The Guardian have published video footage of Ian Tomlinson, a bystander caught up in last week’s G20 protests in London, being struck from behind in the leg with a baton and pushed to the ground by a police officer as he walked away peacably with his hands in his pockets. He died of a heart attack a little while later.
It becomes clearer that the purpose of riot police is not only to protect the public at large by controlling riots, but also to protect the status quo by discouraging dissent and protest — if you know that even protesting peacefully (or being in the area of a protest but not participating, as in Tomlinson’s case) you are at risk of unprovoked attack by armed, armoured and aggressive large males, you will tend to be discouraged from doing so. I know I am. :-/
Here are some words and some (mainly excellent) music videos for you.
The above is the gorgeous video for the equally beautiful and gentle song “Omstart” by Cornelius. It is one of two things I saw three weeks ago at the British Film Institute which particularly caught my eye/ear. The other is this 1998 video, “Deadly Media” by Hexstatic:
Actually, that’s a lie; several other vids caught my eye/ear to a similar if lesser extent…
I’d gone to London to see Bash, to hear Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie talk about Lost Girls at the V&A, and to go to Bash’s flat-warming party. On Sunday afternoon she had to work, so I was at a loose end and popped along to the National Film Theatre to catch j-star 08, “the latest and most inspiring music videos, motion graphics and shorts from some of japan’s finest moving image-makers and young talent” — part of the onedotzero_adventures in motion event taking place that weekend. I rather like shorts, and music videos, and the Japanese aspect promised an interesting time. While the results were mixed, I wasn’t disappointed.
On the way in, I noticed a “Holotronica” exhibit and, while scoffing at the hubris of an artist claiming to “devise” a term, and while unimpressed by the 3-d aspect of the display, I did rather enjoy the music playing as I walked past: the Hexstatic piece linked above. I thought it was a bit old-fashioned, but good for it — and of course now I see it’s 10 years old, so that makes sense. The use of vocal samples was reminscent of JMJ’s pioneering and wonderfully cheesy yet still compelling Zoolook (the video for which introduced a young me to the lovely word “Djibouti”), and the audio/video link made me think of Lasse Gjertsen’s modern classic Hyperactive.
The j-star show was very enjoyable, though a bit tedious in places. Many of the shorts were too long, and it was very very CGI heavy: only a few pieces weren’t entirely CG, and it often felt like it didn’t add anything, or wasn’t used imaginatively. The Cornelius video above was the standout exception, indeed the best thing in the show — thoughtful, subtle, and making the most of the total possibility of CG without just being a bunch of flashy effects. A number of other vids were just flashy effects (usually to some generic breakbeat music), a few were “in love with the underlying model” (exposing wireframes, etc., which is cute but ultimately empty) and some were cartoonish, and kinda fun but not soooo amusing. On reflection I think my enjoyment was often coloured by the music as well, of course. With that in mind, a few (non-exhaustive) comments…
Three of the pieces which weren’t totally CGI were excellent. Kosai Sekine’s video for Maledict Car by Jemapur used real world footage and imaginative symmetry to very good effect, I thought — and the music was great. K+Me’s Screaming Dance by Leonard de Leonard was very good fun and again had the advantage of a rather stonking tune. Finally, this Nike cosplay ad by Kan Eguchi is classic Japanese madness, and utterly awesome. The other vids with a substantial reality presence were Junji Kojima’s video for You-you-you by Polysics, which I quite enjoyed but didn’t find beautiful, and “Evening Before the Hangover” by Ichiro Sato, (I can’t find it online) of which I wrote “Alien disco, but so what?”. It was a cute joke, but basically dull.
Clear Skies In May by Tetsuo Suzuka was beautiful, imaginative, classical, and beautifully typographical. Well worth a look.
There were two 8-bit nostalgia trips, only one of which I enjoyed. Yosawya San by Tsuyoshi Hirooka & Yohei Ito was great: musically interesting, and a very cute video. Compared to the other (below), it seemed truer to the 8-bit gaming tradition, and with some really imaginative touches, perspective, etc. (Look out for the Go game on the TV screen.) The other, Hideyuki Tanaka’s video for Ram Rider’s hello_8 bit edition seemed more lego than 8-bit (in the video, anyway), and was about 2 minutes too long; I didn’t like the music though, which can’t have helped — although on reflection it was truer to the 8-bit tradition than the other offering, so there you go. Well, there it is: you might enjoy it, but I certainly didn’t.
On the cartoony side, it probably suffices to just mention Usavich – Beware of Dance — the first of three Usavich cartoons, and quite funny (I wrote “Tyres goes disco bunnies”, meaning Tyres from Spaced), but by the third I was really bored of them.
Afterwards, I took a saunter round the BFI, experienced and enjoyed The All-Seeing Eye (The Hardcore Techno Version) by Pierre Bismuth & Michel Gondry, and, wrote on a wall. I can’t remember the details of whose installation this was, but projected onto this wall/whiteboard was a cartoon view of a town, on which we were invited to draw “where you live” using the available coloured pens. I found a suitably rectangular collection of roads and drew a simple commutative diagram encapsulating commutativity of function application, which felt like as a good an explanation of where I live just now than anything else I could think of.
Then I went back to Bash’s and cooked a mighty vegetarian lasagna for the six of us there present.
To conclude: a great day (and weekend!), and one which made me think it might be worth living in London (for a while) after all.
I’ll Be Gone — great vid. Nice bass, too, though I think the song’s a bit weak (Mario Basanov & Vidis) [via someone's tweet, I reckon].
I’ve just realised that the title of that previous post should have been “Two guys, one dinosaur cup”. Ah well.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve been wondering when and indeed whether those noted culinary swashbucklers Dave & Zac would return with more great recipes for us to try out.
Wait no longer, dear friends. The final two installments are here! We have high-tech Gourmet Chocolate Pancakes and surely the pinnacle of their joint works, yes it’s Sausage Croissants. Mmmm, mmmmmm, that is a tasty croissant.
Take one-time Gimbo tutee and long-time beard user DaveA, and one handsome stranger from outta town goes by the name of Zac, some beer and some Jaegermeister, whisk them together briskly in a kitchen in Helsinki and you’ve got what we in the 1970s American sitcom business call a recipe for laughter. Oh yes.
Update 2008-09-15: they have a website!
Update 2008-10-01: two more recipes!
Nice vid, Dan. :-)
I think this is probably the most valuable and worthwhile thing I’ve ever posted on Gimboland. Totally worth making it to the end.
Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch, who is dying from pancreatic cancer, gave his last lecture at the university Sept. 18, 2007, before a packed McConomy Auditorium. In his moving talk, “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” Pausch talked about his lessons learned and gave advice to students on how to achieve their own career and personal goals.
And in other multi-touch news, it appears Nokia may have something very shiny indeed up their sleeve, namely taking the “touch” out of “multi-touch” with 3D gesture tracking based on ultrasonic transducers [reddit].
Three or more transducers arrayed around a perimeter of the mobile device create a 10-20 cm working volume of space above the display, where user finger locations and their movements in real time can be detected using triangulation techniques. These movements can then be interpreted as various three dimensional gestures.
Water! From the skies! – Armstrong & Miller comedy gold on Youtube.
I used to love Armstrong & Miller — hit and miss, for sure, but when it hit it hit well. If you ask me what the funniest thing I’ve ever seen was, I’d tell you it was a sketch of theirs involving an undercooked steak, some surly chefs, and a remote-controlled car. Haven’t found it online yet, and in a way I hope I never do because it’ll be bound to be a disappointment now, but oh, the memory…