We usually just click ‘Ok’ on every update request, but perhaps the one proposed in this religiously uncanny video by Doctor AlexXross needs a bit more contemplation?
Earlier we have discussed the ECO currency, now here is an explanation video.
The ECO currency is an alternative currency to express environmental value. People who conduct labor in support of the environment receive ECO’s from a global fund, which is financed via a micro bank tax on global financial transactions.
The idea for the ECO currency originates from the hypothesis that an important factor in our environmental crisis is the disconnect between the economic ecology and the environmental ecology: Environmental values are easily destroyed because they go unnoticed within the economical system. The aim of the ECO currency is to make environmental value explicit in economical terms. Would the rain forest still be destroyed if we could pay people to let the trees stand?
If you want to stay up to date on the project, there is always a Facebook page.
The video was made by Marcel van Heist, Jop Japenga and Billy Schonenberg. Voice: Sean Lynch, Music: Armand Amar. Coaching by Koert van Mensvoort & Luna Maurer.
Sind wir noch zu retten? That was the slogan of this year’s Ars Electronica festival in Linz (Austria). Titled ‘REPAIR’, the media art festival urged to leave our scepticism and lethargy behind and turn to artists, designers, scientists and engineers to search a way out. What do these pioneers tell us? How can we reach an alternative future? And what’s living like in NextNature? Read more »
This project is about Nature’s brand image. One might surmise that “Nature,” being 100 percent all-natural, can’t have any brand image. The facts suggest otherwise. Try it for yourself: tell a friend that something seemingly 100 percent natural is actually “96 percent natural.” Not a great difference, apparently, yet a profound unease arises. That unease is the subject of the many provocative essays and remarkable graphics on NextNature.net
by BRUCE STERLING
The project is a study in why we feel uneasiness when the Nature brand is violated. It’s also about the exciting new-and-improved varieties of unnatural unease that have come to exist quite recently. It explains why this sensibility is spreading, and what that implies for who we are, and how we live with Nature.
Now, when Nature is slightly artificialized — say, by installing a park bench under a tree — we rarely get any dark suspicious frisson about that. The uncanny can only strike us when our ideological constructs about Nature are dented. We’re especially guarded about our most pious, sentimentalized notions of Nature. Nature as a nurturing entity that is harmonious, calm, peaceful, inherently rightful and all-around “good-for-you.”
This vaguely politicized attitude about Nature never came from Nature. It was culturally generated. Nature didn’t get her all-natural identity-branding until the Industrial Revolution broke out. Then poets and philosophers were allowed to live in dense, well-supplied cities, where they could recast Nature from some intellectual distance. Before that huge effusion of organized artifice, people lived much closer to the soil.
These farmers rarely spoke of “Nature” in the abstract. They were too deeply involved in a lifelong subsistence struggle with natural events, such as inclement weather, bad harvests, weeds, pests, and blights. They certainly never mistook their existing state of affairs for the Biblical Eden: their theological utopia in which Nature was always harmonious, calm, peaceful and good-for-you.
“…Until now, the major obstacle that has prevented people from thinking critically about stray shopping carts has been that we have not had any formalized language to differentiate one shopping cart from another. In order to encourage a more nuanced and comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon, I have worked for the past six years to develop a system of identification for stray shopping carts. Unlike a Linaean taxonomy, which is based on the shared physical characteristics of living things, this system works by defining the various states and situations in which stray shopping carts can be found. The categories of classification were arrived at by observing shopping carts in different situations and considering the conditions and human motives that have placed carts in specific situations and the potential for a cart to transition from one situation to another.” – Julian Montague.
At ISEA 2010, the International Symposium on Electronic Arts, media artists and media researchers from all over the world present their work in Dortmund (Germany). This year, many projects focus on the relationship between man and nature and man and technology. An overview of contemporary artistic practices of NextNature at ISEA 2010.
Designer Bob de Graaf takes pleasure in collecting and combining objects from old nature & next nature in search for similarities. Surely a traditional biologist would not create a collection like this anytime soon, but then again, an extraterrestrial alien scientists who’s observations wouldn’t be burdened by established notions of nature and culture, might have. Peculiar image of the week.
So you thought the Razorius Gilletus essay was farsighted? Interestingly enough, Samsung is advertising its latest TV-set as a whole new species. Despite the obvious biomimicmarketing, could there be some coincidental evolutionary truth in that commercial?
In Next Nature, not only old nature is being idealized. Because of the rapidness of new emerging technologies, we have a tendency to dwell on earlier prototypes. To recall memories, or to give that ‘real’ experience. We call this bittersweet longing for past technologies technostalgia. Technostalgia shapes our memories, our past and thus our present.
By analyzing billions of phone calls, researchers at Scandinavian telecom company Telenor, mapped how social connections between people – measured partly by how often they called each other – correlated with the spread of Apple’s iPhone after its 2007 debut.
The diagram above shows the evolution of the largest network of Telenor iPhone users over time. Each node represents one subscriber, and its color indicates the model used. In this case, red equals 2G, green means 3G, and yellow means 3GS.
Researchers learned that its owners helped spread the iPhone virus spread rapidly throughout their social network. A person with just one iPhone-carrying friend was three times more likely to own one themselves than a person whose friends had no iPhones. People with two friends who had iPhones were more than five times as likely to have sprung for the Apple device. Apparently the iPhone virus was highly contagious.
At TEDGlobal 2010, author Matt Ridley argues how, throughout history, the engine of human progress has been the meeting and mating of ideas to make new ideas. According to Ridley, it is not important how clever individuals are, what really matters is how smart the collective brain is. Resistance is futile.
Techno-artists love insects. Especially their unpredictable behaviour. Eindhoven (NL) based design studio Ehdv used tracking software and connected some camera’to a bunch of wood lice, to create graphic design and even chairs.
Insects can also become living pixels. Austrian artist Gordan Savicic re-creates a famous Aracade-video game, using a new ‘organic algorithm’: the AI of his BioPong is performed by a cockroach which carries a neon-green pixel on its shoulder. Players can control their sticks but are not able to foresee the movement of the CI (cockroach intelligence). Feeding the pixel is not allowed!
Superman already knew it: Steered growth is the future of architecture.
The lower picture was taken at the Industrias Peñoles nano-chrystal architecture lab in Chihuahuan, Mexico where researchers are growing giant crystals. No seriously, the Cave of Crystals isn’t man made. It was discovered by Industrias Peñoles miners a thousand feet (300 meters) below Naica mountain in the Chihuahuan Desert.
Really? I never knew. Biomimicmarketing strategies are getting crazier by the day.
Now here is an example of the fusion between the made and the born, most kids would crave for. Much better than the robotic dino toy. Designed by evolution!
Hopefully this genetic surprise doesn’t grow genetically wild and eats its owner. Luckily it is just an imaginative product – so far.
Glad to announce that performance artist Stelarc – who already for some decades incorporates themes of cyborgization and other human-machine interfaces in his (very bodily) work – won a Golden Nica + 10.000 euro in the Hybrid Arts category of this years Ars Electronica Award. It was a great pleasure to be seated in the jury.
When searching for Next Nature in the world around us, one does not necessarily have to look at the present. The science fiction novel Jurassic Park, written in 1990 by the recently deceased Michael Crichton and later turned into a big blockbuster movie by Steven Spielberg, already discusses the fusion between the born and the made.
Halfway through the book, there is a chapter where Dr. Wu, the chief scientist, tries to convince Hammond, the CEO, to go over to a next version of dinosaurs.
Hammond sighed. “Now, Henry, are we going to have another of those abstract discussions? You know I like to keep it simple. The dinosaurs we have now are real, and -”
“Well, not exactly,” Wu said. He paced the living room, pointed to the monitors. “I don’t think we should kid ourselves. We haven’t re-created the past here. The past is gone. It can never be re-created. What we’ve done is reconstruct the past – or at least a version of the past. And I’m saying we can make a better version.”
“Better than real?”
“Why not?” Wu said. “After all, these animals are already modified. We’ve inserted genes to make them patentable, and to make them lysine dependent. And we’ve done everything we can to promote growth, and accelerate development into adulthood.”
Hammond shrugged. That was inevitable. We didn’t want to wait. We have investors to consider.”
“Of course. But I’m just saying, why stop there? Why not push ahead to make exactly the kind of dinosaur that we’d like to see? One that is more acceptable to visitors, and one that is easier for us to handle? A slower, more docile version for our park?”
Remarkable is how these topics, which were science fiction when written two decades ago, are still very much up-to-date and even more relevant today than before. Gene modification for patent purposes is a subject that was covered recently. How far can, and perhaps more importantly should, mankind go ?