JAN TERM 2013 | A NEW BEGINNING

happy new year.  first day back.

- young

Read | Brains Reject Fake When Fakes’s Too Real?Movieline had an interesting article on the “Science of High Frame Rates” and why the Hobbit’s newly utilized 48fps might be too realistic for the brain. Interesting reading. Also,  dorky.
-hart (via movieline, pic via moviefail)

Read | Brains Reject Fake When Fakes’s Too Real?
Movieline had an interesting article on the “Science of High Frame Rates” and why the Hobbit’s newly utilized 48fps might be too realistic for the brain. Interesting reading. Also,  dorky.

-hart (via movieline, pic via moviefail)

Read | Projecting Docs On a Presidential Palace Wall
Nice writeup in today’s NYT Lede about the Mosireen independent media collective speaking truth to power by projecting youtube clips & docs on the wall of the Egyptian president’s palace, at the very site of street battles just a week before. Best of luck and solidarity to Mosireen & the revolution.  
- Young (via nytimes, twitter pic by Ghada Shahbender)

Read | Projecting Docs On a Presidential Palace Wall

Nice writeup in today’s NYT Lede about the Mosireen independent media collective speaking truth to power by projecting youtube clips & docs on the wall of the Egyptian president’s palace, at the very site of street battles just a week before. Best of luck and solidarity to Mosireen & the revolution.  

- Young (via nytimes, twitter pic by Ghada Shahbender)

Woah. Hold up. Wait a second.

dolly_shot
shooting_yes

qpocalypse:

With tonight’s scenes crossed off, I have now shot approximately 35% of my Div III film!!!

Dig Qpocalypse, an awesome blog detailing a div 3 in production. Follow the links for more pics.

Read | Pulp to Pixels: Artists Books in the Digital AgeFrom November 7th through the 16th, the Harold F. Johnson Library at Hampshire College hosted an exhibition called Pulp to Pixels: Artists Books in the Digital Age.  This exhibition of artists books, curated by Andrea Dezsö, Steven Daiber and Meredith Broberg, is a celebration of both traditional, physical book construction and innovative digital books. Many of the artists featured in the show have created works that bridge the chasm between the analog and digital realms. 
The opening of Pulp to Pixels: Artists Books in the Digital Age was a well-attended affair!
I took on the position of Archivist for Hampshire College on November 15th. This gave me one day to tour the exhibition before it closed. As I moved through the exhibition space I was struck by the blurring of the lines between the analog and the digital. Time-honored bookbinding techniques blend with soldering, QR codes, LEDs and computer monitors. Pop-up books share the floor with iPads. iMacs peaceably coexist with a Commodore 64. As an archivist I’m more than familiar with collections that are hybrids of analog and digital materials. The artists in this exhibition are also working in a hybrid milieu and their work shows how well the tangible and the digital can enhance and complement each other. Images of the Pulp to Pixels works on the Hampshire Library Magic Board digital gallery
One work that directly and physically integrate the digital with the analog was the “telescrapbooks” by Natalie Freed and Jie Qi. These books use microcontrollers to communicate with each other. The Electrolibrary by Waldemar Wegrzyn is a book that is full of electric contacts that allow the user to access additional online content when the book is plugged into a computer via a USB cable. These pieces utilize physical, hard connections to make the book interactive. Other pieces, like Manja Lekic’s Aunt Pepper have no apparent “digital interactivity” until the user holds the book’s images up to a webcam. When the webcam “sees” certain portions of the book’s pages the computer plays music.  Amaranth Borsuk and Brad Bouse’s aptly-named Between Page and Screen also uses webcam. This work is a book with human-indecipherable geometric shapes that, when exposed to a webcam, conjures words on the computer screen which allows the reader to follow the epistolary novel encoded in the book.Telescrapbooks by Natalie Freed and Jie Qi
Not all of the artists books featured in the exhibition have a direct analog component, though. There were many pieces for which no trees gave their lives. One that immediately caught my eye was Petra Cortright’s HELL_TREE, which is an e-book that consists of screen captures of a computer desktop with various text and images files that come together to create a cascade of content. Moving through Cortright’s e-book is especially fun for an archivist – the content is all there, and the order starts to emerge as you move through the material. 
At the Pulp to Pixels exhibition traditionally-bound paper books coexisted with innovative sculptural books as well as QR codes
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “what about apps?” One of the apps (displayed, appropriately enough, on an iPad) on exhibit was Jason Edward Lewis’ Speak, which is an application that allows the user to drag her finger through a field of letters to create instant poetry. The user can also import text from a Twitter feed to play with.  One of the things that occurred to me as I played with Lewis’ piece was the performative nature of the Pulp to Pixels show. I’ve attended a lot of book art exhibitions, most of which feature books in cases and on pedestals, and I’ve never seen a more interactive/hands-on experientialcelebration of the book. Oh and if you’re thinking apps are a new thing in the book world, I’d direct you to Paul Zelevansky’s The Case for the Burial of Ancestors Book Two. This book – which is a physical, printed-on-paper book – included a floppy disc (oh the preservation issues there!) with a computer game on it. This book dates back to 1986 – likely before many current Hampshire students were born! There was also Nick Montfort’s 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10, which features both a print book but also a Commodore 64 (which some whippersnappers may claim is an “obsolete” computer) in order to “consider the phenomenon of creative computing and the way computer programs exist in culture.”
Interactivity and performance were the hallmarks of this show.  While both of these concepts did not begin with e-books (pop-up books, puppet books, choose-your-own adventures, anyone?) they definitely find impressive and often instantaneous expression in the digital world. Gretchen Henderson, who gave the keynote speech at the exhibit’s reception (a podcast of that speech can be found here), created the impressive Galerie de Difformite. This crowdsourced book and website invites “subscribers” to take images from the different exhibits on the website and manipulate (deform) them in some way. Subscribers are invited to then send the images in for inclusion on the site. The book and site thereby become a gallery – a wunderkammer – displaying these deformed, reformed, manipulated and repurposed objects. With Henderson’s work the Internet becomes a conduit, allowing subscribers to take part in a growing, changing, ongoing performative work. 
Petra Cortright’s HELL_TREE, displayed on an iPadAs I moved through the exhibition that word “performative” kept coming back to me. As an archivist my chief mandates are the preservation and access of information. How do we preserve the kinds of artworks found in the Pulp to Pixels exhibit? Is it reasonable to believe that in fifty years a user will be able to not just view one of these interactive pieces but also interact with it in the way(s) intended? While we can preserve these kinds of works as-is and we can also preserve records of them, it remains to be seen how – or if – we will be able to preserve the infrastructure (displays, software, Internet communication protocols) needed to make them interactive. In many ways the questions we face in trying to preserve these kinds of dynamic artworks are also faced (and being treated by) the Preserving Virtual Worlds project as well as many members of the National Digital Stewardship Project. Archivists, librarians and curators will continue to look at this kind of scholarship and research to guide our preservation decisions. In the meantime, artists will keep creating works like those showcased in Pulp to Pixels – works that integrate analog processes and digital technologies and expand our notions of what books are and what they can be.
Pulp to Pixels, a Five College Digital Humanities project, was made possible by a generous grant from the Mellon Foundation. For more documentation about the Pulp to Pixels exhibition go here.  
The photographs on this blog were taken by Rachel Beckwith, Sara Krohn or Steven Daiber and are used with permission.  
Find out more about Hampshire’s new digital art gallery and listen to talk given during a Pulp to Pixels related event. 
-Jimi Jones, Archivist of Hampshire College

Read | Pulp to Pixels: Artists Books in the Digital Age

From November 7th through the 16th, the Harold F. Johnson Library at Hampshire College hosted an exhibition called Pulp to Pixels: Artists Books in the Digital Age.  This exhibition of artists books, curated by Andrea Dezsö, Steven Daiber and Meredith Broberg, is a celebration of both traditional, physical book construction and innovative digital books. Many of the artists featured in the show have created works that bridge the chasm between the analog and digital realms. 

pulp opening
The opening of Pulp to Pixels: Artists Books in the Digital Age was a well-attended affair!

I took on the position of Archivist for Hampshire College on November 15th. This gave me one day to tour the exhibition before it closed. As I moved through the exhibition space I was struck by the blurring of the lines between the analog and the digital. Time-honored bookbinding techniques blend with soldering, QR codes, LEDs and computer monitors. Pop-up books share the floor with iPads. iMacs peaceably coexist with a Commodore 64. As an archivist I’m more than familiar with collections that are hybrids of analog and digital materials. The artists in this exhibition are also working in a hybrid milieu and their work shows how well the tangible and the digital can enhance and complement each other. 

magic gallery picImages of the Pulp to Pixels works on the Hampshire Library Magic Board digital gallery

One work that directly and physically integrate the digital with the analog was the “telescrapbooks” by Natalie Freed and Jie Qi. These books use microcontrollers to communicate with each other. The Electrolibrary by Waldemar Wegrzyn is a book that is full of electric contacts that allow the user to access additional online content when the book is plugged into a computer via a USB cable. These pieces utilize physical, hard connections to make the book interactive. Other pieces, like Manja Lekic’s Aunt Pepper have no apparent “digital interactivity” until the user holds the book’s images up to a webcam. When the webcam “sees” certain portions of the book’s pages the computer plays music.  Amaranth Borsuk and Brad Bouse’s aptly-named Between Page and Screen also uses webcam. This work is a book with human-indecipherable geometric shapes that, when exposed to a webcam, conjures words on the computer screen which allows the reader to follow the epistolary novel encoded in the book.

pulp picTelescrapbooks by Natalie Freed and Jie Qi

Not all of the artists books featured in the exhibition have a direct analog component, though. There were many pieces for which no trees gave their lives. One that immediately caught my eye was Petra Cortright’s HELL_TREE, which is an e-book that consists of screen captures of a computer desktop with various text and images files that come together to create a cascade of content. Moving through Cortright’s e-book is especially fun for an archivist – the content is all there, and the order starts to emerge as you move through the material. 

At the Pulp to Pixels exhibition traditionally-bound paper books coexisted with innovative sculptural books as well as QR codes

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “what about apps?” One of the apps (displayed, appropriately enough, on an iPad) on exhibit was Jason Edward Lewis’ Speak, which is an application that allows the user to drag her finger through a field of letters to create instant poetry. The user can also import text from a Twitter feed to play with.  One of the things that occurred to me as I played with Lewis’ piece was the performative nature of the Pulp to Pixels show. I’ve attended a lot of book art exhibitions, most of which feature books in cases and on pedestals, and I’ve never seen a more interactive/hands-on experientialcelebration of the book. Oh and if you’re thinking apps are a new thing in the book world, I’d direct you to Paul Zelevansky’s The Case for the Burial of Ancestors Book Two. This book – which is a physical, printed-on-paper book – included a floppy disc (oh the preservation issues there!) with a computer game on it. This book dates back to 1986 – likely before many current Hampshire students were born!

There was also Nick Montfort’s 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10, which features both a print book but also a Commodore 64 (which some whippersnappers may claim is an “obsolete” computer) in order toconsider the phenomenon of creative computing and the way computer programs exist in culture.”

Interactivity and performance were the hallmarks of this show.  While both of these concepts did not begin with e-books (pop-up books, puppet books, choose-your-own adventures, anyone?) they definitely find impressive and often instantaneous expression in the digital world. Gretchen Henderson, who gave the keynote speech at the exhibit’s reception (a podcast of that speech can be found here), created the impressive Galerie de Difformite. This crowdsourced book and website invites “subscribers” to take images from the different exhibits on the website and manipulate (deform) them in some way. Subscribers are invited to then send the images in for inclusion on the site. The book and site thereby become a gallery – a wunderkammer – displaying these deformed, reformed, manipulated and repurposed objects. With Henderson’s work the Internet becomes a conduit, allowing subscribers to take part in a growing, changing, ongoing performative work. 

tree_hell_petra_cortrightPetra Cortright’s HELL_TREE, displayed on an iPad

As I moved through the exhibition that word “performative” kept coming back to me. As an archivist my chief mandates are the preservation and access of information. How do we preserve the kinds of artworks found in the Pulp to Pixels exhibit? Is it reasonable to believe that in fifty years a user will be able to not just view one of these interactive pieces but also interact with it in the way(s) intended? While we can preserve these kinds of works as-is and we can also preserve records of them, it remains to be seen how – or if – we will be able to preserve the infrastructure (displays, software, Internet communication protocols) needed to make them interactive. In many ways the questions we face in trying to preserve these kinds of dynamic artworks are also faced (and being treated by) the Preserving Virtual Worlds project as well as many members of the National Digital Stewardship Project. Archivists, librarians and curators will continue to look at this kind of scholarship and research to guide our preservation decisions. In the meantime, artists will keep creating works like those showcased in Pulp to Pixels – works that integrate analog processes and digital technologies and expand our notions of what books are and what they can be.

Pulp to Pixels, a Five College Digital Humanities project, was made possible by a generous grant from the Mellon Foundation. For more documentation about the Pulp to Pixels exhibition go here
 

The photographs on this blog were taken by Rachel Beckwith, Sara Krohn or Steven Daiber and are used with permission. 
 

Find out more about Hampshire’s new digital art gallery and listen to talk given during a Pulp to Pixels related event.
 

-Jimi Jones, Archivist of Hampshire College

old sound | no really, old sound

Nothing sparks our imagination like hearing the oldest known surviving recording.  Apparently, this was picked up by AP & is all over the news today, so If you’re up for a field trip to the Museum of Innovation and Science in Schenectady, N.Y.tonight you can check out this cool piece of history in person, hear its garbled goodness, and learn how they endeavored to extract this info from the archaic 1878 Edison technology.  Before this, the very first audio recording was made in 1860 by Édouard-Léon Scott on a contraption that recorded the squiggly lines of sound onto paper, but he never devised any method to play these sounds back.  It took Edison a decade and some change to conceive of playback, but once set in motion, we haven’t stopped developing new ways to reproduce the world around us.  

Most fascinating to me is how scientists and archivists have been able to gently scan these objects and digitally approximate what these reproductions should have been, without any harm to the original.  Makes me wonder - what other crude proto-recording-media are out there?  Did the Ancient Mayans cut some bumpin’  Long Players out of human bone & blasted them in their massive stone pyramid bass-bins?     

While searching for more info about this cool discovery, I stumbled upon this nerdy rabbi’s video demonstrating his homemade version of Edison’s method of mechanical audio reproduction.  Apart from the poor video quality, you really get a sense of tin foil’s lo-fi properties.  The lowest-fidelity device we can check out to you from our office is an mono audio-cassette recorder, so don’t get any ideas that your cool psychedelic noise rap single should be recorded in your dorm room on wire cylinder.  We don’t have it.  We can however help you make some great recordings.  

- Young. 

Check this! | Illusion Songs Blog

Or how about this cool new Illusion Songs blog by smartypants sound artist, HC Alum, & Friend of Media Services Meara O’Reilly?  In it she explores the curious phenomena of “auditory illusions” that occur in ‘folk practices, popular music, and scientific research’ that tickle our ears or alter our perception.  It’s neat stuff and maybe you’ll learn a thing or two you did not already know about music!  

Furthermore, it just so happens that Meredith Monk, who was used as an example in the Sept 5th post of above-mentioned blog also happens to to be performing at Amherst College on Saturday night.  So, there you have it - read up on auditory illusions & then hear some in person.  

- Young 

Dig | New Cameras For All
For folks just needing a camera, any camera we bought a few Samsung HMX W300s, gave them 16gig SD cards and hot pink, BUILT camera hoodies. Because nothing says serious video maker like a hot pink camera hoodie (HPCH).
-media

Dig | New Cameras For All

For folks just needing a camera, any camera we bought a few Samsung HMX W300s, gave them 16gig SD cards and hot pink, BUILT camera hoodies. Because nothing says serious video maker like a hot pink camera hoodie (HPCH).

-media

Read | Scorsese, July, McQueen, Others’ Top Tens
Sight and Sound magazine polled a bunch of well-known filmmakers (Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Miranda July, Steve McQueen, Bong Joon-Ho, David O. Russell, Michel Hazavaniclus to name a few) for their top ten, desert-island, all-time favorites. Read on!
-media (via sight & sound, screencrush, theplaylist) 

Read | Scorsese, July, McQueen, Others Top Tens

Sight and Sound magazine polled a bunch of well-known filmmakers (Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Miranda July, Steve McQueen, Bong Joon-Ho, David O. Russell, Michel Hazavaniclus to name a few) for their top ten, desert-island, all-time favorites. Read on!

-media (via sight & sound, screencrush, theplaylist

RIP | Chris Marker…above is what the man actually looked like:  the elusive filmmaker, time-traveller, troublemaker, & memoryman.   We at the college repeatedly return to his haunting & heady works like Sans Soleil & La Jetee to blow many young minds, but oh so many more strange tidbits about this fellow will slowly be coming to light.  Such as this fascinating interview conducted via Second Life a couple years ago.  In his honor we’re showing a looped subtitled La Jetee on the Magic Board.  
Update: Here’s the nytimes obit on him.
-Young 

RIP | Chris Marker

…above is what the man actually looked like:  the elusive filmmaker, time-traveller, troublemaker, & memoryman.   We at the college repeatedly return to his haunting & heady works like Sans Soleil & La Jetee to blow many young minds, but oh so many more strange tidbits about this fellow will slowly be coming to light.  Such as this fascinating interview conducted via Second Life a couple years ago.  In his honor we’re showing a looped subtitled La Jetee on the Magic Board.  

Update: Here’s the nytimes obit on him.

-Young 

RIP | George Stoney

Filmmaker, teacher, & cable-access-TV advocate George Stoney has passed away.  Over his sixty-plus year career he’s made bizunches of documentaries - especially educational & social change titles.  He kept making work right up to his passing at the ripe age of 96.  He presented at last year’s Flaherty, where I was re-introduced to his work & had the honor of meeting such an inspiring & funny guy.  Above is a clip from The Uprising of ‘34  a feature-length film he made with Judith Helfand & Susanne Rostock in 1995 about crucially under-examined chunk of US labor history.   Currently, it’s in our collection on VHS (HC Video 630) & is some highly-recommended viewing.  

-Young 

Look | Flickr Pics from Moonrise
Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” isn’t his best (Rushmore) and not his worst (Darjeeling Limited). If anything, its a lesson in almost too-perfect set decoration and swell costuming. Anywho. We came across this nice collection of set photos on flickr and felt like sharing. Set photographer Niko Tavernise does nice work. Dig. 
Related news; all-star media student worker, Magda Bermudez, worked on the movieand so did her dad, Carlos. Also, this small moment made us heart Bob Balaban even moreso than before?
-media

Look | Flickr Pics from Moonrise

Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” isn’t his best (Rushmore) and not his worst (Darjeeling Limited). If anything, its a lesson in almost too-perfect set decoration and swell costuming. Anywho. We came across this nice collection of set photos on flickr and felt like sharing. Set photographer Niko Tavernise does nice work. Dig

Related news; all-star media student worker, Magda Bermudez, worked on the movieand so did her dad, Carlos. Also, this small moment made us heart Bob Balaban even moreso than before?

-media