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They say I made the Moon. (13)
Nowhere, Somewhere
Immortal since Dec 11, 2007
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    Polytopia
    The human species is rapidly and indisputably moving towards the technological singularity. The cadence of the flow of information and innovation in...

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    What happened to nature?
    How to stay in touch with our biological origins in a world devoid of nature? The majestic nature that once inspired poets, painters and...

    The great enhancement debate
    What will happen when for the first time in ages different human species will inhabit the earth at the same time? The day may be upon us when people...
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    Human society needs to aspire to an integration of its material, spiritual and ecological elements. Current technologies, processes and means tend to separate these facets rather than connect them. Nature uses the sun's energy to create interdependent systems in which complexity and diversity imply sustainability. In contrast, industrialized society extracts energy for systems designed to reduce natural complexity. The challenge for humanity is to develop human design processes which enable us to remain in the natural context. Almost every phase of the design, manufacturing, and construction processes requires reconsideration. Linear systems of thought, or short-term programs which justify ignorant, indifferent, or arrogant means are not farsighted enough to serve the future of the interaction between humanity and nature. We must employ both current knowledge and ancient wisdom in our efforts to conceive and realize the physical transformation, care and maintenance of the Earth.

    ~ William McDonough [x], The Hanover Principles ~

    Michael Wolf - Hong Kong: The Front Door/The Back Door Image #6

    Over the past few years, many wonderful projects have emerged from talented individuals with a healthy interest in the relationships between humanity, nature, and technology, and ultimately, their implications for the future of this world. People from all aspects of society are becoming increasingly involved in the struggle against global desolation/devastation. Using photography as their primary medium, Chris Jordan, Michael Wolf, and Edward Burtynsky have created works which have left me with a mixture of fascination and concern, awe and disgust. I have attempted to use common threads between their works to illustrate a story about sustainability, consumerism, and civilization, with the United States and China as its main characters.

    I must briefly mention that I was surprised to find that Burtynsky's work has only recently surfaced here, and not in member posts, but in our gallery. I implore those unfamiliar with him to watch Manufactured Landscapes, a wonderful cinematic exploration of his work (and another essential documentary). He is also on the board of directors over at WorldChanging (to which Régine Debatty contributes!) and recently spoke at the Long Now Foundation, proposing a 10,000 year gallery.

    In order to keep my page from becoming more cluttered than it already is, I've decided to separate the rest of this post from my Personal Cargo. Furthermore, I've split what was previously one giant post into a series of posts. Click any of the following links to continue...

    I. Refreshments - The story of stuff
    II. Take - Manufacturing Landscapes
    III. Make - Where does it come from?
    IV. Waste - Where does it go?
    V. Overpopulate - Hong Kong shows us the future
    VI. Build To Destroy - Three Gorges Dam
    VII. Grave & Cradle - What next?
    Sat, Sep 13, 2008  Permanent link
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    Rather than creating a series of toys and super-heros with weapons, we are interested in experimenting with the qualities of changing the perception as well as sensory enhancements changing your perspective or creating empathy with animals.

    We believe curiosity and exploration is one of the major desires of children and our goal is not just to create a series of devices for exploration and curiosity that might be just fun for one afternoon. Much more we are interested in providing tools seeing the world through a different lens and to learn more about ourselves. We believe those devices could possibly create empathy with animals, experiencing what they experience as well as providing an interface to communicate with them.

    This is just a start of the experiment and we believe it is possible to create also tools for play with deeper layers, learning levels and more layered interactivity that could even become an extension of your body rather than just an traditional play-object.

    ~ Kenichi Okada + Chris Woebken ~


    Animals have senses beyond human experience, they instinctively feel approaching tsunamis through low frequencies, communicate through pheromones or can navigate through magnetic fields.

    Students of Design Interactions Chris Woebken and Kenichi Okada, in collaboration with MBA students from the Oxford Said Business-school, have been developing a series of sensory enhancements toys for children to experience "animal superpowers." Each prototype allows the kid to change perspective or feel empathy with animals.

    At the work in progress show of the Royal College of Art in London a few weeks ago there were showing 3 of their prototypes:



    Ant - feeling like an ant magnifying your vision 50x through microscope antennas on your hands
    Bird - gaining a sense for magnetic fields
    Giraffe - a child to adult converter changing your voice & perspective

    They are also developing Elephant shoes that pick up transmitting vibrations from fellows and a head mounted Theremin (!) to provide children with an enhanced spatial vision similar to the one of an electric Eel.

    I played with the ant and giraffe devices while visiting the RCA show and found out that the objects do exactly what their description says: i felt humbled by the ant devices (i could not see anything of what was around me but could perceive all the tiny cracks and details on the surface of of the table i was exploring) and while doning the giraffe helmet i could only perceive the head of the tallest people in the room...


    Designed by Rokos in collaboration with Kathrin Bohm and Andreas Lang, the object lowered your vision to ground level, and outwards, by the use of periscopes. The device was set off centre on a wheel to create the sensation of hopping. The device comes with ears and a tail, so that onlookers can also understand the product's purpose.


    { Continued at we make money not art & there & here }
    Sun, Mar 2, 2008  Permanent link
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    Sent to project: The great enhancement debate
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    Founded by Takashi Amano, Aqua Design Amano specializes in the manufacture and distribution of materials used for creating nature aquaria. Since 02001 they have hosted the International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest where artists/aquarists from around the world submit their nature aquarium designs to compete for a grand prize of 1,000,000 yen ($10,000). These images are submissions from the 02007 competition. ~ ~ ~ Lovely!







    { Aqua Forest Aquarium, Aquatic Gardeners Association, Video of Takashi's own work }

    Sun, Feb 3, 2008  Permanent link
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    Long ago...
    No one tore the ground with ploughshares
    or parcelled out the land
    or swept the sea with dipping oars —
    the shore was the world's end.
    Clever human nature, victim of your inventions,
    disastrously creative,
    why cordon cities with towering walls?
    Why arm for war?

    - Publius Ovidius Naso, Amores, Book 3

    This verse by Roman poet, Ovid, serves as the prelude to Ronald Wright's A Short History of Progress, a book which explores the consequences of civilization and short-term thinking. Highest recommendation!

    Each time history repeats itself, so it's said, the price goes up. The twentieth century was a time of runaway growth in human population, consumption, and technology, placing a colossal load on all natural systems, especially earth, air, and water—the very elements of life. The great question of the twenty-first century is how, or whether, this can go on.

    In
    A Short History of Progress Ronald Wright argues that our modern predicament is as old as civilization, a 10,000-year experiment we have participated in but seldom controlled. Only by understanding the patterns of triumph and disaster that humanity has repeated around the world since the Stone Age, can we recognize the experiment’s inherent dangers, and, with luck and wisdom, shape its outcome.

    Civilization is an experiment, a very recent way of life in the human career, and it has a habit of walking into what I am calling progress traps. A small village on good land beside a river is a good idea; but when the village grows into a city and paves over the good land, it becomes a bad idea. While prevention might have been easy, a cure may be impossible: a city isn't easily moved. This human inability to foresee—or watch out for—long-range consequences may be inherent to our kind, shaped by millions of years when we lived from hand to mouth by hunting and gathering. It may also be little more than a mix of inertia, greed, and foolishness encouraged by the shape of the social pyramid. The concentration of power at the top of large-scale societies gives the elite a vested interest in the status quo; they continue to prosper in darkening times long after the environment and general populace begins to suffer.

    - Ronald Wright, A Short History Of Progress, pages 108-109

    At CBC Radio's Massey Lectures in 2004, Wright spoke about the ideas he presents in his book. However, only the first part of the lecture is freely available online. CDs of the complete broadcast lectures can be purchased from the House of Anansi Press.





    D'Où Venons Nous? Que Sommes Nous? Où Allons Nous?
    Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?

    + +

    Ronald Wright interviewed on The Current (November 24, 02004)
    "Homo sapiens has the information to know itself for what it is: an Ice Age hunter only half-evolved towards intelligence; clever but seldom wise."



    * * *

    Additional recommendations: Jared Diamond, The Long Now Foundation
    Mon, Jan 7, 2008  Permanent link
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    Sent to project: The Total Library
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    Heart in Voh, New Caledonia

    Yann Arthus-Bertrand's gorgeous aerial photos certainly deserve some Space Collective love. High-res versions of these images (+ many more) can be found in his book, Earth From Above, or as wallpaper through his website.


    (top to bottom: Yellowstone, nuclear power plant, Thjórsá River, Kenai peninsula, Mahdia Valley, Arguin bank)

    + +

    Some may also want to visit GoodPlanet, "a non-profit organization created and chaired by YAB, whose aim is to heighten public awareness of our world’s issues and promote sustainable development". One of GoodPlanet's more recent projects is 6 Billion Others, which was inspired by Earth From Above.


    Worker resting on bales of cotton, Thonakaha, Korhogo, Ivory Coast
    Sun, Dec 23, 2007  Permanent link
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