Day: November 30, 2010

Faber teams up with Touch Press for galaxy iPad guide | theBookseller.com

Not much to see here you might think on the surface. A company announcing a new product and a partnership at an industry event.

But hold on! It’s Faber (yeah, that Faber) not DK making the announcement. Who would ever have expected a solar system App from them?

What’s more, the partnership is not just another sign of just how established brands face challenges from all across the board (and Faber’s own brand is threatened too), but it shows that savvy publishers like Faber can move fairly rapidly in the digital space.

Faber is publishing an e-book app on the solar system in its first collaboration with digital publishers Touch Press.

The new venture was unveiled today at The Bookseller’s FutureBook Conference in London where Henry Volans, head of Faber Digital and Max Whitby, co-founder of Touch Press showcased their launch title, Solar System for iPad.

The interactive book, priced £7.99 and available from the App store next month, is written by New Scientist cosmology consultant Marcus Chown. He previously wrote popular science book Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You (Faber). The new book, a complete guide to our solar system, uses interactive software to include ‘multi-touch’ 3D planets and custom-made animations and videos.

via Faber teams up with Touch Press for galaxy iPad guide | theBookseller.com.

The Arts & The Crisis! A Kiosk Appearance

I was on Nadine O’Regan’s The Kiosk show last Saturday discussing the impact of the economic crisis on the Arts. Critic and journalist Sara Keating was in studio with me and Angela Dorgan of First Music Contact (they of Hard Working Class Heroes) was on the line (the snow caused some travel trouble) and we had a lively discussion about whether or not the Arts had felt the positive impact of the Celtic Tiger or whether artists had largely been left behind.

On balance I was with Sara in much of what she said about the growth of Arts administration versus the funding for artists themselves and I think that comes through in my little rant about focusing funds on bursaries and direct funding to artists as the develop their skills.

However, I think myself and Angela were on the same page over the reality that most artists, writers, musicians, actors or playwrights make very little money, in good times or bad so the recession will hardly impact them. It’s one of the reasons why a reduction in the artists exemption doesn’t bother me too much.

The audio from the show can be listened to here (27 November clip)

While we are at it, The Arts Council’s Arts Audiences working group has released some interesting data on Arts Attendances in Ireland, worth a good look through.

Twitter And Creativity: The IMF Dublin Diary

One of the reasons I like Twitter is that people can use it to create personas and characters. Sometimes these are fake accounts of real characters or faux profiles mocking celebrities and sometimes they are the imagined accounts of fictional characters like the example below:

What happens far less, but something I believe will begin to happen more (and has been part of several projects I’ve seen), is original or newly created fictional characters inhabiting social and web spaces. Penguin used Twitter and blogs to tell Slice, one of the stories in their We Tell Stories experiment.

Which brings me to the IMF Dublin Diary a twitter and blog creation of another Twitterer and blogger, The Mire. That word creation is the important word, because this is creation, it is art in the true (if un-stuffy) sense. The imagined thoughts of the IMF’s (not) pointman in Dublin, it is rich satire and high comedy (though dark given its content) and what is more it uses the medium very well.

You could argue that all it does is take an old idea and transfer it to a new medium and while that’s true, I think it does it very well. The execution is precise and measured, the tone feels right and the reflections on Irish society, ministers and civil servants have, at least for those of us living through what are strange and interesting times, a ring of truth, along with a splash of whimsy and a sprinkle of insanity.