unjapanologist: (fetchez la vache)
Busy with AdaCamp right now, where we've had a couple of great sessions on fandom/fanworks and open culture/open source software. More on that later.

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I haven't paid much attention to 3-D printers yet, apart from gawking at videos of all kinds of crazy and gorgeous stuff that people are making with them. The printers are still a bit over the $500 price point right now, which is actually amazingly low, and I definitely want one if as soon as they get a bit more affordable. The possibilities! I'm so making a set of Jee and Zuko figures that are the right size to interact with my Jurassic Park toys. They can ride in the jeep and shoot tyrannosaurs with the little bazooka. I could also make LEGO Jee and Zuko, and Barbie Jee and Zuko, and porn Jee and Zuko and and and.

Here is a video about the possibilities and relevance of 3-D printers. It's plenty awesome all on its own, and I'm sure we all have more than enough imagination to translate this to fannish possibilities. (Not sure if this embed is working, please click the link above if it doesn't.)

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unjapanologist: (Default)
[personal profile] kouredios pointed out a Reddit thread in which Joss Whedon answers the question "How do you feel about scholarship about your work and the fact that academics tend to delve quite deeply into it, perhaps to the point of publishing interpretations you did not intend?" with the following:

"All worthy work is open to interpretations the author did not intend. Art isn't your pet -- it's your kid. It grows up and talks back to you."

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unjapanologist: (fetchez la vache)
Apparently Summit Entertainment had a picture by artist Kelly Howlett yanked from Zazzle because they believed - wrongly - that she was selling Twilight fan art.

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On Nov. 27-28, the Japan Association for Cultural Economics organized the first edition of a yearly workshop at Doshisha University, Kyoto, to fill the long gap between its big yearly conferences. I presented a draft paper titled 'Fanwork as a test case for open source cultural goods'.

This paper is a follow-up on my recent symposium piece 'Why we should talk about commodifying fan work', more precisely this footnote:

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unjapanologist: (hey ozai)
Two articles recently accepted for publication/presentation: "Why we should talk about commodifying fan work" will appear in Transformative Works and Cultures in November, and "Open source production as a model for commodification of derivative works" will be presented at the Asian Workshop on Cultural Economics, which is organized by the the Association of Cultural Economics Japan and takes place on November 27-28 this year, in Kyoto.

As the titles suggest, these two are very closely related, and I'm thrilled that they can be published more or less together. The TWC piece is the tl;dr version of the post I did yesterday about Keith Mander, and the open source paper is the even more tl;dr version of a footnote attached to the TWC piece. Both talk about the cultural economy of fanwork, but since each is written for a different crowd (fan studies people and cultural economics people), they have a somewhat different focus. The TWC text argues that commodification of fanworks may be inevitable, and why this could be a good thing for fandom. The open source text is basically a thinking exercise/tentative proposal about how "derivative" works such as fanworks could be commodified in practice, based on principles associated with open source production.

Abstracts:

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unjapanologist: (fetchez la vache)
So, a Mr. Keith Mander bought up a Lord of the Rings fic archive with the express intention of making money out of it. Well. The relationship between Mander, LotR fic authors, and unfortunate legal reality as personified by the Tolkien estate is best summed up by this beautiful parable. [personal profile] boundbooks uses Mander's own quotes to relate how the sorry tale began and to show that, while he claims he intends to make the website in question "better" for its users, Mander is actually astoundingly clueless about what fans want. Nothing bona fide to see here. When the OTW posted a quick overview of the incident and its ramifications for the fic authors involved, Mander showed up in the comments to mansplain his plans and contrast them rather hilariously with what he refers to as the OTW's "vision" and their execution of it (he can do better because the OTW are just volunteers. Someone please point him to the Wikipedia entry for open source).

In short, train wreck. A very large part of me is too tired and heat-dead right now to do anything but snigger and microwave more popcorn, and Mander has already been told everything he needs to know directly and also indirectly by the many awesome posts about his antics currently gracing the internet. [personal profile] elf  is keeping track of links to said awesome posts.* But rambling is fun, so I'm going to try and make a point or two about what does really irk me about this beautiful technicolor fail.

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Today I took part in a study day on comics in the library for Flemish librarians, organized by the most excellent Strip Turnhout. My presentation was on manga in the library. I tried to emphasize that manga aren't that scarily different from US comics or European strips, but that the way readers in Japan and manga fans overseas read manga -often in a very active fashion, as participants in a fandom- might be very useful for libraries to learn more about. Basically, I gave a quick primer on fanwork and tried to convince everyone to help and encourage young library users to write fic about their favourite books :)

Presentation (in Dutch, sorry) under the cut )

The day was great fun -very good talks, excellent supply of munchies, and many interesting new people, including the author of the absolute awesome comic version of The Forever War. Of course I forgot to bring my copy and couldn't beg for a signature, and then spent most of the time being fannishly dazzled instead of trying to talk to the man. Some other day, then.
unjapanologist: (Default)

Originally published at Academic FFF. You can comment here or there.

Some final notes and observations following "Comics Worlds and the World of Comics" in Kyoto. I had a great time, learned a lot, and was quite impressed in general. The amount of fail was surprisingly small for an academic gathering (a few people excepted), and several presentations gave me some very helpful pointers and new ideas.

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unjapanologist: (Default)

Originally published at Academic FFF. You can comment here or there.

The online Japanese-Dutch dictionary (full name 'Japans-Nederlands woordenboek Waran Jiten') created by the Catholic University of Leuven's Japanese Studies staff and students is, of course, mainly a dictionary. But its wiki format leaves room for getting creative with the dictionary entries (apart from the obvious advantage of anyone being able to add to and correct entries). I've used the Japanese-Dutch dictionary wiki to create a set of steadily morphing Dutch vocabulary lists about media and fandom in Japan, which I plan to make into an appendix of the final Ph.D. Hopefully they'll be useful to any other Dutch speakers who want to study fandom and fan media in Japan. If you see any mistakes or feel I should include a term I haven't mentioned, please let me know (or make yourself an account on the dictionary wiki and edit the pages yourself ;) .
unjapanologist: (Default)

Originally published at Academic FFF. You can comment here or there.

A quick link to the presentation that kickstarted my Ph.D research, held at Kansai University last month. It's in Japanese, alas, and probably doesn't make sense without the talk. I saw a camera there, so I'll try to get hold of the video, which may or may not be more illuminating than the slides. I'm a fairly chaotic speaker.

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