Black Hair Documentary (or, how to navigate the internet through passive surfing)

Douglas Edric Stanley


I stumbled upon this documentary thanks to a process I have luckily been able to use more and more frequently: passive surfing. I have been interested in this idea recently for a work I’m currently preparing to unleash; that is, whenever I can get the kinks worked out. But until then, here is the current method I use to find interesting people to surf for me: in a nutshell, find people who think I’m interesting. Various robots inform me more or less accurately on who is linking to my blog, or saying something nice or less nice about me ;-). Of course in the totally random field, there are also robot spam aggregators making amazing phrases such as this one: « she was raised in silicon valley, douglas edric stanley has been shot dead by an amoral will to power. » (Oh robots, how you shine so brilliantly in your madness). Once I’ve decided on the juciest bit, I then go onto those links and see what else those people are looking at. Nine times out of ten these people are following an amazing plethora of subjects and media genres. In the above case, I was led to African-American hairstyles via the following path:

Ecrans - Playlist vidéo #1 par Douglas Edric Stanley > Rhizome (via Hanne Mugaas) > Billy Liar’s Bookmarks > YouTube - Aron Ranen’s Black Hair Documentary Part One

Of course, we all do this already, but it would be interesting to have a tool to make that expanding network more readable. My solution doesn’t really do that, but I’m sure someone else already has something like that already. I haven’t really been following the blog visualisation and navigation tools enough. So maybe I’m not really saying anything interesting here. To be honest with you, I really just wanted to find an excuse to talk about Korean-American and African-American race relations through hair products.

Original Comments:

2007-05-23 15:44:39


Randomly while searching for articles on African-American hair I ran across your site and this video. This is a very disheartening trend and I wish the video was longer and more in depth. Business is business, but it seems like a ethnic monopoly on the distribution business. Is that legal?

In terms of race relations I am sure there is an underlying hostility. But you can’t bite the hand that feeds you, so to speak.