Robotic Geese (2003) - Natalie Jeremijenko

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Natalie Jeremijenko Robotic Goose launch from xDesign Project on Vimeo.


Robotic Geese are remote controlled goose robots that enable participants or robotic goose drivers (aka goosers) to interact with actual geese in urban contexts. The robotic goose interface allows people to approach the birds, follow them closely and interact in a variety of ways that would not otherwise be possible without this interface. The goose drivers can 'talk to' the geese, issuing utterances through the robotic interface, delivering prerecorded goose 'words,' their own vocal impersonations, or other sounds (such as goose flute hunting calls). Each utterance via the robotic goose triggers the camera in the robot's head to capture 2-4 seconds of video recording the responses of the actual biological geese. These video samples upload to the public web-based goosespeak database that the participants can annotate, i.e. "the goose was telling me to go away," "he was saying Hi." As this database of goose responses accretes, redundancy and correlations in the annotations may provide robust semantic descriptors of the library of video clips.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S WEBSITE

Note: Robotic Geese is part of the artist's ongoing project Ooz.

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Camerautomata Charlie: Image Digesting Robotic Duck (2008) - Taeyoon Choi

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Duck out to a Park from Taeyoon Choi on Vimeo.

The duck takes picture when it detects flash light/ and also everytime it exits 'mode' of operation. There are few modes including 'driving', 'waiting', and 'printing'. Therefore some pictures are obviously of people taking picture at the duck and others are accidental.

- FROM THE PROJECT'S SITE

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Dipping Duck Orchestra (2007) - Kitty Clark

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Music randomly generated by dipping ducks (AKA happy birds, drinking birds, dippy birds, happy ducks... etc)

Using the basic parts of a keyboard, each duck is hooked up to a note of the octave. As their beak touches the water in the glass the circuit is completed and the sound is produced.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S FLICKR ACCOUNT

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A New History for New Media

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Image: Art and Electronic Media (Cover)

Edward A. Shanken’s new book Art and Electronic Media (Themes & Movements), published by Phaidon Press, presents a rich and comprehensive overview of the history of electronic media art practices in the twentieth century, focusing mostly on work produced in the United States, Canada, and Europe. The book balances the historical and the contemporary, the analytic and the particular, with style and critical rigor.

The text is organized thematically in order to cover major topics in the field: Motion, Duration, Illumination; Coded Form and Electronic Production; Charged Environments; Networks, Surveillance, Culture Jamming; Bodies, Surrogates, Emergent Systems; Simulations and Simulacra; and Exhibitions, Institutions, Communities, Collaborations. Given the extensive breath, in historical accounts and details, this organization system presents the reader with a convenient way to access a historical period, artist, or practice of their particular interest. Each theme reappears three times throughout the book, in each of the three main sections: Survey, Works, and Documents (a division that is consistent with previous volumes published in this Phaidon series).

Quality research into the history of electronic media art production, exhibition, and conception is consistent throughout. The section on "Networks," for instance, includes an insightful contextualization of new internet-based art with pre-network art, such as Hans Haache’s 1969 News, an installation that involves a series of Teletype machines set to receive and print local, national, and international news in real time. Shanken’s placement of current genres in these historical frameworks not only enhances our appreciation of the newer practices but also develops an understanding of the historical origins of net, systems, or environmental art.

Over 200 colorful images accompany the text, many of them projects that have not been exhibited widely. One example is the photograph of Christa Sommere and Laurent Mignonneau’s A-Volve (1994-95 ...

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Transparency Theory

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Video: Schmelzolan on Overhead by Christian Faubel

What do elementary school audiovisual departments have in their arsenals these days? Are fifth-grade teachers teaching with PowerPoint? That seems hard to believe, since mine barely mastered the overhead projector. She could never put the transparency right-side up and left-side left on the first try. The overhead projector’s flipping technique required the user’s brain to undo what the eyes do for it, in order to make one sheet of paper’s worth of information available to collective vision.

The tricky optics alone should be enough to interest artists in the overhead projector, but an exhibition dedicated to the device in Malmo, Sweden, focuses on the precious, nostalgic appeal of this quaint technology. Opening Friday and running through May 30, “The Art of the Overhead” will feature an archive of projectable documents and a spate of live programs: a projection-based performance by Katrin Bethge, an analogue computer game by magic-lantern artists Milk Milk Lemonade, and an interactive planetarium from Sue Corke and Hagen Betzwieser. Since Sunday these artists and others have been taking part in an OHPen Surface Workshop, sharing the projects they’ve prepared for the overhead projector and discussing how they’ve adapted the technologies they use in their usual practices, which range from sound art to minimal robotics. The full program is available at www.overheads.org, a site that makes nice use of another obsolete technology, the marquee.

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Report From FutureSonic 2009

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Focusing on a wide array of themes such as the context of a rapidly changing planet, our evolving human / natural ecosystem, the growing global strain on natural resources, and the advancement of artistic methods on potential of technological infrastructures, the 10th edition of the FutureSonic festival spanning 14 years integrated a wide and impressive array of international speakers, workshops, exhibitions, and performances. Scattered around the bustling city of Manchester in the United Kingdom, the festival took into account both its local strengths and its global outreach to encourage debate and showcase a wide arrange of artistic projects that examined just how far we have come in these debates and how far we have to go to make sense of the evolving technological apparatus that surrounds us.

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School Day

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Image: Mike Rosenthal, The Traveling Sound Museum, 2009

The spring show of ITP, New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, which was open to the public last Sunday and Monday, was a like science fair, with students eager to show the results of their projects, and also like a job fair, with middle-aged men in suits prowling for fresh-faced innovators. There’s an atmosphere of authentic creative exploration surrounding the projects displayed, but more often than not the starting point is a vaguely corporate-sounding buzzword: Sustainability! Wearable technologies! Arduino! Connecting to nature was a particularly hot topic, with variations on it ranging from urban botany—like the iPhone app Twigster that helps users identify species of plant life they encounter in parks—to the New-Age crunch of Root Boots, bark-covered footwear that encourages the wearer to stand still and contemplate nature by providing pleasant, low-frequency vibrations when at rest and making scary uprooting sounds when lifted. Voice from the Past also followed the trend of adapting technology to slow the pace of life down; the program lets callers leave a voice message and designate a time in the near or distant future when the recipient will be notified of it. The inverse of that was the whimsical Traveling Sound Museum, with sounds of events like the 1293 sacking of Jaisalmer by the emperor Ala-ud-din Khilji and the 1835 arrival of European explorers in Galapagos in mason jars displayed on an antique wooden cart. (The creator cagily batted away questions about what the burlap in the jars was hiding, and where they “really” came from.) Other projects let computers and audience share the credit for art-making. The “cobots” ShadowBot and SoundBot moved in response to environmental light or noise, respectively, to create messy, Spirogram-like doodles. With the heavy crowds at the ...

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Night at the Museum

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Tonight at MOCA in Los Angeles, Rhizome-commissioned artists Knifeandfork (Brian House and Sue Huang) will invite visitors to race remote-control cars through the museum's current exhibition, "A Changing Ratio: Painting and Sculpture from the Collection." Titled MOCA Grand Prix, the race marks the final event of Knifeandfork's three-month Engagement Party residency at the museum. Each Wi-Fi-enabled car is mounted with a camera, allowing players to remotely direct the cars through the space via a videogame interface showing the car’s point of view. Awards will be presented for the fastest times of the evening. This event is free and open to the public.

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The Cybernetic Pioneer of Video Art: Nam June Paik

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In the 1960s and 1970s, Nam June Paik, and many of his pioneering video artist colleagues and Fluxus collaborators took the visionary work of Wiener, the electric prophesies of McLuhan and Gregory Bateson and the utopic designs of Buckminster Fuller and concurred that the new video medium would usher in a social utopia that would extend far beyond the spheres of the 1970s experimental art world. For these early media artists, the feedback loops, live circuits, and video flows, coupled with the electronic image’s immediate and physiological stimulations, when used in distinction to commercial models, posited potent possibilities for cybernetic consciousness, ecological human-machine systems, and an end to top-down power relations. In short, the rise of an egalitarian, democratic society through electronic media. In order to fully appreciate Paik’s work, we must remember this historical context. A solo show is now on view at the James Cohan Gallery in Chelsea, "Nam June Paik: Live Feed: 1972 -1994." The show features several of Paik’s older and more recent video installations, all of which reflect his cybernetic ambitions for video technology.

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12_Series (2009) - Telcosystems

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12_series - work in progress pt. 2 from Telcosystems on Vimeo.


12_Series is a new generative multichannel computer installation by Telcosystems. The installation is an audiovisual horizon comprised of twelve identical image and sound generating machines. Built around the notion of decentralized autonomous decision making and evolution, 12_Series implements forms of audiovisual imitation, mutation and recombination, aiming for the emergence of captivating complexity from a vocabulary of rudimentary shapes, sounds and logic.

The system is built around the notion of decentralized autonomous decision making, with each machine displaying its own generative behavior, while reacting to behavior of neighboring machines and adapting to centrally organized environmental variables. The installation focuses on the tension between the individual and the group, between the machine-specific development and the group dynamics that determine the ever-evolving horizon.

-- EXCERPT FROM ARTIST'S STATEMENT

(Currently on view at Wood Street Galleries in Pittsburgh, PA, originally via mediateletipos.)

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