March 31, 2008 • 5:55 pm 0
May 25, 2007 • 2:38 pm 0
( via teeeming void )
Game/art notable Julian Oliver (aka delire) has been using game engines for audiovisual performance since way back. In 2001 I saw him play a Quake mod that had been rigged with audio samples and proximity triggers to create an immersive first-person performance tool; a digital hardcore jumping castle (I think the system was related to the later q3apd). In conversation at the same event, he argued for the potential of this approach. I saw the Quake mod as an ingenious sample trigger interface – a kind of 3D drum machine – but Oliver was looking ahead to realtime manipulation and deformation of geometry and sound. In retrospect he was evoking a form of synaesthetic media, where spatial and sonic attributes are fused and cross-mapped, so that the form is the sound. Gesture is significant here too – in performance practice gesture is at the interface of space, motion and sound. Oliver was imagining dynamic form as an articulation of sonic gesture, but also the prospect of folding back 3D form into sound; procedural texture-mapped geometry as a sonic provocation. What does this sound like?
This conversation came back to me vividly when I ran into fijuu2, a project by Oliver and Steven Pickles. Fijuu comes close to realising what Oliver imagined in 2001: a plastic, gestural, realtime audiovisual 3d environment. Forms twist, shatter and rotate, hovering inside cylindrical arcs of a gesture sequencer. Sound and form transform in unison, evoking a third, more abstract thing, the map or pattern that links them. Global filters influence sound and image, making another (logical) map between pixel shaders and audio effects. It’s great to see lush, gaming-grade 3d graphics diverted towards a more abstract aesthetics of play.
May 24, 2007 • 4:28 am 0
Architecture and interaction design, via adaptation and hackability, Posted by Dan Hill at City of Sound (reblog)
Image and text source: City of Sound
May 23, 2006
Dan Saffer recently asked me to contribute some thoughts on adaptation, hackability and architecture to his forthcoming book Designing for Interaction (New Riders, 2006), alongside 10 other ‘interviewees’ such as Marc Rettig, Larry Tesler, Hugh Dubberly, Brenda Laurel etc. Dan’s been posting their various responses up at the official book site (see also UXMatters) yet he kindly agreed to let me post my full answers below (the book will feature an excerpt).
The questions he posed were: Can products be made hackable, or are all products hackable? What types of things can be designed into products to make them more hackable? What are the qualities of adaptive designs? You’ve spoken on putting “creative power in the hands of non-designers.” How do interaction designers go about doing that? What can interaction designers learn about adaptability from architecture?
Given this, Dan had inadvertently provided me with the impetus to get down a decent summary to a few years’ worth of thinking around this subject. So what follows directly addresses one of the stated purposes behind this blog: to see what we can draw from the culture and practice of architecture and design into this new arena of interaction design – and some of the issues in doing so. (An unstated purpose of the blog – of providing me with an indexed notebook – is also fulfilled!) Here goes:
Can products be made hackable, or are all products hackable?
May 21, 2007 • 2:24 pm 0
Q: How did the “Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove” project begin? A: I don’t have a television. When a friend dropped off a VHS version of the film to the studio, it became the only thing to watch on the monitor. In two and a half years, I watched the film over 700 times. My perception was saturated by the film, and this caused me to respond to it. You can see this among Star Wars fans that log hundreds of viewings and go on to make Storm Trooper outfits for themselves in their living rooms. It’s a need to manifest [the reality of the film] in life. That marked the beginning of the project. I began to see relationships [between] the film present and the way I was working.
Link. (Thanks, Rosecrans Baldwin, co-EIC of The Morning News) UPDATE: An exhibit of “Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove” is on display at Art Gallery of York University (AGYU) in Toronto through 24 June 2007. Apparently this is available in book form, too, but I can’t figure out where/how to buy a copy?
Reader comment: Marc Lowenthal of MIT Press says,
One book in which Horton’s project appears, is a book we released last year entitled Trash, edited by John Knechtel. Horton’s photo project is perhaps my favorite among the artist projects in the book, but there is a lot of other great stuff in the collection as well (both entertaining and serious).
Amazon Link. Well, there’s apparently a *new* book by Horton, devoted exclusively to this project (the AGYU site references a book launch on May 13, as does this news article)… but I still don’t know where to find it. UPDATE 2: Woo-hoo, Torontoist to the rescue! David Topping says,
I did some digging around Horton’s website, and found out some deets about the book of “Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove” — Link. It seems as if it’s done by the AGYU press, so people interested in buying can probably call ’em up ( Link ) at 416.736.5169, or e-mail them at email@example.com to find out more information. Those in the Toronto area’d probably have the best luck (as they can just go and buy a copy from the physical store), as it may very well not be available online.
Reader comment: Nick says,
Here’s my own tribute to Dr Strangelove that I did last year in Lego. Admitted just the one scene, but fun none the less.
May 21, 2007 • 1:41 pm 1
2.63 new mashups a day. That’s what John Musser’s terrific new Mashup Feed site says is current the creation rate. If that rate flattens out today, which isn’t likely, that’s over 960 new mashups every year. Mashups, composite web applications partially constructed from the services and content from other web sites, are taking off with an amazing speed. Yet they are a relatively new phenomenon in terms of being this widespread and pervasive. All this even though mashups, like blogs and wikis, were actually possible from the creation date of the first forms-capable browser. So why the sudden widespread interest?
David Berlind has done an excellent job recently drawing the parallels between the modern Web and an operating system and I agree with him that the result is obvious: the ascendency of the Web as the first superplatform. A thing not dissimilar to the political concept of a superpower in that nothing else can really compete. Yet this is a superplatform that is encompassing and embracing since anything you connect to it becomes a true part of the whole. And using Web 2.0 design patterns and business models, we have a relatively clear guide that shows how to be a good citizen and contribute to the ecosystem for individual benefit. Yet everyone else benefits more overall, via something called a network effect. Some have noted recently that the democratization of content and services was a stated goal of the Web from the beginning. But it wasn’t until now, where aggregated services can become more valuable than the parts, where the effect finally becomes pronounced.
Part of it is that technology tends to get ahead of our uses for it. With Web 2.0 and mashups in particular, there was a multi-year lag between what was possible and when it actually happened. With pervasive and widespread connectivity, lots of bandwidth, growing comfort with creating and consuming user generated content (this being blogs in particular), the maturaton of online communities, rapidly improving Web skills, and awareness of what’s possible on the Web, and you have a complex but potent recipe for the people side of the Web to drive major improvements in the way the its is used, on a massive scale.
The technical side has improved recently too with lightweight service models like RSS making it extremely easy to wire things together, the proliferation of lots and lots of good Web services (partially driven by Ajax and RIAs in general, which demand pure services to function), and even tools and ready information to support creating mash-ups, has led us to a place where everything seems just about perfect for mashups to take off.
And people are certainly noticing. You can find mention of mashups in the mainstream press all the time. And Microsoft is holding the MIX 06 conference next month, one of the hottest tickets in the IT conference circuit this year, and it’s all about the burgening remix culture that mashups are heralding. Microsoft has even been spotted recently connecting the dots in a larger perspective and trying to bridge the closely related techniques of Web 2.0 and service-oriented architecture (SOA), something I’ve also talked about at length in the past. As many of you know, SOA is a popular model for creating an integrated architecture of systems within an organization, and then creating cross-cutting, composite applications out of the result. But the mashup ecosystem is poised doing the exact same thing on a global scale with more verve, speed, efficiency, and the factor that really counts, success.
But it’s not just a supply-side phenomenon or the purview of large software corporations. Not at all. Mashups are being driven in a very populist manner and people are actually using them. I routinely see mash-up lists hitting the del.icio.us popular page, for example. And great lists of Web 2.0 software like Fourio’s Web 2.0 Innovation Map, or Peter Cashmore’s enjoyable Mashable site, or especially TechCrunch routinely highlight what is possible (and indeed, this lists are only falling behind). I’ve said recently that creating software from scratch is going away more and more, and all of this is further proof. So, this brave new world of software is certainly exciting and sometimes terrifying, but in the end, it is indeed a compelling new future for software.
Where do you think mashups are going? Are they a fad or a final shift to a successful model for reusing services and content?
Sidenote: We’re always looking for great content for the brand-new Web 2.0 Journal. If you are a capable author and want to write feature articles, interviews, product reviews on Web 2.0 topics, please drop me a line.
May 20, 2007 • 3:06 pm 0
Yesterday at Maker Day, Make Magazine writer/blogger and Maker Faire co-organizer Phillip Torrone introduced me to John Maushammer who showed me the really cool Pong Watch that he has created. John has been documenting his design and manufacturing process on his Pong Watch blog and he has made a great video showing the watch in action and how he created it.
I succeeded in compressing all the electronics for this watch in to a 10mm-thick case. The 96×64 OLED display runs continuously – unlike older LED watches, there is no need to press a button to see the time. Battery life is 25 hours, so recharging is done every night.
John does not currently have any plans to produce and sell the watch, but who knows, maybe one day…
photo credit: Scott Beale
May 20, 2007 • 10:03 am 0
Timeline..Tear off: embeddable video..History..etc..etc. Interesting stuff.
Worth a bookmark !!
A definitive landmark series charting the emergence and re-emergence of rock music as a global force, told through the musicians who have shaped this most enduring of genres.
May 18, 2007 • 6:59 am 0
All films with two or more people are collaborative, but there’s a wide range of films trying new ways to exploit current technologies for film production and distribution.
Pssst Pass It On The mission of PSST? “Produce original short films through the collaboration of different teams of designers, directors, and animators. Each film is comprised of three sections produced by three different teams. This process is the whole idea behind PSST! – a technique derived from the Dadaist game of Exquisite Corpse and the children’s game Telephone and applied to the arts of motion graphics, animation and film-making. There are nine films made through the collaboration of different teams of designers, directors, and animators.” Gorgeous range of styles too.
The 1 Second Film A non-profit collaborative film being produced by thousands of people around the world. Anyone can help produce this film by donating as little as $1. Worth a look, this is quite an involved project with five phases… which starts with a 1 second film and ends up with an 11,111 Second Film – a narrative movie lasting 11,111 seconds (approximately 180 minutes). The film will be divided into two parts, a 90-minute animated feature film followed by a 90-minute credit-sequence with ‘making of’ documentary. The 90-minutes of animation will be narrative, with an original story to be written by an established screen writer. The 90-minutes of animation will be made during thousands of simultaneous events around the world, with each event making one-second or more of the animation.
Swarm Of Angels Good range of creatives gathered on this, with good momentum. The plan is to create a £1 million film and give it away to over 1 million people using the Internet and a global community of members. Key features: * Participative – Vote on major decisions, including which of two scripts goes into production. Post on the forum. * Open source – Contribute to development and production through script input, materials creation, or be part of our distributed film crew. * Creative Commons-licensed – Freely share the film. Sample project visuals for your own work. * Crowdsourced – Feedback into the production, use your expertise, and become part of the team.
The Basement Tapes “Everything we know about copyright has been turned upside down. From mash-ups to filesharing, creation to distribution, everything is in flux.Thats what I want to explore in this documentary…. it needs your help to be made – thats why Open Source Cinema exists – to faciliate online collaboration – to create a participatory way to discuss these issues.” Script viewable here – http://www.opensourcecinema.org/wikifilm
Your Broadcaster “A test whether a film can be done with most of the major production decisions made through an online social network.” Members of the YourBroadcaster social network can become involved in 5 different movie projects ( bollywood, horror, thriller, drama and comedy ). Members will be able to upload scripts, auditions, characters, etc that will be voted on by all members to determine what will be used in the movie project. Subscription fee of $10 (one project) to $35 (multiple projects) is required for full participation. Advertisers can also get in on the movie making action with opportunities of product placement within each movie.” David Lynch had a nice line on product placement in a recent interview : ” Bullshit. Complete fucking bullshit.”
XIFilm XIFilm is one of many films claiming to be ‘the world’s first feature film created entirely over the Internet’, but interestingly offers the option of joining a Production-Assistance Team (non-artist types who can offer “idle” computer time for the production team by downloading and installing the XIFilm screensaver).
Awesome, I Fuckin Shot That! Bustin’ wide their camera crew list to include 50 members of the audience, this Beastie Boys concert doco was made with footage from a few higher quality cams on stage and 50 video cameras handed out to audience members with instructions to ‘keep on shooting’.
Echo Chamber Project “An open source, investigative documentary about how the television news media became an uncritical echo chamber to the Executive Branch leading up to the war in Iraq. By developing collaborative techniques for producing this film, then this project can potentially provide some solutions for incorporating a broader range of voices and perspectives into the mainstream media. To that extent the project is well documented, there’s an interesting and complex diagram explaining a collaborative filmmaking workflow and a rant on the implications of being able to export Final Cut Pro projects into an XML format. Which means – ‘because Final Cut Pro supports XML, you are no longer limited to creating clips, bins, and sequences within Final Cut Pro. This means you can create your own Final Cut Pro projects outside of Final Cut Pro, using any software or platform you want, as long as you generate a valid Final Cut Pro XML file.’ Or in other words, potentially an open source content management system like Drupal could be used to collaboratively edit a film.
There are three end products for The Echo Chamber Project:
1.) A collaboratively edited 90-minute documentary film about how the mainstream media became an uncritical echo chamber during the lead-up to the war in Iraq. 2.) A set of open source tools and methodologies for participatory journalism and collaborative film editing that is sustained through a viable business model. 3.) An online, interactive collection of transcribed video segments that are annotated and filtered with user-contributed context and meaning at www.echochamberproject.com.”
May 16, 2007 • 4:51 pm 0
the first issue of Craft: magazine, makers of MAKE magazine, is really excellent. There is, not only a feature story on Diana Eng, but also an extensive article on how to make your own programmable LED array shirt, with surface mount LEDs! Surface mount LEDs are really hard to work with because of their size. However, Janet Hansen obviously proves it’s not impossible because that’s what she mainly uses. Anyway, back to the Craft: zine article…
It is written by Leah Buechley, a PhD student in computer science and member of the Craft Technology Group at the U of Colorado at Boulder. The article has some great tips on sewing with surface mount LEDs and electronics in mind. It uses the AVR, which is a great microcontroller but not easy to learn for electronics newbies.
However, the AVR is part of Arduino, a new electronics platform cheaper than the Basic Stamp and easier to use than the PIC. What more can you ask for? You can program with processing to hook up your wearable project to graphics on the computer. Its own scripting language is very much like processing and very easy to learn. It’s about time someone came out with an open source electronics platform!
Another link worth checking out is Craft:’s page on LEDs.
May 1, 2007 • 5:33 pm 1
There is a ton of new creativity in the user generated space, and much of it builds on unauthorized uses of copyrighted material. In this new era of participatory media, where should we draw the line between infringement and fair use? Take a look at our new video, highlighting some of the ways that existing content is being repurposed. This video is designed to provoke discussion, so please share your thoughts with us on our blog.
To download a quicktime version of this video right click here.