zomganthro

in-the-horniman:

Gingerbread mould. England. 19th Century.

Yesterday, food anthropologist Dr Kaori O Connor and I excitedly went on a gingerbread trail at the Horniman stores.

Here at the Horniman we have an exquisite range of 19th century wooden gingerbread moulds from all over Europe. Depicting a range of characters and scenes, from jesters, milkmaids, brewers, soldiers to royal symbols and ships of exploration.

Moulded gingerbread was quite the craze in England in the 19th century but unlike countries such as Poland, it is no longer readily available here. What a shame!

These moulds and the biscuits they produce are not perhaps as simple as they seem.

They are a fascinating example of how Empire and Monarchy was mediated and consumed in the home in the 19th century. They also remind us of the symbols of peasant life that were popular across the continent at the time.

The above example is particularly intriguing. It depicts a skeleton on a carriage and emblazoned on the back are the words ‘INDUSTRY’. Is this perhaps a statement regarding the ‘death’ of traditional life due to the encroachment of industry?

This question will be answered and many more surprising and intriguing stories revealed about the history of ginger and gingerbread when Dr. Kaori O Connor gives a public lecture to the museum in June 2013.

Details to follow….I for one can’t wait!

(Object accession no 4.99)

What happens when you dispose of the classic structures for television viewing, production, and dissemination? 

image

New Way to Deliver a Drama: All 13 Episodes in One Sitting

By 

Television producers have turned bingeing, hoarding and overeating into successful prime-time shows for years, but now they are having to turn their attention to another example of overindulgence — TV watching.

Binge-viewing, empowered by DVD box sets and Netflix subscriptions, has become such a popular way for Americans to watch TV that it is beginning to influence the ways the stories are told — particularly one-hour dramas — and how they are distributed.

….In some corners of Hollywood there is deep skepticism about Netflix’s all-at-once release of “House of Cards.” Mr. Willimon acknowledged the advantages to stretching out a season — it’s a format viewers are used to, there’s more time for marketing — but said that as a storyteller (he’s best known for the play “Farragut North,” which inspired the film “The Ides of March”) he prefers the “House of Cards” approach.

As television becomes less beholden to the schedule and more acclimated to the Web, he said, “it might even dispense with episodes altogether. You might just get eight straight hours or 10 straight hours, and you decide where to pause.”

——

This naturally reminds me of a very funny Portlandia sketch/episode 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njr3aFpTMyQ

GQ: …There’s a sketch in the new season about Battlestar Galactica that really captures what happens when a TV show takes over your life. Was that born from an experience you both had watching that show.
Armisen: Definitely. We are huge Battlestar Galactica fans. And with couples particularly, we were talking to our director Jonathan Krisel about him and his wife, where you just get into this thing where you have to finish watching all of the episodes. And that’s certainly happened to me. Whenever I like a show like that, my eyes get very salty, you know what I mean? They start stinging because it’s three in the morning. It’s that feeling. And also, Battlestar Galactica is just the greatest.

Brownstein: Yeah, I remember when Six Feet Under ended, actually missing characters as if they were my friends. Like, I miss Nate. And that’s such an unnatural feeling, but it’s relatable. People binge on these shows and they become all-encompassing and obsessive about it. I’m a little jetlagged right now because I just came over from England and I’m watching that show Homeland right now. I got up at 3:30 this morning and watched four episodes of Homeland. I feel like I am a CIA agent now.

ouruncertainrhetorics
aleatoriccomposition:

This pair of articles really does articulate the conflict inherent in an aleatory approach to new media technologies.  As Steven Johnson articulated in Where Good Ideas Come From, there is an opinion floating about that serendipitous encounters are becoming impossible because of the ubiquity of information in our informational economy of excess. Steven Johnson does a great job in responding to this claim, and these articles add to that approach. 
“The Death of the Cyberflaneur” by Evgency Morozov.  
Claims that the internet is no longer a place to “surf” or to discover by way of serendipitous encounters.  
“The Life of the Cyberflanuer” by John Hendel.  
Counters Morozov’s claim by suggesting that that the internet is still a place of wonder:

 ”with plentiful curation and repositories of old knowledge and befuddling lists and data points that create a societal mirror similar to the stroll-worthy avenues of the shadowy old Paris envisioned by Charles Baudelaire and Walter Benjamin.”

Hendel continues:

“The Cyberflâneur ‘strolls’ through information space, taking in the virtual architecture and remaining anonymous.”
What Goldate imagined then is no less true now … and his vision has taken off. The cyberflâneur is triumphantly alive, a wry cackling presence that pops up wherever I look. Sure, Facebook catalogues personalities into predictable boxes and lets us share the news, but Facebook is not the mandated totality of our online existence. 

Finally, in a moment that bespeaks a hint of a metic attitude, Hendel suggests:

There’s the sly playfulness and quirk that drives the networks of Reddit and StumbleUpon. Twitter is host to countless hordes of watchers who collect bits of news and trivia from the passing crowd, sometimes leaping in with a distinct remark, sometimes existing without any hint of a name, sometimes entirely quiet. Is the creation of an offbeat GIF really so different than way 19th-century flâneurs walked turtles down the street? Both acts heighten observation of individual moments.

That sly playfulness is important, certainly.  But perhaps it is not the only way of thinking about the cyberflaneur.  Yes, a metis attitude is necessary—but the aleatory affordances programed into the Internet’s network also makes this type of wandering possible.  Finally, Hendel eloquently concludes:

The Internet provides ample opportunity to, as the old wanderers did in Morozov’s words, “observe, to bathe in the crowd, taking in its noises, its chaos, its heterogeneity, its cosmopolitanism.” The cyberflâneur continues to probe our online paths today, and I suspect the same will be true tomorrow

Painting is Gustave Caillebotte’s “Paris Street; Rainy Day” (1877).

aleatoriccomposition:

This pair of articles really does articulate the conflict inherent in an aleatory approach to new media technologies.  As Steven Johnson articulated in Where Good Ideas Come From, there is an opinion floating about that serendipitous encounters are becoming impossible because of the ubiquity of information in our informational economy of excess. Steven Johnson does a great job in responding to this claim, and these articles add to that approach. 

The Death of the Cyberflaneur” by Evgency Morozov.  

Claims that the internet is no longer a place to “surf” or to discover by way of serendipitous encounters.  

The Life of the Cyberflanuer” by John Hendel.  

Counters Morozov’s claim by suggesting that that the internet is still a place of wonder:

 ”with plentiful curation and repositories of old knowledge and befuddling lists and data points that create a societal mirror similar to the stroll-worthy avenues of the shadowy old Paris envisioned by Charles Baudelaire and Walter Benjamin.”

Hendel continues:

“The Cyberflâneur ‘strolls’ through information space, taking in the virtual architecture and remaining anonymous.”

What Goldate imagined then is no less true now … and his vision has taken off. The cyberflâneur is triumphantly alive, a wry cackling presence that pops up wherever I look. Sure, Facebook catalogues personalities into predictable boxes and lets us share the news, but Facebook is not the mandated totality of our online existence. 

Finally, in a moment that bespeaks a hint of a metic attitude, Hendel suggests:

There’s the sly playfulness and quirk that drives the networks of Reddit and StumbleUpon. Twitter is host to countless hordes of watchers who collect bits of news and trivia from the passing crowd, sometimes leaping in with a distinct remark, sometimes existing without any hint of a name, sometimes entirely quiet. Is the creation of an offbeat GIF really so different than way 19th-century flâneurs walked turtles down the street? Both acts heighten observation of individual moments.

That sly playfulness is important, certainly.  But perhaps it is not the only way of thinking about the cyberflaneur.  Yes, a metis attitude is necessary—but the aleatory affordances programed into the Internet’s network also makes this type of wandering possible.  Finally, Hendel eloquently concludes:

The Internet provides ample opportunity to, as the old wanderers did in Morozov’s words, “observe, to bathe in the crowd, taking in its noises, its chaos, its heterogeneity, its cosmopolitanism.” The cyberflâneur continues to probe our online paths today, and I suspect the same will be true tomorrow

Painting is Gustave Caillebotte’s “Paris Street; Rainy Day” (1877).