Monday, March 24, 2008

Real Protest at the Olympic Torch Lighting Ceremony

Some French activists with Reporters Without Borders staged a disruption of the torch lighting ceremony in Athens today! Along with the banner unfurling, other peaceful demonstrations pointing to the ongoing repression by China in Tibet were planned and executed, including a woman who doused herself in red paint in front of a torch bearer. The protesters were arrested by police, and Chinese television apparently cut away to some pre-recorded footage, no doubt created for just such an occasion.
This may not be the end of the Olympics portrayed in the Travel Office's recent tour of Los Angeles' Olympic park in a speculative 2030 future, but there's still time...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Terror Tourism

Slate has an article on a tour of the impact of violence in Israel. But more interesting is one of the author's (Sharon Weinberger) background narrative on leisure and terror in Israel:
Summer camps, in popular culture, evoke memories of bonfires, tents, and teenage crushes. For me, it evokes memories of gun-wielding terrorists on an El Al flight to Israel.
The hijacking, of course, was imaginary—a re-creation staged in an auditorium at Camp Interlaken, a summer camp sponsored by the Jewish Community Center of Milwaukee. The bizarre scene involved counselors dressed up as Palestinian terrorists, wearing Palestinian keffiyehs and wielding fake guns, while the campers, some as young as 8, played the part of frightened air travelers.

At Your Service

The Travel Office's Parking Public video tour is included in a DVD compilation (curated by Andrea Grover) in the latest issue of Art Lies magazine. This issue looks particularly interesting... with a discussion of new media, art and the academy by members of Double Archive and Potter-Belmar Labs, a discussion of "The Email Obsessional" by and lots of other stuff. The DVD has videos from the Institute for Applied Autonomy, Brett Stalbaum/Paula Poole, Rick Prelinger, Natalie Jeremijenko, Aaron Koblin, and Aram Bartholl.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Touring Olympia

Touring Olympia: Exposition Park, Los Angeles

March 14th - 2:30pm
Pasadena City College

The Temporary Travel Office and artist Sarah Ross will be leading an experiential tour of Exposition Park in South Los Angeles, the site of the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Summer Games. The tour will look at the site from the vantage point of a post-2020 future, where the Olympic Games no longer exist due to a popular revolt against their waste and inequities. As tourists are transported South from Pasadena to Exposition Park and forward into the future, they will hear a narrated history of Olympism, the international movement responsible for the Games. Once at the Park, an exploratory walk of the grounds, now a memorial to the last Olympic Games, will conclude with a participatory reenactment of the last Olympic torch lighting ceremony.

The audio tour and accompanying guide book will be available for purchase and as a free downloadable packet.

The tour is conducted in conjunction with the Anytime, Anyplace: Collective Art in the 21st Century program at Pasadena City College's Digital Media Center

The symposium also features the Futurefarmers, Temporary Services and a keynote address by Grant Kester.

Touring the Subprime

We saw this picture on the great Space & Culture Blog, and followed the url. At first, we thought (hoped, actually) it must be satire or some kind of intervention. It isn't.
This isn't disaster tourism... but it is a disaster.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Trauma Tourism

The Travel Office was recently a guest at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where we had a great experience with folks in the Art Department. Aside from a public lecture and meeting with graduate students, I had the opportunity to check out the faculty art exhibition and came across Laurie Beth Clark's "Memory Sites/Trauma Memorials" installation. There is also an online component collecting sites of trauma and a Google Earth layer.