Created by Boris Meister at ECAL, Above the Cloud is an atlas about social networks archeology, death and digital marks left in distress on the internet. Boris attempts to present the complex subject and, above all, explain it by creating an object – book, both in its structure, images and layout.
I play with the general idea of the atlas and I use different languages (associations of images, illustrations, data visualisation) to create an “atmosphere” favorable to the understanding of the subject, and, in the end, make a book “object” which might have several levels of interpretation.
Over 6 million accounts on Facebook belong to dead people, what Boris refers to as “Ghosts” in the book. Semi-living digital beings that still interact with their “friends” by being tagged in photos or referenced, their profile is regularly updated. One example is one of Taylor Sauer who posted this on facebook 1 minute before she had a car accident and died: “I can’t discuss this now. Driving and facebooking is not safe! Haha.” Others mention last moments before their death, passing or suicide. Large collection of voices of the living dead, filling endless gigabytes of cloud storage.
No plans yet to make this book available for purchase although I highly encourage Boris, and so can you in the comments, to at least make a PDF available for our perusal.
Tutors: Jonas Vœgeli & Gilles Gavillet
ECAL / University of Art and Design, Lausanne Switzerland
Bachelor Graphic design
- 5 Twitter Art Projects – Volume 3 [WebApp] Nearly 4 months since our last post on Twitter Art Projects but this time we have collected more diverse than ever collection of art installations/web projects that utilize twitter in a very unique way. From radio controlled cars to hand drawings these show that there is much more to twitter than what some may have had for breakfast - definetly a reflection on our group consciousness.. (vol 1). If you missed the previous editions, check out: Volume 1 + Volume 2 Hard Drivin Hard Drivin’ is a kinetic installation created by Ivan Twohig, Benjamin Gaulon and Brian Solon. The title of the piece references Hard Drivin’ a video game released in 1989. The game featured the first 3D polygon driving environment. The installation involves radio controlled (R/C) cars that physically react to short messages (‘tweets’) sent through the popular social networking site Twitter. The cars are placed on a 3d-like structure inspired by polygonal modeling. Anyone can participate by telling the cars to begin following another user, by sending a simple command inside a tweet. You can get the cars to start following a user, by sending a reply to @harddrivin, e.g.: @harddrivin follow @exchangedublin Then every time that user tweets, one of the cars will move in a random direction. More info @ http://harddrivin.com + see this Flickr Set for more images. Default to Public "Default to Public" is a project by Jens Wunderling dealing with the discrepancy between people's feeling of privacy on the web and the physical world. It consists of an ongoing series of objects and interventions linking the physical world to the online world in unexpected and narrative ways to create awareness for self-exposure. Currently there are three projects, Status Panel, TweetScreen and Tweetleak with another two still under wraps named Classified Tweets and Tweetcast. Status Panel enhances the well known interface - the doorbell providing a small LCD panel displaying one's twitter status along with the name. Additionally the status panel has it's own Twitter Account and then the button is pressed it re-tweets one's current tweet. Tweetscreen is a networked projection/installation in public space showing tweets which have been written near it's own physical location on a large projection screen. The twitter users whose tweets have been chosen receive a reply message aling with the photo taken by a webcam. Tweetleak is a monolithic anthracithe-coloured pole which is placed in a public place aggregating tweets from nearby and "materialises them". After the tweet has been printed out the author is notified. All works follow a simple, yet powerful principle: Information from the twitter network (standing for information on the web) are displayed in another public environment, the documentation of this process is fed back into the digital public sphere and the authors of the information are notified of that abduction. Two public spheres are temporarily linked, creating repercussions of communication in the digital public sphere, which seems to be regarded as less public than the physical world, although it has a far wider reach than classic media, plus it never expires or is written over. More information at defaulttopublic.net Tweeting Colors Tweeting Colors is webpage comprised of vertical color bars created by special tweets from Twitter users. New bars are added from the left, pushing the existing arrangement to the right. A project by A Feverish Dream, this piece allows the audience to directly manipulate the resulting visual. Anyone can view the piece, but a Twitter user can add bars by following these simple directions. The page auto-refreshes a few times a minute, so sit back and enjoy the Color Feed. To participate in Tweeting Colors, simply post a tweet containing the following three elements: #afd (This is a tag acting as a filter. The "afd" stands for A Feverish Dream) a color name from the HTML color chart below. It is not case-sensitive, so you can use all caps or all lowercase. a number between 1 and 20, inclusive. This determines the width of the vertical band of color you're creating. Your tweet should show up in the Color Feed within a minute. Examples of acceptable tweets: #afd DARKRED 4 or deeppink 18 #afd or you can simply work these tags into a normal post: Cleaning out the blue garage today #afd 8 See more at tweetingcolors.com UTV UTV is the transposition of our Internet identities from Twitter feeds to an over-the-air TV broadcast. UTV is part of an exhibition entitled "Ill Communication" by Rob Duarte, which examines the role of technology in our understandings of community and communication. The format of the exhibition is such that each of the participating artists presents a work that spans two halves of the gallery space - an "interface" and an "output". Interface The UTV installation begins with an open presentation of the technology behind the television broadcast. A laptop computer connects to a display, which shows the real-time workings of the scripts and patches that gather Twitter feeds from people in the Chicago area. A camcorder then converts the image into a ready-for-TV signal and finally leads to a UHF transmitter that broadcasts the content to any television sets in the area. The corkboard above this makeshift TV station contains my notes, sketches and observations about the technical process, comparisons between the sociopolitical histories of Internet and broadcast TV media, and the re-appropriation of the obsolete medium of analog TV for the purposes of broadcasting local community-produced content. Output In the second half of the gallery, a pile of TVs and their rabbit-ear antennae are tuned to UHF channel 14½ to receive the reconfigured broadcast. The commentaries and mini-monologues from the once-digital medium scroll past the TV screens at varying speeds. The translation of this content to the fuzzy world of analog TV happens as the medium reaches the final stage of its gradual appropriation for purely commercial purposes. When it is discontinued this year, its final remains will be sold to private corporations and its demise as a medium for geographically relevant, freely available, community-driven content will be complete. UTV is an effort to filter "local" content from the world-wide medium of the Internet and funnel it back into the communication void that will exist during the final days of analog TV and beyond. This project also serves to expose this sociopolitical history of analog broadcasting and compare it to the power struggles that the Internet has and will face in the future. More about Rob and his other work can be found at robduarte.com Twitter Drawings On February 19th, 2009, Marc Horowitz posted this “tweet” on twitter.com (see first image below). Each of the 100 original drawings were mailed out to the first 100 respondents after the entire collection was put on display at Postmasters Gallery in New York as part of the exhibition “The future is not what it used to be” from February 28th - April 4th, 2009. This limited-edition catalog contains all 100 drawings and you can purchase it at http://bit.ly/buytwitterbook. You can see all the drawings at http://bit.ly/twitterdrawings. If you are interested in purchasing the book, see here. Marc continues to tweet and you should add him at […]
- Daytum [iPhone, WebApp] Created by Nicholas Feltron and Ryan Case, Daytum for iPhone is complementary application for Daytum web app to track your daily activities. iPhone app allows you to add, edit and view entries to help collect and communicate the most important stats in your world. Daytum was originally conceived by Ryan Case and Nicholas Felton as an elegant and intuitive tool for counting and communicating personal statistics, inspired by Nicholas Felton's "Annual Reports" which he has been making since 2005. The iPhone app adopts the beautiful and familiar cyan and grey palette offering all the features you'd expect for inputting and tracking data on the go. Within the app, the entries page features an entry field and a list of recent entries. Tapping an item name or entry amount will link to their detail views. By swiping across an entry, you can quickly choose to re-add that item and amount at the current time, or choose to edit or delete the entry. The main item and category views are scrollable lists. Tap the button at the top of the page to add a new item or category. Click on an item or category to visit its detailed view, or swipe to quickly reveal edit and delete options. Not only can you add data quickly but also the app allows you to visualise the same data in beautiful graphs. Selecting an item or category from the list view loads the graph view. Dragging the handles below the graph allows for the default 2 week range to be adjusted. Drag over the graph to see the entry total for a specific day. In addition there is favourites view, a place to keep frequently referenced graphs. Save an item or category here by pressing the star icon on a graph. When it's blue, the graph has been saved to your favourites. As it can be expected, Nicholas and Ryan have done a wonderful job with the app. Although utilising in a lot of instances standard UIKit elements, there are tweeks and quirky elements that give the app unique feel. Some may miss the minimal feel of the web app, myself included, but the iPhone app seem to make the best of the two worlds. UI is light, fast and functional. Tracking your data requires discipline and persistence. My only concern with tools such as this has always been that they required 100% commitment which Nicholas is known for (see video below). I would love to see features added to the web app which allows you to pull activities from other sources such as RSS or Flickr, something that Momento does. The actual how this data can be filtered may be related to keywords or hashtags but never the less it would be great way to collect, analyse and reflect upon your activities. For the time being, Daytum relies much on your persistance to be able to reach a point and enought data is collected. With the knowledge that API is on it's way we can rest assured that most of the things I just mentioned are on the way. iPhone app is just the first step in that direction, using oAuth and undocumented and currently private API. To summarise, Daytum is a fantastic way to collect and track important stats. iPhone app is a wonderfully made and designed iPhone app to complement Daytum service. Considering it's free, including the web service which is also free, limited to 1000 entries giving you enough reason to try it. Should you feel this is something you'd like to continue using, a tiny fee of $4 a month should be no deterrent whatsoever. Platform: iPhone Version: 1.0 Cost: Free Developer: Daytum See also your.flowingdata […]
- The Transparency Grenade by Julian Oliver – Design Fiction for Leaking Data Provocations within The Critical Engineering Manifesto (2011) state that reliance on specific technologies are "both a challenge and a threat" and that "the exploit is the most desirable form of exposure". Julian Oliver is one of the authors of this manifesto and on reviewing his body of work, one can see that the mandate is clearly at the heart of his practice. The Transparency Grenade, Oliver's most recent endeavour, reimagines the iconic Soviet F1 hand grenade as the chassis for a personal data-leaking device. A concerned individual with physical access to site shrouded in secrecy could simply wait for an opportune moment, pull the pin and create a 'detonation' of related data that would be instantly published to the web. The statement for the project describes the operation of the prototype: "Equipped with a tiny computer, microphone and powerful wireless antenna, The Transparency Grenade captures network traffic and audio at the site and securely and anonymously streams it to a dedicated server where it is mined for information. Email fragments, HTML pages, images and voice extracted from this data are then presented on an online, public map, shown at the location of the detonation." With this work Oliver thematically aligns himself with other practitioners of the 'dark arts' – artists whose work parses economies of secrecy. However, this project contrasts the transcription and redaction of Jill Magid and Trevor Paglen's celestial mapping and 'limit telephotography' through the production of a performative object; The Transparency Grenade does not present captured 'secrets' on a plinth or wall to be read as texts, instead it delivers a precision-engineered workflow for collecting them. More design fact than fiction, the operational logic of the device is currently being rethought as the basis for an application for Android devices (Oliver: "Naturally this is a little more practical than walking into a meeting with a grenade in your jacket pocket"). The Transparency Grenade just showed at Labor Berlin and last week Régine Debatty posted a compelling conversation about the project with its creator. On being asked to comment on the symbolism of his design, Oliver offered the following explanation: "I gave The Transparency Grenade this design to signify some of the conversation around cyber warfare, 'information weapons' and the Cyber Soldier divisions marching out from national defense budgets worldwide. It can be considered a functional weapon in a symbolically representative container… The volatility of information in networked, digital contexts itself frames a precedent for clamouring (and often unrealistic) attempts to contain it. One could even say it's this desperate fear of the leak that produces images like my grenade, images that will continue to take violent forms in popular culture, journalism and Presidential speeches in time. In fact the metaphor of a transparency grenade is itself not new, first used publicly by Mike Taylor in the Observer, a few months after I drew up this project. A timely coincidence!" With these notions of immaterial explosions and 'live leaks' in mind, CAN caught up with Oliver to learn more about the design of this device. Was Wikileaks an inspiration for The Transparency Grenade? No, it wasn't. I've been interested in the volatility of digital data for quite a while, something that's turned up in popular culture many times since computer networking crept into the public imagination. I'd like to think there's a little magic-realism to the grenade I made; building on the myths and fears fed by film and literature as much as the felt anxiety of the leak. I'm a big fan of Cryptome and have been following their work for about 10 years, much of which is certainly less scandalous than Wikileaks. Nonetheless they've proven to be an eye-opening resource over the years, if not only because they cast such a broad and thorough net. They are a tried-and-true, trusted leak service, giving great insight into how some corporations and some government offices falsify facts, conceal or spin data and engineer public opinion. The pre-assembly photographs and technical drawings of the components of the device make it clear that this was a full-on industrial design project. What were the major technical hurdles in realizing this work? There were many. This project has been difficult to realise. First, there's the issue of fitting so much into so little space - I wanted to keep the volume and shape of the object as close as possible to an actual F1 grenade. In shape it's almost identical but in size it is slightly larger. In my opinion it feels better in the hand than the replica I own, somehow more throwable (not that mine's for throwing!). Secondly was the issue of materials. Initialy I wanted to make the grenade body in cast glass. This would've been possible were it not for the fact I really wanted these little cut-away parts on the inside for the inset display and wireless level meter. I next looked into CNC'ing the body from plexiglass but that was both insanely expensive (needing a 4 degrees of freedom mill) and would've required a heap of post-processing to give it a quality finish. In the end I stumbled across this amazing new printable material, Tusk2700T that Materialise, a Belgian outfit work with. That sorted the body out. Next there was the sterling silver metalwork, done by the talented Susanne Stauch. Not only did it have to provide the locking mechanism of the three-part translucent body but also the trigger mechanism for flicking the lever and providing electrical contact to start the data capture process. We spent many many hours working all that out and a great solution was arrived at, I think. The grenade doesn't have a single screw, hinge or blob of glue. That was a satisfying process and outcome. Your documentation for the project includes some stills (mock-ups I presume) of a browser-based map interface for archiving detonations. How would you envision this web-service working? The server side is functional! Under legal advice it's not sane to let people poke around the data captured during testing (which I've deleted now anyway). I could put it up in anonymised form but it would take a lot of work (MAC addresses, remote IPs, Hostnames, email fragments). Best to wait for the Android version, with the server set up at your own risk. Here's how it works, first client (grenade) and then server (a Debian GNU/Linux host on the Internet): There is a relatively primitive configuration interface (CGI), served by lighttpd from the grenade when in Setup (AP) mode. There you can input keys (WEP, WPA) if desired, target particular ESSIDs or BSSIDs, define the remote server, shape the upload bandwith consumed, write to local filesystem or buffer and 'stream', audio compression add SSH keys and a few other basics. Confirming these settings places the grenade in in Armed mode. This toggles a value in a text file that is read by the start up (init) script on reboot telling that script to read the new settings. Reboot occurs right after the button is clicked. After rebooting it waits in an idle state until the pin is pulled, triggering the capture. The software side wasn't so tricky really as I had a lot of code lying around from previous projects, including projects I've been doing with my studio partner Danja Vasiliev. I'm pretty comfortable in a 'headless' embedded development space and in reality most work on the grenade client code was wrapping around various utilities with shell scripts, tarballing through an SSH tunnel, some minor work on init scripts and the network stack (wireless tools). I would've prefered to use Debian or OpenWRT on the Overo COM I used but stuck with Ångström for if-it-ain't-broke reasons. The server-side was a little more tricky, although the map itself was done quickly using CloudMade's customisation interface for OpenStreetMap. That was fun to work with. I use iwatch on the server to keep track of file write/close in folders as they are created, named by date and location. As the packet data comes in TCP stream reconstruction starts, sorting by mime-type and writing them out to folders named by stream session. Encrypted data is written for breaking later, should that be desired. I'm currently using a modified third-party Perl utility for the stream following and HTML markup but may move to tcpflow and foremost for the Android version as it'll be faster. Audio data is currently Ogg/Vorbis but being a little CPU intensive I may switch to another. All programming was done in VIM on a Thinkpad running Debian GNU/Linux. Minicom was used for serial communications using a USB Serial FTDI. More at The Transparency […]
- Speculative cartography & programmed landscapes – a chat with Benedikt Groß Benedikt Groß is a speculative and computational designer whose work is often featured on here on CAN. We recently interviewed him in order to glean a little insight about Benedikt's thoughts his recent work, 'outsider' cartography, and generative […]
- 5 Twitter Art Projects [WebApp] It would be nearly impossible to define what is art in this post. What is certain is that projects listed below have a certain level of thesis, an intellectual overview and a position in relation to Twitter as a social phenomenon. Whether they are driven by empathy or pure interest in group behavior, Twitter is becoming a true reflection of our joint digital projections of ourselves (reaffirming our identity in a landscape of rapid change - Manuel Castelis). Whilst honesty and truthfulness is valued one can not ignore that it is the rationale and in many cases very calculated usage of twitter that attracts followers. If art is a reflection of ones time, driven by social, economic or cultural momentum, Twitter is a resource where our group behavior can be analyzed, reflected upon and critiqued. These recent 5 projects do just this. They are pieces of art, no matter how simple their nature is they reflect our group behavior. They also inspire, provoke response and drive a conclusion and opinion. Whether you are a twitter user or not, what is certain is that this is a collective conscience billboard not to be ignored. Pa++ern Pa++ern is a project byÂ Daito Manabe andÂ Motoi Ishibashi. It includes an embroidery machine which translates messages derived from Twitter into code and converts into designs.Â You can see it from this Saturday on atÂ the Beams Gallery in Tokyo. (via) Installation 1 All Tweets of Installation1 followers are printed daily & dropped on a spot @ Walkers Point Center For Art gallery in Milwaukee 6/5-7/2. Then glued into ball.Â The exhibition finished only few days ago so unfortunately you have just missed an opportunity to have your words displayed. linky Follow on Twitter via ok-blog Chalkbot Own a piece of the road at the Tour de France. Write your message and it will be sent to the Nike LIVESTRONG Chalkbot. What words of hope, inspiration and encouragement will you share with the world? Follow @chalkbot on Twitter. DeepLocal andÂ StandardRobot worked with Nike's agency, W+K, to design and develop the pneumatic robot and software system. The system includes a text message interface, web based queue and approval system for tour officials, onboard machine and nozzle control, spray mechanism, camera and GPS capture system, and Twitter integration. Best Day Ever Best day everÂ is a twitter project by Zach Gage.Â Each day at 6:30pm ESTÂ it automatically searches twitter for the phraseÂ â€œbest day everâ€Â and then picks a tweet it likes, and re-twittersÂ the tweet as itâ€™s own. Zach refers toÂ it is a compilation of all our happiness. Follow @mybestdayever for latest updates. Murmur Study This installation consists of 30 thermal printers that continuously monitor Twitter for new messages containing variations on common emotional utterances. Messages containing hundreds of variations on words such as argh, meh, grrrr, oooo, ewww, and hmph, are printed as an endless waterfall of text accumulating in tangled piles below. Murmur study is a collaboration with MÃ¡rton AndrÃ¡s JuhÃ¡szÂ nilseuropa.com and the Kitchen BudapestÂ kibu.hu. Project Site:Â christopherbaker.net/projects/murmur-study/ [Showing at the Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, Minnesota now through August 23th, 2009] Murmur Study from Christopher Baker on Vimeo. More.. If you know any more we have missed, please link up in the comments. If you liked this post, see also A Different Twitter […]
- Delineating the Future – an interview with N O R M A L S CAN goes in-depth with the Paris-based 'anticipatory' design studio N O R M A L S to learn about their forthcoming dark, dense, and dizzying graphic novel series. Working process, representational techniques (that bridge illustration and code), and a critical reading of contemporary design […]
- RGB Colorspace Atlas by Tauba Auerbach Created by Tauba Auerbach is the 8 x 8 x 8-inch hard-back book illustrating the RGB gradient in a page-by-page format. Using a digital offset print on paper with airbrushed cloth cover, the book shows the full gradient of blue axis offset. The special binding was co-designed by the artist herself in collaboration with Daniel E. Kelm, and were printed at Wide Awake Garage, an independent bookbinder, with help from Leah Hughes. Below is also the simulation of one of the books (blue axis) showing the all 3632 pages. Tauba Auerbach /via […]
Posted on: 22/08/2012
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