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akademic werdsakademic werds
written and published in Tinderbox 1.2.3
another observation as the antipodean in northern climes. in my part of australia we have 4 seasons but they don't really work as seasons as we inherited them from those british who colonised and displaced the place. summer is hot and dry, and it sort of cools down into autumn, and at some point it is cold and wetter which i guess is winter, then it starts slowly warming and days lengthen so it's spring. but our plants keep their leaves. there are always flowers, on different species, all year round. most of our birds don't migrate, and there are plenty of them. so the seasons are indistinct, the move from one to another more like the frog slowly boiled than something with an edge.
which brings me to yesterday in bergen. for the past two weeks it has been pretty much sunny, and every day, even the one wet day, low to mid 20s. wonderful glorious weather. unusual for bergen (the guide books always mention the rain, for instance "tourist asks local lad 'is it always this wet in bergen?' reply: 'i don't know, i'm only 13.'). then yesterday the clouds grey rain came. overnight down to around 12 or 13. today around 15. it might clear up and there will be more sun, but the warmth is gone. erased. in a day. summer flicked dipped and dropped into autumn. i mean you can date it, to the day. that's just weird. and people have told me spring is the same. you step out one morning to find the world has a burst of green tipped furied hope. just there.
we all know it will not be 20 until next year.
for an australian (and numerous other people) it is. untimely.
reading. from tv to newspapers, from advertising to all sorts of mercantile epiphanies, our society is characterized by a cancerous growth of vision, measuring everything by its ability to show or be shown and transmuting communication into a visual journey. it is a sort of epic of the eye and of the impulse to read. . . . thus, for the binary set production-consumption, one would substitute its more general equivalent: writing-reading. reading (an image or a text), moreover, seems to constitute the maximal development of the passivity assumed to characterize the consumer, who is conceived of as a voyeur (whether troglodytic or itinerant) in a "show biz society."
de certeau on blogging
::31 Aug 2002 10:24::
proper (propre) and thus serve as the basis for generating relations with an exterior distinct from it (competitors, adversaries, "clientèles," "targets," or "objects" of research). political, economic, and scientific rationality has been constructed on the this strategic model.
::31 Aug 2002 10:15::
poiesis - but a hidden one, because it is scattered over areas defined and occupied by systems of "production" (television, urban development, commerce, etc.), and because the steadily increasing expansion of these systems no longer leaves "consumers" any place in which they can indicate what they make or do with the products of these systems. To a rationalized, expansionist and at the same time centralized, clamorous, and spectacular production corresponds another production, called "consumption." the latter is devious, it is dispersed, but it insinuates itself everywhere, silently and almost invisibly, because it does not manifest itself through its own products, but rather through its ways of using the products imposed by a dominant economic order.
::31 Aug 2002 10:12::
i seem to have some sort of almost institutionalised writer's block going on. i have several things that must be written and i'm thinking about them, more or less know for 2 of the 3 what i need and want to write, but just don't start. of course i have a mountain of admin and other stuff which all need doing. so i spend my days doing this. and some techie stuff. but not clearing the decks to write.
i have a paper to write for the drh conference in about a week and a half. i have a good abstract. and i know exactly what i want to write. david bordwell on middle level theory, slide that into de certeau and the strategic versus the tactical, join that into a particular way for thinking about working in computing humanities (possibly via john unsworth's comment about hermeneutics and engaged computing). then describe the smafe searchers project (which is currently being rebuilt using mpeg 4), how it works, the simple metadata it currently requires, and how it is more like a hermeneutic knowledge/context engine than an encoding project and how (using ricoeur) the reader is fundamental to its operation. point out that it has to be hand done, and how it is to be extended into a student driven learning environment. conclude with discussion of problems and futures. it's all there. but instead of writing it i'm here.
of course i should also add that right now i'm not even sure i'll get to the conference. even though by air it's probably only 2 hours to edinburgh it seems to fly there i end up doing something like bergen, amsterdam, london, edinburgh, and since the flights are mid week they're seriously expensive.
this is an australian research council funded portal come umbrella organisation that is pretty largely sitting in the middle of the computing humanities. one of my missions in life is to get cinema into these things.
is, i think, norwegian for food... torill has made some accurate comments on ander's reply to my aside about western norwegian cuisine. these comments of mine have made, understandbly, some of my good friends rather defensive.
not sure if that is necessary. i enjoy a lot of what i eat in norway, but as a happily multiculturalised melbournian i miss the opportunity for difference. my first few times here it was of course exotic. wonderful sommerbolle and good bread and molte and interesting breakfasts. but there isn't a bagel in sight, or pita bread, and what they call foccacia is soemthing else entirely. i guess the most common sense thing is that what do you expect in norway except norwegian food. which is reasonable. but in there somewhere there is some suspicion of cultural difference, like what urban australia was like 30 years ago when the only people who ate garlic and zuccini's were called wogs.
i admit to being quite fascinated by this. i see it as an almost protestant mistrust of pleasure. food is never too, well, sensual, just like buildings are generally plain. now if they made their food like that sculpture outside bergen's theatre, ah, now that would be food - even the photographer doesn't know what to do with it so makes sure we don't see the mother and son touching. (and i might have guessed, the sculpture is vigeland's.)
it isn't much different to what happens to me in singapore. love all the cuisines (various chinese, indian, malay, etc) but after a while i would also like to just eat a decent bread roll. (which is rather anglo saxon of me.)
ben waggoner. it is about the spec. for mpeg 4 and describes (i think) how mpeg 4 utilises 16 x 16 blocks (sorenson is the same) and that you have 396 of these but the width/height of these is negotiable within this limitation. good to know, as a coming soon vog will show.
Yes ISMA Profile 1
this is a british project that commissions work in video and film and promotes work in this media. looks like a good funding and project development and support model.
film video umbrella
something at the above url. the pacing isn't quite right thought. (i want pathos, not bathos.)
Log in as guest
Type @go trAcELO at the bottom of your screen. We will help you from there :)
trace elo guest
are in norway when the mass direct mail from the bookclub arrives on one of the titles is by roland barthes. in australia you'd be scraping to have a nobel author, or even a pulitzer or booker winner, in the catalogue. (well, i aren't actually a member of any book buying clubs in australia, so this could be a classic case of australian cultural cringe....) but it's impressive to see barthes in this sort of mass mail book catalogue.
you know you
anders has noted my recent picture of a norwegian dinner, and my comments about salted dried fish. and being the fine friend he is he suggests i travel south to try bachalhau, which of course is made with norwegian fisk. except of course it was the spanish and portugese who worked out how to make the salted dried eviscerated fish tasty...
which is sort of my point. what is interesting to the antipodean visitor in bergen is how so much of what i'm introduced to as traditional (and fine) norwegian cuisine involves quite intricate natural processes of 'brewing'. this applies to the meats (particularly apparently the christmas speciality of pinnekjøtt), the fish, though perhaps not to molte which are divine.
when i first came to bergen in 1998 there simply was not a restaurant that went remotely close to what i'd have described as postmodern cuisine, the sort of food that anders actually describes. it has all the qualities of the postmodern; a return to the value and significance of the local, of quotation and pastiche, and the loss of the authority of a particular metanarrative (master or national cuisine). today in bergen i know of 3 restaurants that provide food like this, they are all new. change does happen.
i notice that torill has mentioned some article about how only amazon and ebay or some such are making money off the net. this is one of those sort of things that makes me jump up and down and just wonder at the stoopidity of those suits doing ebusiness models.
there are lots of companies making money off the net. they have for years. there is a perfectly viable business model for the net. been round for years. it's called shareware.
i always pay for shareware that i end up keeping. its the principle of the thing for gawd's sake. and i know of several small companies that are doing very well thankyou from this business model.
it is almost the same model as blogging offers writing. small, distributed, networked, based on trust and community - i give it to you for free, you like you pay a moderate sum. the business models that don't work online are those that still don't get this.
amazon works because it has always emphasised service as its form of trust (no bookstore in australia before amazon ever ever let me return a book no questions asked, let alone sent me a christmas present) and community. ebay because it is about letting individuals run the worlds biggest flea market.
it ain't rocket science.
money in dem dare networks
uni of bergen mediascience project (in conjunction with others) that is based on the nordic anthropological film archive and uses quicktime and flash to provide access, commentary, teaching and research resources around the archive. promising beginning for broadband access, now we just have to get some work done on how to build critical content with or in video much like we know how to do this with words...
this is a project maintained and developed by dr. Irina Aristarkhova of the national university of singapore which, as the blurb says,
::25 Aug 2002 19:02::
summer in bergen when you go cycling or walking after work in the mountains with the locals and most of the women seem to walk in shorts and bikini tops. for an australian like me it seems more like sydney's bondi beach than walking around a mountain 300m above sea level.
you know it is
odd experience sitting at home in bergen watching tv. it's a danish policier, on swedish tv. so they're speaking danish, there are swedish subtitles, but it's intelligible to norwegians. but the oddest bit is that most of the drama of the show is easily understandable to monolingual me. the generic conventions of the modern television policier are easily readable, particularly if you're used to not only american but also some local variations (as we do in ostrayleah).
or it isn't that it is particularly understandable (though a surprising amount is) but that the drama of the form is strongly readable. they've got 50 minutes, we've had the crime, there are two major narrative lines running, and at some point they're going to intersect.
network for the study of audio-visual media. a norfa funded project that is largely (from what i can gather from the web site) a cinema studies orientated project. has had some interesting seminars and an impressive collection of film scholars and participants. this is the model i'd like to use to establish a nordic interactive film network.
audio visual media network
this is a link to a digital humanities computing seminar to develop a syllabus for a grad. course in the same. has an excellent bibliography and discussion.
digital humanities semianr
one of my favourite things to do in bergen is to mountain bike. yesterday i rode up fløyen and round a bit for a while. it's hard work, either up a bloody steep climb or down one. i used to race bicycles, many years ago, and have always just enjoyed climbing (long twitch muscles, good strength to weight ratio) but there is a surprising difference between climbing on a road bike and a mountain bike.
and god knows why i'm writing about it here.
on a road bike great climbers are often small and sleight (it's the weight to strength ratio combined with the physics and biomechanics of cycling) but climbing can be a case of strength. if you can, you can slug it out on a big gear and brute it out. of course great climbers have stuff going on about cadence and rhythm, but they really only come into their own on really big climbs.
on a mountain bike this doesn't work. here cadence and rotation speed is everything. in other words rather than push and pull hard you have to keep pedalling, faster the better. this is because often the slope is slippery, and the style of climbing you use on the road will just cause your wheel to spin and so you lose energy, and if it's bad enough you just stop dead. or the climb is so steep that the pulling on your handlebars that road climbing causes just lifts your mountain bike front wheel off the ground and over you go.
so you need a different technique, it tends to use different muscles, and takes some getting used to. i reckon lance armstrong does a lot of mountain bike riding because the way he climbs is much more like how you would on a mountain bike rather than on a road bike. cadence, speed and you don't get out of your saddle and attack, you just peddle faster (and harder).
i think i'm surprised that something as simple as cycling uphill could be so technical.
must be all the process teaching consciousness changing i've been going through lately or perhaps just something else but have spent the last three days writing a missioncomevision statement for intermedia. of course it should never be for one person to write such a thing so it is for a meeting thursday where i will make everyone take it home to sleep on and amend though at the end of the day it is important that everyone knows that these things are a political and not a public relations document.
missions and visions
while it is nice to have a tibook with a combo drive and os x and stuff sometimes it just gets all a bit much. take today (please). i've shot 7 minutes of video which i've captured and edited in imovie. now i want to compress it into quicktime and burn it to cd to send to my kids in melbourne. fine. but i've been compressing it directly out of imovie while i've been working on the tibook all day and it still hasn't got all the video out, and it won't be done for another 2 hours, but it's time to go home!
this is where trying to do everything on one computer (because it is all i travel with and you can) nearly but not quite works.
...though i'm sure the 800mhz tibook would make a world of difference (gee i hope my boss reads this).
melbournedac:streamingworlds is a conference that i'm organising for melbourne in may 2003. it is ages away but it has already consumed so many hours. today i spent 6 of them adding content and bios to the web site, fixing up the submission server, and sending out email.
so, if you want to submit a 500 word abstract you've got till september 15. though i'm biased it is going to be an awesome conference, if only because a pile of my european friends will visit my home and plant a pile of very good ideas into australian heads.
http://hypertext.rmit.edu.au/dac/ has the info.
this is a resource that is for the opensource community where academic papers are available. but why i'm interested in it is that it the source code for it is available, written in perl so a similar system could be easily installed and run for other sorts of bodies and organisations.
open source library
from my first extended visit in bergen a couple of years ago i returned to australia with several of what i call norwegian fish recipes. these are those weird things like taking salted and dried cod, soaking it for hours in water, baking it for hours, and to serve it with peas and potato. i mean, what flavour is left?? so it was with some pleasure that this came through today:
Standing next to Kristen you always felt small, not just in stature (though of course that) but intellectually. I don't mean this in a bad way, as if you felt less than you were, but in the sense that you wanted to be intellectually broader, deeper, more courageous, to have greater integrity and heart in your thinking. You would never measure up, that was okay, but you could certainly do better.
"The Swedes," he sneered, "have a disgusting dish they make by burying trout in a barrel. After months they skim the scum off the top and eat the unspeakable slime that is left. Here, try some of this."
the anecdote is about Kristen Nygaard, one of the key figures in the development of simula, the first object orientated programming language.
have settled into the new office in bergen. half of the research centre is happening out of cardboard boxes since every one is in the middle of moving. these trips of mine i treat as sort of bombshell ballets. for instance there was an enormous ikea dyi conference table in pieces awaiting interest. so i sent the following email:
ah, you ask, what is a table pizza party? it's a ritual celebration traditionally held when there is an august containing 5 friday's and is held in the middle hour of the middle friday. it consists of building a table (from which to eat the pizza) and then ordering and eating pizza. beer is often a welcome option.
only those who help make the table get to sit at the table, eat the pizza, and earn the right to brag about this in future years.
we had 8 or 9 involved and yes, it did get rather complicated, but it only took an hour and we got our conference table, pizza, and the beginnings of some community in a new home.
arrived in bergen, sitting in office jetlagged into dullness. struck by the weather temperature difference for the first time doing the melbourne bergen commute. 10 when i left 20 when i arrived. but a bergen 20 which means when the sun sets it lingers. everything is green, there are fruits on trees (how odd) and berries on the bushes (even odder).
i'm sitting in heathrow waiting for the flight to oslo. i am watching a woman who has her visual diary open and is sketching people and things. i liked the idea that this person feels a desire to create and draw, to have the need to draw. then i wondered if there was any difference as i sat 2 metres away with tinderbox open on the tibook writing these words.
this of course made me wonder if there is wireless available. so i had a look and my airport card can see a network, and i can get an ip number, but no router number. tried various tricks but just couldn't get online.
don't think it would've made any difference, except being 'live' to the network with a powerful computer in a public space where what i was writing could have been 'published' from that same place is, well, requiring of some sort of shift in my notions of 'writing' and it's traditional privateness. much like the visual diary and the sketch. it seems different to shift the network to the individual rather than individual to the network (i visit a computer that is hardwired, versus a network that follows me).
this is a call for entries i got via the syndicate email list the other day. it's a good project and yet another one of the numerous forums out there to get work shown and the rest of it.
if you make interactive work there are much less opportunities for this sort of exhibition because interactivity resides at the individual level. you can make works that respond to the crowd come audience - which could or could not be in the same physical location, but you need to keep in mind that the reasons why watching someone use an interactive work (or play a computer game) is rather dull also apply to interactive work screened for a mass audience.
there is something else that needs also to be kept in mind. if you write a movie or work that responds to, for instance, how many are viewing it via the web at the same time, you need to let these users know how their actions are influencing the work. it's a bit like watching a networked performance via a single screen. if you don't know the contexts of what is going on, and possibily even how and why, it tends to be meaningless (well, we shouldn't reify this too much, it applies to all art and all games, try watching any sport where you don't know the rules and you'll see what i mean).
so to return. you can exhibit interactive works in individual contexts but most forms of interactivity don't support a broadcast model. this i guess is rather obvious but is one of those things that broadband content experts (the people in various national telcos trying to work out what to do with all the fibre they've spent so much for) get muddled about as they confuse broadcast paradigms with the granularity of the net.
i'm about to travel to bergen for a 12 week working visit. the stress of this is always extreme. on my children, on me, on working out who i work for when and why. i have made a list of what i think i'm supposed to have finished in melbourne before i leave. there are 22 things on it. i don't have 22 time fragments. compromise is not the word that plants itself.