Sunday, January 21, 2007

On being just a bit rude

Well excuse me. The time has come to raise a few issues. If you can't ramble in a blog what is the world coming to?

After all, the Animated Exeter fortnight is still a few weeks off so there is time to get some feedback and develop a new point of view that appears more reasonable.

What strikes me most often is the amazing potential of digital technology and the way this is ignored by some art institutions. Take the Spacex Gallery for example.

A couple of years ago there was a disaster environment based on Apple computers. At first I thought they were offering web access and complained when the connection failed. It was explained this was the intended effect, nothing was to work at all. An imitation of life apparently.

Last year there was technology that worked, mostly DVD I think but hidden away. Film projection was celebrated, see my photograph in a report for OhmyNews. As well as stills the exhibit featured video. Unfortunately the website did not show full video or any scale on the excerpts available. I think this has to change when YouTube and Google Video make so much stuff available. Some of what is on YouTube is not very good but it is getting better. Compare with the website from the Animators show. This is a bit flat. See also the Luxonline site. Other links suggestions would be welcome.

This year the technology has the potential to further challenge the limitations of gallery display. The images have been created through a wide-format inkjet from a digital source. I hope to find out more later but I am fairly sure some form of inkjet has been used. Reportedly there is no Photoshop manipulation of the mobile phone photos. Personally I don't think this would matter. Most digital cameras do a lot of adjustment anyway.

So there is no reason why a website could not have some downloads so that anyone could print out a version of 'theNorth'. Of course the display at Spacex has been carefull controlled and selected and I am not trying to discourage a visit if you are anywhere nearby. But a gallery is not the only way to show photos from a mobile.

Meanwhile at the Royal Alber Museum there are a series of prints, many from limited editions. There may be something about the technology that determines these limits on numbers. But digital is different.

During Animated Exeter there will be workshops at Spacex to create animation from still photos. It is not clear yet what form this takes or how they will be distributed.

My own photos are nothing special so there is no problem in choosing the Creative Commons copyright form on Flickr. See previous post about a limited form of animation.

Probably something better will turn up.

Not that online is better than a gallery. There is a recent Guardian article about museums still being better than an iPod. This seems too polarised a choice. I learning discussions there is now more support for 'blended learning', a combination of online and real life. Maybe digital display can work with something similar.

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