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Brooklyn is Watching (BiW) hosts a sim in Second Life which is a wonderful curatorial project that invites SL artists to create artwork on their space. The resulting creations range in quality and are subject to commentary by a weekly podcast by several commentators. I’ve been a guest podcaster a few times, participating in a production of the absurd: a radio podcast commentary of an entirely visual environment that most people don’t understand.


Jay Van Buren, the main guy currently behind BiW

On Friday I went to the BiW presentation of The Final Five at Jack the Pelican Presents (JTTP) Gallery in Williamsburg. These were the five selected artworks which were presented on montiors with headphones and a voting sheet. My major critique is that the BiW project seems to presents Second Life art from the vantage point of an insider’s perspective rather than a contemporary art point-of-view.

This doesn’t have to be the case. There are a number of works which bridge the virtual and the real including RMB City (Cao Fei), Invisible Threads (Stephanie Rothenberg and Jeff Crouse), The Salt Satyagraha (Joe Delappe), in all fairness to the dialogue, my collaboration with Victoria Scott, No Matter and not to overlook the recent Summer of Love 2.0 (Patrick Lichty)

The presentation of the BiW works at the gallery reinforced this — a level of confusion for the viewers who often had more general questions of what is Second Life and so often didn’t even understand what they were judging. Coupled with the fact that you had to put headphones on to listen to one our rambling podcasts, I wondered how successful this physical exhibition was.


Final Five at Jack the Pelican Presents

The strength of Brooklyn is Watching is in the community it creates — and I would like to see them explore this side of things: discussing Second Life works but in a way that creates a tangible bridge to the real. This is why the podcasts have been sucessful because it makes the broadcasters and the audience strain to understand what is not in front of them: an imaginary realm that reflects the nature of Second Life itself.

I had a little fun of my own and during the show itself, I sneaked onto the computer and transferred $50L to my own avatar, Great Escape from the BiW avatar. Hey, performance art costs money!


Bright Bike Prototype (w/ + w/o flash)

Simon Jolly has been learning how to use the Vinyl Cutter. New fun kits coming soon.

Sign up for the mailing list to get the first info:

Bottled water makes polar bears cry

The folks at Tappening have released one of the funniest and smartest PSA-ish social education campaigns I’ve seen in a long time. Well, maybe since the New York Times Special Edition.

Reports are these cute single color posters with white lies about the bottled water industry will be hitting the streets of NYC soon, if they aren’t already up (I’m out of town for another week).

My favorite is “Bottled Water: 98% melted ice caps, 2% polar bear tears.” The small print at the bottom of the poster says: “If bottled water companies can lie, we can too.”

Their “Start a Lie” website is also killer. Anyone can add a lie about the bottled water industry, e.g.: “Bottled water makes me urinate fire.”

They also did these great ones during the Presidential election about McCain and Obama.

Awesome work!

Also, for any educators out there, this is practically a readymade course assignment for any art, design, social studies, activism course.

From Coolhunting, via Marisa Olson

Today’s NY Times article “Climate Change Seen as Threat to U.S. Security:”

“We will pay for this one way or another,” Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, a retired Marine and the former head of the Central Command, wrote recently in a report he prepared as a member of a military advisory board on energy and climate at CNA, a private group that does research for the Navy. “We will pay to reduce greenhouse gas emissions today, and we’ll have to take an economic hit of some kind.

“Or we will pay the price later in military terms,” he warned. “And that will involve human lives.”

Laptop Stand, Experiment 1

Laptop Stand, Experiment 1

Laptop Stand, Experiment 1

This is the first experiment with making a laptop stand.  Cardboard mockups, Foamcore  refined design, then final one cut out of wood (bubinga).  It was really interesting to see how much my sense of process had changed since using the laser cutter.  I wanted to just draw out the shape, and let the laser cut it all, but of course we (my dad and i - he did most of the cutting work on this one) had to work step by step angle by angle, cut by cut. I forgot how to work that way, but over the last few weeks, i’ve remembered it.

I really wanted to make a round one with steam bent wood, but we never got around to it.

Together with pachube, a service to onnect, tag and share real time sensor data from objects, devices, buildings and environments around the world, you can write xml or “EEML” to link information between buildings sensors and devices. Cool, but i like the idea of simply a green code, whatever that means;.)

EEML supports installations, buildings, devices and events that collect environmental data and enables people to share this resource in realtime either within their own organizations or with the world as a whole via an internet connection or mobile network access. It can enable buildings to “talk”, sharing remote environmental sensor data across the network in order to make local decisions based on wider, global perspectives. The EEML protocol supports datastream sources that respond to and exchange data with other installations, buildings, devices and events through data stream tagging. “

I’m excited to be one of the Resident Artists for Eyebeam this Fall along with the other artists: Diana Eng, Nora Ligorano & Marshall Reese, Rashaad Newsome and Marina Zurkow. Today marks the end of my first week: getting oriented, research, setting up my workspace and more — a real treat to be in Chelsea and part of an amazing organization that has funded and assisted so many artists as well as public programs for students and much more.

For the last 3 years, I’ve been focused on a studio practice in San Francisco which has been developing many individual works including popular video and prints including Future Memories, Uncertain Location, Video Portraits and Paradise Ahead, along with several collaborations such as No Matter, Wikipedia Art and Second Front.


While this period has been prolific and fruitful, I could feel myself straying from my roots of community activism and group collaboration. Here at Eyebeam, I will be developing some open source and open hardware technologies which will enable mobile and networked video projectors using LED bulbs for power.

It is ambitious, I know. But, I think this is an amazing and prescient technology that will soon be ubiquitous. I’d like to make the means available to modification and customization by artists and others. I have my own ideas for several projects which could use mobile and cheap projection systems which can synchronize video channels.

So far, my favorite links for the build-your-own projector community has been the one at Lumen Labs which is a storehouse for ideas and conversations. Additionally, there are some useful examples on Instructables and on engadget of DIY projectors. Most involve ripping apart off-the-shelf components and modifying them to make them into home-brew projectors. Remember that the DIY projector is different than the open hardware designs.

Here is a crude diagram, which illustrates my poor handwriting, of a general design for opening up the hardware I want to make a design that is cheap, modular, open and effective. All of this for less that $500. Each unit will be able to be synchronized using custom iPhone software that I will write during my stay here (more on that later).