Archive for November, 2010
left: rebecca allen, still from The Catherine Wheel performance film (1982); right: stair guy posted to dump.fm by unicorngirl
see also stair guy vs stair kid
It's good to understand Nick Denton's priorities:
TMZ's growth was built upon three gigantic stories: Mel Gibson's meltdown; Michael Richards' racist outburst; and Michael Jackson's death.
We learned our lesson: aggressive news-mongering trumps satirical blogging. Gawker.com's growth since 2008 — from 300,000 people a week in the US to 1.4m — came in steps. After each story-driven spike — Tom Cruise's Scientology pitch video, Montauk Monster, Eric Dane's hot-tub non-orgy, iPad security breach, Christine O'Donnell's Halloween sleepover, etc — the audience settled back down, but at a higher level. The same pattern holds for Deadspin, which has ridden a sensational series of scoops culminating in the revelation that Brett Favre had stalked a buxom sideline reporter.
Not that you thought Gawker was anything but tabloid hackery but now it will be tabloid hackery that de-emphasizes blogging, as explained in this stunning blueprint of the modern internet.
hat tip double drat
kaleidoscopic rendering of dell speaker drawing from '06.
(hat tips carjackcker, eggyolkio, lolumad, frankhats, zoeee, stage, others)
Had a friendly argument recently over whether Vvork.com is a "trending" website. I say no, unless it's the single trend of the persistence of certain art conventions (all-white rooms, photo-documentation, theory references) in the face of changes in the world and the Internet.
As previously discussed, several recent articles have suggested a trend in the use of animated GIFs, by artists and those professionally unburdened by "art," yet you basically never see GIFs on Vvork. Lots of YouTubes yes, because they are a way to transmit video art. But GIFs are flashy and blingy and fun and too many of them would upset the site's core principles of austerity, high seriousness, and respect for institutional authority. That is to say, its enduring monotrend.
Update: jmb notes that vvork has animated GIFs. A page and a half out of hundreds, consider me unimpressed. Actually less than that, because about half the GIFs on those pages don't move. [Minor edits to the post to remove absolutes.]
Update 2: Assuming the search terms are reliable I count 14 posts with moving GIFs out of 4400 posts. A few stills from/links to animated GIFs can be found, so much more "documentary."
Update 3: What set me off (among other things): Ryder Ripps has been doing great GIF work (page back from here for some recent examples), some using FX plugins as a kind of default, others just smart mixing and matching, so of course vvork.com blogs his international collection of facebook songs on youtube. Nothing against that collection, but it's such a predictable choice from them. YouTube collections will always be hot with a certain Net Art curating set; GIFs are harder to get a bead on. Just please don't tell me Vvork is a trend website: somehow they manage to make 4000 artists seem like they're all in the same group.
Update 4: Have been a proud Vvork complainer since Spring 2007; the nature of the griping changes but curiously, the site never does.
Update 5: Changed "never" to "rarely" and then to "basically never." Apologies for the vacillation; am trying to find the right balance between truth and nitpicking.
Four recent "mainstream" articles suggest an upward trend in the use of animated GIFs: Slate, Jezebel, Vice's Motherboard site, and Dazed and Confused, the last of which covers the topic in its December print issue, with the caption "Meet the techno freak kids employing an outdated animation technique to create radical future forms." That's pretty accurate except for the "outdated" part (minor quibble). The journalistic hook in all these articles is that GIFs became discredited and replaced by Flash and now they're back. That's not really true but is more dramatic than saying GIFs never went away, either as web design elements or on popular meme sites such as 4chan and YTMND, staying strong all through the 2000s. What did happen is that companies like Apple, Google and Facebook minimized GIF support (or never had it to begin with), so it seems like GIFs passed out of view to someone who uses only those products.
Update: One small correction so the post makes, um, more sense.
Was a little disappointed that, in an otherwise copacetic discussion about the BYOB LA show, Guthrie, Seecoy, and Artie smiled favorably on this assessment of the BYOB NY incarnation (from Karen Archey's Post of Revenge):
the content and quality of work shown in such exhibitions is relatively superfluous to the political stance encompassing it. Most important here is the gesture that - perhaps in the face of web-based social networking - physical meet-ups and community building are vital as ever.
As a biased participant in the NY show, I say she's wrong, the work was great. The meet-up was nice, too, but ultimately it's about what's on the walls. I wrote some un-objective, boosterish comments on AFC and believe all that stuff. As for "political stance," so tired of these warmed-over post-structuralist attempts to peg every event as political. It was in a gallery, deal.
From Alan N. Shapiro's Star Trek: 20 Basic Principles:
Star Trek Basic Principle #7: Non-Signifying Language
In early capitalism, the law of accumulation is limited to the science of "political economy" and production. In late capitalism, it expands to wider instances of consumer culture; psychology (self and unconscious as psychic metaphors of capital); and linguistics ("signification" to infinity). In Chomsky’s linguistics, the brain is a "universal language machine" making possible the translation of all grammars and signifying systems. In Saussure’s linguistics, the playful gap between "signifier" and "signified" is barred by positing their equivalence in a linguistic sign that fixes a word’s identity. But language is sometimes other than a means of communication. In metaphor or poetry, or in the “mythical” speech of the Tamarians, language is not directly signifying. It is symbolic, ambivalent, evocative, and even destructive. "Meanings" are exchanged, subverted, enjoyed, and transformed in relationship and encounter.
image via hi5mountain