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akademic werdsakademic werds
written and published in Tinderbox 1.2.3
airports (he say's thinking out loud) are enchanting. some children have come to stand by the windows where i'm writing to look at the planes. a little girl, maybe 3, says in mixed vietnamese english "wow" as she waves at the planes.
on the ground they're sort of graceless ugly ducklings that are just clumsy and faintly ridiculous. all the fuselage and wingspan and these silly little sticks with wheels that improbably balance it all. they are pushed around by pugnosed tugs before they taxi out.
and then in the air? this long thin tube of pressurised metal with these pokey little wings, sort of glorified busses.
romantic busses. there is a frisson which comes of the exotic, risk, prestige.
sitting at tullarmarine waiting for mark's flight to arrive. one of those nasty melbourne summer days where the wind is hot strong and northerly. it's 11am and already 30¡. should get to 37¡.
these are the days when we escape to airconditioned palaces of consumption (malls and cinemas), the beach, or we barricade ourselves into our homes. shut doors windows curtains and turn the fan on.
why? because melbourne has a funny climate. it only gets really hot for maybe 14 days a year. and really cold is, say, 4¡ in the dead of night. so we've inherited our colonial father's approach to architecture - it's never cold (or hot) enough to need double glazing, and not quite hot enough long enough to have really decent insulation and air conditioning. lots do, of course, particularly the aircon, but our homes straddle this middle ground of inefficiency and sometimes discomfort.
so an airport isn't that bad a place to be right now.
mark amerika jets into sunny hot melbourne tomorrow morning. i'll be packing him off to his university apartment and leaving him to recover for a day or so before giving him a bit of a day out on monday with a picnic in the great ostraylean wilderness. parrots, cockatoos, lizards and hell probably even snakes. though we might just end up in a country beachside town instead...
but i'm looking forward to mark's visit. he's here till may as a visiting fellow and while we're extracting our pound of flesh i'm looking forward to being able to play around with some ideas, projects, and to work on a few things. it's always good to have someone from outside come inside. things happen.
and he's arriving on australia day. my sense of humour enjoys mr amerika arriving on australia day.
one of those old fashioned truisms of hypertext theory has been that text is mutable, temporary, even perhaps mercurial. (always wanted to include mercurial in a sentence, and now i've managed it twice.)
mr bernstein has just done a bit of retrospective renaming that sort of shows how impermanent text in electronic environments actually is. ceres is now called tinderbox, and all of a sudden quotes from people who said 'ceres this' now reads as 'tinderbox this'. i can imagine
now that's an aphorism deserving of a t-shirt.
i found in my really really clever idea of just the other day. you know, that idea to not re-export older notes from ceres so that when i update the site via a remote ftp synchronisation thingo it only updates a few pages and not the entire site? that idea?
yeah, well, the problem with that is that on the index page i have the nifty most recently added links thingo, which is sort of dynamic, you know? but when i don't export old pages then the link list you got on, say, archive pages, is the link list at that date of export, and not the link list as it is when the most recent export was done. have to think if there's a way round this. can do it using ssi and exporting my link lists to an individual file which is then included using ssi into the other pages. sheesh, getting lateral, isn't it?
am trying to build another vog that is a bit tongue in cheek, but with the start of semester fast approaching finding the time to make is proving difficult.
and i've decided to build a more complex work. larger, sort of modular in how it's built up of external movies and objects (so they get called in on demand) but with much more texture or context in it. it probably won't be about anything, more like a tone poem than a narrative, as at this point i need to try and build what i'm beginning to imagine, and narrative feels too hard on top of the sort of collage work i want.
stay tuned. same bat time. same bat channel.
myself to remember to write some ideas about watching harry potter and lord of the rings recently. i enjoyed the former much more than the latter, i think because i haven't read tolkien for many many years. but it completely upsets my younger days assumptions about the relation of books to films. oh, and i think lotr is much more about new zealandness than. well, i'm not sure. so adrian, remember to make some time for this.
well things seem to have been quiet around here, but actually i've been very busy in ceres building an annotated interactive film bibliography. it isn't finished yet, though if you followed the int.cinema link in the left menu you'd see heaps of new entries with sometimes intelligent quotes and comments.
anyway, the recent links list just there, no, i mean
so all the stuff is going into that page, but i'm also adding new keywords to them and using another series of agents to build specific content for the particular project. i like this, since it means that one lot of content gets easily distributed in the one file for two different publication contexts.
Lindley, Creig. A Computational Semiotic Framework for Interactive Cinema. 2000. Jan 16 2002.
Describes a semiotic based database system for generating rich interactive video narratives.
interview with greg roach (hyperbole studios and virtualcinema.com) that is dated but touches on a couple of issues and useful terms (for instance holographic narrative).
interview with greg roach
multimedia production house that also works in interactive cinema and games development. their technology and approach seems to favour first person interactive video narratives.
this is a company that has authored an environment for writing/producing interactive movies. the site has a pdf 'bible' available (http://www.virtualcinema.com/download.htm) which comments on interactive video and its implications, as well as authoring tools for mac and pc. a detailed description is available at http://www.virtualcinema.com/indepth.htm. uses the term 'viewsers' to describe the viewer/user in interactive cinema, and there is a great deal of high quality material here in relation to problems of continuity in database driven video narratives. a key text.
as the same says. all things documentary. good info on festivals and the like.
federal body that provides industry support and policy. used to also do a lot on the kulta side but in our economic rationalist times maintaining a culture that understands the work is less important than international bums on seats.
australian film commission
australian film buff and review site. it is a professionally written site that has a lot of its content syndicated to other sites and primarily offers reviews, industry news, and a bit of industry analysis.
latrobe university based film history journal. peer reviewed and international.
screening the past
australian film industry news source. melbourne based independent.
game theory/culture web site run by sue morris (queensland).
You can reserve bandwidth for your HREF urls by specifying the original movie in the QTSRC parameter and setting QTSRCCHOKESPEED. This allocates a maximum bandwidth to the movie, reserving anything left over for other downloads.
For example, if your movie has a 30 kbits/sec data rate (roughly 3 Kbytes/sec), set QTSRCCHOKESPEED=33000, allowing for about 10% packet overhead. If your viewer is connected at 48800 over a 56K dialup, he or
she has 15800 kbits of available bandwidth for the HREFs. People with faster connections get faster HREF downloads, but the movie still plays in real time.
Of course, you still need to design your presentation so the movie and images can download in real time over the lowest bandwidth you choose to support. If the viewer has less bandwidth than you allocate in QTSRCCHOKESPEED, it will all still go to the movie.
Weinbren, Grahame. Frames: A New Interactive Cinema Work. n.d. Jan 16 2002.
Weinbren, Grahame. "Random Access Rules." Cinema Futures: Cain, Abel or Cable? The Screen Arts in the Digital Age. Eds. Thomas Elsaesser and Kay Hoffmann. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1998. 229-40.
Weinbren, Grahame. Frames and Tunnels: Some Grammars for Interactive Narrative. Dec 2000. Jan 16 2002.
Brief transcription of what appears to be a talk on interactive cinema. suggests that cinema as a medium is exhausted and that new technologies allow new expressive possibilities. in addition the 'possibility of including, in our representations of reality, the fact that we affect the world of our perception" is possible.
Cubitt, Sean. "Preface: The Colour of Time." in Experimental Cinema in the Digital Age. Malcolm Le Grice. London: BFI Publishing, 2001. vii-xvi.
strongly theoretical preface that discusses the importance of new conceptions of duration and temporality (the open) in new media and video. has lashings of deleuze/bergson:
uni. of sydney philosophy journal with a very strong contintental flavour (i wonder what flavour it would be described with in europe?).
Wright, Richard. "It's Just Like Art." Millenium Film Journal.28 (1995): 49-61.
well argued and complex essay that starts off with an analysis of high vs. low culture (via bourdieu), meanders through interactive multimedia installations and ends up with first person shooters. along the way makes some very incisive observations about electronic art as cultural practice. basically locates multimedia/interactive work as somewhere between high and low, in some ways accessible to each but on quite different terms (reminds me of jenck's famous two strand definition of postmodernism) and that its status will be contested iin these terms....
bordieu argues that low culture is sensuous and direct, high culture requires abstraction (and training). value in low culture is anchored in use value but there is nothing intrinsic in either to make one 'better' than the other. formal innovation in popular arts (for instance in animation) is enjoyed for its visual energy and engagement with (i suppose) life, rather than its abstract reflexiveness. hence
Cameron, Andrew. "Dissimulations: Illusions of Interactivity." Millenium Film Journal.28 (1995): 33-47.
Weinbren, Grahame. "In the Oceans of Streams of Story." Millenium Film Journal. 28 (1995): 15-30.
Le Grice, Malcolm. "Kismet, Protagony, and the Zap Splat Syndrome." Millenium Film Journal.28 (1995): 6-12.
a major essay that argues for the importance of combining avant-garde film practices of nonlinear (or multilinear) narrative form, the role of narrative identification, and the relation of data to possible structures to develop an interactive cinema. le grice establishes the basic ideologies and assumptions of linear film based narrative extremely well, and then examines these in the light of interactive gaming:
Cameron, Andrew. "The Future of an Illusion: Interactive Cinema." Millenium Film Journal.28 (1995): 3-4.
introduction to the special issue of the journal on interactive cinema. summarises the essays it contains so useful pointer to further material.
future of an illusion
Placeworld - Flexible/Multiple User Interface. Jeffrey Shaw, Bernd Linterman and Volker Kuchelmeister.
Life After Wartime. Interactive Computer Graphic Installation. Ross Gibson and Kate Richards.
life after wartime
Conversations - Distributed Multi-User Virtual Environment. Jeffrey Shaw, Dennis Del Favero, Ross Gibson and Ian Howard.
The interactive cinema program in the College of Fine Arts at the Uni. of New South Wales, Australia. Focusses on the research and development of a 'digitally expanded cinema'. They are undertaking research into new forms of interactive narrative and large scale interactive cinema installations and systems. Their aims and objectives are described at http://www.icinema.unsw.edu.au/aims.html, their research fields at http://www.icinema.unsw.edu.au/research-areas.html.
Shaw, Jeffrey. "Modalities of Interactivity and Virtuality."
Extract from a lecture at XXVIII. International Conference on Art History, Berlin, July 1992; published in: Artistic Exchange, Ed. Thomas W. Gaehtgens, Berlin, 1993, pp. 295-300.
Shaw, Jeffrey. "The Dis-Embodied Re-Embodied Body."
Originally published in Kunstforum. Die Zukunft des Körpers I, Vol 132, November 1995-January 1996, pp. 168-171.
Elsaesser, Thomas, and Kay Hoffmann, eds. Cinema Futures: Cain, Abel or Cable? The Screen Arts in the Digital Age. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1998.
elsaesser and hoffman
Manovich, Lev. The Language of New Media. Cambridge (MA): MIT Press, 2001.
language of new media
Manovich, Lev. "To Lie and to Act: Cinema and Telepresence." Cinema Futures: Cain, Abel or Cable? The Screen Arts in the Digital Age. Eds. Thomas Elsaesser and Kay Hoffmann. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1998. 189-99.
lie and act
Manovich, Lev. "What Is Digital Cinema?" The Digital Dialectic: New Essays on New Media. Ed. Peter Lunenfeld. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1999. 172-92.
Sawhney, Nitin, David Balcom, and Ian Smith. "Authoring and Navigating Video in Space and Time." n.d. May 1, 1998.
largely a reprise of the issues raised in the HypertextCafe paper from the ACM.
authoring and navigating
Tolva, John. "Medialoom: An Interactive Authoring Tool for Hypervideo." 1998.
a buggy prototype developed in director that provided rudimentary time based links in video windows in a visual authoring and reading environment derived from storyspace.
Sawhney, Nitin "Nick", David Balcom, and Ian Smith. "Hypercafe: Narrative and Aesthetic Properties of Hypervideo." Proceedings of Hypertext '96. Washington: ACM, 1996. 1-10.
an essay that has not received the attention that it deserves. there are parts of this work that i would dismiss as largely false problems - things that film and television already has an answer to, but their consideration of what they think you ought to be able to do in a multilinear interactive video, and the problems this poses for narrative comprehension, is much more substantial than most other commentators.
Balcom, David. ""Short Cuts", Narrative Film and Hypertext." 1996. accessed May 25, 1998.
short essay that is an analysis of Robert Altman's "Short Cuts". examined from the point of view of a multilayered narrative and what it might teach for multilinear video narration. the essay probably suffers from some generalisations about film and film narrative.
balcom short cuts
i'd been concerned about updating my blog using ceres because each time ceres does an export to html every file is rewritten. so every file has a new creation date, and so is changed on the server, even if it's content is the same. (well, it doesn't need to be changed but all the software i use for synchronising between computers uses modified dates to check if the file should be replaced.)
but i've just gone into a pile of old notes in ceres and told them not to export to html. things still seem to export fine but the old content is not rewritten to html and so the file dates remains stable. excellent.
dutch developed multi-user cross media synthesizer (it's a dinner party conversation starter). lets networked distant artists share a library of self generated content and for each user to do rather extraordinary things with that library. i saw it running at lanmark in bergen, a bek sponsored event. the images on the walls don't appear much till you see how they are actually produced. then it's trés impressive. (it's all in the catalogue essay, as they say.)
as the web site says:
::10 Jan 2002 17:35::
is a url that mark amerika sent to me because my vog work (and his filmtext work) have got a mention. unfortunately my italian is not enough to let me know just what the article says, but i'm sure it's interesting (and no doubt valuable) ;-)
famous in italy?
work that isn't quite interactive video but more quicktime collage with multiple quicktime movies (often the same movie embedded multiple times) embedded on a web page. some of them are very elegant, in particular pecker. i've no idea what the secret meaning of the relationship/s between the sequences are, but it looks good and i like its multiplicity.
computer fine arts
a site for an international co-operative DV project where participants shoot 1 minute of footage at set times each week and all the work is to be bought together in some way.
australian net culture and theory body that combines practice with policy. is currently more informal than formal but with a very active email list and a very successful meeting in december 2001 in melbourne that produced a reader, and plenty of good ideas. (i missed it but the reports have been very good.)
lev manovich wrote the language of new media, a landmark work on new media which uses film and other visual arts as one of its key methodologies for addressing new media. sees databases and interfaces as two key aspects of all new media. the book is wide ranging, and often goes in odd ways where points are raised, you sort of think that x would be either counter or contribute to this and sure enough, several pages later x appears. so it seems to read like manovich thinking out loud, which once you accept that is ok.
on the other hand there are passages that are gems but also bits that are dramatically and tragically under theorised. at times arguments are made by analogy but the analogies are extended a very long way and then bought together as a conclusion yet it seems to have been forgotten through there that they're analogies! at times like this more careful argument is needed. the last chapter on digital cinema, while largely a reprise of previous work, is provocative and important.
an australian newspaper come magazine that covers the performing and media arts. great content.
continuing some earlier thoughts on writing and linking, it seems that because ceres is a standalone environment then my writing in terms of external links depends on whether i'm online or not when i'm writing. and then whether i'm online at work (lan and permanent) or at home (dialup and temporary).
for instance in what i just wrote about my palm and old newton, if i were at work i would've jumped into google and got a url for the newton, had the versiontracker link go to the palm desktop entry, and probably found another link relevant in there somewhere too. but i wrote that offline at home, and wasn't about to dial up just to find a couple of simple urls. of course if they're important i'll simply edit the entry at work tomorrow when i do find the urls.
so the link style is not just dependent on my own writing style, and the fact that ceres is a standalone environment, but also it depends on which particular computing environment i'm in when i'm writing, and each lets/allows or affords me to think of linking externally in different ways. which is actually the wrong way round, these different environments don't let me do this, that's just the arrogance of my consciousness thinking it's in charge here, as if i decide :-) these different environments, where i'm highly literate in each (not sure what that actually means but it seems the best word), call to me in such a way for me to write in these different ways. in much the same way that a blank sheet of paper lets me fill the page with writing, note that it lets me, it's not me doing the deciding. (what and how i put on the page is a whole different question, something i'd think of as more an epistemological rather than ontological problem.)
palm have released a beta of their desktop software for osx. there was a public announcement about this and of course everyone wanted it, but it lived on an ftp server set up for 300 simultaneous connections, so you could never get on and if you did bandwidth was a somewhere between a drip and a trickle. palm then said that the beta was only intended for palm employees (??) which makes you wonder why they collected all that beta tester info from their web form and why it was publically announced....
regardless, some hardy souls actually got the installer and promptly put it on their idisks (god bless their hearts), announcing all this through the feedback section for the software on versiontracker (talk about the net as an open network - the main site for documenting new software releases by companies allows users to offer feedback - often scathing - on software and little dialogues happen between these users, in this case people (i want to say 'we') just moved it to servers that could actually accomodate demand and palm were just sidetracked completely). from where i got it.
and it's a treat. the desktop bit is much the same as it was in the earlier version, but now it seems the synching to the handheld via usb is, well (touch wood) just a treat. which means it's worked perfectly 5 times now where once this was just so bloody fussy and touchy as to often be bordering on useless. of course my palm m100 does barely a fraction of what my 4 or 5 year old messagepad 2100 could do, but i just don't have the hardware for that to talk to anything anymore. and it is just too big...
in one of the vogs i've just finished i had this weird problem with one soundtrack that loaded as a child movie. when ever the sprite would load the childmovie the dimensions of the entire movie would change so that the movie would get wider. now this is weird given all that is being loaded is a new soundtrack with no image track whatsoever.
after a lot of hunting around i found that it wasn't the sprite or any weird scripting i'd managed to do but the soundtrack itself, and opening the soundtrack and saving it as a new file solved the problem. of course it took probably an hour of debugging before i got there, but it's a good one to remember in case i come across it again.
australian based (and funded) fine art journal online. i think it's the oldest (firstest) fine art journal that was established out there in cyberland. has art, technology news.
fine art forum