quantification prescribing interaction

Artist and composer ↑Ben[jamin] Grosser, currently teaching at the School of Art & Design, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, two days ago has published his fine article “↓What do metrics want? How quantification prescribes social interaction on Facebook.” Here’s the abstract: Abstract The Facebook interface is filled with numbers that count users’ friends, comments, and “likes.” By combining theories of agency in artworks and materials with a software studies analysis of quantifications in the Facebook interface, this paper examines how these metrics prescribe sociality within the site’s online social network. That prescription starts with the transformation of the human need … Continue reading

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there’s flight MH370

Here’s my idea of what happened to ↑Malaysia Airlines Flight 370—from top to bottom the panels are taken from pages 15, 16, and 20 respectively of ‘Flight 714′ (Hergé 1968 [1966-1968]). HERGÉ (aka REMI, GEORGES [PROSPER]). 1968 [1966-1968]. ↑Flight 714 [comic]. London: Methuen Publishing Limited. Originally published as ↓Vol 714 pour Sydney. Le Journal de Tintin 836-997. … Continue reading

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there’s a glow

  This is the music video for the song ‘There’s a glow’ by the band NO, a Los Angeles-, respectively Echo-Park-based Indie sextet, which just published its debut album ‘El Prado.’ Filmmaker Johnny Agnew almost entirely filmed the video within the computer game ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ (GTA V | Rockstar North 2013)—my, my, how ↵machinima has developed since I first posted about it in 2005 or so. I especially do like the ironic, humoresque ambience and narrative of the video, very gamer-like. And as we are already at it: not that I’d have time for it, but where are … Continue reading

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watterson on comics

[Jake Rossen:] Where do you think the comic strip fits in today’s culture? [↑Bill Watterson:] Personally, I like paper and ink better than glowing pixels, but to each his own. Obviously the role of comics is changing very fast. On the one hand, I don’t think comics have ever been more widely accepted or taken as seriously as they are now. On the other hand, the mass media is disintegrating, and audiences are atomizing. I suspect comics will have less widespread cultural impact and make a lot less money. I’m old enough to find all this unsettling, but the world … Continue reading

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futuristic user interfaces

An interface from ‘Prometheus’ (Scott 2012) The head-up display (↑HUD) of ‘The Terminator’ (Cameron 1984) VisualPunker has amassed a ↑nice collection [containing a lot of animated gifs] of futuristic and retrofuturistic interfaces and HUDs from anime, other motion pictures, and computer games. In this respect I fullheartedly recommend ‘↑Make it so: Interaction design lessons from science fiction‘ (Shedroff & Noessel 2012): Many designers enjoy the interfaces seen in science fiction films and television shows. Freed from the rigorous constraints of designing for real users, sci-fi production designers develop blue-sky interfaces that are inspiring, humorous, and even instructive. By carefully studying … Continue reading

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the daily levitation

↑Natsumi Hayashi lives in Tokyo and mainly photographs levitating self-portraits, sometimes even in 3D—see her ↑how-to. Her blog ↑yowayowa camera woman diary almost exclusively consists of the mentioned levitating pictures (with some cats interspersed) which for quite some time appeared on a daily basis. To my eye the pictures have a poetic quality. The sheer mass of them, no comments whatsoever, the somewhat distanced facial expression—all adds to it. Natsumi had an ↑exhibition of her pictures in 2012, ↑another one took place in late March 2013 in the Spiral Garden. Also in 2012 her first photo book, naturally titled ‘Today’s … Continue reading

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damascus it is

On 26 February 2013 TV2 of Denmark needed a backdrop for a report on the current conflict in Syria. As it seems someone at the station searched the web for a suitable picture and hit upon a beautiful vista of the old city of Damascus. But the picture shows Damascus as it most probably has looked during the time of the ↑third crusade (1189-1192). Above that the picture doesn’t depict anything from the empirical world, but is a still from the computer game ‘↵Assassin’s Creed‘ (Ubisoft Montreal 2007). Quite tell-tale is the wooden beam attached to the minarett at the … Continue reading

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fallingwater neuschwanstein hybrid

This is the fictional castle or fortress atop the ↑Reichenbach Falls where the showdown between ↑Holmes and ↑Moriarty takes place in ‘↑A Game of Shadows‘ (Ritchie 2011). It was ↑created by the VFX company Framestore. Their first inspiration was the ↑Festung Hohenwerfen in Austria:  But as Hohenwerfen looked a bit too military, the designers threw in elements inspired by ↑Schloss Neuschwanstein in Bavaria:  And then of course, the basic idea, to my eye, comes from ↑Frank Lloyd Wright‘s ↑Fallingwater:  RITCHIE, GUY STEWART. 2011. Sherlock Holmes: A game of shadows [motion picture]. Burbank: Warner Bros. … Continue reading

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wireless devices 1906

Kip W ↑unearthed the above wonderful, stunningly up-to-date ↑Punch cartoon (Williams 1955: 164) by artist ↑Lewis Baumer (1870-1963), which first was published in 1906! It’s great historical evidence for how early in the development of a given technology people not only speculate about the future trajectory of said development, but also think about possible social consequences of it. WILLIAMS, RONALD EARNEST. 1955. A century of Punch cartoons. New York: Simon and Schuster. via ↑entry at ↑boingboing … Continue reading

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ennis house sunrise

  The idea to recreate the ‘↵House on Haunted Hill‘ in ‘↑Minecraft‘ haunts me since months. Well, ↑Kevin Shull already did it back in November 2011, complete with custom texture pack and all: House was created “block for block” as close as I could get with the photographs I found. Some areas were unclear in photos if photographed at all. House is 3x minecraft dimensions. Doors are six blocks tall instead of two. Thirteen textures created for textile blocks. Thirty additional “ice” blocks were created (that won’t melt) for windows and doors. Not enough blocks to do window designs or … Continue reading

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