Dan Phiffer Dan Phiffer is an Internet enthusiast based in Troy, NY

Throw-away manifestos and the New

Adam Rothstein’s response to Bruce Sterling’s essay on the New Aesthetic:

The only manifesto for such a thing could be a Tumblr, and the confusion and consternation that such a lack of directness would cause is its own militancy. It may be irritatingly meta, but that an aesthetic that is largely about glitchy digital networks should be discussed only via glitchy digital networks is hardly surprising … There is a consistency in the drive to move past the manifesto itself, to let the aesthetic actually take over. The aesthetic may be a gooey sort of object-oriented ontology, or it might be a fetishization of pixels, but at some point we move past the urge to talk about what it is that we’re doing, and just start doing it. The forced rhetorical conviction becomes superfluous as the proposition becomes reality.


Taryn Simon’s China vs. Rian Dundon’s China

Two very different approaches.

Changsha by Rian Dundon (support his book project on

“I always thought of it as a kind of collaboration,” he said. “I’m here, I’m hanging out, and I don’t really know anything. So I’m going to let people lead me and see what kind of threads I can be led along. And if I give it enough time, those threads will lead to other threads.”

Dundon lived in China for six years, unofficially documenting his experience there. In contrast, Taryn Simon used the process of seeking officially sanctioned representation as a kind of material for her project.

A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters by Taryn Simon

China’s State Council Information Office (SCIO) was solicited in 2009 to select a multi-generational bloodline that would “represent China” for this project … Previously known as the Office of Foreign Propaganda, the SCIO researches, develops, and manages China’s external publicity activities.

This is just a small part of Taryn Simon’s exhibition that’s up at MoMA, Taryn Simon: A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters I–XVIII.

Occupy as a series of

Natasha Lennard:

What a long chain of failures Occupy has been over the past seven months. Think about it: It didn’t shut down Wall Street on September 17th; it couldn’t set up camp in its first-choice location, Chase Manhattan Plaza; it barely marched a third of the way across the Brooklyn Bridge roadway before getting kettled; the Oakland General Strike did not exactly generalize; and occupations have been driven from plazas, squares, vacant buildings, and sidewalks across America. Again and again, plans of action have not materialized as projected.

But maybe these failures are okay?

I was arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge while reporting on the day’s events for the New York Times. When I stood in plasticuffs with other arrestees, flanking the bridge’s Brooklyn-bound roadway awaiting our carriage in police buses, it was cold and rainy; the bridge and its iconic view have never looked so exhilarating and beautiful to me. As far as failing to cross a bridge goes, this was pretty spectacular.

See also: Occupy Did What?