Inauguration Overload

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Move over holographic reporting! With Obama's inauguration coming up tomorrow, many news organizations are experimenting with innovative ways to address the event. Here's a short list:

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Image: Design by Paula Scher, from the upcoming edition of the Guardian G2

  • Graphic Designers and Illustrators Reinterpret Past Obama Speeches for the Guardian's G2 Section
    In tomorrow's issue of the Guardian G2, a number of acclaimed designers and illustrators will reimagine select excerpts from Obama's previous speeches. Click the link to CR Blog above for a quick preview.
  • CNN's "The Moment"
    In an effort to "...capture the most detailed experience of a single moment ever," CNN will assemble photos sent in by users into one epic photosynth. Almost every major news source seems to be inviting photo submissions from attendees, but CNN are clearly trying to put themselves ahead of the pack by assembling them all into 3D.
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    Image: I Hope So Too

  • NY Times Interactive's I Hope So Too and Inaugural Words: 1789 to the Present
    These two projects from the talented interactive team at the NY Times illustrate the public's future aspirations for the presidency and the vocabulary used in inaugural speeches. Over 200 people shared their hopes for the Obama presidency in interviews conducted for I Hope So Too, a section that groups these recordings by theme. Visitors can agree with the statements made, or alternately offer up their own hopes, it theirs aren't represented. Inaugural Words: 1789 to the Present depicts, in a tag cloud for each president, the most-used words from previous inaugural addresses.
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    Satellite image of the United States Capitol

  • The Inauguration, as viewed from space.
    The only non-news organization on this list, the company behind the GeoEye-1 satellite, which generates images for Google Maps and Google Earth ...
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    Digital Art Under the Sun

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    For much of the world, and even for residents of America's other 49 states, California is more of a fantasy than a place. This fantasy stipulates in part that this West Coast territory is comprised mostly of balmy beaches swarming with beach bunnies, palm trees, and pina coladas. There are many flaws in this fantasy, but the idea that California is rich in resources is true. Among those to be celebrated are its artists and, in particular, the large number of brilliant new media practitioners employed by the University of California system. Talk about brain trusts! Curator Christiane Paul has tapped into this vast resource in organizing "Scalable Relations," a series of exhibitions featuring artists who are faculty members of the UC Digital Arts Research Network (DARnet). Ordinarily this kind of members-only context would have a sour ring to it, but the assignment to bring together such a large and diversely talented group of artists actually establishes the onus to make some deeper comment about what they do have in common: new media. There is a kind of challenge in the act of curating or criticizing new media art, which revolves around the question of the extent to which one should foreground technology. For some artists, the medium is, well, the message, while for others it's merely a tool to address the subject of technology. And of course, there's so much middle ground... This show include works that very diversely "illustrate the complexities and shifting contexts of today's information society." But the very fact that our society is an information society points to a scenario in which technology will sometimes be blatantly paramount, while at other times it will be transparent or embedded. Frankly, the very notion of what constitutes "high tech" is shifting so rapidly ...

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    Pixillation (1970) - Lillian Schwartz

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    Series of Interviews on the Financial Crisis and New Media Art on Artsblog.it

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    Salvatore Iaconesi posted on Rhizome's Announcements yesterday that Artsblog.it will be publishing 3 interviews dealing with the financial crisis and new media art over the next month. The first, an interview with Turbulence.org's Helen Thorington and Jo-Anne Green, breaks down government funding for arts non-profits in the United States, and underscores the limitations facing organizations that fund non-traditional arts. Marc Garrett of Furtherfield will be interviewed for the next installment, which goes live January 1st, and a discussion with Simona Lodi, of the Torino Share Festival, will conclude the series on the 6th of January.

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    Gingerbread Man (1994) - The Residents

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    Christmastime favorite, the Gingerbread Man, enters the darkside in this video by renown art/music group The Residents. Released in 1994, the album Gingerbread Man was an interactive CD-ROM, an example of the band's many experiments in multimedia during the 1990s. The video below derives all of its content from the original version of Gingerbread Man but was produced for their 2001 DVD Icky Flix. To read more about this unique album, go here and here.

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    I Heart Clipart (2008) - Alan Woo

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    Flipbook depicting digital ephemera from animated gifs


    Cassette loops with midi versions of the originals

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    Artist's statement: I Heart Clipart is about the things that came about with the advent of computers and technology in relationship to visual aesthetics. In a culture that is constantly oscillating, an emerging world of digital images resulted in the response of the handmade (particularly with lettering). This project was an exploration into the balance of this particular dichotomy and how various reversals could take place between the various ideologies of digital and analog aesthetics. It is also, in a significant part, a product of nostalgia.

    The result was a collection of various explorations: Posters of hand-drawn cliparts or paper-based geometric shapes made to resemble 3d renderings, flipbooks of animated gifs, Susan Kare's hourglass or progress bars, a cassette player in a paper/cardboard case and cassette loops featuring midi versions dubbed overtop the originals and more...

    More work by Alan Woo

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    24 h (2008) - Remi Blanes

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    24 hour long animated gif

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    More work by Remi Blanes

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    inbetween (2003) - Soo Yeun Ahn

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    Putting Faith in the Internet

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    Depending upon the utopian or dystopian narratives to which you might subscribe, the internet is a bit like heaven or hell--with the pearly gates of cyberspace welcoming you to a world where you want for nothing or a fiery apocalyptic dungeon big enough to house all your nightmares. Either vision is intense and exactly the sort of stuff that religious iconography was once made of; yet the wide distribution of devotional messages broadcast on the web seems only to have cast a dim shadow upon the net art community. More recently, spiritualities new age and old school have been forceful fodder in contemporary art, while glossing over a true connection to the divine. Italian curator Domenico Quaranta suggests, "take Martin Kippenberger's crucified frog, for instance, or the cross submerged in the urine of Andres Serrano, or Maurizio Cattelan's Nona ora, or the Virgin Mary blackened with elephant dung by Chris Ofili, or Vanessa Beecroft's recent Madonnas. All of these works are undoubtedly imbued with their own form of 'sacredness,' yet they would hardly be hung in a church." Quaranta's exhibition, "For God's Sake," installed now at Nova Gorica, Solevenia's 9th annual Pixxelpoint festival, looks at the simultaneous increase in religion-themed work and the ever wider distribution of mass-mediated sermons and religious messages, through new technologies. The question is whether this amounts to an increase in religious devotion, or rather a diluted or muddied conflation of spiritual values in a time of mixed forms and mixed messages arriving in convergent media. As with ZKM's "Medium Religion" show, which we covered last week, Quaranta's show (and in particular his poignant curatorial statement), look at attitudinal shifts parallel to media developments. The long list of international media artists he's selected present us with mostly ...

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    Spatial Operating Environment "g-speak"

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    g-speak overview 1828121108 from john underkoffler on Vimeo.

    Claire Evans wrote an interesting article on scientist John Underkoffler's "spatial operating environment" g-speak for GOOD last week. Unlike current operating systems (Vista, Leopard, etc.) which are designed entirely around the mouse, g-speak responds to the organic human movement of the user, without a mouse. This could potentially have significant consequences for how we interface with computers, which is precisely why g-speak is so compelling. Excerpt below:

    After all, computers -- with their processors, memory, graphics, and networked view of the world -- are offering us increasingly complex possibilities for translating and interacting with 1s and 0s. Yet, the way we use computers hasn’t changed appreciably since the 1980s: we still click around a screen with a mouse or track pad.

    The makers of g-speak know that this sort of control doesn't take advantage of how the human brain works. According to Underkoffler, the brain regions that controls muscles, muscle memory, and proprioception (the sense of where your body is in space) and the visual system evolved to work together to deal with spatial situations. "That's why we’re all such experts at getting around and manipulating the real world," he says. "So it seems clear to us that computers should work the same way."

    [ READ FULL ARTICLE ]

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