urbanus vulgaris

urban life & culture / ideas & insights / innovation & development

Category: antropology

Flashback: Some 25 years ago some people had their first banana.

by jiookrednav

titanic-banane

Meet “Zonen-Gaby”  from the Germany Democratic Republic. This year the “Mauerfall” is 25 years ago and I saw this legendary magazine-cover from 1989 in today’s newspaper. ;)

The cover takes a pun at traditional media of the time, that portrayed the new Germans with western consumer goods and western products reducing new found freedom to, well, consumption.

Doug Saunders: Arrival City

by vytasvulgaris

About nothing new-urban and rural relationship:  about often unnoticed and undervalued potentials of immigrant neighourhoods, social traps of  restrictive zoning  policies, planning and design. (Once again a great journalist appears to be an even greater urbanist. )

Jeremy Rifkin: A New Era of Capitalism

by vytasvulgaris

Jeremy Rifkin about the current global development trends and “the third  industrial revolution”. About the emerging new political order, about the new generations of social entrepreneurs, about survival of human race etc.

Some more of Rifkin’s quite fascinating anthropological concept – Empathic Civilization (RSA Animate)

Detroit: Requiem for the City on the Move

by vytasvulgaris

Michigan Theatre (now parking garage), Detroit. Photography by Sean Doerr

Here is a great story of Detroit revealing itself through two wonderful films. The first one is “Requiem for Detroit?”, a 2010 BBC Two documentary by Julien Temple. The second one is  “Detroit: City on the Move”, a  1965 promo film narrated by then-mayor Jerome P. Cavanaugh.  The promo film could be a perfect intro into this tragically fascinating story, however, to make it even more grotesque my suggestion is to watch it in non-chronological order, so first Requiem for Detroit, then Detroit: City on the Move. Enjoy!

video link a: “Requiem for Detroit?” (2010)

“Julien Temple’s new film is a vivid evocation of an apocalyptic vision: a slow-motion Katrina that has had many more victims. Detroit was once America’s fourth largest city. Built by the car for the car, with its groundbreaking suburbs, freeways and shopping centres, it was the embodiment of the American dream. But its intense race riots brought the army into the city. With violent union struggles against the fierce resistance of Henry Ford and the Big Three, it was also the scene of American nightmares. Now it is truly a dystopic post-industrial city, in which 40 per cent of the land in the centre is returning to prairie. Greenery grows up through abandoned office blocks, houses and collapsing car plants, and swallows up street lights. Police stations and post offices have been left with papers on the desks like the Marie Celeste. There is no more rush hour on what were the first freeways in America. Crime, vandalism, arson and dog fighting are the main activities in once the largest building in North America. But it’s also a source of hope. Streets are being turned to art. Farming is coming back to the centre of the city. Young people are flocking to help. The burgeoning urban agricultural movement is the fastest growing movement in the US. Detroit leads the way again but in a very different direction.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00rkm3y

 

How the Dutch got their cycle paths

by vytasvulgaris

 

Brief and sharp documentary which brings  through the Dutch cycling history of the last century within 6 min. With numbers, facts and simple  analysis that gives summarized and clear answer.

http://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/how-the-dutch-got-their-cycling-infrastructure/

Genre De Vie (sneak preview)

by vytasvulgaris

 

Genre de Vie is a documentary film about bicycles, cities and personal awareness. It looks at desired space and our own impact to the process of it. The film documents urban life empowered by the simplicity of the bicycle  (http://www.genredevie.com).

Here our friends film makers introduce a sneak preview already showing some pure thoughts and insights wraped in amazing imagery and motion. The rest is comming up this winter.

How Smart Phones Are Turning Our Public Places Into Private Ones

by vytasvulgaris

“The whole idea of public/private as binary is becoming much more complex”;  “Instead of thinking about public and private, we have to think about the private sphere becoming more dominant in public. For the smart-phone users, they’re totally, constantly engaged with the private sphere, and it’s reducing the basic roles of public space.” ( Tali Hatuka)

Article by Emily Badger

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/technology/2012/05/how-smart-phones-are-turning-our-public-places-private-ones/2017/

Photo by Melvin Sokolsky http://story-in-the-city.blogspot.com/2010/03/melvin-sokolsky-in-all-his-glory.html

The Century of the Self (2002), a BBC documentary by Adam Curtis

by vytasvulgaris

This series is about how those in power have used Freud’s theories to try and control the dangerous crowd in an age of mass democracy. Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, changed the perception of the human mind and its workings profoundly.

His influence on the 20th century is widely regarded as massive. The documentary describes the impact of Freud’s theories on the perception of the human mind, and the ways public relations agencies and politicians have used this during the last 100 years for their engineering of consent. Among the main characters are Freud himself and his nephew Edward Bernays, who was the first to use psychological techniques in advertising. He is often seen as the father of the public relations industry.

Freud’s daughter Anna Freud, a pioneer of child psychology, is mentioned in the second part, as well as Wilhelm Reich, one of the main opponents of Freud’s theories. Along these general themes, The Century of the Self asks deeper questions about the roots and methods of modern consumerism, representative democracy and its implications. It also questions the modern way we see ourselves, the attitude to fashion and superficiality.

Part 1. Happiness Machines. Part one documents the story of the relationship between Sigmund Freud and his American nephew, Edward Bernays who invented Public Relations in the 1920s, being the first person to take Freud’s ideas to manipulate the masses.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhxfArTAcfM

Part 2. The Engineering of Consent. Part two explores how those in power in post-war America used Freud’s ideas about the unconscious mind to try and control the masses. Politicians and planners came to believe Freud’s underlying premise that deep within all human beings were dangerous and irrational desires.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOL_B4GHdmk

Part 3. There is a Policeman Inside All of Our Heads, He Must Be Destroyed. In the 1960s, a radical group of psychotherapists challenged the influence of Freudian ideas, which lead to the creation of a new political movement that sought to create new people, free of the psychological conformity that had been implanted in people’s minds by business and politics.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsbORjWqRzw

Part 4. Eight People Sipping Wine In Kettering. This episode explains how politicians turned to the same techniques used by business in order to read and manipulate the inner desires of the masses. Both New Labor with Tony Blair and the Democrats led by Bill Clinton, used the focus group which had been invented by psychoanalysts in order to regain power.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IBGgWLF5qE

(film description from http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-century-of-the-self/)

Ron Eglash on African fractals

by vytasvulgaris

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/ron_eglash_on_african_fractals.html

Thanks justina, for posting 3 great pieces of documentary.

Following the amazing latest BBC documentaries hosted by Marcus du Sautoy, here some more  insights on the numbers and patterns and culture  from Ron Eglash, at TED, 2007. “Ron Eglash is an ethno-mathematician: he studies the way math and cultures intersect. He has shown that many aspects of African design — in architecture, art, even hair braiding — are based on perfect fractal patterns” (http://www.ted.com/speakers/ron_eglash.html).

Amber Case: We are all cyborgs now

by vytasvulgaris

http://www.ted.com/talks/amber_case_we_are_all_cyborgs_now.html

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