Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Organized Waste of Time

"I experienced the web as a powerful tool of organizing life and at the same time as a toy for organized waste of time." These are the words I bookmarked[1] when I read Elliot's The Screen Generation at cDc.

Web as a medium of communication, hence a mere tool, cuts both ways. The underlying difference that sets it apart from other media is participating in content creation. Unlike TV for example, where you are forced to consume whatever the producers broadcast, content can be generated collectively.

I consider any attempt that tries to push content, a state where the user is passive just like a TV viewer, as hostile and destructive for Internet culture. Sharing, participating, recommending, including your own input, searching, etc are the trademarks of Internet, they are what make it tick, and wonderful.

I have recently come across a discussion about copyright, for comments to be specific. Who owns the copyright to a comment made for this post, the author or the domain owner, i.e. me? I believe neither does. Together, we have collectively produced something new. This is the area where the so-called tamers of the Internet fail to understand, or deliberately ignore. When they succeed, we will have a big toy organized by them so that we can waste our time while they reap the benefit. Sad...

[1] One of the reasons I have been using Opera since version 3.x is its Notes functionality. You highlight some text and copy it to your notes, just like a bookmark, but you know why you bookmarked it; an indispensable tool for researchers and collectors.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Through the Electronic Dust

The world wide web is rich. Even by the best estimate, search engines can only crawl one fourth of it. The rest? It is waiting for you to be uncovered by other methods so that they can see the daylight in the dark and dusty recesses of this cob web where they silently weep. Hidden treasures, interesting sites, rarely heard games, articles that few read... Some do not even use the hypertext, i.e. HTTP protocol. They are all waiting to be discovered, unhidden so to speak.

Some might have already been found by spiders or bots, if only you could type those weird keywords in a search form...

Some had their day. They cherished the victory, enjoyed the glory, only to be forgotten again. A spark, a momentary fame that did not last.

Some can only be accessed via Internet Archive; if they were fortunate to be archived, of course. The servers that hosted them have probably been scrapped or thrown to a junk yard.

They are all part of our culture. If we lose them, we also lose a part of ourselves, our history. They had their share in making us who we are today.

So let us venture to the land of the awkward without further delay. We have a long road to walk; before all trails disappear, all signs removed, when there is still a chance to ask someone for direction.

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Death of a Seeker

fravia logo

Once a palm reader, a gypsy true to tradition said, "You will live until 2032, 80 years of age." She was wrong this time and a swan sang out sorrow.

Web is a strange place. You cry for a friend whom you never met; yet you like him, just as sure as you will miss him.

A +seeker has died yesterday.

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Friday, May 1, 2009

Chalk Animation by Schreiber and Kronenberg

My fixation on digital video recording seems to open up new horizons and discoveries these days. While trying to hone my long gone theoretical knowledge on cameras, frames, slow motion and similar concepts, I come across such great artwork that it is impossible not to get distracted.

One such example I'd like to share with you is the chalk animation of Lucinda Schreiber and Yanni Kronenberg. The video took six months from start to finish, four of which being full time. With 1900 frames shot and variable rates of 12fps, 8fps and 6fps, music of Firekites, a band from Newcastle, Australia accompanies the video (Autumn story). Absolutely stunning.

Firekites - AUTUMN STORY - chalk animation from Lucinda Schreiber on Vimeo.

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