October 21, 2005

Agfa Launches :Afirma FlexCam at Ifra 2005

IFRA 2005 > AGFA

Agfa Launches :Afirma FlexCam.
Shown with :Afirma Process Control for CtP, the Universal Video Camera Provides Continuous Hands Free Assurance of Plate Quality.

Agfa announced at Ifra 2005 the addition of :Afirma FlexCam to its :Afirma CtP process-control system. The universal flexible video camera can be adapted to fit onto any belt or roller conveyor to automatically capture and interpret plate control targets. At IFRA, Agfa will demonstrate the FlexCam to capture critical plate quality parameters.

The :Afirma FlexCam automatically captures the plate i.d. in the form of a 2D barcode, which eliminates the need for a separate barcode reader. The FlexCam works in concert with Agfa's :Afirma process-control solution to provide continuous, hands-free assurance of plate quality and CtP production tracking. :Afirma FlexCam will be available in the first quarter of 2006.

About :Afirma.
:Afirma is Agfa's industrial process-control and production tracking solution for digital plate production. Designed for newspapers who manage multiple CtP systems with minimal staff, :Afirma removes the burden of quality assurance by providing complete control of the digital plate-making operation. :Afirma addresses the variables that can affect imaging accuracy - unexpected temperature changes for example, plate and processing variations, or punch and bender misalignments. The Early Warning System automatically monitors and tracks all the parameters that can cause a deviation from the target values. Agfa offers :Afirma in three configurations to meet individual customer requirements:

:Afirma Monitor uses surveillance sensors to continuously monitor the vital signs of the platesetter, processor and punch bender. These include engine readiness, laser power and temperature, transport motor, plate transport, processor variables, image accuracy, punch bender cycle time, engine status, and more.

:Afirma Digital works with the :Afirma FlexCam to check every element that can impede plate performance-from dust particles to emulsion variations.

:Afirma Server combines :Afirma Monitor and :Afirma Digital to provide an all-inclusive complete system solution for process control.

October 20, 2005

Agfa Adds Features to :Arkitex Workflow Solution

IFRA 2005 > AGFA

Agfa Adds Powerful Features to :Arkitex Workflow Solution. New Capabilities Increase Productivity, Quality and Flexibility.

Agfa announced at Ifra 2005 the addition of powerful new features for :Arkitex, the world's number one selling newspaper workflow system. Fan-out adjustment, variable plate furniture, creep adjustment, hard proofing by content and automatic handling of multi-page PDFs are just some of :Arkitex's new capabilities.

:Arkitex is the most popular system because it simplifies workflow automation with advanced production planning techniques and because it is modular and scalable, allowing it to accommodate any size operation.
":Arkitex was developed to provide a flexible workflow management solution that can adjust to the needs of any newspaper. It was designed to be evolutionary so that Agfa can take advantage of the latest advances in technology to continually add new capabilities and to respond newspapers' changing needs. This new release of :Arkitex is a reflection of these goals," said Andy Grant, worldwide business manager for Agfa's newspaper workflow solutions.
The new features are available immediately. Agfa will upgrade :Arkitex users who are under warranty or who have a service contract. All other :Arkitex customers may purchase the upgrade.

New :Arkitex Capabilities.

Fan-out adjustment: 
To ensure best registration and consistent quality, fan-out adjustment allows user-defined page adjustment, per plate template and per colour. In a PS/PDF workflow, these adjustments can include page size scaling as well. Variable Plate Furniture: To increase control and flexibility, this feature allows the placement of furniture on the plate based on the colour contents of the pages. For example, colour marks will appear on the plate only if the first page or the second page on the plate are colour pages. Otherwise the colour marks will not appear on the plate. Other variables such as page number, high/low imposition, even/odd, can be used as well.

Creep Adjustment: 
Creep is when pages in the centre of a book stick out farther than the pages closer to the cover. Creep adjustment automatically positions the pages on the sheet so that after the bindery process the distance between the edge of the page and the edge of the sheet are more consistent.

Hard Proofing by Content: 
Users can automatically define their hard copy proofing needs based on page content, including Advertising or Editorial pages, colour or monochrome content, etc. For example, this allows users to automatically proof all pages with colour editorial or colour advertising.

Automation of Multi-Page PDF Files: 
Users can handle multiple PDF files with minimal intervention. The user merely identifies the pages in the PDF and the engine automatically splits the PDF into separate files. This is a perfect solution for those wanting to increase their productivity when doing commercial work.

Other features include enhanced imager feedback, enhanced messaging between systems, auto re-conversion from colour to monochrome, separation ordering in XML Workflows and more.

The future of Camera phones

Camera phones to represent 90% of total Western European mobile phone shipments by 2009, says IDC.

According to a recent forecast published by IDC, camera phone shipments in Western Europe are set to reach 179 million units in 2009, to constitute just over 90% of total mobile phone shipments. IDC predicts a compound annual growth rate of 8%, slightly higher than the growth forecast for the total mobile phone market, with converged devices positioned as multimedia and imaging solutions expected to demonstrate the largest growth during the forecast period.

"The integrated digital camera has become the most visible illustration to date of the progress of convergence in the mobile market," said Andrew Brown, program manager of IDC's European Mobile Devices service. "2004 witnessed the proportion of handsets with integrated cameras grow to 70% of total Western European mobile phone shipments from just 15% in 2003, illustrating the growing importance of imaging from high-end smart phones down to basic midrange and increasingly low-end mobile phones."

The declining costs of components and manufacturing/production efficiencies will be a key driver of the integrated digital camera into low-end handsets market, according to IDC, while the advent of high-speed networks and technologies such as SIP (session initiation protocol) and IMS (IP multimedia subsystem) will maximize the role of the digital camera in high-end devices as a mechanism central to rich content sharing across fixed and mobile networks and between IP-enabled devices.

However, despite the positive outlook for the future of the integrated digital camera within the mobile phone, IDC advises vendors to exercise caution with regard to the notion of the mobile phone's long-term prospects as a converged alternative to a dedicated digital camera.

"Limitations on component quality caused by the requirement to limit BOM (build of material), costs, and total strain on the battery means the dedicated digital camera will always retain both a quality and cost advantage over the mobile phone," said Geoff Blaber, research analyst, European Mobile Devices. "While camera phones will cannibalize limited demand at the low end of the digital camera market, IDC believes that integrated cameras will largely assist digital camera market growth by alerting a broader demographic to the capability of digital photography."

IDC stresses that the requirement for spontaneous image capture, rich image/video messaging, and increasingly the need for two-way cameras to enable video calling will constitute the primary accelerator of camera phone market development between 2005 and 2009.

October 19, 2005

Apple Introduces Aperture

First All-in-One Post Production Tool for Photographers
CUPERTINO, California—October 19, 2005—Apple® today introduced Aperture, the first all-in-one post production tool that provides everything photographers need after the shoot. Aperture offers an advanced and incredibly fast RAW workflow that makes working with a camera’s RAW images as easy as JPEG. Built from the ground up for pros, Aperture features powerful compare and select tools, nondestructive image processing, color managed printing and custom web and book publishing.
“Aperture is to professional photography what Final Cut Pro is to filmmaking,” said Rob Schoeben, Apple’s vice president of Applications Marketing. “Finally, an innovative post production tool that revolutionizes the pro photo workflow from compare and select to retouching to output.”
“Until now, RAW files have taken so long to work with,” said Heinz Kluetmeier, renowned sports photographer whose credits include over 100 Sports Illustrated covers. “What amazed me about Aperture is that you can work directly with RAW files, you can loupe and stack them and it’s almost instantaneous—I suspect that I’m going to stop shooting JPEGs. Aperture just blew me away.”
Unique compare and select tools in Aperture allow photographers to easily sift through massive photo projects and quickly identify their final selections. Aperture is the first application that automatically groups sequences of photos into easy-to-manage Stacks based on the time interval between exposures. In an industry first, Aperture allows photographers to navigate through entire projects in a full-screen workspace that can be extended to span multiple displays, tiling multiple images side-by-side for a faster, easier compare and select. With Aperture’s Loupe magnifying tool, portions of images can be examined in fine detail without having to zoom and pan across large files. In addition, a virtual Light Table provides the ideal canvas for building simple photo layouts, allowing them to be arranged, resized and piled together in a free-form space.
RAW images are maintained natively throughout Aperture without any intermediate conversion process, and can be retouched with stunning results using a suite of adjustment tools designed especially for photographers. Aperture’s nondestructive image processing engine never alters a single pixel of original photos so photographers have the power and flexibility to modify or delete changes at any point in the workflow. As Aperture allows users to create multiple versions of a single image without duplicating files, photographers can experiment without risk of overwriting the master image or using up large amounts of hard drive space. Aperture images can also be launched directly into Adobe Photoshop for compositing and layer effects.
Aperture features a complete color-managed pipeline with support for device specific ColorSync profiles and a set of high-quality output tools for photographers to showcase their work. Print options include customizable contact sheets, high-quality local printing and color-managed online prints. Aperture provides a deceptively simple layout environment where photographers can quickly create and order custom professional-caliber books and publish stunning web galleries. Aperture makes it easy to back up an entire library of images with a single click and streamline complex workflows with AppleScript® and Automator actions.
Pricing & Availability Aperture will be available in November through the Apple Store® (http://www.apple.com/), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $499 (US). Full system requirements and more information on Aperture can be found at www.apple.com/aperture
Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning desktop and notebook computers, OS X operating system, and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital music revolution with its iPod portable music players and iTunes online music store.

October 18, 2005

Agfa unveiled two new CtP systems for newspaper printers at Ifra 2005

IFRA 2005 > AGFA 

Agfa Expands Violet CtP Range With New Platesetters at More Affordable Cost.
:Advantage Xm and Xs Bring Digital Platemaking to Medium-sized Newspaper Printers.

Agfa unveiled two new CtP systems for newspaper printers at Ifra. The :Advantage Xm and :Advantage Xs bring the benefits of computer-to-plate operations within the reach of newspapers with limited investment capabilities or medium throughput requirements. The new CtP systems are also suitable as backup systems or for printers with hybrid portfolios including semi-commercial work such as supplements and catalogues.

:Advantage Xm (for Manual) and Xs (for Semi-Automatic) are loaded manually. Each offers a throughput of 85 plates per hour and multiple resolutions from 1000 to 2540 dpi. Thanks to their 3-point FleX registration system, they can image any plate format up to 1040 x 690 mm (41 x 25 in.) panorama. :Advantage Xm/Xs work with :Lithostar silver based or :N91v photopolymer plates. The Xs offers online processing using Agfa's LP68/85 or VPP 68/85 processors.

Both models are managed by :Arkitex Newsdrive software to optimise engine speed and reliability. Agfa has also created a full range of specific :Arkitex workflow packages for page pairing, tracking, imposition and RIPping to match the needs of :Advantage Xm/Xs users. 
"As we are unveiling the units at Ifra, we have already taken orders for eight systems to be installed before the end of the year," said Emma Isichei, director of Agfa's newspaper business. "Our customers are telling us that there is a clear need for these more affordable computer-to-plate systems today. With more newspaper installations worldwide than any other vendor, we are now bringing the low cost of ownership and the print quality of violet imaging to printing sites with modest throughput requirements."

This post has been updated

October 12, 2005

Livre - Brésil, l’héritage africain – Musée Dapper, Paris

A propos du livre Brésil, l’héritage africain édité par le Musée Dapper, Paris.


Brésil, l'héritage africain. (c) Musée Dapper La part africaine dans la culture brésilienne est un vaste sujet qui inspira et nourrit encore un nombre important d’études tant au Brésil que dans le monde entier. Cet ouvrage les rend accessibles à tous ceux qui s'intéressent à ce sujet passionnant qui permet une meilleure compréhension de l’art africain et brésilien.

Le livre montre la parenté des productions afro-brésiliennes et des arts de l’Afrique subsaharienne en privilégiant les regards croisés. Dans cette perspective, les auteurs, anthropologues, sociologue, ethno-musicologue et historienne d’art, chercheurs français et brésiliens, ont exploré les données matérielles et spirituelles à la lumière de cet héritage.


  © Musée Dapper, Paris.


L’étude centrale d’Erwan Dianteill se concentre sur les principales religions afro-brésiliennes, candomblé, umbanda et macumba, avec leurs variantes régionales et leurs codes spécifiques, tandis qu’Ismael Pordeus analyse la séquence rituelle du culte de guérison olubajé du candomblé. La transmission des croyances et des mythes se fait notamment par l’intermédiaire des danses,des chants et des instruments de musique qui accompagnent les cérémonies. Xavier Vatin en souligne la dimension sacrée et les origines africaines.

Les moments de communion partagée avec les autres membres, lors des cérémonies ou à l’occasion des festivités, renforcent la cohésion des groupes de fidèles initiés au même culte. Ils transmettent non seulement des valeurs héritées de l’Afrique, mais aussi des codes marqués par le système esclavagiste qui, comme l’explique Roberto Motta, influent sur leur image et sur leur place dans une société encore inégalitaire.

Les systèmes cosmogoniques,les actes cérémoniels afro-brésiliens, trouvent leur justification dans des traditions anciennes. Sans oublier que les esclaves venaient de quelques autres pays d’Afrique, la contribution de Christiane Falgayrettes-Leveau remonte aux sources principales auxquelles se rattachent trois zones culturelles africaines : yoruba (Nigeria, Bénin), fon/ewe (Bénin, Togo) et bantu (République démocratique du Congo,Congo et Angola).

Au Brésil, la proximité et la complémentarité des croyances religieuses font se côtoyer des éléments de l’héritage africain et des figures de saintes et de saints noirs qui trouvent parfaitement leur place sur les autels, comme le montre Vagner Gonçalves da Silva.

Des artistes brésiliens, plasticiens et photographes dont les démarches originales sont évoquées par Joëlle Busca, puisent une part de leur inspiration dans les pratiques religieuses, à l’instar du Béninois Cyprien Tokoudagba pour le vodun.

Brésil, l’héritage africain est édité sous la direction de Christiane Falgayrettes-Leveau, directeur du musée Dapper, et avec la collaboration scientifique d’Erwan Dianteill, anthropologue,maître de conférences à l’EHESS, Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales.


Brésil, l’héritage africain
Sous la direction de Christiane Falgayrettes-Leveau
Musée Dapper
Septembre 2005
256 pages - 24 x 32 cm
200 illustrations dont 180 en couleurs
Relié sous jaquette
Prix de vente public : 40 euros
ISBN : 2-915258-14-7
Version brochée, vente exclusive à la librairie du musée Dapper
Prix de vente public : 24 euros
ISBN : 2-915258-15-5

35, rue Paul Valéry
75116 Paris

October 5, 2005

Jim Hodges This Line To You CGAC Spain


Art Exhibition


This Line to You

CGAC - Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea   
Santiago de Compostela, Spain


Coming of artistic age in the early 90s, American artist Jim Hodges eschewed the irony and cynicism that prevailed in much of the art of the 80s and helped usher in a new era in art making that embraced beauty, intimacy and sincerity. Humming with soul, his works are sourced in his own life even as they open onto the universality of human experience.

Organized by New York-based, independent curator, Susan Harris, Jim Hodges: this line to you brings together 22 definitive works in order to explore the diversity and interconnectedness of an oeuvre that resists categorization or signature style. The exhibition highlights Jim Hodges’ well-known napkin, web and flower pieces as well as forays into other media that correspond to a journey of cultivating a personal vision and a facility for expressing it in disparate material languages. His ongoing experimentation is represented at CGAC in drawing, painting, sculpture, video, mirror, glass, photography, gold leaf, light bulbs, scarves, words—media and materials that serve his uncompromising commitment to process.

The context for this line to you is Santiago de Compostela, a legendary pilgrimage destination since the 9th century discovery there of relics of the Apostle and martyr, St. James—a city whose light, shadows and mystical aura are in keeping with qualities in Hodges’ work. The light-filled museum and adjacent 13th century church are the specific settings for works that are revealed anew along with their maker in a complex rhythm of overlapping and intersecting paths. As contrasting yet complimentary settings for Hodges’ art, the contemporary art museum and the medieval church underscore and illuminate the dualities inherent in the contents of the exhibition itself—of light and dark, of private and public, of hidden and exposed, of natural and artificial, of ethereal and material, of visual and textual, of abstract and representational.

Drawing is at the heart of Hodges’ practice and the exhibition. Sourced in the core of his being, it is a fundamental activity that manifests itself in a multitude of forms. He shares with artist-poet Richard Tuttle a reliance on drawing as a habitual preoccupation involving vigilant observation and a belief in drawing as the realm in which ideas are born and grow. Tuttle’s liberation of drawing from timeworn concepts of line, surface, color and space helped pave the way for Hodges’ own investigations that start with drawing and include painting, sculpture, collage, photography, poetry, sound, installation and video. Their mutual, expansive conception of drawing is reliant upon an active partnership with the materials of their art that, in turn, optimizes the power and breadth of expression in the work. Sustaining poetic insights, an openness to materials, and an active engagement with viewers,

Jim Hodges’ art is accessible to a wide public even as it springs from a personal quest for greater understanding of the natural world, the culture, humanity and his self. Jim Hodges: this line to you is occurring at an ideal moment in Hodges’ career as the work continues to evolve in eloquent forms and directions, and is recognized by a growing international audience as an intricate, elusive and potent expression that speaks of personal and universal truths.

The show will be accompanied by a fully illustrated publication designed in collaboration with the artist. It will include a text by the curator that will examine Hodges’ art and art-making practices in light of the personal and external forces with which his output is inextricably bound. It will also feature a fiction and essay by the renowned American novelist and essayist, Lynne Tillman.

Susan Harris, who curated this exhibition,  is a curator and writer of contemporary art. She has a Master’s Degree in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. Her recent curatorial projects include a Nancy Spero exhibition at the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea as well as two Richard Tuttle exhibitions at the MuseuSerralves in Porto, Portugal and at Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea, respectively. She authored the publications that accompanied these exhibitions-- Nancy Spero: Weighing the Heart Against a Feather of Truth and Richard Tuttle: Memento/cENTER. Prior to this she was a curator of The American Century: 1950-2000 at the Whitney Museum of American Art. She is a contributing writer for Art in America.

Susan Harris, NYC, June 2005

Jim Hodges: this line to you

CGAC - Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea   
Santiago de Compostela, Spain

October 18, 2005 - January 8, 2006

October 4, 2005

Minox DMP-1 Digital Media Player

The Minox DMP-1 is a pocket-sized digital photo album, MP3 player / recorder and FM radio in one tiny package.
Its weighs in at just 62 grams and fits into almost any pocket thanks to its compact dimensions of 75x52x15mm. Incorporating a digital photo album, MP3 player and recorder, FM radio, digital sound equalizer, E-book facility for storing and viewing text files and a selection of pre-installed games to play. A metal body with practical and well-situated controls completes the attractive look of the DMP-1. A central thumb-controlled joystick for easy menu navigation, and a surrounding array of buttons gives the user full control over all functions. The menu navigation on the display is simple and intuitive.
The integrated flash memory of 512 MB and an SD/MMC slot for cards of up to 1GB capacity give the Minox DMP-1 a maximum capacity for storing up to 18 hours of music, or up to 30,000 digital photos. Images can be viewed on the 2 inch pin-sharp LCD display and paged through as if using an electronic photo album, or the images can be conveniently and automatically presented using the slide mode – JPG, BMP or LGO files are supported. Downloading or uploading of images and music files is simple using the USB to PC interface thus making it the equivalent of a mini portable hard drive. The USB port and cable doubles as a means of recharging the integrated battery simply by plugging it into a laptop or desktop computer. With a fully charged battery the DMP-1 is ready to play music, record sound, play games or show photos for up to 12 hours.
The DMP-1’s MP3 player and FM radio facility offers a user-defined choice of listening through the earphones supplied, and with the digital sound equalizer it can be fine-tuned to the user’s liking. Preset equalized modes include rock, classical, pop and ‘live’ to name just a few. An on-board digital recorder allows the recording of MP3 files and the direct line-in socket allows radio programs to be recorded and stored. The incorporated microphone can be used for voice recordings. Accessories accompanying the Minox DMP-1 include a USB and Line-In cable, earphones, CD-Rom and manual.
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