klastrup AT it-c.dk
This is the research diary of Lisbeth
Klastrup. Here I share some of my thoughts on life, universe, virtual
worlds, interactive stories and internet oddities with you.
Troels Degn Johansson
Jill Walker's blog
Torill Mortensen's blog
Hilde Corneliussen's blog
Carsten Jopp's blog
Anders Fagerjord's blog
Gonzalo Frasca's blog (URU, US)
Anja Rau's blog (DE)
Elin Sjursen's blog (NO, US)
Frank Schaap's blog (NL)
Adrian Miles' Vog blog (AUSTR.)
Mark Bernstein's blog (US.)
Dust from a Distant Sun (DK)
Cykelkokken (DK, in Danish)
Two Years in Denmark (DK,US)
Future Dr. Karlsbjerg (DK)
©Lisbeth Klastrup 2002
The Digital guide writes:
Sherry Turkle's Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet (London, Weidenfeld & Nicolson 96) is a more anecdotal account - with dollops of French structuralism - of online role-playing and gender-bending. Similar themes are explored in Allucquere Rosanne Stone's The War of Desire & Technology At The Close of the Mechanical Age (Cambridge, MIT Press 95). Online no-one knows you're a dog, but there's a bit too much tail-sniffing by some sociology professors.
Caslon Analytics Pty Ltd, an Australian internet research, analysis and strategies consultancy has a neat little Digital Guide to books, sources & portals on various i-net topics.Etopia, Dystopia, Spaces, Bodies and Culture being some of the categories. It's annonated and judging from they write, I like their povs.
Lately, I've been thinking about why web "videos" like the musicvideo Hatten er din (turkish song "translated" into swedish) or All your base are belong to us (an absolutely grammatically incorrect translation from Japanese to English turned into an world-slogan) are so popular. I think that spoofs like Bondage Barbie or the Transgender Barbie (she/he is a darling) or the Lego Porn site (this is adults only, seriously!) belong to same genre of politically incorrect, ironic, corny (and more or less funny) genre or brand parodies - and there's is definitely also a question of "skill" involved here (displaying the photo- and computer manipulative skills of the makers) - which is accentuated by "the making of" or "the story of" texts that seem to accompagny quite a few of them. Perhaps I like them because they are for free - they are made "for fun", not to make money...Or maybe I like them because I'm a bit of a nerd and get most of the references or embrace the irreverence?!? Anyway, they seem to be works that generally appeal to people my age, mostly working and living on the net - half the fun gotten from these phenomena stems from sharing them with other colleagues in the field and then sharing the jokes together. So part of the popularity is also about enforcing community or building it - or trying to become part of it by signaling "I've seen it too...". Which I'm hereby guilty of, too :)
And there are more film for the i-net people: a few days ago, a guy told me about 405, the movie - which is a movie made mainly for the i-net, also involving a lot of image manipulation and barely one shot on location (it's about a jet that lands on a car that is close to driving into an old lady who is also driving a car. That's it. And it's fun!) - and there on the ifilm site, I found a link to the online film awards: apart from 405, George Lucas in Love (a must-see,if you're a Star War fan) and Killer Bean 2 (M&M meets the Matrix) got most of the awards. I.e. a few film get them all, just like the real Oscars, but here I suspect it's also got something to do with the lack of films to choose from in the first place ?!? Hope there are more of them coming up, though!
Why digital art performances suck...
I'm not in a very nice mood, sorry, but it's because I have just been to a digital art performance which despite all it's promises left me rather disappointed - once again. Several experiences with digital art has led me to believe that many digital art performances suck, because:
1) The designer(s) is more in love with making concrete a concept than with creating content
2) The designer bases hirs "non-linear" performance/story on a random proces taking place in a virtual world/programme etc, which is completely invisible to the viewer of the piece
3) ..as is the causal relationship between what goes on in the storygenerating space and what goes on in the storyoutput space
4) because 2+3 is not accounted for visually or symbolically in the storyoutput space, the designer has to write or produce a lot of supplementary text to explain what makes things happen during the performance
5) and this text is necessary, since if you don't know that it is a very elaborate concept etc that lies behind what you are watching, you would think that what you are watching/"taking part in" is linear, non-random and fairly chaotic
6) the text that is the result of 4) most often fails in explaining the concept and what makes things happen because the artist(s) is not a trained pedagogue, nor a well trained speaker/writer and hence hir is not really able to make his ideas clear to the layman, hirs audience.
7) thus, although the performance concept might be really original, it rarely results in performances/stories :
which are interacting with the audience and making clear to them why things happen
which are worthwhile repeating or watching more than once
which are generating content which makes you think that this was a great piece of work even several days after you watched the thing
Yes, I confess: I want content, I want conceptual clarity, I want more than neat 3-D pictures and a high-brow script of metaphilosofical musings or mundane observations disguised as art - and I believe it should be possible to produce digital texts which are able to meet my requirements.
But nevertheless, you might think that Hotel Pro Forma's/Cross Cross'/Morten Søndergårds Site Seeing Zoom is breaking new ground. It runs in "Kanonhallen" in Copenhagen for the next couple of weeks. The soundscape is really nice and the concept of the crossed screens is cool, so if you like immersive soundscapes and cool pictures you can cicrle around, go. If you buy my arguments above, don't.
Oh, yes, today I also got a mail announcing the 4th international conference on Virtual Communities . Had a peak, and then remembered both why I signed up for the newsletter and why I decided not to go last year. On one hand, the conference seems pretty commercial and practical in it's focus, but on the other hand there might still be valuable things to be learned from both designers and merchants. If I ever decide to go into the business of designing virtual communities for a commercially oriented institution, I would definitely go here.
Finally! My new C-pen has arrived (wonderful little thingie, much like an electronic speedmarker), but does it work? Not really, it doesn't want to read neither Aarseth nor my newly bought antology "The Emerging Cyberculture - Literacy, Paradigm, and Paradox". Only things it likes to read is the test text.... And the pen's infrared port to my laptop refuses to communicate...Think the only webpage I will be visiting today is www.c-pen.com's troubleshooting FAQ...
Scott McCloud is writing/drawing another comic (last one Zot!) on the web I can't stop thinking. I like the way, he tries to find a strip form suitable for the web (his immensely "tall" strips are pretty cool), but the content of #5 is sadly mundane: he speculates on how to as an artist make money on the web in the most profitable way.
It feels nice to finally surf freely again after an extended period of conferencing. "Computer Games and Digital Textualities" is now over - thanks to Per, our local photograph, the conference site now also contains links to a lot of nice pics from the conference.
Back to surfing: is what I'm doing here, "blogging", a new artform? Julian Dibbell (The Rape in Cyberspace author) has written an article on Blogging in Feed Mag: Immaterial World.