Subtle Technologies Conference
Speaking of Canada, there's an annual conference in Toronto, coming up this June 1-4, entitled Subtle Technologies. The conference attempts to blur the boundaries between art and science, with a focus this year on responsive environments, especially in terms of sound. It sounds like a great conference, it will be interesting to see who the presenters will be.
Calculate Your Purchases in Barrels of Oil
Michael Mandiberg, an net artist, has created Oil Standard, a plugin for Mozilla Firefox that converts any price on any web page you're viewing into barrels of oil. This is the first time I've noticed (maybe you have another example) this type of artistic use of what is normally a very pragmatically used scripting tool (Greasemonkey). You'll need three things to have this petroleum-based fun:
Visualizing Flight Patterns
In the processing exhibition currently is a piece by Aaron Koblin called Flight Patterns. Koblin took FAA flight data and mapped it in several different ways to create some really amazing visuals. Be sure to check out the videos.
Info-elevators by Ben Rubin
We Make Money Not Art, a great blog reporting on the world of media arts, has a post about the elevators in the new Caesar Pelli designed Minneapolis Public Library. Designed by Ben Rubin, in collaboration with David Small, the elevators (two of them) will be fitted with LED screens that display the titles of items recently checked out.
WMMNA Post (Be sure to check out the link to the animation.)
For more library info-art, check out George Legrady's Making the Invisible Visible, a series of LCD screens for the Seattle Public Library that display analysis of the data stream from the library's circulation servers.
It's of course a big perk to have fancy graphics in a fancy new building, but there's something at least a little deeper going on in projects like this. Info displays like Rubin's and Legrady's add another layer to the architecture of these libraries by exposing the otherwise hidden structure and flow of data that represents the library's role in a more immediate and intimate way. These installations tell the story of the exchange of information between public and public institution far more easily and directly than the physical structure of the library building could express. The glass and steel and brick still needs to be there to offer (increasingly rare) public space and keep those books dry, but revealing the previously obscured sub-structure of circulation data lets people in on the real workings and purpose of their library. Maybe by doing that libraries can convince us that they are a still necessary and vital part of our culture and environment.
Free Studio Space in Minneapolis
Artists in Minneapolis, listen up. If you're in need of studio space, the Soap Factory has a great deal for you. If you volunteer as little as 8 hours of your time, you qualify to stake your claim to studio space upstairs in their building for free! Anyone who's rented studio space knows that this is a tremendous deal. Added benefits are creating art among a lot of other artists and being involved in an amazing volunteer and community based arts organization. If you're not familiar with the Soap Factory, do yourself a favor and check out some of their shows. Then take some time and volunteer to help set up a show, even if you're not interested in the studio space, it's really great fun.
Posted on 11:39 AM by westr015 Art
Speaking of reactive spaces, Jody Zellen has a new piece at the Pace Gallery called Trigger . It's similar to the project Jessica and I were working on for the Elise Co workshop in that it's a projection of human forms into a space. The pdf has a good explanation of the project.
Posted on 10:45 AM by westr015 Art
Elise Co Lecture
I'm taking these notes straight to the blog today during Elise Co 's lecture today at CALA . Elise is a graduate of the MIT Media Lab who is currently working as a consultant combining electronic/computational ideas into day to day experience. She'll be teaching a workshop over the next couple of days that I'll be participating in. I will be writing about the experience over the next few days here.
Topic: Reactive Space
- Using the computer to automate all different kinds of media.
- Light-up shoes - change color depending on a person's behavior - a personal color for each wearer - kinetic light
- Lumiloop - a modular system of display panels that can be linked together into a bracelet - link these panels together to define the behavior of the displays
- Puddlejumper - a raincoat that lights up as raindrops hit its surface - simple silkscreened switches on the coat - indiglow lights
- Materiality of technology - softening technology, integrating into frabric, etc. - handcrafted qualities, roughness vs. precision
- Elise's "factory" is her one bedroom apartment in Switzerland - programming station, assembly/sewing station, soldering/wiring station
- How the timeline of a project works - calm in the middle, scrambling at the beginning and end - finished the puddlejumper 10 minutes before the FedEx guy took it away
- Samsung project - issues of space, as opposed to devices - branding project for Samsung - custom designed lamps with color changing LED s - 42 of them! - placed around the various Samsung products - each lamp measured the popularity of each product, both in the physical space and a website associated with the showroom
- Recent explorations of kniting
Link: Elise Co
Posted on 12:43 PM by westr015 Art
Speed and Sketching
The Whitney ARTPORT has a new net.art piece from John F. Simon, Jr. called Mobility Agents . It's a sketching tool that is influenced by the speed of the sketcher's movements and several different configurations of lines. Now available online for playing.
Posted on 1:45 PM by westr015 Art