Archive | June 2012

Van Gogh by Phil Hansen

Wikipedia describes Phil Hansen as an American artist.

He began a project called Goodbye Art to help him be more spontaneous. This project involved him creating a new art piece weekly with a theme corresponding to its month. The difference, however, lay in the fact that after the process was completed and a final piece was obtained, he destroyed all traces of it except for a photograph. The video showing his process and the final result was uploaded on his YouTube user page. In the summer of 2008, Hansen decided to discontinue the Goodbye Art project to pursue other long term projects. In January 2009, he began a new project called Art Happening. This ongoing project involves him capturing current events in the form of art.

He describes himself on his art website as:

I’m interested in trying to understand whole individuals and whole ideas through the fragments of perceptual memory, the sound bites, and the semiotic tokens collected by society and recollected by the individual. It’s the product of these carefully selected elements that multiplies out to a greater whole, and it’s in that product that I look for a more holistic understanding.

My present approach evolved out of what seemed at the time to be an artistic cul-de-sac: damage to the nerves in my forearm from the single-minded pursuit of pointillism. Driven to think of other ways to create art, I began pushing myself to experiment with new media: my torso, a tricycle, X-rays, dandelions, the Bible, viewers’ experiences, and so on. The selection of the medium became integral to the art, as much a part of the story and the holistic experience as the selected fragments themselves.

In bringing my work to the public I look to create a public dialog with art, frequently inviting the audience to contribute in some way, nearly always breaking apart the artistic process in order to make it connect to a more immediate reality through video that shows manipulation of the medium from fragments into a unified whole.


An interesting video from his Goodbye Art project :


More recent work involves Van Gogh in over 1,000 shocking stories from viewers in permanent marker
sponsored by Cherry Creek Arts Festival.

I asked my viewers about an experience that shocked them or caused disbelief. Over 1000 of these stories are written in sharpie to make this image of Van Gogh.

Massimo Banzi: How Arduino is open-sourcing imagination

Here is a great video from TED about the open-source micro controller board named Arduino.

This is how wikipedia defines Arduino:

Arduino is a popular open-sourcesingle-board microcontroller, descendant of the open-source Wiring platform,[2][3] designed to make the process of using electronics in multidisciplinary projects more accessible. The hardware consists of a simple open hardware design for the Arduino board with an Atmel AVR processor and on-board input/output support. The software consists of a standard programming language compiler and the boot loader that runs on the board.[4]

Arduino hardware is programmed using a Wiring-based language (syntax and libraries), similar to C++ with some slight simplifications and modifications, and a Processing-based integrated development environment.

Current versions can be purchased pre-assembled; hardware design information is available for those who would like to assemble an Arduino by hand. Additionally, variations of the Italian-made Arduino—with varying levels of compatibility—have been released by third parties; some of them are programmed using the Arduino software.

More information about the video from TED :

Massimo Banzi helped invent the Arduino, a tiny, easy-to-use open-source micro controller that’s inspired thousands of people around the world to make the coolest things they can imagine — from toys to satellite gear. Because, as he says, “You don’t need anyone’s permission to make something great.”

Henry Markram – Understanding the Human Brain: a test of global collaboration

Another video from TEDx about the “Human Brain Project” (more info here).

Knowledge of the brain is highly fragmented and we have no way to prioritize the many experiments needed to fill the gaps in our understanding. It is time for a strategy of global collaboration, where scientists of all disciplines work together to solve this problem. We propose building a platform to catalyze efforts, integrate knowledge, and use supercomputers to simulate what is known about the brain, to predict gaps in our knowledge of the brain, and to test hypotheses about how it works.

Henry Markram is the Coordinator of the Human Brain Project, a proposed international effort to understand the human brain. His research career started in medicine and neuroscience in South Africa, then at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, at NIH and UCSF in the United States, and the Max-Planck Institute in Germany. In 2002, he joined the EPFL, where he founded the Brain Mind Institute. His career has spanned a wide spectrum of neuroscience research, from whole animal studies to gene expression in single cells. He is best known for his work on synaptic plasticity. In the past 15 years he has focused on the structure and function of neural microcircuits — the basic components in the architecture of the brain. In 2005, he launched the Blue Brain Project: the first attempt to begin a systematic integration of all biological knowledge of the brain into unifying brain models for simulation on supercomputers. The strategies, technologies and methods developed in this pioneering work lie at the heart of the Human Brain Project.


What Microsoft Didn’t Tell Us About the New Surface Tablets ?

As you all know, Microsoft unveiled the new Windows 8 tablet line named “Surface”.

An interesting article from is about the things that are unknown about this tablet :

  • What will be the RAM ?
  • What are the graphics ?
  • What is the price ?
  • What is the camera resolution ?
  • How will the Surface charge?
  • What is the battery life ?
  • When it will be released ?

For more informations, read the rest of the article at this link.

Neil Gaiman Addresses the University of the Arts Class of 2012

An interesting speech for everyone involved with art, by Neil Gaiman.

Thunderbolt Technology

Acording to Wikipedia Thunderbolt Technology is :

Thunderbolt (codenamed Light Peak)[1] is an interface for connecting peripheral devices to a computer via an expansion bus. Thunderbolt was developed by Intel and brought to market with technical collaboration from Apple. It was introduced commercially on Apple’s updated MacBook Pro lineup on February 24, 2011, using the same connector as Mini DisplayPort.

Thunderbolt combines PCI Express and DisplayPort into a serial data interface that can be carried over longer and less costly cables. Thunderbolt driver chips multiplex the data from these two sources for transmission then de-multiplex them for consumption within the devices. This makes the system backward compatible with existing DisplayPort hardware upstream of the driver. A single Thunderbolt port supports hubs as well as a daisy chain of up to seven Thunderbolt devices; up to two of these devices may be displays using DisplayPort.[6] Existing Mini DisplayPort adapters for DVI, dual-link DVI, HDMI, and VGA are compatible with Thunderbolt, allowing backwards compatibility and no loss of functionality compared to Mini DisplayPort.

The interface was originally intended to run exclusively on an optical physical layer using components and flexible optical fiber cabling developed by Intel partners and at Intel’s Silicon Photonics lab. The Intel technology at the time was logically marketed under the name Light Peak,[7] after 2011 referred to as Silicon Photonics Link.[8] However, it was discovered that conventional copper wiring could furnish the desired 10 Gbit/s Thunderbolt bandwidth per channel at lower cost. Optical Thunderbolt cables were introduced in mid April 2012 by Sumitomo.[9]

A visual image of this is technology (from Wikipedia) :

Next is a more practical approach from NCIX Tech Tips .

Linus Torvalds: Linux succeeded thanks to selfishness and trust

An interesting interview with Linus Torvalds by BBC.

Linux creator Linus Torvalds will find out later if he has won the Millennium Technology Prize and an accompanying cheque for about 1m euros ($1.3m; £800,000) from the Technology Academy of Finland.

He has been nominated for the award in recognition of his creation of the original Linux operating system and his continued work deciding what modifications should be made to its kernel – the code that lets software and hardware work together.

Today variants of the system power much of the world’s computer servers, set-top boxes, smartphones, tablets, network routers, PCs and supercomputers.

Ahead of the announcement Mr Torvalds gave a rare interview to the BBC.

The interview is available at the link.

The Economist: Morals and the machine

An interesting article and video from The Economist about robots and ethics.

IN THE classic science-fiction film “2001”, the ship’s computer, HAL, faces a dilemma. His instructions require him both to fulfil the ship’s mission (investigating an artefact near Jupiter) and to keep the mission’s true purpose secret from the ship’s crew. To resolve the contradiction, he tries to kill the crew.

As robots become more autonomous, the notion of computer-controlled machines facing ethical decisions is moving out of the realm of science fiction and into the real world. Society needs to find ways to ensure that they are better equipped to make moral judgments than HAL was.

For more info, read the rest of the article .

David Carson: Design, discovery and humor

This is a 24 min long TED video from David Carson, about design, discovery and humor.

Great design is a never-ending journey of discovery — for which it helps to pack a healthy sense of humor. Sociologist and surfer-turned-designer David Carson walks through a gorgeous (and often quite funny) slide deck of his work and found images.


John Hodgman: Design, explained

John Hodgman, comedian and resident expert, “explains” the design of three iconic modern objects. (From The Design Studio session at TED2012, guest-curated by Chee Pearlman and David Rockwell.)