Seven on Seven: The Live Blog

Liveblogging Seven on Seven:

17:48. Seven on Seven is over! May the ideas it produced live on. 17:46. The dance beats that Jeri and Rashaad were laying down make a good segue to the after party, says Lauren. 17:44. The project is unfinished and open-ended, but Rashaad sees potential for a device he can use in performances of his work Shade Compositions. 17:38. Rashaad says he likes the pairing because he's interested in music and does some programming, and Jeri makes hardwares. They collaborated on a motion-controlled instrument that simulates vocals. Jeri brought lots of electronics equipment and it all got dumped out by TSA on her flight to New York. She shows the box of wires and chips. "I'm definitely going to get sent to Gitmo for this." 17:33. Erica is photographing Rashaad and Jeri with her and Camille's app, and Ben Cerveny is sitting behind her and photographing her. 17:29. Time for the final team: Jeri Ellsworth and Rashaad Newsome. Ellsworth designed a hot-selling Commodore 64 emulator inside a joystick. Newsome's art addresses identity politics and abstraction by sampling gesture, music, and pop iconography. 17:22. Someone wants to know if they're going to sell this on the art store. The question brings out the difference in attitudes between Camille and Erica. Erica is excited about having something ready. Camille thinks it's a prototype; she'd rather explore further. 17:20. Lauren: "In the art world you don't laugh at pictures of Carolee Schneemann." She says this very sternly! 17:18. Erica talks about letting people try out their app. "People had a hard time with the idea of using an interface slowly." 17:11. Camille shows a picture of a Carolee Schneemann performance. "I find this very disturbing," Erica says. "It's obviously an artist's piece." Camille: "But the idea of the artist's body can take on other meanings. We don't even know where Ai Weiwei is right now." Erica: "My icons are very cute." 17:08. How are gestures and personal quirks embodied in communication devices? Erica and Camille were thinking about the idea of sabi, a Japanese word for the wear that accumulates on an object over time and gives it history and value. They decided to design a desktop interface that would capture traces of the user's activity, including things that would grow and things that would decay. 16:58. We took a short break for milk and cookies and now it's time for Team 6! Camille Utterback is a maker of interactive sculpture, whose worked has been honored with a MacArthur Foundation fellowship and an award at Transmediale. Erica Sadun is a computer scientist, author, and "unrepentant geek." 16:20. The project: It's a browser add-on that lets users engage in an active browsing experience by putting a layer over web pages where comments can be left. It brings comments out of the "comment ghetto" at the bottom of pages. 16:06. Real-time comments scrolling across a cat video is "lolcats 2.0." 16:03. Aww. moot was on a site where you can play with click-and-drag letters, and he and five other users made a valentine together. 15:59. Both moot and mr. doob are interested in ephemerality and collaboration. moot says the important thing about 4chan is that there's no archive, and people can put up their ideas for a big audience. mr. doob presents his Multiuser Sketchpad, an Etch-a-Sketch-like site where users can draw together. 15:52. Team 5 is moot and mr. doob. Ricardo Cabello is a designer and programmer, whose projects range from simple interactive visual toys to full-fledged online experiences. Christopher Poole is the founder of 4chan an anonymous community and unfiltered meme incubator. 15:47. Another question: "What made you focus on the malleable recent past and not the more malleable future?" Kellan: "Great question!" "I never think about the future," Emily says. Kellan: "We focused on going back in time, to bring it forward." 15:44. Artist Joel Holmberg asks: "You were really positive. Sites like Flickr and Etsy have mostly positive comments. How do you guys think about keeping the negative out, to keep things positive?" Kellan says that "bring it forward" is an innately positive concept, and that they tried to make the form for submitting a tool warm and personal. 15:39. The result is, which asks "What tools/tenets/ideas have been compromised in the past that you would like to salvage for the current moment?" You can find an idea or a technology and vote to "bring it forward" by clicking a button. If you think something is really important, Emily says, you can sit there and furiously stab your finger at the button. 15:36. Kellan and Emily made a time machine (something that, incidentally, Michael Bell-Smith had also wanted to do). The idea was to go to the past and find ideas that had been discarded from the mainstream of social movements and bring them back. They decided to build a web site, which they're now showing. "You have five minutes left!" Lauren says. Kellan: "It's not a very big web site." 15:28. The screen behind Emily and Kellan flashes keywords from the conversation they had yesterday: capture, bring it forward, trans-historical, social curation, Ai Weiwei, incorporated, received abstraction. 15:21. "At first we didn't want to make anything but an idea," Kellan said. "But that quickly fell apart." They learned they had a lot of common. "We went to the same college at the same time, and had the same advisor," Kellan continued. "He told me to drop out. Emily wrote the foreword to his book." 15:19. Back from lunch break. Time for Team 4: Emily Roysdon and Kellan Elliott-McCrea. Roysdon coined the term "ecstatic resistance" to discuss the role of the imaginary in political change, and practices it as an artist, a lyricist for the band MEN, and editor of the queer feminist journal LTTR. Elliott-McCrea is interested in ideas of scaling technical and social systems, privacy, and open standards. He's the VP of Engineering for Kellan: "As a technologist I'm often driven by an inner fantasy life of utility (and utopia) with a secret hope of broad impact. Artists seem compelled by the innate desire to express the inexpressible, and a secret hope of widely inspiring. Basely, the difference between being right and being true." 14:41. "Comrades!" asks an audience member. "Who is the technologist and who is the artist?" Bre and Zach point at each other. 14:37. Lauren: "Did you have the end result of portraits when you started?" Bre: "No, we put potato in the soup and corn in the soup and we were like, what will potato corn soup taste like?" 14:35. After spending the day gathering footage of people talking about the most important people in their lives, they used the facial tracking information from the Kinect and Pettis' 3D-printing technology to make tiny busts of the interviewees. The resulting installation projects videos of people speaking onto models of their own faces. (It looks a little creepy!) 14:24. They were in the East Village yesterday with their equipment. "Someone asked us, 'Are you guys going to shoot Tom Cruise?'" 14:21. Team 6: Zachary Lieberman and Bre Pettis. Lieberman, an installation and performance artist, has created visuals for the facade of the new Ars Electronica Museum and written software for an augmented reality card trick. Pettis is the founder of Makerbot, a company that produces robots that make things and NYCResistor, a hacker collective in Brooklyn. Their project is called "Important People," and is based on Microsoft Kinect, the movement-recognition camera. 14:18. The words "super" and "cut" are being thrown around a lot in all sorts of combinations! 14:16. Lauren says Andy and Michael didn't know that the organizers wanted to pair them because of supercuts, but they got right to it anyway. 14:12. You'll be able to see supercuts from the database they're using at 14:08. Andy explains how the supersupercut works. It uses a script called YouTubeDL, which grabs the source video (something Google probably isn't happy about), then uses ShotDetect, which analyzes the video, splits it into hundreds of new files based on every camera change or scene change (based on changing movement between frames). Then FFMPeg stitches them back together in random order, creating something that is new and different every time. "What does it mean?" Michael asks. "I guess that's my job. We've taken something that's a very laborious manual process and making it automated." He adds that it shows how the internet disrupts the categories of "mass culture," "high art," and "folk art," since ideas can move in any direction. 14:03. Andy: "We made a supersupercut!" An algorithmically generated supercut made entirely out of other supercuts. 14:00. Andy introduces the supercut, where fans isolate recurring moments from films and string them together, by showing a supercut of every time the word "dude" is pronounced in The Big Lebowski. Michael plays supercuts of reality TV contestants saying variations on the phrase "I'm not here to make friends," then another of clips from horror movies when the characters discover their cell phones can't get a signal. Andy mentions that when he descended to the New Museum's basement he realized his phone couldn't get a signal. 13:52. Team 2: Andy Baio of the non-profit social-media research organization Expert Labs and Michael Bell-Smith. "Just to be clear," Baio says, "I'm the technologist, and he's the artist." (Laughs) 13:51. Hrag Vartanian of the blog Hyperallergic asks how the game might end. Ben says it's a generative process rather than one with closure. "In that way it's more art and technology." Liz quotes architect Cedric Price: "Technology is the answer, art is the question." 13:50. Ben explains that the card game would work like dominoes: You have to match physical conditions to psychological conditions. "It's about generating narrative. Any two actions already create a narrative arc." 13:48. Lauren asks the first question, about how filmmakers might use it. Liz and Ben say they wanted to make a video yesterday, but "technological haunting" got in the way. 13:41. Liz: "The dream and the nightmare become the material for our future product development." The product: a surrealist card game about the interactions between buildings and people. If people are afraid of steep stairs, they could start glowing. The deck is a possible tool for filmmakers and others who need visual expressions of how people reckon with space. 13.35: Ben introduces their project as an exploration of the discourse of human psychology and architectural technology. Liz shows a short film about gargoyles on the Woolworth Building in Chicago: originally representations of evil in churches, they let people release fear of hell, which functioning as literal safety valves that protect the architecture by releasing moisture and pressure. 13:29. Team 1: Liz Magic Laser and Ben Cerveny. Cerveny builds playful visual discovery 'instruments' for mobile devices. Ms. Magic Laser has staged Brecht in ATM lobbies and is developing a public art project for Time Square later this month. Liz: "The range of approaches in both fields is so broad that I am hard-pressed to make generalizations, but I imagine there are similar thought processes involved in our endeavors. We’re both trying to intervene in everyday communication between people in a way that potentially alters the language itself." 13:28. "What you're classical and she's jazz? You're Rails and she's Python?" 13:26. Caterina Fake of Flickr and Hunch is delivering remarks about the magic of collaboration: individual minds melting in "the unimpeachable 'is." 13:22. "People say the line between art and technology is blurry, and we know that." Lauren mentioned the interviews with the participants that Joanne McNeil posted on the blog a couple of days ago. I'll include some of the quotes from those interviews as the teams take the stage. 13:19. Lauren likes the word "game-changing." 13:16. It has begun! Maureen Sullivan of AOL is introducing the event. The company is "putting their money where their mouth is" to support innovation. She introduced Rhizome director Lauren Cornell as "someone we're all happy to spend a Saturday with."