And just this month an unmanned hypersonic jet reached Mach 5, averaging 3,300 miles per hour for about five minutes. That’s faster than a speeding bullet fired from a high-velocity rifle, and quite possibly Superman himself.
But there’s a big difference between this hypersonic flight and the ever faster computers that have penetrated nearly every corner of society, and now travel everywhere in pockets and purses, and even on some people’s faces. We don’t get to use the really fast airplanes. We’re actually flying slower than we were 50 years ago. It turns out we’re just too cheap to fly faster.
Sad. But true.
A highly-addictive typing game.
Play expert mode. I haven’t gotten past wave 9.
Contingent Continents: The World Over
Hundreds of ants industriously eat away at a map of the world in Rivane Neuenschwander’s video work, Contingent (2008) (below). Made of honey, the map slowly disintegrates into nothingness as the formidable continents shrink into smaller islands- mere specks of their former grandeur. This insect frenzy is a metaphor for the poignant and fraught relationship between consumption and the environment; it queries the consumptive habits of humankind and the detrimental consequences such consumption wreaks upon the natural world. While nourishment for ants is a necessity, the reasons for our environmental extortion might not always be deemed essential.
Part of The World Over, a group exhibition curated by Scott McLeod currently on view at Prefix Institute of Contemporary art in Toronto, Neuenscheander’s video thematically links the first work seen upon entering the exhibit, Cuban artist Glenda León’s photograph Between Air and Dreams (2003), with Donna Conlon’s video and photographs of ants, installed in the main space of the gallery. León’s work comprises an image of clouds, assembled into a map of the world while Conlon’s series Coexistence (2003/2008) depicts leaf-cutter ants carrying near-microscopic pieces of various national flags. León’s cloud continents, those fickle and ever changing bits of the atmosphere, speak to Earth’s future as contingent rather than immutable while the harsh borders of nationality are imagined as collapsed, again by the industry of ants, in Conlon’s film and photographs. In all cases, nature reigns supreme while the constructed borders humankind ironically fall prey to the whims of the natural.
These and other works on view in The World Over at Prefix Institute of Contemporary art in Toronto from May 2 through June 22, 2013.
- Natasha Chaykowski
David Foster Wallace: "This Is Water" (part 1)
Sometimes we must turn to other languages to find le mot juste. Here are a whole bunch of foreign words with no direct English equivalent.
1. Kummerspeck (German)
Excess weight gained from emotional overeating. Literally, grief bacon.
2. Shemomedjamo (Georgian)
You know when you’re…
Victoria Day fireworks at Ashbridge’s Bay.
Ugly phone recording with some clueless dude walking right into the middle of the shot. Then we all got rained on.