October 2003 Archives

Barbie's Muslim cousin

It's a beautifully-correct day in global Toytown: Razanne has just moved in next door.

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October 31, 2003 | 10:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
My love divine

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(image taken from Marianna's photolog)

October 29, 2003 | 09:58 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
Never mind hidden heels, here's growth hormones

The rise of human enhancement technology.

October 29, 2003 | 02:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
Is true transformation possible?

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(The alchemist by Sir William Fettes Douglas)

October 28, 2003 | 04:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
Instant-Mix Imperial Democracy (Buy One, Get One Free)

Instant-Mix Imperial Democracy (Buy One, Get One Free) - The transcript of a talk given by Arundhati Roy earlier this year.

"So here we are, the people of the world, confronted with an Empire armed with a mandate from heaven (and, as added insurance, the most formidable arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in history). Here we are, confronted with an Empire that has conferred upon itself the right to go to war at will, and the right to deliver people from corrupting ideologies, from religious fundamentalists, dictators, sexism, and poverty by the age-old, tried-and-tested practice of extermination. Empire is on the move, and Democracy is its sly new war cry. Democracy, home-delivered to your doorstep by daisy cutters. Death is a small price for people to pay for the privilege of sampling this new product: Instant-Mix Imperial Democracy (bring to a boil, add oil, then bomb)... Democracy, the modern world's holy cow, is in crisis. And the crisis is a profound one. Every kind of outrage is being committed in the name of democracy. It has become little more than a hollow word, a pretty shell, emptied of all content or meaning. It can be whatever you want it to be. Democracy is the Free World's whore, willing to dress up, dress down, willing to satisfy a whole range of taste, available to be used and abused at will."

(via the etoy talk-tank)

October 27, 2003 | 02:08 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
A short story of economic injustice, sex and death at the beach in Rome one summer afternoon

The sea at the horizon, under the glare of the sun, sparkles with diamonds that are so near and yet can never be reached. Ahmed looks at it from time to time as he walks along the stretch of beach he has come to know so well since the start of the summer. He tries to walk along the damp sand, next to the sea, where it is less tiring. But it is not easy with all the people playing racket ball, running into the surf, strolling in groups. The children digging enormous holes and erecting flimsy castles. The odd dog barking menacingly. And all that flesh out to tan in long rows and columns; like the numbers he did at school. Thinking of maths he puts his hand in the pocket of the shorts he is wearing to check on the money that is there. Never enough, he thinks as he caresses the crumpled notes. Never enough.

October 26, 2003 | 05:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
A photo for lunch

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(image taken by the blogger with a Nokia 3650)

October 24, 2003 | 12:04 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
Kingdom of piracy

Kingdom of Piracy is an online, open workspace which "explores the free sharing of digital content - often condemned as piracy - as the net's ultimate art form."

October 24, 2003 | 10:06 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
NaDa - the nothingness of software

Bernard Belanger brings us NaDa: a zen-like concept in software development.

NaDa™ is a new concept. A thought, really. It is very light : 1 byte. It doesn't take long to fetch. It doesn't take long to understand. It doesn't disturb your habits nor does it makes you feel insecure. It is a reassuring piece of software that does nothing, and does it very well. That's a lot!

Sit back. Enjoy. Do nothing. Think.

(via the always-stuffed-with-great-stuff neural.it)

October 23, 2003 | 06:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
Like speaking to a wall

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Parlami: speak to me, the wall said.

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impossible, I replied.

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I don't understand a word you're saying.

(images taken by the blogger with a Nokia 3650)

October 22, 2003 | 04:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
Toying with e-memories

I stumbled into the etoy blog just the other day, which brought back distant memories of the etoy versus etoys legal saga - a biting example of the paradigm clash over the Net at the close of the nineties.

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October 21, 2003 | 03:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
Life within the data cloud

A personal journey with free networks:

"I think what I liked about the consume project were two things: the idea that people should do something on their own, something that was fairly large and complex, outside corporate and state structures and therefore completely against the odds. Knowing that there is almost no chance that the project will succeed made it just more interesting. I am stressing this point, because I think it is something social and political, independent of which kind of technology you use."

(notes from a talk by Armin Medosch)

October 21, 2003 | 02:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
Economic freedom and robot bloggers

Mainstream media USA turns radical by retrofitting an (industrial)age-old dream implict in modernity and made explicit by the counter-culture.

The LA Times carried an item of commentary the other day in which "robots promise you an endless vacation" (registration req.):

"To achieve true economic freedom, we must break a fundamental doctrine in today's economy: the link between work and income. Robots will be doing all the work, so this link becomes meaningless. We need a new paradigm."

I've been wanting to comment on this extensively - on financial dictatorship, on lack of historical perspective in tech dreaming, on the meaning of labour and other tasty morsels of sashimi for the mind - but have been too busy working non-stop. Perhaps one day a robot can blog for me...

October 21, 2003 | 10:44 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
A walkabout around Rome – a stream of (moblogging) consciousness

I flew down to Rome today for a work presentation tomorrow. As night fell I went for a walk along a route rich in allusion to my personal past.

These are the snapshots of walkabout captured with a Nokia 3650 and blogged with a laptop and a 3G phone acting as a mobile modem.

So geek-tech-exciting to post this so close to the remnants of the heart of the Roman Empire.

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October 17, 2003 | 11:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
Escape from Woomera - the game

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"Your country is in chaos. Death squads and gangs rule the streets. Your nearest relatives have been killed, and you fear you will be next. Selling your last possessions in exchange for passage on an unseaworthy vessel, you risk your life travelling across the world in search of a new beginning. But when you arrive, you are locked away in blatant defiance of UN laws. Those who have locked you away are acting illegally, but it is you who are treated as a criminal..."
October 16, 2003 | 08:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
Blood and honey - a history

This happened in Europe during the last decade of the Twentieth Century.

Not far at all really, from where I live.

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(blood and honey - an exceptional document of the Balkan wars by Ron Haviv)

October 15, 2003 | 10:57 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
Be a nomad in a box and travel the world watching TV

LOT-EK seeks to "blur the boundaries between architecture, art, entertainment and information". Worth a screen stroll around its projects and concepts.

Personally, I picked'n'mixed the following combo as the ideal solution for those couch-potatoes with a passive penchant for mobility and a feel for the future.

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"MDUs are conceived for individuals moving around the globe. The MDU travels with its dweller to the next long term destination, fitted with all live/work equipment and filled with the dweller’s belongings. Once it reaches its destination, the MDU is loaded in MDU vertical harbors located in all major metropolitan areas."

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"Surf-a-Bed: A hovering plane of television light and imagery, suspended over the bed, explores the potential for image scrambling and repetition. Television images, drawn from all available sources: cable TV, VCR’s, surveillance cameras, are broadcast simultaneously. A remote device introduces a control room experience to bed time comfort. A multidirectional screen layout transforms the bed into a multi-directional surface for horizontal viewing."


October 15, 2003 | 03:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
The delightful world of Tokidoki

Italian designer Simone Legno dedicates graphic serenades to his love for Japanese culture on his personal site Tokidoki. Play the games, enjoy the illustrations.

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October 14, 2003 | 08:42 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
Pranking the brand: Nike Ground

Via Neural, comes news of Nike Ground:

"Picture this: a hi-tech container right in the middle of Karlsplatz, one of Vienna's historic squares. It's the Nike Infobox: a slick, demountable, walk-in container, two semi-transparent floors, dynamic shapes and a red plastic cover. On the outer windows a curious sign attracts the attention of passersby: «This square will soon be called Nikeplatz. Come inside to find out more». Over the last month, the plan to change the square's name has also been advertised on a website: www.nikeground.com, while thousands of brochures were distributed all over the city.

Inside the Infobox a charming couple of Nike-dressed twins welcomes curious citizens, and explains to them the revolutionary Nike Ground campaign: «Nike is introducing its legendary brand into squares, streets, parks and boulevards: Nikesquare, Nikestreet, Piazzanike, Plazanike or Nikestrasse will appear in major world capitals over the coming years!".

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"In September the news went out nationwide: "Karlsplatz", one of the city's main squares, is soon to be renamed "Nikeplatz". Apart from the new name, it appears that a huge monument in the shape of Nike's famous "Swoosh" logo will be built in "Nikeplatz". Needless to say, it is all fake. The one-month campaign provoked the reactions of Vienna's citizens, city officials and, of course, the Nike group, which has denied any involvement and tries to put an end to this bizarre performance. This almost unbelievable prank is the work of the organization known as 0100101110101101.ORG, who this time have tricked an entire city: Vienna."
October 13, 2003 | 12:57 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
Which is less work-safe and why?

As I sauntered down the alleyways of the web today, I came across this interview with Terry Richardson and these photographs documenting a history of souvenirs of lynchings in the USA. Beyond any other consideration that could be triggered by these hyperlinks, I could not help but wonder: which of the two is the most work-unsafe?

October 12, 2003 | 11:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
Designer politics

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The poster art of Yossi Lemel.

(via efimera)

October 12, 2003 | 07:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
NairoBits

NairoBits: a digital design school for slum kids in Nairobi, Kenya.

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October 12, 2003 | 02:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
Tribal gallery

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(photos from TriBu RiBeLLi - idee in 'movimento')

October 12, 2003 | 02:04 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
Mix-n-match your ready-made housing project

Prefab dystopia?: Ikea applies its furniture philosophy to the development of housing estates under the brand name Boklok.

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While those in need of a designer-labelled ready-made residence can count on the global operations from Philippe Strack's development and design venture Yoo. The homes come in four funky flavours: classic, minimal, natural and cultural.

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October 11, 2003 | 07:08 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
Tracey Emin's cat - an art parable

After posting a pic of My Bed yesterday evening, I went looking for stuff on Tracey Emin on the web today, and came up with this story from last year about people taking down the posters she had peppered Shoreditch with while looking for her lost cat.

These flyers were reportedly valued at 500 pound sterling each. A story perhaps about the way art in contemporary times is viewed and chewed?

October 11, 2003 | 02:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
Time for bed

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(Tracey Emin's My Bed - 1998 mattress linens pillows objects 79 x 211 x 234 cm)

October 10, 2003 | 09:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
Cyber chakras

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(an online meditation tool)

October 10, 2003 | 05:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
The Project Censored yearly report

The top 25 censored media stories of 2002-03

October 10, 2003 | 12:04 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
September 12: Gaming as political commentary

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October 09, 2003 | 12:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)
Strange days in Sydney (remembering Roni Levi)

Came across these photos the other day on junk for code which brought back memories of strange days spent in Sydney back in 1997. A partially-built Opera House reminding me of an idea we were building as radical newlyweds, Marianna and I, when we embarked on an emigration project aimed at landing us on a new experiential shore.

A room with a view of the Ocean and room to breathe a different kind of breeze.

What we found along the way was the X-files flashing at us from TV screens from Rome, to Bangkok, to Auckland. Always on a Thursday night.

We saw different people across timezones eating the same McDonalds take-aways seated on identical Ikea tables and chairs.

Standing still on Long Beach, New Zealand, we looked out on a lonesome surfer and a john perry barlow horizon and wondered if the place we sought was virtual in essence and the path digital.

Back in Sydney the city had a noir feeling under a sad pale blue sky. Our days crossed with shady people that promised things, always in empty restaurants.

One morning, the sweet chilly sauce of our scrambled eggs turned sour, when we read in the paper about a young Frenchman, suffering from a mental disturbance and brandishing a knife, gunned down by the police on Bondi beach at dawn. It was one of those moments of close, vaporous affinity to a stranger. An undercurrent of interconnectedness flowing like the tides. The story was riddled with bullet-hole gaps. No-one seemed to know why he was shot. He was my age roughly.

We returned to Europe shortly afterwards, and I could never remember the guy's name. I googled it up today: Roni Levi.

Apparently, the police involved may have been high on drugs...

These are notes from somewhere bizarre, going out to Roni Levi, wishing his spirit peace.

October 08, 2003 | 04:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
If there were a public execution on TV, would I watch it?

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(the artwork of Daniele Buetti)

October 08, 2003 | 04:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
Guerrilla ceramics

Have just stumbled across the work of Grayson Perry and am blown away.

Cool, critical ceramics.

Strangely, one his pieces entitled "Emotional Landscape" (1999) is bound to my own emotive chronology.

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This is what he has to say about it:

"The imagery on this vase stems from the anti road protesters who lived near my old studio in Leytonstone, London. I enjoyed their anarchic creativity. They made the whole of their street into a massive environmental art work using the street as their front rooms and medieval siege towers came out of the roofs, bearing lovely homemade flags."

Some of the same people described above were also my neighbours for a few years. Living just a couple of doors down in the Clarendon Road squat in South Woodford.

Thinking of Dave and critical mass, and katie and the kids and reclaim the streets parties, and John and all the rest.

October 07, 2003 | 10:46 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
Dreaming of alchemy and the power of transformation

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(the alchemy web site)

October 07, 2003 | 04:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
The degree confluence project

Travel games for the XXI Century.

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October 06, 2003 | 10:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
Russian prison tattoos

"My mother taught me to steal in the industrial zones": a pictorial description of Russian prison tattoos.

(via sach's report)

October 06, 2003 | 05:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
The urbanisation of poverty: slums are on the sprawl

A report published today by the UN-Habitat agency states that the number of people living in slums has reached the 1 billion mark (the equivalent of 32% of the global urban population). According to the document, if serious action is not taken to counteract this trend, this figure is expected to double to 2 billion over the next 30 years.

October 06, 2003 | 03:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
Euro-Summit in Rome

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(image nicked here)

October 04, 2003 | 09:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
The idler wage slave support group

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October 03, 2003 | 09:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
Redeyes: a nano-sized story

The blog post as ultradense tale - a hypershort story by Warren Ellis.

October 02, 2003 | 06:54 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
DoYouLikeWhatYouSee?

TeGustaLoQueVes? is a visual campaign for the reappropriation of privatized public spaces, being carried out in Spain. The areas being reclaimed by critical urban art are those used for advertising on telephone boxes.

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(via Neural)

October 02, 2003 | 10:05 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
Usability experts are from Mars

Graphic designers are from Venus.

October 01, 2003 | 04:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
Call your robot

Remote control a robot with your mobile phone: Justin Hall reports on some of the latest developments from Japan.

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(The above is the perfect gift for your favourite home security paranoiac! Don't leave your home without one!)

October 01, 2003 | 03:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)