Artists residency…in Second Life?

May 31, 2007 at 1:40 am | Posted in art, virtual worlds | 1 Comment

It appears that the Australian government has recognised virtual worlds recently with quite a bold move. The Australian Council for the Arts are offering funding (to the tune of $20,000) for artist residency within Second Life. They are offering Australian artists (writers, musician/sound artists and digital visual media practioners) to develop work in Second Life.

They have been slightly vague with what the residency requires in the world, but it would be inter-world art. I suppose if you can get artist residency in the real world, then why not get residency in Second Life. If Second Life is meant to mirror a heightend version of real life then it makes sense. Although, whether it is real dollars or Linden Dollars.

I wonder whether Second Life approached the government, or vice versa, and how they are getting paid. Additionally, I am not sure whether they are trying to encourage a new art community into Second Life. There is no stipulation of whether the applicant needs to be familiar with Second Life or virtual worlds. It reminds of the situation of when you are a supporter for a long time, and you’re one of the first people to buy their latest album, and then they release a special edition. For all those artists in residents already, I wonder if you can apply for funding.

Is the benefit to the artist in residency or to Second Life…

Click here for more info…

http://www.ozco.gov.au/grants/grants_new_media_arts/second_life_artist_residency/

Bookaholics Anonymous

May 31, 2007 at 12:06 am | Posted in books | 3 Comments

Paul Colman’s blog Life in the Middle is a great read for me. And he recently blogged about books and unusual places to have them. The fact that you accumulate them as you go along. I’m a bit far from where he is at, but I can see the likeness. My bookshelf is sagging down the middle. I have had to change the layout of my books, from a normal librarian format, to face down. And they are two rows deep as well. I have them piled up in a separate smaller shelf and next to my bed. It’s funny though, when you love books and love a book you want to talk to other people about them, I guess that’s why bookclubs exist.

I can’t remember exactly how I discovered this site but there’s a network that caters to us devourers of books called Good Reads . Like every other social networking site you set up your profile, and then you have the job of

a) listing the books you have read in the past…and review them

b) list the books you are currently reading

You can look at what other people have recommended and are currently reading. So far I have only invited my colleague James and my friend Ursh, because I know they are bookaholics. But I just haven’t had the chance to invite anyone else. Mainly because I don’t really know anyone else who loves books as much as we do…

I see one major flaw with Good Reads. Now I have already explained that I have books coming out of my sock drawers etc, so reviewing each book is going to take a hell of a lot of time! Now I would be the kind of person who would do that, but I just think about whether it’s really worth it. So perhaps the benefit is not to backtrack what you have read, but to look more to the present and the future.

The site did get me thinking about what books are “worthy” for me to review. And interesting enough, a lot of my favourite books, well books I remember and have stayed with me came from when I was younger. I think it’s because I’m older, I put energy into work and therefore want to read something more light, easy to get through, easy to pick up and drop when I need to. So my top 5 reads are:

1. Mandragora by David McRobbie (this book made me stay up late as a kid, and read until the early hours of the morning)

2. The Water Tower by Gary Crew (a picture book but definitely not for kids because it freaked me out)

3. The Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich (chick lit and just a great character)

4. The copy by Paul Jennings. A short story that introduced me to the “twist” in narrative.

5. Animalia and the Eleventh Hour by Graeme Base (Where’s Wally but so much better)

Now I am doing this from memory so there is bound to be so many more that I can’t think of at the moment. If I do, I will update. How about you? Favourite books or books that have stayed with people?

Stand up and Joke Off…

May 29, 2007 at 12:35 am | Posted in Comedy | Leave a comment

I am obsessed with comedy. It’s just one of those things. So I was contemplating it the other day, when Rachael sent through a link to a comedy group from NZ who now have a TV show in the states. I remember seeing Flight of the Conchords on the Melbourne Comedy Festival some years ago, and then not really hearing from them again. Then suddenly they pop up!

I got thinking about their style of humour, and realised that I have always gravitated towards musical comedy for some reason. So I thought I’d have a stand off between three acts that I have loved.

Ahhh the nineties…Doug Anthony Allstars: Paul McDermott, Tim Ferguson and Richard Fidler. I was really young when they were popular so I didn’t get to see them live. But I thought they were absolutely hilarious. They essentially introduced me to comedy, and understanding dynamics in group comedy. When you watch their stuff, you can see the different part that each of them plays. Paul the popular one, Tim the weird one and Richard the one they always pick on. It’s funny seeing comedy groups now because you can see these “characters in others”. NEXT…

Twothousands: Probably not the best example of their stuff. Tripod recently did a show called Lady Robots. My gosh it was hilarious, just incredibly intelligent show (a narrative). They have been going strong for a while now and are a regular on the Australian comedy circuit. The most interesting gig I ever saw them at was when they supported The Presidents of the United States of America. It was one of the most bizarre line ups/decision for a support act I have seen. How great for PUSA/touring company/record company to recognise Tripod. And Finally…

Now: oh dear. When I first saw them I thought they were alright. But now they just take things to a new level. I actually think musically/lyrically they are better than Tripod. They don’t need to dance in order to get laughs. It is a great example of writing. Hopefully their show on HBO keeps going!

To Music Video or Not to Music Video?

May 26, 2007 at 10:57 am | Posted in music video | Leave a comment

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That is the question.

A recent story was published in an issue of Alternative press called “Should Bands Bother Making Music Videos”. It was quite interesting to read as it had a range of band members putting forward their opinion as well as members of the public. It was interesting hearing mixed responses from the public, but overwhelming “for music videos” from the bands. I suppose like every medium at the moment, the way in which you can showcase a music video has changed. MTV seen as the major promo for the music video launched in 1981 with its 24hr music video showcase. Now if you look at MTV, they have a range of reality shows, variety shows and other shows. So the the days of just having music videos playing all day every day are gone. Therefore the competition to get shown on MTV with a video is incredibly high. So if you are a band just trying to get your name out there, there is little chance your video can get on there. If you also don’t have a well known director/producer attached to your music video, and a $250K budget then its not looking good. Bring on YouTube.

As Damian Kulash from Okgo demonstrated, you don’t need a lot of money in order to make a great video, and to actually showcase it. As long as the idea of the clip is strong it will have an audience. Their album was released over a year ago and yet this clip pushed them back onto the radar, all through the viral nature of digital.

The great thing is, you can reach a wider audience through this way. Previously if you weren’t shown on MTV it would have been difficult for someone overseas to really know about your band. But now you can reach people all over the world!

Additionally, the days of ‘exclusive’ clips are numbered. If you’re an Aussie, chances are, music videos that are shown in the states or in the UK we probably won’t see them on Video Hits/Rage/JTV for a long time. So we go to YouTube to watch them.

I suppose bands still see music videos as a way to get some form of promotion. But it’s like every piece of content these days, if it ain’t brilliant people will forget it. These days it seems great clips are embedded with revolutionary filmmaking techniques rather than linking the lyrics with the visuals. You just have to point to the Directors Series and you’ll see that these guys produced clips that may not necessarily have anything to do with the song, but have great animation techniques, special effects or are just cool.

I tend to agree with Troy Sanders from Mastodon when he says that “We view our records as soundtracks. Creating videos is a perfect way to establish meaning of a song through visuals.” It’s a way for people to realise what a song would look like in pictures rather than words.

PS I was a bit disappointed with the public comments on the subject, but I suppose it demonstrates the divide between what bands show in clips and what the public want to see. You have some people says “How else are we supposed to see if the band members are hot?” O…K…

mxed lols wrd prss

May 23, 2007 at 3:40 am | Posted in digital planning | Leave a comment

Check out this post on Mashable. It talks about the trend for social networking sites to mispell their names. Personally I think it’s just to make them look cool. Either that or they’re treating the net as one big SMS. They’ve looked at:

flickr Vs flicker

tumblr Vs tumbler

digg Vs dig

http://mashable.com/2007/05/22/web2-spelling/ 

Hilarious.

Chemical Brothers – Believe

May 23, 2007 at 12:04 am | Posted in music video | Leave a comment

When I first saw this clip I nearly freaked out. What beautiful cgi. I love the fact that the machines seem to have weight whenever they take a step. The actor is brilliant in this clip. I was not a big fan of the song, but the clip made me love it.

Crrreeeeppppyyy.

The Actor Guy!!

May 19, 2007 at 1:07 pm | Posted in Comedy | Leave a comment

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Sad to see them go. Very glad to have got the chance to have seen them. They produced possibly the best comedy TV show I have ever seen. Continuous, great, random storylines filled to the brim with funniness. What a great laugh.

This clip essentially just sums up why I loved it. Frank’s performance is really a trailer for his solo show.

Things I never thought I’d do… part 1

May 18, 2007 at 6:00 am | Posted in fun | Leave a comment

I don’t have actual footage of myself doing this, but I went on this ride in 1996. It’s in a roller coaster theme park in Japan called Orochi/Expoland. I was convinced by my friends to go on a ride (back then I was a scardy cat, I didn’t like roller coasters) anyway, so I agreed. And they dragged me to this ride. WHICH YOU GO ON STANDING UP. Now I know it’s probably not very exciting now, but back then all I knew was the The Beastie ride at Wonderland. Then they dragged me to the FRONT CARRIAGE!!

I was strapped in standing up, in the front carriage. So when you reach the summit, I was dangling there and looking down on the slope and nearly wet myself.

 BUT BOY WAS IT FUN!!

Yidcore Rock

May 16, 2007 at 5:15 am | Posted in music video | Leave a comment

Now I have to give a plug. For work purposes we began conversations with the lovely Myki at Vice, and discovered his little punk band Yidcore.  What an awesome name. I love when people have secret identities. I am actually a punk fan, so was pleased to hear that other people in the media/advertising/communications industry also love punk. Hooray!! It’s funny how many people have alternative lives, people have other hobbies that they do outside of work to have some form of creative outlet.

PS mine is filmmaking

On the rebound?

May 16, 2007 at 4:56 am | Posted in art | Leave a comment

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What a cool idea. I am always on the lookout for new and interesting things. And have found something funky. It’s called Rebound Books and is a Melbourne company that essentially have taken covers from all of those pre-loved leatherbound books and have refashioned them into new Notebooks. Check em out.

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