transmediale buzz

The Berlin transmediale is, to my knowledge, one of the very best annual conferences (a “convergence” is more the appropriate word) which exist on Planet Earth.  I was very fortunate to have been able to attend the 2011 sessions, where, among other things, I was able to learn about “book sprints” (whereby a book, having been researched, is collectively authored and printed by 5 or … Continue reading transmediale buzz


Virtually nothing was posted in January because I was parted from my main axe in Seattle; she needed work, and I needed time to teach and lecture and write, here and in London.  Now the sphere turns and all things return into my waiting hands: the cello, the bow, the black keyboard.  And a microphone awaits as well.  And thus this Bach, raw, an initial … Continue reading Solo

No Silence for the Unsubjugated: Woeser in the Parisian Press

Han ideograms of self-praise tattoo the walls of the echo chamber of the PRC; millions of yuan are tilted downward as if out of dump trucks, rushing into the cultural bureaucracy which promotes an official and commodified version of Tibetan culture.  China is engaged in a great and perpetual project of unification, of 融合 [rong he].   Within that deafening and totalizing discourse of the People’s … Continue reading No Silence for the Unsubjugated: Woeser in the Parisian Press

Beijing Noise

Status Updates: Gulou Neighborhood: Partially destroyed but still alive, hutongs shrinking into ever-smaller pockets, festooned with banners about harmoniously participating in pre-census surveys that should effectively run most undesireables out of the neighborhood by November 1. The Chinese Internet: remains blocked, NY and LA Times are available, Twitter and its biggest Chinese imitator FanFou are both blocked, WordPress is open, Blogspot is blocked.  Unlike … Continue reading Beijing Noise

Hiatus//Documentary Smorgasbord//Steven Chu for President in 2016

I’m on the two-day cusp of departing from Taipei for the beautiful work that awaits in Seattle, and am thus taking my annual last-week-of-July blogging vacation.  I would, in the meantime, like to recommend several fascinating sources for your delectation, enjoyment, and edification. Don’t miss: * C-Span’s panel discussions on the origins of the Korean War (particularly the remarks by the guest from London, and … Continue reading Hiatus//Documentary Smorgasbord//Steven Chu for President in 2016

Nachrichten aus der Reich der Mitte: German Reportage from the PRC

Der Spiegel has been simply plundering all kinds of topics lately in its coverage of China which are worth noting.  The global nuclear summit has the Hamburg magazine focused intently on the issue of proliferation and arms races, leading to excellent (and lengthy) articles by the Peking correspondent Andreas Lorenz about what China calls its “second line of artillery” and a pretty standard article “North … Continue reading Nachrichten aus der Reich der Mitte: German Reportage from the PRC

Destruction or Facelift for Beijing’s Gulou? French Press Reports, Photos

…faire peau neuve…. Destruction or facelift for the venerable and endangered Gulou/Drum Tower neighborhood in north Beijing? Efrafan Days, a UK-based blog, carries an essential report/opinion piece on this issue, rich with links, on the coming holocaust of historical architecture and rise of historical kitsch in Beijing. Rather than duplicate all the effort presently, I thought I might translate a solid report which was published … Continue reading Destruction or Facelift for Beijing’s Gulou? French Press Reports, Photos

PRC Portraiture // Tibet Commemorations

Images 1 and 2 are entries in a large national portraiture exhibition which opened yesterday in Beijing; images 3 and 4 are Xinhua products, linked to stories about the March 28 commemorations of the Dalai Lama’s exit from Tibet in 1959 (see Chicago Manual of Style for the ethics of “shock quotes,” links to all pages are on the images themselves). Continue reading PRC Portraiture // Tibet Commemorations

French Stories

In addition to these grabs from the Le Figaro photo blog (and one more of some beautiful monkeys in snowy Nagano), I’d like to recommend the work of Pierre Haski, former China correspondent for Liberation and presently the author of the “Chinatown” blog on Rue 89.  Why read this guy’s work?  Who else is writing such thoughtful analysis? Looking at the Sino-North Korean relationship in … Continue reading French Stories