Archive for the 'Art' Category

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Just spoke with Steve Mann – world’s first cyborg

Interview: Steve Mann - CyberGlogger

This video chat was conducted via Steve Mann’s Eyetap wearable video device, Skype as well as the standard cellphone. I’ll have a full video of this interesting discussion once I make the necessary edits (it was a lenghty discussion after all!).

Just moments ago, I remotely communicated with the original cyborg (or glogger as he prefers), Steve Mann.

As a professor at the University of Toronto, Mann, together with Professor Ian Kerr, have written extensively on surveillance, sousveillance, and equiveillance. “Sousveillance”, a term coined by Mann, creates a new dialog for cyborg technologies, as well as related personal information gathering technologies like camera phones.

Steve Mann's "Wearable Computer" / "Reality Mediator"

We touched on the ethical, legal, as well as cultural metaphors which gloggers like ourselves could employ to rationalize the need for such making memories (post-terminology for recordings). Thanks to the advent of camera cellphones, Mann noted about how our society was naturally reaching the middle ground of equiveillance.

Stay tuned for the full interview video in time to come. Meantime, here are some behind-the-scene photos and video.

theorycast 52 :: Real Space Electronic Art Show

What is real space electronic art?
Emerging media artist and associate professor Paul Vanouse explains that it is equivalent of “computing outside the box”, that is, interaction with information without the conventions of an everyday computer.

Organized at Soundlab by his students of the Real Space Electronic Art class, the show features intrepid electronic explorations by Heamchand Subryan and Chris Caporlingua (untitled typewriter), Rob Rzeznik and Eric Baker (untitled anger), and Fred Jones, Kyle Butler, and Scott Ries (untitled rocking chair), as well as two videos by Kyle and Scott.

BTW: Doesn’t Paul Vanouse remind you of Gaius Baltar of Battlestar Galactica?

“Anthropological Introduction to YouTube” by Dr. Michael Wesch

Youtube recently gave recognition to their amateur video celebrities with Youtube Live!, so it’s rather fitting that Howard Rheingold pointed out this mind-numbingly awesome anthropological introduction to Youtube.

Dr. Michael Wesch, who deservedly won the “U.S. Professor of the Year Award” for 2008, presented his fun investigation into the Youtube video phenomenon at the Library of Congress on June 23rd 2008.

The timeline for Michael’s hour long presentation is available after the jump…
Continue reading ‘“Anthropological Introduction to YouTube” by Dr. Michael Wesch’

Panorama: Top Floor of NSC @ UB [processed using Hugin]

Panorama: Top floor of Natural Science Complex

Panorama: Top floor of Natural Science Complex

Click images to enlarge…

In my earlier post, I showed you how you could capture and process panoramas automatically on your iPhone.

Elia Diodati reminds me that for the rest of us without iPhones or wish for higher quality panoramas, try using the open-source panorama stitcher, Hugin. Works on Mac, Windows, and Linux.

Above is a panorama I created from the fifth floor of the Natural Science Complex in UB North Campus, back in early October. Shots were taken using my iPhone, then automatically stitched together using Hugin on my Mac.

As you can see, unlike the horizontal “Panorama” for iPhone, Hugin allows for more complex shots, where it merged photos taken both vertically and horizontally.

RjDj: Like illicit drug, but technologically legal…


Got a sweet mp3 player, but tired of listening to someone else’s music?

The tools for music creation has become more accessible thanks to affordable applications such as Garageband, but they still tend to be relatively complex to learn. In comes another mode of music production… the one that pre-packages auditory possibilities, and lets you unleash it in your own haphazard, serendipitous way. Throw in the portability, multi-sensory and processing power of the iPhone, and the gates of creativity becomes unleashed.

Earlier this month, Brian Eno released a generative music album for the iPhone known as Bloom. Just this week, Gunter Geiger, a technologist and advocate of free software, released the equally spectacular, RjDj.

So what the heck is RjDj?
Continue reading ‘RjDj: Like illicit drug, but technologically legal…’

Panoramic shooting with PanoLab

UB panorama shot
Click image to enlarge

Okay so it’s not the best looking panorama you’ve seen, but if you notice carefully, to take this shot I had to be “floating” just outside the 8th floor of the Natural Sciences Building on UB North Campus.

Wanna try? If you have an iPhone, you have to get the free PanoLab app (iTunes link).

First, note that what the PanoLab app does isn’t exactly new; my Canon Ixus 330 from the late ’90s had similar panoramic-shooting capability built-in. However, it’s clever given that camera phones ubiquitous, as well as how it utilizes the iPhone’s multi-touch feature for arranging shots.

Hey, don’t just take my word for it… check out the growing PanoLab flickr pool of tasty panoramas all shot with the iPhone’s craptastic built-in camera.

Moral of story: It’s not the technology that matters… it’s the driver.

Magnetosphere: Like a universe unfolding…

Magnetosphere revisited (audio by Tosca) from flight404 on Vimeo.

This September 9th, Apple is rumored to announce a redesigned iPod nano, iTunes 8.0 and iPhone firmware 2.1.

While plenty of new features are expected for iTunes, one of the neatest things to look out for is a “stunning new music visualizer,” which TUAW contributors believe to be Robert Hodgins’ Magnetosphere (as seen above).

If you can’t wait till then, the Magnetosphere visualizer is apparently floating around the Inter-tubes…

theorycast.46 :: Stripped & Teased on

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In this episode of theorycast, I chat with Zivity model MixieMoxie to learn from her experience participating in this alternative social network. I also aim to understand the user motivations and economics behind Zivity, as well as their earlier competitor,

In essence, is pretty darn refreshing; they take the alternative softcore subculture (i.e. NSFW), mix in eBay-like crowdsourcing, and pay royalty to their contributors, namely models and photographers.

Zivity subscribers pay $10 a month, and every vote they cast on their favorite models / photographers, is worth $1. Instead of a flat royalty fee, it works out to be a recurring amount. Eighty percent of the proceeds then goes back to these sexy contributors.

Several high profile venture capitalists seem to believe in Zivity’s business model so much, that they’ve invested a second round funding of $7m. Founded by Scott Banister and his wife Cyan, the story behind Zivity is equally inspirational. To see life behind the scenes at Zivity, check out this short documentary (nsfw).

Bonus Contest: As a treat for theorycast viewers, I have three exclusive invites to Just drop a comment on how successful you think will be. I’ll award the best responses by this Sat, 11pm EST. Please note that since Zivity features nudity, invites will only be given to folks who are over 21.

Wordle: Make beautiful textclouds…

Wordle - del.icio.usly kevin

Via Clay Shirky’s twitter, I had discovered the most beautiful textcloud generator I’ve ever played with. Straight from Wordle’s mouth…

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.

To generate a textcloud of your own, simply paste a body of text, your blog’s RSS feed, or your delicious username (like mine shown above), and away you go. I’d say it’s a great way to spice up that presentation of yours, or even turn into a poster of t-shirt.

I wonder how else we could use this.

Harold Crick’s Comedy vs. Tragedy

Harold Crick's Comedy & Tragedy Scorebook

Reminder to self: Don’t forget to live your life.