Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Augmented Reality Technology

To piggyback on John's Post. This is taking some older posts a lot further.

So what else could this tech mean? In the past we have seen buildings that have QR codes in them doing a similar function, but think of some of the other possibilities. As I come from an Architectural background, that controls some of the things that come to my mind. John mentioned the idea of posters, traffic signs, and window dressings. Think about this, many futurists predict that there will come a time when we have glasses or contact lenses that with augment reality. Every time I have ever seen anything about this it seems to assume that the glasses or contacts will somehow be connected to GPS or some other information source that will know where you are and what you might be looking at. A different approach using this bar code technology would be a lot simpler. Imagine you have a pair of glasses on that have a small camera in the frame (these already exist). That camera communicates with your cell phone through bluetooth (nothing difficult here). Your phone has either a data base or connectivity to the internet which would activate when your glasses see one of these codes. A small display would be shown to your eye from you glasses of the decoded information. All of this technology already exists. There are a few limitations that are quickly disappearing. One is battery life. I can imagine that this would take a fair amount of battery power by today's standards. Not by the standards of 2013 though. Also connection speed. The hope would be that as soon as the camera recognizes the code the projection would be instantaneous. Once again that is a moot point considering the speed at which cell and wireless connections are getting.

So what would these codes decode to be. Well, if there was one at every street corner you would not have to ever be lost. I simple program could read those simples and an animation of the Scarecrow could appear and point you in the right direction depending on where you asked it to guide you. People could where t-shirts that would indicate that they were looking for another nerd like themselves to go to dinner on Friday night. The code would include contact information, a savable photo, their WOW screen name, and their allergies. A code on a restaurant's door would pull up all of their Yelp! reviews. How about a mandatory code on the front of the home of a sex offender? A business's real time stock information as you pass their building? Instead of lengthy signage at roadside historical markers, a discrete code on a post activates an animation of the event's unfolding before your eyes.

John linked to this, but it NEEDS to be seen.

Augmented Reality Technology, 3D Interactive Toyota iQ | Toyota UK

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Augmented Reality Tattoo

I won't take the time to explain what Augmented Reality is because, well, I don't know everything about it. But from what I can gather about it, you take a bar-coded image and when displayed through a webcam, using a specific program, it reads the bar code and interprets the information which will then output whatever 3D image it pertains too. You can give it a try here to help clear up some confusion.

As far as the tattoo goes why not consider the next gen augmented reality tattoos which allow you to have animated images appear from your limbs when viewed through a camera. Your boring 2D tattoo could turn into a gigantic 3D explosion that would make Michael Bay blush.

"These tattoos were developed and created by Think an App in Buenos Aires. The software technology recognizes AR bar codes on curved surfaces, the tattoo looks like a very simple and boring square until viewed through a camera."

The possibilities behind augmented reality technology are limitless but unfortunately is very costly to develop. With the proper funding, this technology should become mainstream and more practical, think expanding a PC screen into a real environment, virtual window dressings, posters, traffic signs. . .Sounds like something Steve Jobs would LOVE.

The Code Organ

This site came to my attention a few days ago, and it got me thinking.  

Created by the creative English branding/advertising group, DLKW, the Code Organ "plays" websites.  Here is the about from the Page.







Very interesting, no?  Well lets think about this a little more.  If this program can take my website and turn it into music, that means that with a little more math it could take music and make it into a website.  It could "deCode" music.  With this we could find out which musicians really have something to say.  Outside of the lyrics of their songs their music could compose other poems, or pros, or short stories.

This could be a new military code.  A piece on sheet music is sent to the front lines and members of the Army Band play it to a microphone that decodes the piece to instruct combat units on objectives.  Finally giving the Army Band a real use.

And what about hip/hop , as one of the most modern popular music types, it seems to lend it self well to webpage creation.  With complete control of all aspects of the "beat", producers and beat makers can secretly profess their agenda behind rappers that don't seem to have anything interesting to say.  We could judge albums and enjoy albums on a much more profound level.  "Did you read that new beat on the 50cent album? Yeah, deep stuff.  Too bad 50's lines were still weak, could have been a very complete album."

And what about the rappers and musicians out that that already make thoughtful music.  Have they been writing amazing pieces of literature with out us knowing? or without knowing it themselves?   Is Talib Kwali half way through a new Iliad?  Is Royksopp putting the final touches on a one man play that chronicles the life and times of mosquito?  I am quite sure that Led Zeppelin I-IV makes a Fellini-esque screenplay that David Lynch will be directing for next years festival scene.

In any case take a listen to The Operable Window here.  Then take a listen to your second favorite site by typing it in.    

Somewhere in Dreamland

Beautiful Fleischer Studio cartoon from 1936.  Notice the 5 layers of animation producing parallax once the children are in Dreamland.  There is a short scene on a marry-go-round that I still don't quite understand and I have been watching this since I was very young.  Also notice their blankets, or more accurately the nets they sleep in.

Another Post on parallax.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Unholy Ladies Undergarments Logo by Graham Smith

Go to imjustcreative and read about the making of this logo.  It is interesting to see a little bit of the process behind this work.
Unholy Ladies Undergarments Logo 


Friday, February 19, 2010

Jason Brammer

Chicago artist Jason Brammer creates photo-surrealist paintings which explore the idea of the past, present, and future intertwining. His “Time Machine” series incorporates 3D sculptural elements, such as salvaged hardware, cables, and carved wood pieces. Brammer beautifully provides a glimpse into another era, dimension, or lifetime.

Jason Brammer

Geoffrey Cooper pt.2

Timepieces : Geoffrey Cooper
Not sure why I did not put up more images in my last Post about Geoffrey Cooper, but here is another Beauty.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Twenty Four B

Twenty Four B is a collaboration between photographer Brent Leinderizt and and make up artist Mishka.  There is not much to be said except, this stuff is beautiful.


Nuit Blanche

Here is another amazing CG short that absolutely floors me every time I see it.  Nuit Blanche, French of "all nighter", is a film directed by Arev Manoukian, produced by Spy Films.  Spy Films has been behind some other amazing digital works, perhaps most famously for the work on the movie District 9.

Nuit Blanche "explores a fleeting moment between two strangers".  The rest speaks for itself. enjoy.

Mobius Ship

Created by LA based artist Tim Hawkinson, the Mobius Ship is pure fun.  This is the label from the Indianapolis Museum of Art where the work is on display.

California-based artist Tim Hawkinson is known for taking everyday materials and altering them in imaginative ways, creating works that address broad issues about the intersection of human consciousness, nature and technology. Here, he employed a mix of found objects and common household materials—including twist ties, craft wood, staples, and packing material—which he transformed almost alchemically into a complex and awe-inspiring sculpture.
Echoing the working methods of ship-in-a-bottle hobbyists, Hawkinson created a painstakingly detailed model ship that twists in upon itself, presenting the viewer with a thought-provoking visual conundrum. The title is a witty play on Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick, which famously relates the tale of a ship captain’s all-consuming obsession with an elusive white whale. The ambitious and imaginative structure of Hawkinson’s sculpture offers an uncanny visual metaphor for Melville’s epic tale, which is often considered the ultimate American novel.
Möbius Ship also humorously refers to the mathematical concept of the Möbius Strip. Named after a nineteenth-century astronomer and mathematician, the Möbius Strip is a surface that has only one side, and exists as a continuous curve. Its simple yet complex spatial configuration presents a visual puzzle that parallels Hawkinson’s transformation of the mundane materials into something unexpected.

Peter Callesen

Peter Callesen

Sticking with todays apparent Paper theme...

This is some of the most amazing paper art I have ever seen in my life. Here are a few piece, but a visit to his site is the only way to understand the scope of his talent. These works are done on a small scale. Don't miss his "Large Scale Papercut" and "Works on Water".  There is a good chance I will write about this artist again to show some more of his amazing work.

Papierkrieg = Paper War

A German Piece by Makaio Tisu

Papierkrieg from Makaio Tisu on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Kevin Cyr pt.2

As promised, here is the second installment of the two part Kevin Cyr post.

Kevin Cyr seems to have in interesting take on beauty and how it relates to some objects in the world that others would over look.  Specificly the beauty of utility vehicles.  Some my say that the beauty of his paintings is in the painting itself.  Artisticly speaking, his skill and technique are undeniably expert.  As a set, these images hold a level of quality that helps the viewer look at the image for what it is.  That being, in some cases, 1980's vans.

His work is currently on show at Raandesk Gallery of Art through March 12 in NYC.

Visit Kevin Cyr's site for more.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Kevin Cyr pt.1

This is a two part post about and artist you may or may not be privy to.  Kevin Cyr is a Brooklyn based artist that focuses on "derelict cars and unkempt landscapes."  This post in particular will focus on two projects that re imagine the mobile space.  Camper Bike is, exactly as it sounds, a camper bike.  The Camper Kart, yep you guessed it.  As spaces these projects evoke something of a drifter world aesthetic that is equal parts humorous as it is intriguing.  Micro housing is no new concept, but I think that Cyr has an original idea in a sea of little cube homes.

Check out Cyr's site for a preview of my next post on Vehical Paintings 


From the site

"Pivot is a short animationfilm produced for the KORT! 2009 project.

Synopsis: When a man is witness to a murder and takes pictures of the killer, he has to run for his life. During the chase he is able to turn the tables and the prey becomes the hunter. All resulting in an unfortunate ending."
Love this.  I am sorry I can not find anything on KORT! 2009 or what that is.  I believe it is a film festival in the Netherlands.  This piece was premiered at the Nederlands Film Festival. 

Pivot from Pivot on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Geoffrey Cooper

A recent Grad of the Art Center College of Design, Geoffrey Cooper fits right in with what we are trying to do around here.  His goal? "bring product design and interaction design closer together, until one day the line between them is blurred."  With pieces already on the market it looks like is on the way to doing just that. 

Much of Cooper's work perfectly in line with some of my personal interests in design. Hence me blogging about him.  

1. 3d Interfaces- His SPH3RE is absolutely beautiful and unique.  
2. Perception of Time- "This is not a Knob" is an insightful take on how we understand the world around us. Also check out his watch designs Geocentric and Lumina.
3. Cat/Fishy interaction- Too cool, Muuto Cat Dome

Go see for yourself Geoffrey Cooper

Monday, February 8, 2010

Jace Wallace

Out of Sarasota Florida, Jace Wallace is producing some stunning images that have been grabbing some attention around the web (not surprising).  Somewhere between Vargas, MuchaOlivia and some sort of Modern Pre-Raphaelite, his work is beautiful, erotic and strangely classic.  In any case the images can not be ignored, love'm or hate'm.  Check out his sites and see for yourself.

His Site, his DeviantArt page, and his Blog

Picasso toy guitar found in Italy

I wonder if there are other little instruments hiding around the world in shoe boxes. Perhaps Holbein made a little Lute that is floating around out there.

BBC News - Picasso toy guitar found in Italy

image from the AP

New CTA Station

Check out this link detailing the construction of a new CTA Green Line station between Clinton and Ashland in the West Loop...

TranSystem's Design

From the looks of it, I'm not sure if I'm looking at something from some twisted past, or being transported to a horrible horrible future.

Just sayin.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Macro Kingdom

Macro Kingdom (Watch it in Full Screen)

If this isn't reason enough to make you feel a need to buy a Canon 5DmarkII, then I don't know what is. Add this camera body to any lens, in this case a MP-E 65mm macro lens, sprinkle in some clever editing and text and voilà, you have a fantastic video.

At first watch, I honestly thought this was an animation of some sort, and watching it again with the knowledge that it's all filmed, actually adds to how amazing it is and reinforces how much I want this camera.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Train Ride Home

As it has been so many times before, I find my self on the train riding from Milwaukee to Chicago.  There is something so amazing about trains.  A lot has been written about them, and I can't think of anyone that does not enjoy them.

I am not writing here to talk about their efficiency, or the newly announced plans for American high speed rails  (though that is beyond exciting).  What I want to talk about briefly is pehaps my favorite part of the act of riding on a train.  That being the rhythm of the world out side of the frame that is the window of a moving train.  Though everything that is stationary is moving at the same speed relitive to the trains movement and direction, there is something very interesting in the way that we precieve this movement.

As a function of perspective, one of the human's ways of understanding distince, objects in our view seem to move past us at differant speeds depending on there distince.  This is also complicated by the passing of another train.  More intersting is a car on a parillel road to the tracks moving at a similar speed.  The car not moving relitive to the train makes it seem to float through the landscape, decelerating at an intense speed as it turns off the parallel road.

To the point.  Do to this perceived difference in the speed of the outside world, it is nearly always possible to find object that follow the rhythm of what one may be listening to on a train ride.  As I write this, the power lines along the tracks, perhaps 30ft away, match the snare drum in Hot Water Music's rendition of Radio.  The trees and bushes keeping beat with the fills and guitar riffs.  It is wonderful.

This concept has not been lost on others.  In the music video for Star Guitar, by the Chemical Brothers, director Michel Gondry, uses this concept to match the scenery to the music in an extreme way.  Taking a train ride 10 time between Nice and Valence France, Gondry used compter graphics to augment the footage to fit the music perfectly.

Being obsessed with this concept for a while (see older post) this video was right up my alley.  My mind now wonders to thoughts of what the implications of movement and perception could be.

I am sorry for misspellings and lack of links or the video itself.  Coming from my phone it will take me a minute before I can get to my computer and fully edit this post.

More on all of this later.

Link to the Chemical Brothers "Star Guitar"

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

The Critical Art Ensemble

The Critical Art Ensemble is a collective of five tactical media practitioners of various specializations including computer graphics and web design, film/video, photography, text art, book art, and performance. I first came across them through a recommendation from a friend. I later found one of their pamphlets in Myopic Books. I highly recommend reading their essays. The have a way making you look at the world in a whole new light. Their books can be found in download able pdfs here.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Observation 01

Trip to the Chicago Science and Industry Museum
In Plain Sight
By Michelle Timpone

Last Sunday my family and I took a trip to the Science and Industry Museum here in Chicago. It was a return visit for me after many years and I spent the day wandering different areas of the museum and my memory. We walked into the agriculture room created to teach children the value or farming as well as where their food comes from. I remember walking through this area as a child. Frankly it was never my favorite part as other aspects of the museum drew my attention with swirling colors and loud noises. Nonetheless I was back, my impression now much stronger. The room was filled with fiberglass replicas of farm animals standing in a typical farm setting. A large corn-harvesting tractor was in the center of the room mowing down plastic corn. Different corners of the exhibit were designated to different aspects of farming and agriculture. Areas were set up to illustrate to visitors the soy and corn content of their food. There was a small green house with real plants, each one carefully labeled and displayed. There were also sections designated to the meat and dairy trade.

The pig section was displayed with the mother sow lying on her side within a small confinement while several piglets nursed. A nearby plaque explained mother pigs were kept in small cages most of their lives so that they would not accidentally roll over their young. This was for the safety of the young. It also created a safe habitat where the sow did not have to concern herself with predators. Pictures of pigs dotted the walls with buttons to push to hear the pigs “talk.” Speech bubbles were placed next to the pigs mouth with fun facts about pork and bacon.

Next up was the dairy farm. A large dairy cow was hooked up to a series of metal valves and confined within a small metal cage preventing her movement. A sign next to her remarked “no human hands needed to touch her during the milking process thus keeping the process sterile and free of disease.”

I was aware of this kind of animal treatment prier to my museum excursion. In fact I know of far more gruesome aspects of farming and meat production. Frankly, that was not what concerned me that day. I believe these are things most people generally know about farming but don’t like to think about. Frequently what I notice when I hear people talk about farming animals is that they separate the animal from the food they consume; beef for cow, pork for pigs. Even when people make the hard connection between the foods they eat and the animals they came from, they like to imagine beautiful pastoral settings with animals leisurely grazing not the colder reality. Whether people feel we should be farming animals the way we do is not the issue. Generally people agree that suffering should be kept to a minimum and I don’t know anyone who could get through a PETA video without flinching. But these are things that are created to get a reaction. Witnessing an animal being slaughtered violently to emotional music will elicit a different response from walking through a museum.

What struck me was how these families confronted this cold, though cleaned up and museum reality. How did people react to seeing a pig unable to move and confined to a cage barely larger then the animal itself? It was the complete lack of reaction and lack of question asking that startled me. You can usually count on small children to ask the questions that the rest of us are too polite to ask. Yet this time it seemed as if the children were blind to something as well. It was okay to treat these animals this way. There wasn’t even a discussion of morality. This is just how things are done and how they have been done. I’m not entirely sure what this means but it certainly speaks to some kind of emotional numbness. This is not just something I see when it comes to fiberglass animals this infects our relationships with the living. It also speaks of an inability to see past set ways of practiced behavior. This kind of blindness is something we cannot afford and something that should be examined.

Rubber Johnny

Directed by Chris Cunningham with music by Aphex Twin, this intolerably strange video really can't be explained, nor should it. It's a delusional video with delusional music and they both accompany each other swimmingly.


For those you you that might not be familiar with Lebbeus Woods, this is a great way to be introduced to his work. Conceived shortly after his work on the conceptual architecture for Alien3, Woods decided that he wanted to write a screenplay in which the architecture was a focal point of the story. This is the treatment that was passed around Hollywood. Though the film was never fully realized the ideas and concept behind the project are an exploration in Architecture as an instrument of social change.



Artist Forrest Jessee is an interesting man. He holds a Masters of Architecture from Columbia, a Professional Architecture degree from the Architectural Association in London, and a Bachelor of Science in Biology. From his site "Subsequently, he worked for the National Audubon headquarters in New York where he helped identify, establish, and run education centers and wildlife conservation areas across the United States. More recently, he has worked as a graphic designer for the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia, co-taught a studio at Columbia, and is freelancing in a Brooklyn-based design office. His work has been exhibited across Europe and was selected by Surface Magazine as one of America’s Most Promising Graduates in its Avant Guardian Annual Thesis Guide."

With this said it is no surprise that he is coming out with some interesting projects. His latest hopes to challenge the normal idea of interpersonal space. Based on Buckminster Fuller's concept of Dymaxion Sleeping, also known as Polyphasic sleep. The idea being that one should sleep multiple times a day in short naps. Jessee's response to this has been the design and prototyping of the Sleep Suit.

Constructed of EVA Foam, the Sleep Suit is meant to provide a simple cocoon like apparatus for sleeping where ever one might be. I am not going to explain everything about is as the website itself is much more eloquent and thorough. He are some evocative images though.

His site- Forrest Jessee SLEEP-SUIT

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Machine Stops

Perhaps one of my favorite short stories, E.M.Forster's The Machine Stops, is a must read for anyone interested in technology, design, dystopian futurism, dirigibles, or long octopus type mechanical arms that are so blatantly riped off by the Matrix series.

Now some endeavoring artists have made a film re-imagining this classic. The Freise Brothers have an architecture background, but now work to "visualize narratives" through rendering and film. Their full short film has been making the rounds at film festivals and receiving attention through award nominations. After watching this trailer, visit their site and check out the making of. Very interesting.

The full text of the original story- THE MACHINE STOPS by E.M. Forster

The Third and the Seventh pt.2

If you have not already watched The Third and the Seventh, I strongly suggest doing so. As promised, I am going to go a little deeper into talking about this work. It is defanatly worth it to check out Alex Roman' s site dedicated to this project. The site itself does not have a ton of info, but it does have a bunch of stills that are worth looking through.

So why all the fuss. At first glance, second glance, and even a long stare it would seem that this is just another art peice showing some beautiful shots of some amazing buildings with some CG thrown in for effect. If you have not figured it out yet, this video is much more then that. Spacificly it is all CG. Everything in this peice is produced with 3d modeling and rendering software. The small portians where there is a man standing in the frame I believe is taken from footage but the rest, including the spaces that man is standing in, is all fabricated by one man on a computer.

Below are some other shorts that that show some of his process. Absolutely mind blowing. After watching these, go back and watch the full video again. You may be able to catch a few more instances that give it away as renderings, but the effect is no less amazing. And do yourself a favor and watch it full screen on the best monitor you have.

From what I can tell, and from what people have been writing about, it seems that he is using models from the Google Warehouse. Then he is importing them into perhaps 3D Studio Max, editing, then rendering through VRay. I know that there is more then just that, and if you know more comment about it.

Exeter Shot -- Making Of from Alex Roman on Vimeo.