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   Friday, October 17, 2003  
MA / blogosphere paper

Essay writing, endings

It's going to be 28 degrees in Melbourne tomorrow and I will be spending most of it inside, in front of the computer. In fact, I'll probably spend most of the weekend as a whole, huddled over my laptop. Petite is in Sydney and Thieu is off to Adelaide tonight so I won't even have any distractions. Still, it'll be good. Well, it'll be good if I achieve what I'm hoping to achieve, which is a reasonable redraft by the end of the weekend. At the moment, the essay is in messy pieces, thoughts scattered everywhere.

I have an ongoing problem in that I sit down and think "I'll just read over the first part so that I can work on the second part", but then I become so distracted by the first part that I never make it to the later section.

I told Thieu about this last night and he, sensibly, said "Just start with the second part then." The problem with this seemingly faultless advice is that I've made so many criss-crosses across my essay already, prodding paragraphs, repotting sentences, having massive word bonfires in some parts that I can never remember what's still there, and where it is. So I have to re-read it to get started.

Anyway, I'll get there, hopefully. I might try and post a draft on the blog next week, if it's not too dreadful. Clancy has a recent post on writing conclusions that will come in handy this weekend.

The incentive for working hard this weekend is that next weekend we are hopefully going to Wilson's Prom and I really really want to go. I want to go and not take the essay.
   posted by *mcb* at 8:35 AM


   Thursday, October 16, 2003  
Skin Quartet

* Tu and I went to see skin quartet last night, which is a collaboration between a friend we went to art school with, Louisa Bufardeci and a musician, David Young.

Louisa's component was a digial projection of closeups of skin, overlaid with statistics from the CIA's Factbook. This was accompanied by a quartet, playing music based on maps, photos of skin, photos of landmasses. They each has a laptop infront of them instead of a music stand, and the images dissolved from one into the other.

I made an important discovery that evening: that I am too old to sit on the ground. The performance was only forty minutes but I was in absolute agony by the end of it. Moving was painful. Not moving was painful. But the end I was completely unable to concentrate, such was my discomfort. I kept glaring at the supple young thing next to me who sat cross-legged throughout the entire thing and did not move at all.

I hate the young.

   posted by *mcb* at 8:33 AM


   Wednesday, October 15, 2003  
Studio AKA
Via La Spin, a link to studio aka, an animation studio with an excellent selection of work. Some are quite large and I had a few probs with them crashing my machine. And it's an entirely flash interface (Marcus warning). Still, lots of wonderful things to looks at, and a wide variety of styles, too.

(the links are also well worth looking at)
   posted by *mcb* at 8:36 AM


   Tuesday, October 14, 2003  
Digital Images


So, tell me about the benefits of digital images.

Well, the obvious one with digital photography is that you can instantly see the results and delete them if they're no good.
And it's cheap?
The cameras are expensive, but once you have one, yes, it's a pretty cheap medium.
Then you print the photos out onto high gloss paper and put them in your photo album?
You could, but I'm not sure how many people actually do that. Maybe they do with the really special shots.
What happens to them then, if they don't get printed out?
They get emailed. Or put on a website. Or a weblog. Weblogs are great for digital photos because of the chronological archiving.
Does that mean that in the future we'll have to send each other URLs when we want to show what life was like in the early 21st century?
I think we already are doing that.
What other benefits are there?
Well, if you are an artist then putting your work online means a greater number of people could potentially see your stuff.
GGAnd then steal it.QA
Yes, that's a possibility.
Why do you think people flog other people's stuff online?
Partly it's because the technology makes it so easy. Right-click, save picture as... I think people feel, "well, if it's listed as an option in the menu, it must be ok."
GGDoes it stop people from putting their best work online?.QA
GGI don't think so. I asked Heather Champ about that and she said that it hadn't stopped her so far.QA
GGAnd possibly it's like what Doug said in yesterday's comments- perhaps sometimes the benefits of gaining an audience outweigh the threat of copyright infringement.QA
GGSo people don't care if other people use their images?QA
GGSometimes they do, sometimes they don't.QA
GGGood answer...QA
GGIt's getting late. I've got to go to work.QA

grumpy girl
   posted by *mcb* at 8:22 AM


   Monday, October 13, 2003  
MA / blogosphere paper

And so it goes on:

The advent of the mechanical age inevitably led, as Benjamin pointed out, to works designed for reproducibility [quoted Harley p 60], such as photography and film, where copies can be made from the negative or master print. Andrew Darley suggests that the existence of identical copies of the one artwork means “…not only that more people get to see it but also that as a work it is thereby made less precious.” [2000 Darley 125]

The digital era takes away the need for a negative or a master print (although, as anyone who has tried to remove a background layer from a flattened photoshop file, or improve the resolution of a heavily compressed file knows, there is still a hierarchy of digital imagery). Any digital image can spawn an exact reproduction of itself, the ability to copy text or images [and therefore to infringe copyright] on the Internet is inherent in the technology itself [Gurak 123].

Yet weblogs don’t rely on reproduction to spread their message. Rather than having hundreds of copies of an image distributed via print, there is one, accessible to anyone with an internet connection. Thus despite the right-click ease of digital reproduction, once again we are making journeys to visit the images in their contexts. If we like the image, we might save it to our hard drive or send it via email to other people. But we are just as likely to save the address, to bookmark it so we can visit it again, or to send the URL on, so others can visit the image as it is meant to be seen; in its online context.

(Are weblog images less precious because of the ease of reproducibility? Does less effort go into their creation than work on paper? Does the fact that weblog images are serials mean that the individual components are reduced in value?)
   posted by *mcb* at 8:26 AM


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