Saturday, October 25, 2008

Peripheral Milit_Urb 26


Months ago, Archis released an issue with a fascinating insert on Kabul based on one of their recent RSVP events that took a few lucky people there to investigate the security and public space dimensions of the capital city’s urban fabric. Apologetically, I failed to mention this ages ago, but alas point you there now in case you haven’t seen it already. The section was beautifully designed, mimicking a kind of Afghan daily gazette with op-ed-like commentary and pseudo-investigative journalism, little blurbs, and some very compelling imagery, that implied this was all information gathered for the local population more so than the architecture heads of Archis’ normal readership.

I love that it aimed to speak to the Afghanistan people themselves this way, gesturing a dialogue with them about the current making, unmaking, and remaking of their city.
Anyway, you should check it out for yourself. The PDF, Security City, Public City, can be downloaded here . [But don’t miss this other coverage: The Architecture of Fear: Rattling the Gates :: Archis: Interventions - Kabul :: Jolyon Leslie on the reconstruction of Kabul]

Old Kabul is rising from its own ashes // Insurgency’s Scars Line Afghanistan’s Main Road // Hope among the rubble // Back in Kabul, Never at Peace // Pentagon Dangles Afghan Road Hype; Reporters Bite // Taliban Threatens Cell Towers // Under attack at Afghanistan's Seray outpost // Private Contractors' Role in Afghanistan To Grow With Awarding of Latest Contracts // Casualties of another war // Is Afghanistan a Narco-State? // Modeling Afghan Power Structures // Seven Years in Afghanistan:
From "War on Terror" to "War of Terror"
// the squatters we create…

[Image: A Kazakh officer showed a big map with a plan of the joint Kazakh-Russian millitary exercise at Otar military range in Kazakhstan. Photo: Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters (NYT).]


‘The rush to the intimate’ Counterinsurgency and the cultural turn (Derek Gregory) // Eyal Weizman: 665/The Lesser Evil // Future Warfare at Chatham House

[Image: iWarfare by mbym.]

Information Landscapes and the Feral City « ubiwar . conflict in n dimensions // Onward to a Hollow State // Homesick for Camp Justice // ‘The Dark Side’ by Jane Mayer - A History of Abuse in the War on Terror // Psychologists Vote to End Interrogation Consultations // America: The Global Pioneer Of Torture // Revealed: Britain's secret propaganda war against al-Qaida // Military Industrial Complex 2.0 // Making a Killing // Being in Base Denial

[Image: NYC Panopticon Plans Take Shape.]


Why is Google Earth Hiding Dick Cheney's House? // iSpy: National Security in the Era of Google Earth // Anti-Immigrant 'Bot Hears Heartbeats // Army Wants “First-Person Thinker” Video Game // Chertoff Hits the North Pole; Arctic Showdown Ahead? // Chinese Naval Bunker, Dumb Idea? // How Many 'Military Sites' Does the U.S. Have Abroad? // Military Study Looked to Rome for Lessons // Video of Clashes Between St. Paul Police and RNC Protestors Bubble Up Online // Democratic Convention: Live Audio of Denver Police // Countering Baghdad's 'Lob Bombs' // Spies-for-Hire Raking in the Cash (Updated) // Pentagon Researcher Unveils Warcraft Terror Plot // Russia's HAARP, Explored // NYC Panopticon Plans Take Shape

[Image: The Cans Festival - CCTV tree - Banksy (via).]


Public Space Not So Public in Downtown New York // JPL: Use Sats to Track Terrorists by Their Shadows // Fears over privacy as police expand surveillance project // Police warn UK man that taking photos of "hooded teenagers" is illegal // How to disappear without a trace // Britain will make foreigners carry RFID identity cards and will put us in a huge, Orwellian database: the rest of Britain will be next // China detains teacher for earthquake photos // Face swapper software protects privacy // Pruned: Agro-veillance // To deter crime, Los Angeles leaves the lights on // Infrared Camera is suited for security and surveillance., HGH Infrared Systems // Feds give customs agents free hand to seize travelers' documents // Homeland Security Detects Terrorist Threats by Reading Your Mind? // Cartoon depicts what went on in the NSA's wiretapping room at AT&T // Sandwich bag has fake mold printed on it to discourage thieves // Detection of Hidden Hostile/Terrorist Groups in Harsh Territories by Using Animals as Mobile Biological Sensors // Invisibility Cloak: Scientists Engineer Material That Can Bend Visible Light Around Objects // NYPD Sued Over Spycams; Video 911? // Blurred Out: 51 Things You Aren't Allowed to See on Google Maps // Lou Gehrig's Plaza

[Image: "Guantanamo Bay: Camp Delta recreation and exercise area with sunshades drawn." Via: Orhan's new gathering spot, Elseplace.]


Another project I’ve neglected to mention in the past few months now is a new book by Sharon Weinberger and Nathan Hodge, a husband-and-wife journalist tag team, both of whom write for Danger Room and have extensive backgrounds covering the defense industry in all its spectral weirdness. The book, entitled A Nuclear Family Vacation: Travels in the World of Atomic Weaponry is in some ways a subtopian dream come true. It is their sleuthy little adventure into the strange new world of secret atomic urbanism, populated by places and people taking clandestine refuge along the edges of perhaps where the Cold War landscape left off.

The project seemed to spawn initially from a run-of-the-mill assignment to the idea that, rather than taking tours of paradisal islands and pristinely manicured tourist getaways for vacation, what if lovers, partners, families, even, could pick up the trail of the world’s top secret nuclear bunkers instead? YES! Why not? As farcical as that may sound, it is just in fact what they did. And who wouldn’t want to go traipse around the globe sniffing out the Semipalatinsk Test Site in Kazakhstan, or Iran’s Esfahan Uranium Conversion Facility, the United States' Kwajalein military outpost in the Marshall Islands, not to mention “Site R,” a heavily fortified bunker known as the "Underground Pentagon," rumored to be Vice President Cheney's “undisclosed location” of choice?
Anyway, I still haven’t finished the book myself, but so far have found parts hilarious and others extremely enlightening, and thought before we move any further you should know about this good, good read. Sharon has drawn attention to it several times on Danger Room, so make sure to have a look.

How To: Visit a Secret Nuclear Bunker
Inside Sharon's Nuclear Family Vacation
Lawyers, Nukes, and Money: The Strange Case of Weldon's Russia Plan
Nuclear Vacationing: Next Year in North Korea?

[Image: Grimsel Test Site / Swiss 'playground' for radioactive waste.]

Urban Renewal and Partial Amnesia in Chechnya // War of the worlds (via) // Norad: Deep Inside NORAD, with Only a Felt-Tip Pen and Twenty Science Fiction Writers // Cold War Bunker Open for Tourism // 100ft down, the capital's cold war warren gives up its final secrets // Eco-friendly explosives? // Post-war prefab housing on the Excalibur estate // Balkanology: New Architecture and Urban Phenomena in South Eastern Europe // Secret history // Pruned: A Radioactive River Runs Through It // Swiss 'playground' for radioactive waste //Laying to rest Cyprus's ghosts // Stasi-themed bar in Berlin // commerce recolonising the death-strip // Army Looks to Build World's Strongest Solar Array // Army hands locals 3,300 acres at Fort Ord // US cold-war waste irks Greenland // An Abandoned Coastline Defense Canon Battery (Via)

[Image: The Doomsday Bunker: MoD's secret command centre // David Moore’s eye on the Pindar Bunker (Thanks Ardent!).]


Agency Fights Building Code Born of 9/11 // A City’s Police Force Now Doubts Focus on Terrorism // McCain's homeland security plan // 'Killing time' in Washington DC // Italian troops to patrol cities // New siren system in service at NY nuclear plant // Terror Plan Would Give F.B.I. More Power // City Tries To Curb 'Spite Landscaping' // Policing Ground Zero // Data-centers built out of sealed shipping containers filled with servers // When Shipping Container Architecture Goes Bad…Apocalypse Bad // Defensible space in Peru // Crime and urban design: Oscar Newman 36 years later // Convention Protesters To Be Treated As Terrorists // Free Speech Zone // U.S.S. Oriskany, Sunk by Navy, Used as Artificial Reef //

[Image: Facades built for Beijing, via You're not supposed to see this.]


The Olympics: Unveiling Police State 2.0 // Beijing to set up Olympic protest zones // China Sets Zones for Olympics Protests // China issues anti-terrorism manual for Olympic games // Why security is tighter in Beijing // Corporate complicity with the Great Firewall // Olympic logo cops enforce stupid rules with masking tape // Urban Regeneration: the Promise of Past and Future Olympic Games // A Struggle Between Security and Civil Rights at Beijing's Olympics

[Image: The Freedom Tunnel.]


BLDGBLOG: And the new White House is... // Reimagining the US Capitol // Half Dose #54: Pentagon Memorial // The Freedom Tunnel // Heavy-metal fence flap in Terra Linda // BLDGBLOG: Tactical Landscaping and Terrain Deformation // Walled Garden: … (in)equalities endorsed by technology [Amsterdam] // "Weaponizing" Architecture // Synthetic Pot as a Military Weapon? Meet the Man Who Ran the Secret Program // Anti-illegal-immigration group's sign back up on I-5 // Blackwater Plans Exit From Guard Work // Protests target Blackwater facilities // Grits for Breakfast: Galveston jail unprepared for Ike aftermath // Waiting for word on 1,000+ stranded at Galveston jail (Updated) // Hubris: Galveston Sheriff leaves inmates, deputies, in hurricane's path // Blackwater Preps for Hurricane Gustav // Old trailers trashed for new Border Patrol station // NAFTA Superhighway // Conflux 2008: notes from the panel Cartography of Protest and Social Changes // Reactivate!! Urban refuges and atomized garden // Office/MA: Black Urbanism // Animatronic waterboarding exhibit at Coney Island // Fear and waterboarding in Santa Monica // Border-Crossing: Passage Oublié // Guns for Texas school's teachers // Bid to allow guns in national parks // North Texas house burns because local authorities switched off hydrants "to fight terrorism" // InfraNet Lab: Terror Town®, Disaster City®, and now MoD City

[Earlier peripherals ... 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25]


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