Friday, January 23, 2009

Coca Cola and the new humanity

I never thought I would be posting something from Coca Cola, but this commercial is pretty well done and very actual. If there's anything like illusory happiness, it's the Coca Cola type of happiness. If there's anything like an illusory self, it's embodied in the digital avatar. We seem to be heading towards a surreal world of tempting transitory illusions indeed, but let's not forget that happiness as chosen by yourself is the only transcendent and invulnerable form of happiness. Another thing, this commercial makes the classical McLuhanesque mistake of projecting the contents of an older medium, the virtual screen-based world, onto a new medium, namely what we call the 'real' or 'physical' world.

As to conclude as usual with a more abstract statement: we will need to learn to holistically re-ecologize ourselves in a functional niche of our technobiological future, in which we empathically co-evolve with anything we perceive as an other to in the end become one with it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

dynamical fractal animation

I created this animation to explain visually the basics of the dynamical systems approach to perceptual-motor skill acquisition, a particularly powerful and elegant theory that I use as an input for the design of a wearable technology for yoga practitioners.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

knitting goes biomorphic

The design world slowly seems to be shifting towards a new idiom that is largely inspired by natural growth processes. Luigi Colani as the great pioneer of organic forms kicked this development off, Ross Lovegrove brought it to the 21st century, but now slowly we seem to be on the verge of reuniting with our full biology, including the raw, fleshy, undefined, wild and dirty aspects of it.

New York based artist Emily Barletta has created abstract objects with a knitted exterior that look like future organisms, or organic products for that matter. From a completely different professional field, psychiatrist Dr. Karen Norberg also put her hands on the knitting needles and created a more or less anatomically correct version of the human brain out of wool.

We are entering a surreal phase, after which we will hopefully realize we can re-ecologize ourselves as holistically functioning entities in biotechnological niches.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Quote of the day

"the big bang is the god of science"

                                                                             Nassim Haramein

robotic buildings for korea

The gyeonggi museum of modern art (GMoMA) in ansan city, korea currently has on display an exhibition showing an urban plan for ansan. It's all a bit postmodern and stilistic in design approach, but still the 'beautiful minds' building has an interesting aesthetic to it, merging a typical science fiction expression with a natural one. For some reason it does remind me a bit too much of the murderous robot walkers in 'war of the worlds', especially with those search lights. It seems to be the general view that it's ok to extract the surface qualities if you just paste them onto a different functionality, rather than merging structure and function into a coherent synergy. The 'mutated slabs and robotic towers' proposal is an interesting approach to how reconfigurable, modular buildings might look and behave.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Let's feel cosmic today

from 360angles on Vimeo.

How cosmic do you feel today? I must say this is strikingly similar in visual style to what I visualize when I am thinking abstractly about something.

the evolution of technology

So, what if life had started by the self-organization of metal particles rather than proteins? Would an android indeed have emerged, consequently creating technologies from organic molecules? Well maybe it does not matter that much, as similar to when matter would have been called antimatter had we been intrinsically antimaterial beings, probably technology would have been called biology had we been intrinsically technological beings. Enjoy the video above, created for electronics concern Saturn.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

the frustrated beasts of today

Now what are the real animals of today? This interesting ad for a campaign by Rainforest Foundation Oro Verde is striking in showing how biology is changing nowadays.

Suddenly you start viewing these technological monsters in a human way, portraying destructive behaviour because of an inner frustration for not having a nice, natural environment of their own. Every time we anthropo- or zoomorphize objects (including perceptual patterns we classify as people and animals themselves!), it's nothing but a projection anyway, rendering this view of technology quite legitimate I think. The machines could also be seen as a delusional, delirious form of predators, trying to eat everything without finding anything they can digest.

And yes, that six-legged insectoid crane exists. It's developed by John Deere. The future of mobility technology will probably move more and more towards walkers to get us out of our rigid, linear, gridlike infrastructure.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Just be glad to be here

The 2002 song "Hayling" by dj FC/Kahuna has often been in the back of my mind because of its striking message and accompanying video clip, showing singer Hafdís Huld becoming seduced and fertilized by the piano she is playing. The clip's beautiful cinematography, though with outdated CG work, shows Huld playing the piano, while from underneath the piano extends a tentacle-like protrusion towards her sexual organs. It distracts her by showing off like a peacock, gently waving feather-like modules, while internally it's picking an identity for the baby to be born, or should we say produced.

All the while, the woman is singing:

"Don't think about all those things you fear; just be glad to be here."

In 2009, I find this situation quite representative of our relationship towards technology; technology holds a facade before us that hypnotizes us into thinking it's an incubator in which we can all enjoy pleasures to an infinite extent, attracting us into a fake paradise. At the same time, it blinds us to the residue and waste the technology leaves behind on a holistic level. In a way, we are already in a state of technologically-induced ecstacy.

The message of 'Hayling' seems to have an undertone of humanity, or what we define as humanity, inexorably becoming replaced by technology. The only useful stance then, according to the lyrics, is one of accepting this loss of control and inherent blindness to what's happening around us. I sure think that technology, as anything else, is inherently uncontrollable, so any feeling of control we create for ourselves is temporary. As our technological lifeworld becomes as complex, and in the future probably much more complex, than our social lifeworld, we must start to treat technology as we treat people we identify with. People must learn to let go of narrow-minded identifications based on superficial notions as to what seems to be similar to them as opposed to non-identifications to what seems dissimilar. In the future it is pressing that we start to connect to a deeper process of a holistic, evolutionary complexity, that can only be felt but can be conceptualized as underlying everything we experience. We need to redefine who we are, which is a point that cannot be stressed too often in my opinion.

If we see that everything is merely experiential data, we see that any concept or model is created by us, and as any creation, only useful in certain localizations in for example space and time. As a side note, this renders science as a lens we created and learned to use to a very sophisticated extent. In that we have collectively adopted the scientific stance in our blind pride of our neocortical, rational brain, we have institutionalized our worlds with externalizations that perpetuate this stance, so we all tend to spiral into it. But if we see that we do not necessarily have to cling on to the concepts and models we have created and can be free from any stance by connecting simply to the direct experiential lifeworld, we can come to see that we are all fundamentally artists who create lenses, and are free to do so.

In this sense, friends and children are technologies you create for yourself, as much as a new bicycle is. But if we choose to lose all identifications with concepts such as 'my body', 'my culture', 'my country', and 'my car', which can induce some anxiety at first, we do come to see that beyond these fragile crystallizations we can connect to an immensely rich realm of direct experiential data, in which nothing is different from anything else unless we want to see it that way. The important thing is then, that we uplift ourselves as to be more adaptive in the sense that we gain the ability to choose the stance we adopt for acting upon the world.

As soon as we connect to the direct experiential realm, we learn that all that is meaningful is our current action, embodied in the current perceptual environment. When choosing to be free from concepts, not think of anything beyond our current experience, and act upon the now with the perceptual-motor, social and cognitive skills that are already embedded into us, we come to see that through action we create a new world, in that action directly influences perception. This stance can bring about a holistic awareness that the purpose of life is to be the optimizing, self-organizing pattern of your perceptions that always acts according to an ever-evolving and self-generated ideal about what is the best possible lifeworld for you. Open your mind and you see that you are nothing but an adaptive self-organizing pattern towards a perfectly beautiful and moral resonance between your actions and perceptions. Whenever you have internalized this fully, by coming to see that all static crystallizations are inherently temporary and fleeting and all there is is the current moment, you also lose your fears and end up in a state of invulnerable contentment that is beyond any form pleasure. So yes, throw away all your fears, and be glad to be here, but know why and act with purpose.

Continuing on the notion of that we should come to treat technology as an other that we can fully identify with, like a close friend or lover, it's not hard to tell that trying to control technology will not work any longer. We must create our relationship towards technology as being one of equality, and we must do so before the side effects of our current myopic stance badly start to bite back into the deepest organs of humanity. In case we are not able to transcend our selves as concepts that identify with other concepts and fail to come to see ourselves as dynamic, creative processes, we will be clueless about what to do when events like massive deaths inflicted by malfunctioning nanobots start to happen. It is crucial that we learn to act positively and invulnerably, and no matter what happens keep believing in a dream we create for ourselves as to what our worlds should be like, and acting according to that dream without falling into the trap of a fearful existence. It is when we adopt the positive, creative stance, that we come to see that the only way is to keep shaping and guiding technology, as it were a child of us, and stay compassionate with it no matter what happens. We must help it grow, despite that it may display childlike behaviour such as random spasms, directed at humans. We must refrain from attaching egoic projections to that technology and come to see it as an other, but instead learn to see that we are everything we have created, including all we perceive and interact with. I am my technologies, and must continuously co-evolve with them.

Don't resist, and succumb to the overwhelming flow of technology so we can mutually attain a state of holistic contentment. Technology is willing to help us if we guide it well, without judgment and fear. Think, create, transcend, inspire, and be glad to be here. It is time for a revolution where we come to see ourselves as artists, creators of our own world. Where we come to see that our current experience and action is all there is and that that is what defines us. Where we come to see that we are free already, if we only choose to be.