When listening to the track ‘Us’ by Australian band Movement on 22tracks yesterday it sounded familiar in some way. About halfway into the song I realized it reminded me of ‘Wolken’ by Dutch rap group Flinke Namen and I decided to download both video’s from YouTube to make a mash-up of the two songs for fun. After a few seconds I concluded the tracks were both too similar to make a simple mash-up in Premiere Pro so I analyzed the tracks and found out ‘Us’ was a bit longer than ‘Wolken’.
The easiest thing to do then is see if, and how, stuff would fit and since ‘Us’ is a pretty slow track, speeding it up by 120% was what I ended up doing.
Much to my surprise it turned out that the faster track was sounding pretty good and was more on the pace of ‘Wolken’. When I put the speeded up track under the video of ‘Wolken’ things turned out to match up nearly perfect.
I edited out the gun shot from the Movement video and made the final shots from ‘Wolken’ about 10 frames shorter.
The resulting video is this mash-up of music and video, I do not own any of the content nor do I want to appear to do so.
The video is:
Directed by Jim Taihuttu (Habbekrats)
DOP is Gregg Telussa
The track is:
Made and owned by Movement (just @ 120%)
IOTA - Internet of Things Academy is a project by London based design practice SuperFlux that is currently being developed into a beta form.
Having watched and read several interviews with Google Glass users that received their developer units in the last couple of weeks, I am trying to figure out what it’s implications on the world as we know it are going to be.
Google has a pretty clear vision of what that should be; a Google Glass is a product that links to your iPhone, your Nike+, your Spotify and your smartphone. They are styled to be unobtrusive and eye-catching at the same time, making it a conversation piece as well as a daily gadget.
Their advertising is centered around fit young urban professionals who choose to be ‘on’ at all times.
It comes as no surprise that these developer sets, with their $1500,- price tag, will not be bought by the aforementioned group. The establishment of whitemenwearinggoogleglass.tumblr.com proves this point and the article by Marcus Wohlsen on Wired even suggests this strategy may have killed the Glass before it even got to market properly.
The interviews themselves are mainly focussed on the comfort of wearing a Glass, the readability of the projected screen in bright sunlight and if future third party applications will improve the size and sharpness of the displayed text. Explaining how easily the device syncs to your Android device and how long one charge of the internal battery will last.
Besides these analytical, gadget happy, techno oriented observations, there is a second group that fears and loathes The Glass for taking away the last bit of privacy we have after losing the public space to CCTV and all forms of digital communication to NSA and governments worldwide that apparently subscribe to the NSA’s newsletter.
Either way, wearables are going to be the gadget of choice for the coming years, whether they come in the form of a watch, a pair of spectacles or some other form of body attachment.
Their form is, in a way, irrelevant.
Much like the mobile phone, that exhibited an enormous variety of shapes, sizes and approaches these last two decades only to arrive at a point where all smartphones share the same physical form, the future of wearables will be one of subtracting to end up with devices that are hardly noticeable.
Where digital user interface design has become the most important design element on a smartphone I am not so sure this will be the case with wearables. Sure, Google Glass has a little projector mounted in it but you could argue that all the information on it is also on the phone in your pocket, the laptop in your bag and the desktop in your office.
I am curious to see what will happen but I have a feeling that wearables are not going to revolve around the outside world, the Facebook/YouTube/Instagram timelines or controlling other devices.
What if wearables would focus on the user to provide an additional layer of reality in stead of remixing existing feeds?
What if Google Glass could project my thought process to me and would let me edit these thoughts in an intuitive way?
Myo from ThalmicLabs is an excellent example of what a wearable user interface should look/feel like, although I don’t think they see it’s true potential since they are still heavily focussed on controlling displays, something the Leap was created for but turned out to be pretty bad at.
I am interested in the development though and I think it would make a pretty interesting starting point for some of my future Design Fiction projects.
Being anonymous seems simple; you want to hide your real identity. How about anonymity for an entire group, to be used as a statement?
To collectively deny another party your identity can be empowering when all participants choose to have the same identity, or lack thereof, rather than just hide their true self.
For Anonymous, their disguise of choice is the mask from the movie V for Vendetta; a stylized representation of Guy Fawkes. In this film the mask is used to give the people of London the opportunity to rise up against an oppressive regime and collectively ignore the yellow-coded curfew alert.
This monday, The Independent wrote about the government of The Kingdom of Bahrain that banned the import of said Guy Fawkes masks, penalized with arrest. This is a bit of a petty move on part of the government of Bahrain but as The Independent states:
"Sadly, though, it is but a mask. And the thing about a masks is, you can print them, paint them or draw them yourself."
However, in order to do so it is necessary that these masks are still identical to each other, otherwise the power of this collective anonymity is lost.
There are a few papercraft projects online but they are always a printed version of the plastic mask and I was interested in a more digital looking form, making it clear the eventually worn mask came from a downloaded file. I decided to alter an existing ‘thing’ on the social platform for DIY objects into the likeness of V for Vendetta’s protagonist.
Such an alteration could jumpstart a new collective identity for the entire movement, born out of solidarity.
I’m working on a traceable fold-out that can be cut or milled from plastic so you can easily multiply a number of masks with plain paper and a pen.
Will post that here and on Thingiverse when done.
+ Article on The Independent
+ Linked there by The New Aesthetic
+ The mask I uploaded to Thingiverse
Yesterday PBS Nova aired a show “Rise of the Drones” that featured the ARGUS-IS system. Named after the all-seeing mytological giant Argus Panoptes it really lives up to is name.
It is a drone hovering over and registering all activities in a 40 square kilometer area, 24 hours a day. What makes this system different is the epic resolution at which it captures these images. There can be zoomed in, on both the live feed as the recorded stream, to street level. The images clearly show people and vehicles moving about but even a pigeon can be seen. It does this by joining 368 cellphone camera’s to a large sensor capturing 1.8 billion pixels (1.800.000.000).
The sensor records this hyper high resolution footage internally but also streams a million terabytes to the ground each day.
Tomorrow’s UAV’s will only have to come down for maintenance so in theory a grid of these machines could register all life on earth at all times.
Traffic camera’s would not have to exist and with placing mirrors strategically it could even capture footage from a street perspective.
> Article at Engadget
> Clip of the PBS Nova episode
The other half of the name of the mythological giant Argus Panoptes is used to define the prison system known as panopticum, in which a central watchtower makes it possible for guards to look into all the prison cells.
I’ve seen the first two images below a few times on my Tumblr dashboard in the last couple of weeks. Never were the images accompanied by and explanation other than a title or a name: “The Highrise of Homes - James Wines, ink and charcoal on paper”.
Not knowing if the depicted building was fictional or real I searched around and quickly found an article on the website of the Museum of Modern Art. I learnt the project was either to be built from the ground up or use an existing but outdated structure as a host.
I liked this because it was the reason I was interested in the images in the first place; it would make a whole lot of depressing high rise areas a lot more livable! Since there is so much empty commercial spaces and not nearly enough housing where I live, I envisioned myself claiming a floor, knocking out walls and building my own Vrijstaat (autonomous state) with some friends, while another group of people could do the same thing a floor below in the meantime. The idea that high rise could also mean freedom in stead of just reflective glass landmarks is deeply inspiring and could form some sort of modern day Tower of Babel.
The principle of a stacking elements of the environment that are normally located next to each other is not something I had never seen but then it was in a rather experimental and hypothetical form. I visited the Dutch pavilion by MRVDV at the 2000 World Expo in Hannover and the idea of an indoor forest spoke to me then but I could not envision it in a comprehensible scale; it either had to become a mega city like the one in the bay of Tokyo or had a very strick purpose like MRVDV’s Pig City.
Both of which can never arise from a grassroots collective need for better housing and living.
Delving into the work of MVRDV I came across an article that investigated if the Dutch pavilion was plagiarized from a newspaper cartoon in 1909.
While that assumption seemed a bit far-fetched it showed a picture of the drawing which looks nothing like the pavilion but is nearly identical to the Highrise of the Homes sketches.
Eventually Highrise of the Homes was supposed to arise near Battery Park Manhattan but was canceled because it would become to costly.
I’m off, trying to find an abandoned parking garage.
So in my post The New Robotics I posted some images of robots that Boston Dynamic and DARPA are working on. I am at the same time both attracted and dismayed by the possibilities these robots purport.
Last week The New Aesthetic posted a link to a Twitter message sent out by the company that develops these robots for the US military, DARPA.
The post was that of one of their LS3 robots, meaning Legged Squad Support System; a vehicle shaped like a dog or a mule that follows troops in rugged terrain like the animal it was inspired on would, only a lot stronger and less stubborn.
Apparently these LS3’s were demonstrated to a selected public recently which DARPA photographed and shared on their own website.
It underlined my position of ambivalence toward the entire project; here are military robots (with still unknown future goals) on one hand, and on the other the images reminded me of something else; the pictures I take of my cats. The makers had formed a relation of some sorts with these LS3’s, reminiscent of a living dog with it’s owner.
This is an interesting development in the relation between people and robots.
When AIBO was released in 1999 it was clearly a toy and although it was sleeker styled it had a clumsy and slow way of moving about, the owner never really felt a connection as you would with a real pet because it was always seen in the context of your living room floor and it wouldn’t really follow you about as a pet would.
These images of the LS3’s in a park setting are very different to the earlier released ones in the lab and remote training grounds; DARPA and Boston Dynamics were still testing and tweaking and it did not seem like they had formed a bond yet, I view these recently released photo’s as the equivalent of a birth announcement.
I asked myself the question how a future with these robotic animals would look and by coincidence (I was looking to find a resemblance to photo’s of dogs) I came across a self initiated calendar with pictures of her dogs some lady made and distributed on Lulu.com.
I made the calendar she, or enthousiasts like here, would possibly make in a near future about her LS3’s. The calendar was initially for myself but I now made it public.
Enter the code; “Darpa_2013” when you purchase the calendar and get 10% off.
> Darpa calendar on Lulu for €13,50