Posts Tagged ‘Web 2.0’

Flatpack 3 2009

How do you document a moving image festival that happens in the dark with copyrighted material? It’s easy, when it’s an engaged and creative festival like Flatpack 2009 from 7 Inch Cinema.

Assorted bloggers have been helping to fill the gaps in our memory:
> http://www.flatpackfestival.org/blog/flatpack-collective-memory/ and souvenir photos are making their way online:
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/7inchcinema/


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ICA Feedback

James Harkin, the Director of Talks at the ICA, in London, and the man who has spearheaded the Feedback sessions there, has published a piece (I think it’s an excerpt actually) from/based on his new book, Cyburbia, called Our new home Cyburbia.

In the article, he outlines the notion of cybernetic feedback as being intrinsic to the principle of what the Internet does and how it is affecting us. He cites the early work on cybernetics of Norbert Wiener who developed the notion of cybernetics as a feedback system. To quote from the above link to his biography:

The idea of “cybernetics” came to Wiener at the beginning of the forties, prompted by his work on anti-aircraft defence and by contacts with colleagues in Mexico (“Behavior, purpose and teleology” with A. Rosenblueth and J. Bigelow, Philos.Sci 1943). lt was made known to the world by the book Cybernetics or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine, published in l948 after contacts in l946 with M. Freymann of Hermann et Cie (Paris). Coined from the Greek “kubernetike” (the art of the steersman), cybernetics involves the theory of regulation and of signal transmission applied to technical devices, living beings and even societies. It may also concern the art of government, or “cybernétique” as Ampère conceived it in 1843, which Plato, using the already existent Greek word, compared to that of the captain of a ship. Two main ideas play a part in cybernetics: negative feedback with its stabilizing properties, and transmission of information, which helps to make a whole of the many parts of a complex system, whether living or not. The metaphor of the computer, with the role of Boolean logic, is also present in cybernetics. It is of interest to note that Wiener, remembering Leibniz’s “calculus ratiocinator” and his construction, after Pascal, of a mechanical computer, considered him a patron saint of cybernetics, whereas Warren S. McCulloch favoured Descartes.

Harkin feels that the Internet is a product (or a model, at least) of this cybernetic loop system and goes on to discuss how it will change the way we as humans think and behave . I know that others are already talking about this, but more in the negative (I can’t find any links at the mo). But I like the idea and also, I think it’s about time for a cybernetic culture revival again. I haven’t seen Sadie Plant for over a year at any Birmingham events, but it would be great to see her step up to the (cybernetic) plate again and, along with Nick Land (see also Mark K-Punk and Kode-9 et al), return to save us all from the drab Silicon Valley evangelists.

Cybernetics has brought us a long way, but now that its global information loop is fully built, it is in danger of leaving us lost and directionless. Now we need to spend some time thinking about the message – what it does to us to have the new communication technologies around, and how artists, culture-makers and everyone else might harness that new sensibility and turn it to their own advantage. The humble book took off, remember, not because its early evangelists went around waving them in people’s faces or attesting to their incredible power, but because talented authors took the trouble to master this new way of working and write great books.

I’m not sure we have to ‘start’ thinking about the possibilities because, many net.artists have been doing that for a while, and of course, there is a whole genre, if that’s the right word, of e-Literature that explores the networked nature of the web. But perhaps he is referring to the broader cross-section of artists.Incidentally, the ICA caused a ruckus a few months ago, because they shut down funding for media arts activities. Not that Harkin is directly responsible, but it does make you wonder if the different depts. speak to each other?

In his role as Director of Talks at the ICA, James Harkin is trying to make real this feedback loops of growth and development. Maybe ICE:cubes can play a small part in that as well?

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Charlotte Frost is a media arts critic and PhD student (last I heard, she had just written up her PhD and was getting ready to defend it). She has been researching the way the arts are discussed and contextualised using contemporary technologies (mainly the Internet). She has worked with other writers on a number of projects such as Media Mates.

Although her blog at Furtherfield has a few good posts, it’s difficult to ascertain more about her research in any depth, from the posts.

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The Influence and Impact of Web 2.0 on e-Research Infrastructure, Applications and Users.

The number of Web 2.0 services and applications, widely used by Internet users, academics, industry and enterprise, are growing rapidly, which demonstrates Web 2.0’s solid foundations. These technologies and services are based on the open standards that underpin the Internet and Web, and are used in many forms, e.g. blogs, wikis, mashups, social websites, podcasting and content tagging. This field is having a significant impact on distributed infrastructure and applications, and on the way users and developers interact. The area needs to be thoroughly investigated and understood to encourage the development of new services and applications for e-Research.

Target Audience

We wish to engage the e-Science, and e-Research community, as well as those in the arts and humanities, and other researchers who have not been funded under the e-Science Programme.


This event is provisionally scheduled to start at 09:30 Monday 23 March 2009 and close at 17:00 on Friday 27 March 2009.

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Facebook have just recently updated their Terms of Service. Facebook are claiming ownership to your content, even after you have removed it from the site. In more detail,Amanda L. French, Ph.D. who writes about “Digital humanities, poetic form, 19th- and 20th-century British and Irish literature” on her blog, has neatly summed up some of the issues that arise from this change of the TOS. You can reead the full post on her blog at Facebook terms of service compared with MySpace, Flickr, Picasa, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter

1. Facebook apparently wants to keep all its rights to your stuff after you remove it from Facebook, and even after you delete your Facebook account; they just removed the lines that specified that their rights end when your content comes down. Nobody else (of those I looked at) would dream of that; mostly they specifically state that their rights to your content end when you remove the content from their site or delete your account.
2. This one kills me: Facebook claims it can do whatever it wants with your content if you put a Share on Facebook link on your web page. Unbelievable–and unique, as far as I can tell. People can post links in Facebook to your content just by copying and pasting the URL, but if you want to save them a few keystrokes by putting a link or a widget on your site, Facebook claims that you’ve granted them a whole mess of rights. Count me out.
3. Other sites point out in their terms of service that you still own your content: Facebook doesn’t mention that little fact. Facebook also neglects to remind you that you’re giving other Facebook users rights to your Facebook content, too — YouTube, for example, makes it clear that other people besides YouTube have a right to use and spread around the videos you upload. In general, other sites’ terms of service just have a more helpful tone.

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Julia Negus is one of the directors of Theatre Absolute that she runs with Chris O’Connell

Along with Chris o’Connell, Julia Negus is a director of Theatre Absolute, based in Coventry. She has also recently finished her degree in Surface Decoration (graduating in November 2008). Julia has been keeping a blog where she talks about her stitching and the stories that evolve from the process of creating. Her blog tracks some of the ideas and themes of the work that she has produced. There are some great pieces there with stories that do what good storytelling should, leaving their mark on you.

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Media Convergence, bringing together several strands of media that compliment one another and service the overall narrative or theme, offers an interesting way to model the idea of Ice Cubes as fulfilling some of the brand awareness aspects of the research brief.

It has been used with several TV programs, for example Lost, which exists primarily as a HBO show and also as various websites, that pull out strands and character backgrounds that might not be explored in the show itself.

By considering the use of multiple platforms as not just different transmission channels but as places where different strands of conversation take place, it might be possible to align this to the notion of how artists might want to use Ice Cubes for their own projects?

Instead of it being just a secondary function that ‘documents’ a performance or seminar, the use of web-based tools is factored into the event as a place where feedback or further additional narratives can occur. For example, in Lost, there were websites setup as though they were by the families of the survivors of the plane crash, or conspiracy theorists. These added to the sense of engagement with the program, as well as being a viral marketing tool. For a theatre performance, small snippets of action could be posted that aren’t in the final work but explore something beyond the moment of performance? Then discussions could take place in comments or video hosting websites or blogs?

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