Mostly (not) on McSweeney's!

A blog for my academic ideas, more or less.

Even More Visual Research

Excellent video essay on Wes Anderson’s visual style; does some good exposition of how dense his references are. (My interest is more in terms of how it communicates maximally with the viewer, but we’ll get to that another time.)

I did my undergraduate dissertation on the marketing, production and reception of The Royal Tenenbaums, and I’m going to use some of it (and new thinking, obv.) in a chapter on plenitude as aesthetic principle in American culture; Chris Ware, David Foster Wallace, McSweeney’s collector impulse, L.O.T.S..M.O.R.E..

(This does highlight that I’m using my thesis as a way to discuss a lot of the stuff I find cool and interesting, but this doesn’t seem to be a problem to me. I’m trying to move towards using this blog as a point of convergence, where everything I encounter can be synthesised into my research. Which should hopefully make for more interesting reading.)

Filed under: technology, , ,

More Visual Research

Have just been talking to an academic colleague in the British Library about different forms of description and research — how just choosing a different way of representing your subject, be it a verbal description of a photograph, or a photocopy of a journal article, gives you a new perspective.

As part of this creative/practical methodology, I’m at a point in my writing where I need to directly compare Vimeo and YouTube. Therefore I’m using Flickr as a scratchpad for me to think about this, and have uploaded two screengrabs of the output of searching for the Young Jeezy video “Circulate” on YouTube and Vimeo. I’ve annotated these photos on Flickr, linked to after the jump.

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Filed under: technology, , ,

Aggregating British Library Tweets

One of my favourite procrastinations of the last couple of weeks has been to search of Twitter for mentions of the “British Library”. Archived in RSS feed in Vienna now. So I’m developing said procrastination into a blog post, and may continue to do so. Partly just as another method of documentation, but also with an interest in taking advantage of Twitter as a tool for showing people how connected they might be, without realising it. If anyone notices their Twitter posts on here and wouldn’t like them posted, let me know. (This in itself is interesting as an experiment for what perceptions there are about Twitter as a form of personal transmission. All these Tweets are taken from a public search feed, protected updates don’t show up, so I’m not doing anything that it isn’t possible to find within a few keystrokes. But in bringing this information together it may reveal concerns people have about personal disclosure.)

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Click on the Flickr link for information; most of my research happens off-blog, these days.

Filed under: mcsweeneys,

Technology and Art

Technology changes the possibilities that artists have.

It also changes their responsibilities.

(Aphorism inspired by some productive thinking this morning on McSweeney’s via Vimeo and YouTube.)

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About Me:

My name is Kevin O'Neill and I am in the fifth year of a part-time PhD in the English Department of Goldsmiths, London, UK. I used to teach undergrad classes there (now: not, because there are other PhD students who need teaching experience). I work (most of the time) in the Oxfam shop in Dalston because few people get paid to do humanities PhDs.

My research centres around the literary journal McSweeney's. My interest is developing into what McSweeney's tells us about two separate (but I guess related) fields: 1) literary institutions 2) American cultural production, more broadly. This blog was initially about my PhD but is now a more general thinking space.

See right for my flickr/twitter/delicious feeds, then below for other versions of me.

Email is looceefir on gmail.


March 2009
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my twitter

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my flickr


born this way



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