It’s been a while…

But I figured I would take a few minutes to chill from the craziness (i.e., orientation and some deadlines – yeah, someone needed something from me, like, yesterday). In any case, check out this project by artists Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese. Visit their Kickstarter page here to learn more about their upcoming works.

#FREEBASSEL Campaign ~ Please spread the word!

#freebassel

PRESS RELEASE

#FREEBASSEL CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED TO BRING HOME LOVED AND CELEBRATED INTERNET VOLUNTEER DETAINED IN SYRIA

Damascus — Tuesday, 3 July 2012 – Today marks the launch of the #FREEBASSEL campaign to bring about the release of Bassel Khartabil, known widely on the Internet and in technology communities as Bassel Safadi. Bassel is a resident of Damascus, Syria, a technology pioneer and respected community leader. He is a loving family member and friend to countless people at home and around the world. He has been detained since March 15, 2012, without trial. Today the campaign learned Bassel is being held at security detention branch 291 in Kafer Sousa, a facility that was uncovered in the recent Human Rights Watch report “Syria: Torture Centers Revealed.”

The #FREEBASSEL campaign launched today by releasing a letter signed by leading supporters and organizations that Bassel has worked with for some time including support from Joi Ito, Chaiman of the Board for Creative Commons, Lawrence Lessig, Harvard Law School Professor, Jimmy Wales, and already 577 others from around the world who have signed a letter of support to #FREEBASSEL. The letter is directed at the Syrian Government, people living in Syria, Internet citizens and related diplomats worldwide with the goal to raise awareness about Bassel’s situation to see him free once more.

The letter reads:

To Whom it May Concern:

On March 15, 2012, Bassel Khartabil was detained in a wave of arrests in the Mazzeh district of Damascus. Since then, his family has received no official explanation for his detention or information regarding his whereabouts. However, his family has recently learned from previous detainees at the security branch of Kafer Sousa, Damascus, that Bassel is being held at this location known as branch 291.

Bassel Khartabil, a Palestinian-Syrian, 31, is a respected computer engineer specializing in open source software development, the type of contributions the Internet is built upon. He launched his career ten years ago in Syria, working as a technical director for a number of local companies on cultural projects like restoring Palmyra and Forward Syria Magazine.

Since then, Bassel has become known worldwide for his strong commitment to the open web, teaching others about technology, and contributing his experience freely to help the world. Bassel is the project leader for an open source web software called Aiki Framework. He is well known in online technical communities as a dedicated volunteer to major Internet projects like Creative Commons (www.creativecommons.org), Mozilla Firefox (www.mozilla.org), Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org), Open Clip Art Library (www.openclipart.org), Fabricatorz (www.fabricatorz.com), and Sharism (www.sharism.org). Since his arrest, Bassel’s valuable volunteer work, both in Syria and around the world, has been stopped. His absence has been painful for the communities that depend on him. In addition, his family, and his fiancée whom he was due to marry this past April, have had their lives put on hold.

Bassel Khartabil has been unjustly detained for nearly four months without trial or any legal charges being brought against him.

We, the signees of the #FREEBASSEL campaign, demand immediate information regarding his detention, health, and psychological state.

We urge the Syrian Government to release the community member, husband-to-be, son to a mother and father, and celebrated International software engineer Bassel Khartabil, immediately.

For More Information

http://freebassel.org

http://twitter.com/freebassel

http://facebook.com/FreeBasselSafadi

● Please use the #freebassel hashtag in social media.

● Image of Bassel: http://www.flickr.com/photos/joi/4670781482/sizes/l/in/photostream/ by Joi Ito (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licensed).

Background References

● Syria: Torture Centers Revealed. Human Rights Watch. http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/07/03/syria-torture-centers-revealed. Accessed 3 July 2012.

● Torture Archipelago: Arbitrary Arrests, Torture, and Enforced Disappearances in Syria’s Underground Prisons since March 2011. http://www.hrw.org/reports/2012/07/03/torture-archipelago-0. Accessed 3 July 2012.

About #FREEBASSEL

#FREEBASSEL is a campaign to bring about the safe and immediate release of Bassel Khartabil from wrongful detainment in Syria since March 2012. He is a well known contributor to global software and culture communities like Creative Commons, Mozilla Firefox, Wikipedia, Open Clip Art Library,
Fabricatorz, and Sharism. He is missed by these communities, his family, friends and loved ones. The campaign says, “We will not stop campaigning for him until we see him as a free global citizen once again.”

Contact

● info@freebassel.org

Annual Murphy and Cadogan Contemporary Art Awards Exhibition 2012

SOMArts Cultural Center and The San Francisco Foundation present a focused look at the future of the Bay Area visual and media arts landscape, September 4–October 2, 2012. The Annual Murphy and Cadogan Contemporary Art Awards Exhibition showcases the work of promising visual artists from regional Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) programs working across disciplines and identifies young artists whose work connects directly to the pulse of emerging trends.

Below, check out videos of previous award recipients!

All of the above information and embedded videos are provided courtesy of SOMArts Cultural Center.

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk @ the De Young Museum

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Here are some of the photos I took on my walk through of the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition at the De Young Museum. I walked away thinking the following: A) I think I would fumble all over my words if I met Jean Paul Gaultier, B) I will never look at fiber optics, wire, actual film strips, ribbon, lace, leather, and vinyl the same way ever again (THIS is a good thing), C) I want to meet the curator and theater company that helped produce the exhibition, D) next time, I will be taking a day off from work to go to a high-profile exhibition, and E) any exhibition at a major museum on a Saturday is like being on a crowded train. Enjoy the photos AND if you checked out the show, please feel free to leave comments and share your experience!! 🙂

Question & Answer with Tyrone Davies, Co-founder of the Free Form Film Festival (FFFF)

Click on the image above to donate to their Kickstarter campaign!

 

Film, especially documentary films, have always captivated my attention. Over the years, I’ve seen some amazing experimental film and video art works that had me wanting to support this particular art form at every opportunity. When I learned about the Free Form Film Festival (FFFF) and viewed some of the works from previous years, I was impressed with the caliber and the quality of the concepts. Co-founders, Tyrone Davies and Ryan Wylie have been running the FFFF)for over 10 years! I had the opportunity to catch up with Tyrone for some Q & A. Check out what he had to say and learn more about the festival!!

 

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What was the impetus for the Free Form Film Festival (FFFF)?

FFFF came out of a desire to screen films that most festivals do not screen. Ryan and I were realizing how few venues there were for genre-defying work. It seems like every fest has a box hey want to put you in. If you don’t fit, you don’t get shown. We thought there should be more festivals (I still can’t think of one) that were truly open to all forms, genres, lengths etc.

How did you get the name Free Form Film Festival (FFFF)?

The name Free Form Film Festival comes directly from our mission – to curate works challenging standard “form” or are even free of preconceptions about form and genre.

What is the difference between FFFF and other film festivals? Since FFFF has been happening for over the past 10 years, what was the motivation for you and Ryan to expand and start fundraising at this point? 

Since we are often considered to be an experimental film festival, we don’t seem to get as many narratives or documentaries submitted to us. But our aim is to show anything we consider to be innovative. We aim to be as eclectic as possible. We value the cross-pollination of ideas as well. I feel this is pretty unique. As time goes on, our concept of what a film is has expanded. There’s a lot of video art and other media art that is repetitive or has no real “end” so that work is hard to show to an audience. But we have made adjustments in some cases with multiple screens, or curating segments from larger works. Even though we can’t do all the things a gallery can do, we try to adjust for exciting content regardless of the form it takes.

As for the fundraising, we have a lot of reasons. The biggest financial concern entails hosting the visiting filmmakers who show their work and lecture. We want to elevate the festival by bringing in known makers. This year, I was able to secure funds to bring Bay Area makers, Mike Kuchar, Craig Baldwin, Jennifer Kroot, and Jamie Meltzer to Denver to show and discuss their films in person! This was a one-time thing that only affected Denver, but it was great. The Kickstater funding can do this in San Francisco and Salt Lake City. The other big thing is that some (not all) of our shows are free. The films with a modest fee still accrue production costs. We could use the flexibility. Also, we are working on some web development for our site but that is minimal. The main reason for the money is visiting lecturers in the three cities – San Francisco, Salt Lake City, and Denver!!

What are you hoping will happen with FFFF? Do you want this to travel to other cities? Will FFFF have a base city? 

After all the travel we have already done, we want to put down some roots. Right now, it seems like Denver, San Francisco, and Salt Lake City are the best choices. In the long run, we will definitely stay in San Francisco. We will always do some shows in less likely locations too but we don’t intend to keep traveling the way we once did. It’s just too difficult to do this and you can’t build audiences as easily. Again, this is why we are fundraising. We want to help bring artists to meet the community.

For those interested in submitting work for consideration to FFFF, what are you and Ryan looking for during the submission and deliberation process?

For submissions, we want people to send us work that is thoughtful and innovative. We don’t care if it’s a narrative, a documentary, an experimental film, video art, or anything else. We look for work that is conceptually strong.

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Below, is Brian Dewan’s, King of Instrument short film was featured in the past at the Free Form Film Festival (FFFF)