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Sinema Amnesia's Ulysses: A Visual Epic of Ultra-Recent History

Mark Wallinger's "Sinema Amnesia" screens footage of the waters of the Dardanelles straight from the previous day, creating a visual memory loop.

Enter Mark Wallinger’s small theater on the shore of the Dardanelles, and you’ll see a live video feed of the straits outside. Kind of. Actually, the British artist’s installation, titled “Sinema Amnesia,” screens footage of the water from precisely 24 hours earlier: an endless parade of ships and ferries that’s exactly—and not at all—like the one flowing past at that moment. By carving out ultra-recent history (yesterday), the piece seems to point out what’s changed and what hasn’t at the ancient site. And it puts a welcome utilitarian burnish on the myths.

“The constant passage of the cargo ships is part of everyday life there now, but has been so for literally thousands of years,” notes David Codling, arts director for the British Council’s My City program, which commissioned the work. The temporary theater was even built from shipping containers of the same sort that float past. Naturally, Wallinger’s film is called Ulysses.

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OurGoods: New York's New Barter Network

OurGoods is a new barter network for New York creative types that helps users trade the skills or stuff they have for the ones they seek.

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Stop Shopping, Start Hearing on the National Day of Listening

StoryCorps's National Day of Listening broadcasts dialogues between regular folks as a rejoinder to the loud consumer chaos of Black Friday.

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Anyone writing about ethnic strife in China’s remote Xinjiang province has an obvious opening anecdote: Han Chinese in the region run their clocks on Beijing time, but the large local Uyghur population goes by earlier hours. Tensions between the two groups—which came to worldwide notice during last summer’s clashes in the capital city of Urumqi—run old, deep, and overt. Segregation is even sanctioned in Xinjiang University dorms.

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Getting a key to the city has long been an honor reserved for a town's most venerable citizens. In other words, it's long been a pretty stupid notion. "The 'key to the city' feels like an officious ceremony that cities must continue," says Nato Thompson. "For [recipients], I'm sure it hangs on their mantel at home."

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