Sunday, May 31, 2009

Alumnus


alumnus

Ian Aleksander Adams, Alumnus, Savannah College of Art and Design

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography, Summa Cum Laude, Outstanding Achievement Award

 

This blog will return to posting as soon as the family has gone home.

 

Upcoming topics:

Curatorial Vs. Ideational Projects. MFA Show Reviews.

Time’s Arrow. Crisis for Infinite Nerds. Alternative Media Class Featured Work.

Calls for Entry and Deadlines List for June. Repost Megapost for May.

 

Stay Tuned Space Fans

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 11:46 pm  

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

On Ambition and the Photographic Lifestyle


Bryan Formhals, over at La Pura Vida where he has a history of featuring interesting and relevant commentary, made a post responding to a quote by Blake Andrews, which I’m reprinting here:

“The photography-integrated-into-life method is decidedly unfashionable. The huge majority of photographers I saw at Photolucida were more project oriented. The prevailing model is to develop a concept of something that has photographic potential —often of personal interest but not always— and then methodically take photographs of that project until a body of work is created, with the ultimate goal of showing the work at Photolucida or similar venue.

The potential pitfall of this method is that the resulting photographs can seem secondary to the project. Often the artist statement conveys all the information required and you needn’t look at more than a few photos to get the gist of it. Such projects may be appropriate for the idea-centric art world but they enslave photography as a tool, not a lifestyle.

I think photographs should come first.  Arrange them in projects later if you must or else leave them as is in a big loose stack. Either way, photography that is integral to life seems to me to be the strongest because it comes from purest motivation: the very simple need to translate the world into photographs. Of course I am biased because this how I approach my own work, but it’s what I like to see in others too.”

This is something I have run into while reviewing portfolios myself, as well as being the subject of portfolio reviews. I think it may be considered obvious by some, but it’s important that it is still pointed out. It’s almost like no one talks about it because it’s so obvious. It’s just “the way things are.”

Bryan responds:

“Put simply, I don’t think the fine art photography establishment has much respect for [the non-project based] photographic philosophy or method (look at the general derision toward street photography and family photography for example).  I know plenty of studious, intelligent photographers out there who treat photography as a way of life  and don’t have any sort of fine art ambition.

Maybe that’s what it comes down to: ambition.  I have this feeling, one I certainly can’t prove scientifically, but somehow I think having an ambition to make it in the fine art world interferes with your photographic intuition to some degree.  There’s a danger that the conceptual part of your brain and eye will smother the intuitive part.  Is there a way to find a balance?  Of course.  Do I have any idea how? Nope, but I do think mixing the vernacular, “integrated-into-life method” with the project method can lead to some very exciting photography.  But will the fine art world pay attention?”

While there is an extensive history of recognized fine artists working with a diarist approach to photography, Bryan is referring specifically to our current commercial art world, dominated by photography contests and portfolio reviews.

It’s a fair question and one I felt warranted response. I left a comment there, but I’m reprinting it here as a way of inviting you to keep the discussion ongoing.

I think even with ambition, there is often a wall you hit.

I know I’ve had trouble explaining to people that a project is about visual sensibility. Often they want a quick subject: “I shoot heroin addicts” etc.

Like, with Gray Days, it really is a more poetic sequence, about the images themselves, not about subjects.

The art world is dominated, for the most part, by a fanatical adoration of subject (so work can be easily promoted and blurbed about) and object (as in the actual salable print or sculpture, etc.)

So basically, art “projects” tend to be about some “interesting” subject, in a series of a manageable length, lets say 10-20 pieces, which can be split up and sold as singular objects with assigned value.

When people talk about the art, they talk about the prints themselves, creating this value based upon less interesting aspects such as size or edition, or more ethereal criteria like “quality.”

When someone’s photographic career is discussed, “What do you shoot?” might be the most common early question. “What do you shoot with?” is probably a close second. Almost immeasurably rarer is “How do you shoot?” The answer is often a lot more interesting, though.

Concerning “what,” the photographic subject is often a player in a game of “bet you haven’t seen this before,” a game that only retains it’s excitement as long as “new” or “exotic” subjects are successively displayed for your viewing pleasure. The second question, asked more often by technical junkies (or a lensbro, as illustrated above), is usually only interesting to said equipment-aware inside crowd.

The third question, which I think should be asked more, helps us learn how others see, how they perceive. When people ask this question, my attention is held for longer, I become inquisitive about their mode of living, their subjective reality. Variations on this question: “How do you see?” or “Why do you shoot?”

So, a conversation at a portfolio review often follows a predictable formula.

“What do you shoot/shoot with?” followed by a discussion based upon subject + project = object.

The job of the photographer in this situation is to find and then pitch the subject, which they then do a project about, transforming the subject into an object that can be consumed and sold in a commercial setting, the gallery. Obviously there are variations, but 90% of the conversations between reviewer and photographer follow that kind of organization.

As I mentioned above, the problem with this approach is that the interest to the viewing public is almost a literal translation from the original objects pictured. I’ve often felt, in a gallery, that it would be more interesting to just have the still lives displayed as installations, the people in front of me to talk to, the actual subjects themselves, even with contemporary photography that’s quite “successful.”

The photographer often reacts: “But that’s impossible, I can’t bring that stuff in. And then it wouldn’t be something I created anyhow!” Well, maybe you can’t, but others do. It’s not impossible. They have, they did. People are putting up installations and performances and taking viewers to the interest right now. Maybe you should think of yourself as a curator instead, if that helps – you just have to do what is most interesting.

So what’s so special about photography? Photography is about the individual vision, whether it’s concerned with controlling context, aesthetic interpretation, etc. It’s not really about the subject, at least it can’t be just the subject that’s interesting.

This is, often, the same reason I’m not as interested in lifestyle work – it would be more interesting to actually be living that lifestyle than looking at pictures of it, and since many of those situations are actually within reach (party photography, drugs photography, a fair amount of sex photography), why would I be looking at photographs of some other people doing drugs and being cool when I’m already bored with it in real life? Or could be doing it myself at that moment, instead?

So I’m more interested in people who photograph because they are interested in what photography does. How it helps them understand their world, how it helps them organize, or find mystery, or express their mood. To an extent, every photographer understands this, but not enough allow it to be their primary creative force (as the quotes above talk about.) Regardless of their individual approach, a personal vision is so important.

The Bechers shot silos, yes, but the way they shot them was what was interesting. No one cares about silos, not really. They care about the idea of cateloges, the idea of grids, the idea of a centered and organized vision. Terry Richardson shoots sex, sure, but it’s his vision that moves with a particularly succesful brand of asshole. Eggleston, Goldin, even Ansel Adams in his way, though outdated in the importance he places on the print.

It’s a tradition that started, like all photography, in the dark rooms, and has been in the galleries for generations, but does seem strangely separate from the “emerging artist” culture we see at events like Photolucida. Maybe we are all trying too hard to be organized, to sum up our life’s work in a speed dating situation.

Many of the people who do amazing things on the net, often flickr but not always, care more about this mood, life, or overall sensibility that comes out of a body of images. For many of these artists, the print fetishism of prior generations just doesn’t exist. It doesn’t matter how many times pieces are reproduced, and while many have the ability to create a good print or beautiful book, they print their work in zines, post it on blogs, hand it out in any way possible.

I love this way of working, and I think self publishing places like Blurb can be used to add a little more permanence to these publications, but I don’t see it necessarily even wanting to become the art/gallery world as it is.

A lot of this comes from the art school, where we are constantly asked to do projects, but the art school mode comes from the commercial world, since they are trying to train us to be viable.

In some ways, it’s totally positive. They want us to get in the mindset of constantly doing work so we don’t fall out of it after we graduate. On the flip side, it tends to burn out and frustrate people who would rather be working with longer periods of more organic creativity.

To be fair, portfolio review events are invaluable for the introductions they make – but they only show that value through ongoing relationships. Likewise, it is important to be able to recognize your subject matter and give it the attention it deserves. I just think it doesn’t need to be the primary obsession – the actual act of image making, the understanding of what images do, should take that role.

Anyway, there will be a balance. Commercial spaces with lots of funding will be able to continue to taut their bookings as highly influential and important, and blogs like this one will continue to feature work by people found at the edges of the art world, but only time will really tell what the most important photographic trends are right now. I think a good deal of them are these more home-brewed projects that tend to find their way into the public consciousness.

Further discussion and response:

Jörg Colberg at Conscientious

Bryan Formhals at La Pura Vida

Camden Hardy’s Blog


posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 11:20 pm  

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Farewell Bergen Hall


http://www.scad.edu/about/images/facilities_bergen_001.jpg

I’m sure it’s not goodbye forever, but it feels like an important moment.

Tonight was my last shift in Bergen Hall as a workstudy building monitor. Since I don’t  have a photography class this quarter, I probably won’t step back into this building as a student. Next time I enter I’ll be an alumni, as I get six months of access to the facilities, for which I am very thankful.

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Overall the workstudy job has been enjoyable. I have to say I won’t miss smelling like photo chemicals when I make it home at 12:30 in the morning, but I did enjoy helping people with their inkjet printing and the freedom I had to work on my own reading and writing while on duty.

My last tutoring shift was this past Friday.  I decided to do it in the inkjet labs,  instead of on the first floor where I usually teach, since everyone was scrambling to finish their finals before Monday classes. It was a whirlwind of paper jams, photoshop crashes, corrupted hard drives, incorrect file sizes, and aesthetic calamity. Somehow most people seemed to pull everything together at the last minute though, which I saw as I covered inkjet monitor shifts through the rest of the weekend. Luckily, the ink stores held.

At least till Sunday,  when we ran out of photo-magenta for  the entire canon lab. I feel bad for everyone who left their printing till last minute.

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Anyway, it’s been four years here and I do feel ready to move on. I’m honestly not sure if I’ll ever print in the dark room again. Some people are doing interesting work about it, but I’m content to let it be a pleasurable past memory.

I’ve really been enjoying the epsilon printer here, since my film scans come out looking like film again and the cell phone camera murals we printed were delightful, but I always felt like all the paper and chemicals I used in the traditional gangs were sort of wasteful, not to mention the time. Great learning experiences, but not something I need to keep in my workflow. It’s probable that the next time I see the interior of a darkroom it will be as an instructor.

It was meditative and enlightening, but I’m ready to do different things. I’m keeping my film though – I invested in a film scanner a couple years ago and I think it was one of the best moves I’ve ever made.

So, that’s it for Bergen, for now. I’ll miss the fish in the basement the most.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 10:06 pm  

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Prelude To Gray Days Closing This Friday


prelude

Starland Cafe and Art Gallery, 11 East 41st Street, Savannah, GA

Right around the corner from Desoto Row, so see all the shows there too, get free food and drinks and listen to great music!

Prelude’s closing reception is this Friday. The show’s been a great success so far, thanks to everyone who’s sent me kind words about it or bought a piece. Michael, at Starland, has been wonderful, and the opening featured great food (which should be no surprise to anyone who’s ever eaten at the starland) and this awesome rum drink he mixed up.

I’m graduating the next day after this, so lets forget about quiet introspection and have a real good time, alright?

My parents will even be there, probably drunk since they’re divorced. You should be too! Not divorced, I mean. Or drunk necessarily. Just be there.

Let me know if you have any questions!

RSVP at Facebook. Larger flyer available on Flickr.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 9:22 pm  

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Google Similar Image Search


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http://www3.malone.edu/media/1/38/76/MVC-018S.JPG

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m177/Olimlah/DSC_0125.jpg

It’s possible there are still some kinks to work out, but Google’s Similar Image Search is already pretty amusing.

It is not, of course, going to make surf clubs obsolete. How can something like that ever become obsolete?

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 4:05 pm  

Friday, May 22, 2009

Lucas Foglia Interview – Re-Wilding


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Lucas Foglia just finished his first year in the Yale graduate program and his series Re-Wilding should probably be familiar to you by now, since it’s been making its way around the internet. If you’re not plugged into the blog world, you may have seen the image above on a recent PDN cover.

His images, while modern in terms of photographic convention, are not always easily placeable. They seem to have a film aesthetic, yet are shot digital. They vibrate with a variety of anachronistic subjects, clothing styles, tools, settings. They are concerned with a very small segment of the population, yet don’t seem to be a freak show – the subjects are not harassed by the camera. Some of them are heavier than others, but it is unclear how much of the weight is brought by the viewer, by the camera, and how much is actually pressing on the subject of the image.

While I am content to let the individual images have their mystery, I wondered about his methods of working, his feelings on this ambient ambiguity in his images. I sent him an email and he was kind enough to answer a few questions for me.

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Ian Aleksander Adams: Mostly, I’ve seen the statement for Re-Wilding reprinted with your images, but I did come across a little interview with you at Feature Shoot.

I was intrigued by this statement:

“‘I think of my photographs as fictions that are accurate to the spaces in which I am photographing. Utopia implies a place in which social, legal, and political justice exist in perfect harmony. While I admire my subjects’ skills and intentions, I do not want to depict a utopia. Instead, this series is about the complexity of people’s relationship to nature and survival in one of the few developed countries in which there is still a wilderness we can return to’.” (emphases mine)

This idea of accurate fictions is one I think is very relevant in contemporary photography. These images are not studio, but I hesitate to call them documentary. Do you find people classing your work as “documentary” often? Is this a classification you shy from or are willing to work within?

Lucas Foglia: Philip Gefter, a former picture editor for the New York Times, said that “a picture may not be worth a thousand words, but a picture and a good caption are worth one thousand ten.” The caption specifies the date, the place and to a large extent the meaning of the image. The photograph alone, by putting a frame around a portion of the world at a specific moment in time, can only ‘look real’ and imply form, movements, emotions and relationships of the subjects within the frame.

Recently my photographs have been classified as documentary, as environmental portraiture, etc. I’m not sure I fit into any specific doctrine for making images, so rather than defining my work in relation to a classification, I’ll describe my process.

Since 2006 I have visited, befriended, photographed and interviewed a network of people in Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia who have responded to environmental concerns by moving to rural areas and adopting wilderness or homesteading lifestyles. My subjects vary in their religious beliefs and cultural practices but they all share a desire for self-sufficiency; a desire that, at least in part, guides their behaviors and stated values.

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During my visits, I participate in daily life. I take candid photographs, but often ask my subjects to hold still or alter their actions for the sake of a better visual image. I also work collaboratively with my subjects to recreate events that I have observed, occasionally re-photographing and compositing different images. My process of making images varies; what matters to me is the form and content of the final image.  At the same time, I want my art to make a subject accessible, a subject that is, or is made to seem, accurate and relevant.

When I began the series, the individuals and families I photograph did not self-identify with a single, centrally organized movement. Incorporating early American, Christian homesteading and hippie cultures, in 2007 I borrowed a term from Green Anarchism to call my subjects Re-Wilders. In recent news coverage, the term Re-Wilding has been adopted and used.

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A Bit of Background: I come from an agricultural background, although one that was far less removed from the grid than many of the people who I photograph. My paternal grandparents purchased a seven acre farm in Long Island in the early 1960’s. When I was born in 1983, my parents purchased three adjacent acres with the idea of creating an agricultural lifestyle inspired by the back-to-the-land ethos of Helen and Scott Nearing and the counterculture movements of the 1960’s.  As the land around us continued to develop into suburbs, we heated with wood, grew and canned a portion of our food and bartered plants and landscaping for everything from shoes to dentistry. At the same time, we remained connected to the electrical grid and, by the time I left for college, my immediate family owned four cars, five computers and one nonworking television.

When I bought my van and started traveling South, I was in many ways looking for visual proof that people could live according to utopic ideals. What I found was a network of people who, like my family, worked to maintain alternative lifestyles but also drove to stores, used cell phones and chainsaws, etc. I learned that there are no hard and fast rules, no absolutes. I am fascinated by the points of intersection between my subjects’ ideals, the ubiquitous availability of the mainstream world and the hard work necessary to maintain an alternative lifestyle.

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IAA: How important is it that the images are “truthful?” Is truthful the same as accurate? Like, you mention the “complexity of people’s relationship to nature and survival” – are people too complex to ever be summed up by something as unflinching as the common idea of “truth.” Perhaps artistic and expressive truth is more fluid.

Lucas: I don’t want my photographs to have truth or authority over a subject. I would rather have insight.

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IAA: In a totally different direction, I had a few questions about your education as a photographer. A lot of my readers are undergraduate students, and since you are finishing up your first year at grad school, I was wondering how that experience has been for you.

Lucas: I did just finish my first year of grad school in the Yale School of Art, and on a basic level I think of photography in a different way than when I entered the program last fall. The Yale MFA is about making photographs. I think the challenge is to make photographs that are complicated in both form and content; photographs that reveal instead of illustrate; photographs that try to advance the medium of photography. So far, I have been showing images from my Re-Wilding series and from a handful of other projects. The critiques have been difficult and constructive, as expected. They want me to push at my comfort zone and experiment.

In our first class meeting, Greg Crewdson recommended that we choose the one percent of what we hear in critique that is helpful and use it to make better pictures…

Lucas can be found at http://www.lucasfoglia.com. As he notes on his website: A portion of the proceeds from every print sale will be donated to the subject of the photograph or a related charity.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 6:41 pm  

Friday, May 22, 2009

Clark Kent: Blogger?


“Truth is, even superheroes couldn’t get us out of the mess we’re in now. Superman can stop bullets, move mountains and crush coal into diamonds, but he can’t help us. He works for a newspaper. He needs a job. He wants to leap tall buildings and then crash on your couch. Batman can’t help you. He can’t get parts for his big, stupid American car. And Wonder Woman can’t help you, because we don’t allow gays in uniform.”

–Bill Maher, “Superheroes Can’t Save California”

Via Occasional Superheroine

I’ve actually been wondering about this a lot lately, since I am a giant dork. I know that Ultimate Peter Parker manages the Bugle’s website, but although Clark has experience as a tv newscaster, I’m not sure he knows much about the internet. I haven’t read any recent superman trades though, so who knows – maybe he already works at huffington post.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 12:26 pm  

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

An Introduction to Dystopia and Negative-Utopia


While a utopia is an amazingly perfect society – one so far from our imaginations as to be thought of as unreachable – a dystopia is a state of living where things are unbearably horrible. Some authors make a distinction between these “regular” horrible situations and cultures that start from, or perhaps masquerade as utopian societies, calling these negative-utopias.

Unlike an actual utopia, when many of these worlds are presented in fiction, they seem to be just within reach of our reality making it an interesting sub-genre worth examining. This list is an introduction to dystopic science fiction, examining some of the wide reaching possibilities inherent in the idea.

Not all of the worlds presented are as obvious, nor are they all horrible in the same way. The storytellers take the idea of a society at extremes and weave a variety of outcomes.

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Atwood, Margaret. Oryx and Crake. New York: Doubleday, 2003.

This novel by Margaret Atwood may not be as well known as The Handmaid’s Tale (1985), an earlier book that tells the story of a totalitarian theocracy that also fits into the umbrella of dystopic fiction, but it may be one of the most interesting recent titles to deal with utopia and dystopia. Two distinct periods are presented, an advanced capitalistic society complete with genetic engineering and a post apocalyptic Earth, possibly a new Eden.

Booker, M. Keith. Dystopian Literature: A Theory and Research Guide. New York: Greenwood Press, 1994.

This excellent academic text takes the reader through an intensive study of dystopian writing. M. Keith Booker starts with cultural criticism from Louis Althusser to Walter Benjamin and Friedrich Nietzche, and continues through in depth examinations of a wide variety of written and filmic texts. He includes both a selection of Utopian and Dystopian pieces. Each has a short description and is related to other texts, making this a great companion volume to primary sources.

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Dick, Philip K. Valis. New York: Bantam Books, 1981.

Philip K. Dick is a hugely influential writer, and his 1981 novel Valis, while not directly adapted into any other medium, inspired Grant Morrison’s comic series The Invisibles (1994-2000) and the Wachowski Brothers film, The Matrix (1999). Dick’s semi-autobiographical, perhaps insane, account introduces the concept of a meta-reality that has controlled our perceptions for thousands of years, coining the dark phrase “The Empire Never Ended.” This “Empire” blocks any real spiritual progress of its captives.

Greenberg, Martin, Joshep D. Olander, and Eric S. Rabkin, eds. No Place Else: Explorations in Utopian and Dystopian Fiction. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1982.

No Place Else is a collection of scholarly essays on various dystopic texts. In it, the stories of Kurt Vonnegut, Ray Bradbury, Ursula Le Guinn, and many more seminal authors are examined by an impressive stable of academic writers. The fourteen essays included, closer to social criticism and analysis than summary or review, help readers understand the meaning woven into the selected texts, which are often taken at face value by casual readers.

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Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2005.

This contemporary reprint of Aldous Huxley’s seminal novel Brave New World (1932) also includes an important follow-up essay, Revisited, written in 1958. Huxley, a master of dark satire, wrote of a society controlled not by fear (as in Orwell’s 1984), but by pleasure: an intended utopia gone disturbingly wrong. This novel is often held as a prime example of “negative utopia,” a term used by Huxley, differentiated from more obvious dystopic settings by its parody of optimist utopian novels.

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Miller, Frank. Batman: the Dark Knight Returns. New York: DC Comics, 1996.

A revisionist story based upon an iconic American hero, this graphic novel, originally published in serialized comic book form, influenced an entire generation of comic creators. The presentation of Gotham City as an even more crime dominated reality causes readers to wonder if comics were ever as innocent as they once seemed. Frank Miller’s gritty writing style matches his unforgiving art, creating a world where even the supposed heroes seem caught in a dark machine.

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Orwell, George. Nineteen Eighty-Four. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1949.

Often the novel most mentioned in relation to the term “dystopia,” Nineteen Eighty-Four tells the story of a man caught in an amazingly repressive society dominated by a totalitarian government. Constantly referenced in popular culture, this novel introduced the terms “Big Brother” and “doublespeak,” as well as the use of “Orwellian” as a description for many related concepts. For many, this book linked the idea of dystopia to totalitarianism, though it’s a more multifaceted concept.

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Pleasantville. Dir. Gary Ross. Perf. Tobey Maguire, Reese Witherspoon, William H. Macy. DVD. New Line Home Video, 1998.

One of the more interesting investigations of utopian and dystopic situations, Pleasantville invites the viewer into a seemingly wonderful 50’s sitcom world, which is then followed to its disturbing conclusions. While one of the few stories that actually has a happy ending, perhaps because of its commercial film production and distribution, its examinations of personal repression are accessible to a wide audience, making it an ideal introduction to critique of utopian suburban ideals.

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Shelley, Mary W. THE LAST MAN. London: Henry Colburn, 1826.

One of the earliest examples of modern dystopic literature, The Last Man was actually written 43 years before the first recorded mention of the term “dystopia.” The story, originally published as a three novel set, is also an excellent example of apocalyptic fiction and an introduction to the common science fiction plot of an extreme world-wide plague with an eventual lone survivor. This book asks if lack of any other human contact is also dystopic.

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Sterling, Bruce, ed. Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology. New York: Arbor House Pub Co, 1989.

While perhaps not as evenly enjoyable as some collections by the individual authors featured, Mirrorshades does include an excellent essay by editor Bruce Sterling on the sci-fi subgenre of Cyberpunk, which is often linked with dystopic fiction, since it presents post-industrial worlds where excessive technology never solves the problems of mankind. This book is a great introduction to important authors such as William Gibson and Pat Cadigan, though it does not include a few others such as Neal Stephenson, whose Snowcrash was published in 1992.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 8:43 pm  

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Elizabeth Heppenstall’s Twitter Update


“A lot of people you know are eating right now, a lot of people you know are having sex right now, and a lot of people you know are pooping right now.”

- Elizabeth, after I told her I was talking about twitter.

As she mentioned, you can just keep that statement, and it’s related variations, in mind and not have to check your twitter.

The last post generated a fair amount of interesting conversation. As Dan remarked, it would be nice if you could comment directly on a google reader post and have it show up on the original posting. Perhaps there is a plugin for that kind of action? I assume, that, it’s in the works at least.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 11:40 pm  

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Twitter Trending Analysis by Meg Pickard


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This scarily accurate visual representation of a twitter trend is by web anthropologist Meg Pickard. It’s obviously tongue in cheek, but it’s close enough to reality for me to mention that it’s not actually from collected data. That would be interesting to see, though, and it’s possible that Meg has the chops to put it together. According to her flickr, she’s “been studying and writing about the anthropology of internet interaction since the mid-90s,  blogging since early 2000 and these days looks after social media for The Guardian.”

As Cory on Boing Boing remarks, “Outside of Twitter, this applies to pretty much any popular newsworthy topic…the news quickly moves from ‘we’re telling you about Topic X’ to media coverage of the media coverage of Topic X. See: Twitter’s own coverage in the media currently.”

I should point people to this graph when asked why I’m not on twitter yet. I try to avoid the hump of irrelevence, a term which I hope enters the common lexicon fairly quickly, as much as possible. Besides the meta-dickery, twitter seems to mostly be about what various people had for breakfast. Since I tend to either sleep through the meal or skip it on the way out the door, I only have fairly detached feelings of jealousy tinged with confusion about how other people manage to have so much time in their day.

I’m open, of course, to using twitter. I just haven’t seen a single non-ironic use of it that is any interest to me. I was thinking of setting one up to post art deadlines as I found them, so people could subscribe and keep track of the information, but then I realized that I already do that here… where people can subscribe and keep track of the information.

So I’m not sure I see the point. I can make things as short or longform as I want here, and already have a steady network of commenting and sharing information through google reader. The entire appeal of self publishing information on the internet is that I am not limited in what I create/share/write/post, when/how I do it, and what size it can be shared at – exactly why I don’t keep a blog at sites I don’t have control over and why you are not getting costly print dispaches from me every morning. Why add another service that simply limits me to the short form when I can do it already in one place?

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 10:12 pm  

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