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AliaK's blog

one day at TINA 2010

This Is Not Art 2010 festival - I only made it to a couple of events / sessions on the sunday this year, but once again it was a great day. learnt a lot at the AbleYOUton workshop and the teacher (Toby Burvill??) from 104 collective was so nice. he even introduced me to a new music genre - wonky (type of hip hop?). loved the Splinter Orchestra! a nice quiet, introspective performance inside in the China Club venue and then crazy uninhibited fun outside the gates in the Hunter mall once the venues closed. even heard one guy next to me talking to his friends on the phone saying, "hey you've got to come here right now, I'm watching the most amazing thing!". zine fair was great once again and I spent way too much there (luckily I'd saved up a bit for it this year).

This is not art festival :

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my matter compiler knitting machine

I'm new to machine knitting - I just collected my singer 321 today (ebay win) and put it together tonight and did my first test swatch. I think it's pretty cool that on the box it says "the knitting computer" and the man I bought it from said his Mum bought it in 1974 (I know there's earlier ones around). which I think could mean that it's possible women had the first 'home computers'?

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dragons and translations

some articles I've been reading today, and I must admit most of this is new to me, so it's good to hear different viewpoints.


Redefining the Great Wall - this article mentions that the "Great Wall" term in the English translation is not correct - rather it should refer to a town, not a wall.

[quote]Returning from a research trip to the Changcheng, I had the intense feeling that its English name, “The Great Wall,” is incorrect. This translation to a large extent not only affects the appreciation of China’s Changcheng on an international level, but also directly influences our own preservation, development, and utilization of the Changcheng.

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doing absolutely nothing except respiring

"But I stood in the middle of my room doing absolutely nothing except respiring, and, of course, keeping other normal processes going. Maintaining my physical side while my mind was focussed on the radio."

from "Confessions of a crap artist" by Philip K Dick. he's lived in hotels at times then? ;)

I started reading this book tonight. thank goodness for the "PhilipKDick-45books" file - it's saved boredom in hotels on work trips many a time.. usually in each of his books, there's a sentence or phrase that sticks in my mind after I've read it. it's amazing how such few words can change your life - a moment, a few words and suddenly everything is different (sometimes better, sometimes worse - though most change seems to be for the better after a period of time and with some hindsight)

from the introduction to the book (introduction written by Paul Williams)

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dim sum

I tried out the dim sum at the Cafe Zen restaurant in the hotel today. very tasty. I think it's the best dim sum I've ever had. they didn't have little carts though - it was a dim sum buffet. there was a clown entertaining the children. I made a field recording and tried out audio mulch tonight and processed it a bit. first attempt! it's called Shenzhen dim sum clown. I don't really know what I'm doing yet. it's patching software - similar to max/msp - though it seems easier upon this first attempt.

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dakou trash 'n' treasure

in China, dakou (to make a hole) + surplus from the West led to experimental music & art exposure @ ... "One could find collected works of Andy Warhol or Stan Brakhage or Leni Riefenstahl next to Disney or James Bond" ... "probably an average Chinese person saw more experimental, cutting edge cinema then most well educated people in the West."

notes from:
The Sound of the Underground
An Overview of Experimental and Non-Academic Music in China
by Zbigniew Karkowski & Yan Jun

Dickson Dee -> label Sound Factory -> NoiseAsia

Wang Fan -> created arguably China’s first real experimental music work: a mysterious 40-ininute lo-fi piece

Sound artist, curator and critic Yan Jun -> Subjam label in Beijing
Taiwanese composer and contemporary music theoretician Dajuin Yao -> Post-Concrete label

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after the King departed

I came downstairs today to a red carpet lined by staff at the Shangri-la Hotel, and I asked who's coming? and one of the staff said the King. he was actually leaving, or maybe it was his wife? it was hard to understand what they said. I heard clapping then a group was whisked outside to the awaiting cars. the staff then stood and waved good-bye to the cars. then they came inside, clapped briefly - almost as a sigh of relief that things had gone well. the red carpet was rolled up and things returned to normal in the hotel. you could hear a distinct change in the sounds - whilst everyone was waiting for the President (Hu Jintao - he's not the King) there was a tenseness / anxiousness in the air and everyone was very quiet. afterwards, there were loud conversations as people greeted each other and congratulated one another. the children were allowed to run around again too

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at the end of week one

so it's the end of week one in Shenzhen, and this is a tldr kind of post! (& some/most is already in separate posts too) most of the time I've been at work.

book city

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awoken by flashes of light & sound

last night: there's a really crazy electrical storm happening outside right now. thunder & lightning flashes every few secs. hardly any rain. woke me up. I've never seen anything like it. not even evening summer Queensland thunderstorms. it's a bit scary actually. all that power in Nature. woke up due to noise + light flashing coming in the window. realized it was from outside.

you can't really hear the thunder in the video but it's loud and rumbling and constant. the flashes of lightning are quite regular

this is the view from my bed of the curtains. there's heavy curtains on the side and light gauze type curtains in the centre of the room. the light is flashing into the room and thunder is growling at the same time (though I don't think you can hear it on the video)

early morning 12-12:45am 09/09/2010

and the view from the window looking over the city

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little sun umbrellas

I do love the sun umbrellas that the women walk around with in Shenzhen (southern China). they're lighter & smaller than rain umbrellas (from what I can tell). usually they're light coloured, or have little flowery patterns, and the handles are much smaller. the women flip them over and carry them when not expanded above their heads, and sometimes the cover hangs below and swishes whilst they walk. they always seem to have something in their hand, yet they seem to carry them so effortlessly. both young and older women carry them around town.

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catching the Shenzhen metro

a video - catching the Shenzhen metro - line 4 from Convention & Exhibition station to Civic Centre.

yesterday I walked to the Civic Centre and it took me about half an hour and I was really hot, sweaty and dehydrated afterwards. the metro does the same trip in 3 minutes! it's so fast, and clean and there's not many people on the trains. you buy a token (1 trip) or top up your metro card with cash. on the way down to the station you swipe the token over the sensor at the gate, keep it for the ride, then at the other end you deposit it into the slot on the gate (near the sensor) and it keeps it & lets you exit the station. I bought another token (2RMB) as a souvenier

05/09/2010 - Futian District - Shenzhen China

sights & sounds of progress

sights and sounds of progress

I was trying to film the video / led screens on the buildings then I noticed the sounds of the construction nearby so kept recording

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Shenzhen China - September 2010

I've been traveling for work for the past six years, though for the last 1.5 years I have been back home in Australia. I thought it was time to start a separate space for notes and thoughts that come to mind whilst on the work trips. This time I'm in Shenzhen in the South of China.

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rising credit card debt

The South China Morning Post newspaper headlines on Thursday September 2nd 2010 were "Warning as city's credit card debt rises". It talks about HongKongers spending too much on credit, and having multiple credit cards and only paying back the minimum amount, despite the warnings from the GFC (global financial crisis).

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diamonds and jewels in the city

diamonds and jewels in the city

04/09/2010 - Futian District - Shenzhen China

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