Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Reminder of My Island

Occasionally my homeland touches me on the shoulder, whispers in my ear like the wind down a cold early morning inner city Sydney backstreet, "you remember me?"
A friend sent me a link to a video by The Drones, who I had never heard of before (I live at the North Pole). The Drones are from Melbourne, have done four CDs, seems like lots of tours. Judging by the muscular timber of the screeching guitars, treacle-like bass and train wreck rhythms they have studied hard Australian Pub Rock 101 (or maybe just lived it). Topping it off is the slightly demented vocals of singer Gareth Liddiard who spurts rough broken glass glossolalias concerned with the crustier side of life.
While I feel I have moved on from the genre, The Drones represent to me the bone thin gutter intellectual scene that one met so often in the early 1990s in the inner city cellars and bar rooms of the twin metropolises Sydney and Melbourne (Brisbane was even stranger, with a madness that too much sunshine can bring). I hear the burnt Australian shadows of The Birthday Party, Beasts of Bourbon, Kim Salmon and the Surrealists and even The Go Betweens and AC/DC in The Drones.
There are downloads if you wish to take this further.

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Little Civil Unrest for the Weekend

"In every cry of every man,
In every infant's cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forged manacles I hear."
William Blake, 'London'

Return to Casa Nada Friday afternoon for the beginning rituals of the weekend. The mind turns to the chaos that is Western Civilisation at the moment. What a time to be alive. Banks the first into the abyss. Nervous teenagers waiting for the school shooting that will never come. Don't pick up hitch-hikers. Keep the streets clean. Autumn leaves and empty villas. A sail around the Arctic. Some days it seems our dreams will come true and it is no good trying to wake up. I am waiting for the Art that will rescue us from ourselves. On to the media used and recommended by the management for this seven day cycle.

The Spacegoats Catalogue for Download
Spacegoats originally formed from a convergence of wandering minstrels, on the twenty third anniversary of the Woodstock festival within a Devon crop circle in August 1992. The idea was to explore what would happen if acoustic music were played inside these strange phenomena.

Garage Punk was originally set up back in June 2001 as the new home for my then-weekly radio program, The Wayback Machine (KDHX-FM 88.1 in St. Louis). Later, it got a lot of worldwide exposure because of the now-defunct Forums message board, which attracted a LOT of traffic to this site. Enough traffic, in fact, that I could begin selling banner ads to help pay for the rising hosting fees involved. After three years of having nothing more than a goofy pic and a “Pick Your Poison” menu on the root directory of, I realized I should do something more with the site, so I decided to turn it into an audioblog.

Music Furtherest from the Sea

The city of Ürümqi, even though its name sounds like it was invented by Jorge Luis Borges, is actually a real place in north-western China, the largest city in western China, and the capital of the Xinjian Uyghur Autonomous Region. It holds the distinction of being the city furthest away from any sea, about 1,400 miles. What kind of music do people produce who are so far away from oceans? Surf music it isn't, that I can tell you. Fortunately for us, Fausto of the excellent Shirley & Spinoza internet radio stream spent some time in Ürümqi recently, and compiled a bunch of great tracks from the region under the name Music Furthest From The Sea - pop sounds from the unStan Vol. 1

Donavan: Cosmic Wheels (1973)
Cosmic Wheels is the tenth studio album, and eleventh album overall, from Scottish singer-songwriter Donovan. It was released in both the UK (Epic SEPC 65450) and the US (Epic KE 32156) in March 1973.

John Cage: I have Nothing to Say and I am Saying It (PBS American Masters Series)
Perhaps the most striking thing about John Cage is his ability to reduce just about anyone in his vicinity to a gentle smile. For more than 50 years, the distinguished, influential and often provocative composer has been challenging audiences with his work and his ideas. All the while, his primary goal has been disarmingly simple. Mr. Cage is interested, as he puts it, in ''increasing one's enjoyment of life, to become more open.

It Crawled Out Of The Vaults Of KSAN Vol. 1&2
These are recordings from the heyday of Underground Radio in San Francisco. This set includes 82 tracks on 6 CDs (most are 80 minute CDs), featuring many live performances, primarily produced and broadcast by radio station KSAN FM. Many of the most popular (and a few lesser known) musicians are represented during the key three years when Bay Area psychedelic music was peaking; from 1966 to 1968. The majority of these recordings came from the Avalon Ballroom and the Fillmore Auditorium.

Radio Apartment 22

Radio from Morocco..

The Corporation

While the brilliant documentary The Corporation has been circulating on the web for a while, it is now officially released on a Creative Commons licence as a Torrent; free for all to see.

The award winning Canadian documentary ‘The Corporation’ has been released on BitTorrent for free. Filmmaker Mark Achbar just released an updated “official” torrent of it. Everyone is free to download, watch, discuss, and share it.
The Corporation received more than 20 awards, including an audience award at the the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. The Film gives insight into the inner workings of large and powerful corporations, and how these affect our society.

The Websters Dictionary
How to Use the Web to Transform the World, by Ralph Benko, How to create communities of thousands, even millions, and channel their energy to effect political, social and cultural transformation? This book will tell you how. You register and they send you a PDF of the book for free. I have registered but have not yet checked for the book. Sounds interesting though.

Twitter and the Spheres of Life Art and the Other Thing

I have been using Twitter for a couple of months. I have it running while I am writing my thesis, post thoughts, cut and paste sentences from the text, write poetry and of course, watch what others on my contact list are writing.
I think Twitter, which falls within the concept of micro-blogging (as far as I understand) has great potential for art, teaching, group work, business and more.
This morning I can across Gregory Chatonsky’s beautiful work L’attente/The Waiting, an emotive and evocative use of Twitter:

Gregory Chatonsky’s work L’attente/The Waiting (warning, Flash-heavy), part of a series called “Flußgeist”, the “spirit of the flow”, mashes up twitter posts with Flickr photos whose tags match keywords in the tweets, along with an ambient soundtrack (pulling in data from Odeo) and video footage of urban pedestrians waiting at the lights, lost in thought, walking, or just standing around.

I have a Twitter reader on the right hand side of this blog. I have tried to run it from my phone but it has not worked yet. I must be doing something wrong. I will spend more time on setting up mobile Twitter soon. It rocks!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Evening Music Autumn Candle

Words. Logic. Meaning

Lawrence Lessig, a lawyer, demonstrates rhetoric and logic in a deconstruction and analysis of a statement made by Republican Vice President Candidate Sarah Palin suggesting her lack of experience was “normal” for many Vice Presidents from the history of the United States.

Free Culture Game

Italian artists Molleindustria promise "radical games against the dictatorship of entertainment," and their latest effort may be their most direct statement against the pleasure industry to date. Touted as "playable theory," the Free Culture Game offers a ludic metaphor for the battle between copyright encroachments and the free exchange of knowledge, ideas and art. A circular field represents The Common, where knowledge can be freely shared and created; your job is to maintain a healthy ecology of yellow idea-bubbles bouncing from person to person before they can be sucked into the dark outer ring representing the forces of The Market. Your cursor, shaped like the Creative Commons logo, pushes the ideas around with a sort of reverse-magnetic repulsion field (a clever alternative to the typical shooting, eating or jumping-on-top-of-and-smooshing actions of many other 2-D games).

Its wrong, immoral and's how to do it.

Something I have noticed in regards to media reports on the evils of Peer to Peer file sharing technology is that every article is basically an instruction manual on how to do it. The latest one from Australia is a hoot:

The report opens with:

MISSING one episode of West Wing, thanks to constant schedule changes, was enough to set Mark and Kim down the road to online piracy.

In language reminiscent of the moral panic surrounding drug abuse, Mark and Kim, "suburban thirtysomethings with a young baby" are swept up in the technological ease of instant media gratification:

And they can just as easily download music and movies, although Mark and Kim generally restrict themselves to television shows. A cheap DivX-enabled DVD player lets them watch downloads on their television as easily as watching a movie, and at practically the same picture quality.

And now we are aware that a DivX DVD player (which sells at my local supermarked from about $60 US) is what I need to satisfy my need for American television drama. But that's not all. The article ends with a detailed description for setting up a P2P file sharing node:

To take advantage of file-sharing, users can start with an internet plan offering as little as 3GB per month at speeds of 512kbps, which retails from $25 per month according to Broadband Choice ( Australian consumer broadband plans offer download speeds up to 24Mbps per second, with some plans offering well over 100GB of data a month. But plans offering unlimited downloads sell for about $100 per month, while restricted to speeds of 1.5Mbps.

Resistance is futile!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Live Webcast: Trends and Technologies in Where 2.0

For Europeans: Tuesday 23 September 2008 19:00
Europe Daylight Time (GMT +02:00, Paris)

Tuesday 23 September 2008 13:00
Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -04:00, New York)

Duration: 1 hour

Description: In this live webcast, geospatial web expert Andrew Turner will discuss the current evolution of Where 2.0 and how it is affecting the entire landscape of Web 2.0 and next generation applications. Open standards such as GeoRSS, KML, and Microformats provide a huge wealth of information for mashups and applications, and libraries such as Mapstraction can be used for cartographic visualization. To illustrate the power of these tools, Andrew will talk about some interesting applications and hacks that have pushed the boundaries of the GeoWeb.

We'll also take a look at the future of location-enabled applications and services that developers can use today to provide users with better contextualized and localized information. Mobile sensors, augmented and immersive reality, and geo-games are just a few of the next generation Where 2.0 domain.

Andrew will also give a short demo of the just-launched GeoCommons Maker.


Friday, September 19, 2008

A Cheery Chunk of Media

This indigenous version of a history book rivals anything similar in the world and holds the key to Australia's ancient and modern history, according to scientists who have just returned from an expedition to the Djulirri rock shelter in the Wellington Range.
Art from the eternal nowever

I did not post a list of recommended online media last week. It may have had something to do with being so busy that I occasionally have to remind myself to breath deeply and look around. Most of my time is spent writing lately. In the week between Tuesday last week, when I handed in a 33 page thesis chapter for a seminar last Tuesday, and the seminar itself, I wrote a 13 page article. The 13 pages was then combined and incorporated with another 10 pages written by my collaborator on the article. It was submitted yesterday and should be published in Norway (!!!) towards the end of the year as part of a book. I also heard from a Polish art magazine which I submitted an article to a long time ago and it looks like they are about ready to publish it.
Apart from that I have started looking into the use of stereotypes in digital literature and have a growing interest in cognition and language. I have a bike again, after having walked everywhere for the past few weeks. I have more teaching and research work at uni outside my thesis commitments (both a worry and a relief) which means I have employment almost up till April 2009. It should be enough time to finish the blasted thesis, which is incidentally going well. The seminar on Tuesday was rugged but encouraging, I have a lot to do, but it looks like I am moving in the right direction at last. And now to the online media:

Wild Roots
Wild Welsh, Galician, Irish and original tunes played on bagpipes and mandola, backed up by a cutting-edge rhythm section. Recorded in southwest Wales 2005-6.

Larkin Grimm
I have seen Larkin play once and it was quite amazing in places. I was swept up by it at the time, but then afterwards I realized how much her performance reminds me of Buffy Saint-Marie (also totally amazing). Nonetheless, if you ever get the chance to see Larkin Grimm weave her magick you should pay attention. This is two songs from her new album:

It seems like an almost natural occurrence for Larkin Grimm to end up associated with Michael Gira's Young God Records. She's certainly a kindred spirit to the acts that have flowed through its doors over the years. Parplar is by many accounts her most conventional record but as with many artists borne out of folk experimentation, eventually the essences of melody and form have to peek their head from the clatter and clang sometime. Gira acts as co-producer here and his hand may have had something to do with the calming of Grimm's waters but in all honesty he's never really been one to instill convention in an artist, so maybe not. While the noises and outbursts that accompany her songs have become more cohesive her singularly entrancing voice hasn't changed a bit.

July - 1968 - July
Magic Mixture - 1968 - This Is The Magic Mixture

It's getting so that you almost can't move for old psychedelic LPs being ripped to the Net these days. Here are two more, which I have not heard (no time to) but they look kind of interesting.

Where to find free sound effects and royalty-free music
If you don't know about the FreeSound Project (and now you is the best) this is probably interesting. Although every little bit helps and this is a little more.

Ash Ra Tempel - 1973 - Ash Ra Tempel Starring Rosi
Pop-oriented 1973 album Starring Rosi was thusly named because it featured lead vocals by Rosi Mueller.

Tina Date "A Single Girl" 1965
LP rip @ 192-224VBR

Tina Date was born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia and originally studied as a concert pianist. In the early 1960s, she was caught up in the folk revival; learnt guitar and rapidly became one of Australia premier folk music performers at concerts, on stage and on television. She only ever produced the one album, "A Single Girl" in 1965. Shortly after the release of the LP, she travelled to Canada to visit her mother (Anita Aarons - a prominent jewellery artist)) and thence onto New York where she worked at the United Nations Headquarters. She also associated with the Greenwich Village folk performers and had appearances including a short period on TV.

Media Burn
Media Burn Independent Video Archive has been a dream for more than 30 years, since the first days of independent video. Independent video makers who have been producing ground breaking work generally have not had access to widespread distribution. Now, like the portable video technology of the archive’s roots, current digital technologies have revolutionized how people and ideas come together.

Peter Lamborn Wilson - Utopian poetics - Naropa, 1993

“First half of part 1, of a two-part class, by Peter Lamborn Wilson on utopian poetics. Wilson contrasts the authoritarian utopian tradition, from Plato to urban planning, with the anti- or non-authoritarian utopian tradition, beginning in paleolithic hunter-gatherer societies. A discussion of paleolithic and neolithic societies follows, including the role of linear time, cruelty, and calendars. Wilson then discusses the artist in her/his shamanic role, surviving as the role of the bard in Irish culture. He discusses William Blake and describes the alienation of the poet’s social function and its subsumption into media and advertising. A student question prompts a discussion of apocalyptic ideas. More from Sage Wilson

The Upstairs - Ku Nobatkan Jadi Fantasi EP
I post this here simply because it is from Indonesia (I assume Java but I am not sure):
The Upstairs appear to be Indonesia”s answer to The B-52s. They have a similar style and the same successful mixture of punk and fun. Their EP Ku Nobatkan Jadi Fantasi is a free release from Yes No Wave to celebrate Indonesia’s Independence Day. It is a different sort of EP for Yes No Wave as it tends to be much more mainstream than the usual selection of eccentric artists on the label.

Ill leave it there while I have more..most of it comes from the same sources these ones do, so look for yourself. Good luck and Goodbye.

Wiretapping Sweden

Wiretapping Sweden (2008)
Documentary about the blogosphere reaction to surveillance laws passed earlier this year in Sweden. The documentary in English is a good introduction to the information economy of Sweden. A high quality copy of the video can be obtained by clicking here.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

3D Web Browser

While I wish people would finish with the here (reality) and there (virtual) hype (it is so 1990s) the ExitReality web browser looks interesting:

Available for free at as a four megabyte download, ExitReality operates as a plug-in for existing web browsers. The developers say it was designed with the average computer in mind.

"ExitReality has been built to run on low-spec computers," said Stefanic. "It can even run on dial up, albeit slowly".

Offering "more than 40 billion 3D worlds instantly", ExitReality converts 2D webpages into 3D landscapes that the user can then navigate to view the website's content. ExitReality also allows users to see and chat with other users who are visiting the same site.

ExitReality includes a search engine for all 3D content on the web. Searching for "Paris" returns several sites where you can take a stroll around the Louvre or the Arc de Triomphe, viewing them in three dimensions. (SMH)

The browser comes as a free 4 MB download from the website, I'll test it when I have the time.

Totality Reinscribing Situationist Romance

"McKenzie Wark and Kevin Pyle continued this lineage in their presentation of the comic book, Totality for Kids, which takes lines from comics that the Situationist International détourned in the 1960s and puts them into new graphic form as a history of the early days of the Situationists. After their talk, Wark and Pyle were justly charged by the audience of performing precisely the type of recuperation that the Situationists sought zealously to avoid, and they defended themselves by arguing that Guy Debord was an arch-romanticist himself" (Rhizome)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I am in the Museum

This week I have been helping out with a museum studies course that HUMlab is involved with. The students are using Second Life as their assessment material. They have to build displays, installations, architectures of knowledge...who knows what they will come up with.
As part of this I have been blogging periodic instructions tips and ideas for them since last Saturday. Here is the blog, if you are interested in reading more.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Art and the User Generated Image

Arahan Claveau, Lupus Delacroix, Second Life 2008

"Avatar: the New You," an exhibition at the Australian Centre for Photography that mixes the Web 2.0 vernacular of user-generated images with parallel but more self-critical art projects. The show includes fan-created screenshots from massively-multiplayer games like World of Warcraft, Habbo Hotel and Second Life and documentation of, a virtual emporium of fashionable dude wear for Sims characters, but also media installations by artists Claudia Hart, Myfanwy Ashmore, Melissa Ramos and Rhys Turner, and Tobias Bernstrup, as well as photography by Daniel Handal and performance documentation by Justin Shoulder. Two artists' works that themselves gained a foothold in greater internet culture are also included: screenshots from Tale of Tales' gentle multiplayer game The Endless Forest (2006), in which players take the roles of deer, and Aram Bartholl's First Person Shooter (2005), a pair of custom specs that give you the look of Doom. - Ed Halter

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Moral Panic and (New) Media

The press ombudsman for Sweden, Yrsa Stenius, sees no alternative than to legislate against the spread of restricted material via internet peer to peer sites.
It was reported today on the Swedish National Radio station P1 Medierna that both Stenius and the Swedish Justice Minister Beatrice Ask believe it is necessary to introduce legislation into the Swedish parliament concerned with "begränsande etiska filter på internet" (restricting ethical filters on the internet).
This is following the torrent distribution of autopsy images of two small children that were brutally murdered in Arbåga, Sweden earlier this year. The torrent is hosted by The Pirate Bay, which currently hosts around 1.3 million torrents.
The distribution of the autopsy images by the Pirate Bay was described by both the Press Ombudsman and the Justice Minister as 'publishing'. The nationally owned commercial television station TV4 which broke the story also termed it 'publishing'. In each instance of the use of the word 'publishing' it is attributed to the Pirate Bay.
Behind the moral questions surrounding the incident there is a broader network of concerns related to digital media and how un/informed government officials are in regards to how it functions.
Someone obtained the pictures from the high profile Arbåga murder of the young victims, they created a torrent and allowed them to be downloaded from their computer. In many ways such an action is similar to what Wikileaks and The Smoking Gun sites do. Once information is in circulation, especially if it is in digital form, there is always the possibility it may move out into the public sphere.
With 1.3 million torrents it is very unlikely that the handful of people who are the administrators of The Pirate Bay know what they are distributing. While search functions can target obnoxious material, it is only a matter of labeling it as something else and unless it is viewed no one knows what the torrent delivers other than the person who is seeding it. In a sense there is no single group or individual/s running The Pirate Bay. Rather it is a network that repairs itself, maneuvers around blockages and even feeds itself (when one torrent dies another takes its place until the material it distributes is no longer in demand). Publishing is more linear between a source and a receiver. Who is legally responsible for the material that is indexed by the Pirate Bay? Well that's the problem. Nobody knows yet.
The reactions around the Arbåga torrent is fascinating. Often via non-digital media those that are believed to be responsible, the administrators of the Pirate Bay, are asked to explain themselves. In an opinion piece for the National Broadcaster Jonas Andersson claims that the Pirate Bay site is a "commercial actor" and an "influence on public opinion regarding copyright and freedom of information". The size of the users body of the Pirate Bay is so vast that it is "monolithic in P2P file sharing".
The emphasis of Andersson's language is consistently to return the debate to the terminology and understanding of old one-to-many commercial media. This is interesting when one considers his research area described on the Goldsmith College website:

My aim is to thus expand and problematise the alleged ideals and norms which are implicit in much of the current dichotomised discourse saturating the phenomenon [P2P file sharing], through critically relating the users’ reasoning to the material and technocultural context.

Anderson is right in regards to his focus on the materiality of the medium. His stereotypical descriptions found elsewhere in his work of 'hackers' is less sound. Finally the concept of "dichotomised discourse" gives the game away as far as his approach is concerned. The discouse is not dichotomised, it is dual because it is set up that way in the media which is simultaneously reporting it and constructed by it. There is no normative center other than that proposed by the center/s of power (something Andersson seems to refer to very infrequently- never in this paper). How can one outline a critical relationship between technology and culture based on discourse without mentioning power?
But back to the issue at hand. Both Justice Minister Ask and Ombudsman Stenius have spoken earlier on an ethical guide to blogging, that would function as a regulatory system. Ask has also said the Internet is a "fantastic invention" (OMG) but it can lead to crime, "degeneration" (Sw: avarter) and we therefore need a Net Police. Now with the posting of the Arbåga torrent it seems there will be more calls for a moral internet.
However, before the Swedish government sets up a net filtering system it should reflect on the experiences of Australia. Under the morally indignant Howard government a national scheme to protect children from the dangers of the Internet was set up in 2007, but in 2008:

The Australian government has officially declared their internet filtering program, which they started about a year ago as an attempt to protect kids from pornography, a complete failure. Only 144,000 copies of the software were downloaded or ordered on CD-ROM with only about 29,000 actually being used. On top of that, kids were able to hack them anyway.

This wouldn’t be so bad if the Australian government hadn’t spent 85 million dollars on this program (it is a central part of a larger initiative that cost, all in all, 189 million dollars); quite a nice amount to throw away for something that anyone who has a clue would have declared a failure right from the beginning.

Their failure can be Sweden's beginning. How very Web 3.0.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ben X: Augmented Reality in Reality Fiction

I will be giving a short presentation at an international workshop that is being held at Umeå university soon. The workshop is on Creative Spaces and I will be talking about augmented reality, that is shared virtual and actual space in projects we have done in HUMlab in the last few years. I began yesterday looking around for materials to present in relation to augmented space, the work of Sheldon Brown and Mary Flanagan comes to mind as well as the ARG scene, I will show some pieces by Jane Mcgonigal. Then this morning on the radio came a review for a Belgian film from 2007 that premiers in Sweden today, Ben X:

Ben X is a 2007 Belgian film about an autistic boy (played by Greg Timmermans) who retreats into the fantasy world of the MMORPG ArchLord to escape bullying. The film's title is a reference to the leet version of the Dutch phrase "(ik) ben niks", meaning "(I) am nothing".

The film won three awards at the 31st Montreal World Film Festival: the Grand Prix des Amériques, the Prix du Public for the most popular film, and the Ecumenical Jury Prize for its exploration of ethical and social values. It is based on the novel "Nothing is all he said" [1] by Nic Balthazar, who also directed the film. The novel was inspired by the true story of an autistic boy who committed suicide because of bullying.

This film is mainly seen through Ben's (Greg Timmermans) point of view, especially with the frequent use of Ben's voiceover for narrating the story. It also uses flashbacks and sequences from Archlord (as an intercut), to parallel his real life with the sequences. Ben is a teenage boy who is being bullied at school very often. To escape his harsh reality of being bullied, he turns to his virtual world by playing a online game called Archlord. In his virtual world, he is more confident and brave. Moreover, he collaborates his adventures with another online user named Scarlite. (Wikipedia)

Watching the trailer I get the impression that the use of scenes from the MMORPG work in a near dream-sequence like technique. However, it is an attempt to capture an augmented sense of reality.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Simple text Analysis: I think we know where this is going.....

SpeechWars is a simple online Flash site that generations statistics on frequency of use for certain words in the speeches on the two US Presidential candidates for 2008, McCain and Obama. I opened the site from a mail list I belong to and the word of choice was 'Love'

Love is a popular word for McCain in the early days of his candidacy but it drops off a bit later. Obama was not so into *Love' at the start but it has become a more used word as the campaign progresses.
Now there is a word that is always popular, 'War'

Obama has said *War' almost twice as many times as McCain. It is difficult to judge the contexts of the use of the word and this is where SpeechWars is at its weakest, but I would imagine Obama is speaking against the war in Iraq and McCain continues to support is continuation. If this is the case it is interesting that McCain is willing to talk about the W-A-R only half as much as Obama is who is (in theory) against it.

Its like the Basil Fawlty Don't-mention-the war routine..."I did but I think I got away with it".

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Musick That May Change You

This music could change your mind

I read the other day a blog entry about how personality and music are directly related:

Musical tastes and personality type are closely related, according to a study of more than 36,000 people from around the world as reported by the BBC. The research, which was carried out by Professor Adrian North of Heriot-Watt University, is said to be the largest such study ever undertaken. He described the research as "significant" and "surprising".

Not really that radical but interesting that universities are taking music and the Self seriously. I filled in the survey for the study which is online and what struck me was the narrow range of music offered (western, commodified,contemporary) as reflecting (marketed) personality;


BLUES High self-esteem, creative, outgoing, gentle and at ease

JAZZ High self-esteem, creative, outgoing and at ease

CLASSICAL MUSIC High self-esteem, creative, introvert and at ease

RAP High self-esteem, outgoing

OPERA High self-esteem, creative, gentle

COUNTRY AND WESTERN Hardworking, outgoing

REGGAE High self-esteem, creative, not hardworking, outgoing, gentle and at ease

DANCE Creative, outgoing, not gentle

INDIE Low self-esteem, creative, not hard working, not gentle

BOLLYWOOD Creative, outgoing

ROCK/HEAVY METAL Low self-esteem, creative, not hard-working, not outgoing, gentle, at ease

CHART POP High self-esteem, not creative, hardworking, outgoing, gentle, not at ease

SOUL High self-esteem, creative, outgoing, gentle, at ease.

So, I thought what about using music to change personality. Not just the fashion elements of music but to actually change the way you think. That's were the latest release from my good friends at Music Your Mind Will Love You come in. A three CD release has just be announced from the forest treehouse of transcendental freakdom. It promises to be something very special:

3 jam packed cdr’s containing 52 tracks gathered together over the last two years featuring tracks from mymwly regulars , friends and collaborators from all over this fucked up planet working/walking in the fields of noise , neofolk , psych and experimental music…’this is an epic compilation that will surely create a history and a legend that will reverberate through the long corridors of time from now into forever.’
Or not.

So what do you reckon? Who do you want to be tomorrow?
Oh..I should also say that I have two and possibly more (these elastic collaborative things that happen over time and distance) tracks on the compilation.

Disc one

inhibitionists , no guru , catrider , hronir , cadavre esquis , kageplane , lamppukello and the north sea , ThrouRoof , mac temple , terracid , futurians with s.t.u.d. , autumn galaxy , charles curse , wolf skull , mark dagely , soulighters , ffehro , Corsican paintbrush.

Disc two

medroxy progesterone acetate , the golden oaks , innig , ajilvsga , autistic daughters , c.g.o.d. , eastern fox squirrels , jitka , bloom , akhet , mansion , chuffo and the grillers , blank realm , soarwhole , eye baba , mosseisly , 6majik9.

Disc two

alligator crystal moth , cja , demented thrugg , dyja , dinmuck#f , helen southall , horn and talon , iced bird spiral , mshing , didgebaba , brothers of the occult sisterhood , oriente lux , planadin , the mighty acts of god , the north sea , v , xelaeondion.

A String a Continent Wide

Great Fences of Australia (video)
Many people look at fences and see not much; Jon Rose and Hollis Taylor look and see giant musical string instruments covering a continent. The strings are so long that they become the resonators as well as the triggers for the sound. On straight stretches of a simple five-wire fence, the sound travels down the wires for hundreds of meters. The music is ethereal and elemental, incorporating an extended harmonic series (the structure of all sound); the longer the wire, the more harmonics become available. The rhythms of violin bows and drum sticks uncover a fundamental sonic world. The fence music encapsulates the vastness of the place. Music of distance, boundaries and borders.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Eve Online Free Trial

Eve Online is offering free 14-day trial accounts if anyone is interested in playing what, in my opinion looks like the most interesting MMOG around at the moment. Check out the wikipedia description if you doubt my word:

Eve Online is a player-driven persistent-world massively multiplayer online game set in a science fiction space setting. Players pilot customizable ships through a universe comprising over five thousand solar systems. Most solar systems are connected to one or more other solar systems by means of jump gates. The solar systems can contain several entities including but not limited to: moons, planets, stations, asteroid belts and complexes.

Players of Eve Online are able to participate in any number of in-game professions and activities, including mining, manufacturing, trade and combat (both player versus environment and player versus player). The range of activities available to the player is facilitated by a character advancement system based upon training skills in real time, even while not logged in to the game.

It is developed and maintained by the Icelandic company CCP Games. First released in North America and Europe in May 2003, it was published from May to December 2003 by Simon & Schuster Interactive, after which CCP purchased the rights back and began to self-publish via a digital distribution scheme.On January 22, 2008 it was announced that Eve will be distributed via Steam. The current version of Eve Online is dubbed Empyrean Age.

The perfect distraction to thesis writing, teaching, talking to people, bathing, eating, sleeping.......

Friday, September 05, 2008

Media for the Many Headed

In the last seven days I have been so overwhelmed with fine media materials on the Net that there is almost too much to post here in the weekly recommendations. So I just provide here what I copy and paste from my bookmarks, too many to explain, just look for yourself and see what you identify with.


French dub streamed from the bands website. I found this on the way to work this morning on my phone and walked through the forest listening to Ain't Life Ironic. It was kinda appropriate in the moment.

Grateful Dead - Live in Monterey Pop Festival 1967

Monterey Pop Festival, the first big rock festival, and the Grateful Dead turn in what really must be considered way beyond anything else there, save for Jimi obviously. Jamming simply unheard of then, completely off on it's own thing and so well developed already. Really, it's essential to any comprehensive history of American music.

A CALL TO FARMS: Continental Drift through the Midwest Radical Culture Corridor (and other free books from The Heavy Duty Press)
A Call to Farms: Featuring the words of: Claire Pentecost, Jessica Lawless and Sarah Ross, Lisa Bralts-Kelly, Brett Bloom and Bonnie Fortune, Ryan Griffis, Mike Wolf, Martha Boyd and Naomi Davis, Rebecca Zorach, Nicolas Lampert, The Langby Family, Eric Haas, Sarah Holm, Brian Holmes, Dan S. Wang, mIEKAL aND, and Sarah Kanouse.

Shake Sugeree Vols 1 &2
by Elizabeth Cotton (b1895)
Self-taught and having no knowledge of conventional guitar tunings (e.g. standard 'EADGBE' tuning or any established open tunings), Cotten developed her own original style. Her unique approach to left-handed guitar playing involved keeping the guitar in standard tuning but to hold it upside down. This position required her to play the bass lines with her fingers and the melody with her thumb. Her signature, alternating bass style is known as "Cotten picking"

Free Documentaries
Download Free Political Documentaries And Watch Many Interesting, Controversial Free Documentary Films On That You Wont Find On The TV!

KEXP 90.3 FM - Podcast
KEXP offers full-song podcasts of an eclectic mix of artists from the Pacific Northwest and around the world, plus live performances recorded in the KEXP studios. KEXP is the first radio station in the U.S. to offer music podcasts of this scope.

The Rainbow Band - 1971 - The Rainbow Band
I have this record on vinyl and it is cool. On the cover Mahesh and Pavarthi are in all their hippy glory, Mahesh in a lotus posture and Pavarthi looking just blissed out. On the record the cosmic pair are joined by Maruga Booker, Nithyan Gefron, Scotty Avedisian, Phil Catanzaro, Ragunath Mancini, Trevor Young, Gary Olerich, Darius Brubeck, Colin Wolcott, Nirmala, Sharon Simon, Lalitha, Janiki Tenny, Priscilla, Victoria, Felix, Anandi, & Shiva. Far out man!

I also have this on CD and it is truly awesome. Vibracathedral are highest quality and this is one of their best.

For those whose exposure to the communal jam motion of this British improv institution has been limited to the whirling density of their more late-model manifestations, the protracted expanses of blissed and glazed trance atmospherics that largely comprise Music For Red Breath might come as a wee bit of a surprise. It's a lustrous and spectral sound that vibrates at a mystical pitch that'll be familiar to those steeped in the mystery school of acid improv initiated by the likes of Japan's Taj Mahal Travelllers or France's Goa Et Franky Bourlier and it's a glorious thing to behold.

The 50 greatest arts videos on YouTube

YouTube is best known for its offbeat videos that become viral sensations. But among its millions of clips is a treasure trove of rare and fascinating arts footage, lovingly posted by fans. Ajesh Patalay selects 50 of the best - Joy Division's TV debut, readings by Jack Kerouac, a Marlene Dietrich screen test, Madonna's first performance, Nirvana playing in a garage, Marlon Brando screen text for Rebel Without a Cause, John Coltrane performs 'My Favourite Things', Sid and Nancy on New York cable TV, 1978 and William Burroughs on cut-ups, c1980. Just to name a few.

Cyberpunk Radio Podcasts
Welcome to the predystopic world of corporate globalization. Fear NOT! Even as privatization of our essential resources (water, food, and energy) proceed at ever accelerating pace, a neo undergound is taking shape. This underground, like the traditional cyberpunk characters of a previous centuries fiction, is made up of "wired punks"; jacked 24/7 into the Internet/s. The boundaries between reality and illusion are becoming more and more indistinguishable. Cyberpunk Radio is your connection to the pulse of this underground; we give you a glimpse behind the curtain. Listening to CyberPunk Radio will enable you to deny the mainstream media access to your brain stem, at least briefly. We remove the media filters on information, and in the process break corporate control of the popular "Narrative"; tune in to Cyberpunk Radio, another Pirate station breaking the FCC lock on what is available for you via traditional corporate-commercial broadcast programming.

Gertrude Stein's Making of Americans read by Gregory Laynor (Mp3s)
The Making of Americans (1903 - 1911) Performed by Gregory Laynor (2008)

Intermedia - Soundworks 1990-2000

The Triskel Arts Centre is a Cork art venue in Ireland, responsible for the Intermedia Festival, a month-long program of sound art exhibitions and live performances. Their activities also include a World Book Festival and a French Film Festival. Intermedia participants among the years have included Philip Jeck, Max Eastley, David Toop or Pan Sonic. This not for sale CD commemorates a decade of sound art with contributions from mostly British and Irish artists. The excellent selection includes sound poetry, electronica and electroacoustic music. The disc opens with 3 sound poetry pieces.

Love, Peace & Music: Homemade-Lofi-Psych Presents: HLFP 02 "EMBRYO THOUGHTS" - 2008 - (contemporary new psychedelic & experimental music)
This is a 2-CD-collection features relatively unknown musicians from all over the world, who do a great job in playing far out psychedelic and experimental music, ranging from space psych to stoner rock. Quite an aural experience!

Yoko Ono "Apotheosis"
What a perfect film.....short and simple, Ono takes a camera and a boom mike onto a hot air balloon, kicks the rope, and starts the camera and lets us watch as it goes above the clouds for a 17 minute shot. Key things to notice: A roll of 16mm film films only 14 minutes yet the film runs for 17, meaning somewhere in the clouds Ono had another camera loaded and started when the first one ran out, yet somehow the splice is not noticeable and there weren't any computers at the time to fix this sort of thing.....all i can say is optical printing tricks at its best. The last shot, as the balloon rises above the clouds, the wind silences, and the sun becomes visible, is alone worth checking out this timeless classic of experimental film.

Roulette TV - Sainkho Namchylak
The remarkable vocalist Sainkho Namtchylak was born in the Republic of Tuva (South Siberia, Russia) in 1957. She received her first training there as a folk singer and later studied music at the Gnesinsky Institute in Moscow where she mastered techniques of traditional Tuvan throat singing (khoomei) and Western overtone theory. In 1989, she began concertizing in collaboration with avant-garde musicians in new music and jazz venues throughout the world. Namtchylak's unique performances explore vocal techniques used in ritualistic and cult-music in Siberian Lamaism and Shamanism, Tuvan and Mongolian throat/overtone singing styles, folk, jazz, and traditional ethnic styles, and are influenced by contemporary Western improvisation, and even electronic music.

Roulette TV - Pauline Oliveros
Pauline Oliveros is internationally renown for her innovative electronic music, meditative accordion solos, and visionary, breakthrough works that create new relationships among performers by means of attentional, consciousness-raising, group improvisation strategies (many of which are collected in her 1984 book "Software for People"). In this videotape, she offers "Pauline's Solo", a contemplative 20-minute accordion improvisation built of ethereal sustained harmonies and fleeting melodic gestures, like spontaneous thoughts suddenly flashing across quiescent synaptic networks. In an inspiring and instructive interview.

Save Planet Helios From Ecological Devastation!-3D Game by IBM
IBM has released a 3D game to teach engineering concepts to kids. It comes complete with lesson plans for teachers including one called windturbine design and build challenge. Playing the game, students work together in teams to investigate the 3D game environment and learn about the environmental disasters that threaten the game world and its inhabitants.

Spires That in the Sunset Rise "Four Winds The Walker" 2005
The style on this new, second album, is evolved and different and more direct but also more directly weird compared to the debut. The inspiration for the music is as if driven by a conscious shamanistic drugged campfire inner dreamtrance vision. There are tons of weird vocals, and a perfect use of strange, weird sounds and strange colour harmonies all over the place, with some focused acoustic guitars, here and there some chamber like arrangements, always experimental in an intuitive ? magical sense. The vocals sometimes are so odd that at times they recall a ghostly sphere. Also the somewhat ritual rhythms seem to react on a border line edge of a paraphysical situation, with knocking ghosts’ sounds, or with marching dead rhythmic weirdness. In combination of it all the music can again be so incredibly hypnotic in a different way, as what I can recall, I’ve never heard before. It is as if the group knows how to use some secret harmonies that gets a listener out-there. In some way it is like the expression with the essence of true magical ritual music, as a standing stone for a bridge to other worlds and towards different experiences. The effect is so powerful, overwhelming and slurping in all attention from you, that I can not imagine any framed thinker will survive his now fried brainwave changes, which this music can cause, making a recollection perceptiveness switch necessary towards more open visions. It's hard to believe if there would be no deliberate strong believe or philosophical system behind this, other than an intuitive tension, because it really is that powerful. Also incredible is that this tension is continuous for over an hours length, with just a few quiet moments, but even there it is never related to a more ordinary world perspective at all. The music sounds more pagan “magickal” than from any pagan, and more magical than from any inherited repeated ritual. Great!!

The Doors: "Philadelphia, Arena" Aug 4, 1968

Too many things really...but it's all good.

Freedom Fry — "Happy birthday to GNU"

Mr. Stephen Fry introduces you to free software, and reminds you of a very special birthday.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

E-learning 2.0 Live in Second Life

On Friday Sept 5, the Second House of Sweden will be live-streaming the eLearning 2.0 Conference from Stockholm. The cost of attending the actual conference is 3000SEK, while the sessions in Second Life, with live stream, are free. Sessions start at 9am and will finish around 6pm, Stockholm time (midnight to 9am, SL time).

Find out how Second Life is being used to create new, innovating learning experiences. eLearning 2.0 is being organized by the Swedish Association for Information Specialists (SFIS) and will be conducted in English.

Direct teleport link to the conference venue in Second life:

Here’s what the schedule looks like:

Friday, September 5
8:30am: Registration. Coffee and sandwich.
9:00am: Introduction to eLearning 2.0
9:15am: Conference tool kit: Second life, Jaiku, Facebook
9:45am: Web Conferencing Tools – overview for education and effective meetings (Mats Brenner, NSHU)
10:00am: The Best of Both Worlds! Moodle + Second Life = Sloodle (D.I. von Briesen)
12:00pm: lunch
1:00pm: Let’s Web Conference! (Part 1) Angele GIULIANO. Tips and tricks for successful web conferencing
2:00pm: Adobe Connect (Dan Lidholm, WeZupport)
2:20pm: DimDim (Sundar Subramanian, Co-Founder of DimDim and Director of Business Development)
2:40pm: WiZiQ - A free virtual classroom tool that needs no downloads! (Vikrama Dharman)
3:00pm: Coffee & Visit to Kista Science Tower
3:30pm: Let’s Web Conference! (Part 2) Tips and tricks for successful web conferencing
4:30pm: Conclusions / end discussion / evaluation

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Literary Machines Reprint

Theodor Holm Nelson

A mythical text in the areas of computer media and literature, Literary Machines by Theodor "Ted" Nelson has been reprinted again. A book I have long wanted to read, but have never been able to afford (check out $191 on Amazon)

Literary Machines
by Theodor Holm Nelson
Mindful Press
Distributed by Eastgate Systems Inc
ISBN 0-89347-062-7

An incredible multisequential volume about inventing hypertext, reforming copyright, reimagining quotation, and reworking education and reading. It extends from the viscous soup of the politics of computing to the nuts and bolts of how a hypertext system can, for instance, represent arbitrarily large integers compactly. The systems humanist is presented as an alternative to the techie “noid” and humanist “fluffy.” Nelson proposed to reshape literacy and publishing far more profoundly than Haussman altered Paris. Although he admits that a next-generation system might be needed at some point, the general approach is to think about the problem long and hard, devise a more or less flawless system, and then just implement it, never iterating. We should be glad that Xanadu was sketched, not completed. The dynamic, incisive, and continually revised and evolving writings of Ted Nelson have participated in thought and culture in a way that no crystalline, fully armed and operational literary machine could have. (From GXA)

I have asked the university library to buy it.....

Monday, September 01, 2008

Voloshinov: A Philosopher Who Anticipated Simulative Media Environments

"Any consumer good can likewise be made into an ideological sign. For instance, bread and wine become religious symbols in the Christian sacrament of communion.. But the consumer good, as such, is not at all a sign. Consumer goods, just as tools, may be combined with ideological signs, but the distinct conceptual dividing line between them is not erased by the combination. Bread is made in some particular shape; this shape is not warranted solely by the bread’s function as a consumer good; it also has a certain, if primitive, value as an ideological sign (e.g., bread in the shape of a figure eight (krendel) or a rosette).

Thus, side by side with the natural phenomena, with the equipment of technology, and with articles for consumption, there exists a special world – the world of signs."
Valentin Nikolaevich Voloshinov, Marxism and the Philosophy of Language (1929)