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UCSD arts professor cleared in at least one investigation « Last Blog On Earth

UCSD arts professor Ricardo Dominguez did not use school funds inappropriately, according to the findings of a University of California official investigation into Dominguez’s involvement with a controversial art project.

On Jan. 11, the UC system began investigating Dominguez’s use of just under $5,000 of grant money to fund the Transborder Immigrant Tool (TBT), a GPS-enabled Motorola cell phone meant to aid immigrants crossing the border by providing information about water caches in the desert and offering moral support in the form of streaming bilingual poetry.

Critics, most notably Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter, say TBT helps facilitate illegal entry across the U.S.-Mexico border and therefore should not have been funded by taxpayer money.

“The investigation came to an end on July 21,” a relieved-looking Dominguez told CityBeat. “Now, the funny thing about this is that everybody was copied on the e-mail, all the major players, except us and my lawyers. So, it was only by accident that I discovered that on July 21—this was only a couple of days ago that I discovered this—that the final report came out. And, basically, after all this sort of stuff,” Dominguez said, pausing and leaning toward his laptop to read from the e-mail, “‘The final conclusion is based on our review procedures. We concluded that neither the university funds nor effort were used inappropriately during the development of TBT or the project.’ So, that’s one victory for artwork.”

But Dominguez isn’t completely off the hook.

He’s still paying legal fees to fight yet another university investigation and audit of his actions and involvement in what he calls “electronic civil disobedience,” which is the title of one of the classes he teaches at UCSD. In May, Dominguez spearheaded a virtual sit-in to protest UC policy changes. He and his students flooded UC system president Mark G. Yudof’s website, forcing it offline.

Dominguez said that shortly after the virtual protest, he was informed that the UC system would be looking into possible criminal charges and revocation of his tenure.

While that investigation continues, Dominguez said the good news is that TBT has been chosen to be showcased in several national and international art shows. A few TBT prototypes are currently on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s Here Not There: San Diego Art Now exhibition and the piece has also been accepted into the 2010 California Biennial, plus a few exhibitions in Europe.

“It legitimizes it for the legal teams,” Dominguez said, explaining that investigators did not look at TBT as an art project until curators at contemporary-art museums recognized it as one.

via UCSD arts professor cleared in at least one investigation « Last Blog On Earth.

Imagine Peace by Yoko Ono

IMAGINE PEACE

by yoko ono

to the pebble people: start your own campaign!

A butterfly is hopping from flower to flower. Oh, good. I think. The butterfly is busybodying as usual.

We are like butterflies. We busybody ourselves every day for our survival as we think we know how. But the difference with us, is that we know we are not as innocent as the butterflies. We are about to ruin this planet we call ours through our stupidity.

Luckily, there are so many of us in the world, who are now awakened, ready to act to save our world.

So let’s work together to save this planet. Since destiny is created by first imaging what destiny we want for ourselves, we should IMAGINE PEACE in a big way with total conviction. In the old days, gurus sat and meditated day and night. That was pretty powerful. But we live in a different world. Time is so precious to us now. A million kids can be killed in one second as we are wondering what to do. So we can’t just sit and meditate. We should IMAGINE PEACE day and night, as we go about our daily lives.

Yes. One thing that is interesting is you cannot be violent while you are imagining peace.
 If all of us in the world imagined peace at all times, there will be no dis-ease (disease) in the world. In fact, dis-ease will disappear from this planet altogether.

We should focus on healing the world we have destroyed, by asking our healing power to come out.
 Our intent of healing will start to show it’s power by just asking for it.
 When all of us ask the world to be healed, it will be.

Know that it is that simple.
 We are all connected.
 We affect each other right away.
 We affect each other even when we are in fear, confusion, anger, wanting to destroy the world.
 That’s how strongly connected we are.

Let’s start thinking what you can do, knowing that we are standing in the midst of an incredible disaster created by us, the human race. It is so bad that the farmers, who are providing what we eat, are being bankrupted for not complying to the ways of greedy corporate needs, losing their ancestral lands…some of them even committing suicide. The saddest thing is that so many children are sexually abused, sold for human parts and die or perish before their teens.

Please take a good look at what is happening around you. It may seem hopeless. But it is not. It is not difficult to change your down feeling to pure energy of getting the work done with love. Is that possible? Yes, it is.

The Universe will be affected immediately as you start to want to think the right way and correct the disease in our world. Since, disease is only a dis-ease, a condition created by our confused minds.

Send your message through the internet of how you love life and why. Because the people on the internet are also your family. 
If you keep meditating in your mind – not giving yourself the luxury of making a special sit-in meditation, but doing what you can do to change the world, if you did that for three months you will see the difference in your life and even a difference in our planet. Thus, we will be making a quiet revolution together.

Just do what you can do. Nothing more. 
By that, you will be starting the wheels of goodness to turn.

Something especially wonderful was told to me just recently. Two scientists who were researching the effect of waves in the ocean for two years, came to the conclusion that the smallest stimulus to the water be it a drop of a pebble, or a child splashing the water at the shore, affects the whole ocean, each time. Well, I thought we do affect each other on land, but I hadn’t realized that that was true in the ocean as well! What a blessing! Nature is making things so easy for us!

So now I call ourselves the small pebble people. Send small pebbles to the world. Don’t make big splashes with large stones. That will attract people and the wrong people as well. Our quiet revolution will not make announcements, but one day will be accepted by all people as the norm of life. The human race has done that with many things. Like we wanted to fly, and invented aeroplanes. We wanted to see the other side of the moon, and we have. This time, we want to heal our planet, and bring peace to this world. We will.

I am now starting to miss the butterflies. Where are they now? Once there were so many.

It’s time for you to start your own campaign today. You will see that it spreads and covers the world very fast, and meanwhile it will make you one of the small pebble people. Small pebble people are people who know that small pebbles, when they’re dropped in the ocean, will immediately affect the ocean of the whole wide world. Again, don’t throw big stones. It scares people and creates repercussions.

So we’ll just keep dropping small pebbles. Together. That’s how we will change the world. We change, and the world changes. Have trust in what you can do. Have trust in how fast we can change our world for the better. Why? Because we have to.

I would like to share an affirmation with you. Now say it in your mind with the firm belief that we are one, and together. We’ll make it.

In the name of Truth, Peace and Love:
Our Planet is healthy and whole.

We, the People of Earth,
See clearly, Hear clearly, Think clearly,
Make the right Judgement, right Decision and the right Move
For the benefit of Us, our Planet and the Universe.

We are now bathing in the light of dawn,
Standing in the Heaven we have created together on this Planet.

We wish to share this age of Joy with all lives on Earth,
As We are One,
United with Infinite and Eternal Love.

For the highest good of all concerned, So be it.

About Culture Push

Culture Push is about hands-on learning, group problem solving, serious play and creating connections. The mission of Culture Push is to create a lively exchange of ideas between many different communities; artists and non-artists, professional practitioners and laypeople, across generations, neighborhoods, and cultures. Culture Push serves a diverse international community of thinkers and do-ers from all different professions. Culture Push focuses on collaboration and group learning through active participatory experiences, including practical symposia, artists’ projects, residencies, educational workshops, and dinners.

via About / People | culture push.

Hip-Hop Word Count™

Hiop-Hop Word Count by Tahir Hemphill:

We have developed a rubric that estimates the education level needed to understand each rhyme as well as, rates the artistic sophistication employed through the metaphors, similes, cultural references, consonantal/vocalic alliteration and overall pattern of each rhyme. We calculate the final score by averaging the syntactic (readability measures) and semantic (artistic sophistication) scores of each rhyme. On a scale from 0 (illiterate) to 20 (post-graduate degree).

here’s an except from a person who didn’t like the project in the comments:

Here’s a better idea…stop trying to measure the level of education needed to understand the components of something that is in fact an art form. I mean come on, how do you determine what is considered “artistic sophistication”? If this were applied to poetry, say Langston Hughes’ “Mother to Son”, what would the score be? “Artistic sophistication” is qualitative and highly subjective, and I truly question how it’s been implemented. Although I don’t believe it’s your intent, this tool can easily be used (as I’ve already seen on grandgood.com) to compare Rakim’s vs. 50 Cent’s lyrics. Huh? What’s the purpose in that, on a site that despises Lil Wayne and 50 Cent and worships KRS-One and Immortal Technique? Reads like hip hop elitism rearing its big a–ugly head again! This rubric is being used to indicate that hip hop should be communicated in only a particular way in order to be considered more legitimate than others, and it appears that its results are used to devalue the use of slang, jargon, colloquialism in lyrics.

via Hip-Hop Word Count™ | Staple Crops.

Excerpt from: The Culture Crash by James Panero

While the argument Singer is making here is about philanthropy, one could extend that to any effort made at all. Why make art when you can volunteer at a soup kitchen and make a real difference? The author’s rebuttal I find a little lacking and I think our artists have made a much better case. (of course our artists aren’t making multi-million dollar paintings either)

With irrecoverable losses in endowment income, at least for the foreseeable future, the survival of arts organizations will depend not just on cutting their budgets without negatively affecting their core services, but also on finding new sources of revenue. Unfortunately, in perilous economic times, attracting new donors may be harder for arts organizations than for other nonprofits. The Princeton philosopher Peter Singer exemplifies the attitude against arts funding in his new book, The Life You Can Save: “Philanthropy for the arts or for cultural activities is, in a world like this one, morally dubious.” Singer points to the $45 million that the Metropolitan Museum spent on a Duccio painting in 2004 as an amount that would pay for cataract operations for nearly 1 million blind people in the developing world. “If the museum were on fire, would anyone think it right to save the Duccio from the flames, rather than a child?” Singer asks.

Such ideas, of course, ignore the fact that arts organizations, unlike “feed the world” campaigns, have a proven track record of serving and elevating the poor and dispossessed. They also employ many workers. Still, studies by the Conference Board and by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University find Singer’s anti-art attitude reflected in the habits of many donors during troubled economic times. “When you’re providing human services or feeding the hungry, people understand that maybe this is a time to dig a little deeper,” Patrick Rooney, interim executive director of the Center on Philanthropy, told Bloomberg News. “Helping an arts organization? That’s a tougher sell.” Randall Bourscheidt, president of the Alliance for the Arts, concurs. But the “deeper values of society that are in education and the arts are important,” Bourscheidt maintains. “These activities are not competing with basic needs but complementing them.”

via The Culture Crash by James Panero, City Journal 20 July 2009.

From Rob Walker's "Linkpile"

Artists plan to encase vacant Detroit home in ice: “To draw attention to foreclosures that have battered the region.” Yeah? is there a big problem with people not knowing about foreclosures and vacant housing in Michigan? I think that info is kind of, you know, out there. Why not do this in Westchester County or somewhere that would actually be surprising. The net effect of this is just to reinforce an existing perception ie, Detroit is a basket case! not raise any new ideas or insights.

via Linkpile.

In Response (from naylandblake.net)

A friend wrote me a letter and after thinking about it for a while I decided that I wanted to respond to it here. He consented graciously to me reprinting it:hi Nayland, I hope you’re enjoying your travels. Can you answer me this? How do I keep the faith when everyone tells me my work is great and yet I can’t land a NY gallery? I know it’s the worst time in history, but it’s been years..and my Boston gallery just closed I met with my buddy J the other day and told her that my Armory experience left me thinking that the “art” of art these days lies in the facade that hides that fact that all art is a spectacle. The armory show just felt like a wave of junk for rich people and that all the art lost the importance of effecting cultural change or critically examining it. There just didn’t seem to be any impact, or discussion, or reflection.. I’m really losing it.Take care,O

read the response: In Response at naylandblake.net.