MonthMarch 2004

More microfiction in Japan

Don’t have time to read this right now (I’m at Last Word right now killing some time on their computer), but it sounds like something I’ve talked about before:

NOVELS DELIVERED TO YOUR PHONE: E-mail Opens New Possibilities for Old Medium

ASCII video (or: Tate is on to something here…)

Tate has a great idea:

Figure out a way to take the output from a tool like hasciicam or ASCIIMoviePlayer or apron and reimport back into a video file, probably as a qt text track, export that to a dv stream for further manipulation in iMovie and eventual output to digital video.

And he’s already figured out how to output video from ASCIIMoviePlayer. Can’t wait to see what he comes up with.

Link-soup 3.13.04

Tom Coates on a difference between wonks and geeks

Fridge mp3s (via Swen)

Know Your Bartender

So much for replacing outsourced jobs with “creative” jobs, eh? (via Creative Generalist)

review of Rem Koolhaas’s magainze Content (via angermann2)

All the reasons I actually preferred Windows 98 to OS9. Do these problems persist in OSX? (thanks Brenden)

New Kenneth Cole ad campaign: “Are You Putting Us On?”

Future-Hi

Technoccult reader Jason Ballowe reminds me that I’ve never linked to Future-Hi.

DEA Approves Trial Use Of Ecstasy in Trauma Cases

Washington Post reports:

Capping a 17-year effort by a small but committed group of activists, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration has agreed to let a South Carolina physician treat 12 trauma victims with the illegal street drug ecstasy in what will be the first U.S.-approved study of the recreational drug’s therapeutic potential.

The Washington Post: DEA agrees to study of street drug ecstasy

(via Weird Pixie

Interactive art and music projects

I need to get my hands on this:

The Audiovisual Environment Suite (AVES) is a set of five interactive systems which allow people to create and perform abstract animation and synthetic sound in real time. Each environment is an experimental attempt to design an interface which is supple and easy to learn, yet can also yield interesting, infinitely variable and personally expressive performances in both the visual and aural domains. Ideally, these systems permit their interactants to engage in a flow state of pure experience.

The AVES systems are built around the metaphor of an inexhaustible and dynamic audiovisual “substance,” which is freely deposited and controlled by the user’s gestures. Each instrument situates this substance in a context whose free-form structure inherits from the visual language of abstract painting and animation. The use of low-level synthesis techniques permits the sound and image to be tightly linked, commensurately malleable, and deeply plastic.

(via Creative Generalist)Very nearly what I’ve imagined here.

Here’s something similar which when I first saw the link, thought was the same project:

PANSE is an acronym and stands for Public Access Network Sound Engine. It’s a streaming audio program with a built-in tcp server. It’s meant to be an open platform for experimental interactive audio-visual netart and is open to all. So-called “modules” (clients) can be created using Flash, Java, Perl or whatever else you can think of. Messages can be sent to it to control the highly flexible audio that is set up as two 16 step sequencers, a monophonic synthesizer and an effects generator. But it also streams out numerical data about the audio being played. This data can be used to control visual representations. It’s very interesting to see how the design of an interface effects the way people interact with such a project. As with my previous projects, PANSE is multi-user based, so if more than one person is interacting with it at the same time, they will see and hear what the others are doing. This is why I prefer to call them modules rather than clients. It’s like a modular synthesizer where seperate units control seperate aspects of what’s going on. In PANSE, not all of the interfaces allow control over all parameters. In fact, currently there is only one interface that allows control over all of the different parameters.

(via Anne)

Two Reads on Psychogeography

This essay, Senses of Place and Urban Studies (via Abe), is dense and covers a lot of ground regarding theories of the cities and place. Very interesting.

Ultimately Sinclair distinguishes himself and his perambulations from those of the flaneur. While the latter strolls aimlessly about the city, idle and undecided, he claims to walk with obsessive, mad purpose. He fashions himself as a ‘stalker’, as someone who walks with a thesis, however crazed, and not the dawdling, browsing manner of the strolling fl?neur (1997: 75). In this he once more references the example of Debord, whose Situationist platform includes the concept of ‘drift’: a calculated movement across the city determined by an absence of proper criteria (Sadler 1998: 81). Hence his exercise with the inscribed letter V or his insistence that the annotations of a map belonging to a vanished man might somehow reveal an occult pattern. The point is to locate fictional alignments: between City churches, telephone boxes, war memorials etc., to find energy lines or paths to be walked, and thus open what he calls ‘a secret history of London’ (1997). By these stalking manoeuvres, Sinclair believes himself capable of taking possession of the city. His walks are intended to unravel a one-dimensional plan.

[…]

So, Basso states that among the Apache wisdom is seen as the outcome of deep reflection upon landscape (76). By observing different places, listening to stories about them and thinking of the ancestors who gave those stories voice, they gain knowledge about how to behave in the world (80). Indeed, the Apache landscape is viewed as a resource through which subjects can modify themselves or alter their thinking (85). In this way, Basso and other anthropologists (cf. Feld 1996, Munn 1973) look to provide ‘ethnography of lived topographies’ (58).

Here’s an Alan Moore interview about Voices of Fire (via Jason):

And it was also born of the conviction that, yes, Northampton is the center of the cosmos. I truly believe that. I also believe that Northampton is nowhere special. I believe that anybody living anywhere upon the face of the globe, if they were to simply take the time and do the research, would find an incredible nest of wonders buried right where they were standing, right in their own backyard. I think that all too often, in the 21st Century, and throughout the 20th Century, we tend to spend our everyday existence walking along streets or driving along streets that we have no real understanding of, even if we see them everyday, and they just become fairly meaningless and bleak blocks of concrete, whereas, if you happen to know that such-and-such a poet was incarcerated inside an asylum upon this street or that such-and-such a murder happened here or that such-and-such a fabulous, legendary queen is buried in this vicinity: all of these little stories, it makes the places that we live much richer if we have a knowledge of these things. All of a sudden, you’re not walking down mundane, dull, everyday streets anymore, you’re walking down fabulous avenues full of wonderful ideas and incredible stories. It just makes living a much richer experience if we can fully appreciate the part of the world that we are living in, and I suppose that is a very long winded answer to why I wrote Voice Of The Fire.

This is what interests me about psychogeography: connecting historic dots. Creating new meaning (or discovering old meaning).

I’m reminded of a story about Kurt Cobain. At Burning Man last year I camped with an Olympia-based musician who knew Cobain before Nirvana. He said he and Cobain used to lie on their stomachs on skateboards and roll down State Ave. starting at Ralph’s Thriftway and going down to around where the AM-PM used to be. You probably won’t find that story in an Olympia tour-guide.

Geo-tagging could be a great aid to this, especially if there are a variety of ways to filter and search the information left in places. First kisses. First cigarettes. Sites of police brutality.

Introduction to Psychogeography

The Headmap Manifesto

aether architecture

induction10

aether architecture is a “design and research collaborative focusing on architecture, digital media, interaction design and related academic teaching. Work is produced on various platforms, in different collaborations.” Here are a couple of interesting physical computing projects: aether induction house and The Responsive Octopus

(think I saw it on Angermann2 first)

The Sidewalk has no Ideology

David Sucher on the politics (or lack thereof) of urban design:

I can easily design a Wal-Mart which was designed as a very urban, “Main Street” building — and was in fact part of a main street — but which hewed to the same labor and purchasing policies it has today, whatever one thinks of those policies. And, btw, that’s a perfect example of the limits of new urbanism. For better or worse, a Wal-Mart built according to new urbanist principles would still be very much a Wal-Mart.)

Mysterious virus may thwart HIV

I just finished reading Gibson’s Virtual Light the other day, then I find this:

Up to six years after their initial HIV-infection, men whose blood contained the second virus – known simply as GB virus C (GBV-C) – were nearly three times less likely to die than HIV-positive men who did not have the secondary infection. Understanding how this virus protects against AIDS and death could suggest new ways to fight HIV infections…

Full Story: New Scientist:

(via Die Puny Humans)

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