Monthly Archive for February, 2007

Simplicity: John Maeda in Milan

10 laws:

John Maeda talked yesterday night at the Mediateca Santa Teresa in Milan, in a open conference organized by MGM digital communication for his series of meeting Meet the Media Guru.
As John Maeda started to talk he said that he considered himself a mediaguy rather than a mediaguru, and i felt myself immediately better. “The computer is nothing more than a pencil” said April Greinman 20 years ago, and Maeda said that if it’s a pencil, it’s one that broke his tip continously, again and again.

What is semplicity about? semplicity=simplistic? =trend? =more sales? =?
it’s a question with no answer….and we’re at the beginning. So he started to present to the audience how easy it’s possbile to see semplicity and beauty into everyday life, showing photos he did from the complexity of the Dome of Milan to the simplicity of a dead white butterfly on a black asphalt: “the world is a great museum to visit“, you’ve just to open your eyes.

“Capitalism utilize the machine not to further social welfare, but to increase private profit.” Lewis Mumford, Technics and Civilization, 1934

Design is about merging human sensibility and technological aspects, and the human desires are mutable, sometime you want more, sometime less, usually if it’s about pleasure you want more, if about work less.

He started then to present more deeply the book he just edited for MIT Press, called The Laws of Simplicity. And he said since the beginning he wont show all the principles, he did the book for the pourpose and there everything is clearly explained, so read it!!!
Then a quick talk about four laws, about this part was particularly interesting the “SHE’s alwasy right” paradigm, that present a metodology that is always good for design: Shrink, Hide, Embody. Some clear example of this attitude are the evolution of the interface of the I-pod and the shell phone design. So at the fourth law, Learn, he stopped talking about the laws of simplicity and it started the best part of the conference with Maeda seriously telling to the audience how important is to look with a curious eye to the world and to spend time in relational activities: “Friends are forever, spend life making friends, not money”.

At the beginning of the conference he clearly said he thought about 10 laws, but they can be 3, 2 or more, he don’t knows what can happen, but that are his laws about complexity for now and at the end he said what i think are the real laws of Maeda’s way of life:
“To live is learn to forget
“Everything is already there, so don’t think too much, but keep on doing
“Look for things that gives you hope, life is great”

then the questions, sincerely not so interesting but among them turned out this:
Q: Artists that inspired you?
A: Duchamp, Bruno Munari and Italo Calvino.

Q: is it really important to learn programming to make design today?
A: Programming is quite boring. 5 years ago i would said yes, now… i don’t know.
Programming is sharp, but life is about emotion, so i hope in the future programming can be softer.

Q: How do you see ther future?
A: I don’t the future i see, i can say the future i want: a future as a friendly place.
and i started clapping my hands….

Stelarc Keynote

late but still there is a video showing the highlights of stelarcs presentation and lecture, due a lack of organisation the last 5 min are missing – to be completed…

Born Again Ideology: Considerations

At least one week to think about what Arthur Kroker said at the conference in Transmediale the 2th of february. Soon the book “Born against ideologies” will be pubblished, meanwhile some excerpts from that speech.

The canadian researcher point out that after the capitalism it was free to became global, it became an intensive capitalism with no barrier on his multiples trajectories.
But this complex world needs other answers: against the technology and his power structure rise the escatological society.

The escatological society born from the failure of reason. After 500 years dominated by the reason and the technology both the biosphere and the memesphere reacts to the promises not rewarded.
If 20th century was a struggle between the ideologic assolutism and the technological assolutism, the 21th century is about the research of the god killed in the century before. God never died thanx to the failures of reason and technology. Tecnocracy rivitalize faith, science is all about faith, and once it failed, it merged into religion.

The rise of a ideologic compromise between the privatization of religion and the collettivization of science. U.S.A. Represents a unique fusion of the language of technology and the speech of religion: the reason has failed so the technology needs a new light.
The language of will became the fire for the technological research and development. Technology and religion intersects eachother as terrorists and “civilized world” do.

In the era of speed of light the quantic phisycs describe the contemporary politics: oppositions are “galactic singularities” that lives at the same time in the same place. The capitalism became global and the terrorists find a parassistic way of integrating into it.
Are we born again ideology?

Christoph Buchel at Coppermill Gallery, London

christoph buchel’s “Silply Botiful” is a really nice exhibition i found by chance last sunday off bricklane in london.

you enter a hotel and have to sign that you are able to take care of yourself and that you can’t sew the organizers if you hurt your self – very simpatico. so after signing this paper at the reception you enter the first floor of the hotel, which is packed with bed and goods of everyday life. in order to see the all of the rooms you have to crawl throgh little whloes in the walls and the floor, walk through mountains of used fridges and explore containers that look like they are still heavily in use . so far the user impressions, you can find the press release text for the exhibition here, and an online walktrough here.

Planet d. Pendler

Planet d. Pendler, originally uploaded by tagr_tv.


video by julia staudach. check her youtube channel
now something very controverse. we all know that transmediale moved to akademie der künste because of the whole lot more of exhibition space thats offered there. now, its rather absurd that the space is not used, but reduced to less than half, as seen at the past festival. i dont want to criticise the selection of works being showed, since its the jury’s personal descision. but just see for yourself…
also this video only shows a small exzerpt of only some of the exhibited works.

navinki home video

this is the story of a bunch of funny and brave people who do their thing in belarus. they are involved with indymedia and report mostly from demonstrations, but do some real funny videos, too. they started with a newspaper they had to stop publishing in 2003, due to charges for insulting the belarus president. thinking of the political landscape in this young democracy, they do a very dangerous job. its good to see that the indymedia spirit continous in baltic countries, since in countries like austria people do not pay too much attention to it anymore. tactical media as a concept sounds good to me, if the content is funny and well edited, like navinki home videos’, watching gives you a political correct feeling and is a lot of fun…

check indymedia belarus

bilgi university istanbul

the istanbul bilgi university is located in the center of istanbul and offers beside a ecological and a law department also a faculty for communication that offers miscellaneous under- and postgraduate art studies.
the university is part of the erasmus programme since 2 years now.

they are about to build some kind of media arts center in a former powerplant from the 20ies. it’s supposed to house the fact. f. communication feat. a campus, a library, ateliers and a museum of modern art.

looks like a great projekt to me, opening is supposed to be sept. 2007

friedrich kittler – endlichkeit der algorithmen

hq-video vom vortrag (danke an rainer kohlberger)

friedrich kittler, professor für ästhetik und geschichte der medien auf der humboldt universität in berlin, spricht über die endlichkeit der algorithmen, ja sogar der logik. diese – mit wortwitz und charme gespickte keynote, behandelt den werdegang des algorithmus’, von den abakusrechnern der antike bis hin zu den clusterrechnern der heutigen zeit.

vor allem die endlichkeit von unendlichen prozessen wie der endlosschleife, die aufgrund von äusserlichen einflüssen plötzlich stoppt, verdient seine besondere aufmerksamkeit.

der charmante und lebendige vortrag dieses bedeutenden deutschen philosophen wirft, vor allem für die medienkunst, fragen auf die nicht nur an der oberfläche kratzen sondern bis tief zu den wurzeln vordringen. medienkunst in der heutigen zeit braucht die ‘computerei’ wie die maler den pinsel, der algorithmus als seele des rechners ist als grundbedingung dieser kunstform anzusehen…

arthur kroker – born again ideologies

der vortrag von arthur kroker beschreibt den gegenwärtigen zustand unserer welt, die er als post humanistisch beschreibt. diesen eindruck verstärkt er mit der beschreibung von den ‘clashes of absolut idiologies’, die sich mit religion untermauern. diese politik der “born again ideology” manifestiert sich nicht nur in der legislative sondern auch in den medien, militär und wirtschaft. religiöse überzeugung stellt sich an die stelle von ‘wirklichen’ ideologien, und verhindert eine konsensuale entwicklung von den diversen konflikten. verbunden mit dem historischen projekt der technologisierung der welt führt dies zu lebensverneinendem verhalten …

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