Friday, June 30, 2006

Summer is here

Yea, so the text here is running thin as the summer break kicks in for real this week. My mum arrived from Australia two days ago so that takes up my time. The kids are happy with a picnic yesterday and Erika (my other half) got a tattoo yesterday as the 6 year old watched with great admiration. The soundtrack for my time is Sky FM Roots Reggae (thanks Magnus). One thing I did want to report is that I managed to produce 5500 words as a guest on the -empyre- soft skinned space this month. The theme was Liquid Narrative and here are my entries from the list archive:

Barrett on Stories that Flow

Liquid Narrative Topos

Liquid Narrative Topos II

Liquid Borders?

More controversy

Body as Sign over Boarders

Ideology of narrative Needs to be Expanded

Narrative as Cultural Form

I really enjoyed my interaction with the -empyre- list this month and it has helped me clarify some of the issues I have been dealing with in my research work. Thanks to all on empyre soft skinned space.

The blogging here will be occasional for the next few weeks but I will be working on a few projects, mostly music based. The details will be posted here now and then....Happy summerness to all in the north,

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Sometimes when reading mail, surfing blogs and just looking around one strikes a stream of good sites. Here are the results of 45 minutes tonight:

Networked Publics
Chasing The Wish
jeph jerman
Data Mining
Human Trails In Cyberspace VideoSift: The Best of Google Video, YouTube, Yahoo! Video, Vimeo, Grouper and iFilm
Let's Tell a Story Together
Is $100 laptop project flawed? | CNET
Bridge The Digital Divide
Social Networking: Five Sites You Need to Know - Unit Structures :: Fred Stutzman
WPS1 Art Radio

Go to the page (link is also to the right) for the actual links.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

America versus the Pirates

It seems that it was the United States embassy in Stockholm acting on the bequest of the Motion Picture Association of America that saw the Pirate Bay raided and closed down for a few days.
In what looks like a major turn in the run up to the Swedish general election in September the national television broadcaster has taken up the story.Threats of Sanctions Behind Filesharing Raid was everywhere on the news tonight here in Sweden (in between England Sweden 2-2). The entire letter in question, from John G. Malcolm (Executive Vice President of the MPAA and source of "File sharing funds terrorism") to Dan Eliasson (Swedish Secretary of State) is available HERE (PDF).

Monday, June 19, 2006

La Sierra

I just watched this film and it is an amazing piece of documentary journalism, not least because of the intensity of the subject matter. From the website:

"More than 30,000 people have been killed over the last ten years in Colombia's bloody civil conflict, in which left-wing guerillas fight against the government and illegal right-wing paramilitary groups. Recently, as guerillas and paramilitaries sought to control marginal city neighborhoods, urban gangs aligned themselves with each side. In this way, the national conflict was translated into a brutal turf war that pitted adjacent barrios against each other. The documentary La Sierra explores life over the course of a year in one such barrio (La Sierra, in Medellin), through the prism of three young lives."

What it does not talk so much abut is the role of the Columbian government supporting and aiding the paramilitaries in their tasks of murder and terror. When the parmilitary group is no longer needed or gets too much power they are eliminated one by one by government forces (even if their members are already in jail). This is what happened to all the young men in La Sierra.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

New Hz

There is a new edition of Hz online:

Hz 8 june 2006

by Suguru Goto
Composer Suguru Goto's "Augumented Body and Virtual Body" is a
combination of his previous project "BodySuit" utilising 12 censors on
a human performer and his new project "Robotic Music," in which 5
robots performs following percussions: Gong, Bass Drum, Snare Drum,
Tom-Tom, and Cymbal.

by Jeremy Hight
Jeremy Hight has developed an experiment for the International Space
Station that questions all the current notions of location in locative
media by the inclusion of perspective: he proposes a new field of art
to trigger above cities and the landscape at various altitudes.

by Ewa Wojtowicz
"The Internet-based culture has a global impact although its origin is
blurred. Is it local? Are there any tendencies of locality visible in
the world of net art?" Ewa Wojtowicz, theoretician/historian of art &
culture and new media, examines the present net art practice from the
perspective of locality and gloval networked community.

by Annika Olofsdotter Bergstrom
Annika Olofsondotter Bergstrom discusses three New Media performances
in which all use technology as body's extension: Troika Ranch's "Future
of memory", Stelarc's "Ping Body" and Laetitia Sonami's "Lady’s Glove"

by Bjorn Norberg
New Media Art Curator Bjorn Norberg leads us through the back-stage of
the exhibition "Man Machine" shown at the National Museum of Science
and Technology in Stockholm, February this year.

by Pat Badani
Interviews in 6 cities (Montreal, Toronto, Chicago, Mexico City, Buenos
Aires and Paris) are compiled in Pat Badani's net art project "Where
Are You From" to reveal the dynamics between the notions of "place" and

[Hz Net Gallery]

by Andrew Bucksbarg

by Tom Badley

by Francesca Roncagliolo

by Chris Mann

by Babel

Hz is an on-line journal published by the non-profit art organization
Fylkingen in Stockholm. Established in 1933, Fylkingen is the oldest
forum for experimental music and intermedia art in Sweden. Throughout
its history

Friday, June 16, 2006

Link A

The online exhibition, 'Link-A'is organized by Media Lab Madrid. The show's site is intensely minimal, with each artwork's title and link arranged in a frame, symbolically encompassing the show's heavy subtitle: 'policies of affectivity, aesthetics of biopower.' 'Link A' includes Rob Bevan in collaboration with Tim Wright, Laura Bey, Candy Factory, Collective 8552, David Crawford, Jess Loseby, MTAA, Akira Mori, and Young-hae Chang Heavy Industries.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

“Digital Rights Management”: Report of an Inquiry by the All Party Internet Group

The British parliament's All Party Parliamentary Internet Group delivered its "Digital Rights Management": Report of an Inquiry by the All Party Internet Group a few weeks ago but I only got to hear of it today because that's how long (a paper copy of the) Guardian takes to get to Umea. But it was a pleasant piece of news when it did get here, even if it did not really go far enough. It did have some nice recommendations:

We recommend that the Government consider granting a much wider-ranging exemption to the anti-circumvention measures in the CDPA for genuine academic research.

We recommend that OFCOM publish guidance to make it clear that companies distributing TPM systems in the UK would, if they have features such as those in Sony-BMG's MediaMax and XCP systems, run a significant risk of being prosecuted for criminal actions. [Ya Ya Ya]

We recommend that the government do NOT legislate to make DRM systems mandatory.

In the same copy of the Guardian is a small article about Lawrence Lessig. In an interview for the piece Lessig states:
"I really do at the core believe in the law," he explains. "I believe in this space where it is reason that is supposed to be directing power, as opposed to just power directing power."

Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra Plays Computer Games

This is a composite picture but it gives an idea of what Play! A Video game Symphony would look like.

The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra will be playing Play! A Video Game Symphony tomorrow night in Stockholm. According to the website:

Performed by full orchestra and choir, PLAY! features award-winning music from a catalogue of blockbuster video game titles. Outstanding graphics on large screens above the orchestra accompany the scores, highlighting memorable moments from the video games.

The score for the "Symphony is:

Tickets for the Stockholm show and European premiere have sold out and are fetching 1000sek ($US136) according to the state news broadcaster.

The tour for Play! is moving to Detroit, and Philadelphia in July and then to Vienna in August and then a single show in September in Toronto.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Nada Moon

The video archive continues with a performance from late 2004 at Moonshake.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The news from 2001

When this was broadcast on the local TV station here in August 2001 I had been living in Sweden for 18 months. My Swedish is not very good but the sounds coming out of the cave I am playing Didgeridoo in sound OK. The CD I talk about making in the piece can now be downloaded from HERE.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Where am I?

Since last weekend I have been writing for the -empyre- list so blogging has slowed here somewhat. June is a bit of a quiet time at university but I have work to do, it just feels like it is so much harder to get in to when most of the campus population is on holidays (under grads) or at summer schools (post grads). I will perserveer however.
A tip from a colleague:
Across the world millions of people have no land that they can call their own. Many have been made landless from great injustices. As populations grow and property prices rise the struggle for land becomes more difficult every day.
Give Me Land PODCAST

On another ownership issue. Something else I have been watching is the sudden embrace by the major political parties here in Sweden of file sharing on the internet. There is to be a general election in September in Sweden and the largest bit torrent server in the world was shut down last week:

The Pirate Bay Raid.

So yesterday the Moderate Party (Liberals) and the Greens said Sweden needs a new model for copyrighted material and today even the government agrees:
"Justice Minister Tomas Bodstrom can see himself tearing up the law that forbids file downloading" according to Dagens Nyheter.
He goes on to qualify this with saying the most important thing is that artists [not the agents of the artists....Interesting] are paid for their work and that the technical model delivering their works is not so important.
This is the most reasonable thing the government has said about file sharing for a while. It could be that the pirate bay becomes the navy. More on the subject from Hacker Freak.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Narrative Turn

Since late 2003 I have been describing myself as working with narratology. Beginning with Bakhtin I was impressed by the way the device of chronotope allowed one to x-ray (to use the word of Michael Holquist) a text and look at its skeleton so to speak. However last week was a turning point in many ways.
First I got myself an ironing board. Never in my younger days would I have thought I would be the owner of an ironing board (so bougeosie!!) but I am tired of ironing my shirts (on the rare occasions I did so) on the floor on a towel. The ironing board was followed by another strange introduction: the allotment. My wife organised the renting of an allotment and last week I made my first visit to our little garden in the woods and dug the earth for about 3 hours, planting potatoes. I used to have gardens before 1993 and my moving to Sydney, I even lived on a farm for a year once (1992). Following my leaving settled life and traveling in 1995 I worked on farms in Tasmania, East Gippsland and the Atherton Tablelands (parts of Australia), Thailand, and Spain. Now we are working on bringing the plot back to life as it has not been cultivated for a while. The plot is something I have been thinking about at university also.
I presented a preliminary chapter to my thesis at the end of last week. The seminar went well although the criticism were many, maybe this is why it well. Two major things came out of it; one is that the chapter will be broken up and will form the basis for the whole thesis, with possible additions of course. The other outcome was that my work on narrative does not really fit in with the rest of the project direction. I am moving more and more into reception of texts and their social meanings and values. This is very consistent with Bakhtin who worked a lot on genre and speech act theory. Actually this makes me very happy as abandoning the formalist constrictions of narrative theory in favor of the social and cultural allows me to get right into the whole network and collaborative elements of digital texts.
Somehow there is a connection between the mottled patchworks of the allotment gardeners (all very friendly people they seem to be), the message sent out by the well ironed shirt and the social aspects of digital texts.
"I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together." (I watched a doco on the Beetles over the weekend).