Last year ’Pong wrapped up his Masters of Digital Media at UNSW’s College of Fine Art by making the short film Memory of You | Reflection of Me, winning the prize for the schools “best video” that year. I’ve previously shown you a photo. Now you can finally watch it online.
It’s a powerful nine minutes about depression and maternal strength, and was certainly a worthy winner. It had stayed hidden until now because ’Pong had been entering it into film festivals, many of which have this arsehatted notion that you can’t enter if your film previously been posted online. But time marches on…
’Pong is now seeking support for his next film, Exist.
Exist explores our part of psychological mechanism that alerts us of treats and dangers — anxiety. It is the second instalment of DASS (Depression Anxiety Stress Scales) trilogy, which is a common test to assess mental illness in modern society.
You can watch the teaser video, then head over to FundBreak to hand over your money.
Stilgherrian’s links for 28 August 2009 through 09 September 2009, gathered automatically and then forgotten until today:
- REAPER | Audio Production Without Limits: I haven’t encountered this audio/music production tool before. It’s perhaps worth a look.
- Experts look to Australia’s Aborigines for weather help: As it happens, the Aboriginal tribes of the Sydney basin recognised six season, not the European four.
- The 2009 Edelman Trust Barometer: This was published back in March, but it’ll show you how trust in various things has changed over time.
- Salvage Techniques for Wet Electronics | Andy Ihnatko’s Celestial Waste of Bandwidth (BETA): The title says what it is. Yes, I have wet electronics. I dropped my phone in a “moist environment” and it’s now sitting with silica gel and probably never working again. Read this guide now so you know the drill for the future.
- For SEC, tech-savvy fans might be biggest threats to media exclusivity | St Petersburg Times: The US Southeastern Conference of college sports is trying to stop fans communicating about the game in the most stringent restrictions ever seem. A pity they can’t possibly work.
- User driven service bingo | Doc Searls Weblog: A checklist of activities to see whether some web service or other is truly “user driven”. Does this apply to organisations too?
- Electronic Warfare: Airborne electronic attack – a new offensive role for the RAAF | ADM: Someone took me to task for suggesting the RAAF buying F/A-18 Super Hornets was a waste. He suggested the electronic warfare capability of the “Growler” model was a worthwhile addition to Australia’s defence capability.
- Stop Using the Word “We” | Ted Dziuba: A plea for more direct communication within the corporation. Yes please.
- Economics is not a Natural Science by Douglas Rushkoff | Edge: “Some of us analyzing digital culture and its impact on business must reveal economics as the artificial construction it really is. Although it may be subjected to the scientific method and mathematical scrutiny, it is not a natural science; it is game theory, with a set of underlying assumptions that have little to do with anything resembling genetics, neurology, evolution, or natural systems.”
- Impatient CEOs are all of a Twitter, but it doesn’t work like that | The Observer: John Naughton points out a real dilemma: CEOs have to generate profits to a quarterly cycle, but the business benefits of “social media” (or whatever it’s called next month) will take decades to emerge.
- Draft Open Access and Licensing Framework released | In Development: The New Zealand government’s draft policy recommends that government agencies use the most liberal Creative Commons licensing possible.
- Stark realisation: I no longer depend on Google to find stuff | Alex J Campbell: Alex differentiates between “finding” and “locating”, and along the way observes that the changes in the way we do these things has profound implications for businesses trying to get customers online.
- Words for Webstock – Bruce Sterling: Bruce Sterling sees the Future, and it’s banal. Just like today.
- Last Year’s Model: “It’s totally normal to lust after the hottest new geeky gadgets. It’s also cool to put some thought into what we buy, and what we throw away. So this is a place to show the world that a lot of us are choosing to use Last Year’s Model.” Their slogan is “Saving the planet through sheer laziness”, but it’s also a call for a more informed choice about consuming less.
- OSX Timemachine and Samba/Windows share | Hupio’s Weblog: How to use Apple’s OS X 10.5.2 Time Machine backup software with a Linux server, Windows server or Windows network share. It presumably works just as well with later versions.
- The next 100 years | New Statesman: An extract from Stratfor founder George Friedman’s book of the same name. Can you imagine a war between a Japan-Turkey alliance and US-Poland?
- Depression’s Evolutionary Roots | Scientific American: New research seems to indicate that depression isn’t something “broken”, but rather the brain going into an altered state so that “deep rumination” can be uninterrupted, leading to better analysis of a complex problem. If so, doesn’t that mean anti-depressant medications are preventing the problem being solved?
- John Thompson-Mills: John was the producer of Club Escape, the dance music program I presented with Scott Thompson on Triple J back in 1990 or whenever it was. Happy to have stumbled across this.
- CHART OF THE DAY: Actually, Kids Don’t Hate Twitter Anymore! | Silicon Valley Insider: “While Twitter’s user base historically favored older users, people between ages 12-24 have been Twitter’s fastest growing age group of late. And now that age group is actually disproportionately visiting Twitter, according to comScore.”
’Pong is currently directing a short film, Memory of You | Reflection of Me, as part of his Masters of Digital Media at the College of Fine Arts. I’m helping, so you won’t see much of me for a few days. But here’s a photo.
Here, actress Fay Akrivou (left) discusses her character, a depressed mother, with ’Pong during a break in shooting at a terrace house in Surry Hills, Sydney. She’s not really that tired, that’s the make-up. It’s also a fairly dodgy version of the photo. I’ll post something better later.
Tomorrow morning we’re shooting at Coogee Beach, and then in the afternoon it’s at our house in Enmore. It’s a 6-minute film, but there’s seven scenes containing something like 35 individuals shots, for some of which they’re doing a dozen takes. ’Pong is both a hard taskmaster and a perfectionist.
My role? Um, I’m organising the sandwiches and beer. Well, someone’s got to do it…
[Update 21 September 2010: You can now watch Memory of You | Reflection of Me online, and ’Pong is seeking support for his next film.]
I just stumbled across this quote about depression by Antonio Savoradin: “Depression, probably the most obvious condition leading to suicide, is a prison filled with repeat offenders, and the crime of melancholia has a startling recidivism rate. But it is not a prison in which rights are respected, nor is humane treatment the standard fare. Rather, the jailer is a fickle torturer who punishes his charges without mercy. The depressed person inhabits a cell with a tiny window and iron bars, is beaten, burned, electrocuted, and flayed by the guards, left shivering and in pain, while relatives and friends may visit, blind to both the unbearable wounds he suffers and to the bars which hold him. Bewildered, they cannot understand why he doesn’t rise and walk through the empty doorway; they do not understand his pain; and they may inflict guilt or further torture by sneering at his condition or offering pointless advice (‘What’s the matter with you? Just leave!’) which only exacerbates his suffering. Because they do not see the bars, the walls, the jailer, the prison grounds, they cannot take his pain seriously. It is an enigma to them. They can give him little, if any, comfort.” Hat-tip to Andrew Barnett.
’Pong has combined his penchant for photographs of reflections with a self-portrait to head his latest post, Moments in 2007.
For him, 2007 was a year where he overcame some of the pressures of depression to achieve highlights such as a prize-winning image.
As I’ve said before in a post about privacy, depression hits 800,000 Australians every year and yet we try to pretend this epidemic and its effects don’t exist. Just pop another SSRI.
Small-minded politicians introduce legislation like WorkChoices in the name of “productivity”. Yet by disrupting routine family time and increasing individual stress they produce a shell-shocked workforce that’s less productive.
’Pong has the good fortune to have a day-job employer who has a more sophisticated worldview. When WorkChoices was introduced he told me “Why would I want to treat my staff so badly? I want to keep the good people!”
If a workplace produced physical illness as debilitating as depression, the proprietors would be paying compensation for decades — if they weren’t jailed for criminal negligence. But somehow it’s OK to destroy people’s minds. This has to end.
Depression is a normal human reaction to abnormal conditions. We’ve produced an abnormal society where in any given year nearly 1 in 20 of us suffers from its effects just in this way, let alone what others. Yes, this has to end.
Fortunately organisations like Beyond Blue help. And I’ll post my own, generally more positive thoughts later today.