Category Archives: cool

History of the Internet in 8 Minutes

I learn about the coolest things on Twitter… Johannes from Monochrom posted a link to a short video relating the history of the Internet–note this is not about the WWW, but the actual development of the network.  It’s amazingly clear, and also makes use of very well done animated icons which are produced through a visual language called Picol (this link is to the blog about Picol, the one below the video is the user profile on Vimeo).

History of the Internet from PICOL on Vimeo.

Anyway, looking forward to the project being released for us all to play with.

Now this is funny!

A list of the top 15 criteria for interactive or new media art has been posted by the Near Future Laboratory. Based on the responses I’ve seen so far, this really struck a chord with many readers. I also notice that one of the main purposes of new media might be providing conversational topics. Maybe my next “project.” 😉

"The Highly Coveted Desktop Structural Achievement Award 2007-08"

Here is the text of the speech with which I was honored for my creation of truly marvelous chaos:

I confess to aspiring for this award for several years and those of you who know me and have witnessed the temple of bureaucratic agglutination that I’ve created in L195D can bear out this aspiration. When Jim Payne popped in on me last week to discuss these awards, he mentioned the superior condition of my office, and I thought my position was secure.

But then we wandered around campus a bit, and we discovered a singular effort that puts to shame my own meager and sophomoric efforts.

Several distinguishing features clearly separate this office from the rest of the pack. The empty wrappers of food and water bottles. The stacks and scattered detritus of scholarly work and the assessment of student performance. The bag of drawings clearly encrusted with what appears to be mud.

This office represents the highest example of what we can achieve given the proper inspiration, and desire, and temperament, and equipment. What makes it so is not merely all of these details, but its comprehensive vision, its theory and practice of chaos so profound, so deeply and thoroughly considered, so assiduously studied and carefully elaborated in all its possibilities.

You may see this stunning effort in L195N. I am humbled, and I bow to its greater glory.

Please join me then in congratulating my colleague in English, and this year’s winner of the distinguished Desktop Structural Achievement Award, Dr. Kim De Vries.

I must thank Dr. Scott Davis for so generously allowing me to publish his speech. He did make a good effort, but I think was unwilling to sacrifice his own or his students’ ability to walk into his office! 😉

Doktor Sleepless, cover #4

Originally uploaded by warrenellis

I love Warren Ellis. He captures contemporary attitudes in such a beautifully snarky way.

The odd thing though, is that if someone made a movie as vile and violent, even if as funny, as one of Warren’s typical stories, I’d probably hate it. (well, if it was really so funny, maybe it would be ok; I liked Tank Girl after all, both comic and film.) But my point is that I seem to have no trouble with violence, perversion, or general grossness when it’s in a comic book, but in films, I don’t like most violence. I guess added abstraction really does make a difference.

Finally I found some amazing digital art

So I was saying last week (or maybe two weeks ago) that I hadn’t really found any art that really moved me emotionally, but lo an behold, this week it falls into my lap. Or rather, inbox. Out of the blue I got a message from Joseph Nechvatal about a new Viral Symphony he has posted over at UbuWeb. We hadn’t met, but we’re both on Nettime-L and I guess he thought I might like it, which I did. But, since of course I then had to google Jospeph (because I am one of those who will virtually stalk someone via their online appearances if I find them interesting) I found his website and blog, both of which have links to some of his digital paintings.

I have to say I just love these. The paintings are really disturbing (in a good way) and also just cool as they are consumed by the virii, and I really connected to the music because in some way it really works with the blazing heat and profusion of growth we get in this part of the central valley during the summer. When you combine irrigation with constant sun, you get not only amazingly fruitful farms and orchards, but also weeds, molds, ants…all kinds of living things that seem poised to take over.

In addition to how much I enjoy the way these works express some sort of fecundity, also, reading some of Joseph’s own texts and some texts about his work, I finally feel like I have a grip (however slippery) on some theoretical concepts I’ve been struggling with, so that was an unexpected pleasure.

Joseph has also been nice enough to answer my questions via email and pointed me to this video that shows the consumption of a digital painting:

And, if you like that, you can see more at his YouTube page.

–so cool to meet an artist who will answer emails even when they contain questions that are probably really basic.

Makedo project 1

Makedo project 1
Originally uploaded by cuuixsilver

Another cool project from the Piet Zwart students, this time from the first year show. This phone has on the first eight options statements from each artist in the first-year show, and then on the ninth, a chance for visitors to leave a message commenting.

It’s a really cool interface I think! Far better than the usual leaflets or little white cards–though you can see one of those in the picture as well…Created by Annemieke van der Hoek. Now I have to leave this cafe and get the stuff we need for dinner.