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Sinofuturism (1839 - 2046 AD)

Visual essay from artist @lawrencelek explores current cultural discourse of China:

“Sinofuturism is an invisible movement. A spectre already embedded into a trillion industrial products, a billion individuals, and a million veiled narratives. It is a movement, not based on individuals, but on multiple overlapping flows. Flows of populations, of products, and of processes.  Because Sinofuturism has arisen without conscious intention or authorship, it is often mistaken for contemporary China. But it is not. It is a science fiction that already exists.”

Sinofuturism is a video essay combining elements of science fiction, documentary melodrama, social realism, and Chinese cosmologies, in order to critique the present-day dilemmas of China and the people of its diaspora.

With reference to Afrofuturism and Gulf Futurism, Sinofuturism presents a critical and playful approach to subverting cultural clichés.

In Western media and Orientalist perceptions, China is exotic, strange, bizarre, kitsch, tacky, or cheap. In its domestic media, China portrayed as heroic, stable, historic, grand, and unified. Rather than counteract these skewed narratives, Sinofuturism proposes to push them much further.

By embracing seven key stereotypes of Chinese society (Computing, Copying, Gaming, Studying, Addiction, Labour and Gambling), it shows how China’s technological development can be seen as a form of Artificial Intelligence.

Link

During the Battle of Britain, the Germans started noticing that a crapload of their planes were getting shot down in instances where the British shouldn’t have seen them coming. It was almost like they had some sort of radio device that could detect the presence of incoming objects – actually, it was exactly that: Britain had perfected the radar and didn’t tell anyone about it. Obviously the Brits couldn’t let the Germans know they had access to this new technology, otherwise they could bomb the shit out of it or, even worse, try to create their own Nazi version. With the Germans getting increasingly suspicious, something needed to be done fast.

Britain’s solution? Carrots.

British papers published a story about a RAF pilot called John “Cat Eyes” Cunningham who had shot down 20 enemy planes thanks to his superhuman night vision, an ability he achieved by eating lots of carrots. Other carrot-eating pilots followed, and soon the British government began publicizing the fact that carrots improve night vision – which, of course, is complete bullshit.Carrots might help your vision not get worse, but they won’t make it any better either. The pilots were winning the war thanks to radar technology, not by eating filthy plants.

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Human remains, pottery found in China's 4-millennia Dongzhao Ruins

Among the farmlands in the west suburbs of Zhengzhou, Central China’s Henan Province, the Dongzhao Ruins, named as one of China’s top archaeological discoveries of 2014, cover an area of more than 100 million square meters.

A massive “middle city” was recently discovered in the ruins, as well as the foundations of other towns. The site is part of the Erlitou Bronze Age culture, which many Chinese scholars identify with the “Xia Dynasty” (c.2070 to c.1600 BC) recorded in much later accounts and legends.

The dig looks more like a construction site than the fantasies of tomb raiding depicted in popular Chinese films such as Ghost Blows Out The Lantern. There are no traps, supernatural guardians, or acrobatics here; just the long work of mapping and excavating the relics of ancient civilizations.

Human remains, coins, and buildings have been unearthed at the site. Read more.