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25 MARCH 2017

Lights Out: scary low-budget horror short film becomes feature

"Based on a short film made for a UK-based film challenge by Swedish director David F. Sandberg and his wife Lotta Losten, the two were more than surprised that their 162-second movie—that didn't win best film—went viral, generating the attention of millions, including Hollywood and famed horror producer James Wan."

(Catherine Chapman, 29 April 2016, The Creators Project)

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20132016bedroom • bedtime • blanket • bogeyman • bogieman • boogeyman • boogie man • continental quilt • creepy • David F Sandberg • demonic presencedisturbing tale • doona • duvet • fear of the dark • fear of the unknownfilmmakinghiding in the darkhorror filmhorror genre • in the dark • James Wan • Lights Out (2013) • Lights Out (2016) • Lotta Losten • low-budget film • monster in the dark • mysterious presence • paranormal • scary • seeing things • short film • short horror film • sound and imagestrangerSwedish filmmaker • under the blanket • when the lights go out

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
24 MARCH 2017

MIT Open Documentary Lab: documentary is a project rather than a genre bound to a particular medium

"Drawing on MIT's legacy of media innovation and its deep commitment to open and accessible information, the MIT Open Documentary Lab brings storytellers, technologists, and scholars together to explore new documentary forms with a particular focus on collaborative, interactive, and immersive storytelling. The Lab understands documentary as a project rather than as a genre bound to a particular medium: documentary offers ways of exploring, representing, and critically engaging the world. It explores the potentials of emerging technologies and techniques to enhance the documentary project by including new voices, telling new stories and reaching new publics. ...

If we are indeed witnessing the emergence of a new form of representation, what can we broker from past moments of change to facilitate our move into the future? How can we evaluate this new work – what descriptive terminology and frameworks for assessment are most useful? What trends can we discern? What are the implications for style, authorship and the craft of filmmaking of these collaboratively sourced and edited moving images? And how can we work with our funding agencies, exhibition venues, and archival systems to give these new and often challenging practices a place in our cultural register?"

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collaborative storytellingdigital storytellingdocumentary experimentsdocumentary filmmakingdocumentary formdocumentary practice • documentary research • documentary series • emerging techniques • emerging technologiesfilmmakinghybrid forms • immersive storytelling • interactive documentary • interactive factual • interactive storytelling • media innovation • media maker • MIT Open Documentary Lab • new documentary forms • new publics • new stories • new voices • open and accessible information • reality-based storytelling • storytelling forms • the documentary subject • transmedia meta-documentary

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
23 MARCH 2017

Ten years of smartphones (and visions of a circular economy)

"Smartphones sind schlecht zu reparieren, schlecht aufzurüsten, schlecht zu recyceln. Für die Konsumentinnen ist das ärgerlich – und kann für die Hersteller richtig teuer werden. ...

Dass Mobiltelefone eine längere Lebensdauer haben, ist aber ein wichtiger Beitrag zum Umweltschutz: Für ihre Herstellung werden Edelmetalle und so genannte Seltene Erden gebraucht, die unter grossem Energieaufwand und mittels gesundheitsschädigender Chemikalien gefördert werden. Jedes reparierte Telefon schont Ressourcen. Im Auftrag von Greenpeace berechnete das deutsche Oeko-Institut, dass sich die Smartphone-Lebensdauer im Schnitt um 1,5 Jahre verlängern liesse. Nimmt man all das zusammen – Energieaufwand, kurze Lebensspanne und geringe Recyclingquote – wird klar, dass es so nicht endlos weitergehen kann."

(Greenpeace Schweiz, 1 March 2017)

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20072017animated explainer videocell phone • circular economy • consumer electronicsconsumerismconsumptiondesign intelligencedesign responsibilitydisposable consumptione-waste • energy expenditure • environmental damage • environmental protection • environmentalismgood designgreen designGreenpeace • Greenpeace Schweiz • harmful chemicalsinternational environmental health and sustainability issues • life span • long-lasting productslonger-lasting productsobsolescence • Oeko-Institut • Oko-Institut • patterns of consumptionplanned obsolescenceprecious metals • product cycles cause • rare earths • recycle and repair • recycling rate • renewable resources • service life • short-lived devices • smartphone • smartphone lifetime • smartphone production • sustainabilitysustainable design principles • technical habits • technology sector

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
17 MARCH 2017

Documentary About Avant-Garde Pioneer Tony Conrad

"Experimental artist Tony Conrad is known for his innovative works in performance art, music, video, and fine art as well as his contribution to arts education as a longtime media professor at The University of Buffalo. A former Harvard math student himself, Conrad is widely considered to be a pioneer of minimalism, media criticism, drone pop, and noise music thanks to his lifelong dedication to deconstruction, abstraction, and self-empowerment."

(Erin Dennison, cinemathread)

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abstractionAndy Warholaudio artavant-garde artistsavant-garde film makeravant-garde music • avant-garde pioneer • deconstructiondrone music • drone pop • experiential musicFaust (band)filmmaker • German counterculture • influential artists • Jon Cale • media criticismminimalismNew York City • noise music • Outside the Dream Syndicate (1973) • pioneering filmmaker • pioneering musician • psychoactive consequences of repetition • repeating patternrepetition • sequential repetition • structural film • structural filmmaking • The Flicker (1966) • Tony Conrad • Tyler Hubby • Velvet Underground

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
16 MARCH 2017

Education reform: teaching to topic rather than by subject

"Finland is about to embark on one of the most radical education reform programmes ever undertaken by a nation state – scrapping traditional 'teaching by subject' in favour of 'teaching by topic'.

'This is going to be a big change in education in Finland that we’re just beginning,' said Liisa Pohjolainen, who is in charge of youth and adult education in Helsinki – the capital city at the forefront of the reform programme. ...

Subject-specific lessons – an hour of history in the morning, an hour of geography in the afternoon – are already being phased out for 16-year-olds in the city’s upper schools. They are being replaced by what the Finns call 'phenomenon' teaching – or teaching by topic. For instance, a teenager studying a vocational course might take 'cafeteria services' lessons, which would include elements of maths, languages (to help serve foreign customers), writing skills and communication skills.

More academic pupils would be taught cross-subject topics such as the European Union - which would merge elements of economics, history (of the countries involved), languages and geography.

There are other changes too, not least to the traditional format that sees rows of pupils sitting passively in front of their teacher, listening to lessons or waiting to be questioned. Instead there will be a more collaborative approach, with pupils working in smaller groups to solve problems while improving their communication skills. ...

Finnish schools are obliged to introduce a period of 'phenomenon-based teaching' at least once a year. These projects can last several weeks. In Helsinki, they are pushing the reforms at a faster pace with schools encouraged to set aside two periods during the year for adopting the new approach. Ms Kyllonen’s blueprint, to be published later this month, envisages the reforms will be in place across all Finnish schools by 2020."

(Richard Garner, Friday 20 March 2015, independent.co.uk)

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2020applied knowledge • collaborate in classroom teaching • collaboration and learning • collaborative approach • collaborative learning model • cross-subject topics • disciplinary model • disciplinary singulars • education reformeducational modelexemplary modelsFinland • Finnish school system • group workintegrated approachesintegrated curriculuminterdisciplinarityinterdisciplinary approach • Liisa Pohjolainen • phenomenon teaching • phenomenon-based teaching • problem oriented learning model • radical education reform • reform programme • regionalisation of knowledge • school reform • school subjects • school system • student-centred learning (SCL) • subject-specific lessons • teaching by topic • traditional format

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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