My current flexi-job in the Land of Cog involves research on an arts project. It's a good gig – my colleagues/managers are old friends, the hourly rate is better than normal here (AUS $27 per hour), and the work interesting. The core of my work is interviewing artists and tradespeople who have been partnered in a professional exchange project.
Two solitary campers in the dunes at Antechamber Bay, our first night on the island. The moon is brightful overhead when I'm ripped from my dreams by the presence and weight of a kangaroo on me. A giant roo, so heavy, squashing. I lie with stillness for a long time. When I eventually drag myself up out of my canvas cocoon I can't see him, he's dissolved into the sheltering scrub. Disappointed, relieved, I burrow back into sleep. In the morning Robyn reports her encounter with a wombat when she ventured out for a midnight jish. But this was no wombat sitting on me, it was kangaroo. Something about that heavy tail, those thumper bumper feet, the sweet grassy breath.
In a Japanese franchised fantasy game, players capture cute wild creatures called Pokémon, and train them to become members of powerful fighting teams. If a Pokémon cannot escape the confines of the multi-function Poké Ball, it is considered owned by the Trainer. Volition goes out the window, and it must now obey all commands.
The interior of the spherical Poké Ball is designed to make the enslaved Pokémon feel comfortable, but there are no guarantees that this will happen. It's a world of tough luck and tough love.
Goodbye Privacy, curated by Ina Zwerger and Armin Medosch for Ars Electronica, was a rich 2 days of presentations and provocations. Some of the papers are available on line at nettime, and maybe in other places...
Here's a link to Brian Holmes's paper, 'Cybernetics and the Control Society':
Earlier this year I was invited to work as a Guest Curator on Coding Cultures, a project initiated by d/Lux Media Arts in Sydney.
It had 5 main elements: artist residencies (Proboscis from the UK, and mervin Jarman from Jamaica with Camille Turner from Canada); workshops, a symposium, a book, and a country gig in the remote mining town of Broken Hill.
'A Handbook for Coding Cultures' was a small-run free print publication which is also available for download at:
Last year I drew on some of my Masters research* to write a chapter for a book on Open Source Software.
My text is titled 'Social Technologies and the Digital Commons' and the book is Handbook of Research on Open Source Software: Technological, Economic, and Social Perspectives, edited by Kirk St. Amant and Brian Still.
Well, my original proposal for my PhD was very big and completely unrealistic. And the first 18 months have been spent either ignoring it or trying to shape it into something do-able. So now I have a skinny synopsis, and some tendrils of questions...
Working title: Small Media, Soft Ecologies: exploring digital-social interventions
Background to the meal: A soup I am cooking tonight for Furtherfield mob. It's a soft exchange for being their house guest in their flat in Haringey, London--and for FF allowing me to interview them for my PhD research.
Furtherfield are a core of 2 - Ruth Catlow and Marc Garrett - who for the past 10 or 11 years have established and nurtured networked art and cultural experimentation - via online and offline playful participatory structures.