Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Phnom Penh: Re-Mix Culture

I have a quote I would like to share. I don't want to include this on the blog of my cassette archives ( because it is not DIRECTLY related to it, though I draw a large deal of inspiration from it.

In the liner notes of the Sublime Frequencies release "Radio Phnom Penh" Alan Bishop claims says

At its peak in the late 60's/early 70's, the Cambodians were a musical Superpower. Some of the most unique/exciting Pop and Rock songs this planet has ever produced came out of Phnom Penh's studios during this period. But the Khmer Rouge took power, killed many of the middle/upper class citizens including most of the musicians, and shut down the renaissance. Somehow, perhaps by transport to safe havens overseas, most of the original master tapes survived….This diverse, venerable collection of Radio Programming is a combination of AM/FM samples from the airwaves of Phnom Penh. The older, classic Pop/Rock FM cuts are ALL re-mixed as the newer forms/styles of Cambodian music collected here are not. This is Re-Mix Radio, much of it re-mixed music, created by a re-mixed culture.

The reason I don't want to include this on my blog is because I do not want to generalize the views of an entire geographical region. While the music I found is from a similar region, I cannot safely say that these ideas hold true for all of southeast Asia. I am, however, in the process of of finding out whether or not these ideas do extend throughout the region. I am attempting to contact a number of people who have a great deal of experience with the music of this region, on which runs a blog that can be found here: MADROTTER

I also plan to take trips to the region myself and explore the different musics and ideas on music, paying close attention to the origins of the music and how it has permeated through the culture.

While the sea project blog focuses on the Gamelan performance I found while working at the language library, there are a number of equally mystifying cassettes and CDs littering the place. I hope to find out what those tapes are some day, but for now I may revel in the enigma.
the earliest time zone appears to be hawaii, which is six hours behind our time zone, FYI.

the library of congress and twitter

big news! the library of congress has just decided it wants the entire archive of twitter. some preliminary questions posed:

Will the archive include friend/follower connection data? Will it be usable for commercial purposes? Will there be a Web interface for searching it, and will that change the face of Twitter search for good? Is there any way that the much larger archive of Facebook data could be submitted to the same body for analysis of the same kind?

always know exactly where you're going

google announced yesterday that it would be supplementing its popular streetview feature with interior photographs of businesses. streetview already allows users to virtually explore an extensive portion of google maps through panoramic photographs, and the implications of this addition are fascinating. essentially, google maps are inching closer and closer to decreasing the need for actual experience. rather, in recreating, or, hosting manifestations of, increasing amounts of the physical world on the internet, google is enabling a sort of virtual reality that isn't very virtual. why go on vacation when google maps allows you to visit not only the streets of a given locale, but also the businesses that line them? if i recall correctly, traveling without leaving home used to be the tagline of reading...although the idea of the world recreated in exact detail on the internet creeps me out as a standalone idea, i also find it odd in its threats to exploration. i'm not sure how i feel about being able to know EXACTLY where i'm going, especially when it's somewhere i've never been. obviously there are practical applications, and getting lost can be troublesome, but i suppose the need to know our routes with such intimate detail stems from our equally intimate relationships with our technology.

don't think i'm being hypocritical. earlier this semester, i said "ican'tlivewithoutmyiphone," but until the little guy petered out on me a month ago, i didn't fully realize how seriously attached i was. like the increasing enveloping functionality (if that's the appropriate word) of google maps, iphone is a multi-modal piece of equipment able to guide any number of behaviors. was my movement through the world dictated largely by my iphone? possibly, at least on a day-to-day level. since its death, i've had to reconfigure my interactions with my surroundings. i can't look up phone numbers on the fly, imdb people in movies, or look up where the hell i am. my style of texting has changed now that i have to press a bunch of little buttons a bunch of times to make a few words, my email response time has gone from five minutes to three days, and i frequently leave the house dressed inappropriately for the weather. the transition was a little upsetting; i mean, i'm a semi-grown woman, and i figured i should be able to manage without the iphone that had been intravenously interacting with me for nearly three years. life is different when i have to wait around. i'm so impatient when it comes to getting answers, and i wonder how much of that has been developed thanks to its instant availability. lucky for me, i know i'm only on a little break from iphone, and i think that is both discouraging my full adaptation to a non-smart life as well as keeping me from losing it. come june, i will be one happy camper, especially because some idiot (or publicity performing) apple employee left his next generation iphone in a bar in san diego, where it was scooped up and sold to gizmodo for five grand, and promptly photographed and posted all over the internet, and it looks awesome. see, i can have patience now, because i know in june i'll have the newest and best iphone. severing the cord, even briefly, has not helped my dependence upon iphone.

He Said, She Said

One could be good/could be bad aspect of the internet is the fact that everything we write on it becomes recorded, word for word. What someone else claims you said is not hearsay if they have it written down and you will be forced to face the consequences of your statements. This is a lesson the Baio family appears to be learning a hard way ...

But who knows, maybe people will become more cautious of what they say, knowing that it will be permanently recorded.

I just have a weird suggestion for you all

Take your course evaluation surveys but REALLY, REALLY READ THEM. They are so bizarre! Figuring out what these words like "lecture/discussion" and "strongly agree" mean. They are extremely abstract and expected to be so even though they are trying to provide the most specific information possible!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


To facilitate finding all the project online locations for a great reading experience , I need a good map!

So I'm asking you to post your project URL as a comment to this post.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Check out the new blog:

All things related to remix culture and the bridges between private lives and public space.

The blog is about me doing my "Great How-to-Read Project" and trying to figure out just how far these public spaces, whatever they may be (Facebook, Chatrt, etc.) extend into our private lives. Perhaps there is something in there for you!

Read on, readers.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010



My Projects

I am working on multiple projects but the two most important ones are these two because they follow the same pattern of small-idea-opens-entire-universe

1. Remixing memories

I have a memory of my first art class in public school. In 8th grade we were finally granted the freedom to create from our imaginations, not just from an explicit project, controlled by the teacher every step of the way. We also studied famous artists and were then asked to...REMIX them. At the time, this word was not used, but it is the perfect expression. One group of artists we looked at were Indigenous Australians, Aboriginal People. I remember looking at their art and then being asked to paint something in that style. Not copy one of their paintings, but go off of the general idea of how their work is--how it lives and breathes. Remixing to enhance understanding of the original work; not detracting not simply copying not stealing. More fully expressing in collaboration. Anyway, I have not looked at Aboriginal art since that time (8 years ago). But lately my brain has been telling me to keep remixing this particular style in my painting. Seemingly out of nowhere it has resurfaced: showing skeletons and organs on the outside, using only certain colors, flattening subject matter, creating detailed patterns, everything I can remember. Is painting irrelevant in 2010? Yes. No. I am trying to figure out why I have to do it. And I have to do this resurrection/extraction from my brain, which has been continually working without my knowledge. So let me know if u want to see these ptgs.

2. Tracing

Something Thylias said about the iPhone as an extension of the hand sticks with me. My second project is to map out the form and history of this growth. Beginning from the first human tool, the hand, all the way to the iPhone. Bulleting different inventions, tracing and re-tracing anatomical evolution, cultural historical contexts, conincidence--infinite things. At some point, it may get practically scientific. But mostly it will be a visually appealing schema. But I think most science is only practical if it's aesthetically pleasing.

more library chatter

We were talking about libraries last week, and I am so excited about them today! I work as an intern at the Map Library and I spend a lot of time researching in Special Collections. I was sent to look at the book "Journal of sentimental travels in the southern provinces of France, shortly before the Revolution; embellished with seventeen coloured engravings, from designs by T. Rowlandson, Esq." I love it when titles are that long! Plus, it starts:

"Courteous reader,

If thou delightest to trace the human heart through its secret workings and windings, and through all the devious paths into which it is led by a thousand vagaries, thou wilt perchance find this tome suited to thy taste, though its title-page be not graced by the name of any honourable, right honourable, or right celebrated author."

I feel like we are that courteous reader, fellow English 420 students! So I wanted to read it and hold it forever even though I'm only supposed to be looking for pictures. In Special Collections, though, it's always a production where they wheel the rare book out to you and place it on a stand after you request it, complete a survey, and leave your ID with them. They really put it on a pedestal. I feel like I could never see the book again after my internship. BUT! Google books has it!

I went to lecture recently where a paper conservator for the Clements library spoke. She got very emotional about how physicality is what we are losing with the technological age. She made me excited about rare, primary source objects and the idea of working with your hands. She was so angry about twitter! HATES twitter. I think this way of thinking is incredibly seductive. But now everybody can be a courteous reader, not just interns! I am glad to be excited about information again, and Google Books and devious librarians and digital space.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

-asked to declare his race, Obama check black

Today's New York Times offers something that feels a little like politically correct backpedaling.

"Negro? Some people objected to this anachronistic term, but the bureau said it was still used by many older blacks. The race question dates from the first congressional reapportionment. Now it ia used to evaluate equal-opportunity employment programs, to describe anti-discrimination rules, and to assess disparities in health, education, and other chrartacterisric."

Look, I want everyone to have the right to live without discrimination. I just can't decide whether or not I ahould feel offended about the bureau's wording.

Thoughts? Comments? Ideas?