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January 14th, 2010

gentle guitar and Oslo latency

Today I flew to Austin for a quick business trip. I also participated via webcam in a symposium about sharing culture at the Ram Gallery in Oslo. My collaborator, Susan Joseph (who records as Sackjo22) attended from Los Angeles--in many ways, she originated many ideas that evolved into the whole project. The folks who spoke at the symposium proved very insightful--Gisle Hannemyr of Creative Commons in Norway, Frode Gether-Roenning of the school of architeciture, and Rolf Gerstlauer of AHO, and curator of The White Cube exhibition. The moderator, a Ph.D named Carl Mattias Ekman, posed great questions. I enjoyed hearing Susan explain how the White Cube evolved from an exchange of communications with Rolf; to hear Rolf ponder the implications of shared media; to hear Frode talk about sharing in education; and to hear Gisle explain how creative commons licenses are a great way to facilitate sharing.

Some very kind colleagues let me use their conference room to set up my webcam for the conference. We all hooked into a shared videolink. Sadly, my connection was very imperfect. Unlike the mild delay of a Skype call, the audio I got from Norway was filled with echo, while my own audio output required a bit of tinkering to deal with sound level distortion and with the flight-attendant-oddity of hearing my words moments after I spoke them.

The symposium was nonetheless grand. What is the impact of the sharing of media? What becomes of the curator?
What are the economics? What will it mean to academia? The questions hung in mid-air, glowing with promise.
I enjoyed the seminar thoroughly--and wished only that I could hear and communicate better. I do not complain, though--sadly, Emily Richards, who hoped to join, could only see and hear but not fully participate.

I will figure out how to better use a webcam in the future---and yet I'm pleased to have had such a cool experience in the past. I flew home tonight energized.

In other news, I am very fond of the guitar play of Brazil's Nonato Luiz, whose melodies are gentle and yet always intriguing. Tonight I am in a more experimental mood--Conlon Nancarrow and C. Reider's Druser Presid.
I am also puzzling whether my English would be better if I had grown up in Scandinavia.