July 4, 2013

Memopol by Timo Toots is a series of two interactive installation works, Memopol-1 and Memopol-2, that maps visitor’s personal information.

By inserting an identification document such as a national ID-card or passport into the machine, it starts collecting information about the visitor from (inter)national databases and the Internet. The data is then visualized on a large-scale custom display. People using the machine will be remembered by their names and portraits.

The Cyrillic spelling of the installation’s name refers to George Orwell’s concept of Big Brother from his dystopian novel 1984. Over the past decades [sic], technological means have transformed the surveillance of society. When surfing on the Internet, paying with an ATM card, or using an ID card, people leave their digital traces everywhere. Internet and social networks gather and provide a great deal of personal information, and a person’s profile is no longer constituted by his or her physical being alone, but also by the person’s digital information, over which he or she sometimes has little control. Background checks through Internet search engines and social network sites have become routine when we meet somebody new or apply for a job. Memopol enables us to make a thorough background check of ourselves, mirroring back to us all the data about us that is recored [sic]…

By logging in the government portal, citizen can see information from prescription drugs to high school exams, from tax reports to driving licenses. All recorded for unlimited time…Memopol is a reaction to these developments and uses contrasting aesthetics. It’s big and evil, dark and scary. It projects present-day technology into the retro-futuristic times. The tools of 1984 are already here, but the question is how do we use them. In the time of peace these tools add a lot of comfort to every-day life, but what happens when the political winds change.

Posted by: Garrett @ 10:38 am
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June 24, 2013
Vanity Ring

Vanity Ring by Markus Kison transposes the status given through wearing a jewel such as a diamond to status understood as Google hits.

Rings are well known status symbols, and the included jewel’s weight in carat is a comparable value for the personal ranking of its owner (the largest two diamonds are in the British crown jewels). The Vanity Ring doesn’t have a jewel, instead it shows the number of hits one gets, when he searches Google for the name of the person who wears it, a more adequate value in our time. It is personalized using a custom software, and after the name is typed the ring will change its display to show the personal attention carats, while every night, when it is inserted into its docking station the ring is reloaded and updated. Vanity Ring is a closed medial circuit project, where the ring has influence on the mass media and the other way round.

Originally seen at Goollery (now offline).

Posted by: Garrett @ 12:08 pm
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September 19, 2012

Sensobotanics by Thomas Hawranke is a feedback system installation between a plant and the first person shooter game it plays on a computer.

The virtual light, displayed by the monitor, is transferred to the light environment in the room and stimulates the plant. The botanical reactions are then sent back to the controlling of the first person shooter…Game real-time and botanic real-time are adjusted by time expansion and time compression. Both spaces melt into each other and delocalize.

The artist describes a number of important considerations in the work related to time, interaction and feedback, e.g. how the time of plants relates to time within video games, how a plant receives feedback and in turn perhaps how games could be designed to accommodate that.

Time is a very important aspect in this project. Nowadays, when speaking of Realtime, one describes the notion of velocity or even acceleration. Realtime in games, means, for example, an „invisible“ framerate in highly detailed and realistic designs. Simulations in realtime are fast calculations and so forth. Considering plants, realtime seems very slow, time, which realtime describes, is expanded or decelerated. If you assign the botanical realtime onto the accelerated realtime, the first is almost unperceivable. Mathematical opperations must be used to level the different velocities of time, before the possibility of communication of both areas is warranted.

The plant´s perception happens through a kind of biosensoric. Different states can then be sensorically captured and read. After leveling the time velocities, the following step would be generating a kind of feedback. This feedback should also be equalized and finally a reaction to the plants behaviour should be simulated.

Originally seen at the Laboratory for Experimental Computer Science website
at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne.

Posted by: Garrett @ 12:45 pm
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September 17, 2012
Electrolibrary by Waldek Węgrzyn

Another network related book work. Electrolibrary (this is the website part of the work) by Waldek Węgrzyn is a book that connects via USB to a computer to control a website. The work was designed for his diploma thesis at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, Poland.

The book can be browsed…by turning pages, you can navigate through the website, getting additional information, quotations, movies and animations appropriate to the currently open page.

The content of the book is Waldek’s diploma thesis discussing phenomenon of a book as an inteface. The text contains number of references to different works, but the major inspiration is the manifesto “The topography of typography” published in 1923 by a graphic designer El Lissitzky which has also influenced the design of the book.

Originally seen on Digital MediaArts Numériques.

Posted by: Garrett @ 4:05 pm
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May 7, 2012

Another device for distant non-verbal interaction (similar to Feel Me) is Kissenger by Dr. Hooman Samani. Created under a the research umbrella Lovotics (Love and Robotics) at Keio-NUS CUTE Center, a collaborative artificial intelligence lab between the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Keio University of Japan, the Kissenger are a pair of devices you use with your loved one to transfer a kiss over distance. Kissenger:

provides a physical interface enabling kiss communication for several applications facilitating intimate human tele-presence with the real and virtual worlds…With the aid of digital communication media and advanced robotic technology, the system takes the form of an artificial mouth that provides the convincing properties of the real kiss.

The system propose and enables three modes of possible kiss interaction:

1. Human to Human tele-kiss through the device: bridges the physical gap between two intimately connected individuals. Kissenger plays the mediating role in the kiss interaction by imitating and recreating the lip movement of both users in real time using two digitally connected artificial lips.
2. Human to Robot kiss: enabling an intimate relationship with a robot, such technology provides a new facility for closer and more realistic interactions between humans and robots. In this scenario, one set of artificial lips is integrated in a humanoid robot.
3. Human to Virtual character physical/virtual kiss: provides a link between the virtual and real worlds. Here, humans can kiss virtual characters while playing games and receive physical kisses from their favorite virtual characters. Further, Kissenger can be integrated into modern communication devices to facilitate the interactive communication between natural and technologically mediated environments and enhance human tele-presence.

This is an interesting concept but is essentially drifting into the area of teledildonics. It’s not unique as I’ve seen devices similar to these before from the very serious to artistic parodies however I’m not sure what the thinking is behind making it look like a cute pig.

Originally seen on Valentina Tanni’s weblog.

Posted by: Garrett @ 4:20 pm
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