reBlog

Current Reblogger: Chloë Bass

Chloë Bass is an artist, curator and community organizer based in Brooklyn. She is the co-lead organizer for Arts in Bushwick (artsinbushwick.org), which produces the ever-sprawling Bushwick Open Studios, BETA Spaces, and performance festival SITE Fest, which she founded. Recent artistic work has been seen at SCOPE Art Fair, CultureFix, the Bushwick Starr Theater, Figment, and The Last Supper Art Festival, as well as in and around the public spaces of New York City. She has guest lectured at Parsons, the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, and Brooklyn College. Other moments have found her co-cheffing Umami: People + Food, a 90 person private supper club; growing plants with Boswyck Farms (boswyckfarms.org); and curating with architecture gallery SUPERFRONT (superfront.org). Chloë holds a BA in Theater Studies from Yale University, and an MFA in Performance and Interactive Media Arts (PIMA) from Brooklyn College.

http://chloebass.wordpress.com


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Paola Antonelli and Hadas Steiner in conversation with Mark Shepard

Friday, February 11, 2011, 7:00 p.m.

McNally Jackson Books.

52 Prince Street, New York, NY.

To mark the publication of Sentient City: Ubiquitous Computing, Architecture, and the Future of Urban Space (The Architectural League/MIT Press), a book of case studies and essays based on the League’s fall 2009 exhibition, Toward the Sentient City curated by Mark Shepard and organized by the Architectural League of New York. (I was honored to have been part of the selection committee for the commissions for the project.)

Paola Antonelli and Hadas Steiner join the book’s editor and exhibition curator Mark Shepard for a conversation on the history and future of architecture and design exhibitions.

 
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City Of Paris Opens Up Its Data

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry
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Jan. 27, 2011, 6:49 AM

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ParisThe Open Data movement tries to get governments and other organizations to put up online as much raw data as they can so that scientists, developers and entrepreneurs can use it for research and to build innovative services.

As of today, the City of Paris got on the bandwagon, with ParisData, releasing its data under the Open Knowledge Foundation's ODbL (Open Database License).

Unfortunately, the site is only in French right now -- there's no reason why only French speakers should do good stuff with this data.

The themes of the data released so far are: citizens, urban policy, transportation, public services, environment and culture.

We really like the Open Data movement. It can get too hyped as a way to radically transform government. But if it only manages to give birth to innovative services and startups, good research, and to make government more accountable, that's already a big plus.

 
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Utopian and radical architects in the 1960s predicted that cities in the future would not only be made of brick and mortar, but also defined by bits and flows of information. The urban dweller would become a nomad who inhabits a space in constant flux, mutating in real time. Their vision has taken on new meaning in an age when information networks rule over many of the city's functions, and define our experiences as much as the physical infrastructures, while mobile technologies transform our sense of time and of space.

This new urban landscape is no longer predicated solely on architecture and urbanism. These disciplines now embrace emerging methodologies that bend the physical with new measures, representations and maps of urban dynamics such as traffic or mobile phone flows. Representations of usage patterns and mapping the life of the city amplify our collective awareness of the urban environment as a living organism. These soft and invisible architectures fashion sentient and reactive environments.

Habitar is a walk through new emerging scenarios in the city. It is a catalogue of ideas and images from artists, design and architecture studios, and hybrid research centres. Together they come up with a series of potential tools, solutions and languages to negotiate everyday life in the new urban situation.

 
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Nothing To See Here : DIY Anti Surveillance Kit






Nothing To See Here is a quick and easy to follow DIY anti surveillance guide that allows anyone to free themselves from big brother using simple to obtain items. Project can be completed with under $1 of materials and carried out in about 1 minute. Get in, get out, go about your life.

The city is a playground.

 
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Picture This: An Open-Source Alternative To Google Street View

January 27, 2011

John Robb, author, entrepreneur and open-source thinker, wants you to join him in building an ambitious new project named “Picture This,” which looks to map every postal address in the world online. Think Wikipedia meets Google Street View.

The project differs from Google Street View in a couple of key ways:

  1. It relies on crowdsourcing to upload pictures via an as yet undeveloped smartphone application
  2. It looks to map areas that Google Street View has not — most places outside the US and Europe
  3. Contributors will own the new mapping service and the revenue from its accompanying ad service
 
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This is a project I have been working on during my time at Eyebeam.

Tetrometroes




Tetrometroes utilizes the strict road system that makes up Manhattan and uses it as a stage for play, creating the world's largest Tetris board.

It is a comment on the mundane uniformity that makes up Manhattan. Unlike older cities New York's main island lacks the intricacy that allows one to get lost and really experience a city. This makes it seem cold and predictable to many.

The name Tetrometroes derives from tetrominoes, the geometric shapes composed of four squares connected orthogonally that make up Tetris pieces.

Drawing extends 720 city blocks and covers 38.18 miles. It was conceived using Google Earth and carried out using a mobile phone GPS.

The city is a playground.

 
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Cytoscape - Networking

The rise of network research and visualisation in the past ten years was dramatic. From initial ideas and clunky software programs we now see a number of great open source platforms appearing.



The concept of network visualisation is rather simple, there are two elements, nodes and they have a relationship, called edge. From here both nodes and edges between them are added and complicated systems can be represented in terms of how the identified elements are connected, simple.



Nicholas Christakis talks in his TED talk at the top of his voice about the basics of social networks and outlines the dreams, implicating the power of network.







However this is on the visualisation level, where it looks simple. The real task lies before and after this. How are the nodes and edges actually defined and identified in the run up to the funky visualisation of clusters and groups? This question in both a practical definition sense as well as in a technical sense of how is the input file generated is the real task.



This is to some extend reflected in the file standards of these network visualisation softwares, there aren't any. The whole area might be to young and the big player is missing, like ESRI in GIS or Autodesk in CAD. This might be part of the explanation, but the other part is that the simplicity of node and edge hasn't put pressure on the file formats.



Since last year the Gephi platform is setting standards for this group of open source network visualisation softwares. It offers great functions and juicy looking visuals with a easily manageable interface.



Developed by a consortium of universities and research companies, including the University of California San Francisco and the University of Toronto, comes a second very powerfull and flexible network software called Cytoscape. The software is not new as new, development reaches back to 2002 where version v0.8 was released. Currently version 2.8 is available for download and work on version 3.0 in underway although there is no release date as of now.





DAG

Image taken from cytoscape / Visualization of Gene Ontology Term Tree (DAG). More images can be fond in this flickr group



Cytoscape initially was developed for biology and molecular research, has however developed into a multipurpose network visualisation platform. The software is JAVA based and therefore rund across platforms with a lot of plugIns freely available. Basicaly everyone can contribute their own plugIns.



Cytoscape suport variety of standarts, see above, but for quick and dirty the text or table import is extremely useful. If you have a table or CSV with three columns, defining the start node end node and the type of relationship you are good to go. This addresses some of the issues discussed above.



Running the visualisation algorithms can be processing intensive especially once the network goes above 10'000 nodes. Here Cytoscape performs very good also from a interface perspective. The progress is clearly indicated and each process can be stopped at anytime. Usually it is very stable and would not crash on you all of a sudden, even with large network calculations.



The package comes with a lot of preset layout algorithms. These sets hold the definitions of how the graph is going to evolve and the nodes and edges are laid out. The selection ranges from force directed, weighted to circular or grid layouts. Each preset layout can be fully adjusted.



Regarding the visualisations graphically, here Cytoscape is extremely flexible and every single aspect of the graph can be manually set. This is great and makes for a dramatic flexibility, but on the other hand it is painstakingly difficult and time consuming. Especially if working on a dataset early on and results are not yet clear it is not were you put your effort and ugly visuals can be depressing.

Anyway the great examples on the website should be consulted for motivation.



Some of the other great features include Cytoscape works as a Web Service Client, great search functionality for nodes and edges as well as extensive filter functions, useful not only to hide or show, but to highlight. Furthermore it allows for custom node representation. This means Cytoscape can display images and icons individually for each node. Cytoscape also supports networks within networks, quite a tricky thing.



TNexample_text01g-text02r

Image by urbanTick / Visualisation of two text snippets as a network.



Two things are crucial now that the data is compiled and graphed, the analysis and the output. In both cases Cytoscape is very powerful. Extensive analysis function very detailed spits out numbers and even puts them on graphs. All these tables and calculations can be exported too to further analysis in external packages. Regarding the output of the graph a palett of formats are offered, covering both image formats as well as graphic formats such a s PDF, EPS and SVG.



If you are into network visualisation and keen on a good alternative to established packeges such a Pajek this might be one for you. More recources on Cytoscape can be found on pubMed or GenomeResearch.

 
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7 Train 42nd St Stop.

 
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Mapping

Originally aired 09.04.1998
Five ways of mapping the world. One story about people who make maps the traditional way — by drawing things we can see. And other stories about people who map the world using smell, sound, touch, and taste. The world redrawn by the five senses.

Prologue.

Ralph Gentles and five other people spend each summer creating a map of every crack, every depression, every protrusion, every pothole in the sidewalks of New York City. We hear why, and we hear all the things their map does not include. Map making means ignoring everything in the world but the one thing being mapped, whether it's cracks in sidewalks or the homes of Hollywood stars. And, according to cartographer Denis Wood, we live in the Age of Maps: more than 99.9 percent of all the maps that have ever existed have been made in the last 100 years. (2 minutes)

Act One. Sight.

Denis Wood talks with host Ira Glass about the maps he's made of his own neighborhood, Boylan Heights in Raleigh, North Carolina. They include a traditional street locator map, a map of all the sewer and power lines under the earth's surface, a map of how light falls on the ground through the leaves of trees, a map of where all the Halloween pumpkins are each year, and a map of all the graffiti in the neighborhood. In short, he's creating maps that are more like novels, trying to describe everyday life. In 2010, Denis compiled these maps into the book Everything Sings (with a forward by Ira Glass). (4 minutes)

Act Two. Hearing.

Jack Hitt visits Toby Lester, who has mapped all the ambient sounds in his world: the hum of the heater, the fan on the computer. (5 minutes)

Song: "Way over Yonder in the Minor Key", Billy Bragg and Wilco

Act Three. Smell.

A story about a device that charts the world through smell — and only smell. TAL producer Nancy Updike visits Cyrano Sciences in Pasadena, California, where researchers are creating an electronic nose. (5 minutes)

Act Four. Touch.

Deb Monroe reports on how she has been mapping her own body through her sense of touch. (6 minutes)

 
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Top 10: Robots doing stuff that scares the &$#! out of me

In truth, I regard the "robot uprising" meme with about the same level of seriousness as the "zombie apocalypse" meme. I suppose robots becoming sentient, independent, organized, and uncontrollably violent is at least plausible, but on the scale of plausible apocalypses, "robot revolution" is nowhere near the top of the list. More likely, in 100 years, robots will be tending to us like primates in a zoo.

So, in the spirit of fun, here's a collection of videos showing the mad, mad foolishness that roboticists have been up to equipping our future overlords with their tools of power. Or, in a more realistic vein: Look at all the amazing stuff robots can do these days!

#10

Child-stealing swarm-bots

#9

Tentacle-bot

#8

High speed flexpicker sorting-bot

 
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