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ShawnSims (M, 34)
Brooklyn, US
Immortal since Nov 10, 2008
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architecture student at pratt institute
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    From michaelerule
    notes : modular conscious...
    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.
    Our physical environments are gaining intelligence as our geography transcends the analog. Before Google Maps there were in fact video games that included geo-tagging for points of interest and hazards. Sim-City was the first city-building simulation game, introduced in 1989. Games have proven their merit as pedagogical tools in a variety of fields, including urban planning. The origin of cartography was rooted in a need to fundamentally understand and track our physical movements. The nature of maps is beginning to shift towards a tool for fore-sight rather than hindsight. Games such as Sim-City, Grand Theft Auto, and Civilizations have proven to offer an incubator for testing urban and city planning strategies. Video games provided the speculative grounds to test ideas such as GPS and new forms of guided urbanism. These testing grounds are possible since seemingly complex games are based on bottom up intelligence. Sim-City functions on rules similar to The Game of Life by John Conway.



    One interesting notion may be for games such as Sim-City or GTA to begin to incorporate live GIS data in order to narrow the gap between our analog and digital existence. This coupled with our already growing social networks may produce a highly, more tangible version of Second Life. After all, economies have shifted into the digital realm with sites like Ebay and Craigslist. The challenge lies in integrating the natural and urban environments into a seamless neo-geography that transcends the physical and digital and begins to function within aspects of both. In a sense this is hinting at a cultural aspect being coupled with digital cartography and landscapes that have commonly emerged from video games.



    "The degree to which AR can blossom to its full paradigm-shifting potential is dependent on the human interface, geolocative, visual analysis, microdisplay, inertial sensor, wireless connection, portable/pocket computing, relational database, and cloud computing technologies that have matured very rapidly in this first decade of the 21st. We weren’t ready for real VR, but we’re about ready for real AR. It’s a broad concept, and the marker-tracking folks are a big part of it, but they can’t have it to themselves because we won’t let them."
    Noah Zerkin of Augmentation

    Stroll in Central Park+ iPhone + AR + personal avatar + GTA4 = Neo-Geographer Gaming
    Sat, Oct 3, 2009  Permanent link

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    “As it grows ever more complicated today, musical art seeks out combinations more dissonant, stranger, and harsher for the ear. Thus, it comes ever closer to the noise-sound.”
    Russolo

    In 1913 a prediction was made, claiming the future of our soundscape would inevitably require us to master noise. The spectrum of sound grows exponentially with our advancements in technology; continuously redefining the meaning of noise. Recent generations have a greater exposure to this process, and the musical abstraction produced has fueled this non-linear growth.



    The notion of the noise-sound suggests that instead of looking inwards toward more musical sound; we should honor the sounds of our machines; our unnatural sonic byproducts. Assuming our musical pallet is expanding in this manner; we would need a new way to describe our sounds, a typology that encompasses sounds made without purpose. An engine could be re-engineered to produce a chromatic scale; helping us make sense of our noise while simultaneously transcending this definition. Russolo offered that our future orchestras would realize mechanical mimicry and we would then have a complete soundscape.



    There is an alternate take on the history of our musical discourse; that we have achieved a complexity of sound manipulation that has expanded our horizons behind sight, possibly beyond speculation. It has become impossible to claim that the discovery of our range of sounds is dependent upon understanding noise. We find music itself has become the moderator on the definition of noise. Technology has provided the means to distort, manipulate, and morph. New instruments have created new sounds, and furthermore that sound is altered through many other forces.

    “So, another concert hall will be built surely. (Expect a new composition to be played there too.)”
    Corner



    The electric guitar alone has offered us a look into a sound range that may border “noise.” Jimi Hendrix played the Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock 69’. His version featured a bomb raid and screaming produced from his guitar. This becomes a transition of a noise into music. An instrument is the channel for sound as a language morphs. Hendrix added to social, physical, political, and mental spaces that existed around him. His sound was one of a kind, not only because he played a different version of an old song but because the space(s) where he produced the sound were unique. He sought out a mental space that held a symbiotic relationship with the music, feeding off one another. These characteristics of sound fuel our discourse and its exponential growth towards “noise,” eventually blurring this boundary.

    While many instruments across the world produce a great amount of sound, the computer and its’ ability to control sound have proven mystifying in their depths. There is a simpler way to view its’ power. The movement of sound within music (i.e. gunshot sound sampling found in Notorious B.I.G., 2Pac, Nas, 50 Cent, and NWA’s productions) creates a series of ambiguous attributes that dispel Russolo’s “end-in-site discourse.” We instead find ourselves seeking the foresight and technique to (re)produce sounds in new ways.

    This inherent longing is the force that drives our musical exploration. We design and build new instruments; analog and digital. They produce more sounds that in turn feed this cyclical process. This notion of hybriding is a fundamental human characteristic. After all, our musical history is filled with this. We mix and match sounds and techniques that offer us a chance to reach a point of mutation; bridging the gap between music and noise.



    Sampling technology has provided us the means to replicate sound produced by many objects; this is a shifting of a sound’s “moment”. The growing range of sound from the computer has been an undeniable force. The computer has become a tool-turned-instrument. The variables in a structured music system generate a musical moment in space and time. This moment has physicality to it as well; a space effecting sound, and those producing the sound.

    “Styles change every year; on every street. But for Music——and is not that there the limit of my faith? : let whatever changes change. (it yet matters every bit.)”
    Corner

    This degree of variation in our music poses difficulties in describing our sound catalog, but Attali would offer us that this is a reflection of power. He claims that noise is the source of power and of the dream. The organization of sound is a direct endowment of the state of our “form.” Our form is composed of our social, political, economical, and other various spaces combined to generate the environments that we are (un)knowingly products of. The music is no different, it behaves like any other art; responding to our form with new languages, new typologies.

    “Listening to music is listening to all noise, realizing that its appropriation and control is a reflection of power, that it is essentially political. More than colors and forms, it is sounds and their arrangements that fashion societies.”
    Attali

    As he describes our sounds as power, it becomes interesting to understand what this entails. With power follows fascination, respect, and mimicry. These are the core motives behind our inherent yearning to invent and expand boundaries. As music and sound are understood to be channels of power, then those with meaning are flushed through this cycle and fed back in, while that which might be considered noise is null. With this in mind, we can understand that we in fact do not need to turn towards noise in order to fully expand our soundscape.



    We will continue to produce an ever changing landscape of sound, displaying a range of typological differences that will inevitably encompass the entire spectrum of music and sound. This is not to dispel the notion of noise, but it has little weight in our trajectory of current musical discourse. We may be heading towards an age of ubiquitous sound, where noise is no longer. Instead, we may find our music so complex, so powerful that its constituents are made of all sounds; all what we may consider noise.
    Thu, Jul 23, 2009  Permanent link

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    While currently living in London, I have become increasingly aware to the presence of surveillance. CCTV’s 4,500,000 cameras operate 24 hr a day 365 days a year. With nearly 2,000,000 cameras in the city center, train stations, and public areas, the average inhabitant will be recorded nearly 300 times a day. I stumbled across George Orwell’s home a couple of days ago and well, sorry George but they win.

    We are undoubtedly moving towards the rein of the digital. Augmented reality, virtual reality, and alter reality are increasingly fusing with our not-so analog lives. The generations born around the millennium are simultaneously existing in multiple dimensions. Who sees who is the separation of public and private no? Then as we begin to exist in dimensions that are hardcoded to sense and detect, where is this boundary now?

    Traditionally surveillance was a hierarchical social mechanism. The state kept records of weddings and divorces, births and deaths. This is a minimal degree of profiling. Doctor’s assess patients in order to achieve a diagnosis, shall we call this natural? What about computer scanning, hacking, data mining, cctv, thermal imaging, satellite imaging, retinal scanning? These are collections based on technical processes, shall we call this non-natural? Ubiquitous computing is nearing and we will witness data collection occur through sensors existing in new places. Your clothes may collect data about air quality and temperature. Simple day to day objects may carry RFID tags (Radio-frequency identification) holding information allowing you to pay for things or enter doors. There is however a new set of data produced through this interfacing that creates records and imprints subject to surveillance, possibly even generating a new form of mapping.

    Pattern recognition technology is an ongoing investment. With the advancement in AI, tools are being created allowing photoanalyst and cryptologists to uncover patterns and information beneath the surface. In the most recent Batman movie; The Dark Knight, a cell phone is used as a sonar imaging device, sending pulses throughout the building producing a 3d mapping technique. We are witnessing the fusion of space. Boundaries are being broken and ubiquitous computing is creating ubiquitous space.
    Mon, Apr 20, 2009  Permanent link

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    This is a recent mention on Rocketboom

    The Epithelium Studio offers a specialized design laboratory examining responsive architectural envelopes. Epithelium, a cellular boundary layer in organic physiology, will be used as an analogy defining qualities of hybrid interactive building systems. A design method based on cycles of accretion and synthesis will be used to organize the work of the term, moving from individual design explorations to collective production of a publication and gallery installation. The work focuses on four key design products: lightweight structural scaffolds, functional devices providing environmental exchanges populating the structure; kinetic mechanisms that integrate physical movement within the system, and integrated control systems employing microprocessors, sensors and actuators. These elements will be developed in pursuit of innovative responsive qualities that include basic life support functions, emotive and iconographic qualities for architecture.

    a few installation pictures...
    Wed, Dec 17, 2008  Permanent link

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    Be aware...Epithelium, a cellular boundary layer in organic physiology, will be used as an analogy defining qualities of hybrid interactive building systems. A design method based on cycles of accretion and synthesis will be used to organize the work of the term, moving from individual design explorations to collective production of a responsive envelope. No longer shall facades be static mirrors, but instead responsive entities able to adapt to surroundings.

    this is a responsive tentacle to be arrayed in final installation. collaboration with Xuedi Chen
    Mon, Nov 10, 2008  Permanent link

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    “If the idea is to yield to virtuality and bring it out, where is the virtuality the final product? Precisely what trace of it is left in the concrete form it deposits as it residues? What of the emergence is left in the emerged?”
    B. Massumi Sensing the Virtual, Building the Insensible

    Architecture as a process is no longer the same animal it once was. The computer and digital tools at hand for a designer allow for explorations into realms previously untouched. The architect’s job is now catalytic, where previously it was one of orchestrating. Using various means of provoking and abstracting in comparison to explorations via linear methods yield differing trajectories within the design process.
    Current discourse is obviously an altered agenda now, how can the trajectory of architecture respond with tangible form? Massumi offers that standing form is a sign: of the passing and implementation of process. Although “process” has been an integral part of architecture forever, the rendered form is now dynamic. The output of this is both the form and the designer. Both are placed in a moment of transition where the instance of a catalyst occurs. No longer is form conceived, it is coaxed out of this process, flushed from is virtuality. The computer has aided in this chemistry like experiment, able to catalyze newness and emergence as opposed to articulating fixation. One similar aspect however remains the moment of chance. True change can only occur through mutation, be it purposeful or not. Degrees of mutation have changed however, now the gaps between moments widen as the prefigurative transforms into the active.
    Does this offer a sort of impurity to the process? What if this argument has nothing to do with impurity, that everything is mixed together at the beginning and comes out just as mixed up, impure all the way. The freedom for input is the variable here, extracting difference from the variation. Everything depends on the middle, what it is that occurs in process.

    “Virtuality cannot be seen in the form that emerges from it. The virtual gives form, but itself has none. The virtual is imperceptible. It is insensible. A building is anything but that. A building is concrete.”
    B. Massumi Sensing the Virtual, Building the Insensible

    A dichotomy between process and product within the discussion of form and architecture poses metaphorical questions about the formless providing form. The digital providing means to physical is a powerful conceptual tool. What if the virtual and the physical could rejoin? What if architecture and the virtual both took into account experience? This would be aspiring to build the “insensible.” What if part of a buildings uniform program was to deform?

    “A new physically uncompromising, metaphysical initiative of unbiased integrity could unify the world. It could and probably will be provided by the utterly impersonal problem solutions of the computers. Only to their superhuman range of calculative capabilities can and may all political, scientific, and religious leaders face-savingly acquiesce.”
    B. Fuller Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth
    Mon, Nov 10, 2008  Permanent link

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