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 ((“This is the “paradigm” argument of Thomas Kuhn, one of the fathers of postmodernism. Evidence for evolution is only evidence if we assume the evolution paradigm in the first place. Kuhn, who basically said that paradigms can only be judged from within the paradigm itself, not falsified from the outside. And when one paradigm shifts to another it happens for quirky and subjective (i.e. cultural) reasons. Kuhn and Fish miss the whole “later justification” thing that is central to scientific methodology. They miss that science itself is not a set of beliefs but a set of methods. So in practice the only “basic presuppositions” that are necessary to falsify evolution are those of scientific methodology – not evolution itself” – Neurologica, June 25 2007

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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.

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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.

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App Store Thing

These days it’s popular to rag on Apple’s iTunes appstore. Turn to any techtard / new media douchebag commentary site, and you’ll find whining about market abuses, slow app approval blah blah blah.

Well for all the ‘tardary developers claim about the appstore, here’s a story about why the appstore can be a great thing for consumers…

As a recent iPhone buyer, I wanted a file transfer solution to provide the iPod as hard disc functionality that the classic iPods sported. So, I did a bit of research and the reviews seemed to indicate that Veiosoft’s DataCase was the best solution. I bought DataCase, and attempted to use it to back up files from my Mac.

You’ll notice the word “attempted”, yeah, not “succeeded”. Put simply, my experience of DataCase was that it probably shouldn’t be on sale. Some files I attempted to transfer over would just vanish when they arrived on the phone, and then magically cure themselves a while later. None of the files transferred over were viewable on the phone – tapping them would produce a grey screen, though if you rotated the phone’s orientation, the file would appear while it rotated, and then go back to the grey screen. The only way to view it was to go back to the file list, then tap the file a second time. The crowning fail of the app was that while it claims to support rotation, and certainly does for the file browser, when viewing movie files it has a hard-coded orientation. That’s ok if you’re right handed, and you rotate your phone counter-clockwise to put it into landscape orientation. I’m lefthanded, however, and when I rotate my phone clockwise to landscape, the app shows its file browser correctly, and then displays the movie itself upside down.

Retarded. Brutally, freaking retarded.

I deleted and downloaded the app afresh. No difference.

How does something like this get through a developer’s process?

I filed a support email with the developer, but didn’t get a response. So, I decided to try letting Apple know what I had experienced.

Whenever you download an app, you’re emailed a receipt (even for free apps). On that receipt is a “report a problem” link. So, I followed the instructions, and sent an email expressing my issues with the app – that it’s basic functionality didn’t work, and that it made claims of functional behaviour based on the experience expectations Apple provided (rotation) that wasn’t implemented correctly as the user would expect.

I asked for a refund or iTunes store credit so that I could buy a different app to do the job.

Less than a day later I received a response from Apple, and here it is… I’ve removed the CSR’s name, only because I’m not sure about the ins and outs of naming Apple employees in this situation.

Hi Matt,

[removed], here from the iTunes Store. I understand that your purchase of “DataCase” has not been functioning as expected. I’m very sorry to hear that this item did not meet the standard of quality you have come to expect from the iTunes Store. I can certainly appreciate how eager you must be to rectify this issue, and I would be more than happy to help you out with this today.

I have gone ahead and reversed the charge for “DataCase”. You will see a store credit of $8.17 plus any applicable sales tax, on your iTunes Store account in three to five business days. You may need to sign out of the iTunes Store and then sign back in before you see the credit in your account.

If you have any further questions or concerns regarding this issue, please let me know and I would be more than happy to address them for you. Thank you very much for being part of the iTunes Store family, Matt, and I hope you have a great day.

That’s good customer service. It’s perhaps an overlooked advantage of Apple acting as a gatekeeper in this market. Apple gives us certain expectations of polish, and their position as a gatekeeper means we can use their standards against developers who drop the ball.

The happy ending is that I bought Olive Toast’s Files, and it works wonderfully.

Surfing The Deathline #4 Progress

So, with SDL #3 done and published, and my big sculptural project out of the way, I’m now turning attention back to SDL #4. The first 14 pages are roughed out, which is problematic since I’d decided the opening scene was to be 8 pages.

I think I’ve sorted a compromise, however, it just requires a small re-pacing.


The site is evolving again, so there may be some appearance stability issues over the next little while. Personally, I’m rather enamoured by this new theme (well honestly I’m enamoured of all the work I do, otherwise it doesn’t see the light of day). There’s a nice Tron-esque sparseness about it.

An Essay on Modernism

Following is an art history essay from my second year core Modernism course. It seemed to do reasonably well in marking, so I figured I may as well publish it. The length restriction was 1200 words, and so as the marker rightly suggested, it can become a little point-like (what happens when you’re editing down).

Question: To what extent is modernism a response to the Industrial Revolution? Did it replace the classical style of pre-industrial Europe? In your answer you may refer to a range of practices, including architecture, ceramics and photography.

Modernism is a tacit realisation that the overwhelming direction of the arts since the beginning of the Renaissance had run its course. Sculptors had made stone look as much like flesh as possible. Painters had made the flat surface of the picture plane as convincingly deep as the horizon, and builders had replicated the Greek temple and Roman arch for everything upto the metaphorical garden shed. The time of illusion through technical dominance of materials was drawing to a close (along with that of the craftsman who wielded that dominance), and a new era of honesty and sincerity to materials and function was dawning. Modernism therefore, is both a response to and enabled by, the industrial revolution.

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