Archive for April, 2009

Phoning home

The little robot photographer that could.

The strange death of French street photography

Why did the French allow their great tradition of humanist street photography to die and (apparently) be forgotten among ordinary people? Blogger 779, on a trip to France, pondered the mystery… “It has long been a mystery to me why there are [ now ] no notable contemporary French street photographers [ and why ] […]

Emotional mapping

A free ebook has just been published, Emotional Cartography: Technologies of the Self. It’s officially launched in London on Friday.. “Emotional Cartography is a collection of essays from artists, designers, psychogeographers, cultural researchers, futurologists and neuroscientists, brought together by Christian Nold, to explore the political, social and cultural implications of visualising intimate biometric data and […]

Digging into Digbeth

Opening on Thursday 23rd April 09, a new exhibition featuring oral history collected from the people of Digbeth in Birmingham. Echoes From The Edge is a “living history” contemporary art exhibition at The Edge gallery in Digbeth. Visitors will be taken in groups (booking is essential) around two installations, evoking a pub and a Second […]

Fisking MacWhirter

Alex Massie fisks Iain MacWhirter’s recent attacks on bloggers.

Steampunk magazine No.5

Steampunk magazine No.5 has just been published (free online)…

Slow-luxe travel

Ian Jack offers a charming account of travelling on the unsubsidised Wrexham & Shropshire, and experiencing the English landscape by train. It strikes me that Shropshire might pitch some upmarket educative / history-focussed short breaks to civilised Londoners, on the back of the obvious appeal of getting there on the Wrexham & Shropshire service.

More arts cuts

This time next week, once the budget spin has stopped spinning long enough for Tory central office to examine the fine-print, we should know how heavily the arts are to be cut… “If the worst-case scenario is enacted, it will all but wipe out any real terms gains made in government arts funding over the […]

JURN out of beta

Academic search-engine JURN is now out of beta, having added over 1,300 arts & humanities ejournal titles to the index since it was launched two months ago (when it had a piffling 950 titles indexed). It’s now indexing 2,294 titles. Also: JURN now has a handy Firefox Search plugin (also works in IE, I’m told, […]

Sim life

Gregg Segal photographs cos-play fans, notably those who dress up as 17th century pirates and 20th century superheroes, in-costume and at home…

Thomas Bewick

The curators at Birmingham’s Ikon Gallery have placed a 20 minute video documentary online, about the life and work of one of the finest British wood engravers, Thomas Bewick. The video accompanies their current exhibition of “Thomas Bewick: Tale-pieces”, showing a selection of the humorous ‘absurd situations’ vignettes Bewick inserted into the end-papers of his […]

Bunnies beware

Well, this is a novel premise for a new West Midlands blog… “Middle-aged bloke takes to the fields with an air rifle in search of food.”

Visual Methods

An interesting-sounding photography / ethnography conference in the UK: First International Visual Methods Conference. University of Leeds, 15th – 17th September 09.

Open mind

100 Free ‘Open Courseware’ Classes from MIT, on Journalism, Blogging and New Media.

Set to go

What kind of new type of techno-theatre could you cook up if you had all the resources of MIT at your disposal? The video “Death and the Powers” showcases… “groundbreaking advances in musical language and materials, scenographic technique, and performance technology”…. Going a lot further, into the realms of a future augmented reality, is a […]

Arsing around

Your office chair can tweet. Actually, an office chair that detects and tweets about fever and other signs of illness could be a useful thing to deploy on a mass scale. So could a chair that detects the absence of a PC user and manages power accordingly.


Tasty Labcasts from the MIT Media Lab. Videos include: “Urban Pixels” (Setting pixels free, and blurring the boundary between street lighting and digital displays); “The Online Magician” (A new technological magic show); and “Death and the Powers” (to showcase groundbreaking advances in musical language and materials, scenographic technique, and performance technology). HQ versions are available.

Heavenly Gardens in Hellish Places

An interesting forthcoming conference, for those interested in ‘extreme gardening’, and extreme gardens such as Prospect Cottage and Little Sparta… Heavenly Gardens in Hellish Places: SGD Autumn Conference, 3rd October 09. Imperial College, London. The garden is a form of earthly paradise that designers are often called upon to create in the most unpromising and […]

Jumpgate Evolution

A delicious set of screenshots from the new space-faring game, Jumpgate Evolution, due for a Codemasters release in late June 09… I doubt I’ll ever play it (it’ll be a monthly-subscription MMO game), but it certainly looks lovely — and the competition should keep Eve Online on its toes. Let’s hope so, since Eve Online‘s […]

Top 10 “tasty trash” movies of 2000 – 2009

Mick LaSalle of The San Francisco Chronicle gets in early with a choice of “best films of the 2000s”. Oddly, his column doesn’t even mention the most fully-realised film of the entire 2000s, Spirited Away — yet trash such as the dismal and forgettable Bridget Jones’s Diary (“the decade’s best romantic comedy”, apparently — did […]