Urban Remix (cont'd)

March 29, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Category: Art & Design, Events, Internet & Technology

Okay, finally those Digifest notes!

OnTarget Digital Entrepreneur Workshop
I originally thought Digifest was worthwhile simply for the OnTarget business workshops but the first 10 minutes were putting me to sleep so I left when they started to get into some hairy statistics from Delvinia.

Dutch Media Practice and Resistance: Electronic Interventions
This panel talk was really interesting in that these new media practitioners really moved away from screen-based restrictions. Their work realizes how important 'real life' interventions should be to 'cyber' interactions. So in no particular order:

+ Eric Kluitenberg - Constructing the Digital Commons
By far my favourite speaker at Digifest! Eric organizes these 'technology jams' in various cities where there's an actual physical location and people just drop in on a weekly basis for some tutorials or to just shoot the breeze with others who share an interest in technology. Whoa, a good old analog network!

I believe the events are called an*at*tom*ik and I would refer to you a URL but (here's a shocker...) there is none! Eric hasn't gotten around to making one yet but he actually says that this doesn't impact attendance at all since it forces people to come by to see what's happening.

It's amazing how body language makes the hugest impact on how we communicate and that's sort of getting lost today. And you can really see how effective face-to-face speaking is when Eric immediately built a relaxed rapport with the audience by simply detaching himself from the speakers podium... plus, he had the cutest little accent.

Eric is somehow related to Next 5 Minutes 4.

+ Nat Muller - User Research in Responsive Environments
Nat founded foAM which does a lot projects with everyday people to see how they react and interact with environments hooked up with sensors. From the documentation she showed us it was hard to figure out what the actual interations where (besides people swinging around in a circus arena, serious) but she does a lot of direct interviewing with the participants after they leave the environment in order to gather information. A very tactile way of getting feedback for tactile environments... sounds like a good idea to me.

Some more info on foAM can be found in their Librynth.

+ Guy van Belle - Old School Tactics vs. New School Abstractions
An urban update to that Russian guy who makes those political Zenith projections onto buildings. (Sorry, can't even fathom how to spell his name at this time.) Guy was trying to make these culture jamming statements but this I didn't really get though... how does projecting typography and Flash animations onto buildings (when it doesn't seem like anyone is around) change the world?

He did however offer this piece of advice: To get freedom of speech on the internet, you need to fight for freedom of speech in the real world too... they aren't completely separate entities.

Here are some resources for digital copyright info: info-commons.org and creativecommons.org.

+ Floor van Spaendonck - Tools for Social Change
Seniors should be allowed to use computers too right? Technology is making the generation gap even bigger so the Waag Society for Old and New Media would bring different types of technology to seniors homes to allow them to record their stories in non-intimidating ways.

Free as in Speech: Open Systems for Creative Expression
I was starving so I missed the first 3 speakers but made it back for James Fung who is one of Steve Mann's graduate students. They hooked up the big screen to James' eyetap glasses so it was very weird to see him navigate through a Linux OS and a hacked internet browser in order to present to us.

It was also surprising to see how normal the cyborg James is in comparison to Steve Mann who seems quite nervous and introverted when he speaks. (I suppose I assumed incorrectly that only those who seem like they want to leave society would want to become a cyborg.) Though, I'm still not entirely sold on the idea that the eyetap's ability to block out ads is unobtrusive.

Also to note: this group was hardcore into the open source movement. To keep up to date, they recommended checking out freshmeat.org. When I finally hook myself up with a laptop, I think that I'm going to hunt up an open source GUI OS... Lindows makes me laugh though.

Okay, enough typing from me. I'll finish off by saying that Amon Tobin was great and I'll add some of the hints that gmunk dropped tomorrow or later on.

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A Medicine for Apathy

March 27, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Category: Internet & Technology

I wish I would have thought of this idea first! An open source flash magazine - great photos and flash widgets.

It's a finalist in the FlashintheCan people's choice awards under experimental so go vote!

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Major linkage

March 19, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Category: Art & Design, Events, Internet & Technology

Because everyone loves links (yes, I'm being partially sarcastic here since most of us recieve floods of information en masse on a daily basis), here's a compilation of URLs that have been passing through my mailbox the past couple of weeks. Content varies though I guarentee that they are interesting in one way or another.

+ Toronto's Images Festival new media component - 'Source'
+ Stelarc's website (he's one of those cyborg guys)
+ Lisa Klapstock's 'Threshold' photography
+ Promise (artsy warehouse party this Friday in Toronto)
+ Fluxen.com has a new series finished!!
+ Short promo show for Pixel Gallery in Toronto
+ Art Directors Anonymous (Canadian designer collective of sorts)
+ 4 days left to win Digifest tickets!
+ Mr.Wong's apartments (I know you'll click on this simply because of the name)
+ Semantic room building (crazy!)
+ Yahoo directory of web work

And it ain't a cool link list without... Stinkoman and Teen Girl Squad 2!

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March 16, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Category: Art & Design

Can't get enough of the ASCII fun...

           ___           ___           ___           ___           ___ 

          /__/|         /  /\         /  /\         /__/\         /  /\    

         |  |:|        /  /::\       /  /::\       |  |::\       /  /::\   

         |  |:|       /  /:/\:\     /  /:/\:\      |  |:|:\     /  /:/\:\  

       __|  |:|      /  /:/~/::\   /  /:/~/:/    __|__|:|\:\   /  /:/~/::\ 

      /__/\_|:|____ /__/:/ /:/\:\ /__/:/ /:/___ /__/::::| \:\ /__/:/ /:/\:\

      \  \:\/:::::/ \  \:\/:/__\/ \  \:\/:::::/ \  \:\~~\__\/ \  \:\/:/__\/

       \  \::/~~~~   \  \::/       \  \::/~~~~   \  \:\        \  \::/     

        \  \:\        \  \:\        \  \:\        \  \:\        \  \:\     

         \  \:\        \  \:\        \  \:\        \  \:\        \  \:\    

          \__\/         \__\/         \__\/         \__\/         \__\/    


                                 /  /\         _____      

                                /  /::\       /  /::\    

                ___     ___    /  /:/\:\     /  /:/\:\    

               /__/\   /  /\  /  /:/~/::\   /  /:/~/::\  

               \  \:\ /  /:/ /__/:/ /:/\:\ /__/:/ /:/\:| 

                \  \:\  /:/  \  \:\/:/__\/ \  \:\/:/~/:/ 

                 \  \:\/:/    \  \::/       \  \::/ /:/  

                  \  \::/      \  \:\        \  \:\/:/   

                   \__\/        \  \:\        \  \::/      

                                 \__\/         \__\/      


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