Posts for February 2010

World Community Grid Water Features (2010) - AIDS-3D

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A fountain and its natural form, the spring, are symbols of the miraculous life-begetting 'élan vital' that permeates the universe. In fact, life on earth is now thought to have begun in the nutrient-rich plumes of undersea hydrothermal vents, real-life fountains of life. But, when the image of the source is mimicked as Water Feature, a merely decorative, self-contained electric fountain, the maternalistic life-force is perverted into what amounts to abject MILF porn. The Water Feature is so wasteful and self-indulgent that it becomes the straw man in the argument against contemporary art as useless blubber for the tasteless elite. But— can't home and garden decor give back a little bit? Can't we efficiently retrofit some of our 'criminal ornaments' for a fairer future? If there is some leftover space inside their faux-marble fiberglass hollowness, we can definitely squeeze some useful nanotech in there— right? Let's finally answer Joseph Bueys famous challenge, “Kann Plastik die Welt verandern?"—can sculpture change the world? with a resounding “YES!"…as long as that sculpture contains a state-of-the-art-kick-ass-energy-efficient-linux-micro-PC that is totally discovering a cure for cancer.

A group of spectacular cast-fiberglass fountains stand together on an elevated server-room floor. A Fit PC 2 (the smallest PC currently available, 96% more energy efficient than a standard desktop) is installed in each water feature. Whenever the fountains are plugged in, the Linux PC's will automatically boot up and run World Community Grid software, a distributed computing project which uses a massive network of PC’s around the world to model solutions for various humanitarian problems, such as: “Clean Energy Project”, “Influenza Antiviral Drug Search”, “ Fight Aids@home” and “Nutritious Rice for the World". The delightful splashing of the water and twinkle of the energy-efficient LED’s act as relaxing and meditative status-light ...

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Whispering Pines 9 (2009) - Shana Moulton

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Originally via Flash Art

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Videocracy (2009) - Alden Volney

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Flamingo Breeze, Part 4 (2010) - Matrix Metals

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Interview with Sinan Ascioglu

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"Driving through Iceland” sketch by dotlassie. Winner of Rhizome's Tiny Sketch Competition.

OpenProcessing.org is a site that has built a community around sharing visual coding examples created in Processing. As user number 36, I had the unique privilege of watching the idea take shape, while in a thesis group with Sinan at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. During it’s first two years of activity, the site has grown to host thousands of user-generated sketches and subsequent conversations between artists / programmers, teachers, and students from around the world. Sinan and I escaped the snow recently at a café outside Washington Square Park to discuss OpenProcessing’s origins, Rhizome’s collaboration with OpenProcessing in the Tiny Sketch competition, and what we can expect for the future. - Tim Stutts

Tim: How did you first come up with the idea for OpenProcessing?

Sinan: I guess the first thing to talk about is OpenVisuals, which was my Master’s thesis project at ITP (Interactive Telecommunications Program, New York University). I was reading Edward Tufte’s books at the time, and I became very interested in data visualization. In the meantime I was also fascinated with the social revolution that was happening on the web, through a class I was taking at NYU with professor Clay Shirky. Before studying with Clay, I didn’t understand Facebook—I didn’t even have a Facebook account. I knew I was missing some concepts, and wanted to understand what was going on. Through his classes, I decided that my thesis would have a social component. I also discovered ManyEyes, a site where users can upload datasets, and choose between different the visualization methods for augmentation. Users comment on each other’s visualizations, and may even suggest other ways of looking at or representing the dataset. What ...

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