Saturday 28 February 2009

Depression Cooking from 91 year old Clara

Tells the tale of 91 year old cook and great grandmother, Clara, who recounts her childhood during the Great Depression as she prepares meals from the era. There are 9 episodes.

Note: Not sure if this is for real or a PR stunt - hope so - and anyway it's fun. Maybe we could have a NZ version - Food In a Minute - script and costume consultant, Tony Simpson

Friday 27 February 2009

Three Friday sources from the NL Source

I like these three sources from the latest, and always excellent, The Source - on the NLNZ LibrarytechNZ blog. The Source used to be an internal resource - great to see it being offered to the wider public. Click image for main page. My three picks for a Friday afternoon are:
Employment in the Cultural Sector (Note: PDF)
From the New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage website

"Employment in the Cultural Sector" is one report in a series produced by the New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage, as part of the Cultural Statistics Programme.

The aim of the programme is to improve the range and quality of statistical information about the cultural sector - for the development of cultural policy by both central and local government, for monitoring the sector’s progress and performance, and for future planning.
[Paul Reynolds comment - Wellington is awash with librarians!]

The Library Web Site of the Future
From the Inside Higher Ed website

Academic librarians want their Web sites to attract faculty and students the way flowers invite insects for a visit. The urge to plunge into the cornucopia of electronic riches that lies waiting in the library’s highly organized portal should be irresistible.

Exclusive research databases, costly electronic journals and digital books and treasures lay in wait for those who need and are willing to seek them out.It should be a scholar’s dream, but there’s trouble in paradise.

In August 2008 the Ithaka Group released a report, "Studies of Key Stakeholders in the Digital Transformation in Higher Education" on the relationship between faculty members and their libraries’ electronic resources.

As librarians already knew well, Ithaka’s report showed that faculty perceived the library’s collective electronic resources, particularly in business, science and technology, as far more critical to scholarship than print collections are.

But there is a significant disconnect when it comes to faculty use of the library’s website as a gateway, or portal, to access that wealth of electronic content.
[Paul Reynolds comment - academics love digital sources but not library web sites]

Public Media 2.0: Dynamic, Engaged Publics (Note: PDF)
From the Center for Social Media website

This white paper lays out an expanded vision for “public media 2.0” that places engaged publics at its core, showcasing innovative experiments from its “first two minutes,” and revealing related trends, stakeholders, and policies.

Public media 2.0 may look and function differently, but it will share the same goals as the projects that preceded it: educating, informing, and mobilizing its users.
[Paul Reynolds comment: look for the 5 changing ways:  choice/conversation/curation/creation/collaboration]
end quote

Thursday 26 February 2009

How digitally literate are our politicians - UK Hansard Society reports

Digital Democracy
The idea that the internet can be a transformative space for democracy, especially in OECD countries, is a common place. Also of huge interest is the drive to make PSI [pubic sector information] assets available online.

It's also often said that an informed e-literate citizenship is a core requirement for all this to take place. Less common is an emphasis on the digital literacy, or e-capability, of our representatives. In short, how digitally literate are our MP's? A recent report from the UK Hansard Society provide some welcome insights.

MPs Online: Connecting with Constituents

MPs Online: Connecting with Constituents, reveals that MPs are using the internet primarily to inform their constituents rather than engage with them.

The most widely used digital media are those which are mainly passive in nature, such as websites.

Interactive forms of media which could be used by MPs to develop a two-way dialogue with their constituents, such as blogs and social networking, are used less commonly.

Where these tools are used, it is often in passive 'send' mode with few MPs exploiting their full interactive potential.

Key findings from the research are:

- 92% of UK MPs use email
- 83% of UK MPs have a personal website
- 23% of UK MPs use social networking
- 11% of UK MPs blog

Click here to download the full report.
Click here to read UK media coverage of the report.

The Hansard Socety
The Hansard Society is one of the UK's leading independent, non-partisan political research and education charities.

Andy Willimanson
The study is written by Hansard Society's Director of eDemocracy Programme, Andy Williamson. He is a former member of the DSAG [New Zealand Digital Strategy Advisory Group], and, when based in New Zealand, was a well known advocate of the benefits, boundaries and opportunities of using digital as a community development platform.

But has any of this changed of late - say through the rise of Twitter? TweetMinster, again from the UK is an interesting experiment in mapping the tweeting world of the UK parliament at Westminster. Might be interesting to see a NZ, or Australian equivalent. I note they acknowledge My Society's They Work For You as one of their inspiration points. NZ does have its own version of this excellent initiative.

UK Royal Mail
As I write, the feed is full of comments on the UK Royal Mail story, including the potential mass revolt of over 100 Labour MP's. So it definitely picks up the current pulse of the political landscape

Wednesday 25 February 2009

Fair Use and Cultural Development

I like this - for sure , it's a little obvious - almost pedantic - but that's part of it's charm - you only get to sound like that when something is embedded [excuse the pun] in the culture. The USA has a doctrine of Fair Use - New Zealand doesn't. Time to change that?

Tuesday 24 February 2009

Fair Use - USA - can we have one of these please in NZ

Thanks a bunch to Renne Hobbs from Media Literacy Education who alerted me to this.

The Fair Use thing USA
The keynote I am beginning to grasp really clearly is that the USA copyright laws - e.g. the Digital Millennium Copyright Act - operates within the broader circle of Fair Use - i.e. Fair Use principles come first. New Zealand, like many other jurisdictions put fair dealing as an exception - it's not a constitutional right as it is in the US.

Alexander Turnbull Library and Fair Use

Another successful campaign
Dropped onto this image while researching something else. Shows three things. First, Section 92a campaigners might like to note another successful mass campaign which I suspect many of them might not quite agree with.

Ephemera - analogue social media
Second, the Manuscripts and Pictorial micro site to the Alexander Turnbull Library of the NLNZ continues to push up into the daylight some really interesting pieces of ephemera.

Fair Use Rules
Third, in contrast to the older, and , as yet, for sure, more comprehensive, Timeframes Collection, the copyright statement specifically tells bloggers you are just fine to use the image.
In short fair use rules!

Diverging views
So thanks a lot - and dare I say a really nice example of the NL putting their collection at the disposal of their online users - as opposed to sitting behind a wall of privileged access.

Curiously, there are still people who think that's its job - see this mornings NZ Herald for a lovely example. The irony is the digital end of the NL will probably collect this and preserve it . Funny old world.

Monday 23 February 2009

Sec 92a - sent to the sin bin - result!!!!

It has just been reported that the New Zealand Cabinet met today and discussed the Copyright (New Technologies) Amendment Act and the implementation of S.92A, which was due to come into force on 28th February.

Nat Torkington was at the press briefing and has reported via Twitter that the NZ government has delayed the implementation of S.92A until 29th March. Press releases are on the way.

If both parties to the TCF voluntary code of practice for ISP's do not reach agreement by that date the government has indicated its willingness to suspend that section.

Brilliant News
This is a brilliant piece of news - and a total victory for common sense - now its down to all the parties to sort something out so that it is fair for all parties.

In the meantime - everyone who got involved in the campaign gets to taste the sweet taste of a political result.

NZ National Government
On that note - the NZ National government needs its own acknowledgment - from memory, this is the first time since they took power that they have faced a major lobby. It would have been all too easy for them to pull in their horns and ride it out, especially as most of the lobby was coming from web activists.

They didn't - it took them a moment to realise the sophistication of the lobby voice - but when they did, they listened - and then they acted. I think that deserves its own round of applause.

Last but not least - you have to give it up to the Creative Freedom Foundation - they played a blinder.

Sec 92a to Fair use : moving on to next phase

Image above courtesy of Wordle

Black Out - time to move on - lighten up
As Russell Brown says in his Hard News blog on Public Address, the blackout campaign on Section 92a of the Copyright Amendment Act needs to move to another stage.

The campaign has been a great sucess, and it is to be hoped that there is still time for common sense to prevail and for Sec 92a to be sent into the corner to await a more balanced judgment from NZ Ministers Power , Finlayson, Joyce, and Worth.

It is also to be acknowledged that the NZ rights holder organizations have come a long way in the last week, and there now seems to be a real willingness to make the TCF Code of Practice work. However, that will need more time - hence the need for the delay on the implementation of Sec 92a.

Fair Use
For myself - although I am leaving the topic of Sec 92a aside for the moment, I still want to spend time and energy on exploring and talking about the need for a much greater understanding and commitment to the concept of 'Fair Use" - i.e the ability to use portions of a persons work for discussion - cross fertilisation - research - or, for that matter - parody.

More on this later - in the meantime - if you are interested - check out Wikipedia as a pre- starter to a further debate.

Fair Use as an economic value.
While you are there - and in pursuit of the beginnings of a rational discussions which goes beyond the stereotype of theft and misuse - have a close look at the context for this quote on fair use as an economic driver - which in recognition of the right to fair use, I quote here.
The economic benefit of fair use
A balanced copyright law provides an economic benefit to many high tech businesses such as search engines and software developers and Fair Use is also crucial to non-technology industries such as insurance, legal services, and newspaper publishers.[20]

On September 12, 2007, the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA),[20] a group representing companies including Google Inc., Microsoft Inc.,[21] Oracle Corporation, Sun Microsystems, Yahoo[22] and other high tech companies, released a study that found that Fair Use exceptions to US copyright laws were responsible for more than $4,500 Billion dollars in annual revenue for the United States economy representing one-sixth of the total U.S. GDP.[20]

The study was conducted using a methodology developed by the World Intellectual Property Organization.[20][20] “As the United States economy becomes increasingly knowledge-based, the concept of fair use can no longer be discussed and legislated in the abstract. It is the very foundation of the digital age and a cornerstone of our economy,” said Ed Black, President and CEO of CCIA.[20] “Much of the unprecedented economic growth of the past ten years can actually be credited to the doctrine of fair use, as the Internet itself depends on the ability to use content in a limited and nonlicensed manner."[20]

The study found that fair use dependent industries are directly responsible for more than 18% of U.S. economic growth and nearly 11 million American jobs.

/end quote

Friday 20 February 2009

NZ Sec 92a and public libraries - LIANZA Copyright Taskforce update

I have just been pointed to this excellent piece of professional practice from LIANZA, the Library and Information Association of New Zealand, Aotearoa. Some time ago they set up a task force on copyright.

This update was posted on the 17th February, 2009. It is both intelligent and useful. Might also be of interest to any NZ small business, or school, who is trying to get their head around the issues on Section 92a. Look forward to seeing the detail on "Sample Library Internet Service Provider Copyright Policy" and the 'sample warning notice regarding copying and downloading from the Internet" mentioned at the end of the statement


"LIANZA's Copyright Taskforce - update on the status of the new section 92A of the Copyright Act.

  1. It has been confirmed that libraries are included in the new definition of Internet service providers. As such, libraries are required under section 92A to "adopt and reasonably implement a policy that provides for termination, in appropriate circumstances, of the account with that Internet service provider of a repeat infringer". "Repeat infringer" is defined as "a person who repeatedly infringes the copyright in a work by using 1 or more of the Internet services of the Internet service provider to do a restricted act without the consent of the copyright owner".

  2. TCF, the Telecommunications Carriers' Forum, has produced a draft "Internet Service Provider Copyright Code of Practice" (see, which was launched at workshops held by TCF in Wellington and Auckland on 9 and 10 February and which is currently out for comment. The workshops provided LIANZA representatives with the opportunity to comment on the Code, and the likely effects of the Code and section 92A on libraries.

  3. The Code includes libraries within its definition of "downstream ISPs", which are ISPs that supply Internet services to users such as employees, students, contractors, clients or customers. Clause 4.9 of the Code states that "Downstream ISPs should not have their Internet access terminated" by telecommunications ISPs. This is a great relief for those libraries that feared having their entire Internet connections cut off (and perhaps also the Internet connections of their parent organisations) as a consequence of the activities of alleged repeat infringers in libraries.

  4. Clause 4.3 of the Code states that telecommunications ISPs will pass notices of alleged infringement received from copyright owners to downstream ISPs "in reliance on that downstream ISP having and implementing a termination policy complying with section 92A of the Act". The Code requires that downstream ISPs receiving copyright holder notices deal directly with copyright owners to resolve the issues raised.

  5. The LIANZA Copyright Task Force is preparing a submission to the TCF on its draft Code of Practice.

  6. The Copyright Task Force is also preparing a section on Internet service providers, and a sample warning notice regarding copying and downloading from the Internet, which will be included in the LIANZA publication "The Copyright Act 1994 and Amendments: Guidelines for Librarians" on the LIANZA copyright web site.

  7. In addition, the Copyright Task Force is drafting a "Sample Library Internet Service Provider Copyright Policy", which will be on the LIANZA copyright web site by the end of February.

    The sample policy is designed to provide guidance for libraries on what their "policy that provides for termination" should include. The sample policy will need to be tailored by libraries to express what their policies and procedures actually are, and libraries may wish to check with their organisations' managers and/or legal advisors, to ensure that the policies are acceptable.

  8. One of the issues faced by libraries is that many libraries, and particularly public libraries, may not be able to identify users of library-supplied Internet-access computers on which copyright infringement has been alleged, either because users are not required to authenticate, or because records by date and time of Internet sessions are not kept.

    These libraries, like other downstream ISPs, can not identify alleged infringers and therefore can not terminate their Internet access or accounts. Where this is so, libraries may be asked by copyright owners to supply them with a copy of the library's policy, to show what steps are being taken to prevent copyright infringement in the library.

  9. It is not yet known whether this will be acceptable to copyright owners, or to the courts should legal action ensue.

  10. In the meantime, LIANZA is recommending to TCF that the concerns of libraries and other downstream ISPs should be brought to the attention of the Minister, together with proposals as to how the new legislation may be modified to meet the needs both of copyright owners and of downstream ISPs such as libraries.

  11. LIANZA has reiterated its support for clear copyright law that strives to achieve a fair and equitable balance, for the ultimate benefit of authors and copyright owners, users of in-copyright works, and society as a whole .."

end quote

ISP's are not courts - what is hard about this?

Rod Emmerson
Brilliant cartoon in this morning's New Zealand Herald from Rod Emmerson - his Herald archive is here.

Jim Mora - Radio New Zealand
I was also invited onto The Panel on Afternoon, Jim Mora's show on National Radio. Go here to page -it's the first section of the panel. Or if you just want to listen, then click here for mp3 I start talking about 5 mins in.

Self Critique
I stuffed up the chance to explore the fair use issue - but I did manage to get over that because the definition of ISP is so loose, NZ small business owners, schools and libraries will get caught by Section 92a.

The John Key interview when he says the has only just read the Act, and Section 92a, and the drafting looks a bit ropey is here.

Thursday 19 February 2009

The Commons: Celebrating Accomplishments, Discerning Futures

Just found this link to a seminar from December last year from the Berkman Center where some of the top thinkers on copyright in a digital age came together to celebrate the sixth anniversary of Creative Commons, and discuss some of the great achievements in technology for sharing culture.

Moderator: * Jonathan Zittrain, of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and author of The Future of the Internet -- and How to Stop It.

Panelists: * James Boyle, The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind * Lawrence Lessig, Remix * Joi Ito, Free Souls * Molly S. Van Houweling, Creative Commons first Executive Director

With Special Guests: * Elena Kagan, Dean of the Harvard Law School * Charles Nesson, William F. Weld Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, Founder and Faculty Co-Director, Berkman Center for Internet & Society

This event was sponsored by Creative Commons and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. It is long - over an hour - but hey, you can dip in and out. It is so worth it!

OII annouce new journal - Policy and Internet - call for papers

John Key and his digital policy advisers.
As part of his weekly discussion with Mikey Havoc on 95BFM this morning, NZ Prime Minister John Key, opined that the Governments position on the fraught issue of the Copyright Amendment Act , Clause 92a was framed in part by the advice they were given.

However, to give him his due, he then said that he hadn't looked at the legislation until this week and that "how it was drafted was a bit ropey", and needed looking at.

While welcoming his practical good sense, it begs the question, how do politicians form the views on new technology which eventually end up either as legislation, regulation or policy frameworks.

ACTA - being negotiated in secret.
And by extension, how do these views in turn impact their ability to negotiate with confidence foreign trade agreements, e.g. ACTA

Political/Policy Digital Literacy?
In short, just how digitally literate are our politicians and their advisers? If my experience is anything to go by, the answer is very mixed. Some "get it", some struggle, and some are just not interested.

And, it is the latter group who are the biggest. Also the higher up the cabinet ranking you go, the greater the distribution of the latter. And that's the real scary bit. The same applies to their policy advisors.

Policy and Internet - new peer reviewed journal from OII
Accordingly, although it might sound a tad dry, it is very welcome to see the announcement from the Oxford Internet Institute (OII), the Policy Studies Organization (PSO), and the Berkeley Electronic Press on the birth of, Policy and Internet, a new peer-reviewed multi-disciplinary journal.

The brief is to investigate the implications of the Internet and associated technologies for public policy.

The background
Do we need this? Well if the emerging background to the drafting of Section 92a is anything to go by, then it certainly feels like it.

OII in turn argue their case for the need because, first, the Internet is now embedded in social, economic and political life, bringing with it new practices, norms and structures.

Second, the societal shift enabled by the Internet enables new kinds of policy innovation and creativity which in turn raises new challenges and risks for policy-making and analysis.

They say that by addressing the need "for rigorous empirical investigation, theoretical development and methodological innovation across academic disciplines, Policy and Internet can become the premier arena for advancing policy research and shaping the policy agenda in the digital era."

The journal is fully multi-disciplinary in scope. Topics will range across policy sectors and regions of the world, including generalised, sectoral or country-specific policy effects.

Find further details and make submissions, here
Call for Papers (pdf, 30kb):

New IP Frameworks - Retun of Fair Use
'Tis to be hoped that papers on new and robust forms of intellectual property regimes come flooding their way. I could even frame one myself - A study on the loss of 'fair use' provisions in the digital age and its impact on open and sustainable knowledge networks.

Twitter in Plain English

Twitter as campaign tool
One of the surprises of the NZ Copyright Amendment Act Sec 92a campaign has been the effectiveness of simple tools and ideas around the growing social networking ecology. and inside that, the big learning is how Twitter can be leveraged as a campaign collaboration tool.

Go Black - Section 92a
For example the Section 92a campaign Go Black - i.e. black out your Twitter or Face Book profile picture not only proved a brilliant viral message, the idea, and so the message, got picked up by mainstream media in the likes of the UK Guardian , and of course, the endorsement of Stephen Fry just gave it the twist it needed to get it onto mainstream television. See here for this and also latest updates on campaign.

The Twitter thing.
So what is the Twitter thing? If you want a brief introduction, then say thanks to Lynda Kelly of the excellent Ning network, Museum30, for this link to a YouTube video from Common Craft.

The video is relentlessly US accented, but it covers the basics beautifully.

Institutions on Twitter
If you are looking for some institutional peers to follow from the GLAM sector, then you might like to look at these who I follow.

NZ National Library -
Auckland Museum -
NZ Live -
Getty Museum -
Brooklyn Museum-
Smithsonian -
Tate -
Met -

Creative Commons -
Demos -

Wednesday 18 February 2009

NZ Section 92a - latest on Parliament demo - plus repost on song and video

The Demonstration of concern at NZ Parliament
The demonstration of concern over Sec 92a outside the NZ Parliament is definitely happening n THURSDAY, 19th February, at 12:00 noon

My apologies for the previous post, which I have taken down cos it was wrong. In my defence I posted in good faith - seems like there was a bit of a mix up.
The Copyright song
This is still the same - i.e. the The Creative Freedom Foundation has teamed up with Mike Corb and Luke Rowell / Disasteradio to produce the Guilt Upon Accusation anthem: The Copywrong Song.

The song is part of a week of action, launched by the Foundation, against Guilt Upon Accusation laws in NZ. The campaign, taking place from 16-23 February, is a reaction to Section 92A of the Copyright Amendment Act due to come into effect in NZ on February 28.

Lyrics: Matt Hunt, Mike Corb, Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Luke Rowell/Disasteradio
Music: Mike Corb
Produced by: Luke Rowell/Disasteradio
Vocals, guitar, guitar synth: Mike Corb
Synths and programming: Luke Rowell/Disasteradio

Info on the Remix Challenge

The Video
This is so on the button - thanks!

Tuesday 17 February 2009

Barry Schwartz - TED

Barry Schwartz makes a passionate call for “practical wisdom” as an antidote to a society gone mad with bureaucracy. He argues powerfully that rules often fail us, incentives often backfire, and practical, everyday wisdom will help rebuild our world.

Monday 16 February 2009

Internet Blackout - Sec 92a - time to sort it

New Zealand's new Copyright Law presumes 'Guilt Upon Accusation' and will Cut Off Internet Connections without a trial. Join the black out protest against it!

Sec 92a of the Copyright Amendement Act reverses New Zealander's fundamental right to being presumed innocent until proven guilty, by punishing internet users with disconnection based accusations of copyright infringement without a trial and without evidence held up to court scrutiny.

The blackout has already drawn international support: actor, comedian and author Stephen Fry has blacked out his twitter profile stating that “Stephen Fry is blacked out: Stand up against Guilt Upon Accusation for New Zealand”

The movement is rapidly growing, with thousands of people in New Zealand modifying their websites, blogs, FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter and Bebo accounts to show their opposition to the law. Instructions on how to take part in the blackout can be found on

The blackout is part of a week of action against S92. A S92 song remix challenge will be announced soon , and various other initiatives including video commercials and radio broadcasts will follow.

The week will culminate in a web blackout on Monday the 23rd seeing blogs and websites “dimming the lights” as a means of drawing attention to the issue that could leave New Zealander's in the dark when they face having their internet cut off.

Creative Freedom Foundation Director Bronwyn Holloway-Smith says “If the government choses to keep this law, they will be going against international trends, treating NZ as an international lab-rat for this kind of legislation”. Similar legislation has recently been proposed and rejected in other countries: Germany said Section 92A-like laws were ‘unfit for Germany, unfit for Europe’. The UK rejected them due to “impracticalities and complexities” and the EU rejected them saying they were against “a fair balance between various fundamental rights”.

Over 5600 people, including over 2700 artists, have signed the Creative Freedom Foundation's petition against Guilt Upon Accusation laws in NZ.

The petition can be signed by artists and the wider public at

Thursday 12 February 2009

NZ OnScreen and the embed thing

Had a note from the good people from NZ OnScreen saying they had put up a couple of new things that might interest me. They were right. They do - lots!

Janet Frame - Wrestling with the Angel
This is the documentary about author Janet Frame based on the 2000 biography by Michael King. It travels through the well-known themes of Frame's biography - her alleged mental illness, family tragedies, overseas stays, how she began writing - but presents new insights
through interviews with close friends and key figures.
Three excerpts are available

[Update - Saturday - oops - apparently there has been a blip with the Janet Frame excerpts - they have been taken down for review and a reload - or so I'm told]

Ans Westra - Private Journeys/Public Signposts
From the late 1950's Dutch emigree Westra captured iconic images of New Zealanders. They observe Aotearoa societal changes, particularly Māori urban drift. This film explores her life and work, and includes commentary from family and friends, fellow photographers, and colleagues, as well as discussion of the Washday at the Pa controversy.
One excerpt is available.

The embed thing
I also had an interesting discussion with NZ OnScreen on the embed option - i.e. when did they think they might offer people the ability to take a piece of code and so embed the video in a small player on their blog , or whatever.

The discussion proved illuminating. First up, as I knew perfectly well, the issue isn't with the site, or the people who run it. Rather it's about convincing the rights holders that giving the embed option is a way of making their material go viral across the web - ie. when it tuns up on a blog, it doesn't mean the blogger has nicked the content and should be made to pay, or dragged off to the dungeon, or both.

In contrast, what is happening is that the blogger is acting as their unpaid agent and making sure their content finds new audiences and new ways on seeing.

Moreover, if their agent, in this case NZ Screen, gets it right, then the embedded object can become a mini TV channel which showcases their content in the context of a larger collection of other films/docs etc.

As I say, the people at NZ Screen know this -the task is to get the producers/rights holder to understand the logic. And given that, in my experience, lots of independent film/doc makers are frighteningly techno Luddite, this ain't an easy ask.

Let's wish them sucess - if it helps their case, they might also like to know that I heard, off the record, from one of the people working on the TVNZ rebuild, that embedding is definitely part of their plan - and that includes TVNZ OnDemand.

TED - and doing the right thing
Naturally I can't finish this post without a bow to the true masters of the embed video ecology - TED - and just for laughs - let's use as an example this presentation from no less than Bill Gates who cheerfully tells his audience that "the market does not drive scientists, thinkers, governments, to do the right things"

Foo Camp - Warkworth
And just for the tape - I am truly delighted to have had an invite to this years Foo Camp in Warkworth this weekend. There should be lots to report/think on when I return on Sunday.

Monday 9 February 2009

Headland - Sculpture on the Gulf

The bi-annual Sculpture in the Gulf Exhibition, on Waiheke Island now renamed, Headland, is running from the 23rd January to the 15th February. So there is time to catch the ferry from downtown Auckland.

I did it on Saturday just gone. It being a beautiful sunny day, I/we had to code share the ferry with half of Auckland heading out to the Waiheke wine festival. On the way there and back the Waitemata was choka with all manner of boats, some of which were trying to keep up with the Loise Vuitton Pacific Series races.

Elsewhere, nearer the Tamaki estuary, a whole flock of even smaller boat were clustered up in a stationary huddle fishing for snapper. And just for laughs, on the way back they were joined by a flurry of kids out on their P Class wee yachts, who in turn had some competition with a windsurfer competition out of, I think , Mission Bay.

The Headland, Sculpture on the Gulf, exhibition is now in its fourth iteration. I went to the one two years ago. The one before that, 2005 got people talking, while the one before that was, I suspect, a bit of a secret.

2009/ 110 proposal - 26 artists
Those days are gone. Now it is a total class act the planning for which officially kicked off in mid 2008 when the selectors, Jenny Harper, Christchurch Art Gallery, Helen Kedgley, Pataka Museum of Arts and Culture, Poriruia, and Justin Paton, Christchurch Art Gallery, met on the island to choose 26 artists from 110 proposals.

The artisis were then given 6 months to create their work, with the help of the ASB Trust and Creative New Zealand. The 26 works where then shipped to the island and installed on the headland by the arts and the project team.

Location - location - location
The installation process must have been fun, as must the selection of the sites by the artists. To get this you need to imagine the location, a wonderful coastal walkway that sneaks around 2 k of some of the most spectacular coastal scenery you will see in New Zealand. And believe me, there is a lot of competition.

Waiheke Island is a half hour ferry ride from down town Auckland. It was originally populated in the 1950's and 60's by a whole alternative sub-culture who typically lived in small beach houses called baches.

These days a classic kiwi bach on Waiheke, if you can still find one, will set you back $NZ400/500,000 . More likely it will have been replaced by a modern house which is occupied by a family who commute to Auckland. Or else, they have changed the site to a rather splendid holiday house. If you want to check out some of these, try here, or here.

However, most of the houses and the newer developments are on the south or north of the island. The Sculpture park/walkway for Headland snakes around the south west and is , for now, mostly still empty, or for sale.

Headland the exhibition
Headland, the exhibition, starts on the beach at the Matiatai Ferry. You then walk up through the bush up on the edge of the sculpture walkway and then skirt your way around the headland looking out for the installations.

They are not hard to see - either standing proud on a headland, or tucked into the fold of the hill, looking out onto the water and inviting any amount of introspection from the line of visitors who snake around the path looking at and for the art.

I loved it. Every one of them was worth the effort of the climb. If asked, however, then I would offer the following three co-favorites.

Special Forces on Patrol, Lucy Bucknall

First up, for me, has to be the totally brilliant, Special Forces on Patrol, by Lucy Bucknall.
These are eight phosphor bronze meerkat soldiers, peaking out of the grass in various poses of military alertness, with the weaponry and bush equipment to match. They are just brilliant.

On the one hand, each figures uniqueness has a playful watchfulness as if trying to stand up straight and make a big statement. On the other , despite the sun, and the surroundings, there is real menace peaking out of the grass. And you can't help it - thoughts on the arrogance of recent military/political mindsets, come flooding to mind. These wee guys are scary. See here.

The Eternal , Graham Fletcher
In complete contrast, comes my second choice, the beautiful life size figure, The Eternal, by Graham Fletcher. New Zealand born Samonan, Fletcher already has a big reputation for works which explore the cultural serrations of New Zealand. The piece is a black standing figure - it has a wonderful silent intensity which stares out onto Waitemata seascape and then beyond out onto the Pacific. Eternal indeed! See here

Learning to Breath Under Water
I also loved the three figures from Richard Wedkind who represented his theme learning to breathe underwater. They sat on the ground with a diver's intensity, with the top most visible one almost puffed up in a lovely arrogant breath of control, which then diminished as the two other figures take over your eye. Brilliant against the blue of the sky. See here

The rest?
All of the works moved me. As for the next step - the rest is up to you - either have a look through some of the entries, here, or better still, if you can, get yourself over the island this coming weekend!

Thursday 5 February 2009

NZ Digital Development Council and Forum - new tent - map and compass

Just of the Scoop wire is the news which has been circulating in Wellington for the last few days - that NZ Minister of Information Technology, Communication, Steven Joyce has canned the BIF, [Broadband Investment Fund] and withdrawn funding to the Digital Development Council.

He says,“The BIF was not compatible with the Government’s roll out of ultra fast broadband to the premises - it had its own specific set of criteria and was not focused on our key objective of achieving widespread ultra fast broadband"

On the DDC, “Funding for the DDC has been withdrawn because it is our intention to work instead directly through the relevant industry groups"

DDC - Digital Development Council
Just to be clear here, although some media, e.g. Computerworld are reporting that the DDC " is gone" this isn't exactly true. For sure the $820, 000 funding over three years , promised by the last government is gone, but as I understand it, the DDC is set up as an incorporated society, and there is nothing to stop it going forward under its own steam.

Digital Development Forum
Moreover, the parallel group, the Digital Development Forum , which was also set up by the last government as a sector based forum for discussion between the business, education, cultural, creative and ICT sectors , doesn't have a formal structure at all.

In other words there is nothing to stop the members of the DDC keeping the Council active, and supporting the ongoing work streams already identified by some of the sector groups inside the Digital Development Forum.

Creative/ Cultultural Sector
As to why should they should - and why you should care - well, although the structure sounded complicated both the Forum and the Council have been doing some interesting stuff.

On a personal level I can testify that the Creative/Cultural sector representatives who attended the first session of the Digital Development Forum late last year, really did have a proper conversation.

In the process they faced up to some really thorny contention issues between their two worlds - especially around how to share digital content - how to monetise it, and how to make sure that individual rights to imagination - expression and compensation could live and and prosper inside the new emerging public digital space being created by the likes of the GLAM, galleries, libraries, archives and and museum, sector.

These are not easy issue to even begin to talk about - they are even harder when some of the players have never been in the same room before - far less managed to talk to each other at any level that could command their combined interest. This happened at the first session of the Forum on . I was there. I saw it!

They even managed to come up with a plan - albeit an ambitious one - i.e. stay connected and spend real energy and commitment to collaboratively figuring what needs to be done to:

- Develop new IP structures
- Develop new business models
- Develop new forms of digital public space

Better Map and Compass?
There is still the chance to keep this work alive - however it needs the DDC to hang in there and try and figure out new ways of funding both their ongoing existence and the work streams identified to date by the Forum and the Council members.

In short, there is totally no need for the DDC, or the DDF to walk into the snow - both parties just need a new tent, and a better map and compass.

The collaboration word
As for Steven Joyce - for sure he is totally within his rights to say ,“We remain committed to engaging with the groups represented by the DDC but believe that direct interface is a much more effective means of receiving input and advice from these organisations.”

Fair enough - however, sooner or later, he is going to find out that for many of the issues that need attention, it's not all about who he talks to on an individual basis - rather its all about the various sectors who want to build , drive and steer the digital bus, collaborating as well as competing.

Some Waitangi Day web sources

I just had coffee in Sheinkin this morning, met one of the guys from Idealog in passing, who said, " see you after the break" - what break, thought I, and then I remembered - it's Waitangi Day tomorrow.

Waitangi Day - 6th February 1840

This is the day New Zealanders acknowledge, mark, and in lots and lots of way, celebrate the signing of their partnership document the Treaty of Waitangi on the 6th February 1840.

There are multiple references to this on the web . See Te Ara - or NZ Archives [where the document lives]. NZ History also puts on a good show at this time of year, here. See especially, their timeline to major treaty related events from the signing all the way to the present, here

Waitangi Day is personal
I can remember my first Waitangi Day almost 20 years ago. It was about 8 weeks after I arrived, and there it was for the first time - a day put aside to remember one of the biggest days in how things happened here.

This history can be contentious, and it is not something that New Zealanders are always comfortable with, especially when it re- surfaces some of the issues and incidents from the early days of New Zealand pakeha settlement.

Again, NZ History and Te Ara offer good context around this, although, especially in Te Ara's case, I would like to see a whole lot more outside web references to the other primary and secondary materiel that is available.

Waitangi Tribunal
One of the best of these is the Waitangi Tribunal site itself. Established in 1975 by the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975. The Tribunal is a permanent commission of inquiry charged with making recommendations on claims brought by Maori relating to actions or omissions of the Crown that breach the promises made in the Treaty of Waitangi.

The site has a full archive of the Tribunal Reports - both as web pages [html] and PDF's. See here for the detail.

If this is the first time you have looked at them , just pick one - either read on screen, or print it - and then give it enough time to let the voices captured by the researchers and the claimants speak to you. When I did it for the first time, it was quite a personal experience. Might be for you too.

Waitangi Day on YouTube

You can also find a whole bunch of Waitangi Day material on YouTube. Some of this is political - a lot of it is personal - and more still showcases how New Zealanders celebrate the day in different parts of the world. See here for some of them

The Santa Monica Fern
And of course one of the best pieces of web video still around is the film of the fern building on Santa Monica Beach organised by Made In New Zealand. As they would once have said in Scotland, " we're awe Jock Tamson's bairns"

Made From New Zealand from Made From New Zealand on Vimeo.

Would be great to hear of other peoples favourite Waitangi Day related sources?

Wednesday 4 February 2009

Auckland Museum Great White Shark dissection - video stream

I've been having a bit of a look round the Auckland Museum web site. They seem to be embarking on an iterative set of changes to the site around some of their current activities.

Great White Shark dissection
One of these was their Great White Shark dissection, or public necropsy, which they held in on the in partnership with the Department of Conservation.

The actual procedure was carried out by Marine Scientist Clinton Duffy from the Department of Conservation’s Marine conservation Section, and Auckland Museum’s Marine Curator Dr. Tom Trnski On the day it was watched by close on 4000 people. They also reckon 30,000 people watched it live on the web on the Upstream TV live broadcast channel.

The Museum web site has more detail, here . It includes a lovely bit of video of the event.

Tuesday 3 February 2009

Twitter - Creative Commons and the UNU

I am totally enjoying the way that Twitter is rapidly becoming a really useful professional networking tool. For example, this morning, I clicked the link on a tweet from the Creative Commons International people, who have a Twitter profile, here.

If you check what they are up to you'll see that, like a bunch of other organisations, Twitter is really starting to work for them as a news broadcast - re-broadcast platform.

Take the tweet this morning - an alert to a project which launched a few months ago. Nothing wrong with the legacy factor - in fact a first class example of how to re-leverage content through Twitter, and while you are at it hope that some of your ideas go viral back onto the blog sphere, or elsewhere. I also liked the topic of the tweet.

UNN [United National University]

The story concerns the UNU project United Nations University (UNU) Media Studio’s who last June decided to license their Media Studio and Online Learning sites under CC BY-NC-SA.

A month later [July 2008] they launched “Our World 2.0“, a web zine exploring environmental issues around the “complex, inter-connected and pressing problems of, for example, climate change, oil depletion and food security" The idea being to bring people, design and technology together as a creative- collaboration space.

The Our World 2.0’s - Video - The Electric Sunflower
Now they have video in the mix, courtesy of a new web based documentary series, in hi-def, which examines issues around climate change, energy, and food security.

The first video is “The Electric Sunflower” which focuses on electric vehicles—their current use and future. The video, along with the rest of the content on their website, is open for use via CC BY-NC-SA. and , yes , there is an embed - so here it is:

The electric sunflower from UNUChannel on Vimeo.

Sunday 1 February 2009

Louis Vuitton Pacific - Team New Zealand wants rights over TVNZ press coverage?

Sunday evening here in Auckland. Weather hot and muggy, but nothing like the heat across the ditch in the Australian east coast. You have to feel sorry for those guys - melting train tracks, electricity cuts, bush fires. Some summer.

Louis Vuitton Pacific Series
Back in Auckland I spent some of the afternoon down at the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series village. This is the base for the "not the Americas Cup" yachting race that is running on the Waitemata. It is currently in its first round robin. Two more are planned over the next two weeks, leading to the big final shoot out for the finalists on 13th and 14th February.

Current money is already picking a Team New Zealand [Dalton - Dean Barker et al] BMW Oracle [ Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts et al] final.

This stuff is personal. You can't get more grudge into a match than that combination - the physics are against you.

When not on the water the boats, teams and entourage, hang out in the Cup Village. This is the area around Halsey Street next to the Viaduct Harbour, the area at the foot of the downtown water-front which was revitalised in 1999 for the Cup challenge.

Ten years later there are still lots of cafes, restaurants, boats, in the Viaduct Harbour area. And of course the nearby Princess Wharf is the favourite dock for this seasons round of big cruise ships. There are two in harbour right now. The look like they are parked at the foot of Queen Street.

This afternoon both areas were crowded - lots of people checking out the lovely yachts down in this side of the world to share in the buzz of the racing. Lots of families, and for sure, a whole contingent of the young and beautiful hanging out around the big boats the way they do they world over.

The Louis Vuitton Pacific Series
As Wikipedia will tell you, The Louis Vuitton Pacific Series is a match race regatta in America's Cup Class yachts. Racing started on January 30. The final is on the 13th/14th February. As
host, Team New Zealand will qualify automatically for the Cup Final.

The creation of this event is in response to the ongoing legal battle surrounding the America's Cup yachting competition. Ten syndicates are participating. All ten teams will use boats loaned for the regatta from Team New Zealand and BMW Oracle Racing to make participation more affordable.

If this afternoon is anything to go by, the whole event seems a huge success. However, one story currently breaking is a bit disturbing.

Peter Montgomery
Stuff , the online home to Fairfax who own the likes of the totally respectable Dominion newspaper et al, is reporting that Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton has requested that veteran TVNZ yachting commentator Peter Montgomery not be given a part of on the TVNZ commenting team.

Montgomery is the same guy who famously screamed encouragement and almost demented enthusiasm when Team NZ won the Cup over in Santiago . When they held the challenge in Auckland he was once again a fervent supporter of Team New Zealand.

However, now, according to the Stuff report, Dalton of Team New Zealand considers him biased.

I don't know how much notice NZ national television broadcaster, TVNZ is taking of all this - they are apparently refusing to comment at this time - but for me - this is all wrong.

Montgomery, whatever you might think of his decibel level, is a journalist yachting legend in his own right. At least here in NZ.

He deserves his spot over the mike. If there is a problem of balance, then sort it by offering other voices, or have a word.

What isn't acceptable is the impression the story creates that Team New Zealand has these kinds of rights over the way TVNZ staffs its rosters. Somebody, on the TVNZ side, needs to pick up on the Stuff story - as of right now?
TVNZ - Live streaming of races, here