Category Archives: Book Merah

Bubiko Foodtour Update: August 23, 2017

In June 2017, public actions began for Bubiko Foodtour, a character who will soon be appearing in AR(Augmented Reality). These actions involve networking, photographing Southeast Asian foods for a Bubiko Foodtour book project and informing the general public about the possibilities of AR with examples such as these:

Additionally, my background with VR is explained, and these two projects are shared: Beach Road (a short 360 movie I co-produced with hiverlab) SPOKEN a virtual galley, curated by myself, co-produced with Eugene Soh and featuring a variety of artists and writers. Regarding my background related to my AR startup, this link and this collection of links.

Unlike Pokemon and other characters that have made an impact in AR, Bubiko is starting from zero: a grassroots, bootstrapping approach. Her base is being built in Southeast Asia, for two reasons. First, Bubiko is “ä littlë chef from Thailand”, who is currently researching Southeast Asian food for her book project.

Secondly, Southeast Asia is ideal for gaining the first-hand knowledge necessary to create successful international AR experiences. SE Asia is a complex, multicultural and expansive environment for gaming/digital entertainment. Lessons learned here minimize unpleasant surprises for a global launch.

We are now creating a Bubiko Foodtour mockup, one much more hi-tech than this:

Although Bubiko’s character is now being created (in Z-brush), she is being introduced to, and discussed with, a variety of individuals, restaurants, companies and organizations.

Just as AR technology and Bubiko continue to develop, the following database will also expand, creating possibilities of many kinds. Also, not all of our plans and activities are outlined here; do get in touch if you would like to know more.

onwARd,

Stephen Black

ART

David Severn (UK/Japan)

Stephen Black (US/Asia)

Trees of Life (Japan)

Harsho (India)

>Richard Haughton (UK)

Eugene Soh (Singapore)

Syauqi Kahar (Malaysia)

Ruben Pang

FOOD

Straits Affair Peranakan Food and Culture Specialists Melacca

Durian vendor in Bandung

Ambroggio

Samm’s Farm Coffee producer/ two cafes Bandung Indonesia

Pizza Puzzini Swedish pizza in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia www.pizzapuzzini.com Facebook

Russel's Tea Sri Lanka

Oatmygod Whole Wheat Snacks Taiwan

Regent Pandan Layer Cake Shop

TOURISM

I love Penang people organizers

FUNDING DISCUSSIONS/LEGAL

- Singapore-based VCs - Johor Bahru, Malayia-based VC - San Francisco-based VC -American/Asian IP lawyer specializing in IP -colleagues and leaders of industry

LOGISTICS

Shipping company

Hotel JB

TECHNOLOGY

Pet Shop Box Studio: specialist in digital stickers

Google seminar on VR for artists by Michael Neimark, Google's first artist in residence

Vive/NVidia bootcamp Google Earth VR and TiltBrush demo at Cooler Lumpur, KL

3D printing

NVidia

Imagineering

Unity

University of Monash (research)

VR Lab

Nearly every vendor of VR gaming software that we see!

SOCIAL MEDIA

Major push after Bubiko is officially ready

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Bubiko's blog

Black Tofu Soup and The Reality of a Late Afternoon

I’m multi-tasking; this short piece of writing hops across topics like Southeast Asian cuisine, Bubiko Foodtour, self-promotion, AR, VR, branding, racism, philosophy, and the meaning of life. In short: I’m rambling.

We get out of a Grab car in front of a McDonald’s. A young Malay is standing and eating soft ice cream. We ask where the police station is. He doesn’t know, but asks an elderly Chinese, who does. Both men are friendly. We quickly set off down the covered sidewalk. Our destination is the cart of a vendor who sells kidney bean soup and almond paste. The internet says he is near the police station and he sells out by 5, sometimes earlier. It’s now 4:30.

VRLab! I didn’t know there was one here. This morning I had exchanged emails regarding an interview with Dato Jack, VR Lab’s founder. From outside, I can see two women signing in. I enter, explain my connection with Dato Jack, and am allowed to watch. After a thorough explanation and simple instructions, the two women put on headsets. First, they move their heads in all directions, then they slowly manipulate their hands and arms, acquiring the skills to become virtual archers. I study all this because I am writing a book about VR and haptics, as well as planning an AR startup that will eventually expand to VR.

The TV screens in the room show me what they are seeing: a castle under siege. Suddenly, an axe-thrower attacks so suddenly that the woman with braids jumps. Her headset falls off. I leave after a few minutes, by which time they are fully immersed: crouching, cautiously turning and laughing. They are killing people with arrows.

We rush back outside. The sky is soft and complex: rain clouds/blue sky/sunlight/evening. The atmosphere is fresh and I’m glad to have a camera. We find the soup vendor. He’s surrounded by people, all of whom seem to have placed large orders to bring back home. Nearby is a truck stall selling assam laksa. The aroma is uniquely seductive, like a tart, mysterious fruit beckoning from a bed of homemade noodles.

We are soon seated at a rickety table, experiencing multiple foodgasms from the assam laksa, the kidney bean soup, the almond paste and a plate of perfectly fried kway teow that we couldn’t resist. We finish and head into the U-shaped market. In an hour it will be packed.

Ears of sweet corn! I can honestly say I am a farmboy from Ohio, with many memories of corn fields and corn roasts. However, the corn I picked and the cows I milked were actually in Michigan. (OK, full disclosure, about the cows: There was only one. I was a five-year-old visiting a farm with my family. And, yeah... I was too shy to squeeze anything.)

A sign for Pun Tofu! Word play that is not wordplay. I write, often about food. Eight books. One, i ate tiong bahru, is a national bestseller in Singapore. Stories about my IT/VR/AR adventures in Hong Kong and Singapore will soon be a series on Popularium. This trip to the market is research for the text part of Bubiko Foodtour, an AR project. A stall sells kuehs and this is good: I heart kuehs.

The sky is peacefully exploding. Sharply outlined clouds, bulging with water vapor, dissolve into darkening, ragged zones of blue and orange. More generators are started. The lights of the night market come on as the moon rises in a kaleidoscopic sea of twilight. We eat black tofu. This same stall had intrigued us at another market, but we hadn’t tried it. We watch it being made and find a table. Surprisingly, the chicken soup served with it has the taste of green tea. The news of the day encroaches unexpectedly: skin color and Charlottesville.

I remember an article I found while doing research. In a city in Malaysia, over an unspecified period, the police took action on illegal street vendors. The breakdown: 158 actions against Chinese-based businesses, 103 against Malay businesses, 31 against Indians and 13 on other races. The harmonious flavors in the black tofu soup are wonderful , but not enough to take me away from thoughts about Nazis, Communists and the White House.

We step into the crowd one last time, studying foods like nasi lemak, Vietnamese pizza and salt-baked chicken. Five blind Chinese, all elderly, sit on red plastic chairs and sing Chinese songs. A man plays acoustic guitar, a woman taps a tambourine. There is a bowl at the woman’s feet. We listen as we watch Murtabak Sam make pandan pancakes with bamboo charcoal flour. We call a Grab and wait.

Now, here on Medium, are some of my experiences, my reality at that market. As I wrote this I remembered scenes, recalled what I was thinking and added new thoughts. I input my data into the internet, and now it is all over the world.

…one kind of wonder after another kind of wonder, all in something wondrous...

A (VR/AR/Haptics+)-based book proposal for agents-like-Lauren-Appleton

Hello literary-agents-like-Lauren-Appleton!

I hope all is well on your side of the interwebtubes! My name is Stephen Black and I have a book proposal that I believe will be of interest to you, one of the publishing companies whom you represent and millions of people interested in visual art, gaming and film-making.

Cinema 8.0 will be a timeless bestselling classic like Towards an Architecture

Towards an Architecture was written during a transitional period in which concrete, preformed materials and Modernism were replacing past paradigms and materials. Cinema 8.0 is being written during a transitional period in which VR, AR, social media and haptics are exploding the concept of "motion pictures".

An artist/producer/writer, I believe my finished text will be factual, inspirational and light-hearted. Just as Corbusier's book is evergreen, so will be mine. (A valuable resource has been this post by Ryan Holiday about the making of Perennial Seller)

Beach Road 360VR film featured at festivals in Singapore, Brisbane and Las Vegas.

SPOKEN Unity-based virtual exhibition, curated by myself, co-produced with Eugene Soh.

Captioned virtual reality scene with two real men in it

Eugene Soh and Stephen Black

i ate tiong bahru A bestseller in Singapore. With. No. Marketing.

I've long lived in Asia, have worked for CNN, Cartoon Network, Fuji TV: writer, director, cameraman, producer. Collected as an artist, published as a photographer.

Here are blog posts that exemplify some of the research that I have done. The theoretical/inspirational components, as well as a chapter outline, can be viewed upon request.

Thank you for your time and consideration literary-agents-like-Lauren-Appleton!

onwARd,

Stephen Black

public section of Engadget Experience 100K grant proposal

Bubiko Foodtour: the world's first AR superstar

I discovered information about Lauren Appleton, and her request for manuscripts, here. I wrote the above with a great deal of respect and, hopefully, in a way that prevents internet search complications or misrepresentations.

Oh yeah...a book cover about immersive environments A working title, now scrapped.

Haptics: Bubiko, Lei Cha and Data Science (Ingredients)

This is the second post in a series in which I have fun with lei cha, haptics and Bubiko. Later, when things are more organized and clear, I hope this catch the interest of data scientists, information specialists and CG filmmakers/animators. There is a fun dimension to all of this, but I seriously wonder what would happen if 1% of the earth's population ate one bowl of lei cha a week...10%? 100% ?What would happen environmentally, economically and to the health of everyone and the planet?

For now, a list of ingredients. In a future post, I will describe the ingredients and add links.If you know some ingredients that I missed, please add them in the comments section. Also, tips on places that make great lei cha are always welcome! Those too, can go in the comments section.

OK...the ingredients.(NOT a recipe)

The tea broth above is from Vege Station in Johor Jaya, one of my favorite places for lei cha.

INGREDIENTS for BROTH

100 gram basil

30 grams cilantro

Some salt

Sweet potato leaves

Broccoli

Garlic

Green beans

Chinese long beans (long-podded cowpeas)

Celery stalks

Basil

Oregano

Acenthopanax trifoliateus

Coriander

Artemisia

Sawtooth

Moringa leaves

Dill

INGREDIENTS FOR BOWL

Dried peeled shrimp

Sautéed meat

Dried tofu

Peanuts

Dried radish

Snow lotus

Ginko

Lotus

Gordon Euryale seeds

Green peas

Job’s tears

Chinese yam

Adzuki

Rice

Jack

Mung or scarlet runner beans

Soybeans

Black soybeans

Millet wheat

Wheat or red wheat

Barley

Buckwheat

Oats

Brown rice

It is likely that there are other ingredients.

Hatsune Miku virtual character cafe experience

The following article really interested me and I used Google Translate to get the English text below. My desire to work with AR/VR is summarized here, in the public part of a submission for a grant for the 2017 Engadget Experience.

I found this on the KDDi website, where it was labeled as a corporate news release.

KDDI and Krypton realize a cafe date experience with the world's first virtual character

~ Limited time offering "Hatsune Miku" cafe experience possible ~

KDDI Corporation (headquartered in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, President and CEO: Koji Tanaka, hereinafter referred to as KDDI) and Krypton Future Media, Inc. (Head office: Hokkaido Sapporo City, President: Hiroyuki Itoh, hereinafter referred to as Krypton) Hideo Miku "cafe experience event (hereinafter this event) will be held at" BLUE LEAF CAFÉ "(Sendai city, Miyagi prefecture) with au SENDAI from 8th to 9th and 15th to 17th July To do.

Both companies signed a basic agreement on service development utilizing AR / VR / MR technology on April 26 this year. Based on the same agreement, this event realizes the world's first trial of a cafe experience with virtual characters (Note 1). The two companies will continue to develop services that utilize technologies such as AR / VR / MR (Note 2) so that they can provide a new experience that combines "Hatsune Miku" and other characters and the real world.

In this event, utilizing Google's Tango technology spatial recognition technology to realize AR experience with 3D camera, it is possible to experience as if Hatsune Miku is sitting in front of you and experiencing a cafe together. In addition, this event is a new window opens The advance application system (lottery) (Note 3) has become.

During the period, "Miku ☆ Sanpo ~ CAFÉ edition ~" is launched on Tango compatible smartphone installed in the table in the space of "BLUE LEAF CAFÉ", "Hatsune Miku" appears in front of you, together with a cafe You can enjoy meals and chatting. A limited-time collaboration menu will also be offered and it is possible to taste the world view of "Hatsune Miku" to its fullest. Part of the sales of the limited time collaboration menu will be donated to support Tohoku reconstruction.

Also, the original "Data Charge Card" (limited quantity) with a plastic card with a visual card used on this event on the face of the card and limited goods of 10th anniversary of Hatsune Miku will be delivered from July 8, 2017 to September 3, 2017, We will sell at au direct shop nationwide.

KDDIとクリプトン、世界初のバーチャルキャラクターとのカフェデート体験を実現

~期間限定で「初音ミク」とのカフェ体験が可能に~

KDDI株式会社 (本社: 東京都千代田区、代表取締役社長: 田中孝司、以下KDDI) と、クリプトン・フューチャー・メディア株式会社 (本社: 北海道札幌市、代表取締役社長: 伊藤博之、以下クリプトン) は、2017年7月8日から9日、15日から17日に、au SENDAI併設の「BLUE LEAF CAFÉ」(宮城県仙台市) で「初音ミク」とカフェ体験ができるイベント (以下、本イベント) を実施します

KDDI株式会社 (本社: 東京都千代田区、代表取締役社長: 田中孝司、以下KDDI) と、クリプトン・フューチャー・メディア株式会社 (本社: 北海道札幌市、代表取締役社長: 伊藤博之、以下クリプトン) は、2017年7月8日から9日、15日から17日に、au SENDAI併設の「BLUE LEAF CAFÉ」(宮城県仙台市) で「初音ミク」とカフェ体験ができるイベント (以下、本イベント) を実施します。

両社は、今年4月26日にAR/VR/MR技術等活用したサービス開発に関する基本合意書を締結しました。本イベントは、同合意書に基づき、バーチャルキャラクターとのカフェ体験という世界初 (注1) の試みを実現するものです。 今後も両社は、「初音ミク」らキャラクターと現実世界が融合した、新たな体験を提供できるよう、AR/VR/MR (注2) 等の技術を活用したサービス開発を進めてまいります。

本イベントでは3DカメラによるAR体験を実現するGoogle社のTangoテクノロジーの空間認識技術を活用し、目の前にあたかも初音ミクが座って一緒にカフェ体験をしているかのような体験が可能です。なお、本イベントは新規ウィンドウが開きます事前申込制 (抽選) (注3) となっております。 期間中、「BLUE LEAF CAFÉ」の専用スペースでテーブルに設置されたTango対応スマートフォンにて「ミク☆さんぽ~CAFÉ edition~」を起動すると、目の前に「初音ミク」が現れ、一緒にカフェでの食事やおしゃべりを楽しめます。期間限定コラボメニューも提供予定となっており、「初音ミク」の世界観を存分に味わうことが可能です。 期間限定コラボメニューの売上の一部は、東北復興支援のため寄付されます。

また、本イベントで使用するビジュアルが券面に描かれたプラスチックカード付きのオリジナル「データチャージカード」(数量限定) と初音ミク10周年の限定グッズを2017年7月8日から9月3日まで、全国のau直営店で販売いたします。

Toyo Project 1

ANYONE CAN CONTRIBUTE TO THIS PROJECT. But yeah, you probably had to be there: LES in the 80s.

I have videos of No Se No performances and Toyo talking about life in the Lower East Side. (Thank you, Cowboy) If anyone has ideas on how to transfer Beta (Beta, not Betacam) tapes into today's technology, please get in touch. Thank you.

okokokokokokokokokokokokokok

I started this to bring attention to Toyo's photographic work and to see what would happen. Yes, I can write, but maybe I don't need to write anything. There is already one book about the Rivington School. Probably other people have more interesting things to say. Toyo's own memories and stories are treasures. I entered into this thinking that if I did write, I'd write about Toyo's images in a very impersonal manner, to counterbalance his intimacy. Topics like dates and short biographies, how Toyo constructs images, the challenges of film. Then, out of the blue... He sent some picture of me.

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OK... Let's get something out of the way. This series of blog posts is not about me. The first three introduce Toyo and myself, but after that... who knows? I graduated from RIT with a BFA in Photographic Illustration, with a minor in Film and Video. I graduated early, in March 1983. I was having a party and I told a teacher about it. He said where you going? I said New York City. He said what are you going to do and I said I don't know. He showed me a fax. Call them. If you work there, you get access to equipment. That's what it's all about. That was on a Friday. They wanted me to come in on Monday. I arrived in Brooklyn, sat by the river with my good friend Pat and wondered about the Manhattan skyline. We were waiting for another good friend, Ben to show up. We were going to stay at his loft.

The next morning Ben's girlfriend took us on the subway to Rivington Street. It was cold but there was a street market in the park we had to cut across. I imagined fruits and vegetables, maybe cooked chicken or something. We got closer, we were in the middle of it. The ground was completely blue, covered with empty syringe wrappers. Heroin. My interview was just on the other side. We walked through, I went up the stairs, started work the next day. That place was called Young Filmakers/Video Arts. The address was 4 Rivington. Later I moved right around the corner, onto the Bowery.

No Se No was at 32 Rivington Street. I left for a two week stay in Japan in October, 1984. The energy of what I experienced--and so much more, bursts out of every image Toyo has created. I am writing this from Kuala Lumpur, on July 18, 2017. I am seeing some of these pictures of myself... for the first time.

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Toyo Project 2 is here.

Stelarc: the sound of three hands clapping (#3 in the Haptics series)

Three hands clapping. Maybe the phrase is a cyborg Zen riddle. Maybe it’s not. I can only imagine Stelarc’s reaction upon seeing the phrase. He'll either ignore it and plunge into the heart of the text, or laugh his Aussie-mad-scientist laugh..

This post is casual, a pleasant way to continue my haptics series. So much of writing, art and AR/VR is done in isolation and it is refreshing and important to remember the human side of things. I’m reminded of how unusual the “facts” of my life can be: In Singapore’s Little India, I once had dinner with a man with an ear on his arm.

When I lived in Japan, I was fortunate to document a few of Stelarc’s performances that featured The Third Hand, including his monorail suspension, his "last". Years before that event, I was working in lower Manhattan, not far from where Stelarc suspended himself over 11th Street. Two of my friends rushed in and told me about the “guy who was hanging by fish hooks”. The information caused me to become became pale and deeply confused.

Photo by Toyo Tsuchiya used with permission.

Now, when I meet Stelarc, it is like seeing a dear friend, one who is always stimulating.

Stephen Black as lab rat

effect of low voltage electricity on muscles demonstration

Stelarc ear on arm

LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore. With Urich Lau and Steve Dixon. My first and only photobomb.

http://www.blacksteps.tv/unlocking-with-ears-stelarc/
man, hat, smartphone and dragonfly

Stelarc recording winged body, by Stephen Black

Stelarc has a piece in SPOKEN, a co-production between myself and Eugene Soh, The Dude. The first part of this series is here.

Cone: Engadget Experience public document

Hello Engadget and Esteemed Judges,

My name is Stephen Black and I am an artist, writer and producer. Cone is a three part project: a VR experience, an AR film experiment and a book. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

OnwARd,

Stephen Black

Engadget Experience Cone by Stephen Black PDF

AR, VR, ebook icon: Cone

Stephen Black's Cone is a 3 part project proposed for the 2017 Engadget Experience

Engadget Experience STEPHEN BLACK CONE (VR +AR +ebook)

Stephen Black’s Cone is a conceptual, experiential, multidisciplinary artwork: VR, AR, gaming, audio and text. Cone is conscious—and ignorant-- of fine art, dance, music, sound, design, animation, performance art, branding, storytelling, and installation. Cone has three parts: a short VR film experience, an AR experiment with Vance and a book documenting the creation and ideas associated with these two projects. Cone aims to help bridge the gap between artists and technologists.

Stephen Black is an artist, producer and writer. He was creative director of the Monja Kids Creative Development Kit, a 3D gamemaking kit which was successfully launched in Singapore.

Beach Road, Black’s 360 short film co-production with Hiverlab, was featured at film festivals in Brisbane, Singapore and Las Vegas. He curated SPOKEN, a virtual gallery(Unity) built by Eugene Soh. His text was a significant part of Michael Lee’s Office Orchitect installation at the 2011 Singapore Biennale.

Virtual gallery curators at the opening of their exhibition

Glasses in hand, the avatars of Stephen Black and Eugene Soh welcome visitors

Floating balloon dog

Eugene Soh's tribute to Jeff Koons' balloon dog floats over the SPOKEN landscape

VR graphics for game engine project

One of several designs by Roy Chan.

Black has worked for Cartoon Network, CNN, Fox and Fuji TV. He is also the author of several books, including i ate tiong bahru , which is a national bestseller in Singapore. He collaborated text and concepts to Office Orchitect, Michael Lee’s installation at the 2011 Singapore Biennale.

CONE 360 short film will combine butoh, performance art with 360-specific visual and audio techniques.

Ohno spirits

CONE AR will feature Vance, an animated character, and challenges the limits of AR filmmaking/storytelling.

Vance

Secret Donut World by David Severn w/ Stephen Black

CONEMA MANIFESTO (koh-ne-ma, three syllables as in cinema) An ebook combining existing interviews and essays by SB, with documentation of CONE and examples of short stories which lend themselves to 360 cinema.To be given away free during Engadget Experience.

Emgadget Experience documentation

Cover for ebook of Stephen Black's proposed Cone project for the Engadget Experience

Technologies and Products

Google Tango, depth perception visual/shape recognition algorithms, alternatives to image markers or GPS, Matterport, Unity, Vuforia, Android, Samsung, Ossic Sound, technologies that can scan bodies, technologies that link sound files, lipsynch and AI

Total Budget for VR short film experience, AR experience and ebook production, transportation and expenses: $100,000. Item by item breakdown available upon request.

Current topics of research:

http://www.blacksteps.tv/360-videography-what-would-matisse-do/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/the-potential-of-vr-as-a-collage-medium/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/riffs-on-vives-vr-development-bootcamp-at-digipen-part-1/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/mare-vaporum-open-source-video-source-material/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/virtual-reality-for-artists-workshopmichael-naimarkobjectifs/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/with-bubiko-foodtour-at-the-i-love-penang-festival-in-kl/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/haptics-giving-vr-the-finger-1-of-a-series/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/four-examples-of-a-blog-post-display-on-mobile-instant-article/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/red-dot-sad-stories-art-digitalia-2002-2017/

minimal book covers

red dot SAD (Stories Art, Digitalia 2002-2017) book by Stephen Black

http://www.blacksteps.tv/self-portrait-as-a-game/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/facebook-goes-cameramondo/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/vr-what-would-picasso-do-notes-and-links/

Music/audio/performance: 3how

screenshot of video interview on youtube

Stephen Black discusses his books, including Bali Wave Ghost, Obama Search Words and i ate tiong bahru.Reality TV and VR are also briefly discussed. Video by Aquiles Ascension

AR, VR, ebook icon: Cone

Cone. Engadget Experience. Los Angeles 2017

now

To find out what nownownow is about, visit!

Hello!

I am an American who has experienced Life mainly in Asia, in the areas of art, television production, music, fine art and commercial photography, food, VR and gaming.

I am now combining these experiences and writing books, creating a new portfolio of visual works and finalizing business plans for two startups one VR-based, one AR-based.

I am especially keen to communicate with Unity or Daydream/Android 7.1 people, as well as literary agents, publishers or anyone who has an interest in anything I do.

If I can help anyone in any of the above areas just ask. Or if you just have a question or want to say hi or meet for a meal or just Skype... get in touch!

Now I am in Kuala Lumpur.

I am very excited about Bubiko Foodtour! Always looking for ways to make another 360 "VR" movie like Beach Road, or be involved with another virtual project like SPOKEN.

MUSIC! I have done everything a band member can do except play an instrument! Lee Wen/Seasons Without Seasons. This series of interviews may be of interest. 3how! (Derek Sivers is connected to this post in more ways than one!)

As for my books, I will be happy to send a free ebook to anyone who requests one. If the titles interest you, check for more info on the internet or click here.

The Agaricus blazei Murrill Notebook

Obama Search Words

On Seng Poh Road

Tiong Bahru Blue

Furikake

Contact With Shadow

Bus Stopping

i ate tiong bahru (a best seller in Singapore)

The classic coffee mug reborn with a glassy pop art, postmodern touch

Bali Wave Ghost

red dot SAD

(rdS uses as Amazon as a base for crowdfunding.)

Something Something About VR (the name keeps changing but the contests are essays about VR, AR, digital cinematography and related topics.Some essays are elsewhere on www.blacksteps.tv

Touching JB (finishing late in 2017)

Tiong Bahru Mouth (2018. images, stories and essays)

Urnovl/121 words: a brief essay about a great big little idea

The concept of Urnovl/121.com is exciting, but it isn’t new. Their ‘texts with a word count of 121 ’ approach is a bigger, prose version of the “17 syllable rule” of haiku writing. Brian Williams once ran Littlerature, which featured stories 1064 words long. I had a few stories on Littlerature, including one about 3how, which is included in red dot SAD. So, the fixed short form is an old friend of mine. I am sure there were, and are, other flash fiction sites based on a specific word count.

The Urnovl/121 website is exciting because it is state of the art literature. Potentially at least: as with any uncurated, free platform, there will be “interesting” submissions. Two Shades of Gray proved that “interesting” stories can have interesting results. “State of the art”, in this case, means mobile-friendly, social media-friendly, attractive design and visuals. One or two things could be tweaked, but the site is still in beta. Two upgrades are planned before September.

So far, I’ve posted three pieces. The word count of 121 is a bit low for my liking, but that’s what makes it interesting. The texts have more depth than tweets, yet can be appreciated immediately; no need for links nor downloading, like ebooks. Readers, and those working in publishing, can quickly decide if a writer is worth learning more about. FWIW: This post has 242 words, the equivalent of two posts on the Urnovl/121 site.