Michael Connor
Since 2002
Works in Brooklyn, New York United States of America


We Made a Full-Screen GIF Viewer (But it doesn't work well with pixel art)


Screenshot of Google Chrome logo resized in Google Chrome.
 
When we began working with Jesse Darling on her recent Performance GIFs series, she had a request: she wanted all of the GIFs to open full-screen in their own window, like this. In order to accommodate this, Rhizome's Senior Developer Scott Meisburger made a new full-screen GIF viewer app, GIFZoomer, which we open-sourced and made available on Rhizome's GitHub repository.
 

Artists: Bring Us Your Obsolete Digital Media


Between now and September 8, Rhizome and the New Museum are inviting artists to make free-of-charge appointments at the XFR STN exhibition to transfer their obsolete digital media and videotape to more stable formats, with the help of conservation specialists. Here are five salient facts about the conservation of born-digital materials:

1. Many digital media formats will become nearly impossible to access in the coming years, because the hardware used to access this media is no longer manufactured, and will not last forever. As a result, your digital files will be lost to you, and to posterity.

2. After transfering your digital files to more stable formats, you are under no obligation to share them with us; you will be given the option to transfer them to the Internet Archive, if desired.

3. We are accepting the following digital formats: 3.5” and 5.25" Floppy Disk, Zip Disk, JAZ Disk, Compact Disc, and IDE/PATA hard drives.

4. If you do not want to send your materials to the Internet Archive, you must bring your own storage media. 

5. You can schedule an appointment here.

See you soon!


Apple's Patent on the Pinch-and-Zoom Falls


Thomas Hirschhorn, Bootleg extract from Touching Reality

Yesterday, Engadget and other outlets reported that the USPTO made its final decision to nix a patent filed by Apple in 2007 in an attempt to claim intellectual ownership of a number of touch-screen gestures, including the two-finger "pinch-to-zoom." Melissa Grey reported that "According to documents filed by Samsung in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on Sunday, [the patent] was found wanting by the USPTO due to it being anticipated by other patents and declared otherwise non-patentable."


Have a Nice Day: Hannah Perry and Bubblebyte Take Over Create London


This week, online art mavens Bubblebyte and artist Hannah Perry launched a "takeover" of the website of Create London, made in collaboration with 25 teenagers from South East London as well as a range of contemporary artists. The takeover will only be on view until 13 September.  

Bubblebyte and Hannah Perry's takeover of the website of Create London.

As takeovers go, it was of the friendly variety. A row of colored, numbered buttons appears at the bottom of the site; clicking on each button brings up a song and a visual response by an artist. The visual responses appear as transparent overlays (sometimes still, sometimes animated) on top of website content. A rotating humidifier (perhaps an oblique reference to cloud computing?) is paired with ominous industrial audio by Paul Purgas. Menna Cominetti splashes a pair of blue tinted shades over the page, set to the ethereal tones of Paul Flannery. For the most part, these works have no explicit relationship with the site's content, but some strange juxtapositions emerge, such as when Andrew Norman Wilson’s images of Martha Stewart appear on top of the words "create jobs." 


Software Takes Command: An Interview with Lev Manovich


Lev Manovich is a leading theorist of cultural objects produced with digital technology, perhaps best known for The Language of New Media (MIT Press, 2001). I interviewed him about his most recent book, Software Takes Command (Bloomsbury Academic, July 2014).

Photograph published in Alan Kay and Adele Goldberg, "Personal Dynamic Media" with the caption, "Kids learning to use the interim Dynabook." 

MICHAEL CONNOR: I want to start with the question of methodology. How does one study software? In other words, what is the object of study—do you focus more on the interface, or the underlying code, or some combination of the two?

LEV MANOVICH: The goal of my book is to understand media software—its genealogy (where does it come from), its anatomy (the key features shared by all media viewing and editing software), and its effects in the world (pragmatics). Specifically, I am concerned with two kinds of effects: