we make money not art

November 24, 2005

Mobile video interventions in urban space

05:30 AM street + wearable

Fernando Llanos has built [vi video] a wearable projection system that allows him to screen videos in any context: an endless kiss on the walls and the bodies of a prostitution area, images of plane accidents on the facade of an airport, real people over the silhouette of a classical sculpture. The system is made of a camera, 2 decks miniDVs, a computer, a projector and batteries.


The artist is at the V Bienal do Mercosul, Porto Alegre, Brasil, through December 4.

Via Ad*e*e/sinapsis.

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Gamelan Playtime

04:52 AM installation + sound

Gamelan Playtime draws in passers-by as they walk along Hungerford terrace on the South Bank in London. By moving their hands across a tactile surface pedestrians trigger sensors that release recordings of the Royal Festival Hall's Gamelan set being played by school children. The sounds are made up of the Gamelan instruments, human voices and song.


The patterns on the 30m long wall take their inspiration from the shadow and rod puppets, which Gamelan music often accompanies, as well as from the Gamelan instruments themselves. The colour palette is based on Javanese batiks. The patterns are depicted by the use of common rubber buffers screwed into the wall that is painted a deep gold.

Created by Arlete Castelo and Melissa Mongiat (students of the Creative Practice for Narrative Environments MA at Central St Martins, UAL) the Gamelan Playtime is the first installation for the Royal Festival Hall Education Centre “Keeping in touch” project. It is sited on the Hungerford Terrace untill January 2006.

Via elektra.

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The Virtual Air Guitar

04:05 AM gadgets + sound

Playing the Virtual Air Guitar is like playing rock guitar, only without an actual instrument, or musical skills.


To play Air Guitar, pull on a pair of orange gloves, press the start pedal, and take a playing pose as if you were holding an imaginary guitar - left hand on the guitar's neck, and right hand near your hip. You will see yourself on a TV screen, with your orange gloves highlighted.

Now swing the right hand as if you were strumming a big chord. And you will actually hear a power chord with punchy distortion. If you move your left hand along the imaginary neck and strum, you'll hear a different chord. You can't play any "wrong" chords as they have been pre-selected for you.

When you're ready for your solo, press the switch pedal to change from chord mode to solo mode.

Developed at the Telecommunications Software and Multimedia Laboratory and the Acoustics Laboratory of the Helsinki University of Technology.

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November 23, 2005

Living camera uses bacteria to capture image

07:58 PM labs + nanotechnology

Chris Voigt’s team at the University of California have turned a bed of light-sensitive bacteria into a photographic film. Although the system takes 4 hours to take a picture, it delivers extremely high resolution.


The "living camera" uses light to switch on genes in a genetically modified bacterium that then cause an image-recording chemical to darken. The bacteria are tiny, allowing the sensor to deliver a resolution of 100 megapixels per square inch.

To make their novel biosensor, scientists chose E. Coli, the food-poisoning gut bacterium. They shuttled genes from photosynthesising blue-green algae into the cell membrane of the E. coli. One gene codes for a protein that reacts to red light. Once activated, that protein acts to shut down the action of a second gene. This switch-off turns an added indicator solution black. A monochrome image was thus "printed" on a bed of the modified E. Coli.

The experiment could lead to the development of "nano-factories" in which minuscule amounts of substances are produced at locations defined by light beams.

For instance, a different introduced gene could produce polymer-like proteins, or even precipitate a metal. "This way, the bacteria could weave a complex material," says Voigt.

Via New Scientist.

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GPS racing on your mobile phone

07:39 PM games + locative + telephony

Paul has updated his list of mobile phone games using GPS or cell towers signals.

Here's one of the latest additions:

With RealReplay, you can choose the track you want to race on, select your opponent and start playing with everyone, without being dependent on their time.


Whether you're in a car, on a bike, or a sailing boat, all you have to do is tell your mobile phone to start recording. The phone will capture your every movement using GPS. Set checkpoints to define the key parts of your track. Your future opponents will have to pass them and get information on their intermediate time.

Others will find your track and race against you – even without you being present! If you'd like to pit your strength against your friends, inform them about the area where your race starts. They can then accept your challenge whenever they want.

On the display of your mobile phone you will always see your current position and route, as well as the one your opponent took when he recorded his race, which is played back as a replay.

Developed by Mopius.

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06:59 PM games + wearable

Interesting concept of wearable gaming device.

TechnoLust blends technological lust with a program to reawaken carnal lust.


The gaming device takes advantage of wireless Internet technology. Players wear it as an undergarment to travel out of the virtual world of the computer to find and play with opponents

TecnoLust is a game of body erotic zones that are lit up by electric caresses. Upon entering the game players select the mode they want to play within, this sends out a frequency which attracts other players set on the same game and frequency. When a participant encounters another a game of electronic caresses begins where pulses are sent back and forth electronically to arouse the senses.

Designed in 2002 by Peter Allen and Carla Murray, KnoWear.

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Liquid (tele)vision mediation

05:48 PM installation

Spin, by Liz Nofziger is a massive disco ball compressed within a 12' gallery space. Live broadcast TV is projected onto the slowly rotating ball. The constant and familiar images of television are flung about the space, transforming the trash into something fabulous. Viewers can catch a glimpse of their own reflections in the ball, overlaid with bits of television imagery moving across their bodies.


Sparked by a 1950s era laundry across the street and the barrage of media around us, this piece explores the literal and abstract meanings of the word spin.

Via Neural (italian + english version).
Interview of the artist.

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Vintage Physique

05:12 PM vintage

Vintage Physique Photography. Includes Spartan of Hollywood.

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Via Happy Palace.

Don't miss this magnificent cover staring Arnold the (not yet) Governor circa 1970 (via LIAP).

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The TV watcher is the remote

12:12 PM rfid

TiVo has patented the idea of a Personal Video Recorders that will recognise one of several individual users, and respond to their personal preferences.

Every member of a household would have a personal RFID tag – embedded in clothing or a piece of jewellery – and the PVR's remote control would recognise the closest tag. It would then send a corresponding ID signal to the recorder which would use the personal preferences it has built up for the tag-wearer only.

TiVo hopes to extend the system to hotels that have in-room PVRs. When booking a room online, a guest could upload the preferences stored on their home recorder. The PVR in their hotel room would then record a few favourite programmes ahead of their arrival.

Via MIT advertising lab and New Scientist.

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Spy in the sky to spot energy-wasting homes.

10:51 AM green

Aerial thermal imaging is being used to record heat loss from residential properties, enabling councils to pinpoint energy "hotspots" across the country.

Leicester city council is using the system to target homeowners for free cavity and roof insulation.

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At the centre of the scheme is an aerial thermal imaging service from BlueSky. Coupled with digital mapping and geographical information systems, a thermographic map of any given area can be produced to indicate which properties are emitting the most heat.

Thermal scanning works by picking up differences in surface heat. BlueSky uses a modified military-use scanner mounted on the underside of a twin-engine aircraft to record the analogue images.

Via The Guardian.

Check also Future Currents, a Design Council website full of ideas for putting householders in control of the energy they use, produce or even sell. It also has a downloadable windmill application, which tells you how much energy you could produce with your own wind turbine and how much power it takes to produce a slice of toast. (thanks Helen)

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Viral Counter Attack

09:54 AM games + installation

In Viral Counter Attack, colonies of "art viruses" are slowly destroying digital paintings. They "eat" the images to survive and generate offspring.

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Players compete or cooperate to control artifial viral colonies. They have to move their bodies to guide the movements of the virus on the screen.

Overhead cameras capture the direction and the intensity of players' movements. The data is automatically translated in real time on the activity of the viruses.

Each gamer can control one colony (identified by a colour) and they have to survive as long as possible by guiding the colony towards areas "rich with nutritious resources". But they can also attack other colonies.

More images. Video.
By Joseph Nechvatal and Music2eye.

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Socialist era architecture in Slovakia

08:48 AM architecture + vintage

ostmoderne documents buildings from the post-war socialist era still largely unknown in the west and widely regarded as unwanted relics from the past in the east after 1989.

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ostmoderne starts off with architecture from the 60s and 70s in Slovakia, and will grow.

Via Digitaler Lumpensammler.

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November 22, 2005

Living Wall

07:49 PM installation + sound

Living Wall is an installation collecting, recomposing and playing sonic memories. The computational processes that take place are displayed on 3000 white LEDs.


Microphones record fragments of human interaction. Each fragment is then analysed using an adaptive sound categorization technique, determining its relation to previously stored clips.

The network of sound clips is reorganized in real time as new fragments are recorded and connections between previously stored clips are elaborated. Fragments with similar perceptual qualities are grouped in clusters and dissimilar clips are separated from each other. As time goes by the network evolves into a rich mass of information with complex interconnections.

Recomposed sequences of sound are played back into the space by walking through the network of sonic memories. The sounds are distributed into the space based on a mapping from the network position to a position in the room. For the developers, this behaviour is parallel to the behaviour of how we associate ideas.

By Åsmund Gamlesaeter and Alexander Berman.

Living Wall is a permanent installation at Studentersamfundet in Trondheim, Norway.

Via Rhizome.

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Instant balcony

04:20 PM architecture

Amsterdam based studio Hofman Dujardin Architecten has patented a window frame which offers apartments dwellers in dense urban areas the pleasure of having a balcony.

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Bloomframe acts as both window and balcony. This nifty building component can also be added to an existing buildings. Its design gives the possibility to use the surface of an apartment to the maximum.

Via Bright.nl. Images.

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02:34 PM installation

For a period of 18 months media installation SPOTS will convert an office block located at Potsdamer Platz Berlin into a huge matrix made 1800 fluorescent lights.


Designed by realities:united (known for the BIX media facade for the Kunsthaus Graz), the communicative membrane will display works by internationally renowned artists in changing exhibitions. The first exhibition "The City Has Eyes", curated by Andreas Broeckmann, will feature pieces by Carsten Nicolai, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (in particular: 33 questions per minute), Jim Campbell and John Dekron.

Opening ceremony Nov 27th 2005 05:00 pm @ Park Kolonnaden Building 1; Postdamer Platz, Berlin.

Via republish.

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A cloud of communication

12:58 PM installation + telephony

Ruth and Erez Kikin-Gil's People+ is a light constellation that reacts to mobile activities and exposes flows of communication in its surroundings.


A cloud of human figures and + sign is hanging from the ceiling, and reacts to mobile phone activities in its vicinity. With every phone call or SMS, the cloud comes alive with streams of light flowing between the objects. The objects glow and dim; a human figure, a plus sign, another human figure, another plus sign, etc.

The installation, created for the Fjord’s office space, exposes flows of communication, and stresses the fact that mobile communication expands the boundaries of a person and augments the distances one can reach.

More images.
Other works by Erez Kikin-Gil: Water Play, the Eco Pods.
By Ruth Kikin-Gil: BuddyBeads.

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