Altermodernism and Artists in the Cloud

Suddenly this has turned into a text blog. Videos will return as soon as I get my face back.

I just had a wonderful three hour window from pain. And spent half of it transcribing a radio interview. Idiot.

Anyway, here it is. I typed it out because just before Christmas, Sull started a group called Artists in the Cloud, to discuss things related to online art, net cinema, etc. We’ve been talking about distribution models, Alternative Reality Games, live video streams of pre-recorded work – all sorts. I’ve been wondering how to triangulate the work we’re doing with trends and movements in the wider world (in art and society).

And tonight I heard something on BBC Radio 4’s art show Front Row, which I wanted to share with the group for that reason.

Since I’d done it for them, I thought I might as well also publish it here.

They were discussing the Tate Triennial 2009, which is called Altermodern – and were introducing the audience to the concept of Altermodernism.
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We’ll see

I have shingles.

You can see what I look like here.

Shingles (tagline: This Time It’s War) is the sequel to the popular virus Chicken Pox. It turns out that after you thought you’d defeated the Chicken Pox in childhood, your body failed to blow it out the airlock. It crept into the ganglion of your spine, where it stayed, hiding, waiting, until (woken by an unknown force) it bursts back out of your skin and clamps down on your head and bleeds acid all over your face, eyes and nerves.

It looks bad, feels a lot worse, and can cause blindness. RA. (It hurts too much to RA louder than that). I’ve had two eye check-ups (including one from an eye doctor who feigned horror when he saw me and jumped back going “AAAHHH!”), and I think I’m clear on that front – but even without the cornea damage, the pain is bad enough.

The strangest effect has been on my brain. It’s attacking the nerves on the right side of my face and eye – which is controlled by the left side of my brain – and that’s how I feel: like my rational brain is in lock-down.

At its height, at the end of last week, I could answer basic Yes and No questions, but anything more taxing sent me into a panic. I couldn’t process simple tasks, or retain any information – even before they gave me drugs.

Anyway, the real reason for my post is not to whine about my bad luck. I’m now half Canadian, so my British whining is starting to be tempered by irritatingly cheery optimism.
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11 minutes left of october 1st

i’ve been deliberately absent.

sometimes i want to post, and post ephemera. other times, i get busy.

last time i had a baby, i deleted my blogs.

this time, i got an attack of the privates.

i tweeted some of lila’s birth – but my twitter is set to private, now. i shared video of lila with family, but not here. no pictures on flickr.

i’m sure i’ll soon be cured.

i thought i’d post about moving to canada. i thought i’d post about our new town, our pregnancy, about having a home birth, about hypervideo and about my writing. this isn’t an apology for not doing that. it’s just a note to myself that i didn’t do any of it.

everything’s in flux. macro and micro. things are coming together here, i think. family, work, creative projects, plans for the apocalypse.

this became our family blog. kate sees this as our window on the world, where family and friends come to see what we’re doing out here. that must be why i feel self-conscious. like i can’t even use bad language. and i use bad language a lot.

documenting needs to be scrappy. videos need to be sketchy. writing needs to fail. posts need to be boring. i need another place. but you are all subscribed here.

is it ok, family & friends people, if this blog is not a family photo album, if it’s just an incomprehensible fucked up studio of RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA?

all right, then.

Let's Rock - from Fire Walk With Me

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7 Blogs for Blog Day 2008

It’s Blog Day today. You’re supposed to introduce your readers to 5 other blogs.

I couldn’t choose just 5 videobloggers to highlight. And anyway, you can see all the videoblogs I watch via the link at the top of the page.

So I thought I’d just do it straight. Here are all the non-videoblog blogs that I read regularly and love :

“A blog of Radio 4. Not about Radio 4 but of it. We point to the bits we like, the bits you might have missed, the bits that someone might have sneakily recorded.”
Even now I’ve moved to Canada, I listen to BBC Radio 4 when I’m working. All day. Constant noise. Making me smarter, happier and less lonely all at once. I use their Listen Again service, and use Speechification as my guide to the day’s highlights.
This started out (I think) as an extension of Steve Bowbrick‘s Listen With Bowbrick Twitter account. Now they’ve got a team of 6 people writing it.

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Sorry I’ve been away for a while, particularly right after the start of Semanal.

I’ve been teaching gypsy traveller kids to videoblog all around the country, and trying to keep up with my other regular client work in the meantime – and it’s been FULL ON. I know I videoblog with my phone, and I know I should just post stuff and be damned… but apart from the fact that I can barely manage to check my email most days, I’ve felt like I can’t blog about my experiences with these kids while the project is going on. It might cause problems. So. I’ll be back in action in a couple of weeks, maybe less.

Also, it’s quite good to have a little break every now and then. Recharge. Now I’m champing at the bit.

See you soon.


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At my signal, unleash hell

“Three weeks from now, I will be harvesting my crops. Imagine where you will be, and it will be so. Hold the line! Stay with me! If you find yourself alone, riding in the green fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled. For you are in Elysium, and you are already DEAD!
Brothers, what we do in life… ECHOES IN ETERNITY!”

“Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.” – Orson Scott Card

“To be a writer is to sit down at one’s desk in the chill portion of every day, and to write; not waiting for the little jet of the blue flame of genius to start from the breastbone – just plain going at it, in pain and delight. To be a writer is to throw away a great deal, not to be satisfied, to type again, and then again, and once more, and over and over…” John Hersey

“Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.” Jane Yolen

Join us – posting every day if you can – at

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Two trailers for the price of one

So no sooner did I decide to get back on the horse, than I get an email from David Howell requesting my blessing for a trailer he’s made. Of me. Kind of.
Watch it at – and while you’re there, check out his amazing video art and subscribe to his feed.

I can’t imagine the pain he went through (with a bad back) watching and cutting my face 100 times. Jesus. I’m tickled and amazed by it. But the real punchline is that 2 second flash at the end. What… WHAT? I don’t know if I’m secure and stable enough to cope with being made into a stop motion puppet. Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich. My reality is already fraying at the edges.

Permanent link to his videoblog post here

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Twittervlog Season 2

Makes me laugh to think of things in terms of Seasons.

Wreck & Salvage and Next To Heaven – two of my favourite places (check them out) – have talked about starting and finishing Season 1 or Season 2 recently, so…¬¨¬®‚Äö?тĆ Instead of apologising for disappearing for 2 months, I can make out like it was all carefully planned, and that Season 1 finished in August and Season 2 is starting in October.¬¨¬®‚Äö?тĆ Yeah.¬¨¬®‚Äö?тĆ [throaty American voice:] “Twittervlog.¬¨¬®‚Äö?тĆ Season Two. October One”.

I’m psyched about getting back to it. I have so many ideas exploding out of my head like brain spaghetti – so many things to show and do and say and touch and smell.¬¨¬®‚Äö?тĆ See you tomorrow.¬¨¬®‚Äö?тĆ No, really.

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