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HELLO AGAIN! God, it's good to be back in the saddle, cramming webspaff into every available orifice and then vomiting it out again through my fingers to create the glorious cathedral of temporary ephemera which I erect for you each week!

Ach, no it's not. Being on holiday is LOADS better - just as a passing aside, Lisbon is a truly wonderful city which I can unreservedly recommend - but my one selling point on the contemporary work marketplace is a terrifyingly comprehensive knowledge of 'stuff o  the internet' and as such I need to keep reading all this rubbish to stay employable (and frankly even this pseudo-skill is going to pall soon). With that in mind, then, know that what follows is not just the collected output of some people in the world which I have found and accumulated here for you like some sort of pathetically needy pup - it's the digital representation of one ageing man's struggle for cultural relevance in a world that SIMPLY DOESN'T CARE.

Er, Jesus, sorry, that went a bit odd. Not sure where that came from. In any case, webmongs, pull on the marigolds, do up the pinny and grab the plunger as we prepare to delve beneath the forbiddingly scummy waterline and attempt to clear this week's infoblockage from the piping of our lives - it's WEB CURIOS!

Magnus Gjoen's work has captivated many collectors and critics in recent months. Mixing a critique on contemporary society and culture with a striking, sympathetic eye on art's past, his creations across painting, digital media and sculpture have already enabled him to carve out a unique style and aesthetic.

His work, shown as part of group show Flesh at the Leontia Gallery in London's Fitzrovia gave us a chance to catch up with Magnus and talk about the past, the present, and, of course, the future.

 

It's a symptom of the Twitter age that I increasingly find myself thinking in 140 character or less aphorisms. "It's the Internet of Things, not things on the Internet"; eminently retweetable, but what the heck do I mean by that?

The Internet of Things is one of those cyclical technology fads so beloved of the industry. I can't quite remember where we are at with this one on the Gartner Inverted U-Bend of Hype, but somewhere between the slough of despondency and the outpouring of billions of marketing dollars no doubt. The Internet Fridge, the Hoverboard of the IoT generation, is surely just around the corner.

Digital agency Dare has come under significant criticism for allegedly borrowing - wholesale - the website style of fiction writer Alan Trotter.

The Freud Museum London is internationally recognized as one of the most important sites for the history of psychoanalysis. What is perhaps less well known is the fact that over the last 25 years it has hosted more than 70 contemporary art exhibitons by celebrated artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Stuart Brisley, Sophie Calle, Matt Colishaw, Valie Export, Vera Frenkel, Vivienne Koorland, Sarah Lucas, and Marcel Odenbach.

 

Today we open the double-bill of South Downs by David Hare and The Browning Version by Terence Rattigan at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. I wonder what it’ll be like?

You’d think I’d know by now, since I’m the director and we’ve already had our second dress rehearsal.

I write about surveillance, privacy and technologies of security. Most frequently this is from a political perspective, engaged with issues of power, but also particularly with issues of representation – how are these technologies and the social practices facilitated by them represented in thought and in language? To what problems are these technologies presented as an answer? And what type of political climate is it that doesn’t simply justify their use, but actively seems to mandate it? Often this is political language – the language of policy documents and speeches as well as the procedural documents which pass thought-made-technical through the assemblages of organisations, actors and technologies that make up contemporary society. It also reaches out to the broader culture of surveillance, however. This also means paying attention to those representations of surveillance and security technology that counter or complicate these narratives of control and management. This makes the netart, data sculptures and networked space artwork of the UK artist Stanza of particular interest, as it explicitly and actively engages with surveillance, privacy, technology and control. 

Dreaming of a world and dimensions beyond our own is a timeless and universal concern. But for people of African descent this musing has additional poignancy. Exiled, enslaved colonised... How many Africans looked up at the night sky and pondered if there was another kinder world above in that great expanse? This yearning has been the inspiration of what today we term Afrofuturism, first coined by writer and critic Mark Dery in 1993 to capture the essence of what has become a discernible movement in African Diaspora art, music, film and literature.

Jam tomorrow (maybe)! Thanks, Gideon! Don't worry, though - if they can rebel in Hong Kong, there's hope for our chances (seriously, the Hong Kong thing is potentially HUGE - take a look at this). That said, though, WHO CARES? After all, it's DECORATIVE GOURD SEASON AGAIN, and the steady cavalcade of consumer distractions continues almost unabated between now and the big, festive daddy of them all. This is probably the last Curios in which there's going to be no mention of people trying to sell you stuff for Chri****s, so enjoy it while you can. Oh, and if I can give you another unwanted piece of advice, if you're in London then do try and go and see this - if you're reading this, you're pretty much bang in the middle of the target audience, and it's a really interesting production (also has the added bonus of seeing genuine incomprehension on the faces of theatregoers when confronted with the concept of Pedobear, which is worth the price of admission alone). 

ANYWAY, I'm off for the next few weeks - until my return, though, slip on this week's metaphorical dark clothing and balaclava and follow me, as we sneak round the back of the internet's house, take advantage of an unlocked back door and creep upstairs to rifle through its underwear drawer and enjoy its collection of special interest photography - it's WEB CURIOS!

"I am increasingly against the Internet every day." These words were said by Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan last week, at an International Press Institute meeting in Ankara.

When Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation launched a broadside at Google, claiming the company abuses its overwhelming market position in Europe, it looked a lot like a clash between web and print – the Information Age vs the Gutenberg Age.

At best, buying followers is ethically dubious. It hasn't stopped Constant Dullaart from buying 2.5 million fake Instagram followers and distributing them to big names in the "art world", as part of a new work.

@Imperica

RT @Matt_Muir: In case you missed it, have all of the week's webstuff in one place with Web Curios: http://t.co/NBjBjdmR3l
RT @ballantine70: This is wonderful (via @imperica) https://t.co/DFI4EWGK6a
@warrenellis @thom_wong excellent! Hope you like it.