If a light switch would be hairy or snotty nobody would want to turn on the light anymore, which is exactly why designer Katrin Baumgarten created some of the most one nauseating switches she could imagine.
One of the switches sprays snot at the one who dares to push it, while another one simply retreats when the finger comes near. A third one has tiny moving hairs to refrain you from switching. The message? Be mindful about your energy use. You really have to need the light before you dare switching one of Baumgartens disgusting creations.
Modding is the act of adapting hardware/software to have it do what you want it to do, which does not always correlate with what it is originally built to do. Biomodd(ding) is inserting a living ecosystem inside a computer system, varying from plants that grow and develop with the use of the waste heat of the computer to algae that function to cool a processor; “living cooling liquid”. In an almost symbiosis-like state nature and machine living together. Even though it, of what I’ve seen so far, ends up being quite interesting sculpture-like installations, the main importance is that they’re meant to be actually used.
In one set-up in the Phillipines they developed a multi-player game and used this structure as the server. Which resulted in: “social meeting getting translated through a sequence of events into biological growth and development.” And this is where the different levels appear; Biomodd is about the game-element, it is about the social aspect and it is about the biological aspect. And it is really cool to look at, have a look for yourself:
The main character in ‘Being There’ (1979) is a simple-minded gardener named Chance, played brilliantly by Peter Sellars, who has spent all his life as a servant in the Washington D.C. house of an old man. When the old man dies, Chance is put out on the streets of Washington with no knowledge of the world except what he has learned from television and the small garden he maintained for his employer.
As he is forced to leave his tiny habitat behind and enter the utterly estranging urban surroundings – like an alien from outer space – he seems doomed at first. Luckily it turns out his elementary gardening expertise and television knowledge provides him with enough baggage to cope with the complexity of modern life.
Although Chaunce has the mind of a small child and only knows of gardening, he dresses in nice suits, has impeccable manners and is not shy, so he is accepted into social circles. Through an accidental encounter with a rich couple that is close to the president, he becomes acquainted with the higher circles in Washington. When he speaks of gardening, his words are mistaken for metaphors and he is instantly considered an economic genius.
‘Being There’ is a wonderful film. It profoundly deals with a simple premise: despite the sheer complexity of our living environment and the harsh speed with which it changes, staying true to ones own values and intuitions remains a good strategy.
P.s. The phrase “I like to watch” has become so famous from this movie – it refers to Chances love for TV and the fact that it is the primary reference point for his existence – up to the level that he tries to click a remote to thwart off muggers.
Passed: Playtime (1967)
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No, this is not some solar system far, far away. Closer than you think, this is is a visualization of a botnet storm. For all you know this malicious virus, or one of its siblings, is controlling your computer – spamming thousands of innocent internet users on your behalf – at this moment. Feeling paranoid already? Yes, next nature can be harsh sometimes.
Researchers have designed bacteria that can produce a special glue to knit together cracks in concrete structures.
Technews Daily reports the genetically modified microbes have been engineered to swim down fine cracks in concrete and once at the bottom produce a mixture of calcium carbonate and a bacterial glue. The building is “knitted” back together as the glue combines with the filamentous bacterial cells and hardens to the same strength as the surrounding concrete.
The bacterium tweaked by the researchers is called Bacillus subtilis and is commonly found in soil. Accordingly, the research team calls its building-healing agent “BacillaFilla.” Its spores start germinating only when they make contact with concrete – triggered by the very specific pH of the material – and they have a built-in self-destruct gene that prevents them from proliferating away from the concrete target.