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


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: 


Sketching Bradley Manning


As the Bradley Manning trial presses on at Fort Meade, Maryland, artist Clark Stoeckley (of Wikileaks Truck fame) documents the proceedings in sketches. So far, the artists tells us he has compiled over 300 drawings from both sides of the gallery, the jury box, and the live video feed. The renderings are set to be published by OR Books in September as a graphic novel, which is an appropriate format for an epic conflict between good and evil. The previews of Stoeckley's graphic novel look very exciting, but what we find most compelling about the project is Stoeckley's commitment to the trial and to Manning, and the mundane details of the process that he captures through his daily practice of drawing and observation.

Day 1 of the trial

 

Captain Hunter Whyte, David Coombs, Bradley Manning

Courtroom observers wearing shirts that read "truth" have been mandated by officials to turn them inside-out.


Email Before PRISM: Miranda July, "We Think Alone" (2013)


There is a scene in the movie Airplane! (1980) in which a young boy suddenly recognizes the real-life actor who is playing the character of co-pilot Roger Murdoch. "Wait a minute!" he exclaims. "I know you! You're Kareem Abdul-Jabbar!"

The scene breaks the "fourth wall" to comic effect. Most viewers in 1980 would have recognized Abdul-Jabbar instantly, but the conventions of performance dictate that we try to pretend that he is just an ordinary schmoe in the cockpit. By "recognizing" Abdul-Jabbar, the boy calls attention to these conventions, and breaks the tension for viewers who were probably struggling to see the six-time MVP of the NBA as an airline employee.

Such an acknowledgment is missing from a more recent project involving Abdul-Jabbar, Miranda July's We Think Alone.



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Continuous Partial Listening: Holly Herndon in Conversation


Im not sure if this will work, but:

[iframe]http://call.hollyherndon.com/01000011011000010110110001101100/2/[/iframe]

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Rhizome Today


JINX!!!!

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Lena NW tweeted to share the link to her 50-page Fuck Everything manifesto (NSFW) which I thought I'd leave here: http://www.universehacktress.com/fuckeverything/nwhitm.pdf

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