[+] blob

[+] text

[+] visual

[+] mediation

[+] academic

[+] music

Sunday 3.12.2006 7:19 PM
The Blob has shed its slough and moved to

www.ferro-thomsen.blogspot.com

This is the last entry in the old Blob vehicle. Thanks for serving me well.

 

Friday 24.11.2006 7:19 PM
With thoughts lingering in my mind that the last unbranded space on earth had been seized by capitalism, I made it to the top of World’s End (Horton Plains, Sri Lanka). This view, unchanged by man for millennia seemed utterly untouchable. But I found a way, although the wind and rain soon would blot it out.

Now, back in the grind of the city, I am thinking about strategies for ‘recapturing’ and humanizing the branded space. Facilitating customized and individual customer/brand exchanges on a large scale would be a way to go – empowering people to own the brand and the product once again, not vice versa. I imagine coupling web2.0 and new media strategies with a casting-platform for individual and creative expression. I can’t tell you the details (there aren’t any), but remember, you saw it here first.

Still, it seems the next generation couldn’t care less, to them selling out is cool and brands are not evil per se. Evil too can be cool. And if corporate governance actually starts meaning something (that is, other than for branding purposes) we might even see brands with a genuine appreciation of value other than economical.

I realize I’ve been awfully quiet here for that past months. I hate to sound important, but for several reasons, I can’t tell anyone what I’m up to at the moment.

Sunday 23.07.2006 11:26 AM
A Sunday update from me about the progress we've made with our band, s t o l. We've submitted some demo tracks on MySpace.com and the feedback has been quite overwhelming (link below). Also, I've just bought our own domain (MySpace does not allow more than four tracks at a time). We're currently working on our fifth track for the upcoming album called ‘face work' and the whole thing will eventually be online. It should be ready sometime 2006. After this we will probably start touring here and there. Please let me know of any venue or event that would suit our music.

Go to stol's site at MySpace or check out the official site at stol.nu.


Thursday 29.6.2006 2:54 PM (Sri Lankan time, overlooking Ella Gap)


You realize you cannot photograph this view.
You realize you cannot go back. To this place. To this time.
You decide to stay away.
One day this place will belong to insects unaware, once again.


Tuesday 27.6.2006 1:46 PM (Sri Lankan time, in a train somewhere)
The life of a traveller is fairly easy. Find transportation, find a bed, find something to eat. Slowly you forget what it was you did back in your real life; the routines, the street names and maybe even faces of people.

In other words: The further you progress in your travels, the more you loose. For every new hotel you find, every adequate dinner and cheap taxi ride, you leave something behind. You hope it is not something important. Maybe it was in another life, your old life with schedules, dates and long term engagements. If it was important now, why would you forget?

After some time and thousands of miles with thoughtful staring at foreign scenery, seeing yourself from the outside with equally foreign eyes, it dawns on you. It is not true what they say; that the only thing that doesn't change is you. You do change, and at the end of the road (should there be such a place) what you eventually find is you. In your old life, you realise, you were busy being someone else.

After this, you also realise that if this is travelling, the journey will probably never end.


Friday 16.6.2006 10:46 AM (Sri Lankan time)
This blob is written in the north of Sri Lanka where I am travelling at the moment. The city is Anuradhapura, by the ruins of the ancient capital. Yesterday a Tamil bomb killed 64 civilians in a bus only some kilometres from here. Needless to say, there are not a lot of foreigners travelling here, if any at all.

Yesterday I went with the train from Colombo. Suddenly it slowed down in the middle of nowhere and the lights went out. Outside we slowly passed a long line some kilometres long with several hundreds of people dressed in ritual white, bearing torches. I assume it had to do with the bombing or possibly one of the many religious festivals that characterises this country. Both beautiful and eerie is certainly was (probably emphasised by the crap horror film I was watching at my laptop to pass time).

I have been here two weeks now and will stay for four more. This is a welcoming country, easy to get around in and with extremely tasty food. The culture is mainly Buddhist which entails that people in general treat you nice (only very few touts and conmen so far). Besides the occasional bombings and counterattacks made by the government (conveyed though the press), the only evidence of the war are some military road blocks and security check points. – That is, as long as I do not head further north to Jaffna, which is I am told is run down and ruined by constant bombings.

According to my three year old guidebook Sri Lanka has 400,000 visiting tourists a year. Due to the war and following the tsunami I expect that number is lower at the moment. One piece of evidence was when I visited the Colombo zoo, Asia's largest they say, and found that the local visitors were much more busy taking pictures of me and my partner than of the many exotic animals (admittedly, she is a tall blonde – at least a head taller than most of the locals – but still …).

Sri Lanka has two monsoons dividing the island. Supposedly this is off season, but it still is damn hot and extremely humid; at places more than 90 percent air humidity. We are staying in dirt cheap family run guest houses with no air condition (I usually get ill from that). The nights are very warm and often dogs are howling or birds will make a lot of interesting noise (if it weren't for the late hour).

This leaves you quite some time lying awake with nothing else to do than think up bits and pieces of words and images that may be put together in one form or another. Below is one quick attempt …

you think of the tropes as something
with fangs and a thousand eyes
nightmarish, humid and alive

you shower and you change
you drink to calm yourself
you shower and you change
you sleep you sleep you sleep

until you finally wake up
bathed in sweat
in the dark bewildered
slowly realising
you are actually really there
with bugs in your face and
cicadas humming and monks chanting distant in the night

and a million thoughts crawling in your mind
repeating over and over:
you were right I was right I am here now


Sunday 30.04.2006 4:36 PM
Here's a short Sunday update from me. I am currently working on finishing the major part of my writing for our notorious ‘thin book of art and organisation'. It's still a working title but the publishers seemed to like it, so maybe it'll stay that way. We (the two other editors and me) met with the Mayfly who finally gave the project thumbs up. The first draft will probably be ready by the end of May but the real deal will not be available until late 2006 (lots of editing, layouting and reviewing to do). But hey, it'll be free! (published under the creative commons license as a free PDF and low cost print-on-demand).

Mayfly is a new publishing initiative but the people behind it are no stranger to the business. I was introduced to the hilarious (but serious) ‘Manifestos for the Business School of Tomorrow' by Campbell Jones, one of the minds behind Mayfly. The introduction of this book really nails many of the reservations I have had about academia. You can download the book from www.dvalin.org. Also check out www.mayflybooks.org or learn more about the thin book.


Sunday 26.02.2006 7:36 PM
Just returned from Hamburg. Never been there before and although it comes nowhere near Berlin in my book (what does?) it is actually a very neat place to be. The Hafencity project is truly extreme - one of the world's largest building sites. I also had the chance to see and hear Covenant end their tour in the cool concert place Markthalle. I must say they did a hell of a job, especially 'Call the Ships to Port' blew the place up. They stay true to their form - so much, in fact, that it got semi-boring. I need surprises.

No suprises could also be the headline of my Depeche Mode-experience last night in the awful Danish stadium arena Parken. That band simply just got too big - there was an horrible corporate tast to almost every part of the full experience - the expensive beer, the all-too-many merchandice shops, the horde of security and the 40,000 mindless fans (all crowds are mindless). I was almost tramped to death when leaving - complete chaos in the entire city!

Turns out my Pandora piece made the entire front page (plus most of page two) in the Sunday edition of Politiken (circulation is about 600.000). Great to see some substantial interest in cutting edge internet/music culture! (read it here, Danish only). An short introduction to the article was presented online and was the most read item for days.

I also just did a small foreword for cultural capacity and world class magician (etc., etc.) aladin and his column at IntentBlog - an Asian oriented blog about culture. The foreword and his post is about Organisational Art (once again) but it will be interesting seeing if the term/concept will have any impact in an Asian context. Apparently something like three million people read this blog, so it should generate some comments (find it here).


Friday 03.02.2006 4:48 PM
In December I stopped working full time which allowed me to work a lot more on projects I really like. I am now set up in a neat office in central Copenhagen (Christianshavn) with all the time and space I need to be a happy boy (although I'm working even more now).

Recently I have been working as an editor and coordinator of a book project I was part of starting more than a year ago – the so-called ‘Liseleje Experiment' or ‘Organisational Art Thin Book Summit', where a bunch of organisational artists and other non-artists from their field teamed up to write a ‘thin book' about the praxis of organisational art. Well, to put it shortly, it is this thin book we are working on right now – not an easy task as the authors are located in six different countries and several of them are not that familiar with writing (in English). But it will be a great book, once it's fully edited – and a much needed one too. It'll probably be done in the spring and more info will be in this site as soon as it's ready (also check out this link about the summit).

I recently wrote an obituary about the late John Latham, an extraordinary artist who was never properly introduced in a Danish context. It was printed in the newspaper Politiken and turned out to be a beautiful layout and without a doubt the longest Danish article about Latham. Right now I'm working on another article about the Music Genome Project (www.pandora.com) for the same paper. Truly great stuff, I'm an instant fan!

I'm also brewing on an article for artist duo Bosch & Fjord. They invited me to write up something about their praxis – it's an interesting task, because it will be published in their upcoming book presenting their latest work. As their stakeholders are everything from art professional to unbiased business people and students, the article cannot be (too) academic or ‘hairy'. The book should be out this spring and available from their site in both English and Danish (www.bosch-fjord.com).

Also, I'm secretly (schhh) working on a major project on personal identity/branding vs. public image restrictions/corporate branding – for release this coming fall. But since it's a secret, I naturally can't tell you more!

Sunday 6.11.2005 09:58 AM
Just watched an underground DVD with many of Sisters of Mercy's TV performances, mostly TOTP and ROXY. I am a complete fan of them … at least there are a handful of their songs I cannot seem to shake off. The self-ironic decadence, the mellow darkness and the controlled aggression – the coolest thing to ever outlive the neon straightjackets of the 80's.

Especially 'Dominion' – after I saw the video. It is shot in Petra in Jordan (I've been there – it is the weird red rocks where one of the Indiana Jones films were filmed) where you see Andrew Eldridge walking around with a cane/sword in a white suit and his ever-present dark shades. The plot is thinner than most video's (well, maybe not at the time) but for some reason I WANT to be Eldridge in that video, in that suit, drinking shots of dark liquor, saluting the camera (nobody) with his drink. In one of the TV-performances (they are all lip-synced!) he wears the same suit, singing DOMINION with his arms lifted above his head. Looking cool as ever (in an interview he states that “I carry myself well in a white suit, drunk”).

It makes med feel as though I missed out on something wonderful, a bubble in time which has been closed for ever. And thinking that makes me realise that I'm missing out on something equally important right now. And I'm doing so because I'm too busy longing for something long gone and out of reach. As we (ironically) say in DK: Nostalgia just isn't what it used to be.

And! Speaking of dark decadence from the 80's - Bauhaus just regrouped (original line-up)! And they're touring Europe in the beginning of 2006 (Copenhagen, Vega, 9.2.2006 - tickets on sale now!). I'm going!

Wed 14.9.2005 09:08 PM
Just returned from Berlin where I was took part in Product and Vision - a large scale art and economics project. I only wrote an essay for a chunky reader that was published in relation to the exhibition, but I wanted to see the show and some friends. All went well - Berlin was beautiful, almost tropical. Late nights in the streets. Perfect.
And please go see the repremiere of Visconti's 'Il gattopardo' - Burt Lancaster in his finest hour, speaking italian. Filmmaking doesn't get much better.

Fri 10.6.2005 01:17 PM
This is it. This Friday afternoon when work lets go its hold and you crawl an illuminated kerb with a crystal scent of fire in the sky. This is it, this moment. Not what comes next and what follows. Not the tens of thousands of cheap and expensive and cold and warm drinks and friendships and whores waiting round the bend. This moment is it. Get it.


Sun 24.4.2005 07:50 AM
Another semi-hectic weekend with more labour than leisure, so it feels. Been busy working on some articles, one of them for Learning Lab Denmark 's journal Quarterly. Will turn up in print around … late May, I think. Another possible project coming up is a seven-pager for a German art project; they want to do a reader in relation to the project and were interested in the learning side of art/organisation collaboration – something which I touch upon in my M.A. thesis.

Something I really want to go ahead and do is a (long) short story about an actual series of events, where a deep water cave diver dives into one of the most extreme cave diving environments to recover the body of his dead friend. He of course ends up killing himself in the attempt. Normally you dive into the sea to find … something. But cave diving is all about finding a complete nothing, just infinite darkness and tranquillity. Probably you've heard about the story, but to me it is the most perfect readymade narrative, I've ever come across – keeping in mind Goethe's recipe for a short story.

On yeah: A top ten list of how to get rid of annoying religious evangelists who knock down your door whenever it is most inconvenient (just had to scare one off yesterday):

  1. Tell her you are already a member
  2. Tell her through the letter flap that you are possessed by a demon that will not allow you to open
  3. Tell her you love her
  4. Tell her you already read the bible and found it unrealistic
  5. Tell her you already read the bible and saw the movie and that you are now waiting for the PS2 game version: ‘That Jesus-character really looked like a rock star'
  6. Tell her you are Satan and ask if she is here to provide your medicine
  7. Tell her to come in and offer her some coffee – and see if you can convert her to atheism. You will do a lot of people a big favour.
  8. Use the philosophical trick from scepticism and ask her ‘Why?' to whatever she says. Sooner or later she will say: ‘Because the bible says so'. And this is where you ask: ‘Why does the bible say so?'
  9. Tell her you will not listen to her because she is brainwashed.
  10. Tell her you are not fully dressed but if she is interested she may enter anyway


Sat 23.4.2005 09:34 AM
Went to a crappy concert with Cat Power, who made one of the best albums in 2003 – an almost flawless slit-yer-wrist acoustic piece of art called You Are Free. Unfortunately she had forgotten her band and was in a haze of alcohol and jetlag, possibly combined with some form of dehydration (too much coffee and alcohol, she said). I left before the concert ended. The support ‘band' was a solo Swedish singer-songwriter who was young, blond and talented. She had everything except the myth of her successor.

I am now looking forward to the upcoming concert with Antony and the Johnsons – one of the weirdest singers I have come across (since Canned Heat's lead singer). He is a thoroughbred gay performer (his ultimate idol is Boy George – whom he surpasses in a heartbeat) with Lou Reed as his biggest fan (!). Go get your tickets now! (Loppen, Copenhagen 16/5).

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The blob is the blog of Martin Ferro-Thomsen, integrating life and writing. And yes, it is a hopeless oldschool design I happen to appreciate.

The Blob is also the title of a classic horror-movie where an enormous 'jellyfish' absorbs everything and everybody in a giant pink mass.

The 1958 version of the film had the tagline: "Indescribable...Indestructible! Nothing Can Stop It!".

In the 1988-version it was simply: "Scream now, while there's still room to breathe".

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