Archives for category: Reality

I’ve just spent part of the day experimenting with the Zen void that is Color while wandering round London. I found no traces of anyone else in Color’s virtual world; it was like LARPing ‘Waiting for Godot’, only with added futility. I ended up having flashblacks to the beginning of ’28 Days Later’, and getting worried about zombies.

The whole experience made me wonder if Color is in fact a brilliant piece of conceptual sleight of hand, it’s hidden purpose being to remind us that technology means nothing without humanity, and that the ultimate killer app is – and always has been – other people. I for one was profoundly glad to step out of Color’s empty space and into reality which, as ever, has 100% uptake from everything that lives.

Well, it’s been another very hectic few weeks, so another period of hiatus on the blog! Not to worry, I am taking myself in hand (as they say) and should be reverting to a more regular publishing schedule from now on. And, of course, the reasons for the hiatus have been rather exciting. First of all, I’ve started writing the next novel – details of that over at allumination – and secondly, I’ve been doing some really fascinating work with the Counterpoint team at the British Council, which is just starting to go live.

First of all, some introductions. Counterpoint is the British Council’s thinktank; their website here. To celebrate both their recent relaunch and – more broadly – the British Council’s 75th anniversary, they are developing four project streams – ‘Identities and the self’, ‘Cultures’, ‘Radicalisms’ and ‘Social Planet’. Taken together, all deal with the great modern question; how can we balance the individual with the social in a world that combines more-militant-than-ever senses of self with a historically unprecedented ability (and need) to come together in mass social groups?

I’ve become involved with this very fascinating debate through the Tuttle Club. In broad terms, we’re helping Counterpoint and the British Council explore the possibilities of social media. In specific terms, along with Lloyd Davis I’m rooting through the British Council’s media history, exploring its film holdings at the BFI and blogging about what I find. You can read what I’ve been up to so far here – over the next few weeks, this will be extended with more posts, videoblogs, interviews and so on, and should also be mirrored on the main Counterpoint website.

So far, it’s been a fascinating process, and I’ve barely begun. I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the main body of the British Council / BFI film holdings, exploring the administrative history of the British Council film division, and so on, over the next few weeks. That’s all going to be on the project blog, so I won’t be talking about it in detail here. I’ve also ended up spending a lot of time engaging with the BFI – they’re a really interesting organisation, and in some ways ideally placed to take advantage of our modern digital media age. There will be an upcoming blog post on that, when I get a moment!

So, for now, that’s what’s lain behind the hiatus. I’m going to keep watching the 30s, 40s and 50s; if you’re as fascinated by it all as I am, then make sure you bookmark the ‘British Council at 75’ blog where that will be happening, and I’ll see you over there!

A quiet six weeks or so on the blog; partially, I’ve been very busy with some really interesting work, partially my digital time has been going elsewhere, and partially because I thought I’d take a bit of a summer break. Of course, as soon as I decided to spend less time at the laptop and more time outside it immediately chucked it down for a month non-stop, but that’s the English summer for you.

So, apart from getting soggy, what have I been up to? Well, first of all some fascinating work for drugs policy foundation Transform, which is already bearing fruit here at Reuters, and (in a less direct way) here at the New Scientist. More’s upcoming in November, when I’ll go into more detail about it all.

I’ve also been helping London Livery Guild The Tallow Chandlers define themselves. I’m a member myself; I wrote our current website a few years back. It’s now looking pretty tired and so – as part of a general website update and brand polishing plan – I’ve been polling other members as to how they see the Tallow Chandlers, and how the company should present itself to the world. We’re meeting to talk the results through tomorrow, and should have a new, much improved site up and running by the end of the year.

More personally, I’ve been teaching myself the basics of HTML, XHTML and CSS. That too has been fascinating; I’m particularly impressed by how flexible and responsive a language each is. Very logical and easy to read, too; in fact, working with it has taken me right back to my 1980s obsession with BBC Basic. Anyway, that should hopefully bear fruit in a new improved website / blog hosting set up, again going live over the next couple of months.

And finally, there’s the creative stuff – so far, more work on the upcoming book (I’m currently working out exactly how a trans-Solar System economy would work in about 2300AD), a couple of Graan gigs (a highly enjoyable jaunt to Southampton, and an opportunity to get stuck into the fantastic sound system at the Corsica Studios, while supporting the wonderful Nadja), and a mysterious film project that will hopefully lead to much interestingness.

So, all in all, a busy summer; September and October will I hope be equally busy (if all goes according to plan I’ll be spending some work time in Japan, and watching lots of documentaries – more on this as it happens), and I’ll be blogging about it all here – so, see you at the next post!

Johnnie Moore uses this video to make a rather wonderful point about the need to notice what’s round us, without constriction. Certainly, it taught me a thing or two about how unobservant I can be:

JM quotes Castaneda to support his point; I couldn’t help thinking of a William Blake line, ‘the eye sees more than the heart knows’, which concisely summarises our frequent, shared inability to find anything more in the outside world than what we already contain within ourselves.

Just a quick one today, as I couldn’t resist putting the below up; it shows up what client / agency negotiations would like in real life. One way or another, we’ve all been there… Oh, and it came via John Griffiths