Art October 30, 2012 By Sarah Coleman

From <em>Out My Window</em> by Gail Albert Halaban, published by powerHouse Books

From Out My Window by Gail Albert Halaban, published by powerHouse Books

outmywindow1 OUT MY WINDOW
If you live in a city, in a place where you can look into other people’s windows through your own, it may be irresistible to indulge your voyeuristic impulses. We all love mysteries, and what could be more mysterious than a parallel life witnessed in glimpses through glass? Just ask Jeff Jeffries, the character played by James Stewart in Hitchcock’s masterful Rear Window. Laid up at home with a broken leg, Jeffries gets so involved with his Greenwich Village neighbors that he gives them inventive nicknames like “Miss Torso.”

With its crowded-together buildings and social diversity, New York City is the perfect locus for a film like Rear Window, or the similarly voyeuristic Dirty Windows, photographer Merry Alpern’s 1995 book of images secretly shot through the window of a low-rent sex club. But not everything going on through those neighboring windows is tacky or suspicious. Witness Gail Albert Halaban’s beautiful new book Out My Window (powerHouse), a warm and lyrical study of New Yorkers and their windowscapes.



Greenspace October 26, 2012 By Jordan Sayle

Solar Water Pump Testing Site in Safford, AZ/SunPumps

Solar Water Pump Testing Site in Safford, AZ/SunPumps

powerlessnomoretitle1 Powerless No More
Tech aficionados will be queuing up this holiday season to score the latest, hottest gadget ever invented. That’s become the standard during these glory years of the plugged-in generation. And while communication is now possible across a broader geographic and social range than might ever have been imagined, it’s remarkable in this time of hyper-connectivity that nearly 1.5 billion people around the world, approximately 20% of the global population, are still living in the dark. Not only do these people lack the ability to charge a cellular phone or connect to the Internet, they’re without basic lighting and the economic opportunities that come with it. Raising the living standard in the world’s poorest communities will not take electrical power alone, but the expansion of access is seen as a key element in realizing the UN’s Millennium Development Goals and finally bringing everyone into the 21st Century.

The challenges are significant, but there’s an important role to be played by sustainable energy resources in addressing the problem. The topic of how renewables can alleviate energy poverty is sure to be among those discussed when the Alliance for Rural Electrification and its partners gather in Accra next week for the first International Off-Grid Renewable Energy Conference.

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Art October 22, 2012 By Aiya Ono

© Ariko Inaoka

© Ariko Inaoka

header3 Ariko Inaoka
Ariko Inaoka is a photographer from Kyoto, who only shoots film to this day and has her own color dark room. PLANET is pleased to present Ariko Inaoka’s beautiful world full of light and wonder.


Greenspace October 7, 2012 By Jordan Sayle


Leaves by Delaney, Global Marshall Plan Initiative, from Cause and Effect, copyright Gestalten 2012

visstaheader3 Visualizing Sustainability
If you’ve looked at the polling data being collected in the swing states ahead of next month’s presidential election, or even if you haven’t, you probably know that the economy ranks highest among likely voters when it comes to the issues informing their choice between the candidates. Also routinely mentioned are unemployment, health care, and the budget deficit. While it’s unsurprising that these dollars and cents issues loom large in a time of widespread economic hardship, what’s noticeably missing from most polls altogether is the environment and energy.

Signs of climate change’s impact have become more apparent since the last time Americans elected a president, but the environment and related energy issues seem to have been downgraded in the mind of the average citizen. At this point in the cycle four years ago, even as the solvency of the nation’s banks was in question, a Quinnipiac poll found that between six and eight percent of voters in the key swing states and between nine and twelve percent of independents in those places named energy policy as the single most important issue upon which their decision would rest.

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Music October 2, 2012 By Lily Moayeri

Plan B - Album Pack Shotheaderillmanors1 Plan B
Ben Drew’s emotions are always on the extreme end of the intensity scale. The sole powerhouse behind the entity Plan B, the 28-year-old Drew displays forceful passion no matter what the situation. Speaking non-stop about large-scale ideas, Drew’s ambitions sound like the kind of big talk people spout when they have nothing going on. Except that Drew has a lot going on. Anything he ever said he was going to do, Drew did it. Singing his raps with just a guitar? He did that. Number one album? Did it. Acting? Done. Writing and directing a feature film? Done and done.

No matter what the vehicle, Drew’s intensity is relayed potently. Initially introduced to the world as a musician, his 2006 debut album, Who Needs Actions When You Got Words is the kind of album the Parental Advisory sticker was created for. Putting no filter on Actions’ language, Drew lets forth with a flow similar to Eminem. With a distinct British undercurrent of urban street rhythm, Drew paints a stark picture of growing up in England. Four years later, he restyled himself as a Motown crooner with The Defamation Of Strickland Banks.
filler29 Plan B

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Art October 2, 2012 By Derek Peck

© Samantha Casolari

© Samantha Casolari

headersamantha Samantha Casolari
When photographer and past PLANET contributor Samantha Casolari told us she was headed home to Italy for summer vacation, we asked if she could send back some images from her trip. The collection presented here, intimate images that exude a sense of place, friendship, and the passage of time, are imbued with Samantha’s signature sense of color and mood. They are fitting remembrance of a summer just passed.