In the older days, people had to cross natural barriers like mountains for survival purposes. Grains from one side of the mountain was traded with cloth from the other side, for example. Today, we trade images and visual information overload has taken the place of the the mountain.
One can imagine this trading trips our ancestors made could be tough endeavors. Dangerous slopes and treacherous wheather conditions can take their toll, up in the mountains. Not to speak of the physical challenge of to climbing a mountain, packed with trading goods. New technologies like tunnels, cars and helicopters made it possible to skip the long climbs that take a strain on your body and mountain climbing as a bare necessity died out, to make place for mountain climbing as a recreational activity.
Justin Shull investigates the born and the made by mixing them up in mobile installations like the “Terrestrial Shrub Rover” and the “Porta Hedge”. His designs consist of several eco-conscious design features including recycled Christmas trees on the exterior, wood finishing on the interior, and the relaxing sound of birdsong audio on the interior and exterior. These vehicles are made to observe and explore both terrestrial and social environments.
On this day (Saturday May 29th 2010), the Dutch nation takes pride in celebrating their first real traffic jam. During the pentecost weekend in 1955, a mass exodus of a tribe of day visitors from the west of the country to the central dutch National Park, and a tribe of German tourists coming from the east, caused a clutter of over 50,000 cars. Next to excitement about this new phenomena, there was also a feeling of pride: The Netherlands had become a modern country.
Back in 1955, The Netherlands counted about 268,000 cars (1 car per 40,3 inhabitants). Today, that is 1 car for every 2.1 dutchman or -woman. The first real traffic jam in 1955 was a big attraction. Roadside tourism was very common in those days: park the car at the side of the road, or even: in the lane (which was allowed then), unfold your chair and watch the cars pass by with the whole family: the tourists become the tourist attraction.
Different lifestyles of different tribes have always fascinating. New technologies trigger ancient impulses and one of these impulses is: watching new technologies as a form of recreation!
(Adaptation of this article in the dutch Volkskrant)
A reflection on mobility by NL Architects
Peculiar image of the week. Via Radarvirtuel, where you can see them fly in real time.
Why do we grow attached to things? Patricia Piccinini captured it well in this peculiar work: The Stags – 2008 (Culture becomes nature)
The Robosaurus is the only airplane eating, fire breathing robot on the planet. Pity the thing is merely build for entertainment purposes. Perhaps this thing could finally solve our traffic congestion problem? No seriously, there is truth in pop-culture.
Excuse me, I am lost. Can you point me to the information super highway?
Martin Heidegger and Marshall Mcluhan already described people’s tendency to extend their identities in the animate objects when interacting with them. When for instance, driving a car the vehicle seems to become an extension of our body. It absorbs our sense of identity and when two cars hits another in traffic, the driver of the vehicle being struck is more likely to say: “Hey! You hit me!”, than “You hit my car” or “Your car hit my car”, to be accurate.
I wonder what these thinkers would have made of the Hitachi’s vein authentication system, which identifies individuals based on the unique pattern of blood vessels inside their fingers. While providing an extra layer of security against car theft, Hitachi’s steering wheel finger vein authentication system also works to improve in-vehicle comfort when used with seats, mirrors and air conditioners that auto-adjust according to the preferences of the driver touching the wheel. Just another small step in the thinning of the border between people and products? Once you enter, you are the car.
Whereas 40.000 years ago we used to roam the Savanna, today many people live the live of highway nomads. As an investigation of this lifestyle, artist Melle Smets and philosopher Bram Esser spent four continuous weeks on the highway.
Their journey brought them to tank stations, motels, gay-meeting spots, road-restaurants and industrial outskirts. The question they tried to answer is intriguingly simple: Is it possible to live on the highway? And what does it to people?
Rather than trying to delay or avoid a flue infection, why not plan it? The INFLU flu collector mask helps you to get sick when you want to.
The INFLU mask is outfitted with a battery driven micro-fan on the inhalation valve that increases the intake of viruses in ambient air through the respiratory system. Wear it to plan your sickness, develop antibodies for the flu and strengthen your immune system the natural way.
According to its creator, Michel Bussien, the comfortable and convenient mask can be worn in everyday situations – such as while commuting to and from work – and increases the prospect of getting the Swine flu (H1N1) as well as the regular seasonal flu with several hundred percent.
With the emergence of mobile phones, classical phone booths are used less and less. Seems like the Dutch telecoms operator KPN is re-tooling its phone booths to function as smoking booths? Well, so far it is just a witty design proposal by graphic designer Simone de Graef. Unsure if the telecoms companies are actually planning on this.
Nonetheless, it is kind of fascinating that ‘calling’, which used to be constrained in fixed lines and locations, is now entirely mobile and it is now socially acceptable to call almost everywhere: restaurant, train, toilet, airplanes, operahouse, etc. While smoking, which used to be mobile and done everywhere, is becoming increasingly limited to designated locations.
Apparently, every generation has its own sort of legalized drugs.
BMW aggressively takes on the biomimicmarketing of Jaguar. Peculiar image of the week.
GPS is not the most easiest product to advertise. Jeep uses biomimicmarketing to bring the message across. In this advertising campaign an iconic arrow is comprised by images of animals herding. From birds flocking to elephants roaming. We lead you the way.
As technology evolves, people are more and more depending on it to function properly. But the nature of technology is that it needs networks, sources, software, batteries and signal. Once these conditions fail, horror scenarios unfold for those who depend…
We’ve written earlier about man–made bacteria that eat waste & shit petrol. How about a genetically modified bacteria that can eat CO2 and excrete methane that could power our cars and homes? Abundant carbon dioxide, which is considered a pollutant, could be a nearly unlimited source of fuel. Will you one day be driving your car to fight global warming?
At first you think it sounds too good be true and quickly categorize the idea in the hoax section along with the cheap solar panels made from human hairs. But once you hear Craig Venter – yes, that researcher that sequenced the human genome – is involved, you know you have to take things more seriously.
Dr. Venter with his new firm, Synthetic Genomics, has turned his attentions to creating synthetic biological organisms for environmental change. What is particularly interesting about the company’s approach is the digitizing of existing organisms, which are then remodeled to new ones that do things that serve us well, such as eating pollution and excreting fuel. It’s high science today, but could be a genetic Photoshop within our lifetime.
A leading candidate to be the desired ‘CO2 eating, energy excreting bacteria’ that changes the game of climate change is Methanococcus jannaschii – depicted at the top of this post –, an ancient, single-cell organism that is found in the seafloor in the vicinity of hydrothermal vents. The organism produces methane by combining carbon dioxide with hydrogen rising through the vents. Incorporated into the air pollution control systems of power plants, the organism could turn CO2 into methane.
Although it will be difficult to apply the technique on a large scale anytime soon, president Obama already decided to honor Craig Venter with the National Medal of Science for his life time achievements.
And you thought GPS was supposed to make life easier? Created by Sheepfilms.
Apparently, camouflaging oneself with digital patterns rather than nature-imitated patterns functions as a better camouflage within “old-nature” situations. So the digital patterns function as a better camouflage in the analogue world?
Hyperstealth Biotechnology Corp take a very different approach to creating military camouflage uniforms and accessories. Instead of realism, they employ the mathematics of fractals to design patterns. The company developed their patterns by running multiple fractals (graphics with feed back loops) and advanced algorithms through computers in a process they call Camouflage Designated Enhanced Fractal Geometry.
Does this mean that eventually the digital might look more natural than natural?