Archive for the ‘Arts’ category

The Book is Dead – Long Live The Book!

June 10, 2008

This is a mail art call, one of the ongoing cultural artifacts spawned by Fluxus and Ray Johnson. Even if you don’t contribute, this is worth paying attention to, as cultural observers everywhere (Paul Krugman’s NYTimes op-ed on Friday) have been predicting the end of the book as we know it.

So what do you think? Is the printed book format in danger of becoming an relic from the Gutenberg Galaxy? In the eBooks research I’m currently engaged in, the printed book remains a preferred medium for textbooks, cover to cover reading, and texts for personal markup. eBooks are good for many things, but they do not replace the love of paper.

Books are themselves a system of signs, a packaging of signs that, when collected with sufficient other relevant texts, constructs a persistent identity, representations to others, and prompts of past literacies. You can walk in to a colleague’s office and know their competencies, interests, specialties, and possible contact points for relationship. (Have you ever seen someone’s book collection when on a first date situation and decided, on sight, this was not ever gonna work? Or, maybe it just would?) Try doing that on the web.

THE LAST BOOK

(A Project by Luis Camnitzer, sponsored by the National Library of Spain)

Open call for collaborations
The Last Book is a project to compile written as well as visual statements in which the authors may leave a legacy for future generations. The premise of the project is that book-based culture is coming to an end. On one hand, new technologies have introduced cultural mutations by transferring information to television and the Internet. On the other, there has been an increasing deterioration in the educational systems (as much in the First World as on the periphery) and a proliferation of religious and anti-intellectual fundamentalisms. The Last Book will serve as a time-capsule and leave a document and testament of our time, as well as a stimulus for a possible reactivation of culture in case of disappearance by negligence, catastrophe or conflagration.

Contributions to this project will be limited to one page and may be e-mailed to lastbook.madrid@gmail.com or mailed to Luis Camnitzer, 124 Susquehanna Ave., Great Neck NY 11021, USA. In case of submission of originals, these will not be returned. The book will be exhibited as an installation at the entrance of the Museum of the National Library of Spain in Madrid at some point of 2008. Pages will be added during the duration of the project, with the intention of an eventual publication of an abridged version selected by Luis Camnitzer, curator of the project. The tentative deadline is October 15, 2008.

This call is open and we hope that it will be resent to as many potential contributors as possible.

Patricia Kambitsch’s Looks Like Howard

March 10, 2008

In the midst of the Midwest’s blizzard, Patricia Kambitsch kept her date with destiny and launched her new memoir Looks Like Howard, now available online and everywhere through Behler Publications. We held the Surf ‘N Soul event at Therapy in Dayton Saturday, and our crowd packed the place with friends and book lovers, catching the Nick Kizirnis band playing their surf rock set, followed by DJs AJ RockWell and Scorpius Max churning out the old soul Chicago House.

Patricia was on the air on Rev Cool’s Around the Fringe show on WYSO Friday, braving the onset of the blizzard to share from the new book, with the Rev playing Nick’s Mulchmen recordings. Max read the chapter Trash Day on the air, and the Miami Valley was told in very certain terms that the show will go on Saturday! The show did, indeed. Nick and his lineup of Jim McPherson (drums), Brian Hogarth (bass), Dennis Mutter (guitar), and showing up late from Orlando, Ed Lacy (keyboards). I expect pictures to be on Patricia’s blog soon!

surfsoul.jpg

Visual Global Sensing

February 27, 2008

Could the mashup of Flickr + geovisualization generate a global Panopticon?  Robert Ouellette’s Gagglescape tipped me off to Flickr’s World Vision, a constantly circulating slide show of extraordinary images picked up from every point on the globe.

flickrv.jpg

The slideshow effect is mesmerizing, because these are images you would not be finding otherwise, it’s unlikely you would search for or find any of these in association with other images or keywords.  It has the effect of an autonomous global intelligence, a reminder that everyone else, everywhere, has a point of view, a location, and a camera. Flickrvision gives me new reason to actually post on Flickr for the fun of it, not just when there’s something to share.