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Call for Entries: Aesthetica Creative Works Competition

Aesthetica is looking for entries to the 2009 International Aesthetica Creative Works Competition. The 2008 Competition was a successful springboard for artists’ careers around the globe.

The Aesthetica Creative Works Competition: Artwork, Photography & Sculpture, Fiction and Poetry
Three winners will be awarded £500 each
All finalists will be published in the Aesthetica Creative Works Annual, in stores December 2009
Entry to the 2009 Aesthetica Creative Works Competition is £10
This allows you to submit up to 5 images, 5 poems or 2 short stClosing date to receive Creative Works is 31 August 2009

The winners and finalists from last year, went on to secure further exhibitions, commissions and publications. The winners and finalists were published in the Aesthetica Annual. It's a great opportunity to bring your work to a wider audience.

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City Library Street Press workshops

City Library Street Press is back after a short Summer break with a new program of free workshops starting on March 11th 2009.

City Library Street Press is an opportunity for all of those interested in the many aspects of street press to gather and discuss ideas, techniques and projects. Our last season of Workshops were a roaring success with every session fully booked, covering many topics from zines to creative writing, page layout and cartooning. This season is no exception and the details of the first half of the program can be found below :

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We Make Zines - NING group

the guys at Sticky sent an invitation to join the We Make Zines NING group today. We Make Zines is a online community for zine makers and zine readers. the discussions are all about the zines and issues involved with making them & distributing them. this year I want to try this - maybe take some thoughts / notes from my little notebooks and make a zine. or some thoughts from this blog - though even the blog is mostly project listings, not my own thoughts. maybe time for a shift..

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VloMo08 : day21 - street stories

I think there's at least a couple of hundred stories & characters to be written from any street scene.

this one's zoomed in on my Nokia N95 - the video quality isn't that good when you zoom in to record video, but it's good enough for a reminder for me. I'm playing it at 1/2 speed - not sure if that saves or not.

I didn't capture the women in black unfortunately - will try again next week.

21/11/2008
mumbai / bombay
india

blog entry :
http://www.aliak.com/content/vlomo08-day21-street-stories

http://blip.tv/file/1493696

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VloMo08 : day17 - book purchases whilst in India

I actually recorded this video on 09/11/2008 but it was a large file and my computer's been playing up during exporting so I've only had time to compress it tonight.

these are the books I purchased at Mid Land Book store whilst in Delhi. I always buy the annual Sarai Reader - a collection of research papers & project documentation from India and around the world. they always have something that I'm not familiar with - different issues are covered - urban issues, social issues, resettlements, voices of local people, keeping or documenting traditional methods in art & social / community circles + more. the books are available online as pdfs so I've read some of the chapters but I like to have a paper copy as I find them easier to read.

the bookstore owner recommended other books for me to try - mostly feminist books & topics! there were so many that looked really interesting & informative, but I chose one from each publishing house so I can buy more later. some were part of a series on varying topics.

I have a blog post on my site about (some) women in india links + details on the books in case anyone would like to find out more or read them too :
http://www.aliak.com/content/women-india-book-related-links

I'm not speaking very clearly in the video - I'm not used to talking & filming at the same time and I should have collected my thoughts a bit more before I started, but I don't have the energy to redo it so it is what it is :) & pulp fiction is different to the graphic novels (both were talked about at sarai i-fellows conference - but it's not clear from what I said in the video). the book "Delhi" is written by Khushwant Singh - sorry! I forgot his name whilst recording the video :(

I'm part way reading through the interviews with women writers & the short stories & the tamil pulp fiction books. yet to start the others - it might take me a while to finish. so far they're all great purchase choices! the interview book is especially interesting as it seems there were many topics that women were 'not meant to write about' in india up until, say the 1990s. I might have to find a collection of younger writers to compare with - though I note there's been quite a few younger Indian writers winning or being nominated for various international writing prizes.

VloMo08 : day17 - book purchases whilst in India

17/11/2008

http://blip.tv/file/1477706

blog entry :
http://www.aliak.com/content/vlomo08-day17-book-purchases-whilst-india

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Patta Chitra Katha - traditional folk art of storytelling using visual language

Senthil Kumar posted a video on WADI facebook group called "Arjuna the Archer : AD 2008"

he's also posted it to youtube :
http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=h-UPtfEkl_o

there's now a facebook page for Patta Chitra Katha

I wanted to find out more about this artform and technique, so I googled (without much luck, due to googling the wrong things) and asked the Sarai Reader list and received lots of helpful information from many people. after reading about it, it reminds me a bit of an equivalent to multi-media, or even video blogging from a few hundred years ago. multiple paintings / panels on scrolls (equating to video frames?) are read and music played whilst they're read, so there's a mixture of images, music, text, written / spoken word. the artists travel to different villages - equivalent to the communication methods / networks of today transmitting the multimedia messages & works. originally the works were made on cloth using vegetable based paints but these days modern paints are used and most works are done on paper. I hope the traditional methods are not lost completely! the style of painting comes from Orissa, West Bengal & Bangladesh. modern artists use both traditional, classical topics as well as current topics & stories - they are trying out new variations of the art too, to keep the method alive and to learn new techniques & skills.

I made a video for VloMo08 day16 explaining how I found out information about Patta Chitra Katha :

VloMo08 : day16 - Patta Chitra Katha - traditional folk art of storytelling using visual language from kath on Vimeo.

read more for information about this special artform ...

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mumbai digital arts, new media & urban research links

looking for digital arts, new media & urban research projects or exhibitions in mumbai - I'm only here for 2 weekends so might not make it to any festivals. here's some I found so far - some are past projects & some are not strictly mumbai based but I came across them whilst following links for mumbai related items

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Comet Media & COSMOS
a non profit group working in educational communication & new media. they have festivals, projects & publications
http://www.cometmedia.org
http://groups.google.com/group/cosmos_mumbai
upcoming events
aliak.com Comet & Cosmos page

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Digital artists - THE WEBMUSEUM CYBERCULTURE RESEARCH LIBRARY page
http://www.lastplace.com/page177.htm

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CRIT
http://crit.org.in

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Sticky Institute - Melbourne's zine store

I visited the Sticky Institute in Melbourne yesterday and bought a few zines and recorded a video asking the team a few basic questions about zines. The store has a wide selection of zines, and there's a membership / mail list where you can sign up and receive zines in the mail. If you're a zine-writer, you can contact the store and have them stock your zines. Their website also includes an impressive "Zineopedia" of Melbourne based zines which is a great resource for anyone wanting to find out more about zines. Though the best way would be to visit the store if you're in Melbourne, their website if you're not in Melbourne, or a local zine-festival and buy & read some zines. Or even better, start your own!

visit http://www.stickyinstitute.com for more details
store details :
Sticky Institute
Degraves St Subway
Shop 10 Campbell Arcade Melbourne
stickyshop @ gmail.com (remove the spaces)
(if you're not from Melbourne like me, it's opposite the train station on Flinders St, about half way (Flinders between Swanston & Elizabeth) - go downstairs towards the station subway and you'll see it)

PO Box 310 Flinders Lane Vic Australia 8009

One of the zines I bought was the "Anyone can.. " zine (anyone can make a zine) which launched the same day by the City Library Street Press. The City Library Street Press are quite active, having a few projects on the go and regular meetings at the library for zinesters and writers to get involved with. The "Anyone can.." zine also includes a MAP of Melbourne city showing writers & zinester spots of interest eg libraries, stores, artist spaces.

I also bought Anna Poletti's book "Intimate Ephemera : Reading Young Lives in Australian Zine Culture" whilst at Sticky. I've been to some of her panel sessions at the National Young Writers Festival in Newcastle & Critical Animals as part of This is Not Art (TiNA) over the years, so was glad to find her PhD book in the store too. The book is also available as an e-book (pdf) or d-book (pod / print on demand) from Melbourne University Publishing e-store

I haven't finished the book yet, but here's one passage about what a zine is [pg 11-12] :


"Personal zines do not share many of the characteristics of he texts that make up the bulk of sources studied in literary or cultural studies and, more specifically, scholarship on auto/biography. Of central importance to these non-traditional texts is the fact that sines are not mass-produced; they are not published by a professional publishing house, and thus not 'sanctioned as significant by [their] status as a mass produced commodity' (Huff 510). Moreover, zines are not easily available, do not participate in standardised modes of presentation and distribution, and are not well recognised within literary communities or among the reading (most commonly constituted as 'book-buying') public. Zines are homemade, ephermeral and amateur. They circulate among communities of readers through the mail, in out-of-the-way spaces, and are passed around hand-to-hand among social groups. They are also non-traditional because of the modes of emplotment that characterise them; in the case of personal zines, we find a unique mixture of established modes of life writing, such as the diary, alongside zine-specific narratives such as cut'n'paste collage. These material and textual idiosyncranasies challenge the literary critic to practise 'connected reading', which Gillian Whitlock describes as a practice which 'pulls at the loose threads of autobiography, and uses them to make sutures between, across and among autobiographical narratives' (Intimate Empire 204)".

I also like this definition by Richard A Stoddart and Teresa Kiser in Poletti's book [pg 27]
"Zines are a written product of the human need for self-expression. Beyond that, zines are hard to define."

on page 7-8, Poletti gives Duncombe's list for a 'zine taxonomy'. I thought this was very similar to the original definitions of video blogs when they'd first started (video blogs came after zines of course!) - my attempt was this video blog mind map before I realised it was crazy to try and define all the combinations - a simple all encompassing definition of 'video on a blog' was more appropriate, and did it matter anyway.. every now and then the videoblogging list starts up a new 'what is a video blog' thread - I suppose it is the same for all sub-communities that are less commonly known / new. the response below also reminds me of the videoblogging list arguments towards a simpler definition (or no definition), and at least a step away from a taxonomy.


"genres of zines: fanzines (broken down into subcategories by subject, that is music and sports), political zines, personal zines, scene zines (covering local and community events in the zinester's area), network zines (which review zine publications), fringe culture zines (covering UFOs, conspiracy theories and so on), religious zines, vocational zines (detailing 'life on the job'), health zines, sex zines, travel zines, comix, literary zines, art zines and 'the rest'"

... "the collapse of Duncombe's taxonomy into 'the rest - a large category' underscores the futility of attempting to solidify or organise a definition of zines based on their content. As Kirsty Leishman argues: 'Duncombe's work reveals that zines are ill contained and thus it is useful because it relieves subsequent researchers from pursuing such an arduous, yet futile, endeavour'(7)."

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Pratilipi - a bilingual (English / Hindi) magazine of Indian writing


Pratilipi is an online bilingual magazine featuring Indian writing and stories in English and Hindi & other languages.

Pratilipi is (wants to be) a bilingual / multilingual, multiscript magazine that provides a space for conversation / debate between diverse sorts of writing and writers. Pratilipi forbids itself nothing – except taking on a representational role on the web or catering to such expectations – and, hopefully, never will.

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M/C - Media and Culture - call for contributors to the 'publish' issue

'publish'

In 1998, M/C - A Journal of Media and Culture was devised by David Marshall as an online publishing project for a new media culture honours course at the University of Queensland. The journal was intended as an open-access, scholarly intervention in and forum for debates surrounding media and culture with a strong desire to cross between the academic and the popular. This year, M/C Journal celebrates its tenth anniversary, and in this special issue we ask: what is the face of publishing today?

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Open Humanities Press - Free / Libre Theory

Open Humanities Press is an international open access publishing collective in critical and cultural theory.

Open Humanities Press journals are fully peer reviewed, scholarly publications that have been chosen by OHP's editorial advisory board for their outstanding contribution to contemporary theory.

OHP's journals are independent, published under open access licences and free of charge to readers and authors alike.

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Hakim Bey articles

some Hakim Bey & related links gathered from the MLA forums

Hakim Bey's website - hosts his articles including the well known Temporary Autonomous Zone. The Ayahuasca Reading is interesting, especially since it sounds like it was written in the late 1940s / 1950s? at least written about events during that period. it was originally appeared in the Psychedelic Review in 1965 and Hakim Bey read a reprint of it from the Psychozoic Press on a New York radio program in 1994. interesting since Ayahuasca has become 'flavour of the year' so to speak, with even hollywood stars heading off to South America to experience it.

The SALA-MANCA GROUP

The SALA-MANCA GROUP is a group of independent Jerusalem-based artists that creates in different fields: performance, video, installation & new media since 2000. Sala-manca's works deal with poetics of translation (cultural, mediatic and social), with textual, urban and net contexts and with the tensions between low tech and high tech aesthetics, as well as social and political issues.

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explorative research links

Super Massive wins Best Alternative Artist Award at MusicOz 2007

Sydney electronic rock band Super Massive wins Best Alternative Artist Award at MusicOz 2007, for their soon-to-be-released song "Fists".

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