Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Media of the People

"Everything written today unveils either the possibility or the impossibility of reading and rewriting history. This possibility is evident in the literature heralded by the writing of a new generation, where the text is elaborated as theatre and as reading."
Julia Kristeva "Word Dialogue Novel" (1986:56)

Koulamata has made a machinima film based around the French riots this Autumn. This is the first film I have seen made using The Movies game by Activision. Interesting, I wonder if this will be the fanzine, handbill, political flyer of the future.

The French Democracy is set in a mediated state where information flows into the living rooms, through the internet and out of the mobile phones as "colored youth" struggle to survive in a society that seems to be trying to preserve a culture that no longer actually exists. Those of non-euro appearance are surrounded by identity checks, images of wealth while living in poverty, employment impossibility and racism (being referred to as "a monkey" make things somewhat difficult).One character states "it is impossible to live in such society". Drugs are an alternative that result in further violence and an opportunity for the police to take control and punish an individual. Computer and telephone networks are used by characters to organize violence against a faceless oppressor (represented on the street by the police). The riots are senseless and without any goal or direction. Those that benefit from the violence are those that wish to exercise further control over the "badboy" youth, who supply the media image of terror and anarchy for those worried citizens who vote for the oppressive regime. It ends with the myth of Freedom, Equality Fraternity now translated as Misery, Lies and Misunderstanding.

Obviously it is a statement. It is a moderately good film. It reminds me in many ways of a 3D animated flyer handed out by an anarchist/socialist activist in a public place. The issues are real and many of the points made in the film are very relevant. As a non-euro myself living in "The Europe" I see a lot of what is represented in the film, although not on such an extreme scale. It is the first piece of realist political machinima I have seen. This is something I believe we will see more of. As the review on Boing Boing says "it's also a stirring piece of political filmmaking, created using a $50 piece of software intended to enable its users to become one-person animation auteurs." The media revolution continues.........

Monday, November 28, 2005

PhD You are not as Great as You thought you Were.....

I wish I had seen this twelve months/years ago.

"Research can be very rewarding and very frustrating. Most students describe graduate school as a roller-coaster with tremendous highs and tremendous lows. Frustrations can come from not being able to solve a problem that you’re working on, or from having someone else beat you to the solution. Frustrations can come from loneliness. However, probably the biggest frustration is the realization that you’re not as great as you thought you were."
Applying to Ph.D. Programs in Computer Science by Mor Harchol-Balter, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University

Sunday, November 27, 2005

File Sharing, Terrorism and a Lot of Worried Multinationals

In Europe at the moment File Sharing, Digital Management Rights, Software Patents, Open Source Software and "Piracy" are hot topics. Almost daily there is a report in Newspaper, on TV or radio concerning the subjects. Running in scope from the greatest threat to civilization since Ghengis Khan to a utopian vision of a society where information and learning are ubiquitous. It is a complex mish mash of issues and interests and how one feels about it often is dependent on what one does for a living, how old one is and where one lives.

I myself seem to be one of Ghengis's crew (white male 30 something university technologue with a background in media and communications, languages and IT) and this is one point of the scenario which worries me (not my legal status, something deeper than that). But first another story:

Last night listening to the state radio news here in Sweden. A piece about a Council of the European Union meeting taking place in Brussels 12-15 December which will vote on the RETENTION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS TRAFFIC DATA. A lobby group acting on behalf of a large percentage of the major music industry manufacturers (Sony BMG, Disney, EMI, Warner, IFPI, MPA and Universal Music International and more) is campaigning for a widening of the scope of the original legislation. Intended to allow security organizations to gather data on mobile phone surveillance, internet use and other electronic communication by forcing service providers to archive data from media transactions by clients. The Creative Media Business Alliance (CMBA) is a lobby group within the structure of IFIP (International Federation of Phonographic Industries) and they have sent a letter to all members of the European Parliament urging:

1. The scope of the proposal should include all criminal offences
2. Internet data must be retained for a sufficient period of time
3. The access and use of data for law enforcement purposes must not be limited

A major issue with the CMBA is the Lisbon Agenda of 2000 for Europe to be "the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-driven economy by 2010" and how it has "failed". They use the Kok Report from November 2004 as proof of this. I would argue they are reading the Kok Report somewhat selectively, particularly in relation to online information networks and Digital Rights Management. Two example I found after a very brief look at the Kok report:

"social cohesion and environmental sustainability can contribute to a higher level of growth and employment"
How is criminalising millions of Europeans for sharing what is essentially information going to encourage social cohesion? The environmental pressures from manufacture and transportation of CDs and other media products from the members of the CMBA are much less sustainable than the transferring of bits over the world wide web.

"ICT allows [for] more participation in democracy and public life"
But only if you pay for it according to the CMBA.

"The main issues for the realisation of the Lisbon agenda were:

the necessary investment in R&D, that is three per cent of GDP;
reduction of red tape to promote entrepreneurship;
achieving an employment rate of 70 per cent (60 per cent for women);"
from EurActive.com

There are clearly a conflict of several interests in the development of an information society. An excellent summary of this is by Peter Johnston in his European Commission online presentation The Knowledge Economy, Sustainable Development and Corporate Responsibility.

Returning to me riding with Ghengis Kahn. If the European Union is going to seriously criminalise (jail, surveillance, employment and travel problems due to convictions etc.) those who use file sharing networks then a large percentage of those who will be driving the knowledge economy over the next half century are criminals. The IFIP itself estimates that for the first six months of 2005 "Infringing music files available on file-sharing networks and websites rose slightly (3%) from 870 million in January to 900 million, while broadband lines installed grew four times faster at 13%." The discrepancy between broadband uptake and file sharing I would say is due to only certain sections of the online community sharing files, such as not in professional settings and they fail to measure it against legal sharing of non-copyrighted (open source) material.

A perhaps more coherent account than mine of the Digital Information Retention directive is available here at the Open Rights Group site. From them I take my closing paragraphs:

"So, why is this important right now, this minute?
Both Data Retention and IPRED2 are being frogmarched through the European Parliament at an alarming speed. Votes are being held by three committees over the next few days on Data Retention, with secret meetings going on in the background between the Council, the Commission and the Parliament, with the aim of reaching a tacit agreement on what this legislation should look like.

On 13 December 2005, the Parliament votes on the Data Retention directive. Usually, they get two stabs at it, with the Council having a say in between. This time, they get just one vote.

This time, MEPs will have just a few days between being presented with the proposed legislation as drawn up in the secret meetings and being expected to come to an informed, considered decision on whether it should become law.

Word has it that there are some MEPs who do not even realise that this is a single reading process - they are expecting the normal two reading process instead. Most MEPs have probably not been following the debate around Data Retention in detail, and giving them just a few days to absorb, understand, and analyse the proposals will ensure that, by the time they must cast their vote, they will through no fault of their own still not be in a position to make a reasoned decision.

This is not democracy.

What can you do?
Email your MEP now. Tell him or her that you oppose Data Retention, and that you are concerned about the way it is being rushed through the European Parliament. Read this pamphlet (sent to all MEPs by EDRI) for talking points to discuss.

Read up about IPRED2. With all the work going on with software patents and data retention, IPRED2 has not had the coverage it deserves. The FFII (the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure) has been doing a fine job tracking it, but it needs more exposure.

Blog about your concerns and encourage your readers to contact their MEP and particularly the Green Party, who may yet play a vital role in protecting your civil liberties by tabling a rejection of the Data Retention proposal.

The recording industry and the UK presidency are determined to get their way through stealth, not debate. We can't let the European Parliament sleep-walk their way into these statutes."

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Friday, November 25, 2005

That was the Week that Was

This is Friday and here is a few points from the week. I often think "I must blog this" as some interesting point is made by one of the many brilliant people I come into contact with around Umea University, and in particularly HUMlab. But then by the time I get around to blogging I have checked my email(s) or read a newspaper or another blog and I have some other piece of information to set into type and image.

Today I came late to a meeting of a research group of PhD students that has been going since the beginning of this year (I think). We are all involved in interactive digital media, internet, digital cultures, network cultures, and language in digital media (quite a broad spray but we are working on our commonalities). We don't have a name yet or a website but great things are afoot and it looks like we will be organizing a conference for PhD researchers working in similar fields in the Autumn term 2006. This was my most recent encounter with brilliant people.

Then yesterday was the Konst och teknik III course. I planned quite a bit of content for the three hours course time but was not so set upon the form of it. This seemed to work well and it ended up being quite discussion orientated. Three hours is not much time so I wanted to bring the course participants into contact with as much technological art (I suppose all art is technology in one way) as possible and let them explore it in their own ways. I wanted to instill in them or strengthen a sense of critical analysis in regards to art and technology and finally I wanted to show some of the possibilities that HUMlab has to offer in regards to the subject area. I think I succeeded!

On a more personal note my mother phoned me this morning to speak to me about a young Australian who is facing the death penalty in Singapore at the moment (she has never called me to discuss capital punishment before). She read to me a letter she is sending to the High Commission of the Republic of Singapore in Australia to protest the planned execution of Nguyen Tuong Van and urged me to do the same. Nguyen Tuong Van is 22 years old and was born and raised in Australia, the child of refugees from Vietnam. Execution is by hanging in Singapore. We had a long conversation about the general evilness of both crime and punishment in the Asian drug scene, with hypocrisy and corruption never far away from any drug trial. I have travelled in several Asian countries and was so terrified by the 1986 executions in Malaysia of Australians Barlow and Chambers (I was 17 years old and remember it well) that I would search my own bags before going through customs in countries such as Thailand, Singapore, Japan, and India. Anyone who smuggles drugs into countries with a legal "system" like Singapore is clearly not completely in touch with reality, but they certainly do not deserve to die. If you wish to register you disgust at the state killing of Nguyen Tuong Van planned for 6am local time next Friday write to Mr Joseph KOH, High Commission of the Republic of Singapore in Australia appealing for a stay of execution: joseph.koh@mfa.gov.sg.

Finally on a lighter note something very cool. Dust Echoes is a series of animations with original music designed to encourage children to experience Indigenous Australian culture. Not only are the animations very well done there is free study and teaching material avaiable from the website. Dust Echoes is a collaboration between Deakin University, ABC New Media and Digital Services, the Djilpin Arts Aboriginal Corporation, and the Beswick and Warmun communities. An encouraging example of what is possible with digital media, strong culture and a connection to country.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Art and Technology

This is a ballet. Survival Research Labs in Action

Well I have started getting seriously prepared for Thursday's short course Art and Technology in HUMlab. I have been teaching this course every six months for the last 18 months and the quantity of online material, the number of offline exhibitions and festivals, the access to collections and experimentation and emergence of new art forms is just getting bigger, more and better.
Of course anything to do with art and technology today should begin with Rhizome.org, affiliated with the Whitney Museum of Modern Art and the greatest source of just about everything online. They are having a membership drive at the moment and it is well worth supporting them.
This time I will be following 5 themes; Narrative, Space, Interaction, Collaborative and Mixed (for more on the rational behind this see my HUMlab blog entry). So much to do with Art (or anything) and technology, tends to be defined from the emphasis of the material qualities. Looking at the Rhizome.org list of Search Art by Keywords there is somewhat of a mix between concrete things and more abstract concepts (e.g. Social Space) but there are very few categories that are searchable as ideas or genres. Perhaps this is more of an archival issue than an aesthetic one.
Although this terms short course will be somewhat different than the last two there will be a lot of content from the earlier course. Here are some links from the earlier Konst och Teknik courses that provide good background for tomorrow. Looking over these old links as I cut and past them in, I see that I have also been very focused upon the material properties of art and technology and not from any sort of archival perspective, just from the point of view that what a work does or contains is what one thinks about when one focuses on the work. It is difficult to imagine the Survival Research Lab as a form of ballet, but really when you think about it, it kind of is.....

First Course Links.


Research as Art, Art as Research:

Bio-electric Media Artists:

Game Hacks and Reality Script

Global Positioning System (GPS)

Live Machines and Real Art

Performance Unconfined Body Machine

Multimedia Live Document:

3D World

2D Visual Arts


Net Art

Monday, November 21, 2005

Piracy of Life Sharing

The polarity of the file sharing, copyright, intellectual property debate is stunning sometimes. This mornig while going through mail and online news I found these:

1. "Illegal downloading, he said, is like stealing another person's clothes."
Dan Glickman, Chairman of the Motion Picture Assn. of America. While being laughed at by students at UCLA.

2."Share your knowledge and you will achieve immortality" Dalai Lama

File sharing

File sharing is the act of making specified data files accessible to others. File Sharing can be done publicly such as on the Internet, or privately within a network. The files to be shared can come from a pc or a server. Access can be controlled and vary amongst clients, and files can be restricted from editing.
Life Sharing (online real time art piece.

Sometimes one does not know where to turn for truth:-).

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Virginia Woolf was not Mad, just very Annoyed

There is new Woolf biography out:

An Inner Life.
By Julia Briggs.
Illustrated. 528 pp. Harcourt. $30.

Since seeing The Hours in 2003 and reading A Room of Ones Own and Between the Acts I've been a fan of Virginia. The determination and the way some of the imagery and narrative plays with my mind, twisting it, reminds me of such later writers as Doris Lessing (especially A Briefing for a Descent into Hell) and even some of William Burroughs' works. One thing that I objected to in 'The Hours' is the hysterical nature of so many of the female characters, not the least Virginia. The impression I got from her writings is that she was psychotic at times but even when all the birds were speaking Greek she maintained her sense of values. This was the case right up to the end and it is visible in the text of Between the Acts, the desperation and frustration at the world Bloomsbury had made was being savagely destroyed.
So it was a pleasant surprise to read in the review of Briggs's biography:

"Although Briggs does not dwell on Woolf's eventual suicide in 1941, she offers the provocative theory that Woolf's breakdowns were not evidence of insanity, but rather a sensitive person's quite sane response to the darkness and cruelties of life, and particularly to the horrors of World War II."

I hold with this. The review can be found HERE.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

This Button Has No Function

"This Button Has No Function"

Friday, November 18, 2005

From Vandalism to Street Arts

It is interesting to watch the development or flux of artistic genres. I was part of a movement in Sydney Australia in the early 1990's and we called it Community Arts. It involved mural projects in public spaces, installation of art pieces in foyers and lobbies of public buildings (often without permission but if you looked professional enough delivering a sculpture often nobody asked any questions), performance art from the backs of trucks and on street corners, pubs and colleges campuses, sticker art, posters, mail art, and sort of happenings (such as "dress up in an animal costume and ride the trains for an afternoon"). Since then a lot has happened in urban space and how it is viewed by its inhabitants. We have violence, control, play and study. Over the last month or so I have been watching the development of Street Arts as an officially sanctioned (by Time no less) art movement which noticeably positions itself as resisting the gallery system while at the same time being prepared to enter the gallery space on occasion. It is an exciting thing with the potential to visually renew urban spaces beyond the contentious "Graffiti" paradigm that is growing dull and seems to lack much of the complexity necessary for such works as those by Banksey (his website is HERE) and the Wooster Collective. Not only is it painting but much more; installation, sculpture, assemblage, and posters. It all seems very politically orientated. It is also cross platform such as the stages in the OBEY process, as documented in their amazing Flickr site. It may feel like things are teetering on the edge at times in the early 21st century but there are also moments when one can glimpse the creative forces at work and the changing structures around us. Exciting stuff!
P.S Those who are resisting this new art force include Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman who has said that of those who paint in public space; "I'm saying maybe you put them on TV and cut off a thumb," the mayor said. "That may be the right thing to do." (CNN). There seems to be a bit of a way to go before the public space is liberated for all.....

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Art and Technology III

Come on in to HUMlab and lets talk Art and Technology.

Next week on Thursday I will be teaching a short course in HUMlab called Art and Technology III (Konst och Teknik III). It should be a enjoyable and informative 3 hours, least of all for me. If you want to come along register (Anmälan) HERE.
A fairly detailed description of what we will be up to is HERE.

Benjamin and Me

I have actually been working quite hard, despite the relaxed ambiance of the image (Benjamin is two......Months old on Saturday. We may even have a party).
I have been reading a lot: some great texts:

Mark Gottdiener, Postmodern Semiotics: Material Culture and the Forms of
Postmodern Life

J Hillis Miller The Ethics of Reading (finally someone who can explain Kant in a way I can understand).
Umberto Eco The Role of the Reader
Julian Wolfreys Readings: Acts of Close Reading in Literary Theory
Jan Van Looy and Jan Baetens Close Reading New Media: Analyzing Electronic Literature
And other bits and pieces. The text is coming along in a surprising methodical way. The seminar yesterday (Martin has almost finished his hard slog...and had an interesting 'opponent' for his final seminar yesterday). I learnt a few things from the discussion.

Almost forgot....what am I listening to: Benjamin Zephaniah

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Found it......

Just want to say that it was some strange blogger, commentthis.com tag that was in the script that was slowing this down. Seems to be fixed now. Firefox helped me so much with their HTML diagnostic funtion. My ambition is to get the errors down to 5 or 10, at the moment it is running at 44 (down from 128 yesterday).

Blogger Blogging HTML and the Load that Takes Forever

I have been working on the template of this thing for quite a few hours now. It is still incredibly slow to load the page and I don't know why (Have written to Blogger.com and asked WHY?). It as been good to get things tidied up but anyway. I have decided to go minimal on this blog, well as minimal as possible (I still have too many links). Almost everything I know (very little) about coding I have learnt from this blog (and a couple of community college desktop publishing courses), a great way to become familiar with the stuff behind the screen. When it stared (almost 3 years ago) this blog looked completely different than it does now and I have never uploaded a new template, just mutated the one I started with. It is a sort of digital bricolage, layers of memories suturing one another together, holding the last three years of my life in a wonky patchwork of bad code and cut and paste functionalism.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Broadband technologies transforming business models and challenging regulatory frameworks

A report from the Royal Technical University in Stockholm into P2P file sharing as a business model has just been made available on the net. Broadband technologies transforming business models and challenging regulatory frameworks - lessons from the music industry looks like a balanced and thorough assessment of the situation. From my reading of it it seems to confirm the idea that what the global music industry is battling against is not "piracy" but rather new models for technological inovation and the subsequent markets created by such:

"Most of the rhetoric has come from the recording industry, where financial results have been sliding. Other sectors of the music industry, for instance the live /concert sector, appear to be in much better health. Evidence suggests that activities within digital networks have a marketing and promotion effect which has supported the concert industry. The global value of the sound carrier market reached a peak in 1999 (38 billion dollars), falling to 31 billion in 2002, but rising to 33 in 2004. This can be compared to the global value of music and event merchandising, concerts and touring, which Kusek & Leonard estimate at 25 billion dollars/annum, and music publishing (12 billion U.S. dollars). Certainly the live sector has seen spectacular rises over the part 3 years. According to the monitoring agency Pollstar, ticket sales in the U.S. rose from 1.7 billion dollars in 2000, to 2.8 billion in 2004. Music and Copyright (April 2005) estimate that global box office receipts, excluding classical music, opera and musicals) exceeded 10 billion dollars for the first time in 2004. Kusek and Leonard (2005) conclude that “the record business is suffering, but the music industry as a whole is alive and well”."

It will be a painful transition for many in regards to these new technologies, least of all the young technologues who are being arrested for using tools (PC, Internet, Mp3, MPEG, Broadband) that are being sold to them by the same companies that are lobbying governments to stop what the tools allow people to do.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Now Blogging from Qumana

This was a post via Qumana but it seems to have a few drawbacks so I have uploaded it again in Blogger and I will continue experimenting with Qumana. The short comings I have spoted so far is that Qumana does not upload pictures to an online server, only creates a file path to where you have them on your drive. So if my computer is not online, there is no image. Second, there is no preview function (that I have been able to find) so you don't know how it looks until you post. Finally you can't write entries in HTML...which makes thing very flat.

So here is the orginal post that was here.

This is a test as I have begun blogging from Qumana due to a desire to use technorati tags and being impressed with what looks like a very flexible blogging tool (thanks Steph). I have not much to say (spending my days close reading digital literature and theory) although I did want to recomend a film if anyone wants to come to a deeper understanding to what has been happening in France over the last week;
Mathieu Kassovitz
La Haine


Saturday, November 05, 2005

A Vindication of the Right of the Universities of Great Britain to a Copy of Every New Publication

A Vindication of the Right of the Universities of Great Britain to a Copy of Every New Publication (1807).

Is Revolution Dead?

Our household has recently subscribed to Time magazine. It is an insightful read into the fundamentals of a certain approach to society, culture and even history. I must admit I share little of the general 'small c' conservatism of the publication. A few weeks ago an article entitled Revolution in the Air Europe's old rebels had a good run, but the times they are a-changin' irritated me considerably with its smug "we told you so" tone. But then listening to the radio news this morning I wondered what exactly has been "a-changin" since 1968 and how:

"French police arrested 253 people overnight as gangs burned cars and buildings for the ninth consecutive night in Paris suburbs and rioting spread to cities including Strasbourg and Rennes. Almost 900 vehicles were set ablaze across the nation."

Summit of the Americas protest
Rioters clashed with police as an anti-US rally turned violent at the start of the Summit of the Americas in Argentina.

5.2 million unemployed in Germany (10.6%)and in France it is 30% for those under 25 years.

It occurred to me that we are still dealing with many of the same issues that could be gathered together under the title "Modernity": technologization of production (and its effect on Labor), a global economy, colonial appropriations, access to education and wealth, right of movement and assembly, and of course there is still war. This has been going on for a long time. The times have always been "a-changin" but events, relationships, struggles and representations go on and on.......

Friday, November 04, 2005

Walcott on Mind Time Language and Space

Derek Walcott on Mind, Time, Language, and Space

"Break a vase, and the love that reassembles the fragments is stronger than that love which took its symmetry for granted when it was whole. The glue that fits the pieces is the sealing of its original shape. It is such a love that reassembles our African and Asiatic fragments, the cracked heirlooms whose restoration shows its white scars. This gathering of broken pieces is the care and pain of the Antilles, and if the pieces are disparate, ill-fitting, they contain more pain than their original sculpture, those icons and sacred vessels taken for granted in their ancestral places. Antillean art is this restoration of our shattered histories, our shards of vocabulary, our archipelago becoming a synonym for pieces broken off from the original continent.

And this is the exact process of the making of poetry, or what should be called not its "making" but its remaking, the fragmented memory, the armature that frames the god, even the rite that surrenders it to a final pyre; the god assembled cane by cane, reed by weaving reed, line by plaited line, as the artisans of Felicity would erect his holy echo.

Poetry, which is perfection's sweat but which must seem as fresh as the raindrops on a statue's brow, combines the natural and the marmoreal; it conjugates both tenses simultaneously: the past and the present, if the past is the sculpture and the present the beads of dew or rain on the forehead of the past. There is the buried language and there is the individual vocabulary, and the process of poetry is one of excavation and of self-discovery. Tonally the individual voice is a dialect; it shapes its own accent, its own vocabulary and melody in defiance of an imperial concept of language, the language of Ozymandias, libraries and dictionaries, law courts and critics, and churches, universities, political dogma, the diction of institutions. Poetry is an island that breaks away from the main. The dialects of my archipelago seem as fresh to me as those raindrops on the statue's forehead, not the sweat made from the classic exertion of frowning marble, but the condensations of a refreshing element, rain and salt."

Derek Walcott – Nobel Lecture, December 7, 1992 (sound recording on site)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Rooted by Sony

From the people who bought me the pain of OpenMG technology (TM.), which I have blogged bitterly about before, comes the rootkit. I came across this via OLDaily. Even considering that the Sony corporation is one of the major players in digital rights management (DRM) and other hindrances to innovation the rootkit is a an unexpected piece of nastiness:

"Rootkits are cloaking technologies that hide files, Registry keys, and other system objects from diagnostic and security software, and they are usually employed by malware attempting to keep their implementation hidden"
from Mark's Susinternals

These packets of evil are actually being manufactured under license and distributed by Sony!

"you simply drop your legally purchased CD in your legally purchased computer, and you are infected with DRM, no choice in the matter. Imagine if you happen to do something as criminal as taking your legally purchased CD to work, where it conflicts with a piece of software. Who is responsible for the cleanup costs?"
The Inquirer

I scanned my computer yesterday and found five negligible objects. Luckily they were all in the Cookies and Temp folders so it was easy to clear. I do not think they were actually rootkit DRM as I don't listen to any music that is manufactured by such people.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Northern Exposure

There are many bloggers this far north! Notice the shadow cast over northern Finland. From edubloggers at Frappr.

In the Darkness of the Mind........

I have been away from this blog for a while as we continue to deal with the unusual sleep pattern of a now 6 week old baby (who has gone up almost 1 kg in weight in 5 weeks) and what time I get is spent reading or preparing more urgent texts. Winter has begun to spread its arms around us here in the north and as I write this (in my just occupied office at uni) it is 4pm and as dark as night outside my window (no snow yet). It feels like I have embarked on a new journey with my belated and patchy return to university now being just research orientated. The crowds of young students in corridors and cafes who are finding their feet seem to be very distant as I move hurriedly around "my campus" (Office, Institution admin, HUMlab, Library).
I am working on what could become a chapter of a thesis....whhooo...Sounds so adult! Here is a rough abstract that I wrote to myself, just in case I forget what it is I'm doing:

"Works of digital literature are, like any work of literary imagination, only complete when read. How is this reading undertaken and by whom? The work itself creates the "Reader" by the intention of the code systems employed (verbal, visual, material, and audial). The construction of this reader may be understood in terms of interactivity as it is a common feature of literacy generally and digital texts themselves. What is the social nature of the reader which emerges from interactive reading?"

At the moment it is going by the title "The Interactive Reader".