Amidst all the attention given to the sciences as to how they can lead to the cure of all diseases and daily problems of mankind, I believe that the biggest breakthrough will be the realization that the arts, which are considered “useless,” will be recognized as the whole reason why we ever try to live longer or live more prosperously. The arts are the science of enjoying life.
John Maeda


Art is the most complex, vitalizing and civilizing of human actions. Thus it is of biological necessity. Art sensitizes man to the best that is immanent in him through an intensified expression involving many layers of experience. Out of them art forms a unified manifestation, like dreams which are composed of the most diverse source material subconsciously crystallized. It tries to produce a balance of the social, intellectual and emotional existence; a synthesis of attitudes and opinions, fears and hopes. Art has two faces, the biological and the social, the one toward the individual and the other toward the group. By expressing fundamental validities and common problems, art can produce a feeling of coherence. This is its social function which leads to a cultural synthesis as well as to a continuation of human civilization. Today, lacking the patterning and refinement of emotional impulses through the arts, uncontrolled, inarticulate and brutally destructive ways of release have become commonplace. Unused energies, subconscious frustrations, create the psychopathic borderline cases of neurosis. Art as expression of the individual can be a remedy of sublimation of aggressive impulses. Art educates the receptive faculties and it revitalises the creative abilities. In this way art is rehabilitation therapy through which confidence in one’s creative abilities can be restored.
László Moholy-Nagy, Vision in Motion, Chicago 1947, p.28.


Dangerous Popsicles

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Dangerous Popsicles are a collection of weird shaped popsicles inspired by cacti and life-threatening viruses. What will happen when we put these dangerous things on one of our most sensitive organs, our tougues? Does pain really bring pleasure? Is there beauty in user-unfriedly things?

Dangerous Popsicles create a unique sensory experience. Before tasting with your tongue, you first taste with your eyes and mind. The popsicles are nothing but water and sugar, but ideas of deadly viruses and the spikiness of cacti are enough to stimulate your senses, even before your first taste.

I love projects like this. From an adults perspective their might be hesitation to eat something with a form like this but I see kids, who are far more open, loving it.


Chromophore, Lumophore

Projected onto the dome of the Kaluga Planetarium and Space Museum in Russia, Chromophore, Lumophore – “a fixed media work, explored(s) the potential for inter-modal colour-shape-sound synergies to create an abstract narrative of architectonic forms in relation to sound. A lumophore is an atom or atomic grouping in a chemical compound that manifests luminescence”.

The projected version looks wonderful.


The Listening Cloud

A data-driven light sculpture that visualizes social media conversation in real time. Installed in the lobby of RPA, it is a continuous display of the buzz around client brands.


PAINTWORK – A brief glimpse of our augmented reality future

New Scientist’s Arc Magazine and science fiction author Tim Maughan are proud to announce the online debut of the low budget, experimental short film Paintwork. Set in near-future Bristol – the British city known internationally for spawning Banksy – it follows augmented reality graffiti artist 3Cube as she illegally transforms an all-too familiar advertising billboard into a work of high tech street art, and poses questions about the relationships between technology, advertising and the control of public spaces.


Inkscapes

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Inkscapes is an interactive drawing performance designed for the 120 by 11 feet video wall at the InterActive Corps (IAC) building in New York.

The content of the installation is dynamic and different every time it runs: three artists create it live, by drawing on an iPad that scales their sketches to the unexpected magnitude of the giant screen. The narrative is guided through the dialog between performers and the system itself, which evolves and transforms the drawings over time.


Las Calles de Borges

“Poets, like the blind, can see in the dark.”
Jorge Luis Borges

A little homage to the Argentinian poet Jorge Luis Borges, one of the greatest writers of all time. This video was shot in the winter of 2010 in Buenos Aires and Capilla del Señor, Argentina.


Kusama’s Obliteration Room

Yayoi Kusama’s interactive Obliteration Room begins as an entirely white space, furnished as a monochrome living room, which people are then invited to ‘obliterate’ with multi-coloured stickers.

Over the course of a few weeks the room is transformed from a blank canvas into an explosion of colour, with thousands of spots stuck over every available surface.

TateShots have produced this timelapse video of The Obliteration Room covering the first few weeks of its presentation at Tate Modern. It was conceived as a project for children, and was first staged at the Queensland Art Gallery in 2002.


Chronomops by Tina Frank

The doors of perception, electronic style. Tina Frank’s Chronomops opens doors to truly different dimensions: different than digital art’s reductionist studies so common today, different than the serially laid out minimalist images, and different than the omnipresent filtering and layering experiments. Chronomops opens up a shimmering, colorful space that is simultaneously an excess of color, frenzy of perception, and pop carousel. An abstract architecture of vertical color bars is set in endless rotation, whereby the modules and building blocks fly around themselves—and the entire system likewise rotates. The forced movement forms a digital maelstrom whose suction pulls the observer deep into it.


Voltage


Beautiful artwork, animation, and sound design. Amazing work.

Just like modular synthesizers, people connect with each other in order to achieve diverse objectives. In Voltage, robots, half-human and half-synthesizer, powered by a huge amount of energy, connect to each other in an electric and chaotic trance.


Last Day Dream


Though touching, this short film by director Chris Milk, left me wanting more. Last Day Dream was produced for the 42 Second Dream Film Festival in Beijing, China.


Zigote at Siggraph Vancouver

Invited by the Vancouver Siggraph chapter we worked with Danjel van Tijn on this experience, where touching the balls generated different sounds. Danjel Van Tijn was in charge of developing the Max Msp application and also writing the sound generation program.


Film: Rhubard

Rhubarb was lovingly and painstakingly handcrafted in about five months time. I started the project back in May 2007, and worked on it until the end of August 2007, at which point I ran out of patience. As the beginning of September rolled by, I stopped working on the film entirely. By this time, I had roughly two and a half minutes of footage, and no clue how to continue the story line. I let the film sit for a little less than a year before sketching out the second half of the story board. At the end of April 2008, I got my ideas onto paper, and cranked out the final three minutes and ten seconds of footage in about four weeks.
In the end, 170 8.5 x 11 in. drawings were used to make the film, along with a dozen Sharpie markers.


Black Rain


Work with raw scientific satellite data which has not yet been cleaned and processed for public consumption

As in Semiconductors previous work ‘Brilliant Noise’ which looked into the sun, they work with raw scientific satellite data which has not yet been cleaned and processed for public consumption. By embracing the artefacts, calibration and phenomena of the capturing process we are reminded of the presence of the human observer who endeavors to extend our perceptions and knowledge through technological innovation.

Commissioned by Animasivo Mexico City, 2009


Lillian Schwartz – Pixillation (1970)

“With computer-produced images and Moog-synthesized sound Pixillation is in a sense an introduction to the electronics lab. But its forms are always handsome, its colors bright and appealing, its rhythms complex and inventive.” – Roger Greenspun, N. Y. Times. Golden Eagle-Cine 1971. Moog sound by Gershon Kingsley; Version III: pulls the viewer into a primal experience. Awards:Red Ribbon Award for Special Effects from The National Academy of Television, Arts & Sciences; The Smithsonian Institution and The United States Department of Commerce, Travel Services for Man & His World at the Montreal Expo, ’71; collection The Museum of Modern Art. Commissioned by AT&T. (4 min.)


A universe


A video by 27 yr old Russian video artist Stas Aki. Well done. I like the sound and though I know it’s meant to be funny, a more non-materialistic universe might have been more meaningful (I have no sense of humour).


Arts and design interviews [Bits]

Jack Mama and Clive van Heerden of Philips Design at the DeTank.tv Studio
Jack Mama, Creative Director at Philips, and Clive van Heerden, Senior Director of design-led innovation at Philips, discuss the aims, benefits and outcomes of the Design Probe programme at Philips Design.
Interview with Inga Sempe
Designboom interviews French designer Inga Sempe.
Interview with Patricia Urquiola at the Design Museum
Gemma Curtain talks to designer Patricia Urquiola about Purely Porcelain, an exhibition of her work at the Design Museum.


The Aesthetic Hypothesis – Clive Bell

This essay is an excerpt from the book Art, originally published in 1914. It is in the public domain and may be freely reproduced.
It is improbable that more nonsense has been written about aesthetics than about anything else: the literature of the subject is not large enough for that. It is certain, however, that about no subject with which I am acquainted has so little been said that is at all to the purpose. The explanation is discoverable. He who would elaborate a plausible theory of aesthetics must possess two qualities – artistic sensibility and a turn for clear thinking. Without sensibility a man can have no aesthetic experience, and, obviously, theories not based on broad and deep aesthetic experience are worthless. Only those for whom art is a constant source of passionate emotion can possess the data from which profitable theories may be deduced; but to deduce profitable theories even from accurate data involves a certain amount of brain-work, and, unfortunately, robust intellects and delicate sensibilities are not inseparable. As often as not, the hardest thinkers have had no aesthetic experience whatever. I have a friend blessed with an intellect as keen as a drill, who, though he takes an interest in aesthetics, has never during a life of almost forty years been guilty of an aesthetic emotion. So, having no faculty for distinguishing a work of art from a handsaw, he is apt to rear up a pyramid of irrefragable argument on the hypothesis that a handsaw is a work of art. This defect robs his perspicuous and subtle reasoning of much of its value; for it has ever been a maxim that faultless logic can win but little credit for conclusions that are based on premises notoriously false. Every cloud, however, has its silver lining, and this insensibility, though unlucky in that it makes my friend incapable of choosing a sound basis for his argument, mercifully blinds him to the absurdity of his conclusions while leaving him in full enjoyment of his masterly dialectic. People who set out from the hypothesis that Sir Edwin Landseer was the finest painter that ever lived will feel no uneasiness about an aesthetic which proves that Giotto was the worst. So, my friend, when he arrives very logically at the conclusion that a work of art should be small or round or smooth, or that to appreciate fully a picture you should pace smartly before it or set it spinning like a top, cannot guess why I ask him whether he has lately been to Cambridge, a place he sometimes visits.
On the other hand, people who respond immediately and surely to works of art, though, in my judgment, more enviable than men of massive intellect but slight sensibility, are often quite as incapable of talking sense about aesthetics. Their heads are not always very clear. They possess the data on which any system must be based; but, generally, they want the power that draws correct inferences from true data. Having received aesthetic emotions from works of art, they are in a position to seek out the quality common to all that have moved them, but, in fact, they do nothing of the sort. I do not blame them. Why should they bother to examine their feelings when for them to feel is enough? Why should they stop to think when they are not very good at thinking? Why should they hunt for a common quality in all objects that move them in a particular way when they can linger over the many delicious and peculiar charms of each as it comes? So, if they write criticism and call it esthetics, if they imagine that they are talking about Art when they are talking about particular works of art or even about the technique of painting, if, loving particular works they find tedious the consideration of art in general, perhaps they have chosen the better part. If they are not curious about the nature of their emotion, nor about the quality common to all objects that provoke it, they have my sympathy, and, as what they say if often charming and suggestive, my admiration too. Only let no one support that what they write and talk is aesthetics; it is criticism, or just “shop.”
The starting-point for all systems of aesthetics must be the personal experience of a peculiar emotion. The objects that provoke this emotion we call works of art. All sensitive people agree that there is a peculiar emotion provoked by works of art. I do not mean, of course, that all works provoke the same emotion. On the contrary, every work produces a different emotion. But all these emotions are recognisably the same in kind; so far, at any rate, the best opinion is on my side. That there is a particular kind of emotion provoked by works of visual art, and that this emotion is provoked by every kind of visual art, by pictures, sculptures, buildings, pots, carvings, textiles, etc., etc., is not disputed, I think, by anyone capable of feeling it. This emotion is called the aesthetic emotion; and if we can discover some quality common and peculiar to all the objects that provoke it, we shall have solved what I take to be the central problem of aesthetics. We shall have discovered the essential quality in a work of art, the quality that distinguishes works of art from all other classes of objects.

Read more


Shift Mobile Art Competition

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The aim of the competition is to discover fresh creators and support them, Shift provides a platform to show works using a mobilephone as a medium
The works will functioned as a mobile phone clock, and the submissions are available in 2 forms; analog and digital. Selected works will be broadly distributed within Japan. Deadline: December 20.
More Info.


Issue 8: The Loop as a Temporal Form

Looks like some good reading for a few idle moments this weekend. Nice early 90’s web aesthetic!

As a form, the loop contradicts the linear structure we typically associate with time. The common-sense formulation understands time as a progression forward from moment to moment to moment, with a clear division of past, present and future. Yet many theories contradict this apparent truism. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, for example, organize time into chronos and aeon. Greg Hainge, a contributor to this issue, writes that the latter continually and simultaneously divides the event into the already-there and the not-yet here, while failing to settle on either. This describes a loop folding back on itself, while not returning to its place of origin. Elsewhere, Jacques Derrida uses this failure of origins to structure a system of ethics grounded in an attempt to elude the eternal return of the same. While Deleuze, Guattari and Derrida insist on this failure in their use of the loop as a temporal form, Sigmund Freud understands time in terms of telos and its failure. In other words, absent a forward progression through, for example, mourning, the individual is doomed to circle back repeatedly to the lost object. Both formulations of the loop, one that either returns or does not return to its origins, are at work in this issue’s articles.

Issue 8: The Loop as a Temporal Form.


December Exhibition

“To present the musical soul of the masses, of the great factories, of the railways, of the transatlantic liners, of the battleships, of the automobiles and aeroplanes. To add to the great central themes of the musical poem the domain of the machines and the victorious kingdom of Electricity.”
“I unfurl to the freedom of air and sun the red flag of Futurism, calling to its flaming symbol such young composers as have hearts to love and fight, minds to conceive, and brows free of cowardice.”
A few years ago I became enamoured with the audio environment around me. Through my photoblog at that time I had already been noticing and sharing small bits of visual artifacts but noticing interesting signals through all the noise that is present here was something new. When you take the time to listen you may find yourself surprised at the remarkabley diverse array of delightful noise. Your cityscape transforms itself into futuristic noise orchestra that constantly changes, a never ending performance, which in turn completely changes you and your relationship with your city.
And I started to record and think of ways to share what I heard. I decided I wanted to be a sound artist.
A year and a half ago I finished a body of work, well mostly just prototypes and concepts given form, of sound art and tangible UI/interactive art. It was a tremendous learning experience – an education in product development rolled up in less than a year. We exhibited in an entirely appropriate old railway house to some acclaim. Since then I have been lucky to show various pieces at other venues throughout Taiwan. But until now I haven’t had the oportunity to focus entirely on sound art.
This December I will exhibit my traffic series of installations in Puli Taiwan. I wanted to show more, including my ambient room, but budgets would not allow. I’m looking forward to it as a source of inspiration and a break from the doldrums of freelancing.
All the pieces are reltively similar but with different execution. Here are brief descriptions of the pieces:
Traffic 1
“Now we are satiated and we find far more enjoyment in the combination of the noises of trams, backfiring motors, carriages and bawling crowd.
To excite and exalt our sensibilities, music developed towards the most complex polyphony and the maximum variety, seeking the most complicated successions of dissonant chords and vaguely preparing the creation of musical noise.” -The Art of Noises- Luigi Russolo
Traffic 1 is a series of sound vignettes played through custom built enclosures. It communcates through sound various emotions felt during the daily commute through Hsinchu’s streets. Using the simplest tools possible I set out to recreate the sounds I hear when driving in traffic in Hsinchu.
Traffic 2
Traffic 2 attempts to create spontaneous real time auditory compositions or improvisations using data gained from network traffic. A secondary aim is to test our understanding of the usage of network data in the public and private sphere.
We treat the network as an unseen life form – a body in constant change – born from the usage patterns of the users of the system. By using network traffic as a tool for creating music we in effect illustrate this unseen form.
Unlike traditional musical performances, Traffic 2 does not exist over a set period of time. It is in effect never ending and never the same at any given point in time.
Traffic 3
Over a period of time we gathered sound samples from various locations throughout the city of Hsinchu. We edited these samples and tuned them to a specific harmonic structure. We then fed these sounds, over a 100 in total, into our software agent which communicates with our server. The result is a cacophony of sound which could be understood as the city of Hsinchu acting as a Futurist Noise orchestra driven by network traffic.