Larry Lessig: How Creativity is being strangled by the law

Filed under: culture, design, films, opensource, people, technology

Fijuu, 3D Synaesthesia and the Loungeroom

( 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.

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Filed under: art, new media, opensource, technology

Architecture and interaction design, via adaptation and hackability, Posted by Dan Hill at City of Sound (reblog)

( via remix theory )

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?

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Filed under: architecture, art, design, hack, new media, opensource, research, space/place, technology

Deleuze/Guattari: Remix Culture, Paul D. Miller Interviews Carlo Simula

( via remix theory )

Image source: Dusty Groove

Text source: Nettime.org and Djspooky.com

November 20, 2005
The following is an interview with Carlo Simula for his book

Contributions will include Guy-Marc Hinant (Sub Rosa), Philippe Franck (transcultures, le maubege), Bernhard Lang, Tim Murphy, Achim Szepanski – and many others. I think it’s an update on some issues that have been percolating.

Smell the brew.
Tunis, Tunisia 11/20/05

1) You’ve often referred in your interviews to how much contemporary philosophy has influenced your work. Foucault said “Un jour, peut-être, le siècle sera deleuzien”, how much and in which way Deleuze and Guattari influenced you? And what you feel is interesting in their work?

The idea of the “remix” is pretty trendy these days – as usual people tend to “script” over the multi-cultural links: the economics of “re-purposing,” “outsourcing” and above all, of living in an “experience economy” – these are things that fuel African American culture, and it’s active dissemination in all of the diaspora of Afro-Modernity. My take on Deleuze and Guattari is to apply a “logic of the particular” to the concept of contemporary art. Basically it’s to say that software has undermined all of the categories of previous production models, and in turn, molded the “computational models” of how “cultural capital,” as Pierre Bourdieu coined it, mirrors various kinds of production models in a world where “sampling” (mathematical and musical), has become the global language of urban youth culture. Eduoard Glissant, the Afro-Caribbean philosopher/linguist liked to call this “creolization” – I like to call it “the remix.” Philosophy is basically a reflective activity. It always requires a surface to bounce off of. We don’t exist in a cultural vacuum.

Basically I look at Deleuze/Guattari as two figures who act as translators of European philosophy and aesthetics into some kind of exit for people who are concerned with humanism. Think: Frantz Fanon wrote about this as a kind of update on Existentialism – the “gaze” that defines the world today is “brown” – but it is contained in a strange cadence. It’s a visual rhythm that extended the idea of philosophy into spectrums that have yet to be mapped out. European philosophy has usually been totally eurocentric for the last several centuries, and Deleuze and Guattari are the two philosophers who have taken the idea of philosophy past the limits of previous thinkers. Aristotle created the idea of taxonomy for the West several thousand years ago. Deleuze and Guattari have taught us to move beyond the categories he defined, and have helped create tools for analyzing how complex out mediated lives have become. I think of their concepts like the “Abstract machine,” the “body without organs,” and the “immanent plane” of action/realization as almost beyond the categories of European philosophy. They are humanists who look for meaning beyond the norms. That’s where my music and their thoughts intersect.

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Filed under: architecture, art, design, fashion, music, new media, opensource, research, social, space/place, technology

Dr. Strangelove scenes recreated with everyday stuff

( via boingboing )

The Morning News profiles Kristan Horton, a Canadian artist who watched Stanley Kubrick‘s 1964 masterpiece Dr. Strangelove over 700 times and recreates stills from the film with household objects.

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 agyu@yorku.ca 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.

Filed under: art, films, opensource

The Three Basic Forms of Remix: a Point of Entry, by Eduardo Navas

Originated at Remix Theory by Eduado Navas

Image source: Turbulence.org
Layout by Ludmil Trenkov
Duchamp source: Art History Birmington
Levine source: Artnet

(This text has been recently added to the section titled Remix Defined to expand my general definition of Remix.)

The following summary is a copy and paste collage (a type of literary remix) of my lectures and preliminary writings since 2005. My definition of Remix was first introduced in one of my most recent texts: Turbulence: Remixes + Bonus Beats, commissioned by Turbulence.org. Many of the ideas I entertain in the text for Turbulence were first discussed in various presentations during the Summer of 2006. (See the list of places here plus an earlier version of my definition of Remix). Below, the section titled “remixes” takes parts from the section by the same name in the Turbulence text, and the section titled “remix defined” consists of excerpts of my definitions which have been revised for an upcoming text soon to be released in English and Spanish by Telefonica in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The full text will be released online once it is officially published.


To understand Remix as a cultural phenomenon, we must first define it in music. A music remix, in general, is a reinterpretation of a pre-existing song, meaning that the “aura” of the original will be dominant in the remixed version. Of course some of the most challenging remixes can question this generalization. But based on its history, it can be stated that there are three types of remixes. The first remix is extended, that is a longer version of the original song containing long instrumental sections making it more mixable for the club DJ. The first known disco song to be extended to ten minutes is “Ten Percent,” by Double Exposure, remixed by Walter Gibbons in 1976.[1]

Image source: Vinyl Masterpiece

The second remix is selective; it consists of adding or subtracting material from the original song. This is the type of remix which made DJs popular producers in the music mainstream. One of the most successful selective remixes is Eric B. & Rakim’s “Paid in Full,” remixed by Coldcut in 1987. [2] In this case Coldcut produced two remixes, the most popular version not only extended the original recording, following the tradition of the club mix (like Gibbons), but it also contained new sections as well as new sounds, while others were subtracted, always keeping the “essence” of the song intact.

Image source: Rate Your Music

The third remix is reflexive; it allegorizes and extends the aesthetic of sampling, where the remixed version challenges the aura of the original and claims autonomy even when it carries the name of the original; material is added or deleted, but the original tracks are largely left intact to be recognizable. An example of this is Mad Professor’s famous dub/trip hop album No Protection, which is a remix of Massive Attack’s Protection. In this case both albums, the original and the remixed versions, are considered works on their own, yet the remixed version is completely dependent on Massive’s original production for validation.[3] The fact that both albums were released at the same time in 1994 further complicates Mad Professor’s allegory. This complexity lies in the fact that Mad Professor’s production is part of the tradition of Jamaica’s dub, where the term “version” was often used to refer to “remixes” which due to their extensive manipulation in the studio pushed for allegorical autonomy.[4]

Image source: Last FM

Allegory is often deconstructed in more advanced remixes following this third form, and quickly moves to be a reflexive exercise that at times leads to a “remix” in which the only thing that is recognizable from the original is the title. But, to be clear—no matter what—the remix will always rely on the authority of the original song. When this activity is extended to culture at large, the remix is in the end a re-mix—that is a rearrangement of something already recognizable; it functions at a second level: a meta-level. This implies that the originality of the remix is non-existent, therefore it must acknowledge its source of validation self-reflexively. In brief, the remix when extended as a cultural practice is a second mix of something pre-existent; the material that is mixed at least for a second time must be recognized otherwise it could be misunderstood as something new, and it would become plagiarism. Without a history, the remix cannot be Remix.[5]

The extended, selective and reflexive remixes can quickly crossover and blur their own definitions. Based on a materialist historical analysis, it can be noted that DJs became invested in remixes which inherited a rich practice of appropriation that had been at play in culture at large for many decades. Below are brief definitions with visual examples.


Extended Remixes
The Extended Remix was an early form of remix in which DJs from New York City became invested. On close examination this was a reaction against the status quo, where everything was made as brief as possible, from radio songs to novels. I argue that due to this, the extended remix is not found in mass culture prior to this period.

The Disco DJs, going against the grain, actually extended music compositions to make them more danceable. They took 3 to 4 minute compositions that would be friendly to radio play, and extended them as long as 10 minutes.[6] In the seventies this was quite radical because in fact, it is the summary of long material that is constantly privileged in the mainstream—which is true even today. The reason behind this tendency has to do in part with the efficiency that popular culture demands. That is, everything is optimized to be quickly delivered and consumed by as many people as possible. An obvious example of this tendency from history is the popularity of publications like Reader’s Digest, which offers condensed versions of books as well as stories for people who want to be informed but do not have the time to read the original material, which is often more extensive. [7]

Image source: E Bay

Another recent activity that is now emerging on the web is the two-minute “replay” available for TV shows like “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.”[8] If you missed the show when it aired, you can spend just two minutes online catching up on the plot; in essence, this is a more efficient version of Reader’s Digest for TV delivered to your Internet doorstep. This two-minute replay is also called “video highlights.” At the same time, this optimization of information allows entire programs to be uploaded by average consumers in short segments to community websites like Youtube, which in the end function as promotion for TV media.[9]

Image source: Youtube

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Filed under: art, design, fashion, hack, new media, opensource, research, social, space/place, technology

The Web 2.0 Mashup Ecosystem Ramps Up

( via soa webservices )

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?

Like Web 2.0 itself, mashups are a result of a set of significant new trends that are reinforcing and in turn magnifying each other. Not the least are dynamic, lightweight models for combining content. Growing awareness of the Ajax approach too has helped to create a simple mash-up reuse model. One that allows the creation of rich, interaction browser components that can be reused via a single snippet of Javascript, with Google Maps being a pre-eminent example. But while there are numerous forces combining to make the mashup ecosystem “explode”, the combined effect is resulting in the creation of an online software environment which resembles a full blown operating system in virtually every way, and perhaps even more so.

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.

Filed under: applications, architecture, new media, opensource, research, technology

John Maushammer’s Amazing Pong Watch

( via laughing squid )

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.

Here’s previous coverage of the Pong Watch from Make and Boing Boing.

John does not currently have any plans to produce and sell the watch, but who knows, maybe one day…

photo credit: Scott Beale

Filed under: art, DIY, hack, new media, opensource, technology

Seven Ages of Rock

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.

.: BBC-Seven Ages of Rock 

Filed under: art, films, opensource


( via notcot )

Human Platform

100 days in 100 images of 100 people… 100 people around the world taking 100 pictures of their Mondays. 100 completely different Mondays.

From this Monday, and until we receive he first 100 submissions PlataformaHumana (Human Platform) 100x100x100 is on.

The project is a collection of 100 days in 100 images of 100 people, or better yet of 100 people around the world taking 100 pictures of their Mondays. 100 completely different Mondays.

The idea is to take pictures from when you wake up until you go to bed, taking on an avaradge a picture every 10 minutes. Pictues of everything, anything that comes up, the bread (muffin, bagle, scone) that you eat for breakfast, of the car that is driving in front of you, the old lady in the bus, your boss, your computer, your pen (pencil) of everything or nothing, depending on what you do. The perfect excuse to take pictures of all that you wished you can take a pictrure of at some point in your life, but never had a good reason to do so.

The rules are pretty simple:

0. Take 100 pictures. (no more no less)
1. All the pictures need to be taken horizontally (landscape view)
2. Possibly not in high definition. (in your camera you can change the resolution for taking a picture, the best resolution is the lowest, this way is easier to send them, if possible 640×480 px)
3. Do not edit the pictures in your pc.
4. If possible activate in the camera the function time/date in oreder to record them in the pictures.
5. Don’t cencure
6. Send them via compress file (zip file) at 100@plataformahumana.com up to 10mb. For bigger files, please send http://www.yousendit.com/ (up to 100mb)

The idea behind the project is to be able to see through a web page how many different people around the world spend a MONDAY. Even though many images will be of pc screens with many excel sheets, many others will be of very discinct places, people on vacation, people whom are doing nothing or people whom staid in bed. Many will find out that they have lunch at the same place, or others will figure that they go to places that they had forgotten. Or that simply don’t have anything in common. Or everything . In reality …. We believe that the vast part of what we are going to find out will be when we will check out all the pictures.

This started on Monday Octorber 2nd 2006 with pictures taken in Chile, Mexico, Spain, Argentina, the USA, the UK, France …. in the desert, on the mountains, in many cities ….

This project has raised a lot of interest, we have gotten already many pictures, which we will be publishing when we get 100 Mondays of 100 different people.

Filed under: art, DIY, opensource, social, technology

Collaborative Films

via Skynoise

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.”

Filed under: films, new media, opensource, technology


Latest shoot:


OPEN SOURCE FASHION: fashion for the masses by the masses

Hacking Couture focuses on the documentation of established fashion identities in order to create a shared library that allows democratic access to its findings and contributions. The open source movement took its peak during the 1990’s and ever since, the software revolution has allowed for the exploration resulting on endless advancement in diverse fields, giving an improvement of the industry.

This advancement has been the result of opening the dialogue among computer programmers and by allowing public access and contribution, by the sharing of existing computer code and allowing its use for other applications. In addition to the sharing aspect, documention of these computer code is an importnat part of the open source cullture. More recently, the open source movement has been applied to hardware [physical aspect of computers, the circuit and all the other physical components that make a computer*]. People have started to document how they hack into electronic devices [brake into a system and modify it in order for it to execute the desired task].

Hacking Couture’s ongoing research and documentation focuses on the documentation of the design code of established identities in order to derive new and evolving fashion aesthetics, serving also as a platform for
self-expression and nest for new ideas.

*When we refer to computers, we refer to any device that incorporates a micro-controller of chip. Some examples these devices are mp3 players, microwaves, printers, etc.

Once the code has been documented Hacking Couture publishes an example of a design hack based on the identity studied, in order to share and enhance the fashion dialogue between remote users, and participants of the Hacking Couture workshops.


Filed under: art, DIY, fashion, hack, new media, opensource, research, social

How-to make an LED shirt by Craft-zine

hand-made LED shirt

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…

sewing surface mount LEDs

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.

Filed under: art, DIY, new media, opensource, physical computing, technology

Remix culture

via  Center for social media [School of communication,  American university]

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.

Filed under: academic, new media, opensource, research

On Byways and Backlanes: The Philosophy of Free Culture

worth a read..


Filed under: academic, architecture, art, new media, opensource, research, social, space/place, technology