“The Surface Of Things” by Jo Morley, China Heights, Sydney

Friday, 29 October, 2010

The Surface Of Things flyer

Whose work is on show?

Australian painter and illustrator Jo Morley will be exhibiting a new series of works on paper.

What’s it all about then?

“The Surface Of Things” is a collection of Morley’s mixed media works in which the traditional aesthetics of beauty are explored and questioned in the context of the universal narrative of women’s roles.

Capturing women at critical, poignant moments – from vulnerability to power – and in the roles they may be expected to play, Morley’s sketches, etchings and drawings use a wide variety of methods: print techniques such as hard-ground etching, chine-colle, transfer and stenciling, as well as paint, pencil and pastel on paper.

Where is it and when is it on?

The show opens at China Heights Gallery, Level 3, 16-28 Foster Street, Surry Hills, Sydney, on Friday, 12 November, 2010 at 6pm, and runs until Sunday, 14 November.

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“Silent Witness”, The National Grid, Brookvale, Sydney

Friday, 29 October, 2010

Silent Witness flyer

Whose work is on show?

Australian artists Jaqueline Lamb and Pauline Zufferey.

What’s it all about then?

“Silent Witness” is a collection of works inspired by the rich and diverse history of Cockatoo Island, in Sydney harbour.

Where is it and when is it on?

The show opens at The National Grid Gallery, 24 Chard Road, Brookvale, Sydney, on Friday, 5 November, 2010 at 6pm, and runs until Friday, 3 December.

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“Paper Jam”, curated by Ben Frost, The Loft, Broadway, Sydney

Friday, 29 October, 2010

Paper Jam flyer

Whose work is on show?

A group of 15 to 20 artists will come together to wheat-paste their devious creations to the upstairs walls of The Loft, in Ultimo, Sydney.

What’s it all about then?

Taking the highly successful Paste Modernism paste up concept, but scaling it down a little, “Paper Jam” will transform unique and interesting venues over the course of a series of paste up shows.

Where is it and when is it on?

This one night only show opens at The Loft, 13 Broadway, Ultimo, Sydney, on Thursday, 4 November, 2010, from 6pm until midnight.

For more information visit Stupid Krap or Paste Modernism.

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“Scrumping”, by Jane Stadermann, Tap Gallery, Sydney

Friday, 29 October, 2010

Artwork by Jane Stadermann

Whose work is on show?

Eastern suburbs based Sydney artist Jane Stadermann will be presenting a collection of her recent work.

What’s it all about then?

“Scrumping: a small show with an apple theme”, is a series of artworks with a book illustration like feel, often featuring plain backgrounds and referencing story book themes.

Where is it and when is it on?

The show opens at the Tap Gallery, 278 Palmer Street, Darlinghurst, Sydney, on Monday, 1 November, 2010, and runs until Sunday, 7 November.

There is also an opportunity to meet the artist at a drinks reception on Tuesday evening, 2 November, from 6 to 8pm.

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“Light and Influences”, Andrew Dixon, Duke’s Lounge, Sydney

Friday, 29 October, 2010

Light and Influences flyer

Whose work is on show?

Sydney based photographer Andrew Dixon, whose work is often associated with Sydney’s dance party scene, and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

What’s it all about then?

“Light and Influences” is a collection of photos taken in Taiwan, Japan, and Cambodia. Rather than attempting to glamourise the destinations he visits and photographs, Dixon prefers to take a documentary style approach to his work, while also trying to make as much use as possible of the available natural light surrounding his subjects.

Where is it and when is it on?

The show is on now at Duke’s Lounge, 153 Avoca Street, Randwick, Sydney, open daily except Tuesday from 8am to 3:30pm, and runs until Sunday, 21 November.

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The Social Network

Friday, 29 October, 2010

4 stars

The premise

The Social Network (trailer), directed by David Fincher, is based on Ben Mezrich’s book The Accidental Billionaires, which he initially penned with the help of Eduardo Saverin, one of the co-founders of social network Facebook, who later fell out with now CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Bookended between several litigation hearings in lawyers’ offices, “The Social Network” pieces together the early days of Facebook through flashbacks, and focuses mainly on the roles of Zuckerberg and Saverin in creating the network, and how they dealt with raising money and profile, while fending off people claiming they had stolen the Facebook idea from them.

The play

Technically brilliant but emotionally cold Harvard University computer science student Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) creates the first inception of Facebook – Facemash – after his girlfriend Erica Albright (Rooney Mara) ends their relationship. Effortlessly hacking the databases of Harvard’s various colleges, he gathers photos of all female students for this hot-or-not style website.

Facemesh is quickly shut down, but word of his programming and hacking skills spread, and he is soon approached by twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (both played by Armie Hammer), who have an idea for a Friendster/MySpace clone, but want to restrict membership to those with Harvard email addresses, which they believe will give the idea appeal.

They ask Zuckerberg to do the programming, and after agreeing he instead goes to ground and creates the first version of Facebook, “The Facebook”. His friend and room mate, Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), puts up $1000 to cover web hosting in return for a 30% share in the venture and the position of CFO.

“The Facebook” proves a hit with Harvard students, and other universities in the US and Britain are soon admitted to the fold. Meanwhile Napster founder Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) hears about the site and is able to arrange hefty financial backing for Zuckerberg. Saverin however sees Parker as a threat to his influence, soon creating a rising tension between him and Zuckerberg.

The wrap

Any dramatisation about an organisation as ubiquitous as Facebook is certain to be of interest to a large number of people, and unlike many highly anticipated films which might play on the hype surrounding their subject matter, “The Social Network” does not create false expectations, this is engaging filmmaking.

While Zuckerberg does not come across as an especially bad person, or anti-hero by any means, and it needs to be noted that neither he nor Facebook had any involvement in the production of this film, if I were him I’m not sure I’d be entirely flattered by every aspect of his portrayal though.

Facebook has certainly had a controversial history (are the stories of the early days of Friendster and MySpace anywhere near as colourful?) and it seems every other week brings news of another alleged privacy breach, or a new court action of some sort. Is it therefore a portent of things to come that the final scene plays out in a lawyers office?

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Could Wikipedia be a font of wisdom, not just knowledge?

Friday, 29 October, 2010

Wikipedia’s site rules – which are mostly “extensions of kindergarten etiquette” apparently – look to be a variation of a certain “do no evil” philosophy.

And the community also has a specific approach to people, which Reagle contrasts with Godwin’s Law, which (humorously? tragically?) states, “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” Wikipedians, instead, promote basic civility and consensus decisionmaking. The number one rule? Assume good faith. The rest of the site’s rules are largely extensions of kindergarten etiquette, but the idea that to find consensus, you must see your opponents as people like yourself is important.

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Vacation rockets could bring us back down to earth very quickly

Friday, 29 October, 2010

Coming home after a rocket vacation – a trip into space aboard one of the soon to be plentiful commercial space flight services – could prove far more costly than the exorbitant fare ($200,000 anyone?) for taking the trip, as each flight will increase soot levels in the upper atmosphere, eventually promoting the melting of Antarctica’s ice sheets.

In the case of vacation rockets, this would mean a layer of accumulated soot in the stratosphere about 25 miles (40 km) high, or three times the altitude at which commercial airlines fly. The AGU’s computer models showed that by blocking sunlight, the soot could actually cool much of the surface of the planet by 1.2°F (.7°C), which seems like a good thing in the face of global warming. However, it would warm Antarctica by 1.5°F (.7°C), which is exactly what the rapidly melting southern ice does not need.

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Like an artwork in the making, how ink is made

Friday, 29 October, 2010

How ink is made (YouTube, 9 mins approx ). The process looks more like something out of an art class such is the paint like quality of the ink, especially during the early stages of its production.

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To succeed as a content producer apply WordPress and much grit

Friday, 29 October, 2010

Aspiring content producers looking to make an impact online ought to study the methods of the three people behind New York based editorial website The Awl… one of a number of sites that thrives despite publishing content is not of the niche, or tightly focussed, variety.

In an age of hyper-targeted vertical sites, The Awl is all over the road. In the last week, the site published a column about foreclosures, a piece describing what it feels like to be chided by Gene Simmons, an illustrated essay on the virtues of the breaststroke, tips on picking up obnoxious hipster girls and yes, poetry in the, yes, poetry section.

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