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If this weren’t so important, it would be laughable.



Both Ravitch and TrekkerTeach are earnest and hard-working advocates for education.

Don midwest
Don midwest

well, on the WA Post today there was an article on the dinosaur guy who heads the Smithsonian’s dinosaur’s work.

in the article we find

“The David H. Koch Hall of Fossils — Deep Time” reopens June 8 after a five-year, $125 million renovation, the largest in the museum’s 109-year history. “Deep Time” examines more than 3.7 billion years of life on Earth, using nearly 700 fossil specimens and other artifacts to tell a complex story. The completely revamped gallery features updated technology, as well as interactive displays that invite visitors to participate rather than merely observe.

well, Koch’s buying legitimacy. They couldn’t do it by getting elected, so they have bought the government. And appealing to thoughtful people and even KIDS through this most expensive renovation. At same time get political support from right wing. Kochs also at MIT, Metropolitan Opera, buying and placing professors in colleges, etc.


Here is the link to the article but not necessary to read it.

As a kid, Matthew Carrano was obsessed with dinosaurs. Now he’s one of the world’s experts.

I looked up

The Smithsonian Institution was established by an act of Congress in 1846 as an independent federal trust instrumentality, a unique public-private partnership that has proven its value as a cultural and scientific resource for more than 170 years. The federal commitment provides the foundation for all we do, and is especially helpful in attracting private support. We leverage our federal funding to enrich the lives of the American people and advance our mission for “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.”

Congress vested responsibility for the administration of the Smithsonian in a Board of Regents, consisting of the Chief Justice of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, three members of the United States Senate, three members of the United States House of Representatives, and nine citizens. The Board of Regents meets at least four times each year and typically convenes in the Regents Room.

The head of the Smithsonian is the Secretary, who is appointed by the Board of Regents. The Secretary oversees 19 museums, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, numerous education and research centers, including the Smithsonian Astrophysics Observatory, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, and Smithsonian Science Education Center.

Notice politicians in prominent roles – Chief Justice, VP, etc.

Here is what I wanted to get to. A radical artist who I had never heard of (I know almost nothing about art especially modern art.) Just as Kock engagement noted above, Art is a currency traded by the 1% and used to enforce neo liberalism

The following is a book review and copied from a pdf on the screen so the bold title of the book and other stuff does not show up.

BOOK REVIEWED: Hito Steyerl, Duty Free Art: Art in the Age of Planetary Civil War . New York: Verso, 2017

Based in Berlin, Steyerl holds a PhD in Philosophy from the Akademie der Bil-denden Künste in Vienna, and currently teaches experimental video and film at the Universität der Künst Berlin. In the last decade, dozens of solo exhibitions mounted around the world have secured her reputation as one of the most acclaimed and radically contemporary artists of the twenty-first century, while publications like the essay collection The Wretched of the Screen (2012) attest to the development of an important new voice in aesthetic theory, media studies, and institutional critique. Duty Free Art: Art in the Age of Planetary Civil War gathers together fifteen of Steyerl’s texts, many of which began as talks before making their way to the pages of the vanguard art and theory journal e-flux . They range across an impressively eclectic expanse of problems: the collection’s eponymous essay, which takes the catastrophe of the Syrian Civil War and the development of tax-free art-storage facilities as occasions for rethinking the political responsibilities of the museum, is followed by a reflection on Spam (the mostly fake meat), spam (the mostly fake correspondence), and “Spam” (the legendary Monty Python sketch). Its topical diversity notwithstanding, Duty Free Art coheres around Steyerl’s unflinching commitment to accounting for how art really functions in a global landscape shaped by privatization, financialization, and militarization—how art’s instruments and institutions often work as accomplices, wittingly or not, to the forces of neoliberal stasis (which, citing the work of Giorgio Agamben, she reminds us means not only immutability but also civil war). Steyerl’s book figures as a crucial contribution to the discourse on contemporary art and media, and is all the more remarkable for the bone-dry, goofball wit with which she unfolds her decidedly bleak picture of contemporary art’s entanglements.

Perhaps the best way to gain entry to the sometimes dizzying textual labyrinth of Duty Free Art is via the narrow passage between two of the most alarming documentary images through which Steyerl indexes and diagnoses our “age of planetary civil war.” Indeed, such images play an overdetermined role in Steyerl’s text: objects of her arguments, they are sometimes also the very medium in which an argument unfolds. The first, and the one with which the book’s first essay opens, is of a long-retired Soviet-era battle tank, part of a World War II memorial in Ukraine seen in 2014 just as pro-Russian separatists drive it off its pedestal and “back” into battle. Forcing an historical monument to serve as an instrument of contemporary reactionary violence—an extraordinary assault on historical memory itself—the militants attack a checkpoint, wounding and killing Ukrainians in the process. The second, less immediately horrifying image shows us Geneva Free Ports—a massive, armored storage facility located within a Special Economic Zone, sheltered by and exempted from the laws of the nation-state. This complex is said to house “thousands of Picassos” and, though lax documentation and devised opacity have made it impossible for us to know what Geneva Free Ports contains, “there is little doubt,” Steyerl avers, “that its contents could compete with any very large museum.”

What are we meant to see inscribed in such forbidding images? What does Steyerl hear these scenes saying to us? Though each is certainly striking on its own, they gain their full significance, I think, when read in relation to one another. Thus, we might begin by pointing out a commonality: they show both the seizure and the instrumentalizing of what should be objects of common aesthetic experience to serve the interests of the powerful few. What we see, then, are assaults on the faculty of human vision itself, a kind of aesthetic immiseration that signals with particular clarity the cruel logic of neoliberalism. A tank advancing from the museum and a museum’s worth of Picassos retreating to their tax-free fortress are really each other’s inversion. On the one hand, the museum turns out to have been munitions storage all along; on the other, a storage facility happens to contain the greatest museum of art the world will never see. In this way, they signal one of the central concerns of Duty Free Art : to reveal the underside of the contemporary art world, to reconstruct the obscene structures of political and economic violence in relation to which, so her argument goes, our experience of contemporary art typically stands as a screen.

Hallucinating Networks and Secret Museums
Hito Steyerl on Our Aesthetic Immiseration

Don midwest
Don midwest

click on “read more” at the bottom of the page to get proper formatting it the entire comment comes up as one big blob


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