Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Section One focuses on Story,
Section Two on Rhetoric in Image, Sound, Beat, Light, Move and Dance
Section Three on the Prophetic Church and Prophetic Use of Figure - in Hebrew Poetry and in Electronic Culture
Here's what the back cover says:
When it comes to communicating the gospel through new media and technologies, churches are often faced with one of two bad options. Either they can reject these new vehicles for sharing the faith as “not the way we’ve always done it”; or they can uncritically embrace them, failing to see that when not understood properly these media can obscure the gospel message just as much as they can communicate it. If they are going to reach the generations formed by electronic culture, churches must engage in a new evangelism, one that makes use of new technologies and cultural expressions. Sample explains how the electronic generations receive and process the information communicated by new media, and how the ways in which our consumerist culture makes use of those media are not good models for how the church can employ them to spread the message of Jesus Christ.
Tex (what is that short for?) was Professor of Church and Society at Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City - now he's a freelance author and lecturer.
Friday, October 28, 2005
Anyhow, rant over.
So imagine the joy and excitement when I realised that OO2.0 had been released in the last week and a bit...
Open Office does all that Msoft Office does, it's got a spreadsheet creator, presenter, word processor and a paint/draw program to boot. It's free, it's a 75MB download and it's not Microsoft...
OpenOffice.org 2.0 is the productivity suite that individuals, governments, and corporations around the world have been expecting for the last two years. Easy to use and fluidly interoperable with every major office suite, OpenOffice.org 2.0 realises the potential of open source.
With new features, advanced XML capabilities and native support for the OASIS Standard OpenDocument format, OpenOffice.org 2.0 gives users around the globe the tools to be engaged and productive members of their society.
I've been checking it out today, it's a sweet piece of software and should be enough to convince even the most microsoft friendly person to give it a go.
The layout and options have increased in quality and variety since the last release, to the point that one has to take a second look at the word processor in the suit to make sure that it's not msoft word. The presenter has increased in options, and now can open ppt and pps files as well as use a variety of newly created transitions and custom annimations, 300% on the last presenter release.
And the coolest thing about the presenter in open office is that it converts to flash with the click of one button, although it doesnt seem to like the cusom annimations in the flash file...
Go and download the setup file now and give this program a chance!
Read: OpenOffice 2.0: Exclusive Interview – OpenOffice Leaders McCreesh and Suarez-Potts
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Here are a few:
The Media Report
A critical look at the latest developments in the communications industry and how the media affects our lives.
podcast: Entire program, weekly, updating Thursdays at 10.30am.
Anticipated File size: 14MB
podcast url: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/feeds/mediarpt.xml
The Religion Report
Your guide to religious affairs: analysis of the events shaping the world of religion and the religious events that shape our world.
podcast: Entire program, weekly, updating Wednesdays at 10.30am.
Anticipated File size: 14MB
podcast url: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/feeds/relrpt.xml
The Spirit of Things
An adventure in religion and spirituality, exploring contemporary values and beliefs as expressed through ritual, art, music, and sacred texts.
podcast: Entire program, weekly, updating Sundays at 8.30pm.
Anticipated File size: 23MB
podcast url: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/feeds/spirit.xml
Ordinary people intrigue us just as much as celebrities do: everday life stories that connect you to the wider world.
podcast: once weekly updating Wednesdays at 1pm.
Anticipated File size: 13MB
podcast url: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/feeds/streets.xml
The entire list is here.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
You have to sign up to download and its 105 mb, 640 x 480 mpeg 1 file. 4 minutes. nicely done
these people have strong production. they are perhaps a tad conservative for my taste, but I still find a lot of their stuff good and usable. well worth a visit
Saturday, July 30, 2005
Journal of Religion and Film
Journal of Religion and Popular Culture
Chris Curtis' weblog
Damaris Culture Watch
Spirituality & Health DVD & Video Reviews
Spirituality & Health Cinema Reviews
Any more out there?
Monday, July 25, 2005
no copyright is a book of 252 pictures with an accompanying CD ROM with them all on at 300 dpi or more. it's the photography of designer marco morosini- a real mix of images. the editorial at the beginning of the book opens with the question
to whom does a sunflower belong? to the farmer who planted it or to the people who look at it? to the company who extracted for the first time an alimentary oil?...
and then suggests that the present laws on copyright preserve more the economic exploitation rights on behalf of international companies than the works themselves.
God did not put a copyright on trees, flowers and clouds...
...this book represents both a bill of indictment against the strict rules of copyright and a creative incentive. there is the awarenes that ideas feed on ideas
it's a great rant/spiel. and the good news is that all parts of the publication may be reproduced or transmitted in all form or by all means withut permission. one in the eye for the likes of getty images (though i don't suppose they are that worried!).
Sunday, July 17, 2005
All you have to do is sign up with:
Montage a Google searches out twenty photos linked to your text and then arranges selections of them in a montage. Below is a montage based on the two words, youth and multimedia.
Guess-the-Google is excellent and slightly addictive fun. You have ten sets of 20 photos to work through. Each group of 20 photos is the result of a google search. Your challenge is to guess the word that was used to get those pictures. You get twenty points for a correct answer. And up to 20 points for time bonus. Maximum is 400 points. My highest score was 320 but I must admit that comes from doing the quiz more than once.... Good luck!
Monday, July 11, 2005
Doug is a great communicator and I think was good for many youth leaders. Not surprisingly I didn't agree with everything and at times felt that I had a very different framework, yet at the same time it is clear how much the "Purpose-Driven Youth Ministry" thing has elements of other youth ministry models over the past 2 decades (particularly US models). Very much a 'come to us' approach, yet very intentional.
Their website is Simply Youth Ministry.
I downloaded about 450 mb of free stuff from http://www.simplyyouthministry.com/freebies/freebies.asp/
Many of the files are samples from material which you can buy. There is a whole host of stuff.
Doug had a guy with him who is originally from Perth and now in the US who does a lot of design stuff for them.
Here's his website.
The stuff looked good and was quite reasonably priced.
Unfortunately I didnt get to talk to him as he was also staffing the book/resource stall. Nor did I even have my wallet with me, and based on the website, the resources were about half price on the day!
anyway, go and visit. three free images for starters.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Monday, June 27, 2005
Instructions are here
The movie's a great example of irreverence used to start conversations about faith that doesn't fit into the narrow confines of fundamentalism. Significant points of the movie include Mary challenging the intentions of a gossip-focused prayer meeting, and Dean telling the principal that even though he's gay he believes he is still loved by Jesus. I like the character of Patrick, a guy who's keen to explore Christian faith but wants to do that with unpressured honesty.
For those buying or hiring the DVD have a look for the Easter egg. From the Main Menu go to the 'Special Features' option. Highlight the menu entry 'Heaven Help Us' and then press the RIGHT arrow key on your remote control. This will highlight an icon of Jesus. Press the ENTER to select him. This will reveal a clip of R.E.M frontman and producer of "Saved!", Michael Stipe, talking about the film.
As can be anticipated many are not impressed by the movie. It can be seen as an outright attack on Christianity. It's described as irreverent, sick and blasphemous. I wonder how it would stand up to the Anti-Vilification laws of Victoria, Australia?
Sunday, June 26, 2005
The film is a poignant tale of a young boy who father has gone off to fight in the Korean war. The young boy dreams and plays at being a soldier. The twist in the story needs to be left to the viewing. Despite the subject of war, the telling is gentle, almost whimsical, yet finally disturbing as well. The contrast of the reality of war and the boy's hero-worship of his father is at the crux of the film.
The film is available on DVD, published by AFTRS and Accent Films. While the short film is only 10 mins long there are another 56 minutes of extras on the making of the film.
This is not Disney animation. It is not contrived or cliched. Instead it makes a space for wonerding about how we pass on the best and worst of our humanity to the next generation.
Monday, June 06, 2005
here's a commercial service that can help.
this isn't an advertisement, rather notifying you about a new development in blogging. I suspect these people will do well. it's a simple and great idea. The example itself gets you going hmmm....... watch out for clones soon.
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Go here for more information and download. The program seems very complex, with lots of video adjustment tools - roration, scaling and heaps more.
You will also need the free Max/MSP runtime player available here.
Go and play with it if you are brave!
Friday, April 22, 2005
As always I'm super-impressed by what these artists have come up with. For those of us for whom animation is a hobby, seeing the work of professionals is always an inspiration and challenge. I applaud any church that pays artists!
The graphic an animation quality of these is uniformly high - stunning graphics and small file sizes. The Cafe Church artists specialise in bold 2D cartoon-style graphics, often with a retro feel (OK maybe thats mainly Rick Bull). Think 1950s and 1960s. There's ample use of corporate and kitsch icons in meaningful ways. ie. for a purpose. Personally, I love the bold colours and shapes as they evoke a bold 'message' and convey a sense of immediacy and urgency. Of course, the down-side is that occasionally the religious imagery itself seems trite - a black cross with a rotating orange starburst behind it. There's a 'flattening' of symbols in this 2D landscape - the cross and the christ seem to compete equally with coca-cola and army tanks. But this in itself raises the question - what is kitsch and what is ultimate? In such a landscape, both problem and possibility are painted starkly.
Many CafeChurch animations have a political focus - the gospel speaking into current issues - war, refugees, poverty, homelessness - and a focus on the gospel and prophetic texts that speak to these. Even the Psalms carry a global conscience. For me this is a welcome contribution to worship!
Quite a number of the animations also present stirring and provocative quotes from contemporary Christians and others - Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Dostoevsky, Tori Amos, U2, CS Lewis, Noam Chomsky.... Both the quotes themselves and the substance of the animations in general reveal a thoughtful genesis for these presentations - born in conversation and community, not seeking to present a closed message but to open the possibility of provocation and response.
I have to say that while i love the content of the quotes, their presentation often irritates me
• often too many words on screen at the one time
• usually in uppercase which makes them harder to read
• rarely on screen for long enough (and i read quite quickly)
• no attempt to use 'inclusive' versions of biblical texts
While I very like presentations that do not make everything simple and obvious, I find that excessive text content is not the best way the achieve this - much better to give a shorter quote that people could read more easily and then ponder. I'd be really interested in discussing this with the animators as they are certainly very gifted visual artists and no doubt have good reasons for their presentation approach.
I've never been to CafeChurch but I suspect that many of these animations are looped in a cafe environment, rather than played once in a sequential 'worship service.' Hence the amount of text may be digestible over time.No doubt there were other elements to complement these as well. On the one hand, I'm glad not to have been given formulas or prescriptions for cafechurch services; on the other hand I would value the opportunity to see/hear some kind of context for their use - a problem we all face in sharing our stuff.
So, for me, the combination of graphics and quotes are a challenging mix of boldness and depth, provocative, though sometimes at the expense of opening interpretation of the text.
There's also urban and beach imagery, satire, coffee, retro fonts, nice silhouettes, anti-corporate angst,
The CDROM has over 150 animations, and about 50 designated as "loops", so you can import these into Flash and use as you wish. The animations don't include sound, but clearly many or all of them had particular sounds/music attached. Some animations identify the related music, so it would be possible to connect them - songs by Peter Gabriel, Tom Waits, Beth Gibbons, U2 - and Glen Powell!
In short, there is so much excellent material here, and the CafeChurch community deserve our gratitude for making it available at such a cheap price.
Monday, April 18, 2005
In their words, Midnight Oil Productions are "passionate about worship that authentically communicates to today’s digital culture."
On their web site they have:
Design Matters: Articles on digital design
Worship Resources for Purpose Driven Life
DVDs/Videos with visual resources for worship.
There's always a freebie on offer.
At the moment the freebie is a camping graphic. You can download the zipped folder with the graphic in PSD (layered photoshop file) and BMP format, designed for teaching and lyrics backgrounds. The freebie comes with ideas for themes and activities.
Of course you have to sign up with your email address.
I'd be interested in comments from people who have ordered and used the DVDs or videos.
Friday, April 08, 2005
The Cafe Church in Glebe, Sydney has just released a CD-ROM of about 160 animations created over a 3 year period by their artists-in-residence for use in their cafe-style, informal worship. These animations are thought-provoking and challenging, with a real depth to them. And for only A$30 its a bargain.
Visit the Cafe Church Website.
Saturday, March 19, 2005
Freaka: Hey Wavehead, have you ever thought about why we don't watch TV or videos at church when we watch it at home, like heaps?
Wavehead: Freaka, I have. I can see a whole lot of churches behaving like ostriches. Some ostrich-churches have stuck their heads in hymn books pretending the challenge doesn't exist. Some have kicked the media around, complaining about its content and influence. Some have swallowed television whole, malforming their over-stretched necks, using programme styles that glorify success for example.
Freaka: That's freaky. Sticking your head in the sand. That's what's happening in my church, where the Christian Ed people refuse to use TV with the kids or young people. They just want books and talk.
Wavehead: As if you can't rely on anything unless it's written down. People might take it the wrong way, or not get the full meaning. But let's face it, most people under the age of 35 have grown up with television. The younger ones are growing up with the net and cyber reality.
Freaka: I've seen churches do more than ignore TV. Look at the constant complaints about the impact that vulgar TV shows like 'Beavis and Butthead' have on our children. The church is good at kicking around.
Wavehead: Hey why shouldn't the church kick butt? I reckon we're not doing enough. If TV is the most influential educating force in our society, what are we doing to make sure it has a positive influence?
Freaka: Good point. But there's a deeper question to ask here. What about the couch potato syndrome? I've heard TV watchers can end up as uncritical and gullible people.
Wavehead: It's not as if us viewers get to tell the TV companies what to put in the programmes.
Freaka: So, what can we do that's not just "kicking the media around"?
Wavehead: Why not a double approach. Use the positive messages of the media, as well as challenging the harmful bits?
Freaka: So do we just get young people to watch lots of videos?
Wavehead: I don't think we should adopt totally the concept of television. What is good for television is not necessarily good for a youth group or worship service.
Freaka: But we need to remember people have little tolerance for long periods of time listening to talking heads.
Wavehead: So are you saying the Church needs to work on its imagery as much as spoken stuff.
Freaka: Yup. We need to become less dependent on the written text and produce more live drama and music. And of course we can use actual television programmes as part of our curriculum.
Wavehead: Right. But first of all we have to come to terms with the idea of entertainment. A lot of people still feel uncomfortable with the possibility of enjoying Church. We can easily overlook the fact much of what Jesus did was entertaining. His parables, for example, were mental brain-teasers that entertained his audiences.
Freaka: What about the techniques of television themselves? How does the Church relate to people who have been brought up on short snappy ads?
Wavehead: We can keep people's attention by using different kinds of communication tools one after another. Another thing we can learn from television is story telling. Can you imagine a narrator on television coming in at the end of a movie or cartoon to explain the point of the story?
Freaka: So should the Church avoid talking about stuff for the sake of keeping its audience? Are sermons a thing of the past now?
Wavehead: I'm not saying we should give away the art of speaking to an audience. More than ever, we need to work at ways of keeping the attention of our listeners. But we need to help our listeners respond to what they hear and see. This is where the challenge bit comes in.
Freaka: We could become media prophets. Like using TV programmes to show how lots of people are seeing reality. Why is the news so entertaining, for example?
Wavehead: And then of course the advertisements. These point to the consumer society TV panders to. "The viewer is merely a consumer."
Freaka: Do we take that lying down? Do we let our values be dictated by film producers and advertising agencies?
Wavehead: You're onto it. Another thing we could do is work hard on our sense of community, so people can be more than passive viewers.
Freaka: You mean the church being better than the TV at encouraging feedback? Get real.
Wavehead: We have potential TV doesn't. I think the local church can work on its communication process so participation by all is encouraged.
Freaka: That's something TV can't offer: dialogue in the context of committed relationships.
Wavehead: And then we could use TV to help us look at our own backgrounds and perspectives.
Freaka: A good mix. Being moved out of the comfort zone by the global picture, but interpreting our own experiences. Expansive
Wavehead: And of course, we can do reality checks together. All ages can do this. You know, working out what to accept and what not to accept. Critical analysis of the media.
Freaka: That's classy. But haven't we ignored the involvement of the church in TV programming? There's a lot more to this than just waiting for the media out there to produce something for us, the consumers. We need more excellent producers.
Wavehead: If the church wanted to compete with the television I believe it would generally fail. The amount of money available to the media from advertising means that the appeal of TV is stronger than most other media.
Freaka: You mean, who would choose a worship service for entertainment in preference for a movie with special effects?
Wavehead: Yeah. Who would go to a minister for information when a documentary could present that information in a much more spectacular way in their own home?
Freaka: Hey but isn't this a case of 'If you can't beat them, join them? We've had a few goes at this in New Zealand if you think about it. Credo, Praise Be, Zone 7, Getting it Together, The Herd, The Street. And even as we speak, Rob Harley is putting together the summer's version of Extreme Closeup.
Wavehead: Yeah. But I still think that religious TV doesn't measure up with the standard of a universal medium. Some of those programmes you mentioned were still religion for the religious.
Freaka: We usually only get Christian funding for stuff that has high morals or potential to save someone.
Wavehead: How about some side splitting comedy from the church for a change?
Freaka: Well Wavehead. Our space on this page is running out. Let's check out a movie eh!
Wavehead: Good move!
Wavehead and Freaka are good friends of Duncan Macleod.
When he briefed them for this discussion, he used
Ostrich ideas developed by B Everist in the Christian Century, May 1981, and
5 strategies from the National Council of Churches, USA, found in their report of the Study Commission on Theology, Education and the Electronic Media.
We'll display the Bible text
STATION 1: Christ is Brought Before Pilate
Luke 23: 13-24
here it begins
each season, each moment
a slow dance of death
grace seeping from the world
as though to disappear forever
an open invitation
to be undone, or revived
so lonely the journey
one we can’t bear to watch
much less walk
a path not taken,
at least not before this day,
in this way
we wish that he, like we
could take a road more travelled
instead of these twisted stairs
like a dark forest
shadows loom with each step
powers poise in balance
like a danger cry
harsh words eclipse hope
crucify him! crucify him!
even today mystery hangs waiting
is he for or against us?
would we praise or punish?
defend or deny?
can love make this journey
without being dissembled by evil?
walk on in this twilight
if you desire the courage
to find yourself in this story
walk on in this twilight
if you long for patience
to wait through the night beyond
walk on in this twilight
if you seek for faith to believe that God
can be so weak, yet this large
walk and watch
wait and wonder
place a stone in your shoe
as you walk this path
may it break your skin
and spike your soul
may it alter your path
may pain birth promise
may love burst through
flesh and bone
spirit and soul
so that hope may rise again
and earth and heaven be as one
knowing that love also
walks this lonely road
There will be a bowl small stones with an invitation to people to place one in their shoe as they walk through the stations, There will also be a white 'wall' with an invitation to people to write the words "crucify him!". I'm still working on the wording of this. And some music playing - probaly something discordant like Mogwai or "The Dirty Three"
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
The main commercial ones that seem to be favoured are:
MediaShout for PC (Mac version coming) US$399
EasyWorship for PC US$399
Presenter for PC - A$295
However there are MANY other options - see below
Open Source (free) solutions are
ZionWorx - PC only
OpenSong - PC and Mac
OpenLP - PC only
The are a few reviews of software around
The Peat Group
Monday, February 21, 2005
today when we hear your voice
we wont harden our hearts
we wont harden our hearts
heaven and earth meet here
and we will hear your voice
heaven and earth meet here
and we will hear your voice
I'm quite happy today because my copy of the Church of Apostle's cd "Ordo" was sitting in my in-tray when I wandered into the office this morning. I've got it playing on the laptop as I type.
ORDO is a cd of modern church music for mass : eucharist : holy communion (the central act of weekly christian worship in the catholic christian tradition).
I'm not able to say much about the cd because I'm only on track 3, but from what I've heard so far is great...
Go check it out, heck, go n buy it here.
Monday, February 14, 2005
Paul has set up a website here where he has made some papers available and you can also access his blog there.
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Superbowl Ads is a web site that provides links to the news articles, advertisers' sites, and a connection to the ads at ifilm. It's run by Ken Phipps in San Francisco.
IFilm have all 60 ads available to watch, as well as the banned ones. You have the choice of watching in Real, Quicktime or Windows Media Player. The only problem I had with this site was the lack of control over what I was watching.
Another site to check out is the Board Screening Room. Board is an advertising magazine that offers free online membership - providing limited access to articles and video files. Right now a good proportion of the Superbowl ads are available there in Quicktime format.
Adforum has two free Superbowl ads a day in mpeg format. For $10 US you can access all the Ads for 2004 and 2005 - for a whole year.
Oh, by the way, the New England Patriots beat the Philadelphia Eagles 24 - 21.
Duncan - from http://tvadverts.blogspot.com
i got an e-mail from someone in london who enjoyed the dead texan folloiwng my recommendation. in turn he has recommended i check out Stafrænn Hákon. i did a search on google and came across this site 3hive that collects legitimate links to mp3 downloads for all sorts of artists. so i have now downloaded 6 tracks by stafraenn hakon to listen to... thanks andy...
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
You have finished the Internet
(This is the last page)
Thank you for visiting.
there are no more links
(You must now turn off your computer
and go do something productive)
Monday, February 07, 2005
It'd work well for year 7's and ups and provides a space for people to be able to ask questions and have a good discussion over issues and faith type stuff. The set also includes a Youth Leader training dvd that is rather useful to raise issues with churches/synods/presbyteries and includes people like Campolo, Mclaren and many other pastors and
It'd work well in schools, churches, youth groups, camps...
When purchasing the set remember to mention me, they may give you an aussie discount :)
They've just released another sample of the dvd series titled "something for nothing" which can be downloaded at:
Watch Video: WMV File
Watch Video: Quicktime File
Quest website: http://www.imagexmedia.com
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Five young Australians facing issues tell their stories in a photographic book and touring exhibition to be opened in Melbourne on Sunday, 16 January 2005.
Eighteen: From adversity to hope - five photo essays on young Australians contains photographic documentaries of teenagers facing issues from pregnancy, domestic violence, drug dependency and homelessness to living with a disability and the difficulties experienced by new refugees.
In the book and exhibition, five individuals share their moments of difficulties and joy through black and white photographs and personal stories.