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“So thin and light it’s a revolution!”

I'm split about this new iPad thing, or to be more accurate, it's naming 
and the attendant fuss. 

Yes, it sounds really like the name of a femine hygiene product 
(Mac's iPad, Mac's iPad, Mac's iPad, Maxipad, Maxipad, Maxipad). I think 
all the period jokes are hilarious, and it's pretty rare that period 
jokes are so widespread in media and everyday conversation. 
Hurrah for subversive women's humour! (They do seem to throw up 
certain confusion and disgust/ squeamishness in male commenters, for 
example in this CNN news item). 

There are other problems with the name too, like the fact it will surely 
be difficult to distinguish between 'iPad' and 'iPod' in certain accents; 
they sound so similar it's bound to cause confusion. But I can see why 
it wasn't called iTablet or whatever as you can't actually draw on it 
(or run one than one app at a time but that's a whole other story).
So, is it really true that no women work in Macintosh? That no one would 
have seen all this coming? It's really difficult to believe this couldn't 
have been foreseen by someone. Or does Macintosh think of women as outside 
their target market?

In the promotional video, all of the developers, marketers, and managers 
are male. The hands that type, tap, and generally caress the beautiful 
screen, and the lap that the iPad rests on are male too. In the frankly 
fantastic series of TV adverts by TWBA in the Get a Mac campaign, PC and 
Mac were both male characters (the whole campaign is viewable on Adfreak). 
Women do occasionally appear: as a marketer for PC; as a Japanese digital 
camera; a psychoanalyst; a squad of cheerleaders; a yoga instructor. 
In October 2006, Gisele Bunchen appears as a home movie created on 
Mac's iMovie, in comparison to PC's 'work in progress' - a man dressed in 
a similar dress and a poor blonde wig. (This is the kind of hyper 
stylishness and body fascism that I, maybe unfairly, associate with the 
Mac cult. The undertone of gender discrimination was new to me). 
Above is an image from the original 1984 Macintosh instruction manual 
that featured no women at all, or anyone other than white men for that 
matter.

So, I am undecided. Mac has either been extremely stupid, or extremely 
clever. As one commenter on Jezebel put it, "I think Apple is fucking 
with us to get more women engaged in the launch of its new product. 
It worked."

Exhibit A: held here
If I order this, will my boyfriend and I have to worry if it comes late? 
If me and my friends all buy one, will they sync up? Jezebel
Exhibit B: Apple instruction manual for the original 128k Macintosh, 
released in 1984, held here
"with the exception of Chapter 5, every photo shows a preppy white male 
using the computer. Women and people of color need not apply! (The dude 
in Chapter 4 even has a *sweater* around his shoulders!!!)..." 
blogged here

Exhibit C: How to Dress Like a Mac - Justin Long in the PC/ Mac TV 
adverts, 2006-9 - held here 
(the blogger notes that he 'doesn't know anything about women's 
clothes... but it seems Macintosh don't either').

And just to provide an alternative image of women and technology, 
below is Exhibit D: Part of the cowling for one of the motors for a 
B-25 bomber is assembled in California, 1942. 
Photo by Alfred T. Palmer for the FSA, held by the Library of Congress.

Bournville was a model village created to house Cadbury workers, although most of the houses are now owned by the Bournville Village Trust rather than the company itself… Quiet and relatively crime-free, Bournville is too tranquil to host an insurrection, but there is a revolutionary mood afoot in the wake of Cadbury’s decision to accept Kraft’s £11.9bn offer. The local BBC radio station hasn’t played an American song all week and although Cadbury employees are reluctant to talk, it is impossible to find anyone who is in favour of the deal.

James Robinson, Bournville, the town that chocolate built, writing recently in the Guardian. Photo by Christopher Furlong/ Getty Images

the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.”

Paulette Phillips at NCAD Gallery, 100 Thomas Street, Dublin
29 January – 6 March
Inspired by the poetically tragic aura that surrounds E 1027, a villa on the Cote d’ Azur built by architect and designer Eileen Gray for her lover Jean Badovici in 1929. Having built the house as a romantic getaway, Gray eventually walked away from her labor of love. For a period of time it then became known as Le Corbusier’s house, while Gray languished in obscurity.
Above: Touché
Magnetized books, nickel plated bronze structure
9.25″ x 9.25″ x 3.5″
“Touché traps two magnetized books, Le Corbusier’s The Poetics of Metaphor with Gray’s monograph Eileen Gray within a cage. One book hovers over the other repelled by its negative energy field.”
Artist website
Image held here

Spatial City: An Architecture of Idealism
First Exhibition of the Frac Collections in the United States – 2010
Institute of Visual Arts (Inova), Milwaukee, February 5 – April 18; Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, May 23 – August 8; Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit, September 10 – December 26
http://www.frac-platform.com
Spatial City is an art exhibition inspired by the theoretical architecture of Yona Friedman. Friedman’s ideas, disseminated in the aftermath of World War II, have influenced subsequent generations. French thinkers and conceptual artists have responded to his designs as philosophical constructs worthy of exploration, explication and confrontation. While Yona Friedman’s “utopia réalisable” informed the framework of the show, the selection of artwork reflects the cycling and recycling of optimism and cynicism in postwar culture. Artists in the exhibition are responding to society’s complex problems: the failed utopian social experiments that resulted in the dehumanizing conditions of Brutalist architecture, the rise and fall of totalitarian states, the tensions resulting from post-colonial immigration, and the destruction of the environment in the name of progress.
Read the rest of this entry »
9 January – 13 March 2010
Main launch event: 4 February, 6-8pm
Construction from 19 January
Gallery open to the public 5  February: 1pm – 8pm Tuesday - Saturday
Updates and info on events here

Temple Bar Gallery & Studios is pleased to present re : public, 
an exhibition and series of events through which the crucial question 
will be asked – can something happen in public again?
  Read the rest of this entry »

* Bertolt Brecht, early banner for a theatre play: Glotzt nicht so romantisch!
Image: Eileen Gray’s E1027, France (Sarah Browne, 2009)

There are certain sectors of the art world that crave a useful social role for art. Others see art as an activity making important contributions to intellectual discourse. Many look to art for pleasure. And then there are those who appreciate all of this seriousness, but crave the trappings of the entertainment industry too – fame, power, money, glamour, hierarchies, cultural parochialism. One year the art world is interested in this, the next year it’s interested in that. It wants to party, it wants to be scholarly. Markets go up, markets go down. At the same time as the Serpentine Gallery is showing Gustav Metzger, people are posing for photographs licking a giant chocolate facsimile of a Jeff Koons sculpture and throwing themselves on giant mounds of peanuts at the gala opening of PERFORMA 09. America elects a mildly progressive president and suddenly people scream ‘socialism’ as if the year is 1954 and Senator McCarthy is on the warpath. Everything changes and nothing changes.

Dan Fox in Frieze, January-February 2010. Full article here.

Idleness so called, which does not consist in doing nothing, but in doing a great deal not recognized in the dogmatic formularies of the ruling class, has as good a right to state its position as an industry itself.

It is admitted that the presence of people who refuse to enter in the great handicap race for sixpenny pieces, is at once an insult and a disenchantment for those who do.

Extreme busyness, whether at school or college, kirk or market, is a symptom of deficient vitality; and a faculty for idleness implies a catholic appetite and a strong sense of personal identity. There is a sort of dead-alive, hackneyed people about, who are scarcely conscious of living except in the exercise of some conventional occupation. Bring these fellows into the country, or set them aboard ship, and you will see how they pine for their desk or their study. They have no curiosity; they cannot give themselves over to random provocations; they do not take pleasure in the exercise of their faculties for its own sake; and unless Necessity lays about them with a stick, they will even stand still. It is no good speaking to such folk: they cannot be idle, their nature is not generous enough; and when they pass those hours in a sort of coma, which are not dedicated to furious moiling in the gold mill.

From Robert Louis Stephenson’s Apology for Idlers, c. 1880

This edition of Amateur Hour features a special on hobbies/ crafts that
found new necessity in postwar Britain:
Animal husbandry: Penguin handbook (originally published 1941, recently
re-editioned) Keeping Poultry and Rabbits on Scraps &
Gardening & Knitting (both currently enjoying a lifestyle-y renaissance):
two wartime posters by Abram Games, Please Knit Now and Grow Your Own
Food. Read the rest of this entry »
January 2010
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