re: the Fincha Habera rock shelter

Credit | G. Ossendorf

Evidence found of early mankind in high-altitude Ethiopia via NYT


Common – Hercules ft Swizz Beatz

Related; an interview wherein Common talks about his relationship with J Dilla

We were roommates from 2004 ‘til he passed in 2006. We stayed in LA, we had this cool little apartment. He was definitely battling with a lot of his sickness, but he was a good roommate. It was incredible to wake up and hear Dilla beats. He’d always sit and watch TV, then go in there make beats. He’d be cleaning up, dusting off the speakers. He kept things all clean.

re: the agentive turn

Came across this article in the Journal of Material Culture which makes reference to an “approach to artefacts found in the agentive turn and in recent explorations of Amazonian animism in Anthropology“.

Which led me to some more Googling, as though I could deduce the meaning of the phrase, wanted to be sure.

As I understand it, the idea is to go beyond simply reading objects as tools, instead as technology that can be an independent actor/agent. In some cases, as in the Amazonian bit of anthropology, that is because of a broader ontological perspective. In the case of contemporary AI / UX, it is because of the “intelligent” yet machinic nature of the assistants we are creating.

For more read;

A recap of Interaction16, where Chris Noessel gave a fascinating and compelling talk on the dawn of agentive technology, and the implications for UX designers.

Notes by S. Poppe on the book ‘Designing Agentive Technology: AI That Works for People‘ by Christopher Noessel.

Related: also are the ideas of Gilbert Simondon, who as Henning Schmidgen has described (in Revista do Departamento de Psicologia – UFF, v. 17 – n. 2, p. 11-18, Jul./Dez. 2005) was interested “in the material and energetic agency that manifests itself inside and outside of technological objects. And he sketches a methodology that might prove very fruitful if we are to further explore this sort of agency in future studies“.

a counterpoint to the New Urban Agenda

we have to think of housing as a verb—not as a commodity but as an activity.

Further we need to embrace structural change vs “trendy urbanist notions of placemaking and tactical urbanism and the importance of public space“.

via a 2016 interview between Sara Bissen and Robert Neuwirth discussing Habitat III.

A Walk with the Rocky Mountain Land Library


Editor’s note; a version of the below text appeared in the May 10th Walk2Connect Co-op newsletter

See also; over at Twitter

I had the pleasure to spend May 4th walking and workshoping in Globeville, with the Rocky Mountain Land Library; a 501c3 nonprofit co-founded by Jeff Lee and Ann Marie Martin. Two long-time employees of the iconic Tattered Cover Bookstore. Their “ultimate vision is to open Buffalo Peaks Ranch as a year-round, residential retreat center and library, while hosting additional programs and outreach through our Metro Denver locations.

The Globeville location is one of three locations they have. I visited their Waterton Canyon branch on one of the early High Line Canal walks, with Chris Englert aka “the Walking Traveler”. Last year I visited their location on the South Platte in Fairplay, to attend Re/Calla curated art and communal experience that celebrates the natural environment…the intersection of art and nature…the ethereal and tangible.” The Globeville branch is their current/main book storage/processing location. It also has a special ‘Walking and Trails’ collection/room.

Our group, led by Ann Marie, spent the first part of the morning walking along the South Platte. After foraging for ink-making feedstock, we spent the next few hours experimenting with: charcoal, terra-cotta, willow-flowers and more. Do you even know how to mordant..? I didn’t before, but I do now!

On our walk we encountered a rich urban ecology of flora/fauna: dicots, wild-rose and willows. Birds of prey, coyote tracks and hooded merganser ducks. We even saw signs of beavers rewilding.

As I read that day, Wendell Berry writes

“Think of the genius of the animals,

every one truly what it is:

gnat, fox, minnow, swallow, each made

of light and luminous within itself.

They know (better than we do) how

to live in the places where they live.

And so I would like to be a true

human being, dear reader – a choice

not altogether possible now.

But this is what I’m for, the side

I’m on”