June 21, 2005

The Mp3 Experiment

Friendly pranksters Improve Everywhere arranged "The Mp3 Experiment" in December of 2005.

"...Audience members downloaded the Mp3 in advance, transferred it to their portable Mp3 players (or burned it to a disc for their portable CD players), and brought it with them to the theatre. Audience members were told not to listen to the track in advance. At the top of the show, a video projection instructed the crowd to press play simultaneously...There were no actors or hosts of this show, only the audience..."

here is the resulting video

The variations are infinite...

June 20, 2005

Imagining Ground Zero

I have really enjoyed reading "Imagining Ground Zero : The Official and Unofficial Proposals for the World Trade Center Site." This book chronicles the actual bureaucracy involved in developing the site, has spreads of all sorts of ideas and plans, and addresses some of the deeper issues at hand in relation to "the skyscraper." The idea of Ground Zero as a "medium" wasl eaped on by all kinds of artists, architects, and citizens. This book attempts to sort out exactly what that means. It also includes chapters explaining the winning proposals, The Freedom Tower and Reflecting Absence. It is difficult for me to understand architecture, but I happen to like Raimund Abraham's unofficial submission which involved 15 modest skyscrapers divided by four slabs marking the sundial times of the plans hitting, and then the building falling. While doing some research on it I found his response to the hysteria...

"Q: I am interested in hearing your critique of the project at Ground Zero, as well as hearing your explanation for the design you proposed.

A: There was no hope from day one that the commercial world would really go for an architectural gesture that would be as radical as the event they claimed 9/11 was. Instead of saying, “Okay, now Mr. Silverstein, let’s get you some architects to build the most efficient commercial buildings there,” they tried to cover their intentions by saying, “Okay, now we need architecture. From day one, the project was a disguised commercial site plan. It is very clear that when the pragmatic force starts to dominate that process, they will do whatever they want and then more or less declare the imprints of the two commercial towers as sacred because of the original event. I think that is blasphemy. It’s a fake… you see thats what I called it at the beginning: the necessity of architecture to celebrate the sacredness; this is just the opposite. Its fake sacredness."

On one hand I agree, yet there is a part of me that is also really attracted to memorial architecture. When I think of the Vietnam memorial, I see a memorial space that seems to really work. It is apolitical, yet gives a sense of the immensity of the event. The scratching of the names seems to really serve peoples' pilgrimage and closure. We deserve the same for Ground Zero.

June 17, 2005

History Of The Super Soaker

All today I was thinking about waterguns. They are toy which actually sucessfully subverts a violent object, while still maintaining a sense of healthy aggression. They can be secretive, minimal, or amazingly complex. Check out this odd "Wookie Water Blaster." Lately the head-mounted "Ultimate Water Gun" has been getting some press. There is a great seeming museum dedicated to the guns, yet the site seems to be really screwy.

The Super Soaker changed the water gun industry when they came out in 1988. The Soaker story is an interesting manufacturing and innovation story. As well as a personal pop culture moment from my childhood.

Le Corbusier's Modular Man

When Le Corbusier became interesting in the "Golden Ration," he designed his own version of man as the model for the proportion. He was quite passionate about the sequence and wrote a book, The Modular, about it

"...For Le Corbusier, what industry needed was a system of proportional measurement which would reconcile the needs of the human body with the beauty inherent in the Golden Section. If such a system could be devised, which could simultaneously render the Golden Section proportional to the height of a human, then this would form an ideal basis for universal standardisation. Using such a system of commensurate measurements Le Corbusier proposed that architects, engineers and designers would find it relatively simple to produce forms that were both commodious and delightful and would find it more difficult to produce displeasing or impractical forms. After listening to Le Corbusier's arguments Albert Einstein summarised his intent as being to create a "scale of proportions which makes the bad difficult and the good easy."A more mundane motive might also partially explain this endeavour. Le Corbusier saw that such a system could be patented and that when it became universally recognised and applied he "would have the right to claim royalties on everything that will be constructed on the basis of [his] measuring system"...."

...a review by Michael J. Ostwald

I think this means he was proposing a measuring system, like the Metric. All objects would would be measured in their relation to the proportion. Everything drafted automaticly into the scale. It's a pretty compelling idea.

June 15, 2005

Thumbdrive VoIP Phone

An installed version of VoIP software preset on the drive. You can plug this drive into a connected computer and make a call around the world. Far cheaper and technically more efficient than a cellphone. The next step may just be the ability to install VoIP on cellphone sized computers. You would be limited to only connected networks, but for many people that would make little difference.

Death to satellites?

via engadget

June 13, 2005

My Version Of J-me's Shaker

Those caps are were part of a air pressure set, the threaded tips allow for a flat screw top to cover the hole. It is a cork jammed in with a coat hanger in the middle.

Here is J-me's orginal

June 11, 2005

Death By Cake


By JACE. A little bit Wayne Theibaud, and little Keith Haring, and a lot of Wooster...

June 10, 2005

Pause: The Greatest Music Videos & Their Directors

From "The Submarine Channel," PAUSE is a quicktime archive of some of the most interesting music videos from directors like Michael Gondry, Spike Jonze, and Roman Coppola. Includes two sections of strictly animated videos. As far as Jonze and Gondry go, this pretty much cover's what's on their DVDs for free. Most of Bjork's videos are here. It also includes lots of more obscure, but equally amazing stuff. There are also interviews in a totally bizarre interface, most notably with the kinda reculsive Spike Jonze. This site is actually pretty old, it's in my head for a while. It is a great screen candy fix.

Also, if you are into it... Sonic Youth has a really comprehensive video collection

June 09, 2005

Scott Teplin

Scott Teplin is an amazing artist. Check out his "Pinky" book. Check out his "Knowing Holes". Check out his "Dirty Slide". Check out his cutouts. Check out his trash. Please see his Sketch Archives.

Via Drawn

Plastic Pipe Hose Salt and Pepper Shaker


I have always been really partial to this Salt n' Pepper Shaker design.
I think this may be one of the most structurally imaginative things I have ever seen. I really want to make my own. Only I assumed the shakers are conjoined at opposing ends, with a divider in the middle. Only the agitated side would sprinkle, while the other would droop onto the tabletop. There are really just two seperate tubes. If I build one it will be much longer and conjoined.

From "J-me"

June 08, 2005

Subway Systems Of The World, Presented On The Same Scale

Recalls the image of a squashed bugs on glass.
From internet artists Fake Is the New Real.

June 07, 2005

More Abandoned Stuff

"Lost In Time" is a gallery of abandoned Russian buildings.

Via A Daily Dose...

June 01, 2005

Amazing Recent Photo Memes

Scrap-Metal Dealers of Kazakhstan

Abandoned Japanese Amusment Park

Secret Wall Tattoos


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