Long Form

Imagining a New State: Image and Activism in Iran

Both visual production and network activity around the Iranian election protests reflect the increasing agency of individuals in dictating ideological objectives of their states and molding public perceptions of their states as represented in the media. Here, I talk about the visual imagery of the Iranian Revolution with a particular emphasis on how the death of Neda Agha-Soltan, captured on cellphone videos and distributed via YouTube, became a turning point in the media framing and coverage of the protests in Tehran and around the world.

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Postmodernity in Howl's Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle leaps from the English printed page to the animated Japanese voice. Whose story is it? This paper on the translation of Howl's Moving Castle from page to screen, was originally presented at the Screening Childhood Panel, MLA Convention, Philadelphia, PA. December 29, 2009.

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Weights + Measures: A System of Relative Values

But a linear animation can only go so far in probing the relationships of relative values in an age of visual complexity. Computing, with its basic building blocks of data structures and algorithms, offers seemingly endless ways to re-present and revisualize these ideas, introducing increasing layers of depth and detail to ever-greater end. This paper lays out how Weights +Measures has the potential to evolve into a data-driven exploration of relative measures, drawing on database aesthetics, the capacity for emergence in visual systems, and the unique properties of multi-stream visual storytelling as exemplified in two data-driven art projects: ecosystm and We Feel Fine.

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Cleaning Coal: The Battle to Rebrand Coal

What exactly is clean coal? The term refers to coal produced by new technologies for capturing and sequestering coal by-products that reduces the harmful impacts of coal on the environment. Does clean coal exist? No. The emerging technologies referred to have not moved from concept to reality, despite billions of dollars of investment since 2001 (made possible only with the support of the Bush administration). As such, the movement for clean coal serves as a thinly veiled promotional vehicle for investment in the coal industry. Read on for the battle to persuade Americans to invest in “clean coal,” descriptions of the two main advocacy groups on either side, and a comparison of their arguments for and against clean coal as presented through public education campaigns on their websites.

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No Easy Answers: M.I.A. and the Politics of Pop

It has been argued that M.I.A., the London-born Sri Lankan Tamil rapper, should not have to explain why her art contains references to the internationally known terrorist organization familiarly known as the Tamil Tigers. But in a 2009 interview, M.I.A. called the civil war in Sri Lanka a genocide and compared its history of ethnic conflict to Nazi-Germany. What lies behind M.I.A.’s contentious claim?

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Globalization in Action: Avaaz

Currently clocking in at 3.4 million members, Avaaz has built its membership – drawn from every country in the world – based on a very simple mission: “to close the gap between the world we have, and the world most people everywhere want.” Based on an internally coherent ideoscape, Avaaz represents an alternate reading of globalization as a force in shaping the 21st century and applies a model informed by the modern technologies of network and hybridized identities to pursue its mission.

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Breaking Down Our Better History

President Obama’s inaugural address will ultimately be judged on the next four years, but contains powerful promises of a new age of responsible governance in America. By tying his speech to its historical antecedents, rejecting the political agenda of the last eight years, and introducing a more inclusive rhetoric of globalization, President Obama has delivered a speech that could redefine the stage of American politics.

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Kyocera Will Save Your Soul

This print ad from Kyocera, a Japanese mobile phone company, uses stylish graphics, Japanese symbols, and Western art references to create a powerful visual counterpoint to their message of East meets West. But that's not all -- mobile devices are often marketed as lifestyle products, and the myth underlying this striking image may surprise you.

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