Tag Archives: network art

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.

JB art colony 2020

I have been based in Singapore since 2002 and am in the midst of an extended stay in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. During this time I am collecting experiences and research for a book. My time here has clearly shown that

The well known reasons for this are:

1. Increasing/planned integration with Singapore: trains (local and high speed), bridges,increasing numbers of Johoreans in Singapore, increasing numbers of Singaporeans in JB.

2. Lower rental fees than Singapore.

3. Lower cost of living than Singapore.

4. Developed by Chinese investors, the Forest City megaproject is expected to eventually have 700,000 residents who will live on four artificial islands.That is the same population of Geneva.

5. Iskandar Malaysia, the Malaysian government’s project to upgrade the entire region,demonstrates that Johor Bahru can re-invent itself.

Having experienced the “reality on the ground”, the possibilities of JB become even more obvious. Outlying or unused industrial areas encourage innovation of all kinds, despite their challenges. In Singapore: The Artists Village. In Beijing:798 Art Zone. In New York City; Soho, The East Village and Brooklyn. IT people, food visionaries, unconventional international citizens and entrepreneurs of all kinds will all soon to discover the possibilities of the new JB. Imagineering is here!

Hello Starbucks and Dior.

the sculpture in the image above is Coccoon, by Alvin Tan on display at Puteri Harbour

Agaricus blazeii Murrill, Sacha Inchi Oil and Me (part 2)

the first part of this post is here

To review, from about 1999 to 2002, I was very involved with researching and promoting a medicinal and gourmet mushroom called ABM, Agaricus blazeii Murrill. As part of this, I wrote my first book. I did this in Tokyo, Manhattan and around Toledo, Ohio. I established many relationships and enjoyed being involved with a healthful food item in a positive community, and creating possibilities. However, I entered the world of VR and, after that, returned to the world of books and art. I don’t feel as if there are huge differences between the different areas in my life.

Everything is about human relationships and data/information. Efficiency and planning are the keys and I am always working to improve in these areas, without becoming closed-minded. I've been told that the Japanese word for “busy”(isogashii) means “no heart”. Something like that.

So... Johor Bahru, Malaysia. April 2017. Sacha inchi oil. When you are around people who are really healthy, you notice it immediately. !!!! As a writer I have to be careful here! Sometimes, when one describes one’s interactions and activities that are associated with healthy foods and practices, it is easy to across as purely a salesman, sincere or otherwise. Yes, there is an economic aspect, but it is not the main reason that I am thinking about sacha inchi. Sales can lead to an awareness of the powers within plants and humans.

Sacha inchi reminds me of ABM very much. I am considering getting involved with it because I now have experience in sharing nutraceutical information, and interest in sacha inchi is already starting. It seems that Singapore, Malaysia and China are growing markets. America and Japan have potential.

It would be interesting to come up with some idea that combines art with sacha oil. A year ago, my partner and I performed the Iron Fire Riceball Tour, which combined performance art with food art. Meaning simply, we just marched around to all of the organic food stores in Singapore and asked any of the staff if they would like to try an organic riceball flavored with organic miso with permaculture grown ingredients. It was not a commercial project, it was about communication and connecting;art. We didn’t talk business, though it was clear where the miso and rice came from. We had been living in Bali and had worked on the permaculture farm that produced the miso. That little tour was beautiful.

So now; it is an amusement for me to think of how to connect with saha ishi in a way that is personal. What I have thought of so far:

-a book on sacha inchi, but one that is a collection of short stories about everything from the history of the plant to the growing to the processing to the person who is using sacha inchi as a treatment for a serious diseases.Fact-based fiction with emotion.

-a 360 short film that documents a room full of longtime saha ichi users. The setting would be naturalistic and simple. There would be at least 10 or 12 actors and actresses. These people would not have to do anything, but they would be aware of the fact that they are being filmed. The person who sees the film would, simply, sense and observe the healthy bodies.

-the sacha inchi game. Something interactive, of course.Exciting and based on how scientists think sacha inchi empowers the immune system, it would be cool to make a game something like this:

I will think. Sacha inchi is good stuff!

Year of the Rooster things to do

(image by David Severn) The Art/VR startup idea...the time is now! The  Tiong Bahru Mouth the book , the photos, the haikus,  the videos. The Tiong Bahru Market is closing for three months at the end of February. Seems like that would be a punctuation mark of some sort. The i ate tiong bahru audiobook is now being checked by Amazon. The iatb glasses were successfully crowdfunded. So was the design for the Tiong Bahru poster. I ate Tiong Bahru, the book itself, is due for a second printing...   priest painting the skyI Ate Tiong Bahru Audiobook Really...this could go live any day!ArtReview Asia review of IATBcover of Artreview AsiaVoicemaps I have Tiong Bahru mapped out... Bali Wave Ghost After three years+ of doing the starving artist thing,it's time to work on the net net and synergize so as to secure maximum ROI.(that was written last year also, on another blog post. Have not done marketing.. no sales action.)Bali Wave Ghost in a Periplus bookstoreSPOKEN I wrote the following last year, and it has received attention, should receive more... SPOKEN needs to increase its audience...it really is an incredible piece of work :a virtual gallery built by Eugene Soh and filled with contributions from an extremely diverse collection of artists and writers. two male avatars in a very red gallery And these two projects, carry overs from last year. Hopefully by midyear, they can be picked up again...INSEIN Last year, I  spent almost ten days in Yangon. I created images with a digital camera. I would like to exhibit them and create a book.The images use Yangon as a starting point...airline map sing to RangoonI Ate LaPhet Thoke Conceptual art meets culinary research. A booklet co-created with Sayuri Okayama.IMG_3604 la phet thoke in styrofoam w Joe 19th stBeach Road This 360VR movie will hopefully continue to attract viewers. 360 video still from Beach Road Towards a New Cinematography, the book, has been plodding along. I hope it will plod faster.AND I WANT TO SPEND TIME WITH MY MOM AND DAD AND BROTHER AND DAUGHTER!

He Once Hitchhiked: Morning Chat with Reed Hastings, CEO Netflix: “Disruption, Culture, People and Leadership”


Being a very experienced entrepreneur, I have to strongly disagree with a statement Reed Hastings made last Friday during his presentation for the U Creative community in Singapore.

"An entrepreneur," he said," is someone who jumps out of a plane without a parachute, wholeheartedly believing that a bird will pass by and carry him to safety."

What nonsense!

An entrepreneur works his tail off making plans and researching, so that after jumping out of the plane, he or she knows exactly where and when a FLYING DRAGON will appear to carry him or her over the Mountains of Hardship and the Desert of Loneliness to the Magic Conference Room Where One's Colleagues Are Stunning. Anyhoo... Reed Hastings: "The creative economy is about variability." "Adequate gets a great severance package." Most of the topics Mr. Hastings touched upon are here. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Reed Hastings interviewed by  Motley Fool. "On the Beauty of Making Mistakes" Mistakes however are also learning opportunities and Hastings talked about how his shaped his future decisions during an interview with venture capitalist John Doerr at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers recent CEO Workshop.  (includes the foot mouse story)

Streaming saturation: Netflix to double its original content for 2016

The end of capitalism has begun

Without us noticing, we are entering the postcapitalist era. At the heart of further change to come is information technology, new ways of working and the sharing economy. The old ways will take a long while to disappear, but it’s time to be utopian

Headtalker Notes: i ate tiong bahru glassware project

My HeadTalker i ate tiong bahru glassware campaign is here. My understanding of how HeadTalker works is this: someone who supports a HeadTalker campaign is agreeing to let HeadTalker, for only one time, post on his or her social media site.
In my case, if someone supports my HeadTalker project, a post will appear on his or her social media site on October 28, 2016 12:00pm Eastern Time (US & Canada)

The message, and a screenshot of the glassware project on Zingohub, that will appear is this:

"drinkers, art collectors, T-shirt wearers and book readers:welcome!https://hdtk.co/3DI6A"

That link goes to my crowdfunding campaign. My crowdfunding campaign is for an edition of glasses, "normal" glasses, T-shirts, books, ebooks and more, all related to i ate tiong bahru. My crowdfunding campaign is here. To say this another way, someone who supports my HeadTalker campaign will automatically, and for one time only, have a post that tells people about my glassware crowdfunding campaign.... for which I will be very, very thankful! Any questions, please ask...this is a first time for me, and I have researched carefully and I think the above sums it up. But yes, last time..If you support my Headtalker, they will, for one time only, make a post on your social media site for my glassware project. T H A N K S If you are a writer or considering using HeadTalker, or a similar service called Thunderclap, you should read this great post by Steve Vernon. Another excellent account of a user's experiences, this one by Paul Towers, on his Project:Startup Blog.

The Oak Bar

Hey everybody! Russell, Pavle, Xu Xi and Bernard! I'd like to introduce you to O'Brien Brown and Carl Adams! I've written about them elsewhere on this blog. Carl wrote about the first slave freed by Abraham Lincoln, a woman named Nance. O'Brien wrote coming of age story set in the Sixties. So, do poke around on the links and enjoy your selves! The next round is on O'Brien Brown! .....Oh yeah! My crowdfunding campaign reached 130% in the first three days! But yeah, there are still some great rewards left!http://www.zingohub.com/en-GBL/stephenblack/i-ate-tiong-bahru-limited-glassware-edition...... (first post on the blog follows...)I like to introduce people. My hope is that some of the people here will look at some at some of the links of the others, possibly interact, as well as  introduce other people to "drink with". Pavle Radonic... Fresh toddy in JB, a bottle of the good stuff at Vic's... Here is the bio used in the text and photo project we did together: A Melbourne, Australia writer of Montenegrin heritage, Pavle Radonic has been living and writing intensively in the South-East Asian tropics for five years. Oddly and unexpectedly, in this time he has become a kind of minor Malay Archipelago specialist, at least from the Western perspective. Pavle has divided his time between peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia (Jakarta & Jogja in particular). In Australia his writing has been  published in a range of literary journals and magazines; more recently his work from this region has appeared in Ambit Magazine (UK), Big Bridge (US) and The Literary Yard (India), among others. A literary miscellany more than blog can be found at: www.axialmelbourne.blogspot.com   Xu Xi... Yes, we have had a few drinks together; Hong Kong, Manhattan and Singapore. Her latest novel is called The Man in Our Lives. The Jakarta Post did this very thorough interview with her. Russel Darnley... We drank coffee in the Tiong Bahru Mouth! I'm hoping we can exchange words about our books...his, called Seen and Unseen, includes a chapter on the Bali Bombing, the event which, tragically, launched the career of Mr. Orgasm Donor, a character in my novel entitled Bali Wave Ghost. Russel, fluent in Indonesian, did volunteer work immediately after the Bombing and the notes he began taking at that time became the first steps towards Seen and Unseen. Bernard Jann... At  least once, Bernard probably had a glass near his computer in Europe and I probably had a glass near my computer in Asia. So there ya go. Bernard's website is here. He once helped me research some Croatian oldies:
.....................cheers! SB...................

i ate tiong bahru book reviews + glasses + t-shirts

Reviews are now being collected and updated, but for now, there is only this link . i ate tiong bahru has sold almost 2000 copies, qualifying it as a national bestseller in Singapore. A second edition is now being planned. The follow up book is tiong bahru mouth. Printed copies of i ate tiong bahru are in all Singapore public libraries, as well as at Naiise, Booktique, Books Actually, Plain Vanilla, City Book Room, Kinokunya and excluniqueeee. Ebooks are available on Amazon.iatb-book-on-white-paper iatb-glass iatb-tshirt-and-porridge-vertical

The Sudden VR Festival at Isetan (ay4ya)

From now til October 3, I am showing the works of myself, hiverlab and immersively and other 360 VR filmmakers, as well as films and artworks related to the 360 experience. The location is a small gallery-like space on Level 1 of the Isetan at Wisma Atria. Additionally, I am showing my photographs and explaining my conceptual art works. This is not low budget; it is no budget. I am doing this because Isetan is a great place to interact with people on an intimate basis; a quiet environment where VR can be nicely explained and pleasantly experienced. I have invited artists and friends to come and will soon create social media to spread the word. The "festival" will be low key, hopefully fun and a great way to network filmmakers and other creatives, artists, musicians, writers and producers in Singapore. The Sudden VR Festival takes exemplifies the potential of ay4ya and is part of the Formula W.E. pop up event which lasts until October 3, 2016. OK What I have: EQUIPMENT 4 viewing devices 1 phone/playback CONTENT Beach Road, which was featured in the 2015 Brisbane Film Festival as well as nominated for Best Experimental Film at the 2016 Las Vegas VR Fest.Beach Road is a co-production between myself and hiverlab. Selected works of Lionel Chok and immersively.   WISHLIST Manpower. It would be great if someone could gallerysit. I will be at the space as much as possible and will soon make a schedule so that people can visit when I am there. If there is additional manpower there can be more VR screenings. THE GEAR WILL NEVER BE LEFT ALONE. Phone With only one phone, there will be waiting times. When I start to do publicity, I will STRONGLY suggest that participants download Beach Road (or any other VR film) into their phones so as to minimize waiting time. Design I am e x t r e m e l y slow at using design software. However, I have worked as a creative director and am fully prepared with concept, layout, fonts etc. I would like to make a A4 flyer that can be scaled/modified  to make a standup and/or poster. If you know of a designer that can help, we will fly. Two hours requested, hoping to use less than half of that time. VR Industry people Who can I invite? Would be great to showcase all local VR producers and create a supportive network. We all know that things happen and suddenly we need a camera on short notice or get some advice on how to fix a stitching issue.  A community of Singaporean VR fillmakers? You may say that I'm a dreamer.... Ideas on how to attract people Media connections,bloggers anyone with whom we can share information. Not just  connect with media people, but with anyone who can help us connect with people on a grass roots level. Do send me an email about anything related to this post, or leave a message below. If possible let me know when you will be visiting Isetan and I will do my best to see you there... Finally, this all happened very suddenly. Although I hope action and discussions can be started immediately, this should not become a stressful situation. Let's look at it as though The Sudden VR Festival is a beta, a soft launch; simply a way to get together and share...with each other and the public. Oh yeah.... anyone have a spare Oculus? 🙂   Thanks for considering this.   Onward!   Stephen Black These photos were taken in the front of the popup, before the green light to use the gallery space. (That is NOT my art in the background.)          

Nice #WordPress Confusion… Love her like a rotted tree

I just upgraded my WordPress site...looks great. Seems like they are exploring the potential of what blogs can be, also great. The following post is not mine, but something I discovered via WordPress's new (to me) Reader feature.... This ability to easily share the blog posts of other people is something I need to really look into. The post came up when I searched for my hero Paul Stamets. It exemplifies what I often like to read: information with a sense of humor and lyricism... So, yes this is a bit of an experiment. Questions: what about keywords? How does the source of the article know that his or her blog post has been shared? Does this mean that every blog post on WordPress can be shared, at least theoretically? As you can see, the source of the post is clearly identified...great! THANKS  to Momentum, Science and the Law of Attraction!  
Be the best rotted tree you can be. Mantra for the week. Take a walk out into the forest. You’ll find an old rotted tree. You can see where it has opened up the forest – from where it had once taken up space. In an extremely interesting book, Mycelium Running -How Mushrooms Can Help Save the […]
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