Sunday, September 23, 2012

There might be an App for That

Another modest proposal for someone to implement:

Everyone I know has a preferred communication medium. I rather like email, even though I understand that it is considered rather declasse these days. One of my friends will only use TXT. Another is a master of the telephone, to the point that he has memorized everyone's numbers. Then there's FacePlant, Twitter, and FSM-knows what else.

So my killer-app suggestion is a program which converts your favorite medium to theirs and back.  I could send an email, friend A gets a TXT, and should she see fit to reply, I get an email back. For the phone one needs speech synthesis and recognition. Skype might need some canned video. Etc. Etal.

The App can even be extended for folks who refuse to use any electronic medium. My email could be handwritten and delivered with my calling card by a butler who would take the reply and email it back to me.

There are some impedance matching issues. For instance, the ideal phone call is an immediate back-and-forth coming to the point fairly quickly, and you can't really do that with TXT. But I'm sure someone smarter than me can work out all these details.

Surely there's an HTML5 guru out there who can run with this?

Friday, September 14, 2012

It Lives!!

Loaded it up and delivered it to its rightful owner/operators:


See it near the water tower at the Railyard on Sunday Sept 16, 2012.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Experiencing the Install

Got the truck outfitted:
click for more

Still need to find a level place to stand in order to see if it really works.
More Anon.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Turbulent Hans Haacke

Last Saturday I went to the New York New Museum's Ghosts in the Machine show and found that Hans Haacke has already done it all. In 1965. On show were two of his pieces using wind blowers to move objects around in much more mesmerizing ways than my packing pellets.

The first, Blue Sail is a big, well not to put too fine a point on it, blue sail of light fabric tethered and weighted at the corners. A household variety oscillating fan underneath makes it billow and flow in apparently random ways. The second, Kugel in Schragen Luftstrahl, is a small helium weather balloon bobbing around in the mid-air Bernoulli effect of a hairdryer blower. When the guard wasn't looking I waved my hand over the blower outlet and got it to bobble even more. Way nicer, and quieter, than the volley-ball-in-traffic-cone version we had at the Explo, which, while doing all this putzing around, I didn't think of either.

Fortunately no one knows about Haacke and his hot air, aside from the hundreds of tourists that go to NYC Museums, so I may be safe.
Right next to Haacke's balloon was a piece by Gunther Uecker called New York Dancer IV -- also from bloody 1965. A human sized shroud of canvas pierced through all over with various sizes of iron nails. It just hung around until 4pm when I was lucky enough to stumble into the room in time for it's daily demo. A stunningly gorgeous young woman came darting into the space, uncovered a red switch-box in the corner, meticulously donned cotton curatorial gloves, and with a fairly bored expression pushed the button to make the thing slowly spin. As it got up to speed the fabric billowed out and the nails flailed around in pleasant wavy ways. Then some bit would get bound up in the mechanism causing the whole thing to slam crashing around, at which point our Muse let off the gas for a bit to slow it down. And...Repeat.

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Grasping for a conversational gambit afterwards, I asked her if it had been the artist's intention to have those transitions from simple waving to complex crashing. She said he had actually demonstrated it being operated as such, although she described it as, "Really stomping on the switch..." So it's not entirely clear if complex behavioral transitions were a consciously desired result or just serendipity.

The rest of the show was a mixed bag of mechanical objects and mechanical drawings, all owing their raison to Duchamp's Bachelors -- if one is to believe the curatorial introduction in the catalog. Much of it was fascinating historically and some was still engaging. However, while there was a bit of work from the post-1970's, it stopped short of the Software show debacle and Burnham's subsequent Panacea that Failed analysis of the whole ArtTech scene. This may, by its absence, provide another leg for my hypothesis -- that all we got out of the era was MTV -- to stand upon.

Anyway....I get the Axle truck in about an hour to start the actual installation...