I got these greetings from the Institute of Education. Do they read my blog?
Diptych Riddle by Matthias Hammer and the quote “I find the romanticism of the tasteless delightful” (Max Brod, 1913) from here:
Two books I came across recently, online, but have not held in my hand. They both look interesting in their own way.
2. Concrete poetry book “wild life rifle fire” by Paul Siegell. You can get a signed copy here: http://paulsiegell.blogspot.com/
Book sculptures by Paul Octavious here:
Parisian Love is a promotional video by Google. Made in the vein of Michael Wesch’s videos I cannot help liking it. It is is really well made.
Graph by Dingo from graphjam.com
My son is in the process of applying for universities, the whole family involved in the game. I am happy that he sucessfully completed school, and that he is clever and mature for an eighteen year old. But I cannot help worrying about his first steps into this strange world of academia. This pie chart from graphjam.com makes me laugh, as there is some truth in it. It could be turned into a tool for teaching students how to write essays:
You cannot brag if you don’t know something about your subject, which you can show off, so do it. Ass Kissing means that you have to know the important players in the field, who said relevant things. You should acknowledge, what you have learned from them. You don’t have to be sycophantic, though. Sometimes clever Name Dropping is enough, to show that you know what you are doing, and that should be included in the chart. And well, the slice of Relevant Content could be bigger.
Of course there is also the other side, the bitter truth about the essays you get from students. No comment on this chart, it speaks for itself:
To round it all off here is a Calvin & Hobbs cartoon:
click to enlarge
I have made another version of this quote from the Blade Runner, this time with an image of Orion found on Wikipedia. Why do I bother? Because I am curious about many things, painting, filmmaking, writing, craftwork and more. Experiencing the process of making things adds another layer to my understanding of certain cultural practices. And I have seen things you people wouldn’t believe. At the same time I don’t know if this will avail anything. So here we go, this is my first shot at digital remix, or fan art.
León Ferrari (Argentine, b. 1920) and Mira Schendel (Brazilian, b. Switzerland, 1919–1988) are considered among the most significant artists working in Latin America during the second half of the twentieth century. Their works address language as a major visual subject matter: the visual body of language, the embodiment of voices as words and gestures, and language as a metaphor of the worldly aspect of human existence through the eloquence of naming and writing. They produced their works in the neighboring countries of Argentina and Brazil throughout the 1960s and 1980s, when the question of language was particularly central to Western culture due to the central role taken by post-structuralism, semiotics, and the philosophy of language. Although their drawings, sculptures, and paintings are contemporary with the birth of Conceptualism, they are distinctively different, and have not yet been exhibited in their entirety in the United States.
The exhibition can be viewed in detail also through an interactive flash site.
This piece is really a sculpture, and should be seen large. I love the way the alphabet swirls out of the vortex, a galaxy in the making, a big bang. In biblical cosmology “in the beginning there was the word,” in Asian cosmology in the beginning there was the sound, the AUM. Here we have vision of how the language and signs came into being.
The Letter to the General above is beautiful piece of calligraphy in an imaginary script as a part of a series of “deformed writing”. It reminds me of “pretend writing” – emergent writing of children. Apparently the artist said “it is difficult to write a ‘logical’ letter to a general” so there we have a play with nonsense and mystery.
I discovered this multidirectional poem by Amelia Walker – it can be read left to right or down the columns on the first issue of verbeatehim. It is called “garden”.
Through her website I found out that she also does poetry and performance workshops with children and it seems she has great ideas. I wonder how the poetry pets work. Here is also a neat little warm up exercise for writing poetry with children:
I mades this image with the help of Type is Art an interactive art project: http://www.typeisart.com/
paperbeatsinternet is an ‘analog’ take on social networking, developed by folks at the New Directions in Pictorial Design Class at the Otario College of Art and Design. Most messages are a combination of drawings and hand written text. I like these combinations of old fashioned chalk board and photography. That could be a fun school project.
I made this a while ago. POV of a heavy hero. It’s all in the imagination.
I made another visualisation of a quote by Hugo Ball, in German ”Das Bild ist die Mutter des Wortes.” (the image is the mother of the word.) on RoboType.
I don’t play digital games, but I do like to play with digital tools. In the recent holidays I was playing around with some more poetry generators, which I found online.
My favorite outcome is this visual poem, which I created with the composer on RoboType. This is a great little online tool for creating visual poems with four classic types of font. “Robotype, a type comoposer, that allows playing with letters as graphic elements, exploring each one of the forms, something so extended as typography, draw, design, compose, create.” It allows you more control over the image than this concrete poetry generator which I posted about here. I guess, if you know how to use design software you can do things like this elsewhere, but I don’t, so I think it is a nifty little tool, and easy to work with so that it could be also used by children. (I just could not figure out how to upload images on the web gallery.) I hope I will find the time to use this generator more often.
The text is based on a quote by dadaist and later mystic Hugo Ball, from his “Dada Fragments” from 1916 “the image and word are one”. Visual poems have been created before, but the dadaists were this first group of people to really explore and experiment with words and letters liberated from their context. When I was a teenager two boys tried to woo me with poems, one used a medieval minne somg, the other one Kurt Schwitters’ Anna Blume. Dada won.
The poetry generator is based on a project, which turned Schwitters’ book Die Scheuche. Märchen (created with Käte Steinitz & Theo van Doesburg) into an online interactive story book, or game in Flash. You could say it is a very different kind of alphabet book. I would like to know what kids make of it.
I once blogged about the surreal and poetic quality of spam subject lines on my German blog. It seems other Internet users feel similarly, however taking it to new heights.
I have been pondering about writing something about lolcats for quite a while, but lots of people have been commenting on them, so I have held back. However, I am increasingly concerned about the widespread tendency of people to understand lolcats as devoid of any education and sophisticated use of language. Some people patronizingly link lolcat-language to babyspeak. In order to draw attention to the growing discrimination against lolcats based on their perceived disability to write purrfick grammr I decided to make this small survey of lolcat literacy available to my discerning readers.
Consider this stereotypical view of lolcats, blatantly accused of causing illiteracy!
Lolcats are being accused of degrading the English language with their ignorance and apathy.
Contrary to popular belief many lolcats have a keen interest in language and learning. In fact, many lolcats claim desks and libraries to be their favourite places.
lolcat imporving her range of vocabulary
lolcat lost in reading
lolcat browsing library
lolcat grabbed by story plot
It is not just the materiality of books locats are fascinated with. Lolcats love reading books. Studies have shown that lolcats prefer reading novels of the fantasy genre over all other genres. Lolcat reading includes Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”, C.S. Lewis’ “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” and of course, “Harry Potter” by J.K. Rowling.
The following case study shows that lotcat literacy is a situated social practice.
The average lolcat overcomes initial difficulties motivated by her desire to communicate and stay in touch.
Locats have shown a great admiration for the beauty of the English language, always trying to improve their literacy skills, expanding their range of vocabulary, and even master punctuation.
Literate lolcat improving her grammar.
Lolcat using apostrophe where it should.
Here are some samples of lolcast using big words almost correctly. This serves to show: lolcats are not cognitively challenged!
Lolcts have a also a great affinity for computers. Most of them are digitally literate, many of them keen bloggers or wikipedia editors. An empirical study of over 1500 cats has shown that 89% percent of lolcats own a computer and a high speed internet connection. (Infintecate.com 2007)
Here is a sad example of lolcat discrimination – an innocent lolcat accused of stealing the internets, while in reality many lolcats are highly trained computer specialists.
Discrimination against lolcats has been compared with sexual and racial discrimination, however leading lolcats claim that it is all about being a cat. Some people express such phobia of lolcats that they want to get rid of them alltogether. “We must rid the internet of not only LOLCATs, but of all cats.” says downwiththeinternets, (2008)
Despite all prejudices, discrimination and social disadvantages and long gruelling work hours many lolcats are successful high school and university graduates. However, until now only a few are holding respectable teaching and research positions in universities.
Lolcat studying for exam.
Lolcat writing dissertation.
Studies have shown that lolcats on average do not cheat or plagiarize more that the human population.
Lolcat scholars are known to employ creative methodologies, thinking both inside and outside the box.
Lolcats have been accused of being politically indifferent by being impossibly cuddly. But having attractive looks does not indicate low intelligence (necessarily)! Some lolcast have been forming oppositional political movements, as you can see here – a radical locat activist politizising – dismissing derogative assumptions about lolcat language and culture.
We would argue with Ethan Zuckerman that “Web 2.0 was created to allow people to share pictures of cute cats.” Zuckerman states that pictures of cute cats may be an important part of political activism as “making activism viral probably means making it funny as well as political and heart-wrenching.” (The Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism, 2008)
It is about time locats receive the respect they deserve. The MIT is one of the first universities to open their catdoors to lolcats and locats lovers. Read more about a recent lolcat panel discussion “I can haz case study?” at ROFLcon held at the MIT.
Guardian (2008) Internet celebs gather to swap memes
Wired (2008) ROFLCon: It’s Not Easy Being Memes
Chiu Kevin (April 25 2008) Really Short Summary: LOLCATS Panel: I CAN HAZ CASE STUDY? ROFLCon
ELFN 2007 (April 24th, 2007) LOLspeak as a Second Language (LKSL-101) in Five Easy Steps
Green Joshua (2007) Oh Hai! Cats, the internet, and tactical communities #19 receiver magazine http://www.receiver.vodafone.com/
Herwig, Jana (April 27 2008) Niedlichkeit als kulturelles Bindeglied (Online wie Offline) http://digiom.wordpress.com/
Linguistic Mystic ( May 29 2007) im in ur programmz, codin in ur dialect: LOLCode and Feline Dialectology linguisticmystic.com
Linguistic Mystic (Feb 7 2007) im in mai blog, postin’ bout cats: The Cuteness of Grammatical errors linguisticmystic.com
Lolspeak Wiki SpeakLOLspeak
Merchant Guy (May 28 2007) Lolcats myvedana.blogspot.com
McRaney David (May 8 2007) A Special In-Depth Analysis by – L337 Katz0rz
LOLTrek Start Trek meets lolspeak
HOBOTOPIA Hand drawn comic strip about stray lolcats, based on lolcat meme