On the transformation of everyday culture in an era of liquid modernity

Archive for 2005|Yearly archive page

The video iPod: Apple restrains the consumer choice of content

In marketing on November 16, 2005 at 10:40 pm

The new video iPod is not only a lauded status symbol, but also the ultimate symbol for how there in recent years has been a reformation in the multinational media conglomerations’ strategy for getting consumers to exclusively download conventional content. With the new iPod, hardware controls the selection of media content in subtle ways, argues Jonas Andersson, media researcher at Goldsmiths College in London.

The new version of the Apple iPod is radically different from its predecessors in that it facilitates video playback. On today’s semi-legal and illegal file-sharing networks, video files are as commonplace as music files, and Apple has obviously responded to this fact in the design of this widely appraised entertainment appliance. As a result, the iPod video capacity is directly limited to two digital formats: MPEG-4 and Apple’s own, recently launched H.264. They do not support for example the DivX format which is a common one for illegally downloaded, so called “ripped” files. To watch your own holiday movies, or digitally recorded TV programs, or free, illegally downloaded films, these need to be converted into one of the two aforementioned formats – a time-consuming, complicated procedure. This can be done through Apple’s Quicktime video software, but the process does not make it less cumbersome to install, transfer and watch non-commercial material, compared to that which is offered through the proprietary iTunes online store. (See here for a fierce critique of the iTunes concept.) Read the rest of this entry »

Translations: Creative copying and originality

In art, copying on August 4, 2005 at 9:48 pm

All creativity builds on the past. This blog post is merely a reflection on that fact. (It is loosely based on an exhibition at Thomas Dane Gallery, London, 14/7 to 9/9 2005.)

They said that when I began in Paris I copied Toulouse-Lautrec and Steinlen; possible, but never was a painting by Toulouse-Lautrec or Steinlen taken for mine. It is better to copy a drawing or painting than to try to be inspired by it, to make something similar. In that case one risks painting only the faults of the model. A painter’s atelier should be a laboratory. One doesn’t make a monkey’s job there: one invents.   (Pablo Picasso)

Allowing a multitude of approaches to the source (record, exercise, parody, quotation, paraphrase, exorcism, caricature, metamorphosis, transformation, catalyst), copying has enabled artists to establish their own voices, to invoke and reject precedents and declare affinities, to measure distances and declare new goals. In some cases the most radically advanced work has been deeply indebted to history (For example, Cezanne’s Bathers or Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon). Read the rest of this entry »