Blogs Centerpoints Guest Blogger

Design Observer

I faithfully read Design Observer — specifically BECAUSE they talk like public intellectuals instead of moaning into their beer about serifs.

I faithfully read Design Observer — specifically BECAUSE they talk like public intellectuals instead of moaning into their beer about serifs.

Metropolis

No sooner did I post that link to an old METROPOLIS piece than I showed up in the new METROPOLIS. I dote on those guys. http://www.metropolismag.com/cda/story.php?artid=1843

Science Fiction and Architecture Fiction

Now there’s some top-end sci-fi architecture criticism. About Modernism, no less, and by no less a man than the legendary J. G. Ballard. http://arts.guardian.co.uk/features/story/0,,1734913,00.html “All of us have our dreams to reassure us. Architecture is a stage set where we need to be at ease in order to perform. Fearing ourselves, we need our illusions […]

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Now there’s some top-end sci-fi architecture criticism. About Modernism, no less, and by no less a man than the legendary J. G. Ballard.

http://arts.guardian.co.uk/features/story/0,,1734913,00.html

“All of us have our dreams to reassure us. Architecture is a stage set where we need to be at ease in order to perform. Fearing ourselves, we need our illusions to protect us, even if the protection takes the form of finials and cartouches, corinthian columns and acanthus leaves. Modernism lacked mystery and emotion, was a little too frank about the limits of human nature and never prepared us for our eventual end.”

It’s entirely possible to write “architecture fiction” instead of “science fiction.” Like, say, Archigram did in the 60s.

“Plug-in City”, “Living Pod”, “Instant City” and “Ad Hoc”. “Manzak”, “Suitaloon”, “Cushicle”, “Blow out Village”, “Gasket Homes” and the “Walking City.”

You read this wayout Archigram stuff nowadays and it’s surprising how thoughtful, humane and sensible it seems.

http://www.arcspace.com/architects/archigram/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/critic/feature/0,1169,662929,00.html

http://www.designboom.com/eng/interview/cook.html

I even wrote some architecture fiction myself, once.

http://www.metropolismag.com/html/content_0103/str/

Future Feeder

I don’t know who this guy is. He doesn’t say much about himself. Nobody’s ever told me anything about him. But man, he can blog like nobody’s business. I think maybe he lives about seven months in the future and is posting via time-machine. http://www.futurefeeder.com/

I don’t know who this guy is. He doesn’t say much about himself.
Nobody’s ever told me anything about him.

But man, he can blog like nobody’s business. I think maybe he
lives about seven months in the future and is posting via
time-machine.

http://www.futurefeeder.com/

Rhizome.org

People who websurf constantly and like art sites would likely like this well-established techie art site. http://rhizome.org As for me, I’m liking this Regine Debatty site. Man she’s good. The first time I came across “we-make-money-not-art” I thought that Regine had to be at least 30 or 40 people. http://www.we-make-money-not-art.com/

People who websurf constantly and like art sites would likely like
this well-established techie art site.

http://rhizome.org

As for me, I’m liking this Regine Debatty site. Man she’s good.
The first time I came across “we-make-money-not-art” I thought
that Regine had to be at least 30 or 40 people.

http://www.we-make-money-not-art.com/

Parreno Worship

I reviewed a film of that Rirkrit installation, once. If you can call this screed a “film review,” that is. http://www.artnet.com/Galleries/Exhibitions.asp?gid=140527&cid=73378

We need a Rirkrit Tiravanija worship site

I’m way too Technorati-able to require much of a worship site. The best thing about being named “Rirkrit” is that there aren’t a whole lot of guys on the net named “Rirkrit.” So, even though Rirkrit’s not blogging his head off the way Xeni and I do, you can Google Image-search “Rirkrit” and you can […]

I’m way too Technorati-able to require much of a worship site.

The best thing about being named “Rirkrit” is that there aren’t a whole
lot of guys on the net named “Rirkrit.” So, even though Rirkrit’s not blogging
his head off the way Xeni and I do, you can Google Image-search
“Rirkrit” and you can witness the guy’s haircut literally zooming around
on his head with the passage of the years. It’s a kind of instant,
machine-generated Rirkrit retrospective.

This puppet Rirkrit’s not half-shabby, either.

Hanging around with people tagged with handles like “Rirkrit,”
“Xeni,” “Jasmina” “Cory” and “Frauenfelder” makes me want
to change my name to “Broos Strrling.” Think of the search-hits
I’d pick up!

Xeni’s snapshots of Bruce at LA “nano” show.

If you’re just tuning in here, I’m guestblogging a devotional shrine to Bruce Sterling — he’ll be in Minneapolis next week for a talk at the Walker Art Center. What devotional shrine would be complete without digital photos? A couple of years ago, I kidnapped Bruce from some technology conference he was attending in Pasadena, […]

If you’re just tuning in here, I’m guestblogging a devotional shrine to Bruce Sterling — he’ll be in Minneapolis next week for a talk at the Walker Art Center. What devotional shrine would be complete without digital photos?

A couple of years ago, I kidnapped Bruce from some technology conference he was attending in Pasadena, and drove him to LACMA to see an edutainment exhibit for kids about nanotechnology: http://nano.arts.ucla.edu.

There were Buckminster Fuller quotes on the walls and heady particle physics books all over the place. This was odd, because the target audience was under ten years old. Maybe eight-year-olds today are smarter than we know.

I shot these images with the nano-sized Canon Elph, a little smaller than a pack of cigarettes.

Here’s the photo set: Link.

Full text of Sterling talk at eTech

In honor of Bruce’s upcoming appearance at the Walker Art Center next week, I’m stopping by to maintain a sort of fan blog vigil here — consider this space a temporary Bruce Sterling devotional shrine. If I see Bruce Sterling in a tortilla, I’ll blog it here. If he appears in a tree trunk, I’m […]

In honor of Bruce’s upcoming appearance at the Walker Art Center next week, I’m stopping by to maintain a sort of fan blog vigil here — consider this space a temporary Bruce Sterling devotional shrine. If I see Bruce Sterling in a tortilla, I’ll blog it here. If he appears in a tree trunk, I’m totally gonna phonecam it.
For now, though, here’s a link to the complete text of his amazing talk at last week’s O’Reilly Emerging Technology conference (aka eTech). My BoingBoing colleague Cory Doctorow wrote when introducing this text on our site last week, “I dropped out of university after reading his 1991 GDC talk — and they keep getting better.” Here’s an excerpt from Bruce’s eTech presentation:

Computers are not “smart,” in any useful sense of that term. They don’t “think.” They don’t have “intelligence.” Computers don’t “know” things and they don’t have any literal “memories.” They’re not artificially intelligent sci-fi beings like HAL 9000. Computers are boxes of circuitry, with strings, and slots for the strings. They are not alive and mentally active, they are just sitting there, ordinating. What is “ordinating,” exactly? Well, if we’d invested our attention in figuring that out, instead of awkwardly struggling to make these devices think like a human brain does, then we would have successfully explored the very large set of interesting problems that computers turned out to be really good at .

If you look at today’s potent, influential computer technologies, say, Google, you’ve got something that looks Artificially Intelligent by the visionary standards of the 1960s. Google seems to “know” most everything about you and me, big brother: Google is like Colossus the Forbin Project. But Google is not designed or presented as a thinking machine. Google is not like Ask Jeeves or Microsoft Bob, which horribly pretend to think, and wouldn’t fool a five-year-old child. Google is a search engine. It’s a linking, ranking and sorting machine.

Linking, ranking and sorting don’t sound very sexy, glamorous or philosophically crucial. Instead of nostalgically clinging to the words – the neologisms of the past, which are now archaeologisms – we should pay more attention to the facts on the ground. What works? What matters?

Link

Bruce Sterling pod-interview at eTech: words are tags.

Thousands of nerds gathered in San Diego last week for the annual O’Reilly Emerging Technologies conference, eTech for short. A kilt-wearing, minidisc-toting Scottish podcaster stalked Bruce Sterling in the Hyatt hallways. Eventually he convinced Bruce to sit down and opine on spimes, an “internet of things,” and the notion that in 1956, an oReilly conference […]

Thousands of nerds gathered in San Diego last week for the annual O’Reilly Emerging Technologies conference, eTech for short. A kilt-wearing, minidisc-toting Scottish podcaster stalked Bruce Sterling in the Hyatt hallways. Eventually he convinced Bruce to sit down and opine on spimes, an “internet of things,” and the notion that in 1956, an oReilly conference description would have sounded like the best sf novel ever (stuff on screens! attention modding! Roomba cockfights!).

Here’s the audio: Tech Conference Show – Bruce Sterling (ETech #002) Thursday, March 9th, 2006 (MP3, 6.43 mb 9 minutes 18 seconds).

Here are some photos from Scott Beale (he shot the one at left during Bruce’s talk at eTech).

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