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

See comments "oktober"

Season 2 and a half

Back at the end of last year, I think I joked about starting Season 2 of Twittervlog… after a bit of a hiatus.

But it never really got off the ground. I’ve spent the last six months posting apologies for being too busy.

And not finding the time to videoblog my move.

Anyway. Fuck all that. I’M BACK! And now I live in Canada, I’m going to have time to do all sorts of cool new things.

Like videoblogging my experience of moving to Canada, making films about the communities around me, sharing some of the other film & video stuff I’ve been doing, and reviewing & pimping the videomakers I like.

That’s the idea, anyway. We’ll see how it plays out. We’re having another baby in September, so there’ll probably be QUITE A BIG HIATUS around then.

But I’m going to give regular videoblogging another shot. And I’ve already started. There’s something uploading to Blip right now, as I type. A VIDEOBLOG POST. HOLY SHIT!

Thanks for sticking with me and for all your comments and emails. That’s what it’s all about – why I love it, why I keep doing it.

See comments "Season 2 and a half"


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.


See comments "MIA"

NaVloPoMo – The End :(

I feel sad that this is over.

I feel sad that I didn't complete it in the way that I'd planned. Even though I never planned to.

But much more than that, I feel like laughing out loud for everyone else. All those who took part in just a little bit of it, those who got through most or almost all of it, and those who did it every day, within the deadline. A film every day for a month. That's so great.

We want to do a screening. And have a site. And record this somewhere so it isn't lost.

What have we learned? 🙂

Formats available: MPEG4 Video (.mp4)
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Seesmic – Video Conversations

Not the most interesting post for some of you, as it’s about the features on a new video sharing site that only a limited number of people have access to. Sorry. Tomorrow might be better 🙂

I’ve been playing with Seesmic for the first time today.

(I got an invite after emailing the guy in charge a few weeks ago)

In my intro to the NaVloPoMo group about how we’d cope with trying to post video every day in November, I said that I thought any online video counted, no matter how it was recorded or published… so I’m going to follow my own advice and just publish the video conversation I’ve had on Seesmic today.

I’ve linked to the public versions of the videos, below. i.e. You can still see them, even if you don’t have a Seesmic account. But if you don’t have a Seesmic account, you just can’t get involved, reply or go anywhere else in Seesmic from these links. So you have to click on each link in turn. Which is a drag, but I guess it’ll open out before long.

The thing is, you can see how a video conversation can develop easily with this tool.

These links open in new window/tabs:

This is my original post, called “My first proper Seesmic: get mobile, Seesmic”

And below are the following short replies, all within a short time of each other, which develop into a conversation of sorts, where people are referencing each other’s replies. They’re quite quick, and you can see how this could get a) addictive and b) interesting, particularly if these people can use video to talk and show things beyond the confines of their desk.

Christian’s reply

Clint’s reply

Deek’s reply

Mike’s reply

Mike’s follow up saying that half the above video was lost

My reply to all of them

Adam’s reply

My reply to Adam and Mike

Nik’s reply

My reply to Nik

If you can’t be bothered to watch them all, my point in my video is that they’ve limited it so that you pretty much HAVE to use your webcam to record – trying to use anything else is a pain. And yet it would be SO EASY (and free) for them to change this – so that you could film outside with your regular camera and then just upload the file direct to Seesmic. At the moment, if you film something with your camera, you have to convert it to a Flash flv file before uploading, which is silly. It seems obvious to me that conversations could be more interesting if they were inspired by and conducted in more varied and interesting environments than just people’s desks/offices.

Hardly rocket science. But quite fun. And there’s a shortage of good tools to create video conversations. Damn, I hate that word. Why can’t I stop using it?

See comments "Seesmic – Video Conversations"

Open reply to Josh Cohen of

Hi to everybody who’s stumbled here from Blip or Mefeedia homepages (or wherever) wanting to know about NaVloPoMo.

NaVloPoMo is (Inter)National Videoblog Posting Month – a lot of video bloggers and artists making and posting films every day in November.

The site is at – you can see people’s films there, and also find a list of their blog URLS and feeds. is my video blog, which I shoot, cut and post, all with my Nokia N93 cellphone.

This is a rather fast but long and probably quite inarticulate reply to an email I got from Josh Cohen at asking about NaVloPoMo. I just riffed on his questions. They’re quite good questions for getting you thinking about NaVloPoMo. If you want to answer any of the questions yourself, or if I’ve missed something, or you’ve just got something else to say about NaVloPoMo and about personal videoblogging, reply in the comments or (even better) in a video.

– How’d you come up with the idea? And how’d you initially share it with the community? Did it take long to catch on?
– About how many vlogs would you say there are involved? (I think there’s a list on the Ning site, but was wondering if that was extensive)
– Why do you participate? What type of people should participate? Is it for anyone?
– What’s the best part about it?
– How do your videos for NaVloPoMo differ than your regular fare?

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Late night desk envy and Video Ideas For NaVloPoMo

Two things:

Lauren’s “Video ideas for NaVloPoMo” is a great idea in itself.

You can see Valdez‘s attic here. You have been warned. I am not responsible for any night terrors or low self-esteem.

For contrast, see David Howell’s attic, posted on Day 1 of NaVloPoMo. But although that’s comforting in its chaos, it’s disturbing for entirely different reasons.

More! More workspaces! Feed me!

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