Wednesday 26 November 2008

Intercom - Rotorua, New Zealand , 26th November, 2008

Just back from the first day of the Intercom Museum and Tourism conference in Rotorua. Quite a bunch of interesting people, some of who will end up at the Auckland NDF.

Among other nationalities, the Australians are here in force, including Lynda Kelly of the Australian Museum, Sydney and Angelino Russo from Swinborne University Melbourne who both started the excellent Museum30 site on Ning.

Lynda Kelly has posted a great summary of the Intercom sessions on her blog , including a forceful call to arms from NZ's own Dame Cheryll Sotheran, who as one might have expected pulled no punches in her call for a lot more thought around experience, values, including among the latter, sustainability, health and wellness, respect for authenticity, respect for culture et al. See here for more on the summary

I have a lurge. A stotter! So am keeping this short. Might even miss the first day of the NDF conference which is a big pity.

Audience Research
I will however share this little beauty - a presentation from Lynda Kelly on audience research trends. Should also be of interest to others in the arts, gallery, and library sector.

Sunday 23 November 2008

Nollywood - Franco Sacchi and TED

This is from the TED newsletter - " Zambia-born filmmaker Franco Sacchi tours us through Nollywood, Nigeria's booming film industry (the world's 3rd largest). Guerrilla film making and brilliance under pressure from crews that can shoot a full-length feature in a week."

It joins a growing list of sources and influences whcih support Larry Lessig's notion of the hybrid.
But that discussion is for another time. In the meantime - this being Sunday - enjoy someone doing a TED - talking about something which inspires them, and the process inspires us all!

Wednesday 19 November 2008

The Wallaby Track: why fund digitisation - click me and find out!

Every now and then you come across something that totally inspires you both in it's simplicity, and the power of it's underlying purpose. Taken from Seb Chan's blog, the embed at the bottom from The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney is one such example.

It's only one image - and a digitised one at that, which has then been edited and given a really beautiful sound track. The original analogue image is a glass negative from their Tyrrell collection

It's a priceless moment from the early history of Australia. Being originally a glass plate negative. the detail is extraordinary. However, the empathy in the video animation sequence from Jean-Francois Lanzarone, beautifully draws out each of the faces and so creates the space to bring back to life the character and spirit of each of the men in the picture.

The hidden archives
Just like Australia, here in New Zealand, we have thousands and thousands of these kinds of images sitting in special heritage boxes in our national and regional heritage collections. I've seen some/many of them - or at least I've see the boxes, because most of them remain uncatalogued, and in some cases unexamined since the day they were carefully put away.

Many many more will wait for years for the funding to get a proper record online. and only a fraction of them, given current funding, will eventually end up being digitsied and put up on online. A few brave institutional souls might even make them available for peole to use, a la Lessig, as part of their own creative moments.

The Funding Question
All too often getting the funding to even begin that journey will fail because when the funder asks " why should we do this" the answer is too complicated, or too obscure, or too loosely linked to instrumental value statements like 'building national identity'.

Now, courtesy of moments like this one below, although we might end up in those kinds of discussions eventually, in the first instance, when asked - "and why should we do this" all we need to do is hand them the mouse and tell them to 'press play'

Acknowledgement: this image is part of the Powerhouse's contribution to the Flickr Commons [ see here for an explanation] View the original image in the Commons on Flickr.
Or on the Powerhouse Museum’s own website. The detailed story of the image, the photgraher and the collection is here.

Tuesday 18 November 2008

Mr Key goes to Wellington

I'm impressed with the new John Key National lead coalition cabinet. His emphasis on performance and commitment needs acknowledgment. So to does his political agility in appointing Pita Sharples as Minister of Maori Affairs, albeit outside Cabinet.

This feels like a genuine gesture of inclusion, and definitively changes the expected balance of power that seemed to be on offer with the original National/Act line up. In short, on present millage, this could be a fun 100 days to watch.

Communications/IT/ Infrastructure.
Like others I'm also very happy with the choice for Minister of Transport, Communication, and associate to the infrastructure portfolio. Steven Joyce is exactly the breath of fresh air that National needed in this area. Moreover, the combination of transport, communication, IT and associate to the newly formed infrastructure portfolio is also very heartening.

The latter is a new role for New Zealand, with the lead Minister coming from the Deputy, Bill English. That choice also speaks volumes as to the priority that this government , might - note the caveat - be giving digital.

TUANZ - New best friends

Already we have strong statements from the likes of TUANZ who want to help the new government spend the NZ $1.5 billion on fibre to the home. As well the connection with the Transport portfolio does offer some hope for some strategic thinking on just exactly what this infrastructure thing might be.

Soft Infrastructure
As is known, when I hear this "infrastructure" word , especially when applied to policies and ideas for the digital domain, I always want to make sure that people also start thinking and talking about "soft infrastructure" - i.e. what we might do with the big fat pipes that come from hard infrastructure investment.

Community Partnership Fund
On that note, I'm delighted to note that Tariana Turia, co-leader of the Maori Party has , among her other portfolios the comparatively little known "Community and Voluntary" portfolio.

This might seems a tad obscure to many. However, be advised this is a key portfolio in the oversight of the ongoing Community Partnership Fund, which is just entering its third round.

One of the ongoing critiques from some sections of Maoridom was that the last two rounds didn't adequately reflect the needs of Maori and Pacific communities.

It would be great if Minister Turia could make a call and ask for a briefing on this - might make this new round - details here - an interesting conversation at all levels.

Aotearoa Peoples Network
While she is at it she. and Pita Sharples might also ask to be briefed on the Aoteareoa Peoples Network which puts fast bandwidth, computers, and tools into local/rural libraries, including the plan to extend the APN project out into local maraes? Details on this here.

Tuesday 11 November 2008

Larry Lessig - let's talk about trust

In the above lecture, the good Dr Lessig gives one of his masterful performances in which he explores, inter alia, his ideas for a distinction between the amateur - the professional and what he calls the hybrid zone.

Remix - the book
He explores all this and whole bunch more in his new book Remix. I've just picked it up from Unity Books - now going off line to read it.
Strewth - go offline to read a book Paul - that's a bit radical.

Quoting not Stealing
You might also care to look at this other video in which Prof Lessig explores the implications to our cultural integrity consequent to our insistence on penalising our children for using sources to make new culture - or as he has it - "they are quoting not stealing"

Friday 7 November 2008

There has never been anything false about hope!

Because I can
There are many reasons for posting this - for inspiration - for the record - but mostly, because I want to and I can!

Congratulations to the American people - you have done a good and powerful thing!