mad mex

In India and Pakistan trucks get decorated until they are gaudy pieces of art on wheels:  In Japan the same is done, but there, hardly surprising, the dekotora [decorated trucks] follow the neon æsthetics:  In Sudan trucks are completely deconstructed and then reconstructed—the results are visually not as spectacular as their Asian kin, but are masterpieces of a comparatively young engineering culture (↓Beck 2009):  In Mexico, and within a totally different context, the not so conspicuous Sudanese trucks seem to have cousins: ‘Rhino trucks, narco tanks, Mad Mex-inismos? No one can agree on what to call the armored monster vehicles … Continue reading

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rosa

ROSA is an epic sci-fi short film that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where all natural life has disappeared. From the destruction awakes Rosa, a cyborg deployed from the Kernel project, mankind’s last attempt to restore the earth’s ecosystem. Rosa will soon learn that she is not the only entity that has awakened and must fight for her survival. ORELLANA, JESÚS. 2011. ↑Rosa [animated short film]. Barcelona: Orellana Pictures. … Continue reading

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apocalypse kit

Merchandising is a strange beast. Manufacturer ↑Gerber Legendary Blades has issued an ↑Apocalypse Kit “as seen in” the TV-series ↑The Walking Dead, based on the ↑comic book series of the same name. I perfectly do understand that this is a limited edition (only two batches of 200 sets) directed at a niche collector’s market. Nevertheless I’m not sure what to think about it. Especially as I always associate Gerber not with tools (which is their absolute main line), but with the ↑Gerber Mark II fighting knife, which not only was identified as the killing-instrument of choice in the infamous and … Continue reading

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manchurian operations club

After having sent the manuscript of my book ‘↑Cyberanthropology‘ (Knorr 2011) to the editor, I went downtown in order to reward myself a bit. Perfectly aware that I’d never have time for it all, I nevertheless bought ‘↑Call of Duty: Black Ops‘ (Treyarch 2010), ‘Portal 2′ (Valve Corporation 2011), ‘↑Crysis 2‘ (Crytek 2011), and ‘↑Far Cry 2‘ (Ubisoft Montreal 2008). In a street café I treated myself with a latte macchiato, all the while wondering at the boxes of my newly acquired treasures. The collector’s edition of ‘Far Cry 2′ indeed comes in a treasure chest, containing e.g. a t-shirt. … Continue reading

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corpse companionship

‘Knew him personally at all, did you, sir?’ the Detective Chief Superintendent of Police asked respectfully in a voice kept deliberately low. ‘Or perhaps I shouldn’t enquire.’     The two men had been together for fifteen minutes but this was the Superintendent’s first question. For a while Smiley did not seem to hear it, but his silence was not offensive, he had the gift of quiet. Besides, there is a companionship about two men contemplating a corpse. (Le Carré 1979: chpt. 3) LE CARRÉ, JOHN [aka CORNWELL, DAVID JOHN MOORE]. 1979. Smiley’s people. London: Hodder & Stoughton. … Continue reading

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paris calling

The ↑12th EASA Biennial Conference will take place in Nanterre, France (near Paris) from 10th through 13th July 2012. The overall theme is “↑Uncertainty and disquiet.” The ↑list of workshops is set and the ↑call for papers open—the latter will be closed on 28th November 2011. You can only give one presentation, so you have to skim through the vast list and make up your mind to which workshop you want to submit a paper. If this one submission is rejected, you save a lot of money, ’cause it’s of no use to journey to a conference without presenting something … Continue reading

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1945-1998

Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto has created a beautiful, undeniably scary time-lapse map of the 2053 nuclear explosions which have taken place between 1945 and 1998, beginning with the Manhattan Project’s “Trinity” test near Los Alamos and concluding with Pakistan’s nuclear tests in May of 1998. This leaves out North Korea’s two alleged nuclear tests in this past decade (the legitimacy of both of which is not 100% clear). Isao Hashimoto himself on his ‘1945-1998′: This piece of work is a bird’s eye view of the history by scaling down a month length of time into one second. No letter is … Continue reading

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free game

Like movies or novels, computer games are media. In accordance to the intentions of its authors, designers, and developers, a computer game mediates experiences to the players. The malleability and potential of the medium allows the mediation of a vast range of experiences. In the case of Max Payne [Remedy 2001] it is the experience of living through a crime story, rather than the experience of some kind of contest. Besides being a medium, a computer game first of all is a piece of software, a complex piece of program code [...] While I was writing these sentences—their German equivalents, … Continue reading

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mk vs. dc

  Since DC/Marvel’s crossover comic ‘Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man‘ from 1976 I am a regular fanboy of heavy crossovers, I have to confess. ‘Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe‘ is a somewhat perfect specimen. Besides Ed Boon, the co-creator of the ‘Mortal Kombat‘ series, narrating, what I especially dig in this movie, is Superman firing his heat-vision right into Scorpion‘s face at point-blank range (that sound!), and then slamming him through a dozen or so walls. To do this kind of over-the-top cartoon violence Tex-Avery style full justice, I’d welcome another crossover: ‘Mortal Kombat vs. Tom & Jerry,’ or, maybe … Continue reading

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grand theft childhood

Finally …  KUTNER, LAWRENCE AND CHERYL K. OLSEN. 2008. ↑Grand theft childhood: The surprising truth about violent video games and what parents can do. New York: Simon & Schuster. The book is a straightforward and clear scientific elaboration of, and argument for, what ihatesheep ↵brought to the point in 2006: ‘If playing GTA is all it takes for your child to go out and murder prostitutes, then there are far, far bigger problems that you probably need to address.’ … Continue reading

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