Quick catch-up

19 September 2010

It’s been a bit quiet around here; the usual churn of links, but not much writing. Apologies. It’s been quiet busy at work, what with Dimensions launching as I got back from holiday, and then watching my colleagues set the marvellous Making Future Magic wild.

There’s lots of great stuff coming out of the studio right now. That makes me happy.

Holiday was good: a week walking and recharging in the Brecon Beacons. It did not feel long enough, but it was very beautiful. I’m somewhat behind on processing my holiday photographs, but should have them done soon. I have not done the Brecons much justice, but they were beautiful to walk amongst.

I haven’t been tinkering with much outside work, although I have been overhauling the back-end of this website in interesting ways. I think that’s nearly finished now, so it’ll be live soon.

There is some writing to come, I think: certainly something on emergent narrative in Red Dead Redemption that’s been kicking around a bit too long, and perhaps something on Exposure at the Tate Modern, parts of which rankled me in very specific ways. Now I’ve promised you those, I have to deliver them, right?

Today I turned 28. I bought a kite.


16 September 2010

I’ve already linked to it on delicious, but this Snarkmarket post demanded a decent quotation:

…you start to see cyborgs all around you. It’s not just people with, you know, gun-legs; it’s anybody who uses a cell phone or wears contact lenses. It’s anybody who brings a tool really close in order to augment some capability.

Aren’t there people who have brought media that close? Aren’t there people who manipulate it, in all its forms, as naturally as another person might make a phone call, or speak, or breathe?

When you think of someone like Kanye West or Lady Gaga, you can’t think only of their brains and bodies. Lady Gaga in a simple dress on a tiny stage in a no-name club in Des Moines is—simply put—not Lady Gaga. Kanye West in jeans at a Starbucks is not Kanye West.

…which is about as much as I can quote without reproducing the whole article. But there’s so much good stuff here. Media as force-multiplier and prosthesis. Media as true-geography. Media as identity. It’s really, really good, overlapping with so many of my own interests, making a convincing point.

  • "The GPS looks forward for me, projecting all my future successes and failings. Every bit of information helps to optimise my path. Contour maps spring out of the hills surrounding, and round the corner ahead. It took a space shuttle and an army of volunteers to help me shift down a gear, and hopefully the data exhaust I leave behind will help someone do it better next time." Tom is brilliant. I miss him.
  • "This is the part that interests me: What happens to a person's experience of prettymaps when the echoes of their own life start to make up the map itself? What happens when the only streets on a map are those you and your friends have traveled?"
  • "It's the new urban Baroque! Install greenscreens everywhere in an optical infrastructure for the 21st century—a DIY industry of everyday special effects, little greenscreens popping up beside trees, in alleyways, behind buildings, atop roofs, the entire urban environment camera-ready and pierced like St. Sebastian by the arrows of parallel worlds, our cities become effects labs and every sidewalk a set." Chromakey Planet.
  • "I’m basically the James Cameron of PowerPoint 97." Making short films in Powerpoint because it's the only tool you've got. Brilliant.