29 June 02004

Friends of the BBC Creative Archive

As the BBC announces a "radical manifesto" for its future, heavy on digital Britain and "public value", I've come across a campaign for the BBC Creative Archive. So far the main action has been an open letter, urging that the archive should be: broad, accessible, free (for non-commercial use), whole (i.e. not just excerpts of material), soon, complete (i.e. including independently produced material commissioned by the BBC) and sustainable.

It's too late to sign up for the letter, but you can join a free mailing list to keep in touch. [Update, September 02005: This mailing list has now been superseded by the UK FreeCulture list.] There is also a project page at the Union for the Public Domain, with several links to features on the Creative Archive. See also my earlier posting on the archive.

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27 June 02004

Is digital cinema fixated with wide shots?

In an earlier posting I quoted George Lucas playing down the impact of digital technologies on film-making: "a camera is a camera is a camera so it doesn't really make any difference... You frame the film the same... the aesthetics are exactly the same."

But critic Mark Cousins suggests in the June issue of Prospect Magazine that Lucas may be blind to the way he has changed his practice since he started shooting digitally. Cousins' article notes a trend towards wide shots that he says is part explained by changes in technology. A similar trend emerged and then retreated when CinemaScope was first introduced.

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12 June 02004

A brief hiatus

I'm taking a break from posting here for the rest of the month. Back in July.

David Toop radio interview

For the next week (until end of 18 June) you can hear David Toop being interviewed on the latest BBC Mixing It programme, focusing on his new book Haunted Weather. The extended discussion touches on the effect of digital technologies on music, improvising traditions and what he likes about the Japanese music scene. The interview as discursive and episodic as the book.

I'm planning to post my own review of Haunted Weather here in July, but until then you can read Colin Buttimer's review.

9 June 02004

Proceedings of music and technology event

I never quite got round to getting my notes of the RSA's music and technology event, Visions for the future into shape to post here, but you can now download the 34-page proceedings of what went on.

Some of this account of the event is a bit revisionist, however. Either that or I was unconscious and time stopped for the bit where Peter Gabriel presented the thoughts that appear in the proceedings about his MUDDA initiative.

7 June 02004

Wikis and learning

I don't fully understand the technology that underpins what a wiki is and this article on educational wikis doesn't fully enlighten me. But it doesn't assume any knowledge, and is reasonably concise.

It's important to remember that the web as we know it provides only a limited subset of the features that were envisaged and developed for early hypertext systems. Wikis, like blogs, provide a means to manage the content of web pages without needing detailed web authoring knowledge. The unique feature of wikis appears to be their support for collaborative authoring.

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2 June 02004

Puttnam on digital impact: my notes

David Puttnam's lecture this evening focused on skills (he spends a fair bit of his time advising the Department for Education and Skills these days) and on intervention to stimulate digital distribution and exhibition of films in the UK (he's a Labour peer).

He addressed the potential impact of digital technologies on production of films/motion pictures, on distribution and exhibition, and briefly on aesthetics.

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1 June 02004

Museums and online learning: a case study

The role of museums in online teaching, learning and research is a sophisticated yet concise paper that gives an account of how the J. Paul Getty Museum has developed its thinking and practice in providing digital resources to support teaching, learning and research, based on its collection.

The paper is interesting for its frank assessment of mistakes and surprises experienced over several years of developing resources. It combines an appreciation of the fundamental disciplines of cataloguing with the importance of open standards, and it touches on the need to realign organisational structures and resources to match emerging structures and practices.

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