that was a week, w/e 8 December 2019

Not quite a week, but Sunday feels a good time to catch up.

Feel in a rush, as to my mind, Christmas is in a week’s time, as that’s when I finish work to go to HK and Seoul. Sifting 76 CVs didn’t help much.

Intrigued by Seoul but realise it’s a very different culture to any I’ve visited before, especially, for my purposes, in how they view single diners. So quite a lot more prep and reading and making of maps (all in KakaoMap as Google doesn’t really work). Learning a lot from the Netflix category “Korean TV Programmes about Food”, which are mainly sit… coms? dramas? reality? Mainly watching “Let’s Eat“, a drama about a group of single neighbours in Seoul (also Men Are Terrible, Global edition), and “Chef & My Fridge“, a never-ending reality show with random k-celebs and random chefs cooking things. All are impossibly full of customs and seeming rudeness.

Amazing performance of Reich’s Drumming at the Hayward, where it was originally performed 40 years ago, even if the acoustics meant most of the last third on glockenspiels were lost and almost painful (the Riley exhibit is great, but apart from the main room on the top floor, not given any space to breathe).

W3C have funded an online course about web accessibility, but I’ve already received 5 needy emails from the learning platform they’re using for it.

The ‘Christmas special’ of Live at The Apollo features great sets by Ahir Shah and Laura Lexx.

Let’s not talk about the banana. It’s kinda sorta maybe not the end of the decade, so here come the lists; like the “best art”.

VR developer update: the weird 3d camera I bought only has an app for the Oculus Go, and not the Quest. You can, after much googling, only upload files to the headset using Android File Transfer if you are *not* in developer mode. Accessing through Dropbox is almost the easiest method.

Anyway, in Venice I took some 3d photos and video to start exploring what works. It’s interesting for vistas with things in close and middle distance, and room sized 3d with some objects around; not got the resolution or the optics for exploring close up objects in detail. Some of the videos really work. More to explore.

Why? It feels like when I discovered the Internet, and the same with mobile phones. The tech now is horrible, expensive, ugly and heavy (and most importantly, antisocial), but there’s a glimpse of something new – it won’t be VR, it’s that AR will creep up on you without you noticing. So some early experiments hopefully puts me 5 minutes ahead of the curve.

If you do have an Oculus Quest, this list of immersive experiences by NoProscenium is great.

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that was a week, w/e 2 December 2019

The Jim Moir programme on video art is good (I know I’m the only person who likes video art). I’ve scribbled “Def II” next to it, so something in it either reminded me of Def II or it said something about how cheap video cameras and production changed everything – Mark Leckey referenced something similar when talking about Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore.

Good Abram Games exhibition at the otherwise profoundly opinionated and depressing National Army Museum (so many shooting gun interactives for kids) – Games describes the design process as “[they] went through agonies to simplify everything”, which is as close to the truth as anything I’ve heard.

Instagram is for no reason showing me a lot of climbing videos recently, impressive but daft, especially these home climbing gyms.

Was in Brussels for a meeting about web accessibility at the EC and whilst it’s a ███████ ███████████, ██’█ ███ ███████ █’██ ████ ██ ███████ ██████ ███ ████████ ███████ ██████. ████ ██ ███ ██████ █ ███ ██, █████ ████ ████████ ████ █-██████████, ███████ ███████ ███ ████ ████ [redacted due to pre-election period]. Anyway, it’s Christmas beer season in Belgium. I do miss European ideas of pubs, with generally seated drinking, table service and mountains of cheese.

The new Stewart Lee double A-side is a barnstormer.

I haven’t watched Reggie in China, but the trailers make it seem as naively wide-eyed as most recent trips by celebrities to Japan – a travelogue trope that hasn’t changed since I was a kid. A little better is Our Guy in Japan – in each episode he goes to help some artisan, who are mainly quite impressed that, as a mechanic, he knows what he’s doing. Also a tour of a Japanese slum is more off kilter than you usually get in these programmes.

60+ applicants for 1 job role we’ve had open. It’s tough out there.

Learnt the hard way about bruchid beetles. Remaining dried beans are now in the freezer. Gardening is a never ending learning curve.

VR developer update: I bought the cable. And managed to get something from Unity on my Mac into the Quest. Just need to learn Unity now.

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that was a week, w/e 23 November

Spent a good chunk of the last 2 weeks interviewing, and it’s about to happen again. This time for a generalist role – common in the civil service, but I’ve never interviewed generalists before. I assume the ones with the necessary skills will become apparent.

They really should teach mortgages, ISAs, pensions, stocks and shares at school. Better general studies than just what the washing label icons mean. After the basics I send people to Checksies.

Design Museum for the Designs of the Year show – much shrugging from me. Didn’t like the walled presentation, apart from the architecture section, which made every entry make a 2 screen film. Great idea but they were art directed into having almost no script (but obsessed about telling you what camera it was filmed on (Blackmagics were popular)). Impossible to tell why the winners won.

Bought the Kenya Hara back catalogue so I can work out what Hurrell’s chatting about.

A trip to Southampton to see the Haroon Mirza show – excellent, Dream Machine is the 2nd most mind bending artwork after Turrell’s Perceptual Cells. Also the Sea City museum – much like every other maritime museum, alas (apart from some decent mapping and storytelling of the many locals who served and died on the Titanic). Best bit was probably getting the volunteers who are digitising the extensive maritime ephemera archive to pick a cabinet’s worth of stuff. Lots of ship menus, obvs.

Never been to a city where everyone who grew up or studied there asked “why?”.

Although it would be an exemplary showcase for bad town planning, since about the 1400s.

Had hkmap.live open most of the week.

My attempt at VR development ended when I needed a USB-C cable.

If you are a designer, and in any way, non straight/cis, fill in the queer design count.

(no, don’t call this a week note)

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