Marvellous. I like wooden pixels.
1) wooden pixels.
By Han Lee, who also did the music… mainly seems to do digital stuff – website, but actual physical reality is a whole lot more interesting – even if it isn’t immediately apparent what it’s actually for. It does have to be for anything man. It just is. Not dissimilar to yourself in a lot of ways. I mean what are YOU actually for? Hmm? Yea, exactly. Fuck all.
Started out with lego versions
Still not entirely sure how it’s done – the lego ones are servos… wooden, I’m not so sure. I’d do it with linear actuators or whatever they’re called. Solenoids. That would make the entire thing cost about 320 dollars minimum though. Maybe I should try rolling my own. I’ve been thinking about making my own guitar pickups for a while now. Same thing innit.
Wonderful flying boats that look as light as a feather etc
Spectacular photos – the drone has a camera on top… which is unusual for drones. Seems odd that they’ve left a tripod adaptor on top as well. If that’s what it is. Interesting that they brought it down with a jammer though. I would have used a crossbow, but then I’m a traditionalist.
There are a bunch of them on Kickstarter at the mo…. the price of them is coming down fairly dramatically – much the same as 3D printers did… but I’m guessing like printers (and PCs), (and DSLRs), there will be a “state of the art” price level around $1k (with $20k for pros), because that’s what the market will stand.
The kickstarter ones are:
Neither of which are waltzing home yet – the latter one’s USP is that it’s water-proof… or will be. Getting there though. I like these things.
Speaking of which, there’s some musing here about whether or not microcopters might be better with one big rotor and a load of small ones... which may or may not be the case, but they mentioned this video of a single rotor RC copter. Holy fuck
Which is a thing that physically reproduces “shapes” albeit in a low-res sort of way…
… which is a bit of an insult to the creators… 900 actuators is a LOT of actuators.
I saw this thing in an art gallery in the UK once… which was a walkway of thin planks on the ground – that moved when someone in Amsterdam walked across a similar, sister-walkway. This is kindof like that, but a whole lot better.
Actuators don’t come cheap though – it’d probably be cheaper just to use the mechanical turk method:
And have a small person sitting inside it – although controlling 900 pixels at a time could be tricky.
Elsewhere in the world of physical pixels:
1) Quantum leap in the manufacture of 3D printed guns, albeit one that would cost more than one made using standard metallurgy. How much an untraceable gun costs, I wouldn’t know. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
This is a “making of an advert” video. Can’t be arsed with the advert itself because they’ve CGId it, so you can’t tell what’s an electromechanical marvel, and what’s just a digital drawing. Which I guess is an electromechanical marvel in it’s own right, but we’re bored with that now. You’ve got to have this standing-wave vacillation between fantasy and reality. Too much fantasy and we lose interest. We need to swing back to the felt presence of immediate experience as it were. It’s how art works, it’s how porn works. Jessica Rabbit vs The Girl Next Door.
Although as far as I’m aware, they haven’t actually gotten the thing to go yet – and it’s looking like a fairly daring bit of vapourware at this point, given extra traction by the fact that the surname of the makers is Vader.
Okay, there it is. Year Of Our Lord, 2013, somewhere near the end, somewhere near the beginning. Floods here now, fires across the pond in Australia, America. I’m sitting here, nearly 50 (not quite (49)), in my parents basement, battling with all sorts of mild and inconsequential addictions, waiting for my laser-cutter to make the things that people bought from me off the internet, when I was asleep last night.
I’ve become interested in magic again… used to be into this when I was 14, now it’s back – except this time round I actually practice it, in my own idiosyncratic way. Art and Magic are the same thing. It’s about manipulating (for want of a better word) “habit”… it’s about sensitivity to latency, and the easiest angle into either of these is art.
(sensitivity to latency)
So I’m doing more art – and it has (more so than before) a specific intent. It’s basically sigil-magic made into something worth making whether the sigil magic works or not.
WTF? You may think. Nick’s lost the plot. He always was a bit suspect, but now he’s gone completely hatstand, LOL.
Well, maybe… my background is science. I have a BSc… my sympathies are with analysis, and intellectual checkability. I can’t bear flakey new-agers. They drive me mad. I don’t “believe” things – I have (instead) suspicions, doubts, theories. But I’m an artist too, in a half-arsed sort of way, and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it works, but not the way I thought it would. Sometimes it’s a total failure, but at least you get a good story out of it.
If I had to nail magic down, I’d say that “Magic is a way of experiencing that which lies outside The Matrix”. And The Matrix is the internal reality-modelling system that our brains use to make sense of what comes in via our senses, the experience of “oneself” within which, is what we know as consciousness. Consciousness is not actually that big a deal.
That which lies beyond The Matrix however is. The glittering 11-dimensional, infinity of photons and quarks and bosons and morons etc. Fields and patterns. It’s tempting to picture it as random, but it clearly isn’t. Beyond/behind the mirror of art and psychedelics – call it what you like… if anything is magic, that’s it.
It’s big. Way too big for a word like magic (which has been trivialised by xtians et al), but for now magic will have to do. It is what it is.
And I suspect, that the manipulation of that which lies beyond the matrix, and art are the same thing. The nice thing about art and magic being the same thing, is that you can tell yourself “Well, if it doesn’t work, at least I’m left with a nice bit of art to hang up somewhere”. Trouble is, it does seem to work. So far.
Not everything that happens, falls within the scope of measurable repeatability. There are whole species of phenomena, which only happen once, and are highly immune to any kind of objective measurability. “The First Time You Fall In Love” for example. One of the most important things that will ever happen to you, and entirely outside the realm of science. The measurable aspects of this phenomena (that you can imagine university psychology departments attempting to get a handle on) are so anaemic compared to the felt experience of the actual event… it’s outside repeatable measurability, and it’s just one of many, many, extremely important phenomena.
But although immune to analysis via the scientific-method, these phenomena are still experienceble, describable, and manipulable. They have more to do with patterns of latency and probability than Cartesian/Newtonian cause-and-effect. And… IF there are such things as patterns of latency… fields of probability, that make themselves felt in areas where quantum indeterminacy is felt… then the giant leap is this: Maybe Cartesian/Newtonian cause-and-effect themselves are not separate sets of laws, but are themselves very very strong/deep patterns of latency.
“STFU you rudderless hippie. Why are you going on about this? Have you been smoking the curtains again? Where is the technology? Where are the Open Tabs?”
Well… that’s it. Open Tabs. I have accumulated a large number of Open Tabs of new tech developments, and the simple fact is, I can’t possibly keep up. When I started writing this blog about 5 years ago, every couple of days, something new and interesting would turn up. Now it’s almost too fast to count let alone write about. Dozens every day, and they’re just the things that cross my own, limited, subset-of-the-whole, radar.
Things are becoming complex. Human knowledge is expanding at a rate of exponentiality that is now beginning to resemble more of an explosion than a hill. True, very few of these miracles actually seem to hit the ground… ie: “become products”, but I’m increasingly getting this feeling that my current patterns of negotiating this landscape (ie: direct, cause-and-effect-based conscious control) are less suited to what is emerging, than the loose, open-minded drift that works best for negotiating an acid trip.
When there’s too much information, I try to go meta. Well… if you go meta far enough, then you find yourself standing outside science. Do with that, what thou wilt.
I’ll get back to the tabs later.
For a while… before I really knew anything, or had thought about it properly, I was of the opinion that if laws were made that impinged upon the freedom of Art, then Art would deliberately create things that were explorations of what was only just legal… things that broke the spirit, but not the letter of the law. Or vice-versa. The gap between the spirit and the letter of the law is where art plays.
Art who’s responsibility it is to wake people from the dream, must remain distinct from the dream.
So… this is a bunch of stuff revolving around that. The Gap.
This is an art piece rather than an actual thing… it’s an exploration of bio-punk. DIY Bio used for maximum disruption, revolving around a manifesto
It reminds me a bit of this nagging doubt I have about the military using “ethical machines” to do their killing etc. Probably a good idea – because atrocities are created by people losing their shit – the Stamford prison experiment inflicted on an entire nation… but if you can make ethical military machines, you can also make unethical ones… which will be made, and will be used – as punishment etc. Because protection rackets are all about being able to horrify with violence – and when the state becomes criminal (as it is rapidly becoming), then it is basically just a protection racket.
This is a project where expired patents are found, and turned into digitised objects.
I’ve got a better idea – how about a site that scrapes the existing “live” patent database, and provides a mechanism where punters can offer a “bounty”… for someone to create a digitised, digital-fabbable file of the patented object. When the bounty gets high enough for it to be worthwhile, a freelancer can create the digital file(s).
This is not dissimilar to the bounty system that is being proposed for pharmaceutical research – so diseases that affect huge numbers of poor people attract the attention of R&D budgets – rather than the situation we currently have – where the resources going into R&D are dissipated and tainted by “IP”… ie: they go into high-profit drugs like viagra, 1/2 of the money is spent trying to circumvent the “IP” of other companies, data/research is not shared, and the bulk of the cost of medicine goes on marketing.
“IP” itself is a disease that cripples creative ecosystems by sitting like a tapeworm on the money supply. There are other ways of doing it.
The Cradle of Democracy, now the cradle of Nazism 1.05 – It’s tempting to say “Nazism 2.0″, but what the Greek Nazis are doing isn’t 2.0 – it’s a pathetically predictable throwback.
Anyway – Mesh Networks have been springing up in Greece… they’re faster (a lot faster) than telecom-provided networks, and are free of the corporatist/NSA-led evils that have been attacking the wider internet. I have this vague suspicion that the future of the web will not be single computers attached to one giant network, so much as single devices playing in sub-networks which may or may not be attached to one giant network. I mean if every switch/chip in your house has an IP address (and that seems increasingly likely), then there’s really no good reason they should be accessible to the web at large. It’d be good to have remote access I guess…and aggregation of huge amounts of data can be really useful, but really – it’s none of anyone else’s business.
And that’s aside from the benefits of private local communication that aren’t spied on by our increasingly oppresive and criminal governments.
So I’m suspecting we’re going to see a rebirth of the intranet. It’s similar to the 1/2 century long ebb and flow between mainframe/thin-client and local info-power-house.
“The Cloud” is every inch a mainframe system – and it’s the wet dream of authoritarians. When I worked for Ernst and Young in the mid 1990s they used a system called “sabre”, which basically ran desktop machines as thin clients – the end-user and no control of their own machines. Then all the partners started using laptops, and it all went out the window. “The Cloud” is sold to us as a convenience, but really it’s about control. And know what? Fuck control.
I live in a small town – out in the suburbs. From here I can see 3 other wifi connections. At the cafe I hang out in in town, I can see about 20. If there was a natural (or more likely, unnatural) disaster, we could really, really do with a local mesh-network… and we’ve got one, but we’ve crippled it. It’s an evolved lunacy.
Mind you, the solution probably isn’t going to be some sort of “share part of your bandwidth” deal. It’s likely to be some appliance based on something like this:
Which is an arduino with (very) strong encryption and a 1km communication range… combined with something like this
Which is a laser-cut, DIY cellphone
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if something turned up that teenagers started using, to be under the radar of adults… once they twig that a smartphone is basically a nanny-in-your-pocket.
On that subject, Apple have just patented the capability of allowing “authorities” to disable all cellphones in a given area. Here’s the picture
I’ve been warning about Apple for years. This sort of thing is utterly inevitable. The surprise is not that “potential” tech-authoritarianism gets abused, but how fast it gets abused.
Any politician that seeks to censor the internet automatically signals their illegitimacy and must be removed from office. No election required. Censoring the internet should be regarded the same way as trying to organise a military coup or assassinate political rivals.
There’s a report on a “censor the internet conference” here – which without a hint of irony, talks about “Eurasia”. Lest we forget, in the 20th C, governments rounded up and murdered 120 million of their own citizens. The worst offenders were Russia and China… who are the superpowers behind this conference. Also in attendance are various brutal crackpot dictatorships, including Uzbekistan(?) where the British Ambassador was forced to resign because he whistle-blew on the state boiling people alive.
We should give absolutely zero quarter to politicians and organsiations in our own countries attempting to move in the same direction. Meantime, we need to build systems that render their efforts to contain “unauthorised” information moot.
To that end, I think we need to work on language.
Something that immediately struck me about this thing from Julian Assange
Is the phrase “Corruption of Purpose”. He uses this phrase describe the global disease affecting democracies “Politicians are supposed to represent citizens, they say whatever the hell it takes to get elected, and then they represent the interests of powerful elites”. There’s something about fitting it into “a name”, that gives it a kind of power. I know “To name something is to have done with it”, but it also kindof wraps it up as “a truth”.
I think we need to be permanently in the process of creating names… creating the names that are used to describe the info-wars.
4) But back to art:
Art playing the gap between the spirit and the letter of the law. A “commissioned piece”… though there is virtually nowhere on the planet where you could do that legally. Reminds me of Damien Hurst’s diamond skull
… which also plays in the gaps, given that although he was claiming it was worth $100,000,000, actually appears not to have sold, and in reality might just have been a really expensive publicity stunt – although not that expensive, as diamonds and platinum have intrinsic value that doesn’t deteriorate over time. Blood diamonds? Blood cocaine? who knows. Bad idea. I just know I’d eventually find myself (morning knifing through the curtains) looking at a room full of debris, and the realisation that sometime in the last 24 hours, I’d snorted my own skull.
The truth is though, that art plays in the gap at the edge of reality… and if reality is proscribed by law, art will bee-line to it, almost as a matter of definition. Almost algorithmally – that’s what it’s for. Art Rock is louder than Metal. Experience trumps doctrine.
I quite like this as well
which is a solar-charger for a Volvo, which will never in a million years actually be made.
There’s quite a lot of interesting stuff on their website… if you can get it to work.
I quite like this digitally fabricated stuff. It’s what happens when artists get little factories of their own.
I’ve decided to start doing art again – although to be fair, I never really stopped, I just slowed down, and went off on a tangent. Actually I kindof started on a tangent. I never really knew what I was doing… but now I sortof do I think.
Sometimes (if you’re really off your tits) when you talk to the face of the deep, it replies. And the answer to the question “?” was “Do it for Art”.
So maybe I’ll do that for a bit. I’m not going to argue with The Face of The Deep man… and besides, I’m so bored I’m starting to see double.
I think Art and Magic are the same thing – and I’m not alone in that. They converge on attempting to manipulate the matrix… the underlying neural creode-plex. So what do you paint? You paint how you want to feel. Leave hell to the damned. Paint heaven. It’s better for the soul. So I’ll try to do that, but probably just do what I’m told to.
So apropos of that, here’s a bunch of art that’s been gradually accumulating the tab-stack. I won’t do anything that looks like this… but I like the level of random.
Good to see priests doing something a bit radical. If priests were a bit radical, and actually on our side, and if they pursued and promoted experienciality rather than dogma and doctrine, everyone would support them. Only they don’t. It’d be good to have a class of people who’s job it was to negotiate the maelstrom to come… but it’s not going to be priests, because they don’t take drugs. All their stuff is just made up stories.
Still, there it is.
AMAZING WHIRLY THINGS (there are loads of them)
I particularly like the mirror matrix that sends little butterflies of light zooming round the garden. You could use it to talk, or set fire to things from a distance… which I imagine feels a bit like god must feel, when he’s a thousand mirrors, all flickering and dancing and occasionally acting together to set fire to stuff.
I can’t tell if they’re CGI or not – I don’t think they are… the people look like the ghosts edited into architectural plans… so beloved of the New Aesthetic thing… which may have run its course by now, if it ever existed at all. Maybe it was just one guy. Hard to say. I wasn’t really paying attention at the time, and am not (to be fair) really paying attention now.
Okay – confession: I haven’t actually looked at this one at all, so I don’t know what it is, or if it’s any good. A surprise then.
This one isn’t really art… which is to say, “art” isn’t its original context, but I’ve transplanted it, and called it art. So that’s what it is now. I’m really into the backwaters of anthropomorphism. Machines that Self-Doubt. Shy Fountains
Not art either. Still… Brrr….
Which unfortunately looks like it’s in the sort of bar that arseholes like to hang out in. Dancing Smoothies. You know the type. Progress Bar is a good name for a geek bar though. The Brighton Geeks were going to call their bar thing that at one point.
I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a video of this somewhere, but danged if I can find it now.
In future all clouds will be responsive. Everyone will have their own cloud, that follows them round, undermining them and filling them with fear and self-doubt etc… and the weird thing is, that people will actually pay for the privilege. People who don’t have these clouds will be ostracised, and basically not trusted etc by everyone else. People will also have wings, but they won’t work. They’re just there for decoration.
Horrible 3D Printed art, after the Baroque Fashion.
Which ought to appeal to people (Like me) who have a fractal phobia. This is an example of what I was on about before re: Wealth and Taste… although it’s art for art’s sake, rather than trying to suck up to the wealthy, so is actually pretty cool. The video offers a glimpse into the generative process… which I’m a bit of a fan of as well.
Anyway, that’s enough for now. Forgive the typos, I’m not going to check this. Or even read it I guess. All we are is dust in the wind dude. It’s perma-ephemerality. Anyway, my laptop’s nearly out of batteries.
This is quite cool – although the outcome does look like some sort of spaghetti-cooking accident… and there’s something a bit 1980s about it. It’s all a bit “visage”… and that era seriously fucking sucked.
I think the process is interesting though – mainly because generative art is capable of doing things that the human imagination can’t do… (or doesn’t, for whatever reason). A computer generating patterns is a box thinking outside the box. I think I might start playing with this myself. Some of the very first computer programs I wrote when I was a kid back in 1979 were generative art.
As patterns printed onto paper, they’re interesting… but not that good – translated into 3D materials though, they’re something else altogether… especially if they can be made in metal… which with these masks I guess you’d do via lost-wax casting. I seem to recall there’s some sort of 3D plastic than can be melted away etc.
Meanwhile, there’s a new 3D printer on the radar that looks like it might be crossing the divide from “clunky DIY” to “Slick Consumer Product like Apple Might Have Designed”
On kickstarter, pulling in about 10x the funding they were after – almost a million dollars from 2300 punters… the Thousand True Fans principle seemingly in operation.
So this might be the printer that crosses over into the mainstream – allowing people to find out that these things for all the hype, are really not that useful, and that 3D design is fucking hard. I bet this is the lifecycle of 99% of them:
1) open box. get it all to work
2) print out plastic rabbit, that came as an example
3) try to print a couple of more ambitious things from thingiverse. They don’t come out very well
4) spend 2 days trying to understand one of the free 3D design packages
5) printer sits on desk doing nothing for 3 months
6) printer gets put in cupboard forever.
Betcha. All sorts of comparisons are made to “computers in the 1980s”, but these are not computers. Computers were driven by games, not by “useful stuff you could do”.
Which isn’t to say that the wave of hype is going to fade any time soon… and it may just be that a catalyst falls into the brew which makes these machines “must have systems”. I’ve yet to see a killer-app though.
Laser cutters are a lot more useful. Only trouble is, they’re big and dangerous. And the software is crap.