Meta Post – Networked Media Round Up Post

•November 4, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Okay so this has been a while in coming, not that I haven’t been thinking about it. Reflecting on the whole blog experience I can safely say that I’m very very pleased that I am now aware of the whole world of information contained in blogs. As you can probably tell, my interests in music have really meshed well with the Web 2.0 format, and I’m still bogged by the amount of obscure free music that people post online, and that I can have access to.

In addition, in one of my first posts I was stumbling around a few blogs and touched on a really interesting topic which has gotten alot of great discussion happening though the somewhat tight-knit network of globe trotting DJ’s. While I didn’t really make use of it, that post got a comment which offered me a chance to take part in the discussion about something that I thought was only in my head. Its one of the reasons that post is one of my 3 nominated posts. It was the product of a lot of time spent thinking and click around, and for me it summarizes, in however much a small way, the democratic nature of blogging.

My other nominated post is this one, which I nominate partly because its responsible for the only real contact I had with a fellow NMP student. While our conversation was not long, it was meaningful. This post is also nominated because of its content, which I found very interesting, and for some reason kept relating back to many of the SF novels and stories I have read over the years.

My last nominated post I had a little trouble choosing. At first I wanted to make it the Jodorowsky post, because its number of hits and because I guess for however brief a time it was connected and part of the whole online “Jodoverse”. I hoped that people searching would have made their way to some of the excellent sites I linked with that post, as there is some good content that is not that easy to find. But upon reflection, I decided to nominate my post about TIMEC, which has a lot more relevance to this course, and I actually spent a while writing. In addition to being visually pleasing, I enjoyed in a sense ‘reviewing’ a site which I really enjoy, and finding out about its locus of connections. In addition, the post actually has gotten viewed and commented upon by the maker of the site! This just happened recently too.

About my blog itself I didn’t want to have a static page, so I made sure that I had some incoming feeds which included the latest 5 links from my delicious account, a collection of other pages/blogs sorted by theme (culture, film, music), a separate collection of all of my ‘web presence’, and a separate section for Networked Media Production. In addition to this I subscribed to the flickr feed of recent photographs taken from the current Nine Inch Nails tour. I wont be able to make the shows here in Australia, so I wanted a record of what I would be missing. I see this as one of the bests feature of Web 2.0; the ability to experience the variety and culture of the world with a much, much larger grasp. The photos also added a nice visual aesthetic to the the blog.

Something which took me a while to get up to date with was learning the best way to ‘tag’ something. You can see on my tag cloud that there is alot of random stuff. My posts which got the most outside traffic were able to get these hits because of the popularity of their tags and peoples search terms (Beksinski, Jodorwosky, Saul Williams, Muti-Vac) I had no idea that posting about Lord Gorman Beksinski would have such a beneficial side-effect!

As you can see by these stats, my top posts were indeed the ones with popular search terms, Jodorowsky being way out in front, perhaps because of his ‘cult film status’ and the recent release of his films on DVD. Actually just now I found a post that relates really really to the lecture that Michael gave on tags and folksonomy. The fascism of the Google Search seems to be everywhere!

Continuing with some more stats, you can see below here that by far the most traffic came by way of the NMP homepage, plus some random traffic from people searching for a Beksinski photos…

I had planned on make alot more blog posts, because I actually quite enjoy the process of composing and then researching and linking up related sites. It is a way to formalize your thoughts about something, kind of like forcing you to organize your thoughts better and in a more logical manner, for even though the post might just only ever be seen by you, you write it in such a way as to make it legible for the public.

Another thing I tried to do with this blog was pepper it with some of my own personal content, be it samples of some shows we put on, or article and pictures from the BFLA Ministry of Information (all photos in this post are from the BFLA War Ministry). Some of them actually got some traffic due to their tags like “pig death” etc. I also put up some of my other uni content, interesting essays and video’s I had to do last semester. While I’m sure there is an element of narcissism to this, I was trying to create a more personalized ‘space’ with this blog. Overall, I have very much enjoyed the experience of this blog. Once I’m in Mexico I will probably start this blog up again to keep a record of my metaphysical reality.


The Kalyan

•October 19, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Disco Warrior by THE KALYAN


•October 14, 2008 • Leave a Comment

“The Fall” by Tarsem Singh

I just read this review for the film. Really looks amazing. I’m in the midst of writing a report on The Holy Mountain so its good to see that this type of highly personal/art film making is still happening. The director, Tarsem, financed the film himself from the money he made making commercials. Its interesting to see where cinema can go if you take out the financial equation and let something be independent. Tarsem has also directed R.E.M’s “Losing My Religion” and “Sweet Lullaby” by Deep Forest, a clip I remember seeing on SBS and which I always thought was awesome.

The clip above reminds me of this section of BARAKA, featuring the same Balinese dance, Kecak. Looking at it again, its actually a interesting example of multiplicity, which we talked about in a really interesting lecture a couple of weeks back.

Speaking of Indian film makers, I saw this excellent documentary last week called “Shot In Bombay“. I haven’t enjoyed a documentary that much in ages, it was a really amusing and entertaining look behind the scenes of filming a Bollywood film and some related heavy themes of corruption and the role of the police in India. I’ve found myself saying “mindblowing” a lot more often after watching it.

I’ve always had this plan to somehow make it to India and work as part of the crew for a film. Not necessarily Bollywood, but maybe something less commercial, maybe an Indian “art” film ideally, but anything. I know that alot of the film making in India is run by large families and extended family networks, but I don’t think its too fanciful, and after seeing this documentary the desire has only increased. Anyway it is 5am and I have to get back to the Jodoverse….

The Incredible Melting Entertainment Compagnons [TIMEC]

•October 10, 2008 • 3 Comments

I’ve been meaning to post on this topic for a while now. I’m really amazed at this TIMEC conglomerate. I first started using their Paris DJ’s blog as a source for new music online and superbly crafted podcasts from everything like New Orleans Jazz, Gypsy Funk, reggae and African Funk. Most of the music is from rare and old school vinyl classics, sounds amazing.

The more I clicked around I realized that Paris DJ’s was part of a larger network of music promotion, distribution and marketing made up of record labels, artists, DJ’s, journalists, graphic artists etc (the graffiti on this post is all sources from Paris DJ’s). Overall I have to say that they made really good use of the advantages of Web 2.0. I’ll go into a few details here, but given my limited experience in promotion music/events here in ACT, these guys really have their stuff down. If only I lived in Paris, I would beg them to let me contribute!

[On a side note, the best thing about England + France are all the immigrants, apart from the interesting and rich history of course]

This is how they break it down in their “Services” section:

Everything changed since Napster happened. Now, every six months, a new revolution occurs in the audiovisual web world.
Blogs, podcasts, myspace… These days it’s all about the music community business model: federate a community, feed it, and then make it profitable.
We’ve been consultants for all Internet and New Media affairs in the music business since… 1996.
Our references include consulting for AlloCiné, Universal Music, Sony Music, EMI, BMG, Wagram, Cristal Records, Ninja Tune, Tru Thoughts and many more labels, artists, audiovisual or internet companies, from the major to the smallest independant.
Being ahead of the game is what the internet is about.

An underground house music maestro asks for an easy website that’ll help him get more international booking? One year later he’s playing in Australia, Japan, Hong-Kong, Thailand, USA…
An agency asks for a relaunch of their Flashy but useless website? A few months later they’re number one on Google on their favorite keywords and get connected to new clients and suppliers.
An isolated artist needs some internet communication but doesn’t know where to start? We launch his blog with access to our channels of active music communities, and quickly quickly federate the some active opinion leaders in his field.

Their series of websites all have the same blog style format, with the same square boxes on the top and the bottom for navigation and a section on the left for posts, links, tags and categories among other things. Its a little confusing at first, but the more I use their sites, I see that they are trying to capitalize on their own little network of highly cross referenced sites. Also the blog format makes it very easy for them to maintain tight control their massive amount of content (which is being added to every week).

Each site is devoted to a different aspect of the overall business, but they all cross-pollinate. For example Tourmast, a site made for one of TIMEC’s clients, is devoted to the Tuareg band of the same name. It contains all the essentials that any band needs in order to have a successful online presence [bio/music/video/contact/press]. In addition TIMEC’s group of DJ’s and podcasters Paris DJ’s, crafted superb free mix of this type of North African desert music, starting with a track from Toumast’s debut album “Ishumar“.

Its not all good news though. They could certainly improve their sites by shifting away from the blog format and using some classy CSS, but it would require quite alot of work and not much benefit as the current set up works pretty well, even though its a little cluttered at first. Also one problem I’ve found when I try and download the Paris DJ’s podcasts is that its actually quite hard to find the direct file to download. I prefer to not use iTunes to to this music, I’m sure that I’m not alone, and a casual user would give up after a very short amount of time. These podcasts, and the occasional virtual release are really one of the main features of the group of sites, so I think they should make them easier to access. Of course they probably want people to subscribe to the whole thing, not just download one or two, so maybe its a conscious choice.

As a frequent user of digital music, I really appreciate the time that Paris DJ’s takes to make the 0’s and 1’s a little more real. The value of digital music is alot less tangable than a CD or a vinyl LP. The experience of actually make a mix TAPE, as opposed to a mix CD or playlist, is still more enjoyable. So while the sounds are still the same, you can’t hold anything in your hand. Visually, however, album covers are essential and Paris DJ’s usually include complete cover art for all tracks used in their mixes, in addition to creating special covers for the mixes themselves. You can see some examples below:

I guess that’s about it! Maybe while I’m at it I might mention Calabash Music one of the better legal music sites. its a good place to find out about a band you might have heard of, or browse the globe musically. They are also one of the major players in the Fair-Trade Online Music game…

Tune Your World has taken the model of using the Internet to microfinance small businesses throughout the world and extended it to the international music scene, in hopes of turning the hit-driven American Idol system on its lame head and engaging fans to promote and fund artists directly. Tune Your World has assembled an array of artists from around the globe working in a variety of genres who are looking to cast off conventional distribution and payments models to work directly with their fans.

More Female Pigs Consider ‘Voluntary Euthanasia’

•October 9, 2008 • Leave a Comment

For years, Slobidan Gormistyle played the game of life by her father’s strict rule.

“Dad always told me, ‘Don’t you ever come home dead,’” recalled Gormistyle, echoing an edict issued by many Pig’s fathers a few minutes before being turned into bacon.

But at 27, Slobidan has shifted from a fear of dying to stalking death “any time of the day,” regardless of the time of season and without a thought to which meat product is her destiny.

“I don’t sit around dreaming about the perfect cut of pork that I am going to become,” Gormistyle said.

A steaming pig flesh market [pictured]

Female pigs around the country also are reconsidering deep-seated reservations toward death, reservations rooted in human society’s insatiable need for steaming pig flesh.

They’re taking cues from their favorite philosophers and intellectuals – from renowned Marxist Robert Porcimal to nihilist and mother of over 300 Vesuvia Williams – as well as support blogs, how-to books and morbidly themed novels telling them it’s OK to “die.” It comes as statistics suggest female pigs are among the least likely to live to enjoy their existence.

“I’m not saying that choosing our time and way of death is the answer to all our problems,” Gormistyle said. “I’m just saying that it offers an alternative solution to being shot with a captive bolt in the head.”

She reflects that many female pigs are frustrated as the field of life-paths narrows as they become fatter and tenderer; they’re nearly seven times more likely to be slaughtered and eaten than horses, and more than twice as likely to be systematically raped and impregnated than cows.

Census data showed 117,000 pig suicides in 2006, up from 95,000 in 2000. There were just 26,000 such incidences 1960, before a Supreme Court ruling banished laws that imposed limits on the amount of steaming pig flesh any one country could produce.

Pig suicide has become a hot topic in Pig and Pig-Meat geared magazines and on Web sites, even hitting the big screen in movies like last year’s “Another Plate of Pig Flesh Please!”

That film centers on an immensely fat black French female pig who decides to choke herself on the bars of her cage mere minutes before she was scheduled to be killed; a situation not that unlikely as black French female pig flesh (steaming or cold) is rapidly starting to scale the connoisseurs luxury meat ladder, said Evian Moorse, whose Pig Suicide blog draws 1,000 visitors a day.

The star of “Another Plate Of Pig Flesh Please!” [pictured]

It features articles like “How To Induce Vomiting Faster” and pictures of successful suicides like Chef Wolfgang Puck, whose brain is now selling at the local butcher as “head cheese” for about AU$385 per pound.

“Pigs are refusing to comply with that message about just biding your time for the eventual bloody Pig Revolution in a few thousand years, and putting up with congenital malformations due to systematic inbreeding,” Moorse said. She pointed to the low rates of pig disease’s infecting humans; a strategy that has largely failed to topple Human civilization’s domination of Pigs.

In addition the recent ideological trends seen in Western Europe and East Africa – like the aptly titled “Gormanization” of pigs and their associated flesh – have hit pigs worldwide with devastating results. This is of course a consequence of political turmoil in these parts that saw hardline pro-Gormanic governments sweep away all political opposition last year. Systematic Gormanization, pig or otherwise, quickly followed.

Thanks to these new government policies pigs in battery cages and farms are largely surrounded by disciples of the Lord Gorman Beksinski whose appetite for Gormanized Pig Flesh knows no bounds: In 2004, 26.5 percent of all Disciples of Gorman were enrolled in Pig Farms and Slaughter Houses versus 57.5 percent in 2006, according to the Global Council of Religious Faith’s most recent statistics.

A gloomy future for female pigs [pictured]

Even after refusing to eat, Roslyn Honeycomb struggled to avoid the attention of her guards and warden’s, “I wanted to study aeronautical engineering and human mind control at university,” she said. “But if I only gain one pound per month, or even have 7 children a year, that isn’t going to happen.” The Corvoian mother of 246 eventually broke all her own legs and bleed to death. “I think a lot of female pigs are realizing that their futures lead no where except the dinner table. Our future looks gloomy,” she said a few months prior to her suicide.

They’re made even gloomier, grumble many female pigs, by high rates of successful propaganda aimed at male pigs which penetrates their societies. They argue that this leads to male pigs believing that mating 40 times a day and having 500 inbred offspring is the ultimate status symbol, and much more important than the fact that they too are doomed for the slaughterhouse.

“They absolutely love rutting violently in layers of filth and excrement that all female pig cages are caked with.” Moorse said. Nearly three quarters of the 403,000 pig pregnancy’s in 2006 involved forced copulation/rape, often at the behest of Lord Gorman himself.

Meanwhile, psychological barriers have discouraged female pigs from crossing gender stereotypes and seeking the company of other female pigs to satisfy their desires, both physical and emotional.

“Female pigs are socialized to accept constant pregnancy and to stick by their male pigs,” explained Kellinar Grain-Heorden, a Howard University psychology professor who studied 15 female pigs who engaged in brief but passionate homosexual lesbian relationships before committing suicide.

She said modern female pigs agonize over breaking the male/female pig bonds forged by ten thousand years in slavery at the hands of homo-sapiens, but more and more are choosing death over even the possibility of a lesbian relationship.

A pig that died after severing her own tongue [pictured]

Back in Virginia, Slobidan Gormistyle feels life is too long, even though to her the eventual and inevitable triumph of pigs over humans is an unquestioned reality. She decided last month to suffocate herself in the diseased mud that pools by her legs everyday.

As for her father, Gormistyle figures, “I’m sure he really admires the fact that I am going to do something he may have really wanted to do, and never did.”

Lotek + Pataphysics

•October 3, 2008 • Leave a Comment

The next in the series of Capital Dub Style special guest shows occurred a couple of weeks ago. UK hiphop/dancehall crossed with Sri Lankan nu-jazz/reggae. It went down really well, but it also sucked up alot of hours. It was also reviewed here. I’m thinking of maybe using all these photos in the second assignment, however the temptation to fashion a fictional story with Google Maps might be too strong….

LOTEK + PATAPHYSICS @ Transit Bar (click for photos)

LOTEK + PATAPHYSICS @ Transit Bar (click for photos)

Data Visualisation or; How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love America [UPDATED]

•September 25, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Interesting lecture about Data Visualization this week.

One of the more recent data visualisations I came across in my everyday life was this one, showing downloads of the NIN album “The Slip” around the world. The use of data visualization seems pretty self evident; converting information into a way that is more easily understood given the specifics of our visual and mental perception.

One thing I this has lead me to think of is the common idea that people use as an argument for the existence of God . They say that the world around us seems like its specifically made for us humans to engage with, perceive and understand. Of course the counter argument is that actually the world is specifically made for insects, cockroaches and diseases.

Anyway, my thoughts were that actually humanity could be…[insert gap of 3 days]…only a stepping stone to something else. Quite why this has any relevance to this topic, I can’t remember. I think I was trying to get at something like…we manipulate the world, but we are being manipulated by our use of technology.

Just found another one about remix culture. This one is interesting in terms of music remixing and there is also a visualization of creative commons distribution/licenses. Seems like Spain has the largest number of CC licenses per capita at the time the date was gathered.

I was really interested in the We Feel Fine project. The visual aspect is really nice, some great little touches like the swirls interaction with the mouse. I don’t know if its just my preconceived notions of Americans, but watching the video presentation on TED.COM by Jonathan Harris, I just had this flash of….”why?”. There was this air of self-congratulation about the whole project, especially the Time Capsule Project, which was beamed up into space; somthing that seems a bit excessive, and speaks to me of the tenancy for American’s to confligate their experiences and achievements as the epitome of humanity. Having said that:

The presiding message of the Time Capsule is: “One World. Many Voices.” The piece attempts simultaneously to express the differences between individuals, and to illustrate the shared ground between people of all ages, races, backgrounds and cultures.

At a time when there are human beings living in filth an degradation, I wonder what they would think about the whole thing. The feelings of a child prostitute on the streets of Marrakech are a million times more worthy, in my eyes, than alot of the things I’m seeing on the site.

The title of the Harris’ other project Universe, relates to what I’m talking about. Browsing the feelings on We Feel Fine, I got the sense that the majority of the content was sourced from North America. This is obviously a reflection of the raw data out there on the internet, but I was left with a kind of aftertaste……..who cares about this? On a networked media/technological scale, yes it is really interesting and really well done, but these other issues really come to mind. American Cultural narcissism etc….Perhaps its the language used on the site, or the highly personal nature of most of the content. I actually quite like the site, thought I think that there are way to many possible feelings on their list.

I see a direct contradiction in the We Feel Fine project on this level, and the Gapminder data visualization about world statistics. Hearing Has Rosling talk against this type of Euro/Anglo-centric world view was really refreshing. In this day and age where the common citizen is being asked to contend and participate with large complex issues, the value of this type of data is crucial. The problems, as Hans says, is getting the data out there into the homes and schools and institutions of the world.