Tuesday, May 03, 2005

ambientTV.net

I got a mail from a group about this interesting group called ambientTV.net whose motives I have not yet understood but what they do is sure is interesting.
This is what their website says ---
ambientTV.NET is a crucible for independent, interdisciplinary practice ranging from installation and performance, through documentary, dance, and gastronomy, to sound and video composition and real-time manipulation.
What they do is a mix of technology and art. They introduced us to the network they have created in London. For a comp geek, it is very interesting as they have established a virtual network using Wi-Fi protocol, PVC tubes, used computer parts, etc, etc. Thus, they have enabled people on the network to access a high bandwidth system and share stuff (what, dont ask me! I personally think it is just about anythng they create)! this was something very interesting as it enables people to easily share their creations using a cheap(/free) bandwidth with others and is apt in this age of internet revolution. Somehow, I got to talking with Manu Luksch (Co-Director of ambientTV.net)and she suggested that "maybe I am the person" to start this network in bangalore. I was like, "Uh?" Bandwidth being at its expensive high right now that it is virtually impossible to create this network right now... Are there other possibilities? Is it really possible to create a high bandwidth network in Bangalore with support of, I dont know, the Government?
Plus she also asked the people gathered there to come to Yelahanka where her students have created something today. But I am still held up at work. :( Also, Yelahanka is painfully far off and conveyance to that place and back would be a major headache...

There are a few other things that she showed us that day. One was a modern-day adaptation of a Italo Calvino story called "The King Listens". It was very interesting idea and I liked it.
Another was on the Akha tribe that lives on the borders of five nations in South-East Asia. We were shown like five minutes of the documentary that shows how radio stations are used to pass on messages and later when I talked to her, I got to know that there was a lot more (of course, it is 90 minute documentary and we saw like 5 minutes of it). For example, she talked about how Akha people in different countries were picking up words from that countries languages for new concepts and items. For example, the Akha language does no have the work 'aeroplane' in its vocbulary and Akha people in China have picked up the mandarin term for it and Akha people in Thai have picked up the thai term for it and so on... What this would lead to over a period of time is creation of different dialects and Akha people from different countries would no longer be able to understand eachother. The Radio stations which beam between countries is too few and inadequate to bridge this gap. Also, there is a rich oral tradition and an effort is on to document the oral knowledge.

In Latvia, the ertwhile USSR had installed a spy dish that eavesdropped on signals in the L band which is basically the band of frquencies that the communication satellites used. It was highly sensitive instrument which was a technical marvel. After the fall the Soviet Union, the Russians presented the dish antenna to the Latvians as a parting gift but with a catch. They destroyed it but pouring acid into the works!!! The Latvians repaired it after much effort but the place has very poor facilities and thus has been abandoned by astrophysicists. Some people used it and this is the result of that experiment! Check it out!

Faceless is a Sci-fi film being created exclusively with video captured by surveillance cameras without any special effects added. The story and idea behind it is very interesting. Apparently in London, there are far too many CCTVs and according to a statistics that she quoted, you would be videotaped at least 200 times if you move from one district to another in London. The Government has created a law there that if an individual can get all the vidoetapes of him/her by sending a request along with a picture of yourselves. But to protect the privacy of other people in the video, their faces would be blacked out when you get the video! So the idea of Faceless stems from these videos and is that in the future people have lost their faces! I asked her why she wanted to make a sci-fi film set in the future. She answered that she did not want the film to be political which is very good thinking, I think...

well, it was an evening well spent. Got to know somethign interesting and now I am informing you fine people, my readers :)

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