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akademic werdsakademic werds
written and published in Tinderbox 1.2.3
this is the website set up to respond to australia's recent xenophobic racism, exploited by the conservative government to win the recent election. public donations have enabled a television ad to be made and broadcast. i'm ashamed of our prime minister. proud of this.
have shown the beta of ceres to a few people now. universal acclaim. as the pr people who skim reviews would say.
gunnar liestøl and andrew morrison. both at uio. i was quite familiar with their work (i've read material by both, and numerous people in bergen have told me that i ought to meet andrew since we were doing such similar stuff) but had never met.
two genuinely nice guys. don't know any more interesting way to say it. generous with their time, ideas, and a friendly candor where shared and common interests are immediately and obviously apparent.
gunnar showed me some net based work he's doing that includes some work in live stage with nested video. looks stunning and a very interesting way of thinking about representing nested video-in-video. a problem and question of representing multilinear structure when all you have available is a straight time line. some of the representational and interface issues in the one piece i saw are significant and exciting.
andrew on the other hand was a bundle of nervousness the morning of the seminar (he was a key organiser), compounded by a performance at the end of the seminar by the 3rd year ballet students he and some students have been collaborating with. as the seminar wound its course and everyone was happy and the coffee arrived and lunch consumed and we retired to a nearby student bar. well, he just shone. (and yes, blush if you must.) i had several utterly friendly talks, swapping ideas, experiences, asides and problems. we both use storyspace, and perhaps there's also something about being non norwegian's in norway, and my god, perhaps even something about being from countries colonised by poms that even provides a surprising degree of things-in-commoness. don't know. don't really care. had a great time and looking forward to another trip to oslo and in finding ways to work together.
and gunnar could be a stand in for mike whitney, uncanny. (oh, he's a very well known australian cricketer and universally acknowledged nice bloke.)
oslo snaps 1
the espen pizza vog does actually work. it does appear that the childmovie text movie, though tiny, only loads and starts playing after most of the other content has downloaded. so you just have to watch the thing and it runs fine. however, the sprites across the bottom of the 9 pane movie make the text track run backwards, so if you mouse over those looking for the ghosted grey moused beast of interactivity it's just as likely the text track will never appear since it's making it go backwards! perhaps i should make the middle sprite send the text track to its end? mmm. though as they're sketches perhaps it's enough to have figured this one out and make changes next time i want to do something similar? (save it for the next sketch...)
not broken, diffident
the designing design seminar at uio went very well. a good variety of presentations, ideas, discussion and debate. the intention was to have papers online prior to the seminar, to speakers talk 'alongside' their papers, and for there to be a respondent. as often happens this didn't quite go as planned. (i think the hand in date for completed papers was too close to the seminar date so too much material didn't arrive or wasn't online in time.) but that didn't seem to get in the way of the range of views that got tossed around.
what is common in these forums is that the respondent tends to become the critical respondent. and criticism becomes that sort of traditional academic oral battle game of finding not-quite-fault but alternative ways of doing. this often (and i've done this often enough to be guilty) is little more than more or less finding a way of saying that you should do it the way i do it and then it would be fine! :-)
however, many of the respondents didn't do this, and instead engaged with what they wanted to be able to take from the paper, from what was productive for them in the others work. i like that. a lot. and as i was a recipient of such commentary from anders fagerjord can vouch for its productiveness. (it is so much more useful to enlarge upon ideas than to feel that they have to be defended.)
personally, the reception of the vogs and the smafe work that kurt gjerde and i have completed to date was wonderful. sometimes in the minutiae of making and thinking about things you lose sight of the place of the work in contexts other than deadlines, code, and design. just reminds you that it is worth doing.
apres design seminar
future media homes was a research project out of the medialab at uiah. series of research projects/ideas around possibilties. applied research i guess but free of what you might call commercial concerns. (their approach is simply that industry's fine at working out what they need but not much good at working out what people need...)
future media home
sound web site. they build interactive sound things for online and i think broadcast environments.
web site that has contextual sound when you mouse over images. very interesting.
norwegian sound design form for tv, radio etc. their web site makes extensive use of flash and sound in very playful and interesting ways.
added a new vog. finally. this one is a 9 pane work with a text movie across the bottom. the sprites are in the lower 3 panes across the bottom. and their one function and joy is to make the text movie run backwards.
major problem here: the text movie is a miam (movie in a movie) and so is external to the parent movie. it seems it only loads and starts playing when all the rest of the content (nearly 5MB) has been loaded. so it's easy to not know that there's a text movie. i think there's probably something in an idle script i can put in to make this run better, but i don't have time to do it just now.
also this is the first qt 5.x only vog. it isn't because of new qt features (like xml lists) that i'm using. its sorenson 3. got it working in cleaner and the difference in quality is so much that i really want to use it. sorry.
going places i never been....
well, not quite. but oslo for a few days then pretty much leavin on a jet plane for melbourne... so the vog will probably be quiet for a while.
on the road again...
australian who works in interactive cinema. is involved in the nsw interactive cinema project, as well as various european vis.arts new media type research thingymajigs. ambitious interesting projects.
the official site for the smil spec. this is a w3c standard (world wide web consortium) and so is a consensus sort of document. quicktime and real player support smil, though real supports the implementation much better than quicktime.
this is an education site but has a good general tutorial come explanation of how to put quicktime on a page and how to use smil with quicktime.
smil + qt
norwegian web portal and publication that is the country's major art site. has some new media stuff (in norwegian).
that becomes anti-intellectual isolationism. here at intermedia in bergen we have a postdoctoral researcher. she has worked in china, japan, and now norway. she's a chinese citizen. she had intended to present a paper at the cscl conference in colorado this coming january, but the u.s. embassy in oslo has refused her a visa. she has to have had two years presence in norway to prove strong financial, social, or soemthing else connections. the problem? well they think she wants to go to the u.s. and not come back.
now australia has recently shamed itself through a series of xenophobic actions in relation to refugees for which i am ashamed. but this? what really makes me angry is not the refusal per se, but the galling arrogance. this person is a postdoctoral researcher in an internationally recognised cscl lab (who is hosting the cscl conference in 2003). this means she is smart, well paid, well travelled. to think that she wants to sneak into the u.s. and set up house is to completely ignore, to insult, her academic and professional status, the role of the international academic and the prestige that is literally attached to postdoctoral positions that are funded by national research funding bodies. It would be like telling a respected lawyer (for instance) that their profession is worthless and counts for nothing when the travel because we all know that secretly you covet the u.s. no we don't. more often than not those of us in the first world pity the u.s. the body of a giant and the mind of a child. perhaps it ought to be pity and fear?
have just done the first compression tests comparing sorenson 2 and sorenson 3 pro. and that seems to have pretty much decided the move to quicktime 5 only for the vogs from now on. the difference in quality at the same bit rate is appreciable and significant. anyone who looks at the vogs obviously already has quicktime installed so i guess an upgrade to 5 isn't unreasonable.
oh, except that if you own quicktime pro 4 then the licence doesn't carry across to 5, and there's no upgrade price. full fee or nuthin. could make two versions and use version detection. quicktime 4, from memory, supports version detection. so the poster movie could choose which one to go to. but some have 9 or more different parts.
so, is it access/usability or bleeding elite edge?
well the sorry sorenson saga continues. i've worked out that the installer for squeeze which does work is made with vise 7.4 but the installer for sorenson pro 3.1 is made with vise 7.3 and that doesn't appear to work. but no one at sorenson has told me yet, or acknowledged, that i can't seem to install the thing. will be a week tomorrow. i'm beginning to suspect that the email responses i get are generated by a bot, they have that feel to them. (might collect them all and put them here, they're sort of comic.)
and i've since found that cleaner 5 needs an upgrade to cleaner 5.1 and then it will see sorenson 3 pro in classic. so got that sorted, though i don't recall getting an email telling me that an upgrade was out (and it is all duly licenced). then the new owners of cleaner required me to fill out all sorts of demographic data before letting me download the update, a process which included an email confirmation process! i knew it was a bad sign when company number 3 came along and bought cleaner (aka media cleaner pro).
updates and whatnots
i was getting concerned about how each time i export from ceres to html i end up replacing every single file (since ceres just spits everything out that it's told to) which means that the easiest way to upload to the server is to upload the lot.
this could get tedious after all while, as more and more files are created. then i realised that i can just export archived things once, then in ceres stop them being exported. they'll be on the server where they need to be. i can still link into them in ceres which will work fine, and they're old so that i don't need to link out them. though if it did i could just export everything again. my link directories work in a different way, so i'll need to think about that a bit more.
all those files
canadian info. technology centre which now has a new media gallery thingo attached. highlights the local's working in kewl ways with gnu media.
commercial codec that is cross platform and provides very high quality at low bandwidths. in quicktime there's a free version you can install and use for compression, but it seems there's a commercial version available for $400 u.s. dollars.
ah, on2 is commercial, there's an open source thing but on2 costs a lot of money. but i just had a look at their demos and the quality is brilliant. sorenson might not be the one we go for in our final delivery projects....
this is an open source codec that is cross platform and works very well for lowbandwidth data. and it's free, unlike sorenson.
last week i decided to spend $500 australian dollars to upgrade my copy of sorenson pro to version 3.1. sorenson is the best codec for low bit rate video in quicktime, 3.x only works in quicktime 5, but should give me much better results for some of the projects i'm working on.
so, i send off the credit card details. then i find that the main rmit mail server is refusing all connections, and that was the address i put on my order for the e-delivery. (that's the e-delivery that promises to expire in 24 hours....) so i contact sorenson and explain and they send me the urls and passwords to my bergen account (which always runs, god bless unix). but no serial number.
so i check. nope. no serial number on the invoice i got. so i ask. mmm. that took three emails where i was sent: sorenson 2.2, unsolicited pdfs about what products they sell, and an explanation that my 2.2 serial would not work in 3.1 (but hey, no serial number).
so, i've got the installer but no serial number. but there's another problem. osx 10.1.1 apparently has broken the installer (no doubt apple made some fundamental changes somewhere) and so i can only launch it via classic. so 2 problems. can't launch it in 10.x and no serial.
i explain to support that i have the installer, but i don't have a serial number. 2 days later, i get the serial. ok. so now i can install it via classic, and it installs, though cleaner can't see it for some reason, only quicktime pro. but of course it isn't present at all in 10.1.1
so now i ask support about installing in 10.1.1. this is when i find that 10.1.1 has broken the installer. fair enough. so i'm sent the installer for squeeze. a related product. but of course i hadn't paid for that, bought it, and i don't have a serial for it. so now it's 4 days since i bought this, got the installer, and it remains uninstalled and unused. my latest questions bought me a new list of links for downloads, but these are to the broken installers.
it's somewhere about now that warez starts to look sensible. still, we've got two excellent smil projects underway now, and i might test vp3.
extensive web site dedicated to pixel/bitrate/web movies. has a very impressive 'how to' section (though some links and some of the information is outdated) as well as archives and an exhibition space. has an announcement list, also does interviews and stuff.
net.art site that is feminist, got that net.art feel to it...
u.s. company that makes the sorenson codec. this is built into quicktime but there is a professional version of the codec that you can use. compressing with this codec yields much much better results, and the nice thing is is that it sitll just plays back (decodes) happily in the basic installations of quicktime with the basic codec.
sorenson 2 works with quicktime 4 or better. sorenson 3 requires quicktime 5. i've just got the version 3 codec and am about to start experimenting with it in some of the smil projects.
well i tried the url link feature in ceres d22 and ever since then i can't export. but then i went back to an earlier file which didn't have a note with the url in it, and d22 crashes out exporting that too. so i think d22 doesn't like something in my file. the links that are supposed to be in this note will be added later.
and it broke
an australian (melbourne, the home of all real culture) based web site that combines informed commentary, reviews, and criticism, with a dash of academic writing. an exemplary web site that is a good illustration of what electronic publishing by people familiar with a content area can achieve.
senses of cinema
several birds with one stone. get to try out cere's new url link feature (thank you mark!) and i had found an error in one of my agents so that it wasn't collecting the notes that it should have!
so i've updated osx to 10.1.1 and it is looking very good. though it helps if you struggled through the 10.0.3 and 10.0.4 releases first to realise just how good it is now getting. much faster, and on my ti powerbook it is incredibly stable. for the last fortnight i think i've only turned the computer off and on when i've wanted to book into classic, and that had only been because i needed to get images off my digital camera.
which brings me to my camera, the canon digital ixus v (whatever an ixus is).s a still camera but it also can capture video. hold the shutter down and it can just grab frames until the flashcard is full. it is about the size of a box of cigarettes. i love it. and now in 10.1.1 the image capture program can see it, virtually eliminating my need to ever boot into classic. connect the camera via usb, turn it on, image capture automatically launches and i can download images off it. if there is video then it automatically puts an .avi file in my movies folder. even has some simple applescript so that i can build a thumbnail html page of all the images. low end but useful for quick and dirty holiday snaps for friends. though i can't upload to the camera from 10.1.1, so i need classic for that.... nearly there though.
what i like is just how effective this is for some of the things i do. i'm currently exploring making some vogs only from still images, just to see if that actually works, and i'm going to try the continuous frame feature too to get a sort of pixellation/staccato film happening. so with a tiny camera and my powerbook i pretty much have all the tools i need for authoring the vogs, desktop video with three physical objects (don't forget the lead!). stay tuned.
10.1.1 + camera
big and major u.s. based media arts site. apparently something like 6 million raw hits a month on their site, and mark tribe turns up all over the place. they seem to survive financially, they get some donations from members but i'm not sure what else they live off.
art in motion, an international student festival at the uni. of southern california, during 2002.
timebased arts, usc
acm special interest group on computer graphics. i'm member (or was a member) of sigweb, the special interest group on hypertext and hypermedia. siggraph is a big big gig, big annual event. big industry thing. there's an increasing theoretical participation, though my understanding (never been) is that it is very much a comp.sci and industry orientated event.
victoria university (melbourne, australia). an undergrad. program about computer mediated arts.
computer mediated arts
well i dropped in a url into ceres, turned autofetch on and hey presto, instant page in ceres for me. of course i did this so that i could then edit the essay i got to only keep the bits i was interested in (clever or lazy, you choose), so spent quite a bit of time editing away. ah, but i left the url in there and autofetch turned on and so next time i tried to open the file ceres found a syntax error in the file and it was temporarily fried.
seems that with a url in the url attribute and autofetch set to true ceres did not appreciate me removing its expected content and having some text there instead. better keep that in mind...
Manovich, Lev. The Language of New Media. Cambridge (MA): MIT Press, 2001.
Because in new media individual media elements (images, pages of text, etc.) always retain their individual identity (the principle of modularity), they can be "wired" together into more than one object. Hyperlinking is a particular way of achieving this writing. A hyperlink creates a connection between two elements, for example, between two words in two different pages or a sentence on one page and an image in another, or two different places within the same page. [page 41.]
just a useful quote to store away for next time i need some more authorities on the relation of cinema to hypertext.
are those days where you seem to be busy but nothing is ever done. nothing gets finished. the list of things you're supposed to be doing gets longer. and nothing quite seems to work or is near enough to good enough to be, well, good enough. that's today.
take today. please.
(my gawd, it's a stand up comedy routine.)
so today, i've spent a lot of time building a new vog recently, and it runs fine locally but over the web it seems to just put too many demands on web servers, browsers, plugins, and all the rest. i had built it using primarily child movies, the problem is that there are 17 of these in the one movie, as well as the soundtrack. so when i view it there are always a couple that just won't load. so i'm going to rebuild the thing. the problem with that is that i've deleted the original video, so i need to recapture that (it's on tape), then compress it all again, and then fix up the vog.
i had thought i'd had this one done, but what i'm going to do is just drop the number of child movies right down. frustrating, but just a tad ambitious for what i can expect via networks.
it doesn't help that i haven't made a small photo picture book for my kids that i want to send to them.
is a journal from aberdeen university centre for philosophy, technology, and society. from their web site, ends and means is about:
philosophical explorations of the social, moral and conceptual implications of modern technology
ends and means
a moderated email list in europe for new media, collaboration and exchange. grew from the syndicate meltdown of august 2001.
Manovich, Lev. The Language of New Media. Cambridge (MA): MIT Press, 2001.
In the case of branching interactivity, the user plays an active role in determining the order in which already generated elements are accessed. This is the simplest kind of interactivity; more complex kinds are also possible in which both the elements and the structure of the whole object are either modified or generated on the fly in response to the user's interaction with a program. We can refer to such implementations as open interactity to distinguish them from the closed interactivity that uses fixed elements arranged in a fixed branching structure. Open interactivity can be implemented using a variety of approaches, including procedural and object-orientated computer programming, AI, AL, and neural networks. [page 40.]
this is interesting but what i'm concerned about, and it seems to be common through this book, is that while multiplicities are advocated indirectly they rarely appear directly. like here. digital environments not only allow for closed and open interactivity but, in theory, you could write something that mixes closed and open interactivity. games do this regularly with the use of cut scenes punctuating gameplay. the problem is not in the terminology nor in the ideas, but in the explanation a dialectic is formed where one need not be. (you can take the boy away from deleuze but you can't get the deleuze out of the boy....?)
closed and open
their own blurb:
The journal provides a forum for new work relating the arts and literature to the exploration of consciousness currently flourishing in many disciplines such as philosophy, cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience, computer science, and physics.
Submissions are welcome from the fields of fine arts, performing arts (performance, theatre, dance, music), and media arts (film, television, multimedia, hypermedia), literature and any sub-categories of those areas.
they live at the uni. of wales, in the department of theatre, film, and television.
consciousness literature and arts
dutch (i think) based organisation come site that hosts new media and media activist come indie new media lists, organisations, events, structures, flows, morphs. and so forth.
a nsw's based institution with jeffrey shaw and some visiting research scholars working on large scale interactive cinema projects. big ticket, big end of town :-)
centre for interactive cinema
the home of blogs and blogging. lets you set up an account and provides and interface to let you maintain and archive your own blogs (journals). also has a nice java bookmark thing that lets you blog any pages you're surfing.
a perl thingo that lets you maintain a web journal on your web site of self blogger. has a series of templates, perl scripts that you upload and it looks like it would also be a nifty site maintenance tool.
the british film institute, an organisation that many others aspire to. publishes books. dvds, videos. curates exhibitions, runs seminars. combines education with cultural development with industry support and development.
or has everyone else noticed how urls and da web has made the world like repo man? in repo man a tin of food is labelled with a big generic label "food" or "dog food", or "drink". i needed a dictionary, and hey, why search, www.dictionary.com oughta do the trick. and yep. it does. http://www.flashlight.com works, though the australian/english vernacular http://www.torch.com is less successful. http://www.help.com is much less useful, though http://www.search.com pretty much does as expected. http://www.me.com starts out brilliantly, though unintentionally, it's under construction (what else?!) but then redirects to brainstormventures.com, which isn't really very 'me', is it? http://www.sex.com does pretty much what you'd expect, and i ended up with the 6 browser windows that won't go away (and putting that on this page will suddenly see my traffic go up 20%, sad isn't it. sex sex sex. there. got that outta my system.) what else, http://www.maps.com has a special on afghanistan maps, no kidding. http://www.books.com turns out to be barnes and noble, http://www.cars.com sells, you guessed it, and http://www.birds.com/ and http://www.dogs.com/ are ok (though the bird people have it all over the dog people), but http://www.cats.com/ proves the exception. they ain't cats. still, with the vocabulary of a 4 year old you can pretty much find it all. even http://www.dumb.com/
is it me?
this is the abstract i wrote for the design seminar i'm attending in oslo in a couple of weeks. i figure that with something like this i get to take out the kewl title/abstract award, and being an outta towner this is always important as an impress of authority. :-) particularly in new media and/or media studies. it's branding. or fey postmodernity (pronounced post-murrder-nitty for that extra sang-froid).
kinécriture: research as interactive design
New media and Information Technology have the capacity to blur traditional distinctions between theory and practice. This is particularly relevant in media studies as a discipline, teaching, and research practice. In recent research I have explored 'writing' with interactive desktop video as an applied research aesthetic that combines critical and creative practice with applied research outcomes. The result is work that falls between disciplinary definitions of writing, critical, and creative practice, producing a particular view of research as an event, and also problematising the 'affordances' of interactive desktop video for teaching, learning, and as a medium.
kinecriture design seminar
serious photomontage + collage + temporal interaction work. was also someone who at some past moment had an excellent blog on new media or at least digital visual aesthetics, also documented and described his practice (lots of the objects he gets at auction via ebay. this is good work.
computer graphics developer type person who works in cgi for the film industry in boston. has developed some impressive interactive installation pieces in the past.
am building a new vog. material lisbeth klastrup shot on my camera at a dinner at espen's. i have collaged it into 16 fragments, and reassembled them as movie in a movie (miam) within quicktime. by doing this it means each of the 16 is actually independent of the parent (container) movie and so i can run and start them separately from each other. what i had wanted to do was to add a mouse entry sprite to each of the 16 so that the child movie would return to the beginning and start playing again. in effect this would mean that as you moused over the movie each part would restart. so the only way to 'watch' it would be to zoom over all them as quick as you could to get them as near as possible to starting at the same time, though there'd always be this difference between the time you moused over the first one and the last one.
but playback is really bad with 16 video tracks as miams (where all the content is external to the one movie) + 16 sprite tracks. not surprising i guess since i'm asking quicktime to simultaenously load 16 external tracks, as well as keep an eye on where the mouse is via 16 sprites. sheesh, a web browser is only usually set to handle 4 simultaneous connections... :-)
so right now i've got just 4 sprite tracks that resets each column of the movie (a line of 4 of the miam tracks). i could have made it a random grouping of 4, but at the moment i like the regularity of using the columns. i need to build a commentary now, and i might add that as a text track to the movie, we'll see.
when the tide is low large juvenile gulls duck and dive for orange starfish. i watch them from a bridge at the end of an arm of a fjord.
sometimes when i write in storyspace i produce stuff that is densely linked. what i've sometimes called saturated linking. as i've been writing in ceres and making links from entries to, for instance, directory entries (for instance as i've written about nordic interactive i've either linked to their web site or to the directory entry i've added to ceres), i've worried about just what i'm trying to 'make' here.
the 'problem' is that if i start linking then while it is easy now, what happens in three months if i write something and don't link it back to something that might be relevant? as the file grows such constant manual linking becomes time consuming, difficult to manage (you need to know all of the content to manage this), and just a pain to do. so if i make complex or at least dense links now and there is no way i can maintain this in an ongoing way, perhaps i shouldn't?
but this is a false problem. i can always find stuff in ceres by using agents, but more importantly the way i'm writing in here is much more like a series of kernels. i've been to a conference, and so there's a little tight lump of interconnected notes from that conference. names, people, ideas, locations. then it might just flow along in little odd ways for a while, then there might be another kernel around who knows what. it doesn't matter that these don't literally join to each other, even where they might cross other in all sorts of ways - the object here is not to make or write a system that exhausts these possibilities because a) you can't do that, b) that's an 'unwriting'. this is for writing, if i want to build something that automatically picks up text string 'a' and links to the entry on 'a' then i can use a database. but a database sucks for writing in.
not very clear this. mud in a beer bottle territory. my anxiety was simply that common/complex linking felt like it ought to be constant throughout the document/file/site. but it doesn't. the writing here works in ebbs and flows. as does the linking. there are little thematic or historical lumps of notes that are interconnected, usually because they were written around the same time, and this is sort of how the link structure is working. it's more a temporal thing than a semantic thing.
ah, that's it. the links happen around a common time of writing and thinking, not around a semantics. that's why i'm not worrying that if i mention maureen thomas in 6 months time it's no big deal if i don't link to the notes i made from nordic interactive in 2001. (though i probably would link to the note abour her homepage, if i remembered i had one.)
of course i also do need to add an indexer to the web side of this, being able to arbitrarily search this stuff is fundamental.
well it's a week since i'm back from the nordic interactive conference. brief memories of københavn.
bicycles. it's a cliche yeah but jesus, thousands of 'em, everywhere. and for the first time visitor the change in street etiquette so it goes footpath, bike path, road, and just like the road, the bikes have right of way on the bike path. as a cyclist it is impressive, not just in its safety and the security of being a cyclist but that there are just so many cyclists. even tricycle prams.
reasonable food. bergen is shifting towards what i'd regard as some sort of understanding of cuisine (i'm from melbourne, as any visitor who spends more than 2 days can tell you, it is a food mecca) but in copenhagen there was a much stronger sense of coffee and cafe culture. lots of pubs, bars, cafes, restaurants, different cuisines, spread throughout the city. gives the city a feeling of life and activity that is provincial with some outwardliness that makes it feel like a small city that matters in the world. at least to itself.
minor poverty. in københavn i sometimes see very poor would be buskers who are apparently homeless or nearly so. this is always a shock after being in bergen (or oslo) where even the junkies in the park by the university are well fed and apparently healthy.
good shopping. well, it isn't cheap, but there are great clothes, jewellry, and design stores all over the place. lifestyle stuff. usually well done.
fine cheeses for breakfast, particularly the local blues.
efficiency. not german but for some reason i get this feeling that danes expect things to work. busses, trains, schedules, the welfare state. it isn't so much an expectation that they work because someone else looks after it but that they all expect it to work as a right and a shared obligation to making it work.
københavn + week
center for digital discourse and culture, virginia tech. laziness permits me to lift the following off their homepage:
::10 Nov 2001 0:33::
centre for applied technology in the humanities. explores fresh and exciting knowledge work, which is a great description and one i think i ought to borrow.
works at the centre for digital discourse and culture at virginia tech. has a huge bookmarks page, is involved in the centre for applied technology in the humanities (cath and iath in the same state, either forward thinking or serious rivals, mmm). does internet research stuff (you visit and figure it out :-) ).
a new list for net.arty sorts has been set up in australia. largely to make a space for the sort of stuff that was once kosher on other lists and now is jumped on, from mez (one of the founders, and demezzangled):
For some time now, various hierarchically-dependant entities have been cauterizing net/web-based activities [including email- lists] in an effort 2 streamline and contain the netwurk in all its varied formulations. [Net.art] Lists that have previously embraced expressive/communicative tendencies of all types are now dying [heavily] moderated and flame-driven deaths, with the survivors either hanging on for dear text or abandoning the status-quo-seeking shells in static swarms.
_arc[texture.eyes].hive_ seeks to fill the gap left by those lists previously devoted to the evolution, discussion, practice, & slippage of all actions oriented around the net/web. _arc[texture.eyes].hive_ will try to jab at buttoned boundaries and recreate a space where experimentation and debate regarding any label you care to stick on/over creative practices involving the network [ie new media art, code poetry, net.art, e.literature, content alteration poetry, web art, electronic art, hackerese, digital projects, net.wurks, programmer writing, spam art, incremental texts, theory/hybrid factions, software art, performative interactions, werdwurk, calls for applications and submissions, gamer rhetoric, technical information/details, net-linked announcements etc etc] is to be expected and encouraged.
We [mez & ftr - the moderators] see the _arc[texture.eyes].hive_ list as a dissemination/node point for all things geared for/towards/in the net/web, including the active creation of net.wurks via the list mechanism.
journal of new media and culture, first issue sometime in 2002. peer reviewed and just starting out. wants to be print based but also mentions audiovisual stuff so i guess it is going to combine the journal with the web site. very promising.
french site that links to net.art and has a commentary on it. i think they invite people to submit a piece of work that they like (or don't like i guess, not sure). they have several editions of this and looking through their stuff can uncover some interesting things.
flesh and metal
last night the footpaths refroze and so today i got to walk like a foreigner. was going along just fine, quite confident that my pace and stride was no more gingerly than anyone else (i checked). ah, but the arrogance of the cultural tourist (the visitor who thinks they're not a visitor). there's a short steep hill past part of the university (where they do metereology i think, i guess it's norwegian humour) and on the steepest section i found no grip. slowly i slid back down, very gracefully, without stumbling, rather fun actually. though i felt that obviously i should have known better. so i went round, and found a narrow band of non-ice edged by a parapet that let me get up, via a slight circumlocation of the hill. i looked up and a local gave me the thumbs up as i made it, which i took gracefully and not as a recognition of being a foreigner. but who knows. sadly two people walked straight up the thing after me. though i've enough experience on ice to know that once you lose traction, well it's about patience. i imagine elderly people here all in hospital about now with broken hips, or perhaps they just stay indoors for the duration?
have changed my templates and found that:
works fine if URLstored has a value but if it doesn't then i end up with code like this on my page:
so i figured out that of course URLstored exists so i changed the code to:
online film journal run by the institute of film studies at the uni. of nottingham (you can imagine the jokes). has a concentration on reviews; books, films, conferences.
institute of film studies at the university of nottingham. home of scope, an online journal. film studies here is in american and canadian studies, strange and no doubt fodder for academic-dinner-party-prattle.
works as a researcher at cwi multimedia and human computer interaction and is a smil expert.
this is a list of smil resources and links from cwi (centrum voor wiskunde en informatica) in the netherlands. i think it is the centre for mathematics and computer science, and the media people there were instrumental in the smil standard.
well i had said that i wasn't going to publish each link directory entry onto its own page. but i am. if i don't it is really hard (almost impossible) to work out how to link to individual entries. i might be able to use the Id attribute to generate anchors, but i can't see a way to write a link inside ceres that is a basic link (where i draw a link from some text) which would also add the Id attribute too.
i've also now added an
oslo academic who has done plenty of work around interactive media and more recently has had some students working on hypervideo.
this is the apple quicktime site that has links to the smil extensions supported in quicktime. also has links to smil resources on the web.
have been thinking about making a major change to my vogs which would run counter to the vogma . i'm thinking about upping the bandwidth requirements for the vogs. at the momen they usually run around 1MB a minute which is not play on demand on a home modem but is oodles under what adsl, cable, or any first world university supports.
the advantages? better frame rates. better resolution. larger images.
the disadvantages? well if you only have modem access you can forget about it. and that counts for a lot. there is something important in the work that i'm doing which is not about access in terms of political or economic equity but in terms of cultural equity. that's what's important in this stuff, as important as the interactivity and video écriture that i'm advocating. it isn't a practice that ought to be limited to those in big cities on the end of big pipes and it needs to be modelled as a 'domestic' practice, a class room practice. not as something you do in new media labs or in the expensive end of town. broadband is an aesthetic that ignores this.
this is why html is so cool, and successful. it's a domestic writing technology with industrial strength applications. (hey, now that's a logo for someone's web site, ceres maybe?) of course going broadband means more kudo's. so many users (ie funding bodies) i'm supposed to impress don't get it. "it's a bit small", or "can't it be bigger?" are common observations. "well yes, of course" is the simple answer, but then someone will realise that someone who needs to see it can't because cable/asdl is simply unavailable in their area. simple.
i could make two versions of everything, which i'm experimenting with right now, but i expect that is just too slow. perhaps i'll experiment with a middle ground. modem+ sounds good.
flexible learning environment. an open source project/product from uiah that is designed for collaborative and problem based learning in online environments. has come a long way and has a lot of possibilities.
dutch based designer and thinker on flow, info tech and design. doors of perception is his and the conference he runs via doors of perception sounds excellent. (haven't been but heard good things about it from one person.)
centre for contemporary photography, in melbourne australia. bleeding edge exhibition, curatorial practice, and theoretical meeting place.
the home site of designer john thackara and his innovative work in design, architecture, and media technologies. or as the site header puts it "forefront of design and innovation". i heard john speak at nic2001 and he's charismatic, charming, articulate, and very smart. someone you'd like to have on your side.
doors of perception
the media lab at the uni of art and design, helsinki. good projects and innovative in its time. no doubt still one of the better places to hang out and play.
media lab uiah
in tampere, finland. place that seems to combine making for clients in the uni. with teaching and research. love the lego on the homepage.
hypermedia lab tampere
this is an initiative to make an ad for free to air broadcast tv in australia trying to generate public support to change the current aust. govt's attitude on refugee's. the current approach is xenophobic, small minded, set somewhere in about 1962, and simply shameful. it has been exploited politically by the incumbent govt (though there are federal elections this coming saturday) though of course they claim reasonableness. but think about it, 600 people on a boat trying to land, call them people smugglers willing to risk their children, or call them educated victims of a regime that forbids education of women and insists on a literal and fundamentalist religious mode of conduct not just for daily life, but for learning, the arts, science, and so on. and you figure out which politician is milking the situation. it makes you ashamed of your own country.
there was another similar project a few weeks ago, where people all around the country donated money to take out full page ads in the daily press (at the cost of around $50,000 per advertisement i believe) denouncing the government's actions on refugees. this gives you some faith that not everyone subscribes to a vision of the future that doesn't extend past tomorrow.
(what really pisses me off at the moment with australian politics, and i've been away 3 weeks so i've no idea where the campaign has go to) is that good government appears to be largely defined by individual self interest. how much more money you will get each week (tax breaks, lower taxes, etc etc). yet whenever there is some economic stuffup by industry (very regular), for instance a major insurance firm goes under, or an airline disappears, or we have to pay for our involvement in east timor, the same government thinks it's perfectly reasonable to add a surchage to; insurance policies, airline tickets, petrol, to bail us all out. why can't someone just decide that we can and should be paying more (each of the above examples proves it) and that good governance is not on how much extra you get in your wallet each week but by actually rebuilding schools, hospitals, improving social security, funding decent paternity and maternity leave, public transport infrastructure etc?
am i the only one who would happily pay more tax if there was an agreed minimum? in norway paternity and maternity leave is state funded, and available to all. if the dad doens't take his 6 weeks paternity leave the mum doesn't get hers! the point? well it does make better dads but it is primarily to make men's employment as tenuous as women's. an employer can no longer think that a man won't disappear once the kids come along, because he simply will. this is a good thing.
people have a high capacity to pay (in australia we gamble an enormous amount weekly) and will pay if the service warrants it (how much do you think your car actually costs you?). You see this all the time in scandinavia, people are happy to pay the taxes because there is a visible and promised return in their standard of living, social welfare, education, and the arts.
well, that's the rant for today. i'm obviously angry and frustrated about something. perhaps its all that snow and i should be skiing on fløyen instead of in the office?
have been trying to make a new vog, one with a 4 x 4 grid of videos, but the compression just has not been working in cleaner (a once great product that right now looks like it is under owner number 3 and is suffering from some sort of decline). what would happen is that after the first two tiles all i'd see in cleaner would be white (there is not a lot happening in the movie, but it should not be white). after much mucking about - making the original larger and then resizing in cleaner, etc, etc, it seems that changing the data settings from being in bytes to bits has fixed it. it's all smoke and mirrors, isn't it?
in the meantime i've downloaded a demo of hipflics from totallyhip. they make livestage pro, are still small enough to answer their email with humour, and have a bloody good track record. i'll keep this space posted.
well, had made big changes to the vlog yesterday so that each entry in all my link directories could also be exported as a single note, much like i do with these entries (which are compiled into this page, their archive page, but also published individually).
built it all, it works just fine. but really, it generates a lot of pages and it was starting to turn ceres into a fully fledged site management and generation tool. it might be able to do that but i don't think i want it to do that. i want it to be more informal, open, in the vernacular and having too many tricks gets in the way of that.
this is where i get to insert my random deleuzism of the day: my vlog was becoming striated, not smooth. (giggle).
we had snow yesterday, and for an australian this is wonderful. i love mountains and snow and waking up to find a carpet of cold white. its the nearest thing to real magic. and this morning it is a flat 0 degrees, simple blue sky, no breeze, and white mountains. this rocks.
thinking out loud
this is the work of mendi lewis obadike. it is very simple html to achieve an elegant outcome, rendering the invisible visible and returning it to a state outside of vision again. obvious implications for a writing that is about identity politics, sexual politics, and identity.
the resentiment? that's from me. this is stuff that i had students playing around with years ago and one project even built an 'anti-imagemap' but just having text hrefs that started out invisible (much like what john tolva described in his article "Ut Pictura Hyperpoesis"), and i heard about this via the rhizome daily net art news promo thingo and i'm glad that this sort of simple html work is now finding recognition, on the other hand it feels like, sheesh, where was everyone looking 5 years ago? and why didn't they know how to read it then?
yesterday jill and i walked into town to visit some galleries. there are maybe 8 picasso's here, and some wonderful klee's. the munch's were being rehung for a new exhibition starting next week.
also saw some recent british work. some video, painting, sculptural pieces. all of it seeming to look to 70s and 80s pop internationalism with a mock irony that made the work cheeky in a way that i felt undercut its inevitable pretension. gee. maybe i should write art reviews?
on the way into town we walked around the arm of a small fjord, it was only 3 or 4 degrees, lots out walking. on the path lay an unconscious man. wet feet, probably a junkie who had shot up in the nearby rainhut (an art piece, not a shelter). what struck me was how blue his hands were. whitely blue. the visible hurt of cold and heroin indifference was shocking.
it's been a while since you've been updated at this here url. sorry about that. but as you see dear vlog i've been writing in here nearly every day, and done a major renovation.
the problem was no network, not no writing. see i was at a conference and there was no easy way to get my powerbook on the network (well, airport woulda helped but the card aint in yet) and so fresh thoughts become stale in the delay between writing and publishing.
the problem of the not-quite-ubiquitious-networked-device-(nearly-but-not-quite).
so dear vlog here are heaps of new bits.
an australian in bergen.
cambridge uni moving image studio. has research students and projects, is located in the department of architecture and wants digital tools to assist and expand creative practice. maureen thomas hangs out here some of the time.
danish startup that provides three main things. they host media servers to stream real, windows, and qt content around denmark. they also have written a simple management tool so company x can upload stuff and get it streaming off their own web pages (some code that you embed that allows the stream onto your page with some stuff going back to mediastream so that if you change anything in your settings the embedded code on your pages is automatically updated). and they're working on some datamining stuff so that streaming content can be tailored to profiles (not convinced of its applicability) and i think some stuff that will let user contexts be recognised.
swedish insitute that their blurb describes as
::5 Nov 2001 5:58::
senior creative research fellow at the interactive institute and the creative director of cambridge uni's moving image studio. a dramatist who is working in ict, primarily in relation to narrative. directed/wrote vala, an 'interactive hypermovie' which models some of her ideas. vala has 2 hours of video and music and uses a real actor and various designers/programmers. from the postcard:
vala is an interactive non-linear hypermovie, where the storyteller, vala, guides you through the viking 'runerow' of characters into navigable narrative landscapes...
firstname.lastname@example.org should get to her.
the narrativity studio at the interactive institute at malmö (sweden). this is the place that maureen thomas is the creative director of, and they have a suite of projects combining new media, ict, and narrative in various social contexts. the brochure reads: "community and identity as narrative, narrative play, new loics, new grammars, new rhetorics in interactive narrative". it offers collaboration between boffins and creatives, though i suspect it needs a dose of hands on grubby theorists too...
a project run by åsa harvard at the interactive institute in malmö (sweden) which combines computer stuff with toys to make 'new types of narrative media'. they have some interesting projects and it's a great idea.
people and projects i met at nic2001 (in the order as they appear in my pile of paper on my desk)
gunhild varvin and synne skjulstad who made an impressive hypervideo about what 41 norwegian's 'really' think. it was scripted in director and generally has three simultaneous video windows. the front most one has the volume active and you can click on any of the others to make them frontmost. there are a series of contexts attached to each video so that which ever one is frontmost determines the rest of the set via these contexts (themes) and where you are in the entire work. they are working with gunnar liestøl at the uni. of oslo.
from finland, teemu leinonen of the fle3 team. fle is something i was involved with a bit about a year ago and it has come along in great 7 league strides since then, and deserves some serious attention and credit. here at intermedia it's being evaluated for an education project using agents, but i'd like to get it running and get some students in there quicksmart. :-)
also from finland there's the hyperlab at http://www.uta.fi/hyper which is in tampere. this seems to combine some services for the uni (media development) with teaching and research which would make it a very interesting model. most places seem to have media centres that make stuff for the uni (videos, cd's, web stuff), and then places where they teach that stuff, and then places where they research that stuff.
then the department of film and tv, dept design for theatre film and tv, the media lab, and elomedia a doctorate school in audiovisual arts. reading their brochure about facilities is mouth watering. the media lab has been running for something like 19 years and remains a benchmark for studio based creative critical research and teaching. the uni also does heaps of stuff in other design disciplines...
john thakara on design and flow, maureen thomas on stories, a panel workshop on virtual film making,
have made another major change to the vlog. since i want to use ceres to collect most of my notes and nonsense, and to publish the vlog, i've added another section called noteshop. this is where the scraps end up. it sorta feels like if i don't make room for the scraps then i'll only use this for the unscraps, which defeats the purpose. and i've added the scraps to my archive too, so it's easy for me to find my stuff.
the advantage of publishing the scraps as well as the unscraps is simply that i now have multiple access. if i don't have my powerbook the notes are online. the other advantage is that it adds that bit of discipline that is needed for ceres to be properly useful. ceres needs to be treated as my text desktop. its where all the bits and pieces sort of end up in various ways, and if i use it like that then it works as my notepad come postit notes come bookmarks come thinking out loud in semipublic space. this makes it a good tool. if i don't do this then it will have bits and pieces but not most, and its effectiveness as a text archive with agents is necessarily diluted. so, the scraps are now in the noteshop. no doubt that's where i'll slander someone and get taken to court in some weird jurisdiction.... :-)
the readme! description of how the file works in relation to the templates is no longer included, but you can figure it out from the notes and the templates.
i've updated the archive:
a copenhagen based nordic organisation which seeks to establish connections between research, industry, and culture throughout the nordic region. it is sort of like a secretariat i suppose, and organised the nic2001 conference as part of this charter. it is an ambitious idea but given some of the networking and exchange that nic2001 enabled is perhaps a very good idea. and it might also just be one of those nordic management things that are done better than anywhere else. some state support, industry involvement, university support, in an environment where everyone seems to understand that economic collaboration and support is a given and joint responsibility.
i've again changed the structure of the blog and the ceres file. since the
so. um. yeah. this means that instead of having all my notes in one parent note and publishing from there and using a series of agents to generate archives (so that the archive pages needed a hand coded url) i can now put the originals inside thematic notes (for instance dated) and the archive publishes to the parents so i can use the ceres blog update tag!
this also means i had to change the argument string so that instead of #inside(notename) it is now #descendedfrom(notename)...
anyway, this is a bit navel gazing like, but for those of you who have downloaded the archive file to see how i build all this, well i've now made a snapshot archive of the new structure. you can find it at
ceres blog update
this is an amsterdam site that i think comes from john thackara's design firm. they also host an annual conference 'event' that has a particularly novel approach to such things. it is themed and combines artists with theorists in extremely creative and engaged ways.
doors of perception
"how can different fields of design inform research and development on digital media?"
it is being organised by andrew morrison and albertine aarberge of intemedia:uio and is happening on november 28. it is one of those things that the scandinavians seem to do very well, small research seminars, very informal, very productive. there is a lot of funding for such activities throughout the region and it means that people very much keep in contact and collaborate.
a good example is the nic2001 conference i'm attending in københavn at the moment. there are dozen's of phd students here from throughout scandinavia who have had their conference fees and air fare's covered, and also accommodation in the nearby (not very good for phd students) youth hostel. i might move in the wrong circles but i've never heard of anything like this in australia.
have got myself a new digital still camera. a canon digital ixus v, though as with everything else the distinction between still and moving is arbitrary - my 3 year old video camera takes still images, and this canon can record a moving image. though obviously one is better than the other for what it is designed for. what i like is that the camera is sooo small and so it just becomes very easy to get images, an archive, record the world. of course now i guess it's a problem of what to do with the archive. but that's a better problem than not having the archive.
and that's a strange statement that i suspect comes from a post digital age, otherwise the archive is just, well, mess.
the camera. oh yeah. 2.1 megapixel, which apparently is the minimum for prints, has three resolutions, three compression settings, view finder + lcd (which is good under bright light or when power's an issue), and can capture an image every 1.5 or 2.5 or something or other seconds which actually makes possible some rather interesting protocinematic experiments. oh, and it's got this crazy pano feature so that you can select panos, and it lets you overlap the images visually in the lcd panel on da back. ooohhhh. cute. (and not very useful since the best way to make pano's is to use a real graduated tripod head.)