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November 30, 2008


Ubu.com has Chris Marker's short film Junkopia:

One day, at the stroke of evening, on Emeryville beach in San Francisco, where unidentified artists, leave, without anyone knowing, sculptures manufactured with items that have washed ashore from the sea.

This includes a short introduction by arte, approx. 1:12 secs long, with the film being around 6 minutes itself....there are 2 intertitles in the film itself, giving the latitudanal and longitudanal co-ordinates of the beach. No subtitles required, but ill work on some anyways.

[via Chris Marker]

November 29, 2008

WKRP: Turkeys Away

Slightly late for Thanksgiving, but always amusing: A short clip from WKRP in Cincinnati's Turkeys Away episode.

Everything I know about radio production I learned from watching WKRP. Which, I think, annoys my station manager at WTSC. (YouTube upload from crystalcheats.)

Lévi-Strauss at 100

Language is a form of human reason, which has its internal logic of which man knows nothing.

The Savage Mind

Mefi has a nice collection of links to the various celebrations of Claude Lévi-Strauss's 100th birthday.

[via metafilter.com]

November 28, 2008

Yet Another Monome Demo

One of the better demos, though: Primus Luta remixes The Roots on a Monome and, along the way, shows some production techniques not normally covered in ubiquitous online Monome demos (which tend to be more simple, straight-up performance). As CDM points out, Luta is basically using the Monome as a souped-up MPC here.

The video is part one of PEMF (Personal Electro-Magnetic Field); the longish intro is odd (interesting, but still odd); the demo comes in later.)

[via createdigitalmusic.com]

November 27, 2008

Graphic Design in Pentagon Documents

WallStat.com's Down the Rabbit Hole of the Pentagon Graphics Machine collects examples of graphic design in Pentagon documents. Things magazine calls it, "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Clip Art and Excel."

The Army’s are all quite uniform sticking to bar graphs and pie charts and all with a matching color scheme. The Navy’s graphics are less polished with a focus on line charts and the occasional concept map. The Air Force however that really goes over the top in their visualization methods, from baffling to well, more baffling, their graphics really show off what can be accomplished when you lose sight of your audience and forget that sometimes the best way to convey information with with a paragraph or two of text.

[via things magazine]

November 26, 2008

Web Designers and/vs. Web Developers

Simon Mackie at Vitamin asks, "Designers and Developers, Why Can't We All Just Get Along?" This started as a Future of Web Design panel discussion; Mackie provides a small subset of the questions provided by the audience.

Designers: Developers don’t like you because you represent Work and don’t see why said work is wholly necessary. Developers: Designers are scared of you because you are the gatekeeper. This is the dynamic. Discuss.


It seems that designers are under pressure to design an exceptional and unique experience and developers are under presssure to produce sites with high performance and little/no errors. Designer’s goals add pressure to developers and vice versa. How can our goals work together intead of causing pressure on each other?

Read the comments for some good answers, discussion, etc.

[via Vitamin]

November 21, 2008

Working through Screens


Haven't done more than glance at it, but this looks very interesting: Working Through Screens: 100 Ideas for Envisioning Powerful, Engaging, and Productive User Experiences in Knowledge Work. A 100+ page website/downloadable book/set of condensed idea cards, published under a Creative Commons license.

Working through Screens is a reference for product teams creating new or iteratively improved applications for thinking work. Written for use during early, formative conversations, it provides teams with a broad range of considerations for setting the overall direction and priorities for their onscreen tools. With hundreds of envisioning questions and fictional examples from clinical research, financial trading, and architecture, this volume can help definers and designers to explore innovative new directions for their products.

Working through Screens is built around a suggested overall approach to application design:

Extensive concepting,
based on intensive questioning,
driving visionary, collaboratively defined strategies
for exemplary tools for thought

[via Putting people first]

November 20, 2008

Cody Walks


A friend's son (named "Cody," as you've probably figured out) is walking from San Diego to "as far east as I can" to raise money for Doctors Without Borders. Check out his weblog then donate.

November 19, 2008

Designing Logos


Cool: Design Walker covers the processes used by seventeen designers to create new logos. With, as you might guess, extensive, in-process examples. Above is one from Chuck Green's tutorial covering logo design for a helicopter transport company.

[via Basement.org]

November 17, 2008

The Subject of the Gym

At McSweeney's, Evan Johnston channels Slavoj Žižek in "Noted Post-Marxist Sociologist, Philosopher, and Cultural Critic Slavoj Žižek Welcomes You to the Gym":

In 1981, singer, actress Olivia Newton-John is performing in a musical video for her song "Physical." Olivia Newton-John is in the gym, not sweating, wearing headband and leotard, doing aerobics. Why is she not sweating? To answer this question, we need to reverse it and ask: Why are we not wearing a headband and leotard? And why are we sweating?

Then, I think, the meaning is clear. We are sitting in front of the TV, being couch potato, watching the illusion of nudity—which is the leotard—and the symbolism of discipline: the headband. She is doing all the work for us. She is getting physical.

With that in our minds, today we are going to do an upper-body workout with weights and the machines. OK!

November 15, 2008


Richard Devine & Josh Kay from surachai on Vimeo.

[via trash_audio]

Internet of Things Reading List

Dan Saffer posted his "Collection of Good 'Internet of Things' Readings (late 2008 edition)," which includes links to material by and/or about Vint Cerf, Bruce Sterling, The Internet-of-Things Symposium, Mike Kuniavsky, and more.

November 12, 2008

The Night Journey (Trailer)

Trailer for The Night Journey, apparently a Bill Viola-inspired videogame.

The Night Journey is a video game/art project based on the universal story of an individual mystic's journey toward enlightenment.

Visual inspiration for The Night Journey is drawn from the prior works of Bill Viola. Narrative inspiration comes from the lives and writings of great historical figures including: Rumi, the 13th century Islamic poet and mystic; Ryokan, the 18th century Zen Buddhist poet; St. John of the Cross, the 16th century Spanish mystic and poet; and Plotinus, the 3rd century philosopher. The interactive design attempts to evoke in the player's mind a sense of the archetypal journey of enlightenment through the "mechanics" of the game experience - i.e. the choices and actions of the player during the game.

The player's voyage through The Night Journey takes them through a poetic landscape, a space that has more reflective and spiritual qualities than geographical ones. The core mechanic in the game is the act of traveling and reflecting rather than reaching certain destinations - the trip along a path of enlightenment.

The game is being developed with video game technologies, but attempts to stretch the boundaries of what game experiences may communicate with its unique visual design, content and mechanics. The team has created a set of custom post-processing techniques for the 3D environment that evoke the sense of "explorable video," integrating the imagery of Bill Viola's prior work into the game world at both a technical and creative level.

Thar She Blows 2.0


The Power Moby-Dick heavily annotates an online version of the novel (which I finally read last summer--this would have been useful if I'd known about it).

(I cribbed the title from the Metafilter post where I found this.)

[via metafilter.com]

November 07, 2008


Deskography. Cool.

What is Deskography?
Deskography is a simple little service where you upload photos of your desk. Why? Well, the idea is that it's fun to invite the world to see where you work.

[via metafilter.com]

November 03, 2008

A Gamer Reviews "Outside"

Somewhat buried in the comments on a mefi link to an article on gamers and media, a gamer reviews this thing called "outside." Here's a short snip from the longer piece:

In terms of the social environment, almost anything goes. Outside has a vast network of guilds, many of its players are active participants in designing the game's social environment, and almost any player will be able to find company to undertake their desired group quests. On the other hand, gold-buying is rife, the outskirts of virtually every city zone in the game are completely overrun by farmers, and the developers have so far proven themselves reluctant to answer petitions, intervene in inter-player disputes, or nerf broken skills and abilities. Indeed this reviewer will go so far as to say that the developers are absent from the game entirely, and have left it to its own devices. Fortunately, server uptime has been 100% from day 1, despite there being only one server for literally billions of players.

[via The Morning News]