What’s Hot Right Now (10-11-11)

Arse Electronic Wrap-up, Occupy Everything, New National Campaigns, plus 

We’re back from 2 weeks on the road, participating in and filing blogs on Atlanta’s Southern Comfort Conference and then from San Francisco for Arse Elektronika.

Arse Elektronika is a production by Monochrom, an Austrian collective of futurist artists describing themselves as “an art-technology-philosophy group” and “an unpeculiar mixture of proto-aesthetic fringe work, pop attitude, subcultural science, context hacking and political activism.” They have been producing the European version of AE for many years and are now in their fifth year bringing this parallel one to the United States. This week’s list gives us a special chance to highlight some stuff that impressed us.

A converted church on Mission Street in San Francisco was one of the three venues over the four days of Arse Elektronika. It houses the Center for Sex and Culture run by the dynamic Carol Queen, a colleague of ours at Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance. Carol was in Berlin while we were there but her wonderful staff brought the important work of the Center to the attention of a crowd most eager for a  sex-positive future.

The last day of Arse Elektronika was held at one of the country’s biggest hackerspaces,  Noisebridge. If you are ever in San Francisco, it’s an experience not like any other. Here is Jack’s brief video walk-through to give you a taste.

Ned and Maggie Mayhem should be atop your list of things to Google. For one, their unveiling at Arse Elektronika of their PSIgasm (that’s Pounds per Square Inch, pronounced P-S-I-gasm, or sci-gasm for short) will not go unnoticed. It uses sensors on an engineered dildo to measure internal bodily reactions to orgasm, such as temperature, heart rate, and contractions. As one of the first legitimate, fully engineered entries into the nascent science of teledildonics, it deserved all the attention it received.

And, a shout out to author-rac0nteur Chicken John and his legendary warehouse for the opening night of Arse Elektronika. The same weekend, he launched his new book, (volume 1) Book of the IS, Essays by Chicken John on Engineered Disperfection. Congratulations, Chicken John.

Back home in DC this week we are participating in and have started writing about the new force of change — #occupy, #occupydc, #occupytogether, et al, and the long planned “October 2011” occupation of DC known as #stopthemachine and the October 15 International Mobilization trending #globaldemocracy. Working together we can reshape our world to serve all of humanity, not a few swindlers.

I’ve already attended several of the general assemblies and will soon be reporting out specific objectives being moved forward by numerous action committees that have formed on Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC, working hard to press their demands to the financial, governmental, and religious decision-makers to force a new inclusive way of conducting human affairs. One person articulating this movement especially well is highly acclaimed Sally Kohn through her her “Movement Vision Lab.”

This new movement started on Wall Street and appears to have to courage to do all it can to dispense with that which is old and bad/useless and join what is good to what is new and good to reshape the world. And, DC-based Code Pink is once again being saluted here for its masterful on-the-ground orchestration of this unfolding revolution; one that sooner or later will force American politicians to pay attention to the things important to the people, as the rest of the world looks to America to define liberty.

This represents a historic shift that taps into the long struggle for economic and social justice on the shoulders of all who have laid down their lives for universal freedom. Give thanks that we have now crested the first hill.

We’re tagging the Southern Poverty Law Center that sets the standard to identify and disclaim hate groups such as the Family Research Council and the Oath Keepers, two of hundreds across America. According to the Center, all hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics. Because of this the Center is just as dedicated to teaching tolerance and other forward and positive programs. Please check out their website‘s resources, contact its local volunteers, and if you can contribute.

And we are so pleased today to see the joint announcement of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s partnership with one of our fave organizations, Truth Wins Out, coinciding with National Coming Out Day.

Finally, we have to give a big COLD thumb down to the Chicago Board of Trade, papered this week in big white sheets spelling out the words, We Are The 1%. That’s cold.

 

Alison Gardner

Alison Gardner

Alison Gardner is co-founder of VenusPlusX, and writes frequently on global sexual freedom, American fundamentalists exporting hate and homophobia, and grassroots activism.
Alison Gardner