Tag Archives | Art

Yes, androids do dream of electric sheep

Alex Hern at The Guardian:

Google sets up feedback loop in its image recognition neural network – which looks for patterns in pictures – creating hallucinatory images of animals, buildings and landscapes which veer from beautiful to terrifying.

What do machines dream of? New images released by Google give us one potential answer: hypnotic landscapes of buildings, fountains and bridges merging into one.

The pictures, which veer from beautiful to terrifying, were created by the company’s image recognition neural network, which has been “taught” to identify features such as buildings, animals and objects in photographs.

They were created by feeding a picture into the network, asking it to recognise a feature of it, and modify the picture to emphasise the feature it recognises. That modified picture is then fed back into the network, which is again tasked to recognise features and emphasise them, and so on. Eventually, the feedback loop modifies the picture beyond all recognition.

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Piracy on the High Sees: The Devaluation of Content

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Let me open with the fact that when it comes to content (audio, video, games, photographs), I am extremely ANTI-PIRACY. I’ll debate with anyone who wants to take up the argument that content should be free. And… if you think the title of this article has a typo, you are wrong. You see, I am in the film distribution business, and I am going to steer this rambling toward 1) film and 2) until you see my point. I want to ‘sees’ the moment. OK… OK… seize it. I’ll stop with the bad puns as I am sure you see my point.

“You should come over one night,” said the man in the nice blue (and somewhat expensive looking) sweatshirt. “I have about 300 films I’ve downloaded.”

He laughed and then told me he hadn’t paid for even one… that he has some back channel way of getting them from a site that grabs them off of cable VOD services.… Read the rest

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Jakob Böhme — The Teutonic Theosopher

Aurora

Aurora

Jakob Böhme – THE TEUTONIC THEOSOPHER

Jakob Böhme (/ˈbeɪmə, ˈboʊ-/;[1] 1575 – November 17, 1624) was a German Christian mystic and theologian. He is considered an original thinker within the Lutheran tradition, and his first book, commonly known as Aurora, caused a great scandal. In contemporary English, his name may be spelled Jacob Boehme; in seventeenth-century England it was also spelled Behmen, approximating the contemporary English pronunciation of the German Böhme.

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M.I.A.’s Kung Fu Fighting

dragon-girls-movieFeaturing the controversial and highly-talented British rapper and artist M.I.A.Gener8ion has just released “The New International Sound Pt. II,” from a four-track EP.

While I like the song a lot, with the video — which features no less than 36,000 students from Shaolin Tugu — the musical and visual work is highly captivating.

The footage is adapted from Dragon Girls, a documentary about three girls from China’s biggest martial arts school, located right next to the Shaolin monastery. In the video for “The New International Sound Pt. II,” young Kung fu students are shown sparring and practicing kicks, punches, open palm techniques, sword, and forms (pre-arranged sequences of different techniques and movements), as well as exercising, stretching, and hanging out or getting ready outside of practice.

However, while the choreography of the martial artists in the video is certainly impressive, what is more striking, if more subtle, I think, is the eyes of the students — full of determination, seriousness, and purpose.… Read the rest

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You Are Here


Ellie Zolfagharifard and Ollie Gillman Via Daily Mail:

Dr Brent Tully made headlines earlier this year when he unveiled a road map of the universe with pathways between the Milky Way and 100,000 other far away galaxies.

Now the University of Hawaii professor is hoping to map out an even greater concentration of galaxies, known as the Shapley Supercluster, to help us better understand our place in the universe.

It’s a massive task. The Shapley Concentration is so huge that it is pulling our home supercluster, including us, toward the constellation Centaurus in the southern sky.

‘I don’t think the story is going to be close to well understood until our maps are encompassing the whole domain around the Shapley Concentration,’ Tully told Discover magazine.

The project would involve maps stretching to over a billion light-years.

‘It’s a huge job, but doable on a time-scale of decades,’ said the University of Hawaii professor.

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AI: Coming to a Sexbot Near You

Robotica

Aaron Krumens Via Extreme Tech:

While the cynical among us knew it was only a matter of time before the rise of the sexbots, the partnering of RealDoll — maker of high end sex mannequins — with Hanson Robotics has moved that eventuality one step closer to reality.

This new venture has been dubbed Realbotix by founder and CEO Matt McMullen of RealDoll. The goal is to endow the RealDoll line of sex figurines with some basic animation, transforming them from immobile mannequins to full on androids that can follow commands and verbally respond to the user. This advanced line of sex dolls will come equipped with animatronic heads, capable of blinking and opening their mouths suggestively. The dolls will reportedly also make use of a mobile app and a virtual reality headset, whereby the physical doll provides haptic feedback for interactions taking place within the virtual reality console.

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Inside The Secret World of NSA Art

Who knew that the NSA was a hotbed of artistic talent? The Intercept takes a peek at the Secret Power art exhibit at this year’s Venice Biennale featuring graphic art from the NSA files leaked by Edward Snowden:

VENICE, Italy — Over 17 years, David Darchicourt worked with the National Security Agency as a graphic designer and art director, illustrating top-secret documents about government surveillance programs. Now he is the unwitting central character in a new exhibition that puts the spotlight on the spy agency’s imagery.

Art: Simon Denny; Photo: Nick Ash

Art: Simon Denny; Photo: Nick Ash

Inside the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, a cavernous Renaissance library in Venice’s St. Mark’s Square, some of Darchicourt’s designs for the NSA have been placed on display among historic 16th-century pieces by famed Italian painters like Veronese and Titian.

The former NSA employee’s work is featured as part of a project called Secret Power, created by New Zealand artist Simon Denny for this year’s Biennale international art show.

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Is there a Self in Selfies?

Agnes Martin's Gabriel Still

What is the significance of taking a selfie? Philosopher Alexander García Düttmann explores the potential of the selfie as both a feature of the culture industry and as a creative act in the work of Walt Whitman and Agnes Martin.


Alexander García Düttmann at Four by Three Magazine:

The answer is probably: no, it is unlikely that there is a self in selfies. As one gives this answer, well aware that perhaps no one cares for the kind of self one is denying to the image called selfie, a faint echo makes itself heard, the echo of an aphorism Adorno coined in the 1940s. It reads: “In many people it is already an impertinence to say ‘I’.”[1]

But does it matter? Must one appeal to some deeper, or more authentic, sense of selfhood, to an I that escapes the selfie’s eye, and ridicule an expression that refers more to an act than to an entity, to the act of stretching out one’s arms, of using a prosthesis with a small and handy camera attached to its extremity and of catching a digital glimpse of oneself, a glimpse contained in, and forming on the surface of, the artifact’s screen, an image immediately available to viewing?… Read the rest

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Alessia Iannetti – Penetrated by a Nocturnal Mysticism

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Photography by Eleonora Grasso

Artist’s Statement:

Alessia Iannetti was born in Carrara (Italy) in 1985 and graduated at the Academy of Fine Arts where she had the opportunity to study with the famous Artist and Professor Omar Galliani from whom she inherited the complex graphite on board technique as “Estigmate” of the most fascinating contemporary illustration, with its cinematographic views and close ups made of blacks and whites and infinite variations of gray, that give back to the monochrome and the drawing the excellence of intensity.
 As a reply to modern conceptual language, no more so deeply contemporary, Alessia Iannetti, already placed between the most interesting artists from New Pop and New Surrealism international scene, offers a high cultured Art, which is aware of its figurative turn and proudly follows the ironical and surrealistic aspects of Neoclassicism movement.

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Which Life Form Dominates Earth?

Springtails can be smaller than a pinhead (Credit: Sinclair Stammers / NPL)

Springtails can be smaller than a pinhead (Credit: Sinclair Stammers / NPL)

Nic Fleming Via BBC:

We humans tend to assume we rule the Earth. With our advanced tool making, language, problem solving and social skills, and our top predator status, we like to think of ourselves as the dominant life form on the planet.

But are we?

There are organisms that are significantly more numerous, cover more of the Earth’s surface and make up more of its living biomass than us. We are certainly having major impacts in most corners of the globe and on its other inhabitants.

But are there are other living things that are quietly having greater, more significant influences? Who or what is really in charge?

If world domination is a numbers game, few can compare with tiny six-legged, shrimp-like springtails, or Collembola. Ranging from 0.25-10mm in length, there are typically around 10,000 per square metre of soil, rising to as many as 200,000 per square metre in some places.

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