Friday 28 August 2009

Len Lye a colour box

Len Lye
I have been talking about Len Lye and the Govett Brewster Gallery quite a bit on my travels. I am now back in London with some decent bandwidth - so went for  a little refresher on YouTube. By the  by, it helps to remember Lye scratched the kinetic work directly onto the filmstock.

Currently traveling in the UK - so posts might be a little erratic depending on schedule, bandwidth, and the state of the British people

Sunday 23 August 2009

ICA London - text and meaning comes back to play

The last time I was in the ICA  here in the Mall in central London,  there was no innernet - and no one had a mobile phone except for some plonker from the city who had to go half way up the Mall the find a hot spot, and then stumble back complaining of being moved on by one of the St James Parks eagle eyed police.

I in turn, rarely had the price of a round - but was drawn here because it was the one place in London  you could guarantee an idea had the space to breath before another kind of plonker tried  to theorise it into submission. Ah the 80's -  when language, text and the ability to speak of meaning drew long looks of derision - in short - plonkers galore,  and sometimes, it was even your turn!

Now, with th sun shining on a pleasant 21st century summer morning,  its possible to talk about meaning and networks again and no one sends for the pomo polis.

Better still,  for me, you get to do it with tools and ideas that were the as remote to the future  as flying ships where to the lunar men of Birmingham.

Take me  - I'm sitting here  with a totally posh MacBook Air - courtesy of Magnum Mac - with an equally dashing Blackberry  from Telecom XT,  tapping away using the ICA free wifi. From the bar you car hear a beautiful Spanish classical voice tearing  your heart  out on a sound system with a quality no one could imaging or afford, while to the side, in a moment of wonderful syncronicity,  Poor Old Tired Horse continues to draw in the crowd, on this its last but one day.

Poor Old Tired Horse
Like much of the best of London, this exhibition 'takes text seriously', It's inspired by the concrete poetry of the 1960', or as the web site has it,

Poor. Old. Tired. Horse. takes an expansive look at text-based art practices, inspired by the concrete poetry movement of the 60s which explored both the literary and graphic potential of language.

The Scottish artist and writer Ian Hamilton Finlay was an important promoter of concrete poetry in Britain, and our exhibition takes its title from the periodical that he ran from 1962 to 1968.

Other figures here linked with concrete poetry include Henri Chopin, Liliane Lijn, Dom Sylvester Houédard and Ferdinand Kriwet.

Poor. Old. Tired. Horse. allows the viewer to look afresh at a range of other text-based practices that originated in the 60s and 70s.

Robert Smithson and Carl Andre are best known for their contributions to minimalist sculpture, and Vito Acconci for his performance work, but here they are represented by poetic and expressive works on paper."
Other artists/works
The exhibition also includes poems illuminated by Philip Guston and Alasdair Gray, typewriter works by outsider artist Christopher Knowles and a set of etchings by David Hockney inspired by Greek poet CP Cavafy.

There are also a bunch of other works on view from  Sue Tompkins, Janice Kerbel and Anna Barham  Matthew Brannon and Frances Stark, and Karl Holmqvist.

Poor. Old. Tired. Horse. is curated by Mark Sladen, ICA director of exhibitions.

Thanks - its a stormer - and it is so nice to come home, even if it is only for a visit. Wonder what happened to the plonker with the brick phone? Probably running some derivative scam somewhere? On in jail? Or both?

Friday 21 August 2009

Michael Sandel on Markets and Morals - Fora TV

Harvard Professor Michael Sandel deliveres a speech titled "Markets and Morals" as part of the Chautauqua Institution 2009 Summer Lecture Series.

2009 Reith Lectures
See also Michael Sandel's BBC Reith Lecture series, here

Fora TV - here . See also, Michael Novak: The Ethics of Capitalism

Wednesday 19 August 2009

NSLA Project Five - building a tool box with a community of practice

NSLA - Re-imagining Libraries

I am now mid way through my fantastic set of London meetings with some of the big GLAM institutions.

Naturally these kinds of meetings create a lot of opportunities for dialogue and debate. As part of this I thought it might be useful to outline some of my current thinking around topics that I have been introducing to the discussions I am having.

In the process I would also like to refer to some work I was lucky enough to do with NSLA, the National and State Libraries of Australasia, who have a really interesting piece of strategic work going on under the headline, Re-Imagining Libraries, here.

Building a rich digital public space
Like many others I am currently preoccupied with how the big institutions and their collections can help shape as well as contribute their assets and imagination to building a rich digital public space in which learning and collaboration are not just slogans but a real framework for action.

And of course, if we can start thinking inside this space, then there is also the exciting and intriguing question as to, in addition to the big institutions in the GLAM sector, what will be the role for the traditional public library both as a resource for 21st century literacy, and a key locus for new forms of civic and public engagement?

Introducing Project Five
A lot of my own current thinking around this topic is embedded in, Project Five, one part of the Re-Imagining Libraries, and now just published as a policy discussion paper on the NSLA site, here.

Project Five is one of ten projects, each oƒ which contributes to the overall Re imagining Libraries vision:

In collaboration, the National, State and Territory Libraries of Australia and New Zealand will become leaders in empowering people to create, discover, use and transform our collections, content and global information resources.

The vision has, in turn, three strategic paths:
  • One Library will put people at the centre. We will redefine services to provide a consistent and easy experience across our libraries.

  • Transforming Our Culture will change our culture and workplace. We will promote a new culture which supports new services, innovation and emerging technologies.

  • Accessible Content sees collaboration as the key to liberating our content. We will empower everyone to find, share and create content.

    Source - here
Project Five
Project Five was originally tasked with 'identifying and implementing a framework and tool set for everyone to create and transform online content,

The social /semantic web
As the thinking and the research proceeded the project opened up into a really interesting opportunity to rethink how and why institutional content touches and is transformed by the new tools and frameworks coming online as part of what I call the next generation social/semantic web.

Transforming the relationship
Moreover, as the research moved past looking for ways of managing and indeed encouraging community lead content streams, the project quickly began to see that a key task was about acknowledging that the relationship between formal and informal content streams was itself under radical realignment, and that web 2.o tools, methodologies and practices were transforming the entire relationship between institutional and community content frameworks.

Web 2.0 frameworks changing
Then came a recognition that the web 2.0 frameworks were themselves under a radical realignment, and that the new emerging web of social and semantic relationships would have just as big an effect on the world of web 2.0 as it would on the traditional knowledge pathways of the collection sector.

In short, it cuts both ways!

Context/ personalisation
Accordingly the research frame began to concentrate on working out the implications of the notion that,courtesy of the potential of emerging social/ semantic web, the entire web was moving towards context and personalisation, not just at the margins, but as the constituent DNA of the next generation always on, device independent network.

Social is everywhere
This lead to a key premise of the eventual report - i.e. an understanding that in this emerging next generation network social networking tools and practice wont be something that happens in special places - but, in contrast, the entire web will be characteristic by behaviors we currently see in action in web 2.0 type environments.

Semantic is everywhere
However, if collaboration is everywhere, the report also argues that the same is true of the semantic tools which are coming into view and which link information and data into rich seams of contextual meaning.

In other words, for the semantic web to go beyond the rhetoric of massively capable concept linking machine, there was a need to start thinking about how to create social frameworks and tool sets which help users and groups of users create their own mediated patterns of meaning and action.

Building digital public/civic space
Put these two aspects together and we have an online landscape populated by rich personalised spaces which we can use to gather and create a community wide digital public space whether for ourselves or the groups we are part of.

And as an extension to this insight, the report argues the library sector in particular, and by extension, the wider collection sector in general, has an extraordinary rich opportunity to help build these new learning and creative civic spaces.

There is a whole lot more of this kind of thinking in the report here.

The community of practice and the tool box
As to how this might be achieved, in the report I argue the case for an Australasian wide 'community of practice' which will build some of the pieces to a social/semantic tool box which could help build an Australian version of the emerging civic/public digital space.

What would it build
The report offers a four part framework as a beginning to this recommended work stream. Each of the four parts is a way of offering the user some tools which the user can mix and match inside their own space.

Operationally, the idea is that community of practice would put together the schedule of tools - with each partner committing to building at least one, and be able to access the other tools made by the rest of the community of practice. The suggested frame is:

Source Station
A set of online tools and web services which gives the user the ability to manage– store – subscribe and direct their own ecology of web information and web sources.

Search Station
A set of online tools and web services which delivers a next generation semantic search and discovery feature set where the user can create a customised user profile which will search and retrieve the rich set of sources available from the open and subscription based deep web.

Social Station
A set of online tools and web services which gives every library user in Australian and New Zealand a social networking space which offers the ability to participate in a rich collaborative digital public space

And yes, the content and activities in this space will be able to be shared with other social networking spaces

Remix Station
A set of online tools and web services, which give the user the ability to create a personalised user/group creative studio where the user uploads – co-creates – shares and remixes to the world. A key aspect of the remix offer is that sources on the Re-Mix station are rights cleared.

Next step?
The ideas in Project Five are being discussed and debated inside NSLA as well as online - so any comments welcome. The full report is, here

Monday 17 August 2009

Robert Carlyle Johnnie Walker 'I Walk' Ad

Johnnie Walker
A number of sources, including the UK Independent and Adfreak are naming this ad by Robert Carlyle for Johnnie Walker whisky the best ad of the year so far. At six and a half minutes it is a definitive piece of craft.

It is told it was shot for internal use only as a way of telling the Johnnie Walker story. It is further told it was shot as one continuous take, which took 40 takes to get it right. So they would all need a good dram after that then?

Well - that is a great pity - as you will see if you try and play the video, some ad agency , who reckon the zag when the rest of the world zigs, have got into the act with a copyright claim. You wonder what it takes to get this across - nothing is being stolen here - YouTube, is a distribution channel, and this blog is a node on a viral network - so what is the problem!

Which is a great pity - because believe me - Robert Carlyle put on a great performance.

Update 2
Try here

Sunday 16 August 2009

London, 2009 Week One

Trafalgar Square

Yesterday, Saturday, the woman on the Plinth in Trafalgar Square looked a little forlorn. Who can blame her. The square, once awash with at least 200o people had 'been cleared' courtesy of some English pluty voice who announced we would all need to leave.

And everyone did. Can you believe that! They just got up and quietly moved away, including me, who decided an international incident was best avoided especially as the crowd was already a bit full on for my jet lag.

Nevertheless, I couldn't help but register a brief Wat Tyler moment - why sodding should I - isn't this one of the prime pieces of international public space! Haven't a million people - minimum - demonstrated here - from Chartists to the Poll Tax! How can it be cleared and then re-opened half an hour later as an event space, provided you pay your entrance fee.

What event? Absolutely no sodding idea - seemed to involve a lot of outside TV cameras - and a whole bunch of fit young men clambering over some kind of dance obstacle course- but in the end - who cares? What happened to my magic moment saying hallo to the lions, and the solitary Plinther!

London, GLAM,2009
That said, it is just lovely to be back in London. I arrived Friday. This week is full on with meetings galore with the London GLAM world. My self proclaimed research frame is easily told :

" I can see what you are doing with your online properties, but, by definition, I cant see why you are doing it - the strategy question; and how you are doing it - the operational question.
The Dance Card
I am hoping to put the answers into a bit of a frame and then see what common reference points there are. Current candidates, all of who have been incredibly generous setting up meeting times, include, The British Library, The British Museum, Tate Gallery, V&A, and the Imperial War Museum. I am also taking a day trip down to Brighton to talk to people at Culture24, as well as meeting some really interesting people doing digital in the arts and cultural space.

In a week or so, I head to Edinburgh and try another set.

Two themes?
And of course one of the common themes I want to explore is "what does user participation and user partnerships' mean?" And, while we are at it, " if there is the potential to build a rich and compelling digital public space, then what is the role of the GLAM sector in making this happen?"

More on this as the week proceeds.

Saturday 15 August 2009

Axis of Evil: Christopher Hitchens

"Writer and political scholar Christopher Hitchens may just be the only writer to have recently visited Iran, Iraq and North Korea. Hitchens - known for his keen wit, political insight and often controversial opinions - examines the differences between the countries once linked as the "axis of evil," while revealing intriguing connections between the nations"

Source - Fora TV

Friday 14 August 2009

Wonderland - Auckland Museum

Wonderland - Auckland Museum
This is a beautiful piece of online practice from Auckland Museum. I especially like the way the video work they have commissioned is integrated into the story line - the use of some lovely local reference points, as well as the useful hook outs to other resources. Start, here

Thursday 13 August 2009

NDF conference: subsidy for small organisations

NDF Conference
, 2009 23rd to 24th November
The annual National Digital Forum conference is taking place in Wellington on November 23-24 at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, aka, Te Papa.

There are have some exciting international speakers lined up (including experience designer Nina Simon, and Daniel Incandela of Art Babble fame) but just as - if not more - importantly, there also interesting and passionate people from New Zealand, and Australian GLAMS (galleries, libraries, archives and museums) coming along to talk about the work they're doing and the big issues we face as a sector.

10 Grants
This year the NDF is offering up to 10 grants to subsidise registration fees to help people who are employed by or associated with small community organisations and who would otherwise not be able to afford to attend the conference. The subsidised registration fee is $200 for the two-day conference.

This grant is only open to New Zealand residents or citizens. You need to complete the application form, and find someone to act as a referee for your application (to confirm your organisation requires financial assistance).

Your referee can be someone you work with, but shouldn't be a family member.

NDF subsidy grant application form (PDF)

Applications close on 28 August

Digital NZ: 'Copyright terms and the public domain in New Zealand'

Copyright terms and the public domain in New Zealand
Just released from DigitalNZ , a new resource on the NZ public domain available for download from their Make it Digital site. 'Copyright terms and the public domain in New Zealand' provides guidance on New Zealand copyright terms and material currently in the New Zealand public domain, here

It is designed to complement their Make it Digital Guide on Enabling Use and Re-use of digital content, here

Make it Digital Scorecard
DigitalNZ also released the Make it Digital Scorecard in late June. The scorecard is a decision making tool for organisations wanting to select and prioritise content for digitisation to improve access. Available, here

Looking for playmates
DNZ are also keen to hear from anyone interested in being part of a small case study on the use of the scorecard for making digitisation decisions.

Both resources are released under a New Zealand Creative Commons licence and can be adapted to suit user needs.

Us Now - A film project about the power of mass collaboration, government and the internet

"... In his student flat in Colchester, Jack Howe is staring intently into his computer screen. He is picking the team for Ebbsfleet United's FA Trophy Semi-Final match against Aldershot . Around the world 35,000 other fans are doing the same thing, because together, they own and manage the football club. If distributed networks of people can run complex organisations such as football clubs, what else can they do?

Us Now takes a look at how this type of participation could transform the way that countries are governed. It tells the stories of the online networks whose radical self-organising structures threaten to change the fabric of government forever.

Us Now follows the fate of Ebbsfleet United, a football club owned and run by its fans; Zopa, a bank in which everyone is the manager; and Couch Surfing, a vast online network whose members share their homes with strangers.

The founding principles of these projects -- transparency, self-selection, open participation -- are coming closer and closer to the mainstream of our social and political lives. Us Now describes this transition and confronts politicians George Osborne and Ed Milliband with the possibilities for participative government as described by Don Tapscott and Clay Shirky amongst others...."
The Us Now Web site
There is a very interesting web site attached to this project - with rushes - transcripts - comments - and of course the obligatory twitter feed, and blog, here

Wednesday 12 August 2009

Sacred Contexts - British Library

British Library, London - Sacred Contexts

I have been looking at the British Library, London, web site, and discovered, for this first time , this is a lovely piece of work , Sacred Contexts.

The image above clicks to a video showing a calligrapher making a manuscript using the same tools her medieval peer would have access to. It is part of a series of of videos - audio tracks and other materials from their Sacred Contexts exhibition in 2007, on the common ground of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Explore 78 Texts
You can also explore 78 Jewish, Christian and Islamic holy books, including some of the world's most precious Hebrew and Christian Bibles and Qur'ans, plus Hindu, Buddhist and Zoroastrian texts, here.

George Reynolds
And just for the tape - my dear old Dad, George Reynolds, was an amateur bookbinder. I still have the Liber Usualis he made for me. As a child, I used to adore standing beside him, helping, especially when, rarely, he used some of his precious gold leaf. So watching this video had a whole other layer for me. Thanks BL for that as well.

Can you believe it - you can download a PDF of the Liber Usualis from the CMAA, Church Music Association of America, here.

Tuesday 11 August 2009

Janet Wilson, Bespoke Media

Janet Wilson- Bespoke Media
Excuse the plug - but every now and then you have to give a shout out to one of your projects. This is the new - mcgovern online - site for Janet Wilson, one of New Zealand's most well known media mavens. She is now in the media training business - as Janet Wilson - Bespoke Media.

Sarah Palin
In her second post she uses the media profile built up by Sarah Palin to say a few things worth listening to, here.

The site is an adaptation of the latest Wordpress base. McGovern is a big fan of Wordpress , and if you have a mind to chat about what it can do, then let us know, here

WordCamp NZ
Also, the Wordpress community continues to grow. Here in NZ there was a very welcome Wordpress community conference, Wordcamp NZ, last week. I'm told video of the sessions are on their way - check out the proceedings as they arrive, here.

Monday 10 August 2009

"Revolution - Fortress New Zealand" Marcia Russell - NZ On Screen

"Revolution - Fortress New Zealand"
NZ On Screen has just put up the first episode of the "Revolution - Fortress New Zealand" - one of the episodes of Marcia Russell's 1996 series mapping the social and economic changes in NZ society in the 80s and 90s.

"Revolution mapped the social and economic changes in New Zealand society in the 1980s and early 1990s. This first episode focuses on NZ's radical transformation from a heavily regulated welfare state to a petri dish for free market ideology. It includes interviews with key political and business figures of the day, who reveal how the dire economic situation by the end of Robert Muldoon's reign made it relatively easy for Roger Douglas to implement extreme and controversial reform. Revolution won Best Factual Series at the 1997 Film and TV Awards."

Source, here

Sunday 9 August 2009

New Zealand Open Government Bar Camp - stil open for places

What's it all about?

" The New Zealand Open Government Bar Camp, Sat 29th August, 2009, and Sunday 30th [Hackfest] is an "unconference" for people who are interested in making government-held data more freely available for others to re-use.

The Baa Camp and Hackfest is premised on a common agreement that Web 2.0 developments have shown the potential of combining data from different sources made freely available on the Internet, and that the government holds a huge range of non-personal data which could form the basis of innovative services and applications by others on the Internet.

Baa Camp is open to all - you should come if you are interested in government information policy, want to explore ways to provide data, might be making entrepreneurial use of the Internet, or want to help build working applications during a weekend."

Current Registrations
See who else is coming, here

His Masters Voice -Tim Berners Lee on Open Data
And just for fun - here is a reminder of what the master has to say about the potential of open data.

Friday 7 August 2009

Brief musings on radical price and the GLAM wiki session - second day

Source - Los Angelos Public Public Library via ForaTv
"Chris Anderson is the Editor in Chief of WIRED magazine and author of The Long Tail and FREE: The Future of Radical Price. The Long Tail concept has found broad ground for application, research and experimentation.

Now, in FREE, he makes the case that in many instances businesses can profit more from giving things away than they can by charging for them."

GLAM Wiki - Canberra - Day Two
The second day of the GLAM Wiki event in Canberra, Friday, concentrated on deepening the connections and beginning to share the potential and challenges of a common cultural civic space.

More on this when I get back to Auckland. Currently in Canberra airport waiting for the wee bird which connects with the real bird in Sydney tomorrow.

I thought this interview with Chris Anderson was a suitable, if slightly tongue in cheek, contribution to the debate on economic versus public value - i.e. if the economic value guys are taking their models apart [e.g. Chris Anderson], then how much more pressing is the need for the cultural and creative sector to revisit their own traditional positions.

Senator Kate Lundy
By the way, since hearng her speak this morning, I am now a fully paid up member of the ACT Senator Kate Lundy fan club. Politicians who "get digital" are rare - believe me. To get a flavour try this video interview , here.

Social Revolution.
See also this report on her keynote to the GLAM Wiki day 2, this morning, here, in which she says. inter alia, “there's a social revolution that is about to occur on the back of the current cultural and digital revolution"

The speech is on her blog, here

Thursday 6 August 2009

GLAM Wiki Canberra - Day One

GLAM Wiki Day One
It is day one of the GLAM Wikimedia event here at the Australia War Memorial Museum. There are at least 150 people in the room - mostly from the Australian collection sector. A few people from NZ, including DNZ and Museums Aotearoa. And me, wearing the Adjunct Director, National Library, NZ, hat.

The Wikimedia community
I think one of the biggest takeouts is the incredible professionalism of the Wikimedia spokespeople here. This includes a whole bunch of people from Wikimedia Australia and Jennifer Riggs, Chief Program Officer at the Wikimedia Foundation.

She gave a really inspiring account of the vision and practice around Wikimedia, especially around favourite foster child, Wikipedia.

After her around 12 people came onto the stage. They were all volunteers within the Wikimedia Australia Foundation, which is, in theory, an independent organisation. They each gave a little intro to themselves, and then settled back to field a whole bunch of questions from the floor on the theory and practice of working inside the Wiikipedia team.

It was a neat way to surface some of the big issues facing the collection community - authority - reach - and of course relevance. What came over immediately was the realisation that there was the potential for a real forum here, and that some interesting exchanges just might happen over the next few days.

Lynda Kelly - Australian Museum
Lynda Kelly is live blogging the event, here - so I am not going to try too hard to do that. However, I will try and drop back with some summary thoughts or my own takeouts.

Wikimedia in Te Reo Maori ?
First take out - easy! In one of the discussion points, the issue of easy or difficult was it to start a new language edition? Apparently there is a process, and it isn't that hard. What' s more challenging is developing the community of practice which will put it together and then run the site.

Also they Wikipedia folks were keen to emphasise that new language offers are not bound by the default publishing and editorial rules of the English language version.

Mātauranga Māori
All of which begs the question- how would you put together a Te Reo Maori version of Wikipedia which had a Mātauranga Māori framework from day one? Astonishingly interesting notion? Worth coming just for this takeout alone.

The Australian War Memorial Museum
The event is being held in the Australian War Memorial Museum. This is quite a place - moving for sure - but it also has a vibrancy of purpose which doesn't so much surprise as delight.

Sydney Nolan Exhibition
Just outside the auditorium is a brilliant exhibition from Sydney Nolan, one of Australia's favourite artist sons. The works are amazing. On them, and Nolan the site says:

The Gallipoli Series
"Sidney Nolan (1917–1992) was one of Australia’s most complex, innovative, and prolific artists. In 1978 Nolan presented the Gallipoli series to the Australian War Memorial.

These 252 drawings and paintings, completed over a 20-year period, were donated in memory of his brother Raymond, a soldier who died in a tragic accident just before the end of the Second World War. Gallipoli was a theme to which Nolan constantly returned throughout his artistic career"

That's the formal bit. For me, it was another one of those magic moments when you get to stand beside a work and just disappear into the feelings it invokes.

Alain de Botton: A kinder, gentler philosophy of success

Is success always earned?
Alain de Botton examines our ideas of success and failure -- and questions the assumptions underlying these two judgments. Is success always earned? Is failure? He makes an eloquent, witty case to move beyond snobbery to find true pleasure in our work.


Wednesday 5 August 2009

Notes from Sydney, Australia - GLAM Wiki, MCI - Christchurch City Libraries - and Smithsonian


I'm in Sydney, en route to Canberra for the two day meet up of the GLAM - Wiki session tomorrow and Friday. Apparently there are 170 attending, including a whole raft of the great and good from all the major galleries, libraries and museums in Australasia. They are gong to be talking to a bunch of people from the WikiMedia Foundation. I am really looking forward to it. More, here.

Australia Government 2.0
And yes - for sure, you can guarantee that the recent scatoosh between Wikimedia and the NPG, London will be on the agenda.

However, also on offer is an opportunity to talk about the Australian governments Governenment. 2. 0 agenda with Senator Kate Lundy and some people from the Gov 2.0 Task Force, including Seb Chan from the Powerhouse Museum, who, as well as showing his internal colleagues the way of the future, has also put down some great challenges to the global heritage community to start thinking on how to open up collection data, and other key IP from the back shelf of the Museum, Gallery, and Library.

The Sydney Thing
The great thing about Sydney for me, being Auckland based, it feels like the equivalent of a quick trip from Edinburgh to London. You get of the plane - stroll through customs as if they liked you, and then onto the train down to Circular Quay

Within half an hour you have said giday to the Opera House, nodded to the Harbour Bridge, and wondered why the sodding blue blazes you were stupid enough to come to Sydney without sun glasses!

Telecom XT
Oh, and by the by - you've also discovered that Telecom XT new network roams just fine here. Totally Sorted, without doing a thing. So tahnsk for that!

MCI - Museum of Contemporary Art
Then you decide to do the culture thing - and head into the MCI - The Museum of Contemporary Art - which sits just to the left of the ferries, almost under the Harbour Bridge, having navigated yourself past a very tall guy dressed as Captain Cook who seems to be some kind of city tourist guide/ambassador. Excuse me!

Ricky Maynard
Five minutes later you are staring at some of the most challenging images you can find on indigenous memory in the Bass Strait - another on Aboriginal young men in prison cells, and a bunch of other equally compelling shots of Aboriginal people hanging out down in the St Kilda area of Melbourne.

There are some examples of these works, here. Also on offer as a nice piece of contextual explanation of the work of Ricky Maynard.

As for me - I'm still rocking back on my heels thinking, well this ain't Edinburgh matie - there is, as always, a whole new story to be told, if you just take a step back and pin your ears and open your eyes then your heart. Then you need to take a walk outside to sit an have a think about it all
And then you remember just why you started this blog.

Custom House Public Library

I'm writing this in a fabulous reading room on the third floor of the Custom House public library. It is part of the renovation of this old 19th century building. It is a total stunner of a space. Lots of people doing what they do in a decent library - carving out learning paths and making their own meaning. And, yes they have free wifi.

Christchurch City Library - 150 years of trust
On the free wifi score, I can't help but give the big ups to Christchurch City Libraries, who as part of their 150 year anniversary has just announced that they have extended their free wifi internet access, to all of their community libraries.

“This gift to the city of free internet access is our way of thanking the public for supporting Christchurch City Libraries since 1859” says Carolyn Robertson, Libraries and Information Unit Manager, Christchurch City Council - i.e. what used to be called the City Librarian!

In strategy terms, the offer aligns Christchurch City Libraries with the New Zealand Digital Strategy, the Aotearoa Peoples Network and the Public Libraries of New Zealand strategic vision - that ' local communities and individuals have access to the digital world and the skills to participate in an informed way, free from unnecessary restrictions or charges'

Nice one - nice present - and of course - 'tis to hoped that the city fathers of the other metropolitan libraries in NZ, especially the emerging Auckland super city gets the message - that free internet access - including wifi - is a core part of the public library offer, not an add on - and definitely not a profit centre

The Smithsonian Online - web/new media strategy
Speaking of strategies, cant help but point out the stunning bit of work that's sitting over here, from the Smithsonian Institute.

Called, rather dryly, he Smithsonian's Web and New Media Strategy , it is no less a call to arms to the entire global museum community to change how they think about their collections - their exhibitions, and crucially their learning strategies to accommodate a 21st century take which emphasises that the whole insisitution - lock , stock and smoking tutu - is a collaboration space, both physical and virtual, between the institution and the community that walks through their doors.

Lets hope everyone coming to Canberra for the GLAM wiki meet up has read it . It's here! There is also a Wiki - blogs - and transcripts to all the stakeholder sessions. Warning - all this just might change your thinking. That address, again, here.

Captain Cook
And I'm still wondering - has that guy dressed as Captain Cook outside the MCI seen the Ricky Maynard show?

Tuesday 4 August 2009

V & A London - Telling Tales: Fantasy and Fear in Contemporary Design

Telling Tales
The Telling Tales exhibition at the V&A, Victoria & Albert Museum,14 July-18 October 2009 showcases furniture but not as we know it. Designers Tord Boontje, Job Smeets and curator Gareth Williams elaborate in the video.

On the microsite, the exhibition is described as
exploring 'the recent trend among European designers for unique or limited edition pieces that push the boundaries between art and design.

'It showcases furniture, lighting and ceramics, designed by a new generation of international designers, including Tord Boontje, Maarten Baas, Jurgen Bey and Studio Job, who are all inspired by the spirit of story-telling.

'Each tells a tale through their use of decorative devices, historical allusions or choice of materials, sharing common themes such as fantasy, parody and a concern with mortality.'

Monday 3 August 2009

RiP: A remix manifesto,

RiP: A remix manifesto
In RiP: A remix manifesto, Web activist and filmmaker Brett Gaylor explores issues of copyright in the information age, mashing up the media landscape of the 20th century and shattering the wall between users and producers.

The film’s central protagonist is Girl Talk, a mash-up musician topping the charts with his sample-based songs. But is Girl Talk a paragon of people power or the Pied Piper of piracy? Creative Commons founder, Lawrence Lessig, Brazil’s Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil and pop culture critic Cory Doctorow are also along for the ride.

Current state of the campaign
Lots more, here, including state of the current campaign, showings near you, social networking connections, et al.

Re-mix Manifesto 2.0


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Sunday 2 August 2009

Aotearoa New Zealand - Sunday moment dub

The Land of the Long White Cloud, Aotearoa New Zealand.
Music by Kiwi Band Samonella Dub.

Saturday 1 August 2009

The Web Makes Me Feel - Mediasnakers via Nesta

The Web Makes Me Feel
Nesta Connect has made this Wordle to describe the key headlines from a survey from Mediasnackers - The Web Makes Me Feel. It explores how young people in the UK feel about the web and also the reasons behind the emotions. You can browse all 500 odd responses at the Mediasnakers site here.

Local connections
I twittered this story yesterday, and had some really interesting connections. See Lynda Kelly at the Australian Museum, here, and the pick up from Karen Melhuish at TKI English Online. Sounds like an Australasian version would be a useful piece of research.

Update - Mediasnakers in NZ, October with CoreEd
Small world. DK, one of the founders of Mediasnakers is coming down to NZ in October to the Core Ed, uLearn conference in October. Details on this here.