Texas Voters Take the Fast Lane (and every other one) to the Polls

February 25, 2008 · Print This Article

After years of Redistricting in the State of Texas some polling places have been moved to incredibly distant locations in order to encourage voter apathy and lower turnout (if you are not real sure on how Redistricting works and why it happens then check out this Sim City inspired educational game ) .

Well the students of the Prairie View A&M University (The second oldest public institution of higher education in Texas, a historically black university ranked as one of the top producers of engineers & nurses) decided to go to their polling place (even though it is 7 miles away) by foot. Essentially shutting down the highway that feeds the town and making sure their voice was heard. Video was taken of the march and can be seen below.




Duncan and Brian Speak at CAA

February 25, 2008 · Print This Article

This Thursday, Duncan and Brian spoke about Bad At Sports at the College Art Association 2008 Annual Conference in lovely Dallas, TX. The panel was titled “artblogging == global.exibit(local)” and was a part of the New Media Caucus at the Dallas Contemporary. The intrepid BAS representatives overcame a lack of audio support (important for a podcast…) and anchored the panel with an in depth look at how BAS positions itself as a tool for artists in the contemporary art world.

A supporting blog for the panel can be found at artblogging.org.




Episode 130: Stephanie Smith-Adaptation

February 24, 2008 · Print This Article

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


download
Stephanie Smith

This week Duncan and the always delightful Jeff Ward talk to Stephanie Smith, the Director of Collections and Exhibitions and Curator of Contemporary Art at the Smart Museum in Chicago about the current exhibition Adaptation: Video Installations by Ben-Ner, Herrera, Sullivan, and Sussman & The Rufus Corporation.

Holy guacamole am I sick this week, yuck. One of the joys of having a child in daycare.

Bad at Sports is officially panhandling for a used PC laptop as a donation, or a reasonably priced sale, to us. The IBM T-42 that has handled the last 130+ shows is fatally ill and needs replacement pronto. Please e-mail us at badatsports@gmail.com if you have something fairly recent laying about you would like to get off of your hands! Thanks.

Direct download: Bad_at_Sports_Episode_130-Stephaine_Smith.mp3




And we thought Fox News had cornered the market on extreme opinions.

February 21, 2008 · Print This Article

A debate between an Iraqi “Researcher on Astronomy” and a physicist on Iraqi television. This is not the only case of a debate of this nature, and you thought America could fill the 24/7 news cycle with some really odd debates.




Japan High Court Thinks Long & Hard About Mapplethorpe Book

February 19, 2008 · Print This Article

Mapplethorpe vs Japan
Japan’s Supreme Court has issued a landmark decision opening the way for the sale of a book of collected erotic photographs by the late Robert Mapplethorpe.

This would over rule a 2003 decision by the Tokyo High Court that banned the book’s sale because it was deemed indecent. Tuesday’s ruling is believed to be the first time the top court has overturned a lower court decision on obscenity.

Publisher Takashi Asai called it “groundbreaking” and predicted the ruling might “change [Japan's] obscenity standard.”

Justice Kohei Nasu said the black-and-white portraits were from an “artistic point of view” and led the majority opinion of the five-judge panel that Mapplethorpe was “a leading figure in contemporary art.”

The justices did, however, throw out Asai’s demand for government compensation of arround $20,000 US.

Japan’s domestic obscenity laws were relaxed in the 1990s but imported publications are handled by customs and the laws still ban images of genitals.

Asai, of Uplink publishers, had argued that the import ban was obsolete, pointing out the Mapplethorpe book was in the Japanese parliament’s library and that copies were offered for sale on the internet.

His company had been selling the Japanese version of Mapplethorpe’s 384-page book since 1994. The book, entitled “Robert Mapplethorpe”, contains 20 close-up photos of male genitalia.

Everything changed in 1999 when airport customs officials in Japan confiscated a copy of the book that Asai had been carrying.

Then Tokyo police visited him and gave him a warning, causing Asai to voluntarily suspend sales of the book in 2000.

Asai decided to go to court and in 2002, he won a case in Tokyo District Court. The government was ordered to give back his book and to pay $6,480 US in damages. But a year later, a higher court overturned that ruling. At that point, Asai took the case to the highest court in the land. Leading to today’s ruling.