Operation Henkaku

Now comes Sea Shepherd, with its annual campaign to resist and condemn the entrapment and slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan.

The Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums recently banned the buying and selling of dolphins from the Taiji hunt, after years of intense pressure from Sea Shepherd and other animal rights activists. The organization finally voted for the measure last week under threat of expulsion from the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Taiji mayor Kazutaka Sangen has countered with a plan to set up a new association for those aquariums still wanting to acquire dolphins from the hunt.

The Japanese word “henkaku” translates into English as revolution, transformation or metamorphosis. Below, a montage of images from Sea Shepherd’s powerful video for the recruitment of volunteers as Cove Guardians.

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Swimming To Oblivion

During these dog days of August, we take note that both NASA and the Japan Meteorological Society have confirmed what many enduring the Middle Eastern “heat dome” may have long suspected: July, 2015 was the hottest on record.

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Here is an eye-in-the-sky representation of what this looked like in the vicinity of the Tigris and Euphrates:

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SCORCHED

The month’s heat fired up the imagination of one Sean Mulryan of the Ballymore Group, in concocting a new development named Embassy Gardens, with its two towers linked by a “sky-pool swim-bridge”, or some such luxe-marketing blubber.

IN THE LAP OF POWER

DO YOUR LAPS IN THE LAP OF POWER

Conveniently located next to the American Embassy in London, the acrylic water tube will pose a variety of technical challenges. Not to worry – engineer Brian Eckersley is all over it, like melted plastic. As he recently oozed to the BBC:

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Alas, the distortion of the interface ought be the least of Mr. Eckersley’s worries; if he wishes to focus his considerable intelligence on a subject worthy of his anxiety, he might consider the fate of Gunther Anders’ inverted utopians, for whom he is such an eloquent if unwitting mouthpiece.

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LIQUIDATION OF THE SELF

Meanwhile, in an abandoned swimming pool from another era, a different sort of engineer proposes an alternative diversion for our boiling Anthropocene:

UNABLE TO IMAGINE THE THINGS WE MAKE?

DISMAFESTO

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JUST LIKE THIS, BANKSY NAILS OUR SPIRIT TO THE TIMES


A Perverse Divergence

From the vigilant chroniclers of the ever-accelerating Arctic ice melt, we have received the following update:

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Not to worry, though; climate change is yesterday’s news, old hat. Best to ignore the Doom & Gloomers and focus on something more positive: though the viability of the entire species may be in question, as individuals we can live forever!

Longevity is fully capitalized; immortality incorporated. For those able to pay the price, aging will soon become a thing of the past. Isn’t that exciting?

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In the face of overwhelming evidence of the fatal consequences of our interference with nature, we respond with ever more insane (though “scientifically sound”) interference. We are reminded of a passage from The Human Condition, penned by the hand of Hannah Arendt way back in 1957:

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Severing ourselves from the “free gift from nowhere”, we make this deadly trade as one final embodiment of hubris amidst the furies of our own collective disappearance. Wealthy humans shall achieve an indefinitely extended longevity in exactly the same blink of geological time when the rare and fragile ecological conditions that sustain homo sapiens recede back into the mysterious infinity of the cosmos. Such are the perverse divergences of our possessed rebellion.

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Below, a detail from a painting by Bill Lynch, Caught in the Spider Web.

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Finite and Alive

This week, we are pleased to urge consideration of a new exhibition of drawings by Rebecca Clark, presented by the Adkins Arboretum. An excellent essay by Tom Jeffreys, with several illuminating interview passages from Clark, can be found courtesy of the Learned Pig, an online resource that resonates strongly with DP.

Below, a montage of her exquisitely fine and deep drawings, and passages from her Artist Statement.

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Broken as our planet may be, let us celebrate these soulful drawings in all their quiet grace and joyful virtuosity; let us consider the oysters.

 

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Fire

On this Hiroshima Day, we offer the following letter from the website of the Maruki Gallery for the Hiroshima Panels, written by artists Iri & Toshi Maruki:

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ITM

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Below, we have created a montage of panels (two at a time) and texts from the Maruki’s stunning representation of atomic incineration, titled:

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The Maruki panels are now on display at the American University museum, not far from where the decision to drop the bomb was made.


Signal and Noise

We maintain an extensive Imaginary Museum here at DP, with one of our favorite galleries devoted to the seascapes of J. M. W. Turner. Thus our ears were well-seized by a lengthy riff from the brilliant cultural historian (among other possibly designations) Bernhard Siegert in the midst of a recent Artforum interview:

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ROUGH SEA

ROUGH SEA

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FIRE AT SEA

FIRE AT SEA

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STEAM-BOAT OFF A HARBOUR’S MOUTH


Silence Borne of Terror

Now comes Joshua Oppenheimer with a second film investigating the interplay between perpetrators and survivors within the 1965-1966 Indonesian genocide.

Here at DP, we considered Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing a masterpiece of exploratory cinema; yet the recently released second “panel” of the diptych, The Look of Silence, brings us even more deeply into how silence works to embed trauma into everyday life. As Oppenheimer writes in his own Director’s Notes:

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In an excellent interview worth reading in its entirety, Oppenheimer expands on his thinking regarding the interplay between trauma and impunity:

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There is much to consider here, regarding the festering wounds within recent American history: torture, war crimes and impunity.


Those Two Abysses

Today, while reading various researches into negative feedback loops that would appear to imply an acceleration of the Sixth Extinction, we offer the following passages from the thoughts of Blaise Pascal, excerpted from the section on the misery of man without God. The images are various Rothko black-on-maroons.

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Black on Maroon 1958 Mark Rothko 1903-1970 Presented by the artist through the American Federation of Arts 1969 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T01170

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Black on Maroon 1958 by Mark Rothko 1903-1970

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Black on Maroon 1958 by Mark Rothko 1903-1970

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Deception and Servitude

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Writing on the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence from the despotism of King George III, and on the eve of a vote likely to have far-reaching consequences in Europe, with fear-mongering in full play from the invisible hands of the neo-liberal vampires, we offer a few paragraphs from the sharp nib of Thomas Paine, dated December 23, 1776:

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FOR FIVE YEARS HE DRINKS YOUR BLOOD: NOW TELL HIM NO

FOR FIVE YEARS HE DRINKS YOUR BLOOD: NOW TELL HIM NO

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Returning to Greece in the midst of a crisis not dissimilar to the one faced by the colonists in 1776, we urge DP readers to consider the excellent analysis of Theodoros Karyotis, an excerpt from which we offer below:

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