All the News We Hope to Print

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Photo of Salon de Thé Facebook, Tunis, shared on Twitter by @WadhahJebri on February 16, 2011 and recirculated with the #16juin2014 hashtag.

It sounds, at first, like something out of H.G. Wells. On February 16, 2011, a person opening a Tunisian newspaper or website might have come across an article dated more than three years in the future. 

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Beware of Geeks Bearing Formulas: When property becomes smart

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From Joe Hamilton, hypergeographySources: ultrazapping and darrellg.

If you thought cryptocurrencies were hard to understand, you probably want to sit down for your first introduction to smart property.

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Connecting With My Inner Bot

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Incorporate introduces itself in the iOS app store with a simple inquiry: "How do you connect to others, if you're not connected to yourself? This experiment in digital relaxation comes from artist duo Essex Olivares by way of support from SculptureCenter and a grant from the Krasner Foundation. It is an artwork designed to circulate among apps, taking its place in—and perhaps commenting on—an increasingly crowded landscape of self-help tools for the informationally overloaded.

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911,000 B.C. at Grand Century

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In order to increase survivability in the event of a crash, scientist Charles Yost developed memory foam in 1966 at the NASA Ames Research Center, within walking distance of what would later become the Googleplex. Memory foam holds the mark of any pressure made against it before slowly returning to its original form when the pressure is removed.

Curated by Agatha Wara, ٩١١,000 B.C. was the inaugural show at Grand Century, an exhibition space in an artist's studio on New York's Lower East Side organized by artists Dora Budor, Alex Mackin Dolan, and Olivia Erlanger. The show lasted less than twenty-four hours, opening on Saturday night (March 29) and closing the following evening. The visitor found foam pieces in the first and last corners of the space.

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Successful Apps Fill Gaps

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Jon Nash and Michael Petruzzo, Slight 1.0 (2014), screenshot of iOS app.

A smartphone app feels special when, upon first being opened, one has no clue what one is supposed to be doing with it. If life is a series of bricks or whatever, then a successful app can be a kind of mortar, filling gaps that you never knew were there (thats where the title of this essay came from). I don't mean *invented* gaps, or *fake* gaps, the type that boring Menlo Park chads cook up after one too many rails, apps with such a specific purpose that they end up sitting in the back of your phone somewhere, sad and utterly useless. I'm talking about apps that come out of the gate with no purpose, or a purpose so open-ended that the original creators could never have dreamed how it would end up being used. This is DUH but twitter: you write text! and look at all this malarkey we have to deal with now! Sad Twitter, Weird Twitter, Talking Tower Bridge Twitter, Commuter Express 437 Updates Twitter, Will Smith's Kid's Twitter, JEFF BAIJ TWITTER!

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Announcing Seven on Seven's Fifth Anniversary Edition, NYC

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Saturday, May 3, 2014
12-6pm EST at the New Museum, New York 
Livestreamed on Rhizome.org 

For Rhizome's Seven on Seven, leading contemporary artists are paired with tech luminaries for one day. Their assignment: to make something new. 

On Saturday, May 3, the duos unveil their creations, with rich discussion, for the first time. A five-time sold-out event, Seven on Seven brings the thinkers and makers who shape contemporary culture, today and in the future, into critical and creative conversation.

This year's NYC line-up features: 

 

MORE INFORMATION & TICKETS: rhizome.org/sevenonseven

 

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Notes for a New Documentary

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Tony Conrad, Yellow Movie 12/17/72

If, as Tony Conrad might have us suppose, a Movie is light and any marking of the passage of time, what is Documentary Cinema as a category? In fact, the Minimalist structural filmmaking practices of Conrad and others share concerns with documentary's base impulse, namely the transmission of a "factual record or report." 

As screen culture settles into its well-earned ubiquity, we must revisit old questions about the where and the what of cinema as an object and what constitutes something separately known as the "cinematic." All cinema is, on some level, depictive, not necessarily by choice, but rather by inevitability. As fictional as any narrative may assert itself to be, it is also a real event. Every book is a record of someone and something somewhere writing and printing it in real time, and so too every image on screen. Regardless of visual effects and editing, the moving image is, at its root, depictive, depicting its own movement as a bare minimum.

With this in mind, is a digital clock cinema? Is any screen producing light at any time—picaresque and episodic as devices are woken up, sleep, wake up, sleep, screens within screens are opened and closed, sleep—also cinema? Regardless of any durational claims made by an individual work, it appears to me that a movie or television show begins when you turn the screen on and ends when you turn it off.

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Constructions of Truth In A Drone Age: "Forensis" at HKW, Berlin

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“Threshhold of Detectibility” Top: the roof of a building in Miranshah, Pakistan, that has been hit by a drone-fired missile. the form of destruction is masked in the photo’s pixelation. Source: Digitalglobe, inc., March 31, 2012 Bottom: Still from footage broadcast on MSNBC of the aftermath of a March 30, 2012 drone strike in miranshah, pakistan, showing the entry hole of a missile through the ceiling of a room. Visualization: Forensic Architecture. Page from Forensis program.

Any act of looking or being looked at is mediated by technology. This is true of any scientific process too, where each tool or method of looking is developed with a purpose in mind which influences the data that it produces. This is precisely what forensic investigation reveals: not only the reality of an event, but also the intention of a viewing mechanism and the political weight of that intention once made visible. Representations of warfare illustrate this as successfully as any art object.

As part of the exhibition Forensis, now on view at Haus der Kulteren der Welt in Berlin, Forensic Architecture and SITU Research investigate drone strikes in situations where state-mandated degradation and pixelation of publicly available surveillance footage is a legal regulation rather than a visual constraint, and drones are designed to evade the digital image. Missiles are developed that burrow through targeted buildings, leaving holes that are smaller than a low resolution pixel. Attacking at "the threshold of visibility," the legal, political, and technical conditions equally attempt to remain invisible. The job of forensics is then to recover them.

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