Forgotten Flags

Florian Thalhofer and Juliane Henrich have just released “Forgotten Flags” an interactive documentary (using Florian’s Korsakow System). The work is about the reappearance of German flags in homes (on homes) during the World Cup and how the flags stayed up after the Cup, so it is interested in the re-emergence of a German nationalism.

I Don’t Get This

OK, lots of you do this in your blogs. Create an empty post. Why? I guess so you can fill it in later and prove to your teacher that you did it then? Or have I got that wrong.

Who is assessing your blog this semester? Who is assessing participation this semester? So if it is you (that is the answer to those questions btw) then how on earth does this achieve anything for you? I guess it seems to me that you would do this because you assume I or Seth are vetting your blogs to make sure you’re doing stuff. No, I read them because I’m interested and many of them are very good. Stop thinking of this as being at school with Big Brother looking over your shoulder making sure you really did do what you said you do. We are trying to let you be adults. If you say you did something, then we expect that you really did do something. What you’re doing by putting in place holder blog posts is the opposite of this.

Finally, imaginne that your blog is read by someone apart from your teacher. Do you think they will continue to read your blog when you treat your readers with this sort of laziness parading as proving to an nonexistent examiner that you really are doing what you’re supposed to be doing? What would you write or put in your blog if you really thought it was yours. Do that and the rest will take care of itself.

Round Is As Round Does

This is a reworking of a round vog I made in June last year. This time I have made most of the content black and white, with a

When Software Companies Disappear

This happened months ago, but I have buried my head in the sand pretending it was but a blip and had not really happened. Normal transmission would resume, somehow, somewhere. Totally Hip, the Canadian firm behind LiveStage Pro, have more or less closed shop. They still have a website, apparently still selling software, but please don’t. (For example the LiveStage Pro page says you can buy version 4.6 but clicking through to the ecommerce site only provides version 4.5, meanwhile the support site (stagedoor.totallyhip.com) is now vaporware.)

This is the software that I use to author interactive QuickTime works, it is basically Flash for QuickTime, and gives you access to an enormous range of variables, a full scripting language, XML lists, and so on.

Now, it is one thing for the company to disappear, after all I can use the software until the OS has changed so much that it no longer runs, but this software requires authentication on installation via a keyserver that Totally Hip maintained. That’s gone too. So when I need to move to a new computer I cannot take LiveStage with me. So I reckon I’ve got it for another 8 months or so. Then I will no longer be able to script QuickTime, unless I do a Comp.Sci degree (and my maths is so not up to that). I’m about to play with VideoClix, which is more sophisticated than Ezedia, but still way behind LiveStage.

I assume Flash and Flash video has killed it. Which is a pity, QuickTime remains the most productive and intelligent architecture for time based media.

Alternative to Research Project

If you do not want to do the major creative research project this is available as an alternative. I’ve pasted this directly from the email. To do this instead of the creative research project Seth and I are setting minimum (equivalent) requirements, so if you submit work that is just a two pane video work, and it is shown, congratulations, but it will not count as an alternative to the creative research task.

So, what is the deal? It is an online exhibition of QuickTime based work, so if you choose to do this you will be trying to get your work shown as part of an international exhibition. Seth or myself will be like your ‘executive producer’ which means we will still critique your work, assess it, set minimum requirements and standards.

Why do this? Because if your work is accepted then you will be part of an international exhibition. It also means that if you wish to explore something fictional, or simply more open than the creative research brief, you can.

Finally, keep in mind that the work can, could be (should be?) a mix of video, audio, graphics and will require an interface for navigation.

Call for entries
extended deadline 31 May 2007

Theme:
Slowtime 2007? – Quicktime as an artistic medium

Cinematheque –
http://cinema.nmartproject.net
http://mac.le-musee-divisioniste.org
is the centre for streaming media in the framework of
[NewMediaArtProjectNetwork]:||cologne – www.nmartproject.net,
and will open in 2007 – Cinema_C by launching the new show, entitled:
“Slowtime 2007 – Quicktime as an artistic medium”.
Already in 2003, Cinematheque was exploring the artistic potential of the popular streaming videoformat
Quicktime as it can be visited in Cinema_B (access via the Cinematheque site).
As Quicktime was undergoing a rapid technological development during the past years,
it is time again for exploring the current state of Quicktime and its use
as a medium for artistic expressions.
–>
Cinematheque is inviting artists, video and film makers
to submit up to three videos in Quicktime format –
originating from 2004 or later, preferably sized 480×360 px,
but not smaller than 320×240 px, a duration of max. 6 minutes
and make them available online on a separate webpage for review and download.
–>
Please find the call, the regulations and entry form on
http://www.nmartproject.net/netex/?p=1

So, you want to do this? Then

  • the submission date is earlier than for the major project
  • your project should consist of a multiframe QT project with a
    • splash screen
    • consistent navigation
    • multipane video or audio on some or most screens
  • present a consistent user experience
  • provide a strong, relevant and consistent thematic structure
  • there must be accompanying documentation that contextualises your work indicating what you are exploring, how and why
  • the completed work and documentation must reflect 6 weeks of applied work (thinking, creating, doing)

AV04, aka triptych

Make a three panel time based media work, each panel should be self contained (eg make sense by itself) but should also have some sort of meaningful relation with the other two.

Publish this to your blog. In the same post discuss how you have interpreted this brief. How have you defined ‘meaningful relation?’?

Stephanie’s Call

Ok, I’ll bite. If it is that simple, could you explain why being “messy and problematic” means that something can grow? I’m not disagreeing, but bodies are highly organised, and that is what allows them to grow (isn’t it?). So rather than just distill it down to this (I’m not sure what you’ve done with the other chapters), I want to understand what is messy about the internet, and why this allows ‘growth’, and what is ‘problematic’ about the internet (in relation to what?) and why this also lets things grow. Are you suggesting that if my garden were messy and problematic it would grow? Grow better? These are not facetious questions, you are being glib so rather than be glib justify your claims.

Eisenstein

Bree wonders about putting two different sequences together and if that produces a ‘third meaning’ (like Eisenstein – see Barthes’ essay on Eisenstein, or at least Nick Rhombes blog post on same), and if this is the point of the task.

Ah, well done. It is one of the points of the task (another is to make and so explore ideas about spatial montage – have a hunt here, it’s a terrible site to find anything in). If, when editing, we can put one shot after another and change their meaning, what happens if we can put two sequences next to each other? And even if it doesn’t change their meaning, does it provide new or different narrative possibilities?

Sarah’s Blog

Just found Sarah Gibson’s blog, as the URL indicates she’s from the the Uni of Technology Sydney (or Sidenknee as

YouTube (What Am I Doing??)

This is a video from YouTube, by an anthropology academic. It has done the rounds of most academic blogs interested in new media, the net, blogs, web 2, etc etc. It is very clever, smart, and yes educational. If you replace ‘text’ in the video with ‘time based media’ then you have a very good description of quite a bit of what we are doing this semester, and why. And also probably my approach to time based media online.

For some reason I can’t embed it, so here’s a link.

MashedMedia

This semester in Integrated Media all students are (meant to be) making minor video works each work. They are, at the moment, in response to specific briefs. As the work is published in individual blogs I am republishing the work via a group weblog (well, it was set up as a group blog but I’m the only one there at the moment). The category in the blog for this stuff is MashedMedia, and the works are usually also categorised according to the brief they are responding to – where the work is unsolicited, ie the student’s just made it, then I just use the MashedMedia tag.

The work is deliberately experimental, currently moving into multiple pane video works, and is inviting students to critique (positively and negatively) a media practice that is different to that which informs and underwrites ‘professional’ media practice.

Oh, you could subscribe to MashedMedia via RSS, but it won’t actually work for the multipane videos. These use child movies and RSS is firmly old media in its conception of media objects as it assumes that each object is single and only made up of a single file.

Haiku Media

Fraser at The Long Tale does a nice job of joining in to the conversation about what I have (I guess controversially) described as ‘dirty’ media. So, lets think of the word ‘dirty’ as poetic not literal, metaphoric rather than metonymic, connotative rather than denotative. So it is, let’s see, dirty, rough, quick, noisy. Ah, noisy. OK, I’m going to refer to it as noisy media.

Fraser is right, we do want your blogs to be closer to sketch books than finished canvasses, études rather than symphonies, working drafts and sequences rather than novels. It is an informal media. This is also how we are approaching the sorts of media objects we make for this environment – we are not trying to use your blogs as a platform to make features (though you certainly can if you want to do that as well).

On the other hand it might help Steve’s position to introduce some more ideas. Sketches (for example) are not just on the way to something else. For some artists sketches are the work, and in other cases they get valued because they provide evidence of the work behind “the work” (for example sketches on paper and in oils as studies towards a major painting). Just as some writers (for example Raymond Carver) only wrote very short stories, or their working notes might be valued as a way of showing the process of what went into a novel. In music there is a genre, the étude, which describes musical sketches, because you have to play and experiment on the way to making a larger work, but the étude remains a legitimate work in itself (as do the drawings of many many artists). Finally, there are numerous creative forms that are about the miniature, the small scale, and so in some ways this is the aesthetic we are currently using.

Now, two important things here. One is that you’ll notice these ’sketches’ help with process, it is very hard to make the ‘big’ (good) work without making sketches on the way, and it is in looking at the sketches that the process of your work is revealed (for you and others). Process is something this subject is very interested in. We want you to be able to learn and to discuss/document your decisions, theoretical and creative.

The second is that, as suggested, you need to sketch to get to the big thing. If you don’t sketch, your big thing will be lesser for it. So this is why we are making sketches. Improvisations. Noisy little pieces.

OK, I’ll finish up with this quote from Steve:

You have a draft because you want to end up with a finished product. You have a sketchbook to experiment with ideas. Each is possible to be “beautiful, ideal and perfect” but as they are by definition drafts and experiments, they are most often half formulated ideas and rough outlines of an end goal, be it a painting, a film, a song, a story… whatever.

What about a haiku? A form that can be informal, elegant, deeply sublime. It has a strict structure, is very small, and is not a ‘half formulated idea’ on the way to ‘an end goal’. A haiku might take you a month to write, but it will always be ’small’ media. That is its beauty and its strength. So perhaps we are making haiku media?