Showing posts from December, 2005

Is dorky the new sexy?

Sagan was, simply speaking, sexy, in a sense that transcends mere sexuality. —Keay Davidson, Carl Sagan: A Life , p. 264 In perusing the Wired News list of "2005's 10 Sexiest Geeks" , I noticed that my friend and dorkbot instigator douglas irving repetto was on the list! Some people say the term "sexy geek" is an oxymoron. Here at Wired News, we say it's redundant. I don't know who nominated doug, but my guess is Xeni Jardin ( herself a pretty sexy geek), who's listed as a suggester for the article, based on the boingboing team's contact with dorkbot (such as David Pescovitz's MAKE article and several bb posts ). See also my previous post about dorkbot's 5th anniversary . The dorkbot map (which I started) is growing at a rapid rate, with 45 members so far.

Lincoln Center's Cartoon Musicals in NYC

A much-awaited film series has begun this week: the return of the Film Society of Lincoln Center's series about the wide-ranging intersection of animation and music, Cartoon Musicals ! This is a dream come true for animation buffs: the series features some truly rare and offbeat stuff, and curator Greg Ford shows his excellent taste and vast, insightful knowledge of the medium. The first part of the series, back in August, already set a high bar. A Disney compilation showcased the early Silly Symphonies with their imaginative world-building -- the best one showing the rivalry in a music world between lands of classical and jazz music -- and the wild graphic inventiveness of some of the more experimental segments from compilation pictures like Three Caballeros , Make Mine Music , and Melody Time -- the best being "All the Cats Join In" from Make Mine Music , which I recognized as largely animated by Fred Moore's, since the wild joy of the dancing teens in the cartoo


Now is an exciting time to be a fan of the maverick media theorist Douglas Rushkoff . He's known for analyzing media and the power of storytelling therein, and has dealt both with how viewers can become empowered by "taking control of the story" and the shadier side of how advertising and other manipulative forms of media control the audience (and has analyzed the potential for new media forms to lead to both cases). Also, he's known for dealing with Judaism from an unconventional, counter-institutional perspective as an "open source religion", such as in his book Nothing Sacred: The Truth about Judaism and articles like " Judging Judaism by the Numbers " and a New York Press article on the "self-imposed death of institutional Judaism" . Freethinking lapsed Jews turn out to be like Paikea in Whale Rider , who was the black sheep of her Maori tribe for flouting the convention of male leadership, only to turn out to be the true heir to

dorkbot turns five!

This month, New York City's monthly watering hole for techies, artists, and hackers, dorkbot-nyc , had its fifth anniversary meeting. Founded by artist and Columbia University Computer Music Center professor douglas irving repetto , its motto, "People doing strange things with electricity", gives the impression of what to (un)expect. Its dorky arena includes almost anything within the wide bounds of electronics, including both hardware and software, with a square emphasis on low-budget, do-it-yourself, personal projects. The results are geeky, goofy, technical, off-beat, and as wacky as the presenters' personal interests; the three presentations of a typical session will have almost nothing in common. The first meeting I attended, when dorkbot had been around for less that two full years, was in April 2002 , featuring a video by Kyle Lapidus and Tali Hinkis, who together with their children, the musical prodigy Rama (who's already composed a theme song for do