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July 30, 2006

Disasters of War: Lebanon oil slick


via Breitbart News:
Lebanon oil slick 'worst environmental disaster' in Med
Jul 29 7:03 AM US/Eastern

The Mediterranean is threatened by its worst ever environmental disaster after Israel's bombing of a power plant in Lebanon sent thousands of tonnes of fuel gushing into the sea, the environment minister charged.

"Up until now 10,000-15,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil have spilled out into the sea," after Israel's bombing of the power station in Jiyeh two weeks ago, Lebanese Environment Minister Yacub Sarraf told AFP Saturday.

"It's without doubt the biggest environmental catastrophe that the Mediterranean has known and it risks having terrible consequences not only for our country but for all the countries of the eastern Mediterranean."

Israeli forces bombed the tanks at the power station on July 14 and July 15, just days into their offensive on Lebanon which has seen blistering air strikes across the country and a bloody ground incursion in the south.

The leak from one of the tanks, which are located just 25 metres (80 feet) from the sea, has now stopped but another containing 25,000 tonnes of fuel oil is still on fire and is in danger of exploding. Between 8,000-10,000 tonnes of fuel are on the shore and 5,000 on the open water.

"Until now, the worst ecological disasters have taken place in the oceans and it's the first time that an oil spill has happened outside the open sea," said Sarraf. "We can have no illusions."

Sarraf said that the cost of cleaning up Lebanon's once golden beaches -- which until the bombardment were major attractions for locals and tourists -- will cost between 45-50 million dollars and would not be finished until next summer.

The spill is now affecting 70 kilometres (40 miles) of Lebanon's 220-kilometre-long (140 miles) coast, a third of its coastline. Beaches and rocks are covered in a black sludge which has reached the famous tourist town of Byblos, north of Beirut.

"If nothing is done, not only will currents flowing towards the north mean that one third of Lebanon's coastline be hit, but also Cyprus, Syria, Turkey, Greece and even Israel," Sarraf said.

"The fauna and the Mediterranean ecosystem risk suffering badly and certain species are threatened with extinction," he warned.

Sarraf said that owing to the Israeli blockade of Lebanon's waters, it was impossible to send ships to clear up the pollution.

"I have appealed to Britain, Italy, Spain, the United States, all the countries which have already suffered oil slicks to ask for technical assistance as we cannot act on our own," he said.

Kuwait has sent 40 tonnes of material that would allow the petrol to thicken and also special carpets which absorb petroleum products.

A resident of Byblos, known worldwide for its seafood restaurants and historic harbour, said "for the last four days, fish, crustaceans and crabs have been coming in black, and they are dying as victims of this oil slick."

Fuad Hamdan, director of Friends of the Earth, Europe, and founder of Greenpeace Lebanon, agreed that "it is certainly the worst environmental disaster ever on the eastern Mediterranean coast."

Hamdan said the eastern Mediterranean coast from the Israeli port of Haifa until Syria's Lattakiya was already heavily polluted from Israeli industry, Lebanese sewage and industry from east Beirut and from Syria.

He advised people against eating fish from coastal areas. "Anyway it will smell bad and put people off."

Besides the oil slick, the fire from the oil tanks has caused atmospheric pollution which has already reached Beirut. "Now the toxic cloud is stretching over a 30 kilometre distance," said Sarraf.
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via NYTimes, Environment:
Casualties of War: Lebanon's Trees, Air and Sea
Published: July 29, 2006

JIYEH, Lebanon, July 28 — As Israel continues the bombing campaign that has turned parts of Lebanon into rubble, environmentalists are warning of widespread and lasting damage.

Spilled and burning oil, along with forest fires, toxic waste flows and growing garbage heaps have gone from nuisances to threats to people and wildlife, they say, marring a country traditionally known for its clean air and scenic greenery. Many of Lebanon’s once pristine beaches and much of its coastline have been coated with a thick sludge that threatens marine life.

As smoke billowed overhead on Friday, turning day into dusk, Ali Saeed, a resident, recounted how war has changed this small industrial town about 15 miles south of Beirut.

Most people have left, he said. It is virtually impossible to drive on the roads, and almost everyone hides behind sealed windows.

"There's nowhere to run," Mr. Saeed said, showing off the black speckles on his skin that have turned everything white here into gray. "It's dripping fuel from the sky."


A large oil spill and fire caused by Israeli bombing have sent an oil slick traveling up the coast of Lebanon to Syria, threatening to become the worst environmental disaster in the country’s history and engulfing this town in smoke.

"The escalating Israeli attacks on Lebanon did not only kill its civilians and destroy its infrastructure, but they are also annihilating its environment," warned Green Line, a Lebanese environmental group, in a statement issued Thursday. "This is one of the worst environmental crises in Lebanese history."

The most significant damage has come from airstrikes on an oil storage depot at the edge of Jiyeh on July 13 and 15. Oil spewed into the Mediterranean Sea and a fire erupted that has been burning ever since.

Four of the plant's six oil storage containers have burned completely, spilling at least 10,000 tons of thick fuel oil into the sea initially, and possibly up to 15,000 more in the weeks since. A fifth tank burst into flames on Thursday, residents said, adding to a smoke cloud that has spewed soot and debris miles away. The fire is so hot that it has melted rail cars into blobs and turned the sand below into glass.

Engineers are concerned that a sixth tank still untouched by the fire could soon explode, making the situation even graver.

The prevailing winds and currents have swept the oil northward up the coast of Lebanon, and on Friday it reached the coast of Syria, Environment Ministry officials said.

"You can’t swim in the water anymore, it's all black," Mr. Saeed said. "This is like the Exxon Valdez spill in America," he said, speaking of the environmental damage caused when a tanker ran aground and spilled about 40,000 tons of oil into Prince William Sound in Alaska in 1989.

Lebanon's coast is an important nesting ground for the green sea turtle, an endangered species, as well as a spawning ground for some Mediterranean fish. Turtle eggs begin hatching in July, but with the oil slick coating most of the area, baby turtles will have a far smaller chance of making it to deeper waters and surviving, environmentalists say. The oil slick is also threatening bluefin tuna that migrate to the eastern Mediterranean this time of year.

The Environment Ministry sent crews to various parts of the country this week to assess the damage and begin the cleanup, a spokeswoman said. But the oil slick has quickly proven beyond the government’s limited capacity to deal with the problem.

The ministry estimates cleanup alone will cost upwards of $200 million, a major sum in a country with a gross domestic product of around $21 billion, but experts warn the bill could run even higher.

Jordan has offered to send experts to provide technical assistance, and Kuwait has pledged to send material and equipment to help clean up the spill.

Brush fires in many parts of the country have been an equally pressing concern as they rage unabated. Firefighters and forestry workers cannot move around for fear of being targets, and resources are being used to help refugees.

"In Israel there are planes taking care of forest fires, but in Lebanon these fires are not being extinguished or even noticed because our priorities have shifted from the environment to relief and humanitarian work," said Mounir Abou Ghanem, director general of the Association for Forest Development and Conservation in Beirut.

Much of the budget for environmental protection and development has been sacrificed for relief work, he said. The oil spills, he said, will eventually be cleaned up and solid waste will be collected and disposed of when the war is over, but the forests are irreplaceable.

"In the end, who cares if a forest is on fire when there are people dying, others are being displaced and their houses or factories are on fire?" he said.

Water pollution has become an issue, too, said Karim el-Jisr, senior associate at Ecodit, a nongovernmental environmental association. Wastewater and freshwater canals are very close together and the many bombs that have hit roads and other infrastructure have damaged them. As a result, Mr. Jisr said, wastewater is contaminating the freshwater supply, especially in rural areas, causing further environmental degradation.

But experts warn that the real environmental impact of the war will not be clear until the fighting ends.

"This war will affect the soil and the air," said Hala Ashour, the director of Green Line, the environmental group. "But it’s still too early to assess the actual damage because we have to analyze samples and that can’t be done before the war is over."

In Jiyeh, Mr. Saeed and the few other remaining residents have begun learning to live with the pollution. Within the first few days of the oil fire, Mr. Saeed said, they wore masks to breathe; now, he said, they are used to it.

Maher Ali, 24, a fisherman, said: "When the winds blow north, it's bearable, but when it blows east, it's deadly. The soot lands on the food and furniture and makes everything dirty. You just can’t leave a glass of water sitting around. It’s no wonder most families have given up and left."

Nada Bakri contributed reporting from Beirut for this article.

July 27, 2006

Global Warming: Scientist Sets Record Straight


Image: Michael Kupperman

via NYTimes:
Op-Ed Contributor
Cold, Hard Facts
Published: July 27, 2006

IN the debate on global warming, the data on the climate of Antarctica has been distorted, at different times, by both sides. As a polar researcher caught in the middle, I’d like to set the record straight.

In January 2002, a research paper about Antarctic temperatures, of which I was the lead author, appeared in the journal Nature. At the time, the Antarctic Peninsula was warming, and many people assumed that meant the climate on the entire continent was heating up, as the Arctic was. But the Antarctic Peninsula represents only about 15 percent of the continent’s land mass, so it could not tell the whole story of Antarctic climate. Our paper made the continental picture more clear.

My research colleagues and I found that from 1996 to 2000, one small, ice-free area of the Antarctic mainland had actually cooled. Our report also analyzed temperatures for the mainland in such a way as to remove the influence of the peninsula warming and found that, from 1966 to 2000, more of the continent had cooled than had warmed. Our summary statement pointed out how the cooling trend posed challenges to models of Antarctic climate and ecosystem change.

Newspaper and television reports focused on this part of the paper. And many news and opinion writers linked our study with another bit of polar research published that month, in Science, showing that part of Antarctica’s ice sheet had been thickening — and erroneously concluded that the earth was not warming at all. “Scientific findings run counter to theory of global warming,” said a headline on an editorial in The San Diego Union-Tribune. One conservative commentator wrote, “It’s ironic that two studies suggesting that a new Ice Age may be under way may end the global warming debate.”

In a rebuttal in The Providence Journal, in Rhode Island, the lead author of the Science paper and I explained that our studies offered no evidence that the earth was cooling. But the misinterpretation had already become legend, and in the four and half years since, it has only grown.

Our results have been misused as “evidence” against global warming by Michael Crichton in his novel “State of Fear” and by Ann Coulter in her latest book, “Godless: The Church of Liberalism.” Search my name on the Web, and you will find pages of links to everything from climate discussion groups to Senate policy committee documents — all citing my 2002 study as reason to doubt that the earth is warming. One recent Web column even put words in my mouth. I have never said that “the unexpected colder climate in Antarctica may possibly be signaling a lessening of the current global warming cycle.” I have never thought such a thing either.

Our study did find that 58 percent of Antarctica cooled from 1966 to 2000. But during that period, the rest of the continent was warming. And climate models created since our paper was published have suggested a link between the lack of significant warming in Antarctica and the ozone hole over that continent. These models, conspicuously missing from the warming-skeptic literature, suggest that as the ozone hole heals — thanks to worldwide bans on ozone-destroying chemicals — all of Antarctica is likely to warm with the rest of the planet. An inconvenient truth?

Also missing from the skeptics’ arguments is the debate over our conclusions. Another group of researchers who took a different approach found no clear cooling trend in Antarctica. We still stand by our results for the period we analyzed, but unbiased reporting would acknowledge differences of scientific opinion.

The disappointing thing is that we are even debating the direction of climate change on this globally important continent. And it may not end until we have more weather stations on Antarctica and longer-term data that demonstrate a clear trend.

In the meantime, I would like to remove my name from the list of scientists who dispute global warming. I know my coauthors would as well.

Peter Doran is an associate professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

July 23, 2006

C5 Landscape Database API 2.0


C5 Landscape Database API 2.0
An Open Source GIS API for Digital Elevation Model processing and performance

C5, in association with Futuresonic 2006, is proud to release the C5
Landscape Database 2.0 API to the public, in celebration of ten years of

*New Release*
C5 Landscape Database API 2.0

New Features in version 2.0:

   * Virtual Hikers
   * Support for GPS data such as track logs and waypoints
   * Ability to image GPS data onto dem data
   * Java3d support
   * Ability to read land use data (CTG files)
   * New analytic capabilities for landscape searching

 Version 1.0.3 features:

   * DEM input packages
   * RDBMS packages for DEM data
   * Support for processing DEM data dynamically
   * Analytic table support for landscape searching
   * Simple GUI (demtool) for viewing DEMs
   * Support for data export and management

(c) C5 corporation 2002-2006, under the GNU Lesser Public License (pre-2.0
libraries) and C5/UCSD AESTHETIC USE LICENCE (2.0 libraries: see source
code for details)



Andrea Polli's weblog added

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Check out Andrea Polli's weblog (recently added to the blogroll).

Surfing Tornadoes

via Eyebeam reBlog, 7/21/06:

Homemade tornado machine


Nanajmm writes "Hi All, I built a tornado machine using plans from www.weather-photography.com and did some of my own modifications. Here is a site with a video of it in action and some nice pics." - Link.

[Read this article] [Comment on this article]             
Originally from MAKE Magazine, ReBlogged by exiledsurfer on Jul 21, 2006 at 04:37 AM

July 18, 2006

Prevailing Climate @ Sara Meltzer

Joy Garnett: Red Heat (Strange Weather #20) 2006

"Prevailing Climate"
@ Sara Meltzer Gallery
curated by Rachel Gugelberger and Jeffrey Walkowiak

opening reception Wednesday, July 12, 6 – 8pm
July 13 - August 18, 2006

Eric Anglès
Andrea Bowers
Margarita Cabrera
Anthony Discenza
Christoph Draeger
Joy Garnett
Boukje Janssen
John Jurayj
Catarina Leitao
Joan Linder
Anna von Mertens
Jason Middlebrook
Yumi Janeiro Roth
Karina Aguilera Skvirsky
Type A

Sara Meltzer Gallery
525-531 West 26th Street

more info about screenings and events (including eteam, Andrea Bower, Carlos Motta, + others): screenings and public programs; press release [PDF] 

CloudSara Meltzer Gallery is pleased to present Prevailing Climate, a group exhibition curated by Rachel Gugelberger and Jeffrey Walkowiak. The exhibition will be on view July 13 through August 18, with an opening reception on Wednesday, July 12, 6 – 8pm. Gallery summer hours are Monday through Friday, 11am – 6pm.

Prevailing Climate examines two meanings of climate: the average course of a location’s weather conditions and the feeling or atmosphere that characterizes a period in time. Using severe weather and natural disasters as points of departure, Prevailing Climate comments on the various consequences of man's actions on nature and society, and in doing so, examines the tragedy, fear and distrust that connects our history, politics, consumerism and mass media.

Based on documentary photographs culled from the Internet, Joy Garnett's apocalyptic paintings evoke romantic landscapes that explore the conflict of culture, technology and politics through a decontextualized media lens. Using disaster photos from newspapers as the basis for somber, gray-scale paintings that feature anonymous human figures, Boukje Janssen awakens the deep psychology of the original images' subjects that may be lost in the overload of images in the mass media. John Jurayj combines imagery of war-torn Lebanon taken from journalistic images and personal travel and employs a variety of painterly tropes to investigate territory, genealogy and displacement, creating a disequilibrium interlaced with exuberance, melancholia and political disturbance. Jason Middlebrooks landscapes are in-depth examinations of land as sites loaded with symbolism and history, reflecting in particular, on the devastating effects of land development on indigenous plant, animal life and human life.

Questions of empowerment and participation are at the core of Andrea Bowers' artistic practice. Imbued with social, political and feminist critique, her video projects, drawings, photography and sculpture are reminders of the continued struggle for rights in anticipation of the political landscape of the future. Crafting simulated consumer goods out of soft vinyl sewn together with long, uncut lengths of thread, Margarita Cabrera explores the economic gap between those who manufacture consumer goods and those who purchase them. Yumi Janeiro Roth transforms everyday objects into forms that contemplate our relationship with material culture and the language of design vis-à-vis function. Domestic objects such as kitchen towels, for example, have been altered so as to serve as distributors of information and propaganda in our fear-driven and safety-prepared society. Catarina Leitao offers a refuge from the urban environment in her Artificial Retreat Devices (A.R.D.), portable tents designed to satisfy the desire for escape. Color and audio simulate a natural experience in order to provide a superficial retreat.

Anna von Mertens' hand-stitched works depict the rotation of the stars during violent moments in history, functioning as a memorial, landscape and as a study of astrological forces. More importantly, von Mertens reminds us of the deep psychological impact that history has on our lives and yet, the cycle of nature is oblivious and imapssive to its violence. Christoph Draeger, Anthony Discenza and Karina Aguilera Skvirsky reconstruct images from the mass media to investigate the ways in which information is dispersed. Draeger collects images and translates them into a variety of media including video, photography and painting. His "disaster jigsaw puzzles" suggest that the media conveys disasters to the public in the form of entertainment. Skvirsky appropriates and transforms media coverage of victims of war and natural disasters into cinematic compositions that critically investigate media's intentions and cultivation of our interpretation of events and their implications. Discenza culls visual material from commercial film and telvision, reorganizing, compressing and collapsing original information into a moment of simultaneous destruction and reification.

Questioning the nature of authority, Type A's photograph "Ours/Theirs" exposes and imitates the subjective meaning of the Prime Meridian. By creating their own "line" and documentation of evidence, they expose the arbitrary nature of Greenwich Mean Time and the "civilized" world’s measure of time and space. Joan Linder's pen and ink drawings explore and claim the sub-technological process of observation and mark making. Her series of images of bound bodies, void of human presence, are suggestive of power play as a tool in both sexual and political practices. Eric Anglès' quarterly publication is a blank broadsheet newspaper that is circulated via placement in arbitrary sites and on a free subscription basis. Lacking content of images of any kind, the publication instead bears only the marks of the printing process itself, a nod to the potential fpor information to stand in for knowledge.

July 06, 2006

Farmers to get their own biennale


via The Art Newspaper:

Farmers to get their own biennale
By Gareth Harris | Posted 22 June 2006

LONDON. Just when you thought farming in the UK was in terminal decline, help may be at hand from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The Art Newspaper has learned that representatives from the UK’s Rural Cultural Forum (RCF) met with officials from the DCMS at Tate Britain on 23 May to request funding for the first Farmers’ Biennale of Art and Agriculture, scheduled to open in Yorkshire in the summer of 2009.

The RCF, a lottery-funded umbrella organisation for 25 rural associations such as the National Farmers’ Union and the Soil Association, campaigns for “cultural investment in rural creativity”, said a spokeswoman.

The biennale will focus on three areas, according to Ian Hunter of Littoral Arts, a member association of the RCF. These include commissions for artists working on farms and in disused farmers’ markets, field-art including crop circles and urban projects such as growing “corn fields in the cities”.

Mr Hunter told The Art Newspaper that research into the project had been funded by the Arts Council, which provided £22,350. He said: “Why can’t we appropriate urban cultural models such as the Liverpool Biennale and then re-deploy them to renegotiate our relationship with agriculture?”

Other issues under discussion at Tate Britain, said Mr Hunter, included a new national gallery for rural art and culture to “promote new contexts for contemporary art practice in challenging rural and agricultural issues”. The National Agricultural Centre at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, near Coventry, is the proposed site for the new museum.

The RCF is also in discussions with Tate Britain about the possibility of hosting, in 2010, a survey of art inspired by agriculture, with works by Stubbs and Damien Hirst.

Talking About the Weather



Dear friends and fellow breathers,
We'd like to invite you to contribute to our breath collection at 'Talking About the Weather' Blog. Is is very easy, just describe your breath in one word or many... More info about the project is below. Or you could visit the Blog and see for yourself...

If you'd like to contribute to our breath collection email us (maria@out-of-sync.com) for the login details.

maria + norie

About the Project:
"The air you just exhaled has already spread far and wide. The CO2 from a breath last week may now be feeding a plant on a distant continent, or plankton in a frozen sea. In a matter of months all of the CO2 you just exhaled will have dispersed around the planet."   -- Tim Flannery, The Weather Makers

Talking About the Weather is an ongoing cross media project exploring our own response to the terrifying spectre of global climate change. Sheer terror at the possibilities that are being talked about led us to 'talking about the weather'. The weather, once a safe way for strangers to connect, is now fraught with an edge of danger as ominous signs of global warming multiply. In this project weathertalk is no longer a banal exchange of local weather forecasts, but instead we ask people to donate their breath - the breath which they would normally use to talk about the weather and the same breath that is spread far and wide as described by Tim Flannery.

Working with breath emphasises the dynamic nature of the atmosphere and our part in its creation and destruction. As Tim Flannery says, every breath you take makes you part of a dynamic system called the atmosphere, or the aerial ocean.

Talking about the Weather involves performative encounters, where we perform two Australian visitors to a foreign place asking for donations to our breath collection (to be the largest in the world) with which we will blow back global warming. These performative encounters continue our work with the "pataphysical mode of an imaginary solution for an actual problem" in this case, global warming.

We have been "documenting" the encounters on video and there is a link to excerpts on the blog.

During our (July 3-17) new media residency in New Zealand (SCANZ), we will be collecting more breath on the streets of New Plymouth. We will be exhibiting the breath collections, including your contributions, at Govett-Brewster Gallery in New Zealand in mid July, so please contribute soon.


Out-of-Sync is a collaboration between Australian media artists Maria Miranda and Norie Neumark. For more info see our website:http://www.out-of-sync.com

Tsunami miniseries

Wandee Sae-hong pays homage June 16, 2006, at a spirit house in front of her home in Baan Nam Kem to victims of the 2004 tsunami that hit her village in southern Thailand. Wandee objected to the making of a BBC/HBO miniseries about the tsunami in her village, which lost about half its 5,000 residents in the disaster. The two-part miniseries is slated to air later this year on BBC2 and HBO. (AP Photo /Sakchai Lalit)

Tsunami miniseries sets off debate (AP)
By MICHAEL CASEY, Associated Press Writer
Thu Jun 29, 4:50 PM ET

KHAO LAK, Thailand - Initially, Boonlue Mongkhol objected to his village being used for a TV miniseries about the 2004 tsunami. He lost his loved ones in the disaster and didn't want to relive the tragedy.

But when the British Broadcasting Corp. advertised for extras, the 38-year-old businessman put aside his personal feelings and spent five days portraying a corpse and a body collector — earning $13 a day.

"My father, niece and nephew died there," said Boonlue, who also lost his house, seafood restaurant and mini market when the massive waves hit Khao Lak on Dec. 26, 2004. "I didn't want to do it but there is no other way to earn money."

The filming of "Aftermath" — a two-part miniseries produced by the BBC and HBO, shot along Thailand's tsunami-battered coast — has set off a debate over the merits of bringing the tragedy to the screen so soon after the disaster.

Supporters say it's an important story, touching on universal themes of hope and loss, while many survivors say reviving the tsunami has hit them with more heartache.

Similar debates among survivors have played out in the United States with "United 93," the first big-screen treatment of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and in Australia when there was talk of making a movie about the 2002 Bali bombings, the victims of which were mainly Australians.

"You are exacerbating the healing process," said Anie Kalayjian, whose non-governmental Association for Trauma Outreach and Prevention has provided counseling to survivors of the tsunami and last year's Pakistan earthquake.

"On some level, they need to distance themselves from the devastating impact of the event to heal," she said. "Post-trauma means the trauma has to end and you need a certain distance before you can process your feelings and make meaning and sense out of the unimaginable."

Billed as a compelling story of survival and courage, the two-part series to be shown on HBO and BBC Two later this year follows eight characters in the aftermath of the tsunami including a young couple searching for their child, an Englishwoman whose husband and son are missing, and a Thai man who lost his family and village.


The drama is being directed by Bharat Nalluri and the cast includes Tim Roth, Sophie Okonedo and Toni Collette.

Khao Lak, with its white-sand beaches and stunning views of the Andaman Sea, was chosen as the location because a majority of the 5,400 people killed in Thailand came from surrounding villages on the country's southwestern coast, as did the thousands more left homeless.

Though many of the hotels and hundreds of homes have been rebuilt, jobs remain scarce and many families are still grieving for dead relatives.

"I don't want a movie shot here," said Wandee Sae-hong, a 32-year-old survivor from the nearby village of Baan Nam Kem, which lost about half its 5,000 residents in the tsunami. "I don't want to see the disaster again. It will bring too much sadness."

Other Thais welcomed the production, saying it could bring jobs to the area and serve as an educational tool.

"It's good because the next generation can see what happened," said Renu Suiraksa, a Khao Lak woman who lost her brother and 10 cousins in the disaster. "Before, I didn't know anything about a tsunami. But if we have this movie, people will be able to see what happens and maybe have time to run away the next time."

Thai survivors and relief workers say they were most angered that the crew chose to re-enact the disaster _complete with dead bodies and overturned cars_ on the main road through Khao Lak that was devastated by the giant waves.

Others were upset the crew chose to put up flyers throughout the tsunami-hit region, saying victims were needed as extras.

"It was pretty tasteless. People are not happy," said Robert Reynolds, an American charity director whose Srithong Thukaoluan Foundation is supporting more than 100 children affected by the tsunami.

Finola Dwyer, the drama's producer, said she regretted the wording in the flyer. But she defended the decision to shoot in areas hit by the tsunami.

"Why not? It did happen. It's not a piece of fiction," Dwyer said.

Dwyer said she faced similar challenges shooting the acclaimed drama "The Hamburg Cell" which came out in 2004 and delves into lives of the Sept. 11 hijackers as it recounts the meticulous preparations for the attacks.

For that production, her team chose to shoot in Hamburg, Germany, where hijackers hatched their plans — despite the fact that residents were "feeling bruised and raw from harboring these guys."

"`The Hamburg Cell' was a real challenge," Dwyer said. "It was balancing and working and navigating through all those different sensitivities and not wanting to cause offense but still wanting to make something truthful and real and reflective of the situation."

In Thailand, Dwyer said they sought and received government approval before shooting started because of the nature of the project. But even as they shot around the resort town of Phuket and Khao Lak, she said they were embraced by locals and even some survivors came to watch.

"When we were in Khao Lak, we had people come by and tell us their stories of how they were caught up in the tsunami," Dwyer said.

"Everybody acts differently. Of course, some people will get upset," she said. "But many of the survivors we met said `We are really glad you are doing this because people have already forgotten.'"

July 05, 2006

Perception of Climate Change: online discussion @ YASMIN



Point your browsers towards YASMIN where there is a new e-discussion about the "Perception of Climate Change in Contemporary Art". Below you will find the list of the 15 invited respondents. The duiscussion is intended to further our understanding of the nature and quality of our perception of Climate Change...

 via YASMIN:

YASMIN is a network of artists, scientists, engineers, theoreticians and institutions promoting communication and collaboration in art, science and technology around the Mediterranean Rim.

YASMIN welcomes information on events, artists' works, organizations' programmes, projects, initiatives as well as discussions and critical analysis in the field of art, science and technology around the Mediterranean Rim.

YASMIN aims to identify the players and to facilitate cooperation within the Mediterranean Rim.

The list is currently moderated by the following team : Pau Alsina, Neora Berger, Dimitris Charitos, Nina Czegledy, Ahmed Hassounna and Julien Knebusch. They form the "Yasmin Group" together with Roger Malina, Jaco Du Toit, Annick Bureaud and Andreas Giannakoulopoulos.

Regional correspondents of YASMIN are Samirah Al-Khassim in Jordan, Ricardo Mbarak in Lebanon, Oguzhan Ozcan in Turkey, Erika Katalina Pasztor in Hungary and Rui Trindade in Portugal. You may find contact information for both moderators and correspondents in Contact page.

The Yasmin mailing list was made possible thanks to ISOC (Internet Society), The Rockefeller Foundation, Leonardo/Olats, The University of Athens, Artnodes- UOC Barcelona and all the coordinators from the "Yasmin Group". It is co-sponsored by the DigiArts Programme of UNESCO. 



1. Stephan Barron (Montpellier, France)
Stéphan Barron studied engineering before becoming a communications and new media artist. In the early 1980s he realized a number of performances utilizing transatlantic communication facilities such as telefax and radio before making use of advanced technologies such as the computer and the Internet in an attempt to provoke planetary consciousness and an ecological sensibility in his audience.

2. Karin Beaumont (Hobart, Australia)
Karin grew up in South Australia where she developed a love of nature that led her to undertake a Bachelor of Applied Science in Natural Resources Management at the University of Adelaide, 1992-1994. In 1995 she moved to Hobart, Tasmania to pursue an Honours degree in Antarctic studies and fulfil her childhood dream of living and working in Antarctica. She completed a PhD in Zoology at the University of Tasmania in 2002, researching microscopic plankton in Antarctic waters and their role in climate change. Inspired by microscopic patterns and forms, she created her first piece of metal sculpture in the diesel mechanics workshop at Davis Station, Antarctica. She began a Diploma of Art, Craft, Design in silver-smithing in 2003 hoping to use her creativity to promote awareness of microscopic marine life and their role in global climate change. Her jewellery and wearable art-work has been exhibited in The Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize, Conrad Jupiter’s Art Prize and the MacQuarie University World Year of Physics Art Prize.



She is currently developing her business 'Oceanides – Art of the Ocean' and researching the nexus between science and art. She hopes that collaboration between the two disciplines can invoke public and political will that is necessary to prepare for and minimise unprecedented changes in our global environment.

3. Philippe Boissonnet (Montreal, Canada)
Philippe Boissonnet was born in France in 1957, moved to Montreal in 1982 and, since then, work in Quebec, Canada. He is currently a full-time professor in Arts at the University of Quebec in  Trois-Rivières. In 1983, he won the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation prize for drawing and has been also recipient of the Shearwater Foundation for the Holographic Arts Prize in 1998, and of the International Biennal of Nagoya (Japan) Recommendation Prize in 1997.



His artsitic field of interest gradually developed to include the new technologies (holography, copigraphy, digital photography) in two-dimensional and installations works. Since 1983 he has been involved in a number of group and individual exhibitions, both on the national and international level. He is presently part of a group show dealing with questions about climate changes over the Antartica with the artists Andrea Juan (Buenos Aires) and Lorraine Beaulieu (Trois-Rivières) at the Art Gallery of the University of Québec in Trois-Rivières.

4. Gloria Brown-Simmons (Irvine, USA)
Gloria J. Brown-Simmons is an artist, aesthetic engineer, and at Calit2 Center of GRAVITY an Associate Project Scientist. Trained as a visual artist, Ms. Brown-Simmons integrates aesthetics with image processing, animation, simulation and interactive immersive environments as part of her work. In addition to her work in visual studies, she investigates ways to represent data, ommunication methods and how visualization creates an innovative approach to system design. For over twenty-five years, Ms. Brown-Simmons has applied her artistic sensibilities and aesthetics to Earth and planetary data visualization projects as a member of the technical staff at national research centers and private corporations; as an Interagency Personnel Appointee (IPA) for NASA to the GLOBE Program, White House, as the Manager for Visualization and Presentation Programs; and as a collaborator for Earth system science(ESS) visualization research projects at national universities. Her work has been broadcast on television networks, published in international journals, and presented at international conferences and exhibitions including the Banff New Media Center, ACM SIGGRAPH; The Netherlands Design Institutes Doors of Perception; the Biennial Sao Paulo; and Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria. Of special relevance to the YASMIN discussion, Ms. Brown Simmons conceived the operational system for the GLOBE Program (1995) which was the first large scale ESS education program and the first web system to extensively use a graphical user interface to a network browser. GLOBE has now reached over 1M+ K-12 students (http://www.globe.gov). She is currently exploring ESS data in game engines and investigating the possibility of integrating planetary data with other data sources through sophisticated interfaces that link individuals with major resource and service providers. Ms.Brown-Simmons contributed to Kepesian Visualization (2006) which explores interaction with 100 year forecasts of the Earth's climate and is the first use of climate models in a game engine.

5. Michaela Crimmin (London, UK)
Michaela Crimmin (MA Hons in Art History and Theory, Essex University) is Head of Arts at the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (RSA); and a part-time tutor on the Royal College of Arts' two year MA programme Curating Contemporary Art. Following a period of working in galleries, she was a curator at Public Art Development Trust for over ten years. Work was commissioned for a wide range of organisations including British Rail, The Economist, hospitals and the Countryside Commission. She subsequently directed Art for Architecture at the RSA – an award scheme and catalyst for collaborative ventures between artists and architects, landscape architects and engineers.



She co-ordinated the high profile series of sculpture by Mark Wallinger, Rachel Whiteread and Bill Woodrow on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square. She is currently directing the major new Arts & Ecology programme for the RSA , Arts Council
England and London School of Economics. This involves a series of events, commissions, the setting up a website, a publication, education pilots and an international dimension.



In addition to teaching at the RCA, she gives lectures frequently, most recently at the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the University of the Arts, City University and on behalf of the British Council at an international conference on cities in Hong Kong.



The next lecture is at the invitation of Unesco and the Canadian Arts Council in Ottawa in April 06. A past assessor and panel member for the Arts Council of England (ACE); a current member of the Fourth Plinth advisory group for the Greater London Assembly, selecting Marc Quinn’s portrait of Alison Lapper and work by Thomas Schütte. Over the years an active member of a number of arts organisations including the Visual Art Galleries Association and Public Art Forum.



Together with Jon Snow, Ken Wiwa, Baroness Young, Dame Anita Roddick and Alfredo Jaar, she is a member of the selection committee for a memorial, initiated by Platform, to Ken Saro-Wiwa. She is a member of the Cheltenham Science Festival Advisory Group; on an advisory panel for a new Art in the Public Realm book, which will be published by ACE England, London with Central London Partnership; and an ‘expert witness’ to the Greenwich Peninsula development, working with MUF.

6. Joy Garnett (New York, USA)
Joy Garnett is a painter, web archivist and editor of NEWSgrist, a blog focusing on art, politics and digital culture. She studied painting at the École Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris and received her MFA from the City College of New York. Her paintings have been exhibited in the US and in Europe, and reproduced in numerous publications including Harper's, Perspecta, and Cabinet Magazine. In March 2006 she co-organized " Out of the Blue," a traveling exhibition exploring weather as a metaphor for the creative process. More recently her work has been included in the exhibitions: "Image War: Contesting Images of Political Conflict," organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program; and "Prevailing Climate," at Sara Meltzer Gallery, New York.



Garnett typically produces work where different media, idioms and paradigms converge. Her paintings, based on documentary photographs she samples from the Internet, exploit the accessibility and malleability of images in the media. In 2000 she created The Bomb Project, a web resource conceived and designed for artists and activists interested in nuclear issues; a more recent project along these lines is StrangeWeather.info, an online hub and blog about climate change contextualized for artists.

7. Ramon Guardans (Spain)
Ramon Guardans, biologist (Spain). Graduated in Biology from the University of Barcelona in 1974, worked from 1975 to 1977 in the Departement of Applied Mathematics in the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot (Israel), participated (1977) in the International Statistical Ecology Programme in University of California Berkeley, worked from 1978 to 1983 in the Chemical Physics Department of the Free University of Brussels (Belgium) collaborating with R. Margalef, I. Prigogine, S.Pahaut, K.Chemla and F.Bray, among others. From 1983 to 1987, worked at the Environmental Protection Service of the Catalan Regional Government in Barcelona. From 1987 to 2000 worked at the Institute of Radiological Protection in the research group on Ecotoxicology of Air Pollution at the Research Center for Energy, Environment and Technology (CIEMAT) of the Ministry of Science and Technology in Madrid (Spain). From 1990 has perticipated as spanish delegate in the work of the United Nations under the 1979 Convention on Long Range Transboundary Transport of Air Pollution (LRTAP (http://www.unece.org/env/lrtap) from 1993 to 2001
served as Vice President of the Working Group on Effects,and memeber of the Implemetation Committe in LRTAP.Was (97-00) nominated by the WMO to the now extinct interagency UN Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP). In 2004-2006 has worked with the spanish Ministry of the Environment in the development of the National Implementation Plan of the UN Convention on Persistent Toxic Pollutants (http://www.pops.int).
Since 1977 has collaborated with electronic music and performing artist including Etat Brut, (Brussels 77-83), 1a Fura dels Baus (Barcelona 1983-87), The Electroacustic and Computer Music Laboratory (EMEC) of the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) in Havanna (96-06) presenting a concert in SONAR2001 with Mónica Orelly e Irina Escalante from EMEC/ISA. 2001-2006 work in Medialab Madrid(http://www.medialabmadrid.org), including the project Algorithmic Echolocation developed with ZKM (http://www.zkm.de) and presented in SONAR2005 (http://www.sonar.es) and Ars Electronica 2005 (http://www.aec.at). Algorithmic Echolocation is an interactive istallation that presents in animated graphics and sound an harmonic decompostion / spectral analysis of the 420.000 years record of atmospheric chemistry (CO2, CH4, Temperature, dO18 and non marine dust) from the icecore in Vostok, Antartica.

8. Don Ihde (New York, USA)
Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Technoscience Research Group in the Philosophy Department (NYC). He directs an on-going graduate and post-graduate research seminar which brings notable scholars for "roasts," which reads only living authors, and which focuses upon our material cultures. Ihde is the author of thirteen original books and the editor of many others. Recent examples include Chasing Technoscience (2003), edited with Evan Selinger; Bodies in Technology (2002); Expanding Hermeneutics: Visualism in Science (1998). Ihde lectures and gives seminars internationally and some of his books and articles have appeared in a dozen languages.

9. Andrea Juan (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Born in 1964 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Professor of Visual Art at National University of Tres de Febrero, Buenos Aires. Juan works with multimedia, photography, digital video, graphic art and installations. In 2005 she carry out performances and video installations in Antarctica Continent based on scientist investigations related to the climate changes.



She has been awarded with John Simon Memorial Foundation (USA), UNESCO (France), National Fund of Arts and Antorchas Foundation (Argentina) grants. She also received mayor awards from Konex Foundation, Argentine Association of Critics, National Museum of Fine Arts, International Critics Association, National Academy of Fine Arts among others.



Her latest solo exhibition were in Praxis International Art in Buenos Aires and Miami; RAM Foundation, Rotterdam; Museum of Latin American Art, Buenos Aires; Telefonica Foundation, Buenos Aires; University of West of England, Bristol, UK; Vauxhall Centre, London; National Fund of Arts, Buenos Aires; Juttner Gallery, Vienna and Presse Papier Centre, Quebec.



Since 1990 she has exhibited extensively worldwide in Photo New York; Art Chicago; International Biennial Rotterdam; Art Toronto; Prenelle Gallery, London; International Graphic Triennial, Tallin; International Young Art, Sotheby's Amsterdam; Flatgalleries, Chicago; International Young Art, Mars Gallery, Moscow; Robert Tatum Studio, Houston Texas;  International Biennial, Ljubljana; The Genia Schrieber University Art Gallery, Tel Aviv; National Art Gallery of Seoul; El Aleph video gallery, Roma; International Media Art Biennial, Wroclaw; The Millenium Art Collection, The Hague; St Martin´s Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London; Space 21Gallery, Tokyo; London Royal Academy, London and Museum of Modern Art, National Museum of Fine Art Buenos Aires.

10. Ernesto Lopez-Baeza (Valencia, Spain)
A/Professor for Applied Physics at the Dept. of Physics of the Earth and Thermodynamics of the University of Valencia. Coordinator of the Climatology from Satellites Group applying Earth Observation Satellites remote sensing techniques to study climate and climate change. His work refers to assisting some of the new space missions with assessing scientific studies and validation activities. As a University Professor, he is teaching Thermodynamics for 2nd-year  Physics, Meteorology and Climatology for 5th-year Physics, and Climate Change and the Greenhouse Effect for All University Degrees. He is also teaching a Doctorate in Physics course on Climatology from Satellites and Climate Change and is the Director of the Diplomat "New Observation and Watching Techniques in Meteorology and Climatology."

11. David McConville (Asheville, USA)
David McConville is a media artist and researcher specializing in the development of dome-based display technologies. He is co-founder of the The Elumenati (http://www.elumenati.com), a full service design and engineering firm specializing in the devleopment and deployment of immersive visualization environments and experiences. The Elumenati provides systems integration, real-time software design, immersive content research, custom fabrication, and optical engineering for clientele ranging from art festivals to space agencies. Based in Asheville, North Carolina,
he is an active Board member of the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center
(http://www.blackmountaincollege.org) and is the founder of the Media Arts Project



David is currently working with the Buckminster Fuller Institute (http://www.bfi.org) to design the first regionally-focused instance of the Design Science Lab (http://www.designsciencelab.org). The Lab, occuring in Asheville in July 2006, will bring together individuals from around the world to develop strategies for solving environmental, energy, heath, and education issues from both regional and global perspectives based on Buckminster Fuller’s design science methodology.

12. Andrea Polli (New York, USA)
Andrea Polli is a digital media artist living in New York City. She received a Master of Fine Arts in Time Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is currently an Associate Professor of Film and Media at Hunter College. Polli's work addresses issues related to science and technology in contemporary society. Her projects often bring together artists and scientists from various disciplines. She is interested in global systems, the real time interconnectivity of these systems, and the effect of these systems on individuals. She has exhibited, performed, and lectured nationally and internationally.



She is currently working in collaboration with meteorological scientists to develop systems for understanding storms and climate through sound. For this work, she has been recognized by the UNESCO Digital Arts Award 2003 and has presented work in the 2004 Ogaki Biennale in Gifu, Japan and at the World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva, Switzerland. Her work in this area has also been presented at Cybersonica at the ICA in London and awarded funding from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the Greenwall Foundation. As a member of the steering committee for New York 2050, a wide-reaching project envisioning the future of the New York City region, she is currently working with city planners, environmental scientists, historians and other experts to look at the impact of climate on the future of human life both locally and globally.



She has recently presented the installation and digital print project The Fly's Eye, (2002) which creates a live movement and light analysis and deconstruction of the video image, at Le Centre de production DAÏMÕN in Quebec, the Politecnico di Milano University in Milan, Italy, at The Kunstgewerbe Museum in Berlin, Germany, at The Aronoff Center in Cincinnati, OH, at Apex Gallery in New York City, at the V Salón y Coloquio Internacional de Arte Digital in Havana, Cuba, and at SIGGRAPH '03 in San Diego among other venues.



Polli's longest running performance project, Intuitive Ocusonics, a system for performing sound using eye movements, began in 1996 and has been shown at V2 in Rotterdam, Holland; at the N-Space Art Gallery of SIGGRAPH '01 in Los Angeles, CA; at the Subtle Technologies Conference at the University of Toronto, Canada; and at Immedia, at the University of Michigan. Other performances and presentations include: The Monaco Danses Dances Forum, Monaco; ISEA, International Symposium on Electronic Art, Paris France; Invencao, Sao Paolo; and Imagina 98, Monaco.
To support this work and the production of an Audio CD, Active Vision, she was awarded a 1999 artist's residency at The iEAR Institute at Rensellaer Polytechnic, a Harvestworks Recording Production Grant in New York, an Artist's Residency at The Center for Research in the Computing Arts at The University of California at San Diego, and a residency at Franklin Furnace in New York as part of The Future of the Present. She has also shown this work in venues throughout New York City, Chicago and the Midwest; in San Francisco, and in Finland, Iceland, Germany,
Sweden, Greece, and the Phillipines. Her performance work and research is documented in the article Active Vision in the October 1999 issue of The Leonardo Journal. A retrospective article about her work from 1991-1998, Virtual Space and the Construction of Memory, is published in the Spring 98 issue of The Leonardo Journal.

13. Zev Robinson (Valencia, Spain)
After painting and exhibiting for over fifteen years, Zev Robinson began working on photography, digital and new media projects in 1999. artafterscience was then formed as a collaboration with computer programmer Adrian Marshall to explore the interaction between art, science, and technology, and to create time-based
art, creating a wide variety of projects, but with the emphasis on content, on how meaning is affected by context, form, and presentation, and on issues of contemporary culture.



As part of this project, Zev Robinson has also created videos in collaboration with various experimental and new music composers/performers, as well as curating screenings and exhibitions. In 2005, the Arts Council, England awarded a grant to artafterscience to develop interactive content including live video, motion detection, and sound, opening up new possibilities for installations, and for future collaborations with musicians and performers.



In 2006, Galeria Canem is showing Zev Robinson’s video installation (still) life at the Loop video art fair in Barcelona, then at the gallery space in Castellon. The Walter Thompson Orchestra has also invited Zev Robinson to be the video artist at a Soundpainting Thinktank in Sweden which will include three live performances. Other projects in progress include a video installation based on Edward Lucie-Smith’s poem on Caravaggio and a collaboration with pianist Claudio Crismani to create interactive, live, and video works of his interpretation of Scriabin. Randomness and Certainty is a new media piece using interviews with scientists, and will be launched on October 3 by the BA (British Association for the Advancement of Science) at the DANA Centre, London.



Zev Robinson has also curated a video screening dealing with climate change in collaboration with the BA in 2006. Chatterbox, a video installation based on the repetitive nature of communication and the media, has recently been completed and will be exhibited in various places in 2006, including the Loop video art fair. Please see http://www.artafterscience.com for more information, clips and demos.

14. Cynthia Beth Rubin (New Haven, USA)
Digital visual artist. For many years her work focused on cultural memory. In digital still images, digital video, interactive installations and web works, she worked to evoke sentiments intended to link the viewer to the enduring legacies of past generations. She spent 10 weeks in Senegal as a volunteer consultant, sponsored by American Jewish World Service and worked with Green Senegal, a group devoted to sustainable agriculture. She worked with them on their web site (http://www.green-senegal.org) and with some of their photographic documentation. During this time she visited many rural villages where the effects of desertification are all too real. She will working with imagery derived from natural form and texture. These images do not directly depict the desert, they are more about developing a natural sensibility. One of the first of these images, incorporating a 3D scan of seashell and textures of desert grasses, will be exhibited at SIGGRAPH 2006 in Boston. She collaborated with computer science researchers at Yale University (Holly Rushmeier and Bing Wang), who produced the scan, and we have a bit of an animation in the works. Her work is on line at: http://CBRubin.net

15. Djibril Sy (Dakar, Senegal)
Studies in photography at the artschool (Beaux-arts) in Dakar (1978) and at University of Columbia of Washington D.C (1989). He participated in many international exhibitions and art residencies in Senegal, France, Switzerland, UK and USA. From 1984 to 1994, he worked as a photographer for the mayor of Dakar and from 1993-1996 he was professor for photography at the artschool (Beaux-Arts) of Dakar.

Moderation by Julien Knebusch.


Newark Museum is really Out There


via NEWSgrist

The Director and Trustees of the Newark Museum
cordially invite you to attend the preview of

out there
2006 New Jersey Fine Arts Annual
July 12 - October 1, 2006

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 6:00 - 8:30 pm
Rain date: Wednesday, July 12

49 Washington Street
in Newark's Downtown/Arts District

The exhibition features the work of thirteen New Jersey artists in an outdoor environment that invites interaction among artists, artwork and the public.  Many of the works in the exhibition were designed especially for and constructed on this site, often in response to the Garden's natural and man-made landscape.

Participating artists:
John Anderson     Jamie Fuller                 John Parris
Harry Bower        Matthew Gosser           Debbie Reichard
Greg Bugel          Beth Morrison              Joseph Gerard Sabatino
Nancy Cohen      Stefanie Nagorka          Bisa Washington