The Cryogenics Lab That Doesn’t See Death As The End Of Life

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Artist Marc Qinn’s work ‘Self’, a sculpture of his head made of his own frozen blood 

One Michigan cryogenics lab is promising people the chance at a longer life that extends even after they die. Though the practice is more fiction than science at this point, the hope is that in the future, cryo-preserved bodies will be revived when cures for diseases are found. Cryonics was first proposed in the 1960s by a Robert Ettinger, in a book called The Prospect of Immortality, which argued that death could, in fact, be a reversible process. Ettinger went on to found the Cryonics Institute in Michigan where he, his mother and his first and second wives all now reside in metal flasks kept at −196 °C.  Ettinger, a physics and math college professor who believed that  cooling a body to extreme temperatures would preserve it so that the dead could be revived later. Ettinger himself was placed in cryogenic stasis when he was declared legally dead in 2011.

While the concept has never become mainstream, the number of people choosing to sign up is steadily increasing year on year. There are now nearly 300 cryogenically frozen individuals in the US, another 50 in Russia, and a few thousand prospective candidates signed up.The central idea is simple: preserve the body in a pristine condition until such times as medicine has developed a cure for whatever brought about death in the first place – at which point the corpse is thawed and reanimated.

The world’s three major facilities – two in the US and KrioRus, a Russian centre on the outskirts of Moscow, differ slightly in price and ethos. Alcor has a reputation for celebrity clients, while KrioRus offers budget service, probably due to its communal approach to storage, with bodies sharing tanks with a menagerie of 20 or so pets (cats, dogs, birds) that owners have paid to preserve.

“We have big cryostats, each about 3 cubic metres. About seven bodies fit in,” says Danilo Medvedev, the company’s CEO. “They’re placed in sleeping bags. There’s no point in having separate metal containers. It would only make it more complicated.”

Austin-frozen

 

“My primary strategy for living through the 21st century and beyond is not to die,” Ray Kurzweil, the futurologist and Google engineer has said. But in the event that plan A doesn’t work out, he has opted to have his body cryogenically preserved at the world’s largest facility, the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Arizona.

“Calling someone ‘dead’ is merely medicine’s way of excusing itself from resuscitation problems it cannot fix today,” Alcor’s website states. The real question, though, is not whether medicine will advance – clearly it will – but whether the frozen bodies will be in a fit state to bring back to life.

About half of KrioRus’s 50 clients opted for entire body freezing, with the rest choosing to just preserve their heads. The bodies are placed vertically, with their heads at the bottom of the tank, where it is coldest, so the feet would thaw first in the case of a technical glitch.

The companies all use the same basic technology. First, the body is obtained as soon as possible after death, packed in ice and transported to the facility. Here the blood is drained and replaced with a mixture of anti-freeze and organ-preserving chemicals. This transforms the corpse into a glassy vitrified state, ready to be lowered into liquid nitrogen, at a temperature of -196C.

Alcor acknowledges that the process is tricky and that sometimes the brittle corpses, or patients as it refers to them, can fracture on immersion. Medvedev says “issues with hospitals and relatives” means that the freezing process is not begun in an optimal timeframe.

“The overall theory is extremely sound,” Medvedev says. “It’s not correct to say there haven’t been experiments.” His own team, he says, have shown that rats can be cooled to zero degrees and kept in suspended animation for several hours before being re-awoken. He cites another case, in which a rabbit brain was vitrified and then thawed, appearing structurally intact – although the brain was first set in a formaldehyde-like substance, that would rule out it ever functioning as a living organ in the futureWhile it used to be the stuff of science fiction, the technology behind the dream has advanced in recent years These examples, and clinical advances in storing sperm and egg cells, bear little relation to the technical challenge of trying to perfuse the entire human circulatory system, and, crucially, the brain, with anti-freeze without causing any damage.

This is where the science of cryonics really falls apart, according to Clive Coen, a professor of neuroscience at King’s College London. “The main problem is that [the brain] is a massively dense piece of tissue. The idea that you can infiltrate it with some kind of anti-freeze and it will protect the tissue is ridiculous.” Since the brain is so densely organised and so well shielded by the blood-brain barrier and the fatty myelin coating around neurons, the cocktail of cryonic chemicals would need to be vigorously pumped in to ensure every nook and cranny was infiltrated. “You’re dealing with an organ that is deliberately protecting itself from things coming in,” says Coen.

 

This means that achieving full vitrification is likely to lead to the exact kind of damage – membranes being ruptured, neuronal connections being lost – that the technique is designed to avoid. Coen argues that by the time the cryogenic support team arrives at the side of the patient’s hospital bed it may already be too late. “Within a few minutes of anoxia, your hippocampal neurons are dead. Gone,” he says, adding that global brain damage would be inevitable.

“Would you really want to wake up in 100 years’ time and be basically a cognitive vegetable and have your cancer fixed?” he asks. “These vulnerable people don’t realise they’re paying for something to be stored that is massively damaged.”

KrioRus charges $36,000 (£29,000) for whole body storage or $18,000 (£15,000) for just the head, and Medvedev says that after the running of the facility and its expansion is paid for, he’s not making much profit. By contrast, Alcor charges $200,000 (£162,000) for the full body and $80,000 (£65,000) for head-only preservation, and also offers the option of clients taking out a life insurance that will pay out to the company. Anders Sandberg, of Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute, has such a life insurance policy that, for £15 each month, will pay for his head to be frozen in the hope that the brain’s contents might be “downloaded” into a robotic agent in the future. He gives the freezing, thawing and reanimation process “maybe a 5% chance” of working. “The funny thing about cryonics is that they’re selling immortality, but very few people buy it,” he adds. Is this because people don’t actually want to live for ever, or because people think it’s nonsense? “I think it’s partially the nonsense part,” he says.

So, does cryogenics work? No one will know until the day comes that scientists feel prepared to revive those people who have elected to have their bodies preserved in the hope that one day they will have a second shot at life. People pay tens of thousands of dollars on this gamble, made riskier by the fact that, at this point, it is an inexact science. Not only do these optimistic people believe there will one day be a future where diseases are cured, but that someday there will be a way to revive the already dead. Of course, no human has ever been revived after being put in a cryogenic state, so guests of the Cryonics Institute are putting quite a bit on the line. Then again, they’re already dead.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/nov/18/the-cryonics-dilemma-will-deep-frozen-bodies-be-fit-for-new-life

https://www.ranker.com/list/michigan-cryogenics-lab-frozen-bodies/hugh-landman?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=creepy&pgid=1011190218967434&utm_campaign=michigan-cryogenics-lab-frozen-bodies

 

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Caravaggio: The Rebellious, Hot-Tempered Punk Of Art History

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 The paintings of Caravaggio combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, and they had a formative influence on Baroque painting. The expression on Isaac’s face says it all: he is scared to death, with his father about to cut his throat. At this exact moment, an angel intervenes, suggesting that Abraham had better sacrifice a sheep.

Do more and more liberals find the emotions unleashed by the arts—all of the arts, from poetry to painting to dance—something of an embarrassment? Are the liberal-spirited people who support a rational public policy—a social safety net, consistency and efficiency in foreign affairs, steps to reverse global warming—reluctant to embrace art’s celebration of unfettered metaphor and mystery and magic? Political correctness has an obsessive belief in the power of language to reveal hidden wickedness. One ‘inappropriate’ remark, one slip, uncovers vast prejudices hiding behind the masks of repeatability. Hence the ‘twitter storms’ about ‘gaffes’ or ‘misspeaks’ which fill the papers in the absence of news. Hence the academic analyses of this novelist or that film maker’s hidden biases. Left unchecked these forces will produce work which is as ‘appropriate’ as a 1950s’ country house drama or a sentimental Victorian novel – and just as forgettable.

Is any artist’s biography more compelling than the life of the Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610)? He has a reputation, of course, as the rebellious, hot-tempered punk of art history, pitching up in Rome in the final decade of the 16th Century, and electrifying the art world as much for his quarrelsome antics as his unconventional pictures. According to one early biographer, the Flemish writer Karel van Mander, Caravaggio used to work intensively for a fortnight and then “swagger about for a month or two with a sword at his side … from one tennis-court to the next, ever ready to engage in a fight or an argument, with the result that it is most difficult to get along with him”. What is certain is that in our data- and metrics-obsessed era the imaginative ground, without which art cannot exist, is losing ground.

In the early years of the 17th Century, he was brought to trial on at least 11 occasions. The charges included swearing at a constable, penning satirical verses about a rival painter, and chucking a plate of artichokes in a waiter’s face. And then, in 1606, he was forced to flee Rome, after killing a man during a brawl sparked by a dispute over a game of tennis. He spent the rest of his life on the run, before he collapsed and died, in the summer of 1610, while travelling back to Rome to seek a pardon from the pope.

As for his paintings, well, they were just as provocative as the man who created them. Caravaggio employed close physical observation with a dramatic use of chiaroscuro that came to be known as tenebrism. He made the technique a dominant stylistic element, darkening shadows and transfixing subjects in bright shafts of light. Caravaggio vividly expressed crucial moments and scenes, often featuring violent struggles, torture and death. He worked rapidly, with live models, preferring to forego drawings and work directly onto the canvas. His influence on the new Baroque style that emerged from Mannerism was profound. It can be seen directly or indirectly in the work of Peter Paul Rubens, Jusepe de Ribera, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, and Rembrandt, and artists in the following generation heavily under his influence were called the “Caravaggisti” or “Caravagesques”, as well as tenebrists or tenebrosi (“shadowists”).

First, he used models in an unorthodox and novel manner – pulling into his studio people from the streets whom he then painted directly from life. “Artists had always drawn from life,” Treves explains, “but no one posed their models and painted directly from life onto their final canvas. Caravaggio didn’t bother with the academic study of drawing. He skipped that stage because he believed in the importance of looking at nature.” This resulted in paintings remarkable for their striking, in-your-face realism, which captured even the humblest details: if the model had dirty fingernails, for instance, then Caravaggio would paint them.

A corollary of this was that Caravaggio lavished as much attention on inanimate objects as he did on people: look, for instance, at the magnificent still life – a rose and sprig of jasmine inside a glass vase, beside some cherries – placed prominently in the foreground Boy Bitten by a Lizard from the National Gallery’s own collection. “He really elevated still life, which was the lowest genre,” Treves continues. “He is said to have remarked that painting still life requires as much artistry as painting figures. That was really revolutionary.”

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Busted: The Taking of Christ, 1602, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin. Caravaggio’s application of the chiaroscuro technique shows through on the faces and armour notwithstanding the lack of a visible shaft of light. The figure on the extreme right is a self-portrait.

Caravaggio’s second big innovation, meanwhile, was his use of light. “That’s what he’s most famous for,” says Treves. “It’s what the biographers talk about – that he wouldn’t allow anyone to pose in daylight, that he had light shine from above. He used light to capture form, create space, and add drama to otherwise everyday scenes.”

The Supper at Emmaus, also in the National Gallery, is a case in point. At supper one evening shortly after the crucifixion, two of Jesus’s disciples suddenly realise that their dinner companion is in fact the resurrected Christ. “It’s a moment of revelation, and the light underpins that narrative,” Treves says. “So Caravaggio uses light in an emblematic way, not just as theatre. It’s very sophisticated.”

This combination of realism and dramatic lighting resulted in exceptionally powerful storytelling. “Caravaggio made these Biblical stories so vivid,” Treves says. “He brought them into his own time – and he involves you, so that you don’t just passively watch. Even today, you don’t need to know the story of The Supper at Emmaus in order to feel involved in the drama.”  ‘Caravaggio mania’ raged across Europe in the early decades of the 17th Century, as wealthy patrons competed to buy his pictures, and artists emulated, or simply ripped off, his distinctive style.

The curious thing is that by the middle of the 17th Century, the vogue for painting in the manner of Caravaggio had passed. “There was a real shift in taste back to classicism,” explains Treves. “And the naturalistic way of painting that Caravaggio had introduced was seen as the antithesis of that noble tradition of painting going back to Raphael.” It would take almost three centuries before Caravaggio’s reputation rose again. Caravaggio’s innovations inspired Baroque painting, but the Baroque incorporated the drama of his chiaroscuro without the psychological realism. The style evolved and fashions changed, and Caravaggio fell out of favor. In the 20th century interest in his work revived, and his importance to the development of Western art was reevaluated. The 20th-century art historian André Berne-Joffroy stated, “What begins in the work of Caravaggio is, quite simply, modern painting. But to give you a sense of how low his stock tumbled, consider The Supper at Emmaus: the only reason that it ended up in the National Gallery in 1839 was because its owner had failed to sell the painting at auction eight years earlier. The important 19th-Century British art critic John Ruskin castigated Caravaggio for his “vulgarity”, “dullness”, and “impiety”, and lamented the fact that the Italian had supposedly overlooked beauty in favour of “horror and ugliness, and filthiness of sin”. Ouch.

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Judith Beheading Holofernes, 1599–1602, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, Rome 

Things changed, though, during the 20th Century, when Caravaggio came back into fashion – largely as a result of a ground-breaking monographic exhibition staged by the art historian Roberto Longhi in Milan in 1951. Following his return to prominence, Caravaggio once more began to inspire artists in various fields. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, his use of light had a big influence upon film-makers and photographers. The photographer David LaChapelle, for instance, has spoken about the “really big impact” that Derek Jarman’s film Caravaggio (1986) had upon him. Inspired to find out more about him, LaChapelle discovered that Caravaggio had painted “the courtesans and the street people, the hookers and the hustlers”. This in turn informed his own photographic series Jesus Is My Homeboy, which featured people from the street dressed in modern clothing.

Even the film director Martin Scorsese admires Caravaggio. Quoted in Andrew Graham-Dixon’s Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane, Scorsese says: “I was instantly taken by the power of [Caravaggio’s] pictures … You come upon the scene midway and you’re immersed in it … It was like modern staging in film: it was so powerful and direct. He would have been a great filmmaker, there’s no doubt about it.” According to Scorsese, the bar sequences in Mean Streets (1973) were a direct homage to Caravaggio: “It’s basically people sitting in bars, people at tables, people getting up. The Calling of St Matthew [one of two large canvases that Caravaggio painted for the Contarelli Chapel in the church of San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome, which turned him into a star almost overnight], but in New York! Making films with street people was what it was really about, like he made paintings with them.”

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Amor Vincit Omnia, 1601–1602, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin. Caravaggio shows a very explicit version of a naughty looking Cupid prevailing over all human endeavors: war, music, science, government.

All year, we’ve been subjected to the borderline hate and unfettered lunacy of Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz and the rest of the Republican presidential field. Carson has gone on record saying Islam is “not compatible” with the US constitution, even though the constitution explicitly gives American citizens the right to practice Islam freely. Meanwhile, Donald Trump wants to ban Muslims from entering the US all together. The naïve might assume that political correctness means being against sexism, racism and homophobia. It is easy enough to be against all three if you believe in universal human rights. But most – not all– progressives in the West do not. They have found it as impossible to be against sexism, racism and homophobia, all at once and at the same time, as the French revolutionaries found it to be in favour of liberty, equality and fraternity, all at once. The practical reality of modern society is that most of us would rather not hear what the other side has to say and would quite frankly chew off our own genitals in exchange for the power to pretend like those people don’t exist at all. It’s why any hope for meaningful compromise on wedge issues has died since the early days of the Obama administration. The power of Trump is that he can magically quiet those he does not agree with through the power of insults. That’s the greatest gift a politician could hope for in a democracy that doesn’t value differences of opinion.

Source:

http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20161010-why-caravaggio-was-a-shocking-as-his-paintings

 

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We The Explorers: Tom Estes And His Art on NASA’s OSIRIS Spacecraft

 

 osiris-rexAs part of NASA’s We The Explorers, the work ‘Blitz’ by Artist Tom Estes is on board a small spacecraft known as OSIRIS-REx, which is using gravity’s pull to help propel it to a near-Earth asteroid called Bennu. 

The mission OSIRIS-REx, launched Sept. 8, 2016, on the back of an Atlas V rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on 8 September 2016. The rocket gave OSIRIS the momentum it required to use Earth’s gravity to swing towards the asteroid. And it has now completed a carefully calibrated slingshot move around Earth which will let it land on Bennu. As planned, the spacecraft will reach Bennu in 2018 and return a sample to Earth in 2023. The mission? Bring back at least a couple ounces of the asteroid so scientists can explore how planets formed and life began. It will be the first spacecraft to land on an asteroid and return a sample to Earth if its mission is a success.

Gravity is the key to getting the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to Bennu. There are a number of benefits to using gravity to propel OSIRIS-REx to Bennu. Mike Moreau, the OSIRIS-REx Flight Dynamics Manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland says, “Using the Earth Gravity Assist opens up trajectory options that use less fuel. In this case, the Earth flyby is changing the plane of OSIRIS-REx’s orbit by approximately 6 degrees, which will align the spacecraft with the orbit of Bennu.” Jeff Grossman, OSIRIS-REx Program Scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC, adds, “The spacecraft’s long path to Bennu, including the Earth Gravity Assist, was carefully chosen to allow it to reach the asteroid, conduct all of the necessary rendezvous maneuvers, and get back to Earth within the amount of fuel the spacecraft can carry onboard.”

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Scientists and engineers gather around Lockheed Martin’s thermal vacuum chamber to watch the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft enter one of its last phases of testing. 02/2016. – University of Arizona/Symeon Platts- courtesy of NASA

Moreau notes, “OSIRIS-REx will fly by the Earth at an altitude of 10,700 miles (17,200 km) and will be traveling too fast to be completely captured by Earth’s gravity.” For decades, astronomers observed how a planet’s gravity could move large objects, like comets, out of their orbit. Then, in 1974, NASA’s Mariner 10 became the first spacecraft to employ the slingshot effect, also known as a gravity assist, to reach another planet. The gravity of Venus was used to help Mariner 10 reach Mercury. Now, NASA scientists and engineers are using Earth’s gravity to slingshot OSIRIS-REx on to Bennu, a relatively small asteroid about the height of the Empire State Building.

As the spacecraft approaches Earth, it will receive an increasing gravitational tug from our planet. It will essentially steal some momentum from the planet and in the process, change its speed and direction. In the months leading up to the gravity assist, the spacecraft’s thrusters were fired on two different occasions to adjust the precise target and time of the flyby. The flyby was designed to make the precise velocity change needed to arrive at Bennu in the fall of 2018.

As part of NASA’s We The Explorers, Estes’ work ‘Blitz was put on a microchip and placed on the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft.  In the work an individual is depicted being thrown through the air by a lightning bolt, superimposed on to a Victorian Bible open to the story of Noah and the flood. So the work makes obvious allusions to Climate change.  Estes states

“Floating hundreds of miles above Earth, astronauts have an unparalleled and beautiful view of the planet. But that view also lets them look down on the devastating effects of climate change, wildfires, war, pollution, and other troubling human-caused activity. Less than 550 humans have orbited the Earth. Those lucky enough to have done so more than once have not only heard about the negative impact that the industrial age has had on our planet, they’ve seen it with their own eyes.  That’s why astronauts from around (and above) the world contributed to a 2015 video titled “Call to Earth,” which urged world leaders to take action ahead of the Paris Agreement.

Tom Estes’ work ‘Blitz’ introduces a new kind of artwork that functions more as art proposal for a partially realized exhibition; a document of visual and spatial modes of presentation that theorizes a different approach. The title of Tom Estes’ work ‘Blitz’ a term which is a shortened version of the German word “blitzkrieg” (blĭts’krēg’). Blitzkrieg means “A swift, sudden military offensive, usually by combined air and mobile land forces”.

Estes goes on to say:

“In my work Blitz, the slapstick comedy of the image is a deliberate mitigation of surrealist shock but with the mad attention urges of a Play Station gamer. There is an allusion to climate change, and the recalling of  ‘war’ in the title. War seems to be one of the most effective means of convincing people to abandon their own selfish needs and mobilize in a unified effort. By way of this vicious technological cycle, we are consciously causing the sixth mass extinction of species while obsessing over every mean tweet and shocking statement. The really concerning aspect of this is that now, more than at any time in our history, our species needs to work together.  The stakes are higher than ever before. If we don’t all act now on Climate Change, things could spiral out of control.”

 

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As part of NASA’s We The Explorers, Estes’ work ‘Blitz was put on a microchip and placed on the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. 

In Estes’ ‘Blitz’ even the medium itself, a projected digital photograph, suggests speed, as a recording of ‘live’ split second action’. For Estes’ the slapstick comedy of the image is a deliberate mitigation of surrealist shock. So the work could suggest rushing about with the mad attention urges of a Play Station gamer, while catastrophic destruction on a global scale looms ever closer.

Though a work of art with very contemporary concerns, the tone of imagery in Blitz seems to have more in common with the tradition of late nineteenth century photography or film. In 1892 the Lumier brothers had already began to create moving pictures. The work, therefore, seems to suggest that a movement away from the slow and contemplative in the visual arts is not just a modern phenomenon. By the 1910’s, films like those of the Keystone Cops were an established part of popular culture and so the representation of ‘speeded action’ was already on its way.

Osiris_Rex_SpacecraftFairing-in-CleanRoom-KSC

In political and social theory, accelerationism is the idea that either the prevailing system of capitalism, or certain techno-social processes that have historically characterized it, should be expanded, pre-purposed or accelerated in order to generate radical social change. Some contemporary accelerationist philosophy takes as its starting point the Deleuzo-Guattarian theory of deterritorialisation, aiming to identify, deepen, and radicalise the forces of deterritorialisation with a view to overcoming the countervailing tendencies that suppress the possibility of far-reaching social transformation. Accelerationism may also refer more broadly, and usually pejoratively, to support for the deepening of capitalism in the belief that this will hasten its self-destructive tendencies and ultimately eventuate its collapse.

Acceleration has been characterized as both reason and remedy for the challenges presented by an increasingly fraught global economy – by financial crises, ecological ruination, neo-colonial oppression and forced displacements of an unprecedented scale. The contemporary political and cultural imagination is caught between conflicting velocities: the accelerationist affirmation of technological transformation on the one hand, and decelerative or restorative movements on the other. The conference Speeding and Braking: Navigating Acceleration gathers critical responses to this conceptual deadlock that reach across and beyond such entrenched (op)positions.

Prominent theorists include right-accelerationist Nick Land. The Cybernetic Culture Research Unit (Ccru), an unofficial research unit at the University of Warwick from 1995–2003, of which Land was a member, is considered a key progenitor in both left- and right-accelerationist thought.  Prominent contemporary left-accelerationists include Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams, authors of the “Manifesto for an Accelerationist Politics”, and the Laboria Cuboniks collective, who authored the manifesto “Xenofeminism: A Politics for Alienation”.

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The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft launched Sept. 8, 2016, on the back of an Atlas V rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on 8 September 2016.

Along accelerationist lines, Paul Mason, in works such as PostCapitalism: A Guide to our Future, has tried to speculate about futures after capitalism. He declares that “[a]s with the end of feudalism 500 years ago, capitalism’s replacement by post-capitalism will be accelerated by external shocks and shaped by the emergence of a new kind of human being. And it has started.” He considers that the rise of collaborative production will eventually help capitalism to kill itself.

A number of earlier philosopher have expressed apparently accelerationist attitudes, including Karl Marx in his 1848 speech “On the Question of Free Trade said:

“But, in general, the protective system of our day is conservative, while the free trade system is destructive. It breaks up old nationalities and pushes the antagonism of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie to the extreme point. In a word, the free trade system hastens the social revolution. It is in this revolutionary sense alone, gentlemen, that I vote in favor of free trade.”

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In a similar vein, Friedrich Nietzsche argued that “the leveling process of European man is the great process which should not be checked: one should even accelerate it…”, a statement often simplified, following Deleuze and Guattari, to a command to “accelerate the process”

So despite the apocalyptic imagery, Estes created the digital image ‘Blitz’ as documentation of the works physical formation- intentionally leaving the material project unrealized. This has a flattening effect which merely implies the existence of an installation in real-time, three-dimensional space. This closed circuit of illusion mimics and merges with the mass media desire for immediate novelty; anticipating the online reduction of an ‘installation’ to a single image. In this instance the documentation becomes a kind of ‘virtual installation’.

“In Blitz, the slapstick comedy of the image is a deliberate mitigation of surrealist shock but with the mad attention urges of a Play Station gamer”

 

Of course, this doesn’t mean that the work is actually liberated from worldly concerns. Quite the opposite. The dematerialization of Estes’ work expresses a concern with the material and phenomenological consequences of both accelerations and decelerations, as well as the aesthetic strategies afforded or precluded by them.

Estes states:

“We live in a time in which the art market dominates the artworld and so the primary concern of artists is the creation of luxury, decorative objects to sell. In contrast, Art in the 1960s and ’70s, translated politicization into an aesthetic practice of international vanguardism, contestation, criticality, counterhegemony, and postcolonial memorialization and assertion, within the framework of a politics of representation. But a generation ago, a post-modern cult now known as “identity politics” stopped many intelligent, liberal-minded people examining the bogus progressive movements and individuals they supported. Self absorption, a kind of “me-ism”, became the new zeitgeist in privileged western societies and signaled the demise of great collective movements. And Liberal ideas that once formed part of a radical worldview became increasingly expressed in individualist terms. And now we have found ourselves in a world lost to emotion, irrationality, and a weakening grasp on reality. Lies don’t faze us, and knowledge doesn’t impress us. Properly educated people always appreciate holistic approaches to any challenge. This means that they understand both cause and effect, and intertwined complexities. But the art world is a cautionary tale at this point. Art is an industry with a structural reality that must be acknowledged. There are no places where artists can be absolved of reinforcing oppressive structures. Hopefully more artists will challenge their complicity and finally break with their sense of exceptionalism.”

The work Blitz is therefore concerned with the material inscription, practical harnessing and social experience of varying speeds, from the perspective of contrasting temporalities. Particular emphasis is placed on a transversal approach, reading across, and drawing into dialogue, seemingly impossible positions within the fields of visual arts, cultural and critical theory, and media and communications.

The destruction of the old radical and militant movements—the communists, socialists and anarchists—have left liberals without a source of new ideas. The link between an effective liberal class and a more radical left was always essential to the health of the former. The liberal class, by allowing radical movements to be dismembered through Red baiting and by banishing those within its ranks who had moral autonomy, gradually deformed basic liberal tenets to support unfettered capitalism, the national security state, globalization and permanent war. The liberal class refuses to challenge, in a meaningful way, the decaying structures of democracy or the ascendancy of the corporate state. It proclaims its adherence to traditional liberal values while defending and promoting systems of power that mock these values. 

For Estes the process of real subsumption is the key to our globalized network society. In 1848 the world of Karl Marx was not facing global ecological catastrophe. Nor are we still in the process of emerging from a rural, agricultural based feudal system. Everything without exception is subordinated to an economic logic, an economic rationality. Everything must be measured, and made commensurable, through the mediation of some sort of “universal equivalent”: money or information.

The stakes are higher than ever before. We are the authors of our own misfortunes. If we don’t all act now on Climate Change, things could spiral out of control.

Real subsumption is facilitated by—but also provides the impetus for—the revolution in computing and communication technologies over the course of the past several decades. Today we live in a digital world, a world of financial derivatives and big data. And now Virtual reality supplements and enhances physical, “face-to-face” reality—rather than being, as we used to naively think, opposed to it. Neo-liberalism is not just the ideology or belief system of this form of capitalism. It is also, more importantly, the concrete way in which the system works. It is an actual set of practices and institutions. It provides both a calculus for judging human actions, and a mechanism for inciting and directing those actions.

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Image: Blitz by Tom Estes on display at Speeding and Breaking: Navigating Acceleration, Organised by Screen and Audiovisual Research Unit (SARU), Department of Media & Communications, Goldsmiths College, The University of London.

Capitalism is unrelenting in it’s pursuit of profit. What cannot be assimilated is marginalized or destroyed. But Estes’ emphasis is the conflict between the physical world – a world governed by laws beyond the reasoning of human culture- and our unrelenting desires.  Or as Shakespeare put it “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy“. The title of the work Estes’ work ‘Blitz’ suggests a military offensive- and indeed we humans are at war with our own environment. Faced with the choice of either completely altering of our philosophical system or facing annihilation, humans will continue to risk annihilation. Why? Because whether it is the right choice or not, the process of acceleration is so deeply ingrained we no longer have a choice.

TomEstes_WestonParkMuseum

Blitz, by artist Tom Estes, as a large scale digital projection on the front of the magnificent neo-classical facade of The Weston Park Museum in Sheffield. The projection took place on June 16th 2016 for the opening night of the Yorkshire Festival. In Blitz, an individual is depicted being thrown through the air by a lightning bolt, superimposed on to a Victorian Bible open to the story of Noah and the flood. Estes states “The slapstick comedy of the image is a deliberate mitigation of surrealist shock but with the mad attention urges of a Play Station gamer”… “The stakes are higher than ever before. If we don’t all act now on Climate Change, things could spiral out of control.”

 

osiris-rex_CapeCanaveral_Rocket_liftoff

The Origins, Spectral Interpretation. Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) has the mission of studying asteroid 101955 Bennu.

Returning to the planet almost a year after its launch, the probe has already come within 10,711 miles (17,237 km) of Antarctica, before following a route north over the Pacific Ocean.

For more eye-opening news sure to pull you in, visit science.nasa.gov.

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An Artificial Glacier That Crystallizes Fresh Water

 

IceStupa

Educationalist-environmentalist Sonam Wangchuk won the prestigious Rolex Award in 2016 for the Ice Stupa Artificial Glacier project in Phyang village, Ladakh. Among 30 finalists from 10 countries, Wangchuk was chosen for his project that conserves water and battles climate change

It is the latest solution to an old problem in the Himalayan foothills. Despite its breathtaking scenery, life in Ladakh has always been hard. It is a desert at 10,000 feet, receiving on average just 50mm of rainfall each year. The only reason people can live there is the glaciers.

Each winter, titanic shelves of ice form at high altitudes and melt throughout the spring, flowing downwards into the streams that are the veins of civilisation on the mountain. Lately, that cycle has faltered. Unnaturally high global temperatures threaten ice shelves everywhere – but researchers believe Himalayan glaciers are shrinking more quickly than any on earth. Less water is reaching Ladakh’s farms and villages, and when it does, the volume of water from the faster-melting glaciers can break the banks of streams, causing floods.

The idea crystallised in his mind one morning as Sonam Wangchuk was crossing a bridge in the Indian Himalayas. Addressing the water shortages that threatened life in his mountainous home had started to feel like an intractable problem until he saw the chunk of ice: still hanging, improbably, beneath the bridge, long after the shards around it had melted.

In that moment, he says, “I understood that it was not the warmth of the sun that was melting the ice on the ground. It was direct sunlight.”

 

Wangchuk is not the first to try to wring a more sustainable water supply from the mountains. For centuries, inhabitants of the Hindu Kush and Karakoram ranges have practiced “glacier grafting”, chipping away at existing ice and pooling the pieces at higher altitudes, hoping to create new glaciers that can supply streams throughout the growing season. Apocryphally, villagers in the 13th century “grew” such glaciers across mountain passes to stop the advance of Genghis Khan.

More than a decade ago, another Indian engineer devised an update. Chewang Norphel earned the nickname the “iceman of Ladakh” by using a network of pipes to divert meltwater into artificial lakes on shaded sides of the mountain. The water would freeze at night, creating glaciers that grew each day as new water flowed into the basin. Norphel created 11 reservoirs that supplied water to 10,000 people.

“The problem was that it couldn’t be done in lower altitudes, where people actually live,” says Wangchuk. The lakes were also restricted to heavily shaded areas, and simply melted too quickly to make up for the shortfall in water wrought by increasing temperatures. Adapting the concept became Wangchuck’s obsession. The auspicious chunk of ice on the bridge showed him how that could be done.

“The ice needed to be shaded – but how?” he says. “We couldn’t have it under a bridge, or use reflectors, which aren’t practical at scale. So we thought of this conical shape: making ice shade itself.”

It was a kind of biomimicry: artificial innovation based on natural phenomena, such as velcro – modelled on the way plant burrs attach to dogs, or new skin grafts that stick to bodies by piercing the tissue and expanding, the same way parasitic worms fix to the intestines of their hosts.

The conical shape hit a sweet spot, maximising the volume of ice that can be “grown”, while minimising the surface area exposed to direct sunlight. That means it keeps melting well into the spring, releasing up to 5,000 litres of water each day by “storing it in the sky”, Wangchuk says.

It also has the benefit of resembling the Buddhist stupas – religious sites used for meditation and worship – that dot the landscape, a crucial point for 50-year-old. “Because it resembles something we have in our tradition, it is made more close to the population, to their hearts,” he says.

Synchronising his work with nature and tradition are key to the inventor’s practice. “Generally I like things to be simple and self-acting,” he says. “For me, simplicity is beauty, simplicity is the ultimate satisfaction.”

And the stupas are simple. They are formed by running pipes below the frost line, at which temperature the water hovers between a liquid and solid state. Then the pipes turn skywards, spraying the water into -20C air, using the bitter cold to freeze it as it falls to earth.

The first prototype, stretching 20 feet high, was built in October 2013, and expected to melt by the beginning of May. It lasted eighteen days longer. A second much larger stupa was grown near a forest of 5,000 trees, and kept them watered throughout the driest months until 6 July.

What Wangchuck saw reflected in the ice that day was realised four years ago, when he unveiled his first “ice stupa”, an artificial glacier that towered surreally over the otherwise arid landscape, and for which in December he received a prestigious £80,000 innovation prize. The engineer from Ladakh, in the Jammu region of north India, was already a famous problem solver: a Bollywood film loosely based on his life had grossed a billion rupees in its first four days.

Those two stupas were funded by crowdsourcing donations. Last year, Wangchuk was awarded a Rolex innovation grant, money he will use to create the next generation of ice towers. 20 more, each 100 feet high, are in the works.

He will also use the money to fund an “alternative university” in Ladakh to train young people to see in their surroundings answers to the region’s problems. “Solutions for the mountains, by the mountain people,” he says.

Source:

http://icestupa.org/about

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/feb/24/artificial-glacier-could-help-ladakh-villagers-adapt-to-climate-change

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/22/the-ice-stupas-of-ladakh-solving-water-crisis-in-the-high-desert-of-himalaya

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The U.S. And Corporate Lobbying Behind Planetary Arson

TomEstes_WestonParkMuseum

Blitz, by artist Tom Estes, a large scale digital projection on the front of the magnificent neo-classical facade of The Weston Park Museum in Sheffield. The projection took place on June 16th 2016 for the opening night of the Yorkshire Festival. In Blitz, an individual is depicted being thrown through the air by a lightning bolt, superimposed on to a Victorian Bible open to the story of Noah and the flood. Blitz therefore, recalls our own most immediate concern of tackling Climate Change and the threat of rising sea levels.  Estes states “The slapstick comedy of the image is a deliberate mitigation of surrealist shock but with the mad attention urges of a Play Station gamer”.

NOW THAT IT SEEMS virtually certain that Donald Trump will withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, and the climate movement is quite rightly mobilizing in the face of this latest dystopian lurch, it’s time to get real about something: Pretty much everything that is weak, disappointing, and inadequate about that deal is the result of U.S. lobbying since 2009.

The fact that the agreement only commits governments to keeping warming below an increase of 2 degrees, rather than a much safer firm target of 1.5 degrees, was lobbied for and won by the United States.

The fact that the agreement left it to individual nations to determine how much they were willing to do to reach that temperature target, allowing them to come to Paris with commitments that collectively put us on a disastrous course toward more than 3 degrees of warming, was lobbied for and won by the United States.

The fact that the agreement treats even these inadequate commitments as non-binding, which means governments apparently do not have anything to fear if they ignore their commitments, is something else that was lobbied for and won by the United States.

The fact that the agreement specifically prohibits poor countries from seeking damages for the costs of climate disasters was lobbied for and won by the United States.

The fact that it is an “agreement” or an “accord” and not a treaty — the very thing that makes it possible for Trump to stage his action-movie slow-mo walk away, world in flames behind him — was lobbied for and won by the United States.

I could go on. And on. Often the U.S. had help in this backroom bullying from such illustrious petro-states as Saudi Arabia. When aggressively lobbying to weaken the Paris accord, U.S. negotiators usually argued that anything stronger would be blocked by the Republican-controlled House and Senate. And that was probably true. But some of the weakening — particularly those measures focused on equity between rich and poor nations — was pursued mainly out of habit, because looking after U.S. corporate interests is what the United States does in international negotiations.

 

Whatever the reasons, the end result was an agreement that has a decent temperature target, and an excruciatingly weak and half-assed plan for reaching it. Which is why, when it was first unveiled, James Hansen, arguably the most respected climate scientist in the world, called the agreement “a fraud really, a fake,” because “there is no action, just promises.”

But weak is not the same as useless. The power of the Paris Agreement was always in what social movements resolved to do with it. Having a clear commitment to keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius, while pursuing “efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 C,” means there is no room left in the global carbon budget to develop new fossil fuel reserves.

That simple fact, even without legal enforcement behind it, has been a potent tool in the hands of movements against new oil pipelines, fracking fields, and coal mines, as well as in the hands of some very brave young people taking the U.S. government to court for failing to protect their right to a safe future. And in many countries, including the U.S. until quite recently, the fact that governments at least paid lip service to that temperature target left them vulnerable to that kind of moral and popular pressure. As author and 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben said on the day the Paris deal was unveiled, world leaders set a “1.5 C goal — and we’re damn well going to hold them to it.”

In many countries, that strategy continues regardless of Trump. A few weeks ago, for instance, a delegation from low-lying Pacific Island nations traveled to the Alberta tar sands to demand that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stop expanding production of that carbon-intensive fuel source, arguing that his failure to do so violates the spirit of the fine words and pledges he had made in Paris.

And this was always the task for the global climate justice movement when it came to Paris: to try to hold governments to the strong spirit, rather than the weak letter, of the agreement. The trouble is that as soon as Trump moved into the White House, it was perfectly clear that Washington was no longer susceptible to that kind of pressure. Which makes some of the histrionics in the face of the news that Trump seems to be officially withdrawing a bit baffling. However the Paris Agreement decision went, we all already knew that significant U.S. backsliding on climate was in the cards under Trump. We knew it as soon as he appointed Rex Tillerson to head the State Department and Scott Pruitt to head the EPA. We had it confirmed when he signed his Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline executive orders in his first week on the job.

For months we have been hearing about the supposed power struggles between those who wanted to stay in the agreement (Ivanka, Tillerson) and those who favored leaving (Pruitt, chief strategist Steve Bannon, Trump himself). But the very fact that Tillerson could have been the voice of the “stay” camp should have exposed the absurdity of this whole charade.

It was oil companies like the one Tillerson worked at for 41 years whose relentless lobbying helped ensure that the commitments made in Paris lack any meaningful enforcement mechanisms. That’s why one month after the agreement was negotiated, Exxon Mobil, with Tillerson still at the helm, came out with a report stating that “we expect oil, natural gas, and coal to continue to meet about 80 percent of global demand” between now and 2040. It was a bald expression of hubris by the purveyors of business as usual. Exxon knows full well that if we want a decent chance of keeping warming below 1.5-2 degrees, the stated goal of the Paris Agreement, the global economy needs to be virtually fossil-free by mid-century. But Exxon could offer those assurances to its investors — and claim it supported the agreement — because it knew that the Paris accord had no binding force.

It’s the same reason why the Tillerson faction of the Trump administration thought it could reconcile staying in Paris while simultaneously dismantling the centerpiece of the United States’ commitment under the agreement, the Clean Power Plan. Tillerson, better than almost anyone on the planet, knows how legally weak the agreement is. As CEO of Exxon, he helped make sure of that.

So as we try to make sense of this latest drama, make no mistake: The Trump administration was never divided between those who wanted to shred the Paris Agreement and those who wanted to respect it. It was divided between those who wanted to shred it and those who wanted to stay in it but completely ignore it. The difference is one of optics; the same amount of carbon gets spewed either way.

Some say that’s not the point — that the real risk in the U.S. withdrawing is that it will encourage everyone else to lower their ambition, and soon everyone will be breaking up with Paris. Perhaps, but not necessarily. Just as Trump’s health care disaster is encouraging states to consider single payer more seriously than they have in decades, Trump’s climate arson is so far only fuelling climate ambition in states like California and New York. Rather than throwing in the towel, coalitions like New York Renews, which is pushing hard for the state to transition entirely to renewable energy by 2050, are getting stronger and bolder by the day.

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24:  U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) (R) speaks as (L- 2nd R) Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA), Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) listen during a news conference at the Capitol May 24, 2017 in Washington, DC. Senate Democrats held a news conference to urge President Donald Trump to not withdraw from Paris Climate Agreement.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, right, speaks as Sens. Edward Markey, Maria Cantwell, and Tom Carper listen during a news conference to urge President Donald Trump not to withdraw from the Paris climate accord at the Capitol, May 24, 2017, in Washington. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Outside the U.S., the signs aren’t bad either. The transition to renewable energy is already proceeding so rapidly in Germany and China, and prices are dropping so sharply, that forces far larger than Trump are propelling the shift now. Of course it’s still possible that Trump’s withdrawal will provoke global backsliding. But it’s also possible that the opposite will happen — that other countries, under pressure from their populations who are enraged by Trump’s actions on pretty much every level, will become more ambitious if the U.S. officially goes rogue. They might even decide to toughen the agreement without U.S. negotiators slowing them down at every turn.

And there is another call that is increasingly being heard from social movements around the world — for economic sanctions in the face of Trump’s climate vandalism. Because here’s a crazy idea: Whether or not it’s written into the Paris Agreement, when you unilaterally decide to burn the world, there should be a price to pay. And that should be true whether you are the United States government, or Exxon Mobil — or some Frankenstein merger of the two.

A year ago, the suggestion that the U.S. should face tangible punishment for putting the rest of the rest of humanity at risk was laughed off in establishment circles: Surely no one would put their trade relationships in danger for anything so frivolous as a liveable planet. But just this week, Martin Wolf, writing in the Financial Times, declared, “If the U.S. withdrew from the Paris accord, the rest of the world must consider sanctions.”

We’re likely a long way from major U.S. trading partners taking that kind of a step, but governments are not the only ones that can impose economic penalties for lethal and immoral behavior.  Movements can do so directly, in the form of boycotts and divestment campaigns targeting governments and corporations, on the South African model. And not just fossil fuel corporations, but Trump’s branded empire as well. Moral suasion doesn’t work on Trump. Economic pressure just might.

It’s time for some people’s sanctions.

Naomi Klein’s new book, “No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need,” will be published this month.

Source: https://theintercept.com/2017/06/01/will-trumps-slow-mo-walkaway-world-in-flames-behind-him-finally-provoke-consequences-for-planetary-arson/

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Archive Dreaming A Virtual Library of Babel

Babel_Refik Anadol

Archive Dreaming by Refik Anadol and his collaborator Mike Tyka presents a visualization of a future virtual Library of Babel.

Jorge Luis Borges’s 1941 tale about a library containing every possible combination of letters – every work that could ever be written – has come to life online. And its creator is no closer to finding anything new that makes sense. Using AI and machine learning, artist Refik Anadol has turned 1.7 million digital documents from a Turkish museum into a massive nod to Jorge Luis Borges.

The SALT Istanbul institution in Turkey is home to a library of over 40,000 publications including the Ottoman Bank Archives that cover Turkish contemporary and modern art, architecture, and economics from 1997 to 2010. It also has over 1,700,000 digitized items that can be viewed both online and off. You might imagine that in the future these archives and printed materials might be accessible as some kind of virtual, immersive interface, the kind we often see in sci-fi and superhero movies.

Refik Anadol states:

“As an optimist media artist I highly believe using machine intelligence can deeply create completely new meaningful, purposeful and impactful ways of thinking methodologies,” tells Anadol. “Especially in this context, a library, where information turns into knowledge, a divine space for humankind, now is completely different than before thanks to machine learning algorithms.”

“I think this project is not a science fiction at all,” he explains. “I really want people to see this as a proposition from the future. A very near one.

San Francisco-based Turkish artist Refik Anadol did more than imagine. As part of a commission with SALT Istanbul and an artist residency at Google’s Artists and Machine Intelligence (AMI) program, Anadol used AI and machine learning algorithms to search and discover interrelations between these documents. The result has transformed the 1.7 million digitized items into an immersive room in the SALT Istanbul’s first floor gallery.

To create their virtual Library of Babel, Anadol and his collaborator Mike Tyka first needed to arrange the documents by how they appeared conceptually. So they fed the images through an image recognition network to interpret the contents of the images and sort them into high level conceptual features. Anadol then used an AI algorithm known as tSNE (t-distributed stochastic neighbor embedding) to organize the data from the 1.7 million documents into visuals. “The resultant maps turned out to be quite beautiful and thus we decided to use them directly as part of the projections,” notes Anadol, who created stunning fly-throughs from the maps for the 2D and 3D projections.

Archive Dreaming / Responsive GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Anadol explains that part of the the project’s aim was to think about how these artifacts and documents might be preserved and presented to future generations. Perhaps they might be lost destroyed, or forgotten. He also says he wanted to ask, How can we read or dream an archive in new ways to multiply its layers of meaning and accessibility? So Anadol employed AI to help organize and structure the vast data, resulting in an immersive installation called Archive Dreaming, an architectural space where the interactions, similarities, and interrelations of the data are presented as 3D projections and light. They can be engaged with using a touchscreen device, but when no one is interacting, the installation “dreams” up correlations between the documents, imagined relationships that have never been considered before.

Anadol took inspiration from Jorge Luis Borges’ “The Library of Babel” for the project. The famous short story is about an absurdist library that is at once incomprehensible but also contains every book that has ever been and shall be written—and every variation, too.

“The main idea was to create an immersive installation with architectural intelligence to reframe memory, history and culture in museum perception for 21st century through the lens of machine intelligence,” he told Creators. You can also check out a video of it here:

 

As mentioned, as a further nod to Borges, when the installation is idle it “dreams” up new interconnections between the documents, creating entirely new documents, ones that could have existed in an alternate history. This was done by training a generative neural network to interpret the archive at SALT. Once it had learned the patterns in the data, it was able to create entirely new and entirely imaginary documents and images using the same statistical rules. They become an archive of alternative histories, much like Borges library imagines every variation of every book ever written in every possible universe.

Babel_Refik Anadol2

Source: https://creators.vice.com/en_us/article/refik-anadol-1-7-million-documents-library-of-babel?utm_source=tcpfbus

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Dancer In Deflating Pikachu Costume Quickly Tackled And Rushed Off Stage By Suited Men

A video from the Pokémon World Festival near Seoul shows 15 Pikachu dancing to Hairspray when the ringleader’s costume starts deflating. Then a group of men forcefully spirit the dancer away.

The occasion is the Pokemon World Festival 2017, and the setting is Triple Street in Songdo, a new built-from-scratch city near Seoul’s Incheon airport.

The Pikachu wrap up one dance number to the song “Uptown Funk”, and begin another to “You Can’t Stop The Beat,” from the musical Hairspray.

But amidst the well-choreographed shuffling and bopping, something goes wrong, and the ringleader’s costume starts to deflate. Even as the costume slowly closes in around it, the Pikachu bravely dances on, until it is accosted and yanked offstage by at least seven men in suits, looking rather like villains.

NPR have raised several questions about this.

  • Who are these men hustling Deflating Pikachu offstage? A popular tweet called them “government security agents.”
  • Who’s inside those costumes? Is it kids?
  • Is the Pikachu punished for its deflation, or sweetly patched and refilled?
  • And finally: Why Hairspray?

A second video explains (in Korean) that the first man who runs up to the Deflating Pikachu is part of the event staff. Then a security guard runs up, because he doesn’t realize the first man is staff. The second security guard runs up to tell the first security guard that the original man is staff. Though there may still be unanswered questions you still have to have respect for those 14 Pikachu who kept dancing like no one was watching.

 

Source: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/05/05/527089740/watch-deflating-pikachu-gets-tackled-hustled-off-stage-by-suited-men?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20170505

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