Archive for July, 2006

Audio art

The first part of a new BBC Radio 4 series on the commercial art world, now available for online listening.

Microsoft Photosynth

This time last year I blogged about the potential to ‘steal’ places in digital form. Now Microsoft is developing Microsoft Photosynth to enable this sort of thing. Of course, such tools could also be used for interior spaces such as galleries. And doubtless software companies like the makers of software such as iClone and 3DS […]

Uses of Blogs

Hot on the heels of the recent book on the uses and philosophy of wikis, comes the book The Uses of Blogs (publishing 31st July, apparently; although Amazon doesn’t seem to know this). I could be wrong, but it seems to be the first in-depth academic book on blogs. Read the introductory chapter here (PDF, […]

Sunday morning cycle-herd wrangler

Unlucky Lotto numbers

New research on how the National Lottery has been used to massively fund public services. To the detriment of the arts, since it… “… has led to an estimated £800 million cut in funding for the arts and charities”

The highland fling

Scotland is seriously considering tax exemption for resident artists. Meanwhile, photographer Albert Watson is selling up in New York and coming back to live in Scotland.

Friday 5.30am bicycle ride

Shock horror

Remember those comedy-horror films where the monster would be regenerated by passing a surge of electricity through his last remaining finger? Oh, how we laughed at such an impossible science…

‘Art of Pop’ online

The first part of The Art of Pop is now available for listening online. The BBC radio documentary looks at the links between British art schools and British pop music… “There isn’t another country in Europe that has anything like our sheer level of provision of art schools, nor has the sheer eccentricity of provision […]

“It just clicked…”

A New Statesman round-table on the state of e-learning in education, plus technology and the UK skills base… “If we are asking questions in [e-]education to which you can get an off-the-shelf answer, then we are asking the wrong questions … [In terms of] flexible learning, we are talking about [normal] people who will fit […]


A new free interactive ‘visual novel’ engine has just been released (What’s a visual novel?). There’s a sample of the sort of storytelling it produces here (35mb, Windows). There’s interesting potential for steering this away from manga and into digital storytelling of real-life stories, I think.

The new folk art

100 artists and a folkloric ‘alternative clock’ in Southwold. With events like this and Bestival and the Banbury Hobbyhorse Festival, are we seeing the beginnings of a resurgent and refreshed English visual eccentricity, after a relatively dormant period?

Arts & accidents

Why artists need liability insurance. Especially as there seems to be an increasing tendency toward casually assuming that “the bigger, the better” in art.

Turning point

Andrew Sullivan hits the nail precisely and firmly on the head… “I invite the faithful to wait for good news. We shall soon witness the elimination of the Zionist stain of shame,” — Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaking about Israel on 18.07.06. I don’t think there can be much doubt that Ahmadinejad’s eschatology demands a […]

Microsoft Robotics Studio

Maybe I’ve been listening to too much early Numan, but the new Microsoft Robotics Studio v1.0 preview sounds interesting. There’s a real-time real-world physics engine included, for virtual simulated interaction with your personal robot. Javascript, running in a web browser, controls the test robot at the same time as interacting with a fine-grained RSS-like feedback […]

One percent rule

Just to put this week’s “gosh, there are lots of bloggers in the USA!” hype in perspective. The numbers add up to about 8 percent of all U.S. net users claiming to “have a blog” of some sort. Take out the mass (perhaps more than 30 percent) of MySpace / Deviantart / etc pages updating […]

Teflon romantics

Thomas Benton on the final results of teaching his English Literature theory course. He found that the pomo theory had simply rolled off the back of their inherent and ingrained romanticism… “In a course I taught last spring, after three months of tracing the development of literary theory from humanism to structuralism to poststructuralism to […]

Sunday newspaper watch

The Sunday Times profiles the Bestival organisers (9,000 people in eccentric fancy dress on the Isle of Wight). The Observer reviews Matt Madden’s excellent graphic novel storytelling instruction-kit 99 Ways to Tell a Story. The Sunday Times profiles Louise MacBain, owner of Art+Auction, Modern Painters, and Minnette Marin on the gaping class divide in […]

How to set up an art gallery has a three-part guide to setting up your own art gallery: one | two | three.

Pop art

Starting next Tuesday on BBC Radio 4 (11.30am), a 3 x 30-minute series exploring the influence of British art schools on British pop music.