Monday, May 30, 2011

Water taps made of water

This is some excellent promotional material for Kohler, the famous faucet manufacturer. It is based on the theme of blurring the boundary between the solid and the liquid, which we usually don't get exposed to very often.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bruce Pollock's cosmic paintings

Bruce Pollock is a Philadelphian artist who tries to bring people an experience of infinity through his paintings. He translates microscopic and macroscopic patterns and principles onto his canvases, and manages to create very vibrant and captivating compositions by letting a painting emerge from an inner logic that Pollock explicates over time through his brush strokes.

Each painting uses a limited set of elements and ordering principles to give rise to a perception of a living three-dimensional realm. Here, no object is separated from another object, and the purpose of the object is to transcend its, say, 'it-ness', and start co-creating the whole. As an observer then, we are given the opportunity to not seek something individuated in these paintings, but to stop pointing the mind to any particular object, and have ourselves connect viscerally to what we see. From this visceral experience then, our mind is invited to contemplate more abstract notions such as the order of the cosmos, and our individuated consciousness within that order.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The mood of biological modernism

The creative genius of Silke Sieler here has done a magnificent job if he intended to abstractly capture the mood of what I call 'biological modernism', a new paradigm for technology development based on how natural ecologies perfectly blend together form, interaction, and function.

The movie brought about in me a feeling of being encapsulated inside a purified future cell where perfect harmony and order rules in perfect conjunction with the chaos and messiness of natural systems. In the trust, humility and peace this can generate then, only pure, embodied being could ultimately remain.

Robot ballcatcher

Here's your chance to see a robotic expert ballcatcher in action. It's made possible by the German fellows at DLR, who have done some sophisticated programming that has the robot determine and continually update a predicted path of the ball. It can then position its hand towards it in order to bring about a smooth catch. The robot can even do this with two balls thrown simultaneously, so it definitely outranks any virtual character in catching qualities, even the Frisbee catching dog in Wii Sports Resort. Imagine the children of the future throwing balls over with inexhaustible robots, or a robotic fridge throwing you a full can of juice and receiving the empty one from a distance, or vending machines that you can just throw money instead of having to fumble and tumble to get that coin or card into the slot. The commercial opportunities of giving technology these basic motor skills are quite endless.

It's a little bit of a pity that this level of artificial intelligence still requires the robot to be hooked up to external processors, but at least we're getting nearer at unraveling and emulating the human embodiment.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fabbing strandbeesten

Ah, finally we hear again from Theo Jansen. The man has turned to 3D printing as a way to manufacture his famous 'Strandbeesten'. For about a hundred American dollars you can now buy your own miniature Strandbeest from Shapeways.

And they work magnificently:

In the following video you can hear some comments from the man himself.

Theo Jansen really seems to be an incarnation of the old lone master, who develops stunning works that will root themselves in the collective unconscious of mankind. And maybe sustaining his level of genius requires his mind to be more isolated from the more mundane processes of society. On the other hand, I tend to think that more challenge and enrichment can be found through combining work both on an internal level through deep study, creative exploration and masterful synthesis, and on an external level through trying to manifest this creativity into the world in various ways. Theo Jansen seems to be only active on one far end of this spectrum, and keeps his creations very pure. He does want to spread them, as he mentions the objects seducing us to make them. But I think we can spread them faster by creatively searching for ways to make Strandbeesten, or maybe just the mechanic principles behind them, marketable. To give an analogy, the yogi can sit in the mountains -or on the beaches- all his life, having transcended his personhood and having found higher states of consciousness more worthy of residing in, but he can only become truly enlightened if he learns to take what he found into the world and spread it there. Maybe this means that initially only small bits will take root here and there, but at least it's pushing things in a better direction. I would like to give Strandbeesten jobs, for example in becoming billboards, because those would at least be nicer billboards than the ones of today.

X-rays from a cyborg future

Here is a little clip, created by Danny Warner, that might bring to your awareness that the merging of our biological body and technological environment is in the end going to be a glorious process. So have a moment of rest and relaxation, click that triangle, and always, always watch fullscreen.