Thursday, December 30, 2004

A Great Tragedy

This is Karl Nilsson, he is a Swedish child alone in Phuket. He was photographed on a street corner yesterday (Thursday) by an Australian Photo-journalist. The image is linked to the news page it came from if anyone can help.

I felt I had to write something. I am feeling almost sick with sadness after the last two days of what has been unfolding along the coastlines of the Indian Ocean. Not only do I live in Sweden, a country which is missing 1500 of its citizens but my wife is of Indian Origin, my brother in law is Indonesian from Java (safely living in Australia with my sister) and I have been to Thailand twice, the second time working for over a month on an organic farm in the north east where I saw beyond the commercial side of Thailand to the charm of a society based on Buddhist tollerance and kindness to strangers.

So very very sad.

Almost too much to describe...................

Monday, December 27, 2004

Art in the Culture of the Copy

This is the scene around the Mona Lisa by da Vinci in the Louvre, Paris. If one can get to the front row it resembled for me a mosh pit at a punk concert. Frantic characters from around the world pause for long enough to take a digital image and then are swallowed again by the flowing crowd. Like fish trying desperatly to escape their poisoned water they launched themselves upon the bank of her smile for a few seconds only to be dragged back again and swept along to the Mannerists Gallery.

It was this experience I thought of when I read:

"What withers in the age of mechanical reproduction is not the aura, the Happen-Stance, of works of art but the assurance of our own livliness. [Walter] Benjamin got it sidewise as he got the solution to the First Mover of von Kempelen's automaton chess player, whose cabinetry was occupied by no devious hunchback (of "historical materialism") but, for twenty years, by a stooped man six feet tall whose endgame was a little weak. Philosopher of the snippet, Benjamin confused misdirection with deformity. It is not that we ourselves are sudden monsterous, but that we look misguidedly to our creations to find our animation and learn our fortune. Only in the culture of the copy do we assign such motive force to the Original. What we intend by "Original" these days is that which speaks to us in an unmediated way, an experience we seem to believe we have lost between ourselves, human to human."
Hillel Schwartz The Culture of the Copy: Striking Likeness, Unreasonable Facsimiles. (1996) p141


Imagine a television network with an unlimited number of channels each being broadcast from someone's home computer and live streamed 24-7. In my imagination this is what Cybersky-TV is but we shall see in February 2005 when the German company which created the Peer-2-Peer networking software behind the project begins broadcasting. That's providing they can get out of the courts long enough to push the Send button to start it up.

From Red Herring: "Mr. Ciberski expects to have roughly 5 million users sharing the service at any one time, while the network is built for a maximum 30 million. Kazaa currently cites 300 million downloads."

Sunday, December 26, 2004

The joys of the season

I am glad christmas is over. So much eating, exchanging of consumables, frantic shoppers crowded into small spaces, early morning or late night telephone calls from the other side of the world, high blood sugar, manic advertising and themed television programs running for weeks on end (I write mainly of SVT's 'julkalender' which has been dominating my son's mornings since December 1st when we began waking at 7am in order to watch the nonsensical antics of Alram and his puppet cohorts...I liked much more Håkan Bråkan last year just for the anarchistic gritty narrative of it). That said it has been a great Christmas (whatever that means) with no arguments among family members, great company with friends, collegues and family, myself having rested and managed to read a bit, and no fatalities among friends (although I was saddened to hear of the passing of Ubu Starbrow in Sydney, an acquaintance from 1994-5 and the drummer with the Mu Messons and The United States of Mind).
Now there is but New Year's upon us. It is more a festival for recollection and reflection for me and a sort of thanking to the Powers for the great plentitude that I have.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Happy Christmas from the Beatles

Happy Christmas from the Beatles (1968 sounds like it was an especially happy year for the four)

Ultra-red Public record and other free and thinking things

Public Record is the new internet-based archive of the Ultra-red audio-activist organization. Established for the distribution of work by Ultra-red members and allies, Public Record serves as an interface between the organization and its publics with free fair-use downloads of exclusive full-length albums, images, texts and video.

Artists and aesthetic-political organizations aligned with Public Record include Ultra-red (US), Elliot Perkins (UK), Kanak Attak (DE), Manoa Free University (AT), Terre Thaemlitz (JP), Pet Shop Beuys (CA), Jack Tactic (US), Aeron y Alejandra (SP), Random Inc. (AT), Needle and Sony Mao (US)

It real its here....take a look.

Another site Ive been watching is a loose collective of loose people who make great music if your into stuff that wakes you up and makes you think even though it has few words....and some pictures that are of uncertain subjects....but none the less cool...Victory to the Donuts

Ive also started reading The Anarchist in the Library by Dr. Siva Vaidhyanathan and I quote:

"I won't accept intractability. We have only begun to consider the long term ramifications of these revolutionary technologies and the behaviors they will enable or inspire. If we can energize an open, distibuted, diverse network of thinkers and writers to consider these conflicts in a new way, using fresh vocabulary and models, we can genenerate social, cultural,legal, and technical protocols that will strengthen democracy and inspire trust and confidence. If we fail to generate this conversation, if we continue to let these conflicts work their way through courtrooms and technological incubators, basements and boardrooms, both democracy and stability are in danger" pxvii

I think I'll include that in my research outline.........

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Surveillance Camera Players

New York's Surveillance Camera Players have been performing in front of the city's often invisible security cameras since November 1996. There is a Swedish group as well. As I am currently writing an essay on disiplinary gaze in 18th century literature I have been thinking a lot about how we watch and 'read' each other. Behavior is clearly codified and has a range of signified meanings attached to it. We subscribe to certain looks to send certain messages, or to obtain the understandings about us we want from others, or to disguise our inner texts. Behaviors are read via the images supplied by these cameras and judged by their operators according to codes established over time. Transvestism was once a dangerous sign, now in many countries it is not so. However, characture and ridicule of political leaders has long been a dangerous sign system.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Vison, Discipline and Pleasure

I have been rather busy as many seem to be this week before the christmas thing unleashes itself upon us....I have been mainly trying to finish two essays I have to write on the literature of the Restoration and the 18th century. This has been an interesting adventure in text. I have come into the field so well described by the French thinker Michel Foucault and as all his books in the library in English have waiting lists of 4 or 5 on them I've brought Discipline and Punish and eagerly await its arrival in the mail (perhaps after the christmas thing). My second paper is on Visual Presence and Disciplinary Gaze in the Spectator by Addison, and in Moll Flanders by Defoe, and here is the intro for those who have just clicked over from some blog of steamy gossip and taudry lives and are interested in Literary criticism as well:

Gordon (2002) describes the textuality of the Spectator (1711-13) as the depiction of “all behavior as rhetorical, designed to satisfy or persuade imagined audiences, and which also shared the desire to produce legible subjects.” (Gordon 2002:86). I argue this as resulting in textual production as being representations of visible and invisibly regulated visual codes of appearance and behavior in pervasive discursive spaces (Home, Workplace, Coffee House, Park), the physically largest being the city of London itself. Texts depict and propagate this legibility with narrative maintenance of spectatorship and cautionary examples of the failure to maintain acceptable codes of behavior through the production of various forms of subjectivity. I propose that two parallel textual examples of this are Addison and Steele’s Spectator broadsheet (1711-13) as a manual and reporter of code and Defoe’s Moll Flanders (1722) as a textual depiction of the failure of maintaining codes or the dangers of impersonating them.

Pretty riveting stuff ehh......

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Fatta Festival 2005

I will be taking part in a festival of intergration and diaspora culture at the Umeå Bildmuseet and Västerbotten Museum from 12-20 February 2005. The co ordination has just begun but the energy of those involved is fantastic.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

The Trauma of Gender: A Feminist Theory of the English Novel

I have just been reading the online introduction to the text:
The Trauma of Gender: A Feminist Theory of the English Novel by Helene Moglen
It seems like a good argument to me.....

Friday, December 10, 2004

PhD: Piled High and Deeper

I am discovering a whole new dimension to the world of academic work...really the reading and writing have become the only things I do apart from basic food and hygiene, and some of that is negotiable....
I am currently working on a paper entitled; "The function of Sensibility in negotiating the narrative of Tristram Shandy by Lawrence Sterne." which examins the metatextual component of Sensibility as a reading device in the's a taste:
"In relation to Tristram Shandy ‘sensibility’ takes on the elements of a domestic or familial setting, professional and leisured new gentry, nostalgic neo-feudalism, rural, masculine, conversational, benevolent, and as a historical work of autobiographical fiction with its own connotations of self and individualist identity. In both structure and content and as being heavily reliant on assumptions and counter assumptions of contempory moral philosophies, (particularly those of John Locke and David Hume), Tristram Shandy is entirely consistent with the general literature of sensibility. As a satirical work the importance of sensibility to narrative is furthermore keeping with Knight’s (2004) analysis of satire whereby “the issue may not be one of shared values but of shared recognitions” (Knight 2004:51). These recognitions assist in the narrative pattern and exploit the ‘imaginative gaps’ so well known in the text of Tristram Shandy as: “The brain, apparently, does not preserve sequences step by step but, instead recognizes overall patterns. Our not necessarily conscious but prior recognition of these patterns enables us to unconsciously synthesize gaps such as missing phonemes without noticeable effort…” (Yellowlees Douglas 1992: 2). Although applied by Yellowlees Douglas to postmodern hypertext narrative structures, this situating of narrative structure codified outside the text is relevant to Tristram Shandy as referring to Sensibility."

Yee hhaaaa

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


Approximations/Contradictions by Belgian born Ana Torfs (b.1963) is a digital art piece that may not be be what one would expect from the internet medium, but I believe it has a sharp beauty to it that points to possibilities in web art that are not that common.
It is hosted by diaart which is:
"Dia Art Foundation was founded in 1974. A nonprofit institution, Dia plays a vital role among visual arts organizations nationally and internationally by initiating, supporting, presenting, and preserving art projects, and by serving as a locus for interdisciplinary art and criticism."

A Dream

Last night I dreamt I moved out and began living in a tree...of course I took my computer with me and ran the cables back through the snow to the flat I now live in...the traffic nearby disturbed me but the computer worked fine.....

Monday, December 06, 2004

art and the pace of life

Things have been moving along at a cracking pace, as my grandmother used to say. First is the PhD which is opening out just now into the field of narrative studies, which is fascinating and feels as inevitable given my thesis proposal as being on narrative in electronic texts. I am working on a paper on the 18th century text Tristram Shandy and the metanarrative of manners.
The next area of development has been music. Things are looking positive in this area with more news when it develops.
One of my musical comrades and an old friend has built up a fantastic site on recomend it to all.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Seed Phone

When jet lagged, Blog:
"A biodegradable mobile phone containing a seed which germinates when the handset is buried in compost has been developed by researchers hoping to encourage consumers to recycle." more HERE
I look foward to the development of more organic technology, such as when are we going to start growing digital chips as crystals from saturated sollutions?

Jet Lag

I could not resist doing a 3am jet lag entry. I collapsed at 7pm last night and now am wide awake and raring to go at 3am (the rest of my household is sound asleep). I do feel however a bit dizzy. Everytime I move my body between Australia and Sweden the result is havoc with my circadian rhythms. When I was in Australia a neighbour of my mother's told me "rub the back of your knees, that's where your internal clock is..." I tried it but did not notice any realignment of the ol' internal clock (couldn't hear any ticking coming from that region of my anatomy either).
Being in a jet lagged state is a surreal experience, combined with the changing seasons Australia: summer, blinding sunlight, warm, the whole society in summer holiday mode, to Sweden: winter, dark, delicate snow clinging to everything, the school term in full swing, I feel to be skimming along the peripheries of a fascinating world culture as viewed through my crossed eyes.......
This has been a jet-lag-jim entry....feeling strange ;-}going back to bed......

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Moonshake and Hit the Ground Running

I am writting this at Arlanda Airport near Stockholm...I've been back in Sweden about 2 hours (enough time for a sauna and a sandwich) and it feels great returning to the cool and active north. The first thing that hit me was the next Moonshake festival:

4 December 2004, 18-01
Ö Strandgatan 32, Umeå
18 år/80 kr. Endast förköp!
Biljetter kommer att säljas på
Burmans musik och Garageland Records, samt på Konsthögskolan
och i Hörsalsrundan (Samhällsvetarhuset)

This is going to be wild as it is to be held at the Umeå University Arts School and the headlining band (of five or six to play) is none other than Finnish psych improv sensation Avarus.....I am jumping up and down with the excitment. Email me if anyone needs details, a place to stay in umeå or help with tickets....

Saturday, November 27, 2004

music sunshine and furniture

It has been a while. These last two weeks have been filled with packing and shifting furniture and thousands of books, spending time with friends and playing music. Australia is entering into summer and the weather here is brilliant at the moment. Tomorrow I return to the wintery north but am really looking foward to seeing my family again. Twenty six hours in the air and I'll be home again.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Diwali and the reason of memory

I have fifteen minutes before they close the "courtesy internet" here at Hong Kong airport. Things seem to be changing here in HK since the handback to China: connections slower, security tighter, pages not available for view. But i've only been here 30 mins so who knows really.
When I few into London it was a beautiful clear night and the carpet lights of the huge metropolis were sprinkled everywhere with the constant sparkle of fireworks.. Green red orange blue. It was an amazing sight. Having been so immersed in the literature of the 16-18th centuries these last few months I immediately thought of Guy Fawkes night and filled my head with images of the catholic plot and then these unfolded to the vast literary history of the city.
HOWEVER when I asked one of the flight attendants what the fireworks were for he answered: "It Diwali" the Hindu New Year's the world is changing.

Saturday, November 13, 2004


No blogging recently and none for the next two days. I am about to board a plane for the long flight to fly to Australia and although I have several hours in Hong Kong airport where they had (last time I was there) free internet, Ill see if anything interesting happens in the many hours in between here and there. Very much depends on whom I sit next to I suppose.
Since Thursday I have been in the sphere of Howard Rheingold and it has been most enjoyable. Actually the last few days in and around HUMlab have been great with visitors from Holland, Germany and Finland for Blogwalk and then a seminar and a workshop from Howard.
Apart from my high interest in Howard's work in his watching the techno-flock and what these smart mobs will do next with the ever diversifying and more powerful tools available, and his studies on the dynamics of collective action and cooperation, he is also a really interesting cultural figure in himself.
His stories about his own experiences with cultural figures that I have admired and read about since I was a teenager were great. As I continue working in cyberculture I am becoming more and more drawn to the idea of a visit to San Francisco...
Long Live Howardism!!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


Whilst in Paris this summer we were walking around the backstreets near Place De Clichy when we came across a playground filled with children. Our son rushed in and began communicating through play with the French and Arabic speaking children. We sat in the sunshine, looking at the half demolished buildings which were near the playground. Beside one of these in the street was a huge pile of stuff...clothes, kitchen utensils, books, ornaments, furniture, boxes and jars filled with things. Going through the stuff was a small solidly built man dressed in a combination of postal, military and civilian clothes, with a large hand drawn wagon next to him.
I approached, as in my past I have had experience with the gathering of things left over or 'gleaning' as it was once called. We struck up a converstaion. He spoke good English, had been in Australia and had a police badge from the Victorian Police Service to prove it. Whilst in Australia he had also lived as a gleaner, leaving the country after 12 months with 70 kilos of gather objects to resell in Paris where he lived. His name was Titus, he believed the young of today where too materially minded and that why there was so much stuff lying around as the "yups" as he called them just threw stuff away when they wanted something children.
Titus invited me to take several prize items he had in his wagon, a chinese robe, some sandlewood powder, a Balinese mask and this:

It is native American I believe, possible from Canada. On the back is written $47 J.E. It is 20.5cm wide and 26.5cm long. if anyone knows anything about this sort of thing let me know please.

Thanks to Titus, wherever he may be.......

Monday, November 08, 2004

Digital Copyright, Ownership and Identity

Digital Copyright, Ownership and Identity

Today I welcome to HUMlab those attending the first Forum HUMlab on Digital Copyright, Ownership and Identity. Perhaps we could have just given this forum the single title of Digital Copyright and still have had more than enough to discuss. However following my reading of some of the source material, in particular Lessig’s three texts, I understand this to be a complex and far reaching field of knowledge with implications far outside the realm of cyberspace. These are international phenomena with the centre of much digital law being the United States but legal cases being tried in almost every continent where digital technology is manifest, often based upon international legislation as originating in the United States. As a direct result of these new technologies of mediation and text reproduction the concept of Fair Use has been challenged, reinterpreted and remains today, according to many, unclear and prone to subjective interpretation. Perhaps one of the strongest illustrations of how the expansion of the digital domain has changed notions of copyright, ownership and identity is in the web log or Blog of the President of the United States which is a copyright protected document, the first time the public works of a serving American President have been subject to such (Lessig 2003).
From the issue of Fair Use it is only a short step to the domain of the Creative Commons. This is an ancient term applied to a postmodern concept, a blend if you will:

“The Creative Commons website enables copyright holders to grant some of their rights to the public while retaining others, through a variety of licensing and contract schemes, which may include dedication to the public domain or open content licensing terms. The intention is to avoid the problems which current copyright laws create for the sharing of information.
The project provides several free licenses that copyright holders can use when they release their works on the web. They also provide RDF/XML metadata that describes the license and the work to make it easier to automatically process and locate licensed works. They also provide a 'Founder's Copyright' [1] ( contract, intended to re-create the effects of the original U.S. Copyright created by the founders of the U.S. Constitution.”

For more information of copyright see the digital commons resource the Wikipedia at:

Further Key terms:
Rivalrous/ non-rivalrous resources.
The four fair use factors:
What is the character of the use?
What is the nature of the work to be used?
How much of the work will you use?
What effect would this use have on the market for the original or for permissions if the use were widespread.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Improvised Bohemian Sound Experience

I will be travelling to the town of my birth next week and whilst there I shall be participating in the longest running artistic collaboration of my life. Since 1987-88 myself and a group of dear and likeminded friends have been 'jamming' with whatever we found which could serve as instruments. This has been going on for so long that although we meet quite irregulary we still fall back into intuitive patterns of co operative playing. There exists several hundred tapes from these meetings, made in studios, homes, halls, even over distance through mailing of CD's and multi-track recoding.

Unreal estate

My childhood home is up for sale. In the agency photo (click on above image) you can see (to the right of the shop front) the verandah room (with it's own door...most handy for the errant sixteen year old) I lived and dreamt in from the age of twelve until my leaving home a few weeks short of my eighteenth birthday. My father has lived in the rambling old place since 1982 but now he is moving due to ill health, into the nearby larger city of Toowoomba. Next week I will be travelling to Australia - and early summer sunshine :)to help for a couple of weeks with the packing and moving.
If anyone is interested in purchasing a country retreat with possible commercial or even a commune or cult possibilites situated on the rolling eucalyptus hills of the eastern Darling Downs, two hours west of Brisbane, three hours from some of the best surfing beaches in the on the image (taken from the rear of the house).

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

All Hail the Chief

It looks like we have a winner.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Tristram Shandy.Com

Having returned to the paper texts after a few heady days amongst the magical world of Art and Technology I have started reading The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy Gentleman by Lawrence Stern. To my great surprise (having just emerged from the tortuous morality of Moll Flanders and The Pilgrim's Progress)I find that Tristram Shandy is a satirical hypertext with stream of consciousness prose running into appropirated textual form (letters, diary, a dedication 'for sale')followed by direct address and metatextual reference.....Great stuff!
It has already been translated over to cybertext form HERE with a large amount of extra study and critical material also on site.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Virtual Reality Oganisations and Sites

A player wearing a modelled interactive head of cult leader David Koresh plays the C-Level modified game Waco Resurection during the game installation piece.

This is a great list of links for information, images, videos and projects in regard to what is commonly called "Virtual Reality" however I am beginning to prefer the term "Augmented Reality" (AR) as these days it is hard distinguish between the virtual and the real without even turning on the computer.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Welcome to Konst och Teknik Kortkurs i HUMlab 2nd November 9:00-12:00

Stelarc: Third Arm Suspension

These are the sites we shall be going through and discussing during the short course Konst och Teknik in HUMlab on Tuesday 2nd November 2004. There will be a lot of extra material present during the course:


Research as Art, Art as Research:

Bio-electric Media Artists:

Game Hacks and Reality Script

Global Positioning System (GPS)

Live Machines and Real Art

Performance as Unconfined Body Machine

Multimedia Live Document:

3D Worlds:

2D Visual Arts:


Net Art:

I am looking foward to what is going to be a very interesting three hours.......

Saturday, October 30, 2004


In contrast to my sharing a nationality with ex-Australian Rupert Murdoch, I am actually proud to have been born upon the same landmass as the artist and philosopher Stelarc.
I saw a presentation at Arts Space gallery in Sydney in 1999 by Stelarc and it was a revelation for me. Today he continues working as a performance, installation and body artist. His "work explores and extends the concept of the body and its relationship with technology through human-machine interfaces incorporating medical imaging, prosthetics, robotics, VR systems and the Internet. The interest is in alternate, intimate and involuntary experiences." (from his "authorized" website). He also has a visible sense of humour and this comes across strongly when he speaks. When I saw him in Sydney he told the story that the reason why he stopped with the robotic third arm after wearing it for three years was that his wife told him he was not allowed to sleep in their bed if he continued wearing ít!
Here is an interview with Stelarc. It was conducted by a body modification magazine so they concentrate on that aspect of his work but much of it is excellent background to who he is and what he does.

Computer Games as Learning Tools

I am a supporter of the concept that computer games have the potential to be educational tools (in a similar way that television does but often it is not). This is a popular discourse with many in IT and the humanities. It has been the subject of a conference at the University of London this week. I find it exciting that formal education can be undertaken even while having fun. This was not a stressed concept when I was at young child in the 1970's. I wish it had been.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Roy Ascott

In relation to art and technology I have been reading Art, Technology, Consciousness Mind@Large Edited by Roy Ascott. It has some really nice metaphors and connections made within the text.
I had heard of Ascott but had never really looked much at his work. I'm glad I have started to.
Two online essays by Roy Ascott:
Turning on Technology and The Architecture of Cyberperception
I am adding here the video archive of 2001. A conference in Germany "on artistic, cultural and scientific aspects of experimental media" which went under the theme of "Mixed Realities" and contains among many a long video presentation by Roy Ascott.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Art and Technology

On Tuesday 2nd November at 9am I will be conducting a short course in Art and Technology in HUMlab. I will be using this Blog as a resource site so over the next few days the postings will concentrate on this subject, which is (for me anyway) really cool.
The course will begin with a very brief historical overview and then look at some contempory examples of the joining or mixing of what was famously described by C.P. Snow in 1959 as the two cultures of Art and Science. Of course this in itself is historical and I want to discuss the concepts of art and science in the light of what Hayles describes as the Posthuman.
I myself have always seen art as relying on the presence of representation but this is also not so much the case in a postmodernist world. An interesting definition of Art I found in the excellent text Information Arts by Stephen Wilson is:

"Art making may be described as the process of responding to observations, ideas, feelings, and other experiences by creating works of art through the skillful, thoughtful, and imaginative application of tools and techniques to various media. The artistic objects that result are the products of encounters between artists and their intentions, their concepts and attitude, their cultural and social circumstances, and the materials or media in which they choose to work."
Wilson 2002:17

The Roland Collection

For anyone with a fast enough connection The Roland Collection Film Archive is a treasury of films on all aspects of Art. With over 600 films online it is an important resource with potential for education and enjoyment. Great for a rainy day!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Guerrilla News Network

The crew at Guerrilla News Network ar not only advance hosting the latest video by recently out-of-the-closet-activist Eminem (nice one Marshal)but they have also begun multi-media blog hosting server which seems to be free. It has the ability to host video,text, and images without charge. Taken from the website:

"Welcome to the beta launch of GNN 2.0, the new citizen news network. In the coming days, we will be turning over the site to you, our loyal users. The new site will allow you to create your own home page, publish a blog, write full-length articles, publish your own photo essays, and participate in collaborative, ongoing investigations. You'll also be able to create networks of like-minded "friends" to blast your news to. Most importantly, the media revolution will now be in your hands. Guerrillas will decide what is news, and what isn't - with the emphasis on producing original, thought-provoking content. The more you contribute, the more of a voice you will have on GNN 2.0."

I think this is very interesting in light of what I posted below about the nature of journalism in light of Jon Stewart's appearance on Crossfire. Interesting times.......

A site listing grad students in Eng Lit

A website has been established to list all the graduate students in Sweden studying English Literature. Much credit must be given to Stefan who gathered the information and built the site, which looks excellent. My blurb is under the Umeå University motif.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004


Gradually the mighty spectre of electronic literature avails itself to the wider public gaze...sorry I am reading too much 18th Century literature at the moment...anyway is a new organization devoted to (as you may guess) electronic literature, primarily in the Scandinavian region but not exclusively. There is to be a meeting of those involved and interested in Bergen in conjunction with Sosial og Digital but alas I shall be staying in Umeå for the visit of Howard Rheingold to HUMlab, which promises to be exciting. I am a 'member' perhaps one could say, even 'the representative' in Sweden of ELINOR at this stage but I hope it shall not be so exclusive for too long as the more the merry I believe and the field of electronic literature is just too exciting to ignore.
I am planning a few things for HUMlab as ELINOR activities and I can see I shall be working hard through the winter...yeee Ha!

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Journalism and Politics

I studied to be a journalist once upon a time. It was from 1987-90 and during this time we in Australia were lucky enough to have many highly trained journalists from Britain come out and work in our universities and newspapers as they were fleeing the radical changes being made to newspapers and their production by Maggie Thatcher's regime.
My chief lecturer was an amazing man named Charles Stuart who wowed us with stories of covering the Six Day War in Israel and the intrigues and characters of Fleet Street. He sadly passed a way several years ago. Another teacher was Anthony Delano, a director of the Mirror Group of newspapers until 1985, and a then associate of the outrageous Robert Maxwell.
Our teachers instilled in us the excitement and adventure of journalism. It was also much about ethics and how much power the mass media actually has in the everyday lives of ordinary people. After three years training and doing fairly well at it I decided I was going to work as a nurse instead as the mainstream media was just too plain evil to get involved with. At that time I shared a nationality with Rupert Murdoch (he has since become American in order to buy the Fox Network) and that is something that used to really irritate me. Murdoch has done more to dismantle the concept of mass media as the fourth estate than any one person has.
This idea of independent integrity has been rather well critiqued in 'the field' with the appearance of the writer and comedian Jon Stewart on the CNN network's Crossfire program. There are few real answers given to his satire and very direct confrontation of the mad theatre that most of us take for granted as 'News and Current Affairs' where explanations are short (if ever present), sound bites sharp, and visual props used to re-enforce stereotypical thinking.
I have a poster on my wall that I bought in Paris this summer from the 68 student rebellion there, which reads "Retour a la Normale". I suppose CNN will do so after Stewart leaves the building, but for a few second there the clouds parted and the sun shone in.

Anthony Delano on Robert Maxwell: "He saw how eminently corruptible the British were and how cheap they were to corrupt"

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

The Book The Screen and 1000 Children

All systems are many directions!
Have been reading (oh I have I been reading!!! Try breezing through Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress for upliftment...Hell Fire and Bush...I mean Brimstone).
Writing Space by Jay Bolton, a slightly dated discussion on hypertext (1991...things move fast these days) although still very good for general historical contexts. Bolton in the intro muses upon the eventually decline of the printed book (many were concerned with the "Death of Books" in the first wave of hypertext and internet) and this is something I've been thinking about over the last few months. Who knows really what will happen to our tree eating friends but I know I would sure miss them.
The alternatives are interesting and many but when reading a book does not usually require a manual?
In my studies at the moment I am moving between Restoration and Seventeenth Century literature (course work) and texts of the 21 century (thesis research). This contrast is interesting in itself. Reading a Blog by a woman living in present day California and then returning to Samual Pepys Diary provides for contrasts in a list almost as long as the years between them (Gender roles, Private/Public Self, Education, even the position of imperial power in the world today etc. etc.). Yesterday I read Aphra Behn's The City Heiress and that surprised me. Around the middle of the play opinions are expressed that would be considered modern today, particularly concerning marriage. Although it all ends in 'normality’ with a wedding and consensus. I think Aphra would have been a cool person to sit next to at a dinner party.
I am now alone with my son until Sunday as my partner goes to her Chi Gong course out in a forest village. Tomorrow I will be spending the whole day attempting to communicate the power of language to hundreds of young children as they take over the university for Upptäcktsfärden. I am the English Institutions representative and I really hope I can convey to these curious youngsters just how incredible language is (in ten minutes) and it is really worthwhile to study as many of them as possible in one short lifetime. No worries ;-)

Friday, October 15, 2004


Yesterday I stumbled on a magic piece of sound and vision set upon the web (via The Wire magazine). A group of musicians from Kinshasa in Congo called Konono:

"The band's line-up includes three electric likembés (bass, medium and treble), equipped with hand-made microphones built from magnets salvaged from old car parts, and plugged into amplifiers. There's also a rhythm section which uses traditional as well as makeshift percussion (pans, pots and car parts), three singers, three dancers and a sound system featuring these famous megaphones."

The Likembé is a thumb piano often made from bicycle spokes beaten flat, arranged in tonal progression and placed over a sound board and bar. The sound of Konono is AMAZING!!! On the website they have a short vidoe stream and a Mp3 for download. They have a full lenagth CD coming out soon.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

In the Style of Pepys

Arose early but felt myself unrested. This however lifted with the taking of coffee and breads with my good wife as the sun fell pleasantly upon our little kitchen. Answered mail before taking the offspring to his day centre where they were commencing an excursion into the surrounding woods, a most stimulating undertaking for the young as the woods are beautiful this time of year. Such colours!
I continued with my correspondence following the departure of the young master of the house. Among them was to be found a letter from New Zealand, one of the former colonies of the realm. From a young artist who is interested by and is working in the field of digital texts as means for instruction:
Following correspondence I repaired to my office where I finished the annotation for my bibliography of text used in the proceeding months in my studies on the Renaissance. An uplifting scholarly time it was. I took luncheon with my wife in one of the student cafeterias; I ate a delightful salad sandwich on brown bread and took a quart of juice.
After this I bid farewell to my wife as she is attending instruction also at the university and I proceeded to the library where I spent almost an hour searching for books concerning the next portion of my studies; the Restoration and the Seventeenth Century. I began immediately to read The Diary of Samuel Pepys Vol.1 and am still feeling its influence as I type....Now to bed.(I wonder if I should wear the grand skirt and the shoes with the silver buckles tomorrow, I should not have eaten that second duck in lard)

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Straight Out of Brisbane

Those wacky kids in the sunshine state are doing it again with another Straight Out of Brisbane festival:

"Straight Out of Brisbane is a multi-arts festival of independent and emerging arts, culture and ideas. It's on this year from December 2nd to the 12th.
SOOB is Queensland's largest gathering of young and emerging artists and creative industries practitioners.
The festival was started in 2002 by a community of emerging artists in reaction to the institutionalised and hierarchical nature of much of Queensland's cultural sector.
The goal of the festival is create a platform to build audiences, showcasing and professional development opportunities for south-east Queensland's young and emerging artists, artsworkers and creative entrepreneurs – especially in contemporary and emerging art practices not funded or supported by the broader cultural sector.
The 2003 SOOB Festival featured more than 620 local and inter-state artists and creative practitioners across 152 events. An estimated 8,000 people attended. This makes SOOB the largest festival of its type in Queensland, and the third largest in Brisbane as measured by numbers of participating artists and events."
Straight Out of Brisbane is a multi-arts festival of independent and emerging arts, culture and ideas. It's on this year from December 2nd to the 12th.

If you are anywhere near Bris-vagas during this time get into it!!!
Also I am welcoming a new addition to the Blogs I Read list, MusicYourMindWillLoveYou is a collection of audio-artists from the forests and inner-city backstreets of Oz, taking to the blogging format to get the Art out there.....

Unlicensed Printing 1644

"Since therefore, the knowledge and survey of vice is in this world so necessary to the constituting of human wirtue, and the scanning of error to the confirmation of truth, how can we more safely and with less danger scout into the regions of sin and falsity than by reading all manner of tractates and hearing all manner of reason? And this is the benifit which may be had of books promiscuously read."
John Milton Areopagitica
A Speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing to the Parliment of England 1644

I read the Areopagitica last night and kept thinking about the struggle surrounding intellectual property and copyright that exists today. It seems to me if there had not been Open Source and Fair Use in the 16th century there never would have been a Renaissance.
Milton did not succeed in his appeal to Parliment, and by 1653 Cromwell had assumed dictatorial powers as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth. Freedom of information and expression is needed, perhaps more so now in our society of completete
media dependance.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

A Sign of the Times

This has been painted on several surfaces around our building during the last few weeks. With weapon mediated violence being a featured staple of news broadcasts the image of a self-defeating gun is welcome. I wonder if Bofors, the Swedish arms manufacturer, would consider making such a gun in cooperation with peace organisations around the world.
"Give Chance a Piece"

Sunday, October 03, 2004


Last night I had a long chat with two friends in Australia who are sharing a house and a computer at the moment. We spoke of how great it would be to have webcams and stream online performances (concerts, readings, happenings) as both of them are in bands. The great German band EINSTUERZENDE NEUBAUTEN are running from their studio in Berlin a system whereby one can pay a subscription fee to their studio webcam and chat network and thereby interact with the band members over the web and download special, otherwise unavailable editions of their recordings.
In my chat with my friends I attempted to establish some visual presence by sending the above picture of the room I sit in when I am data-interfacing/making music/cybertext etc. It is described by my son as 'the workroom' and by my partner and I as 'the studio'....I think I like the term 'Webroom'.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Introductory Guide to Critical Theory

Just want to register a fine link here for anyone wanting to get their head around the rather expansive subject of Critical Theory. I began reading 'The Differend: Phrases in Dispute' by Jean-Francois Lyotard (1983) this morning and one of the first things that struck me was the elegance of it. However it can be rather intense at times and that's why something like THIS is great.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Black Forest Black Sea

This is a candid shot of Jeffrey and Miriam of Black Forest Black Sea (well, they are all of BF/BS) doing a sound check in a local venue a few weeks ago. I've just been chatting to some friends in Australia about how great it was they played here in the isolated north of Sweden.
It was their second visit and they continue to inspire me with the art and seriousness and dedication to what they do.One thing I thought about when they were here is the ubiquitous nature of improvised and free from music which often relies greatly on mimetic forms. Miriam told a story at one stage of one of their 3 performances (in 24 hours!!) of how they where staying in a houseboat in Amsterdam and each morning they would awake slowly to the sound of the moorings groaning and 'singing'. On one side the moorings were in C and the other side they were in D (or something like that). From this combination they created a piece of music and when the played it I could almost see the Nieuwendyk in the early morning as the shops opened and the cobbled streets began to fill with people.......if the come to a town near you on their travels go and see them it is a beautiful thing.
The final piece of info for tonight before I return to reading Shakespeare's Measure for Measure is the learning of the existence of a very interesting artist from California; Christina Mcphee (two links). Have never met her but have been reading her words in a mail discussion group (another Kurt Schwitters fan)to which I belong and am impressed by her websites. Check it out!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Online Hypertext List

Last year as I was writing my Masters thesis I became rather immersed in the world of online hypertexts. I compiled what is now a short list of some online texts (my favourites list in my computer has already doubled in number). The list is hosted by HUMlab where it looks like we will be doing a lot more with hypertext literature in the coming months.I remain completely absorbed in this fascinating textual form.
I return now to the frustrations of a printer not working and a reinstalled hard drive that has things in different places from where they were before (learning my way around again). The Windows Pack2 seems to be causing a problem with communicating to media {printer, music}....

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Free Acess to SAGE Journal

To celebrate the release of their new journal online delivery platform, SAGE publications are granting free access to all journals till October 31 2004.

Monday, September 20, 2004

An Early Avatar: The Sick Durer

Sometime around the year 1512 Albrecht Dùrer was feeling unwell. In order to describe his ailment to a physician, who was presumably not in the vicinity of his actual body, he created this image of himself locating the pain in his left side between his thoracic and abdominal regions.

Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), the illustrious German printmaker, painter, and designer, produced an intriguing pen and watercolour, half length self portrait. The Sick Dürer is small, 12 cm×11 cm, and on it Dürer wrote, “Do wo der gelb fleck is und mit dem finger drawff dewt do is mir we” (There, where the yellow spot is located, and where I point my finger, there it hurts”). Why Dürer used colour remains a mystery, but it could have been added for emphasis, just as his index finger draws attention to the painful part.
The picture was sent to an out of town physician whom Dürer had consulted. When it was painted is uncertain, and suggested dates range from 1509 to 1521.3 Dürer had been unwell on several occasions during this period, but it seems most likely that the picture relates to the illness he contracted in 1520. In the spring of 1521 Dürer recorded in his diary that, during a journey to the Netherlands the previous year, he had been seriously ill: “In the third week after Easter I was seized by a hot fever, great weakness, nausea, and headache. And before, when I was in Zeeland, a strange sickness came over me, such as I have never heard of from any man, and I still have this sickness.” The Sick Dürer—a Renaissance prototype pain map

I see this image as an early virtual body or avatar as they are called in 3D virtual worlds. It is a visual embodiment over distance designed to impart information concerning interior states of being. Not a diagram (the resemblance to the Christ figure is marked), and not a verbal note explaining the pain (although the text at the top of the drawing in German states "There were the yellow spot is and the finger points, there it hurts me."; reads almost like an inworld text message!)
The body as manifestation of self is a strong trope in Early Modern Literature.

Friday, September 17, 2004

The new online edition of "" is out and it is a killer. It is absolutely packed with great stuff: online games, new media exhibitions, theory and music. The English edition can be found here
I have just retuned from 24 hours in the company of Black Forest Black Sea; Christ-ina Carter (of the Charalambides), and Fursaxa. It has been great to listen to and speak with them. Gracious and talented people they are. Their two seminars at Umeå University today were thought provoking and eloquent and their combined playing in HUMlab this afternoon was a joy (thanks guys).
This blog has also just been added to the PhD Weblogs Index. Yipppeeeeeeee
Now it is time for rest and some reading.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004


High above the tourist crowded but still charming place St-Germain-des-Prés was this last word on Paris:

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Paris Spleen

The blogging is really getting back into swing now that I am back at my regular activity (half work half play). In all the action of the last two week I have not had time to write of my 8 days in Paris at the end of August. I want a large studio in an old part of Paris!..This is not possible at the moment...but it is a dream. Never before have I witnessed such a city as text experience (perhaps Varanassi in India, where I lived for 4 months once would have been more so if I could have understood so much of the text around me). Everywhere in Paris is a narrative unfolding or well established. Here I have three of the perhaps 400 photos Erika and I took while there:

This was taken in rue Gît-le-Coeur outside what was once known as 'The Beat Hotel' where William S Burroughs put together the text for "Naked Lunch"

This was taken high up near Sacre Le Coeur, in Montmatre.

Actually I tell a lie...this is from my neighbourhood where I live in Sweden...but it just goes to show, text is everywhere. I think this may be St John of the Apocalypse...but who knows?

Monday, September 13, 2004

My extreamly talented partner Erika has started it is: Neondiod Yah yah yah erika!!!!!

Christoper Marlowe (1564-1593)

Today has been a hectic but satisfying day. Much can be achieved in 12 hours of constant motion and activity.
First was my first Department of Modern Languages staff meeting which began with a welcome to the new doctoral students, of which I am one. My collegues Therese, Stephanie and myself presented activities and possibilites for involvement with HUMlab to those gathered, many of who had been my teachers in the last two years and who have now become more as collegues.
Following this meeting I spent perhaps three hours organising my application for the Kemp Family Memorial Scholarship. I hope to get it....but Im am not at all certain I will.
I then retreated to my room at university for three hours of Renassiance far Sir Thomas Wyatt is my favorite of the lyric verse.
For the last three weeks I have been opening the exquisite treasure trove that is early modern English Literature...what a treasury: Sir Thomas Elyot, Roger Ascham, Shakespeare, Thomas More, Edmund Spenser,Christopher Marlowe (also a major favorite), Henry Howard Earl of Surry. I still have almost four weeks in which I can lose myself in this world...
Of course there isn't an over representation of women in this period of letters. I have also been reading a fanstastic text on gender: Clare Colebrook Gender (Palgrave 2004) I think a must read for literature students, as Juliet Flower MacCannell, Professor Emerita, Comparative Literature, University of California, also believes (see the reviews in the link).
We will be having a seminar on music and technology (including a short performance) in HUMlab this Friday at 12:00 midday by the great American band Black Forest/Black Sea who will also be playing on Thursday 16th September at Sagateatern, 46 Kungsgätan Umeå with Fusaxa, Christiina Carter, The Brotherhood of Eternal Love (including myself) and the debut performance of the fantastic Moon Trotskij (buy the CD it's great). Contact me through this webmail link for tickets (80SEK presold).
I also received a email confirming my membership in ELINOR as the coordinator in Sweden....this is really exciting as there is nothing better if you are really really interested in something than meeting others who are as obsessed as you are. Great days ahead!
The final act of the day was a parent meeting at my son's daycare which was no stress as he likes it and they like him (so do I)......

Saturday, September 04, 2004

A Tired Hippy Wannabe Remembers

I once wanted to be a hippie. It was perhaps the first counter culture I came into contact with in my small village in rural Australia. At school my nickname was 'Hippie' and when I escaped from the High School regime I got myself some tied dyed pants and wore them religiously when I wasn't working at the local hospital as a trainee nurse- I came into contact with Art students at the end of my first year as a student nurse and quickly decided they were having more fun than I was in the gynecology ward. I remember once driving to the coast with this group in their purple station wagon and listening to The Doors 'Moonlight Drive' as the moon rose over the Pacific Ocean. I was sold.......even if it was 1987! I grew my hair, went to university to do an Arts degree, started writing poetry and had a paisley shirt especially made by a friend. A year later I discovered punk and it all started getting very mixed up to what I was.....such fun. The above image is from 1995 when I was living in a share house and visiting the Sydney College of Art as "a non-enrolled person who used the equipment" (a sort of visiting student). It was the culmination of the many years of absorbing counter culture as I had finally started producing it: an installation performance group, a fanzine, poetry readings,journalism and looking funky in fake leopard skin. This has all come upon me just now as I found the CBS archive online and they have a wealth of short films about the original hippies. I would not say I was ahippie now (and I hope nobody else does) but they were definitely an important moment and I don't think the original hippies even really subscribed to the whole hippie image themselves. Maybe the beatnik and hippie node was all about the production of image rather than the consumption of it. Once you manage this all you have to worry about is the media defining and manufacturing you.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Before I return completely to the very serious world of post-grad literary studies I would like to register a link to what myself and my son (aged 4 years) believe to be a very humerous website, although not exactly what you would call high brow.
Albino Black Sheep is a site for Flash animations. They are uploaded here by individuals who probably appear completely normal should one pass them on the street or share a bus seat. However whoever created Shfifty Five is a master/mistress of the nonsensical parody. I myself have been singing The Kitty Kat Song all day and everytime my son hears me he begins laughing.......
Of life as Bakhtin wrote: "Truth is restored by reducing the lie to an absurdity."

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

“The story of the picture frame in England really begins in the 16th century.”
A Guide to Picture Frames at Knoll, Kent

Despite the gap in the template above this blog is active and shall unfortunately not improve until my HTML buddy gets back from onwards.

I'm reading Pattern Recognition (2003) by William Gibson and I must say he is very good...really does it well. The slow upload as you orientate yourself to time and space within the narrative (first 80 pages for me).....when is this (about now actually)...where are we...New York, Tokyo but mostly (so far at p230) London. Following orientation begins addiction and actual altering of perception....I am spotting mirror world simulacra everywhere...yesterday (Offline: i.e. ‘here’…whatever that means these days) the South Americans (possibly Peruvian or Bolivian or Venezuelan) in the street playing electronic New Age amplified music while dressed in imitation Navaho buckskin and Fredric Remington Sioux chiefs headdresses (all of them!!). Selling CDs made in Holland....complete Baudrillard.
So I did the Google thing to look at Gibson's face (Google Image is the real strength of the engine I think) and found his short lived blog (deceased September 2003) and this quote in his sign-off entry:

"The bits and pieces that Joseph Cornell assembled in his shadow-boxes wouldn’t have seemed nearly as interesting if he’d simply left them arrayed on the bench of some picnic-table –- and they certainly wouldn’t still be there. I crave the sweet and crazy-making difficulties that can only be imposed by the box, the Cornellian stage, the frame, of a formal narrative."

The defining frame is that which narrative as representation kicks against to make its space. All else is reportage or confession. But what of the Simulation, what of dialogue as reality, what of the Kantian sublime? It is in Cornell's chose is the only ability we have but most choices are already made before we acknowledge engagement as the text exists all around arrange letters into words and tell a story is not an act of creation but of assertion. It becomes a node of meaning in a fabric of possibilities. To make these connections where they have not been recently noticed is what artists do. To exploit contextual habits and repetitive behaviors is what their agents do to make the money.

I think Gibson is wrong about the interest created by temporary assemblage in public places. I have seen a sand mandala created and destroyed over a period of 7 days and it was a beautiful thing. Gibson writes brilliant books and makes a good living from them. He is the latest in a long line of his particular genre to do so. However I think the frame is moving and the content of Pattern Recognition acknowledges this even if the contextual form does not.

One of the exquisite creations assembled by Joseph Cornell (1903-72):

Object (Roses des Vents) 1942-53 (130 Kb); Construction, 2 5/8 x 21 1/4 x 10 3/8 in; The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Monday, August 02, 2004

The Internet Archive is a great resource and a testament to the cooperative power of open source creative commons structures.
A CD of my music that I had been selling at concerts and when I busk this summer has just been accepted for upload onto the archive and is available for streaming and free download HERE. I hope it is taken and used freely by many...............

Friday, July 30, 2004

Having time to surf the web I cam across the fantastic resource of the Kill Your TV media activist archive out of Brisbane, Australia. There are several interesting docos (check out the Lab Rats film Tunin’ Technology to Ecology) on the site and a rather interesting film by David Cox; staring STELARC and Marie Hoy entitled Otherzone (click to see)……. Made in 1998 it is still fresh and topical.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

A quiet time has begun for this blog. Summer time is reading and playing music in the streets. I can be found most good weather days playing the didgeridoo outside the Victoria Galleria in central Umeå.  
We (Funkservice International) shall be playing Trästock festival next weekend; Main stage Saturday 24 July at 15:30. I shall return to blog Urkult festival  and Paris trip in August. Enjoy the sumer rain!

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

It is on the web (An there for I believe it to be true and real). I have been awarded a Wallenberg Scholarship for modern language research in English for 2004-2005. The official word is located
I would like to thank the many who have helped me along the way, too many to list.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Sam, the star of Sams Orkester

I was in a film called Sams Orkester (Swedish title) as a member of the band. It was filmed in Umeå Sweden in the summer of 2002. I had a walk on part and several close up shots in the final cut. I also did actually play the didjeridu as featured in the soundtrack (all the other musicians were dubbed in later). It was a great experience and the band that was created for the purposes of the film continues on today as Total Groove.
Sveriges Television 2 (SVT2 the national television network) will be showing Sams Orkester on Friday 16 July 2004 at 19.10. The film only runs for 10 minutes so don't miss the start!

Friday, July 02, 2004

As to open source material on the web it seems that the copyleft movement is gaining some ground, in Canada at least:

"Canada's Supreme Court ruled in a landmark judgment that Internet service providers (ISP) do not have to pay royalties on music downloaded by customers.
In a unanimous 9-0 decision Wednesday, the court ruled that ISPs are not responsible for material web surfers download.
The court ruled that companies that provide access to the worldwide web are "intermediaries" who are not subject to copyright law. "
Sydney Morning Herald

With new laws coming into force in Sweden from January 1st 2005 concerning the illegality of downloading music (i.e. it will be illegal after this date to download copyright bound material from P2P internet sources) there seems to be a wide stretch of discrepancy in regard to international digital copyright interpretation. In an April 1st ruling Federal Court Judge Finckenstein (a former Commissioner of Competition at the Competition Bureau Canada) ruled:

“I cannot see a real difference between a library that places a photocopy machine in a room full of copyrighted material and a computer user that places a personal copy on a shared directory linked to a P2P (peer-to-peer) service.” - Federal Court Judge Konrad von Finckenstein 1 April 2004

Meanwhile Warner, BMG, EMI, Sony and Universal control 90 percent of the Swedish music market. The government is attempting to introduce greater competition in to the economy in general but with millions of songs being downloaded in Sweden today, where broadband internet connection is common, the new laws are unlikely to effect the present situation (especially when Swedes pay $US20 for a CD).

A final mention of Marlon Brando (1924-2004) who died this morning……a great actor and activist. His 1973 refusal of an Oscar for The Godfather as a protest against the treatment of Native Americans by the State should be remembered as a moment of affirmative direct action:

"Hello. My name is Sacheen Littlefeather. I am an Apache and I am the president of the National Native American Affirmative Image Committee.
I'm representing Marlon Brando this evening and he has asked me to tell you, in a very long speech which I cannot share with you presently, because of time, but I will be glad to share with the press afterward, that he must very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award. And the reasons for this being are the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry... [audience gasps] Excuse me... [some boos and some clapping] and on television in movie re-runs, and also the recent happenings at Wounded Knee.
I beg at this time that I have not intruded upon this evening and that we will, in the future, in our hearts and our understanding will meet with love and generosity.
Thank you on behalf of Marlon Brando."

Monday, June 28, 2004

One of the greatest resource sites I have found on the web is UBUweb ( It is a vast collection of sound vision and text spanning the creative work of hundreds of years and all the continents. The above image of poor Ling Ling is from the Found Art section of the UBUweb, there are also books that can be downloaded, recordings of some of the great and famous and the strange and unknown in the world of language, and critical works concerning much of what has passed as the avante gárde for the last century. And its all free!!!!!!!!!!!
I am not working too hard at the moment (well I am cooking and taking care of a child with an infected ear...long story, but I mean not doing to much in relation to university). I am reading Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer. I bought it in a local -think Sweden- second hand shop and the shop person said "a book about cancer, how depressing". It is bawdy, funny and at times quite surrealist text. I can understand why it upset so many in 1934 (banned in the United States for 27 years!) as it a graphic account of how desperate people can become for the feeling of connectedness in what first appears as a bohemian potpourri (the Americans in Paris between the wars were really 20 years too late for that) but is actually a stage where people trade and buy their fantasies....or is that capitalism?
I shall be in Paris in August and shall have a memorial pernod for Henry...the old bastard.

Monday, June 21, 2004

The weekend has drawn to a close and the situation as it stands requires a summary, so here it is (all spelling of Swedish words have been anglicized as the å ä ö don’t show up on non-Svenska keyboards):
To begin with I have been accepted as a Doctoral student at the Department of Modern Languages, Umea University. I have posted this information to the Wallenberg Scholarship fund and there should be some sort of announcement on their website this week. I will be beginning my appointment on the 1st July.
The band I play with, Funk Service International is to play at the Trastock Festival in Skelleftea in July. I have spent most of today in the company of Adil Fadi from Funkservice, recording some heavily Gnaoua influenced music....perhaps next year we shall make it to Essaouira???
Finally here is a taste of my contribution to the Funkservice sound: It is
Sydney City Rain (right click to download the Mp3) a tune devised a year ago to evoke the feeling of walking down Burke Street (or Crown Street) into Taylor Square in the middle of Oxford Street in Sydney, Australia at about 6pm on a Friday evening with a pocket full of cash and the cafes and bars are full with those beginning to party and those finishing the working week and a warm rain has just fallen and the scent of Indian food and aftershave is in the air and you are walking to Central to catch a train up to Newtown to go to see some music at the Dispensary cafe or at the RSL...or perhaps walking to the graduating show at the National Art School in the old Darlinghurst Gaol...or perhaps a cheap laksa in china town, followed by a blurry night at the Bank Hotel in Newtown and the Imperial in Erskineville. Sydney 1992-99 was a great place to live. Enjoy!( I really need to stop thinking about music and do some work on this webdesign summer course!!)

Thursday, June 17, 2004

The area I live in is close to the university here and as a result it becomes a ghost town during the summer holidays. This is good in a way as one does become a bit tired of year after year of the weekend drunk students roaming the alleys and singing strange swedish drinking songs (not to mention the sunday morning crystal lawns as the broken glass from windows and bottles lay all about the scene). However the energy of thousands of students living around us is good and interesting. They shall all return in three months I suppose.
I have been working on a webdesign subject, analysing this site: and what a boring excuse for a website it is..check it out.
The other thing Ive been doing is negotiating both Friendster and Orkut......After setting up a profile and surfing around a bit it starts to lose its appeal. Orkut seems more diverse and multinational in its make-up but I suppose it is dependant on who introduces you to the network. In my case with both Friendster and Orkut it was by two different 27year old American females..HOWEVER with orkut my American friend had been invited by an Iranian...this may have set a somewhat different trajectory. In the case of Friendster I seem to be surrounded by hard livin' American indie band fans single and in their 20's. I shall continue and see where it takes me...I need to annoy some of my friends with invites to the network.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Beginning to feel much better. The journey from Australia to the north of Sweden is a long one in more than just distance. I am returning to the more introspective climate of the sub-arctic, the gentle restraint of orderly queues and political debates where everyone agrees with each other despite their party differences. The grey green spray of mild summer days where teenagers wear clothes that you can only see on television in my home village of Goombungee. Back again and it feels good to be able to read and write in peace and quiet.
Here is an image from the recent journey to Oz:

Didge and Dog in Townsville

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Home again and jetlagg is killing me. I awaken at 5am feeling really good and by lunch time I am so tired I can't see properly. I am trying to establish the old/new rhythm but I also have a bit to do so I can't just sleep all the time either. Summer is here in the north of sweden. Really pleasant it is to. Clear skies and sunshine and everything covering the earth is really really green. I have been completing the details for the Wallenberg Stipendium (scholarship) and begining a little webdesign course that will last about 5 weeks through the summer holidays. Also have some activities planned for when I feel more human as to the biorhythmic status.....until next time-

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Back in Singapore at the moment on my way back home to Sweden. I arrived here two days ago and spent yesterday in the company of Don Bosco. We spent a lot of time discussing the state of the art. We visited a electronic arts group, Spell7, who are behind the Year of Living Digitally Festival. I took their Little India audio tour called Desire Paths, which was more like a location based interactive installation in real time than a tour. If anyone finds themselves in Singapore go to 65 Kerbau Road and partake in this beautiful interpretation of space.
I am really looking foward to getting home. This trip has been full of inspiration and I now wish to put some of the ideas and plans I have had (alone and with others) into material form. This summer is going to be excellent.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

I am now in my mountain home: Toowoomba, Australia. There has been quite a bit of running around these last few days so from now until Wednesday I'll be staying here and seeing old friends and my family. Tonight I play music in a cafe as part of the long running musical collective (begun 1988) FFEHRO. These are people I've know most of my adult life so it will be fun to reconnect on the musical plane with them. I got out the sitar this morning and tuned it up, it seems that in the last 5 years of concentrating on the didgeridoo my playing of rhythm has improved a lot. Tonight at 8:30pm, Cafe Bon Amici in Margaret Street Toowoomba.
Some exciting news is that I have been awarded a Wallenberg Scholarship to begin my Ph.D. This is most excellent news and means I can continue working and learning at Umea University and particularly at HUMlab.
Here is a pic of where I am:

Sunday, May 23, 2004

I have just returned from the Next Wave 2004 Festival in Melbourne and it was fantastic. The highlight for me was hearing a presentation and meeting up with Brody Condon an artist who works in with and around digital games. His work is a fascinating exmination of the materiality and content of games. Brody described how he strips away the narrative of the game to reveal a single aspect of the text which he then accentuates in some way through his own manipulation and subsequent recontextualisation of the material form (I love the language of critique...basically he twists the thing which twists the viewers mind). He showed his piece Worship (2001) and the stunning Waco:Resurrection (2003). This is an artist I will investigate further.
I made my own presentation on Saturday and it seemed to go pretty well, speaking for about an hour on building in Adobe Atmosphere 1.0 to groups of people as the passed through the strange hall we were given as The Demo Room....I also got to spend 48 hours in Melbourne which really impressed me as a city as it has been 8 years since I was there. An open enthusiastic atmosphere, a lot of culture, wide streets lined with autumnal trees, cafes filled with happy people,and the good company I was with.
Tomorrow I'll look around Brisbane and then catch a bus back to Toowoomba. My plan for next week is to spend time with my family and record some music with some friends. We have been speaking about starting a record label between Sweden and Australia and we are very close to it actually happening it seems as I heard part of the first release a few days ago and it sounded great...details to follow....

Friday, May 21, 2004

After many days of no access I am now in the relative civilization of Brisbane and on a dial up modem in a large timber home of truna. All is comfortable and blissful. The story so far:
Darwin turned into an extended stay....5 days...very nice but due to the bad typing of a travel agent I was refused a seat on a plane at 6am on Sunday and instead stayed until tuesday, sampling the fine didgeridoos of the northern capital and enjoying the company of my sister and her husband. Then, due to the unexpected ticket mix up, I flew to Cairns via Brisbane and 24 hours in the good company of Dan, a brother. I stayed in the house of Dan's partner's family and the 12 of us bedded down all over the place. I slept in the yard. Dan's partner is a tribal Aboriginal woman of the Wik people from western Cape York. Going to stay there was a nervous experience for me, not knowing quite what to expect. What I found was a bunch of friendly people who shared a small part of their lives with me.
Next was a bus to Townsville where I stayed with another dear old friend, Bernadette. Here was a visit to James Cook uni, a fine dinner with good people, catch up and planning. Fixed up a didge and read poems over wine after dinner (poems written in 1995). Fine fine.
Then a plane to Brisbane on yesterday (Thursday) and met at the airport by my mother (not seen in 18 months). A drive 1 1/2 hours to Toowoomba (the place I was born). This morning I awoke and could feel the atmosphere of my home town seep through the walls as the carrowongs sang the dawn. A walk into town and met up with old friend in the street. Lunch with my parents as it was my father's birthday (64th). Then a bus to Brisbane (very slow) and hooked up with truna...Melbourne tomorrow and Next Wave.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Singapore is a wild collision of color and image. Crowded streets filled with bright azure and the rainbow which follows hot rain.
Have been in the company of Don Bosco today as we discussed the possabilities of long distance collaboration on digital projects and theory. The new international blog on cybertext and theory Fast City should be launched tomorrow and will be linked here.
I am on my way to the land of the earliest narratives...the Australian Aboriginal people have direct cultural memory of what has been classified the pre-historic by Euro empirical authorities. They are still telling their stories on the escarpment of the Arnhem plateau. As a complex textual source there is nothing which really compares to this tradition.
As an aside I found a link today on the web for one of the best books about the didjeridu I have ever seen...Karl Neufeldt's From Arnhem Land to Internet is a good place to start if you want to contextualize the didge in the broader perspectives of it's origins. Today I saw a young Chinese guy doing a dot-style painting on a bamboo didjeridu in the markets here in Singapore. I almost took a photo as it stuck me as a great but somehow disturbing image of cultural appropriation.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Now in Singapore...It is very good to be back in Asia. I was met at the airport by Don Boscco...found the Summer Tavern and went out for food. A discussion on narrative, culture, ideology, theory, and the affordances of late 80's punk music followed over a reasonable curry laksa.
Now I'm in the lounge of the Summer Tavern and it reminds me much of my backpacking experiences early in my travels in the mid 1990's.The accomadation seems good...friendly people...relaxed internet and really central. Singapore reminds me a bit of Brisbane. Open cafes, a river in the middle, bits of glass modernism interspersed with colonial blocks of solid standing. A big Dali sculpture in a highrise courtyard...really cheap food ($AUS3 for a meal),. This is going to be fun. Tomorrow is the Little India region......buying computer gear (really good prices) and planning the future of Art.........YYIIIIPPPPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Blogging from On the Road (where are you Jack Kerouac?). This is being written from the departure lounge at Arlanda Terminal 2. Free internet access due to a system failure and me ringing the 24 hour help number and they providing me with an access code for 1 1/2 hours free time online. This trip is looking good from early signs.
Last night I took the bus from Umea to Stockholm arriving at 6am...walking the city streets while the wasted party people from the night before made their ways home...spoke to a few who seemed to be very loved up on something :)
I walked over to the beautiful Skeppsholmen...really a stunning place..and waited for the Museum of Modern and Contempory Art to open...slept in the park there beneath the new foliage upon the oaks and had dreams filled with the bird songs around me....awoke at 10am when the Museum of Modern Art opened...A great little collection they have on's free and the rooms are spacious. It is not a particularly diverse collection and Pablo Picasso seems to be thought of as the highpoint in modern art (I can understand this position...but they were selling books on Mark Rothko but had none of his work in the collection)
I watched an hour of the Andy Wahol film Chelsea Girls....What can I say- It was made in 1966 and runs for three hours and fifteen minutes. Big Brother and the other doco-soaps owe more than the proverbial 15 minutes of fame to Andy Warhola...Chelsea Girls is the more intensly engaging, more sophisicated parent of doco-soaps with the added element of Art. Two screens, creative camera work, use of both color and black and white with an honesty that blows Big Brother (excuse the pun) out of the bedroom. Visit the Moderna Museet in Stockholm and see it!
The final joy of the museum was Giorgio De Chirico's Le Cerveau De L'Enfant (The Brain of the Child) painted in 1914...I read about this painting for years from Breton and Deuchamp and then last year I learnt it was actually in Sweden.....It is a piece of work I will have to think about for a while as it was really a bit of shock to see it...
After the museum I went to a once favorite haunt Saturn Return but was severely disapointed to see that the posure club culture seems to have infiltrated there to the expense of what was once a trance journey for all...irrespective of looks or orientation.
Finally I placed 5 copies of my CD in Multi Kulti music shop....a really fine establishment and really nice people. Then lunch at the Hare Krishna restaurant and to the airport where I managed to sleep 3 hours. Here is a cheap electronic copy of The Brain of the Child:

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Ive just returned from a great evening at the Vita Bjornen Boat Cafe where we played a wild trance hour of didge, djembe and even Mosang (south Indian Jaw harp). Upon my return home I checked my email to find a message from one of the best (if not the best) didgeridoo shops in Europe: Melle Smit's Aboriginal Art and Instruments in Amsterdam (fond memories of 1998). He's organizing another didge festival in the beautiful squatted village of Ruigoord (must be about 25 years it has been living as an autonolmous art zone!!...more fond memories). In June there will be a huge didge fest to get there is the question.

Much to do and little time. The weather is so good here at the moment!

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

The moving of life and belongings took five days of intense lifting and carrying (much thanks to my father-in-law for the help). Now we are in our new home and things are looking good with extra space but still not enough bookshelves.
Thanks to Patrik I have come across the only other human being I have ever come across (I am not alone!!!YYYYYIIPPPPPEEEE) who is using the work of Mikhail Bakhtin to understand the processes surrounding the creation of meaning in regard to electronic reader driven or cyber texts. He goes by the name of Gavin Stewart and info about him (a biologist and a poet no less) and links to some of his interesting work can be found here. I even wrote the man a fan letter today but have not heard back...he probably gets bags of them everyday....
This week is to be spent working on two Adobe Atmosphere worlds for HUMlab, to be opened on Friday and playing a concert at the Boat cafe (Vita Bjornen...The White Bear) on Wednesday 5th May at 8pm. On Friday I am flying to Singapore and then next week to Australia......wacko!
Here is pic of the duo to play The White Bear on Wednesday: