internet

field recordings and sound walks

a collection of audio recordings, field recordings and sound walks I've done over the years. most of these are on minidiscs or files not uploaded yet, so this is a work in progress as it's probably about time I sorted them out and uploaded some. not sure if they're of interest to anyone else, but they help recall memories for me.

The Digital Artists Handbook

The Digital Artists Handbook is an up to date, reliable and accessible source of information that introduces you to different tools, resources and ways of working related to digital art. The goal of the Handbook is to be a signpost, a source of practical information and content that bridges the gap between new users and the platforms and resources that are available, but not always very accessible. The Handbook will be slowly filled with articles written by invited artists and specialists, talking about their tools and ways of working. Some articles are introductions to tools, others are descriptions of methodologies, concepts and technologies. When discussing software, the focus of this Handbook is on Free/Libre Open Source Software. The Handbook aims to give artists information about the available tools but also about the practicalities related to Free Software and Open Content, such as collaborative development and licenses. All this to facilitate exchange between artists, to take away some of the fears when it comes to open content licenses, sharing code, and to give a perspective on various ways of working and collaborating. -- info via the DAH index page

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South Coast - Brighton (UK) hip hop documentary by Will Jewell

Watch the video

I saw "South Coast" a documentary about Brighton (UK)'s hip hop community by Will Jewell last saturday night at the Jerusalem Cinematheque as part of the British Film Festival. I thought the film was a great balance of original roots of hip hop, respecting the US origins, whilst highlighting the original crews from the local Brighton community and featuring some of the up & coming artists also. a great snap shot into Brighton hip hop. it feels similar to Australian hip hop in some ways.

I wrote some names during the film so I could find out about them later. (hard to read my writing so hopefully I have these right!)

- poets vs MC night / battle

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explorative research links

SXSW 2007 Interactve Conference - Tim Farriss from fourhourworkweek.com

Expand - Collapse

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What is Scion City? - interactive Second Life machinima video series

What is Scion City is a futuristic interactive machinima video movie series made in Second Life. the website has 6 episodes and links to different formats, an FAQ and a submit link where viewers can upload more episodes or related material (photos, documents, movies, etc) discovered about the series and Scion City. visit http://whatisscioncity.com/ for more details and to watch the films.

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Etsy - an online store for handmade products

Etsy.com is a community driven online store that people making handmade goods can sell their products - their motto is "Your place to buy and sell all things handmade". there's a zine called Storque, and you can read about some of the success stories highlighting successful Etsy storeholders. some storeholders have been able to give up their day jobs to sell their works fulltime via Etsy, whilst others are part-time sellers.

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The History of Guerilla Knitting session by Rose White at Chaos Communication Congress

"Guerrilla knitting" has a couple of meanings in the knitting community - to some, it merely means knitting in public, while to others, it means creating public art by knitted means.

Rose White from yarnivore spoke at The History of Guerilla Knitting session at the 24th Chaos Communication Congress in 2007 in Berlin on day 3 - 29/12/2007. a torrent video can be downloaded of the session. (open the video in VLC if you don't have another video player that can play the .mkv video file). The Chaos Communication Congress is organised by the Chaos Computer Club, Europe's largest hacker group, founded in 1981.

Rose gave a brief history of knitting, and some of the myths held over the years about the foundations and age of knitting. She compares knitting with computer hacking referring to proprietary knowledge, pattern making, knitting guilds. Also about the commercialisation and control of patterns prior to 1960s and subsequently by Knitting pattern books and yarn companies who controlled the market

Elizabeth Zimmermann who in the 1960s generated generic pattern books which broke out of the usual mold of patterns requiring a yarn makers yarn to make the pattern correctly. Effectively she made knitting open source again! She had a TV show in the USA which brought her style of knitting to the public, and she ran knitting camps to teach others.

Rose also mentioned KnitML, the knitting XML code specification which is being introduced to standardise knitting patterns and terminology.

"The KnitML Project's main goal is to develop and promote adoption of a standard content model for knitting patterns. By developing a community-supported specification (KnitML) and providing basic rendering and transformation tools, the KnitML Project aims to make KnitML easy to use and valuable to the knitter."

Questions were raised also about knitting (patterns) and Creative Commons licencing. many patterns are not available to be used as they are still covered by US copyright so are still unavailable to the public.

Rose talks about giving back the creative power to the knitter - to allow them to modify the patterns, or not make the project exactly as per the pattern. even changing the colours used in an accompanying photo of a finished pattern is a stretch for some knitters!

Rose says, "over the past 30 years or so, there have been different individuals who have contributed to this geekier, more hands on approach to knitting - wresting it out of the control of commercial enterprises. this leads us to guerilla knitting in the end."

Barbara Walker - Rose referred to her as "a knitting engineer". "she wrote 4 books of stitch patterns, where she knitted swatches, and dissected them and included written instructions on how to knit them - stitch by stitch. and she also developed a charting system, so that next to the swatch there would be a grid showing you how to do it in pictures, so that, you didn't even have to speak her language to do it. so that many of these knitting patterns were available, not just to English speakers, but to anyone who could pick them up and look at them. so this enormous dissemination of knowledge occurred when she started doing that."

Debbie New - who creates "labyrinth knitting" and wrote a book called Unexpected Knitting, which includes experimental knitting patterns including her swirl, sculptural, free-form, swatchless, labyrinth, cellular automaton, virtual and ouroborus knitting techniques.

also featured was Dave Cole and his knitted lead teddy bears and giant outdoor knitting using cranes and telephone poles as knitting needles to knit the American Flag at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.

the Simply Crafted website also lists some of these knitting pioneers as well as some freeform fibre (knitting & crocheting) artists such as Prudence Mapstone

also mentioned was the new Ravelry site - a social networking site for crafters, knitters and fibre artists, where they can "Organize projects, stash, needles, and more" & "Show off your work. Share your ideas and techniques." & "discover. Find new designs & yarns. Make friends. Try new things." the site is only open in beta stages at the moment. aso of today, they send out 500 - 800 invitations daily and there are currently 6,193 people waiting for their invites, so the site is in demand!

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deoxy readings and irc chats

This weekend I've been trying to catch up on some of the MLA courses. the PKD course has finished. Rushkoff's Technologies of Persuasion finishes this weekend. I've enrolled in another self-study class called Tales of the Tribe - by Robert Anton Wilson (RAW) who has since passed away.

Reality Sandwich

Reality Sandwich is a web magazine for this time of intense transformation. Their subjects run the gamut from sustainability to shamanism, alternate realities to alternative energy, remixing media to re-imagining community, holistic healing techniques to the promise and perils of new technologies. They hope to spark debate and engagement by offering a forum for voices ranging from the ecologically pragmatic to the wildly visionary (which, to our delight, sometimes turn out to be the one and the same). Counteracting the doom-and-gloom of the daily news, Reality Sandwich is a platform for voices conveying a different vision of the transformations we face. Their goal is to inspire psychic evolution and a kind of earth alchemy.

-- info adapted from the reality sandwich about page

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The Gnosis Archive

The Gnosis Archive offers a vast collection of primary texts and resources relating to Gnosticism and the Gnostic Tradition, both ancient and modern. There is also information on the Nag Hammadi Scrolls / Scriptures hosted on this site.

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The Journeybook - Free 40 page sampler now available to download

Journeybook is a collection of tales of altered states, essays, history and manifesto for psychedelic culture in the 21st century. It covers the modern usage of sacramental plants and offers insights into traditional and contemporary shamanism, as well as analysis of the current state of global psychedelic culture and its place in a sustainable future.

It features interviews with Terence McKenna (previously unpublished), Dennis McKenna, Daniel Pinchbeck, as well as articles by Rak Razam, Erik Davis, Graham St John, Tim Parish, Tim Boucher and a fresh selection of bold new writers from around Australia. At 250 pages, it is fully illustrated with dozens of paintings, photography and digital graphics from the Undergrowth art collective, including new
works by Gerhard Hillmann, Oliver Dunlop, Iswoz, Ahimsa:Love, Tim Parish and others.

Read more or visit http://undergrowth.org/journeybook_sampler_free_to_download to find out more and download the 40 page sampler, and to place an order for the book.

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FLOSS manuals works towards Richard M Stallman's Free Documentation ideas

Richard Stallman, founder of the GNU project and the term 'copyleft' wrote about Free Documentation in his book "Free Software, Free Society : Selected Essays of Richard Stallman".

"The biggest deficiency in our free operating systems is not in the software—it is the lack of good free manuals that we can include in our systems. Documentation is an essential part of any software package; when an important free software package does not come with a good free manual, that is a major gap. We have many such gaps today. "

"Free documentation, like free software, is a matter of freedom, not price. The criterion for a free manual is pretty much the same as for free software: it is a matter of giving all users certain freedoms. Redistribution (including commercial sale) must be permitted, on-line and on paper, so that the manual can accompany every copy of the program. "

FLOSS Manuals is a site dedicated to providing free and open source, FLOSS manuals on a variety of technical topics such as audio editing, VOIP, video editing, streaming, free culture, audio editing, media players, and more. visit their site to read the manuals : http://en.flossmanuals.net/

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Ars Electronica Festival's Second Life Architecture Awards

In September this year Dr Melinda Rackham, ANAT's Director and 3D world author and theorist, was invited to join a 6 member international Jury assessing the Annual Second Life Architecture & Design Competition, a first of its kind, held at the 2007 Ars Electronica Festival in Austria. The jury deliberated over the 126 submissions before a live audience at the Architekturforum Linz, while being simultaneously streamed into Second Life. Four outstanding projects, that took advantage of both the artistic and technical possibilities afforded by Second Life were selected as finalists. The selected projects are presented online (www.sl-award.com) where the public are invited to vote for their favourite project. The winner receives a 1,000-euro grand prize, which will be awarded on 25 October 2007 at the prize ceremony, which includes discussions and a party at Zollverein, Essen, the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. Read more for more details or visit www.sl-award.com

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scientists find the dawn of creativity date is possibly earlier than originally thought

I came across a couple of interesting articles in the UK Telegraph paper today - about the history of art and discovery of 11000 year old paintings that seem to be painted in a modern geometric style.

'Oldest' wall painting looks like modern art
"French archaeologists have discovered an 11,000-year-old work of art in northern Syria which is the oldest known wall painting, even though it looks like a work by a modernist.

The two square-metre painting, in red, black and white, was found at the Neolithic settlement of Djade al-Mughara on the Euphrates, northeast of the city of Aleppo.

"It looks like a modernist painting," said Eric Coqueugniot, the team leader. "Some of those who saw it have likened it to work by (Paul) Klee. Through carbon dating we established it is from around 9,000 BC."

...

The dating makes the designs at least 1500 years older than wall paintings at Çatalhöyük, the famous 9500-year-old Turkish village, among one of the first towns. Cave art dates back much further but it was not until the so-called Neolithic Revolution that people began marking up human-made surfaces.

Scientists are fascinated by the birth of art because it marked a decisive point in our story, when man took a critical step beyond the limitations of his hairy ancestors and began to use symbols. The modern mind was born."

related articles :

The birth of our modern minds ...

Two pieces of ochre engraved with geometrical patterns more than 70,000 years ago, were recently found at Blombos Cave, 180 miles east of Cape Town. If the current dogma is accepted, this means people were able to think abstractly and behave as modern humans much earlier than previously thought.

Lord Renfrew would argue that art, like genetics, does not tell the whole story of our origins. For him, the real revolution occurred 10,000 years ago with the first permanent villages. That is when the effects of new software kicked in, allowing our ancestors to work together in a more settled way. That is when plants and animals were domesticated and agriculture born.

...

Lord Renfrew puts his faith in "cognitive archaeology". This is not "thinking prehistoric thoughts" but has a more modest aim of revealing how ancient minds worked by studying what they did - how they counted, made flint tools or used measures.

Intriguingly, he argues, in his book Figuring it Out, that contemporary art also provides insights into how proto-societies grappled with the material world.

Cave find dates dawn of creativity

TWO pieces of ochre - a form of iron ore - engraved with geometrical patterns more than 70,000 years ago reveal that people were able to think abstractly and behave as modern humans much earlier than previously thought.

The discovery in a South African cave suggests that humans have created art for twice as long as suggested by previous discoveries, notably by cave paintings from France that have been dated to less than 35,000 years ago.

...

While genetic and fossil evidence suggests that humans were anatomically modern in Africa before 100,000 years ago, scholars are not yet able to agree on whether human behaviour and physique developed in tandem.

Some believe that modern behaviour arose relatively late and rapidly, 40,000 to 50,000 years ago, while others believe that it evolved earlier and more gradually.

The diversity of views reflects the lack of agreement among scientists on what behaviour best defines the difference between modern humans and their earlier ancestors.

But there is a general consensus that a clear marker of modern behaviour are the cognitive abilities that would be used, for example, to create abstract or depictional images.

"Archaeological evidence of abstract or depictional images indicates modern behaviour," Prof Henshilwood said. "The Blombos Cave engravings are intentional images."

Stone Age masterpieces shed new light on the origins of art

EUROPE'S oldest cave paintings - a menagerie of lions, rhinos, bears and panthers drawn at least 30,000 years ago - are so sophisticated that they may force scientists to think again about the origins of art.

New radiocarbon datings of the Chauvet cavern paintings in Ardeche, France, have confirmed that their Stone Age creators were as skilled as painters 15,000 years later.

...

"Prehistorians, who have traditionally interpreted the evolution of prehistoric art as a steady progression from simple to more complex representations, may have to reconsider existing theories of the origins of art."

The caves have challenged the conventional theory of the evolution of art which states that it had crude beginnings in the Aurignacian period followed by gradual progress over thousands of years.

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