San Jose Semaphore

San Jose Semaphore, by artist Ben Rubin, is a permanent public artwork commissioned by Adobe Systems Incorporated in collaboration with the City of San Jose’s Office of Cultural Affair’s Public Art Program.

Located within the top floors of Adobe’s Almaden Tower headquarters in San Jose, California, San Jose Semaphore is a multi-sensory kinetic artwork that illuminates the San Jose skyline with the transmission of a coded message. The content of the San Jose Semaphore’s message is a mystery; cracking the encryption technique and deciphering the message is posed as a challenge for the public. (Ben Rubin – San Jose Semaphore)

Via Rhizome.org.

Finding Subversives With Amazon Wishlists

It used to be you had to get a warrant to monitor a person or a group of people. Today, it is increasingly easy to monitor ideas. And then track them back to people. Most of us don’t have access to the databases, software, or computing power of the NSA, FBI, and other government agencies. But an individual with access to the internet can still develop a fairly sophisticated profile of hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens using free and publicly available resources. Here’s an example.

There are many websites and databases that could be used for this project, but few things tell you as much about a person as the books he chooses to read. Isn’t that why the Patriot Act specifically requires libraries to release information on who’s reading what? For this reason, I chose to focus on the information contained in the popular Amazon wishlists.

Amazon wishlists lets anyone bookmark books for later purchase. By default these lists are public and available to anybody who searches by name. If the wishlist creator specifies a shipping address, someone else can even purchase the book on Amazon and have it shipped directly as a gift. The wishlist creator’s city and state are made public on the wishlist, but the street address remains private. Amazon’s popularity has created a vast database of wishlists. No index of all wishlists is available, but it remains possible to view all wishlists by people of a particular first name. A recent search for people named Mark returned 124,887 publicly viewable wishlists. (Data Mining 101: Finding Subversives With Amazon Wishlists)

Lichtspiel Opus I (1921)

Walter Ruttmann (born December 28, 1887 in Frankfurt am Main; died July 15, 1941 in Berlin) was a German film director and along with Hans Richter and Viking Eggeling was an early German practitioner of experimental film.

Ruttmann studied architecture and painting and worked as a graphic designer. His film career began in the early 1920s. His first abstract short films, “Opus I” (1921) and “Opus II” (1923), were experiments with new forms of film expression, and the influence of these early abstract films is especially obvious in the work of Oskar Fischinger in the 1930s. Ruttmann and his colleagues of the avant garde movement enriched the language of film as a medium with new form techniques. (Wikipedia: Walter Ruttmann)

They were cheap and available

On 20 August 1947 Gerhard Rose, one of Germany’s most respected physicians, stood in the prisoner’s dock at the Palace of Justice in Nuremberg, Germany, awaiting his sentence for “murders, tortures, and other atrocities committed in the name of medical science.” Dr Rose, the department head for tropical medicine of the Robert Koch Institute, was on trial along with 22 of his medical colleagues, for perpetrating “ghastly” and “hideous” experiments on concentration camp prisoners during the war.

At one point in the trial when the chief prosecution witness, Dr Andrew C Ivy of the medical school of the University of Illinois, underscored the basic principle “that human experimental subjects must be volunteers,” Dr Rose and his defence counsel vigorously objected, arguing that the United States was guilty of similar medical practices and giving several examples to support this contention. (BMJ: They were cheap and available)

The Hasher’s Delirium (1910)

Cohl’s animation style is rather surreal and also makes good use of the medium. The cartoons are not formally structured, but the images flow easily from one to another as objects melt into other shapes. For example, an elephant turns into a house or a window changes into a man. These films have had an obvious influence on later animated films, such as George Dunning’s Yellow Submarine, or the pink elephant sequence in Walt Disney’s Dumbo. (filmreference.com: Emile Cohl)

Clothesline

Developed at the Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst Institut HyperWerk , the project connects two corner buildings flanking the gateway from the Main Square to the Danube by clotheslines. Together with 250 boxer shorts and some robotics these lines form a spectacular Mediterranean-style matrix display (and a clear one when the wind allowed it.) (WMMNA: Clothesline Display, credit card scarves and news knitters)

The Shock Doctrine (2007)

“When I finished The Shock Doctrine, I sent it to Alfonso Cuarón because I adore his films and felt that the future he created for Children of Men was very close to the present I was seeing in disaster zones. I was hoping he would send me a quote for the book jacket and instead he pulled together this amazing team of artists — including Jonás Cuarón who directed and edited — to make The Shock Doctrine short film. It was one of those blessed projects where everything felt fated.” – Naomi Klein (naomiklein.org)

TXT of The Living Dead

I took the original movie (public domain) and broke it out into 500 frames to visually tell the original story from beginning to end. Within those frames there are about 150 frames with speech bubbles. Text messages sent in from participants show up in those frames in the order that they are received. The movie moves forward when a new message is received. The other frames are action frames that play through automatically until they hit a speech frame. Once all the speech frames have been filled the movie can then be viewed from beginning to end with the new audience generated dialogue. (TXTual Healing: TXT of The Living Dead)

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