Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Prospect 1: New Orleans Museum of Art




NOMA hosts a collection of Fi-Yi-Yi Indian costumes as part of Prospect 1.




This exhibit used observers' pulses to move the water and cast reflections on the ceiling.





The Emergency Response Studio is a FEMA trailer transformed into a self-sufficient emergency art studio. Check it out.

The paddleboats at St. John's Bayou are within walking distance of NOMA. The paddles play a kalimba as they move through the water. I think they are my favorite of the whole show; they are the most interactive and pleasing.

These pictures were taken in the desolate Colton School of Art. A former high school (I believe) the building now houses art studios. But the day we went it was empty, cold and hadn't been swept out since, well, it seemed since 2005.

This picture was taken just down the street from Colton at an alternative exhibit. From what I heard, local artists who were not invited to participate in Prospect 1 made their own show, which then was put on the Prospect 1 shuttle route.

Prospect 1: Some tips for attending

First, all this information can be found at the Prospect 1 website. But I found the website just a little difficult to use, so I'm reorganizing it for you. Prospect 1 is an international art show that sprawls across New Orleans at a variety of venues. All venues are free and there is even free transportation provided to each site. The website says you should register. You should register, just so they know how many people attended, but the reality is you don't have to do anything prior to you visit as you don't have to show a ticket of any kind at most of the venues. They're all free, why would you really need a ticket?

Click here to register for your free ticket.

Click here to look at the free shuttle schedule and venue list.

Click here to look at participating artists by venue.

And that's really all you need to know before setting off. The shuttle is nice because you don't have to worry about parking or getting lost, but you can always take your own car (if you have one). The Lower Ninth Ward tour is interesting. You have to switch shuttle buses, just remember that. And keep an open mind; not all the art is that spectacular. Honestly, it's the local artists and locally-themed art that I found the most interesting.

Prospect 1: Lower Ninth Ward

To take the Lower Ninth Ward tour, you should take the regualar shuttle, then get off at the L9 site and take the special black van to tour all the exhibits.

While I liked this mural, I didn't find it completely innovative. Many dining rooms in Florida also have murals of nature. Because this mural was painted in a house that had been flooded, there is a little more symbolism I guess. But for me it brought to mind plantation homes where I have seen the same thing.




I really didn't like this one. It used to be a public bathroom. The artist took out all the fixtures and installed this fountain. The guide pointed out that you could still see the water marks from the flood, as if the artist had anything to do with that. I felt it was the kind of exhibit that would invite crime; I mean, no one should visit this one alone. The Time Picayune had a good article about it: Hit or Miss

The Diamond Gym was featured in the November New Yorker article.



The Make it Right NOLA houses are not technically part of Prospect 1. However, the L9 van will take you by it. They probably received a lot of requests for this. It makes sense; the houses really are architectural gems and worth seeing.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Snow in New Orleans!!




Herd Immunity

Another post from Sociological Images, via a University of Minnesota student. It is clear the cow represents the idea of "herd immunity", the percentage of the population needed vaccinated against a particular disease to protect the rest of the population. For example, we need need 85% of the population vaccinated against diptheria for the unvaccinated to avoid infection.

The comments left of the posting were interesting to me:

  1. Posted December 9, 2008 at 7:52 am |

    Man, when you use collectivism shouldn’t you, I don’t know, not use COWS or SHEEP? Get a bee or something “cooler.”

  2. Vidya
    Posted December 9, 2008 at 11:25 am |

    Oh, God, this is horrible. Why would receiving a dangerous and ineffective drug created and produced through hideous animal testing merit you a sticker? (I suppose it does exhibit the herd-mentality though — an unquestioning acceptance of others’ practices and of authority.)

  3. Elena
    Posted December 9, 2008 at 5:51 pm |

    “Why would receiving a dangerous and ineffective drug created and produced through hideous animal testing merit you a sticker?”

    Do you know of anyone who has died or been disfigured by smallpox lately? Measles? Tetanus? Know anyone with congenital rubella syndrome?

    Thank the herd, you freeloader.

  4. Benjamin Lobato
    Posted December 9, 2008 at 6:57 pm |

    Vidya,

    Could you elaborate on your comment? I’ve looked around the internet and haven’t been able to find anything about flu vaccines being dangerous. And from what I’m looking at, flu vaccines are 75% effective, which sounds pretty good to me.

    Couldn’t find anything about the animal testing either.


Essentially, most people didn't like the idea of being part of a herd, or being thought of as a cow. The cow is sort of an inside-joke for those who know what herd immunity means. But for other people, I guess it can be a weird idea. Maybe public health should think of a more appealing name? Certainly the public should be made aware of the idea; as more parents are opting out of vaccinating their children, herd immunity at schools is getting dangerously low. We take it for granted that we won't get measles- but measles is deadly and extremely contagious. Vaccines are not a conspiracy theory- they save lives.



Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Drugs are a Human-Rights Violation



The Huffington Post has an article up about Colombia's Vice President's comments about the impact cocaine-use has on the destruction of Colombian rainforest. I am disgusted by the majority of the comments about the article.



Most want to blame the War on Drugs, or Bush, or the beef industry. Not that any of those institutions aren't evil; but if you think you're acting against the system by using, you're blind. No one seems to want to admit that consumers of cocaine are supporting a system that is no less capitalist or greedy than Walmart, Coca-Cola or McDonalds. There were a lot of "if cocaine were legal..." complaints that still don't directly address the issue: American consumers of cocaine fuel kidknappings, murders, land seizure, not to mention all the mules who are coerced into transporting the drugs through their digestive tracks by manipulation, poverty and desperation. I'll say this, the War on Drugs is misguided only in that it focuses more on the producers than on the consumers. (And that it includes marijuana in it's efforts. That's misguided too)
In this tactic they miss an entire tenet of Holy Capitalism: if someone will buy it, someone will make it.
Why would there be supply, if there wasn't demand?

I'm not saying the Colombian VP is my hero, but this is the first time I've heard articulated an idea I've had for years: that drug-use isn't just bad for one's personal life or health, it's bad for everyone. It's just as bad, if not worse, as buying from a sweatshop, wearing fur, donating to Al-Queda, or any of the other causes people get excited about.
This is a human rights issue. Every gram of cocaine and heroin has a trail of blood attached- and there's nothing anyone can say to make that untrue. I'm talking about personal responsibility. Americans can't say their consumerism doesn't play a role in the horrors of the South American drug trade. To conclude I will say this: I live in New Orleans, city with the highest murder rate in the U.S. Not to degrade the dead, but the vast majority of the murders are drug related. If you think you can snort your powder and not be snorting blood, you're as misguided as Bush.

If you still don't believe me, I would suggest you watch Maria, Full of Grace.

Or, if you think you can handle it, listen to Molotov's indictment of us in their song Frijolero: "Aunque nos hagan la fama, de que somos vendedores,
de la droga que sembramos, ustedes son consumidores."

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Madison, Florida


My grandmother lives in Madison, Florida. Behind her house sit some decaying buildings, probably from the 1920's, though I don't really know. The property was left to her by her husband's sister, May. I had fun editing these pictures; I think the black and white ones more accurately express the feelings these buildings give me. They frighten me, but they intrigue me too.


This hole makes me think of the The Ring! It is definitely deep enough to hide someone away.