Posts Tagged ‘Useful, One Day…’


Projections is a blog by Jon (sorry, don’t remember how I found a link to this and I can’t find out who Jon is, perhaps a case of an academic blog where if you need to ask then you don’t need to know?) which is about the representation, etc of Latin America in Hollywood and European cinema. Not sure why other cinemas aren’t there, perhaps they don’t need to use Latin America as a marker of all that it gets used for (make your own list, it’s easy – corruption, graft, sweat, carnality, dark jungles, rain forests that contain monsters/miracles/epiphanies, and so on). Most of the commentary appears to be on specific films and their use of Latin America, but it is excellent commentary. For someone who has drifted out of screen studies in recent years, finding sites like these are exciting, if only because it is refreshing to find good cinema studies being done this way. And it lets me skim read some material to get a sense of the current intellectual flavours populating cinema studies. It has always had strong fashions, some might even say foppish.

Ulmer ebook

Nearly typed eBook then, god damned aPple. My neighbours have edited (and contributed to) a fantastic collection dedicated to the work of Greg Ulmer. It is available as a free pdf download (46MB). Illogic of Sense. the Gregory L. Ulmer Remix. It is an academic collection and an artist’s ebook, check it out.


Leonardo Transactions

From the email announcement:

Transactions is a new section in the print journal Leonardo that publishes fully refereed papers in a fast track to disseminating key new results, ideas and developments in practice.

Papers are solicited under the stated aims and scope of Leonardo, but are restricted to two pages of published material. A fast referee process is employed in which the result is restricted to “accept” or “reject” a submission. If a submission is rejected, the submission of a revised version will be treated as a new paper.

This is an excellent idea and I suspect is evidence of Roger Malina’s influence with his hard sciences background as this sort of thing is very common in the sciences. Much of the humanities could benefit well from a good kick up the pants from quite a bit of the dissemination models offered by the sciences:

  • studio practice (they call it a lab) is common
  • joint authorship is common (regardless of its individual merits in an era of the RQF it is outrageously effective at producing a long list of publications to your name)
  • a commitment to publicly accessible archives
  • recognised (accidentally?) that books are very slow media (not many scientists write books, let alone treat books as their major source of knowledge production and dissemination)

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 we like to say down here, cos we all have chips on our shoulders about Sydney), which is sort of a sister institution to RMIT where I am rumoured to be gainfully employed.

Sarah lectures in media arts and production, she has a particular interest in fairytales, archetypal narratives, and paints. She is documenting her ongoing re-enchantment project.

That Four Sentence Abstract

I got the labsome students to use the four sentence abstract exercise today as a way to focus their thinking. As I was explaining how to do it I described it as:

What are you going to do? Why is it worth doing? What are you going to do about it? Why does this matter?

Seemed to help shift from the sort of science language of the original.

Media Portal Sketch

As the following probably shows, I’m a cobbler (or perhaps it is more like sketching?). So, this media portal I’m wanting to build. Occurred to me that I could:

  • install Loudblog
  • then tag things in
  • subscribe via Loudblog to that tag using the syndication plugin in Loudblog

Disadvantages: you need to tag the media object itself in not just the blog post, that is slow, and also means you lose the blog post. A very bad thing. So scratch that sketch. Bugger.

Another quickie:

  • install Loudblog
  • tag posts in
  • use the delicious plugin in Loudblog
  • see what happens

I also think the reblog that I used last year worked well, and so if I can work out how to use that tied into a WordPress installation that might be the way to go.

Turn Here, Web Video Production House

TurnHere: Free video guides for travel, restaurants, hotels, local events & music is, as the title suggests, a web video production company. They seem to make promotional material and distribute it via their site, or I imagine yours. This is a very traditional model of what used to be called ‘industrial film’, which is what documentary makers do most of the time to subsidise their work. The sorts of things where company X needs a training video made, or some corporate promotional work, or to document something. The interesting thing here is that they are web specific and so trying to create a niche.

Yojimbo as Finder Alternative

No, not the Kurosawa film. A utility from Bare Bones. It lets you drag/drop and generally easily get files into it, you can add tags to them, and you can also set them up as collections. It works much like mail, or iTunes or iPhoto. A library which has all, and then collections where you can organise stuff. Unfortunately (or fortunately) collections don’t seem to support subfolders. Now, I was using DEVONthink to do this, but I found that I was putting stuff into folders inside folders inside folders to arrange things (yes, DEVONthink has very nice tools for workign out where stuff should go, but personally I think tags have made that, on a personal level, redundant).

Why I am toying with moving to Yojimbo is the tagging. Because tags work a bit like agents in Tinderbox. I can tag all the documents I move into Yojimbo, for example a memo might have the tags “2006”, “memo”. It can just live in the library, if I need to find a memo from 2006 I can just search for those tags (I’m not sure if I can put together a search that would find content inside the memo and specific tags). This is very cool. At the moment I try to turn my file structure into a meaningful filing system, but this never works. Should that memo be in a folder in a hierarchy of admin/memos/2006 or does it make more sense to go admin/2006/memos? And it is also about a student, so is it teaching/2006/subject or admin/memo/2006? And that’s just a memo which are nearly the most unambiguous documents I need to ‘file’. Of course alias’s are a response to this, but that is labour intensive, and doesn’t really solve anything (though I guess you could just stick all documents in one common location and use alias to put them in different simultaneous in your directory structure). So, Yojimbo lets me save in one place then with tags I can add appropriate multiple metadata (which is all a filing system is) which I can retrieve subject to a request.

Now, wouldn’t it be awesome if this was built into the finder. So that files, as an attribute, could be tagged? That way spotlight wouldn’t be just looking for internal content but for user defined metadata.

Digital Arts and Culture 2007

Since the original DAC in 1998, the ongoing Digital Arts and Culture conference series has established itself as one of the more vibrant academic and creative forums for digital doing. (Self interest warning, I chaired MelbourneDAC in 2003.) The next one, in 2007, has partnered with the Biennale of Electronic Arts Perth (BEAP) and should be a corker. PerthDAC, abstracts due August 14th.