New look

You may notice a new look and some new features . . . . Just testing some new stuff.


IP and fashion industry paradox

This is a fascinating paper on the fashion industry. It argues that the fashion industry’s seeming ‘tolerance’ of copies and derivatives actually assists in the growth of creativity within the industry.

Why, when other major content industries have obtained increasingly powerful IP protections for their products, does fashion design remain mostly unprotected – and economically successful? The fashion industry is a puzzle for the orthodox justification for IP rights. This paper explores this puzzle. We argue that the fashion industry counter-intuitively operates within a low-IP equilibrium in which copying does not deter innovation and may actually promote it. We call this the “piracy paradox.” This paper offers a model explaining how the fashion industry’s piracy paradox works, and how copying functions as an important element of and perhaps even a necessary predicate to the industry’s swift cycle of innovation. In so doing, we aim to shed light on the creative dynamics of the apparel industry. But we also hope to spark further exploration of a fundamental question of IP policy: to what degree are IP rights necessary to induce innovation? Are stable low-IP equilibria imaginable in other industries as well?

AV Related Digitisation

Cylinder Audio Archive

Cylinder recordings, the first commercially produced sound recordings, are a snapshot of musical and popular culture in the decades around the turn of the 20th century. They have long held the fascination of collectors and have presented challenges for playback and preservation by archives and collectors alike.

With funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the UCSB Libraries have created a digital collection of over 5,000 cylinder recordings held by the Department of Special Collections. In an effort to bring these recordings to a wider audience, they can be freely downloaded or streamed online.

We need more public domain digitisation projects like this.


Handheld Research at the Getty

Some interesting results from the Getty’s survey on handheld usage in their Rembrandt exhibition.

Comment cards and focus groups showed that few users were interested in the zoom or enlarge feature, but they did think that the images on the device helped them enjoy the art. The comment cards showed that text, image-based navigation, and zoom or enlarge were not selected by a majority of respondents as being the thing they liked about the handheld device; the audio was the most popular feature.<

AV Related Interactive Media


Fantastic presentation on gaming and story writing from Kim Plowright one the BBC’s producers.

Some excellent commentary and links to videos to illustrate points.



Open standard and toolset for Lego drawings/plans.

Ahh the memories.

AV Related

Mobile Cinema

Australias favourite son of electronic music video art has embraced the mobile revolution producing and repurposing a collection of Severed Heads music videos, along with other special friends, for viewing on PSP, Ipod Video and 3G phones.

Still in beta i think we can look forward to some very intersting stuff here.

AV Related

Thoughts on’ interopability’ for Video and Sound

Hi all. Here’s some thoughts I thought I’d share.

Lately I’ve been reviewing some new software for one of the magazines I write for. In particular looking at the new Adobe Production Suite – Premiere pro (video editing) , After Effects (animation & fx), Audition (multitrack recording), Encore (DVD authoring), Photoshop and Illustrator (graphics). Whilst there isn’t that much new about the applications themselves the fusion between them in this new bundle is spectacular as project files can be shifted between applications and directly reference media across applications.

All this got me thinking about the future of media production generally where the production process is not made of discreet units – perform, shoot, edit, render, compose, record, arrange, mix, master – but rather is one continuous fusion. Subsequently the roles of future artists will be far less confined to a specific mode or position or even creative form. People new to media production tend to take it for granted but believe me when I say the idea of mixing and arranging your music score at the same time as cutting your video, whilst having the DVD menu knocked up in the background and recording a voicer over all on the same system in the same room in a mostly simultaneous way is an absolutely foreign concept to those of us that learned under a traditional hierarchical and linear production model.

And following on from this, young people that grow up with this new thinking as the default mode will have a fundamentally different perspective on what ART is…? As educational theorist Marc Prensky saids the divide between digital natives and digital immigrants will only get wider… Is it not likely that 10 years from now, someone referring to making media art, of any flavour, will be heard to speak with a very thick and foreign accent if they talk in traditional linear, hierarchical and specialised terms…?

A large amount of this from a technical end is already starting to happen and it’s very exciting (for nerds like me anyway) but I find the prospect of how it will change how young people think about art and creativity itself, even more exciting.

From a technical end its just making the work process completely flexible so anything and everything can be edited and changed at any time and any stage of the process. We do away with these ideas of (as they say in film production ) Locking Picture, meaning ‘no more editing, we’re working on the sound mix now, no more changes’.

But that’s just the technical end, the shallow end of the pool… Binary Semantics. What’s more interesting is that to the digital native, the idea of ‘No more changes’ is just absurd, it doesn’t make sense, its completely at odds with their techno-cultural perception of the world.

To the digital native, EVERYTHING is ALWAYS changeable, It’s not what the technology ‘allows’ but rather what the technology IS – from the song order on an album (with an mp3 player there’s no such thing as a song order – there’s almost no such thing as an album), thru to “gee I love the snare drum sound on that Kylie Minogue track, I’m going to sample it and chop into this bass line I’ve cut out and pitch-shifted from Johnny Cash number” or “I’ve taken the ‘Duck and Cover’ paranoia commercial from the 50’s cause it I think it’s hilarious and I’ve intercut it with my own video of my brother playing under the table and put a sound track to it that uses my piano playing with a break beat and vocal samples of Bert the Turtle singing….”

AND THEN… I hand all this over to someone in Outer Mongolia and they re-cut it into something else again….

Our 20th century perception of creative art is as something that is fixed, finished and complete. But the 21st century perception of art (and subsequently the way young people will forever view art and creativity) is as something that is Never complete, something that can Always change and moreover something that they Themselves can proactively change.

And that’s the real reason I get excited by the simple idea of being able to throw project files around from application to application and having a more parallel, rather than linear, production process on the different elements, both aural and visual, in a project….. that simple technical evolution changes how we view and engage with art forever…


NESTA on digital natives and immigrants

An interesting short article refuting some of Prensky’s approach from NESTA (UK’s National Endownment For Science Technology and the Arts)

The notions of digital native and digital immigrant may be useful slogans for provoking argument. There have been clear social and cultural shifts that need to be investigated because they are deep and profound. However, the slogan does not stand up to inspection:

    The vast majority of children in advanced economies spend less than 30 minutes a day on computer games. The main demographic for computer games players is in fact 20-35 year-olds.
    The notion of a teenager tied to the phone calling their friends as an illustrative concept pre-dates the mobile phone (see 1960s US sitcoms). Most adults can afford to use voice rather than the cheaper SMS. Also 76% of adults in the UK have mobiles phones – this does not seem to indicate a major generation divide.
    Professional adults actually make more significant use of the different capabilities of ICT than anyone else – think of architects or accountants… or zoologists. Examine sales figures and marketing strategies of any major systems vendor.
    From the US: the highest usage of the internet at home is among 35-44 year-olds (29.2%).

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that testifies that not all teenagers spend lots of time with technology. They do lots of other things instead – riding horses, playing music, skateboarding or whatever.

AV Related Copyright/OCL Interactive Media


BurnStation is a cool new art project meets Copyleft . . . . .

BURN STATION is a mobile copying station which – as it travels through suburban spaces – supports the free distribution music and audio. It is software as well as a local network. But above all BURN STATION is a social event which congregates people together to listen, select and copy net label and net radio audio files with a Copyleft Licence. BURN STATION is an open source and a non-commercial project involving the new means of free networked distribution. It is based on the BURN STATION software which was developed by Platoniq and Rama as a 100% Free software. BURN STATION aims to establish links between the media space and the physical space of the city.