Test post

December 12, 2008




September 18, 2008

A key interest of mine…just need to jot down a note about something I just read while researching embodiment for a syllabus I’m preparing for a job packet.  “That a physical body is needed is not as generally accepted as may initially be thought.” Interesting idea for an art piece: create an installation of sensorium; embodying a space/place with sensors…

Something to percolate in the ol’ noggin’.

The sound of…

September 14, 2008

his article details efforts by ecologists to use sound as  tool for measuring and following healthy ecosystems. I find this utterly fascinating and am wondering how this idea could be used in a work of art, or in a documentative piece (I may have just coined a new term, and I’ll have to write around that idea at another time)…

They look at (listen to) a range of areas for their research. Some use microphones to gauge the biodiversity of a given area. Others are listening for acoustic overlap:

“I want to understand how acoustic activity in one site is connected with the song activity of another site,” [Almo Farina,] said. “Some birds sing only after another species becomes silent, and vice versa. When you find acoustic overlap, this means that the community could be affected by some habitat disturbance.”

Interesting stuff, this “biophony”.

So, how could I learn from this? Well, I’ve already started exploring Motion’s parameter settings, of which audio is one parameter that can be used. This is different, but I think related. The very notion of acoustics as an indicator of life, or even liveliness is of incredible importance for anyone working with moving image, so even if a particular work doesn’t come from this, I believe that reconfiguring my own thinking about sound in this context will be helpful for my own work.

And, for one last parting shot, they make some really interesting maps (not yet sure how to read them):

Interstitial Cinema

August 25, 2008

This is something that has been floating around in my brain for years, literally. However I’m starting to understand how it could be pulled into a body of work.

I have long been fascinated by the moments in cinema where nothing happens. Those shots of an empty room, or field, or space. They pause, allowing the viewer to take what they have just seen, process it for a moment and then connect it with what is about to happen.  It’s anticipatory and participatory for the viewer. They are the connective tissue of a film – the interstitial, the place in between. The moments between the literal, narrative-driving action of a film.

This allows the interstitial moments a lot of power; they drive the mood of the film, for everything in that scene where nothing happens still affects us.  Sound, light, composition is still involved, sometimes more so. What and how those moments of rest are presented colors the entire film.

I’ve often referred to these scenes before as “beauty shots”, for they have always seemed to me to be some of the most beautiful moments in cinema. Often they are so very everyday, so quotidian that we may not even notice them, or they may come at crucial moments of a film, providing psychological rest before we move on.

More on this to come, but it feels to me like there is something here for me to explore.

jump start the noggin’

August 25, 2008

I have projects that I need to start working on, and getting my head into the correct sphere means that I need to start thinking with the right help. So, some notes on what I should be thinking about (percolate, percolate, percolate little brain):

on De Certeau (from here):

  • The consumption, which is “devious, dispersed and insinuates itself everywhere,” with certain impositions of a dominant economic order, “does not manifest itself through its own products, but rather through its ways of using the products”

So this is interesting, a manifestation through the use of products… is this true for media/art as well?

  • Again, de Certeau emphasizes that at first everyday practice is need to “analyze” the manipulation of the consumption by users. (476)
  • Furthermore, this practice of consumption is gauged by “the difference or similarity between the production of the image and the secondary production hidden in the process of its utilization”

How do we find this difference or similarity? Where does it sit, and what questions do we ask to pull it out the hidden secondary production?

An example of where De Certeau looks is perhaps here:

  • “to the tactics of the art of cooking which simultaneously organizes a network of relations, poetic ways of ‘making do’ and a re-use of marketing structure”

Cooking represents the secondary, creative process of production where the individual has power to make with a consumer/capitalist power structure sitting on top of them.

  • “Tactics wander out of orbit, making consumer into immigrants in a system too vast to be their own, too tightly woven for them to escape from it,” and also “show the extent to which intelligence is inseparable from the everyday struggles and pleasure¡

Let’s consider the following:

  • 3. The activity of reading has all the characteristics of a silent production:
  • (Reading in a economy of writing)
  • a. “the drift across the page”
  • b.”the metamorphosis of the text effected by the wandering eyes of the reader”
  • c. “the improvisation and expectation of meanings inferred from a few words, leaps over written spaces in an ephemeral dance”
  • 4.. The activity of reading, with appropriating procedure, ruse, metaphor, is also “an invention of the memory,” and “the readable transforms itself into the memorable”¡X”reading as a distinctive space of appropriation which is never reducible simply to what is read” (Ahearne 166-7)
  • 5. Reading, the mutation of the text as the “habitable,” “transforms another person’s property into a space borrowed for a moment by a transient.”
  • a. Ex: Readers like renters “make comparable changes in an apartment they furnish with their acts and memories”
  • b. Ex. Speakers “inserts both the messages of their native tongue, and through their accent, through their own ‘turns of phrase,’ their own   history.
  • 6. Imposed by the generation of a productivist technocracy, the text is no longer “a referential book, but a whole society made into a book, into the writing of the anonymous law of production” (483).

What are the acts that can be substituted for reading…any act in society?

Walking the City, have to go back and read that chapter, must consider geocaches, google maps, wikipedia…

I’d love to teach this in an interdisciplinary class focusing on art and theory, something like consumer as producer using the free tools of capitalist web 2.0 to document creative interactions, obstructions and moments of pause created by my students.

How do issues of location, technology and art change/come into play with the above?

What about video?

How do I create videos that encourage (clearly) a 2ndary production by the user? Or does “passive” consumption do this already and I would just be belaboring a point? How does one reference without imposing?

Many things to think about…which I haven’t done enough of lately.

Prepping the Route

January 24, 2008

So, I’m starting a new job. I think this blog will come in handy for this new job, especially compared to my most recent job. I’ll be helping the Center for Education Leadership start delivering some of their content online. So, hybrid courses, distance learning, communication tools, that sort of thing. All of this is very exciting, and I’ll write more about this as I get a handle on what, exactly, it is that they do. Presumably, this will all become clear after I start working.

However, I’m also thrilled that I will be able to commute to work via bike. Perhaps not all of the time, sometimes I will have to drive the dreaded car. But, in general, the plan is to commute via bike. I have most of the gear I need, maybe a dry bag for the Seattle rain. I also have mapped my route on Google Maps, making use of their excellent customize feature. This is the route I’m starting with: View Route.

We’ll see how it goes.

links 12-6-07

December 7, 2007

BBC four documentaries – futurist Dr Michio Kaku argues humans on the edge of new age