Next n8 Nature

During the upcoming Amsterdam Museumnight, the Institute for Timebased Arts (Montevideo) will be hosting a show called Natural Habitat, in which artists play with the borders between nature, culture and technology. The show focusses on a positive view on next nature. A compilation of the Next Nature Biggest Visual Power Show, held in June will be screened.

More info about museumnacht on the n8 site (only in Dutch). November 4 2006, 15.00 – 02.00.

Digital-Presence

Handsets gets taken to the grave

More people than ever are asking to be buried or cremated with their mobile phones when they die. The trend, which began in South Africa, has now spread to a number of countries, including Ireland, Australia, Ghana, and the US.

“People want to be buried with the totems that they feel represents their lifestyle.”

“We came across one guy who asked to be buried with his mobile phone and his Blackberry, and also with his laptop.” , thus Martin Raymond, director of international trend-spotting think-tank, The Future Laboratory.

news.bbc.co.uk

Hyperreality

fully automated news bulletin

News at Seven is a set of preferences for what a newsreport should be about. Using keywords entered by the user, the program selects news site RSS feeds and specific stories to focus on. The stories are edited for length and changed to make them more colloquial and suited to speech. News at Seven uses images and videos on sites like YouTube and Google Video. Further the software looks for words and phrases indicative of emotional impact. Finally a script is generated from the collated matereial. Text-to-speech software then lets animated characters take on the role of news anchors, with pictures and videos shown on a screen behind them. But news may also be read out like this.
found at: infolab.northwestern.edu | newscientisttech.com

Design-for-debate

Second life prostitute

The world’s oldest profession has made quick inroads into virtual life. You can make a quick buck if you’re willing to accept in-game money for sexual services -whether that’s just dirty chat, or full-on animated action. For example, “Khannea” took her first client on her very first day in Second Life, and since then has been busy working many days per week, several hours per day. She dresses her avatar in provocative clothing, and simulates sexual activity using a variety of animated actions and pre-recorded sounds.

“I do this for fun, because I am exceedingly good at it, and because I make relatively easy money,” she says. Khannea charges 750 Lindens (about $3 at current exchange rates) per half hour “of varied activity,” but clients generally tip more. On one occasion a man in game paid her 5,000 Lindens, but, she says, “I expect he was taking revenge on his [real world] girlfriend by spending her virtual money. It takes all kinds.”

Related posts: Online gamers unmasked, Meta meta reality, Online RPG funeral gets ambushed.

Read about more ways of making money in virtual worlds at Forbes.

Design-for-debate

Featherless Chicken

Behold the featherless chicken, created by Scientists at the genetics faculty at the Rehovot Agronomy Institute near Tel Aviv, Israel.The idea behind the development of this naked bird is that it will create a more ‘convenient’ and energy efficient chicken which can live in warm countries where feathered chickens don’t do well and cooling systems are too expensive to be commonly affordable. Not growing feathers saves energy that can be used to grow meat.

Read more (39 replies)

Made-to-debate

Roachbot

After the nuclear war, the only one that will be left are the roaches. This guy thought it was a good idea to start building cars for them. Watch the video on Youtube.

Also watch this shrimp work out… But that’s not Next Nature, that’s just funny.

Guided Growth

How To Grow A Chair: An Interview with Richard Reames

Using ancient grafting techniques and a few basic tools, Richard Reames shapes living trees into furniture and sculpture near his home in Oregon for clients worldwide. He is the author of two self-published books, How to Grow a Chair: The Art of Tree Trunk Topiary with Barbara Delbol, and Arborsculpture: Solutions for a Small Planet, published in June. His work was on display this summer at the World Expo in Aichi, Japan. Joshua Foer spoke to Reames in July 2005 by telephone.

Read the whole interview

Biomimicry

Close to skin technology

Wearable Interfaces, Smart Materials and Living Fabrics.

V2_, Institute for the Unstable Media, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam-based Virtueel Platform, the expertise centre for E-Culture, organise a two-day event on the theme of close-to-the-skin technology on 9th-10th of November 2006.

Recent developments in science, including DNA and stem cell research, tissue culturing, smart materials and wearable technology, have a growing impact on how we perceive materials and clothing in design practice. In laboratories across the globe researchers at the boundaries of materials research, electronics, chemistry, and biotechnology are laying the foundations of future applications. It is vital to think about the impact that the introduction of these kinds of technologies may have on society.

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