destruction   997

« earlier    

The Creativity Code by Marcus du Sautoy – review | Books | The Guardian
A wide-ranging study claims that, whether in mathematics or the arts, computers won’t create anything of value unless they acquire consciousness
Book  AI  creativity  Automation  creative  destruction 
10 days ago by asterisk2a
The U.S. Government Once Nuked a Bunch of File Cabinets - Atlas Obscura
In 1955, the Department of Defense began Operation Teapot, one of dozens of nuclear experiments that have been performed at the Nevada Test Site since the late 1940s. Operation Teapot consisted of 14 separate explosions, each of which provided the DoD with the opportunity to assess various outcomes of interest.

A test called “Wasp,” for example, was meant to show what would happen if a nuclear device detonated at low altitude. For another, called “ESS,” an 8000-pound bomb was exploded underground, to see how large of a crater it would make. (Many of the tests had quotidian names, like “Bee” and “Zucchini,” which are illustrated on an incongruously playful diploma given to participants.)...

While they were at it, they figured, they might as well nuke some file cabinets, too. For Project 35.5, “Effects of a Nuclear Explosion on Records and Records Storage Equipment,” the FCDA teamed up with the National Records Management Council, several companies that made safes, and a superintendent from Western Union. They filled various storage vessels with various types of media, scattered them at various distances from Apple-2’s Ground Zero, and waited to see what would happen when the bomb dropped.

The project’s official report—which was first released in June of 1958, and was uploaded by nuclear historian Alex Wellerstein on his blog, Restricted Data, in 2011—explains the rationale. “Business records are the memory of an organization,” it reads. “Preservation of important business records in a disaster can help ensure survival of managerial direction and continuity of enterprise."...

The report also lays out the process, which was quite thorough. The guinea pigs included “a complete variety of records storage equipment,” such as file cabinets, steel shelving, corrugated cardboard boxes, and different classes of safe. Inside were materials ranging from photographic film to paper letters to telegraph tape. These were then put in assigned locations, some inside or next to structures, and some completely exposed. For one subtest, the group put samples of four different types of paper—“new rag, old rag, soda sulfite, and purified sulfite”—in various Survival Town basements and garages....

Money chests fared far better. One, originally placed just a fifth of a mile from Ground Zero, was found about 350 feet from its original location, burned and with a broken lock. It had done its job, the report says: “The contents, which were in excellent condition, included a gold watch case, paper, United States postage stamps, loose microfilm, and microfilm in a sealed can.”
archives  storage  intellectual_furnishings  nuclear  destruction 
december 2018 by shannon_mattern
View of Some Of Iraq’s Rural Areas: Few Jobs, Little Rebuilding Or Reconciliation, Still Insurgent Threat - Musings on Iraq
Few of these areas get any kind of press coverage, and when they do its usually for an attack by the Islamic State. That’s why this IOM report was important, because it gave a brief insight into what was going on some of Iraq’s rural areas. The picture was not pretty. These sub districts almost all saw heavy fighting during the war and there is little being done to rebuild them. The economy is still pretty much wrecked, IS sympathizers are being singled out and discriminated against, and just as important the militants are still active in many of them meaning that there is little opportunity to fix these difficult problems. That also means some of these areas could actually deteriorate if violence picks up. That’s already happening in places like southern Kirkuk, where the Islamic State has a strong presence and is going after local officials, the security forces, and infrastructure like electricity towers. This is so unfortunate because Iraq has gone through so much it sometimes seems like it will never have the space to recover.
Iraq  reconstruction  destruction  war 
november 2018 by elizrael
The Anarchy, Piety and Celebrity of Banksy’s Auto-Destructive Prank | Frieze
Above all, Banksy’s stunt wants to belong to the waves of anti-art, or rather anti-art establishment, that emerged in the 1950s and ’60s. These had a sense of creative destruction at their core. With Philip Corner’s Piano Activities (1962), the Fluxus group performed a ‘score’ that resulted in the destruction of a piano; a happening that was shown on German television and titled, with melodramatic indignation, ‘The Lunatics have Escaped!’ The previous year, on London’s South Bank, Gustav Metzger’s Acid Action Painting (1961) saw him paint with hydrochloric acid, burning holes through his cloth canvas to reveal the cityscape beyond. ‘The important thing about burning a hole in that sheet was that it opened up a new view across the Thames of St Paul’s cathedral,’ he told The Guardian in 2012. ‘Auto-destructive art was never merely destructive. Destroy a canvas and you create shapes.’

Perhaps closest (in style only) to Banksy’s mechanically-aided self-sabotage was Jean Tinguely’s self-destructing machine Homage to New York (1960), which whirled, blared and burst into flame in MoMA’s sculpture garden, before the fire brigade finally put it out of its misery. For Tinguely the idea of the artwork having a transitory lifespan was paramount: ‘I wanted something ephemeral, that would pass like a falling star and, most importantly, that would be impossible for museums to reabsorb. I didn't want it to be ‘museumized’. The work had to pass by, make people dream and talk and that would be all […] It had a certain complex seduction that made it destroy itself – it was a machine that committed suicide. A very beautiful idea!’
archive_art  destruction  erasure 
october 2018 by shannon_mattern
The Anarchy, Piety and Celebrity of Banksy’s Auto-Destructive Prank | Frieze
What a brief history of creative destruction reveals about the Sotheby’s shredding stunt
art  destruction  artmarket  banksy 
october 2018 by yhancik

« earlier