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Why Chris Anderson’s “Long Tail” theory might be all wrong July 14, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in art, commerce, film, music, tech.
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From: Slate

By Farhad Manjoo

The Long TailNearly four years ago, first in a widely cited articleand later in a best-selling book, Chris Anderson posited that the Internet, with its vast inventories of books, albums, and movies, would liberate the world from blockbuster schlock. Anderson, the editor ofWired, labeled his concept “the Long Tail,” after the shape our digital desires leave on a graph: When we buy stuff online, we can reach beyond big hits and into the “tail” of the demand curve, where we’re free to indulge our most obscure passions. Anderson argued that serving our niche interests could also make for booming Web businesses. This was the thrill of the Long Tail—it seemed to offer a way for art and commerce to thrive side-by-side.

Now, just in time for The Long Tail‘s paperback release, the book has fallen under critical scrutiny. Anita Elberse, a marketing professor at the Harvard Business School, recently examined several years’ worth of American movie- and music-sales data. The entertainment business has indeed seen its inventory shifting toward a Long Tail curve, Elberse writes in the Harvard Business Review. The shift is slight, however, and Anderson’s Long Tail is also “extremely flat.”



Julian Oliver: Cartography – the most influential art form? July 13, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in art, politics, religion, science, sociology.
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from: Julian Oliver Vimeo
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Video documentation of Julian Oliver’s keynote: Cartofictions: Maps, the Imaginary and GeoSocial Engineering at Inclusiva-net, Madrid 2008.

From the earliest world maps to Google Earth, cartography has been a vital interface to the world. It guides our perceptions of what the world is and steers our actions in it. As our knowledge about the world has changed, so have maps with it (or so we like to think).

In this lecture Julian shows a darker side of map-making, covering various reality-distorting effects innate to the graphic language of cartography and how they can be easily exploited for gain..

In doing so Julian positions cartography as an abstract and influentual creative practice, rich with the power to engineer political views, religious ideas and even the material world itself.

Julian Oliver: spatial-memory game July 13, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in art, creative, design, innovation.
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from: levelHead
Vodpod videos no longer available.

As yet unseen footage of the first stable version of levelHead, an augmented-reality spatial-memory game by Julian Oliver.

This is a spoiler for the first 3 levels. Don’t watch this if you want to solve them yourself..

Read more about the project here:


Subjectivity and the Subjugated July 11, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in anthropology, art, ethno.
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from: The nonist

Feathers and beak but not a bird, not quite. It is roughly man-shaped; and though the head tilts and the arms outstretch like a midnight stranger, without a face and without hands it is not a man either, not quite. It is Man-but-not-Man, that most ancient mold for the manufacture of disquiet, never failing to lend a nightmarish quality to the unknown. The light is cluttered with hard shadows and the mind, unsure, is forced toward interpretation. You are a child and it is a swooping, enveloping horror. You are a hunter and it’s an avenger. You are a Freudian and it is your mother hovering, unreachable, in the middle-distance. You are a seer and it is an omen. You are a vaudevillian and it is a punch-line delivered into silence. You are a captain of industry and it is an accusatory night-sweat. On and on for each. At bottom its simple: you are a you and it is not, which is enough. Its “otherness” provokes an aggressive subjectivity.


Cafesonique -the world’s first 3D virtual music community June 29, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in art, creative, design, innovation, music, tech.
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from Cafesonique.com

By creating virtual spaces from existing real-world environments, artist and music industry players will now have the ability to mold their unique vision and identity into a framework that wasn’t possible five years ago. Selling music-related merchandise in 3D, showcasing an act from the comfort of a virtual chair, and chatting in a familiar coffee shop not only will engage the artist and the consumer alike but also will pave the way to the next generation of musicians , singers, and song writer who have already developed a natural aptitude for online3D environments.

These new virtual spaces will also cater to the music industry support workforce including photographers, models, dancers, videographers, filmmakers, and actors. The creation of Cafesonique Campus fir virtual training and education is already underway as it the Art Center that will house virtual art galleries for cafesonique.com members to showcase their latest works.


Can A Poet Be More Accurate Than A Journalist? – II.- Cuba June 27, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in art, people, politics, writing.
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by Andrei Codrescu*

I went to Cuba in 1997, just before Pope John Paul IIs visit to the island. This time, I only had an NPR producer with me, Art Silverman, who did all his own recording, and a photographer, David Graham, who’d never been out of the U.S., but was well known for his photographs of middle-class Americans and the contemporary North American landscape. So we had one experienced producer, who’d been almost everywhere, including China, a poet with occasionally crazy ideas, and a photographer who found the tropical colors of Cuba dizzying. In fact, he never got over the fact that Cuba, seen through a photo lens, looks so sexy and fotogenic, that it’s almost impossible to photograph anything else. Having grown up in Romania, I was more alert about the hidden horrors that lay under all that tropical shimmer, and I was planning on not letting myself be seduced by it. Consequently, the sober prose in the book contrasts starkly with David’s delirious photographs. There is an interesting parallel here: David’s work has often been compared with that of Walker Evans (a “Walker Evans in color” as someone dubbed him). In 1933 Walker Evans went to Cuba with a left-wing journalist, Carleton eals, and together they produced a book called “The Crime of Cuba.”


From the Silk Road Into the Future June 15, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in art.
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By Lisa Dorin

From Universe in Universes

For anyone who has been following currents in large-scale international exhibitions over the last several years, that increasingly noteworthy examples of video art are emerging from Central Asia is no great surprise. The first-ever Central Asian Pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale in 2005 [1], curated by Victor Misiano, marked a defining moment for the region – solidifying it as one of the last frontiers of the global art world. Video, more than any other medium, surfaced as lingua franca of sorts, through which the seemingly isolated experiences of Central Asian artists were effectively translated for an international audience.


Lubok, the Art of Old Russian Comics June 15, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in art.
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The lubki (sing. lubok) are Russian hand made folk prints representing a rich and expressive layer of this country’s culture, history and art. These once popular simple printed pictures coloured by hand eloquently speak about life and outlook of the common people of the past.

First these broadsides were called friazhskie (coming from the West), then “funny sheets” and for a long time prostoviki (simple things) or the common people’s pictures. In the 19th century they got the name of lubok.


Publishing The Unpublishable June 14, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in art, creative.
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Edited by Kenneth Goldsmith

What constitutes an unpublishable work? It could be many things: too long, too experimental, too dull; too exciting; it could be a work of juvenilia or a style you’ve long since discarded; it could be a work that falls far outside the range of what you’re best known for; it could be a guilty pleasure or it could simply be that the world judges it to be awful, but you think is quite good. We’ve all got a folder full of things that would otherwise never see the light of day.


The (Real) Sound of Silence June 11, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in art, creative, music, science.
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Science shows what we all instinctively know: pauses in music speak loudly to the brain.
The (Real) Sound of Silence
Image: Yaroslav B/Anna Gosline

In the second section of Samuel Barber’s exquisitely mournful composition “Adagio for Strings,” the cellos, violas, and violins join together to build to a rising melodic climax, reaching a thrilling, almost keening peak of grief – and then sharply stop. There is a breathtaking silence that lasts several long seconds. Finally, after more than a few thudding heartbeats, the instruments resume their play with a series of soft chords that now seem painfully delicate, carrying the piece to its sighing, fading conclusion.


Marc Hauser + Errol Morris June 11, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in art, film, politics, science.
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The evolutionary psychologist and the documentary filmmaker discuss game theory, Stanley Milgram, and whether science can make us better people.

From: Seed Magazine

Errol Morris Credit: Julian Dufort

Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris has made a career of trafficking in moral ambiguity and complexity. Evolutionary psychologist Marc Hauser has pioneered research into the idea of a universal morality grounded in biology. Hauser believes humans possess a moral grammar; Morris isn’t so sure. The two met when Morris asked Hauser to be part of his short film for the 2007 Oscars. They kept in touch, exchanged ideas, and Hauser attended an early screening of Standard Operating Procedure, Morris’s film about the abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib. Recently in Boston they debated game theory, Stanley Milgram, and whether science can make us better people.


King of Roma Music Saban Bajramovic Dies June 8, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in art, music.
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King of Roma Music Saban Bajramovic Dies

King of Roma Music Saban Bajramovic Dies

Roma singer, composer and actor, Saban Bajramovic, died today in a hospital in the Serbian city of Nis.A year ago, Bajramovic had a heart attack and from that moment he spent most of his time in hospital. There are speculations that he was in financial problems and that the state recently gave him immediate social aid.

He fell in love with music when he was in prison, after he was arrested as deserter from the former Yugoslavian army. In this period he fell in love with music and started intensively to practice it. He ran a dissolute life, and above all he loved women, gambling and alcohol. However, one thing is sure – he left and undeletable trace behind him, writing the history of Roma music.