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The 'lost' Wallflowers - only the red variety remain!

I declare this season open ...

It's with much pleasure after a number of late nights I can declare the 2011 season 'Now Growing' section for What Will The Harvest Be? open! This is becoming my annual equivalent of switching on the Christmas lights (or as Andreas pointed out doing my taxes!) once a year I input all the 'out' dates for plants in the database that are no longer in the beds and then after a bit of behind the CMS secret curtain magic Dorian does something I imagine like cutting a ribbon or hitting a huge red switch and hey presto we have a new set of 'clean' beds and only the perrenial plants appear for a few short weeks before we start sowing and planting them all again! 

Filling out the plant database can (frankly) at times be a real bore BUT with two years worth of data now logged in I can really start to see the value of this as a permanent record of what the Friends of Abbey Gardens group have achieved as well as an informative resource for other community gardening groups. As more and more plants go in you can compare varieties, add recipes and generally start to feel the benefit of all Hamish, Chris and I's diligent recording and photo-taking. 

2011 is currently a fresh slate - for a few weeks only - enjoy.

Karen feels the fear of our new Z1 vs Digibeta
John Podpadec's steady hand of instruction to her left!

Feel the fear ...

It's now only one week until we start to shoot our next film at Kentwell Hall (living as Tudors for three weeks) and finally, with this imminent deadline, we seem to have reached a format and camera resolution. Here you see us comparing our new 'small' HD camera (a Z1 for camera nerds) to the picture on John's Digibeta that he shot Bata-ville with - all this as as part of our rather overwhelming preparation/crash camera course with him today.

John will be (thank God) filming most of the event but for the 15 odd days that we can't have the crew there Karen and I have to go it alone, at last that boom pole and radio mic. we've owned for years might potentially see the light of day.

Not satisfied with using one new camera we've at last resolved that John will use the Varicam (Panasonic's super delux HD solution) for the first time ... unlike us he seems remarkably unphased by this ... I guess he doesn't also have to practice his Tudor and start a limning this week ... "By Saint Luke".

Rory's Auntie Kate
With thanks to Rory's Mum!

Technology - brings out the best in People?

A million thanks to Miles Tudor who spent his Friday lunch time patiently going through every menu on his Panasonic HVX200 with me ... this camera is truly amazing, a sort of computer/camera hybrid where you don't record onto tape and can play back instantly what you've recorded, including beautiful slow motion etc.
Sadly the cards it currently takes only record 8 mins onto each and at a shocking 1K each you can't afford to have many spares to hand. It doesn't look like the right camera for our next shoot but it does look like the future of filming for somewhere! Miles hires his out (with him as operator) if anyone else wants to give it a whirl I can put you in touch.

Onto a more basic technology we're trying to make a ***?? (what the hell are these seaside follies called!) for the WW II Fete at Kentwell next weekend and I am experiencing some level of frustration with my rather rusty making skills. The technology of paint is not bringing out the best in me. The project has flushed out some fantastic images from my friend Rory though - of his Aunt Kate & chums ... See the Sometime Later Blog for others.

Also do see 'We Make Money Not Art" for a great interview with Rory stretching right back to our days at the Bartlett together when Somewhere (and many other London-based-digital-art-groups) operated out of my office and one of London's first Internet connections that came with it!

Sometime Later Production Still
Danny the page

Coming Soon ...

Sometime (a bit) Later .... !

Bless Dorian Moore for his continuing patience with us as we try to wrestle the expansion of the Sometime Later site under control. Hell bent on producing painted Limnings for the interface Karen and I have (as usual) horribly underestimated the time taken for hand-made production items. I think we might get the site live this weekend though, to feature a wealth of video material shot at Kentwell Hall this year in both 1942 and 1569.

I may Blog further regarding the interface for this site once it's live ... suffice to say it has been something of an interesting design challenge and prompted a Web 2.0 vs bad early interactive CDrom interface debate between Dorian and myself!

Screen grab of LOVEFiLM listing ...
With me in the Chatsum side bar!

Life on the web ... Chatsum & LOVEFiLM

Sometimes I love life on the web ... we heard today that 100 people have already queued Bata-ville on LOVEFiLM, which considering we're currently the directors and the distributors is pretty exciting on lots of fronts! Not least as it proves there's a market out there for documentaries which might not necessarily fit a regular TV/art or film mould ... and now it seems you can reach that audience, without a distributor or TV slot.

Meanwhile (in between fashioning some watercolours for the soon to follow additions to our Sometime Later site also launched on the BBC site today) I've spent the afternoon chatting to other Beta testers for Chatsum and brilliant new addition to the web world and the internet baby of one of my students on the RCA Interaction Design course.

George's Chatsum sidebar allows you to talk to other people who are currently looking at the same site or page as you on the web. The Beta version went live today and sidebars across the Firefox web have been busier than the RCA art bar on a Thursday night!

Sadly anyone interested is too late to joint the first round of Beta sign ups (they have been inundated with people) but keep an eye on the site and you might be able to join in with the next version.