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Cafesonique -the world’s first 3D virtual music community June 29, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in art, creative, design, innovation, music, tech.
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from Cafesonique.com

By creating virtual spaces from existing real-world environments, artist and music industry players will now have the ability to mold their unique vision and identity into a framework that wasn’t possible five years ago. Selling music-related merchandise in 3D, showcasing an act from the comfort of a virtual chair, and chatting in a familiar coffee shop not only will engage the artist and the consumer alike but also will pave the way to the next generation of musicians , singers, and song writer who have already developed a natural aptitude for online3D environments.

These new virtual spaces will also cater to the music industry support workforce including photographers, models, dancers, videographers, filmmakers, and actors. The creation of Cafesonique Campus fir virtual training and education is already underway as it the Art Center that will house virtual art galleries for cafesonique.com members to showcase their latest works.



Can Machines Be Conscious? June 28, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in philoshophy, science, tech.
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By Christof Koch and Giulio Tononi

Image: Bryan Christie Design

Would you sell your soul on eBay? Right now, of course, you can’t. But in some quarters it is taken for granted that within a generation, human beings—including you, if you can hang on for another 30 years or so—will have an alternative to death: being a ghost in a machine. You’ll be able to upload your mind—your thoughts, memories, and personality—to a computer. And once you’ve reduced your consciousness to patterns of electrons, others will be able to copy it, edit it, sell it, or pirate it. It might be bundled with other electronic minds. And, of course, it could be deleted.

That’s quite a scenario, considering that at the moment, nobody really knows exactly what consciousness is. Pressed for a pithy definition, we might call it the ineffable and enigmatic inner life of the mind. But that hardly captures the whirl of thought and sensation that blossoms when you see a loved one after a long absence, hear an exquisite violin solo, or relish an incredible meal. Some of the most brilliant minds in human history have pondered consciousness, and after a few thousand years we still can’t say for sure if it is an intangible phenomenon or maybe even a kind of substance different from matter. We know it arises in the brain, but we don’t know how or where in the brain. We don’t even know if it requires specialized brain cells (or neurons) or some sort of special circuit arrangement of them.


BBC news white spectrum June 28, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in creative, tech.
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from informatioaeshetics

a data visualisation tool which tries to analyze the debate sparked by the BBC White season of programs which aired on BBC2. the interface shows a number of particles floating around in space. each particle represents a sentence taken from the debate & is assigned a color corresponding to the type of emotion (i.e. anger, fear, hurt, confusion, happiness & caring) word found in the sentence.

particles also have a size which reflects the intensity of the emotion expressed & a brightness which indicates the average consensus (agreement/disagreement) on the comment. comments can be spatially clustered by their attributes & particles can be filtered to show exactly what the user would like to see at any given time.

Kage Roi idea acceleration system June 28, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in innovation, tech.
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Kage Roi -- IT company Kayac has teamed up with researchers from Keio University to develop a high-tech brainstorming room that listens to its inhabitants and feeds them a barrage of related data and images in order to boost creativity and fuel the imagination.

The system — called “Kage Roi” — relies on a speech-recognition capable computer that monitors the brainstorming session via microphone, identifies keywords, and automatically crawls the web in search of related information and images. A ceiling-mounted projector then casts the retrieved data and imagery onto dark, human-shaped shadows on the table during the course of the meeting. The brainstormers can free-associate on the projected data, use it as a tool for discussion, or rely on it for helpful cues if ideas are running short.


Symptom #6 June 27, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in my stuff.
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Can A Poet Be More Accurate Than A Journalist? – II.- Cuba June 27, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in art, people, politics, writing.
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by Andrei Codrescu*

I went to Cuba in 1997, just before Pope John Paul IIs visit to the island. This time, I only had an NPR producer with me, Art Silverman, who did all his own recording, and a photographer, David Graham, who’d never been out of the U.S., but was well known for his photographs of middle-class Americans and the contemporary North American landscape. So we had one experienced producer, who’d been almost everywhere, including China, a poet with occasionally crazy ideas, and a photographer who found the tropical colors of Cuba dizzying. In fact, he never got over the fact that Cuba, seen through a photo lens, looks so sexy and fotogenic, that it’s almost impossible to photograph anything else. Having grown up in Romania, I was more alert about the hidden horrors that lay under all that tropical shimmer, and I was planning on not letting myself be seduced by it. Consequently, the sober prose in the book contrasts starkly with David’s delirious photographs. There is an interesting parallel here: David’s work has often been compared with that of Walker Evans (a “Walker Evans in color” as someone dubbed him). In 1933 Walker Evans went to Cuba with a left-wing journalist, Carleton eals, and together they produced a book called “The Crime of Cuba.”


Quarter of the planet to be online by 2012 June 27, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in technology.
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By Shaun Nichols


Researchers are predicting that one quarter of the world’s population will be connected to the internet within the next four years..

According to the report by Jupiter Research, the total number of people online will climb to 1.8 billion by 2012, encompassing roughly 25 percent of the planet.

The company sees the highest growth rates in areas such as China, Russia, India and Brazil. Overall, the number of users online is predicted to grow by 44 percent in the time period between 2007 and 2012.


W-train Book Ride June 19, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in w-train book ride.
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This week’s books selection that my fellow metro riders have been reading and carrying – and some of them were quite heavy…

From the Silk Road Into the Future June 15, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in art.
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By Lisa Dorin

From Universe in Universes

For anyone who has been following currents in large-scale international exhibitions over the last several years, that increasingly noteworthy examples of video art are emerging from Central Asia is no great surprise. The first-ever Central Asian Pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale in 2005 [1], curated by Victor Misiano, marked a defining moment for the region – solidifying it as one of the last frontiers of the global art world. Video, more than any other medium, surfaced as lingua franca of sorts, through which the seemingly isolated experiences of Central Asian artists were effectively translated for an international audience.


Lubok, the Art of Old Russian Comics June 15, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in art.
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The lubki (sing. lubok) are Russian hand made folk prints representing a rich and expressive layer of this country’s culture, history and art. These once popular simple printed pictures coloured by hand eloquently speak about life and outlook of the common people of the past.

First these broadsides were called friazhskie (coming from the West), then “funny sheets” and for a long time prostoviki (simple things) or the common people’s pictures. In the 19th century they got the name of lubok.


The Administration of Chairs, literally June 14, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in Uncategorized.
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from Improbable Research

photo: Doris Salcedo

Donald C Stone was only slightly joking when he wrote an article called The Administration of Chairs: Not the Persons or Subject, But the Arrangement of Chairs Determines the Success of a Meeting.Sitting quietly in a back issue of the journal Public Administration Review, Stone’s seven-page composition both instructs and advises. His basic message: there are good and bad ways to arrange chairs in a meeting room, and any success-minded administrator had better learn the difference….


Publishing The Unpublishable June 14, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in art, creative.
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Edited by Kenneth Goldsmith

What constitutes an unpublishable work? It could be many things: too long, too experimental, too dull; too exciting; it could be a work of juvenilia or a style you’ve long since discarded; it could be a work that falls far outside the range of what you’re best known for; it could be a guilty pleasure or it could simply be that the world judges it to be awful, but you think is quite good. We’ve all got a folder full of things that would otherwise never see the light of day.


Symptom #5 June 13, 2008

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Symptom #4 June 11, 2008

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The (Real) Sound of Silence June 11, 2008

Posted by Ana Bird in art, creative, music, science.
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Science shows what we all instinctively know: pauses in music speak loudly to the brain.

by Meera Lee Sethi

The (Real) Sound of Silence
Image: Yaroslav B/Anna Gosline

In the second section of Samuel Barber’s exquisitely mournful composition “Adagio for Strings,” the cellos, violas, and violins join together to build to a rising melodic climax, reaching a thrilling, almost keening peak of grief – and then sharply stop. There is a breathtaking silence that lasts several long seconds. Finally, after more than a few thudding heartbeats, the instruments resume their play with a series of soft chords that now seem painfully delicate, carrying the piece to its sighing, fading conclusion.