Alibi V.12 No.36 • Sept 4-10, 2003 

Art Article

Indymedia Center

What if you threw a housewarming and nobody came? Accompanied by Steve Mills and his swinging theremin, Teslian technologist and musician Scott Nobody provided ambient sounds on electric guitar and sampler when the Indymedia Center had a mixed media bash at their new location in the Peace and Justice Center at Harvard and Silver last month.

Along with chips and dips—but no chains and whips that I could discern—liberal doses of theremin were provided to those in attendance. The theremin is a comparatively early contribution to the evolution of electronic music. Anyone who has seen the classic sci-fi flick The Forbidden Planet has heard its haunting, eerie sound—unless they watched the whole thing muted or something ... but I digress.

The center includes a large screen TV, a video and DVD library, and digital cable, much of the point being to fulfill the spirit of the First Amendment by providing these cutting edge media to people who don't have easy access to them.

Those gathered in the multi-purpose lounge watched the television component of Amy Goodman's radio show, Democracy Now, as broadcast on Free Speech TV. This was followed by an Indymedia video, including locally produced portions, which was simulcast via satellite to some 11 million potential viewers.

Another example of Indymedia's democratization of the information age is the community computer lab, expected to commence operation on Sept. 22. Not to sound like Sally Struthers, but this is where you can do your part, as they need functioning and salvageable computers and video equipment. Interested parties can contribute their donations at the center.

The bookshelves in the lounge almost certainly include some leftist propaganda. For what my opinion matters, it also seems clear that the corporate media are guilty of a great deal of misinformation these days, largely through the sin of omission. It should also be pointed out that the center's library is fairly extensive, including many nonpolitical books, in addition to such alternative periodicals as Bamboo Girl, Punk Planet and Paranoia.

Books and magazines can be borrowed or read in the lounge, and those who would like to view such programs as Democracy Now, which airs three times a day, can drop on by. Future simulcast Indymedia screenings are planned for the first Thursday of each month, many produced by Channel 27's Patricia Dolan. The screenings will frequently be followed by performances from local musicians.

Politics generally inspire me with an urge to vomit. Nonetheless, mindful to take a proper gander at the propaganda of both left and right, I have become convinced that it's never been more important than now to support and partake of the alternative media.

The Peace and Justice Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. 268-9557.