A quick roundup of posts published to xeni.net/trek, while the electricity holds out. Howdy from what's probably the only internet connection in this part of the Petén jungle. I'm traveling in Guatemala for a month, working on a series of stories in various places here, and maintaining an online journal with quick notes (and video and photos) from the road.
Much of the work in the V&A is in the public domain but many museums practice a weird perversion of copyright: they make you agree not to take (or sometimes publish) photos you take while in their halls as a condition of entry. Then they assert the bizarre claim that photos of their public domain collections are themselves new copyrighted works (even though the purpose of such a photo is to apply as little interpretation, art and creativity to the shot as possible) and charge the public a monopoly rent to reproduce the photos they've produced.
It's basically a giant racket to sell penny postcards and license fees for books. But this undermines the museum's core mission: to preserve and promote access to our shared cultural heritage. It's a form of curatorial treason -- betraying the museum's purpose to enrich its coffers.
The V&A has been a very progressive institution on this subject, generally speaking. The last time I visited, I was able to take photos with impunity -- except, bizarrely, in the gift shop (though I was allowed to stand outside of the gift shop, taking pictures of the interior).
In a move which could transform art publishing, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (V&A) is to drop charges for the reproduction of images in scholarly books and magazines.Read the rest
Update: Erik sez, "I'd get one with a truly random string of Characters on it. When asked what it says, I'd say "nothing, it's random ones and zeros." Which will mean, of course, I'll be thrown off the plane for having a shirt that says nothing meaningful whatsoever. What a lovely and useful precedent!" Read the rest
A leaked report from the Gowers Review -- an expert body that is making recommendations on new UK copyright -- suggests that Gowers will reject the idea that records produced in the past should get a fresh 45 years tacked onto their monopolies, a massive picking of the public pocket. Britain offered record labels a bargain: press a record, get 50 years of copyright. Now the labels are coming back and asking for nearly double that, and not just for the records they make tomorrow, but for the records they made yesterday, too.
There's no way the labels will take this lying down. We must be sure that our MPs are aware that the public is watching this issue and will call its representatives to account if they cave into a few giant corporations' greed.
The Open Rights Group has led the charge on this and maintains a public petition to Tessa Jowell, the minister who controls copyright issues in Parliament. If you're a Briton who wants to keep the UK from repeating America's mistakes, sign on now -- and tell your friends to sign on, too.
The music industry says that they are simply looking after musicians, yet the copyright in many of these recordings is not held by the musician, but by the label. Record labels aren’t a charity; they aren’t giving anything to musicians that isn’t already in their contract.Read the rest
"This Film..." was the best documentary I saw this year. It delves into the shadowy world of the MPAA's rating system and the way that it forms a nearly invisible but all-encompassing censorship regime that punishes indie filmmakers far more than the major studios, who run it. The censor board is set up like a star chamber, the members, criteria, and appeals process shrouded in secrecy (Dick punctures the veil by hiring a charming private eye to uncover and reveal the hidden identities of the censors). The MPAA ratings process has been called "Jack Valenti's other mistake" -- apart from seeking wildly expanded copyright, that is.
It's an honor to be introducing Mr Dick and his movie -- he's a brilliant film-maker with something to say and real courage of his convictions. I hope to see you there tonight.
Where: University of Southern California, Los Angeles: University Park Campus, George Lucas Instructional Building, 108
When: Thursday, November 30, 2006, 7:00pm to 9:00pm
The alligator had the man in his jaws when deputies arrived at Lake Parker in Lakeland about 4 a.m. today. They were called by nearby residents who reported hearing a man yelling for help.Link (Thanks, Ryan!) Read the rest
[Adrian J.] Apgar, 45, of Polk City, suffered a broken arm, partially amputated left arm and trauma to his left leg.
Sci-artist Laura Splan created these nifty pillowy pills.Link Read the rest
"Prozac, Thorazine, Zoloft is a group of large pillows crafted out of hand latch-hooked rugs, which have been sewn together and stuffed. These soft, oversized anti-psychotics and anti-depressants provide a different kind of comfort than their prescription counterparts. The time consuming nature of the latch-hook process provides a sufficiently mind-numbing effect. Latch hooking is a simple but tedious craft that has traditionally been used to depict idealized and romanticized images from domesticity and nature."
Go see the many other fantastic works displayed on her site, including neuroart. I also like Blood Scarf, a scarf knitted from vinyl tubing that fills with blood from an IV in the wearer, warming the body as it depletes it.
Comes with working pan/tilt mounted on roof (camera removed), deep cycle battery bank-(all hold full charge), a 250gig 4 channel DVR which also records 4 channel audio and acts as a quad.You could record audio and video remotely for a month. Huge power inverter to run everything you need on 120v AC. Like new Samsung 17" Flat Screen monitor. 2 smaller swivel LCD Monitors. Pan Tilt Controller, dash mount flip out LCD monitor and rear mount infrared camera for backing up easily. I also have the 20 watt low frequency tx/rx set which is like new,used with the van and already mounted antenna. You can recieve and record clear audio and video for many miles with this setup. Integrated sound system in the back along with a video effects board. All equipment works very well. Four swing out chairs and a practical work area in the back. Even has a huge xray flourescent light table viewer mounted to wall. Windows are mirror tinted. Has a very solid tow bar section for towing another vehicle(see pic). Van has been in everything from childrens books on ghosts to above mentioned tv shows... Not a show vehicle but absolutly awesome potential with a huge number of uses: Surveillance/Spy, Parapsychology,Police, Military,Camping, Ghost Hunting, etc.Read the rest
"This looks like its going to be quite the gathering with nearly 40 international musicians and visualists from all over the globe.
"For anyone that has been curious about people repurposing old NES consoles, Game Boys, Ataris and C64s to create completely original music -- this looks like the event to check out."
THE TANK and 8BITPEOPLES are pleased to present the Blip Festival, a four-day celebration of over 30 international artists exploring the untapped potential of low-bit videogame consoles and home computers used as creative tools. Familiar devices are pushed in new directions with startling results — Nintendo Entertainment Systems and Game Boys roaring with futuristic floor-stomping rhythms and fist-waving melody, art-damaged Sega hardware generating fluctuating and abstracted video patterns — and that's only the beginning. An exploration of the chiptune idiom and its close relatives, the Blip Festival is the biggest and most comprehensive event in the history of the form, and will include daily workshops, art installations, and nightly music performances boasting an international roster larger and more far-reaching than any previous event of its kind. Small sounds at large scales pushed to the limit at high volumes — the Blip Festival is an unprecedented event that is not to be missed.Link Read the rest