I was trying to get Gephi to make Seadragon-worthy versions network visualisations (news flash: it won’t for some reason) and thought I’d play with something less…subjective? My patience for my thesis data is hanging by a thread at the moment so I didn’t want to mess around with it too much.
Instead, pulled Australia’s population data from Google’s Public Database and mapped it by state…however I suspect something is up, as it doesn’t seem right that Queensland has all the big cities (I also don’t think it’s right that 1.06 million people live in the Brisbane local government area, but I may be wrong). Ah well. It was nice to look at something other than my regular ol’ network.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted links to anything arty, but I couldn’t ignore her work when it popped up on my screen earlier today. The abstract designs that she calls ‘Fingerings’, crated with her hands in carbon, are quite something. The tactility of the work is obvious, and in some designs, which take on beautiful geometric shapes, you still have the awareness that each includes the imperfection that comes from working with one’s hands. Really beautiful stuff.
As the picture above suggests, I’ve been an Flickr user for 8 years, and Instagram (though I do use it) does not even compare. One of my main reasons, other than research purposes, for using Instagram was the fact that my social network on Flickr was limited. There was nothing wrong with the site – it’s just that the kids (i.e. my friends) hadn’t caught on.
Flickr has recently launched a new smartphone app (as far as I know it’s on Android & iPhone – I’ve got an Android and it’s definitely available there) that makes navigating, sharing, and socialising easier than ever, whilst the web-based site remains as good as ever.
I don’t know if I’ll jump ship on Instagram entirely, but I’m going to preference Flickr once more – just like I did for 7.5 of the past 8 years.
I came across this wonderful art project (via Kate Crawford) the other day, and it was too good not to share.
Perhaps it’s partly the fact that I romanticise the shit out of learning (which I think is part and parcel of being an eternal student, like me), but there’s something so nostalgic and beautiful about half-erased equations and scribblings from the past, kind of like an accidental academic graffiti.
I love the banal-made-extraordinary in art, too. Blackboards are just blackboards, but there’s something very artistic about them — from the layers of formulas past as background, and the vignette effect of the unused corners of the board, to the way that one person’s handwriting differs from another’s, each one is a uniquely random project.
You ought to have a look at Michael Forster Rothbart’s photo series on Chernobyl.
I’ve really been enjoying the simplicity of his images – true-to-life representations of a city that will wear the scars of nuclear disaster and fall out for generations to come. The above image is a crappy reproduction I found online and doesn’t even begin to do the collection justice, so check it out for yourself.
… two sessions in, with one more to go. I thought it would be getting finished today, but I don’t think I realised how much work goes into doing the colour!
This is 4.5 hours worth, and I’ve got one 2.5 hour session to go. Today mostly wasn’t too painful, except right around the top and near my hip (as opposed to the outlining session, where every.single.line. was the most painful thing I’d ever felt).
I’m so happy with the way this is going, but I’ll be waiting a little while before I get another — partly due to the cost (it’s expensive, but on a cost-per-wear basis it’s the cheapest thing I’ll ever own! Except my first tattoo, which only cost $150 and has already got seven years of wear to its name), but also because one shouldn’t really rush into these things. Also it hurts.
So recently I got my nose pierced again, and yesterday, I got tattooed! Only my second tattoo, and my first in more than six years. Unlike the nose piercing though, this wasn’t done on a whim. I’ve been booked in for months.
It still has one, maybe two, more sessions to go, to do the shading & colour (which is why the balloon looks incomplete — there will be clouds around the top there). This isn’t a great photo, because it’s surprisingly difficult to take a photo of one’s own ribs – who knew?
Oh, and before you ask: it hurt like an absolute muuuhfaaa. Two hours of the most intense pain I’ve ever felt. However – tattoos only hurt badly when the needle is actually on your skin. The second it’s off, relief. I think I annoyed the shit out of my poor artist, and I’ll have to make an effort to be less of a baby next time. He was lovely though, of course, and didn’t make me feel like a sook, even when I backed out of getting the shading yesterday and decided to wait until next time.
I probably won’t get anything else done on it until January now, as it needs a few weeks to heal between sessions and then it’s Christmas and New Year and I need to wait for someone to cancel before I can get in, but that’s okay. Baby steps. It’s very red and swollen today so I’m glad I held off on getting too much done yesterday.
I am knee-deep in marking hell at the moment (which is a significant improvement from shoulder-deep, which is where I was yesterday), as you know, because I have already whinged about it. Marking sucks. Teaching? Fun. (Terrifying, occasionally.) Marking? Not fun. This is a fun project, too! Blogs and Twitters and Flickrs and what not! But unfortunately I get to a point around now – when I’ve marked 60 of the 70 that I have to mark for this round – when I’m like what? More things to look at? Bah.
It’s just that I am suffering from a bit of information overload, and visual overstimulation. Even so! I am seeing awesome things. And also still treating each assignment as though it is the first, rather than the 15th, that I have read this day. Fear not, cherubs. I am not short-changing you on marks because I am tired or grumpy or anything like that.
Anyway: my point. One of the coolest things about marking this assignment is that I get to find out what other people are interested in. And, occasionally, I am directed to some Really Cool Internet Things, aka cool shit that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
Warning: If you are secretly watching this at work when you should be working, just know that it has noises.
Amazing, no? There is something so magical about time lapse; the world as we will never truly be able to see it. It kind of makes time seem very insignificant.
[I'm not going to link to my student's site, lest it be viewed as favouritism by other students. It's not! It's just a cool video that I liked. Your assignment was cool too, okay? :)]