This blog will comprise a collection of ephemera, mess and miscellaneous artifacts reflecting on the writer's life.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

the next generation of gaming

So the home consoles around now have been out for 5 years
as well as the hand-held consoles
but now the home consoles market is going to the next generation, so new consoles are being produced by the three major gaming companies:
Sony and
Microsoft has already released its next generation console The XBox 360 which
is a state of the art console with one of the latest technologies in graphics
and also has on-line gaming and also
it has a lots of other features like
dvd player
music player
internet browser
it has
web cam (state of the art)
able to download off the internet and
able to download old arcade games ...
in my next two posts I will explain the other two next generation consoles.
I expect you can't wait.

Monday, February 27, 2006

on-line gaming

is complicated.
A massively multiplayer on-line Role Playing Game can be found here.
An rpg is a role-playing game which is like
you make a character
you make their:~
they can be warriors and wizards and warlocks who kill people and stuff
you do and complete quests
there is a big world
as you fight baddies (and creatures)
you gain experience in your skills and level up so your character is higher rank
and then what a massively multiplier rpg is is an on-line version of this
there are people playing this at the same time as you
You can form big groups of people like guilds
and you can go out to the wilderness and to forests and mountains
and you can ride creatures and stuff
and you can fight people in a thing called pvp (which means player versus player)
and follow the story
and its really fun
because it feels like this big gaming world.
Because everything is always changing around you
so there is always new and exciting things to do.

(Barney digital player age 13)
Also, Thanks Andrew, for getting me to think about this all today.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

so excited

about going to this tomorrow.
I am also thinking about how natural things become material artefacts (back to coal again) as in this picture.
Also, the concept of found objects - when is an object just lost and when is it found?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Other people's ipods

are useless
(sorry I am still brooding on the lost ipod. I do hope Dr Rob finds it for me).
On my partner's ipod shuffle, nicely lent, are:
Paul Weller
Talking Heads
Bill Frisell
Latin American Stuff
Jazz stuff
Not my thing at all.
I realise how much of our lives consist of customizing our identity spaces, like blogs and clothes and ipods, and making them somewhat our own.
I have also just finished reading this book Stuart a Life Backwards - it is very very good and made me laugh it is also very sad, but there is a brilliant bit when the author is camping out, and pretending to be a homeless person, (just for 3 days) and he says that he begins to customize his little bit of pavement and make it his own.
He also writes about prison, and how that is one of the things that prison tries to take away.
But then Anita Wilson reminds us that prisoners customize things too.
I have long wanted to do a research project on how we customize our desktops and what we do with them.
But I also want to do a research project on the Argos catalogue and tracking its role in homes.
Tattoos are ofcourse the most amazing way of customizing.
I like this one.

my 1st tat--CU
Originally uploaded by dante25.

Go and see the huge number of tattoos on Flickr here.

collecting for the future

This is a really interesting read.
I loved it when I noticed that Dorset County Museum included in its collections some Tupperware boxes and a Pirex jug.
Here are some more thoughts about future collections and their uses.
When does an ipod nano become a museum artefact?
I am also interested in some inside information - apparently there is a lot of coal in the storage spaces at the Rotherham Museum in Clifton Park.
What could one do with coal?
Go here ofcourse, for more information.
Here is some great future fashion (my favourite topic).

Go here for some more of her work.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Socially engaged art

Can be found here.
I really like this work, working across contestation and experience.
Anyway I am off here and here and meanwhile I am going to read this.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

the dismal fate

of blogging is described here. He loathes bloggers and thinks they are hopelessly dull:

it renders the word even more evanescent than journalism; yoked, as bloggers are, to the unending cycle of news and the need to post four or five times a day, five days a week, 50 weeks of the year, blogging is the closest literary culture has come to instant obsolescence. No Modern Library edition of the great polemicists of the blogosphere to yellow on the shelf; nothing but a virtual tomb for a billion posts - a choric song of the word-weary bloggers, forlorn mariners forever posting on the slumberless seas of news.

This is good as it means I can drone on about my ipod and bore you.

Originally uploaded by John Randgaard.

You may remember my ipod - it occupied a liminal space as a contested artefact in our household and contained such diverse music as Babyshambles, Artic Monkeys and Eliza Carthy.
It was an inbetween artefact, colonized by both adults and children and as such it moved across the domains of practice, from me on the train to Sheffield to kids in the back of the car...
It lasted six glorious weeks, in which I became a smug apple-earphones wearing person who looked like everyone else and occupied the ipod therefore I am universe.
and now no longer.
it slipped out of the car on the way to Dorset (child who allowed this to happen will be nameless)
and is gone.
What do I do?
1. Insist that child pays me back and buy new one
2. Buy dodgy one on ebay
3. Allow silence into my life?
Advice please.
You see, blogging is utterly ephemeral.

Monday, February 20, 2006

inbetween spaces

Originally uploaded by tansengming.

I love tansengming's inbetween images - go and see here.
And here is a website for you on inbetween spaces.
This website is SOOO cool.
Dr Joolz suggested it.
Go and see.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

the space inbetween

Steve has got me thinking about the space inbetween.
He is thinking about the space inbetween research and art, which for me is very interesting.
When is an artist an academic?
I said here that I thought artists were fast academics.
What does that leave academics - slow artists?
I guess so.
More space inbetweens:

Between a wave coming out and going in,
between children playing on a beach.

ALso, when I researched in homes, the space inbetween parents and children was always the most interesting space, and often, mess was where it was most visible, as this was the fuzzy space where children played and adults tidied up.
Also next weekend I am doing a session (originally I did this with Dr Joolz)
on literacy and spatiality and am thinking about space.
This book is really good and has the amazing concept that literacy practices produce space.
PS great to be back and thinking again!
PPS Dr Joolz is also thinking about the space inbetween and here she is writing of the people in her photo:

To take a moment in their lives, irrespective of the busy road above them and the canal (unseen) in front. They are mid transition; between the boundaries; liminal. But in a way I see them as subversive as they are turning the space into a new space and saying that it is NOT just scrap land, they will not ignore it, they will transform it.

Love it.

Monday, February 13, 2006


To Dorset.
But meanwhile, go here.
yes! She's back!
and she did a great session for us on Friday which everyone enjoyed and all the students loved.
Thank-you Vic!

Sunday, February 12, 2006


are here and here. Go and see it.
It is about the artist in a world of production.
David says that all art is now post historical and artists are now socially engaged practitioners.
I think this is a good example of what he is talking about.
More about this here.
David ofcourse is very keen on skips.
Did you know that there are 3 million artefacts behind the scenes in British museums?

Saturday, February 11, 2006

I have been thinking about

That is, Andy and I have for the Narratives of Migration project.
Andrey showed us on Friday these hornbooks, pictured here, made by boiling down cow horn and using it to fix onto paper and wood, were used in the 18th century, to teach young children to read, before paper got cheap.
Andrey showed us how they could be linked to the plastic inscribed sheets given to children in Mosque school, where they are used to teach simple Arabic.
Again, this is about the continuities and discontinuities in literacy practices in different timescales and communities.
This reminds me of the work of Nigel Hall here.
I am also thinking about:
critical literacy
Must go and look up some books in the library

Friday, February 10, 2006

music as material artefact

Opinion is divided on the subject of Folk Music.
Is it deeply retro, archived music which is totally irrelevant?
or is it a tranformative space of practice, still changing today?
This brilliant series has provoked some interesting reactions.
For those of you who missed it last Friday, you can tune in to your digital BBC 4 and watch it tonight.
It is brilliant.
It traces the history of English Folk music, from the skiffle songs originally from the deep South of America, by Leadbelly, above, through the Peggy Seeger, and all the sound archivists from the BBC who went round in little vans collecting songs.
This turned folk music into a kind of museum object, to be classified and organised.
Except it kept being played by real people, in pubs and clubs and being transformed and changed, combined with the blues, skiffle and the Irish fiddle music.
The programme described the work of:
... left-wing artists Ewan MacColl and Bert Lloyd. MacColl founded Britain's first modern folk club - The Ballad and Blues Club - and his groundbreaking Radio Ballads, which championed the working-class hero, were broadcast to unanimous acclaim.

But by the mid-1950s skiffle had captured the imagination of the nation's youth. Songs by American artists like Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie filled the airwaves

Folk music continues here and here.
Eliza Carthy is my favourite folk musician.
In her work, she transforms the sedimented folk songs into something new and different.
Rough Music is amazing.

What I like about her music is that you can trace the continuities and discontinuities from folk music through but also it is transformed in the process.
This is what we want to do with our narratives of migration project, look at continuities and discontinuities across diasporas and centuries, in people's use of artefacts and narratives.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Language as material artefact

Tykes Motto
Originally uploaded by Schadenfreude!.
I have talked about language as an artefact of identity.
I have also talked about Rotherham but I have not talked about Barnsley.
I liked this motto image by Schadenfreude and I also thought it illustrated Jan Blommaert's concept of language as material artefact.
It is also for digigran as I thought she would like it.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

men's fashion

is very difficult.
I have been warned off this topic by several men, but emboldened by Dr Rob and Dr Joolz I am boldly going where no woman has gone before etc etc.
There are various aspects to men's fashion I think are key:

1. On no account take any interest in either New York, Paris,
Milan or London Fashion weeks. It is all hopeless.

2. The person I know who dresses best is my hairdresser, Darren, from Fourth Floor.
He wears:
a) Brogues (good. I adore men in brogues)
b) very nice shirts. He only buys things he really likes.
He sometimes goes to Selfridges on a Sunday because it cheers him up.
c) Jeans which are nice and not too new or worn.
There you have it.

3. Other good looks are:
a) Boden man. This is not bad. Look here and here for some nice suits.
b) Cornish fisherman surfer/ jumper man. I bit passe but it can work.
c) Geography teacher man. This is I suspect Dr Rob's look but he must Not I repeat Not wear sandals. Ever.

4. Here are some things you must Never Ever do:
a). Wear Hawaian shirts. See Hadley Freeman here.
b) Sandals are a very bad look. See above
c) If you are balding SHAVE YOUR HEAD. You know it works. Remember Nick Hornby.

Apparently Betty Jackson's son shops here. He is obviously very well informed.
The other man I know who dresses well is James from Pollyanna who wears boiled wool coats in hot September but then he is a Slave to Fashion and like me.

There you have it.
Further questions ask Dr Kate.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

My Scottish great grandmother

My Scottish Great Grandmother

Here she is. She lived in Edinburgh.
She was called Janet Hunter and she was the secretary in the Falkirk Iron Foundry.
Two men loved her (I will not divulge their names GOD it is SO romantic).
They were brothers but she could only marry one, my great grandfather.
My grandfather, her son, moved down from Peebleshire to Dorset, to farm.
He never lost his Scottish accent.
This is what I call an artefact of identity.

Monday, February 06, 2006

my great grandmother

my great grandmother
Inspired by Litrate, I am going to show you some family history.
This is a picture of my great grandmother, on my paternal side.
It was taken at the bottom of my street, in Green Lanes, in Stoke Newington, where I live.
Here is a picture of the place where she had this picture taken, as it looks today.

I love the fact that I live where my great grandmother, whose maiden name was Valerie Stalicka, and her son, my grandfather, lived.
They were from Poland and also Germany, and emigrated from Germany and lived in Stoke Newington around the turn of the last century.
This is my narrative of migration.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Spring fashion

In the manner of Dr Joolz. who did an advice post on minibreaks,
( I am queen of the minibreak)
here is my advice on the subject of Spring Fashion.
For more inspiration, go here and here.
Meanwhile, here are some Hot Tips:

1. You can only wear White, Black and Taupe. Nothing else.

2. Except dresses. These are good, especially SHIRT DRESSES.

3. You should throw out:
a) the jeans you have worn all winter which your tummy spills over due to the effect of re-toxing and puddings.
b) Your old skirt you think is a 'favourite'. It is not.
c) Over-washed cardigans. They are just TOO SMALL.

4. You should purchase:
a) Camisoles. See Dr Joolz. These are ESSENTIAL.
b) New jeans. See above. These should make you look THIN.
c). A nice skirt to replace the Old Favourite (Gap has a good one in Grey £35.00)

5. You should on no account purchase:
a) Leggings. How could we have worn them. Why?
b) Tulip skirts. A fat-feeling fashion theme.
c) Diane von Furstenburg type wrap dresses. Trust me. They will make you look fat although you are THIN.

6. You can never have too many:
a) rings
b) clogs
c) black opaque tights from Wolford.

7. The Rules (black white taupe etc) can be broken only if:
a) You wear a blue trench coat (this is allowed)
b) You have high heels (that is always good and we should try and wear them ALL THE TIME.)
c) You wear ruffles on your skirt (this does NOT mean gypsy skirts. Get a grip).

For more information go to London Fashion week, it is happenning on the 14th Feb and I will give you DAILY UPDATES.
You have been warned.
PS it is VERY IMPORTANT not to follow ANY fashion advice of ANY KIND.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Which one do you like?

Which one do you like?
Originally uploaded by *Muhammad*.
even better are these dresses.
They come from this set which I absolutely adore on this cold February day.

Art in Toronto

Art in Toronto
Originally uploaded by *Muhammad*.
I love this image, and it comes from a set of images from Muhammad, who is living in Ontario, Canada.
His photos remind me of the importance of seeing the world through new eyes, and identities, migration and diasporas, and Flickr is a wonderful place to share his vision and his work.

You can see more of his photos here and here.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

cracks in the floorboards

Pipilotti Rist is amazing.
Go here to see her work.
She creates video installations in cracks the floorboards and does things INSIDE swimsuits and toilets.
Make sure you say YES when the pop up blocker comes up as you want to see it.
There is a really interesting interface in her work between digital and popular cultures, new media and art.
I thought of her when Michele wrote about art and digitised media.
More about her here and here.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

art and inscription

Michele is writing about art, and young people here.
She writes about FLickr and Manga and other phenomena in which young people inscribe their identities into digital stuff.
I am interested in this too, but I am also interested in intergenerational and long-term stuff as well.
For example, Zahir's stuff which I wrote about here draws on the visual affordances of the web but also on Islamic cultures and identities which are not so much about the 'new'.
I wrote a chapter in here about this, and I think, while Michele has pointed to something very interesting about the web, there are ways in which sedimented identities also re-surface in art.
I am interested in narratives of migration and ways in which young people both take on long-term narratives, shaped by parents and grandparents, and merge it with new stuff.
Like this.
Grafitti and Islamic art.
More of it here
and here.
and yes, even better, here in Blackburn - digital player is ahead of me.