Brett on BBC

Brett’s movie, RIP: A Remix Manifesto on the BBC:

Panel Today at the Canadian Centre for Architecture

I’ll be on a panel this afternoon about science, web, collaboration, and I’m not sure what else, organized by Steven Mansour:

On Saturday, November 29th, please join us for an informal discussion panel bringing together Scientists, Technologists and Designers to weigh in about the current and future influence of each of these disciplines on one another. The Mother-Child Health International Research Network, The World Association of Young Scientists and the Canadian Centre for Architecture invite you to a public conversation on collaboration between these three critically important – and increasingly interdependent – fields of knowledge.

This session will be structured around a series of questions posed to our guest panelists, followed by a discussion and open exchange with the audience.

Saturday November 29th, 2008, from 2:30pm until 4:00pm
Canadian Centre for Architecture: 1920 rue Baile, Montréal, Québec – Shaughnessy House.
Refreshments will be provided.

(By the way, it’s almost 2008, and the CCA does not have a URL for an event they are hosting.)

Categories: montreal, myprojects, web

Presentation at MontrealStartUpCamp

montreal startupI was asked to join a panel discussion at Montreal StartUpCamp3 about lessons learned in pitching successfully for financing. Seb Provencher of Praized and John Stokes of MSU (our financiers) were my partners in crime on the stage.

My advice is:

I made a bit of a hash of my presentation, though it turned out fine (I wasn’t really pitching) … violating another important rule:

The other attendees/presenters included:

Categories: art, audio, montreal, video

Knitted Animation: Tricot Machine

Knitted animation, a music video of the song Les peaux de lièvres, from Montreal band Tricot Machine… wow:

[via Knitguy]

Categories: art, montreal, video

Memoire des Anges

Last Friday, I went to the premier of the fabulous NFB film, Memoire des Anges, by Luc Bourdon (thanks, Matt). The movie is a love letter to Montreal of the 50s and 60s, and to the brilliant film-making that came out of the NFB at the time. It’s made up entirely of footage from NFB, an impressionistic collage of the city in the past, through the eyes & celluloid of the grand men (and some women) of innovative documentary, Gilles Groulx, Hubert Aquin, Richard Notkin, Suzanne Angel, Claude Jutra, Jacques Godbout, Arthur Lipsett, Denys Arcand, Tom Daly and scores of others.

Bourdon avoids all sentimentality, and instead gives us the faces, hands, feet of the people of the city, the roadways, bricks, snow, sun and chairs that define a place. There’s no narrative to speak of, though clever bits of story are peppered into the whole, often by splicing footage from numerous films, black and white to colour, a decade or two apart, to make something coherent, if fleeting.

For Montrealers, there is the added fun of picking out street corners and buildings treasured, hated, or gone. But the film works on its own as a document of a time gone, rooted in the look and sound of a city, the voices and faces of its inhabitants, and as a piece of art beyond all the bits that went into it. It’s really a marvel, not least for the rich sound of Paul Anka melting the hearts of the girls in the audience.

And with all the talk of cutting arts funding, I can’t help look to the NFB of the past, the creativity and innovation that forged in the smithy of our souls the uncreated conscience of our country. More of that please, less mediocre crap.

So to Federal Arts funding I say: less Pit Pony, and more (old school) NFB.

the intimacy of audio

I gave a semi-impromptu presentation/discussion yesterday at Podcamp Montreal* on “The Intimacy of Audio.”

I’ve always felt that audio is the most intimate communication medium, and in the session yesterday I wanted to explore the idea of intimacy further. In particular, I wonder how we can build and use technology to help people become more closely connected with the things that are important to them, rather than just feeding more information faster and better. Much of my experience of technology seems to detract from my life rather than add to it (though of course I get great value too). I’m a slave to my computer and the web, and so much of it is distraction from things I find important.

That is why I like podcasts – because they let me get *away* from technology, and into a place where I can be more intimately connected with ideas and thoughts and emotions. Good podcasts (and good radio and good audiobooks) make me think in ways that I can’t when I am sitting in front of the computer, checking RSS feeds and answering emails. They’re also great when cooking, or driving long distances.

With LibriVox, I think, we’ve used technology to help people find this intimacy, by helping volunteers read texts that are important to them in a closer and deeper way. That people like me get to listen occasionally is a wonderful side-benefit.

In discussing the “intimacy of audio,” I played a really moving piece from Scarborough Dude’s Dicksnjanes podcast, about the death of a young boy from the neighbourhood. Here’s the excerpt (mp3-slightly edited). And here is the full episode.

We had a great talk afterwards, with comments from CC Chapman, Mitch Joel, Julien, Steph, Yanik, Patrick, and a host of other people whose names and/or URLs I don’t know (if you were one, please let me know).

There are a few other bits of audio that have really moved me, and that I thought of playing for the gang, but didn’t:

(Though my podcasting listening habits tend more to public radio/professional stuff, three out of four of the most moving audio bits I’ve heard were from DIY podcasts – not surprising, I guess, but significant).

In preparation for the presentation, I asked for some suggestions from the LibriVox community of the most moving bits of audio from that collection, which I didn’t have the chance to play. Here are some of the suggestions:

Any other suggestions for audio tearjerkers on the web?

I wonder what it is about audio that can deliver such intimacy in ways that text and video can’t? Why is the Scarbdude piece so moving? And, how can “we” do more to help make technology address our need for intimacy – creating it, connecting with it – rather than just flooding us with more information and efficient ways to organize things?

*And by the way, a huge congrats to Michelle, Sylvain, Laurent, Laurent, Julien, Bob, Jean-François, Harold and Mitch for putting together what everyone I talked to says was the best podcamp they’ve attended.

Matt Ojingogoes

Matt just released his beautiful new book, Ojingogo. (I don’t think you can buy it online yet.)

I’m not a great reader of graphic novels, but I must say I love Drawn & Quarterly’s store on Bernard, and the attention graphic novelists, their publishers, and their readers give to the object of the book. The D&Q bookstore exudes a love of books, everything about them, that’s rare to see these days. Why not pop in and browse for a while, before buying a few books, especially Ojingogo?


akoha sneak peek

akoha logoI was at the Akoha top secret private screening demo thing last night. It’s ambitious, and complex… but it looks like they’ve done a good job of what they are trying to do (making doing good fun) in a way that just might work. I think many of us continue to think about how the things we are doing on the web can start crossing over into the real world, and Akoha is a clever, and possibly revolutionary, way to make that happen.

Good luck guys.

Categories: montreal, web

tourism-mtl & the inter-what?

Tourism-Montreal has just launched, according to Patrick, a $1.5 million web site. I just violated their terms of service, because incredibly (that word is too weak), their terms of service indicate:

You are prohibited from creating links in other Web sites leading to this Web site without prior express authorization from the Site Owner.


UPDATE: Martin Lessard has news (from Emmanuelle Legault, Directrice des communications, Tourisme Montréal) that all shall be well on the Tourism-Mtl site, and the crazy anti-linking terms will be taken away (apparently it had something to do with porno sites!?!).

pictures of desks

MontrealTechWatch has a few pics from YulGeek entrepreneurs’ desks, including mine.