Towards an auto-generative Public Domain?

A couple of days ago,  I came across the website generated.photos (via the Verge) a new service that offers 100.000 computer generated portrait images and positions them as an alternative to traditional stock photos. The Verge article highlights the fact that the pictures can be used "royalty free" and the generated.photos website claims that "Copyrights ... will be a thing of the past". This made me postulate on twitter that we might very well be witnessing the emergence of an "auto-generative…

CARNE Y ARENA

In retrospect the whole process of actually getting to experience Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s situated VR installation CARNE Y ARENA at the Fondazione Prada in Milano now looks like a privileged white man’s version of what the protagonists of the installation have gone trough: The almost overwhelming uncertainty if i would ever manage to get there (the result of overwhelmed web servers that could not keep up with the demand for the microscopic amount of tickets available), the realisation that a gro…

1 plus 8 - the room is a map of the territory

Yesterday we saw 1+8 at the opulent Galata branch of SALT. 1+8 is a dynamic eight-screen video installation about Turkey and her eight neighbours based on the feature film of the same name directed by Cynthia Madansky and Angelika Brudniak. I usually do not have much patience for video installations but 1+8 managed to capture my attention for quite some time. If you are to believe the catalogue text this thanks to an the brilliance of a ‘custom made algorithmic computer program’ powering the dis…

The internet giveth and the internet taketh away (piracy edition)

Turns out that theverge does music reporting of sorts. their recent history of dubstep music (‘beyond lies the wub‘) contains two short passages that highlight the impact of digital technology on art (in this case dubstep music). The first passage highlights how digital piracy killed the music industry might have actually driven the quality of music production in the past dececade or so: “They cost nothing if you know how to get them for free, which most people did,” says Martin Clark. “The VSTs…

The jetlag society [one possible future for the book]

The Jetlag Society is one of the projects that was on display at the graduation show of the Sandberg Institute last weekend. The Jetlag Society consists of a video installation (on display in the rather amazing vondelbunker) and an unbound book (above). “The Jetlag Society is an unbound book on how technology influences time, space and our synchronization with the world. While bound books have weight, smell and are above all tangible, it’s digital form can be quick changing and endlessly linked…

Stock trades, art and algorithms

If you ask me one of the more fascinating things going on out there right now is high-frequency trading. High-frequency trading (HFT) occurs when traders program computers to buy and sell stocks (or other financial products) in quick succession under certain, pre-defined circumstances. (a good starting point to learn more about HFT is this planet money episode or this ai500 article by Joe Flood). Apparently High Frequency trading enables successful trading firms to skim of enormous surplus off t…

More ruralism and less urbanism

Spend yesterday afternoon at the paris photo exhibition/fair in the über-horrible carrousel du louvre in Paris. The whole thing did not really live up to the hype (and the long queues) but fortunately there was one photo that made it worth having ventured into the belly of the cultural-industrial beast: ‘un poco de historia, la havanna, mayo 1971’ by José A. Figueora. Bonus: services provided by Dr. Paul of Sese Island, East Afirica…

Parallel infrastructures #4

Over the last year or so Sara (together with Suzanne Valkenburg and Eefje Blankevoort) has explored the world of vacation parks in the Netherlands. Many of these parks that had originally been designed for dutch families to spend their summer vacations have – over the years – attracted new types of temporary and permanent residents: Kenyan athletes competing for price money in dutch running events, Afghani refugees, African agriculture students, Dutch drop outs and polish contract workers and th…

Eye [gif animation]

Back during the dot-com craziness of 1999-2000 I worked as a gif animator for a while (at an outfit called interbrand in Amsterdam) and i still have a weakness for this particular form of art. Today, != points to this wonderful example that is used as a background effect on the e-l-i-s-e weblog:…