Friday, January 28, 2005

Christina McPhee opens Carrizo-Parkfield Diaries on Saturday, March 5, 2005 at Transport Gallery in downtown Los Angeles

This blog is going through a notice-board stage at the moment....So:
Christina McPhee opens Carrizo-Parkfield Diaries on Saturday, March 5, 2005 at Transport Gallery in downtown Los Angeles. An intense exploration of earthquake terrains and traumatic memory, the multimedia installation, including architecturally scaled digital chromogenic prints, digital video, interactive net art, and drawing, will run from Saturday, March 5 through Friday, April 22, 2005. Join Christina McPhee and a group of collaborative artists for an opening night reception and the premier screening of her short film "SALT", from 7:00pm - 10:pm at Transport Gallery.
Christina McPhee builds very large digital chromogenic prints from documentary medium format and digital photography, digital video, and drawings made on site at seismically active zones in central California – Carrizo Plains, where the San Andreas Fault is most visible, and Parkfield, a continuously active seismic landscape, where a recent 6.0 quake yields a rich archive of geologic data. The artist incorporates layers of field observation within a dream-like sequence of abstract images, where passages of linear structures and shadowed mass allude to ruins and debris in the wake of recent tremors. By means of architectural scale, at 50 to 120 inches, each print is like a page torn from a cinematic notebook—film stills from an event-scene that has almost materialized, laced with traces from geomorphologic maps: the artist samples open source visualizations of changing Parkfield surface and subsurface terrains in the aftermath of the 6.0 tremor, created by geologists Ramón Arrowsmith and Nathan Toké ( see www.activetectonics.la.asu.edu. The Arrowsmith/Toké visualizations show how, three days after a major quake, the surface cracks are still creeping open in a process of continuous adjustment. In the Diaries, layers of images, text and sound from the Carrizo Plains and Parkfield react to one another and in so doing build an infrastructure that resembles the slow rebuilding of memory after trauma. In digital video and sound installation at Transport, the Diaries trace increasing complexities of form, then dissolve or melt at the edge of consciousness. Echoing the appearance and disappearance of surface cracks and shifts in the aftermath of major disturbances in the field, the diaries try to access the neural topologies of nightmare and trauma, where visualization is never completely clear, and triggers both illuminate and occlude memory. Carizzo-Parkfield Diaries translate online as well, into an interactive topography that triggers fictional text together with layers from the print images, video and locative sound from Carrizo and Parkfield. The triggers come from a selective crashing of online live data against archived data from the recent 6.0 quake. Conceptually, the live data’s reach into the past changes the archive from a static resource to an uncanny future array: layers of fiction trigger from the disturbances, much like the way human memory reconfigures itself after shock. The online interactive work correlates with the topologies of new terrain after tremor. Live seismic data is accessed via the California Integrated Seismic Network, recording spectral velocity, acceleration and other measurements. The online diaries are produced by Christina McPhee in collaboration with writer Jeremy Hight (Los Angeles famous for 34 North 118 West, code designer Sindee Nakatani (San Francisco) and the British net artists Kate Southworth and Patrick Simons of Glorious Ninth. Field notes in a subliminal world, the Diaries record active tectonic traces of a geologic diary within the shifting terrain of human remembrance and amnesia.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Online Audio and Video Recordings: UC Berkeley Lectures and Events

I have recomended this resouce to several people in the last few months. I can't remember how I stumbled upon it but to hear (to name but a few) Michel Foucault, Noam Chomsky, Umberto Eco, Aldous Huxley, Margaret Mead and James Baldwin speak and read their work makes it a special spot on the web. It is the Online Audio and Video Recordings: UC Berkeley Lectures and Events archive...go..learn...for free!
The other bit that came to my attention today is that Sunday has been proposed as Internet Free Day by the Global Ideas Bank. Is it just my paranoia but is there a conection with that being the same day as the Iraqi elections and the internet playing an important role in the diversity of opinion in that country, especially in the Iraqi blogosphere. Where exactly does "the real world" start and stop is something I was wondering when I saw the poster:

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Rheingold: "A New Literacy of Cooperation and Collective Action"

From Smart Mobs an Mp3 stream of Howard Rheingold at Stanford University speaking on "A New Literacy of Cooperation and Collective Action".

Society of Biological Insurgents

The Society of Biological Insurgents (SBI, pronounced 'spy') is 'an embryonic
cell organization that seeks to overthrow institutions of compulsory gender.'
Through distributed actions informed by the SBI Code of Operations, members
align in small groups to invade, then metastasize throughout, the
pathologizing corpus of modern clinical authority.

Monday, January 24, 2005

The Diary Form Echoes

"What do bloggers blog about, actually?" asks a colleague of mine at Emerging Communications. Since reading this entry the day before yesterday I have been asking myself the same question, over and over again.

Clearly blogging is publishing, self-publishing with many features in common with the fanzine and mail art cultures that seem to peak in the late 1980's and early 1990's when digital and production technologies were making rapid advances but just prior to the web going wide and public (similar to the situation with multi-track tape recording in the 1970's and 1980's which had such a massive effect on popular music culture). Clearly these media forms run parallel or perhaps parasitic to the more established forms of then contempory publishing.

As to the content of a blog entry I encountered something interesting yesterday in Sherry Simon's "Gender in Translation: Cultural Identity and the Politics of Transmission" (1996) when she discussed the keeping of diaries by translators and quoted Goddard (1995)who aligns it with the accounting or documentation of "the work in progress":

Keeping a diary becomes therefore a means of providing a record of the "interdiscoursive production of meaning." (Simon 1996:24)

In the context of Simon's text I noted that the diary form of writing returns echoes of meaning to the author. To quote Simon further could the blog be in fact a "privileged symbol of the self-conscious process of representation". In this context she was referring to the hologram as "an overlapping trope of intertextuality of the interaction of discourses" (Simon 1996:27), but it does fit well with a blog as well I believe.

I'm not sure if such a format; self published, self-reflexive, morphic, would suit the stationary by necessity field of academic publishing, although one never knows what the future will present and there are a number of high profile academic bloggers who have posted theses and papers to their blogs, but usually well after the disputation and paper's publication. To "focus on minor details or peripheral issues" is a vital part of the process of authoring a multidimensional and deeply immersive text such as a PhD thesis should be.

Sherry Simon will visit Umeå University, to deliver a seminar at the Department of Modern Languages (English) on the 1st March 2005. I would recommend it to anyone interested in translation studies (in the broadest sense), culture and identity studies.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Other Minds

The 11th Other Minds Music Festival has been announced and will take place in San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts from February 24-26, 2005.

"The 11th Other Minds Music Festival (OM11) draws together cutting-edge composers and illustrious guest performers from around the world for premiere performances, artist talks, and master classes, and offers a rare opportunity to hear important new works—including four world premieres—by nine of today’s most innovative composers, all of whom will attend in person. The 2005 festival also includes a centennial tribute to a gifted but forgotten American composer, Marc Blitzstein, known for his legendary 1937 musical The Cradle Will Rock. In addition, OM11 presents a 60th-birthday salute to composer and Other Minds founding artistic director Charles Amirkhanian, featuring a San Francisco premiere."

I will probably not be going due to be on the east coast of Sweden and needing to attend my site of payed activity during this time (not to mention family) but if I was in the area it is cheap to attend ($40 a day). The program is here

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Didge Track on HUMlab Blog

As part of the Blog coverage of the Technological Texture conference on the new and very fine HUMlab Blog Ive loaded up an Mp3 of moi playing some didge beats and drones....it is a free download or stream (6MB)...check it out.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Blog and texture

I have just gotten home and had a couple of hours to relax having emerged on the far side of an immersive few days. The Technological Texture conference was I feel a great success. To spend two days solid in the presence of so many brilliant people, projects and collaborations has not only inspired me but my head is still spinning and I am exhausted from the concentration and thought provoked. The last few hours were spent listening to Henry Jenkins alone on Comparative Media and Convergence and then in debate/discussion with Espen Aarseth on Digital Games, Culture and what it is Actually all About (my own title) which lasted almost two hours. All the prior speakers were great, each led me into an interesting discourse and chain of ideas from information architecture, "boarders and boundaries" to historicity of technology to philosophy and open source issues. Right now I am so exhausted that it all really won't begin to formulate it all in my mind until tomorrow when I look back over my 20 odd pages of notes.
The other big news is the HUMlab Blog is online and open for readers, although with a few glitches at the moment....nothing serious and it looks great! Signing off tired but very happy :)

Saturday, January 15, 2005

My Corner



This is my corner at home. I love collecting instuments Although you can't see them all there are nine hardwood didgeridoos and one plastic slide didge, Aboriginal clap sticks, a Indonesian gamalan drum, and Indonesian djembe, a dembuka from Egypt, a south American rain stick, a set of qraqeb from Morrocco (large metal castanets), a Tibetan singing bowl, a sitar from India, 10 flutes from all over the world, and an unskinned frame drum from the north of sweden. I wish I had a set of north European bagpipes!! There are more images of world around me just uploaded to my flickr.

Friday, January 14, 2005

The Technological Texture

It has been a busy week. Trying to keep up with my reading (currently Wolfgang Iser "The Act of Reading: A Theory of Aesthetic Response"), building the Cybertext/Hypertext data base in HUMlab using The Brain, writing content for The HUMlab Blog (loooks great should be public very soon), and of corse helping with the preperations for a conference in HUMlab on Monday and Tuesday; The Technological Texture: Meeting Between the Humanities and Technology which promises to be very exciting. I read Espen Aarseth's "Cybertext", when I was writing my graduate paper, now he is coming to HUMlab to speak and debate with Henry Jenkins on (I hope) narrative and computer games........still....more reading to do before Monday.

Prix Ars Electronica

The 19th Prix Ars Electronica has just opened for submissions and judging by the catagories it looks like it will be hot this year:

Computer Animation / Visual Effects
Digital Musics
Interactive Art
Net Vision
As well there will be a catagory for digital communities which will consist of 12 seperate awards.
There will be an Art and Technology Grant as well.
Ars Electronica are also offering a cash prize and a year in residence at their Futute Lab for the winner of the U19 freestyle computing competition......wow!

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

'20Q test'

The '20Q test' may soon become just as important for
media artists. Invented by Ottowa-based developer Robin Burgener, 20Q
is a version of the traditional 'twenty questions' game in which an
online intelligence reads a human player's thoughts with startling
accuracy. Working with some 10,000,000 synaptic connections, the
website is even able to account for false steps in players' reasoning. The more
people visit 20Q, the better it gets at guessing, making
startling connections based on a logic that transcends any one
individual's ideas (the site's handlers even claim that it 'seems to
be developing a warped sense of humor' all on its own.) The '20Q
test' turns the 'Turing test' around. (From Net Art News)

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Quiet before the Fun

I have been doing some minor repairs and improvements to this blog. It looks somewhat more symmetrical now but, of course it will change all the time. On this particular occasion of change it was in reference to university beginning "on site" for me tomorrow for a new year and a new term (almost). I have been reading a lot over the so called "break" (really just a change of time table…working at night on texts and during the day with the family rather than the reverse during the term). Apart from Hillal Schwartz's "Culture of the Copy" mentioned earlier I have almost finished J Hillis Miller's "Topographies", which has been an education in itself. Miller is better at analysis of other critics than his own criticism I feel, and his account of Nietzsche has provided me with a renewed interest in his philosophy. I tried to read him 10 years ago but failed to grasp (perhaps I am sufficiently grown up now to attempt it again). Miller's own structuralism tends to paint him into corners as he follows a line of signs to the bitter end. His account of the beautiful poem "The Idea of Order at Key West" by Wallace Stevens misses much of the nuances of subjective and dialogic place I believe.



Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Sunday, January 02, 2005

From Cyberculture to Gaming and Narrative

A new resource in the study of digital narrative has been unleashed by the prodigious Bryan Alexander with the beginning of a new category on the invaluable Infocult:
Gaming and narrative which Bryan writes is “a bit more focused than Cyberculture.... [And]...includes various aspects of textuality and games".