META exists at the crossroads of art and science and of culture and nature. Tracing the uncommon threads between common topics, META presents its readers with views into the abyss of visual information and with experiments in associative reading. META invites you to browse according to taste.
You may ask, â€œwhat?â€ An archive, a Wunderkammer, a magazine guided by methods of research, collection, preservation, reprint and the linking of topics at their META level.
You may then ask, â€œwhy?â€ To play with information in all its astatic glory. META refrains from attempts at categorization, taking a gamble on dynamic navigation! META eschews the linear in favor of surprise. Each visit starts with a random welcome and ends with an even more random exit.
TIMOTHY J. ATTANUCCI (1979) was born in Boston, Massachusetts and studies German literature at Princeton and the Humboldt University, Berlin. For META, he contributes his musings on the irony mark in No Irony.
DAVID BETH (1974) is a writer and esoteric explorer, and the sovereign Grand Master of the Ordo Templi Orientis Antiqua. Learn more about his Gnostic involvement in XI. ARS DE REXâ€”Sexual Magic, the Art of the King, where he is interviewed by Ailen Roc.
SUMMER BRENNER is an accomplished writer of poetry and fiction, based in Berkeley, California. Her writing has extended beyond the borders of print into performative and musical realms, and she is also involved with literacy and community projects targeted at youths. For META, she reads from her critically acclaimed novel and discusses her motivation for the project in Driving I-5.
OLAF BREUNING (1970) is a Swiss artist, living in New York and working in photography, video, sculpture, installation and drawing. For METAâ€™s mini interview series, he shares some of his favorite things in accompaniment to a selection of photographic works. See Mini Breuning.
Illustrations by William Buchina
WILLIAM BUCHINA (1978) is an illustrator with a penchant for portraits of political tyrants. In addition, he is a graphic designer and creator of illustrated guides to English grammar. Some of his work is viewable here. He currently lives and works in New York. See his work in The Body of the Event.
DAVE BUNNELL (1952) lives in the small gold-rush era town of Angels Camp, California. This professional spelunker and photographer worked on an Imax film about caves, somewhere beneath Mexico. META interviewed him for Far Beyond Stalactites and Stalagmites.
PETRA CORONATO is probably the only author in the world who didnâ€™t only read Alexanderplatz, but also swept it. She is the owner of tongue tongue Hong Kong, a company founded in 1993 with dependences in Berlin, Vienna and Zurich, which recycles fiction profitably and unpunished to this day. In 2006, she commenced the ongoing photography project The Poetry of Document.
Writer Jeffrey Croteau is the Manager of the Library and Archives at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library in Massachusetts. Read another of his articles on American Masonic groups, ''Brotherly Deception'' published in Cabinet Magazine here. For META he co-authors a discussion on ritual and fraternity for the article Daughters of Job.
MICHELE DANTINIâ€™s (1966) work is characterized by its handling of trans-cultural practices and their socio-environmental implications. A widely translated essayist and performative lecturer, he holds a position as Professor of Contemporary Art History at the UniversitÃ del Piemonte Orientale, Italy. See Chronicles of Deaths Foretold.
PAULINE DOUTRELUINGNE (1982) lived in Beijing for four years, where she co-organized the 2006 Borderline Moving Images Festival. She lives in Berlin and curates projects that bridge European and Asian art. For META, she interviewed Chen Wei in Archeology of the Future.
GEN DOY is Lecturer at De Montfort University. She is the author of Picturing The Self, Drapery and Black Visual Culture. For META, Doy discusses the sensual politics of photography in the works of Claude Cahun.
Ferrante Denise Palma
DENISE PALMA FERRANTE (1975) is a multi-disciplined artist living and working in Berlin. She is also a self-declared anti-religionist. See Timkat 2009.
ADAM FOXWELL is an American audio engineer who has worked internationally, consulting on acoustical room design, sound isolation and mechanical noise control. For META, he presents a study on noise exposure in On the Hunt for Silence in Dubai.
JACQUE FRESCO (1916) is an industrial designer and social engineer, author, lecturer, inventor and Futurist. Based in Venus, Florida, he is developing the practice of Socio-Cyber-Neering. Read the META interview Back to the Futureâ€”The Venus Project.
Dr. BRUNO GLASER is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Soil Science and Soil Geography at the University of Bayreuth. For over several years he has been conducting Amazonian dark earth research from a soil science perspective including soil fertility, sustainability, and archaeology aspects. See Terra Preta .
MARA GOLDWYN (1976) calls herself an artist but does not show anywhere and would never actually introduce herself as such. She has an existential allergy to genres, categories and identity constructs. See Showing the Opposite Side of the Death Machine.
LINDA MAI GREEN (1987) is a photographer and curator based in Berlin. She also co-runs curatorial collectiveÂ Una Tittel.Â For META article A Bridge and Not a Goal, she interviewed artist Serena Porrati.
Artist CAI GUO-QIANG (1957) was born in Chinaâ€™s Fujian Province. While living in Japan between 1986 and 1995 he began to experiment with gunpowder as a medium, gaining international attention. He has gone on to exhibit world wide and to produce large scale pyrotechnic art works. See On Explosions.
Sculptor PATRICK HILL (1972) has exhibited widely in the US and internationally as an important representative of the contemporary Los Angeles art scene. David Kordansky Gallery provided META with images of Hillâ€™s work for Patrick Hillâ€”Sculpture, Associated.
ASDF Makes founder DAVID HORVITZ (1983) is a man of many ideas. One could say this American artistâ€™s medium is the Internet, though it may be more accurate to say that he works in interactive projects. See ASDFâ€”Read On.
RUA MINX is Donna Huanca (1980), an artist who deals with clothing as shelter, transportable homes for nomads and cultural and genetic traces. Her various projects have received a range of support, from the Dallas Museum of Art to StÃ¤delschule, Frankfurt; from the Incehon Womenâ€™s Biennale Korea to British Vogue. She launched METAâ€™s downloadable artist piece series with Mask Maker.
Artist PIETER HUGO (1976) has spent his whole life in Cape Town, South Africa, though travelled extensively pursuing his characteristic brand of documentary photography. A 2002-3 residency at the Beneton Group Communication Research Center, Fabrica, also led to work with Colors magazine. In 2006 he was awarded first prize in the World Press Photo competitionâ€™s Portraits section. Welcome to Nollywood explores a recent project carried out with the Nigerian film industry.
Idnert B. Zlatan
ZLATAN B. IDNERT is an audio engineer who has worked in the fields of modelling for outdoor noise propagation, building acoustics and ground borne vibrations. He has widely consulted on acoustical engineering projects. See On the Hunt for Silence in Dubai.
JAN KEMPENAERS (1968) is an artist and documentary photographer based in Antwerp. He creates mute images of semi urban-places. Regardless of geographical context, his photographs speak powerfully to the post industrial condition and of the technologized human subject. See Spomenik, the Monuments of Former Yugoslavia.
TAO LIN (1983) is an American poet, novelist and short story writer. He is the author of Shoplifting from American Apparel, Eeeee Eee Eeee, and Bed, as well as two poetry collections, you are a little bit happier than I am, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Linâ€™s second novel, Richard Yates, was published in September 2010.
See Tao Linâ€™s Crossword Puzzle.
TAMMY LU is a Canadian artist who makes drawings and artistsâ€™ books. She is the cover artist for the New Metaphysics philosophy series published by Open Humanities Press. See more of her work here. For META she did the drawings for METAphorism.
DAVID MAISELâ€™s (1961) photographs chronicle the complex relationships between natural systems and human intervention. His work is included in many permanent collections, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Maisel lives and works in the area of San Francisco. See Blooming Souls.
Alison Malone is a photographer and educator who uses both audio and visual documentation to explore subcultures that are overlooked and often misunderstood in American society. View additional work here. For META her photographic series of the same name inspired the article Daughters of Job.
SERGEY MAXIMISHIN (1964) photographed for the Soviet Military Force Group on Cuba from 1985 to 1987. A learned physicist, he worked in the scientific and technical expertise laboratory in the Hermitage Museum and has gone on to become an award winning press photographer.
See The Dostoevsky of Photography.
CONNIE MENDOZA (1971) is a media artist, working between Berlin and Barcelona. Fata Morgana and Other Optical Phenomena discusses her film, in which Mendoza travels back to her birthplace to trace the complex relationships of her childhood to Chilean history and space travel, thereby producing images that mediate the perception of time as a highly subjective matter.
Apostolos Mitsios (1979) is a Greek psychologist, working as a systemic psychotherapist by day and as a freelance writer, preferably, by night. A former contributing editor at online design magazine yatzer.com, he is currently collaborating with the Projective Fairy Tale Test Society in Greece as well as various magazines all over the world. For META article, Death of a Performance, he interviewed artist Esther Ferrer about her intervention at the Cemetery of Art of Morille, Spain.
RACHAEL MORRISON (1981) is an artist, curator, and a librarian at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She is the creator of an art work and a documentary film about the blind telephone hacker Joybubbles, as she describes in 718-362-9578.
TIMOTHY MORTON (1968) is a philosopher and ecologist, and a teaching professor at Rice University. He also is one of the leading figures in the philosophical movement of Speculative Realism. For META he penned some pithy aphorism on the paradigm shift in metaphysics. See METAphorism.
Architect WILLEM JAN NEUTELINGS (1959) has taught at the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam and Harvard University. His firm, Neutelings Riedijk Architects, is located in Rotterdam. He wrote Spomenik, the Monuments of Former Yugoslavia on Jan Kempenaerâ€™s photo-documentation.
Nikolaj Nielsen is a Brussels-based journalist. For META, Nielsen considers the provocative film "Enjoy Poverty Please" by Dutch artist Renzo Martens in regards to the The Lucrative Business of Chaos and Aid. For more of Nielsen's writing, visit his website.
Andreas Ã–nnerfors (1971) is Associate Professor in the History of Sciences and Ideas based in Lund, Sweden. He has written extensively on organized fraternal sociability in Europe in the context of civil society, cryptology and conspiracy theories. In 2007 he re-enacted a female masonic ritual, contributed to the deciphering project of the copiale-manuscript and commented on the Oslo terrorist Breivik's imaginary world of knighthood in counter-jihadism. Watch a 2012 lecture on "Perceptions of Freemasonry from the 18th century to the Internet" here. For META he co-authors a discussion on ritual and fraternity for the article Daughters of Job.
Yoshua OkÃ³n was born in Mexico City in 1970 where he currently lives. In his often absurd and provocative art, OkÃ³n stages partially scripted scenes using non-actors whose own identities and histories make up the true, underlying story. See Octopus. OkÃ³n founded the artist-run space La PanaderÃa in 1994 and the artist-run space and school SOMA in 2009, both in Mexico City.
LISE PATT is the founder of the Institute of Cultural Inquiry, a peripatetic visual think tank currently headquartered in Los Angeles, CA. Over the years she has treated â€˜collaborationâ€™ as an artist medium, in the development of a non-profit organization that embraces â€˜collective camouflageâ€™ in their ongoing projects. See Inquiry into the Institute of Cultural Inquiry.
KONRAD PETROVSZKY (1977) is a historian specializing in the intellectual history of Southeastern Europe. He wrote a PhD thesis on early modern historiography in Ottoman Europe at the Free University, Berlin. He talks Romania and reenactment in The Body of the Event.
Italian artist SERENA PORRATI (1981) is now currently enrolled in the inaugural year of the MA in Art and Science Program at Central St. Martins in London. She lets META in on her Nietzsche in Turin archive for Linda Greenâ€™s article, A Bridge and Not a Goal.
SUSANNE QUEHENBERGER is a Cultural Studies student at the Humboldt University in Berlin. Her focus is climate change, specifically its potential to bring about societal restructuring and the role of art in this scenario. Since 2007, she has worked as an urban gardening activist. For META, she shares her thoughts on geoengineering in Artificial Skies.
Haitian-born, DC-raised MAX RAMEAU is a pan-African theorist, organizer and founder of the group, Take Back the Land. He has worked on issues ranging from economic development to ex-felons. He discusses the US housing crisis in Desperate Times, Desperate Measures.
MILO RAU (1977) is a journalist, essayist, historian, playwright, translator, teacher, film-maker, blogger, reenactor and director of IIPM (International Institute of Political Murder, or Institute for Theoretic and Artistic Reenactments). See The Body of the Event.
AILEN ROC studied various esoteric fields such as ceremonial Magick, Sexual Magick, Tantra, Astrology, Tarot, the Quaballah and different astral-levels along with Psychology. She is currently working on her own tarot deck and a book combining certain occult fields with elements of psychology. See XI. ARS DE REXâ€”Sexual Magic, the Art of the King.
ALAN SHAPIRO (1956) is a key contributor to the fields of idea philosophy, software engineering and social choreography. At 15, he began studying at MIT and has more recently published a book on Star Trek and given talks at the Transmediale and Ars Electronica festivals. In an interview with META, he explains why â€œBeing against work as it is constituted today is fundamental.â€ See A New Computer Science is Underway.
SITU STUDIO was founded in 2005 while its partners were studying architecture at The Cooper Union. Operating at the intersection of architecture and a variety of other disciplines, Situ Studioâ€™s work has been enriched by close collaborations with geologists, writers, engineers, biologists, activists and artists. See Out of Control.
GARY SMALL, M.D., is the Director of the UCLA Memory and Aging Research Center at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. He is the author of iBrain Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind. See This is Your Brain on Technology.
COSETTE THOMPSON is a French-American human rights consultant and freelance writer based in Arizona, USA, where she directed Amnesty International for many years. Her current interests focus on the contribution of artistic expression to the field of human rights and on the protection of threatened languages. See Sentenced to Read.
van Haarlem Dr. Michiel P.
DR. MICHIEL VAN HAARLEM (1964) is the Managing Director of the LOFAR Foundation in the Netherlands, a part of the ASTRON Institute. The astronomer discusses the next generation of telescopes in METAâ€™s Harmony of the Spheres.
Vanden Eynde Maarten
Belgian-born MAARTEN VANDEN EYNDE (1977) lives and works between Rotterdam, Brussels and Saint Mihiel. His projects span all art media, focussing on topics of ecology, archeology, biology and zoology. In 2006 he founded Enough Room for Space for â€œthe creation of physical, virtual and mental space for cultural initiatives by initiating and coordinating events and residence/research projects worldwide.â€ He enlightens META on plastic in Plastic Reef.
Swedish photographer ULRIKA WALMARK (1970) traveled across North America, Israel, Palestine, Iran, India and South Africa from 2003 to 2007, collecting portraits for her project The person behind the person. She now lives in Berlin.
Artist CHEN WEI (1980) works in Beijing and Hangzhou, incorporating influential objects and happenings from his past into the realities of modern China. He is represented by the Platform China Contemporary Art Institute in Beijing. See Archeology of the Future.
V.i.S.d.P. Rachel de Joode
Eberswalderstrasse 32, 10437 Berlin, Germany
0049 (0) 17662109849
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|This is Your Brain on Technology|
|Daughters of Job|
|Death of a Performance|
|Out of Control: Experiments in Participation|
|Terra Pretaâ€”Amazonian Earth|
|A New Computer Science is Underway|
|Claude Cahunâ€”A Sensual Politics of Photography|
|The Clothing of Nature|
|On the Hunt for Silence in Dubai|
|Far Beyond Stalactites and Stalagmites|
|The Body of the Event|
|Sentenced to Read|
|Spomenik, the Monuments of Former Yugoslavia|
|XI. ARS DE REXâ€”Sexual Magic, the Art of the King|
|Tao Linâ€™s Crossword Puzzle|
|The Art of Showing Art|
|Photography and the Invisible|
|Patrick Hillâ€”Sculpture, Associated|
|Showing the Opposite Side of the Death Machine|
|Desperate Times, Desperate Measures|
|A Bridge and Not a Goal|
|This is Your Brain on Technology|
|The Poetry of Document|
|Stories of Life and Love in Todayâ€™s Actual Arctic|
|Fata Morgana and Other Optical Phenomena|
|The Nine Lives of Kaufhaus Jonass|
|The Harmony of the Spheres|
|Back to the Futureâ€”The Venus Project|
|Inquiry into the Institute of Cultural Inquiry|
|The Lucrative Business of Chaos and Aid|
|Welcome to Nollywood|
|Chronicle of Deaths Foretold|
|The Dostoevsky of Photography|
|Archeology of the Future|
Interview with Gary Small, illustrations by Uli KnÃ¶rzer
META: How do you measure brain activity? How does it actually work?
Gary Small: There are different ways of doing it. In many experiments, we do an MRI brain scan, which consists of taking a picture of the brainâ€™s structure. The machine can be adjusted so that it measures blood-flow within the brain. We conduct the experiment by asking research volunteers to engage in a mental activity, and their brainâ€™s blood-flow is measured during that activity. Then we are able to conclude if certain areas of the brain experience increased brain-flow whilst controlling this activity.
What kind of mental activity?
Almost any form of mental activity can be measuredâ€”empathy, guilt, lying, memory retrieval, etc.
Are people tested while working with the Internet?
People with greater Internet experience show greater brain activity, which shows that the brain can be trained to improve search effectiveness as well as the active neural circuits that control Internet searching.
What will be the next evolutionary leap in brain development?
I think we are now on the verge of that leap! We made leaps from the first tool, hundreds of thousands of years ago, to grammatical language and more complex social networking. I think the brainâ€”computerâ€”interface technology is going to be the next major leap, speeding up and expanding our brain capacity through external computers.
How? Can you tell us who is actually working on this? What hardware is involved? Are there any case studies of humans implanted with chips or equipped with memory back-ups?
The following excerpt from my book, iBrain, may answer some of these questions: Today we may marvel at the extraordinary technological advances of the digital age and how the high-tech revolution has dramatically altered our culture and our brainâ€™s neural pathways. But if technological advances continue on their current trajectory, the near future may make todayâ€™s developments seem trivial, if not somewhat unsophisticated. The computer keyboard and mouse may be remembered as crude tools that caused annoying wrist and finger injuries as we enter an age when the future brain directly controls email, Web searches, and computer games through mind power alone. One can imagine a Future-Brainer musing, â€œRemember when Google was free?â€ After all, directory assistance was once free, as was dialing the Operator. Ah, but I date myself.
Researchers have already developed a neurochip that links together living brain cells and silicon circuits. The electronic currents in the semiconductor material of the chip record the electrical currents of the neuron, allowing direct communication between living cells and machines.
Scientists recently trained epileptic patients to control a computer cursor with their thoughts alone. While awaiting brain surgery, the brain surfaces of these patients were fitted with small signal-detecting electrodes, and the patients were asked to control the movements of a computer cursor linked to the electrodes. Though the patients experienced initial difficulties, eventually they were all able to control the cursor on the computer screen with 70 percent accuracy by merely imagining the motor movements involved in the task. As such brain-computer interface research advances rapidly forward, it will not only help us find ways to prevent and repair neural damage, but it also will lead to an era when our minds will directly control electronic devicesâ€”the post-keyboard age.
Brain-computer interface technologies detect and translate the brainâ€™s physiological electrical signals in order to control an output device, such as a keyboard, computer cursor, or even a prosthetic limb. Initially developed to assist people with severe motor disabilities, these methods could lead to the next evolutionary leap in human brain development.
Researchers have used such technology to hook up a human volunteer to mentally type into a computer at up to 15 words a minute, about half the rate of writing by hand. As silicon-based technology picks up speed in the next few years, we can anticipate neurochips that allow people to mentally write on computers at speeds approaching normal speech. And, it doesnâ€™t have to involve brain surgery to get digitally hooked up. Rather than implanted neurochips, EEG electrodes can be placed on the scalpâ€™s surface to monitor and translate neural activity. German neuroscientist Niels Birbaumer has developed implant-free technology that enables people to communicate by reading brain waves through the skin. While volunteers were hooked up to this skin-reading technology, researchers used functional MRI scanning to measure their cerebral blood flow and provided the moment-to-moment results to the volunteers, who were then able to control their brain wave output and play the computer game Pong, completely hands-free.
Brain-reading technology using pulsed ultrasonic signals to transmit information directly into the mind is in development, and Pentagon scientist Stu Wolf believes that within the next few decades, weâ€™ll be wearing computer headbands for â€œnetwork-enabled telepathyâ€ that will allow us to transmit our thoughts directly from our minds, through the Internet, into the mind of someone else, also wearing a headband. In other experiments, neuroscientists are refining methods to stimulate and measure brain function. Our current strategies for detecting brain activity involve monitoring relatively large functional brain regions and neural pathways. And, even using the tiniest electrodes, we still stimulate large groups of cells, charging up millions of them from just a single electric pulse.
Not far into the future, we will have the capacity to monitor and stimulate brain activity of individual cells or neurons. Scientists already have a new apparatus that uses a photosensitive protein controlled by a laser down to the millisecond, the time dimension of a brain cellâ€™s natural communication speed. This technology will permit the manipulation of individual neurons through the laserâ€™s stimulation. The cure for the senior moment of the future brain may be as simple as turning on a laser light-switch. And of course, weâ€™ll soon be checking and correcting our neural circuitry through a remote control, perhaps the same device we use to keep track of our TiVo Playlist. As our computers get faster and more efficient and cyber-brain devices become the norm, rather than struggling with a generational brain gap, we may be facing the computer/human brain gapâ€”which has been a science fiction theme for years. For research or recreation, future generations, packing future brains, will likely create and play in virtual-world computer simulations of their ancestorsâ€”us. For now, the digital technology train is speeding forward, and everyone, in their own way, is hopping on board. New technology can not only increase our efficiency, but it can simplify our lives and actually be fun. As we anticipate and manage the pitfalls, such as high-tech addiction, video game-brain, and too much multitasking, bringing together Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants should continue as one of our most pressing priorities. As we bridge the brain gap and learn to communicate and work together at all ages, weâ€™ll be poised to adapt to whatever new advances come our way. As a result, we wonâ€™t only survive the technological alteration of the modern mind, but thrive because of it.
Does this technological leap also mark a spiritual evolution? What kind of emotional and spiritual impact does this have on humanity?
It will definitely alter our conceptual vision of ourselves and others. Weâ€™re already seeing this. Students today are constantly in stress from moment to moment with Twitter and MSN, Skype, Facebook. Hooked on the computer, behaving like an ant colony, constantly networking. Imagine what this will be like when we have seamless brain - Internet technology driving, for example, Twitter. I mean, you will simply be able to think and then become aware of what everybody else is doing! It will be an altered society quite along the likes of those predicted by science fiction.
Does increased brain activity, or increased networking, actually mean â€œstressâ€?
Noâ€”it depends on the context.
Do you think human beings have a soul, and if so, where is it actually located?
How do you define " soul â€? I think we all have the perception that we have free will and self-consciousness. I think our perception of the soul will evolve and it is evolving. We always have the idea that weâ€™re individuals, but weâ€™re very social animals. We like to be connected and we like to be in conversation, whether itâ€™s face-to-face or face-to-Facebook. Maybe we still need to find a balance between this individuality, which we conceive of as the soul, and our social community.
Probably fish, which is good for the brain flow, but then I also like Indian food, which uses curcumin, a spice that is very protective for the memory.
A good daily brain activity?
Exercise is the most protective thing for the brain, and the best type is probably a half hour to an hour of cardio.
Favorite science fiction movie?
The first Matrix.
My own blog on Psychology Today.
SITU STUDIO is a reserach, design and fabrication firm based in Brooklyn. Their space-altering, site-specific architectural installation reOrder augurated the Great Hall project in the Brooklyn Museum. For reOrder and other projects, see Situâ€™s website.
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