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    Scale of the Universe
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    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.
    From:
    Discover Magazine

    Images include:
    CRYSTAL REFRACTION
    PSYCHEDELIC SMASH-UP
    THE RED HIMALAYAS

    Also:
    The Alluring and Alien Sights of a Bee in Ultra Close-up



    Featured Image:
    A TRIP TO THE SUN
    This sunspot is not real. It is, however, one of the best models of a sunspot ever made. Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research produced this simulation by plugging the newest sunspot data into a 76-teraflop supercomputer. The image required nearly 2 billion data points to simulate the magnetism, temperature, and other features of a sunspot; it models the phenomenon down to a depth of nearly 4,000 miles.
    Thu, Mar 10, 2011  Permanent link

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    From:
    SynthGear

    The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s largest particle accelerator that resides in a tunnel 27km in circumference beneath the earth near Geneva, Switzerland.

    The purpose of the LHC is to help us understand some of the most fundamental questions of physics, and to allow scientists to engage in all sorts of interesting experiments, such as smashing protons together at energies so high that the inside of the detector will resemble the universe at the first moments after the big bang, and creating mini black holes.

    The Contest
    This is a remix contest – you must use the sounds form the LHC as the basis for a remix. The best remix will be chosen, and the winner will be given their choice of the Point Blank Online Cubase or EDM courses.

    Rules
    To be eligible, you must:

    First, leave a comment HERE indicating that you are interested in working on a remix. We will use the email address that you comment with (which is not shown to the public) to inform you of contest updates.

    Use any or any combination of the sounds below in your track. You can use other sounds, but samples from the LHC must be the focal point or basis. Feel free to chop, mangle or destroy though!

    Your song may not use any copyrighted material that is not yours.

    Upload your track to our dropbox on SoundCloud.

    Once your track is uploaded, post another comment on this page with your track name, artist name, and the soundcloud ID# of the track

    Submit your remix before February 28, 2011.

    Preference will be given to entries that use the samples in interesting and creative ways. So, that’s it, let’s get started!

    The Sounds
    Here are the sounds from the LHC, with a brief explanation of each. For working on your remix, you can download all the sounds in mp3 format all at once right here. (5.8MB) Uncompressed (and very large) files available here.



    Tue, Feb 22, 2011  Permanent link

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    IBM’s “Watson” Computing System to Challenge All Time Greatest Jeopardy! Champions Starts Tonight

    From:
    IBM Press Room
    February 14, 2011

    When:
    February 14, 15, 16 2011

    Where:
    Jeopardy Check your TV Schedule

    Links:
    IBM Press Room
    More on Watson
    Watson Video
    Jeopardy! miniSite

    The first-ever man vs. machine Jeopardy! competition will air on February 14, 15 and 16, 2011, with two matches being played over three consecutive days.

    Watson, named after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, was built by a team of IBM scientists who set out to accomplish a grand challenge – build a computing system that rivals a human’s ability to answer questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy and confidence. The Jeopardy! format provides the ultimate challenge because the game’s clues involve analyzing subtle meaning, irony, riddles, and other complexities in which humans excel and computers traditionally do not.

    Competing against Watson will be two of the most celebrated players ever to appear on Jeopardy! Ken Jennings broke the Jeopardy! record for the most consecutive games played by winning 74 games in a row during the 2004-2005 season, resulting in winnings of more than $2.5 million. Brad Rutter won the highest cumulative amount ever by a single Jeopardy! player, earning $3,255,102. The total amount is a combination of Rutter’s original appearance in 2002, plus three Tournament wins: the “Tournament of Champions” and the "Million Dollar Masters Tournament" in 2002 and the "Ultimate Tournament of Champions" in 2005.
    The grand prize for this competition will be $1 million with second place earning $300,000 and third place $200,000. Rutter and Jennings will donate 50 percent of their winnings to charity and IBM will donate 100 percent of its winnings to charity.

    "After four years, our scientific team believes that Watson is ready for this challenge based on its ability to rapidly comprehend what the Jeopardy! clue is asking, analyze the information it has access to, come up with precise answers, and develop an accurate confidence in its response,” said Dr. David Ferrucci, the scientist leading the IBM Research team that has created Watson. “Beyond our excitement for the match itself, our team is very motivated by the possibilities that Watson's breakthrough computing capabilities hold for building a smarter planet and helping people in their business tasks and personal lives."

    "We're thrilled that Jeopardy! is considered a benchmark of ultimate knowledge,” said Harry Friedman, Executive Producer of Jeopardy!. “Performing well on Jeopardy! requires a combination of skills, and it will be fascinating to see whether a computer can compete against arguably the two best Jeopardy! players ever."


    Mon, Feb 14, 2011  Permanent link

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    Link

    What:
    Polytopes: The Architecture of Soundscapes

    When:
    February 23, 7pm

    Where:
    SCI-Arc
    W.M. Keck Lecture Hall
    960 East 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013

    Who
    Participants include Jean Michel Crettaz, Craig Hodgetts, Lance Putnam, Curtis Roads, Steve Roden and David Rosenboom.

    About
    Inspired by composer Iannis Xenakis, the title Polytopes translates to “The architecture of soundscapes.” Through his work with Le Corbusier, Xenakis catalyzed a radically new sound universe and sound architecture for 20th century music.

    Staging new electronic and visual music to a discussion with composers and performers, this symposium links the relations of sound experience, sound inherent structures and mathematics to architecture and space. Organized by the MediaSCAPES post-graduate program at SCI-Arc, the event is dedicated to a public audience and students interested in imagining the fusion of contemporary practices of architecture with media, music making and art.

    Special thanks to Abby Sher for her support of this event. The symposium is presented by the Mediascapes program at SCI-Arc.

    Wed, Feb 2, 2011  Permanent link

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    From 'itsfullofstars'


    Cosmicomics is a book of short stories by Italian writer Italo Calvino (picture above) first published in 1965. Each story takes a scientific “fact” (though sometimes a falsehood by today’s understanding), and builds an imaginative story around it. An always extant being called Qfwfq narrates all of the stories save two, each of which is a memory of an event in the history of the universe.

    The best known story is probably the first, The Distance of the Moon, which takes the fact that the moon used to be much closer to the earth, and builds it into a romantic story about two men and one woman in a tribe of people who used to jump up onto the moon when it passed overhead.

    Other Cosmicomics stories:

    At Daybreak — Life before matter condenses.

    A Sign in Space — The idea that the galaxy slowly revolves becomes a story about a being who is desperate to leave behind some unique sign of his existence.

    All at One Point — The fact that all matter and creation used to exist in a single point. “Naturally, we were all there — old Qfwfq said — where else could we have been? Nobody knew then that there could be space. Or time either: what use did we have for time, packed in there like sardines?”

    Read more

    Fri, Jan 28, 2011  Permanent link

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    Artist and Computer
    Edited by Ruth Leavitt
    published 1976

    A great collection of manuscripts from a variety of artists, engineers, architects and computer scientists among others.

    Link Here


    PREFACE

    The relationship between artist and computer is important both to people in the arts and sciences and to society as a whole. The union of art and science in computer art is reflective of the times in which we live. Ours is a technological society, one which demands interdisciplinary approaches to problems. Our lives are closely linked to one another. Therefore, we must communicate.

    Assumptions about computer art are varied. They range from the naive belief that computers will take the place of human artists to the more sophisticated belief that soon the Leonardo of computer art will come. This person would be scientist, programmer, humanist, and artist—the true universal person. Computer art challenges our traditional beliefs about art: how art is made, who makes it, and what is the role of the artist in society.

    The general public, and the artist in particular, have been conditioned to react negatively to computers. The uninitiated artist asks: what can this machine do for me? Really, the question should be: what can I do with this machine? The computer can function for the artist at many different levels. The artist has only to choose what role he/she wishes the computer to play. Apart from producing finished pieces of artwork, as William Kolomyjec does, one may simply allow the computer to function as an idea machine. This is evidenced in several articles. Karen Huff, for example, describes how the computer is used to visualize fabric before it is actually woven. As opposed to weaving on graph paper by hand, the computer removes the automatic color preference found in that traditional method. Moreover, by studying computer illustrations the softening of contours, which was seen only after a weaving was removed from the loom, can now be predicted.

    Another artist, Robert Mallary, describes how he uses the machine to create new artforms by means of new programs. He creates sculpture with his program Tran 2 and graphics with GRAF/D and TRPL. A 3-dimensional program called SHAPE 3/D is used as a tool in research of aesthetics and art theory. Moreover, he is involved in using the computer to simulate and make decisions on land use and design. Another approach is found in the route Joseph Scala describes. He is experimenting and creating works of art with programs that already exist.

    There are vast areas and levels of exploration available to the artist. The computer helps the artist to perceive in a new way. Its features blend with those of its user to form a new type of art. The combination of artist and oil paint is, for example, a different statement than that same artist and watercolors. The medium changes the statement. The artist now goes to an art supply store to purchase a given set of tools, whereas the computer artist can create the tools he will use. This is remarkable and allows for unlimited possibilities in the art to be created. Every program functions as a new set of tools. The type and quality of work produced on the computer depend both on the artist who uses the machine and the program.

    Works produced on the computer do not have a unique style. It is difficult, at best, to identify a piece of art as having been created with the aid of a computer. Many of these styles existed independently of the computer. Perhaps if the machine had been available at the inception of these styles, they would have been explored more thoroughly. I found it very amusing to read in the exhibition catalogue 'PAINTING: NEW OPTIONS' at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1972:

    Jennifer Bartlett's first gridworks were series of numbers drawn on graph paper, that indispensable work surface of the conceptual artist of the 1960s. She found that by substituting colored dots for the numbers, she could transform her mathematical sequences into visually independent forms. The enameled steel plates of her present work, elegantly custom-made to the artist's specifications, have gridworks of 2304 tiny squares within which the artist paints her pointillist dot patterns. Installed on a wall in rows, these modular plates become miniature panel paintings that explore variations on certain mathematical-graphic themes. Some rows establish an almost cinematic narrative of visual events; others form continuous patterns that, at a distance, have a brilliant optical effect. Though Bartlett consciously avoids painterly processes, her art is a mixture of visual improvisation and preconceived formulae. A plate often begins with an arbitrary unit, such as the continuous black border, or a single random dot; a quasi-mathematical system dictates the rest, and in the modular works this same system carries over from plate to plate. In SERIES VIII, a 36-plate work, the first plate's design was generated by an isolated white dot, followed by white and yellow, followed by white, yellow, and red, and so forth. The second plate retains this formula for color sequence, but begins with a yellow dot. The parabola pattern that appears on each plate of the set is not the product of a mathematical equation [Bartlett does not work with computer-produced graphics] but is the result of the additive dot-by-dot system she selects.
    The explanation of her work only made me think how inappropriate it was not to have used a computer. Furthermore, in the same catalogue we find an example of modular art in Sol LeWitt's wall drawings. His work parallels that of Barbadillo. Modular art is an approach often used in computer art. However, in this case no mention is made of computers. It is obvious that people at Walker Art Center have a stereotype image of computer art. Actually, there is no such thing as 'computer art'!

    Different artists use the machine in different ways to produce different types of art. Edward Ihnatowicz is deeply interested in artificial intelligence and uses this approach in creating cybernetic sculpture. Aaron Marcus' work shows his interest in concrete poetry. He creates picture environments and his poem drawings give new meaning and depth to words. Duane Palyka uses a color television monitor attached to a computer system and paints pictures in an unprecedented manner. The Bangerts' drawings appear hand-made. Aldo Giorgini's moire patterns have the look of optical art. Each takes advantage of different features offered by the computer.

    I have been lecturing to groups of adults and students in the last few years, both on my own work and on computer art in general. These groups have included students of art, art history, computer science, futuristics, etc. I found that irrespective of background, questions concerning motivation were repeatedly asked. I had been thinking about the answers to these questions for some time. When Dave Ahl asked me to put together a special edition of Creative Computing magazine devoted to computer art, I felt that this would be an ideal opportunity to discover how other computer artists would respond to these questions. I was curious to see if they shared my feelings. Since previous books on computer art had only documented the state of the art, I felt that now it would be interesting to have the artists discuss their art with regard to these questions:

    -How/why did you become involved with the computer (in producing art)?
    -What is your art background?
    -What role does the computer play for you...simulation, tool, etc.? What is your role?
    -Are your computer works related to non-computer art?
    -Do you have a final image in mind when work begins?
    -Could your work be done without the aid of a computer? If yes, why use the computer?
    -To what extent are you involved in the technical production of your work, for example, in programming?
    -Do you feel art work created with a computer has now or will have an impact on art as a whole in the future?
    -Do you intend to continue using the computer to create art pieces?
    -Do you recommend the use of the computer for others in creating works of art?

    Some of the authors address the questions in their articles; some do not. Many of the papers are purely statements about the artist's work. Just as the artists' artwork differs, so do their papers. It is important for artists to be able to discuss their work in their own words. Therefore, the papers in this book are presented with a minimum of editing.

    I am grateful to all who submitted manuscripts for this book. Each contribution helps clarify the relationship between artist and computer.

    Ruth Leavitt
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    February 1976

    Wed, Jan 19, 2011  Permanent link

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    A great paper by Richard P. Gabriel & Kevin J. Sullivan

    pdf here

    Abstract:
    How do artists and scientists work? The same.
    Categories and Subject Descriptors A.0 [General]
    General Terms Design
    Keywords Design, art, science, software engineering

    Art is strange. Art cannot be understood. The poet Robert Browning is reported to have said of a passage he wrote:
    When I wrote that, God and I knew what it meant, but now God alone knows.
    Science and art don’t seem directly related. Except people do science. And people do art. Science is a clear statement of truth in the actual world.
    This is a sort of contemporary science which is more easily understood than the nonsensical poem.
    Don’t you think? Ah, but with training this is quite easily understood. The poem, however—obviously no amount of training, teaching, or learning will bring you to understand it.
    Some other examples: a visual representation of a source code svn log shows, clearly, the history of the program, whereas the Jackson Pollock painting is clearly less understandable
    Some mathematicians have computed the fractal dimension of some of Pollock’s drip paintings as high as 1.72—thickly layered and complex.
    Thu, Jan 6, 2011  Permanent link

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    By Renata Lemos, Lucia Santaella
    Full Article

    Metanexus Conference
    Subject, Self, and Soul:
    Transdisciplinary Approaches to Personhood
    July 13 – 17, 2008

    1 Introduction

    We are living in an unique time in the history of humanity. This moment, this turning point, is unprecedented. In order to face the new possibilities of our future it is of utmost importance to be prepared to make wise choices about how will we shape our future as a new technologically enhanced and driven species. Science has taken us this far, but complexity has shown us that science alone will not take us much further. Technology has pervaded each and every aspect of our lives, to a point in which it has gotten literally beneath our skins. Many edifices are falling apart.

    It is not only about a paradigm shift. It is about a much more profound kind of shift, one that alters dramatically our ideas, our values, our bodies, our perceptions, everything and every aspect of human life. In these times of transition, we must try to bridge the gap between disciplines, find a common language that fosters cooperation, and most importantly, open our minds to fresh and daring perspectives. As we do so, trying to catch up with the overwhelming speed of the winds of change, hopefully we will contribute to a better understanding of the challenges that lie ahead.


    8 Conclusion

    The essence of reality lies hidden in the intersection of life and its material platform, of intelligence and its vehicle; of mind and its material embodiment. NBIC convergence begins to approach this complex interface. We are witnessing the emergence of a technontology (Lemos et al., 2007), which within the context of transdisciplinarity (Nicolescu, 2001), operates a new kind of ontic convergence.

    We are unveiling the hidden codes and structures of matter; penetrating underneath the surface of what seems solid and finding out how fluid matter really is. Nature seems more and more to operate according to an ensemble of codes, much like the codes that enable computer technologies. Nature is literally a “system of systems”, and so we find ourselves as “systems within systems” (Bunge, 2003). We can only approach levels in relation to systems, be they material or conceptual. It is the nature of the code which gives structure to all systems and determines the boundaries of each level of reality.

    Previous boundaries between levels of reality become permeable, thus the lines separating levels of reality begin to blur. The only line of separation which seems to remain is found in the juxtaposition of mind and matter. Mapping the interface between mind and matter is probably the greatest scientific challenge of our times. However, even the distance between cognitive levels of reality and material levels of reality becomes shorter in the context of converging technologies.

    Hybrid cognitive interfaces represent a possible new level of convergence between matter and mind. Converging technologies act as a bridge between natural and artificial systems of information processing. Such cognitive integration is technological and is happening in many levels simultaneously, as it can be seen, for example, in the interactive behavioral patterns of populations in digital virtual worlds (Ascott, 2003); in the “intelligentification” of objects through RFID technologies (Floridi, 2002); in the biologically-inspired nano robotic cognitive architectures (Bernstein et al., 2006); and finally in the possibility of direct quantum computation and programming within all kinds of material structures (Lloyd, 2006).

    Technological convergence is taking place at an accelerating speed (Kurzweil, 2005) and it is changing our inner and outer landscapes. The concepts of information and meaning are omnipresent in this process. Convergence happens through a process of simultaneous coding and decoding. The evolution of AI is of particular importance in this context, because through the engineering of artificial systems that can act according to rational principles, a new kind of reductionism appears. Intelligence could a priori be reduced to a computational capacity, resulting in the controversy around the possibility of Strong AI. Introducing AI elements into nano neural applications is the seed of hybrid forms of intelligence, which would be mediated or established through NBIC integration.

    Intelligent artificial interference within biological systems establishes a principle of trans-interoperability between organic and digital levels of reality. Trans-interoperability between biological and non-biological systems, in order to perform a common task or function, allows communication and therefore enables active interference across levels. Trans-interoperability expresses technologically what Peirce´s principle of continuity has expressed ontologically through universal semiosis.

    Peirce´s universal semiotics, together with quantum approaches to transdisciplinarity, emerge as crucial theoretical standpoints in the study about the new hybrid interfaces between mind and matter. Peirce´s law of mind represents to the study of mind what quantum theories represent to the study of matter: a dramatic upheaval and serious challenge to the materialistic conceptions which are the basis of reductionism.


    {image 1}
    Thu, Dec 16, 2010  Permanent link

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    Tron Legacy comes out in theaters this Friday 12.17.2010!!!

    Tron: Website
    Tron Concept HD Video
    2010 Tron trailer#1
    2010 Tron trailer#2
    2010 Tron trailer#3
    1982 Tron trailer

    Director: Joseph Kosinski
    Kolsinski's past work:
    KDLab
    Nike
    more

    Daft Punk:
    The soundtrack was scored by Daft Punk who enlisted a 85 piece orchestra for its 22 track realization. They even have a cameo in the film.
    Album here
    Tron music video

    Side note: If you've never seen Daft Punk's movie from 2006 Eletrorma its worth checking out.


    Full Article NewYork Times

    Excerpt:
    THE very first feature that Joseph Kosinski has ever directed — “Tron: Legacy” — cruises into theaters on Dec. 17, and it’s not exactly a cinematic baby step. A $170 million budget. State-of-the-art 3-D visual effects. A three-year marketing campaign. An extensive line of related toys, clothes, jewelry and electronics. A spinoff television show. Theme park tie-ins. Overt hopes for a sequel.

    Pressure? Just a little.

    But late last month, as Mr. Kosinski showed “Tron: Legacy” to his cast for the first time, he was the epitome of calm; an ice sculpture would have looked like a nervous wreck next to him. “I’ve got some bad news for you,” he said to Olivia Wilde, who plays a cyber warrior named Quorra. “You’re no longer in the movie.” Ms. Wilde looked at him, blinking. Mr. Kosinski, an architect by training, waited a beat and then smiled. “Just kidding.”

    Earlier that day Mr. Kosinski, 36, slouched on a sofa in his dimly lighted office, took a careful sip of mint tea and tried to explain his unflappable demeanor. “As a director, if you know what you want, then it’s not scary,” he said. “I had a very clear idea of what I wanted ‘Tron: Legacy’ to look like.”

    If he came across as more arrogant, you might believe that he is really this confident. But he doesn’t. Raised in Marshalltown, Iowa — population 26,000 — he is quiet, polite and interested in other people’s opinions in a way that is rare in moviedom’s major leagues. Instead the cool exterior seems designed to keep people out of his head. After all, when a reporter asked him a silly question — what kind of building best describes you? — he gave a revealing answer: “Tall and thin with no windows.”



    Mon, Dec 13, 2010  Permanent link

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    Wired Article here
    The research paper can be found at Science Mag and the abstract is at the bottom.

    NASA Finds New Life Form
    From Wired Science

    When cooking up the stuff of life, you can’t just substitute margarine for butter. Or so scientists thought.

    But now researchers have coaxed a microbe to build itself with arsenic in the place of phosphorus, an unprecedented substitution of one of the six essential ingredients of life. The bacterium appears to have incorporated a form of arsenic into its cellular machinery, and even its DNA, scientists report online Dec. 2 in Science.

    Arsenic is toxic and is thought to be too chemically unstable to do the work of phosphorus, which includes tasks such as holding DNA in a tidy double helix, activating proteins and getting passed around to provide energy in cells. If the new results are validated, they have huge implications for basic biochemistry and the origin and evolution of life, both on Earth and elsewhere in the universe.

    “This is an amazing result, a striking, very important and astonishing result — if true,” says molecular chemist Alan Schwartz of Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands. “I’m even more skeptical than usual, because of the implications. But it is fascinating work. It is original, and it is possibly very important.”

    The experiments began with sediment from eastern California’s Mono Lake, which teems with shrimp, flies and algae that can survive the lake’s strange chemistry. Mono Lake formed in a closed basin — any water that leaves does so by evaporation — making the lake almost three times as salty as the ocean. It is highly alkaline and rich in carbonates, phosphorus, arsenic and sulfur.

    From Science Mag
    A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorus

    ABSTRACT
    Life is mostly composed of the elements carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur, and phosphorus. Although these six elements make up nucleic acids, proteins, and lipids and thus the bulk of living matter, it is theoretically possible that some other elements in the periodic table could serve the same functions. Here, we describe a bacterium, strain GFAJ-1 of the Halomonadaceae, isolated from Mono Lake, California, which substitutes arsenic for phosphorus to sustain its growth. Our data show evidence for arsenate in macromolecules that normally contain phosphate, most notably nucleic acids and proteins. Exchange of one of the major bioelements may have profound evolutionary and geochemical significance.

    Fri, Dec 3, 2010  Permanent link

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