier and its decades-long exploitation of Palestinian land and resources.

The U.S. must not be complicit in what the rest of the world understands to be one country's destruction of a country and people.Only an end to U.S. military aid to Israel will signal that our country is beginning to get serious about peace.

US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

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Monday, January 21, 2008

[ArtNews] Trabaja-colabora en AIBACC! Asociacion Internacional de Barcelona de Arte y Cultura Contem




To: premsabarcelona@patriciamunoz.com
Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2008 00:42:55 +0100
From: premsabarcelona@patriciamunoz.com
Subject: [ArtNews] Trabaja-colabora en AIBACC! Asociacion Internacional de Barcelona de Arte y Cultura Contemporanea

 
Newsletter AIBACC 21 Enero 2008 / nº2
Indice:
• I Salon Internacional de Pequeno Formato AIBACC
• Trabaja - Colabora en AIBACC 
• Asociate a AIBACC
• Certamen Internacional de Arte Conectarte 2008
• Fechas disponibles Salas, Galerias y Museos. Internacional
• Ultimo espacio disponible en Atexpo New York
• Libro "Contemporary Artists of the World 2008-2009"
• Como Contactar

Importante: No responder a este email.
Escribir a: info@aibacc.com
I SALON INTERNACIONAL DE PEQUENO FORMATO AIBACC

Barcelona, 3 al 30 de Marzo del 2008
Formato maximo: 30 x 30 cm
Todas las disciplinas: Pintura, Dibujo, Grabado, Fotografia, Escultura, Objetos, Diseno, Musica, Literatura, ... 

Los Socios no deben pasar seleccion. Indicar numero de obras.

 
Solicitud de bases:
 
Cierre de Inscripcion 31 Enero 2008, segun plazas disponibles.
 
Premio AIBACC - Exposicion Individual. Barcelona
 
TRABAJA - COLABORA EN AIBACC
 
 
Buscamos
 
* 1 Jefe de Comunicacion
* 3 Redactores
* 3-5 Coordinadores - diversas funciones
* 3-5 Gestores Culturales
* 2 Secretarios
* 1 Vocal
* entre otros...
Aceptamos propuestas.
 
Periodo de colaboracion de 6-12 meses, tras el cual habra la posibilidad de contrato laboral remunerado en base a sus progresos e interes de continuar con nosotros.
 
 
Indicar numero de telefono para concertar entrevista.
 
ASOCIATE A AIBACC
Envianos tu cv actualizado y una muestra de tu trabajo, ya sea como artista, critico de arte o gestor cultural.
Visita la web oficial de AIBACC (www.aibacc.com).
 

CERTAMEN INTERNACIONAL DE ARTE CONECTARTE 2008

Las bases de participacion en el Certamen Internacional de Arte ConectArte 2008 estan a tu disposicion en:

http://conectarteartcontest2008.blogspot.com   y en www.revistaconectarte.com

Participation conditions of the International ConectArte Art Contest 2008 are at your disposal in:

http://conectarteartcontest2008.blogspot.com  and  www.revistaconectarte.com

 
 
 
FECHAS DISPONIBLES EN SALAS, GALERIAS Y MUSEOS
NIVEL INTERNACIONAL 

Los interesados solicitar informacion a info@aibacc.com
Los socios de AIBACC tienen prioridad.
 
Los espacios que deseen ofrecer sus servicios tambien pueden contactar con nosotros.
 
 
 
* I Salon Internacional de Pequeño Formato AIBACC. Barcelona 3 al 31 de Marzo
 
* Muestra "Women in the Arts 2008" 14 Marzo al 5 de Abril
Cierre de admision 15 de Febrero
 
* Exposición Internacional en Leipzig (Alemania) del 16 de Mayo al 25 de Junio
 
 
- Listado abierto para organizar individuales y colectivas en cualquier ciudad del mundo.
 

ULTIMO ESPACIO DISPONIBLE ARTEXPO NEW YORK 

Se otorgara por orden de llegada de las solicitudes.
Contactar en info@aibacc.com

 

Libro "Contemporary Artists of the world 2008-2009"

Seleccion abierta. Fecha limite 30 de Marzo 2008 
Hay que enviar 2 Fotografias de obras
El libro estara dividido en 4 apartados: PINTURA (incluye cualquier medio, soporte, collage, etc).; ESCULTURA (incluye ceramica, vidrio y objetos tridimensionales); FOTOGRAFIA y ARTE DIGITAL y ARTEX TEXTIL. Es necesario un MINIMO de 10 artistas para cada seccion. En caso de que no exista ese minimo, los artistas saldran por riguroso ORDEN ALFABETICO.
Si un artista realiza sus obras en cualquier otro medio o soporte y tiene dudas al respecto, le rogamos nos consulte de inmediato para no quedar fuera de la publicacion.
 
PREMIOS: una pagina por 12 meses en el espacio electronico del MoA "Registro de Artistas" (ver http://www.museumamericas.org/english/artist_registry.htm)
a las mejores obras de las 4 categorias en que se dividira la publicacion
 
2.000 copias son distribuidas como habitualmente lo hace el Editor en la Union Europea y los Estados Unidos. Distribuciones adicionales dependen de los paises representados en el libro.
Una distribucion ADICIONAL se efectuara en una feria internacional a determinarse segun el tipo de obras que esten representadas y que se dara a conocer en su momento.
Cada artista recibe una copia del libro en su domicilio
 
En cada pagina de artista aparecera una foto personal, breve biografia en ingles y dos reproducciones de obras. La medida del libro es de 8 1/2 x 11 pulgadas (21,6 x 28 cm) aproximada ya que puede variar en funcion de la impresion que por razones de distribucion puede hacerse en Espana o Estados Unidos.
 
El material debe enviarse a info@aibacc.com
 
CONTACTAR

www.aibacc.com
info@aibacc.com - Email Secretario, Javier Lopez
(0034) 687896910 - Presidenta, Patricia Munoz

 
AIBACC. Apartado postal 146. 08200. Sabadell. Barcelona. Cataluna. España
Copyright © Associacio Internacional de Barcelona dArt i Cultura Contemporania
AIBACC www.aibacc.com info@aibacc.com 


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Cell Phone Novels Dominate Japanese Bestsellers




TOKYO — Until recently, cellphone novels — composed on phone keypads by young women wielding dexterous thumbs and read by fans on their tiny screens — had been dismissed in Japan as a subgenre unworthy of the country that gave the world its first novel, “The Tale of Genji,” a millennium ago. Then last month, the year-end best-seller tally showed that cellphone novels, republished in book form, have not only infiltrated the mainstream but have come to dominate it.

Related
Links to Japanese Sites:

Book Uploading Site of Starts Publishing

Orion, a Cell Phone Novel Site for Goma Books

The Novel, "If You"

Mika’s blog




Enlarge This Image
Ko Sasaki for The New York Times

Rin, 21, tapped out a novel on her cellphone that sold 400,000 copies in hardcover.

Of last year’s 10 best-selling novels, five were originally cellphone novels, mostly love stories written in the short sentences characteristic of text messaging but containing little of the plotting or character development found in traditional novels. What is more, the top three spots were occupied by first-time cellphone novelists, touching off debates in the news media and blogosphere.

“Will cellphone novels kill ‘the author’?” a famous literary journal, Bungaku-kai, asked on the cover of its January issue. Fans praised the novels as a new literary genre created and consumed by a generation whose reading habits had consisted mostly of manga, or comic books. Critics said the dominance of cellphone novels, with their poor literary quality, would hasten the decline of Japanese literature.

Whatever their literary talents, cellphone novelists are racking up the kind of sales that most more experienced, traditional novelists can only dream of.

One such star, a 21-year-old woman named Rin, wrote “If You” over a six-month stretch during her senior year in high school. While commuting to her part-time job or whenever she found a free moment, she tapped out passages on her cellphone and uploaded them on a popular Web site for would-be authors.

After cellphone readers voted her novel No. 1 in one ranking, her story of the tragic love between two childhood friends was turned into a 142-page hardcover book last year. It sold 400,000 copies and became the No. 5 best-selling novel of 2007, according to a closely watched list by Tohan, a major book distributor.

“My mother didn’t even know that I was writing a novel,” said Rin, who, like many cellphone novelists, goes by only one name. “So at first when I told her, well, I’m coming out with a novel, she was like, what? She didn’t believe it until it came out and appeared in bookstores.”

The cellphone novel was born in 2000 after a home-page-making Web site, Maho no i-rando, realized that many users were writing novels on their blogs; it tinkered with its software to allow users to upload works in progress and readers to comment, creating the serialized cellphone novel. But the number of users uploading novels began booming only two to three years ago, and the number of novels listed on the site reached one million last month, according to Maho no i-rando.

The boom appeared to have been fueled by a development having nothing to do with culture or novels but by cellphone companies’ decision to offer unlimited transmission of packet data, like text-messaging, as part of flat monthly rates. The largest provider, Docomo, began offering this service in mid-2004.

“Their cellphone bills were easily reaching $1,000, so many people experienced what they called ‘packet death,’ and you wouldn’t hear from them for a while,” said Shigeru Matsushima, an editor who oversees the book uploading site at Starts Publishing, a leader in republishing cellphone novels.

The affordability of cellphones coincided with the coming of age of a generation of Japanese for whom cellphones, more than personal computers, had been an integral part of their lives since junior high school. So they read the novels on their cellphones, even though the same Web sites were also accessible by computer. They punched out text messages with their thumbs with blinding speed, and used expressions and emoticons, like smilies and musical notes, whose nuances were lost on anyone over the age of 25.

“It’s not that they had a desire to write and that the cellphone happened to be there,” said Chiaki Ishihara, an expert in Japanese literature at Waseda University who has studied cellphone novels. “Instead, in the course of exchanging e-mail, this tool called the cellphone instilled in them a desire to write.”

Indeed, many cellphone novelists had never written fiction before, and many of their readers had never read novels before, according to publishers.

The writers are not paid for their work online, no many how many millions of times it is viewed. The payoff, if any, comes when the novels are reproduced and sold as traditional books. Readers have free access to the Web sites that carry the novels, or pay at most $1 to $2 a month, but the sites make most of their money from advertising.




Ko Sasaki for The New York Times

Rin wrote her novel while commuting to her part-time job.


Critics say the novels owe a lot to a genre devoured by the young: comic books. In cellphone novels, characters tend to be undeveloped and descriptions thin, while paragraphs are often fragments and consist of dialogue.

“Traditionally, Japanese would depict a scene emotionally, like ‘The train came out of the long tunnel into the snow country,’ ” Mika Naito, a novelist, said, referring to the famous opening sentence of Yasunari Kawabata’s “Snow Country.”

“In cellphone novels, you don’t need that,” said Ms. Naito, 36, who recently began writing cellphone novels at the urging of her publisher. “If you limit it to a certain place, readers won’t be able to feel a sense of familiarity.”

Written in the first person, many cellphone novels read like diaries. Almost all the authors are young women delving into affairs of the heart, spiritual descendants, perhaps, of Shikibu Murasaki, the 11th-century royal lady-in-waiting who wrote “The Tale of Genji.”

“Love Sky,” a debut novel by a young woman named Mika, was read by 20 million people on cellphones or on computers, according to Maho no i-rando, where it was first uploaded. A tear-jerker featuring adolescent sex, rape, pregnancy and a fatal disease — the genre’s sine qua non — the novel nevertheless captured the young generation’s attitude, its verbal tics and the cellphone’s omnipresence. Republished in book form, it became the No. 1 selling novel last year and was made into a movie.

Given the cellphone novels’ domination of the mainstream, critics no longer dismiss them, though some say they should be classified with comic books or popular music.

Rin said ordinary novels left members of her generation cold.

“They don’t read works by professional writers because their sentences are too difficult to understand, their expressions are intentionally wordy, and the stories are not familiar to them,” she said. “On other hand, I understand how older Japanese don’t want to recognize these as novels. The paragraphs and the sentences are too simple, the stories are too predictable. But I’d like cellphone novels to be recognized as a genre.”

As the genre’s popularity leads more people to write cellphone novels, though, an existential question has arisen: can a work be called a cellphone novel if it is not composed on a cellphone, but on a computer or, inconceivably, in longhand?

“When a work is written on a computer, the nuance of the number of lines is different, and the rhythm is different from writing on a cellphone,” said Keiko Kanematsu, an editor at Goma Books, a publisher of cellphone novels. “Some hard-core fans wouldn’t consider that a cellphone novel.”

Still, others say the genre is not defined by the writing tool.

Ms. Naito, the novelist, says she writes on a computer and sends the text to her phone, with which she rearranges her work. Unlike the first-time cellphone novelists in their teens or early 20s, she says she is more comfortable writing on a computer.

But at least one member of the cellphone generation has made the switch to computers. A year ago, one of Starts Publishing’s young stars, Chaco, gave up her phone even though she could compose much faster with it by tapping with her thumb.

“Because of writing on the cellphone, her nail had cut into the flesh and became bloodied,” said Mr. Matsushima of Starts.

“Since she’s switched to a computer,” he added, “her vocabulary’s gotten richer and her sentences have also grown longer.”

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Art Attack in Bethlehem





Art attack

by Peter Kennard | New Statesman | 17 January 2008 (cross-posted at peoplesgeography.com)

Guest BloggerBanksy attracts the press attention, but around him is an increasingly influential movement of political artists operating outside the mainstream
The phone rings; the number is withheld. It’s Banksy. He wants to know whether I can go to Bethlehem over Christmas. He is putting on an exhibition, bringing together like-minded artists from all over the world to raise awareness of the situation in Palestine. Like the annual guerrilla art shows that have taken place in London for the past six years, it will be called “Santa’s Ghetto”. Two weeks later, I find myself involved in an experience that transforms my ideas about what artists can do in the face of oppression.

We are living through an exciting time for political art. I have been an artist for 40 years, and my work has always focused on political and social issues. In the 1970s, I started making photo montage work, drawing on imagery from the Vietnam War and the row over nuclear armaments (a retrospective opens at the Pump House Gallery this month). Since the build-up to the Iraq War in 2002, I have been collaborating with a younger artist, Cat Picton Phillipps, developing new techniques and using digital technology to expose the lies that led to the invasion and the subsequent humanitarian disaster.

Over this period, our work has become linked to a group of young artists who work outside the official art world. Most of them started out painting graffiti on walls. The central figure in this group is Banksy, but although he attracts most of the press coverage, he is surrounded by a growing band of talented, politically committed artists. Our associates come from Spain and Italy, the US, Britain and Palestine. Since the era of the Bush/Blair war in Iraq, this movement has become increasingly politicised, just as my generation was politicised by the war in Vietnam. These are artists who want to connect with the real world, rather than work for the market, which has more of a stranglehold on art than ever. They combine creativity with protest, insisting that art should be more than the icing on the cake for the super-rich.

We arrived in Bethlehem with four fellow artists: Blu, an Italian who has painted on walls from Bologna to Buenos Aires; Sam3, from Spain; the long-standing Banksy collaborator Paul Insect, from Britain; and Gee Vaucher, another Brit and the only other artist of my generation. The rest are all in their thirties and come from street-art backgrounds. All of them are well informed about the Middle East and came to Bethlehem to show their solidarity with the Palestinians.

Banksy had been to the West Bank a number of times to paint on the Separation Wall. He knows and understands the situation and had a team of focused, sussed people working with him. They found a disused fast-food joint in Manger Square and managed to rent it. The idea was to show a combination of western and Palestinian artists. The art was available to buy on site only, so if you wanted to get hold of the latest Banksy or any of the other artworks, you would have to travel to Bethlehem to place a bid. This was important, because Bethlehem is being starved of its tourist trade as visitors are bussed in to see the Church of the Nativity and bussed out an hour later back to Israel. All proceeds from the sale, which exceeded $1m, went to local charities.

For our contribution, Cat and I decided to print a dollar bill across 18 sheets of the Jerusalem Post, ripped through to expose images of pre-Naqba Palestine. The pictures show the richness of Palestine’s history and the diversity of its culture - a sobering antidote to the stereotype of a violent, irrational people that we so often see on the news. We wanted to make the work in Bethlehem because taking finished pieces over would be difficult, given Israel’s heavy and ever-changing restrictions on what and who can travel in to the Palestinian territories.

We teamed up with a group of Palestinians, who helped to get hold of materials and sort out logistics. They also gave us all a window on life in the West Bank, with looming Israeli settlements and endless checkpoints. Every night we would pile into a kebab restaurant, where we would drink and dance, arguing over and discussing that day’s work. One night over dinner, the Palestinians recounted how they had been held and tortured by the Israeli authorities while they were still in their mid-teens. It was extraordinary how welcoming they were to this motley band of artists. All the privations and restrictions have only increased the Palestinians’ resilience and their desire to communicate with the outside world.

Through these friends we found a commercial printing house in Hebron, which got involved in sorting out our highly unconventional printing needs. This involved printing a giant dollar across many sheets of newspaper and also making a giant print to plaster on the Separation Wall. The printers immediately committed their time and energy to the project, and ended up printing for Banksy and the other artists.

Through this process of making, the people of Bethlehem became involved in what the work was saying. After we pasted our picture on the wall, we went for tea in the cafe opposite. The cafe owner, whose business has been destroyed by the wall, told us he appreciated the statement we had plastered on to the cement that he has to stare at every day of his life.

Sticking up a poster or painting the Separation Wall in the West Bank might sound inconsequential, but these are highly practical ways to help, in contrast to the intellectual interventions prevalent in much contemporary art. They contribute to a town and a people that are having their lifeblood strangled out of them.

In this context, it is important that the work communicates directly to the Palestinian people. While there has been a move to take on contemporary issues in a direct way in the theatre, in visual art the idea still holds that if you have something to say about the world, you have to hide it behind theory and obscurity. It sometimes seems that Britain’s art colleges turn out experts in camouflage, rather than fine art.

The pressure of world events is so great that it is increasingly difficult to sustain the idea of art for art’s sake. Radical art and politics converge in times of crisis, and that is happening now. I know, from my experience as a tutor at the Royal College of Art and at the University of the Arts in London, that the ironies of the Nineties YBA movement are now a thing of the past. Many art students and young artists are searching for ways to make a direct connection between their awareness of how things are in the world and their own art practice.

This involves thinking about not only the form of the art itself, but also the process of making. There are many collaborations taking place across media and disciplines, and artists are looking for new methods of distribution.

Unlike in my youth, there is no organised “left” into which artists can slot, but there is a concrete wall, 425 miles long, and we can turn it into an international canvas of dissent.
Four to watch

Blu burst on to the public-art scene after the success of his contributions to the “Urban Edge” show in Milan in 2005. His reputation is built on expansive, surreal, often aggressive wall and pavement murals. Though renowned for his playfulness, acclaimed pieces from 2007, such as Fantoche in Switzerland, Letter A in New York and Reclaim Your City in Berlin, have a more macabre tone.

Suleiman Mansour co-founded al-Wasiti Art Centre in east Jerusalem, which he now directs, and went on to lead the New Vision artists’ group, which proved influential during the first intifada. A pioneer of resistance art, Mansour makes work that revolves around the Palestinian struggle. He was head of the League of Palestinian Artists for four years, and won the Nile Award at the 1998 Cairo Biennale as well as the Palestine Prize for the Visual Arts the same year. He is famous for using locally sourced materials, such as mud and henna, in his pieces.

Sam3 (Samuel Marín) comes from Granada in southern Spain, where his ephemeral long, black silhouettes haunt the cityscape. Famous works include his 12 Shadows project for AlterArte and the iconic Erase Yourself, a silent protest against the civic legal authorities for removing graffiti in Barcelona.

Paul Insect is a London-based ex-designer whose pioneering of “steampunk”, a mixture of Gothic Victoriana and futuristic themes, has proved popular with the British arts intelligentsia. In July last year, Damien Hirst bought his entire “Bullion” show at the Lazarides Gallery in Soho. His painting Unicorn sold for an estimated £24,500 at Sotheby’s last month.

Ben du Preez



On this blog the following images from this same show appearing in the entry for 23 december 2007:

Sunday, December 23, 2007
Santa's Ghetto English Street Artists' Show & Shop in Bethlehem' Palestinian Side of Apartheid Wall