Archive for the 'Sergio Davila' Category

Art, Posters, Graffiti, Stickers and Tags = Smear, Smudge, Scribble and Scrawl

Marja Salaspuro, Amsterdam — No discussion, No tolerance, No Smudge in the Clean Image of Helsinki. Zero tolerance towards graffiti includes a strong resistance against an open discussion around what is allowed in the public space.

Last week in Helsinki, a celebration of the Anti-Smudge project gathered as a counterpart, a public demonstration demanding legal graffiti painting places. The battle was ready, several participants of the demonstration got arrested, newspapers were filled with discourse of war. To be honest, I don’t care who is right and who is wrong (I guess nobody is perfect), but I want to spread a dream of more open discussion around what is allowed in the streets of Helsinki.

Hierarchical Division

Yesterday I found from my unloaded moving box following post card. It is presenting Slovenian artist Igor Stomajers project called ‘Foreign’. Foreign was displaying current verdicts about the different countries and was especially emphasizing the stereotypical division between East and West Europe.

'Foreign' was exhibited by Visual Corresdondents

 In Stomajers’ art work, the hierarchical division between the East and West changes once you try to read the sentences. The words tumble and meanings become interchangeable, just like in the current Graffiti/War discourse in Helsinki. There is a need to break stereotypes between ‘East’ and its scrawling subcultures and ‘West’ the Public Work Department of Helsinki city. In the end, a discussion about what visual elements are allowed in the urban public space should be an ongoing dialogue following the changing needs of the citizens and done in a manner which respects diversity and freedom of expression. Unfortunately, tolerance towards more diversified street communication is zero.

For those who are not aware, an Anti-Smudge Campaign has been in charge of Helsinki’s effective cleaning process towards all kinds of unauthorized street communication in the public spaces. The definition of ‘SMUDGE’ includes graffiti paintings, posters, stickers and basically anything added in the urban public space. The zero tolerance means that there are no legal graffiti painting places and even ordered paintings have been eventually removed. The project has been going on for 10 years, but effective cleaning hasn’t stopped the dream of more open discussion around what is allowed in public space as this weeks demonstration showed.

West has solved the Problem

On Tuesday the ‘invitation only’ event in Finlandia Hall gathered Clean Image supporters for celebrating 10 years success of Anti-Smudge campaign. According to their statistics: in 1998 there were in excess of 67.000 smudges or graffiti in Helsinki, while last year the figure was a mere 5771.

The ‘invitation only’ event meant also effective gatekeeping. The reporters were kept out. According to Helsingin Sanomat, a national daily, even two Helsinki city councilors Paavo Arhinmäki (left party) and Kimmo Helistö (green), were evicted to enter the event. Not to mention that possible contradictory voices such as Youth Department was not invited neither.

Not everybody are convinced about the efficiency of zero tolerance policy (neither that Anti-Smudge has proved anything else that cleaning is done effectively). In fact, the demand for neutral non-aligned research around Anti-Smudge Campaign was even headlined in the main national daily newspaper.

Article in Helsingin Sanomat 22.9.2008 (main newspaper)

Article in Helsingin Sanomat 22.9.2008 (main newspaper)

Meanwhile in the East

Around 500 people took part in a “Smudge Fest” public demonstration, which was organised as a counterblast against the Anti-Smudge campaigns’ Anniversary celebration. The demonstrators were gathering around Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art to demand legal graffiti painting places. By nine o’clock in the evening, the police had apprehended 27 demonstrators for throwing bottles, vandalising police vehicles, and spray-painting shop windows.

Afterwards the City is pressing charges for 1500 new smears which appeared during the chaotic “Smudge Fest” demonstration. Meanwhile demonstrators are accusing police force for being too rough, and the newspapers headlines emphasize emphasize ‘war’ position.

Calming down the young demonstrators in Helsinki

News material from Helsinki: Calming down a young demonstrators

How about some tolerance and understanding?

This blog post is an open invitation to explore more tolerant ways to approach the battle around visual street communication in Finland (and everywhere). Actually stickers have already taken room from paintings. 

If you have seen some incredible projects that were celebrating urban visual language, feel free to share. Helsinki needs new tools for expressing (legally) more diversified voices in the city space. Maybe creativity can be solution.

Example of Concrete Ideas:

At the moment in Amsterdam, there are several projects related to Graffiti as a part of urban play and more sophisticated methods (easier to ‘remove’ or temporary by nature). Two of them are presented as a part of the Experimenta Design and Picnic cross media week.

More information:

Graffiti Research Lab

Outfitting graffiti artists with open source technologies.

Projects like Green Graffiti might claim a better status for Graffiti among entrepreneurial citizens: 

Green Graffiti


Mega Engraving

Sergio Davila, Amsterdam — The beauty of the chaos in Mexico City is that anything can happen. The lack of regulations and the oligarchy of the government might be frustrating sometimes, however in a few special occasions is the perfect space for unique ideas to become real. Is quite likely that Mexico City would never have a regulation on graffiti making as the zero tolerance nowadays in Helsinki, therefore prohibition is not the answer for a mega city, it is otherwise orientation. City governments in this century should see the possibilities that cultural agency can bring, and one outstanding possibility for cultural agency is the PUBLIC SPACE artistic production. 

This technique is widely explored in the Netherlands, during the EXPERIMENTADESIGN festival in Amsterdam several designers were introducing a social behavior with their different proposals for public space art. For instance the ‘Moving Forest’, a piece by NL Architects, is thought to be an answer to the lack of green spaces in the contemporary urban environments, trees on shopping carts that people can rearrange and distribute around the city.

Moreover, the piece of Marti Guixé engages the participants in a common creation of a sculpture. The idea consist in a monolithic square surrounded by a bench and with chisels attached so that everybody can participate in the design development and modify it with their own ideas. 

These and other pieces in this festival are opening the conversation about urban issues and participation. This social art in public space is not only expressing beauty, it also engages the society in the discourse that the art piece aims to communicate. The possibility for city governments that are open to public space art production has a lot of potential. I mentioned in pasts blog posts what happened in Bogota when the government of Antanas Mockus decided to implement cultural agency in public space. The government in Mexico City has been also very inspired by these techniques and they have tried to mimic some of them, however every city needs to find their own methodologies:

The 15th of September is the celebration of independence in Mexico. In this day people normally celebrate on the streets, and the president is expected to come to the central plaza and pronounce ‘the shout’ a proclamation of independence and praise of the national heroes. This year the celebration happened as it should be in Mexico City, with the only difference that during the 15th and 16th of September 200 artists were called to participate in a ‘Mega Engraving’ throughout Reforma avenue. This Avenue is, by the way,  occupied normally by public demonstrations of syndicates and political parties, but in this occasion the pavement was not punished by the feet of masses in anger, instead it became the showroom of the Guinness record largest engraving.

Among the participants were some Novel prizes and famous artists like Leonora Carrington, Boris Viskin, José Luis Cuevas,  Vicente Rojo and also students from the art academy, writers, youth brigades and volunteers. The piece of more than one kilometer long became an space for cultural creation in a collaborative way, engaging the society in a deeper understanding of the national identity and teaching the use of engraving in a massive two days workshop assisted by huge plates and a road roller.

In my opinion we are still at the starting point of the exploration of the techniques that can be used for social enabled art and art in public space.

From motorcycles to 3,5 million pieces of art

A collaborative post from Marja Salaspuro*, Amsterdam and Sergio Davila, Amsterdam.

Can classical conservative museum structure keep its historically layered architecture, rooms, collections and objects – and still attract the interest of the modern visitors, mainstream tourists and experience seeking travelers? A philosophical reconsideration around purpose of the museums at our era and the architect’s role as a curator are linked to architect Rem Koolhaas’ plan for the next expansion of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Politics and economics are essential forces influencing in Museum architecture, also to the extent of shaping what kind of ‘art’ will be displayed. Every redevelopment project adds a layer on top of the history whether it will be rebranding process of a city through Guggenheim franchising (such as in Bilbao) or creating structures enabling mass tourism experiences such as in Louvre or in MoMA.

 Cue at the MOMA

Architecture as curatorial strategy

The field of architecture is not only defining human shelters anymore, architecture is about understanding culture, history, and even understanding future scenarios. The dematerialization of architecture is a fact, besides the virtual tools to experience a space, architecture, as in design is a field that is exploring more its faculty to define strategies, processes, models; and it is defining topology with human relationships instead of steel and concrete. Mr. Koolhaas expressed his interest in explore the architect’s role in designing a curatorial strategy. As it is seen among commissions and competitions, leading international architecture offices have established their own research think thanks’ analyzing historical links behind museum structures. For example Rem Koolhaas presented his own AMO think thank in a lecture as a part of Holland Festival programme for the fully booked Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ. Honestly, the lecture was very inspiring and gave us a better perspective about the museums of our time.

Motorcycles and copy-pasting classics

From the economic point of view art can be defined as a luxury commodity, ‘an experience’ tied to the ‘judgments’ of the institutional and commercial art establishment. Following that logic, museum is the place where mass audiences ‘experience’ the greatest ‘luxury commodities’, those that patrons or experts of the nations have been collecting to be remembered by next generations.

The museum architecture defines physical structure for the ‘art experience’ whether it will be white walls made for paintings, black rooms for video projectors or for example a huge entrance hall such as in Tate Modern which allows to perceive art as a spatial experience.  

In some leading museums, the experience with the luxury product is separated from the exhibition. Stylish bookshops, unique restaurants and impressive buildings are sometimes enough for satisfying the hunger for an aesthetic experience. Guggenheim for example has built its success by franchising an architectural monuments offering leisure activities linked to the middle class vacation (like in Bilbao or in Las Vegas).

The architectural strategy for combining new and old was, for example in Guggenheim Las Vegas something different than in more classical art institutions. Architect Rem Koolhaas covered 125-by-70-foot ceiling of the Guggenheim Las Vegas with a likeness of Michelangelo’s Sixtine Chapel’s while the exhibition itself showed 130 motorcycles from the late 19th century to the present (originally displayed at the Guggenheim in New York in 1998). The theme of copy-pasting is linked to be apart of the architectural theme recycling, just like similar recycling processes are ongoing in the fields of music, film and design. 

Intellectual approach to Hermitage St. Petersburg

In St Petersburg, the historical plaza of revolution in front of the Hermitage Museum already serves as an ice-skating ring, as the our current era encourages leisure activities. Just to be clear, this blog post is not about the battle of taste and/or quality, but rather introduce the role of an architect as curator of the exhibition spaces, and therefore influential creator of the art experience.

For example the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg has 1200 rooms. This spatial fact will influence the visiting experience. The next expansion will add to the complex 800 rooms more. Rem Koolhaas has done a plan for this expansion based on to idea to combine all historical layers without falling to a total Hermi-kitsch.

With the historical layers, architectural plan is representing three drastic societal changes in Russia from tsarism to communism and most recently towards commercialism. Just like the Russian society, one of the worlds’ biggest art collections and its show room, the Hermitage, has been put together by adding new layers on top of each other expressing the values of the ruling power.

The first structure followed aesthetics of Versailles Palace and praised the enlightened monarchs and the taste of majestic Catherine the Great. After revolution the Winter Palace and the surrounding buildings were declared as the state museum. During the Second World War some rooms have even been serving temporarily as hospital for wounded soldiers.

The next contemporary layer which Rem Koolhaas AMO think thanks has been working on includes inspirational, one might say curatorial and philosophical approach: ”The task at hand is to find those changes that will allow the Hermitage in a discreet way, without being too manifest, to function better.” AMO 2008

We like the idea. The architect himself concentrates on customer experience and structures help in assembling huge crowds, keeping the connection to the history of Russia. For the audience the experience can be customized, some rooms can be left for motorcycles. After wondering through endless halls with priceless art from Paleolithic to contemporary, there might also be possibility for ice-skating in front of the Winter Palace. I guess this is our time.

*Marja Salaspuro is MA in Arts Management student from Sibelius Academy Helsinki and she is devoted to follow inspiring approaches evolving in contemporary debates around museum and art as institutions.


Mexican Petrol

A collaborative post from Mariana Niembro*, Mexico City, Octavio Martínez**, Mexico City and Sergio Davila, Amsterdam.

Friday 18th of March of 1938, 22:00hrs The president of Mexico Lázaro Cárdenas declares the expropriation of the petrol. This meaning that the natural resources exploited by foreign companies became property of the Mexican nation. The 17 companies that were taken by the government were mainly American, British and Dutch. The UK broke up diplomatic relations with Mexico, The Netherlands and the US declared commercial embargo.

On the other hand the whole nation was moved by this act and they showed the support in public demonstrations, even the church supported this decision. We were taught in the elementary school to be proud about this action, and nowadays we understand its relevance, it was a declaration of economical independence, the disentanglement of an imperialist pressure that forestalled Mexico to believe in its own strength and capabilities.

The Second World War benefited Mexico obliging USA and the allies to release the embargo and to make strategic alliances instead of protecting the private companies. This situation raised the demand of the Mexican petrol and supported the economical development of the nation until now.


Seventy years after, the situation is quite delicate in the country. The Mexican Energy Secretariat declared in the last diagnosis that reserves of the Mexican Petrol Company (PEMEX) are going down. The solution that the current president is promoting is to allow international capital to invest in strategic areas mainly the exploration, exploitation and refinement. The analysis that the current governing party made is mainly economical and they claim that urgent action is needed otherwise PEMEX will soon go bankrupt.

The process begun when the president sent to the senator chamber a law initiative that includes promotion of foreign capital investment into the industry that handles the oil in México: PEMEX. This promotion is made on the assumption that PEMEX is a corrupt, anachronic and dysfunctional institution, which is not inserted on the contemporary market logic. Obviously the objective of the promotion of international investment is to insert PEMEX in this market logic, which basically means to adequate the industry to the “Washington Consensus”. To be clear on this, Mexican people have lost credibility on their governors and this initiative sounds convenient for a neo-liberal and global mind but for the critical mind it sounds like the first step to sell PEMEX.

The senator chamber is diverse during this period, and that means an ideal estate for democracy because every proposal can be discussed further. It is a fact that not everybody agrees with the current president, the risk of allowing private investment in the most important industry, basic for the national budget and the development of the country, diminish the courageous acts of previous generations that shaped the national identity.

Is strange that being such a difficult subject the current government does not take the time to review the arguments and more important ask for civil opinion. It makes people wonder whether if it was true or not that international capital has been invested in the campaigns of the two last presidents (both of them belonged to the right-wing party, PAN) specially because of the close relationship that they keep with industries like Halli Burton. Particularly since the 2002 when this company found highly reactive formations of petroleum in the Gulf of Mexico. At least we have to conclude that the topic is complicated and it requires a lot of dialogue between experts, students, lawyers, and citizens.

A huge area of opportunity in this case, in comparison with European countries like Finland and The Netherlands, is the fact that society takes civil action, meaning that they not only express their opinion but they also believe that their action will cause an impact in the national direction. Mexican citizens miss this kind of opportunities to be dynamic actors in the decision process, which is a basic element in the contemporary democratic and representative regimes.

* Mariana Niembro Martínez is a Political Science student working as a lobbing reporter at the Mexican Senate.

** Octavio Martínez Michel made his BA in philosophy and is currently assisting a research about electoral processes in Latin America.

ParticipAction: notions on cultural agency and Antanas Mockus.

Art is embedded in society.

The illusion of autonomy helps art achieve its social character.

Theodore Adorno


Sergio Davila, Amsterdam – I heard about Doris Sommer two years ago while I was assisting the Mexican artist Pedro Reyes in his retrospective exhibition celebrated at the Carpenter Center and organized by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University. Sommer is the professor of Latin American literature at the University and directs the Cultural Agents initiative. She also edited a very inspirational book called Cultural Agency in the Americas that I always recommend and follow almost religiously. I am part of the organizing team of the symposium “Primus Pilus” that will take place on the 12th of June, the symposium is an exploration of the new responsibility of the designers by analyzing some cases of study and having discussions with active designers in the field. While we were discussing about inspirational cases I did not doubt to talk about Antanas Mockus, the most spectacular cultural agent of our days. While I was working in the way that we want to present his case I was lucky enough to find a beautifully written article by Doris Sommer about the subject. On the following lines you will be able to find some of her phrases, quotes that she used and citations that I thought, would complete the reading.

The term Agency refers to the creative actions and reflections that can turn first movers towards collective change.

A cultural agent is for instance a teacher; they redistribute the knowledge from their research to their students. In fact, all of us are cultural agents: whenever we comment about something, when we buy, sell, reflect, allocate, decorate, vote, do not vote, or otherwise lead social, culturally constructed, lives. The appropriate question about agency is not if we exercise it, but how self-consciously we do so; that is, to what end and what effect (1).

Antanas Mockus, ex-mayor of Bogotá, is an international icon of creative administration. Philosopher and mathematician twice elected mayor, he knows and teaches the value of artful responses to crime, corruption, and violence (2). Mockus have been engaging culture in order to connect the body and soul of the city.

Super Mayor

For example, the municipality’s inspired staff hired twenty pantomime artists to replace the corrupt traffic police. Each artist subsequently trained another twenty amateurs and soon the urban space became a stage for daily merriment based on rules of red lights and crosswalks. Spectacle created a public, a res-pública to enjoy and to reflect on the law after citizens had been avoiding one another during years of lawlessness, lack of trust, and fear (3).

Among many other creative solutions, Mockus together with his team organized a ladies night in the city, increasing therefore the confidence of walking thru the capital and enjoy public spaces. A massive performance followed this strategy: the government gave food coupons in exchange for weapons, the place to make the exchange was inside the confession booths and was performed in collaboration priests, this option worked quite well specially for mothers that would prefer not to have any gun at home. This huge recollection of weapons ended with a public action where the metal was melted down and casted again into spoons for babies. Also the city broadcasted a result of this public action by showing a group of teenagers stepping out from graves and going back to their families, symbolizing the amount of people that was not killed as a result of this project (4).

In an interview with Pedro Reyes Mockus said: While I was the mayor of Bogotá, I received occasional death threats. Therefore, I had to use a bullet-proof vest. I made a hole right where my heart is. The hole was in the shape of a heart. I believe this kind of gesture, gave me indeed more protection (5).

The dramatic reduction of homicides, alongside an equally striking increase in tax revenues (and even voluntary taxes), register successes that outstripped everyone’s expectations, including the mayor himself and his advisors. Engaged citizens don’t simply follow laws; they also participate in constructing and adjusting law to changing conditions. The list of examples of creative solutions is vast, the word spread and other governments are mimicking this strategies in Lima, México city and even in London (6).

Without imagining an alternative, transformation is unthinkable. And thinking otherwise is an invitation to play. The methodology is simple but it requires a better effort: surprise of ingenious responses to difficult challenges. An unexpected situation disentangles unproductive repetition, including the procedure and political arguments that get jammed by corruption or tendentiousness. This makes renewed deliberation a possible after-effect of art. The mimes and participants in other civic games produced the immediately refreshing effect of estrangement. But by the time their performances failed as art, they had succeeded in effecting a secondary delayed result; a renewed respect for law that brought Bogotá a step closer to coordinating law with culture and morality (7).

The urgent issue today is a creative process and multidisciplinary action in civic development. Art’s socially constitutive appeal needs more advocates; otherwise, citizens may not appreciate art, including the art of interpretation, as the precious foundation of democratic life.Constitutional democracies that confer rights and obligations are themselves collective works of art. And constitutions remain open to performative interventions, obliging citizens to remain creative. ( 8 )

1. See Art and Accountability by Doris Sommer, Literature and Arts of the Americas, Issue71, Vol 38, No. 2, 2005, Page 262.

2. See Space Wars in Bogotá: The Recovery of Public Space and its Impact on Street Vendors, by Michael G. Donovan. MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, February 2002.

3. See Cultural Agency in the Americas, by Juan Carlos Godenzzi (Author), Santiago Villaveces (Contributor), Claudia Briones (Contributor), Diana Taylor (Contributor), J. Lorand Matory (Contributor), Denise Corte (Contributor), Doris Sommer (Editor); Duke University Press, 2006.

4. From a Conversation with Pedro Reyes on the Summer of 2005.

5. See Art and Accountability by Doris Sommer, Literature and Arts of the Americas, Issue71, Vol 38, No. 2, 2005, Page 263 – 264.

6. See Principals of social topology, Pedro Reyes. El tiempo celeste No. 25 spring 2007.

7. See “Anfibios culturales y divorcio entre ley, moral y cultura” Revista análisis político No. 21, National University of Colombia, 1994.

8. See Art and Accountability by Doris Sommer, Literature and Arts of the Americas, Issue71, Vol 38, No. 2, 2005, Page 275. And “The State as a Work of Art: The Cultural Origins of the Constitutions” by Eric Slaughter.

Flash mobs

Sergio Davila, Amsterdam – There is something fascinating about the flash mobs. It is amazing that human ability of synergic action. A guy in Japan finds himself suddenly followed by a group of 500 people, obviously he feels very scared. I wonder what is happening in the head of the mayor of Milan when he finds out that the city center has been invader by a huge crowd armed with pillows and they are starting a revolution. In this video 400 people suddenly appears in the field to support the ‘Hässelby’ a kid’s football team in Stockholm, and immediately something changes in the minds and the way of playing in these kids.

When I was 8, I used to spend hours staring and following a row of ants marching in the patio of my home. Nowadays I still have that biological amusement for the collaborative processes. Maybe Erich Fromm wasn’t right when he said that giving up your individuality is being afraid of your freedom. In my opinion flash mobs, smart mobs and similes are a great techniques to engage people in a collaborative process and would encourage the need to find new possibilities for them.

The Next Web

Sergio Davila, Amsterdam – This week I experienced “the next web” conferences. I found there an overview of the most recent products, start-ups and existing companies that are building The Next Web, or the future of the internet as we know it. It is amazing the amount of things that are available. However just a few of them are truly innovative. The biggest trend is about social networks, these tools are expanding the uses of internet and is so popular nowadays that is considered to be an evolution of the internet named the Web 2.0, a more collaborative internet. I still cannot see all the marvelous advantages that everybody is saying about these social tools, however the best way to be critic is to have enough information to comment about it. Therefore it was very rewarding to spend this two days between geek entrepreneurs and business sharks, and few interesting thoughts about the human relationships in the information era.

The list of speakers during the conference is this.

This is a list of some of the examples mentioned during the conference:
Pownce: post and send music, photos, messages, links, events, and more, to your contacts.
Netlog: a social portal specialized in young people in Europe. I had an interesting conversation with one of the exhibitors from Netlog and she was telling me that they consider their biggest strength that they provide the service in local languages even in Catalonian and soon in Frisian.
Lookery provides demographic marketing services in and around social networks. This means anonymized profile information for the purpose of real-time ad targeting.
Zilok was one of the most interesting tools they offer a very sustainable solution and real networking possibilities. Zilok is a centralized online rental marketplace. Zilok allows anyone, whether individuals or professionals, to rent or offer for rent anything.
Radionomy: create your personal radio station.
Wakoopa defines a person for the programs that they use. It tracks what kind of software or games you use, and lets you create your own software profile. Then you can also look for the program that other people is using and ask for recommendations or support.
The new feature of google, the google reader gathers all the information that one can be interested to read in the web (including this blog of course). It is just a simpler way to organize the information boom in the information era.
Twitter is a very simple tool that is just showing to all your contact list what are you saying that you are doing at the moment. The magic trick consist that it also connects with many other social tools like Facebook and Friendfeed. Robert Scoble, one of the famous bloggers that participated in the conference said that the great experience of the social tools comes after a few hours of experiencing the website and getting to know the tools as also relating with as many friend as possible. During his lecture he showed the tool Qik using his mobile phone to stream live video from the conference to the internet. To be honest watching this was a little bit surreal. The people that was watching the video on the internet was at the same time commenting about the video and even suggesting what to do. The audience participating with the cameraman. While he was showing all the social tools that he use to the audience many of his friends and acquaintances were saying hi to the audience via twitter.
Many of this companies were promoting their services during the conference and even companies like Backbase were promoting the service to create a social network for your company.
Upcoming is a service that locates where you are and then shows you the events happening in your own area.
The new way to search for information in the internet is not only with the traditional tool engines said the promoter of Andunite, but enriching the search experience with the people that has been searching the same thing, is a shared search.
The site uberVU keeps track of all the things that you post in the web, manages the different websites where you publish them and traces all the comments and reactions that they might cause.
Later on Werner Vogels, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Amazon came to talk about the web services that they are offering nowadays. They found the opportunity to sell their business model as many other “analog” companies have done. He stated that with their services people will be able to acquire resources in the moment that they need them, not before and also they will be able to release these resources at the moment that they don’t need them anymore.
StumbleUpon helps you discover and share websites.
Digg is a tool to discover and share content on the web. You can track what everybody in your friend list is reading.
I believe that symbaloo is only in Dutch at the moment but they presume to be a easy way to manage your bookmarks in a front page, the interface is very graphical.
Beezbox aims to help businesses and organizations adapt their way of doing business and dealing with their customers by providing them easy, ready to use and innovative social networking based services.
Finally the last example that I will mention is the Mail emotion that is a Video email service that runs still in beta version but via this link you can ask for your account using the password nextweb2008

Recent articles

“Veiling the unveiled truth”: the conceptual art of Silvio Berlusconi
Published August 3, 2008 by Antonio Scarponi

We all know that the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is a man of talents. First of all he is a man of spectacle, a perfect actor from the old school. He is able to dance, sing and his practical jokes are famous world wide [...] We all know these skills, but recently in two occasion he demonstrated also to have great talent as conceptual artist.
Made in Sweden
Published July 9, 2008 by Trial and error

On a recent journey we visited two well-known Asian landmarks: The Chinese Dragon Gate and the Royal Thai Pavilion, both located in remote places in Sweden.
From motorcycles to 3,5 million pieces of art
Published July 3, 2008, 2008 by Marja Salaspuro and Sergio Davila

Can classical conservative museum structure keep its historically layered architecture, rooms, collections and objects – and still attract the interest of the modern visitors, mainstream tourists and experience seeking travelers? A philosophical reconsideration around the purpose of museums in our era and the architect’s role as a curator.

Popular articles

My Sweden: Clean spaces, Clean information
Published June 12, 2007 by Trial and Error

”I dont understand what you mean by street art. If it has no permission, it is regular destruction and should be punished. I think it is equal to destroying someones car.”
Mikael Söderlund, vice mayor Stockholm ...
Twinkle, twinkle, little star, How I wonder where you are?
Published January 3, 2008 by Katja Aglert

Imagine a future generation who has never seen a star in real life. It’s a future when the night sky has transformed into a thick layer of artificial light and micro particles that doesn’t let through the sight of any stars or planets, not even the moon is visible. What effect would that have on us and other life forms on earth? ...