Archive for the 'utopia' Category

What’s in a monument and how Tito shaped his future

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

“These structures were commissioned by former Yugoslavian president Josip Broz Tito in the 1960s and 70s to commemorate sites where WWII battles took place (like Tjentište, Kozara and Kadinjača), or where concentration camps stood (like Jasenovac and Niš). They were designed by different sculptors (Dušan Džamonja, Vojin Bakić, Miodrag Živković, Jordan and Iskra Grabul, to name a few) and architects (Bogdan Bogdanović, Gradimir Medaković…), conveying powerful visual impact to show the confidence and strength of the Socialist Republic. In the 1980s, these monuments attracted millions of visitors per year, especially young pioneers for their “patriotic education.” After the Republic dissolved in early 1990s, they were completely abandoned, and their symbolic meanings were forever lost.”

Left alone like that, their aesthetics yield to a rare utopian vision of the former Yugoslavian dictator. Same Tito who retreated to Brioni in the summers. Same Brioni where Ykon will host its next summit and investigate the future..

Here are more examples of these abandoned monuments.

Food Potential

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Carolyn Steel via TED Talks and on how food shapes our city and ultimately us.
How every urban planning is structured around food and how early utopias were envisioned around the idea of an ideal and sustainable food distribution model. Touching base and rediscovering the potential of food for ANYTHING..

Picture 19

Picture 20

Concrete Misplots or in search of the accidental

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

“Based on iconic housing shapes, these buildings were intended as prototypes for mass-customization. Yet, as things go with computerized manufacturing, there have been misplots. The cartridge was not loaded properly. The concrete was set to the wrong parameters or scale. The printer module falsely translated a data set…

These misprints are the rejects of this early process, and they are now being used as shared homes by elderly people from the former squatter scene.

Reblogged from:

On the Pastimes of Utopian Citizens

Friday, August 21st, 2009

As a reflection on the YKON World Game, the whys and wherefores of it, let’s draw a parallel between two radically different utopian visions. A comparison between their play tells a story of its own…

First utopian vision:

Thomas More is rather well-known writer of the book Utopia, a renowned book by itself. So I’ll skip the bio, and assume everyone has a handle of who and what I’m talking about. One anecdote on the man, though: More is less well-known as the protagonist of R. A. Lafferty’s whirlwind of a novel, Past Master, which happens to imply the consequences of utopias in a rather subversive fashion.


where are we going?

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Technologist and futurist Bill Joy talks about several big worries for humanity — and several big hopes in the fields of health, education and future tech.

The co-founder of Sun Microsystems, Bill Joy has, in recent years, turned his attention to the biggest questions facing humanity: Where are we going? What could go wrong? What’s the next great thing?

The favorite location for utopias is: Paraguay

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

According to Thomas Philips since the time of Columbus’s arrival in 1492 the America’s have been a fertile terrain for locating utopias, and as one of the most politically and geographically isolated of American states Paraguay has come to act as a privileged topos for locating both utopias and dystopias. The works studied in Philips text “Heaven and Hell: The representation of Paraguay as a Utopian space” all demonstrate this longing for an ideal society, even if it is as the perfection of evil in a dystopia. As times change and people’s concerns change through history Paraguay has come to represent different things. For Southey it represented the noble savage and a state of pre-industrial innocence. Paraguay contributed to Joseph Conrad’s composite country that would help in his attempt to outline the flaws of the colonial project, even if it was to claim that the project should take a different form. For Graham Greene Paraguay simultaneously represented a blank space where Pulling could escape from the bland conformity of suburbia and reinvent himself as an individual and a dystopian non-space that would destroy Plarr. However, by the time of The Mission we return to the period of Jesuit rule as Joffe  denounces the political violence that swept Latin America in the 1970s and 1980s. According to Philips, again Paraguay is made to function as a non-space. In this case instead of being part of a universal Latin American location, as in Nostromo, it is all of Latin America, and in so being it becomes even  more of a non-existent space. And yet in order for Paraguay to function as this blank space it is necessary to disregard those who already live there, thereby silencing them, and so almost all of these works concentrates on Europeans. As Marlow complained, the blank spaces of the Earth are filling up.

The ‘New’ World is born

Monday, February 18th, 2008

The World, a series of man made private islands in the shape of a world map off of Dubai has finally been completed. The islands are for sale starting at $10 million USD. Created and developed by Nakheel.

Happy Countries

Monday, September 17th, 2007

map of happines
A University of Leicester psychologist has produced the first ever ‘world map of happiness.’

Adrian White, an analytic social psychologist at the University’s School of Psychology, analysed data published by UNESCO, the CIA, the New Economics Foundation, the WHO, the Veenhoven Database, the Latinbarometer, the Afrobarometer, and the UNHDR, to create a global projection of subjective well-being: the first world map of happiness. (more…)

The Crystal Frontier

Sunday, September 2nd, 2007

Artist Mai-Thu Perret has been writing for a couple of years The Crystal Frontier, a fictional account of a feminist commune founded by five women in the Southwestern United States. The Crystal Frontier consists of diary entries by its female protagonists who reflect on the lives they left behind, the reasons they left, and their personal hopes and hardships in pioneering a utopian community.

The Crystal Frontier is a master narrative insofar as it is a grand story generating other stories, which in the case of Perret take the form of sculpture. Whether they are large banners, folksy hand-crafted ceramics, a bunny coop, papier-mâché mannequins, a slightly oversized Constructivist tea set, or altered modernist furniture, nearly all of Perret’s work is derived from The Crystal Frontier. Perret’s heroines follow a routine of work, leisure, and self-improvement through therapeutic exercises in self-expression. For money, they sell crafts.

(info taken from a text by Hamza Walker on the Renaissance Society website)

Prime Minister should earn most, Football Players less, Supermarket workers more

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Good news from the Fabian Society Website: “A new Fabian poll shows the British public’s appetite for fairness and equality: they believe public sector workers should earn more, and are unhappy with the high salaries of those at the top end.

The report from the Fabian Society/YouGov which forms part of a new Fabian publication called The Equality Challenge, due out in September, found that although the British public thought the PM should earn more than top managing directors and footballers, he should earn less than he does currently. They felt £135,000 was a reasonable rate for the PM’s job. However, they would slash salaries for professional Premiership footballers to around £62,000 a year closely to their currently monthly salary. (more…)