Tuesday, June 9, 2009


can be found at http://thesneakyspoon.blogspot.com


Electronic Artist # 2

Jon Thomson (born 1969) and Alison Craighead (born 1971) are London-based visual artists, who have been working with video, sound and the internet since 1993.
Much of their work to date explores how technology changes the way we perceive the world around us. They use live data to make artworks, including "template cinema online artworks" and gallery installations, where networked movies are created in real time from online material such as remote-user security web cams, audio feeds and chat room text transcripts.
- wiki

I think their work is very clever and addresses a lot of issues surrounding technology and how technology has changed the way we relate to the world. One example of this Light from Tomorrow where light readings from Tonga were beamed in real-time back to California. And when I say back, I don't just mean relayed, I mean sent BACK in time due to the fact that the two locations are in different time zones.

As they describe it:
We think of the gallery component of this artwork as a romantic landscape, which is both minimal and monumental; a space for contemplation, a poetic void and an experiment in time travel.
It is part of a body of work we are making that explores our relationship
with simultaneous global communications systems and time; a series of artworks that sculpt with time in real time.
- Thomson & Craighead

Electronic Artist # 1

Eva and Franco Mattes, internationally known as 0100101110101101.org, are "a couple of restless European con-artists who use non-conventional communication tactics to obtain the largest visibility with the minimal effort.

Past works include staging a hoax involving a completely made-up artist, ripping off the Holy See, and spreading a computer virus as a work of art." (taken from here)

I really liked the series of performance art recreations that they did using second life avatars to recreate the original event inside a "synthetic" world - particularly Chris Burden's "Shoot" stuck out, probably because Scott showed us his work in Sculpture last week.

online presence task

How to be online? and successfully so? Hmm. I already am quite substantially online. Here is how:

thesneakyspoon.blogspot.com - this is my real and true blog that I have had running since the beginning of last year. In it, I post examples of my work, rants about things I like or dislike, things I have seen recently that interest me. I intend to make it ALOT more about my work, and have been contemplating uploading sketches and doodles to it on a more regular basis. (here)

flickr.com - I've had a pro account here for a few years now, and while I lack the massive amounts of time needed to be a true part of the flickr community, I am within the fringes of it, and have made some new and interesting contacts thanks to the social networking side of the site. (here)

gigposters.com - I make a number of posters around town, and all the ones I'm not ashamed of are on here. There are quite a few now. (here)

veer.com - I have a portfolio of covers that I made for critic on here, it was even one of the featured portfolios for the site which was quite exciting. I'd like to make some more portfolios on this site, but it won't let me... something to figure out later. (here)

facebook, myspace, bebo - I have profiles on all of these, but only actively use facebook - my myspace days are behind me, and I never really got into bebo. (here, here, and here)

twitter - still getting my head around this and around ways I can use it to promote myself. I really hate people who use twitter to constantly bang on about themselves so we'll see how long I last as a user. (here)

Ways to improve this presence:

WEBSITE: This is an off in the future option - maybe at the end of the year when I have time to sift through my work, talk to a mate who knows CSS, and have time myself to design it how I'd like. Ultimately, I'd intend for it to be a portfolio site with links to all my other online bits and bobs - a hub if you will, with my blog tied to it.

FLICKRFOLIOS: I can't wait for this baby to come online - in the short term, it'll reduce any crushing needs to get an online portfolio going.

EMAILING COOL BLOGS: to hype my shit if I've got cool shit to hype.

PARTICIPATING: in more online competitions like threadless' t-shirt design competitions, designboom comps, that kind of crap. Exposing myself I suppose.

Shit I am never going to do:
DeviantArt. It's just too emo for me to handle. Way too emo.


Free/libre open source software (or FLOSS) is software that encourages users to modify, build upon, redistribute, copy, and share the software on the condition that when it is passed on to others (whether in it's original state, or with modifications) it remains free to be shared by others.

Wikipedia gives this definition:
Free and open source software, also F/OSS, FOSS, or FLOSS (free/libre/open source software) is software which is liberally licensed to grant the right of users to study, change, and improve its design through the availability of its source code. This approach has gained both momentum and acceptance as the potential benefits have been increasingly recognized by both individuals and corporate players.[1][2]

'F/OSS' is an inclusive term generally synonymous with both free software and open source software which describe similar development models, but with differing cultures and philosophies. 'Free software' focuses on the philosophical freedoms it gives to users and 'open source' focuses on the perceived strengths of its peer-to-peer development model. Many people relate to both aspects and so 'F/OSS' is a term that can be used without particular bias towards either camp.

Here are some kickass examples of free software:

1. GIMP - a raster based image manipulation programme (see also GimpShop)
2. Mozilla Firefox - an internet browser
3. OpenOffice.org - a replacement to the Microsoft Office suite
4. VLC - a cross-platform media player and streaming server
5. Mozilla Thunderbird - an email mail client programme

Copyright: Everyone vs Keir Smith

I think that under present copyright laws, Keir Smith's work "Oh so criminal" is indeed illegal due to the fact that he's filched everything in his work from other sources.

BUT I don't think it should be illegal because he's not presenting the filched material as it was originally presented and passing it off as his own - he's using the copyrighted material as his raw materials, like a painter with paints and canvas, he needs the footage and music to make his work and I think he should be allowed to. I think it's a very effective medium to make a political statement with - using images and persons recognised by a wider community helps to build his argument.

If he were making a substantial profit off of other people's work without their permission (and yes, I know that he put a lot of work into it too with planning and editing) then I think that it would no longer be fair use. All of this boils down to consent I guess. Unless copyright holders CONSENT to letting other people have fair use of their work, this kind of remixing/recontextualising is going to continue to be viewed as illegal.

Copyright: Woods vs 12 Monkeys

This is a pretty clear cut case of someone appropriating someone else's work without first gaining their consent. Terry Gilliam, the director of 12 Monkeys, says so himself.

I appreciated Lebbeus Woods' need to sue the film-makers, not just because they'd taken his work without permission, but that they'd recontextualised it into a torture device when he'd intentionally created it to be an ambiguous/neutral seat without his permission.


Copyright: Harrison vs Mack

Unfortunately, I couldn't link through to the benedict.com website - it seems like it might have gone down for a brief period - but I managed to find the songs on last.fm and have made my decision as to whether George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" ripped off "He's So Fine" by Ronald Mack/The Chiffons.

MY VERDICT: Not guilty.

Sure there were similarities in the melody and tempo of the song, but the treatment of the harmonies, the use of different instruments and completely different lyrics make me think this was an accidental coincidence. After all, there are only so many notes in a musical scale, and only so many ways of putting them together.

Video: Open Source

Open Source Beginnings from Alix Fullerton on Vimeo.

A video about the beginnings of open source software - how in the early days of computing, programmers were big on sharing, and that it shifted to being much more proprietary due to a number of reasons (including Bill Gates, and M.I.T. intruding passwords). It also offers a good explanation and definition of what "open source" actually means.


- as required.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Scanner Darkly

little squid
Well, not actually anything to do with either the movie or the book - here's a drawing I did in class when my attention wandered. So not really something from a course, but kind of is (if I hadn't been at school, would I have drawn this? who knows)

Five digital things I could not do without.

Well, it was going to be five photos, but my battery on my camera had a wee die. So I'll update this again when I've got it working. In the mean time, here are Five Digital Things that I have Found to be Essential to my Ongoing Cheerful Existence.

1> My sweet laptop. Sweet as in ridiculously cheap (thanks to my boyfriend for throwing it down some stairs and getting a replacement, giving me the munted one that still works ok if you don't need to use CDs or the headphone jack). My desktop is from KitsuneNoir and made by the artist Thomas Allen takes photos of pulp-fiction book cover cutouts. They are so good.

2> iPod. This is a newish one with the awesome shake-to-shuffle feature which is great when stationary, not so great if you're dancing around and it shuffles mid-song.

3> Card reader. Seriously, this is one of the best purchases I have EVER MADE. EVER. It comes in handy all the time and turns my mega 4GB compact flash cards into USB sticks when I need to haul data from place to place.

4> Scanner that I bought online for cheaps. It's USB powered and very slim so storing it is a breeze. If you've ever thought about getting one, but thought it'd be too 'spensy, you should keep an eye on the scanners section on trademe. All I'm saying.

5> External Hard Drive. I take a lot of photos in RAW, as well as having done a very computer centric design degree meaning that this puppy is full to exploding with all kinds of creative digital jizz. It needs a clean out and I need to get it a new friend to take on some of the new stuff I want to make and the overflow from my laptop which is starting to get mighty congested.

My digital SLR camera. Ooh baby, you're so good. I'm so glad I got insurance on your predecessor so that when it was stolen, I got you (because point and shoot just doesn't cut the mustard as effectively).

Monday, June 1, 2009

Creatively Licenced

This is an image I found on Flickr by the user PixelAddict under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence. This means that I can effectively do anything I like with the image (share it, copy it, print out a copy for myself, use it in my own work), so long as I attribute it back to the original author.

I think that I can also use this for commercial work if I wanted to make an ad with an otter getting a manicure.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Five Blogs

Here are five blogs that I check religiously in my google reader.

First up is DesignSponge.

Design*Sponge is a daily website dedicated to home and product design run by Brooklyn-based writer, Grace Bonney. The blog has a number of contributors and includes DIY projects, sneak peeks into peoples houses (I love looking into houses! Open homes forever!), profiles of designers/artists, and general product coveting. Quite a focus on environmentally conscious, handmade work which is something I approve of.


Next we have Photoshop Disasters.

Photoshop Disasters is a website dedicated to terrible photoshopping that has somehow still been published (be it on the back of a bus, in a magazine, or a website - this site has it all). A hilarious website, and quite relevant to the digital literacy component of the course as it illustrates how you can be digitally literate, and still be crap unless you pay attention to your work. Did I mention the hilarity? I hope so.


Here's an artist I love to follow! Camilla Engman

Camilla Engman is a Swedish artist who does lovely paintings and illustrations - lately I've been coveting the ceramic collaboration she's had going on. She posts with info about her day, things she's interested in, photos of her work and things she's found, and photos of her adorable Jack Russel, Morran.


Doodlers Anonymous is wonderful eye candy.

Doodlers Anonymous showcases the works of professional and amateur doodlers. They say "Doodlers Anonymous was founded to celebrate our addiction, and like any other, we're hooked. The need to draw, sketch, and doodle is constant. We doodle on almost anything we can find — pencil in a moleskine, marker on a napkin, ink on a torn receipt, sharpie on concrete. And we do it habitually — while on hold, in a meeting, during class, or while we should be sleeping. This is a permanent home for spontaneous art."

I love it.


Finally, I present to you It's Nice That.

It's Nice That could also be described as an eye-candy type blog. There's a wide range of different work presented here from all kinds of art, film, fashion and design practices. They say "Launched in April 2007, It's Nice That aims to document and inspire creative talent. It's Nice That is run by Will Hudson and Alex Bec with regular contributor Jez Burrows." Delightful.


My name is Luci and this is my first year studying towards a Bachelor of Visual Arts at the Dunedin School of Art (part of the Otago Polytechnic).

This blog has been created as a requirement for the digital literacy segment of the course, but I intend to use it as a general record of what the course has been like.