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Friday, September 10, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Biomechanical bug animation

Biomechanical bug animation: " Images Projects The Experiment 1

Above are stills from a lovely biomechanical bug animation by Autofuss. It's titled 'The Experiment' and you can watch it here. (Thanks, Stacey Ransom!)


The Wilderness Downtown: Chrome experiment by Chris Milk and Arcade Fire

The Wilderness Downtown: Chrome experiment by Chris Milk and Arcade Fire: "Wildernessdownnnn

The Wilderness Downtown is perhaps the best browser-dominating Net art piece I've experienced since's best work more than a decade ago. An experimental, interactive film by Chris Milk, it's a tour-de-force for the Chrome browser and a lovely visual poem to accompany Arcade Fire's excellent 'We Used To Wait' from their album The Suburbs. I won't give the 'story' away, but I found it to be a deeply personal and moving experience.

Choreographed windows, interactive flocking, custom rendered maps, real-time compositing, procedural drawing, 3D canvas rendering... this Chrome Experiment has them all. 'The Wilderness Downtown' is an interactive interpretation of Arcade Fire's song 'We Used To Wait' and was built entirely with the latest open web technologies, including HTML5 video, audio, and canvas.

The Wildreness Downtown (Thanks, Jean Hagan!)

'Behind the Work: Arcade Fire 'The Wilderness Downtown'' (Creativity Online)


Monday, September 6, 2010

Lowbrow Tarot Deck

Lowbrow Tarot Deck: " Images  Images Large 00-Tarot-Backs Lg Diaz

 Images  4115 4925424367 Cd3B54121E B

Curator and artist Aunia Kahn selected a group of 23 lowbrow/pop surrealist artists to interpret one card each of the Major Arcana of the Tarot deck. Hi-Fructose has a sneak preview of 14 of the cards, which will debut October 1 with a full show at Los Angeles's La Luz de Jesus Gallery, a book, and of course a deck of cards. Above left, card back by Daniel Martin Diaz; right, The Devil by Chet Zar

The LowBrow Tarot Card Project preview (Hi-Fructose)


UPDATE: You can see the entire show at the La Luz de Jesus site here.


Thanks for reading and "May the scientific method always be with you."

Thanks for reading and "May the scientific method always be with you.": "201009021342


I had a great experience here at Boing Boing, and want to send on a big thanks to Mark, Cory, Xeni, David, Rob and the rest of the crew for letting me spend some quality time here. I'm also grateful to the many museum folks who let me chat with them, and so graciously showed me their projects. Kudos especially to Bob Bloomfield for the warm welcome and the many discussions on biodiversity advocacy. Hopefully, my posts didn't dilute the overall awesomeness here at Boing Boing, and at the every least, I hope a few more people are interested in Nagoya COP10. Also, it was fun to do my part to increase the Chewbacca quotient (even if only slightly) here at the site.

With that, I'd like to end with two last requests. Both related to biodiversity: one is kind of worthy, the other a little goofy. One requires folks of the artistic bent, the other maybe a more scientific approach.

First, if you haven't already done so, do please check out the PHYLO project. If you don't know what it is, think Pokemon but with real creatures, and then read the about section (or this previous Boing Boing post). Although the project is being hosted by my lab, it is hardly my project. Basically, all images, web infrastructure, game rules, IP advice, and educational discussion, to make the 180 or so cards currently available (new one every weekday!), has been produced solely from the fine act of crowd sourcing. Everything is open source and open access, completely free, so that all you really need is a printer, some paper, and you're good to go. It's been very cool to watch it progress, but I'd love it if more people came by to contribute. In fact, if it sounds interesting to you and/or your kids, you can even start playing it right now.

In particular, we'd like more artists to participate. You'll note that the artwork for the cards is pretty freakin' excellent (see the image above), and we're hoping for a wider pool of people to contribute. Doesn't matter what the organism is: it can be one you've already drawn, or one where you try your hand at something that's not currently a card (for instance we are well represented by birds and mammals, but poorly lacking in things like reptiles, insects, aquatic plants, and still no blue whale yet). Heck, in honour of the Boing Boing community, I think we can even open the doors for unicorn submissions, but ONLY if you also provide a picture of a real creature (NOTE: you might wonder where a unicorn card might fit in with a biodiversity project, but we are not above a little parody in the project - see if you can find the one other fictional card already hidden in the collection).

Anyway, how do you submit? Well, there is a special Flickr pool just for art submissions, but if it's easier you can also pass on a link to your art in the comments below (make sure the link also has a way of contact so that we can follow up); do the same via this post; or, if you're on Deviant Art, by sending on a note to my account. All in all, any help is greatly appreciated.

We're also now at the stage where we can begin to construct locale specific starter decks. In other words, with our card numbers continually expanding, we can provide pdfs of decks that make sense to a particular city or region, as well as decks of cards chosen to support the exhibits at learning institutions (I'll be making one for the Natural History Museum for example). This would have awesome educational potential, so it would be great if we could get locale specific 'champions' to help with this.

Finally: wouldn't these cards look cool on a smart phone? Maybe there are biodiversity type apps out there that would like to add a 'card' layer to their functionality. Or maybe just a way to play trumps or some such similar game with the cards? Just saying.

Second, here is a request that involves the blue whale I wrote about earlier.


Photo by Stuart Pearce (link)

During construction (of the whale model), workmen left a trapdoor within the whale's stomach, which they would use for surreptitious cigarette breaks. Before the door was closed and sealed forever, some coins and a telephone directory were placed inside -- this soon growing to an urban myth that a time capsule was left inside. The work was completed -- entirely within the hall and in full view of the public -- in 1938. At the time it was the largest such model in the world, at 28.3 m in length, though the construction details were later borrowed by several American museums, who scaled the plans further. (Wikipedia)

Isn't that wonderful? I've also heard other stories about what might be inside the belly of this whale (including one that mentioned a distill), and have increasingly heard the term 'Narnia doors' around this museum. Apparently, the museum is so vast and so twisty-turny that it's not uncommon to open a door and end up somewhere totally unexpected.

In fact, the idea of the blue whale possibly harboring some secret inside is such a delicious notion, that I'm a bit disappointed that someone like J.K. Rowling didn't lend her considerable imagination to include it in her vast Harry Potter iconography (although I might pursue this myself in a children's science culture/novel I'm working on). Anyway, in this respect, I'm curious to find out more. To be specific, I was wondering if:

1. Anybody knows more about what might be inside the whale, and

2. Without having to open up the huge hollow model, what technical options (high tech or better yet DIY) are there to take a peek inside?

And with that, this is where I'll sign off. Thanks for reading and playing along, and 'May the Scientific Method always be with you.'


How to open a new book

How to open a new book: "How-To-Open-A-New-Book

A limber binding is a happy binding. (Submitterated by Gabriel Andery)