From the category archives:

Invention

Dave Allen:

We live in interesting times. When The Guardian has an article with a headline that asks “Will Radiohead’s The King of Limbs save the music industry?” You have to laugh. Why would they want to do that? And so it is with the iPad apps and the media publishing industry “Will Rupert Murdoch’s The Daily save the newspaper and magazine industry?” Well, that’s no laughing matter.

{ 0 comments }

45 Months

February 7, 2010

in History,Invention,Process,Video

You don’t have to be a software engineer to appreciate this visualization of the growth of Twitter as a system.

Each photo represents a programmer, each particle represents changes made to the code, and the colors represent different computer languages:

Twitter Code Swarm from Ben Sandofsky on Vimeo.

What do your collaborative projects look like?

via Peter Wooley and Tech Crunch

{ 0 comments }

Amanda Palmer said:

artists need to make money to eat and to continue to make art.

artists used to rely on middlemen to collect their money on their behalf, thereby rendering themselves innocent of cash-handling in the public eye.

artists will now be coming straight to you (yes YOU, you who want their music, their films, their books) for their paychecks.
please welcome them. please help them. please do not make them feel badly about asking you directly for money.
dead serious: this is the way shit is going to work from now on and it will work best if we all embrace it and don’t fight it.

i am shameless, and fearless, when it comes to money and art.

i can’t help it: i come from a street performance background.
i stood almost motionless on a box in harvard square, painted white, relinquishing my fate and income to the goodwill and honor of the passers-by.

i spent years gradually building up a tolerance to the inbuilt shame that society puts on laying your hat/tipjar on the ground and asking the public to support your art.

i was harassed, jeered at, mocked, ignored, insulted, spit at, hated.
i was also applauded, appreciated, protected, loved….all by strangers passing me in the street.
people threw shit at me.
people also came up to me and told me that i’d changed their lives, brightened their day, made them cry.

some people used to yell “GET A FUCKING JOB” from their cars when they drove by me.
i, of course, could not yell back. i was a fucking statue, statues do not yell.

if you think i’m going to pass up a chance to put my hat back down in front of the collected audience on my virtual sidewalk and ask them to give their hard-earned money directly to me instead of to roadrunner records, warner music group, ticketmaster, and everyone else out there who’s been shamelessly raping both fan and artist for years, you’re crazy

via Walt Pascoe et al

{ 0 comments }

I’d love to hear (and see) a gaggle of these moving through a crowded space:

via Today’s BIG Thing

{ 0 comments }

David Lynch, on wee media formats:

{ 0 comments }

At least every month or two, it’s worth taking a step back to think about something like this:

International Space Station, March, 2009

International Space Station, March, 2009

Humans made this.

People have lived there continuously for more than eight years.

You are a member of a species that figured out how to build a shelter that hovers 350 kilometers (190 nautical miles) above its planet of origin.

Now, what was it that you said you couldn’t do?

{ 0 comments }

Meet Kacie Kinzer’s Tweenbots:

Tweenbots are human-dependent robots that navigate the city with the help of pedestrians they encounter. Rolling at a constant speed, in a straight line, Tweenbots have a destination displayed on a flag, and rely on people they meet to read this flag and to aim them in the right direction to reach their goal.

Who needs artificial intelligence when you have the distributed intelligence and kindness of a few dozen New Yorkers?

Watch the process here:

{ 0 comments }

From David Orr’s article on “Greatness” in poetry:

“What is strange,” the poet-critic J. D. McClatchy writes, “is how her influence . . . has been felt in the literary culture. John Ashbery, James Merrill and Mark Strand, for instance, have each claimed [Elizabeth] Bishop as his favorite poet. . . . Since each of them couldn’t be more different from one another, how is it possible?”

It’s possible in the same way that other “great” artists have inspired diverse sets of peers and progeny.

There’s the old story about the Velvet Underground, that not many people actually heard them, but nearly everyone who did went and started a band. Were they great? I think some of their songs are — the droning “All Tomorrow’s Parties” has been a favorite of mine since I was twelve or thirteen. Detractors grumble about them playing out of tune, the unevenness of their rhythm section, the sloppy mixing, or the chaotic performances.

But beyond those petty complaints, what better legacy could you ask for than seeding an entire generation that grew in so many different directions?

{ 0 comments }

Clay Shirky, on the future of newspapers:

“In craigslist’s gradual shift from ‘interesting if minor’ to ‘essential and transformative’, there is one possible answer to the question “If the old model is broken, what will work in its place?” The answer is: Nothing will work, but everything might. Now is the time for experiments, lots and lots of experiments, each of which will seem as minor at launch as craigslist did, as Wikipedia did, as octavo volumes did.”

“For the next few decades, journalism will be made up of overlapping special cases. Many of these models will rely on amateurs as researchers and writers. Many of these models will rely on sponsorship or grants or endowments instead of revenues. Many of these models will rely on excitable 14 year olds distributing the results. Many of these models will fail. No one experiment is going to replace what we are now losing with the demise of news on paper, but over time, the collection of new experiments that do work might give us the reporting we need.”

And for journalism, I think we can also substitute music, film, and just about every form of digital art.

{ 0 comments }

Bre Prettis and Kio Stark have written a 13-point Cult of Done Manifesto. Examples:

2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.

6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.

9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.

Here’s one of the visual depictions, by James Provost:

Done Manifesto

{ 0 comments }

In the midst of our virtual-instrument-on-laptop era, it’s so refreshing to see and hear new physical and tangible sound-making devices.

On Sunday, NPR profiled Ranjit Bhatnagar, who made a new instrument every day in February:

“For a long time,” Bhatnagar says, “I thought that there was no place for me in music because I have no formal training. I found that there’s a space for experimenting, for making my own music. I really want to encourage everybody to get out there, make some instruments, make some sounds. Maybe what they make will be beautiful, maybe it’s not, [but] you should enjoy it either way.”

Here’s a video of him cranking his Möbius music box:

I like the koto-esque bend built in to this one:

And a motor moving beads against the head of a drum:

More images and videos on Flickr and Thing-a-day.

{ 0 comments }