Tag Archives: culture

RPM.fm – Official Site Trailer

Killer site trailer for RPM.fm.  Watch it in HD on a big monitor with good speakers to get the full effect .

This is what I’ve been working on for the past few months…full site coming soon. 


RPM.fm – Revolutions Per Minute: Indigenous Music Culture.

I’ve been hard at work on a new project to promote Indigenous Music Culture and we’re finally getting closer to launch…

The project is called Revolutions Per Minute and you can find us at www.rpm.fm and all over the social web. Get in touch if you’ve got ideas about Indigenous artists and musicians we should feature!

Revolutions Per Minute

‘Superman/Batman’ Artist Michael Turner Dies at 37

Renowned contemporary comic book artist, Michael Turner, has died at the age of 37, after fighting an eight-year battle with bone cancer.

Michael Turner first began work as an artist for Top Cow. There he did background art before eventually co-creating Witchblade. In ’98 he came out with Fathom, a comic he wrote and illustrated. Soon after this he was diagnosed with cancer. He recovered and in ’02, created his own publishing company, Aspen MLT. Under Aspen MLT he continued the Fathom comic(after a year-long lawsuit over the rights to the title), coming out with another volume and several miniseries. He is currently working on Soulfire and Shrugged, two other series he created, and has a fourth comic (Ekos) to be released after Soulfire is underway. Aside from his own projects, he also does cover work for both Marvel and DC.

Michael Turner very recently passed away, after his long battle with cancer, at the young age of 37.  He died on the Friday of the opening of the Wizard World Chicago Convention, 2008, and there was a minute of silence dedicated to him on the Saturday.

Michael Turner, a comic book artist who drew covers for major titles such as “Superman/Batman,” “The Flash” and “Civil War,” has died. He was 37.

Turner died June 27 at a Santa Monica hospital of complications related to cancer, said Vince Hernandez, editor in chief of Aspen MLT, the Santa Monica publishing company Turner founded in 2003. Turner had battled bone cancer for eight years.

Through his company, Turner created online comic adaptations for the NBC series “Heroes” and published his own titles, including the best-selling “Fathom,” a deep-sea story about a female superhero.

He also drew covers for large projects such as DC Comics’ “Justice League” and Marvel’s “Civil War” and was a regular cover artist for “Superman/Batman” and “The Flash.”

“He was definitely one of the most popular and influential comic-book artists working right now,” said Andrew Farago, curator of San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum. “He was very, very much in demand as a cover artist on high-profile projects.”

Ryan Liebowitz, general manager of the Golden Apple Comics store in Los Angeles, said Turner’s name was synonymous with special-edition covers that often became collectibles. The milestone 500th issue of “Uncanny X-Men,” due out next week, will feature a special-edition cover by Turner.

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Hip-Hop Political Convention Set to ‘Rap the Vote’

Prior to the DNC and RNC gatherings in the United States at the end of this summer, a decidedly different group will gather to discuss politics, voter engagement strategies, and hip-hop culture.

The National Hip-Hop Political Convention will be held in Las Vegas from August 1-3, 2008 and promises to deliver an exciting mix of conferences, entertainment, workshops, and exhibitions “to address the issues and concerns affecting hip-hop culture and the hip-hop Generation”

I wish I was able to attend, it sounds like a fascinating series of events.

MCs and activists are preparing to Rap The Vote. In an election year where young voters are seen as key players, the hip-hop nation has been at the forefront of issue and voter organizing activities. This summer will see several historic gatherings bring together grassroots activists, non-profit youth organizations, voter engagement groups, and conscious artists in an effort to unify the hip-hop nation’s election voice.

To be held in Las Vegas August 1 – 3, the National Hip-Hop Political Convention opens with a pre-convention gathering July 28 – 31 titled “The State of Hip Hop” before its main kick-off event. The pre-convention event will include a film festival, concerts, art exhibits, academic symposium, and bboy/bgirl battles. Main convention activities will include conferences, entertainment, cross-cultural exchanges, workshops, film screenings, and exhibitions to address the issues and concerns affecting hip-hop culture and the hip-hop Generation.

Confirmed guests and speakers for NHHPC 2008 include Byron Hurt (Beyond Beats and Rhymes), Unspoken Heard’s Asheru, Hard Knock Radio’s Davey D, Rev. Lenox Yearwood, The Coup’s Boots Riley, Rosa Clemente, Camp Lo, Haiku D’Tat, author Jeff Chang, Gamblers Crew, Knucklehead Zoo, Popmaster Fabel, Rebel Diaz, The Welfare Poets, Supernatural, and more to be announced.

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Unthinkable Futures: Kelly and Eno Reminisce About the Future

Kevin Kelly and Brian Eno’s fascinating, 15 year old futurecasting exercise “Unthinkable Futures” proves uncannily and uncomfortably accurate. Here are two of my favourites from Eno:

• “A new type of artist arises: someone whose task is to gather together existing but overlooked pieces of amateur art, and, by directing attention onto them, to make them important. (This is part of a much larger theory of mine about the new role of curatorship, the big job of the next century.”

• “News is understood to be a creation of our attention and interests (rather than “the truth”) and news shows are redesigned as “thinktanks,” where four interesting minds from different disciplines are asked the question, “So what do YOU think happened today?”

While hunting in my archives for something else I dug up this exercise in scenarios. It was a small game Brian Eno and I played to loosen up our expectations of what might happen in the near future. We were both struck at how improbable current events would be to anyone in the past, and how incapable we are at expecting the improbable in the future.

This list of unthinkable futures — probabilities we tend to dismiss without thinking — was published 15 years ago in the Summer, 1993  issue of Whole Earth Review. Our intent was less  to correctly predict the future (thus the silliness) and more to predict how unpredictable the actual future would be.

Unthinkable Futures

by Kevin Kelly and  Brian Eno


* A new plague seizes the world. As fatal as AIDS, but transmitted on a sneeze, and spread by airplane travelers, the virus touches billions within a year.

* Computer power plateaus. The expected doubling of power and halving of chip size slacks off. More computer power can be had, but it costs.

* Computer screens (both CRT and flat screens) are found to be dangerous to the health. Working at a computer is viewed as a toxic job.


* Everybody becomes so completely cynical about the election process that voter turnout drops to 2 percent (families and relatives of prospective politicians) until finally the “democratic process” is abandoned in favour of a lottery system. Everything immediately improves.[…]

* Ordinary people routinely employ publicists.

* Public relations becomes the biggest profession in wealthy countries.

* Sexual roles reverse: men wear makeup and are aggressively pursued and harassed by women in ill-fitting clothes.

* Video phones inspire a new sexual revolution whereby everybody sits at home doing rude things electronically with everyone else. Productivity slumps; video screens get bigger and bigger. […]

* A new profession — cosmetic psychiatry — is born. People visit “plastic psychiatrists” to get interesting neuroses and obsessions added into their makeup.[…]

* A new concept of “global Darwinism” takes root: people argue for the right of the human species to rid itself of weak specimens. Aid to developing countries ceases. Hospitals become “viability assessment centres” and turn away or terminate poor specimens.

* In reaction, a new definition of viability (based on memes rather than genes) is invoked. People are subjected to exhaustive tests (occupying large amounts of their time) to check the originality and scope of their ideas.

* A new profession, meme-inspector, comes into being.

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Digital Mixtapes: Everything Old is New Again

Now that we’ve all made the shift to organize our formerly physical music collections into digital music libraries and iPod playlists, the necessary next logical next step is to wax nostalgic for the outdated technology that’s come before. Albeit a remixed version.

Music junkies can pick their analogue poison: whether you love to hoard (and reminisce about) old vinyl 12″s, 45″s, 8-tracks, or even CDs, there’s a community of like minded collectors out there who share your passion.

But the great, long lost love of the iPod generation is an irreplaceable fondness for the humble mixtape.

This occasionally artful gift of mixed music has been the format of choice to be shared dubbed and exchanged between friends, lovers, enemies, and family members for decades.

But all that was pre-iTunes.

Now that we’ve traded in many of our physical, real-world things for lesser-grade, virtual versions, it makes sense that many music fans (me included) have grown hungry to integrate the mixtape format into our digitized lives.

With that in mind, several companies have sprung up recently that cater to music fans who are are decidedly nostalgic for two wheels of slow-winding, magnetic taped music, formatted into A and B sides, packaged with hand-crafted, inky titles, maybe some personalized artwork for the sleeve, and a little Dolby Noise Reduction to help hush the tape hiss.

Muxtape offers the least tactile version of this service, but has organized a 12 song streamed, mp3 mixtape service — with a dead easy user interface — that has blown up in just a few short months. Muxtape’s success has even led to the creation of mini web apps like Muxfind and Muxtape Stumbler that allow users to search for specific bands, songs, and genres extracted from the hundreds of Muxtapes being created.

Mixwit offers a similar service, but let’s you search for songs from the online catalogues of Seeqpod and Skreemr to add songs (instead of uploading them) to your tape, then you can customize its title, look & feel and embed your virtual tape on any site, where it plays with the cute animated addition of rotating tape wheels.

And then there’s MIXA which makes entirely customizable, “USB cassettes” that you can design, purchase, and the pre-load with the mixtape (or muxtape!) of your choosing. The MIXA crew even has their own Flickr group started where users have uploaded pics of their favourite mixas.

Here at the office, we’ve taken to playing many a Muxtape in the office lately, which has proven to be a great way to find offbeat music and to boost the mood in the office, although, if I have to hear Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa one more time I might put a Pitchfork through both my ears.

Nevertheless, I like these remixed versions of old school tapes. I’ve yet to order a customized Mixa, but I did make a mixwit tape of early 90s hip-hop this morning. If you happen to get a craving for some early NaS, Souls of Mischief, Jeru, Tribe, and Pharcyde you might want to kick back and listen to a little ‘illmatic magic‘.

Exclusive: NowPublic @ nextMEDIA 2008

I have been in attendance the 2008 nextMEDIA conference in Banff, Alberta this weekend, which has offered a fascinating and very insightful look into the current state and ‘the future of digital content’ in Canada.

Running in conjunction with the Banff World Television Festival, which immediately follows it, nextMEDIA examines many of the key issues, opportunities and challenges that Canadian content creators, broadcasters, advertisers, and media are facing in this emergent (and perhaps no longer ‘new’) media space.

I spent much of this weekend participating in real-time online dialogue with other conference participants on Twitter. I invite you to read my liveblogging posts on my NowPublic member channel here.

As has been the case with several of the recent conferences I’ve attended in Vancouver and Austin,
the nextMEDIA sessions reiterated and reaffirmed that key industry issues such as monetization, distribution, and community-building remain not only hot topics of discussion, but critical issues that need to be addressed.

For me, the highlights of the weekend were:

Bill Buxton‘s compelling opening keynote on designing and implementing compelling user experiences

Jeff Bar‘s discussion of Amazon’s recent developments in cloud computing

Jim Louderback‘s amazing presentation on building “a TV network for the internet generation” through his experience with Revision3

• the Kris Krug-moderated panel on harnessing the power of social media (which featured excellent
panelists from CBC Radio3, Zeros to Heroes, Cambrian House, Elastic Entertainment, and ISWID)

• and the Ken Bautista-led panel on transmedial narratives and the future of storytelling

I will be updating this post to offer a comprehensive wrap-up of the conference events, however, you can also check out other nextMEDIA coverage here:

• nextMEDIA’s Extended Coverage



Bridging Media

It’s the very nature of digital media events to be incredibly self-reflexive and incredibly well-documented so, of course, there are plenty of #nm08 photos that have been uploaded to Flickr here.

All in all, it’s been an excellent event with a great group of attendees. I hope to have more time tomorrow to digest all I’ve learned and experienced.

Oh, and did I mention that I had dinner with Ed the Sock last night?

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