April 2006 Archives

Barface

According to an article carried by The Japan Times Online:

"A remarkable experiment will be conducted later this month at Tokyo's Kasumigaseki Station, reports Weekly Playboy. It involves surveillance cameras... for an hour or two each day over the course of two to three weeks, one of the station's ticket gates will be closed to the general public. A newly-developed biometric camera, capable not only of photographing faces, but of analyzing facial data and in essence converting each person's face into a unique bar code, will be at work, snapping shots of participants in the experiment as they pass back and forth through the gate."

(via)

April 27, 2006 | 09:38 PM | Permalink
Spookspeak

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Spookspeak: keywords which may trigger NSA surveillance of communications. A 4-minute film by Katherin McInnis.

April 27, 2006 | 06:29 PM | Permalink
Reading is decadent

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(Found here - via)

April 27, 2006 | 06:06 PM | Permalink
Viral viagra is all in the mind

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(remixed & modified images found here)

April 21, 2006 | 06:17 PM | Permalink
Ashleyb as mobile user experience specialist

Last November, I gave a presentation on usability: the mobile perspective, at the Italian edition of World Usability Day 2005. Yesterday, thanks to Frangino, I found out the talk is available online (wmv, 17.5MB - in Italian).

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(Photos courtesy of interaction jedi Fabio Sergio)

April 21, 2006 | 06:11 PM | Permalink
Michael A. Russ' tintones

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(via)

April 14, 2006 | 01:16 PM | Permalink
Virginie Notte's modern pin-up

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(via)

April 14, 2006 | 01:10 PM | Permalink
Brainsushi

Brainsushi is a self-defined mutant media company.

"Avant-garde technologies, social mutations and cultural turmoil... New York vampyres, Mexican freaks, Silicon Valley nerds, Guatemalan gangsters, London fetishists or Japanese otakus, the Brainsushi agency is specialized in documenting contemporary phenomena that foresee the world of tomorrow."

(via nicolas nova)

April 11, 2006 | 11:13 PM | Permalink
Fugitivas (a film)

The best films are often seen by mistake.

Unexpectedly.

Beyond Italian TV filled with crowds of men taking part in an election night bukkake - money shot after exit poll money shot in a head2head race - a French channel has just started showing a Spanish film.

I sit in Italy watching a Spanish-language film with French subtitles. I love Europe. A certain kind at least.

The film is about a group of petty criminals, a violent crook, a dragon-chasing junkie. A robbery. Betrayal. The young daughter of a prostitute, that ends up on the run with the young woman thief. In search of a father who sings flamenco.

The film is a marvellous road movie that heads south out of Madrid and unfolds in Andalucia. It is a colour-drenched noir. It is a story of rejection and friendship and loneliness and love. Un cante hondo a la vida.

The street aesthetics of a Spanish underclass are rendered with detailed description. The empty roads and olive groves and salt mines and wind farms. The long thin glass filled with coke and rum. Tangiers like Tijuana, and Tarifa under the sun.

A matriarchal ending.

April 11, 2006 | 12:54 AM | Permalink
The photography of Shadi Ghadirian

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(via)

April 08, 2006 | 12:30 AM | Permalink
Monica Menez photography

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(via Suzanne G.)

April 06, 2006 | 05:31 PM | Permalink
Moon shines over Lunar Park

"There was something beneath the surface of things" (author's italics - p.172, Lunar Park, Picador, London, 2005)

Of the writers of my generation - those born in the situationist sixties - the three I treasure most are Bret Easton Ellis, Douglas Coupland and, more recently, Virginie Despentes.

Of all three I appreciate the way they play with language, with genre and form, with narrative. Of all three I savour the vision and the views, the description of social milieux and contemporary times. Of the three, two are North American and one is European, two are men and one is a woman.

(is that supposed to mean anything at all?)

I first read Bret Easton Ellis a year or two after he had published "Less than zero". I read the novel on a sofa in Huddersfield, North England. I was around twenty. The sentences were short and crisp and descriptive and disruptive and nihilistic. It read fast.

"The rules of attraction" followed in a more minimal-baroque fashion, with the sex'n'drugs lifestyle of lost weekend undergraduates reflected in the experimental structure of this second novel. Clay, the main protagonist of "Less than zero", makes a cameo appearance, marking what would become a recurring motifs in Ellis' writing: the interlacing of characters from one book to another in a kind of ongoing meta-narrative and the false reflection of biographical fact in the mirror of fiction. So much shimmer across so thin a surface.

His collection of short stories "The informers" I no longer recall.

But with "American Psycho" Ellis became a frigid Fitzgerald for the 80s. Forget films like "Wall Street", forget books like "Bonfire of the Vanities", "American Psycho" dissected with sadeian precision the zeitgeist of a particular place in historical time.

Endless descriptions of designer clothes and fashionable restaurants and mainstream pop groups, cut with increasingly splatter chapters of ultra-violence, created hype and anger around this book. A metaphorical platinum credit card chopped away at decades of literary developments, as the first-person narrative voice was ascribed to the author. The black humour and - dare I say - the morality of the novel were lost in a delusion of self-righteous indignation.

A word-blackout, then "Glamorama" came strutting down the catwalk of culture, its hip heels stabbing at clarity and sense. Everything in a void flux. Hazy. Precisely prescient. The male models as disposable terrorists, the ever-present TV crews.

Then silence again till last year, when Lunar Park came out, and in it the main character is a writer called Bret Easton Ellis who has written the books described above, which he details with the cosy attention of the lit. critic. Until the story turns into horror and pulp. Such a literate book. Filled with theory playing savage tricks on identity and invention.

Ellis has a rare gift, found also in writers such as Paul Auster and Milan Kundera (and I'm thinking of their early work) of being able to reveal the conceptual framework, the form games, the structural stratagems of a story and yet maintain the power of narrative intact.

This time, time has passed and the setting is suburban and drugs and fame and emptiness and medication fill the picture, with everything empty and horrifying and bright, until the very end scatters across a sea of family history some incredibly dense writing that takes the shape of a single sentence unwinding across a page and a half in which generations forget and remember and (re)discover.

It is late at night as I finish "Lunar Park". Moon shines through the roof window above the bed. A few tears run down my cheek.

April 04, 2006 | 11:48 PM | Permalink
The art of Antony Micallef

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(once again, thanks andrea)

April 04, 2006 | 06:10 PM | Permalink
Sandino's flag (Nicaragua 1932)

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April 04, 2006 | 06:08 PM | Permalink