There is a really interesting article just published by the Guardian which outlines new technology being developed by a young bunch of folk in London. The aim of this technology, which has its first run successfully on Saturday afternoon, is to use social media technologies to enable large crowds of protesters to avoid the aggressive containment techniques (kettling) currently used by the British police. As the guardian article notes, while the main action is presently happening in Egypt, this development deserves a footnote in protest history. The new software is called Sukey from the Nursery Rhyme ““Polly put the kettle on, Sukey take it off again.”
I’m going to post the dark side of tricksterism soon, that of corporate tricksterism, when the fine art of creative chaos is turned against unwitting populations. As an intro to this please view the scathing, but hilarious video on the BP Oil Spill below.
Below is a new video from unzed reggae funk legends The Blackseeds. Its classic Blackseeds style, I especially appreciate the video that has been edited and produced by the very talented Nektar Productions also from Wellington. The video uses what I assume is public domain footage, making a beautiful and moving sequence of unrelated films clips feed together into the narrative of the song. Its slightly subversive, its moving and beautiful. Reminds me of the bit of graffiti I saw the other day. “The future is bleak, uncertain, and beautiful.”
Next Volume open for submissions: ‘The Trickster: Today”
After two succesful Volumes of Freerange Magazine (Vol.1 and Vol.2 for free download) we are now inviting people to submit ideas for the next volume. Freerange is changing its format slightly this year and will roll out 2-3 purely online smaller 20-30 page issues, which will culminate in a print version at the years end. Have a read of the starting text below and see where that leads you… The stories of our fore-bearers, our wise and brutal ancestors, tell us tales of events long before we laid our bare feet upon the earth. Folklore, mythology and religion reveal brilliant forces of light and dark, played out by a myriad of colourful characters.
There are a number of archetypal roles that link our own short lives to the activities of the gods, including that of the ‘trickster’. Many cultures have a central character that is an anthropomorphic animal or semi-divine demi-god, a mischievous rule breaker, artful swindler or independent outlaw. This character held an important purpose; to push accepted boundaries, to enter realms others were afraid of, to stir the waters, provoke thought and discussion, to speak truth to power.
The trickster is the court jester, the archetypal joker in the pack, the coyote, the neutral angel, the benevolent pirate. Although the trickster may cause collateral damage along their way, the change they create builds resilience and opens opportunities in the face of the inevitable pressures that this world inflicts.
But does the trickster exist today? If so, what roles do they play in modern societies? Are they the protesters, dissidents, radicals and revolutionists who challenge our systems of power, governments and ideologies? Or are they trouble-making drop outs who have nothing better to do but create societal discord? Can the trickster be found in the social entrepreneurs, the hopeful musicians, or urban artists? Maybe God is dead, but has capitalism now killed the trickster?
Submissions of interest are due on the last day of march. Thats the 31st.
In the spirit of encouraging some subversiveness here is some great alterations to paper bills from around the globe. It’d be easy enough to make some intellectual comment about the currency of cultural production and the nature of critique on iconic form by the artist but I think it speaks for itself. Dollar bill y’all! Care of MoneyMumboJumbo, click on the link for more amazing examples.