January 30, 2007
Second Life Sceptic

Second Life Logo

I have started using Second Life over the last two weeks and it’s been with a lot of hesitation. I guess I’m a sceptic with regards to this ‘new world’. It all seems very reminiscent of the early days of the internet, go anywhere, be anyone, do anything but the reality is not that at all and this time around there seems to be quite a few things that worry me.

It all seems slightly kitsch, this 3d world where you can (supposedly) take any identity and any form yet when you join you are obliged to take a ‘real’ world name, the surname of which is from a preset list (these are heavily north American influenced however my surname, Lynch, was there – perhaps something to do with its infamous and unfortunate history in America) and a body shape which is primarily humanoid. Rules are different, you can fly, teleport etc. but Second Life just recreates scenarios and their associated issues from ‘first life’. Location, the idea of centres with more resources and attracting more people – cities, distance between places, the movement between place and privilege of being closer to the centres.

Everyone seems to be rushing to stake a claim in this rapidly growing space / place. To own land, to build, to have a slurl. While of course its all ‘virtual’ we may soon have a ‘world’ as large as it is in first life. Does this qualify as a sort of Borgesian 1:1 map? And lets not forget the most important issue here, one single company runs all of this, the protocols, the grid, the rules, how you rent land – everything. So why if I’m so sceptical am I interested?

Well a few glimers of hope. The Second Life Viewer has recently gone open source and even though the clever work ethic involved here (get programmers to work for you for free) is probably more important to Linden Lab than the idea of gifting the source to the public domain, its got to be a good thing over all.

Second Life Sculptures

And then I saw this, a sculpture park created by Adam Nash (Adam Ramona in SL) and Chris Dodds (Mashup Islander in SL) with interactive, immersive, audio-visual sculptures (images above). This alone makes the sign-up for Second Life worth while.

The sculpture park location can be viewed online at the second Life website. Adam Nash’s part of the island is here and Chris Dodds part of the island is here. To visit the works in Second Life use the Second Life urls (slurls):


Originally seen at Selectparks. A full interview with the artists is available here. More information about developments in Second Life can be read here.

Posted by: Garrett @ 9:43 am
Comments Off
January 29, 2007
Networked Furniture

Vestigii Ticker Chair

Tobi Schneidler is a German architect and designer creating devices and spaces augmented through their use of networks (object hyperlinking). His work seems to focus primarily on utilitarian devices, lights, chairs etc. which will allow people to improve their day to day lives.

The Vestigii Ticker chair (images above) is an interactive chair designed specifically for the Vestigiii fashion studio in Berlin:

The chair is designed to catch those ephemeral digital fragments, derived from ongoing world affairs and events, and relay them back into the physical space of the designer’s studio to let them condensate on the creative environment. In reference to the physical reality of our human lives, the projection is using electromechanical character sets that project words and short sentences onto a special mirror. This mirror transforms the light spectacle again into an intangible image, which magically overlays with the image of the observer. The rhythm of the incoming data packets can be influenced by visitors resting on the chair to influence the frequency of incoming news.


The RemoteHome (image above and animated diagram below), developed with Smart Studio Interactive Institute (now the Art & Technology Program) and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design is a connected home, a flat share:

that will exist in two distant cities at the same time: London and Berlin. Both spaces are electronically connected through the Internet, to turn furniture and architectural elements into tangible and sensual means of communication. Sensory and kinetic devices, as well as an interactive light installation allow for the exchange between this remotely living group of friends. A mobile wireless artefact, in the shape of a transforming interactive bag, can be taken on journeys to stay emotionally in touch with the RemoteHome.

RemoteHome diagram animated

Originally seen at networked_performance. A full interview with Tobi Schneidler is available at Gizmodo.

Posted by: Garrett @ 2:43 pm
Comments (2)
January 28, 2007
Static, Dynamic and Centric

Tagging (Static - Dynamic - Centric)

The interactive paintings, Tagging (Static – Dynamic – Centric), by Aram Bartholl are his latest work which employes Semacode Datamatrix’s.

Each image shows an individual black and white pattern which has been painted manually with an edding 850. These patterns have been created by a special software on a computer. It is possible for any visitor to decode each “Semacode” by using a standard camera phone…Semacode makes it posssible to encode a specific amount of data within the pixel pattern. This string of data can be decoded from an image taken by the camera phone afterwards…For the users it serves as a tool to get simple access to websites on a mobile phone. Equiped with the software the user navigates to websites by just taking a photo of a semacode which has the specific webadress encoded.

The three Datamatrix paintings contain urls. The first Static links to a quote by Joseph Weizenbaum, creator of ELIZA, the natural language processing chatter bot; “Knowledge does NOT become unnecessary by the Internet!”. The second, Dynamic, links to the photo pool of the Institute of Electronic Business on Flickr. While the third links to the place of the IEB on Plazes, a location based communication platform.

Original seen at networked_performance.

Posted by: Garrett @ 3:49 pm
Comments (1)
January 25, 2007


Tagtracker is software created by Someth;ng which runs on a mobile phone and allows datamatrix tags to link items tagged in the ‘real’ world with online resources such as websites, forums, weblogs, wiki’s etc.

The work has striking similarities to the Semapedia project but this is what datamatrix does best after all; linking ‘real’ place with ‘virtual’ space (object hyperlinking) and it’s difficult to tell which predates the other.

Unlike users of semapedia, who are encouraged to link things with reference information, here users are encouraged to mark their own territory with the tags, markers:

  • ‘territory’ could be your office, your t-shirt, your business card, or anything physical.
  • A ‘marker’ is a unique two-dimensional bitmap grid which associates with an online resource: a website, a forum, a weblog, a wiki, a corporate intranet, a sales catalogue, exhibition piece information.

Visitors to individuals territories, users of the tagtracker software, can photograph tags to connect to information online and find out more about the territory / item in the territory tagged:

The phone application turns a cameraphone into a ‘magic lens’ through which it can be used to locate, identify and connect to markers … The internet becomes a geographic, physical-world based resource. Discover communities local to your regular haunts, discover resources by taking a stroll, join in with groups you have physical contact with, email people you see in the street.

Note: Related work concerning object hyperlinking includes I can read you, Cemetry 2.0, Meghan Trainor’s RFID work, Moo-Pong: Kaleidoscope of Movie and Tagged the RFID exhibition at space.media.arts.

Posted by: Garrett @ 11:19 pm
Comments Off
January 22, 2007
Interview by Haroon Mirza


Interview by Haroon Mirza is one of many sound based objects / installations of which a preview of sorts can be viewed / heard on the artists website.

I particularily like this work more the others as it suggests that one speaker is triggering the other over and back as in a conversation (an audio network reminescent of some previous works by me – net.tv, Mailstory) but suspect this is not in fact what is happening, that it is simply a two channel (stereo) installation. The work also reminds me of a piece I saw at an exhibition entitled L’Homme Transformé several years ago at the Cité des Sciences in Paris, where two aliens progressively developed and learned through trial and error their own language based on syntax rules over the duration of the exhibition. Very elegant and sophisticated work, the name and artist of which I have never been able to remember (do you know this work? – leave a comment if so).

Posted by: Garrett @ 2:15 pm
Comments Off
Older Posts »
Don't know what this is? Click here.
This is a QR Code, it's a printed link to this webpage on Network Research!

Using a web-enabled mobile phone with built-in camera and QR Code reader software you can photograph this printed page to display the original webpage. For more information on how to do this please see the short article here:


and download a reader application for your mobile device.
Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, all works and documentation on the domain asquare.org are copyright
Garrett Lynch 2018 and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.
asquare.org is powered by WordPress