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.