The single appearance of the footprint in Daniel Defoe's 1719 novel, Robinson Crusoe, is perhaps one of the most famous events in all of literature. I am interested in who has referenced it, and for what ends, especially in critical theory. I also wonder whether Michel Foucault's famous closing lines to 'The Order of Things' is a subtle reference to the appearance of that footprint? Can other allusions to 'the figure of man' and marks in the sand be traced back to Defoe's novel?
This is one of my favourite photos ever. A worker bowing their head in front of the Super-Kamiokande neutrino detector, in Japan. I recently came across it again after many internet years, but can't find a larger - or the original - version. Any ideas?
I am looking for examinations of the Internet and World Wide Web that use the structure and/or history of the city as a metaphor. [more inside]
I'm looking for 'Folk' Web Cultures. I am thinking of the recent take-down of Geocities, which seemed to refresh people's love of the naff, kitsch aesthetic it was famous for, as a prime example. What are some other folk cultures still lingering in the dark corners of the web? [more inside]
If an alien located on a planet 100 light years from here was to switch on a big, multi-frequency radio receiver, and record all the noises coming from outer space for the next hundred years, on all frequencies, how many soap operas, advertisements and new broadcasts would they pick up from Earth? Would a mass-market radio, similar to our Earthly equivalents, pick up anything? Over time, as the number of Earth transmissions increases exponentially, would the alien pick up a cacophony or a damp fizzle? [more inside]
I'm writing a paper on (animated) GIFs and am trying to track down some of the most (in)famous. I suppose I am talking memes, but I'm more interested in the GIF as an archaeological reference point. I frequent sites like dump.fm, tumblr etc. so am quite tuned in to the glitchy/kitschy side of GIF culture. How theoretical have people got on these wonders of the web? How does one trace the history of an animated GIF? [more inside]
Sacrifice, speech, writing and art: I am interested in the different ways in which a sacrifice, a sacrament, a spoken word and a written word act as signifiers. The notion for instance that the sacrament, at the point of its acceptance, is understood as becoming the signified. What can you tell me / what has been written about the notions of sacrifice and their relationship to speech, art and the technologies of writing? [more inside]
I am looking for writings on mimesis in regards new, digital, hypertext and hypermedial technologies and cultures. [more inside]
I am looking for writings on the infinity of definition. [more inside]
How is the meaning of art and artefacts being altered by the methods we use to: Experience, Define and Preserve them... In other words, in what ways have technologies been used to experience, re-define and/or preserve art and artifacts? [more inside]
I am searching for examples of The Infinite, or the immeasurably large, in our mythologies and archetypes. I am also interested in the categories of Truth which came out of the emergence of Western, ontological thought. Does the trust in a rationally conceivable reality deny us the infinity of the mythological realm? By rooting ourselves in the present, and denying atemporal mythologies, do we also deny the infinite origins from where we came? [more inside]
Writing Nonfiction and Children's Literature: Do you know of any good literature ABOUT these subjects?
I am looking for well regarded books/scholarly papers about writing. Most specifically in the areas of Nonfiction (the essay style of article writing) and Children's Fiction (for a young adult audience). Any tips? Go as far and broad as you can. I'll be off to the British library tomorrow, so the sky is the limit. [more inside]
I have an audio cassette tape which has been waterlogged and soaked in dirt for over 10 years. What are my options for respooling/fixing the tape with its contents intact? [more inside]
'The Flâneur': What fascinating titbits can you add to my knowledge about this concept? Art, history, philosophy and literary theory links all welcome. [more inside]
I'm on the hunt for sites and/or blogs about big ideas... Who wants to join me? [more inside]
Is Dark Matter the new Phlogiston? [more inside]
The Protagonist: What can you tell me? [more inside]
I'm having trouble tracking down information about a movement in Dada-ist Art I heard about a few years ago. From what I remember Dadaist idealism inspired a group of artists to contemplate the organic development of urban environments. Art, using the defined structure of the city, to reflect the chaotic order which arises from nature. Did this century old movement exist or has my brain made it up?
Why did consciousness evolve? [more inside]