Steve Mann says it's not about Wearable Computing, but what you do with it. If you're not aware of his various artistic endeavors, check out this PDF, it really does a good job of summarizing his patterns of deconstruction in social hierarchies, and other technological memes.
And here's a picture of "SeatSale", an expiring licence to sit:
I wonder if Zoe Khamsin will make a toy 3rd arm under this vein. How about a Ken Stelarc EXOSKELETON to go with the Barbie Dreamhouse?
Just found a series of links about an interesting cyborg-artist, who has been working in performance art since the 1970s. BMEZine has an article about his earlier work with suspensions, but I think you'll appreciate his more cyborganic experimentations:
And from CTHEORY:
The objectification of the body, a theory that informs Stelarc's cyborg experiments, is not actually a modern idea. The body as a machine, is a theory that is tied to the work of the seventeenth century thinker Rene Descartes. In 1637, Descartes published the Discourse on Method . The body is composed of only mechanical functioning, wrote Descartes. The body and mind were distinctly separate for Descartes, who thought the body a machine, to be informed by the higher order rationality of the mind, that was imbued with pneuma (breath of God or soul). Stelarc's body and mind have been hollowed out from this dualistic theory. It does not mean he is an atheist, as if his mind or soul does not exist. Rather, he revitalizes the body with respect to consciousness.' [The Body Without Memory: An Interview with Stelarc by Mark Fernandes]
I'm recovering from Burning Man, and have a slew of emails from people about igargoyle to respond to. The below are photos from Burning Man and show me, my brother, and Rich Gibson. More details on our camp can be found at http://roam.igargoyle.com/.
Some things just need to be purged.
ROAM-NET, a group of programmers and artists that I started, is bringing the above art car, and a public terminal kiosk for this year's Burning Man festival in the Nevada Black Rock Desert. This is the reason I've been pretty quiet the last few days, but while I'm at Burning Man, I will be uploading photos to igargoyle of interesting technology from this remote festival, and will be blogging the event on the ROAM-NET newsfeed.
The goal of this year's project is to establish a roaming platform for signalling to, and interacting with event participants, be it through event publishing, blogging, photo sharing, or signalling to your friends where you are.
It is about communication, cartography, and tech art in the most remote of places in North America, and one of our long term goals is to build programs and projects to teach children about emerging technology and cartography.
To send in a donation to the project, click here, and become a ROAM-NET angel.
Robot revolution posters, for sale. Buy one for your roomba.
I'm not really sure how serious Marcin Panpuch is about his idea to build floating spherical houses for the Thames river, but I really like it. It lends itself to technomadics, zero enviornmental impact homes, and water dwelling.
Makes me think of that crazy raft idea in Snow Crash, where ships would tie on to that giant aircraft carrier as it migrated around the world.
Jobe Bittman writes "You always have good pictures on igargoyle. Maybe you can use this for someting.".
I'd like to start posting more pictures of cyborgs, so please send me any photos you find. If any readers take their own photos, please tell me so I can give credit where credit is due.
Just finished an update on the ROAM-NET Project which will be returning to Burning Man with three vehicles - A golf cart, a car, and a van, each with slightly different artistic visions.
The vehicle I'm working on with my brother and various friends is called R0AM-1, which will have a public terminal, various webcams, and an external display to signal geolocated events that are both close in proximity and time. Those who publish feeds of their events at burning man will be able to get the word out visually, as well as through our interactive playa services.
With the use of webcams we'll be able to bounce photos of each other's point of view around the playa, and with our GPS units, we'll be able to pinpoint them using collaborative cartography. Just as blogging has changed the publishing community, I believe ROAM-NET will redefine how people visualize and signal each other at Black Rock City.
I'm always looking for suggestions, help, and computer equipment! Drop me a line if you want to get in touch. If you're in the LA/OC area, and also a "burner", please join LA Burners (laburners.tribe.net)
Digital Tattoos are an interesting idea to me since traditional tattoos are awfully static. Imagine having an animated mario on your arm, or a winking woman. I'm not sure how soon this kind of stuff will be a reality, but I'm sure it's a possibility body modification technologists are working on, as this patent suggests. The above photo is a concept from the core77 memory contest, and also brings a third element to the digital tattoo- connectivity. The digital tattoo on the virtual model shows the weather condition on his cheek, which could just as easily be the number of American soldiers killed during the Iraq war, or the color-coded homeland security alert level.
Comments are open so you can tell igargoyle what you would put on your digital tattoo.
Psymbiote calls itself "Hybrid Apparatus for Social Interface - an evolution in progress", but in plainspeak, the Psymbiote is a cyborg persona from performing artist isa gorden in collaboration with Jesse Jarrell & DEvan Brown. Their aim seems to be to create performance using cyborganic based technology to "...stimulate dialogue regarding the future of technological enhancements to the human body". In the process they have created some amazing costume/cyborg prosthetics, and seem to be the leading cyborg performance art group currently, dispite Steve Mann's longstanding role as a cyborg/artist.
The piece I'm most interested in from Psymbiote is their wax prototype data input glove which would really go well with my technomadic art for Burning Man, which lends itself to a similar aesthetic ethos. The input is done via a series of flex sensors. Their production notes are also quite interesting:
They also address some interesting design issues to do with how we interact with people, especially in terms of encumbrance:
Probably inspired by cyborganic like artists such as H.R. Gieger, the Psymbiote seems alien, instead of attempting to embrace humanity. Then again, self expression and creativity is such a human trait, which is why I think I like body modification so, be it nose piercings, pacemakers, or even sumdermal blinking lights. Psymbiote is edgy and interesting, and I look forward to them hosting SIGGRAPH's 3rd annual Cyborg Fashion Show.
Another cyborg poem, this time from the Psymbiote, after the jump.
am i beautiful?
do you fear me?
will you let me seduce you?
but i need your permission
you have to let me inside your boundaries
you have to want to be dissected
let me caress the viscera
let me extend myself into you
we can blur the edges together
i can make you more
i can build you into something new
let me under your skin
and i will make you whole"
underneath my skin
drive that metal
drive that steel
underneath my skin
packets of silicon
plastic and seawater
underneath the skin
flesh so forgiving
bone melted with coral
strange modifications causing stranger looks
underneath the skin
quiet watches pumping life
ceramic bones and artificial appendages
appending freedom to our fragility
underneath our skin
all underneath our skin
silent whispers oscillate
all of which makes me contemplate
where is the soul of a cyborg?
underneath the skin
will it transcend with my humanity?
is a brain without a body alone?
bore that hole, make the slit
replace my body with a kit
just keep it underneath my skin
Written by Tom Longson (nym). Released in the public domain or whatever licence is the most liberal. Go ahead and make money off it, I don't care, but I would appreciate a link and credit. Danke!
Magnetic arm implant photo from madmax tatoo&piercing. "magnets to feel fields" line inspired by someone I met last weekend who had a magnetic implant in his finger to feel currents in power cables.
Update: Comments now open.
France Telecom has done some fun R&D to display pixelated images from your cellphone on your shirt or sleeve. These raver garments can even be used as a standalone device that can animate based on sounds and gestures. The technology uses a flexible circuit board with LEDs and other electronic bits like sensors layered in a fabric layered sandwich, which they claim is fairly comfortable.
The researchers at France Telecom hope people will use these textiles to do things like display their mood, but I'd be happy if my pixilated avatar would just bop to the beat of the baseline when I'm out on the town. I really hope to see better resolution displays; this technology is still very young. With better resolution, designer memes and logos might become the hot intellectual property being shared by the young hipsters. Animated clothing is something I've been seeing a lot at Burning Man by artists with electroluminescent wire, so I have hope that this technology will encourage fashion to be more creative. For example, I would love a shirt that could display a very large "NO SPAM" message to display disgust in solicitors and peddlers in appropiate situations. I'd love to hear how others would use this creatively, so once again, I've opened up the comments
After reading about the "War on Pornography", I found this cool flash art on Fleshbot called Luxereau. I've always loved metalic and fleshy curves, so it's interesting to see them combined. On the other hand I absolutely hate breast implants, they're so untactitle and they don't even come with a radio or flash drive.
These cyborg women from Luxereau remind me of Bjork's various robotic and body modification videos. Mmmm... cybersexual!
New ideas for cellphone distraction:
This more artistic than technical hat is designed to allow people to know when you want to listen, or when you're busy listening to music.
Last October, Desearch and Revelopment put on a two week workshop called Dressed for Dependence, which uses art to provoke critical thinking about technology and a society of control. The site has a wiki and large photo gallery. This photo to the right is my favorite.
...at K3, Malmö University - thirteen brave students produced clothes and accessories designed to increase the wearer's dependence on technical structures and the benevolence of other people.