Ice Cream for Crow by Captain Beefheart
Friday, December 17, 2010
Ice Cream for Crow by Captain Beefheart
I started using del.icio.us.com in 2004. I have over 10000 bookmarks on the site. Today it seems to be clear judging by the wildfire rumor on the net that delicious is done for. I am sad about this but it has happened before that a valued web app has died for no other reason than the company that owns it did not develop it according to the potential that it actually afforded.
I have signed up to Pinboard and my entire collection of bookmarks is uploading as we speak. I wanted to post them here but could not due to the 1MB restriction on the page.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Julian 'Breaker' Assange
In prison cell I sadly sit,
A d__d crest-fallen chappie!
And own to you I feel a bit-
A little bit - unhappy!
It really ain't the place nor time
To reel off rhyming diction -
But yet we'll write a final rhyme
Whilst waiting cru-ci-fixion!
No matter what "end" they decide -
Quick-lime or "b'iling ile," sir?
We'll do our best when crucified
To finish off in style, sir!
Butchered to make a Dutchman's Holiday by Harry Breaker Morant (1902)
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
http://www.neural.it/sound/ (from the same people who do the wonderful mag; http://www.neural.it/
The Best Radio stations on the web
http://resonancefm.com/ (run by the London Musicians Collective, always excellent)
http://wfmu.org/ (you may know WFMU, amazing station, they run the free music archive; http://freemusicarchive.org/)
http://www.4zzzfm.org.au/ (from hometown Brisbane)
http://www.2ser.com/home (from Sydney)
http://www.rrr.org.au/ (possible the best radio station in Australia)
My recommended downloads
Take it easy
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
From the gardens of Versailles to interactive architecture. HUMlab will host a conference in December on the interplay between media, technology and location. The conference "Media Places" is about everything from how our homes and culture changed when television came, to research into new forms of dynamic materials and interactive architectures. The conference takes place from noon on Thursday 9th December to Saturday afternoon on December 11th 2010.
Among the international guests will be prominent media scholars Chandra Mukerji (UC San Diego) and Lynn Spigel (Northwestern University) and architect Miles Kemp (co-author of the Interactive Architecture, Princeton University Press), Jesus de Francisco (art director at the company Motion Theory), Carter Emmart (American Museum of Natural History), Erica Robles (New York University) and Molly Steenson (graduate student in architecture at Princeton). From Stanford University Zephyr Frank professor of Latin American history and one of the leaders of their Spatial History Project will be presenting. The conference will be a close collaboration between Umeå University and Stanford University on "media places".
From Umeå University presenters will include Simon Lindgren (Sociology), Anna Johansson (Culture and Media Studies), Michael Frango (postdoctoral researcher HUMlab and Language Studies) and Mikael Wiberg (Design School). Both Umeå University Vice Chanceller Lena Gustafsson and Deputy Vice Chacellor Kjell Jonsson will also participating in the program.
Jennie Olofsson from Luleå University of Technology (formerly Cultural Analysis program and HUMlab), who defends her doctoral thesis on 10 December, will give a luncheon lecture on December 11 at the conference on the thesis entitled "Welding Robots, Space and Gender".
Registration for the conference can be made via its website. Seating is limited. Information about notification procedures and programs can also be found on the website.
Monday, November 08, 2010
On Friday Galleri Maskinen in Umeå opens with Olle Essviks exhibition: "Den store retrospektiven 1984-2010" from 18:00-21:00
Olle Essvik has exhibited in many parts of the world and now he is here in Umeå. His artwork and curating is based in new-media art and he has previously been nominated at Ars Electronica for his work.
Here is an article about him at "konsten.net"
The following is a text about the exhibition in Maskinen:
The Great Retrospective (1984-2110)
This exhibition consists of sculptures and objects that make up a kind of retrospective of the events in my life, but also a prospective with items that were the basis of ideas about what is to come. My works depict everyday existential questions and ruminations about life in a humorous way, but often with a black undertone. In many of the pieces combine computer programming with organic materials such as wood and paper sculptures and books.
Olle Essvik is an artist who is based in Gothenburg and received a Masters of Fine Arts from the Art Academy 2006th He also works under the name JimPalt when he creates video games and artwork for the Internet. For more info see: www.jimpalt.org
Friday, October 29, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Virtual Worlds and Indigenous Knowledge: learning to tell stories and make positive change across cultures
My presentation at Association of Internet Researchers 11th conference 2010
The representation of place and space are powerful narrative tools in digitally mediated stories today. Virtual online worlds are one example of how space and place is realized in stories using avatars and navigation. In a seemingly distant tradition, the narrative systems that are collectively referred to as the Dreamtime Stories of the Australian Aboriginal peoples, with their constructions of space and place, are also highly developed and complex multimedia networks that rely on navigation. In both of these systems, along with place and space, performance and participation are the means to relating to the narrative. The individual contributions to narrative creation that are part of these systems are based on participant agency. The potential empowerment granted with participation in the narratives suggests a resistance to what M. M. Bakhtin terms single voice, of monologic narrative discourse (Bakhtin 1984). In the global perspective, the recognition of narratives from indigenous (often marginal and silenced) cultures can be argued to have democratizing and inclusive effects for the global community. That these societies have witnessed long-term survival also supports their status as sustainable, and by implication, that these practices are passed on through their narrative traditions. By paying attention to such old stories, and in particular how they integrate place and space into their transmission, we can re-purpose vocabularies for what are often described as the ‘new media’ stories of the digital age. A direct relationship to place, through narrative, is proposed as one of the positive results of this attention to old stories in the new media. An awareness of the interconnectedness of elements in ecology, for example, is a further possibility from these narratives, which set both characters and places on equal footing.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Virtual Worlds and Indigenous Knowledge: learning to tell stories and make positive change across cultures
Presenting tomorrow morning at the Association of Internet Researcher 11th annual conference in Gothenberg, Sweden.
Saturday, October 09, 2010
Friday, October 01, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Second Life Yoshikaze "Up-in-the-Air" Residency presents
15 -22 September, 2010
@HUMlab, Umea University, Sweden
Opening hours : 8AM-4PM (Weekdays)
Opening : 2PM-4PM, 15 September, 2010
Artist present via video link from New York
Yoshikaze "Up-in-the-Air" Residency is glad to present work by Alan Sondheim at HUMlab, Umea University in Sweden. The exhibition runs between 15th and 22nd of September, and will show A. Sondheim's work completed during his residency at Yoshikaze on HUMlab Island in Second Life.
Yoshikaze "Up-in-the-Air" Residency is a new Second Life residency programme run by Sachiko Hayashi together with sim manager James Barrett from HUMlab, Umea University. Alan Sondheim has been Yoshikaze's first artist-in-residence since 20 May, during which time he has produced tremendous amount of work of highest quality in Second Life. These works, which have been documented as machinimas, audio files and still images, will be shown on eleven monitors in HUMlab's brand new exhibition space at Umea University.
"For the past several months, as a result of the HUMlab residency, I've been working on avatars and installations in the virtual world Second Life. My main concerns have been the relationship between narrative and architecture, the relationship between language (inscription) and a 'natural' virtual world, the creation of installations that have no referents in the physical world, and the interrelationships among body, sexuality, language, and virtuality….
The images, videos, and documents in this exhibition reflect the varied stages of the installation and performance work. I'm fascinated with the idea of creating the inconceivable, working always in dialog with the software and hardware themselves. And I'm driven, above all, by two things - a real sense of wonder about the world, and the desire to know as much as I can about its structure and phenomenology. Serious play in virtual worlds is an amazingly productive process in this regard, resulting in what I call 'ontological mashups' that seem to constitute the very substance of our being."
In conjunction with HUMlab exhibition, Yoshikaze Studio in Second Life will be open to the public. Between 15-22 September, please visit
to experience Alan Sondheim's work inworld (Second Life is required as a free download).
Yoshikaze Curator: Sachiko Hayashi
SL-HUMlab Manager: James Barrett
Yoshikaze Blog: http://yoshikaze.blogspot.com
Yoshikaze on Vimeo: www.vimeo.com/user3882081
HUMlab is an internationally established platform for the digital humanities and new media. Centered around an exciting studio environment of about 500 m2, HUMlab offers interesting technology, prominent international visitors, often several simultaneously ongoing activiites and a rich mixture of competences and interests. Over the years HUMlab has received internationally renowned guest lecturers, among them Katherine Hayles and Steina Vasulka.
More info on HUMlab > www.humlab.umu.se/english , http://yoshikaze.blogspot.com/2010/05/humlab-rl-sl.html
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Civil liberty campaigners have been demonstrating across Europe under the motto "Freedom, not fear" against what they see as a Big Brother approach to surveillance. The largest protest was in the German capital Berlin.
The participants of mass rallies in Berlin and throughout Europe are from all over the political spectrum, but their demands are the same – give people back their privacy. Protestors claim they cannot trust the governments which monitor their lives, complaining of a lack of transparency in the way information is used.
They are also protesting against the collection of data with CCTV cameras and other monitoring devices, as well as creating national databases on the private lives of citizens.
Today, sensitive data collection happens not only nationally, but also on behalf of the European Union. Protestors say that the Stockholm Program action plan includes plans to join European databases, and that is alarming.
”Our position is to say that security and freedom walk hand in hand,” said Leena Simon, organizer of the rally in Berlin. “They do not oppose to each other.”
Those rallying express the common opinion that someone could take private information and incorrectly use it.
Under the EU´s Stockholm programme, implemented last year, European countries will have to input almost all key data about their citizens into a giant central database.
The information will include finger prints, financial records, and even personal online data.
Interpol will also be able to use the latest satellite surveillance technology to trace any citizen anywhere in the European Union.
“We gradually lose control of our lives and it is handed over to algorithms and databases,” claims one of the rally’s organizers, Rena Tangens. “And you will not be asked in the future what you want to do. You can’t decide yourself, but other people will decide who will have access to these databases.”
Andrej Holm is an urban sociologist. But the German government suspected he was a terrorist.
He was followed, his phones were tapped, and his family´s emails read.
He was even arrested, before being released without charge.
“You call somebody, and you can hear the policeman’s voice – “she probably means this and that”. That drives you completely crazy,” said Andrej Holm’s partner, Anne Roth. “If you don’t know if there is tapping going on in the bedroom or the bathroom, and you have this feeling there is always somebody there. It is really terrible.”
But the government insists these measures are necessary to fight increasingly tech-savvy terrorists and criminals.
It claims it has no desire to snoop on those who have not broken the law and some have accused the protestors of politics.
“The parties that are demonstrating now are the ones who implemented these laws when in power. This is something they do just to show that they are the opposition,” states Uwe Meenen from the National Democratic Party of Germany.
The demonstrators are waiting for a response from the authorities to a petition calling for an end to all existing central employment, education and travel databases.
They also want a freeze on any new ones.
It looks like demonstrators in Germany are not likely to get what they want from the government today, but as technology advances these protests are likely to become more widespread.
That would make it much harder for governments to impose these measures on its citizens without consultation from the top down.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
An image of sorts of the two places I have spent longest in my life. The town in Australia I was born in, Toowoomba Queensland, and where I live at the moment, Umeå Sweden. Toowoomba has a saddler, pasta and real estate. There is a university in Toowoomba, but it is not related by Google to the town name. Therefore it does not appear in searches. Compared to Umeå, a town of roughly the same size and demographic, where the university is directly related by Google to the town.
The architecture of information proceeds.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
An artistic documentary commenting on the rhetoric's and integrity problems of the information technology business. The video is made by John Huntington in collaboration with artist Carl-Erik Engqvist.
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Rap News - episode 4 - resumes its lyrical forays into the world of rhyme and reason, exploring what's been happening on the Internets in 2010. Robert Foster - recently returned from his long-leave vacation in the Caribbean (prematurely interrupted due to the disastrous BP oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico) - takes a look at Senator Joe LIEberman's proposed bill to grant the Prez the power to shut down the web in case of [quotation mark] an emergency [/quotation mark].
But - most importantly - we discuss something else which has been leaking even more profusely than a BP oil well. An organisation of ultra-inspiring infectively-courageous cybernauts - aka Wikileaks - has been taking on the Fistagon and giving that slumbering Fourth Estate a much-needed kick in the arse, reminding us how important the internet can be as a channel of information.
What is Wikileaks? Who is Julian Assange? And why is it so important that we know? Find out with your charming host, Robert Foster.
Find out more about:
Lieberman talking about the proposed Cybersecurity bill on CNN:
'Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act' - the 'Killswitch' bill which is now being considered:
Wikileaks leaked video - 'Collateral Murder':
Wikileaks leaked 'Afghan War Diary':
Julian Assange - talking about Wikileaks:
Download MP3 and Lyrics and find out more:
Rap News website - coming soon!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I have been following the Wikileaks Afghan War Diary 2004-2010 release with great interest. I must admit I admire the work of Julian Assange, one of the main founders of the service. I thought to collect a few of the more informative sources about Wikileaks and Assange here for my reader/s.
Wikileaks at 26C3
Excellent video of the keynote by Julian Assange and Daniel Schmitt of Wikileaks at the 26th Chaos Communication Congress 'Here be dragons' in Berlin on 27th December 2009.
WikiLeaks Release 1.0
Insight into vision, motivation and innovation
During the last 12 months WikiLeaks representatives have been talking at numerous conferences, from technology via human rights to media focused, in an effort to introduce WikiLeaks to the world. WikiLeaks has had major document releases that have spawned attention in all major newspapers by now, it has triggered important reform and has established itself as part of the accepted media reality.
Little did we have the chance though to talk about a bigger picture, especially of how we perceive the future and its constraints.
We therefore would like to talk about our vision of the information society, journalism's role in that society, as well as our role in it. Along this vision we will introduce new features for WikiLeaks Release 1.0, that will be no short of changing the world as we all know it.
A video of the presentation can be downloaded from here as a torrent.
An excellent general overview of Wikileaks and the Afghan Diary can be reached from this link.
The New Yorker has a very long piece on Julian Assange and the “Collateral Murder” video:
Assange is an international trafficker, of sorts. He and his colleagues collect documents and imagery that governments and other institutions regard as confidential and publish them on a Web site called WikiLeaks.org. Since it went online, three and a half years ago, the site has published an extensive catalogue of secret material, ranging from the Standard Operating Procedures at Camp Delta, in Guantánamo Bay, and the “Climategate” e-mails from the University of East Anglia, in England, to the contents of Sarah Palin’s private Yahoo account. The catalogue is especially remarkable because WikiLeaks is not quite an organization; it is better described as a media insurgency. It has no paid staff, no copiers, no desks, no office. Assange does not even have a home. He travels from country to country, staying with supporters, or friends of friends—as he once put it to me, “I’m living in airports these days.” He is the operation’s prime mover, and it is fair to say that WikiLeaks exists wherever he does. At the same time, hundreds of volunteers from around the world help maintain the Web site’s complicated infrastructure; many participate in small ways, and between three and five people dedicate themselves to it full time. Key members are known only by initials—M, for instance—even deep within WikiLeaks, where communications are conducted by encrypted online chat services. The secretiveness stems from the belief that a populist intelligence operation with virtually no resources, designed to publicize information that powerful institutions do not want public, will have serious adversaries.
Finally the War Diary is online here and the site Wikileaks is here.
A pioneer in the development in digital art, Joseph Nechvatal will present, in a second solo show at the Galerie Jean-Luc & Takako Richard, Paris, a series of new paintings, most of which are accompanied by a digital video. Retinal Art Revisited: Story of the Eye will take place from September 4th through September 29th, 2010 and will invite the spectator to reflect on the importance of the relationship between audio and visual noise in the process of creation.
Nechvatal has worked with electronic images and information technology since 1986. His computer-assisted paintings turn images of the human body into pictorial units that are then transformed by IT viruses. Contamination of the tradition of painting on canvas by new digital technology thus creates an interface between the virtual and the real, which Joseph Nechvatal calls viractual It was back in 1991, while working at the Louis Pasteur workshop in Arbois and at the Royal Saltworks of Arc and Senans that Nechvatal and Jean-Philippe Massonie developed a program of IT viruses. In 2001 Joseph Nechvatal and Stéphane Sikora combined the initial IT virus project with the principles of artificial life, in other words creating systems of synthesis that reproduce the behavioral characteristics of living systems.
In his previous series of paintings, the fermentation of artificial life was introduced in an image. This population of active viruses then grew, reproduced and propagated within the space of the picture. The artist then froze a moment that he later turned into a painting. Were the artist not to interfere, the process of propagation would continue until the original picture would be completely destroyed.
The Retinal Art Revisited: Story of the Eye series consists of 15 digitally assisted paintings (10 of which have accompanying videos). A group of paintings portray the retina of human eyes bracketed and centred by paintings-animations that investigate the lips of the human rectum. With the eye as the “highest input valve on the human desiring-machine” (1) and the rectum the lowest, Joseph Nechvatal plays with the possibility of harmonizing them. The videos that are joined with paintings show a projection of the computer virus eating the same image that is on the painting. This approach is relatively new, with a progenitor work exhibited in 2004 at the Digital Sublime show at MOCA in Taipei.
Joseph Nechvatal reminds us of (and opposes at the same time) Marcel Duchamp’s prejudice that visual art (and beauty in general) cannot (or shouldn’t) arouse intellectual dialogue between the artist and the spectator. Also, by associating paintings with videos, he evokes another question that seems to be at the core of this new body of work: “On a planet that is increasingly technologically linked and globally mediated, how might visual noises break and reconnect in distinctive and productive ways within practices located in the world of art and thought?” The notion of noise that not only strengthens unique personal powers of imagination and critical thinking through a beautiful self- perception but also a source of creation in itself is a key element in the understanding of the new series of works exhibited at Galerie Jean-Luc & Takako Richard. Joseph Nechvatal’s work is in many major private and institutional collections around the world. An interview of the artist will accompany the exhibition.
1. All quotes are taken from Joseph Nechvatal’s interview by Galerie Jean-Luc & Takako Richard, 2010, available in French and English at the gallery.
Monday, July 26, 2010
You sharpen your battle axe
At the back of the cave
You sour old men
Who plan the deaths of others
Because the games they play
Are not the games you like.
But be warned as the tide turns
Your army of one will be left
Standing alone as the wind wears
Away its edges.
Love supreme and unchallenged
Of all it surveys
Master of nothing
Owner of nil
The day will end
And another begin
But love is not diminished
Nor lessened by the chances taken
Or opportunities lost.
(On the occasion of the publication of the Afghan War Diary 2004-2010)
(I wrote the above while listening to this and thinking)
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
I have been in Oxford, at the university giving a paper at a conference on Visions of Humanity in Cybercultures". The full details of the academic drama are recorded here.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Evening on the Nile, Old Cataract Hotel in Aswan - Nile River
Colonial Nostalgia includes “a desire to re-create and recover the world of late Victorian and Edwardian colonialism as a culture of extraordinary confidence and conspicuous opulence: in a word – Thomas Cook’s word – ‘majesty’” (Gregory 140). Along with images of opulence (consistently devoid of the suffering or dissent of the colonial subject) in colonial nostalgia, Gregory goes on to point out, are “notations” of race, class, gender and sexuality (141).
Gregory, D. “Colonial nostalgia and cultures of travel: spaces of constructed visibility in Egypt.” Consuming tradition, manufacturing heritage: global norms and urban forms in the age of tourism. Ed. Nezar AlSayyad. Vancouver: University of British Colombia, 2001. Print
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Sunday 11th July 2010 – Tuesday 13th July 2010
Mansfield College, Oxford
Reading with the Body: Interpreting Three Dimensional Media as Narrative
Umeå University/HUMlab, Sweden
This paper argues that virtual online worlds are complex sites for the realization of narrative, in a form of embodied reading that is posthuman and performative.
The in-world avatar is the embodiment of an interpreting agent in the virtual world. Such devices accomplish a number of functions in terms of the narrative realisation. The avatar contributes to the posthuman realisation of narrative through the navigation of the spatial attributes, the setting up of perspective in terms of Point of View (POV) in the reading, and the introduction of a character agent into the narrative architecture of the virtual world. Such a series of characteristics results in a cybernetic relationship between the virtual world, as a text, and its reception, interpretation and responses that can be offered to it. Such a relationship is based in the performative possibilities represented in the virtual world. Architecture becomes the grammar of reading in the virtual world, with design and code, copyright and the address of its objects and inhabitants, that which makes the narratives.
The meeting of an embodied agent in a virtual world results in tensions between phenomenological and hermeneutical conceptions of meaning. Building on the work of Harroway (1991), Aarseth (1997), Hayles (1999), and Jenkins (2003), this paper argues for the posthuman credentials of virtual worlds, as media that is read performatively. In doing so, it is proposed that the reading of virtual worlds has more in common with the role of narrative in pilgrimage, megalithic sculpture and the performance of place bound religious rituals.
Download Draft Conference Paper (pdf)
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Monday, June 07, 2010
Saturday, June 05, 2010
A man and his image. Neal Cassady raving at City Lights in 1965. Notice the look of the other figure in each image. The woman next to Neal does not take her eyes off him for the duration of the film this comes from. Neal seems to be playing Dean Moriarty. A man written into a book by his best friend.
Friday, June 04, 2010
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
A common thread through each of the sessions I observed was the use and misuse of technology. In the traditional classroom setting an overhead projector was used, as well as a white board and reading aloud from primary texts. References were made to websites during the session by the educator but these sites where not shown to the class, despite their being a computer and projector in the room. These were never turned on during the session, although they working perfectly. The educator read from several texts during the session, while standing behind the desk at the front of the room. At one point a question was put to the class in general for anyone to answer but there was no response. The line between the educator’s space and the learners was crossed when hand outs were distributed but no discussion was made about the handouts only a single reference to what they described. Similarly in the lecture hall session I observed the line between the leader of the session and the audience was never crossed. In regards to the technology used in the lecture hall the educator set up a video camera to film the lecture to be put out on the web later. The projector the educator was planning to show slides on did not work. As a result the lecture is only verbal with no visual materials. The educator stated the slides will be put on the course website later. In contrast to the classroom and the lecture hall, the computer lab workshop had a technician in attendance during the entire session. As a result there were no technical problems that lasted more than a few minutes and the use of technology was extensive. I conclude from these observations regarding the use of technology in the learning situation, that technical support is an essential element in learning.
Participation and Engagement
In my limited experience of teaching I have found the active participation of learners in learning to be an effective measure of understanding and contextualisation. In the three learning sessions I observed I noticed several techniques used by the education practitioners for drawing out the learners into speaking, making a decision or seeking an opinion or confirmation regarding what was being dealt with. In the classroom questions were put to the group but of the three questions put to the class none were answered. Towards the end of the session a learner asked an impromptu question. After a short break in the middle of the classroom lecture, the educator entered the room to begin the second half of the session eating an apple. The eating of the apple seemed to disengage the leader of the session from making contact with the learners. In the lecture hall the educational practitioner leading the session opened the session with a question, “How is it going with the reading?” which led to a short discussion on the readings for the course. Later in the session the educator said “You can speak up and break in at anytime. It is so boring when I just talk”. This statement was met almost immediately with a question. Finally the educator wrote on the whiteboard several keywords and then asked for definitions from the group. It was not until definitions had been given that the next topic in the session was taken up. This forced several of the learners to speak up during the class which in turn led to short discussions. These strategies can be contrasted to the use of the whiteboard in the traditional classroom session where the educator read out from the text. There was no discussion around anything that was projected or written by the educator in the classroom setting.
The use of objects for teaching was a part of the computer lab workshop and facilitated participation and engagement from the group. While the genre of the subject area (computer science) made the use of objects in learning more self-evident, I can see that it could be possible to use objects in learning for any discipline. There was no central space defined in the computer lab workshop and the leader of the session was forced to move around the learners and speak from different parts of the space. The learner’s attention was drawn around the space rather than just fixed on a single point. While the educational practitioner moved between the four computers shared by ten learners it was the objects that brought the groups into discussion. The objects provided the educator with a focus for questions and statements to each of the learners individually. All statements that the educator made during the workshop session were inquiring or questioning and were directed towards the learners. These included “It works well, but tell me what it does.” Or “is it what I wanted?” and “It turns the motor on but is that all it should do?” The use of rhetorical questions becomes much easier and feels more natural when there is a subject for the question that is not a learner (i.e. “What do you think about it?”). The focus for questions from the workshop was not the learners, but on the objects they were dealing with. In a more humanistic subject setting, as was the case with both the classroom and lecture hall contexts, the objects of discussion could be supplied by technology. Working with objects to explain concepts I think has great possibilities in learning. Visual images, primary texts and even artefacts could be used to provoke discussion and the involvement and engagement of learners.
The performance of the educational practitioner created the situations for learning in each of the sessions observed. In the classroom session the educator seemed to have planned very well, but the contact made with the learners suffered from a number of performance issues. By standing in one position in the room or sitting on the ‘educator’s desk’ at the front of the room the educator did not move into the learner’s space at any point in the classroom session. The physical position adopted by the educator was reinforced by the use of language and the failure to take advantage of the technology. By reading out from printed material contact was lost with the learners. Eye contact and speech directed towards a present addressee is more likely to be excluded from educator’s performance if it includes reading from a printed primary text. Finally, by eating during part of the session, the educator distorted the focus, removing it from the subject of the session and from the learners. These examples are each elements within the performance of the educator. In the lecture hall session, the educator also remained in a single area of the space, but the design of the amphitheater prevents any real movement between the two defined spaces. Instead, the educator attempted at several times to project out into the learners portion of the space. By addressing questions to the group and asking for questions (“It is so boring when I just talk”), the performance of the educator attempts to break down the barriers created by the physical space and cross over into the learner’s area. The crossing over into the space and attention of the learners was not really achieved in either the classroom or the lecture hall sessions. At the centre of this failure was the performance of the educator in each.
I contrast the classroom and lecture hall sessions with the workshop in the computer lab in the performance of the educator. A sense of enthusiasm, which is not excessive but is evident, was a strong element in the performance of the educator in the computer lab session. The session was divided into five stages:
1. Learners sit in rows and listen to a short presentation by educator
2. Learners move to the computer stations in small groups. Begin planning
3. Learners move to work table were materials are needed to complete tasks set in stage
4. Learners return to stations complete programming of artefacts assembled in stage
5. Learners demonstrate projects
The variation of formats represented by each of these five stages provided a shift in focus for the learners that had continuity but sufficient variation to be interesting. Between stages 2 and 3 coffee and cookies were made available to the learners and the educator joined them in chatting. The social pause for the group provides a contrast to the educator eating the apple alone in front of the group while continuing with the learning session from the classroom situation. The experience is shared in the workshop situation, while in the classroom it becomes a barrier to communication.
I draw a number of conclusions from my observations of three learning sessions. The use of technology has great potential in learning, but it is necessary for it to be well integrated into the experience to be useful. Technical support should accessible at all times when technology is used in the learning space. The technology should also be integrated into the learning experience rather than simply added on. If a piece of machinery or a printed hand out is to be used in the session it should serve a purpose other than being an object. It should be referred to in the broader contexts of the session. Any item of technology that is mechanical should be tested before it is used in the session. Related to technology are the levels of participation and engagement generated in the learning experience. The learners are not the only ones who should be sharing in a participative and engaged environment. It is necessary for the educator to show signs of engagement and enthusiasm in the experience. If the spaces for each of the learning sessions I observed are to be thought of as broken up into particular zones, where a single definition of use dominates a single area, then the position of the educator and the learners become influential. I think the educator should use the ways portions of the space are defined by the design and layout of the site of learning. Each educator I observed made attempts to breach the space between themselves and the learners, but not all attempts were successful. In the workshop example which I observed, the division of the session into five separate zones, where activities were combined with themes in their own areas, with their own objects, forced a total integration of the educator and the learners in the space. Once the space has been defined by the educator it should be the source of strategies for integration of learners and educators into a single space. Accompanying such strategies is the use of verbal techniques for addressing learners in direct ways, encouraging conversation and questions. A break and the sharing of food with the learners in the workshop situation created a shared space with the educator. By doing so hierarchies can be resisted and more effective channels opened in learning.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Yesterday I awoke at 6am to take part in the world Brännboll Championships (sound grand?). We did not get so very far (won 2 lost 1) but it was a lot of fun. The Borg was the name of team. A rich set of associations accompanied the name. One being the mighty Björn.
The team from left to right: Lisa, Jason, Ewa, Paul, Magnus O, Jim (me), Magnus N, Scott and Dennis. Seven nations were represented in the team along with our tireless manager Jenna. It is a memory that will live in my mind forever.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Pirate Philosophy explores how the development of various forms of so-called internet piracy are affecting ideas of authorship, intellectual property, copyright law, fair use, patent, trademark, content creation and cultural production that were established pre-internet.
Professor Gary Hall looks at a number of ways in which the Arts and Humanities can engage their ideas outside of the traditional field of academic publishing, and how open access has the potential to liberate academia from its many constraints.
Please liberate/pirate this lecture from us, and feel free to remix it and do whatever you want with it.
Visit http://www.garyhall.info/ to find out more about Gary's work or visit http://coventryuniversity.podbean.com/ to find more great Coventry University lectures and talks
Liquid Theory TV is a collaboration between Clare Birchall, Gary Hall and Peter Woodbridge designed to develop a series of IPTV programmes. (IPTV, in its broadest sense, stands for all those technologies which use computer networks to deliver audio-visual programming.) The idea behind the Liquid Theory TV project is to experiment with IPTVs potential for providing new ways of communicating intellectual ideas, easily and cheaply, both inside and outside of the university. We want to do so not so much in an effort to have an impact outside of the academy, be it economic, social or cultural; nor to connect with an increasingly media-literate audience that books supposedly cannot, or can no longer, reach. Rather we want to experiment with IPTV in order to explore the potential for different effectivities that different forms of communication have - to the extent of perhaps even leading us to conceive of what we do as academics, writers, artists, media theorists and philosophers differently (see Wise, 2006: 241).
The second episode in the series takes as its focus Gilles Deleuzes short essay Postscript on the Societies of Control. While this episode is being made available for the first time in an issue of Culture Machine which has the theme of creative media; and while Liquid Theory TV could be described as a creative project, to the extent it is concerned with producing alternative, rival, or counter-desires to those currently dominant within much of society (at its simplest, a desire for philosophy or more broadly theory, rather than for the creations of Richard Branson, Simon Cowell or Rupert Murdoch, say), this does not mean that either the series, or this particular episode, should be regarded simply as an attempt to perform Deleuzes philosophy. The critical and interpretive aspects of scholarly work remain important to us here, even if they are being undertaken in a medium very different to the traditional academic journal article or book.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I am a Swedish artist and filmmaker who is making a full-length documentary film about a boy from Kosovo who I have worked with for 8 years. The film is being made with the support of the Swedish Film Institute and the national Swedish Television (SVT).
The film will be 80% documentary material, raw, close and sensitive. 10% will be real archive material from the war in Kosovo. 5% of the film will be drawings showing things this boy has told me. Around 5% of the film will be machinima material of how he, at the time a 4-year-old boy, saw the war; the UCK guerrilla warfare, the ethic cleansing, the bombing of the mosques and churches, the families escaping through the forest and the horrible situation in the refugee camps.
When Gzim was 4 years old he lived in the poor countryside in Kosovo. After a massacre in a village close to them, the family fled to Macedonia to a refugee camp there. From there they came to Norway and the Sweden. This is when I started to film him. Now the family is back in Kosovo and the boy is 16. In my film the trauma of his childhood will haunt him in his dreams. This will partly be shown as machinima films.
So for my film I need three about 30 second machinima segments. Dream sequences centred on the flight of a 4 year old boy with his family through the war in rural Kosovo.
(The segments should have as high quality as possible. The film is shoot on DVCAM and miniDV. Aspect ratio is 16:9.)
I want the machinima films to show how a four-year-old boy saw the war from up close. Hiding in a barn, hiding in the forest, running trough the forest at night in the rain, being witness to killing and rape, hiding and seeing small farms being set on fire by soldiers in the night. Seeing crows eating from corpses. Raining, the fear of being found, escaping over the border, ending up in a totally crowded refugee camp with hundreds of other traumatized and hungry people.
Synopsis and images
+46 70 485 31 32
Monday, May 10, 2010
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Its been a long time since I posted a list of the media I like from around the great big beautiful internet. So, here is a long list from past few weeks of things I would read, listen to or watch if I had the time to do so...which I don't. Thesis blah blah blah....
CD 25: 1974
CD 26: 1971
CD 27: 1970
CD 28: 1972-1979
CD 29: 1975-1976
CD 30: 1982
CD 31: 1980-1982
CD 32: 1982-1983
CD 33: 1981-1984
CD 34: 1981-1984
CD 35: 1982-1984
Gonjasufi 'A Sufi And A Killer'
Ahead of it's UK release on Warp Records, listen to Gonjasufi's debut album 'A Sufi And A Killer' on ClashMusic.com
The latest project from rapper, and yoga teacher, Sumach Ecks, the album sees producers Mainframe and Gaslamp Killer supplying the dust whipped, cracked and frazzled beats with Flying Lotus also helping out, repaying the favour (Gonjasufi appeared on his 'Testament' track), with 'A Sufi And A Killer''s 'Ancestors'.
A small but potent archive of full PDF scans of late 70’s/early 80’s UK anarcho/ feminist punk zines is up now at Essential Ephemera.
“A New Theory of Substance”
“Assemblages According to Manuel DeLanda”
The Harman Review: Bruno Latour’s Empirical Metaphysics”
"The Greatness of McLuhan,”
“On the Origin of the Work of Art (atonal remix)”
On Actors, Networks, and Plasma: Heidegger vs. Latour vs. Heidegger”
Kumi Wakao, piano (except tracks 2 and 4);
H. Okabe, R. Numata, M. Uenari, D. Terauchi & T. Nishimura; glass bottles tuned with water (track 4) Recorded 10 November 2000 in Hiroshima, Japan
PVC/Jem Records released the album in 1984 as Drawings of O. T. The title refers to artist Oswald Tschirtner. The original vinyl release of Zeichnungen des Patienten O. T. is Rough Trade Records #RTD 18 and Some Bizzare Records #SBVART 2.
The combined accomplishments of Genesis Breyer P. Orridge and Tony Conrad are legendary and enormous, and are well-documented elsewhere. Over the years, both artists have appeared and performed at WFMU many times.
Genesis first came by for an interview in 1988, on one of my late nightshifts in the old basement studios at Froeberg Hall, when WFMU was still part of Upsala College. That was during the early Acid House days of Psychic TV. (And just last year he came to the station with all of Throbbing Gristle for a long and lively chat session in the studio).
How To Destroy Angels" was originally intended to be the b-side to the track "Silence & Secrecy" on a clear vinyl 12" released by Temple Records. This release was aborted, presumably due to Balance and Sleazy's departure from Psychic TV who ran the Temple label.