Category Archives: Bali Wave Ghost

Writing and the Digital Avante-garde

The slides are explained here.

TEST READERS WANTED: If you would like to be one of the first to read about ANTIGONE CLOUD, email Stephen Black at bubikofoodtour@gmail.com

Antigone Cloud is a ten-year old girl who is actually an arbot, a softwre program made of light. Antigone, who lives in Singapore, has the body of a ghost and the mind of an emotional computer.

Stephen Black: 72 hour Facebook Live Broadcast

THE BROADCAST IS HERE.

HELLO

Augmented Reality,art, Southeast Asian food, Bubiko Foodtour, VR, music, haikus, photographs, videos, unusualness... and discussions, readings from, and free downloads of, EBOOKS! The broadcast starts at 3PM September 30, Malaysia time, ends on Monday, October 2 at 3PM Malaysia time.

Until October 2, these ebooks are free downloads on Amazon:

Obama Search Words

Furikake

Fires by Cyril Wong

i ate tiong bahru (a paper copy is available at naiise)

Bali Wave Ghost

Flame Magnet

red dot SAD

Ipoh

Contact With Shadow is not a free download, but if you are interested in the future of book distribution, you should know about Unglue.

There is an audiobook version of i ate tiong bahru, narrated by Mirai Booth-Ong. And, this is 3how's debut album.

Bubiko Foodtour is AR's first superstar.

Base of operations: the Abby Hotel in Ipoh, Malaysia.

Thank you: Hock Moon Hiong BBQ meat and Jewellery Design and Management International School

If you are here because you are interested in my AR-related startup ideas, this post gives you an overview.

FWIW, I will soon have stories on Popularium and ElevenAsia

I am writing this 30 hours after the marathon went live.On one hand my blog views are double what they usually are. On the other hand, there haven't been many viewers. That is OK. I didn't do any pre-publicity, I am not paying Facebook to blast the event and there are no costs, other than my time. I hope that towards the end of the 72 hours there are more viewers. For now, I can only say if you visit the FB live page, say hi.

Here is an email I've sent out to friends and associates:

Hello everyone... I hope the weekend is a good one for you.

Just to short note to say that I am doing a live FB broadcast from Ipoh-for 72 hours. I started Friday at 3, will finish at 3 on Monday. The camera I am using isn't very good, the audio is so-so, the internet is slow and I am silhouetted during the daytime. Perfect!

Actually I am learning a lot, and my blog is seeing a nice amount of action. The free ebooks are trickling out of Amazon. I can see clicks on my blog posts about my AR startup plans. Yesterday I was interviewed by a reporter from the Malay Mail.

Anyhoo...stop by and chat with the silhouette... and meet Secret Donut World, the Doughbots and steamboatbubikofoodtourwillie. http://www.blacksteps.tv/stephen-black-72-hour-facebook-live-broadcast/

onwARd,

Steve

This was the schedule for Friday...

FRIDAY

3pm Ipoh (3AM NYC)8AM London

Son Mn Chinese Lantern Exhibition

4:30-5:30 Ipoh(4:30-5:30AM NYC)9:30-10:30 AM London

reading from Obama Search Words

5:30-6:15 Ipoh

Ipoh food adventures

6:15-7PM Ipoh

Ipoh evening tour

7pm(7AM NYC)12PM London

Bubiko: Adventures in Photoshop at Thanas Wedding Photography

9pm(9am NYC)2pm London

Ipoh Evening food adventures

9-10 Ipoh

Free ebooks introduction

10pm(10am NYC)3pm London

Stephen Black and VR

11pm(11am NYC)4pm London

Stephen Black startup ideas

12am(12pm NYC)5pm Lon

Stephen Black and AR

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 30, 2017 (in Ipoh)

coming soon!

everything

You are probably here because you received a piece of paper from me.   HELLO   I am writing this on Thursday, November 24....  a very full day. Probably on Sunday I can come back and fill this page full of descriptions and links about my projects. For now... SPOKEN at www.gallery.sg this was created with Eugene Soh and is full of art and writing. It requires a 10 meg download, which is free. Beach Road You'll need a VR viewing device to see this short film which was featured at the 2015 Brisbane Film Festival and nominated for Best Experimental Film at the 2016 Las Vegas VR Fest. Descriptions of my books including videos and reviews. Please consider taking a look at my crowdfunding projects for a Tiong Bahru poster AND a book on the way that technology has affected cinematography. And, scattered throughout this blog are posts about art, post full of photography, short stories and posts about all kinds of things.   THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!   Stephen Black    

notes on the book Seen and Unseen by Russell Darnley

Russell Darnley's experiences in Asia are somewhat like my own. We've both spent considerable time in Bali, Singapore, and Indonesia, where Russell lived for a number of years. I lived in Japan, another place that Russell wrote about. Russell is Australian; I'm American.  Seen and Unseen is  a collection of short stories  based on Russell`s memoirs but, as I read, I often found myself remembering similar situations, or comparing his descriptions of a certain place with my own. Russell's  ability to speak Indonesian put him in the midst of the hospitals and makeshift morgues of Kuta immediately after the Bali Bombing. Reading his words, I felt like I was there. This sense of being beside  the author occurred  throughout the book, and thankfully, often in much more positive places than Kuta during that terrible time. Russell's writing style is, for the most part conversational. He recreates dialogues and places them within a chronological structure. This simple method allows him to provide easily understood insights into complex matters. Russell gracefully overcomes the challenges of using non-English words in an English language text. We can understand, for example, an Indonesian word because of its context or by the way it's used by a character. Russell  spent a significant portion of his life in Indonesia. The result of all of this is that we can how political decisions affect peoples lives, especially those political decisions involving more than one country.
russell-darnley-seen-and-unseen

photo of Russell Darnley from www.anza.org.sg

In short, I enjoyed reading Seen and Unseen because it was like having an intelligent older relative sharing with me the details of a life well lived. To give you an idea of the scope of the book, I present you with a few titles of the book's twenty-nine chapters: Sid Thompson and D Company Red Poppies and Janur An Encounter With White Australia Surviving the Sixties Balikpapan: Looking Backwards and Forwards Kampanye- The Campaign Procession An Unusual Kind of Thunder Singapore 43 Years on I should mention that Russell gave me a copy of Seen and Unseen in the Tiong Bahru Market, which is where we met. Finally, I wrote  a book, Bali Wave Ghost, that constantly makes reference to the Bali Bombing. Seen and Unseen on Amazon FWIW, Russell has been spotted in The Oak Bar. (I apologize for the formatting of this post. I am unsure as to why my previews always show a much more attractive spacing and layout, but once I publish, the posts look like this one...)  

The Japanese Photographer in Bali Wave Ghost

In my latest novel, Bali Wave Ghost, there is a character named Kuroyama, who lives directly above the main character, Odie (Mr. Orgasm Donor). Kuroyama is a fictitious character, but one based on my research, life experiences and time-spent-viewing-the-works-of-photographers. like Daido Moriyama, Eikoh Hosoe andAraki,

My first introduction to the world of Japanese photography was a book called New Japanese Photography, which was published in conjunction with an exhibition at MOMA in 1974.

I imagined what it might be like if an established  Japanese photographer in his "golden years" moved to Bali... an excerpt is below.

...............

-the image used as the header was created in Ubud, Bali as part of a collaboration between Stephen Black and Mee-Young Arkim. There are several posts on this blog describing the photographic intentions of the project. Here is the first.

-an exhibition by Daido Moriyama is currently being presented as part of the Singapore International Photography Festival

-FWIW, in Tokyo I ran SPP, an art space with Barae, a dance/performance artist who occasionally modeled for Araki.

Here is the beginning of one chapter from Bali Wave Ghost...

A LAZY MAN DOES NOT SIN

On our bed, an open book. A two-page black and white photo of a naked, hairless Japanese young man in an office. His body is covered with white powder and his head is stretched so far back that the smooth, eyeless surface of his throat is where his face should be. His hands are arthritic. Like a praying mantis pinned to a desk, his body screams at a fluorescent light.

Two hours ago there was a knock on the window. ”Herro. Here I am Kuroyama.” I put on my pants and opened the door. Kuroyama looked like a lost tourist who’d just been shopping. “Do you know butoh?” he asked in his deep voice.

Butoh lives upstairs, I think.”

Kuroyama gave me the crisp white bag he’d been holding. “Butoh is art of death with agitation spirit. Please enjoy with relax feeling.” He smiled. I looked at the sky and discretely pinched myself. Kuroyama lit a cigarette and brought it to his big teeth. “Dance of reaction to human darkness. Also, please be sharing with Miss Francesca.” He smiled again, and nodded with the seriousness of a bow. “Sanku you.” He went upstairs.

It has been quiet since then.

I have a feeling Kuroyama is now directly above me, looking at the same book, the same images, at the same time.

Another black and white image. Grainy. Another Japanese body. Lips, cheekbones, nose. Throat. Her eyes are white dust and her breasts are in rags. Arching against, kicking against a dark wooden floor. Serene yet terrifying, like a long-killed mermaid. Her hair is Fukushima.

...................

Bali Wave Ghost on Amazon

BOOK MERAH BOOK GIVEAWAY

Hello... To see me bray like a donkey as I briefly describe the books, click here. To see an informative interview shot in Bali, click here. For complete descriptions of the books being given away, click here. The schedule.... FIRES Red chairs, cyril wong and FIRES free downloads over for now... ........................................ FURIKAKE photography as part of book cover designiron fire riceballs and red thumbkway All the free days have passed... ........................................ I ATE TIONG BAHRUIATB_front in Singapore, available at Booktique, Naiise and Books Actually ............................................ OBAMA SEARCH WORDS Obama Search Words by Stephen Black free downloads over! ................................ BALI WAVE GHOST black and white book covers  Free downloads on Amazon: September 27,28 and 29.   Interactive Fiction...Go to the site to find PICASSO IN THE RAIN! https://ifcomp.org/   I ATE TIONG BAHRU AUDIOBOOK SAMPLE  Video interview about the books   Kickstarter coming soon!! Thank you for stopping by... Drop a line! And, honest reviews on Amazon or Goodreads are always appreciated! THANKS   Stephen Black

Amazon Book Reviews: Different Presentations to Different Countries?

If you think that Amazon posts the same reviews, and the same number of reviews for each book, think again... OK, all of this first happened before I had coffee. Now, twelve hours later, I can tell you the following pieces of information are  worth writing about...
  • There are now only two reviews displayed on the Singapore Amazon page, which I think is the same as the UK Amazon page..
  • If you notice, on some of the pages it says, below the star rating chart, there is a sentence written in green: Published on Amazon.com... that seems obvious, so there must be something I' m missing. I mean, if I am on the Amazon page and I see the review, it is published on Amazon. com, correct? But then why does that green sentence NOT appear on the Singapore page? (Which only has two reviews?)
  • At one point this morning, the score was: Canada 3, USA 2, UK 2, Singapore 2... these "scores" were all tabulated at almost the same time... And not all of the reviews were the same. I think maybe six people have written reviews in total, but I have yet to see them all displayed on the same page.
  • 13548828_10157031666075125_1006338799_o 13524140_10157031694765125_1438300248_o 13555991_10157031666070125_619470784_o
  • Stralia! The Australian Amazon page shows no "star" reviews, but has two reviews, one for four and the other for five stars....And, from the screenshot below, it seems that an individual country, in this case Australia, does not use the yellow bars of the star system unless the review was posted on that country's Amazon.au site.... To put it another way, reviews  show up definitely on the Amazon page of the country from which the review was sent. But Amazon's algorithms may not share that post internationally and equally.
13392157_654679868020560_3445337553130063924_o So there ya gooo A big thank you to Stuart Rankin! Oh yeah! Bali Wave Ghost is here...and there are plenty of posts about it on this blog, as well as a link to a video interview. And if you would like to get a free ebook of Bali wave ghost, click here... Don't get me started on the way that this WordPress version presents lists...99% of WordPress is fantastic, but lists and numbering...    

A great discount/ semi-On Kawara artwork/Fashion!?/a neologism/books/moving

Simple description: I am moving (shifting as they say in Singapore/the UK) and hope to get some of my artworks in the hands of people who understand them. Pay what you like for the following printed books:  Bali Wave Ghost, I Ate Tiong Bahru and Furikake. All of these books have received positive reviews and all are described on this blog elsewhere. As for the T-shirts: -they are a means of disseminating information about "compung", a word I have created. I am now looking for organizations about neologisms, so as to find ways to register "compung" or get it into the mainstream.Compung documentation (T-shirt) - they reference On Kawara as well as Prince's use of symbols and  the substitution of letters for words -they promote the Kampung GUI. GUI stands for ground up initiative, a concept that I strongly believe in. -they feature my "unaesthetic" aesthetic. Fun, maybe challenging...   SO... get in touch if you are interested. I would be happy to connect these limited edition artworks with people who "get" them... Onward! Kampung GUI tour pointing SB The books are a limited edition, joining these others.  

Review of the Book Merah ebook Giveaway on Amazon

The free download is still happening; until 11:59 April 12, California time.Click here for the books. Four books were given away during the five day giveaway. The books are here. Although the free offer expires  about 20 hours from now, at 11:59 PM on April 12, I would be pleasantly surprised if there is a large increase in the number of downloads. Analysis. 
book data

Results for Book Merah's free ebook download campaign on Amazon

125 free downloads. The above graph from Amazon does not provide on which books were downloaded, but from the data provided by my WordPress blog, I would say that the downloads were probably something like 45 each for Bali Wave Ghost and I Ate Tiong Bahru. I'd say that Furikake was downloaded about 25 times and Fires about  10 times. I did OK. Any time a connection is made with a reader it is a good thing. What should be made clear though, is that this is the first time that I have done this with a state of mental readiness. Although I'd done a few free promotions before, this was the first time I used a strategy, as opposed to before when I had only naive hopes and  a vague understanding of how the free download ecosystem works. Next time I will expand my strategy. For example, this time I did not use websites that are devoted to sharing info on free downloads, like those listed here. Hopefully I will have more reviews on Amazon. For example, at this time, no one has reviewed Bali Wave Ghost. Understandable because it just went online last week. (The cover does features two great blurbs and I have received other reviews, but they are not on Amazon.)
graph showing a significant spike

Graph showing documentation of 350 views

As I explained in this blog post, I did no marketing for the first ten years of Book Merah. So, yes, compared to some authors I am not even on the radar. But, compared to other  self-published authors that never reach 100 copies sold, I am moving in the right direction. Another point to consider is that my books tend to be cross-genre. They are full of well-researched history, but not historical novels. Love and relationships--yes, but chick-lit? No. Bali and Singapore are my settings so far, but do I write travel books? No. Not being easily classifiable is not a problem for the artist side of me, but the businessman knows that committing to a genre maximizes returns on time invested. So, the bottom line? I need to get to work on my next book, which will be a collection of essays and interviews on the relationship between VR, the eye and cinematography. So far confirmed interviewees and reviewers include Stelarc, Tracy Rowland, Eugene Soh, Alex Crampton and  Sasha Staojevic.
  These links may interest you if you are planning to market your ebook. http://blog.smashwords.com/2014/11/ebook-publishing-gets-more-difficult.html  (YOU MUST READ THIS) http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013/how-to-sell-ebooks-5-proven-tip/ (YOU MUST ALSO READ THIS) How to Market Your Kindle Ebook in 10 Steps How Booktrope Turned a Free Ebook Into A Bestseller Blogs hijacked from Mark Coker at Smashwords    

Notes on an Ebook Giveaway

To celebrate Book Merah's tenth birthday, four books were given away on Amazon: Bali Wave Ghost, Fires, Obama Search Words and Furikake. Stephen Black, the author of three of the books and the founder of Book Merah was based in Bali at the time of the event. He has also lived in Singapore for most of the past fifteen years. Thus, some of the following points may be unique to Bali, Indonesia and Singapore. Notes from an Ebook Giveaway that took place on April 8-12, 2016 1. AMAZON BUNDLES THE REQUESTED EBOOK WITH OTHER BOOKS. I was told that the bundle included Pride and Prejudice, Aesop's Fables and Treasure Island. This is not a problem, but when I was told that the download included books besides mine, I was shocked! 2. AMAZON REQUESTS/SUGGESTS RECIPIENTS WRITE A REVIEW?The person who wrote the following is not a native speaker, but it seems like Amazon suggests or asks that the person who downloads the book.... also writes a review? From the email of someone who downloaded on of my books: "...and in order to be  able get your books, I should visit Amazon which review your books. Is that correct?" I do not have a Kindle and have not yet downloaded any ebooks so I cannot comment. If you have downloaded a free ebook (from anyone) can you tell me if Amazon suggests you write a review or not? 3. DOWNLOAD COMPLICATIONS 1. ... Same person as above, a few minutes later: "I gave up for now. Does not work when I tried to download your book. I'll try later on". This comment may be linked to the slowness of the internet. No other complaints like this were reported. 4. DOWNLOAD COMPLICATIONS 2 "I can't download your book. The price is still displaying so if I put them in the cart I assume they  will charge me. I'll ask my friend who is using kindle" Hmmm 5. INDONESIA DOWNLOAD RESTRICTIONS. My friend Komang received this message from Amazon: Komang, this title is not available for you. Due to copyright restrictions, the Kindle title you're trying to purchase is not available in your country: Indonesia. Did you recently move to a new country? "You can easily update your country for your Amazon account." Not sure what the answer is here. Is it related to the content of my books? I doubt it. Obama Search Words includes  a couple of chapters set in Jakarta, where he lived as a child, but, in my opinion, the chapters contain  nothing offensive or anti-government. The stories are even a bit nostalgic. I Ate Tiong Bahru is about the food and history of a community  in Singapore. Bali Wave Ghost is set in Bali and I can't imagine why it would be considered troublesome. Cyril Wong is an award-winning poet and his book, Fires, is not inflammatory. Perhaps Amazon sees downloading books in Indonesia the same as downloading to pirates who would copy the books and sell them illegally? I would welcome this, actually. Are my books so popular that bootleggers want to copy them? Great!Are readers are so desirous of my books that they will risk getting viruses from illegal vendors? If so, I wish they would just write to me and ask for a free copy! Happy to give them one! 6. AMAZON DOES NOT PROVIDE EBOOKS TO SINGAPORE (and other countries)
Obama Search Words on Amazon

Amazon does not provide Kindle service to Singapore and other countries. This is what is displayed when a Singaporean tries to download a book.

Singapore and other countries not serviced by Amazon. Actually, at the time of this writing the ebook giveaway will continue for about another 12 hours. You are invited to read the books. Any feedback or questions about this post or the books are much appreciated. I have been collecting notes for a post that reviews what went wrong and what went right with my free download campaign. Subscribe to the blog if you are interested... Onward!   Stephen Black