October 8, 2007 • 1:24 pm 0
May 27, 2007 • 1:48 pm 0
( via ursi’s blog )
Around 8.4 million children around the world are enslaved today. Now, in a remarkable journey across three continents, five of them tell their stories. This documentary is presented by reporter Rageh Omaar.
This World: Child Slavery with Rageh Omaar
was broadcast on Monday, 26 March, 2007 on BBC Two.
Runtime 88 minutes.
May 26, 2007 • 4:52 pm 0
( via engadget )
Meet Adam McConnell: Wii enthusiast… future criminal. See the wee lamb purposely (this time) smashed his father’s 42-inch plasma after losing in Wii sports. Father Brian left the lad alone playing tennis to get the boy a drink — presumably, a pint. While in the kitchen the father “heard two big bangs.” Brian returned to find his son “using the handset to smash the TV screen.” No claims of a broken Wiimote strap this time folks, the responsibility lies in the kind of pure, seething rage only a 3 year old can muster.
Oh we feel ya Adam, we feel ya.
May 26, 2007 • 8:37 am 0
( via mapping festival blog )
Let’s go straight to the hype! Interviews with a select group of the participants and the festival organizers. Overall it does a pretty good job of covering what this stuff is all about. If I can I’ll make a version with subtitles.
May 26, 2007 • 5:00 am 0
( via networked_performance )
Cool media hot talk show : D.I.Y. talk show on art & media ::
TOPIC: New Media Art Mythologies ::
SPEAKERS: Geert Lovink and Armin Medosch :: QUESTIONS: ask-it-yourself now and during the show here :: June 5, 20.30 CET :: Video stream and interface for online participation :: Location: De Balie, Amsterdam (bring your laptops and mobiles)
New Media Art Mythologies…to be questioned… :: Recent discussions about (new) media art concerned a wide range of issues: starting from the validity of the term itself and ending with questioning the very premises of the modes of distinction through which the (new) media art field constitutes itself as a form of art, cultural practice, social context, institutional domain, and discourse. The feeling of a certain Rubicon, provoking self-introspective reflections, was expressed by many.
The coming edition of Cool Media Hot Talk Show on the topic “New Media Art Mythologies” will welcome persistent critical voices of the media art scene – Geert Lovink and Armin Medosch. They will present their judgements and arguments regarding the current critical stage in the development of new media art. The debates will address socio-cultural position of new media art in a historical perspective, which both speakers are discussing extensively in their writings. Preliminary suggested focal points are:
- The marginalised position of new media art within the broader cultural context.
- New media art vis-`-vis changing trends of cultural policies.
- Discursive troubles: in search for mediatory theories and media art criticism.
- New media between aesthetics and politics.
May 25, 2007 • 4:20 am 0
:: jun 14.2007 :: 7:30 pm @ i-People: Av Vergueiro 727, next to the Vergueiro Subway Station.
The relationships between art and nature have always been present in the human history. Since pre-historic times, draws of animals in caves reveal the aspiration to represent and/or control nature. Enigmatic pre-historic monuments and planetary observatories are also amazing samples of man interventions in order to understand the surrounding environment and its movements. From the Egyptian frescos, passing through moments of the Renaissance and 18th century art, the landscape becomes the environment for building narratives and, often, it takes an ornamental or symbolic character. The landscape paintings, not by chance, are very frequent and popular in the colonialist expansion periods and show very clear relationships between the territorial conquest and the aspiration of representation.
In the 20th century, starting in the 60′s, a radical transformation happens: the art stop seeing the nature only like an object for representation and the artists start interacting directly in natural spaces. In that period, artworks emerge pointing to several readings of the environment, among them: nature and space problems (Richard Serra); light transformations, time effect and visitor’s interaction (Robert Morris and Nancy Holt); environment and consumption (Christo); actions and incisions in the environment (Michael Heizer and Alberto Burri), among others.
Lucia Leão is interdisciplinary artist, PHD in comunication and semiotics from PUC-SP and post-PHD in arts from UNICAMP. Author of several articles about art and new media and of the books “The Labyrinth of Hipermedia: architecture and navigation in cyberspace” (1999) and “The Aesthetics of the Labyrinth” (2002). She organized the Interlab collections, with international papers: Labyrinths of the Contemporary Thinking (2002), with nomination for the Jabuti Award; Cybercultura 2.0 (2003); e Derivas: cartography of the cyberspace (2004). Lucia is professor at PUC-SP and SENAC. As artist, she has exhibited, among other places, at ISEA 200, Paris; Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Campinas (MACC); XV Biennial of Sao Paulo; II International Biennial of Buenos Aires; ArtMedia, Paris; FILE -SP (2002); Arte Digital Rosario 2003; Cinético Digital, Itaú Cultural (2005); Mostra SESC de Artes (2005) e FILE Rio 2006.
May 25, 2007 • 3:14 am 0
May 24, 2007 • 6:33 am 0
“Any sufficiently-advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Arthur C. Clarke.
Magic and illusion have always gone hand in hand with technology; from mechanical illusions, optical and mirror tricks, through the incorporation of electricity and the filmed image, to digital technology: augmented reality, reactive objects, reality hacking and immersive spaces.
This new edition of Interactivos? 07 in Medialab Madrid is inspired by the strategies of magic and illusion, in order to harness some of the old and new technological resources to collectively build software pieces and interactive installations which can propose a rethinking of the usual scenario in magic tricks, marked by a very clear separation between the wizard and the spectators.
Seminar on Technology and Magic: White or Black?
May 25 and 26, 2007
As part of Interactivos? 07 , and before the workshop on project production begins, at this seminar, magicians, artists, scientists, and historians will talk to us about deception in perception, technological archaeology, and magic history, among other things.
Project development and production advanced workshop
From May 28 to June 7, 2007
Lead by: Daniel Canogar, Simone Jones and Zachary Lieberman.
Medialab Madrid (C/ Conde Duque, 11. Madrid)
May 24, 2007 • 3:15 am 0
DESIGNER STARTER BOX! Brilliant idea… why do we not have more of these, and what better way to get those friends and strangers who clearly lack some design in their lives up and going? This is an ideal set for college send offs, housewarmings, or just as a not so subtle hint?
This Starters Box by Droog is only 99 Euro, and will get someone started with their Do Frame Tape, Bowls plus, Salad Sunrise oil & vinegar set, Straps (to hold up anything and everything on your walls), Dishmop, Sucker (ultimate suction coat racks?), Sticky Lamp (brilliant!), and the Human Touch Catalog.
May 23, 2007 • 1:39 pm 2
Online worlds on the Internet? That’s so last month ago. Judging by recent initiatives from Sun and IBM, the latest trend is a corporate-controlled, business-centric virtual world architected for internal use only– call it the intranet metaverse. In Sun’s case, it’s MPK20, a “a virtual 3D environment in which employees can accomplish their real work, share documents, and meet with colleagues using natural voice communication.”
The idea is to bring remote workers in Sun’s worldwide offices together into a single embodied space, “where the spacial layout of the 3D world coupled with the immersive audio provides strong cognitive cues that enhance collaboration.” (Via 3pointD, where blogger Mark Wallace has worthwhile commentary.) In IBM’s case, it’s a rough-and-ready 3D environment created by their Innovate Quick team, using the Torque graphics engine from Garage Games.
“The project team is exploring ways to scale, and also applying different models of operation,” Ian Hughes of IBM’s UK branch tells me. “We are building a user base of interested users and developers as part of our CIO office technology adoption program.” Hughes spearheaded IBM’s early explorations of Second Life as a private development lab for the future 3D Internet, where the team creates cool applications like a universal language translator for avatars.
May 23, 2007 • 6:29 am 0
The object of study has shifted from the virtual community and the space of flows to the smart mob. When the object of study changes, so may the distinctions that dominate, particularly the schism between place-based space and place-less space, both organised and given life by networks. We would like to exploit the potential of writing contemporary network theory that suits and reflects the changes to the objects of study that come to define our understandings of network culture – a post-Castellsian network theory, if you will, that takes technical media seriously.
It is time to look for elements that can make up a network theory outside of post-modern cultural studies (which marvelled at the place-less place) and ethnographic social sciences (which reminded us of the ground). What network culture studies needs is a ‘language of new media,’ perhaps even signage, to speak in terms of Lev Manovich; what it currently has is a science-centered ‘unified network theory,’ to paraphrase the language of Albert-László Barabási.
Whilst it may come as no surprise to critical Internet scholars, the notion that networks are not random but have underlying structures remains the key insight for network scientists. Instead of posing new questions, the work that follows from that insight often seeks to confirm that structure and its accompanying patterns, across more and more network-like objects. The question remains which specific contribution critical Internet scholars and practitioners can make to opening up network thought. Such is the purpose of the network theory conference. How must we rethink network culture with a renewed emphasis on technical media and social software?
Click here to read the New Network Theory program.
May 23, 2007 • 6:24 am 0
Saturday, 2 June 2007
1pm to 5am
C’LICK ME is an event to investigate internet pornography in a non-conventional way. We are looking forward to a queer event without any rigid queer correctness (as queer doesn’t always mean good porn!). We want to re-think the society of the netporn spectacle: the digital zeitgeist that has given us a hypersexual body. What to do with our bodies and digital machines? Pornography has found its way into every nook and cranny of the Internet, but how can we still be queer radicals or body artists, private hedonists or fervent bloggers in this climate? Do we still need to have a sanctified space like an underground or a dungeon, when we produce de-sire with our floating networked bodies? Porn went porn-chic years ago. Today net-porn goes into Myspace bedrooms and everyday “realcore”
May 23, 2007 • 2:32 am 0
While some will dispute what mainstream is defined as exactly — with my own personal favorite being when my grandparents and their grandchildren both are doing whatever is under discussion — the rise of consumer-powered media platforms has all the hallmarks of being something that’s not only here to stay, but something that’s increasingly pushing everything else off the stage. Yes, I’m talking about blogs, but also wikis and every other kind of two-way, user controlled participation tool that is currently proliferating on the Internet in every country and almost all demographics.
Now before I present my case for the mainstreaming of shared, collaborative media, we should more carefully define the term that captures this best: social media. Wikipedia of course has the most easily accessible definition of social media, describing it as “online tools and platforms that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives with each other. Social media can take many different forms, including text, images, audio, and video. Popular social mediums include blogs, message boards, podcasts, wikis, and vlogs.” The key here is that people are the ones that use and control these tools and platforms instead of organizations and large institutions. Further, I would add to this that social media platforms tend to work best in networked environments , particularly on the Web, but also behind firewalls though to a lesser degree. Why is the networked aspect so important? Primarily because it’s a powerful democratizing force due to its pervasive, low cost nature; anyone can get in the conversation with only a small investment of their personal time and access to a network. And since communication is essentially free over computer networks today, combining an architecture of participation powered by network effects makes social media platforms almost certainly the most powerful form of media yet created.
These todays anyone posting anything on a simple blog lets them automatically reach the 1.1 billion users on the Web today. And with syndication, social media content is picked up and spread throughout Internet via feed engines and the entire syndication ecosystem and can be found by anyone looking for information via Technorati, Google Blog Search, TechMeme or dozens of other innovative discovery mechanisms. At long last, hundreds of years after the invention of the printig press, anyone can truly reach a global audience by spending a couple of minutes of their time creating a blog on one of the hundreds of free blog sites. I’ve highlighted in the past how social media has been used in both emergent and deliberate fashion to do everything from locating the survivors of natural disasters to motivating end-users en masse to create online video advertisements for a major corporation.
Of course, any effective technique or phenomenon has those who attempt to co-opt it or copy it, the latter which is the most sincerest form of flattery. The recent Public Relations 2.0 flap, which ostensibly boiled down to whether or not traditional organizations can even conceive of how these new freeform platforms work, was a good example of how institutions firmly grounded in the 20th century struggle to understand the power shift under way. Because these platforms are no longer under anyone’s control for the very reason that the Web is a system without an owner, except all of us together.
Bounding the Social Media phenomenon
But how significant is this really? What are the compelling datapoints that tell use that social media is changing the landscape of communication, collaboration, and personal interaction? David Sifry’s quarterly State of the Blogosphere, most recently updated in October, is an excellent place to start. Taking a look at this, we can tracking over 57 million blogs, with over 900,000 blog posts a day on just about any conceivable subject. 3 million new non-spam blogs were created in just the most recent 3 months of tracking. But blogs are primarily text and there are many other forms of social media and so it’s worth looking at podcasting and video, two important types of social media that are growing rapidly with the spread of high quality, fast Internet connections. Fortunately or unfortunately, unlike blogs, podcasts or video sharing do not have their own syndication system and for the most part they just ride inside the existing RSS/ATOM feed systems. This makes it hard to discern what is really happening and so we can only pull on some individual data points such as Google Trends data showing the rapid rise of podcasting as a search term.
The video side of social media is a bit easier, which Hitwise and YouTube providing enough hard data on the most recent version of the YouTube Fact Sheet to get a general though unscientific impression of what’s happening there. According to this, YouTube has 60% of all online video viewers with up to 70 million viewers in an evening and over 65,000 videos uploaded every day, making it both the #1 online video site and #1 social video sharing site online. This implies that most video consumption on the Web is already based on social media, and that there are over 115 million online viewers of video overall. At least for video, social media is not an edge case and is they dominant model overall. Note: Yes, one can quibble about whether YouTube is truly a social media site and certainly it skirts the concept but in my book it makes the list.
Why is YouTube considered Social Media though? What aspects does it — any many of the most successful media sites — have that make it social and non-coincidentally so popular? To understand this best, it’s worth creating a list of what exactly must an aspiring social media platform actually have in order to be considered such. Here is my take, culling the capabilities and features of the most popular social media sites as well as the consensus of leading thinkiners in this space such as Stowe Boyd, Tina Sharkey, and others.
Defining Social Media: Some Ground Rules
(as we understand them circa January 2007)
- Communication in the form of conversation, not monologue. This implies that social media must facilitate two-way discussion, discourse, and debate with little or no moderation or censorship. In other words, the increasingly ubiquitious comments section of your local blog or media sharing site is NOT optional and must be open to everyone.
- Participants in social media are people, not organizations. Third-person voice is discouraged and the source of ideas and participation is clearly identified and associated with the individuals that contributed them. Anonymity is also discouraged but permissible in some very limited situations.
- Honesty and transparency are core values. Spin and attempting to control, manipulate, or even spam the conversation are thoroughly discouraged. Social media is an often painfully candid forum and traditional organizations — which aren’t part of the conversation other than through their people — will often have a hard time adjusting to this.
- It’s all about pull, not push. Like John Hagel and John Seely Brown observed in the McKinsey Quarterly a year ago or so, push-based systems, of which one-way marketing and advertising and command-and-control management are typical examples are nowhere near as efficient as pull systems. Pull systems let people bring to them the content and relationships that they want, instead of having it forced upon them by an external entity. Far from being a management theory, much of what we see in Web 2.0 shows the power of pull-based systems with extremely large audiences. As you shape a social media community, understanding how to make embrace pull instead of push is one of the core techniques. In social media, people are in control of their conversations, not the pushers.
- Distribution instead of centralization. One often overlooked aspect of social media is the fact that the interlocutors are so many and varied. Gone are the biases that inevitably creep into information when only a few organizations control the creation and distribution of information. Social media is highly distributed and made up of tens of millions of voices making it far more textured, rich, and heterogeneous than old media could ever be (or want to be). Encouraging conversations on the vast edges of our networks, rather than in the middle, is what this point is all about.
The rise of social media platforms within businesses, often dubbed Enterprise 2.0 , will place a significant challenge on organizations as they try to grapple with the ground rules above. That’s because not following them will tend to reduce the long-term success and effectiveness of social media in business. Also, increasingly, as more and more time and world-wide attention is given to social media, who really owns the discussions online will become a bigger and bigger deal. YouTube recently announced they will begin paying their users for their video contributions (which are the seeds for often virulent conversation on that site), but they still place far too many restrictions on the content that is uploaded including making it belong to YouTube.
Both of these trends show that when users are in control via the highly democratizing tools of the Web, the fundamental ground rules change. Understand them, follow them, and embrace them, this is the pre-eminent media model for the 21st century.
These aren’t the only rules for social software however, just social media in particular. Be sure to check out my Notes on Making Good Social Software for more good ideas.
What else did I miss? What makes social media uniquely what it is?
By : Dion Hinchcliffe
May 23, 2007 • 2:25 am 0
This is taken from a paper I wrote in 2005 which compared the relation of the self to the Internet through both symbolic interactionist theory (Goffman) and structuration theory (Giddens). The section below deals specifically with Anthony Giddens concepts of the ”dilemmas of the self” (as discussed in his “Modernity and Self Identity”) and Internet use.
In structuration theory, the self is denoted as an “agent” that can not be separated from the “structures” of society. Agents are viewed as beings that “continuously monitor their own thoughts and activities as well as their physical and social contexts.” Agents are continually rationalizing their interactions with the world around them as a means of making sense of, justifying and efficiently managing their social lives. The self is a “project” which requires continuous work and “reflexivity”; it is not based on a specific set of traits or observable characteristics (Gauntlett, 2002). Reflexivity in Giddens refers to “direct feedback from knowledge to action” (Beck; Giddens et al., 1992). Giddens states that the self “must continually integrate events which occur in the external world, and sort them into the ongoing story about the self” (Giddens as quoted in Gauntlett, 2002). Giddens proposes that the relationship between the agent and structure is one that is symbiotic and self-perpetuating. In expressing themselves through the processes of rationalization and reflexivity, agents engage in social practice, which in turn produces consciousness and structure.
Giddens analogizes the self in terms of literary approaches such as “narratives”, “fictions” and “biographies”; “a person’s identity is not to be found in behavior nor… in the reactions of others, but in the capacity to keep a particular narrative going” (ibid). Giddens believes that “roles” no longer exist; the individual can manipulate his identity to accommodate for whatever lifestyle he chooses (Gauntlett, 2002). The self has continuity and is only a product of his reflexive beliefs about his own biography. By “living in the world” of late modernity, humans are faced with a variety of tensions and difficulties that manifest as “dilemmas of the self” (Giddens, 1991). He states that these dilemmas must be resolved “in order to preserve a coherent narrative of self-identity” (ibid). These dilemmas present themselves in forms of: “unification versus fragmentation,” “powerlessness versus appropriation,” “authority versus uncertainty,” and “personalised versus commodified experience.”
Fragmentation of the self occurs with the individual’s realization of an indeterminate amount of possibilities. As social contexts become more diversified, traditional social ties are spread out in the ‘empty’ dimensions of time and space.