Archive for January, 2004

BBG, Bring Back Greg

BBC NEWS ‘Cut the crap, bring Greg back’ Man the past week has been bonkers. . There’s this real sense of the unknown hanging over the office. No one from Bush House bothered to go out and protest. I think it was mainly lead by the News teams

Someone made this too. Citizen Greg

We had a whip round today to raise enough money for an advert in a newspaper. It should go in the Telegraph tomorrow. They were thinking of the Times, but that’s Murdoch’s rag and he not exactly our number one fan.

I’ve kept all the homepages that we produced, it changed something like 10 times yesterday, all unscheduled. I’ll upload them later..

Hutton Inquiry Web Site

Hutton Inquiry Web Site
hey that top nav looks familiar

So, what a day to be a picture editor for the BBC homepage. The morning started with a sense of anticipation, after all, it was the long hot days of summer when this all started. Then Hutton gave his summary, and God did it drag on. . I felt like I was in a televised school assembly. So we listen to the first bit, and it’s not really sinking in, then slowly it gets worse. And you can’t take it all in, and news 24 are flashing up 4 word ‘highlights’ like BBC editorial system ‘defective’. Then Greg appears, in a pre recorded statement, Then Campbell comes out, and calls for resignations, then Davies resigns, and I’m thinking bloody hell! Davies! I’d got pic ready of Hutton, Gilligan, Hoon, Blair, Dyke, but not Davies. . . who’s next, Fiona Bruce!. . . Then it snows, and the whole day sinks down and I go of to the pub, to the cellar bar, where no phones work, and things don’t seem to matter much, until tomorrow.

I wonder what the public make of it, I’ll wager they’ll come down on the side of teh BBC, because the report is almost ‘too’ good for teh Gov’. And all this on top of the Fee’s debate yesterday. . . Blair’s looking smug and the Great British Public don;t tend to go for that. It’s all so far away from Monday, when headlines like ‘blair:fight of his life’ were being banded about. . . A week’s a logn time in politics.

The Hutton report

BBC NEWS | Politics | Key points: The Hutton report

nipped out while the report was on and took some shots of the press milling about outside the Royal Courts.

some wag had done this

there was just one protestor

If He’s So Smart…

Fast Company | If He’s So Smart…Steve Jobs, Apple, and the Limits of Innovation
Thoughtful essay about ‘The Leader’ and Apple. . . and it makes difficult reading. In essence it’s drawing comparisons between the days when Apple launched the Mac and lost it all to the PC and the iPod. It also goes on to explain that apple relies to much on innovation.

Given that other companies are working on low budget music devices, is the iPod going to go the way of it’s great great grand-daddy and loose market share to cheap clones? Maybe. God it’s all so poignant though. It’s like the iPod is the new mac and iTunes Music Store the new GUI OS. . . We’ve even got Apples first ad in the Superbowl for 20 Years coming up!

Tetris – From Russia with Love, BBC Four

Just watched a great doc on vid from BBC Four (think it’s getting screened in mid Feb). There’s loads written about it around on the net here and it’s well covered in ‘Game Over, Nintendo’s Battle to Dominate Videogames’ by David Sheff (which they gave away free with the now defunct ‘Acarde’ magazine) and other places. But basically he electrifiedthis

The frantic negotiations between Belikov from the Russian ‘Elorg’; and Robert Stein, Kevin Maxwell, and Henk Rogers, all in different rooms on the same day, are great. Belikov had to learn Capitalism very quickly. Back then there were no IP rights in Russia, the state owned everything the people made.

The best pieces in the whole show however are Rogers’ actual VHS footage of 80’s Moscow. God it’s grey, dull and depressing. But gives a great first hand view of what actually went on. You can see how scared he is, how alien it seems, he really has very little understanding of how to do things in Russia.

The prog rolls along, and Maxwell’s plum of a son looses the rights to the game. Big Daddy Maxwell then rings his mates in the Kremlin and complains, Kevin then threaten Belikov. He says his Dad’ll raise it with Gorbachov when he visited London later that month, and helpfully suggests he fly to London and kneel before Maxwell, or he will ‘no longer exist’. It’s like a plot in an airport novel! What a bunch of dodgy sods the Maxwell’s were.

There’s then another great bit of footage taken by Henk Roberts, after the US Court agrees they and Nintendo have the rights and not the Maxwells and Atari. Henks crusin’ round San Fransico with Belikov, who’s in total culture shock, with ‘Holiday’ by Madonna on the stero. It’s like a level of Outrun.

The mad thing is, is that I remember all this. It’s not that long ago. Yet it’s amazing when you look at what’s gone: The massive Maxwell Empire, gone; The massive Soviet Empire, gone. And what’s still around? . . . The Game Boy.

shhhh, it’s art

Radio 3 it to air ‘silent symphony’ by John Cage.
Larry J Solomon has an indepth essay on the subject here
I imagine it’s something that you have to see performed rather than ‘listened’ to at home. It’s a bit like looking at a Rothko or Fontana on screen or in a book, rather than standing in front of them in a gallery.

Fontana’s work looks rubbish when reproduced, yet commands your attention when seen in the flesh. Much like 4’33’ I’d imagine. Or it could be shit; punctuated by retired colonels coughing in the audience or the fidgeting of the person next to you?

Silent Radio, or empty, but well lit galleries, blank canvas’. what next, minimalist webpages ?

Citigroup Photography Prize 2004

The Photographers’ Gallery have annouced the shortlist for the Citigroup Photography Prize 2004. Rooting around the general feeling is that this is a ‘safe’ shortlist.
The nominees are Robert Adams, Peter Fraser, David Goldblatt and Joel Sternfeld who according to the PG are
“… in many respects ‘photographers’ photographers’ who have not yet received the public recognition that their influence or work warrants.”

I best get me a ticket to the private view. I’m rooting for Peter Fraser.

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These are my personal views and not those of Channel 4 or the BBC
January 2004
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