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Inside the Artist's Studio is a radio program hosted by a robotic Chimpanzee named James Chimpton. Chimpton's brain is powered by a markup language I created called ABSML, or A BullShit Markup Language. The result is rather absurd - a clothed robotic monkey, interviewing artists in the Biennial about their work, in a robotic english accent.

With Chimpton (and ABSML), we once again returned to the theme of generative text. The operator (or "puppeteer", as we called them) would enter into the software the interviewee's name, website, and medium, and based on that information, a set of interview questions would be generated. The puppeteer would then use the software interface to trigger the questions.

Visit the website for all of the Chimpton interviews, courtesy of Neighborhood Public Radio

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ABSML is a new markup language that enables the creation of complex sentence formulas for 21st century automatic writing. ABSML tags replace parts of speech and sentence components using sophisticated semantic analysis, regular expressions, and web-based resources. In the right combination, the tags create prose that -- while based on formulas and code -- do not appear formulaic. ABSML is free and open for others to use, both through an online editor and an API (application programming interface).

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Which party should you go to tonight? Probably the one with that photographer from Last Night's Party, one of the many party photography sites that have become popular in the last few years. With a little luck, you might end up on the front page, posing like a rock star, or at least a really cool roadie. Quietly add the link to these precious stills on your MySpace profile so that everyone knows that, without a doubt, you were at the right party, with the right people, getting really fucked up and having an amazing time.

But if you can't get on the guest list, why not just fake it? This is the goal of Anywhere But HERE! As a standalone installation or in the context of a larger party, participants wait on line behind a velvet rope and a bouncer to enter the staging area, where they are costumed, coached, and then put on stage. Once on stage, our special FauxScreen™ technology inserts you into a scene of a dirty Lower East Side bathroom, a rowdy frat house, or a decadent Ibiza beachfront. You can check out the full catalog of scenes here. Our professional photographer coaxes and directs you into the perfect hipster, clubber, or frat boy party poses, and snap snap, you've got all the proof that you need that you're just as hip as anyone on Last Night's Party.

Move over to our post-processing kiosk and immediately post these photos to Friendster, Flickr, Picassa, Photobucket with just a few clicks, telling everyone what an amazing time you are having.

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Delete City is a WordPress plug-in that operates in the background of your personal blog. Every day, the plug-in conducts searches on sites like YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, etc. and automatically downloads large amounts of content. With companies like Dreamhost and Bluehost offering ridiculuous amounts of storage space to lure in new users, a growing percentage of people with blogs have more storage than they could ever use, which is perfect for DeleteCity. These searches can be customized to download the kind of content that you want. For instance, if you are interested in puppies, then DeleteCity will only download movies and photos about puppies. Right now, we are focusing on movies and photos, but in the future we might extend the plug-ins to include PDFs, MP3s, and more.

After the content has been downloaded, the plug-in returns to the site where the content was found at a set interval to see if the content was removed or taken down by the administrators. This is a very frequent occurrence on sites like YouTube. There are many reasons why content could be taken down, from large-scale government censorship, to companies like NBC trying to protect their property, to the author simply deciding that they don't want the content online any more. For instance, try to watch this video of the Alexyss K. Tylor show, Penis Power. I'm not sure why this particular clip was taken down, but it very well could have been because Alexyss herself complained, or simply because it was flagged as inappropriate by enough users.

When the plug-in finds that a piece of content has been removed, it automatically retrieves it from the cache that was previously downloaded and posts it to your WordPress blog. It then emails the author and invites them to come to your blog and comment on why the content was taken down.

This site was inspired by sites like YouTomb and DelTube (which seems to have been taken down). In fact, you could say that DeleteCity is simply a way for anyone to have their own customized YouTomb or DelTube. The fact that DelTube is down perfectly illustrates why DeleteCity is needed. Large companies can take down single sites relatively easily. But once something is decentralized and hundreds or thousands of people all over the world are running a caching program, it is much harder to take something down from the web.

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The Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is ... a crowdsourcing marketplace that enables computer programs to co-ordinate the use of human intelligence to perform tasks which computers are unable to do. Requesters, the human beings that write these programs, are able to pose tasks known as HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks), such as choosing the best among several photographs of a storefront, writing product descriptions, or identifying performers on music CDs. Workers ... can then browse among existing tasks and complete them for a monetary payment set by the Requester.via wikipedia

Crowded is an as-yet unreleased radio show/podcast that is made up of segments of audio recorded by Mechanical Turk workers. Each episode has a mechanism, such as:

  1. Workers listen to a series of songs, choose one that reminds them of an event in their life, and then tell that story. The stories are then combined and played on top of the song that they chose.
  2. Workers are encouraged to call me and have an argument about a topic I give them. I edit myself out, leaving only one side of the argument.
  3. Workers are asked to call and tell a story/reminisce about something that never actually happened to them.
  4. Workers are provided with a conference call line and a character to play. Two or more workers call in and have to play their character.

The workers call in and are given, on average, $5-$8 to send an audio recording that fits the mechanism. They are given the option of calling a US phone number and leaving a message, or recording themselves on HoundBite or YouTube. After doing several projects using crowdsourcing, I wanted to do a project that was about the faceless people who are doing these tasks. Who are they? Where do they come from? Why do they do these jobs? You could argue that I am still just using them and not really humanizing them so much as exploiting their willingness to tell personal stories for a few bucks. But you can argue a lot of things.

A Living 3D Printer to Transform the Desert

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April 20, 2009

Magnus Larsson, a student at the Architectural Association in London, has devised an ambitious plan to create a 6,000km long sandstone wall across the Sahara Desert. The wall would provide refugee housing, and act as a barrier against the further spread of the desert. If that doesn’t sound fantastic enough, Larsson plans to create this wall by seeding the Sahara with bacillus pasteurii, a microorganism that solidifies loose sand into sandstone. The microorganism will act as a kind of huge, living 3D printer, manufacturing a new landscape over thousands of years.

[via BLDGBLOG]

Interiors

Artek
Artek's 10-Unit System in the guise of a chair

Artek's eco-friendly 10-Unit System

Interiors

 

Continuing the creative collaboration between Finnish furniture house Artek and Japanese designer/architect Shigeru Ban, 10-Unit is a furniture design concept rooted in simplicity.

Running with the recurring theme of rational, sustainable design, each of 10-Unit’s eponymous individual parts can be rebuilt in a variety of different forms – a chair, a bench or even a table.

Artek
See more of Artek's 10-Unit combinations

Produced from UPM Profi (an environmentally sound wood/plastic composite) 10-Unit is both recyclable and non-toxic. Available in a plethora of colours ranging from black to white and back again, Artek’s puzzle-piece creation will no doubt be an ideal domestic addition for design-savvy greenies that like to play with their furniture.

Shared by eyebeam


Forgot to put up something from Virtual Insanity. Here are the Kathy Grayson self-portraits.

Kathy Grayson


Kathy Grayson, in Virtual Insanity, at Cinders... closes April 19th.

She makes them from self-portraits taken at the computer... using different effects and backgrounds (I think).

Kathy Grayson
The pixelation does some of the same stuff that is happening in a few of the new Dana Schutz paintings...



»Bio-Wurstwolke - After Dieter Roth 1969«, 2007 by Tue Greenfort.

As expected, some people are…less than enthusiastic about way The Pirate Bay’s trial ended. As a result of a seemingly coordinated action called Operation Baylout, the site of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) is being DDoSed; at the time of this writing, it’s not completely inaccessible but it’s definitely loading very slowly.

There are also reports that the IFPI site has been defaced by hackers, and that The Pirate Bay supporters are sending black faxes to IFPI’s fax machines in protest. Of course, most of these actions are illegal in many countries, so no one is openly taking responsibility for them; but as you can see in the discussions on irc channels at server anonnet.org, most visitors are supporting the actions against the IFPI.

The Pirate Bay is chirping happily, however. The four convicted admins have filed an appeal against the verdict of the district court, which proclaimed them guilty of “assisting in making copyright content available”. Until the verdict is confirmed at the Swedish Supreme Court, The Pirate Bay (whose servers aren’t located in Sweden, anyway) will probably stay functional. On the other hand, if the DDoS attacks continue, the websites of IFPI and RIAA might have to deal with a lot of downtime in the meantime.