The late artist Doug Michels often got sideways looks when he brought up his idea for a dolphin/human space colony, which he called “Bluestar.” Earlier in his career as a member of Ant Farm, he had embarked on establishing a “Dolphin Embassy” in Australia (partially funded by Rockefeller Foundation). Michels believed that dolphins had superior animal intelligence, and were capable of much more inter-species communication than was currently being explored. Doug would have been happy to see the January 3, 2010 edition of The Times with an article titled “Scientists say dolphins should be treated as ‘non-human’ persons.”
“Dolphins have long been recognised as among the most intelligent of animals but many researchers had placed them below chimps, which some studies have found can reach the intelligence levels of three-year-old children. Recently, however, a series of behavioural studies has suggested that dolphins, especially species such as the bottlenose, could be the brighter of the two. The studies show how dolphins have distinct personalities, a strong sense of self and can think about the future.”
See you in the future, Doug!
On October 19, 2009, performance artists, The Yes Men, held a fake US Chamber of Commerce press conference at The National Press Club. A small assembly of journalists listened attentively as “Hingo Sembra,” posing as a Chamber official, announced that the behemoth business federation had revised its stance on Climate Change, and would discontinue lobbying against the Kerry-Boxer bill (which calls for significant reductions in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions). Moments later the real Chamber Spokesperson, Eric Wohlschlegel, burst through the doors of the conference room, breathlessly proclaiming the speaker to be a fraud! After a few dramatic seconds of Will the Real Chamber of Commerce Official Please Stand Up Game, Mr. Wohlschlegel made a strategic error by suggesting that the press direct questions to him, not the imposter. “Is the position of The Chamber of Commerce that Climate Change does not exist?” one journalist demanded. Mr. Wohlschlegel opted to ignore the question. He realized too late that any reaction would draw even more attention to the ne’er-do-well policies being exposed, and therein lies the brilliant quandary, which has become a winning tactic of The Yes Men. Read the rest of my top ten list on Glasstire.org.
In the September 13, 2009 edition of The New York Times, art critic Roberta Smith lamented the “academicization of the art world” (see Artists Without Mortarboards) and, went as far as to write that the growing interest among art schools in offering Ph.D.s in art “makes the blood run cold.” However, what warmed Smith’s cockles was the Bruce High Quality Foundation University, a newly launched insurgent, artist-run school that “is being made up as it goes along.” Read the rest of this post on my new blog, We Have The Technology on Glasstire.org.