Our peculiar image of the week was formulated by Douglas Coupland.
Our peculiar image of the week was formulated by Douglas Coupland.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), commonly known as drones, have become an usual practice in military operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Have you ever considered the issue of emotionless machines raining fire from above? California-based designers Pitch Interactive did. Using records from the Bureau for Investigative Journalism, they visualized every known drone attack by the US and Coalition military since 2004. The result is powerful and thought provoking.
Italian artist Paolo Cirio prints life-sized pictures of people found on Google’s Street View and posts them at the same spot where they were taken. By taking virtual identities out of the digital world and giving them a new life in three-dimensional reality, he reopens the debate about digital privacy.
Google permanently stores the digital pictures taken by the Google Car online. Cirio considers his “ghosts” victims, as he explains: “These companies keep this data forever, even when we die. And they commercially exploit it”.
To learn more, follow him during a night of work in some of Brooklyn’s busiest intersections on Motherboard.
For years, we have assisted in the war of megapixels. Smartphones, cameras and tablets do battle offering the most powerful, detailed and high definition displays and pictures. Nevertheless, around the web the opposite trend is spreading: returning to the digital image essence, the pixel. Through an app (I Pixel U) is it possible to transform our snapshots in dots, choosing the subject to blur and leaving the rest intact. It’s a sort of nostalgic action that reminds us at the same time of the painting technique of Pointillism and the oldest video games. Progressive Nostalgia, indeed!
Gamers in on line environments like World of Warcraft and Second Life may have had encounters with secret agents. The Guardian reports American and British spy agencies have infiltrated into major online environments, suspecting that terrorist were hiding among the elves and goblins.
Here is another example of how virtual experiences from the digital realm are gradually seeping into our physical environment. The mobile phone unlocking tool has now boomeranged into the real world, in the form of a doormat. Unfortunately it doesn’t really unlock the door, yet!
Related post: Boomeranged Metaphors
Where civilizations of the past left drawings, glyphs and written messages, we have taken to the internet to record the vast majority of modern history and knowledge. But is it permanent? At Old Dominion University in Virginia, researchers Hany Salah Eldeen and Michael Nelson have been studying the rate at which information on the internet disappears, and if it can be restored.
Made to beat the real thing.
By digital artist Andy Thomas.
If you are a Society of Simulations citizen and you can’t do without social networks, hashtags or tweets, even during your holidays, the Sol Wave House is the place for you. This hotel located in the Balearic Island of Mallorca is entirely dedicated to Twitter. The main goal of the structure is to make guests socialize and interact, both virtually and in person.
The streets of marketing are endless, and sometimes intrusive. The latest space to be taken over by advertising is the train window. The broadcast company Sky is experimenting with this medium to advertise its products on German public transportation.
The rise of digital currencies reduces the need for physical interaction and communication between people. At the same time every payment method still leans on trust. But how can we trust what we can not physically touch, smell or hear?
Artist Heidi Hinder envisions a payment method that brings back personal contact between people: hug & pay. Indeed, paying with a hug. But also pay with a handshake, a high five, and even with a tap dance.
For her project she uses RFID tags and readers that are worn by the customer and the seller. The payment data is transmitted by physical contact.
The project was awarded with a grant from the Awesome Foundation London, which allows Heidi to develop her concept further. We are already anticipating bithugs as a new digital-physical currency.
According to a study by brain researchers, regular gamers identify so strongly with their avatar – the character that executes their action in the game – they have the same emotions for their avatar as for their best friends.
Emotionally the avatar has a similar position as ones best friend, despite its “virtual” presence and the often longer lasting relationship with ones best friend, says neuroscientist Shanti Ganesh, who just defended her phd thesis on the topic.
404 error on the Toilet. Another one of these tiny unexpected moments that make you realize you are spending so much time in the virtual realm that its metaphors are boomeranged into the physical environment. By Dennis Vernooij.
Simple yet elegant short film on a girl that forgot here phone and realizes the impact of our Society of Simulations on her life.
To explore the connection between biological and digital fabrication, the Mediated Matter Research Group at the MIT Media Lab studied the behavior of silkworms and designed the Silk Pavilion, a machine that creates a geodesic structure with the support of 6,500 computer-guided insects. Read more »
Amazon.com’s fulfillment center in Rugeley, England, is a sterile kingdom where the algorithm is king – and humans do their best to perform its bidding. Workers’ every movement is dictated by a tracking algorithm, which can send them on trips of up to 24 kilometers per day on the quest for packages. The silence is total. Workers can be fired for talking, even as smiling cardboard cutouts remind them that “this is the best job I’ve ever had!”.
With zero-hour contracts – and jobs that evaporate from one day to the next – workers are treated more like cogs than humans. According to photojournalist Ben Roberts, who chronicled the Rugeley center in Amazon Unpacked, “the only reason Amazon doesn’t actually replace them with robots is they’ve yet to find a machine that can handle so many different sized packages.” It’s dismal proof that if we don’t domesticate technology, it ends up domesticating us.
Read more at Fast Company.
A new device is appearing in the New York skyline: a free mobile charging station, powered entirely by the sun. At the beginning of this summer, AT&T, the solar technology company Goal Zero and the Brooklyn-based design firm Pensa launched the Street Charge project, with 25 solar mobile charging units spread around the city.
These trails you see are not airplane contrails in the next natural sky. This peculiar image, taken with a slow exposure, shows seagulls flying in the sky over Rome.
Via NBC News