Archive for March, 2009

Someone with little crafty fingers has found a genious way to reuse cassettes for art purposes. Unlike me, who used to make hair extensions out of old cassette tapes, a budding artist Iri5 has created something much more meaningful out of them cobalt tapes, a portrait of Jimi Hendrix!

Iris5: Ghost in the Machine Flickr Set

Seek out for yourself, and see more tape portraits of rock legends here

Somewhere in the clouds of  news stories on the web, I found BoingBoing wrote about some interesting bit of research done by a PhD student Danah Boyd.  In a catchy titled research called “Social Media is Here to Stay… Now What?”,  Danah neatly reiterated the fact that Social Media is what we need in order for us to satisfy our undying need for conversation and communal cohesion as well as our desire to explore, share and express.

In the research, she also talks about five properties of social media and three dynamics, as quoted below.

1. Persistence. What you say sticks around. This is great for asynchronicity, not so great when everything you’ve ever said has gone down on your permanent record. The bits-wise nature of social media means that a great deal of content produced through social media is persistent by default.

2. Replicability. You can copy and paste a conversation from one medium to another, adding to the persistent nature of it. This is great for being able to share information, but it is also at the crux of rumor-spreading. Worse: while you can replicate a conversation, it’s much easier to alter what’s been said than to confirm that it’s an accurate portrayal of the original conversation.

3. Searchability. My mother would’ve loved to scream search into the air and figure out where I’d run off with friends. She couldn’t; I’m quite thankful. But with social media, it’s quite easy to track someone down or to find someone as a result of searching for content. Search changes the landscape, making information available at our fingertips. This is great in some circumstances, but when trying to avoid those who hold power over you, it may be less than ideal.

4. Scalability. Social media scales things in new ways. Conversations that were intended for just a friend or two might spiral out of control and scale to the entire school or, if it is especially embarrassing, the whole world. Of course, just because something can scale doesn’t mean that it will. Politicians and marketers have learned this one the hard way.

5. (de)locatability. With the mobile, you are dislocated from any particular point in space, but at the same time, location-based technologies make location much more relevant. This paradox means that we are simultaneously more and less connected to physical space.

Those five properties are intertwined, she says, and their implications also carry following three social dynamics.

1. Invisible Audiences. We are used to being able to assess the people around us when we’re speaking. We adjust what we’re saying to account for the audience. Social media introduces all sorts of invisible audiences. There are lurkers who are present at the moment but whom we cannot see, but there are also visitors who access our content at a later date or in a different environment than where we first produced them. As a result, we are having to present ourselves and communicate without fully understanding the potential or actual audience. The potential invisible audiences can be stifling. Of course, there’s plenty of room to put your head in the sand and pretend like those people don’t really exist.

2. Collapsed Contexts. Connected to this is the collapsing of contexts. In choosing what to say when, we account for both the audience and the context more generally. Some behaviors are appropriate in one context but not another, in front of one audience but not others. Social media brings all of these contexts crashing into one another and it’s often difficult to figure out what’s appropriate, let alone what can be understood.

3. Blurring of Public and Private. Finally, there’s the blurring of public and private. These distinctions are normally structured around audience and context with certain places or conversations being “public” or “private.” These distinctions are much harder to manage when you have to contend with the shifts in how the environment is organized.

I’ve just happened to discover the  incredibly talented Kutiman, who runs the pioneering music project called Thru You, whereby he remixes various Youtube UGC videos to make a highly original multi-genre (modern acid jazz, funk, rock, soul and hip-hop) music.  Kutiman essentially brought together the first ever Youtube music band consisting of  various different bedroom talents and Youtube millenials, thus orchestrating a real collaborative,  ankle popping music!

Check out his latest remix video to see how it’s done.

A fellow art and design blogger at Surfstation has posted about an innovative information mapping website called Informapping. It’s an intriguing tool that visualises where international news is being broken around the world on the internet.

According to the site, Washington is the top news breaking city in the world, but it’s kind of obvious thing to proclaim as informapping sources news from AP, CNN, Reuters and NYTimes only which means the real contraflow of global news on the internet could be a little underrepresented, nevertheless it gives a good overview on where news is breaking and with how much of an impact.

informapping

informapping-photo