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17 MAY 2015

Al Nakba: Documentary on the Palestinian Catastrophe

"Al Nakba, documentary (200 min) -produced by Al Jazeera- was first broadcasted in Arabic on the 60th anniversary of the Palestinian catastrophe. It was translated into English in 2009 and then into four different languages: French, German, Spanish and Italian. Al Nakba won the prize for the best long documentary about Palestine in Al Jazeera Fifth International Film Festival (Doha/Qatar) and the audience award in Amal Ninth Euro-Arab Film Festival (Santiago/Spain). It participated in other film festivals in Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Jordan, Egypt and Palestine."

"Al Nakba" (2008). directed by: Rawan Damen

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1799 • 19482008 • 60th anniversary • Al Jazeera • Al Nakba (2008) • Arab-Israeli war • archive material • British expansion • British Mandate in Palestine • catastrophecolonisation • dispossession • European imperialism • expulsion • four-part series • historyhistory of conflictideological intoleranceIndigenous peopleIsraelIsraeli-Palestinian conflictMiddle EastNapoleon BonaparteOttoman EmpirePalestine • Palestinian catastrophe • Palestinian exodus • Palestinian territories • Palestinian tragedy • Rawan DamenrefugeeState of Israeltelevision documentaryterritorialisation • The Nakba • Zionist

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
28 OCTOBER 2014

Questioning the goal of efficiency in contemporary culture

"Efficiency in human behavior is a goal that is rarely questioned in contemporary culture. This course will study and draw connections between disparate fields to trace the development and influence of this view. The course, drawing a mix of humanities and engineering students, will include readings and lectures on 19th and 20th century philosophers with discussions of new technology and team experimental projects.

Frederick Taylor, the father of industrial engineering, analyzed human motion to optimize industrial productivity, which had great influence on Henry Ford, military logistics, and Stalin. Michel Foucault traced the history of the minute analysis of human motion from Napoleon's methods for transforming peasants into soldiers to modern methods for reforming prisoners. Martin Heidegger claimed that 'efficient ordering' was the defining characteristic of modern culture. Through the course, students will learn to recognize how this obsession with efficiency for its own sake relates to technology and to their daily lives."

(Questioning Efficiency: Human Factors and Existential Phenomenology, UC Berkeley course syllabus, Fall 2006)

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Albert Borgmann • Anson Rabinbach • Anton BragagliaBerkeley (University of California)capture a moment of timechronophotographycooking in the kitchen • critique of technology • Dale Huchingson • dematerialization of objects in space • Eadweard Muybridgeefficiency • efficient ordering • Eliot Eliofson • Emily Fox • engineering students • Etienne-Jules Marey • everyday life • existential phenomenology • fotodinamismo • Frank Gilbreth • Frederick Taylor • geometric chronophotograph • goal • golfer • Henri BergsonHenry Ford • homemaker • Hubert Dreyfushuman behaviourhuman bodyhuman factorshuman factors in designhuman motion • Idris Khan • increased productivityindustrial engineering • industrial productivity • infinite continuity of time • James Gleick • Joseph Stalin • Ken Goldberg • kitchen • kitchen studies • lecture programmeLillian Gilbrethlong exposure • management science • Marcel DuchampMartin Heideggermeasure performancemetricisationmetricsMichel Foucault • military logistics • model kitchen • modern culture • modern homemaker • motion studiesNapoleon Bonaparte • Nude Descending a Staircase (1912) • objects in motion • obsession with efficiency • philosophy of technologyproductivity • reconstruction of movement • schematic phases • scientific goalssimultaneityslow motion photographystudying motiontechnologyThe Kitchen Practical (1929) • time and motion studies • time savingtime-motion studies • Umberto Boccioni • wasted motion

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
03 SEPTEMBER 2014

Umberto Eco: The Virtual Imagination

"But many internet programs suggest that a story is enriched by successive contributions. … This has sometimes happened in the past without disturbing authorship. With the Commedia dell'arte, every performance was different. We cannot identify a single work due to a single author. Another example is a jazz jam session. We may believe there is a privileged performance of 'Basin Street Blues' because a recording survives. But there were as many Basin Street Blues as there were performances. ... There are books that we cannot rewrite because their function is to teach us about Necessity, and only if they are respected as they are can they provide us with such wisdom. Their repressive lesson is indispensable to reach a higher state of intellectual and moral freedom."

(Umberto Eco, 7 November 2000)

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2000authorial signatureauthoritative workauthorship • Basin Street Blues • biographybooks • books-to-be-read • booksellersbookstoresCinderella • closed universe • Commedia dellarte • comprehending languagecomputers • copying machine • e-bookelectronic literatureencyclopaediaend of booksend of print • enriched by successive contributions • every performance is different • evolving formfairy talefatefolioFranz Kafkafuture of the book • god passed over • grammatical rulesheroeshypertexthypertext fiction • hypertextual programme • hypertextual structures • Immanuel Kant • infinite possibilities • infinite texts • intellectual freedom • intellectual needs • jazz jam session • Les Miserables • library catalogue • linear narrative • linearityLittle Red Riding Hoodmanuscripts • moral freedom • Napoleon Bonapartenatural language • necessity • new forms of literacy • obsolete form • open work • Penguin edition • photocopierprint on demand • printed books • printed version • privileged performance • publishing houses • publishing modelreaderly textsreading • reading process • revisionscanningselectionshift to digital • single author • specificity of print • systems and text • tailored consumer experience • texts which can be interpreted in infinite ways • theories of interpretation • tragic beauty • tragic literature • Umberto Eco • unlimited texts • utilitarian value • Victor Hugo • War and Peace • Waterloo • William Shakespeare

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
14 APRIL 2006

Assembling, Ordering, Classifying Musee Du Louvre

"The great theme of the nineteenth century was history. The accumulation of material that demonstrated the contingently renegotiated meaning of the past was one of the elements that constituted the emergence of museums as public places. Napoleon used the rewritten script of the King's Palace of the Louvre to show and celebrate the Republican government and to constitute the potentially dangerous masses as citizens of that Republic. Through the bringing together and displaying of material things which had been violently taken away from their previous religious, aristocratic, royal and enemy owners [and colonial subjects] a space was constituted where new values of liberty, freedom, fraternity and equality among citizens of the State could be both produced and reproduced. In becoming a visitor to the Musee du Louvre, the subject willingly and enthusiastically embraced a new ensemble of social, cultural, political and economic values. The reorganised newly disciplined spaces of the old haphazard royal palace acted as one of the new technologies of power, control and supervision of both subjects and material things. In the assembling, ordering, classifying, placing, cataloguing, labelling, conserving and displaying of thousands of paintings, sculptures, clocks, tapestries, mirrors, jewels, coins, books, live animals and plant specimens new curatorial practices and values began to emerge in the Musee du Louvre, the Jardin des Plantes and other related institutions. [5] New separations were made between types of material thing. Natural things had their own spaces where before they had often been part of a general collection. Separations were made between the works of living and dead artists where previously the size, shape and content of a painting had been the factors that determined the classifying code. The 'authentic' and the 'fake' became new categories, where previously a complete series had been more important. New subject positions emerged.[6]"

(Eilean Hooper–Greenhill)

[5] P. Wescher, 'Vivant Denon and the Musee Napoleon' Apollo v.80, pp.183, 1964; E. P. Alexander, Museum Masters: their museums and their influences American Association for State and Local History, 1983, p.93–4.
[6] Alexander, 1983, p.95 and C. Gould, Trophy of Conquest: The Musée Napoléon and the Creation of the Louvre Faber and Faber, 1965, p.20, both discuss the emergence of picture conservation as a discreet and specialist activity; K. Hudson, Museums of Influence Cambridge University Press, 1987, pp. 6, and 41, mentions dealers and art historians; and Wescher, 1964, p.183 discusses the specialist staff recruited for the new museum.

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13 JANUARY 2004

Revolution-proofing Paris

Professor Robert Schwartz / Mount Holyoke College students
Baron Georges Eugene Haussmann (1809–1892) was appointed by Napoleon III on June 22, 1853 to "modernise" Paris. In this way, Napoleon III hoped to better control the flow of traffic, encourage economic growth, and make the city "revolution–proof" by making it harder to build barricades. Haussmann accomplished all this by tearing up many of the old, twisting streets and dilapidated apartment houses, and replacing them with the wide, tree–lined boulevards and expansive gardens ... Napoleon III hoped this would discourage rioters, who were in the habit of setting up barricades in the warren–like streets.

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barricadesboulevard • Haussmann • Napoleon Bonaparte • Napoleon III • Parisrevolution
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