Saturday, April 29, 2006

M/C Journal

The online media and culture journal M/C Journal has a great collection of essays in this month's issue, "Transmit". Here is the LINK and here are the contents:

EDITORIAL: Transmit - Henk Huijser and Brooke Collins-Gearing
FEATURE: SMS Riot: Transmitting Race on a Sydney Beach, December 2005 - Gerard Goggin
Senders, Receivers and Deceivers: How Liar Codes Put Noise Back on the Diagram of Transmission - Tony Sampson
Transmitting the Body in Online Interaction - Danny Beusch
Scenes of Transmission: Youth Culture, MP3 File Sharing, and Transferable Strategies of Cultural Practice - Dale A. Bradley
Grid: On Being-as-Transmission and Normativity - Robert Payne Aladdin’s Cave or Pandora’s Box? - Ben Isakhan, Jason Nelson and Patrick West
Mapping the Narrative in a Digital Album Cover - Patti Tsarouhis
Transmitting Genocide: Genocide and Art - Martine Hawkes
Reconstructing the Internet: How Social Justice Activists Contest Technical Design in Cyberspace - Kate Milberry
The Transmission of Political Critique after 9/11: “A New Form of Desperation”? - Megan Boler

Friday, April 28, 2006

TKRP nominated for Stockholm Challenge

I got it a bit wrong with this story. The TKP is not the only nominated project.
It is the Indigenous Stock Exchange (BAMA ISX) that has been nominated for The Stockholm Challenge Event, (May 8-11), for the world's best ICT projects:

The Stockholm Challenge brings together inspiring people working with ICT from around world in the six categories of the Award. This time around 100 finalists will participate in the Final Event of the Stockholm Challenge 2006.

The finalists will gather for closed workshops on the 9th to share their experience with academic and industrial members of SPIDER, the Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions.

Follow their discussions online in the Challenge Workshop Forum here. The main themes will be measuring the impact of ICT, funding strategies and sustainability.

The public is welcome to join these social and development entrepreneurs and specialists for a series of public sessions on May 10 from 9 am to 3pm as the finalist draw together their thoughts and present them in two panels.

This is still great news. The Traditional Knowledge Project is a part of the ISX network. I was sorry to hear of the passing of Dr. George Musgrave, the founder of the TKP. "His knowledge will live on for young people thanks to the work of Balkanu and Victor Steffenson and his group."

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A Machinima of Promise

Machinima takes a long time to make. I today received a tip on a new machinima film, "Bloodspell" Episode 1 that has been "three years in the making". A "feature-length film" (forty minutes or longer, although most features today run over ninety minutes) to be released online in 5-7 minute episodes every two weeks until complete. It is directed by Hugh Hancock and grapples with "a story of punk fantasy world, where the Blooded, tainted by the magic in their blood, are ruthlessly persecuted by the "Church Of The Angels". Episode 1 runs for just over 8 minutes. It shows promise and I suppose that is the idea, but the actual content is, shall we say, limited. Like watching the first 8 minutes of any film...Who knows what it is about? The production is good, and this is what engages me. It was made with Neverwinter Nights (an interesting choice) and the camera angles are fluid and suggestive of the dialogue and action. I especially like the 'looking through the keyhole effect' as one character (and we the viewers) watch a impending human sacrifice. I thought violence would be the mainstay of the episode, but it is tempered with some emotional content and dialogue between characters that suggests there is a lot more to learn about the heavy-set outlaws.
I shall keep downloading.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

"Game of Navigation"

Launching of Netfilmmakers' 7. Edition "Game of Navigation" the 29th of april 2006.
New works by Sashiko Hayashi (Japan/Sweden), Enda O'Donoghue (Ireland/Germany)
and Malene Nors Tardrup (Denmark).
Curated by Iben Bentzen
"the key feature of computer space is its navigability".
Lev Manovich, Language of New Media

The navigation possibilities on the internet seem infinite. Like a network of highways. A navigation in information. link, link, pick a link.
In the computer game you navigate through levels, through what seems like rooms, through the virtual of the reality. Turn, turn make a turn. Perhaps the key feature of the computerspace is not that different from the key feature of life:
a Game of Navigation.
Artist talk in Overgaden - Institute of Contemporary Art, Overgaden neden Vandet 17, 1414 Cph K,
Saturday the 29th of april 2006
At 18:00-21:00.

Digital SoundScape by Jonas Olesen and Morten Riis.

Monday, April 24, 2006


A new edition of Neural is out and as always it looks very cool:

. Spam, the economy of desire,
. news (Flickr Peep Show, PostSecret, Sequences, Mindbending, inc., Silver Cell).
. reviews (Soviet-Unterzögersdorf, File Extinguisher, Miscalculator, Flying Spy
Potatoes, Overheard in New York)
. centerfold: Spin, liquid (tele)vision mediation

. Hack the Google self.referentialism,
. Natalie Jeremijenko interview,
. Igor Stromajer interview,
. The map is (not) the territory
. news (Shmoogle, Passfaces, Idiki, Netsukuku, Newsbreakers).
. reviews: (Code, Engineering Culture, Making Things Public,
Community Media, Everything is Under Control)

Web 2.0 Distribution and ‘Writability’

Web 2.0 Distribution and ‘Writability’:

Narrative/Story Telling,
Aesthetics of Interface,
Augmented Reality,
Writing for Web 2.0,

Web 2.0 story telling:

“Web 2.0 narratives should be social. It's an obvious point, given the social software element within the Web 2.0 idea, but worth returning to. Fan fiction, reader communities, participatory narratives, reader contributions, modding, mixing should be hallmarks.”
Bryan Alexander@Infocult

“Web 2.0 storytelling on the other hand seems more like utilizing the interactive options of the Web for more collaborative writing projects. I've engaged, for example, in role-playing by email for years, and recently thought that using a blog or wiki or other CMS would be a great improvement, from a logistics standpoint, on that tech. I'm working with some buddies right now on putting together a site to host text-based, collaborative role-playing stories; multiple authors, multiple games, multiple worlds, etc.”
Andy Havens@TinkerX

Blog Novels:
The Dionaea House
The Coffin

Podcast Novels:

Visual Story Telling (Flickr):
Tell a story in 5 frames (Visual story telling)
Story Time

Social Software:

Video (watch share create):

The Movies

Nordstrom Silver Screen
To Be Listen To

Machinima Acadamy of Arts and Sciences

Fan Fiction:

Alternate Reality Gaming Network

General Web 2.0 Links:
Jim's Links

Sunday, April 23, 2006

A New Week Jumps Up and Licks my Face

It is late Sunday night after a pretty good weekend. I managed to record some new music of my own yesterday, a rare event in these busy times. On Saturday night my compadres over distance played at Terrastock 6 in Providence RI. I was obviously not there in person but as I drifted in to sleep I felt a strange musical presence in the room. I expect they left the room speechless.
For me the week ahead is going to be a beauty. First off on Tuesday there is the Web 2.0 course in HUMlab that I am one of two leader/facilitators for. Then on Wednesday I am looking forward to a special seminar from Dr. Richard Jones-Bamman (Dept. of Performing Arts, Eastern Connecticut State University) who is a guest researcher with the Sami Studies Department at Umea University this term. Dr. Jones-Bamman will be speaking on "Is Music the Universal Language?" in the first of a series of four seminars under the title, 'Familiar Sounds from Strange Places: Music in Contemporary Society'.
Then on Thursday we have Willard McCarty giving a seminar in HUMlab. Having subscribed to the Humanities Computing email list for about two years now I feel like I already have communicated with the man, although I have never written a word on the list. Can't help but feeling out of my depth with some of the discussions that go on.
Friday is me being a guest lecturer with the Department of Computing Science were I will be giving a presentation/performance on "The Computer Technician as Author". I am looking forward to this as it is a chance to speak about the core of what I do in my own research. Something that I am very charged about is the cross-disciplinary paradigm of talking humanities dialect in a science environment about a digital subject. Should be fun.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Blogging and Plumbing

I have been wanting to write but the time is never with me. Everytime I sit at the computer I already have 4 things I have to do. Blogging seems like plumbing in that you can only get so backed up before it just all flows away, flooding the basement and ruining the carpets.

To get back into the swing of things here is a picture of how I spent my Easter break:

That's me at the table

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Didgeridoo Cure for Snoring

Not only is playing the didgeridoo good for wakefullness, lung capacity, posture, brochial health and state of mind it is also a cure for snoring:

"Regular didgeridoo playing is an effective treatment alternative well accepted by patients with moderate obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome."

A study by Swiss researchers has just shown.
Quick, get your didges here:
The Didge Hut.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Testing Reality

When I was 16 years old (more than half a life ago) I got a drivers license from a country cop shop (Translation: police station). I got there just before lunch time so they gave me the "quick test" (drive around the block and do a hill start). This was in a village of 700 souls and one main road (no traffic lights, no give way signs, no pedestrian get the picture), For the last two months I have been trying to obtain a driving license in Sweden (by necessity not choice) and it is nothing like Goombungee. This morning I again trudged off at 7:45am (there were so many people on the bus that early...They had my sympathy) to sit another test for the theory of driving. I failed and it was my fault. I find reading about road rules very boring. Plus as a text the English version of the manual for diving is somewhat lacking in narrative. How am I supposed to be able to calculate the combined trailer weight for a blah blah blah. Which leads me to the comfort I took from Will Wright earlier this evening:

"In an era of structured education and standardized testing, this generational difference might not yet be evident. But the gamers' mindset - the fact that they are learning in a totally new way - means they'll treat the world as a place for creation, not consumption. This is the true impact videogames will have on our culture."
Dream Machines
(Will Wright is the guest editor for this month's Wired Magazine!)

When I look at the pictures for the question in the theory text for the Swedish drivers license I ask myself "But how the hell did I get myself in such a situation in the first place?" I cannot for the life of me imagine not having access to the relevant information (Translation: Help Function) if I should so need it in regards to trailer weights, season for winter tires, the month for vehicle inspection etc etc etc. That's why God gave us the internet! If I do need to make a split second decision during driving I am not going to learn it out of a book. It is a matter of practice. Maybe it would be a bit reckless to treat driving as a creative act, but the problem I have is with the text, not the reality.

Finally a tip: for those living on the Swedish peninsular tomorrow night on SVT1:
"Over 600 000 Swedes download music and film from the internet without paying for it. Society will legislate against the illegal file dowloading. But what happens then with the gowing multimillion dollar industry which either directly or indirectly survives because of file sharing? Mission Investigate's reporter Nadja Yllner has met the combatats in the pirate struggle to see if there appears to be any sort of reconciliation going on." (Translation: roughly done by me)
Uppdrag Granskning Tisdag 11 april, 20.00, SVT1.

Organised Networks: Transdisciplinarity and New Institutional Forms

Organized Networks: Transdisciplinarity and New Institutional Forms by Dr. Ned Rossiter

A video of a presentation from the Finnish Social Forum, Helsinki, 1-2 April 2006 'Autonomous Research' seminar:

"It's therefore important to remember that autonomists are not
somehow operating outside the state but rather operating as
disruptive potentiality whose difference is defined by relations of
negation, refusal, exodus, subtraction, etc. Certainly there are
important qualitative differences in the relation individuals and
peoples have with the state. Think, for instance, of the experience
of migrants and so-called illegal movement of peoples across
territories, or the precarious worker. Precarity, let's remember, is
an experience that traverses a range of class scales, and may even be
considered as a post-Fordist technique of border control that
distinguishes 'self-managed exploitation... from those who must be
exploited (or worse) by direct coercion'.[see. Angela Mitropoulos and
Brett Neilson, 'Exceptional Times, Non- Governmental Spacings, and
Impolitical Movements
', Vacarme (Janvier, 2006)]" Ned Rossiter

A further essay by Ned; "Organized Networks".

Friday, April 07, 2006

Allan Kaprow 1927-2006

Allan Kaprow 1927-2006

"Not satisfied with the suggestion through paint of our other senses, we shall utilize the specific substances of sight, sound, movement, people, odors, touch. Objects of every sort are materials for the new art: paint, chairs, food, electric and neon lights, smoke, water, old socks, a dog, movies, a thousand other things which will be discovered by the present generation artists. Not only will these bold creators show us, as if for the first time, the world we have always had about us but ignored, but they will disclose entirely unheard of happenings...."
- Allan Kaprow, "The Legacy of Jackson Pollock" (1958)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

What a difference a text can make

Judas and Jesus. What exactly was going on here?

Bob Dylan asked in the 1963 classic God on our Side "Whether Judas Iscariot had God on his side.", it now appears that the answer was yes, he did.

A collection of papyri found in Egypt in the 1970's a dating back to the 4th century have been finally translated, authenticated and released by their owner the National Geographic Society and what they say is a bit surprising.

"The only known surviving copy of the lost gospel of Judas portrays the treacherous disciple as a loyal deputy acting at the behest of his leader." (SMH)

Of course, how this is received by the millions who follow the established texts is probably going to be somewhat similar to the sentiment of the Coptic Orthodox Church:

"Non-Christian babbling resulting from a group of people trying to create a false 'amalgam' between the Greek mythology and Far East religions with Christianity … They were written by a group of people who were aliens to the main Christian stream of the early Christianity,"
H.E. Metropolitan Bishoy of Damiette, Kafr El-Sheikh, Barary and the Monastery of Saint Demiana

Basically the same thing they say about the Nag hammadi texts. The group who wrote these texts was destroyed by "the main Christian stream” in the 5th century. What a difference a text can make.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Record Labels slowly Loosing Grip on Popular Music

For the first time a song has reached the number one position on the United Kingdom Top 40 Chart without actually being produced as a physical object. Crazy by Gnarls Barkley was allowed to be registered as number one after more than 31,000 downloads but only if it was released as a CD available in shops within a week.
Parallel to this was the success of Sandi Thom who webcast herself from the basement of her flat playing her music. After a huge response to her webcasts she has been offered a recording contract with a major label, RCA.
It seems that the major labels are behaving as the little Dutch boy and his dyke. Every time a crack appears they fill it with money. Why is it necessary to have record deal if you can download 31 000 songs in a week and broadcast yourself to the world from the basement of your flat????

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Communique from Aboriginal Australia

I've written here before of my interest and past encounters with the indigenous people of Australia. Their struggle is on going and every day (hopefully) it seems to be getting stronger and more organized. Today I got several emails and links regarding the situation for the Aboriginal nations of Australia so I thought I would make a post here.

First there is Lake Cowal in central New South Wales. The proposed site for a soon to be opened gold mine using cyanide in the extraction process:

"The mine, which has been consistently opposed by the Wiradjuri Native Titleholders and major environmental groups, will pump to the pit and permanently poison 3,650 mega liters of artesian water a year for the next 13 years."

More info here:
Rain Corroboree


Then there is the very strange situation at the national museum in Canberra where "secret messages" in Braille cladding in the foyer have been obliterated. The texts in Braille acknowledged Australia's colonialist history in phrases such as "Forgive us our genocide" and "Sorry". This is a history that the federal government of Australia does not want to hear. So they;

"hired a Braille reader to translate the dots and then had a set of silver discs made, which were affixed in strategic lines on top of the controversial messages, thus rendering them illegible. Others were disrupted by swapping aluminum panels, so "sorry" became "ryors", or something similarly incomprehensible."
via government employed freelance opinionist Miranda Divine.

"Braille: If you pull the building to pieces it contains evil messages."

Outside Australia things seem to be somewhat more balanced with my local supermarket selling a Swedish translation of Rabbit Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington and a fantastic looking art show by central desert painters is also about to begin in Amsterdam.

Not to be too negative about the situation within Australia, something that looks very positive is the Wik Traditional Knowledge Project (WTKP) that I have written about before here. My mate Dan has been living on Wik tribal lands since 1999 and is now working as a project officer with the TKP. Excellent stuff.

Grandma Plays Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (XBox 360)

Somewhere an elderly lady is kicking ass in Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion. The world is a better place for it I say. Game On!!!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Call for Articles and Net Art

Call for Articles and Net Art

On-line journal Hz ( is looking for articles on New Media, Net Art, Sound Art and Electro-Acoustic Music. We accept earlier published and unpublished articles in English.
Please send your submissions to

Hz is also looking for Net Art works to be included in its virtual gallery ( Please send your URLs to

Dead-line: 10 May

Hz is published by the non-profit organization Fylkingen in Stockholm. Established in 1933, Fylkingen has been known for introducing yet-to-be-established art forms throughout its history. Nam June Paik, Stockhausen, Cage, etc. have all been introduced to the Swedish audience through Fylkingen. Its members consist of leading composers, musicians, dancers, performance artists and video artists in Sweden.

For more information on Fylkingen, please visit or

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Clothes Produced with Minimal Suffering Involved.

The clothes we buy have often come a long way before we slip them on and feel good about our purchase. Often these clothes are produced under conditions of great suffering and hardship. Looking at the Clean Clothes Campaign may give you some idea of what is behind the boutique glamour of your local fashion house.
Here are some alternatives to shopping from exploitative multinationals.

Eco Clothing

Please consider them as their prices are competitive and their products are good.