Monday, December 28, 2009

From Billions to Trillions

Here's a short clip explaining how we are moving from a world with a few billion of computers to one that contains trillions of computers, up to a point where they are so ubiquitous that they get embedded in the smallest of things. I believe that in the end, we will not be able to distinguish the 'real', unmediated world from digital worlds such as videogames anymore, and moreover, that this blend of the digital and the physical gives rise to a wholly new form of embodiment; one in which we can change physical things, including our own bodies, as easily as virtual things.

Friday, December 18, 2009


The animation 'I am' by Tronic Studio is some excellent eye-candy, with a message. This spot was created to give animals a voice and put them into our consciousness and conscience. They are depicted as temporary assembled from scrap materials, because that is more or less how we treat them in our urbanized landscapes. We still easily get seduced by technology's newness and in that we tend to 'progressively' forget what we call nature. Nature has become more and more useless in our everyday interactions, so it only remains on the background of awareness in providing a platform for organic life. Thus we are trading an embodied existence for one that is abstracted away from physicality but constituted by symbolic constructions, such as social relationships, the mediasphere, and the self-concept. We connect to static constructions we can give a name to, and give a place in our conscious web of mental associations so they can become social assets, but in that we are alienated from the ongoing and ever-flowing process that that construction is in. We seem to be too much conditioned by structuralism and the linguistic turn in philosophy. In general, people seem stunned by the complexity of the world this view gives us, and have forgotten simple wisdoms such as that everything is in flux and that all boundaries are created by the mind.

But back to the animation. To me, it is particularly well-chosen to depict the animals as temporary constructions without faces, so the focus is not on the character, but on the process of death and rebirth. It makes it clear that any identity is transient and that we all consist of the same things. We are all ghosts, and what defines us is not the form we are in but the potentialities of our embodiment and the stance that we adopt in the process of physical and psycho-spiritual evolution.

Thanks to the excellent blog Spatial Robots for this link.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

turquoise; the color of 2010

So Pantone has selected turquoise out of all colors to be the color of 2010. It reminds us of an escape from the everyday world, its green being psychologically soothing but not in a way that signifies nature as we know it. Also it is not an alien color, but somehow we can relate to it. To me turquoise is a very pure color that signifies a clear state of mind. I would immediately relate it to the aquarian age that is starting in 2012, in which we are said to massively awake to our cosmic purpose and develop a new kind of consciousness, a more integral one where we transcend the perspective of the self. Now are all the aesthetic signs that seem to subtly signify this age pure coincidence or is there a red thread to be discovered?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Eunsuk Hur's lasercut fabric structures

I am promoting the work of Eunsuk Hur, who creates incredibly intricate fabric structures that truly speak for themselves and exude an aesthetic sensitivity that we should all look for in our process of creation. Imagine the beauty that can result when this gets combined with less crude materials and manufacturing processes. She also seems to adhere to the vision that morphing textile structures can support ever more nomadic lives in which people become more embodied with and less dependent on technological environments. This is definitely a designer to keep an eye on if you ask me.

Link: Eunsuk Hur's website

breaktime: an organic fountain symphony

Time for some lunchtime aesthetics. This is the tallest fountain of the world, able to shoot water jets up to 500 feet high. More than that and almost incredibly so, the jets can be individually controlled in terms of direction and power, which together with colored light and music allows the creation of stunning visual patterns.

And this is only traditional aesthetics, where the human is the observer and the artwork the observed. Imagine what effect this can have if the fountain is meaningfully coupled to real time data. Think about weather forecasting data, a representation of people's brainwave activity in the city, cellphone use, voting poll statistics, or maybe each jet of the fountain could be directly coupled to a bystanders' bodily movements, inviting a mass interaction to arise. The possibilities are endless, the technological platform is here, so now the people need to start generating ideas and make it useful beyond just preprogrammed patterns, because no matter how seductive it might be to sit back and passively enjoy the ride, it does not render us any step beyond sophisticated couch potatoes. Gently taking what capitalism produces into our own hands is the way to go, if you ask me.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

the technium and Kevin Kelly

Here's an interesting little interview with technology-guru Kevin Kelly, who is currently finishing the first draft of his upcoming book "What Technology Wants". The simple but catchy animation is done by the Dutch agency FreedomLab.

Basically, he discusses technology's cosmic driving force that propels us further in our evolution. He also thinks this process is deterministic, i.e. that it evolves towards an end state, as if it had a single intention.

What i would add to his vision comes from a more psycho-spiritual point of view. I would refine technological determinism by stating that there is no end-state technology wants to evolve us towards, it only seems to be so. Not only that, adopting the stance that there seems to be a technological destiny for us can make us happier, because it gives us a sense of purpose. The thing is, I think that this end state can never be known, that we can only flow along with technology, see what it is in technology that truly makes us see and experience happiness, and find it in moments of interaction with technology. Technology progresses with us towards happiness, and this is not happiness as in a desired object outside of us, given to us by technology, but happiness that is always already here in the moment, which technology can reveal to us. Ultimate happiness lies in perfecting skill wherein you are liberated from yourself and are fully absorbed by the environment, so in the end you become one and do not need conscious thoughts anymore. I think that the purpose of anything is to become obsolete, and that we are supremely happy when everything is obsolete. Thoughts, intentions, reactive emotions, words, expressions, objects, concepts, etcetera. Then we come to be pure nothingness and just flow along with whatever happens, and so to say become manifestations of a cosmic force that transcends our thinking, desiring, feeling, experiencing self. That to me is what both humanity and what technology wants.