Monday, April 21, 2008

How Has the Internet Affected and Influenced the Origami Community?

I've been asked to write an article for OUSA's The Paper, regarding how the advent of the internet has affected the origami community. What I would like, is to use this post as a sort of "open interview", and allow my visitors and readers to share their experiences and thoughts on how the "information highway" has affected their origami experience, both the positives (such as easier sharing and communicating) and the negatives (such as copyright infringements).

Even within just the last 3 years, I've witnessed the YouTube explosion and growth of blogs and websites and online photo albums.

This comment by SlyNeko is an example of what I'm looking for:
I apologize for getting all touchy-feely here but i just had to point out that this is a great example of the uniqueness of the origami community.....Gadi creates and shares with us all a wonderful and innovative design and takes the time to document the CP....then Nathan lends a helping hand and takes it to the next level for those (like me) that can benefit from extra instruction...and all this in about a day's turnaround.....i think it's encouraging that amidst all the stealing and cheating that goes on, that there are good things that come out of the immediacy of origami on the net....anyway, i'm off to fold this great model....thanks to Gadi, Nathan, and all the great users here which make reading and learning from the posts so much fun...
As well as the thread on origami piracy; and the semi-off-topic discussion going on here. These are topics and issues that are relevant to my article. The existence of the Origami Forum, in itself, is responsible for influencing the lives of origamists around the world; in fostering and cultivating a sense of community and the cross-pollination of ideas and the sharing of our mutual love for the art of paperfolding. If not for the Origami List (Origami-L, O-List), I would not have ever "met" such wonderful people from halfway around the world, such as my longtime friend in Holland, Marrigje. If not for the internet, you would not be reading this blog; nor would I have been able to share my videos for about the last 4 years with the community at large. I think I was one of the first- if not the first- to take advantage of using blogs, as well as YouTube (my first account was suspended- but unfairly! It's a long story...).

Without the internet, I would never have stumbled across a photo of Stephen Delecat's dollar shirt with a tie, and decipher it before diagrams were made available. I would never be able to correspond with so many people, so quickly; to view with a click of the mouse, all the wonderful models they've been folding.

So, please share with me, your thoughts and experiences as how it relates to the evolution of origami, as it's been influenced by the internet. Just leave a comment. I'll try and credit where I can, should I cite you in the article. I suppose this article, in itself will come alive and be made possible by the magical wonders of the internet.

My deadline is May 21st.

Thanks for your time in advance!

*UPDATE* Wrote this to the O-List (I think I phrased some things more clearly and concisely):
I've only been on the internet for maybe the last 7 years. And in that time, I've seen an expansion of websites, the advent of blogs, the rise of YouTube and likeminded video-sharing sites, and an explosion of online photo albums as well as the sharing of ideas and information, thanks to e-mail and public message board forums. There have also been negative consequences, such as copyright infringements.

My question to List members, is:
1)"How has your life become enriched/impoverished/influenced by the technology of the internet, as it relates to origami?"

2)What changes have you witnessed within the origami community, since the internet?

3)Would origami be where it is today, if there wasn't an internet? What was the origami community like, pre-internet and e-mail service?

*UPDATE*04/28/08 Forgot to put this up:
The non-profit organization OrigamiUSA began in the 1970s and 1980s. Back then its primary mission was to communicate origami-related news to its members as well as offer them a way to buy origami books and paper. With the advent of the internet it has become much easier for origami enthusiasts to obtain such information, paper, and model instructions on their own.

Therefore, OrigamiUSA is very interested to know what origami enthusiasts would like from our organization, not only from our current members, but also from non-members.

Click here to go take the OUSA survey.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

This is Why You Don't Task Yami with Working the Camera

Aaargh! I figured all Yami had to do was aim and push the little button. I had about 4 clips of not much of anything that he shot. This was the best of the batch.

Lol...Yami loves my videos; so I just assumed, by now, he'd be a competent filmographer and would know what I am looking for.

Fortunately, I do have some footage of my segment of the on-stage demo at this weekend's Monterey Park Cherry Blossom Festival, as I asked a Festival volunteer if she could film me when I start talking about dollar moneyfolds.

Don't know yet how I should go about editing what I captured this weekend.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

WCOG Meeting April 12, 2008

As a bonus:

Not much in the way of origami; I just found this commercial song "catchy". From what I gathered, Melanie Horsnell (Forever Thursday) wrote it specifically for the commercial, and currently the 30 seconds of music is all there is.

By way of context, Erin and Thea are two gymnasts of mine; after the origami meeting, we stopped at Mitsuwa food court for a bite to eat; then perused the candy aisle in the grocery mart.

The origami at one of the eateries was folded by me (as Thea said, "I can tell Michael comes here.")

*UPDATE* 04/20/2008: Pictures added.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

koi in a Coke Bottle

I sold a few Won Park koi at last weekend's Cherry Blossom Festival. I didn't expect them to sell, but I sold out of what I had stocked (and had one stolen off the table, inside a coke container!). I felt they were expensive to buy (for a regular joe who thinks of paperfolding as "kid's craft" and nothing more), even though from a labor and artist perspective, I sold them on the cheap. Talking with Won after the Festival, I decided to follow his recommendations, which I have been reluctant to do for the sake of "purity"; and that is, to apply a bit of cement (from a gluestick) underneath the scales and the head. I am now sold on the results. I think there is more permanence on the model holding its shape over time and under humid and cold weather; which makes me feel better about people buying them from me. I dip the end of a twist tie (Won uses a toothpick, but I have none in the home) in the gluestick, then spackle it under the scales up top, and inside, underneath, as well as on the crimp in the head. It's well worth the efforts.

One of the biggest problems Won sees in how people are folding his koi, is in rounding out the model. Especially the head. The crimps help; but the fins should probably be folded back sharply, then the two edges bent and rounded together, as if one were going to close the bottom. Of course it won't close together (nor do you really want it to); but it will help round out the shape.

Really, I think the videos show this quite sufficiently well for all the complaints on them not being a tutorial.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Cherry Blossom Festival in Little Tokyo (Part II): Joe Hamamoto's Favorite Model

Joe is king when it comes to folding the David Brill doublestar flexicube. Here, he shows off one he folded out of a calendar.

Cherry Blossom Festival in Little Tokyo (Part I): The Paper Magic of Robert Neale

This video is of Robert Neale's (check this out!) $ fluttering butterfly, as performed by yours truly.

It's a rather long video, and I could definitely edit it down; but I just so enjoy people's reactions, it's hard to cut anything out; plus with so much going on in my regular schedule, I'm a bit impatient (editing is time-consuming). Some of the best reactions I failed to capture on camera (hard to film yourself while performing for an audience).