Catching up and going places

January 31, 2008

My last semester of college has begun and I have been busy actually writing my thesis and working for classes that this little blog has been somewhat neglected. I promise that soon i will post some of the work I have done for the thesis itself but until then I would like to engage the blogosphere in a discussion of some of the other discussions being had around the digital world.

First I came across a post today regarding blogs and their ability to be critical. Kassia over at Booksquare has suggested in a recent post that blogs do not have the abilities print does to be critical and therefor are not a threat to print. I have posted a response to this suggestion and would encourage everyone out there to join in. What is important is that we identify where critical work is being done online and see how the blog is functioning to support or hinder that work.

Through technorati I found this post commenting on the rather long NY times article on the books on blogs. The author is giving a roundup of the Review of Books essay. This essay should prove very helpful in looking at the publication world’s response to blogs. A huge component of the thesis will focus on the literary community that exists between blogs and books.

Another blog has picked up the same article for review. Writing for the Web, has submitted a response to the tone of the article along with correcting a few of the gross generalities presented.  In general this author’s blog is very thoughtful and insightful when it comes to writing and the web 3.0.

The Blog Herald, a metablogging site that has proven very helpful with this thesis has just announced the expansion of Google’s Blogger into the Arabic World. Let the tools of the internet tear down the walls blocking communication.

Another post at The Blog Herald is in regards to blogging anonymously. It is a very good article and provides links to some very interesting posts where the authors describe their own struggles to be public about their online identity. It would appear as if the age old American debate of free speech has found a new forum in the blog world. Can someone be critical of their employer, professor, government and be honest and open about who they are as well? It would seem as though the answer to that is leaning towards the “no” with those fighting for it to be a “yes”. As being one who was personally effected by this fight when I decided to leave a class due to the professors misgivings about the blog world, I would like to see it lean towards the yes and end the days of digital silence.

if:book again provides us with updates on the progress of Grand Text Auto by announcing the completion of part 1, Expressive Processing. A meta-discussion is to follow in the next phase, check it out. Here is the meta of Grand Text Auto.

Another post on the if:book blog proved to take me back a few years, and I only mean a few as I find myself one who is pretty well in tune with my inner child. I love discussions of creativity, especially when the discussions themselves are creative. After all it is one thing to talk about the futurizer, it’s another to believe it, or believe in believing in it. For myself I am looking to one day invent my timechangeizerfying machine, perhaps I’ll do it for this blog, who knows.

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When posting comments

January 17, 2008

Something I am running into in trying to describe the various functions of a blog are the particular aspects of the comment field. I as the author of this blog have the ability to put pretty much anything I want as a post, anything from a video, an image, an audio file and each of these can be activated from the front page or the post page on my site. This multimedia aspect of a blog is very important and should be considered one of its defining elements as a writing space, it is not limited in the same way a book is. When I get to the publishing aspects of blogs later on I feel that this part should prove to be very interesting. By that I mean how does one print a multimedia blog? Has it been done?

I don’t know…

But that is off topic for this. I have a question for the blogosphere today and it has to do with comments. I know that one can put text and even hypertext as a comment to a post but can one put images and sound? And if one can’t because I don’t believe it is possible with WordPress is it possible with other blog providers?

I think that the comment aspect of blogging plays a very important role in the community based creation of this type of internet art. For the first time, well maybe not the first time but it is the most influential, readers can become authors of the blogs they read by adding their two cents.

So blogosphere become authors of my work and comment.

Huysmans


Thesis Update

January 13, 2008

So I finally cracked into the writing part of this and have secured an introduction, well part of an introduction. I still want to discuss intermediality in today’s world and look more closely at art productions such as The Pillow Book and the multimedia characteristics of the digital medium. But that will come once I finally watch The Pillow Book. Next I am going to move onto the first of three sections of my thesis, the blog and its dynamics. Here as I mentioned in my outline I will focus on describing the blog as both a new medium of artistic expression and a genre of literature. So before I begin crunching the words I wanted to give you all, the blogosphere, one last chance to submit to me blogs that may fall under the following category:

A blog that the author is using to publish creative content that would normally or rather historically be published in lit magazines or journals or books. The content does not have to be all that they publish but I am looking for in general blogs that use the blog medium to publish literature.

Or a blog that performs in what I guess is the traditional sense of a blog, a blog that acts as a public diary or journal for the author, well written and established blogs of this sort will help to describe how the blog may have developed an entirely new genre of literature.

Thanks in advance and expect an artistic discussion post soon, I recently got a Wii and well needless to say it has distracted me,

Huysmans


We’ve got blog

January 8, 2008

I am finally back from vacation and have finished the collection of essays titled We’ve got blog: how weblogs are changing our culture. It was a very interesting collection, very diverse, and will be very helpful in understanding more of the specifics in regards to the history of the blog. However the funny thing about anything in print in regards to this topic is that it becomes immediately dated. All the essays in here are from the late 90s through 2002, which makes sense since the book was published in 03 and for a book that’s recent. But still in regards to the “A-List” blogs they talk about in the book, well many don’t update anymore.

 

But the important part is that it gave me some good perspective on the blog’s development. It’s interesting to me, but yet not surprising, that it started as a filter, as a collection of interesting links within the internet, one could say that that purpose is still around today, in fact most probably would, if not through the posts and tags then through the blogroll, but the blogroll isn’t updated regularly like the original weblogs were. I know from the book that the debate on which is a real blog still exists, or at least it did then.

 

Something I find rather interesting about this collection of essays is that there is no discussion of art in the blogs, these writers don’t identify as authors, many as journalists and probably a few as strictly writers or bloggers, but what is interesting is that they don’t see their work as art.

 

Something that I have been toying with is the idea that the public journal aspect of a blog, the type of blog that has become the most popular form of blogging today is in fact a genre of literature, a theme for writing if you will. I believe that it is a hybrid of an autobiography with the essences of a collaborative work such as the Surrealists would do. I know or rather can imagine that there are bloggers out there that honestly write what really does happen to them in that given post but they are still adding opinion, interpretation, hopefully artistic exaggeration, and lets not forget style and format, all of which are artistic and literary themes so therefore I would almost venture to say that these blogs if they were to be found in say a Barnes & Nobel they would be found under the section of Blog Journal, which would be next to Magical Realism and Autobiographies.

 

Just my thoughts and I know it’s a week late but.

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR and good luck in ‘08

 

Huysmans


Post #50, a scene without answer

December 25, 2007

Well here has come my fiftieth post. And that is all there is to that now is there.

 

So what more to the score must now be added, well that is where we are at hand.

 

This blog promotes the discussion, appreciation, critical analysis, and in general culture and communication of art and the world it lives in, namely this world.

 

So for this fiftieth post I say happy holidays and a wonderful new year.

 

For myself I want to thank those that have engaged in my discussions and present this:

 

A scene without answers:

ACT ONE A simple conference room with three tables set up in a box like formation, the missing side of the box is the side closest to the audience. Each table has two chairs on the outer side all with filled. Behind the table to the back, parallel with the audience, on the wall lies a reproduction of Frank Stella’s The Marriage of Reason and Squalor, II. On either side of the painting are two large windows both open with the curtains tied back. The view from the windows is that of a clear blue sky, the room is a few floors up and its view is not blocked by any other buildings.. The rest of the room has a simple design, reflecting its sole purpose as a place for conference and discussion. There is a table off to one side fitted with coffee and refinements while each table has a pitcher of water and glasses. The room is lit from over head resembling simple yet formal lighting.             Behind the back table sits F. STELLA and N. M. C., they are talking and shuffling through papers. F. STELLA is an older man, but clearly not an old man who has found a casual formal dress which, he thinks, makes him look like a chic urbanite. N. M. C. is clearly an older man with an air of importance. He has decided for this preliminary meeting to wear the traditional judge outfit, even though it is not necessary. It is in his opinion that those in attendance must show him that respect, for him the clothes help achieve that. Sitting behind the table to stage-right is MATHIAS and UNDERSTUDY AS MATHIAS REPRESENTATION, MATHIAS REPRESENTATION is very much engaged in his conversation with MATHIAS who seems to be much less interested and keeps staring off stage. MATHIAS appears to be a middle-aged not in his prime anymore though. He is wearing a somewhat beat up suit, it’s the only formal outfit he has. MATHIAS REPRESENTATION is of younger appearance and is dressed in a newly purchased formal outfit, very proud of it.  Behind the table across from them sits MEMORY and UNDERSTUDY AS MEMORY REPRESENTATION. Both of them are not in any kind of discussion but are staring rather angrily at MATHIAS. MEMORY, like MATHIAS is just coming out of the prime of her life, the most formal outfit she has is her “Sunday best” for church, which is what she has on now. Her representation, like MATHIAS’S is wearing a newly bought formal suit; it appears as if the two representations have a little bit of a competition going on. Lastly, behind the window to stage-right is NAIRD-NOM standing on scaffolding cleaning the window. NAIRD-NOM is in full uniform for the job and appears to be an older man who has found the one job that doesn’t have a retirement age.             Directorial note: If the dialog of this act is to be changed by the direct it must still follow the production constraint designed by the playwright, every line must be a question. 

            MEMORY (to MATHIAS). What is it you’re looking at…my dear?

            MATHIAS (without turning to face her). What does it matter to you?

            F. STELLA (to everyone). Do you guys want to finish this or not?

            N. M. C. (after checking his watch). Are you all aware of the time? Can we move onto custody of the children?

            MATHIAS REPRESENTATION. Do you really think we can resolve that question today?

            MEMORY REPRESENTATION. And why do you think we can’t?

            MATHIAS REP (now annoyed with the question). Can we leave the children for tomorrow’s meeting? Don’t you think we’ve argued enough today?

            MEMORY. Why are you so keen on postponing this discussion? Judge, isn’t it obvious that I should have custody of the children? Did he, (points to MATHIAS) not demonstrate through his actions a lack of responsibility?

            MATHIAS (focusing back onto the argument). Are you suggesting that this one incident is enough to ignore the years of service I have given our children?

            MEMORY. What service?

            MATHIAS. How can you say that?

            F. STELLA (to MEMORY). Is there a way we can work around absolute custody of the children? Judge (turns to face N. M. C.) don’t you think that custody is too serious of an issue for this preliminary conference?

            N. M. C. (with a pondering expression). Is it possible for us to discuss the incident in its entirety today?

            MATHIAS (a little puzzled). You want me to tell you the story of my transgressions?

            N. M. C. Don’t you think it will help your case in my eyes if we all can get the incident in question out into the open?

            MATHIAS. And what relevance does my story have with the division of assists?

            MEMORY (very annoyed with MATHIAS’s attitude). You think it has no relevance?

            MATHIAS. What relevance does it have?

            MEMORY REP. You tell us?

            N. M. C. (to MEMORY REP). But on the other hand, don’t you think his account of it will be bias?

            MEMORY REP. Is there another account of the incident? (To MEMORY). Wasn’t your late uncle with Mathias when it happened? What’s his name again? Edouard?

            MEMORY. Are you sure it’s not R. G.?

            MATHIAS. What does he have to do with this?

            F. STELLA. Was he here with you during the time of your affair?

            MATHIAS. And if he was?

            F. STELLA. Shouldn’t his account of what happened be inspected?

            N. M. C. Do we have a home or mailing address for the fellow?

            MEMORY. Judge, you didn’t hear that he died last year?

            N. M. C. Did he really? How will we ever move forward without him? Do you have access to any of his records?

            MEMORY REP (proudly). Aren’t his personal journals on file at the Museum?

            MEMORY (a little surprised). Are they?

            N. M. C. (impatiently). Mr. Stella can you get us a copy of his journal?

            F. STELLA (Standing up). Can you handle them without me?

            N. M. C. (chuckling). Can you hurry?

 (F. STELLA stands, takes one last look at the group of people all with frustrated expressions, he exists stage-right and on his way out waves to the window washer who waves back, excitedly.) 

N. M. C. (annoyed as he turns back to face the group). Okay everyone, can we try at least to get through some more of these proceedings while we wait for the journal?

MATHIAS REP (with an air of procedure). Shall we move to the marital assists then?

N. M. C. (looking to the rest of the group). Are there any objections?

MATHIAS REP (very pretentiously). Now MEMORY, did you work during the marriage?

MEMORY (annoyed at the question). Don’t you know the answer?

MATHIAS REP. Can you give it for the record?

MEMORY REP (very annoyed). Why do we have to get into this? Wasn’t her job to take care of the children? Do you not think that that is a full time job in itself? How can you accuse my client of not doing her part?

MATHIAS REP (Proudly). Should we take that as a no?

MEMORY (frustrated but calm). What do you think?

MATHIAS REP. Does that not entitled my client to 100% of the assists acquired during the marriage?

MEMORY. Do you think that without me he would have the same amount of assists?

N. M. C. Shall we leave the question of assists for when we have a marriage counselor again?

MATHIAS REP. And what, then, does the judge want to work out now?

N. M. C. (thinking to himself). Where are we in regards to the frequent flyer miles?

MATHIAS REP. Aren’t we nowhere?

MEMORY REP. Didn’t we decide that my client should have the miles?

MATHIAS REP. When did we decide that?

MEMORY REP. Are you accusing me of lying?

MATHIAS REP. Are you?

MEMORY REP. Judge, aren’t you going to stop these ridiculous outbursts?

N. M. C. (impatient, frustrated, and a little angry). Mathias representation, can we leave the arguing for after the discussion?

MATHIAS REP. You think I am willing to sit back and let this hack of a layer fuck over my client?

N. M. C. Are you seriously going to question my authority here? Now, can we get back on track?

MEMORY REP. Is the judge aware that the question of ownership over the miles was dealt with on a preliminary basis resulting in my client’s ownership of all the miles due to the fact that their origin came from the use of my client when visiting her dying uncle?

MATHIAS REP. Are you aware that it was my client who financed her trips, thus resulting in his ownership of the miles?

MEMORY REP. And are you aware that your client prevented my client from securing employment due to her responsibilities on the home front?

 

(Around this point MATHIAS will get extremely bored with the proceedings and get up and walk off stage, this will surprise the entire cast on stage as well as the window washer. This will end the current argument.)

 

N. M. C. (Stunned). Can you believe he just did that?

MATHIAS REP (also stunned). Does he not know that the scene is not over?

MEMORY REP. Is this not a great example of his irresponsibility?

N. M. C. (confused). Are you talking about the actor or the character?

MEMORY REP. Does it matter?

MEMORY (frustrated but confident). Judge, don’t you think we’ve had enough of this? Isn’t it best at this point to push this back just one more day?

N. M. C. (thinking it through). Does the legal representation support this motion? (He eyes both REPRESENTATIVES while asking the question).

MATHIAS REP. Do you think we should resolve the issue of this “Uncle’s journal” first? (MATHIAS REP. makes quotation movement with his hands).

MEMORY REP. How long do you think he will be? Is he really going all the way to the museum?

MATHIAS REP. Isn’t the museum way uptown?

MEMORY. Can we just store the journal here when Mr. Stella returns and examine it tomorrow?

N. M. C. (looking offstage). Are you serious? (Eyes the audience, and then turns back to who ever he is talking to offstage, he is receiving instructions through an earpiece). What should I say though?… But isn’t he supposed to come back tomorrow?… Why aren’t we gona do scene two?

MEMORY (looking offstage as well). We’re not doing scene two?

MATHIAS REP. Do they really want to make these changes?

 

(As the level of confusion amongst the characters rises, F. STELLA will return from stage-left, opposite side to which he left from. In his hands, he is holding an incredibly old and fragile journal, a very large document that looks to be at least one hundred years old. F. STELLA quickly finds his seat and eyes the other characters to get their attention.)

 

            F. STELLA (to everyone). Did you all miss me?

            N. M. C. (still confused). Did you find the journal?

            F. STELLA (holding up the old document). What does it look like?

            MEMORY REP. How did you get to the museum and back so fast?

            F. STELLA. What makes you think I went to the museum?

            MATHIAS REP. Isn’t that where you were going to go to get it?

            F. STELLA. Is that where I was supposed to go?

            N. M. C. (more confused than ever). You didn’t find that here did you?

            F. STELLA. Do you think I went all the way to the museum?

            N. M. C. We have a copy of his journal here? Why? How? Since when?

            F. STELLA. Wouldn’t it be best to read it for the purpose of this conference first, before going into how I got it here?

            N. M. C. (again looking at his watch). Shall we read it after a short recess?

            MEMORY REP (to MEMORY). Is that okay with you?

            MEMORY (to MEMORY REP). But we will go over it today, right?

            MATHIAS REP. Can we take a break first though? I mean, don’t you think it is best if we have Mathias here for the reading?

            N. M. C. (to everyone). So meeting back here in about twenty minuets? Does that work for everyone?

 (In silence they all nod and get up. MATHIAS REP, N. M. C., and F. STELLA exit stage-right while MEMORY and MEMORY REP exit stage-left. Upon their exit NAIRD-NOM , who has been quietly washing the one left window this entire time signals off stage-right with his hand and then the lights fade out and the curtain falls. This intermission will be no more than five minuets, just to change the set.)


Facebook as Literature

December 21, 2007

I used to think, and by used to I mean up until this week, that these new fangled applications on facebook were not just a waste of time but a disgrace to the essence of what is Facebook. Well that was back when I was elitist for being a college student and couldn’t get over the fact that now high schoolers had accounts. Though I wouldn’t say I am passed that phase of my Facebook relationship I have come to see some value in these applications.

 

I bring it up here because it is rather interesting to see how the literary world has utilized it. First I want to introduce a rather interesting and simply engaging application I found through Chris Joseph’s blog. The novel is called Why Some Dolls Are Bad and it is a graphic novel and is dynamically generated through a Facebook application by the same name. I highly recommend looking into it.

 

It is works like this that are key resources for reviewing the literary potential of blogs, though this app itself is not a blog it does use many of the unique blog features I plan on discussing, such as hypertext, mixmedia, and a community set up through the app users. But again it isn’t a blog in that we cannot directly communicate with the novel author, Kate Armstrong.

 

Anyway it is something worth checking out and thanks to Chris for pointing it out.

 

On another note on Facebook I have also added the scrabble game, a game I like to think helps stimulate writers and with it on Facebook I can enter multiple games at once with my friends that take place over a long period of time, a cute way to remind me about how bad my vocabulary is. For example below is my attempt at trying to make words with the letters I had, I have decided that it makes some rather interesting phonetic poetry, or just crap. You can decide for yourself.

 

Huysmans.

 

Dif tif dif nif wintow woodin wid

 

Woodint winotod

 

Windoo windot wondit wond windo woodi n tinwood nitwood woodnit inwood


Being Dated.

December 20, 2007

So since I know have the ground working for working on this thesis something that I have been thinking about a lot lately is the momentary aspect of my research. The moment I make a statement about the current situation, that statement becomes dated. Today we are dealing with a system that’s most fundamental tradition is a tradition of change.

 

I bring this up now for one reason in particular, my roommate has just recently started a flickr.com account and we both have become rather excited about the potential it has for him. I myself have begun to ponder on the idea of creating one for my photos, for no other reason then to pack them up on the internet. But also because it is nice to be able to share travels and experience and for those who are trying to become photographers like my roommate, it is a good way to get out there.

 

So why do I bring up flickr when talking about blogs? I’m sure the answer is obvious to most of you (it wasn’t to me at first) but because perhaps the blog is not a literary tool. I am excited to do my thesis and will work it to its conclusion but what I am pondering right now is the reality that we need to move away from placing these new tools in old media and just establish them as new media. I intend to do this with my thesis but at the same time my goal is to look at their literary potential, by that I mean I am not using flickr for my research.

 

If I was to write a book rather than a thesis though I think that looking at these online blogs,vlogs, photo blogs, and so forth should be brought under one new medium, the internet, a medium that has no restrictions save one, it is not tangible. Everything created exists and only exists on the internet, in that specific format.

 

So here is to being dated and to always need those addendums.

 

Huysmans.