Saturday, April 25, 2009

Downstreams for the Week

I must admit blogging is becoming less of a priority lately. I am fully occupied with work; a thesis chapter to be done by next Tuesday (almost there), then a week to write a paper that has been accepted for the “Changing Societies – Values, Religions, and Education” June 9-13, 2009 at Umeå University (my third publication so far for 2009!). Then during May I will be back in Second Life doing some work on a new building for the HUMlab Island. I am also awaiting a decision on an extension of my PhD position, I hope to hear about it in the coming week (please let it be). On Friday 8th May at 11am (CET) I will be producing (I suppose that is the right word) a seminar from Second Life by Angela A. Thomas from dear old Sydney Australia in HUMLab (details will be posted here shortly). Along with this Twitter has been drawing more and more of my online words. Twitter is fast, conversational, and demands very little time. Although I fully appreciate the depth that comes with blogging (five years ago nobody would have thought that blogging would be the slow-mo of online self-publishing) I need to formalize what I blog and what goes on as tweets. What I do blog is a list roughly every week of what media I have encountered online that I think is good with a bit of a summary of my week (that has already started with the opening sentences of this monologue).

This week in Sweden it was revealed that the judge who presided over The Pirate Bay (TPB) trial may have been biased to such a degree as to effect his decision making processes.

Court judge Tomas Norström has a conflict of interest, claimed his defending counsel Per E Samuelson in a formal deposition to the Svea Court of Appeal.

The news of Norström’s membership of associations concerned with copyright issues drew widespread attention last week. He is a member of the Swedish Copyright Association, among other organisations, as are Henrik Pontén, Peter Danowsky and Monique Wadsted, the lawyers representing the copyright holders.

While many TPB supporters saw this as something of a victory, and I understand why, it sort of makes me sad. Not only is the pursuit of people who use file sharing technologies dumb (this we already knew), it now may actually be contrived as well. With the Swedish legal system facing the possibility of being questioned regarding its ability to make decision on copyright infringement and the government of Sweden slavishly following European Union directives as their solution to the problem, it seems there is now even less chance of a realistic way forward in regards to harnessing P2P file sharing technology in creative and innovative ways. To give you some idea how big this issue is in Sweden here are over 1600 articles published on the topic (in Swedish) over the last decade. As well membership in The Pirate Party has gone up by 20 000 members since TPB trial. They are expecting to win seats in the coming European election, although their performance in the last Swedish national elections was disappointing (less than 0.7% of the vote) they seem to be heading towards a popular base of support. The problem is not many people in Sweden vote in EU elections so far.

Now on to the down-loadable and streamed (downstream) media I am recommending this week:

A Walk Through H: The Reincarnation of an Ornithologist (1978) by Peter Greenaway
Duration: 41 minutes
As the camera pores over 92 mixed media pictures hung in a gallery (all painted exquisitely by Greenaway himself), a pedantic narrator describes his mysterious journey to H, using the pictures as maps. Subtitled The Reincarnation of an Ornithologist, this film seems to be concerned with the migration of a soul (to Heaven or Hell) following the migratory paths of birds (which feature prominently) - but along the way it takes in the curious provenance and interpretation of each painting, and it documents a bewildering intrigue between the narrator, his mentor Tulse Luper and his rival van Heuten (keeper of the owls at the Amsterdam Zoo).

Wittgenstein (1993) By Derek Jarman
Duration: 1 hr 11 min 53 sec
From IMDB: This Film is a dramatization, in modern theatrical style, of the life and thought of the Viennese-born, Cambridge-educated philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), whose principal interest was the nature and limits of language. The film is a series of sketches depict the unfolding of his life from boyhood, through the era of the first World War, to his eventual Cambridge professorship and association with Bertrand Russell and John Maynard Keynes. The emphasis in these sketches is on the exposition of the ideas of Wittgenstein, a homosexual, and an intuitive, moody, proud, and perfectionist thinker generally regarded as a genius. philosophy-dude. Also on Google.

Treehouse For Earth's Children: Don Cherry Organic Music Society
Recorded in Sweden on a hippie / commune / organic farm. Equal parts free jazz, freek folk, and manson family jams.... Apparently released in 1971 although some sources say 1972 or later.

Magic Carpathians Project Live on WFMU, 2001
My friends Marek and Anna play in Amerika.
Indeed hailing from Poland's plot of the Carpathian mountain range, The Magic Carpathians Project ("Projekt Karpaty Magiczne", to wy i ja) first announced themselves to a U.S. audience in March 2001, with a stunning and absolutely captivating performance on my radio show. The project of two artists, multi-instrumentalist / vocal shapeshifter Anna Nacher, and multi-instrumentalist / sound-sculptor Marek Styczyński (formerly of enviro-politico psych legends ATMAN), on this date they were joined by bassist Tomasz Radziuk and percussionist Jan Kubek. Irene Trudel and Chris Stubbs engineered.

Sonic Youth :: Sacred Trickster (Via The Eternal)
Still good after all these years. "Sonic Youth’s upcoming LP The Eternal (SY’s Matador Records debut). Remember in February when we we discussed event albums? Well, this is most definitely one of mine. The label just released the album’s lead off track, “Sacred Trickster”, as a free mp3 feeler. Barely over two minutes, it’s a Kim Gordon tune in the vein of SY’s underrated 1994 LP Experimental Jet Set, Trash And No Star. Those with an itchy trigger finger can take advantage of purchasing The Eternal as part of the Buy Early Get Now program which includes, among other things, a pre-release stream of album on April 28 and MP3 outtakes. June 9th street date."

sms sugarman
South Africa 2008 – 81 minutes Johannesburg – an evil, ugly city on a Christmas Eve. This is the turf of the lonely and the damned and no more damned can they be than Sugar man (Kaganof) cruising the streets in his Valiant ‘66, continually on his cell phone, peddling his girls, white and Asian, to wealthy black punters. This tongue in cheek inversion of the apartheid-years scenario of Afrikaans business men popping off to homelands to sample black girls is delivered with ironic force. From hotel to hotel to palatial apartment, the girls and he journey like Joseph and Mary looking for a manger. The process of the night will awaken something in Sugar man that will be born on Christmas Day, witnessed by no Wise Men nor sheep and cows but witnessed instead, by those who, like him were lost. Strangely romantic, consciously transgressive and aesthetically audacious – shot on a battery of cell phones .

Ólafur Arnalds - 'Found Songs' (Erased Tapes) - follow to download each day's mp3 for FREE
Ólafur Arnalds is a great Icelandic composer. For the first time Ólafur will compose and release a track daily – an idea which he developed as a way to collate several lost and found musical sketches and ideas in a 'very challenging, but fun' series. From Monday April 13th, Arnalds will create a song a day, for 7 days – instantly making each track available and keeping his fans up to date on the artist’s Twitter.

Full Length Films on YouTube
One hundred full length movies on YouTube. Includes the amazing documentary My Best Friend by Werner Herzog about his friendship and working life with Klaus Kinski,,one of the brilliant mad ones.

Dictionary of Non-Philosophy - Updated « Speculative Heresy
Just a quick post - to the hundreds of readers who have downloaded the original ‘Dictionary of Non-Philosophy’, we’ve updated the version with an entirely new (and absolutely stunning) cover.

Throbbing Gristle Interview April 2009

How wrecked is civilization keeping these days? All of Throbbing Gristle convened on the East Coast of the United States for the first time ever and came down to Jersey City to nurse their multinational jet lags and answer questions from Fabio, accuplaylist commenters, and callers around the country. Listen as mysteries from the TG universe are finally unveiled.

Academic Earth - Milton
Series of twenty four video lectures on Milton....Yale University

Global Groove presents Global Groove: Ouza - Wethe, Productions Jambaar 1980
Ouza's music had a political load and was kind of radical. He studied and was teacher and musician at the same time, therefore he did not record many albums. I guess we are lucky I found this one. It is a true beauty and I want to thank that French dealer for bringing it to us. Senegalese music at it's best.

Forward into Spring! The dashes are waiting our liberation.

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