Robot on a Ball

Damn, I get really amazed by the work over at boingboing.net, but often try not to repost what they had already posted, but this one is just too good.

Masaaki Kumagai has built a mind boggling application of a plethora of devices.

This is unrelated, but a really good video. The maker's other stuff is really amazing as well.


Global Pilsen Neighborhood as Cluster Computing

Poster for Soft Borders 2010 Upgrade! International Conference & Festival on New Media Art, Sao Paulo, Brazil


air mirrors and foreign accidents


Producing for the Human or the Machine

The department store has a million objects. All of which have been or are based on a system called supply and demand. The entire site of the store is a gigantic monument to property, humanity's efforts partitioned in plastic and valued in a binary flux of transience or responsibility. In any sophisticated business transaction, the supplier and the demander want to take on a character of careful resignation, a poker face. Experts in that game appear as though the condition isn't affecting them. When they are caught, it is called a "tell". In order to avoid being the one to "tell" the other one how they really feel about the transaction, they offer up evidence that they are losing on the deal, the essence or thrill of the deal is the value for the character. Wal-Mart among others is infamous for this faux-lanthraphy, for example: Black Friday. Every year employees polish the high turn around stock in order to seduce the demanders through the door to take advantage of the humble values Samta Walton is altruistically giving away. From a demander's perspective, the deal seems to good to be true. How can Wal-Marts and McDonald's have such a bad wrap? Its not like these are luxuries, these are the material needs that we require to live. Without food we die, without clothing we get cold and/or arrested; these are necessary objects to own. What does a supplier know of necessity?

A plant generally needs at least three things to survive. Food=Sun, Shelter=Soil, and Water. As it grows into maturity, other needs arrive. Stability sprouts a root structure to hold the plant in place from environmental effects. To supply the energy for the roots to survive and grow, the plant requires more sunlight. It grows upward sprouting leaves and expands as far as the conditions allow. If the plant is in a patch, the leaves will stay at a place where no other leaves are blocking it from the sun, the leaves behind that do the same and so on. As it matures, the plants needs split between mechanisms of growth and stability, each of these harboring their own varying needs. In an environment with limited sun, i.e. a garden against a western wall, a plant behind it pays for any plants’ excess in either of their mechanisms. If one plant unfurls leaves a foot in diameter, they will block the sun out for other plants, and their roots may very well be absorbing more water and nutrients from the soil. There are always weeds too whose needs are often unwelcome to the already existing conflict with the front plant, but bare mentioning as another member. The front plant, being the largest will be pollinated the most and will flower in the most extravagant way. Blah, blah, blah, survival of the fittest. If the plant were to slack on either necessary mechanism, it wills to either have its sunlight blocked or the environment will take it out.
In general terms, the sun is a limitless and disinterested supplier, unconcerned or oblivious to the plants. The plants possess the will to life, therefore the needs of growth and sustain. From these needs, conflict arises within the species and from without. Their survival depends on how they adapt their needs to the conditions, emphasizing growth or sustain in different parts of their life cycle.
What if the plants had the choice to be concerned with desire as well?
Their existence is so wrapped up in surviving by satisfying the growth/sustain synergy, that they aren't capable of choice. Which at one angle, seems like a fair trade off. Never ending supply of food, all you have to do is get it...sounds fair, right?
Maybe for a plant...
Our minds have come along way since the LUCA (Last Universal Common Ancestor). We've scotch taped many of our physical/biological needs together, for example, dogs produce their own Vitamin C, and with the sun our bodies produce Vitamin D. Many of these biological questions of efficiency are being answered by the cutting edge of computer and genetic science. Compared to the plants, we have a surplus of energy. Our bodies have experienced so many environmental effects that we can devote less effort into sustaining our bodies. We have done this by submitting ourselves to a certain pattern, part cultural and part biological. With a long enough bibliography, we could trace the tempo of our heartbeats back to the temperature and distance of the sun. The chemistry is efficient in that regard. Our blood flows without our consciousness interfering. One of the few places for biological choice is breathing. Breathing is artistry; we can choose to do it aesthetically. A sigh is great for disapproval, a yawn great for boredom, or a whistle great for song, but when we boil it all down, the whole thing isn't a choice is it? It’s hard to drown consciously. That's why bootlegger victims needed concrete shoes.
And now a brief and poignant overview of class struggle:
With the invention of the assembly line, the worker became alienated from his products as the power went into the hands of the bourgeois factory owners and their spoiled children. With this alienation, the worker distanced themselves from the harsh demands of growth. Instead they invested their efforts into root structures and producing numerous small and unpollinated flowers. These flowers produced seeds that threatened the survival of the parent plant, so they spread their roots deeper.
The rare and exotic Sam Walton tree has become a species to reckon with. Almost every ecosystem in the world has a Sam Walton tree. This tree can survive anywhere; its body has been subjected to almost every environmental threat.
Need something? Small, medium, or large? Red, white, or blue? Soft, firm, or extra firm? One, two, or twenty? Every possible demand has been met even before the demander has started demanding. And like a crop of corn, the Sam Walton tree has become a kind of Sun.
As stated, the sun is disinterested, an oblivious partner to our planet. What would happen if the sun had an interest? Not like a physical interest in the sense that it loves Mercury, hates Pluto, and thinks Earth is okay, what if it favored one half of the globe over the other? Despite the theories of religion, the sun is fatal. Luckily, it doesn't judge, it just chemically reacts. Although, just before the sun runs out of hydrogen to slap together into helium, the mass of the star expands as it loses gravity and will eventually implode, meanwhile scorching and engulfing the earth. If the sun had a choice, we could possibly petition it, reason with it. But it doesn't. It is going to deterministically do, what it will deterministically do.
Its laws are chemical and capable of only what it shares with the rest of the galaxy.
This is where Adam Smith and Milton Friedman took our own exchange and value system off course. They among others would like you to believe that the system designed for and by half of the class struggle is a natural system called Darwinism. They forget that the supplier in the case of Darwinism always falls back on the sun that exists without interest in, or advantage from us. The supplier in the market is unlike the sun as it has a choice, and beyond that, an agenda. Like humans, the supplier has achieved this third mechanistic need through a consolidation of their other mechanisms. They achieve this by over-supplying the customer, bewildering and confusing their demands until all we have left are desires. The supply is so abundant that the efficiency can dissolve into convenience.
A commercial for Oreos starts with a young boy and who appears to be his grandfather, but probably not. They are staring at a plate of Oreos. The grandfather twists open the sandwich cookie, eats the crème off and dips it into milk. The scene isn't sexy, but makes the prospect of quality time with grandpa, chocolate, crème, and milk all at once pretty damn seductive for millions of people. Milk has a role in billions and billions of other foods that we cherish deep inside our roots. Cow's milk has been the number one toted source of bone strength in the world since before advertisers had print. Cow's milk, due to the size of the demand, moved away from agriculture into industry. The industrial practice of procuring cow’s milk has led to the excess in feeding the machine.
In order for milk to get from the udder to your bladder, the milk has to travel a distance to be partitioned by fat content, and then travel more distance to be bottled, and then it gets in a truck to go to the store, meanwhile maintaining a stable temperature of around 45 degrees. From the store, it is taken to another fridge where it will be consumed on demand. The system was getting expensive as the livestock were on valuable land for commercial or residential real estate. Many cows were moved to desert terrains. Their main source of food, the resilient/communal grass, was nowhere to be found. Grass didn't travel very well; so shipping wasn't going to work. Sand wasn't going to help in growing it. Corn travels well, and there's enough of a surplus to get it cheaper than grass. From the corn, cows' bellies invented E. Coli. "Dang!" said the foreman, "The yield is just not worth it." Antibiotics were developed for the cows, so the E. Coli would stay at bay, all was well except for one problem, the hormones were affected by not only the change in diet, but also the antibiotics. So, obviously hormonal supplements would solve the issue and all would be well, right?
Department stores use thousands of backhanded, should've stayed on the drawing board tactics to increase the transience of their products. If they're satisfying their needs, then how could they be a supplier? In the natural swing of things, the supplier is disinterested. Maybe if they're also in need, they are part of the same system dependent on the sun?
Sometimes its too bad that our Sun can't judge on the short term, but eventually it will eliminate our ability to choose which mechanisms we emphasize. Eventually, we will have to balance these mechanisms as reflexively and chemically as it does.




It's Not Your Ruler from Panoptico on Vimeo.

Art, Access & Action

Summit to Explore Shifts in Media, Technology and Arts

Columbia College Conference to Connect Young Artists & Media Makers To Community Social Activists – Empower Youth to Create 21st Century-Style Social Change

Thursday, April 8th and Friday, April 9th

Columbia College Chicago Film Building
1104 S. Wabash ; Chicago, IL 60605



Moses Candy

Up a paddle wink a whisker track about a mean enlister told to tape the holy cannon tattooed on a face of baskets travel bastards hinting biscuits.
True pillow boxers treat menace as house play but to the keen eye the horta needs culture.
Nodding and dancing with basketball empathy uncurved enough to confuse Shannon's Entropy, but soon enough bankers will pose and they'll say that the crisis inferred has only us to blame.
Soon enough though we'll grab a large and overhead rock that the pastiest do fear. A rock the size of our entire imagination, the borders it hits are borders we've never been formally introduced to. It envelops us, it enraptures a whole catalog of vagueness that seems to familiar. Now let us take this opportunity to thank Dr. Jung for his efforts in the field, but it was actually a lot easier than that.
A simple glance through some 3-D glasses, the picture reveals that the man is holding a dessert tray. An ancient dessert tray that is too sacred to replenish, so only the guards of the tray got any tiramisù. Overtime, the desserts were depleted, and now the greatest secret of all: the dessert tray is empty. And we all know it too. We knew that we got the concept and they got eclairs. We got the spirit and they got the material. The only problem is, those that ate the treats are now dead having contracted a rare bacteria thought centuries dead.
The real kicker is that if the tray was never decided to be sacred, the people could've made their own candy and treats. They could have applied their own questions and concerns, and perfected the recipe. Now we know we'll never know. So, guess we have to make the rest up as we go along?