Thursday, October 27, 2005

Flying sketches

It was more than 10 hours flights from Los Angeles to Schiphol and another 2 hours to reach Budapest. It's tough to fly more than 5 hours. I never enjoy it.

This time, I was in a big hurry and things were messed up that I forgot to bring books nor movies to kill my flying time. Luckily I had a van Gogh's pocket box with me. This is a gift from my friend in Enschede (thanks, Andrew!). The box consists of a set of quality water colors and postcard size papers. You just need some water then everything is set to make sketches.

So, I used a cup of water I got from KLM flight attendant to sketch. The first sketch I made (since this kit is called van Gogh's pocket box) was inspired by van Gogh, so it was entitled 'Sunflower'.

"Sunflower", mer on KL-602, 13 oct '05

The second was made while I had my meal. So, it was 'flight meal'.
flightmeal_KL602
"Flight_meal", mer on KL-602, 13 oct '05

And the third, I don't know why, was the sketch of London's parliament building with the Big Ben and the bridge.


"London", mer on KL-602, 13 oct '05

I used only one cup for mixing all colors, so the water quickly became browny. It was ok, didn't do any harm on my sketch. Meanwhile, while I was drawing, I took a cup of tea offered by a flight attendant and started drinking it. Later I was amazed to find out that the watercolor cup had much less water and the tea cup had some blue and yellow color. It took me sometime to realize that I had drunk from the watercolor cup and stirred the brush on my tea! Too late.... I got van Gogh's in my throat and tea on my sketches! Guess that makes me sounds like a real artist... hehe.

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Saturday, October 22, 2005

Penyanyi dangdut

Atas permintaan dan dorongan Andrew dan RSD, berikut ini saya ceritakan sekelumit kisah di siang bolong di Jakarta.

Gini, suatu hari, pas pulang dari Belanda ke Indo (Bandung), saya ngga dijemput. Jadi dari Cengkareng naek bis patas ke stasiun Gambir. Di stasiun Gambir saya mutusin untuk naek taksi, soalnya bawa 2 koper gede-gede. Lagian naek taksi juga ngga mahal-mahal amat. Karena biasa jadi sopir (angkot), saya ngga kuat kalo naek mobil jauh duduk di belakang. Jadi minta duduk di depan, sebelah sopir. Si sopir sih setuju2 aja.

Sembari nunggu taksi penuh, si sopir tau-tau nanya,"Neng, ke Bandung mau pemotretan ya?"
Saya bingung, terus bilang, "Pemotretan apa, Bang?".
Si sopir terus jawab, "Iya, kali-kali model, ya?"
"Bukan," jawab saya.

Bang sopir terus ngomong lagi, "Oh, bukan toh. Penyanyi kali ya? Mau manggung di Bandung nih?"
"Ngga tuh, Bang," jawab saya lagi.

Terus Bang sopir ngeliat saya dari kepala sampe kaki. Dia senyum-senyum terus bilang, "Eh, ngomong-ngomong situ penyanyi dangdut ya?"

Waduh! Dari model turun (atau naek nih..:P) ke penyanyi dangdut bo! Kalo mau nyangka saya penyanyi dangdut ngga usah make pura-pura nanya model apa bukan... duh. Kan dari tersanjung sampe tersungging nih....

Waduuuuh... apa saya punya tampang penyanyi dangdut?!? Padahal perasaan ngga dangdan gimana-gimana tuh. Pake kaos merah sama celana jeans. Apanya yang dangdut?

Sesudah itu, di jalan dari Jakarta ke Bandung, si sopir ngumumin ke penumpang yang lain kalo di dalam taksi ada penyanyi dangdut dari Jakarta yang mau 'sow' di Bandung! Berkali-kali saya bilang "Bukan"... tetep aja si sopir ngga percaya. Woaaaaaaa.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Flock - a new way of browsing and blogging?

I just found that a new browser called Flock is just launched. I just installed it a couple minutes ago, so I cannot say much about it. It seems to be a great "social" browser, though. Flock allows you to post to your blog directly from its browser by clicking 'add to blog' button. It also has some other cool features as described here.

I'll just give Flock a try and we'll see whether I'll make it my default browser or not.

p.s. this entry is posted using Flock's "add to blog".

Kebetulan lagi

Baru balik dari Budapest. Sampe di bandara rencana mau pulang ke rumah naik bis aja, tapi gara-gara udah malem jadi mutusin untuk naik shared ride van alias shuttle bus. Alasan utama, malem-malem kan gelap jadi ngga bisa liat tanda-tanda lalu lintas dengan jelas, jadi takut nyasar, gitu. Alasan kedua, naek bis bakalan makan waktu lebih dari 1 jam, sementara shuttle bakalan cuma sekitar 30 menit, jadi kalo naek shuttle bisa lebih cepet ketemu internet en ngecek email lagi. Alasan ketiga, emang males naek bis aja kali ye.:))

Pas dapet shuttle, eh kebetulan ternyata si supir orang Indonesia, soalnya dia nyerocos di ha-pe pake gue elu. Pas aku bilang sama dia, "Eh, mas, ini bakal ke USC duluan ya?", dia langsung kaget. Sempet ngga jawab apa-apa, kayak orang kagak ngerti. Ngga nyangka dia bakal ketemu penumpang orang Indonesia kali ya. Enaklah jadinya karena supirnya orang Indo, tambah lancarlah perjalanan.

Pas sampe di rumah, yang pertama kali di cek adalah sepedaku yang ditinggal selama seminggu di halaman belakang tanpa dikunci. Sebelumnya aku udah pasrah aja kalo sampe ilang, soalnya udah bukan rahasia lagi kalo sepeda itu bisa langsung raib kalo ditinggal beberapa menit aja tanpa dikunci. Kebetulan aku untung besar! Sepedaku masih nangkring dengan rantai yang tak terkunci! Somebody has been watching over my bike!

Oh ya, pas di pesawat juga aku kebetulan duduk di sebelah orang Nepal yang lagi PhD di Ohio Univ at Athens. Ternyata dia itu teman-nya temanku, dia kenal sama beberapa orang yang aku kenal, dan ternyata orang-orang yang kita kenal itu saling kenal.

Kebetulan, kebetulan, asik juga kalo semua kebetulan itu positif.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Peer production networks

My second day at Budapest re:Activism conference is filled with discourses on peer production network.
This morning Jochai Benkler from Yale presented a very impressive overview of the networked information economy in which he put some highlights on the economic, political, and cultural (positive) dimensions of peer-to-peer network which potentially give hope for freedom and justice to grow in the information society that now has increasingly becomes more and more capitalistic.

In the panel of political economy of peer production network (now I am sitting in), that includes Lawrence Lessig, Felix Stadler (openflows.org) and Jimmy Wales (wikipedia founder), among others, some issues arise: sustainable production vs voluntary labor, production vs consumption of information, creativity vs productivity, fear of co-optation etc.

Larry Lessig in particular is concerned about the fundamental insight of IT architecture which is inter-operability that opens explosion of tools. He believes that the interoperability encourages the growth of creative production of community. He really thinks that any legal infrastructures (such as some existing licensing systems -> copyright) that prevent inter-operability is and should be seen as a real failure.

Indeed, licensing issue indeed is a real issue in the peer-to-peer network. While among communities, people are mostly willing to share, it's difficult to determine what kind of licensing code that would accommodate what members of communities want. Simply put, I really think any license code is ok as long as it is based on the spirit of maximization of creativity and can prevent any domination of market (or other parties). Yet, in practice it is not as simple as it sounds.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Media activism conference

I'm attending a conference on re:Activism which is held at the Central European University, Budapest - Hungary.

It feels right to speak about media activism here, in this city, in this institution, because indeed the sphere of activism is so thick. The conference has 'free' spirit. While it successfully brought so many prominent thinkers (such as Saskia Sassen, Jochai Benkler, Larry Lessig, etc) and representatives of some very important media activists/practicioners (such as wikipedia, indymedia, creativecommon) and provides great conference facilities, this conference is amazingly free of charge. It also provides free wireless connection and even free food! No wonder there are many students coming to the conference.

The conference is much bigger than I previously imagined it would be. Unlike so many association conference (which can be thousands of participant and hundreds of papers), this 2-days conference actually only have 4 panels per day, with 4-5 presenters and 3-5 panelists per panel. So, in term of presenters, it's a relatively small conference. However, there are more than 100 participants. I think there are about 150-200 participants.

My panel is held on the first day. It concerns about the dynamics relationship of new media activism and urban fabric. Interestingly, I am perhaps the only academic presenter in that panel, the rest are media activists. It is enjoyable of course to be among activists. While I can only 'talk' about urban activism -- street arts, popular/cultural urban activism, locative media -- these media activists can actually inform me about the reality of doing activism.

All in all, this is a great conference. It feels good to be able to enjoy my first conference this year, after intentionally being off from conferences for nearly a year (I sadly rejected some invitations this year, duh!!)... and of course my first conference as a non-student too..:P