Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Gangsters' Grafitti versus taggers' art?


ooh er Missus. This is a bit scary. Check out the first in a series of reports in the Pasedena Star News. All very amusing, note the text which explains:

Cavemen did it. So did Roman soldiers, political dissidents and generations of lovers. They left their names, thoughts, complaints, slogans and drawings scratched on walls for the world to see - graffiti.
(Thanks to Wackydoodler for posting about this on Flickr.)

I have been thinking about street art in another context this week too. You may already know that there are quite a lot of people on Flickr who are interested in street art. For example there is a Banksy group or this one with work from arofish . I like this one that is ccalled NOT Banksy. There are also groups with mixes like this one. Stickers are popular too.

So streetart makes quite an easy transition onto the web; the people's art, free art a kind of democratic art 'of the people' by and for the people. (To put it romantically.) Lots of people on Flickr, funnily enough, put up stickers, stencils and other types of streetart then photograph it and upload to Flickr.So it moves back and forth, in and out. C-monster, based in the states, even makes stickers, (who TT made contact with on Flickr, through a shared interest in streetart), and sent some to TT and others to put around the place, to photograph, email to her, so she can upload to Flickr for this international collaborative set. So, OK. All quite fascinating in terms of fluid geographical borders, and fluid spatial borders in terms of:

  • Online/offline
  • Journeys everywhere
  • Affinities
  • Collaboration
  • Coherences.

Imagine my interest then, when Kid Acne complained about his work being shown on Flickr. KA has pretty much taken over the London Road area in Sheffield, with art work mushrooming particularly in recent months. He has sent e mails apparently, asking people to remove their photos from the web. (Not disclosed here for ethical reasons!) But he is really cross about the fact that a new group has been set up on Flickr which is dedicated to showing his work. See the discussion thread here. K
Is this an example of web phobia where someone is OK about their work being in an off line public domain, but edgy about it going online? Or is it to do with wanting to control something for reasons of profit - he is currently wanting to brng a book out; has an exhibition on in Barcelona and one coming up in Sheffield.

And in the Picture? TT crosses borders taking a photo of a Banksy, for Flickr:


Thursday, March 23, 2006

What a painful day

Just like DrKate I have been struggling with work today.

I spent four and a half hours wading my way through one student's doctoral work (Chapter 3) and then when I sent it back with comments her inbox was full as usual so it just pinged straight back.

(But I thought of a solution; I have opened a new hotmail account and have sent her the address and password etc. She can go there and get everything I have sent her in the last three months!!
I thought this was a very clever thing to do. I wonder if it will work.)

But also, I thought I would be able to quickly review an article for Discourse, send a few e mails about other stuff and then get on with the REAL work of the day.

But I did not get to 'the real work' as everything takes so

Mind you it was nice to hear from NESTA who want to quote from my conference paper on Flickr from last July. (Blimey. Can you imagine that? ) I liked that e mail.

And that's nice that they asked and they also sent me a draft of an excellent piece they are writing on Social Software and Learning. ('They' are Martin Owen, Lyndsay Grant and Keri Facer). It looks really good. Maybe they will become my new friends.

A piece of BIG NEWS is that one of my contacts from Flickr has got kicked out of Flickr. I am pretty gutted as I really liked him and his photos and had enjoyed a few e mails and comment exchanges with him on Flickr. He had also commented on my blog a few times. (But funnily enough I have seen a new account which includes pictures very like Zombizi's). Good game. Will he win?

Interesting. Just when you think it is the creative commons and that you are all playing your own game, you suddenly realise there is a panopticon. The all seeing Flickr police flicked the lights out on all his photos and stuff. Zombizi Gone .
Flickrites are up in ARMS.

Well. It's all good for the research.

(See this paper here on The Internet and the panopticon idea.)

And tomorrow is another day (when I will be interviewing the Director of this.)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006



I love doing these photos. I think that it is much more difficult to get a satisfying picture when taking other types of shot taken from life as it moves along . But nevertheless I love to take these shots so close up and showing me what I cannot see with the 'naked' eye.

I have wondered whether this is partly because I am aware that my sight is getting worse and that I want to see everything more clearly.

But I also think I appreciate the carnivalesque qualities of this kind of shot. I love to use saturation and to make these images look like adverts. It somehow transforms things into popular culture artifacts by making them huge, exaggerated images. That is, I associate bright colours, the celebration of the frivolous and the seemingly unimportant, with popular culture. Some people see these characteristics as vulgar and garish. Unlike the subtle subdued tones of high culture - a restrained way of carrying on. But I like 'in your face' stunning things happening around me. (Which is probably why I am a fashion junkie too.)

BTW did you catch the Lady Chatterley Affair, about the 1963 Chatterley trial the other night? By Andrew Davies? That had a LOT of rude words in it and made me feel very depraved indeed to watch it. It were grand.
At the time when Lady Chatterley's Lover was written people thought it showed no restraint at all and so believed it might be dangerous. The problem was they did not know whether it was OK to like it as it may have been vulgar. They needed it to be declared as high culture.

It was only released from its banned status because posh, educated people said that it made grand statements about life, humanity and relationships. Hmm. I am not sure I agree that it should have been 'unbanned' just because posh clever people said it was 'worthy'. Why does everything have to be justified on moral grounds?

Lets enjoy a bit of unexpurgated vulgarity round here.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Little Girl

Little Girl
Originally uploaded by madewithpixels.
Oh. My Goodness.
Bridesmaids dresses are good for all sorts of things.
This little girl has found out you CAN eat the meringue dresses.

Peerage for drjoolz

I seem to be getting votes ...

Peerage for drjoolz

Monday, March 20, 2006

Lady DrJoolz

Gosh I am so excited as it cannot be long now before my PEERAGE comes through.

Lady DrJoolz

Once I am in the House of Ladies I am going to institute quite a FEW CHANGES.

  • For a start of there will be pink curtains put up at the windows in The House.
  • All academics will be given a GIGANTIC pay rise in order to help them catch up with teechers.
  • Girl academics will be given additional cash for shoes and clothing and will be given time off for facials.
  • Homework in schools will be banned and no one will ever have to do tests as they are wicked.
  • Further suggestions will be considered by me and all my lady friends.


Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St Paddy's Day

Happy St Paddy's Day
Originally uploaded by SeenyaRita.
I love this; some people have the knack of just seeing the perfect composition.
And yes, Happy St. P's.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Thanks DrKate

for a really great day.
What a line up of wonderful researchers and practitioners.
Here are photos ..

Firstly here are some of the contributors to Kate and Jennifer's new book. We are:
Gunther Kress, Barbara Comber, Hilary Janks, Jennifer Rowsell, Kate Pahl, Julia Davies and Pippa Stein.

Gunther, Barbara, Hilary, Jennifer, Kate,Julia, Pippa

Jennifer and Kate were our wonderful editors:

Kate and Jennifer

And the day today was not only a book launch but a showcase for excellent research arsing from Creative Partnerships locally and excellent practice globally. See here, here and here.

You may be interested to know I have been writing this post whilst having the multimodal experience of listening to a Flickr podcast from New York: from here. Fabulous - they have a documentary, interviews, pictures from NYC and a map of the tour they made whilst recordeing the broadcast.
TT was very excited as Star not Star was mentioned - a group he set up aaaages ago. And our friend moufle was on.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


often attract attention, as they are so often ostentatious.

Grand entrance

Why are we so interested in doorways?
Is it because they provide opportunities for new beginnings? Openings into new situations? New possibilities?

SimplyClare and I loved this doorway


which opened out into this new secret land:

This is cool.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


No not really.
I just said that to wind up Guy.

Today it is about dogs on the beach.

I went to Exmouth even though it was called Plymouth University. This was extremely confusing but turned out to be very nice.

In the morning I went on the beach and saw lots of our canine relatives having a dash about.



Their owners did not seem very enthusiastic today though.



Monday, March 13, 2006


I am going here today and coming back Tuesday.

I will be four hours on the train and so am taking plenty to read and do.


Unfortunately this means I cannot travel light despite my determination to find small reads. Books are so heavy and although I could take my laptop and read CDs or something, aftrer a while I feel my eyes may be burning up.

And indeed they seem to be as I have one of THESE growing.

Gross huh?

You will be interested to know I have been told not to worry.
Ok then chaps.
Let's chill.

I also have this in the other eye.

Which is exotic.
Luckily I have these as spares


(Hope I didn't make you feel sick.)

Has anyone else got some interesting medical history?

Sunday, March 12, 2006


is not a rude word.


I call this photograph 'cupcake cleavage', because it made me laugh. Cupcakes are very 'sex and the city' - if you can remember that. (For a previous post - with recipes - on cupcakes see here. )

You would not believe how many definitions of cleavage I found on the web. Nearly all of them are to do with science.

This one amused me. Even Homer Simpson gets a mention.

One that was missing was the one that John Peel invented. This is where if you walk between two nuns, you score a 'cleavage'. If there are more than two nuns this is worth more points.
I bet you didn't know that.

(Photo courtesy Rakka)

So this was a post about the English language, using photographs to illustrate.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Originally uploaded by Thrift.
I completely adore this.
What style!!
I must advise TT that when he is next cleaning the bathroom he should feel free to make himself an Espresso to keep him going.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Little Miss Stylish

Originally uploaded by -gadgetgirl-.
I love it when kids wear glasses.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Originally uploaded by

Hanging about on the street; Rosita really is a street child.

I am puzzled by this composition;

  1. Why was it shot like this?
  2. Does it make you feel uncomfortable?
  3. Is it ethical? (Can you tell just by looking at the image?)
  4. If you are / were a teacher would you use it in the classroom? (How?)
  5. Do I sound like Ted Wragg?

Anyway the photo is rosita Originally uploaded by schaaflicht.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Doncha sometimes fancy a nice cup of Java?

I like to take this kind of photo lately, just because for the first time I have a camera which allows me to. I love the way photos can show you things the so-called naked eye cannot. Here we can see the clear detail of the bean; it is larger than life.


Other pictures allow us to take in a broad scene, without turning our head. Camera lenses can do stuff normal eyes cannot. It was only when I went to see an exhibition which included the work of Gursky and Sternfeld which made me fully appreciate this point.

And these days I also turn my head to look at things which I would otherwise not even be aware of, or would not believe were even 'to do with' me when I went past. Such as street art (a term I now use) or graffiti, or even palimpsest. I would have missed this before:
line-  as in 'doing a'.

And I certainly would not have got up early to get a shot of this before the traffic got busy.

Eject and Survive

I would say that I have been interested in photography for years, but never as much as now, where I take photos and look at them addictively. Aware of the world more, as well as being aware of the affordances of a photograph. I have become aware of how a photograph can have a smaller or greater relationship with the subject it took and can be cropped or processed in ways that make it look different, convey something different.

Kris Cohen in his article on photoblogging writes that the photobloggers he interviewed, all now take more pictures than they ever have before. And that they take pictures of 'the everyday', 'the banal', 'the boring'. (Their words).

I think this is interesting, as this is what we see so much of on Flickr. (Not exclusively.) It is as if with digital photography, (for that is the cause of all this visual proliferation) people are also trying to capture what is apparently not usually under our gaze. It is as if we are trying to reveal the world anew all the time. So photo-technology allows us to bring into view, the peripheral; and the web allows us to share with others.

And we digikids always carry our cameras everywhere we go - just in case we need to catch a moment that we want everyone else to see. And we go to daft, off the wall, out of the way places to catch something no one else will!

Are we all turning into journalists?

Anyway, before I go, wanna sweetie?
Magic Mushrooms

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Repair and Review

Listening to tapes of interviews I have done, it is amazing how often I find evidence of 'conversational repair' going on.
That is that one speaker, (usually me because I am also taking notes) misunderstands something the first speaker says. I find that in reviewing interviews, that even where I reply inappropriately and it is clear I have misunderstood, the first speaker does not correct me. Out of four errors I made in listening, none were corrected. Instread, the first speaker finds a way of making me understand by re-capping later and re-emphasizing in some way. This is not a new observation, and has been observed as a common phenmenon amongst speakers. We susually glide over hiccups and smooth them out.

(It is of course just one of the many things linguists have been able to observe and learn with technology. Nevertheless I felt surprised to observe it in my interviews. )

It was fascinating to see how the people I was interviewing showed great conversational dexterity in the manner they repaired the conversation; they avoided correcting me (they would have felt this was rude, I imagine - or maybe even thought they were not being clear enough.) And then they later, unobtrusively, wove in the correct information as a kind of 'by the way' mentioning.

Fascinating stuff, which reflects a good deal of cultural knowledge as well as linguistic skill.

I have noticed on Flickr how incredibly careful people sometimes are when they leave comments on photos or on blogs. (look at this polite little exchange across the globe.) Some people are so tactful and diplomatic and gushingly kind it can make you feel ill (not to me in fact but I have observed this and do not wish to do any pointing here.

But I understand that as there are so many cues missing online - so many visual and auditory cues and clues that are unavailable. This means that people tend to careful - (there are exceptions of course). I have in the past though I have offended people - and onlt realised later - but then not been sure. As time has gone on, I have secured some more certain relationships online and this has taken a while - and on occasion meat space contact. But the acts of negotiation and repair are different in opnline spaces and I think we have developed tactics to compensate. In face to face meetings we know what is valued - listening to each other, trying to find agreement, eye contact, standing the right distance apart, even echoing each other etc etc.

I am wondering whether things like memes and other types of in-joke, are part of the repertoire of multimodal tactics we use to define the cultural landscape, a new landscape that does not require some of the other cultural cues. I think that some memes work right across the web, while others are more locaclised. In addition to memes helping create a shard social/cultural landscape I think the games within flickr groups and the ways in which we set out rules for each other, allow a secure space where we all start afresh with new parameters for behaving.

So, on the web we tend to be more articulate about how to behave; off line we tend to show belongingness in more subtle ways. But online, just as off line, when we get to know people we can be more experimental as we become surer of the cultural rules. These rules are partly established explicitly, and partly through practice.

I was prompted to some of these ideas by reading page 23 of this, which I mentioned last week.

More importantly though, I bought some jelly babies and left them alone for just a minute.


When I came back this was the picture that befell my eyes.


There is an identity parade. Can you see who dunnit?


About Me

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Sheffield, South Yorks, United Kingdom
I am an academic interested in New Literacies, Digital Lifestyles, Informal Online Learning.