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07 NOVEMBER 2014

Songlines: How Indigenous Australians Use Music to Mark Geography

"There are many different methods of pre–literate navigation that have been documented around the world. One of the most unique, a fusion of navigation and oral mythological storytelling, originated among the indigenous peoples of Australia, who navigated their way across the land using paths called songlines or dreaming tracks. In Aboriginal mythology, a songline is a myth based around localised 'creator–beings' during the Dreaming, the indigenous Australian embodiment of the creation of the Earth. Each songline explains the route followed by the creator–being during the course of the myth. The path of each creator–being is marked in sung lyrics. One navigates across the land by repeating the words of the song or re–enacting the story through dance, which in the course of telling the story also describe the location of various landmarks on the landscape (e.g. rock formations, watering holes, rivers, trees). In some cases, the paths of the creator–beings are said to be evident from their marks on the land (petrosomatoglyphs), such as large depressions in the land which are said to be their footprints (parallels can certainly be seen in some North American First Nation creation stories).

Songlines often came in sequences, much like a symphony or album today. By singing a song cycle in the appropriate order could navigate vast distances, often travelling through the deserts of Australia's interior (a fact which amazed early anthropologists who were stunned by Aborigines that frequently walked across hundreds of kilometres of desert picking out tiny features along the way without error). Each group had its own set of songlines that were passed from generation to generation so that future generations would know how to navigate when in neighbouring tribes' territories. The extensive system of songlines in Australia varied in length from a few kilometres to hundreds of kilometres in length crossing through lands of many different Indigenous peoples. Since a songline can span the lands of several different language groups, different parts of some songlines were in different languages corresponding to the region the songline was navigating through at the time, and thus could only be fully understood by a person speaking all of the languages in the song."

(The Basement Geographer, 21 October 2010)

Fig.1 "What are song lines?" Colin Jones, lecturer in Aboriginal History, talks about his culture, his history and his art. Queensland Rural Medical Education.

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TAGS

Aboriginal mythologyancestral beings • ancestral heroes • animist belief systemAustralia • Colin Jones • creation narrative • creation spirits • Creator Beingscultural memory • cultural webs of memory • dreaming (spirituality) • dreaming tracks • earth motherFirst AustraliansFirst Nations • genii loci • geographical point • Indigenous Australians • kin-grouping system • kinship • landmarkslandscapelocationmappingmarkers • mythological storytelling • navigation systemnavigational methodsoral historiesorientationorigin myth • paths • petrosomatoglyph • place • point-to-point • pre-literate navigation • pre-literate societiessequences and spatial practisessmooth space • song cycle • songlinesspatial literacyspatial narrativespiritualitysymbolic placeterritorytimeless timetopology • totemic ancestors • voice map • watering holewayfinding

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
13 DECEMBER 2013

No Reverb Added: An Acoustical Experiment in Drumming

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TAGS

acoustical experimentacousticsambient sound • audio editing • audio reflection • beatcut-updiegetic sounddrum beatdrum kit • drum pattern • drum solodrummingdrumsechoecho uniteditingenclosed spaceenvironment • Julien Audigier • live contextlocationlocation-specificmusic • Natal Drums • natural environmenton locationpersistence of soundplacere-edit • reverb • reverberation • reverberation time • sequence designsonic environmentsound • sound absorption • sound decaysound experimentssound performance • Vincent Rouffiac

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
07 OCTOBER 2012

Open Urban: Know Your City - Map, Inform, Discuss

"OpenUrban is the first open source user–generated web map and forum focusing on current and proposed urban development. It is a web platform for civic collaboration, a venue for debate, and an outlet and archive for information on urban development. We embrace crowd sourcing technology as a means to inform and empower. By combining written media with spatial information OpenUrban creates a powerful tool for people to understand how their cities are changing and supports their active participation in that change."

(OpenUrban, 2012)

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
28 SEPTEMBER 2012

Creative Industries KTN: Partnering For Innovation

"Creative Industries KTN will be hosting a half day event around challenge 3 of the funding competition which seeks projects that investigate the potential of Cross–Platform analytical metrics and feedback tools to help content producers better understand the consumption of their products in a converged landscape.

This session will provide an opportunity for potential applicants to learn more about the programme and how to apply to it."

(Creative Industries Knowledge Transfer Network)

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TAGS

2012aggregator • analytical feedback • analytical metrics • audience research • business of being a resident • content origination tools • content producer • converged landscape • creative contentcreative economyCreative Industries Knowledge Transfer NetworkCreative Industries KTNcross-platform • data ecology • digital content • emergent ecology • feedback tools • funding competitionGPS • GPS technology • hyperlocal • hyperlocal media • hyperlocal media models • knowledge-based economylocalisationlocationLondonmedia audiencemedia consumptionmedia convergencemetrics toolsmobile applications • publication mechanisms • quantitative data • resident • textual content • UKuser behavioursuser interactionsworkshop

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
27 JANUARY 2012

Urban Informatics Research Lab: transdisciplinary research cluster

"The increasing ubiquity of digital technology, internet services and location–aware applications in our everyday lives allows for a seamless transitioning between the visible and the invisible infrastructure of cities: road systems, building complexes, information and communication technology and people networks create a buzzing environment that is alive and exciting.

Driven by curiosity, initiative and interdisciplinary exchange, the Urban Informatics Research Lab at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is a transdisciplinary cluster of people working on research and development at the intersection of people, place and technology with a focus on cities, locative media and mobile technology."

(Marcus Foth)

Fig.1 QUT Urban Informatics researchers Markus Rittenbruch and Mark Bilandzik talk about the role of data in their work with street computing and the Creative Industries Urban Informatics research lab.

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TAGS

applied researchAustralia • building complexes • built environmentcities • city infrastructure • crowdsourcingdigital technologyeverydayinformaticsinformation and communication technologyinterdisciplinary • internet services • invisible infrastructure • locationlocation-aware applicationslocation-basedlocation-specificlocative mediamobile technologynetworksopen datapeople and technology • places and technology • QUTresearch and developmentresearch centre • road systems • situated data • street computing • transdisciplinary • transdisciplinary cluster • ubiquitous computingurbanurban dataurban environmenturban informatics • Urban Informatics Research La

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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