Lizzie Homersham


19
Oct
2014

9:09
PM
2014

The Extinction Marathon has come to a close. Thanks for watching. Extinct.ly continues.

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19
Oct
2014

9:09
PM
2014

Lisa Ma began her talk with a question:

"How can design move people from passivity towards activism?”

Propaganda is not doing the job it used to, Ma infers. Or perhaps it's just that the messages that might move us are insufficiently well-designed. The information we receive is, increasingly, packaged in standardized forms. Subjected to the design of a given platform (Twitter, mainly, if we're talking about news), what is more important is who, and how many people reproduce a message, rather than (visually speaking) how.

Referring to the bird flu outbreak, first detected in China in March 2013, Ma recalled how there was a national fear of the spread of the news rather than a spread of the virus itself. An epidemic amongst birds threatened the livelihoods of many Chinese farmers, as well as that of the national Badminton industry -- Ma told how mass incinerations of chickens led to a shortage of feathers needed for shuttlecocks used in the game.

Ma moved on to call for more sensitive and more innovative forms of spreading messages. With neither old forms of well-designed propaganda, nor clicktivist "armchair activism" considered appropriate, she proposed small and localised forms of community action.

Bioludditism is a movement that Ma is hoping to build on precisely this principle of site specific activity. Eventually tying together research from design, technology and biology, her contribution to the theme of extinction consisted of proposing a new diet. Many of the Marathon speakers had focused on the endangered pangolin, and the various ways in which it's being eaten to death.

But Ma moved beyond decrying the consumption of endangered species, or simply recalling Moby by advocating veganism. Instead, Ma has been travelling to Ghent to convince the mayor to eat the legs of invasive geese.

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19
Oct
2014

6:06
PM
2014

JD

Having woven together stories of gardens, psychotic episodes and orgasms with themes of extinction and apocalypse, Jesse Darling conjugated the verb Yolar*:

Yolo
Yolas
Yola
Yolamos
Yoláis
Yolan

I, You, we, they Only Live Once.

A panel discussion on language with Federico Campagna and Franco "Bifo" Berardi continued, moving through ideas such as the new spoken terms presently evolving from writing published online. Also language loss, emoji language and being between different languages and trying to gain access to what Campagna referred to as a hard to glimpse "outside".

"We are reduced to our communicative, performative identity without an outside”

Sound came up in relation to performance and reading. While Berardi and Campagna emphasized the role of the voice and a symbolic "mother" as an integral part of our visual recognition of objects and signs, Darling pointed out that hearing is not universal - we don't all, as Campagna implied, have access to sound and vision.

*Darling's conjugation was Latin-derived, I think. My version is Spanish.

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David Rudnick and Raf Rennie's designs for the Extinction Marathon programme use invisible ink to show otherwise hidden images and text.

Prog

They applied the same design principles to STUFFED and EXTINCTION, which are freely available as posters at the bar alongside the Marathon stage.

You need UV light to read the specially commissioned texts by Keller Easterling and Maurizio Lazzarato. Or find them here and here alongside further texts by Timothy Morton and Benjamin Bratton.

Unfortunately, a chance to shine a light on the eternally #extinction relevant dinosaur and mascot of Arsenal Football Club was missed - as Rudnick tweeted this morning:

I take this moment to give a well deserved platform to a cultural icon:

More dinosaurs featuring on stage soon in Anna Zett's DINOSAUR.GIF, which you can find excerpted on her website under "work marked for extinction."

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19
Oct
2014

3:03
PM
2014

KAT

Katja Novitskova opened her talk with an observation, illustrated by her research interests in biotechnology and semiotics, about how the brain is no longer a mystery but increasingly an object for manipulation by digital technology.

She spoke about the attention grabbing patterns of animals when they're used in marketing and in art.

Animal images have "prediction power", she said - activating positive responses stimulated by the visual strength of the animal, interpreted by the human brain as abstract pattern.

Katjanovi.net

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