September 2008 Archives

2008-09-21 Avery Logo.jpg

Boing Boing recently had a post about iconic logos created by Saul Bass, and it reminded me of an argument I had with a friend about what makes a work of art a good candidate for remixing (i.e., parody).

I argued that artworks that are remixed must have a quality of simplicity that makes them both easily replicable and easily recognizable, in addition to having some mysterious pleasurable quality. My friend argued that it was instead the art critics who were responsible for first making the work of art popular, which then made it a candidate for remixing. I was so angry at his complete dismissal of both the public's role in popularizing a piece of art and the psychology behind making a piece of art successful that I eventually told him I couldn't continue the discussion any longer.

Unfortunately, Saul Bass's logos seem dated now -- the only one I still really care for is the Avery International logo pictured here (and even this may be more a result of my office supply fetish than anything else). However, they do have a simple quality about them that seems to tap into the psychological experience of art that I was arguing about with my friend, and I think they also offer something to meditate on when we try to figure out how to make our own pieces of art work, whether ethnographic or otherwise.

My moped-EV decided to toss me. Ouch. Photos after the jump. A bit gory, so NSFW.

We talked in my Ethnographic Filmmaking class yesterday about field journals. I'm particular to keeping paper journals (which I scan and PDF) but students had some recommendations for online journaling software:

Mac:

PC:

Online:

I should mention that some of my grad students have also experimented with using blogging software set to a privacy mode to blog their fieldnotes.

I also posted an older (but much more extensive) list a while ago: http://www.photoethnography.com/blog/archives/2007/01/fieldnotes-soft.html

It looks like someone has started an image pool on Flickr to collect diagrams from anthropology and other related disciplines. Unfortunately, they aren't all as interesting as this one, but they're fun to look at anyway, especially if you are a diagram junkie like I am. This image can be found in The Art of Anthropology: Essays and Diagrams.

(Via Neuroanthropology.)

I was cleaning up my office today when I came across some old Kodak PhotoCDs from the late-paleolithic era (circa 2001). I put them in my Mac Book Pro to see what was on them but was surprised when neither the OSX 10.5 Leopard system (QuickLook or Preview.app) nor Photoshop CS3 could open them.


That's odd, I could've sworn Photoshop could handle PhotoCD .pcd files. A little googling reveals that Adobe abandoned that feature when they ported CS3 over to Intel and never bothered to carry the functionality over. I guess they decided Kodak and PhotoCD were good and dead.

Hmm... well, there's always GraphicConverter, right? It's the one application that can read practically everything. I launched it up and it read and converted the files from .pcd to .jpg just fine -- except for the 4 Base and 16 Base sizes. The Base size (512 x 768) displayed correctly but 4 Base and 16 Base came out indecipherably.

It looked like a bug in GraphicConverter, so I dashed off a bug report to them. I then had a couple of options according to the Google:

  • Run Photoshop CS3 in Rosetta mode and use the old Kodak PhotoCD plugin
  • Get Irfanview for the PC and do the conversion in that program, which just happened to have a very good batch function

Since I had VMWare Fusion running anyway, I downloaded Irfanview, installed the PhotoCD plugin, and ran the batch conversion. All done, all finished and my photos from a bygone era are now safely re-digitized as JPEGs.

The moral of the story is -- archival file formats aren't. Be safe and secure, save your files in something standard like JPEG* that isn't going to go anywhere as it isn't tied to one vendor.

* We'll want to revisit this in 10 years and see if JPEG is still around, but I'm pretty sure they'll still be JPEG importers even in 2018. I'm not so sure about JPEG2000, PNG, and Adobe DNG though!

Fido Gets Motorcycle Side-Car (Aug, 1931): "

Ohmigosh, I have to build this for Momo.

(Via Modern Mechanix.)

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This page is an archive of entries from September 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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