Nervous Spaces

On June 22nd, my first solo show opens. It’s an exhibition of photography at St Vincent’s Hospital, in Darlinghurst, Sydney. Works on display are photographs in the 24×36″ range.

Heavy Metal

I’m in a bronzecasting exhibition, so check it out.

Opening night May 20th 6pm. National Art School, corner of Forbes & Burton St, Darlinghurst.

Damn Right.

Steve Jobs’ clean, methodical takedown of Flash.

Everything about Adobe these days is summed up by this basic point.

Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind.

Adobe has been obsessed for the past decade with the idea of becoming a platform vendor, rather than a tool vendor. As a maker of tools in the desktop publishing era, they were fantastic, but once Acrobat became something more than a convenient printing format, and especially once they were infected by Macromedia, this ridiculous notion of Adobe as a platform, Acrobat, Creative Suite and Flash, gained ascendancy.

We are all poorer for it, because innovative nimble companies can’t get the market share and finance to directly compete with, for example, Photoshop; instead relying on crumbs by making low end, budget “recreational” visions of Adobe apps. I haven’t used CS5, but CS4’s primary characteristic is that it feels old, as in “take that old dog out behind the woodshed and shoot it”.

iPad reaction, or why Adobe is clueless.

Evergreen stalwarts of mediocrity, Adobe are crying to momma because big bad apple won’t let them play in Apple’s sandpit:

“without Flash support, iPad users will not be able to access the full range of web content, including over 70% of games and 75% of video on the web.”

As usual, Adobe have got it completely ass-backwards. Noone buys a Flash device. They buy an iPod, an iPhone or now an iPad, and they do it in ridiculous numbers. Flash not being on Apple’s devices has done exactly zero to harm sales and popularity of the device, and zero to harm the popularity and usable integrity of the platform.

Adobe’s statement would be better phrased as:

without iPhone OS suport, Flash developers and website designers will be unable to target the 100% of iPhone OS users, who represent the most financially lucrative consumer demographic. That’s why we’re falling over ourselves to salvage something with vapourware mutterings about CS5 producing “real” iPhone apps.

Oh, and while we’re talking about all those “great” flash sites, lets remember that when YouTube was faced with the opportunity of the iPhone, they went and rebuilt their entire system in h.264, and are now migrating to HTML5, Vimeo are going to HTML5, Zero Punctuation one of the web’s most popular video shows, has gone to h.264 (and the files are now about half the size of the Flash versions).

Cast your mind back to the start of the iPod, when everyone was declaring iPods to be the devil’s own product, and doomed to fail because it didn’t support .wma or .wmv or playsforsure or whatever Microsoft’s strategy of the nanosecond was. The vast majority of portable audio players supported MS’ formats, so all those poor Apple customers were being “locked out” of the “majority” of content.

Yeah, how did that work out? Anyone recall? Oh wait, Apple gouged out Microsoft’s brains and violated the corpse before playsforsure got knifed by Microsoft in favour of their next failsforsure effort, Zune.

If you want to be successful in a consumer category, you have to play in Apple’s sandpit, because noone else is capable of delivering a compelling consumer experience. The most hilarious, or perhaps pitiful aspect of this is that this situation isn’t a result of illegal, monopolistic or anti-competitive tactics by Apple, it’s just that almost everyone in the consumer electronics business actively sucks at the job in comparison.

Apple offers a manicured sandpit, your other options are craters of turned earth. Where do you want to play?

Apple Event Speculation

If Apple are about to launch a tablet style computer, I wonder if their recent purchase of an online advertising company Quattro is because they’ll be offering a centralised advertising service for tablet format publications, so that a publisher can just specify a place for an ad, and get a royalty paid direct by apple for the number of impressions the ad gets.

If they were to do this, I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple had a policy of text-only, or static ads – overly animated attention stealing ads are, I suspect, the reason people have developed both cognitive blindness for banner ads, as well as ad-blocking software.

A couple of hours until we find out.

EDIT: still waiting, but I thought I’d chime in a bit about why previous tablets have largely failed – in the Windows world, they’ve been about selling a windows computer that doesn’t need a keyboard – that’s the goal as far as microsoft and OEMs have been concerned. The goal hasn’t been “create the best digital magazine experience”, where the hardware and software are just the enabler, because people in the PC world haven’t really had the big picture vision to want to move the world in a particular direction as the goal, in the way Apple did with music. Microsoft doesn’t really want to change the world, they’re the established player, keeping the world the way it is, thankyou very much, is their be all and end all goal.

a new page

Here’s the rough for page 17 of SDL #4 – the opening page of the second scene. I’m really liking the use 2 colours in pencils – makes it far easier to think through an illustration.

This is really the “writing” stage for me, so it’s purpose is to set out the layout, basic camera angles, poses, and rough dialogue timing.

“award winning”

Yes, I won an award for coming first in second year (2009) Art History & Theory at the National Art School. Looks like all the effort in writing essays etc paid off :)

An Essay on Modernism II

Following is the second essay I wrote on Modernism for Art History. It did even better than the first one, so here it is.

Question: Can Pop Art be considered as the precursor of post-modernism? Discuss with reference to at least three artists.

The great question for arts criticism in our era seems to be “what is post-modernism?”. Nearly every aspect of modern culture and academia seem to have their post-modern genre, however these fields may bear little actual relation to each other. Post-modernist philosophical arguments like that of Thomas Kuhn’s Paradigm notion would hold that there is no objective truth and that all viewpoints are essentially based on their own presupposed agendas. Neurologist Dr Steven Novella counters this notion in Neurologica 1.

Continue reading “An Essay on Modernism II”

Appletalk Printers and Snow Leopard

One of the changes that’s come in with the move to Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard is the depreciation of Appletalk as a protocol. Despite not really being used too much on modern Macs, it has kept a whole generation of older printers running, usually with adapter dongles by companies like Asante. These bridge from Ethernet to Localtalk cabling, and allow the printer to be accessed from any other Mac on the network.

Another solution was to run a piece of software called Localtalk Bridge on an old Classic Mac OS machine (Mac OS 9 and earlier) that has both serial and ethernet ports. I found this solution had one advantage over the Asante dongle – it would stand up to large amounts of data. The Asante solution seemed to freeze up and stop responding if you sent enough graphically intensive print jobs to it. I’m assuming that it might be something to do with being unable to spit data out over the Localtalk connection as fast as it comes in over the Ethernet.

In my case, the machine doing the localtalk bridge was a first generation PowerMac 7100, running System 7.5.5, and set to load Localtalk Bridge on boot. So printing was a matter of boot the 7100 from its keyboard, wait a minute, print, then shut down by pressing the keyboard power button again, and hitting Return when you hear the beep. It was run essentially headless, connected up from its AV card s-video to composite connector, then to the video-in on a VCR (where it could be seen by hitting the AV button on the VCR remote), which acts as the broadcast TV receiver on my little studio TV.

It’s a ridiculously Rube Goldbergian printing setup.

So, when the new Mac Mini arrived with Snow Leopard, replacing the previous final generation PowerPC Mac Mini as my main machine, I was wondering how to keep my printer running. Digging through my random cable drawer, which is kindof like the Flying Spaghetti Monster mixed with The Terminator, I found one of those random cables that give you a “what the fuck is this for” moment – a USB to Parallel printer cable.

Now, I assumed this wouldn’t work. It seems so counter-intuitive that a printer which is almost old enough to engage in consensual sex would work with a brand new OS, using a connector on the computer’s end that was a science fiction idea when the printer was released, and a connector on the printer’s end that has never been used on a Mac.

I plugged the cable in, opened the Print & Fax prefpane, hit the “+” button, and there it is. Standard couple of click set up, and it’s there, custom icon and all the printing settings available.

It works. Perfectly.

So, now the old PowerMac 7100/66 AV, the first computer I owned after an Amiga 500, is finished. All that remains is for it to be wiped and taken to Anchorhead Reverse Garbage, along with the old 17″ Sony CRT that was bought with it.

If this article was of use, a donation would help support my projects.

17th Century Art History Essay

Art History & Theory essay from 2009.

How would you interpret Judith and Holofernes, David and Goliath, or other scenes of violent murder, both male and female, from the late sixteenth and / or seventeenth centuries. You should include works by at least three different artists.

The Catholic church is an edifice built upon the survivor guilt of every person who receives forgiveness for their sins. Through the manipulation of this guilt, the power structures of the church are maintained. An over-estimation of this power would not only destroy the Catholic church’s monopoly on theology in Europe, but lead to some of western history’s most beautiful, and bloodthirsty art.

Continue reading “17th Century Art History Essay”