Friday, 17 September 2021

6x6

pontifices maximi: the denatured bridges of euro notes 

top banana: the fruit label collecting community—via Weird Universe  

toccata and fugue: Bach’s compositions—see previously—from eight perspectives  

trolley problem: pedestrians recruited involuntarily in self-driving car trials—see also 

trivia killed the video star: a look back on how quiz games replaced arcade fascination  

soli cui fas vidisse minervam: polymath Lauri Maria Caterina Bassi Veratti, nacknamed after the goddess of wisdom, first salaried female professor

rewilding ones attention

Via Things Magazine, we quite enjoyed this essay by Clive Thomas expounding on the above maxim from CJ Eller to stray from the algorithmic path, to step off of the hedonistic treadmill by cultivating diversity in what one allows inside. The nature of what goes viral—even if it’s pedestrian and unviral—is in the subterfuge in not noticing ourselves how much mind we’re giving it, and we owe it to ourselves to at least be aware of how we’re otherwise pigeon-holed and exert the effort to seek out those smaller sensations. We agreed that rewilding was a fitting and lucid way to describe what we aspire to appreciate and explore.

Saturday, 11 September 2021

the dead internet theory

On this anniversary which has propounded two Forever Wars (one of which capitalised on the 9/11 terror attacks to as a pretext to invade Iraq with the media mostly obliging, a misdirection that prised open for some a credibility chasm), the panopticon of the surveillance state, xenophobia, sectarianism, intolerance, violence, bloodshed all at a very dear price with the most treacherous legacy perhaps being the exportable cult of conspiracy theorists that first emerged as Truthers, then morphed into Birthers, Pizzagate, QAnon and whatever atrocity is next in the line of succession, we are presented a new one positing that the world wide web, acknowledging that the majority of traffic is bot driven, did die the death approximately five years ago and what remains is not all an elaborate hoax but rather a platform almost entirely dominated by artificial intelligence. Weighted interaction, with human engagement or robotic attention-seeking seems to matter little ultimately in a world of detached rankings and recursive references, but what if since 2016, the web and its various walled-gardens was depopulated and replaced with neural network propagandists, influencers and marketers? It’s patently ridiculous and like most “independent research” lurches to the territory of unhinged and offensive but the veiled unreality of it all makes it intriguing and a challenge to disprove, and with no prevailing mainstream narrative to counter the arc of conservation, evidence, it is garnering traction. There’s more than a kernel of truth to the manipulative, unrestrained and inhumanly automated nature of social media and shadow profiles created to supplement the personalities of those who don’t participate sufficiently. Not that the metaverse was ever particularly welcoming, it certainly seems uninviting if made by and for people-pleasing machines.

Saturday, 4 September 2021

coming attractions

 

Again via ibฤซdem, these movie posters generated by a neural network struck us as intriguing, created after being feed a brief description of the film, and while the range was wide and varied and saw some of the elements that the artificial intelligence may have been picking up on retrospectively after the answer was revealed, we admit to really only getting without being told though still needed to verify Monty Python’ and the Holy Grail (1975, see also) and Space Jam (1996) for their cinรฉma vรฉritรฉ and appreciable observation mode. 


 

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

hey mister dj

Via Waxy, we are directed to this preternatural, surreal algorithm that rather expertly, uncannily will make a mashup of any number of songs from a group-watch streaming service, RaveDJ generating a set-list in the spirit of our friends at Hood Internet are presumably doing the old-fashioned way. It really shows its surprising competency with mixes like Gangnam Style crossed with MC Hammer’s Can’t Touch This or The Eurhythmics’ Sweet Dreams and Seven Nation Army from White Stripes. Browse the submissions or create your own and share. Always of the opinion that lamentful number from My Fair Lady and David Bowie’s song about getting to the church on time flowed into each other and had complementary energy so I gave it a whirl, our disc jockey creating “Why Modern a Love Be More Like a Man” but as the lengths seemed a little incompatible and needs a bit more refinement, please instead for now check out this preview of one of the mashups cited above to see its full virtuosity.

Tuesday, 31 August 2021

6x6

slough off old skins: the rise and demise of an Internet Onion—via Kicks Condor  

posture pals: a gallery of awkward, outstanding stances  

gravy boat: kitschy vintage table settings  

a little pick-me-up: the lovely Flowers for Sick People project by Tucker Nichols—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links  

news at eleven: screen grabs of 1990s reporting captions  

more like a simile: an experiment searching the web with AI contextualised natural language—via Web Curios

Thursday, 26 August 2021

a.i.

Via Waxy, we are treated to another instalment commemorating half a century of text gaming (see previously) with a retrospective look at the first major Alternate Reality play and the community of enthusiast who first embraced it with. The elaborate internet scavenger hunt called the Beast was made to promote the Steven Spielberg production the story of the then recently departed Stanley Kubrick touted as the blockbuster of the summer of 2001 about a sentient machine that wanted to be a real boy.  The curious were encouraged to search for hints by phone, fax and web and engaged with this immersive entertainment experience.

The interactive narrative that used entry points (coined as ‘rabbit holes’ and mirroring the plot of the movie as a sort of preview) embedded in merchandising and movie posters that take one through a network of specially created websites revolves around the investigation into a string of murders of humans and cyborgs after a cryptic message leads a doctor to believe the death in a boating accident of a colleague was more sinister than concluded. Much more at the link above and I believe followers at the time—predominately Yahoo! Groups Cloudmaker (name of the above vessel)—were wrapped up with what they knew to be just for fun, but I would if these leading clues and cues somehow informed today’s bent in favour of conspiratorial thinking and specious arguments bound together by red string.

Thursday, 5 August 2021

7x7

event horizon: unlike planets or stars, the size of black holes are not limited by physical constraints  

peg and pulley: a compelling argument to revive the cross-building washing line—via Pasa Bon!  

alien dreams: uncannily creative art from AIs—via Waxy 

bertilak de hautdesert: a highly recommended retelling of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight—see previously 

the greater fool theory: also called survivor investing, on the origins of value, margin calls and fiat currency—see previously  

thirteen things: a truly outstanding round-up from a fellow internet caretaker, including an indoor-outdoor bath tub on rails, pineapple cheese and a chameleon tape-measure 

intercluster medium: a galaxy-sized cloud of gas out floating in splendid isolation

Sunday, 1 August 2021

travelling matte

Using generative technology, we learn via It’s Nice That, the digital design collective Universal Everything (previously) has created an unending movie, a live-stream one can tune-in to at any point, featuring an infinite cast of unique characters running, scampering, walking, strolling, waddling, perambulating in and out of the frame. Learn more about the creative process, past projects and the group itself who’s been exploring motion capture and other emerging, cutting-edge technologies since 2004 at the links above.

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

eight of swords

Via Super Punch, we discover a text-to-image generative experiment that applies some 1970s sci-fi paperback covers filters to the classic Rider-Waite-Smith iconography to dream up a tarot deck hybrid. We especially liked this Seven of Pentacles card that seems inspired by the novel and film Silent Running.

Saturday, 24 July 2021

8x8

yรคchtley crรซw: a cover band’s homage to the genre (previously

sky mall: the inevitable fate of all platforms, selling botware to other bots in glossy format—via Things Magazine plus an update on the Metabolist capsule hotel of Kisho Kurokawa 

๐’€ญ๐’„‘๐’‰‹๐’‚ต๐’ˆจ๐’Œ‹๐’Œ‹๐’Œ‹: assaying the Epic of Gilgamesh—previously here and here  

this beach does not exist: using generative adversarial networks (previous snowclones) to create fantasy shorelines—via the New Shelton wet/dry  

hearse: a concept Airstream funeral coach, circa 1981, which never caught on—also h/t to Things  

not affiliated with project shield, loki or the world security council: an exclusive exposรฉ on cyber surveillance abuse on a global scale 

 transatlanticism: US withdraws objections to completion of Nord Stream 2—previously, now ninety-eight percent done—after negotiations with Germany 

 murphy’s law: an abcedarium of the maxims of management—see also

Wednesday, 30 June 2021

8x8

billboards and hoardings: the evolution of outdoor advertising  

ptychography: a high resolution imaging of atoms—see previously  

the village: lovely Mid-Century Modern accommodations in Portmeirion—where The Prisoner was filmed  

vqgan+clip: Picasso’s Persistence of Memory with Lisa Frank filter applied—via Waxy  

ems: composer and sampling pioneer Peter Zinovieff has passed away, aged eight-eight—via Things Magazine  

pulp tarot: a divining deck (previously) informed by Mid-Century illustrations from Todd Alcott

siss-boom-bah: a Japanese pyrotechnics catalogue (see also) from the 1880s  

indexing: a look at how the adoption of vertical filing helped ushering the Information Age—see also here and here

Sunday, 27 June 2021

8x8

into the bantaverse: a bot ghost-writes a Star Wars story—see also  

green guerrillas: the role that radical gardeners play in fostering community out of urban blight  

earth, wind and fire: combine basic elements and create new substancesas an alchemist—via Waxy  

fourth world: celebrating the life and career of trumpeter and electronic music pioneer Jon Hassell (*1937)

in frame: see the untrimmed, original version of Rembrandt’s Night Watch (previously) thanks to the help of a curating algorithm   

homo longi: recently discovered ‘dragon man’ skull may be a transitional species from Neanderthal to modern humans  

ine bay: hidden, historic boathouses (ไผŠๆ นใฎ่ˆŸๅฑ‹, funaya) in Kyoto—via Nag on the Lake’s always excellent Sunday Links 

the skeleton crew: our friendly artificial intelligencer (previously) trains a neural network to write a horror story

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

ipa

Courtesy of our friendly artificial intelligencer (previously), not only are we reminded that the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, pronounced Noah like the biblical figure) assigns names to hurricanes years in advance, we also glean some insight as to how a neural network might interpret this list with non-international phonetic alphabet guide to enunciation. Some delightfully mispronunciations ensued, especially when assigned storm seasons further in the future. 


Following the protocol, by 2051:
Harry HARR-held
George jar-ZHAY

By 2070:
Wanda way-DAHN-uh
Jason JAY-dree
Scott wess-tra 

And by the next year:
Georgia zheh-DRO-luh
Nelson NEH-suh-lihn
Victor VIK-suht 

We too would need these names spelt out for us the first time in order to say them right and with the . Much more to explore from AI Weirdness at the link up top.

Monday, 14 June 2021

7x7

dit-dot: via Web Curios (a lot more to see at this latest instalment), we’re invited to learn the basics of Morse code (previously) with this well designed, gamifying tutorial 

passeggiando: be a virtual flรขneur in these composite Italian cities 

broadcast energy transmitter: delivering renewable energy from where it is plentiful to where it’s need via submarine transnational supergrids 

flock together: a TED Ed presentation on the evolution of feathers  

pyramid power: Duns Scotus and the esoteric history of the dunce cap—via Boing Boing  

essential reading: The Atlantic’s Ed Yong won a Pulitzer Prize for his COVID reporting  

รครค: a collection of essays from the Times Literary Supplement on defence of endangered, indigenous languages

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

6x6

scream real loud: The 1954 “Pinky Lee Show” that prefigures in a way Pee-Wee’s Playhouse 

7/10: promoting health for the high seas on World Oceans Day—previously  

avian aftershave: crows treat themselves to ant baths  

squirrels under the hood: an AI researchers illustrates how algorithms are dangerously regressive reflections of the worst of us (previously) and are far from artificial or intelligent  

###: a short from Optical Arts repeats a range of actions with different objects in the key of A  

that’s my name—don’t wear it out: do yourself a favour and check out the blog of Pee-Wee Herman

Saturday, 15 May 2021

well actually

We quite enjoyed this choice selection of bot ‘splaining from our Artificial Intelligencer Janelle Shane (previously) where after given a prompt, a neural network with hilarious inaccuracy in a supremely confident (see also) fashion that rather skilful captured the tone that we’d attribute to rampant pedantry. Our favourite examples included: Not everyone realises that the J.C. Penney department store chain is named after a giant cat that Isis used to summon from a nearby lake at the end of every work day; and You may not know it, but the pixels you see on this website are, technically, conscious, which doesn’t make this paragraph that much better.  More to explore at the links above.

Sunday, 9 May 2021

jpeg image, 512x512 pixels

Via Boing Boing, we are afforded a very exclusive peek in a very elite gallery with a inimitable exhibition which you and you (most likely) alone get to experience with This Art Work Does Not Exist—see previously here, here, here and here—created spontaneously through an artificial intelligence using a generative adversarial network. Refresh the screen to get another one-of-a-kind—quite unique but in a different way than a non-fungible token—piece of art, once again begging the question what it means to copy, up-sample, create and own the creative process.

Thursday, 29 April 2021

geomancy

Via Things Magazine, we learn that phantom islands and trap streets may be making a resurgence in an awful and insurmountable way with deepfake satellite imagery, with making a Potemkin neighbourhood be it for misrouting traffic, boosting property value, lowering tax liability or for disguising a nuclear refinement plant or concentration camp an easier task that creating a passably convincing human—not to mention undermining useful demographics and economic trends that can be gleaned by such monitoring as well as engendering distrust in what previously was accepted as irrefutable evidence. Artificial intelligence and generative adversarial networks are able to create virtual empires and dystopias to dupe us all.

Friday, 9 April 2021

smells like nirvana

Via The Morning News, we are directed to the Lost Tapes of the 27 Club, an AI-driven homage to the cadre of talent bereft of this world far, far too soon by imagining, synthesising the continued, posthumous hits of musicians who departed prematurely at that age including Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Amy Winehouse and Kurt Cobain, resurrected by machine on new technology.