This interview from 2008 is exemplary for a time when people started experimenting on humanizing anonymous avatars in the virtual realm. Shopping, building, going on holiday, dancing, drinking and getting wasted, playing games, farm, prostitute, doing business and yes: becoming pregnant are some of the ways people expressed themselves. I am not sure if SecondLife is still being lived, but if it is, it makes one curious to know what has become of the virtual babies. Are they still babies or did they grow over time? Were they being neglected at some point? Socially parked? If so, then let this blogpost be a monument for all parents and their virtual darlings.
Invisibility Cloak Hides Objects Visible To The Naked Eye
Some years ago scientists managed to build a rudimentary invisibility cloak, which was an impressive device but it had some important limitations, not least of which was that it worked only for a single frequency of microwaves.
One of the biggest questions that physicists have puzzled over since then is whether it is possible to build cloaking device that works over the range of frequencies visible to the human eye.
The Virtual Lives of Extinct Animals
What happens when next nature dreams of old nature? Such is the case with extinct animals that have ever come in contact with humans, particularly the dinosaurs, our own postmodern dragons. Creatures that we layer with a fearful wonderment, dinosaurs are a fantastic lost fauna that emerge through hints and half-glimpses, much like the accounts of dragons passed through fragmented texts or embellished traveler’s tales. As with dragons, our only knowledge of their behavior emerges from our imaginations.
Manko & The Invitation [#3]
Last month we discussed how the vacuum played a big role in Manko’s life since he lost his right leg. Soon he developed this idea further, beyond the mere notion of extensions into more abstract notions of what a vacuum is, as we saw in the earlier discussed works ‘Zebra2′ and his later work ‘KM3′. The copyright issues made Manko feel betrayed by the old art regime that did not seem to know how to deal with virtual artworks. There would not be a lot of time to make art while dealing with the various pending court cases.
Then, one rainy day in November, Manko received an invitation at his Paris apartment from a mysterious person simply called ‘O’. The invitation was printed on an ultra-thin sheet of paper that felt like it would crumble in his hands yet proved rather strong. At the top of it was an embossed red geometrical ‘O’ and it had a watermark on it of something that looked like a molecular structure. The invitation read as follows: “Dear Mr. Manko, Your artistic work has come to our attention and we would like you to consider joining our laboratory to work on an innovative project with us. We think you have the relevant mindset we need to complete our team. If you accept this invitation, please flush it down your toilet and we’ll be in touch with you soon. Yours sincerely, ‘O’.”
Ars Electronica 2010: Artists Adressing NextNature
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
ISEA 2010: Artists addressing NextNature
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.
MANKO & Plagiarism [#1]
In this first review of the works of Manko, we’ll discuss the complex sorts of plagiarism in Augmented Reality art that are typical for our contemporary art scene. This introduces a relevant clue to the later demise of Manko.
By ASTON REVOLA, Paris 21-08-20, for NextNature.net
Last year, in May, Manko released an artistic Augmented Reality (AR) application that showed what the missing arms, legs and even heads of some of the most famous sculptures in art history were supposed to look like. Based on artist sketchbooks he remodeled them in 3D and with the use of the new contact lenses of the museum, visitors could now see the whole picture. It was a huge success and soon enough Manko licensed others to remix these virtual body parts he designed. One of the best remixes was actually done by Manko himself, where he transposed the arms of Milo’s Venus onto Dali’s version, making the arms move and search all the drawers in her chest, frantically and endlessly.
Urban intervention, naughty boy-style! The public media interventionists of VR/Urban have designed a cool tool to intervene into next nature: the SMSlingshot. A wooden, embedded interaction device –equipped with an ultra-high frequency radio, a hacked Arduino board, laser and batteries – to shoot your own message directly onto a building or media facade. With some tucked away beamers, it works like magic. Reclaim the screens!
Clouding the brain
Man is a flexible species. We tend to adapt quite rapidly to new environments. But how fast can these adaptations turn to new evolutionary traits? For instance: to what extent is the internet changing our cognitive capabilities?
Back in the day, the story goes, we could remember whole bible stories. We could even sing entire newspapers. Because there weren’t any, we had to remember it all. That changed with the invention of book printing. Remembering became less important and instead, as philosopher Walter Ong claimed, our brains could focus more on comparing and analyzing. So our analytical skills grew.