Sekai Camera: Tagging Physical Space

Tonchidot defines their amazing Sekai Camera–in Japanese, World Camera– as a "social tagging device" for the iPhone. It combines most technologies in the iPhone 3G, from the camera and the GPS to the internet connectivity and its microphone. When you start it, the application first checks where you are using the built-in GPS in the iPhone 3G. (gizmodo)

Ladies’ Interpretations of the Silurian


The Institute for Figuring’s  Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef, an international crochet-art collaboration, is now on exhibit at Track 16 Gallery in Santa Monica:

The IFF Crochet Coral Reef is a collective and collaborative enterprise. The reef project was created by IFF directors Margaret and Christine Wertheim and from the beginning it was conceived as a celebration of women’s handiwork that would welcome all who want to participate. Our ideal is to have contributors from as many countries as possible – especially those nations with major reef ecosystems. We are thus delighted to acknowledge four stellar contributors from Australia, home to the Great Barrier Reef: Marianne Midelburg, Helen Bernasconi, Helle Jorgensen and our mother Barbara Wertheim (who taught us handicrafts as children.) Every person who comes to this seems to bring a unique perspective and we have learned from experience that the best models are the ones we have least imagined – we encourage you to let your imaginations run riot. All contributors will be acknowledged on this website and in exhibitions where the work is shown. (

Add-Art: Graffiti in Reverse


Add-Art is a Firefox extension that replaces web advertisements with curated art images:

Of the 100+ add-ons available for Firefox, “adblockers” are the most popular. The most current, Adblock Plus, has over 18 million downloads (as of May 2008) since Jan 2006 (currently over 250,000/week). It’s predecessor, Adblock, has been downloaded over 8 million times. These extensions work by preventing advertising images from downloading and replacing the ads with blank space. Their popularity has risen as pop-up ads, banner ads, and ads incorporating sound and animation have permeated the internet.

For many, replacing ads with blank space would be enough. Add-Art attempts to do something more interesting than just blocking ads – it turns your browser into an art gallery. Every time you visit the New York Times online or check the weather you’ll also see a spattering of images by a young contemporary artist.

The project will be supported by an small website providing information on the current artists and curator, along with a schedule of past and upcoming Add-Art shows. Each 2 weeks will include 5-8 artists selected by emerging and established curators. Images will have to be cropped to standard banner sizes or can be custom made for the project. Artists can target sites (such as every ad on and/or default to any page on the internet with ads. One artist will be shown per page. The curatorial duty will be passed among curators through recommendations, word of mouth, and solicitations to the Add-Art site.

With the overwhelming popularity of adblockers, if Add-Art were to attract 5% of existing users, the numbers would be in the hundreds of thousands. Add-Art can bring contemporary art to the desktops of all types of people at home and in their workplace – all over the world. (

H/T Grand Text Auto

Postopolis LA


Dan Hill at City of Sound recently announced the next iteration of Postopolis, which will run this Spring in Los Angeles. Viz:

I’m hugely pleased to be able to announce another Postopolis, this time in Los Angeles, running from Tuesday, March 31, to Saturday, April 4, 2009. Two years after the first, at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in NYC and co-ordinated by BLDGBLOG, Subtopia, Inhabitat and City of Soundhere’s a snapshot of that – we now have a different line-up of organisers/curators, covering a little bit more of the globe and an equally diverse set of interests:

We’ll be taking the same broad brushstrokes approach to architecture and urbanism as last time and selecting a diverse set of SoCal-flavoured attractions for you. More details to follow, including the line-up of speakers and the precise details of the location. Polynodal LA makes picking the location a different challenge to NYC, but we’re nearly there. Either way, it’ll be free to the public, as easy to get to as LA makes it, and running from 1700 to 2300 each day.

And I hereby publicly promise to attempt to capture the proceedings as I did last time (though those who were there in New York will have noted I ran out of steam on the last day or so – eternal apologies to those with unfinished write-ups). Can’t wait – the last time I visited LA it prompted more than a few thoughts. And if it’s good enough for Reyner Banham, it’s good enough for me.

Postopolis! LA is sponsored by the Storefront for Art and Architecture and ForYourArt, to whom we are very grateful, and it will be part of Los Angeles Art Weekend. Postopolis LA logo by Joe Alterio. (city of sound)

The Future is Non-Profit

One of the things I’ve written about recently is why non-profit/microprofit businesses are the ones most likely to survive in an increasingly bleak future. As the economy, environment and global geopolitical situation continue to deteriorate, I’m pretty sure I won’t be alone in this idea for long — indeed, debates like this one between Tim O’Reilly and Michael Jon Jensen illustrate that the zeitgeist might be slipping in that direction already:

I’ve been a rational guy all my life. These days, because I’m paying attention, my ambient state often approaches rational panic. The world’s tipping points are being reached, in ecosystem after ecosystem; most indicators of heat, or weather extremes, or persistent toxin buildup, or acidification are busting the charts of “faster than expected.” Our Wile E. Coyote legs are spinning really fast.

What do these two themes — non- and for-profit, and the collapse of the natural world — have in common?

I dearly hope that we see, in the next few years, a robustly expanded nonprofit sector addressing these problems, and a vaster volunteerism sector. Because the for-profit sector has few truly long-term interests, on the timescale of the unfolding disaster. (“Human survival is a bonus, but that’s twenty years out. What about next quarter’s report?”)

Further, the scale and scope of the impending collapse will require a special spirit of voluntarism and shared labor and sacrifice, something that’s painfully hard to monetize. There are strong currents within the open-source world and the participatory-Web world, that could make a river of “stuff that matters” that might (to stretch the metaphor) turn the tide.

If the geeks, and the passionate, and the smart, and the ones who are paying attention, could collectively work on (yeah, here it is:) recovering our world, then we might have a chance at a pleasant future world, rather than one of grinding desperation.

The lion’s share of that work will not be about profit, or even business. It will be about people’s participation in what really matters, because they get satisfaction from being part of the solution. (O’reilly Radar)


Hypertext/IF author Aaron Reed’s latest work, “Blueful,” uses a variety of web 2.0 services to communicate a narrative. Telling stories in this manner is something that I expect will gain popularity and sophistication in the next couple of years, especially as artists begin to incorporate mobile and real-world embedded technologies into their transmedia toolkits. Indeed, it’s not hard to see how the world of ARGs and “chaotic fictions” will gradually merge with more author-driven IF-derived projects like “Blueful,” spawning whole new categories of storytelling, participation and interactivity.

The entire story can be read in one sitting. The trail starts here:

H/T Grand Text Auto