An Array of Utopian Flowers
- The US Shame of My Lai in Vietnam
Posted on March 17, 2018 | No Comments
- The Lucrative and Violent Curse of Coltan Mining in Congo
Posted on March 3, 2018 | No Comments
- Iannis Xenakis and the Notion of a Cosmic Utopia
Posted on February 21, 2018 | No Comments
- Anthropocene Arrives, Climate Collapses, and No One Cares
Posted on February 17, 2018 | No Comments
- Jean Jacques Dessalines and the Women Warriors who Liberated Haiti
Posted on January 24, 2018 | No Comments
- The US Shame of My Lai in Vietnam
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Daily Dose of the Wild
Twittering From the Trees
- Posted on November 8, 2017 | No CommentsAn exhibition by artist Cristóbal Valecillos in Los Angeles invoked the Dancing Devils of Yare, a 400-year old Venezuelan tradition celebrating life, the triumph of good over evil, and renewal. His provocative interpretation of the diablo masks, hand-sculpted from repurposed waste materials, takes aim at culture and consumption in the US, a plea for overcoming.
- Posted on September 13, 2017 | 2 CommentsSince the solar eclipse of 2017, climate and tectonic instability has accelerated across the Earth: Rehearsal for the End Times? Predicted fossil fueled climate disruption and superstorm cataclysm? Sun-Moon alignment that bulged the Earth's crust, precipitating earthquakes? What really is happening here? We survey scientific, religious, and traditional indigenous belief for answers.
- Posted on July 24, 2017 | 2 CommentsSelf-promoted as the “Great Beast 666" from the Bible's Book of Revelations. Slandered by the British press as the “Wickedest Man in the World.” Yet, theatrical occultist Aleister Crowley pioneered a radical re-imagining of self determination through managing paranormal spiritual entities, shaking up early 20th Century polite society. He founded the libertine religion of Thelema, and through sex rituals and extreme drug abuse emphasized the not-necessarily-wicked ritual practice of Magick.
- Posted on May 20, 2017 | No CommentsPristine beauty, danger, and wild risk make Whitewater River Rafting on the Middle Fork of the American River a must-face-death for paddlers. Despite a healthy Sierra Nevada snowpack, this free-flowing river stretch brings up questions of water sustainability and the zombie Auburn Dam proposal, among others. Why is dam removal an important movement? And what about the folly of plans to build 3,700 new not-so-clean hydroelectric dams across the world?
- Posted on May 8, 2017 | 1 CommentThe film 'Corazón Vaquero: The Heart of the Cowboy', documents the rural "Californios," raising livestock in the way of their Spanish ancestors in the Southern Baja California mountains. Facing tourism development, road building, and cultural changes, the isolated ranchos still persist with their self-sustaining subsistence-based way of life.
- Posted on March 27, 2017 | No CommentsFrom a failed attempt to peddle influence to save an upside-down real estate venture, to a spectacularly autocratic design, Zaha Hadid's 666 Fifth Avenue captures the Trumpian moment, in all it's bejeweled phallic grandeur that the Bible's Revelations warned us about.
- Posted on February 28, 2017 | 1 CommentSurrounded by volcanoes, coffee plantations, and picturesque villages, the once-ruined former colonial capital, Antigua Guatemala, remains the most charming city in the Republic, a vibrant and somewhat overly commodified mix of Ladino-Spanish, Kaqchikel-Maya, and multinational Gringo cultures coming together.
- Posted on November 24, 2016 | 1 CommentAt one time billed as the Moon Goddess and Andy Warhol It-Girl, singer Nico's dark, avant-garde music and deep, hypnotic voice were first heard in the Velvet Underground. She continued to work sporadically as a solo artist after leaving the Velvets, though a longtime heroin addiction and methadone dependency sidetracked her career. Check out the documentary on her life, Nico:Icon.
- Posted on October 31, 2016 | No CommentsMorro Bay, the bounty of sea, dune, bay, and estuary ebb and flow against the sacred Nine Volcanic Sisters, the rocky Morros. Small town charm coexists with protected parkland and one of the few remaining functioning wetland estuaries in overpopulated California, a direct counterpoint to its channelized and endlessly pumped and polluted waterways. The landscape invites migrating birds and tourists, fosters endangered plants and animals, and allows fish populations to thrive.
- Posted on October 30, 2016 | No CommentsIn San Francisco, the Mission District has celebrated Day of the Dead every year in since the early 70’s with altars in Garfield Park, serving as a community graveyard for the night and through art, music, other live performances and a walking procession. With the neighborhood in transition from rapid gentrification, will this vibrant culture rite continue? Yes, for now... Photos by Jack Eidt from 2015.
- Posted on September 27, 2016 | 1 CommentCan re-purposed shipping containers become the next inexpensive, quick to construct, green building solution for affordable housing? Danish "starchitect" Bjarke Ingels, as well as a recent Orange County, California, project, assert yes to all of the above, but there are limitations.
- Posted on September 20, 2016 | 1 CommentPsychonaut ethnobotanist Terence McKenna captures the journey along a ghostly trail into the Colombian Amazon Forest, the descent of the Rio Putumayo, and his stumbling upon the "starborn magic mushroom," activated by psilocybin. Watch Peter Bergmann's experimental documentary.
- Posted on September 5, 2016 | 3 CommentsDestroyed in a dramatic and highly-publicized implosion, the Pruitt-Igoe public housing complex has become a widespread symbol of failure among architects, politicians and policy makers. A 2012 documentary unveiled the many witting and unwitting villains, including urban poverty, public policy enforced racial segregation, and urban disinvestment in favor of the White Suburban Dream.
- Posted on June 4, 2016 | 2 CommentsWelcome to the Anthropocene age, where humans have transmogrified the planet, its oceans and atmosphere, caused mass extinctions and wholesale contamination that will remain for millennia. Beyond the politicians and scientists, the way forward remains in the hands of writers, artists, and designers taking inspiration from wild earth in a movement called Geo-Fauvism.
- Posted on April 11, 2016 | 2 CommentsEthnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes, one of the most important plant explorers of the 20th century, served as a key inspiration in a recent film called "Embrace of the Serpent." In December 1941, Schultes entered the Amazon to study how indigenous peoples used plants for medicinal, ritual, and practical purposes. After nearly a decade of fieldwork, he made significant discoveries about the sacred hallucinogen ayahuasca. In total, Schultes would collect more than 24,000 species of plants including some 300 species new to Western science.
- Posted on February 20, 2016 | 3 CommentsPostcommodity is a collective of American Indian artists from different backgrounds and mediums, combining to create giant musical instrument installations, video, sound and sculpture. Their Repellent Fence installation floated Scare-Eye Bird Repellent balloons over the border between Arizona and Sonora.
- Posted on November 25, 2015 | 1 CommentLos Angeles comes alive this November and December, sponsored by SoCal 350 Climate Action, in calling for global climate agreements at the upcoming UN conference in Paris. This includes the Global Climate March (Nov 29) at L.A. City Hall, the Vision L.A. Climate Action Arts Festival (Nov 30 to Dec 11), the California Nurses Association Climate Convergence (Dec 3) at Pershing Square and Building Blocks Against Climate Change (Dec 12) along Wilshire Blvd.
- Posted on October 30, 2015 | 1 CommentAlexis Slutzky tells the story of a September 2015 pilgrimage through California's Owens Valley, called Walking Water. This first phase of a much longer journey began at Mono Lake and ended 180 miles south at Owens Dry Lake. For 100 years, Los Angeles has piped water from there over 300 miles further south to sustain the city, draining ancient lakes and groundwater, destroying natural water systems. In the fourth year of an historic drought, Walking Water seeks to create a new narrative regarding this life-giving resource, investigating our common and often conflicting needs, and learning how to live within our means.
- Posted on September 21, 2015 | 1 CommentBig Bear in the San Bernardino Mountains has year-round outdoor attractions, including skiing, hiking, boating, and fishing. Yet long before the resorts, the area was called Yuhaviat, or "Pine Place" by the original inhabitants, the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians, with their sacred site of snow quartz called the Eye of God.
- Posted on August 2, 2015 | No CommentsDo today’s elite lack the patience and culture for classical music? Or is it a matter of cultural dominance of the popular, the fame producing, and capital revenue streams which have sacrificed painstaking complex creation? John Halle opines.