Sita in Brooklyn this Thursday July 1st

I’ll be there, along with über-talented collaborators Todd Michaelsen and Reena Shah!

The Observatory
No. 543 Union St.
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Date: Thursday, July 1st
Time: 7:30 PM Musical Performance by Todd Michaelsen and Reena Shah of My Pet Dragon
8pm:
Film screening/Q & A
Complimentary bags of popcorn will be served while supplies last
Admission: $5
Day Four of The Oxberry Pegs Series

The Elusive Peanut

My friend Ken Levis named this beautiful, shy, wild yet affectionate creature “Peanut,” which may explain why she hides most of the time. I’m the only human other than Ken she will leave her hiding place in the closet for, and I’m cat-sitting this weekend. Peanut trusts me, but she doesn’t trust cameras, so I had to take these pictures from a distance with maximum zoom. If she finds out I turned her into this silly animated gif, she may never let me rub her belly again.


An Open Letter to Lincoln Center

Dear Lincoln Center,

On Friday, May 28, I attended a NY Philharmonic performance of Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre.

All patrons were required to pass through long “security” lines and have our bags searched by guards. Those carrying cameras were forbidden from entering the auditorium and ordered to check their bags in an even longer line.

New Yorkers tolerate “security” searches because they remember the falling of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. They are willing to be treated as suspected terrorists and “guilty until proven innocent” criminals because they fear for their physical safety. They rationalize Lincoln Center’s “security” policy because they don’t want anyone bringing a bomb or weapon into a large closed space containing thousands of vulnerable people.

But cameras are not a security threat. In fact, citizen cameras increase security, and their forced removal puts us in greater danger. In the unlikely event a terrorist were able to bring a weapon into the auditorium, citizens carrying cameras would document it. Presumably Lincoln Center has its own “security” cameras, but no fixed, closed surveillance system is as effective as citizens.

I don’t trust Lincoln Center’s “security” to protect me or anyone; they are incompetent at actual security, effective only at treating patrons like suspected criminals, creating long tedious lines, and converting what was once an uplifting cultural experience into something resembling a visit to an airport. I can visit the airport for free, but being treated like a criminal at Lincoln Center cost close to $100.

After being ejected from a very long security line to enter the theater, and redirected to stand in an even longer line to the coat check, I moved my camera from  my large bag into my small purse and found another entrance to the auditorium. This line’s “security” guard did not see or feel a camera, so I was allowed in. That let me know how effective the “security” guards would be at detecting a weapon or any genuine threat: not at all. Lincoln Center’s “security” did not make me feel “secure” – quite the opposite – but it did make me feel harassed.

Why does Lincoln Center treat cameras its greatest threat to “security”? Does the organization believe that photographing its productions is “stealing”? Let me remind you that anyone who wants to copy images of Lincoln Center’s copyrighted material, is physically capable of doing so. Photos of Lincoln Center and its productions circulate in Lincoln Center’s advertising, in print and on the internet. Lincoln Center has Copyright law to protect them against such illegal image-copying. Copyright law also applies to any unauthorized photos taken by audience members. Lincoln Center may ban taking photographs in its auditoria without confiscating cameras themselves. Galleries and other performance spaces do this: they have signs that say NO PHOTOGRAPHS. Banning cameras in the theater does absolutely nothing to “protect” anyone. It does however abuse legitimate theater patrons, the ones who bought expensive tickets expecting a civilized experience. Furthermore, banning citizen cameras makes it impossible for citizens to document real danger, thereby lessening everyone’s real security.

People dress up to go to Lincoln Center. They pay hundreds of dollars. They believe it’s important to support the arts. In return, Lincoln Center treats its patrons like criminals, and exploits their fears of terrorism to enforce a misguided, dangerous, and invasive no-camera policy.

Lincoln Center should abandon its dangerous and harassing “security” policies and return to respecting its patrons.

Sincerely,

–Nina Paley
Art Lover

Ye Olde Large Hadron Collider

During the Spring of 2001 I had the privilege of freelancing for CERN‘s Public Relations department in Geneva. My task was to try to explain what scientists were seeking in the Large Hadron Collider, especially an explanation of asymmetry. For this, I created possibly my best informational graphic ever:

click for high resolution PNG

Unfortunately CERN never used this, nor the 6-page pamphlet it was part of. But now that we have a more mature interwebs, I can share all 6 pages right here! Click on thumbnails below for high res PNGs (except for page 6, which was too big as PNG so is instead JPEG).

page 1
page 2
page 4
page 4
page 5
page 6

My Official Fight Song

I’ve been digging through my old original comics archives, selecting artwork for upcoming exhibits at the San Francisco Cartoon Art Museum and the Betty Boop Festival in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This old gem, while not one of my best, has extra sentimental value. “George the Monster,” who featured in early Nina’s Adventures strips, is my longtime friend Ian Akin. Remarkably, we’ve stayed friends almost 22 years. In fact Ian is visiting me in New York right now! I’d forgotten all about this song he wrote for me when I was fighting some battle or other in my 20’s. Upon rediscovering it, I found it’s just as cheering as I fight some battle or other in my 40’s.

Although the comic says ©, it’s now copyLeft like all my old comics. CC-BY-SA.