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   Friday, October 10, 2003  
MA / visual blog

Bea's Diary

Diary of a fictious character - Bea - created by Keri Smith. Beautiful illustations and lots of interesting things to make- I am particularly taken with the brownie pouch, being an ex-Brownie myself (yes, it's true).
   posted by *mcb* at 8:49 AM


MA / blogosphere paper

More Boring Extracts from my Rough Draft:

The digital image is an illusion. It might appear to be a drawing or a photograph or a painting, but, Magritte-like, it is none of these. It creates a semblance of unity when in fact it is composed of fragments; “a finite Cartesian grid of cells" (pixels) where colour is designated “…by means of an integer number drawn from some limited range placed together to create the impression of wholeness.” (Mitchell). The digital image is an alliance of discrete units, just like the Web itself, so aptly described by David Weinberger as “small pieces, loosely joined”.

Images on blogs are serialized – each relates, however indirectly, to the preceding and following images. The visual blog becomes like a slow-moving film, or timelapse. We log onto the same screen daily, but it has changed, while we weren’t looking. Like comic strip panels, images on a blog may stand alone, but also add, incrementally, to the telling of a larger story.

An image in a gallery, or framed in our homes, derives its power from its uniqueness, its rarity. In the digital era, where reproduction is just a right click away, the unique is becoming almost meaningless. The power of the digital image comes from its accessibility, its maleability.

(still thinking this through, especially about where digital images get there power from. Maybe they don't actually have any. dunno. And the unique. Still not sure about that.)
   posted by *mcb* at 8:26 AM


   Thursday, October 09, 2003  
Bookslut: Interview with Scott McCloud. Discusses digital vs print, micropayments.
   posted by *mcb* at 8:51 AM



Monocular Texts

(via ::: wood s lot :::)

The intro to Monocular Times re-examines Debord's theories of the spectacular:
the spectacular has become monocular. a narrow band of so-called entertainment pushes its way through the eye of a needle and expects us to accept global monoculture. one culture for all. one culture to bind us. one culture to blind us to lived experience.
we resist its baneful bronze eye. we replace monoculture with palimpsest and revel in its wild, untamed diversity. in place of sameness and seperation we assert difference and participation. where there are walls we desire spaces. and where there are spaces we desire access. and when we have access we can begin to play.
above all, we desire pleasure. and to the monoculture that seeks to commodify all that we desire, we respond that its leisure is not our pleasure.

The site has some interesting things to present. I like idea the Institute for the Preservation of Bad Art (although further proddings has revealed it to be slightly more patronising and considerably less affectionate than I had initially thought).

I was also attracted to the heading Avant Gardening but was disappointed to discover that the link to Guy Debord's piece on drinking was broken.
Oh well.
   posted by *mcb* at 8:29 AM



Future Me

As a kid I had something of a fascination with time capsules. I made several of them and buried them at various times in the backyard. Inevitably, one boring Sunday I would decide to dig it up again, twenty years too early. I remember doing one addressed to the me of the year 2000. I'm still waiting for my shiny silver suit and hover craft, damn it.

F u t u r e M e . o r g allows you to write an email to yourself that will arrive at some point further down the track. I intend to write one, but I'm having trouble deciding just how far into the future I should make it. You can send it as far ahead as 2028. Will I really still have my hotmail accounts by then? It seems unlikely, but it would certainly be bizarre to receive an email from myself from so far back in time.

Perhaps I'll send myself one a year and see how it goes.

(found via jill/txt)
   posted by *mcb* at 8:18 AM


   Wednesday, October 08, 2003  
Found this comic about a girl talking to a bee.
What a preposterous idea...
   posted by *mcb* at 9:14 AM


MA / blogosphere paper

Looking at Blogs : more general thoughts

The importance of the visual aspect of blogs is not always apparent until things go awry. Having a hacker change the appearance of your blog is akin to waking up and discovering that your face has changed overnight. Chancing upon a site that has appropriated your template is like seeing someone on the street, dressed in your stolen clothes. An app might playfully replace your images with other ones, creating a parasitic site within your site. Then there are occasional glitches that occur as a site downloads that result in the viewer momentarily being presented with unformatted text, unprotected by its outer shell of css; crude, basic, unready. You have caught the blog without its skin, displaying the bare bones instead.

(thanks to Sai for the excellent T'inator link.)
   posted by *mcb* at 8:20 AM


   Tuesday, October 07, 2003  
delve magazine is currently accepting submissions for their upcoming issue on portraits. Delve explores
visual culture
through experimentation in design, photography,
illustration, and other related visual arts.
contributing artists are encouraged to explore
aspects of their chosen medium that fall outside
of conventional or commercial applications.

The past issues of Delve are well worth a look. I particularly like the "H" edition.
   posted by *mcb* at 8:47 AM


MA / blogosphere paper

Looking at Blogs: some general thoughts

The contemporary era, the Age of Terror is time of watching; we are exhorted to be watchful, we watch our backs, we watch out for strangers. When we are not watching out for ourselves, we watch others; perhaps on reality tv shows, where the contestants pretend that they don’t know we are watching them. Watching implies movement and time. It also implies nervousness, a lack of knowledge of what is going to happen. It is has none of the indulgent pleasure of gazing, it is more loaded than merely seeing. Watching is less confident than staring, more intent than glancing, more sustained than glimpsing.

We watch television, but we don’t watch the Internet which is, on the whole, fairly static (although we may occasionally loosen our grip on the mouse for long enough to watch an mpeg or quicktime). We use a combination of glancing and staring for this medium - our eyes sweep over the screen - a freefall of sight until something interests us enough to pause the plummet for a moment or two. As we are so busy being watchful and watching our watches (time is money on the internet) we want readily accessible information –cut-to-size and trimmed of fat. Lean news, lean stories. We want weblogs, but how do we know which weblogs we want, when there are currently estimated to be well-over a million of them? And as a Blogger, how do we get people to stop long enough on our blog to discover that our stories are amusing, our links are fresh, our insights are worthy of a more considered perusal?

Images can provide an effective means for stopping the freefall through the internet, a visual catch. They reward the viewer for having scrolled this far, suggesting there may be more of the same if scrolling continues.
   posted by *mcb* at 8:28 AM


   Monday, October 06, 2003  
Derek M. Powazek on useability vs innovation in design.
   posted by *mcb* at 8:51 AM



The Good, The Not So Good

The Good
1. asparagus. In season and cheap.
2. blood oranges. In season, not so cheap, but who cares?
3. Met the Age short story comp deadline.
4. currently broad daylight when I get up.
5. wrote 2500 words on my draft this weekend, plus had a good storyboarding session with La Spin.

The Not So Good
1. still three weeks before the first of the stone fruit hits the shops
2. getting tired of spending every weekend in front of the computer
3. getting sick of thinking about my paper, and fretting that it might not even be accepted
4. regardless of how much time is spent fretting and sitting in front of computer, end up feeling on Monday that not enough time was spent fretting, and sitting in front of computer
5. it's still bloody freezing in Melbourne.
   posted by *mcb* at 8:27 AM


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