CBS Evening News has captured a stunning aerial photo of Manhattan Island surrounded by the frozen waters of New York Harbor due to the record low temperatures that have recently plagued New York City and much of the country.
FEBRUARY 20, 2015, 6:30 PM|For the past few weeks, tugboats in New York Harbor have had to be sent out ahead of the ferries to ensure they could make it through the icy waters. The frigid weather is expected to continue causing havoc not only in the Northeast but the South as well.
Mysterious disembodied hands sprouted from walls and sidewalks in Barcelona in “Hands”, a 2012 street art project. The hands were posed in provocative gestures — begging for change, holding nooses, menacing passersby with mimed pistols — as a commentary on the upheaval caused by the Eurozone economic crisis. The project was created by four artists: Octavi Serra, Mateu Targa, Pau García, and Daniel Lugany.
¿Has visto ya nuestro corto en Filmin? https://www.filmin.es/corto/la-llave-de-la-felicidad
What is ‘Via Catalana’?
The ‘Via Catalana‘ (Catalan Way) is a political demonstration which will take place this September the 11th. Inspired by the Baltic Way — a human chain formed by up to two million people on August 23 1989 across Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — its aim is to create a 400 km long chain which will cross Catalonia from north to south. 400.000 people have signed up to take part in the human chain, although organizers hope that the actual turnout will be at least twice that figure. People will be asked to join hands at exactly 17:14 (15:14 GMT). The chain, which runs along highways, roads and city streets, will come to an end at 18:00 (16:00 GMT). If successful, it will be one of Europe’s largest ever demonstrations, following in the footsteps of last year’s march in Barcelona, when up to 1,5 million people walked through the streets of the capital asking for independence, the country’s most massive rally ever.
With more than 7,2 million inhabitants Catalonia is a country in the northeastern corner of the Iberian Peninsula. At a crossroads between different cultures and civilisations, it once formed part of the old Crown of Aragon, which merged with the Crown of Castile to create what later became Spain. What in medieval times was a powerful nation which extended its influence across and beyond the Mediterranean, is now an autonomous region within the Spanish State posessing restricted powers, devolved as seen fit by the central state. It has its own language, Catalan, and institutions, amongst them one of Europe’s oldest Governments and Parliaments.
Why is the Catalan Way taking place today?
Catalonia was a party in the War of Spanish Succession (1701-1714), where the old crowns of Castile and Aragon fought, alongside their European allies, over who should be crowned as king of Spain following the death of Charles II. Catalonia, which favoured archduke Charles as successor, lost a war which ended with Europe recognising Philip V as the new king of Spain. The long war ended with a prolonged siege of Barcelona, Catalonia’s capital, which was systematically bombarded by Spanish troops fighting for the Bourbon candidate, Philip V. After months of resistance Barcelona finally surrendered on September 11 1714. Modern Spain was born, but Catalonia was to pay a heavy price for its support for the Austrian candidate: Catalan language was forbidden and Catalan institutions abolished. Every year, on September 11, Catalans commemorate the day on which Barcelona fell, honouring those killed defending the country’s laws and institutions [video: A trip to Barcelona].
Since the defeat of 1714 Catalonia has never been allowed to rule itself again [a Catalan history of Spain]. The old nation was forcefully transformed into a mere Spanish province.This state of affairs did not change until 1931, when the proclamation of the Spanish Republic gave Catalans the freedom to regain their old institutions. Catalan was taught in schools, the Parliament reopened, the Government was once more established… But the situation was not to last. The end of the Civil War, with the subsequent establishment of the Franco dictatorship, meant a new blow for the country, crushed once again by a centralist state, administred directly from Madrid.
Following Franco’s death, and with a new democratic regime in place, Catalonia regained its old institutions, and it was once more allowed to rule its own affairs in a number of key areas. But the centralist inertia of the Spanish state, always resisting to the last all devolved powers and continually meddling in affairs which Catalans consider very important — like respect for the Catalan language — has left Catalonia’s citizens whith a deep sense of frustation. This frustation was brought to a head in 2010 when an appeal by the Partido Popular over some of the clauses in the newly approved Catalan Statute (which won majority votes in both the Catalan and Spanish Parliaments) lead the Spanish Constitucional Tribunal to rule it was inconstitucional to use the term ‘nation’ to refer to Catalonia in the document’s preamble.
Since that time the feeling of alienation from Spain has only grown, with many previously apathetic citizens suddenly becoming separatists. More fuel has been added by the economic crisis, and the gross incompetence which has been demonstrated by Spain’s political and financial leaders. This, along with the record levels of unemployment with no end in sight, has given a new impulse to Catalonia’s demands, since it has left the Catalan Government in a critical financial situation, unable to access the international financial markets and totally dependent on the such funds as the Spanish Government to forward to it. This unjust situation reached its most bizarre moment when the Spanish government raised the VAT rate last year to help improve funding. The Catalan government actually lost out, since it had to pay the new rate to all its suppliers but received no refund or additional funding from the central government which was, of course, much better off.
This, in a country which contributes to Spain far more than it gets in return: figures vary, but it is reasonable to suggest that Catalonia loses between 10,000 to 16,000 million euros per year, because of this fiscal deficit. The accumulated deficit between Catalonia and Spain for the period 1986-2010 reaches a total of 213,933 million euros, five times Catalonia’s current debt. The economic imbalance between what Catalans pay in taxes to the Spanish state and what they get in return, is a major contributing factor to the sense of anger and frustration felt by many. It has been very hard for Catalans see their school and hospital services deteriorate under the sever cuts that have been administered while those in other regions which are arguably subsidized from Catalan taxes go virtually unscathed [opinion: Spanish Prisoners].
What do the Catalan political parties say?
Since the death of Franco all Catalonia’s main parties have argued for a theoretical right to self-determination, but have never taken steps towards achieving that goal. Following slow and painstaking negotiations with Madrid, only a fragile, unstable compromise has been reached: the Spanish state has devolved powers in some key areas, from education to health or police, but it still is unable to recognise Catalonia as a nation. This has left Catalan parties divided on the issue of which course of action to take. Traditionally, Catalan parties have asked for more powers to be devolved from Madrid to Catalonia, but the recent rise in strength of the pro-independence movement — which originates in social, rather than political organizations — has taken some aback [video: Catalunya push for economic independence].
Centre Right Nationalist CiU, Catalonia’s current governing political coalition, has evolved from a pro-autonomy stance to being more clearly inclined towards independence. It is, though, a coalition of parties with different views; officially, it wants a referendum on independence, but stresses the need to reach agreement on this with the Spanish Government. The once powerful Socialist party PSC, which has strong ties with the Spanish Socialist PSOE, is torn too between conflicting approaches. In theory, it recognizes Catalans the right to self-determination, but rather than asking for independence, it wants Spain to move towards a more federal political structure. The left republicans ERC, for years the only party actively seeking independence, are the rising star in the current Parliament and, according to some surveys, could become the country’s main party if elections were to take place now; they want to hold a referendum as early as 2014. Left-wing ICV, political successors of the old communist party, support the idea of a referendum, although their views on independence are not so clear. Finally, the Popular Party, which is now in power and Spain, and Ciutadans, are both opposed not only to independence but even to an eventual referendum on the issue. However, they are a minority in the Catalan political landscape: the Catalan Parliament has passed a declaration which states that Catalonia is a country with the right to decide their on future. The declaration was passed with 104 votes in favour of a referendum, for only 27 against [video: Will Catalonia say adios to Spain?].
What does the Spanish Government say?
The Spanish Government bitterly opposes the organization of a referendum in which Catalans can choose whether they are in favour or against an independent Catalonia. The official position is that the government has to abide by the Spanish Constitution, which states that there is only one nation, the Spanish one, and that sovereignty is exclusively held by the Spanish people in its entirety; this means that what is seen as being simply one part of the Spanish nation cannot on its own decide on matters which affect all, effectively denying the principle of the right of peoples to self determination. Since, according to the Constitution, only the Spanish Government can organize a referendum, the Catalan demand faces an insurmountable barrier. Spanish main parties — PP, now in power, and the socialists, the main party in opposition — do not want Catalans to express their views on a referendum [video: Should Catalonia seek independence?].
The official position of the EU is that it is not for the institution to take into consideration hypothetical declarations of independence following the possible breakaway of part of an existing member state. The official line of the EU Commission is that Catalonia’s independence demand is a Spanish internal affair and, as such, they cannot comment on the issue. This has proved to be a controversial idea, though, since the Spanish Government has tried to influence the debate by assuring that an independent Catalonia would be automatically expelled from the EU, and should start from scratch new negotiations with Brussels to rejoin the institution. Some commissioners have denied this, stating that there is no precedent for a situation like this, and that Europe could not possibly deny membership to 7,2 million people who are now EU’s citizens.
Why is Scotland holding a referendum, while Catalonia is not?
Because they are both nations without a state Scotland and Catalonia have often been compared, and the fact that both countries are engaging in an open debate about their possible future as sovereign states has only increased the parallels being drawn between them. Yes, they are both old European nations, with institutions of their own, but the similarities end here. It was not until recently that Westminster Parliament devolved some of its powers to Scotland, but the UK has a tradition of decentralised power in many areas. Citizens are used to the fact that laws — from smoking to gay marriage to university taxes — are different on both sides of the border. This is not the case of Spain, which for most of its history has been a heavily centralized state. However the main and most glaring difference is to be found in the very different approach to recognizing a separate identity: whereas the UK – as a plurinational society – has no real problem in acknowledging that Scotland is a nation, Spain as a whole has been unable to move beyond the idea that Catalonia is simply just one more autonomous region. Unlike Scotland, Catalonia cannot take part in official sports competitions around the world, which leaves Barcelona FC as the unofficial national symbol [video: cry for Catalan independence during the ‘classic’ Barça – Real Madrid]. The consequence of this different approach is that, while the British Government is allowing the Scottish government to organize a referendum on independence, the Spanish government is completely opposed to allowing the Catalans to be consulted about an eventual secession and has promised to fight any move by the Catalan government to organize a referendum. [Catalonia and Scotland: how they compare to EU nations and Europe’s other separatists].
Catalonia has a restricted autonomy. The Catalan Parliament has the power to pass laws on all sort of issues, from education to housing, but this theoretical autonomy has many strings attached. To begin with, the Spanish Government is unwilling to hand over some key powers, from allocating student grants to administering pensions, and tries to legislate on areas of devolved power, a situation which leads to constant conflicts between the governments in Barcelona and Madrid, with the Spanish Constitutional Court deciding which of the two is entitled to legislate the disputed area. Crucially, all main taxes are collected by the Spanish Government, which is then responsible for distributing the money raised between the various receiving institutions. In practice, Catalonia’s Parliament is legislating on affairs without having the money to implement its laws.
Surveys vary significantly, but they show two consistent trends. First, support for independence has been growing year after year. Second, from being the option favoured by a minority of Catalonia’s citizens, independence is now supported by the majority of the population. The latest official figures show that, in an eventual referendum, 55,6% of Catalans would vote in favour of an independent state, with those against being 23,4% and roughly a 20% showing no clear preference or saying that they are not interested. When asked which form of relationship with Spain do they prefer, 47% favour an independent state, 22% want to maintain the current status quo, and 21% would like Spain to become a federal state.
What happens next?
A Council for the National Transition, with academics and experts from a number different fields, is working on the establishment of a timeline for an eventual referendum. Catalonia’s main political force, CiU, which governs thanks to the support in Parliament of pro-independent ERC, argues that a referendum should take place before the end of 2014. The problem is that, according to the Spanish Constitution, only the Spanish Government can authorize the referendum, something the ruling PP party is firmly opposing. Other options include organizing a referendum without Spanish Government consent — which would make it technically illegal — or dissolving the Catalan Parliament and organizing new elections, with pro-independent parties sharing part of their manifestos. After months of bitter disputes, the Catalan president, Artur Mas [profile], is holding discrete talks with his Spanish counterpart, Mariano Rajoy, to try to find a way out of the current deadlock.
As with all the other aspects of the argument, the viability of a future state is a contested issue. Those opposing independence argue that a Catalan state would inherit a huge deficit which would make it very difficult to pay pensions or salaries. Besides, they take for granted that Catalonia would be expelled from the European Union, depriving Catalan companies from the benefits of a single market. On the other side of the debate, those in favour of independence argue that, without the burden of the huge deficit which results from the difference between what Catalans pay in taxes to Spain, and what they get in return, Catalonia — Spain’s most vibrant economy — would have a GDP level in line with some of Europe’s wealthiest nations, and its government could reduce the current debt and improve the quality of public services. In addition they doubt that Catalonia would find itself outside the frontiers of the EU, pointing among other precedents to the fact that the EU Treaty held that national bailouts of member states were illegal, until in fact one was urgently needed. [Keys on the independence of Catalonia].
With travel restrictions now easing in the once-isolated country of Myanmar (aka Burma), filmmaker Jacob Schwarz shot some stunning ultra high definition video of the country during a recent visit. Be sure to watch the video in its original resolution. We previously wrote about Schwarz’s ultra HD video of ink drops splashing.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911 sports car, artist Gerry Judah created a 111-foot-tall sculpture of 3 of the cars soaring into the sky. Commissioned by Porsche, the sculpture includes an early 1965 model, a limited edition 1973 RS, and a brand-new 2013 model. The sculpture was displayed at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK recently.
Entitled La Mise en Abîme, the mesmerising installation comprises two large, extremely precise and impeccably finished receptacles in which vast quantities of used oil are contained. Shaped like giant puddles, the sculptures with their shiny, and lacquer surfaces (thanks to the expressive properties of oil) reflect the surrounding, allowing the viewers to interact with the architecture of the church by being pulled into the reflection so that they, in turn, become part of the sculpture itself. The installation not only dispenses multiple visual thrills and mysteries but also offers a moment where sculpture creates another reading of space.
Working in a scale simultaneously monumental and intimate, these sculptures continue CRELIER‘s career-long exploration of the space through conceptual engagement with buildings as well as his experimentation with light and dark, form and void, inside and outside, surface and depth, abstraction and figuration, reflection and absorption.
And good news: this exhibition is currently on view the Abbey-church of Bellelay, Switzerland and is running through September 16, 2013
For the first time, extraordinary aerial footage of one of the world’s last uncontacted tribes has been released.
The Newsstand is a new pop-up shop that is described as an “independent media take over of the Newsstand at the Metropolitan Avenue station in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.” It “will feature independent magazines and zines from around the world, curated by Lele Saveri of the 8-Ball Zine Fair especially for ALLDAYEVERYDAY.”
The Newsstand has been covered in several places recently:
The Newsstand will open to the public on June 15th and will be open weekdays from 9am-8pm, weekends from 12pm-5pm and close on July 20th.
While you discovered his piece for Memorie Urbane yesterday (covered), Sam3 also worked on this brilliant piece in Blanca, a Spanish municipality, in the Region of Murcia, located in the “Vega Alta del Segura”.
Using only black paint the Spanish artist is interested in the “naked idea”, which can be expressed simply with a silhouette.
Check back with us soon for more street art updates from Spain…
Over The Line is a group art show at Ltd. Art Gallery in Seattle featuring a collection of original artwork “paying tribute
to the many incredible films of the legendary Coen brothers.” The show opened on Friday, June 7, 2013 and will run through Sunday, July 14, 2013. You can still RSVP for the event online via Facebook.
images via Ltd. Art Gallery and credited artists
The house is inspired on the Jantar Mantar Astronomical Observatory, built in Delhi in 1724.
Stefano Boeri from Abitare interviewed Gabriel Orozco about this project, where you can read more about his vision.
More photos of the house with one of the best pools I have ever seen, after the break.
The house-observatory in Roca Blanca by the artist Gabriel Orozco, designed in collaboration with the architect Tatiana Bilbao, who is also Mexican, blends a principle of settlement camouflaged into the landscape with a location aware device.
The house, set into a rocky promontory overlooking the Pacific Ocean, is a 1:1 replica of oneo f thest ructures that forms theJant ar Mantar astronomical observatory, built in Delhi in 1724, which the artist visited in 1996.
Going back to a theme particularly relevant to other famous solitary camouflaged residences set into rocky panoramic high ground, starting from the promontory-house Malaparte by Adalberto Libera in Capri, next there is the house-bunker designed mother Cini Boeri in La Maddalena, the house-observatory in Roca Blanca which is madeup of an exchangeo f glances: from thel andscapeand towards thel andscape.
The genetic code of the original observatory which inspired Orozco is conserved and translated into the idea that a home continues to be operational just as a visual device within its natural environment.
In fact, the convex section of the panoramic outdoor swimming pool determines a circulation of waves at its edges and all the views are always facing outwards.
The presence of water in thec entreof the house, resting on thefloor and in connection with the sky reveals a kind of mystic paradigm of the observatory’s spatial concept. At night, in the centre of this sphere one can feel the temperature of the water and perceive, in a certain position, the force of gravity. When darkness is all around, one feels as if one is floating in space.
The total absence of any kind of stylistic obsession whatsoever makes the action of this visual architectural device even stronger and more convincing.
Concept: Gabriel Orozco
Design: Tatiana Bilbao with Gabriel Orozco & Carlos Leguizamo.
Structure: Jesús del Castillo, Ramiro González Dávila.
Local Contractor: David Jiménez
Disney Parks turned Epcot’s 180-foot-tall Spaceship Earth structure into an animated Mike Wazowski, a character from the upcoming Disney•Pixar film Monsters University (in theaters June 21, 2013). Mike is being projected onto Spaceship Earth to both promote the new film and Disney’s Monstrous Summer, which features Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park, Disney California Adventure Park and Disneyland being open for 24 hours starting Friday, May 24, 2013 (Memorial Day Weekend). You can learn more at the Disney Parks Blog and the Monstrous Summer website.
On May 24, 2013, for one day and one night only, Guests on each coast will have the chance to spend 24 whole hours inside the Disney parks!
From 6:00 AM to 6:00 AM, enjoy all the monster-themed madness inside Magic Kingdom park at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, as well as Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park in California. From special entertainment and monstrous merchandise to frightening food and boo-verages, this “All-Nighter” is shaping up to be one scary good time!
The Holy Monastery of Simonos Petra, or more simply Simonopetra, is without doubt the most daring construction on the Holy Mountain. It stands proudly at a height of 330 metres on the end of a rocky mountain range. Leer Más…
A Rustic Farmhouse in Wales
Above: A view of the 200-year-old farmhouse with sheep freely grazing on the mountain slopes. The previous owners, architects Hackett Holland, had renovated the house using traditional building techniques and materials.
Above: Cotton lined and interlined curtains keep the cold at bay. Brightly knitted Alpaca Pie toys sit on an old crate box which doubles up as a shelf and extra hanging space for a Peruvian-inspired Alpaca Pieembroidered calico dress.
Above L. The children’s bedroom in the converted hayloft adds a burst of vivid color, with appliquéd Alpaca Pie cushions and a brightly colored woven Peruvian rug. Above R: The candle-lit ensuite bathroom is clad in tongue and groove panels. The hot water is heated by the Aga and wood burning stove.
Above L: Exposed wood beams line the ceiling in the kitchen. A wooden plate rack made by local craftsman Ian Willis is within easy reach of the butler sink. Above R: “We picked up the Welsh dresser at a local antiques shop; the side cupboards are still lined with charming old wallpaper,” Holland says.
Above: Holland designed the pitted iron four poster bed and commissioned a local blacksmith to make it. A headboard has been fashioned out of a length of coarsely woven linen draped over the head end of the bed.
Above: “Lit by candles and a temperamental antique paraffin lamp, the kitchen is heart of the house, with an Aga cooking up heat and treats such as hearty stews and homemade scones,” Holland says. “The kitchen table is where everyone congregates after a long walks and cycle rides.” The farm house table and chairs were purchased from auction houses and the curtains are from Aleta, custom printed on heavy linen with original mogal fern designs.
Above: The large ingle nook fireplace houses an original bread oven. The sofa has been covered in a plum-colored linen fabric from Romo and draped with impala skins. The worn antique carpets were sourced by Joshua Lumley.
Above: A portrait of a young girl hangs above an old Welsh grain chest inherited by the family. A milk urn displays foxgloves, oak leaves, ferns, and wild daisies, while an old oil can has been converted into one of the few low-wattage lamps in the house.
Above: “The flagstone hall way is typically brimming with wellies and footballs,” Holland says. “Sun hats and raincoats are always ready for the varied weather conditions North Wales throws at you.”
Brian of Kotaku recently shared photos of the “Ripe Tomato” (“kanjuku tomato”), a cutting-edge hairstyle created by Hiro of Osaka-based salon Trick Store. He says the salon is “located the city’s hipster youth district, Amemura” and the hairstyle is “not mainstream,” at least yet. Check out more crazy ‘dos created at trendy Japanese salons at Kotaku.
image via Kotaku
New York City-based artist Kumi Yamashita creates incredibly labor-intensive portraits out of simple materials. Her“Constellation” portraits are each made of a single thread wound around a network of nails in a process that takes several months. To make her “Warp and Weft” portraits, Yamashita selectively cuts away threads from denim fabric. Her work is on display at the Scott White Contemporary Art gallery in La Jolla, California, April 20 through June 1, 2013. She has much more work on her website.