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An Xiao Busingye Mina  www.anxiaostudio.com


Pins and stickers from the de Young Museum's Summer of Love exhibition. These were the memes and hashtags of their day, symbols and slogans that united national and international movements and created the grounding for larger activist narratives. Poet Allen Ginsburg advocated for "masses of flowers" at protests, as a symbol of nonviolence in the face of the Vietnam War; this eventually evolved into the "flower power" slogan. It must have seemed like a hopeless time, watching young men being shipped off to war in the backdrop of the first global nuclear threat known to history, while threats of violence from right wing communities marred places like UC Berkeley's campus. It's in this milieu that the peace sign emerged and became popularized, from British designer Gerald Holtom's first pins and signs in 1958 as a stance for nuclear disarmament, onward to a lasting symbol in global consciousness and, well, this: ☮️.

Number 197, by Leonardo Drew, at the DeYoung Museum, made with wood, paint, glue and paper with artificial techniques to make them look naturally aged. From the museum didactic: "While deeply informed by the trajectory of 20th century abstract painting, Drew's work also echoes the rich but long- marginalized vernacular of African-American art traditions from the Deep South." #art

New video interview posted at youtube.com/MeedanTube. Interviewed Madeleine Bair, a human rights researcher and filmmaker who most recently ran the WITNESS Media Lab, about the video curator's journey and the different stakeholders one needs to take into account when curating a video documenting human rights abuses. Here's a snippet of the 6 minute video from the Responsible Data Forum, hosted by Meedan and the Engine Room at the Stockholm Internet Forum. I had an unsteady hand because it had been a while since I'd done video and we filmed this impromptu. But it was nice to pick up the camera again, and Madeleine is herself a wonderful subject to interview. #SIF17

Convertible backpack design, prototype 1 for function and shape study, by @ksenia_oojh. Backpack, tote and satchel forms, with upright shape when placed on the ground. A bag for the digital nomad, adaptable and ready for different social contexts and content weights. Start with a backpack for long haul days and multiple layovers; shift to a tote for business meetings and conferences; then a crossover for a more casual jaunt through the city; and drop the bag on the ground by your side while sitting down for a quick coffee meeting, knowing that what you need is at arm's length away. We are testing it out now in the field -- your feedback, positive and negative, is welcome, along with rationales! Video iteration 1.

Pulse was a year ago. Photo from the Equality March in San Jose.

Those New York City days. Photo by @hragv

Film stills, working on something new (featuring artist Babirye Leilah Burns)

Motion and stillness study. Görlitzer Park, Berlin.

Something I appreciated about the Museum of Things: how they chose to represent multiplicity. So often, objects are displayed on their own, without the design context in which they are made. Much of object culture today is about riffs, remixes, revisions. Showing the range of variation is a way to show that no design exists of its own accord; it is frequently in aesthetic dialogue with others. What is new, perhaps, is how the internet enables a broader range of dialogue, and global shipping networks extend their reach. As well, in a highly distributed manufacturing ecosystem, sometimes an origin idea or maker is not possible to find.

It helps to remember that brand name goods are a 20th century (and arguably Western) phenomenon whose influence continues today. As the Museum of Things explains, brands evolve to help consumers decide what was quality. In many ways it was a response to increased production and competition. These Manoli cigarette brand designs came from the German Werkbund's efforts to improve the typography of brands. Museum of Things, Berlin.

The Merchandise Marks Act of 1887 introduced the concept of labeling something as "Made in...". In this case, "Made in Germany" came to be synonymous with inferior goods, which were being labeled as U.K. brands before the Act was passed. Back then, Germany also prohibited the import of certain products, to help spur local industry. The convention continues today, and variations help show how the origins of an object can influence perceptions of its value and quality. Museum of Things, Berlin.

Here is a ledger of 11 million Jews, from the meeting minutes at the Wannsee Conference, which depicted genocide as an issue of logistics management. After seeing Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp in person, I felt the need to understand how such a place could be built, and such unspeakable things could happen. The full minutes were displayed in the same historic room where the relevant department heads agreed on the Final Solution and the mechanisms of the Holocaust reached full coordination. It took years to build up to this moment, starting with propaganda posters and rhetoric, incitement of hate crimes, destruction of the press, ghettoization, sterilization, deportations, gas trucks, labor camps tucked away in places people would never see. By this point, the bureaucracy was in place, and decisions were made while draped in the understated elegance of a villa with Romanesque flourishes.

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