The Pause Button

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Image: Ian Bogost , Guru Meditation, 2009 (Still)

For those of us who suffer from Continual Partial Awareness, a new game has arrived that might just succeed in capturing your attention for more than 2 seconds. Created by video game scholar and critic Ian Bogost, Guru Meditation forces the player to remain still and focus. That's it. Move or otherwise signal distraction, however, and the player must begin again. "Guru Meditation" originated as an in house meditation game developed for the Amiga Joyboard by the company's programmers in order to ease their frustration with the temperamental system, and is better known as the mysterious expression appearing in the Amiga's fatal error message. Bogost revived this tidbit of Amiga history by producing a contemporary version for the Atari VCS and the iPhone. (Yes, you read that correctly.) Beyond geekdom, Bogost claims that the project stems from his fascination with the historical intersection between Silicon Valley and hippie counter-culture, which lead him to the game, along with others like it. To get into the guru-oove, click here.

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~ 1n-0ut [meditation] ~ (2003) - jimpunk

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Note: Firefox users, remember to enable pop-ups in order to view ~ 1n-0ut [meditation] ~ properly.

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webzen (2009) - Carlos Katastrofsky

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A Koan: “All things can be traced back to the One, to what, however, can the One be traced back?” - “Untitled Document” is written on top of the browser window. No name, no content, no design: a webpage as simple as it can be. Still the work webzen (2009) demands outmost concentration. Clicking from one page to the next, the neverending quest for links is leading further, the skimming through pieces of information and the scanning of texts and pictures is interrupted - which is irritating. webzen is an attempt to abandon representational thinking, to understand life as utterly art of absent-mindedness and to experience the reality beyond duality and logic and beyond space and time. webzen has only one assignment: the single-serving site wants to overcome itself by means of meditating on the basic formulas of sourcecode: ‹html›, ‹head›, ‹title›, ‹body›, system, spirit, concept, body. But overcoming would only have been possible if the site would have never existed. - another Koan: “All things can be traced back to the code, to what, however, can the code be traced back?”

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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A Toast To Stillness (2009) - Frank Zadlo

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Untitled (SONY) (2007) - Damon Zucconi

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Spam Pills! (2009) - Adam Harvey

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287 products from an online medication website arranged by hue using a Fermat Spiral pattern

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ALL MY GUI (2009) - Marc Kremers

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After the Amateur: Notes

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Film, video and photography once fell easily into two categories: professional or amateur. Professionals mastered their crafts, often through guild-like programs of training, and sought to make a living from their abilities. Amateurs learned on their own, or through informal clubs of like-minded aficionados, and pursued their arts for reasons other than money or wide-ranging prestige. Professionals pursued careers. Amateurs pursued hobbies.

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FOR 2009, IDEA SUBSCRIPTION__ (2009) - David Horvitz

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David Horvitz’s For 2009, Idea Subscription__ (2009) is an email-based subscription list and tumblr blog of “open source” ideas for art projects, updated on an almost daily basis. Readers are encouraged to, “…realize, change, steal (you can't steal something that is free!), publish, claim as your own, destroy, become influenced by (either because you like them, or because you hate them so much that they give you better ideas), appropriate, spray paint, or anything else with them.” The ideas are all whimsical and offbeat, such as leaving a pile of flour outside one’s door for visitors to step in and photographing the resulting tracks (April 4th) to flying a kite in an area with dense advertising, such as Times Square, in order to serve as a distraction (March 13th). One of the ideas, dating from April 7th, has taken on a life of its own. Horvitz suggests that readers take photographs of their head in a freezer and upload it online using the tag “241543903”. There is now a dedicated site for these images at 241543903.com as well as a flickr group, while a quick flickr search results in at least 80 photographs of people with their heads in a freezer. The emerging popularity of 241543903 is additional proof (as if any is needed) to support Cory Arcangel's statement from the March 2009 issue of Artforum that, "...you can put anything up on the Internet and there will be five people who want it, no matter how weird or obscure the information. The niche exists: someone’s going to find you, period."

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Image: 241543903 from flickr user hubs

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Image: 241543903 from flickr user hugotsantos

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Image: 241543903 from flickr user .y.a.r.a.

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General Web Content

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This ongoing series explores significant developments on the internet, like this new hot thing called twitter that everyone's been talking about. We've culled the, uh, "twitterverse" to bring you some of the more curious and unique accounts out there (plus a few entertaining twitter spin-offs). Feel free to add links or suggestions in the comments section.

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Twitter feed created using the "Tweeting RFID Cat Door". Description from the site Tweeting Cat Door:

Each cat has a small RFID tag on the collar. When a cat is in the close proximity of the door, a small RFID reader reads the tag and if the cat is authorized, a servo will unlock the cat door. The RFID reader and the servo controller are connected to an old laptop. The software on the laptop is written in Delphi and for each "cat door event" is sending a Twitter message and a picture to twitter.com.



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Twitter feed of injuries by Petra Cortright.



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The unofficial Denton Mugshot twitter for Denton, Texas. Programmed by a UNT art photography student, drawing attention to how much public info we put online.



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The Twittering office chair "tweets" (posts a Twitter update) upon the detection of natural gas such as that produced by human flatulence.



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The twitter feed from "On Kawara"



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Faces made with unicode



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Documentation of documentation from vvork (not affiliated with vvork.com), started by Guthrie Lonergan, managed by Tom Moody.



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A List Of Every NBA Player On Twitter



Twitter, etc.



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Were you on twitter before Ashton Kutcher? Find out here.



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Twetris uses the twitter timeline to create blocks for a tetris game.

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