Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
"...When asked whether Amazon might ever consider Netflix-style DVD-by-mail subscription plans to complement the company's Prime Instant Video streaming service, Steve Oliver, Amazon's director of video for both digital and physical products, pauses for a beat. "We're always looking for ways to respond to what customers are looking for...We are always looking at opportunities that may exist, but I don't have anything specific to announce on that front," he says.
Pressed further, Oliver remains diplomatic. If Amazon customer feedback indicated a strong interest in a DVD-by-mail service, would Amazon consider such a program? "I can't really speculate on the hypothetical," Oliver says. "We'll just continue to listen to our customers, and allow things to evolve based on their feedback."
The question, however hypothetical, is important for an industry that's trying to determine where Amazon fits in. The company has created one of the most viable alternatives to Netflix, launching a streaming subscription service in February for its Prime members, who pay $79 per year to access the service. It's less expensive on a monthly basis than any plan available from Netflix--and Prime subscribers also earn free, two-day shipping.
Earlier this month, Amazon nearly doubled its streaming title catalog to more than 9,000 movies and TV shows, thanks to content deals with CBS and NBCUniversal, and has expanded the service to hundreds of Blu-ray players, set-top boxes and other devices (e.g. Roku, TiVo). Where is this service heading? And how far is Amazon willing to take it?..."
By Nate Goldman on Aug 27, 2011
"...Directed by DJ Caruso and starring Emily Rossum, Inside follows young twentysomething Christina Perasso as she awakes in a strange room with nothing but the clothes on her back, a Toshiba laptop and no recollection of how she got there. Over the next 11 days, Christina frantically reaches out to her friends on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, begging them to help her figure out an escape. Now, her life is in your hands, and its your job to solve clues left by her captor in order to set her free. This phenomenon, where a story interacts with its audience to help progress the action, is called social film.
“It’s sort of the first integration of how the Internet and social media can work in conjunction with a film,” Inside director DJ Caruso said in an interview with YNN Austin. “You can experience this film and watch as it unfolds in an episodic way, and participate in the outcome via social media.”
A few social films have been made before, but none with such breadth and big-brand sponsorship. The first social film, Him, Her & Them, was distributed just a few months ago, in April, by the New York-based studio Murmur. The film interweaves both fixed and interactive scenes, utilizing Facebook API to incorporate the “social” aspect of the social film. And while Murmur’s social film is certainly a wonderful example of 21st century storytelling, Inside has a few more working parts.
Using multiple social platforms and real-time audience interaction, Inside does a wonderful job at harnessing the power of the audience to influence plotlines. For instance, in episode 3, the captor leaves Christina a note that reads, “If you want food or water you need your ‘friends’ help. Post a plea and if you get enough ‘likes’… you will eat.” Christina then posts a video to YouTube asking that people ‘Like’ the video so she can get a decent meal. The result? Over 4,200 likes. And in the next episode, Christina was rewarded with a delicious-looking cheeseburger...."
Gunther Sonnedfeld: Part V of FIVE EASY PIECES: Nurturing Holistic Media Ecosystems. Excerpt- #transmedia #curation #culture #journalism - A Literacy of the Imagination
Part V of FIVE EASY PIECES: Nurturing Holistic Media Ecosystems #transmedia #curation #culture #journalism
The role of transmedial thinking (building stories in open frameworks).
Human metadata as meta-value.
The last four posts examined the rubrics of curation, exploring different functional dynamics that head towards an understanding of how media can affect business. Clearly, there is a powerful notion in using stories to not only change business, but to change or shift cultural perceptions and associated behaviors. Journalism will continue to play a significant hand in this; just today AOL announced its acquisition of The Huffington Post, to which Arianna Huffington stated that the goal was to stay on “... The cutting edge of creating news that is social...”
HuffPo happens to create some pretty engaging content, and uses real journalists and real subject matter experts to generate its stories, but what exactly do we mean when we say news is social? And what about all the other self-proclaimed online “news” outlets? What value do they bring to stories that are culturally relevant or disruptive? Do they provide an economic alternative for businesses of all types?
read the full post on Gunther's blog:
I’m thrilled to announce the publication of my new book Designing Culture: The Technological Imagination at Work (Duke University Press).
The book calls for taking culture seriously in the design and development of innovation technologies.
I assert that the wellspring of technological innovation is the technological imagination.
Following this, I examine key sites for the cultural reproduction of the technological imagination: the research university, the industrial research lab, and the science/technology center.
Much of the material in the book draws on design-research projects I’ve been involved in over the past 15 years. Based on these experiences, I offer several “lessons” about the nature of innovation in contemporary culture.
- Innovation is a process, not a product
- Innovation is a multidisciplinary endeavor
- Designing is a key site for the exercise of the technological imagination
- The future begins in the imagination; designers hack the present to create our futures
- Working with other people to make things is important for the construction of shared knowledge
- Every technology has contradictory and multiple effects
- Collaboration across differences is the key to techno-cultural innovation
- The creation of new technologies always involves the design of new cultural possibilities
- Designing culture is, therefore, an ethical project
- Understanding the relationship of culture and technology is an ethical imperative
The print publication is part of a broader TRANSMEDIA PROJECT simply called Designing Culture.
Packaged with the book is the interactive multimedia documentary, Women of the World Talk Back, created by Mary Hocks and Anne Balsamo in 1995 based on our participation at the 4th UN World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China.
Other media elements available at the designingculture.org website include:
- video archives and interactive applications relating to the Experiments in the Future of Reading EXHIBIT created by RED @ PARC in 2000
- examples of interactive digital WALL books
- interactive MAPS of matters of concern for the technological imagination
- short VIDEO primers on key themes of contemporary technoculture
"...Transmedia User ExperienceMost companies will probably deploy only 2 UI designs: mobile and desktop. Others might need 3, 4, or even all 5, depending on their industry. Whatever the number, there are two key points to remember:
Our experience with transmedia usability is not yet sufficient to provide an exhaustive list of guidelines for achieving a cohesive user experience across platforms. But we do know that it's essential to get the following 4 issues right:
- Create separate and distinct UI designs for device categories that are sufficiently different. It's okay to have a similar design for, say, iOS and Android, with only a few modifications to suit each platform vendor's human interface guidelines. But your mobile sites and full desktop sites must be different, just as your mobile and desktop applications should be different.
- Retain the feel of a product family across devices, despite the different UIs and different feature sets. This requires a transmedia design strategy.
To conclude: cross-platform UIs should be different but similar.
- Visual continuity. Obviously, UIs will look different on different screen sizes but they should look similar enough to feel like two sides of the same coin. No, it's not enough to have the same logo or the same color scheme. The interactive elements also must have a similar look. Layouts will clearly differ, but users should still feel confident where to locate stuff as they move between platforms.
- Feature continuity. The smaller the device, the smaller the feature set you can comfortably provide. However, users should still feel that the same main features are available in all locations. Even more important, they should feel that the features work consistently, even if they've been simplified. Let's say, for example, that your e-commerce site offers product ratings. Both your mobile and full sites should use the same rating scale, but maybe your mobile site doesn't let users enter new reviews or doesn't show the full text of existing reviews by default. Designed correctly, however, users will still feel that they get the benefit of the full site's reviews while using the mobile site.
- Data continuity. The user's data should be the same in all locations. Because of different feature sets, some data might not be available everywhere, but anything accessible in multiple places should be the same. Users shouldn't have to "synch" as a separate action.
- Content continuity. We know that you must write much more concisely for mobile than for desktop use. But the basic content strategy should be the same; in particular, you should use a similar tone of voice for all platforms, so that you "sound" the same everywhere. For example, children love characters in Web design. If you use them, your mobile site might not have room for all the creatures, but should include the lead characters from the full site. (This will also promote visual continuity: the characters should look basically the same, even when drawn with fewer pixels. For that matter, character reuse also promotes feature continuity to the extent that navigation is based around the characters.)
Learn MoreMore on visual continuity in the full-day Visual Design for Mobile Devices and Tabletstraining course on Visual Design for Mobile Devices and Tablets at the annual Usability Week conference".
The full-day training course Mobile User Experience 1: Usability of Websites and Apps on Mobile Devices discusses how to allocate features between the full desktop site and a mobile design, and the course on Writing for Mobile Users covers content style.
Monday, August 29, 2011
"...Not familiar with Cindy Gallop? Buckle your seatbelt and read on…
Cindy's background is brandbuilding, marketing and advertising. She started up the US office of BBH in New York in 1998 and in 2003 was named Advertising Woman of the Year. She is the founder and CEO of www.IfWeRanTheWorld.com, a web meets world platform designed to turn good intentions into action one microaction at a time – it launched in beta with a demo at TED 2010. She's also the founder and CEO of www.makelovenotporn.com, which launched at TED in 2009. She acts as board advisor to a number of tech startups; she also consults, describing her consultancy approach as "I like to blow shit up. I am the Michael Bay of business".
This event is open to men and women – in fact, we're gunning for as balanced and diverse an audience as we can muster. So if you're not afraid of strong language and explosions, send an RSVP to itsagirlsclub [at] gmail [dot] com and we will look forward to seeing you there...."
Sunday, August 28, 2011
From the site:
"Gamers aren't the only ones impressed by upcoming indie mech shooter Hawken's distinctive style and dynamic combat. Hollywood has taken notice as well, and now there's a movie in the works. A Romeo & Juliet meets District 9 movie.
That's how developer Adhesive apparently refers to the story behind Hawken, according to production company DJ2 Entertainment's Dmitri M. Johnson. His company has managed to snag the rights to the ambitious multiplayer game being created by nine men at the small independent game developer. Apparently a personal recommendation to the developer led to Johnson securing the rights, the team initially hesitant to worry about a movie with the game still in development.
While there is no writer attached to the movie project yet, Johnson does lay out a basic plot.
As for the story, it follows two young pilots from separate clans pitted against one another after a devastating virus has covered most of the heavily industrialized planet surface in toxic crystal, creative director Dan Jevons told TheWrap.
"They witness an event that suggests there is more to the nano-virus than meets the eye," Jevons said. "Now the race is on to discover the virus' origins and true purpose before their respective clans wipe each other out in a final, climatic battle."
But wait, isn't Hawken strictly a multiplayer affair? Where's this story coming from? Adhesive's Jonathan Kreuzer told Kotaku that the game will remain multiplayer, and any movie bits won't necessarily be directly related to the game...."
"Gif Shop, a new app for the iPhone that allows users to easily create, send, and share .gifs, saw 30,000 downloads in its first month (July-August 2011) with 91% on the iPhone 4, 9% on 3GS, iPad, and iPod. It also attracted some intriguing users. Mike Rosenstein, a producer who works with Ben Stiller, has been using it to make an archive of .gifs featuring well-liked actors and actresses, for example.
The cofounder and newly minted app entrepreneur, Daniel Savage, spoke with FastCompany.com this week about what makes these quirky, often instructional, sometimes beautiful animations so enduring, and why his startup may be the new Instagram. Savage is responsible for the Gif Shop concept, brand, and marketing; technical designer Matthew Archer, a creative technologist based in Chicago with previous experience in productivity apps, leads development..."
Very Cool Experiment with Scott McCloud's Infinite Canvas: Building a parallax scrolling storytelling framework | Tutorial | .net magazine
"Stevan Živadinović, the brains behind multi-plane side-scroller web comic Hobo Lobo of Hamelin, walks us through the development of the Parallaxer platform and gives a crash course on turning pencil drawings into transparent-background assets
In this 1964 clip from the BBC Horizon show, Arthur C. Clarke makes a fairly precise prediction, but one that is only half right. "We'll no longer commute in cities," he says, "we'll communicate instead." He also says, "I am perfectly serious when I suggest that you'll be able to call a man and not know where he is, whether he is in Tahiti or Bali or London." He got that part right, with cell phones everywhere, but on average we still do commute in cities.
However it is the preamble to his prediction, where he hedges his bets, that I think he is the most insightful. Clarke says that if you find a prediction reasonable, than it is probably wrong, because the future is not reasonable; it is fantastic! But if you could return from the future with the exact truth about what will happen, no one would believe you because the future is too fantastic! By fantastic he means issuing from the realm of fantasy and the imagination -- beyond what we expect.
From the site:
"Currently on the Android Market we have a few really good location-based MMORPG titles to play if you enjoy that sort of game. Red Robot, however, has brought another one to Android called Life Is Crime which, as you may have guessed from the title, is a crime game instead of a zombie or fantasy one.
If you haven't played a location-based game of any kind, essentially it uses your location for most aspects of gameplay within the game whether it's infecting someone and turning them into a zombie or taking over their part of the city in a more strategy-based location game. With a locationn-based MMORPG title, it's the same location-based gameplay idea but in an MMORPG theme where you can complete quests, fight monsters and other people and most other activities you find in an MMORPG.
Real World Game Map: Our map allows players to see a rich visual representation of the real world. Locations drawn on the map grow with player interaction and map persistence allows players and places to become legendary over time.
Leaderboard & PvP: Fight other players at different locations and climb to the number one spot on the leaderboard!
Reputation: Become notorious within your town or city - fight and dominate territory to keep your Rep high.
Missions: The mission system takes every day, real places in your routine - coffee shops, banks, gas stations - and matches them to location-based missions, virtually enabling players to complete the “Destroy ATMs” mission at any bank, in any town.
Deal Contraband: Players can pick-up and drop off virtual contraband at real locations and profit.
Location-based GameFeed: The GameFeed allows players to see gameplay and gamers at locations around them. The GameFeed also enables players to share achievements, goals, and gameplay moments with other players. Find new places and players.
Achievements: Earn over 50 Achievements!
Weapons and Gear: Customize your character with over 160 cool weapons and equipment!
R2 Gaming Network. The R2 Network also features push notifications and deep integration with social networks such as: Facebook, Twitter and Google..."
Oh My. Bookmark: Bizness Apps Adds HTML5 Platform To Let SMBs Create Their Own Apps — For Both | TechCrunch
"...Native apps are great and all, you might say, but what about this supposed HTML5 revolution? Where my web apps at? Nothwithstanding the fact that there’s been a hot debate over whether app developers should go for HTML5 or native apps (as evidenced by MG’s post on the subject back in February), Bizness Apps Founder and CEO Andrew Gazdecki said that he thinks the best approach is to make a bet on mobile as a whole — not one or the other.
That’s why the startup is today announcing the launch of an HTML5 version of their DIY mobile app platform for small businesses. With this new web functionality, users of the service are now able to create nearly identical mobile experiences for every mobile platform including iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, and so on — they can go native or HTML5, or both. For an extra $10 a month..."
Description from the site:
Written first for and specifically to be read and viewed from the screen
Requires user action to drive the story forward.
Uses text, images, music, sound effects, puzzles and games to illustrate and enhance the narrative.
A reading-from-the-screen experience for the “always on” generation.
Each a self-contained story, the chapters become more complex as the narrative unfolds reflecting Alice’s age and competency as she develops towards her calling as a game animator and designer...."
Original Post by Laura Fleming (@larfleming on Twitter), who is a library media specialist in a K-6 school in New Jersey, and is passionate about the intersection of storytelling and technology. She blogs at EdTech Insight.
"...An Example of Transmedia
The leading example of this transmedia in education phenomenon is the born-digital story Inanimate Alice. Written by award-winning author Kate Pullinger, directed by digital artist Chris Joseph, and produced by Ian Harper, this transmedia story introduces us to Alice, a young girl growing up in the first half of the 21st century, and her digital imaginary friend, Brad. "Born digitally," Inanimate Alice was conceived, written and created entirely within the digital domain. The multimedia episodes are interactive and use a combination of text, sound, images, and games to tell the story of her life. The media itself becomes a part of the story when Alice herself becomes a video game animator, and the reader is immersed into the story by playing games and solving puzzles to progress the story.
Free Resources for Educators
Through a free downloadable iTeach education resource pack, Inanimate Alice is supported by lessons, which include making connections with the story and the medium. Their vibrant Facebook community allows for educators to share their success stories as well as to find opportunities for collaboration globally. In addition, teachers now have available to them interactive whiteboard lessons that are hands-on and address the needs of all learners. Because of their immersion into a storyworld, participants in transmedia narratives are inspired to repurpose the content and generate their own; thus encouraging creativity and innovation. With Inanimate Alice, it is the inspiration of her story that motivates students to want to create next episodes of the series...."
Friday, August 26, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
From the site:
"A new exhibit celebrates the work of two Surrealist artists: first lovers, and later, friends. Elizabeth Lee Miller was an actress, a model, and a war correspondent, who had an intoxicating effect on her lovers. One of those lovers was the avant-garde American artist Man Ray. His love for her nearly drove him to madness — and also inspired some of his most well-known work.
Miller was Ray's muse, but she became an accomplished photographer in her own right. Now, their work is displayed together for the first time at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass., in an exhibit called Man Ray/Lee Miller, Partners in Surrealism.
Phillip Prodger, curator of the exhibit, and Miller's son, Antony Penrose, speak with NPR's Jacki Lyden about Miller and Ray's passionate relationship — and the love that bound them together and inspired their work..."
From the site:
"circumstance create cinematic experiences in unexpected locations.
These experiences take many forms, from mass participation performances and intimate in-ear stories, to books, installations and workshops.
Using both emergent and commonplace technology, we try to make films without cameras, creating alternate worlds and poetic layers in the everyday.
circumstance is an international artist collective led by Duncan Speakman, Sarah Anderson and Emilie Grenier. It draws on its members backgrounds in contemporary performance, theatre, interactive design, music composition, wearable electronics, locative and pervasive media.
We are known internationally for the creation of the ‘subtlemob’ form of performance and our application of mobile electronics in public space performances. Our projects consistently address the social, political and emotional impacts of the technologies used.
Some works are permanently available while others are available for touring and commission. We regularly give talks about our projects and also offer workshops and consultancy.
Please get in touch if you would like to find out more or follow us @ofcircumstance"
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
A sample from a long selection:
On Innovation and Design
“Do we have what it takes to establish a third category of products? The bar is pretty high. It has to be far better at doing some key things. We think we have the goods. Our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price.”
— In January 2010, Jobs showed off the iPad to a skeptical world, sparing no hyperbole, even though tablet computers had always been flops in the sales department for other companies. Wired.com January 27, 2010.
“So we try to pick things that are in their spring, So we have a history of doing that, we went from the 5-inch floppy disk to the 3.5 inch with the Mac and sometimes when we get rid of things like the floppy disk drive on the original iMac, people call us crazy. But sometimes you have to pick the things that look like the right horses to ride going forward. And Flash looks like a technology that had its day, but is waning. And HTML5 looks like the technology that is on the ascendancy now.”
— In June 2010 at the D8 conference, Jobs elaborated on why the iPad and iPhone would never support Adobe’s Flash. Youtube June 1, 2010...."
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Excerpt from a longer post:
"A Study by Marketing Sherpa of the company BreakingPoint, showed success using a wide-ranging social media strategy to generate leads. An update on their tactics — with a focus on integrating email and social media highlighted the original case study that first demonstrated how the team tested and measured activity from several social media channels. The results included
55% of all leads coming from inbound Web visits, and
75% of marketing-influenced pipeline coming from inbound Web leads
The case study outlined 6 Social Media steps to help fill the sales funnel:
#1 Create a blog to start and join online conversation
#2 Establish an active Twitter account
#3 Create a LinkedIn Group (or Facebook page depending on your demographic)
#4 Modify your press release strategy for blogger coverage
#5 Promote social media channels on your company website and in email signatures
#6 Measure growth of social media accounts and web traffic
Results of the researched company’s social media campaign showed that there was a dramatic correlation between the use of social media channels and the growth of the company’s web traffic and leads..."
Designing Media: Ira Glass, Mark Zuckerberg and Other Media Innovators Share Insights | Brain Pickings
INTERVIEW | Guillermo Del Toro, Part I: Videogames, Transmedia and Here's His E-mail - via indieWIRE
Excerpt from an interview with Eric Kohn:
"In this first part of a two-part interview, Del Toro spoke with indieWIRE about why videogames and transmedia figure into his career almost as much as movies. Stayed tuned for the second part of the interview later this week.
EK: In addition to your various film projects, you’re also developing a videogame project called “Insane.” How does that fit into the other things you do with your time?
GT: I’ve been working on it for almost a year. I put a lot of work into it. It takes up a large part of my day. Sometimes, for days in a row or weeks in a row, I’m involved in working on this. I’m trying to learn everything I can about different media, because I’m a firm believer in transmedia. I think it’s a mistake to assume that since I know how to make movies, I know how to make videogames. However, I approach this videogame from the point of view of a very immersed gamer. I essentially grew up with videogames. I had the first videogame ever, the “Pong” game, and I’ve owned every console known to man since then. So I approach it as a medium that seems similar to film in some ways, but it’s actually very different. It has its own rules of language and storytelling. In this case, it’s not a passive audience. They’re far more active. I must say, in the past year, I’ve learned a lot working on “Insane,” which is good for me as a filmmaker. To me, videogames are a huge component of genre filmmaking in the future. You will always have Jim Jarmusch and Terrence Malick—there will always be quirkier independent films, but for the next big step for genre storytelling, videogames will be a major component.
EK: A lot of people think videogames are cinematic, but that can have many meanings. Some games are cinematic in the atmospheric sense, while in other cases the comparison has more to do with an internal connection to the events in the narrative. With that in mind, what sort of experience are you going for with “Insane”?
GT: We talked a lot about different versions of the game. We’re trying to do things that have not been done before, both in the gameplay and the devices that we use. We’re creating stuff that, at least for now—knock
on wood—hasn’t been done before. We’re trying to make it as immersive as possible...."
Henry Jenkins interviews Sherry Turkle: 'Does This Technology Serve Human Purposes?": A "Necessary Conversation" with Sherry Turkle (Part One)
August 22, 2011
'Does This Technology Serve Human Purposes?": A "Necessary Conversation" with Sherry Turkle (Part One)
After more than twenty years of living in the heart of the machine, I have concluded that there are two ways of doing humanities at MIT (perhaps anywhere): the first is entrenched and embattled, defending the traditions, from a broom closet, trying to civilize those who see virtue in the technological and who undervalue the cultural; the second is engaged, confronting the technological and demanding that it serve human needs, asking core questions about the nature of our species, and exploring how the cultural and the psychological reasserts itself through those media which we make, in Marshall McLuhan's terms, into extensions of ourselves. There is at MIT no greater advocate for humanistic engagement than Sherry Turkle, whose work on technologies as "second selves," as "evocative objects," as intimate tools and "relational artifacts", the central theme of her work.
It has been my joy and honor to consider Turkle my friend for more than two decades. Our paths crossed too rarely in the years I was in Cambridge, but each time they did, I left the conversation changed by her insights about core questions which shaped both of our work. Here is a video recording of our most recent in-person exchange, a public dialogue about solitude and participation in the digital age, which we conducted at the Scratch conference hosted by our mutual friend, Mitch Resnick, at the MIT Media Lab. It will be clear there that our shifting alignments, sometimes agreeing, but often coming at the world a bit askew to each other, brought out some fresh thinking from both of us.
Excerpt from a longer post August 22, 2011:
"HJ: I was struck by one of the very first sentences in the book: "Technology proposes itself as the architect of our intimacies." Can you dissect that evocative phrase a bit for me? In what forms does the proposal take and how do we signal whether or not we accept?
ST: From the earliest days that I came to MIT, struck by the intensity of people's emotional engagement with their objects - and most especially with their computational objects - there were many people, and especially many colleagues, who were highly skeptical of my endeavor. And yet, I am inspired by Winston Churchill's words, who said, before McCluhan rephrased: "We make our buildings, and in turn, our buildings make and shape us." We make our technologies, and our technologies make and shape us. The technologies I study, the technologies of communication, are identity technologies. I think of them as intimate machines. They are not only, as the computer has always been, mirrors of our mind; they are now the places where the shape and dimensions of our relationship are sculpted.
I think of the technological devices as having an inner history. That inner history is how they shape our relationships with them and our relationships with each other. Another way to think of this is in terms of technological affordance and human vulnerability. Technologies have certain psychological affordances, they make certain psychological offers. We are vulnerable to many of these. There is an intricate play between what technology offers and what we, vulnerable, often struggle to refuse...."
Monday, August 22, 2011
The Next Day Reviewed - soon to be an NFB/PopSandBox iDoc (Not your ordinary comic books) - The Globe and Mail
"...The Next Day (which has also been turned into an interactive animated online documentary) is co-written by Paul Peterson, Jason Gilmore and cartoonist John Porcellino, acclaimed for his self-published King Cat series. Like Girard, the book uses cartooning to tackle profound subject matter: It’s based on interviews with four real-life survivors of suicide attempts.
In both dark subject and spare style, the book reminds one of Sarah Leavitt’s Tangles, which concerned Alzheimer’s and was the first-ever graphic novel nominated for a Writers’ Trust of Canada Non-Fiction Prize, in 2010. The visuals in The Next Day are even more distilled, however, in Porcellino’s trademark “doodle” style.
Yet Porcellino understands the power that resides in the simple graphic, and gets forceful ideas across in a direct, sometimes brutal fashion. And the effect perhaps mitigates or offsets the sadness of the narratives, without either undercutting or diminishing them.
The most powerful instance of this is when one character tells of being molested, as a child, by an uncle – with the relative represented as an amorphous yet threatening blob. Text and image also meld powerfully in a sequence where a character relates how she threw herself down stairs, with words and pictures functioning as counterpoint.
The Next Day is a worthwhile, distinctive follow-up to KENK...."
"Repetition, according to Hegel, plays a crucial role in history: when something happens just once, it may be dismissed as an accident, something that might have been avoided if the situation had been handled differently; but when the same event repeats itself, it is a sign that a deeper historical process is unfolding. When Napoleon lost at Leipzig in 1813, it looked like bad luck; when he lost again at Waterloo, it was clear that his time was over. The same holds for the continuing financial crisis. In September 2008, it was presented by some as an anomaly that could be corrected through better regulations etc; now that signs of a repeated financial meltdown are gathering it is clear that we are dealing with a structural phenomenon.
We are told again and again that we are living through a debt crisis, and that we all have to share the burden and tighten our belts. All, that is, except the (very) rich. The idea of taxing them more is taboo: if we did, the argument runs, the rich would have no incentive to invest, fewer jobs would be created and we would all suffer. The only way to save ourselves from hard times is for the poor to get poorer and the rich to get richer. What should the poor do? What can they do?
Although the riots in the UK were triggered by the suspicious shooting of Mark Duggan, everyone agrees that they express a deeper unease – but of what kind? As with the car burnings in the Paris banlieues in 2005, the UK rioters had no message to deliver. (There is a clear contrast with the massive student demonstrations in November 2010, which also turned to violence. The students were making clear that they rejected the proposed reforms to higher education.) This is why it is difficult to conceive of the UK rioters in Marxist terms, as an instance of the emergence of the revolutionary subject; they fit much better the Hegelian notion of the ‘rabble’, those outside organised social space, who can express their discontent only through ‘irrational’ outbursts of destructive violence – what Hegel called ‘abstract negativity’...."
An idea is a fragile thing. And at this point, the idea that we're on the cusp of a new form of storytelling seems to have reached that weird place where much of the world still hasn't accepted it but many of those who have are too busy squabbling over the details to actually focus on doing it. As Nick DeMartino, formerly of the American Film Institute, noted in a recent post at Tribeca Film's Future of Film blog, the discussion devolved into an all-out flame war in the wake of the "New Worlds" panel at this year's SXSW Interactive conference. It was against this backdrop that Henry weighed in.
The most basic distinction he makes is between adapting a story from one entertainment medium to another—something Hollywood has been doing routinely for decades—and extending a story into other media. Borrowing a line from ngmoco founder Neil Young, he calls the point of this kind of story-extension "additive comprehension." As an example he cites Falling Skies, the summer sci-fi series that Steven Spielberg produced for TNT—an alien-invasion story that echoes the H.G. Wells novel War of the Worlds, which Spielberg adapted for the movies several years ago. Explaining the difference between extending and adapting, Henry notes:
The Falling Skies graphic novel is a prequel which tells us about the disappearance of the middle brother [during the invasion] and thus helps to provide insights into the motives of the characters on the Turner television series. In this case, additive comprehension takes the form of back story, but the same graphic novel also helps us to better understand the organization of the resistance movement, which we can see as part of a world-building process. Most transmedia content serves one or more of the following functions:
- Offers backstory
- Maps the World
- Offers us other character's perspectives on the action
- Deepens audience engagement.
Another point Henry makes is that there's nothing all that new about this stuff. Falling Skies and its ilk were prefigured, he notes, by the works of Walt Disney, J.R.R. Tolkien, and L. Frank Baum, who extended his 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz into various other media, including a stage musical (later adapted into the Judy Garland movie by MGM) and a slide show he presented on the lecture circuit.
!!!!!! Guillermo Del Toro’s Dangerous Fairies-Graphic Novel Prequel to Don't Be Afraid of the Dark| Underwire
Me - I wouldn't put Florida's book as #1 as there's are critically convincing arguments against many of his assumptions. The rest of the list is wonderful & I'm tracking down the books I don't have.
Maria Popova's article is worth reading with great summaries & images from these works. Thank You!
Lewis Mumford's The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects
The Zinester’s Guide to NYC
John Kasarda & Greg Lindsay's Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next
Edward Glaeser's In Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier
Jane Jacobs' The Death and Life of Great American Cities
Witold Rybczynski's Makeshift Metropolis: Ideas About Cities
By Chris Lee
"Riots and looting that spread across some cities in England during August 2011 were aided in their effectiveness by social media, such as Twitter, Facebook and BlackBerry Messenger, according to many observers.
These self-same media were also beneficial to those seeking to understand in real time what was occurring in their area, although much was inevitably misinformation. The whole role of social media in the organisation of the UK riots has opened the debate on social media, its implications for law enforcement and, of course, how that evidence can be used in court. In Warrington, near Manchester, two youths were jailed for four years each for setting up a Facebook page which it is alleged incited people to start a riot that never materialised.
"Everyone watching these horrific actions will be struck by how they were organised via social media. Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill," said UK Prime Minister, David Cameron (as reported in the Guardian).
A force for good?
The same challenge faced the mayor of US city Cleveland, when its City Council passed a resolution criminalising the use of social networks to encourage others to commit crimes. Mayor Frank Jackson vetoed the bill, arguing that it was “unconstitutional” to, in effect, ban conversations.
For James Kirkham, managing director of digital strategy agency Holler, Twitter has once again proven that it is now the pre-eminent news source in the UK. But its role is more observational than participatory or inciting.
“Twitter is a red herring for those keen to understand the role of social media in all of this,” he told NMK. “For those partaking it plays far less of a role than those observing and curating. It has assumed a position as the unquestionable number one channel for observation, comment and the spreading of the news, but is yet to act as any sort of catalyst for the criminals hell bent on causing all the aggregation.”..."
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Los Angeles Metro Buses Now Running Web Series, "Los Americans" on over 4,000 Screens. Excerpt via reelseo.com
The drama will be shown in segments on more than 4,000 screens on over 2,000 buses in Los Angeles. It is a departure from the daily news, talk, variety, and weather tidbits that Transit TV has been providing. The show is being broadcast in part to reach people who might have the same problems, and each episode directs people towards resources that might help them.
Before you start saying, “This sounds like after-school special nonsense,” it should be noted that the show is well-done, with very accomplished actors, and doesn’t play out in a heavy-handed way. Take a look at this episode, entitled “Going To mexico,” to see what I mean:
This is the sort of series that is scarce to nonexistent on TV, minorities fill every major role, and dramas tend not to focus on family much anymore, crime procedurals being king these days.
Fascinating Study on Correlation of Time of Day to Success. Beware of late day decisions! Don't ask in the afternoon!
....Decision fatigue is the newest discovery involving a phenomenon called ego depletion, a term coined by the social psychologist Roy F. Baumeister in homage to a Freudian hypothesis. Freud speculated that the self, or ego, depended on mental activities involving the transfer of energy. He was vague about the details, though, and quite wrong about some of them (like his idea that artists “sublimate” sexual energy into their work, which would imply that adultery should be especially rare at artists’ colonies). Freud’s energy model of the self was generally ignored until the end of the century, when Baumeister began studying mental discipline in a series of experiments, first at Case Western and then at Florida State University..""
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Kagemu's 'Black Sun' Synchronizes Projected Video With Japanese Dance - by Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg - Entertainment - The Atlantic
Excerpt from a longer interview:
"Black Sun is a meticulously choreographed projection of motiongraphics onto dance, combining traditional and modern elements of Japanese culture and martial arts. Artist Nobuyuki Hanabusa and dancer Katsumi Sakakura, together known as Kagemu, have since been widely imitated by others, including Beyoncé.
Hanabusa talks about the creative process behind the innovative performance and his take on the Beyoncé story.
The Atlantic: What is your artistic background? How did you come to work in the medium of projected motion graphics?
Nobuyuki Hanabusa: I am very influenced by Ukiyoe (Japanese woodblock prints) artists such as Hokusai Katsushika, but more than that, Japanese comics and movies with VFX like Star Wars have influenced me a lot. I love to imagine invisible things from childhood.
Black Sun draws on traditional Japanese theater, martial arts and aesthetics to create something totally modern. How did you collaborate with Orientarhythm to develop this piece? What was your inspiration?
When I was thinking about creating something mixed of live action and video picture, I met Orientarhythm and we created the unit called Kagemu. Since space on dance stages is limited, we came up with this process that enables our performance with simple equipment. After a continuing process of trial and error, Katsumi Sakakura, the dancer, and I refined our idea.
There has always been a culture in Japan that values the minimum, such as the simplest design expresses the perspective of the world. The culture takes root in graphics and influences Black Sun, which leads us to portray Japan without images like ‘geisha’ or ‘Fujiyama.'..."
BeActive heading to “350 South” with participatory documentary experience, planning immersive web & social media experience» Realscreen
"350 South: An American Journey, from prodco beActive, is billed as a “fully participatory documentary experience” following Irish and American environmentalists on their year long journey from Alaska to Argentina.
The series, which features online, mobile and interactive aspects, follows Ian Lacey and Lee Savile as they cycle through 15 countries and three mountain ranges over 350 days. The duo will also be looking at environmental issues and reaching out to local communities on their journey.
Developed and produced by beActive, the series also includes a year-long immersive web and social media experience, using Facebook, a website, Twitter, a blog, an iPhone and iPad app, a YouTube channel with daily video blogs and an interactive map with a GPS locator. The mobile app and YouTube channel will be launched in the coming days..."
Could be a very interesting research vehicle:
"Notably, each character in the series represents various points of the Autism spectrum, including Attention Deficit Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Kanners Autism."
Great piece on PopSandBox's graphic novel & interactive doc, Kenk: Stealing to save the world | Art Threat
Kenk is indeed a giant windbag who doesn’t suffer fools, or for that matter anyone who disagrees with his outlook on life – that is, a kind of Robinhood social Darwinist eco-warrior melange that doesn’t quite add up. He’s caustic, unapologetic and clearly looking out for number one: himself.
Yet behind that veneer is a complex character, a former policeman from “communist shithole” who is shocked and dismayed by throw-away culture in the West. His business of recuperating old “junk” is not only his means of survival in a quickly gentrifying city, but is the tangible manifestation of his philosophic stew mentioned above. And it’s also a means of justifying dealing in stolen “junk bikes.”
"The story follows Toronto’s notorious bike thief Igor Kenk as he talks about his past in Slovenia, waxes philosophic on the suicidal and absurd Western lifestyle and runs his infamous bike shop in the Trinity Bellwoods Park neighbourhood of Toronto."
Friday, August 19, 2011
Sound speculations on the future extension of Blade Runner!
"...The original Philip K. Dick novel was titled Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and was quite different from Scott’s film. But in developing the franchise anew, and limited from actually remaking or rebooting the original film (and, presumably, the novel from which that film was derived), Alcon still has at their disposal the sequel novels written by author K.W. Jeter. Jeter (a well-known and great sci-fi author, and the man who coined the term “steampunk”) wrote three sequel books for the Blade Runner series: The Edge of Human, Replicant Night, and Eye and Talon.
Alcon could choose to attempt films inspired by or directly adapted from those sequel novels, or might choose to develop entirely original film concepts for either a prequel or sequel film. The immediately obvious problem with a prequel is, quite simply, that after making a prequel… what next? They cannot remake Blade Runner, so the second film from Alcon would then leapfrog over a previous film into sequel territory, it seems. Unless a string of prequels are made, foregoing any sequels entirely. But that would be problematic in many ways, and almost surely force abandoning any lead-up to the original film.
Which seems to strongly suggest a sequel makes the most sense, particularly with three books from which to gain inspiration. So I think that sequels are more likely, although obviously we can’t know for certain just yet. In the end, Ridley Scott will do what he thinks is best, and I’m sure he’ll be right!.."
Kevin MacDonald On Making Life in a Day: The Ultimate YouTube Project | via @TribecaFilm Future of Film
Excerpt from the full piece:
"Making a feature documentary with 200 collaborators from around the world is no stroll in the park. Nevertheless, producer Ridley Scott and director Kevin Macdonald have done just that via a unique partnership between Scott's Scott Free Films, YouTube and LG Electronics.
Conceived as a user-generated feature-length documentary, shot on a single day (July 24, 2010), Life in a Day empowers the global community to capture a moment of their lives on camera. The date chosen was a Saturday—a day the producers felt many people could devote more time to the project. Additionally Scott and Macdonald sent 500 small digital cameras to far-flung places around the globe, partnering with Against All Odds Productions, a California-based company that specializes in large-scale global photographic projects—such as the best-selling Day in the Life book series. Participants were invited to shoot on one of the SD cards in the preset camera, send back the card and keep the camera. The producers wanted to try out a melding of YouTube as a social media platform and traditional film formats. Having put out calls for clips on YouTube several times, the team ended up with a staggering amount of material: over 80,000 submissions, totaling 4,500 hours.
Macdonald's concept for the film was inspired by the work of one of his heroes, the British artist and filmmaker Humphrey Jennings. Best known for his beautifully poetic documentaries about Britain during the Second World War, Jennings was a major figure in the celebrated British Documentary Film Movement. His colleagues included John Grierson, John Ryerson, Basil Wright, Harry Watt and Alberto Cavalcanti among others. Like many before and during World War II, these filmmakers were deeply concerned about maintaining democracy in the face of the threat from Fascism. Grierson and his colleagues believed filmmaking could play a central role in expanding public knowledge and understanding so citizens could be active on social issues. A particular contribution by Jennings was a movement launched in the 1930s called "Mass Observation," an attempt to document the strangeness and beauty of ordinary lives. Volunteers wrote detailed diaries about their lives, answering questions such as, "What's on your mantelpiece?" and"What graffiti did you see today?"
"I always want to give an audience something new, something they haven't seen before—and of course experience something new myself," Macdonald writes via email. "It keeps you stimulated as a filmmaker to know you are trying something that might fail—and Life in Day was a risky experiment."..."