Wednesday, May 28, 2003

just back from interview with Camden local authority representative for UK Online. The UK Online project sponsors learning support for computer use and internet access centres for those designated from high deprivation areas and disadvantaged backgrounds [in particular targeting single parents, those with disabilities, unemployed people, people from ethnic minorities and those over 60 years old]. As well as establishing centres in Camden public libraries, there are now small centres in a number of local youth and community centres, which have proved highly popular and successful.

Friday, May 23, 2003

Kris and I are in the midst of a workshop run by the folks of We have just made some WAP content, both text and animation. I managed a flower with petals and leaves dropping off and a worm. Kris created an animation called 'egg splatt'. See it here on your WAP phone: At last, a reason to buy a WAP phone!

Monday, May 19, 2003

just back from interesting chat with the people responsible for running Haringey Online, the wesbite for the borough council. Among the many points of conversation, we discussed the point of a council website. The government perspective is that council websites should aim for full transactability: ie that they should be about making council transactions available online [such as being able to pay council tax, parking fines etc], as well as providing information on council services. But is transactability what borough residents want? Might council websites better serve as a forum for community discussion?

a wee banff.
Tomorrow I'm off to Banff, Alberta, Canada with Nina and Ben Coode-Adams for a conference called "The Beauty of Collaboration", which INCITE is co-creating/co-hosting with Sara Diamond and the Banff New Media Institute. Then Ben and I re-(uh)-mount, our Everest piece (scroll way over to the right). You can read about its expanded form, keep track of our progress, and monitor the performance itself in 15 minute increments (between 7:00am on 29th May until about noon on the 30th, UK time), here.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

NEW METAPHORS FOR PHOTOGRAPHY? Translation. Mechanical translation. Collecting. Collecting butterflies. Pressing flowers. Each emerges from photobloggers in the ethnography of photoblogging and were conceived with some care. Try to think about them carefully; how might each be differently descriptive of how photography works? And how do they contrast with older figures for thinking about photography (e.g. memory, record, document, art)? Also: in each of these possible figures for photography, as their speaker draws them out, the photographer is merged with her/his device. So they aren't simply metaphors for the camera, or for how the camera acts on its subjects. They're metaphors for the wider activity of photoblogging, which includes: walking around town in a photographically receptive mode, taking photos, storing, organising, and uploading photos, and posting photos to one's blog. What's interesting to me (though maybe not new) about this is the way the metaphors fail to distinguish fully between the photographer (photoblogger) and the technology (camera). The quiddity of the camera's perspective is added to the quiddity of the photographer's perspective, and it starts to feel less relevant to talk about technologies as distinct from the people who use them. Where would one draw the line between one and the other, if one is thinking about the actions that each performs?

Saturday, May 03, 2003

URBAN TAPESTRIES: On Thursday, I attended a workshop for the Urban Tapestries project. As a "forum for sharing experience and knowledge, for leaving ephemeral traces of peoples’ presence in the geography of the city" Urban Tapestries, in its conception, shares a lot of practical, geographical and representational ground with blogging. And Proboscis, the group who runs the project, is rife with smart, interesting people who, you won't be surprised to hear, attract lots of smart, interesting people to their workshops. Technologists, designers, social scientists, geographers, all eager and generous. We thought a lot about the kinds of traces people might want to leave on the city, were they to be given the means; about the meaning and production and contingencies of "social knowledge"; about the kinds of entities that cities are, in comparison to the web, books, memories, etc.