Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: Code and Economics

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"Joy To Ode" by Dominik Podsiadly

The latest in an ongoing series of themed collections of creative projects assembled by Prosthetic Knowledge. This edition takes a look at creative projects and cultural implications that emerge from the meeting of computing culture and economics.

It's interesting that the etymology of the word "economics" goes back to the Greek oikonomikos, meaning "practiced in the management of a household or family," "frugal" or "thrifty," especially considering the term's modern-day association with big capitalism. On a small or large scale, economics has always been concerned with the distribution of wealth and the management of resources, and its principles can therefore be applied in a range of other fields. For example: In the mid-70's, the subject entered into dialogue with the biology (such as Gary Becker's paper "Altruism, Egoism and Genetic Fitness: Economics and Sociobiology" and "Economics from a Biological Viewpoint" by Jack Hirshleifer), where resources such as fitness, energy, disease, or environment were studied in an economic framework.

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Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: Slitscan

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A collection of examples from the Prosthetic Knowledge Tumblr archive on the subject of Slitscanning, a photographic effect that creates distortions and occasionally insightful images based on time.

The slitscan effect has, of-late, had something of a renaissance over the past year thanks to digital technology. Once a time consuming and expensive technique, coders have created their own solutions (either personally or commercially in the mobile app market). For the uninitiated, it has been defined by Golan Levin thus:

Slitscan imaging techniques are used to create static images of time-based phenomena. In traditional film photography, slit scan images are created by exposing film as it slides past a slit-shaped aperture. In the digital realm, thin slices are extracted from a sequence of video frames, and concatenated into a new image.

Below are some examples of creative coding with the slitscan technique:

Volumetric Slitscan Experiments by Memo Akten

The slitscan technique is a well-explored method in photography and video, but this is the first time I have seen it using a Kinect camera feed, where depth plays an additional factor. Two short videos are embedded above, and they are made more fun by the music (dancing to Nina Simone’s “My Baby Just Cares For Me”).

Work-in-progress prototype for an upcoming project involving volumetric slitscanning using kinect (should it be called surface-scanning?). Similar to traditional slitscanning ... but instead of working with 2D images + time, this technique uses spatial + temporal data stored in a 4D Space-Time Continuum, and 3 dimensional temporal gradients (i.e. not just slitscanning on the depth/rgb images, but surface-scanning on the animated 3D point cloud).

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Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: Surveillance Painting

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Being Digital by Enda O'Donoghue (2008)

A collection of examples from the Prosthetic Knowledge Tumblr archive featuring artists who have inserted the visual grammar of new media technology into painting.

Enda O’Donoghue

wow, my stomach looks really great! (2010)

The 1604 (2006)

Reflection (2010)

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Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: The 3D GIF

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Sample from Animated GIF in 3D

A collection of examples from the Prosthetic Knowledge Tumblr archive and around the web on experiments which take the familiar animated GIF format and take it out of its 2D origins.

This has been a good year for the Animated GIF— not only has it reached its 25th birthday, it has also become America's word of the year according to Oxford Dictionaries USA. It has been one of the internet's most creative canvases since it's availability, whether it has been employed in early homegrown HTML pages, to communities such as B3ta, YTMND, 4Chan and others. From it's continued popularity, some creatives have explored ways to take the animated GIF into new contexts. Here are a few examples:

GIFPumper

 
 
 

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Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: Internet Coolhunting

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A collection of examples where pop culture was clearly inspired by smaller creative activities on the web (with some people not necessarily happy about it). With online chatter regarding the performance by Rihanna on Saturday Night Live and it's adoption to the net-art 'Seapunk' style, it's worth knowing that the mixed reaction is not an isolated occasion. Marketers employ 'coolhunters' to look out for interesting small cultural developments to make their artist's seem 'fresh' and ahead of the game, an activity that has been happening since the early 1990s, which was a key subject in William Gibson's 2003 novel Pattern Recognition. It is now becoming more apparent in our more modern technological age — here are some of the better known examples:

Chiptune / Timbaland

Chiptunes, the lo-fi music associated with soundchips of old computers and gaming consoles, started to make their way into contemporary music with one piece eventually leading to a file for infringement, the Timberland-produced 'Do It' for Nelly Furtado:
 


Compare this to "Acidjazzed Evening" by Tempest/Damage
 


For a much more clearer comparison, the Demoscene documentary by Moleman breifly compares and contrasts the two songs. 

According to Wikipedia:

In August 2007, an action for infringement was filed in the District Court of Helsinki against Universal Music, Ltd alleging Nelly Furtado's song "Do It" infringed "Acid Jazz Evening". In January 2009, after a trial that included multiple expert and technical witnesses, a three judge panel unanimously dismissed the plaintiff's case.

On December 17, 2008, Abbott also testified as a witness of prosecution in the Helsinki court in Gallefoss' case against Universal Music Finland. The Finnish court reportedly threw out the case after ruling in only one aspects of the three claims (sampling, performance rights, producer rights), and the case remains in appellate court ...

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Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: Web Toys

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Online browser-based projects which you can play or create with from the Prosthetic Knowledge Tumblr archive:


 



YATTA!

Developed by Emilio Gomariz and Kim Asendorf (under the guise MAADONNA), you can drag an image from your desktop into the page to be transformed into a matrix of animated icons. There are various sets including classic animated emoticons (both Western and Japanese) and sprite blocks from old Nintendo games (such as Super Mario Brothers, pictured above).

You can try it out for yourself here.
[PK Link

Neticones


Similar to YATTA! is this piece which can convert your image into a matrix made up of Facebook icons (Webcam needed).

Try it out here.
PK Link

Streetview Stereographic


This webtoy takes Google Streetview photographic images and turns them into 'Little Worlds' style fisheye panoramas. It has even been used to create videos, here by Halcob

You can try it out here
[PK Link
]

ASCII Streetview




Another Streetview project, this one turns it's photographic panoramas into ASCII text characters (including new data which is captured inside buildings)

Texter




Made by Tim Holam, this tool allows you to draw with words, sentences and paragraphs. You can choose whatever text you wish to use, change it's colour, and save the results.


You can try it out here and view Tim's other projects here.

WebcamMesh


Fun webcam toy by Felix Turner turns your visual feed into a trippy 3D mesh, running on HTML5 in your browser (Note: Only works with Chrome and Opera).


Try it out here
[PK Link]

Webcam Displacement



Another webcam toy, this by Mr.doob (aka Ricardo Cabello) which turns the visual feed into pseudo-3D forms (Chrome required).


Try it out here
[PK Link]

Other Links:

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Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: nOdalisque

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Uncomposed (after Titian after Giorgione) by Georgie Roxby Smith [GIF by PK]



A collection of items from the Prosthetic Knowledge Tumblr archive and around the web, looking at a Fine Art archetype today.




Uncomposed (after Titian after Giorgione) by Georgie Roxby Smith
 

Uncomposed (after Titian after Giorgione) from Georgie Roxby Smith on Vimeo.


Renaissance art piece composed as contemporary New Media machinima, a 21st Century Venus

3D machinima, video, found image, found sound

Made specifically for Composite at Gallery One Three Uncomposed (after Titian after Giogione) deconstructs Giorgione’s Sleeping Venus, itself a composite, the landscape and sky being completed by Titian following Giogione’s death in 1510. The work was a landmark of its era, reflecting a new shift in modern art with the inclusion of a female nude at its centre. Employing three-dimensional computer graphics and elements of Giorgione’s original masterpiece, Roxby Smith replaces his stylised renaissance figure with a fantasised digital body transplanted into an augmented hyper real landscape. In the likeness of her present day artist, the 21st Century Venus will not lie still for her voyeurs, obstinately returning the male gaze from her new digital paradigm, Sleeping Venus awakes.

Video link | PK Link

Machina by Claudia Hart

 
 

Framed digital art piece is a 3D animation of a sleeping female nude subject in the classical pose of Venus / Odalisque - a two minute example of the twenty minute work:

"Machina" (2008) by Claudia Hart from bitforms gallery on Vimeo.

“Machina” is a 3D animation portraying the compressed time and space of painting, shows a dreaming character whose slow, drowsy movements articulate all of the minutia of a single moment. “Machina” uses the most advanced techniques of virtual reality simulation, and a series of animations that result in a representation that is sensual and organic. Occasionally, Machina ...

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Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: Computer Graphics & Art 1976 - 1978

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A brief look at a short-lived American quarterly publication, which gives a little insight into the practice of art with computers in the 1970's. While a product of its time, there are some places with resonances to the practice of today.




May 1976, Vol.1, No 2 - In The Beginning:


An overview from the publication's editor and computer artist Grace Hertlein, writing about the three phases of computer art - past, (at time) present, and the future. 

NCC '76 Art Exhibition - New York City (Pages 10 - 17)

A good primer of artists of the time.




Computer In - Analogue Out

Examples of the use of computers to create work in physical form.

Untitled Sculpture by Jose Alexanco of Madrid. The sculpture is one of many variations designed by the computer, and executed by the artist. The source of design is prehistoric cave art, dating from c. 15,000-10,000 B.C., from the Magdeleine Cave in France.



Using a computer to design murals for a subway station:


Computer programming textile patterns:

Inline images 10


Computer design for a painting:

Choreography and the Computer




And lastly, some examples of Generative Art





If you want to check the range of publications out, they are available in PDF form at Comparts.

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Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: CurAudio / DocuMP3

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A collection of audio content from the Prosthetic Knowledge Tumblr archive and around the web.


 100 years of the computer artscene - Talk by Jason Scott and Rad Man at Notacon04 

 

Recording of a talk by Jason Scott (creator of textfiles.com) from NOTACON 2004 discusses the history of computing and creativity. 

Since the first time that machines could calculate, people have twisted, modified, hacked and played with them to create art.  In a fast-paced hour, we're going to do our best to capture 100 years of computer art, the magic of the art scene, the demo scene, and a dozen other "scenes" that have been with us as long as computers have.  Prepare yourself for a roller coaster of visual and audio history as your two over-the top scene pilots take you on "the story so far" to the artscene. 

Unfortunately, there is no accompanying visual collection to the examples mentioned in the talk, yet it is an enlightening primer on creativity and new technology. (PK link)

DJ Food - Raiding The 20th Century




DJ Food's classic mix from 2004 curates and documents the growth of 'The Cut-Up' (also known as bootlegs or mash-ups), forming a creative alternative world of popular music. It also features spoken audio from Paul Morley, critic and former member of the Art of Noise and ZTT Records, reading from his book 'Words and Music: the history of pop in the shape of a city.'

Tracklist on DJ Food's website. (PK link.)

Dreams - Delia Derbyshire and Barry Bermange





Narrations of recollected dreams recorded and collaged with the distinct audio style of BBC Radiophonic Workshop musician Delia Derbyshire:

 
"Dreams" was made in collaboration with Barry Bermange (who originally recorded the narrations). Bermange put together The Dreams (1964), a collage of people describing their dreams, set ...

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Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: Other Worlds

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Scene from 'Trip'

A collection of items from the Prosthetic Knowledge Tumblr archive and around the web, around the theme of 'Other Worlds', a collection of independent / student games that veer away from convention, either produced as 'experiences' in another environment, aesthetic exercises that the paths of commercial gaming did not tread.

Proteus




Indie video game with Zen-like experience, with ambient audio music and 3D Atari-cartridge-like visuals. An island is randomly generated for exploration, with no goal orientated action. (PK)

Zenith



Free game by Arcane Kids that celebrates ' ... speed, movement, and Twitter ...', acrobatic skating in a polygon world.
(PK)


Trip 




Abstract game environment made of gradient polygons - zen-like experience similar to Proteus (see above) where there are no objectives. Could be considered as a big virtual sculpture / gallery. (PK)
 
Perspective 

 




Experimental video game combines a first-person 3D environment to navigate a character in a 2D platformer.

Perspective is an experimental platformer. The player avatar moves in a 2D space that transforms when the player changes perspective in 3D space. The player needs to use this mechanic navigate the 2D avatar to a goal in order to progress from level to level. 

Currently unreleased, when available should be free for all. (PK)

Fotonica 



First-person one-button run-and-jump game with fantastic minimal wireframe graphics - by Santa Ragione:

A first person game about jumping, sense of speed and discovery. The key is timing, the goal is exploring and traveling flawlessly through the environment. The setting is an abstract - mainly duotone - outlined world, with a look referring to the geometrical abstractions from the 50s and the 3D low-poly gaming era. (PK)

 

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