According to TechRepublic, Google produced two of the five worst tech products of 2009 – Android 1.0 and Google Wave. The fact that Google remains dominant suggests that, while not infallible, it’s rich enough to take risks and weather occasional failures.
Those of you to whom I email this personally will know that I made some reference to hanging out with lizards last weekend. What that actually meant was going to see David Icke at Wembley. I sort of feel I should give a brief overview of what it was like.
It was like going to the Louvre, except instead of pictures there was just a man shouting at you about mad stuff while really disturbing pictures cycled behind him in the background (like the Louvre, I felt very, very odd afterwards). It was 5% reasonably sensible stuff about general structural problems in modernity and capitalism, 40% generic tedious conspiracy theory rubbish (GM food, chemtrails, 9/11 was an inside job, Global Warming is a lie, etc), and then 55% truly crazy, about how we live in a holographic universe and are being preyed on by a race of interdimensional lizard-like beings called archons who have created a 'bad copy' of the universe through manipulation of cosmic energy waves, and who feed on the wavelengths produced by humans. All of this is controlled by Saturn, which is sending manipulative interference to us across space, amplified by the moon which is actually hollow and basically just a piece of radar equipment. All the world's religions are unwittingly (for the most part) worshipping Saturn. Politicians and other 'elites' know this and are often simply puppets of the Saturn lizards who control them into maintaining the status quo or creating situations which will further remove humans from their intended state of 'cosmic oneness' and instead make us operate at the 'wrong' frequency which drags us closer and closer to living in the lizard archons plane of existence.
All of this is OBVIOUSLY true.
Can I just suggest that you don't ever Google ANY of that stuff, ever? Good, glad we've got that sorted. Anyway, webmongs, this week's edition may be suffering some sort of mild psychic hangover from the experience - rest assured, though, that the poor quality of the output is likely be be unaffected. This is probably the only time in which I can promise you that what is to come makes more sense than what I've just written. This is WEB CURIOS!
Capitalising on the growth of the payday loan market is Pocket Money Loans, a shop and website which promises loan approval after three minutes with a representative Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 5000%. Customers who owe late-payment charges of £400 or more will receive their very own free "Mr. Repayment" toy mascot.
Here we are in Black History Month once again, and with it comes an old debate about whether there should even be such a thing. On one side of the argument, there is resentment that time should be set aside to contemplate the history of a particular group of people as opposed to all the others who might be equally deserving. This is answered by the special need to recognise the heritage and achievements of those seldom recognised by official narratives.
In the USA, Black History Month celebrates black North Americans and their traditions, having originally been promoted by the historian Carter G. Woodson in 1926 to coincide with the birthdates of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, iconic figures in the struggle for the emancipation of the enslaved. In the UK, the event was conceived in 1987 to include consideration of African, Caribbean, and Asian peoples, each of whom played significant roles in the history of Britain and its historic empire. It was thought that Great Britain could only become one populace by adding these others to its conception of national belonging.
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.
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.