Jeff Noon's Sporecast

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Jeff Noon's tweets are reliably among of the best contemporary fiction works today —beautiful stories told over short bursts, each under 140 characters. He calls the stories "microspores" and fans have submitted art and music to a tumblr collection. Wedged in between Romney quips, #FFs, and everyday social media-ing, the economy of his words as well as the context makes them all the more satisfying; like momentarily fading out of a conversation to recall last night's dream.

 

 

Last night, Noon, the author of several novels, (Vurt, Falling Out of Cars, the recently released Channel Sk1n, among others), had an especially frenized twitter feed — posting 50 stories at once and retweeting fiction responses. The "Sporecast" was so active, Twitter throttled his account multiple times that evening. 

 

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Jim Punk: exq=.s.te =n.c&de/s

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Jim Punk is prolific and anonymous. 

His website is encased largely in a cryptic vernacular predominately of his own design: A laptop is rendered in ‘Oldskool’ ASCII style illustration graphics with the ‘keyboard’ displaying letters and symbols (such as “&” or “n”) arranged in no particular order—as if Punk had button smashed his keyboard and left the results to exist as is.  There are no direct title links, or any kind of straightforward archive list of projects, instead it’s these arranged letters and symbols that when painstakingly, individually clicked on, lead the viewer down into a further maze of Punk’s own glitchy, early net art based work. 

&é'(-è_çà)#+           

azertyuiop^$¨£           

qsdfghjklmù%*µ!§          

<>wxcvbn,?;.:/~"{@ 

It’s this jumbled arrangement of symbols and navigation confusion that has come to define Punk’s work over the years.  Responding to blog comments, tweets and even emails with this seemingly incomprehensible employment of language, Punk avoids a certain communicative regularity; rejecting the comprehensibility and clarity that often lends itself to distinct individual recognition.  Instead, Punk’s non-linear, schizophrenic performance draws attention to the form language and communication take, all the while disrupting standardized information flow and producing an irregularity in the way we expect to approach and access content.

Punk's latest user generated project, exq=.s.te =n.c&de/s, is a glitched out Twitter feed that anyone can post to. Utilizing a customized keyboard, comprised solely of unicode symbols, users can easily create and tweet glitchy status updates.  With currently more than 600 tweets, Punk’s project works within the hyper consumptive pace of Twitter and utilizes it as an alternative platform for ...

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The Twilight Zone for the Facebook Age: Charlie Brooker's "The Black Mirror"

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The Black Mirror is a British television program that premiered last night. Charlie Brooker, creater of the series, a media critic and host of the shows Screenwipe and How Television Ruined Your Life, was inspired by The Twilight Zone. Rod Serling's "quasi-fictional world" allowed for more political and provocative television scripts to go uncensored by networks and corporate sponsers, Brooker argues in the Guardian. 

The first episode of The Black Mirror is provocative but with unambitious targets —the 24 hour newscycle, omnipresent social media— the disgusting premise is unmerited. One gets the sense it was written mostly to test television's limits; which may be a worthwhile demand itself. Nevertheless, upcoming episodes sound much more promising.

Trailer for The Black Mirror

Episode descriptions via The Guardian:

1. The National Anthem

Set slap-bang in the present, The National Anthem, starring Rory Kinnear and Lindsay Duncan, recounts what happens when fictional royal Princess Susannah is kidnapped and prime minister Michael Callow is presented with an unusual – and obscene – ransom request. The traditional media finds itself unable to even discuss what the demand is, while the Twittersphere foams with speculation and cruel jokes. As the ransom deadline nears, events start to gain a surreal momentum of their own. This was inspired partly by the kerfuffle over superinjunctions, and partly by the strange out-of-control sensation that takes grip on certain news days – such as the day Gordon Brown was virtually commanded to apologise to Gillian Duffy in front of the rolling news networks. Who was in charge that day? No one and everyone.

2. Fifteen Million Merits

In 1984, Apple ran a famous advert that implied the Mac might save mankind from a nightmarish Orwellian future. But what would a nightmarish Orwellian future that ran on Apple software actually look like? Probably a ...

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Twitter Faves

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For his recently released book Twitter Faves, Travis Hallenbeck compiled most of his favorite twitter posts from ~250 users into a compendium of online expression. The 500 page book is an archive of musings, confessions, declarations, observations, and truisms, compressed into 140 characters or less.
Here are a few gems and pearls of wisdom culled from the collection:

MaggieBurke: Just saw a picture of a girl with "tupac lives" tattooed on her arm in wingdings. My mind is blown forever.

dentifyingwood: risky fashions are for people who walk with friends

unnuunnu: kiwi strawberry is such a 90s flav i hate it but i can relate

rifftown: my god given right to sleep in this burger king bathroom until it stops raining outside and/or i finish my night train

osfa: left click disabled

screensaver: alone at the buffet

blackmoth: deep read of your creep feed

newrafael: why are they called apartments if they are stuck together

George_Costanza: Trying to make a tweet that will make it to her #favorites

kimasendorf: on the /|\ autobahn

petcortright: aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

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Interview with Jens Wunderling

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Jens Wunderling is interaction designer and media artist based in Berlin. In 2009, Default to Public, his graduation project at the University of Arts, Berlin, won an award of distinction in the Interactive art category at Ars Electronica. This artwork explores the discrepancy between people’s modes of self-revelation online and their simultaneous desire for privacy in the real world in three different modules, focusing on the microblogging site Twitter. This interview was conducted over email during February and March 2011.

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