Archive for May, 2010

battles

May 28, 2010

I have subscribed to the Guardian’s art and culture section, and I find many of the things I read there interesting and educational, in a very good sense. What I mean, is that it makes me come across stuff, I would not know about otherwise, stuff which takes my imagination and thinking in new directions. Well, I guess that is one of the things art is supposed to do. But that is rarely what newspapers do.

As an example, here is Jonathan Jones musing about  Why Albrecht Altdorfer’s masterpiece gives him nightmares and the reader responses.

guydenning comments: I think, with the inscription floating around in finest script at the top, it almost predates modern TV (or early 20th century cinema) news reporting of war. Turning the terrible into a visual entertainment under the allegedly laudable excuse of education.

And somebody with the nick damienhurst writes: well, I certainly adore the craft involved in this painting but it really keeps amazing me how people can’t really understand that such paintings are basically equivalent to today’s commercials. this one even has a “brand logo” there on top.

That is certainly food for thought about the relationship between art and war, the human, terror and the sublime and, of course, the relationship (or battles?) between word and image, and their producers and audiences.

The picture can be dowloaded from wikimedia



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merrymaking as political protest

May 16, 2010

In 1775 Austrian Emperor Joseph II dedicated a large piece of  land  for the use of  “all the people for their amusement and merry-making”. The park with baroque garden design is called Augarten and I live round the corner, and so it is close physically and close to my heart too. Over the years there have been various attempts to build on parts of the land, which have been for the most part thwarted. But since a few years, the City Authorities in liaison with private investors have been planning to build a large concert hall on one end of the land. Protesters have been squatting on and off for three years now. Political protest has become more playful and performance orientated in the last decade or so, for example in the form of flashmobs. But only in Vienna I guess, protesters would come up with the idea to do it in such style and in baroque style too. After some of the trees were cut down last year to prepare the ground for the building work the activists staged a funeral procession around Vienna. On May 1st, Labour Day, they arranged for a colourful protest procession in full regalia. You’ve got to love the dresses! Makes me think of the work of artist Yinka Shhonibare.

Also, they do the prettiest leaflets! I fear it will all be to no avail.

fairy tales 2.0

May 9, 2010

You can create your own Google search stories now with the Google Search Stories Video Creator made by Korean designer Ji Lee. I just made this one.

wrestling with angels

May 8, 2010

Stuart Hall compared the theoretical work, the work of the academic or intellectual, with a struggle using the metaphor: “wrestling with the angels.” He added: “The only theory worth having is that which you have to fight off, not that which you speak with profound fluency.” Its a curious image Hall uses here. Tracing it back to Jakob’s biblical struggle with an unknown, who might have according to various interpretation been a man, an angel or God himself, shows that the meaning of the story is ambiguous. Jacob, after having wrestled with the angel all night, overcomes him, but then asks him for his blessing.

Furthermore, Satan himself was an fallen angel, who according to Milton in Paradise Lost used his abundant rhetorical abilities and persuasive powers for his own purposes, with long lasting consequences, as we all know. Was Jakob wrestling with a fallen angel, or an angel who would fall, after all? To muddle things up further William Blake later reversed the meaning of Heaven and Hell and stated that Milton “was a true Poet and of the Devil’s party without knowing it.”

So who is the theorist, according to Hall, wrestling with? Hall leaves the interpretation to the reader, “you can take as literally as you like,” he says. I think “wrestling with the angels” is a great metaphor, and I may use it to preface my PhD thesis, if I ever manage to finish it. My night of wrestling with the angels is not over yet.
Stuart Hall (1992)  Cultural Studies and its Theoretical Legacies (originally published in Cultural Studies, ed. Lawrence  Grossberg, Cary Nelson, Paula Treichler. New York and London: Routledge, 1992

conference presentation

May 2, 2010

I love all the picture and comic books the children have produced in the winter term during the first phase of the research project “Media Education in Primary Schools”.

This year I will be presenting some of my research into teaching media literacy/multimodal literacy in primary schools, based on results from the MIVA Project on the following international conferences:

„Key Concepts revisited: Teaching Teachers about Media Literacy“ as part of the Symposiums: Teaching Media Literacy in Primary Schools at  UKLA International Conference 1010 „The Changing Face of Literacy: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,“ Winchester, 9.-11. July 2010
Abstract: Teaching Media Literacy in Primary Schools

“Teaching media literacy with magazines and comics: a case study from Austrian primary schools“ 32. International IBBY Congress, Santiago de Compostela. 8.-12. September, http://www.ibbycompostela2010.org/
Abstract: Teaching Media Literacy with Magazines and Comics

I will also be presenting at some national conferences and seminars, for example at the Bundestagung zur ganzheitlich-kreativen Lernkultur an der Sekundarstufe 1: BMUKK und in Zusammenarbeit mit der Pädagogischen Hochschule Wien, 27.-28.09.2010. Looking forward to it all.

if I made art

May 2, 2010

I would like to make art like David Spiller.

word machine and poetry generator

May 1, 2010


Lovely illustrations by Tine Neubert from digitale-schule-bayern.de and lots of other educational resources such as picture stories.

I wonder

May 1, 2010


I got this from Ferret Press Panel Blog on WAY BACK MACHINE, from 2001, a comic about minor comic book character Aaron Stack, aka X-51, aka Machine Man who is a stranger-in-a-strange-land. Mind you, this is how I feel sometimes when I wake up in the morning. Click to enlarge.

cover notes

May 1, 2010


I have to love this, the cover of the notebook by Lebbeus Woods, architect, born 190 in Michigan according to arkinetblog – just look at my header and you know why. Shame that it will never acquire the patina of this one – please click to enlarge to appreciate the beauty of it! There are more shot from inside the notebook here: arkinetblo.


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