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January 2009 Archives

January 2, 2009

Catherine Opie at the Guggenheim

I just went to her exhibition at the Guggenheim yesterday, and was pretty impressed overall with her body of work. There were a couple of series: ice houses, surfers. skyscrapers/architecture, portraits, doors of Beverly Hills homes, media, performer/artist, and life in Los Angeles. I would highly recommend getting the free audio tour gadget, to which helped explain one of my favorite pieces about a girl who stole a pair of red converses. I also liked the photo of mural of Monica Lewinsky too, and the black and white series on architecture. It was fun guessing some of the neighborhoods of the mini-mall series, after all some of those locations don't exist anymore, but used to in my hood (because there is no such thing as preservation in Los Angeles—the demolition of the Ambassador Hotel, a historical landmark where Bobby Kennedy was assassinated {not in Opie's collection]). I love all the photos taken in Los Angeles too because of the story and historical perspective behind most of them.

There is probably something for anybody interested in photography. But if you're going to go, you better hurry. The exhibition closes on January 7th. I'm probably going to see it again with another group of friends this Saturday.

January 4, 2009

David Fincher in New York City...

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I can't wait to see David Fincher tonight at the Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of at Jazz at Lincoln Center (I've been wanting to check out this venue for awhile), hosted by Film Society of Lincoln Center. He's going to speak about his new movie, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I've already read up on the production which affected his decision of writing a second screenplay, and making of the movie from articles in the New York Times [You can find the links through Delicious I'm sure]. More about this event, here.

Btw, that photo above was one of my favorite scenes in the movie.

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They also showed Zodiac, which I'm going to have to rent via Netfix. That movie went under my radar. Just from the thumbnail on this page, it looks like some 70's movies like Network.

January 9, 2009

Center For Communication...

I'm not really sure how I got on their mailing list, but I'm thankful that I'm on it. A couple of years ago, I went to several events hosted by CIC and saw Khoi Vinh from the NYTimes and Avenue A Razorfish (in 2006?)

Now that I have more time, I plan on going to more of these events. Here is one coming up. I'm not sure if it's free or if there's a nominal fee. Actually I double-checked and it is free ("FREE PANEL OF LEADING DESIGNERS OFFERED THIS MONTH!!"):

THE ART AND DESIGN OF "UGLY BETTY"
Presented with the Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting. Don't miss this outstanding panel featuring the creative design team behind the award-winning ABC hit series "Ugly Betty."

DATE: Wednesday, January 28, 2009, 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

LOCATION: The Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan.
Katie Murphy Amphitheatre at The Fashion Institute of Technology, D Building (corner of 27th & 7th Avenue).

SILVIO HORTA - Executive Producer/Creator
PATRICIA FIELD - Costume Designer
MOLLY ROGERS - Associate Costume Designer
MARK WORTHINGTON - Production Designer
ROBERT BERNARD - Graphics Designer
RICH DEVINE - Set Decorator

MODERATOR: KATHERINE OLIVER

Seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis.
RSVP to rsvp@film.nyc.gov by Monday, January 26.

For more information about these programs, visit http://www.nyc.gov/film.

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Here are other events, but I'm not sure if these are free:

Magazines: Survival of the Fittest
Learn from leading editors and publishers what the future holds for the magazine industry, why fitness magazines continue to thrive in a down market, and tips for getting your foot in the door.

Election Coverage 2008
To learn what went wrong and what went right during the 2008 presidential election year, tune in to hear from leading political journalists, including Matt Taibbi from Rolling Stone, Hendrik Hertzberg from The New Yorker and Rachel Sklar from The Huffington Post. Get an insider's perspective on the ups and downs of what became one of the most exciting and unpredictable political contests, maybe ever!

Richard Price: From Novel to Screen
Famous for his gritty and realistic exploration of urban life in America, Price's work attracts comparisons to Saul Bellow, Tom Wolfe and David Mamet, and his recently published novel, Lush Life, has been widely praised for its realistic dialogue, sharp and witty observations and keen eye for social detail. Price joined us last October for a frank and hilarious talk about his amazing career writing for the movies. He also gave lots of valuable advice and moral support to the aspiring writers in the audience. Price's screenwriting credits include: The Color of Money, Sea of Love, Clockers, Mad Dog and Glory, Ransom, Shaft and HBO's The Wire.

January 10, 2009

Keeping Design Simple...

surface_yves_milord.jpg

I found this story about Microsoft's Surface already having an error on Gizmodo [As Seen at CES: Microsoft Surface Fail]. Check out the comments on that article, they're pretty amusing. Aside from the "error," what I really don't understand is why they don't keep their design simple? It's tiresome to see excess visual stimuli whether its using Surface, or opening Internet Explorer on Microsoft Windows PC platform to see a lot of popups (e.g. I spent 2 hours trying to simplify my mom's web browser until finally I was fed up, and downloaded Firefox, and told her to only double-click that icon). In this case, the "Fallout 3" DVD screenshot coupled with "Games for Windows" ad and discretionary warning for inappropriate content in the background (of the photo above). Or maybe their designer was targeting gamers?

And lately in the NY Subway system, Microsoft has posted these "I'm a PC" ads/ad campaign (On the 6 line), which all the models look like artists that use Apple products (except for the pre-adolescent gamer), but it was fun reading them anyway.

p.s. I didn't tag this blog post "design."

Disney Venturing into Gaming...

So that's two articles that I've read where Disney is venturing into gaming. The first was an article from the Wall Street Journal [Disney Could Raise Its Game With EA] about Disney and EA. Second, at CES, Disney launched "Disney Star Guitarist" that competes with Sony's Guitar Hero published by Gizmodo [Disney Star Guitarist: Guitar Hero, But With Real Guitars]. Often I wondered, why I would play Guitar Hero because I wouldn't gain musical skills if I spent all those hours, but with Disney Star Guitarist, gamers can learn how to play real music.

This idea reminds me of a prototype that Cory Forsyth worked on 2 years ago. He designed a tangible guitar interface using infrared in our Introduction to Physical Computing at ITP taught by Tom Igoe. It was pretty cool, and even cooler that it worked.

Last, I recently saw a job post for a major company hiring 60 UX/UI designers in Los Angeles. I'm wondering if that's Disney.

January 11, 2009

Random Generator of Bush Quotes...

Wow, as we inch closer to the presidential inauguration on January 20th, I'm seeing more and more comical "Bushisms," from art exhibitions and Facebook pages to random generators on a major publication site. This is probably one of the funniest links, published in the Guardian. I found it in the ITP mailing list posted by a politically savvy alum.

I think it's brilliant because I've already clicked it like 7x (i.e. It's probably more lucrative than a slide show/photo gallery or video, and cheaper to produce), and they're business side is probably counting how many clicks for future ad sales. I can visualize the editor asking writers to come up with 3-5 Bushism quotes at the editorial meeting, the producers entering quotes into an automated database, and the photo/video departments completely uninvolved. What's even funnier is the Google ads below in the lower right module, however, I'm not sure if it's real, since it stayed static through 2 clicks. But maybe it's real?

guardian_bushism.jpg

We'll see how long his legacy will last when his brother, Jeb Bush, runs for President in year 2016. Fox News is already starting his PR. Hopefully people will remember then, the ailing economy and corrupt-corporate-mess this Bush is leaving behind, but I doubt that.

Palm Pre and the Future of Palm

Thought these were interesting about the Palm Pre in an article that sums it up again iPhone and G1 on [a href="http://i.gizmodo.com/5126870/in-a-nutshell-palm-pre-vs-iphone-vs-g1?skyline=true&s=x" target="_blank">Gizmodo [Read full article here].

These will be interesting to follow...

Development platform: The Pre's "Web OS" sure sounds niceā€”all developers need to know is JavaScript, HTML and CSS? Sounds good in theory, but building a mobile app will never be as easy as cranking out a new theme for your Tumblr. Palm's stressing ease of development, though, so it will be interesting to see how it stacks up against Apple's solid, familiar-to-devs OS X-based SDK and Android's fully open source approach. Advantage: Pre? If it's straight-up JavaScript, that's a lot of programmers ready to go. Note: we had iPhone here before, but we've switched with a qualification. Developer community still goes to iPhone for volume.

and

Multitasking: One of the beefiest of our beefs with the iPhone SDK is its insistence on Apps running one at a time. The G1's notifications drawer was definitely a step in the right direction, but the Pre's interface is the first smartphone OS that was built with multitasking as a core design element. Resembling the Xbox's old Blades, or a less-jarring OS X Expose even, the Pre's "Cards" interface always places you in the context of every app running for fast switching, and notifications from other apps don't pull you away completely from the task at hand. Multitasking is hugely important on a phone, and it's a good sign that Palm recognizes. Advantage: Pre

Wondering if Palm Pre will make a comeback. Overall, Gizmodo really liked the interface and gave it an honest review. But how does Palm's relationship with Sprint work out? I know a lot of people who are on the Sprint network, who are moving to AT&T because they needed a smart phone ages ago. Most of these people are moving because one of their immediate family members transferred to AT&T awhile back, and now their move to AT&T will save them money (because mobile-to-mobile is included on AT&T). This will be an interesting battle for Palm.

SlingPlayer Mobile for iPhone and Mac HD

slingobox_dashboard.jpg

Just got the SlingBox for Christmas, and we're pretty excited about it since we researched a whole year between Apple TV, SlingBox, and one that the NY Times wrote about, but I can't find that article now. They're all about $250-$350, but the biggest factor for us was the HD aspect. Streaming has been pretty good on Slingbox (we tested when Nick visited Jerseyville and Singapore). Also access to our recorded shows on TiVo is pretty sweet. They even have a Dashboard widget (the screenshot above). We heard that they were going to come out with an iPhone app before we bought it, so now we know for sure because they just announced it at MacWorld Expo 2009 on TÚAW.

Just in time because lately, since the national analog to digital conversion for TV, my stairmaster no longer plays TV. This poses a timing problem and a programming problem. I'm not sure if it's because our super is lazy (which I highly doubt), but I think some of the treadmills are obsolete. I've been listening to Stitcher on my iPhone, an app mimicking radio news, but it's not enough. Especially because my Sunday routines is to do 45 minutes while watching Frontline and Meet The Press. My friends suggest This American Life and various podcasts and RSS, but I need something more visual when I work out. And I would be able to watch any show anytime, uninterrupted (fast forward through ads). The Slingbox App is very much anticipated.

January 14, 2009

Random Generator of Bush Quotes... Part Deux

As I mentioned in an earlier blog post if the Google ads in the lower right module were real (i.e. because the links stayed static for two clicks) in the Guardian's Random Generator Tool of President Bush's quotes. And someone from the Guardian emailed me this:

They were real (the reason they didn't change with each click was because it was javascript within the webpage that changed - not the webpage itself).


guardian_bushism2.jpg

This post is for all the geeks and nameless bloggers that people do read your blog, ha!

January 15, 2009

New York City and Heroes...

I <3 FDNY, NYPD, Coast Guards, Paramedics, et. al.

usairways_crash.jpg

Need I say more? As a NYC-transplant, I love watching everyone pulling together collaboratively to remedy the situation. Photo above was taken by James Nicholas Sears at Battery Park, NYC. And yes, that's the tail.

At first I thought the story about birds sounded ludicrous, but when we went out there, we saw a flock of them flying around the area.

If you want to see more photos, check out my Flickr photos, we took the D700 out for a run with a Nikon 70-300m, 5.6 lens. I'm satisfied the D700 is great with low light. All photos taken by James Nicholas Sears...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/thinkinggirl/sets/72157612620227474/

Geotags:

Google Maps
http://tinyurl.com/usaircrashphotolocation

Google Earth
http://jamesnsears.com/temp/photo_location.kmz

January 16, 2009

After DC next Tuesday, what next?

Well, there's a really cool exhibition, titled "CAN & DID - Graphics, Art, and Photography from the Obama Campaign," coming up featuring the works from:

Michael Bierut
Shepard Fairey
Robert Indiana
Annie Leibovitz
Mr. Brainwash
Michael Murphy
Paula Scher
Sol Sender, Andy Keene, and Amanda Gentry
Mickalene Thomas
David Turnley
Lance Wyman
Jim Young
& work from the Design for Obama website

Danziger Projects
521 West 26th Street
New York, NY 10001
Telephone 212.629.6778

For a preview, visit http://www.danzigerprojects.com/upcoming/

January 18, 2009

Washington DC is the place to be...

On my way to the Mayflower, I just saw Joe Biden on his way to the Inaugural Concert. The block before, I saw Bill Clinton, but didn't have time to pull out my camera... Oh well.

20090118_biden01blog.jpg

To see a bigger version of these photos, visit my Flickr account.

January 19, 2009

Robert Frank Exhibition at the Smithsonian

Awesome Robert Frank Exhibition at the Smithsonian. It is pretty comprehensive with prints from The Americans and Black, White And Things. Not only do they exhibit prints, but his test prints, contact sheets, application for the Guggenheim Fellowship, Jack Kerouac's drafts and letters to Walker Evans. This is probably the best photography exhibition I've been to, along with another one, a few years back at LACMA on some experimental Japanese photographs.

This is one of my favorite photographs of all time. Mr. Frank took this in New Orleans in 1955. After coming out of jail, he was shooting a parade, and then quickly captured this photo. There are racial and gender tones [Caucasian male, Caucasian female, Caucasian boy, etc.]. Obviously, this photo was taken during segregation. A couple of weeks after Frank took this photo, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. You should be familiar with Robert Frank's works if you're a photographer.

rf_trolley.jpg

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It ends in April. Also, they have a smaller Ansel Adams exhibition close by, which ends in March. I am definitely coming back. Last, I saw ads 2-for-1 tickets for an exhibition for Richard Avedon's works (also in DC as well).

January 22, 2009

Obama Photos at the Inaugural Parade

min_obama1.jpg

So my girlfriend, Min Batstone and her husband, Ian, fought their way through the crowds to take these photos. She said she was close to Ann Curry as well, one of my favorite journalists.

All photos were taken by Min Batstone, and can be viewed on Flickr profile. Please contact her if you would like to use them.

min_obama2.jpg
He waves to her directly in this photo.

min_obama3.jpg

min_obama4.jpg

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min_ann_curry.jpg
I <3 Ann Curry. This photo is also taken by Min.


January 24, 2009

Beautiful LED light installation in at the National Gallery of Arts in DC

I didn't get to visit this, but plan to on my next trip to DC. This LED installation was designed by Leo Villareal, an ITP Alumni, and is located at the National Gallery of Arts. I'm not sure if it's interactive, but anyway, it's a sight.

min_dc_led_light1.jpg

min_dc_led_light2.jpg

Please credit Min Batstone.

Always finding treasures on Flickr...

I found out so many and learned how to do so many things on Flickr. It is truly one of the most successful social software. So far, one of my photos have been published in foreign newsletters, domestic music videos, Art Forum magazine (Print edition) and BBC (digital edition). I learned how to take a screenshot of my iPhone app, and meet great photographers and artists, who tell me about new interesting exhibitions or advise me on camera purchases.

lia_inet_newsletter_flickr.jpg
Please credit Lia Bulaong.

Just recently, on Lia Bulaong's page, I found the above photo with a lot of people commenting about this newspaper/newsletter on select internet writings from techno-artists-designers, such as "Michael Beirut, Matt Jones, Michal Migurski and the Mars Phoenix probe" (Lia Bulaong). Lia also included a link where you can order this paper, which is pretty cool. It's published by Ben Terrett and Russell Davies of Really Interesting Group. I just ordered one. You can read more about their project here.

Lia is definitely a cool hunter.

Dot Dot Dot, The Urbanist, Part I

urbanist_01.jpg

I went in with the mind set of not taking notes for all four speakers, which is why I just brought my iPhone and no tablet.

But at the end of Rachel Abram's talk, and in the middle of Soo-in Yang's talk, I decided to not be lazy, and start taking notes. I've seen Rachel speak at an IDEA event in 2007 and an AIGA/Apple event last year [a link to my notes last year]. She spoke about how her many diciplines have added to her interaction design, and showed some of her research of the taxi system. Soo-in Yang is an architect who created this physical interactive sculpture that reacts to information about air quality via mobile phones. It was a public art piece in South Korea (look at photos below). He also collaborated with Rob Faludi and Terence Arjo on another project.

urbanist_02.jpg


Last, was this music composer, Phil Kline, who started Unsilent Night, an event that happens on Christmas Eve, and started with a couple of people in NYC, but has grown to thousands in many other cities. You can see his video on YouTube.

Dot Dot Dot, The Urbanist, Part II

urbanist_03.jpg
A slide from Adam Greenfield's Presentation

Adam Greenfield, who taught at ITP, and wrote the book titled Everyware also spoke at Dot Dot Dot, and now head of design direction at Nokia. He researches many ubiquitous computing systems. I can't cover everything he spoke about, but if you want to see some of his presentation slides, visit my Flickr set. Here are some of the highlights that you can look up or read about in his new book The City Is Here For You To Use:

UNStudio with Arup Engineering: Galleria West, Apgujeongdong in S. Korea

u-Cheonggyecheong: Instead of cleaning the stream, they wrapped it in media.

Tom Armitage, Making Bridges Talk: What if the London Bridge could Twitter?

u-City New Songdo: totally networked, and can track everything down to tagging soda bottles with RFID tags that can automatically credit your account even if you throw it in trash. Every action is recorded and mediated. This project is still a work-in-progress.

Massive simultaneity: The 1K Project

MITsenseable city lab/New York Talk Exchange (NYTE)

Mosaic of Singapore mall: A photo that shows a lady moving through a mall physically, but this mosaic also shows a layer of secondary information--who is on the other end of her mobile phone. We should think about cyberspace (Being on phone is like being in cyberspace) when we think about designing the physical space.

Stamen Design: Oakland Crimespotting
Think about constraints in analysis (e.g. Taxonomy of police department is already a constraint (e.g. categorizing rape).

iPhone/Flickr: Geotagging/Search urbanism, browse urbanism, make urban API. If we check the weather before we go out, we are conditioned to that networked information, hence Adam calls this a "network overlay." Contemplate how this "overlay" reflects every decision we make (i.e. real-time info).

I've also added Adam Greenfield's blog to my RSS Feeds and Google Reader.

Lightwave '09, Part I

I'm in Dublin, Ireland to document some work at the Lightwave Exhibition in the Science Gallery at Trinity College. This exhibition is trying to bridge science and art. Already, there a couple of ITPers showing their works: James N. Sears, Nurit Bar-Shai, and Lori Napolean.

Nick is showing his second design of The Orb, which now plays videos and Processing apps, and still images. Right now, Jonathan Cousin's data visualization is currently on The Orb.
lightwave_nick.jpg


Nurit Bar-Shai collaborated with other artists and MIT to show live video feeds of cellular interactions and the Northern Lights, of course separately.
lightwave_nurit.jpg


Lori Napoleon created an interactive sculpture called "Scintillator." The sculpture is composed of tetrahedral shapes, and changes color when you touch it.
lightwave_lori.jpg

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Later, I will try to post photos on Flickr. Feel free to ping me if I forget.

Lightwave '09, Part II

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I just went to a laser performance by Dmitry Gelfand and Evelina Domnitch. This was pretty amazing, but unfortunately I couldn't take photos. Here's a link to a video...

They have three colored high-powered lasers in red, green and blue, which is refracted and projected over a circular flat tray with soapy solution. When they manipulate the solution, beautiful textures are projected. There was a grainy texture, so I had to ask how they achieved that. They told me that they just densely packed the bubbles together, playing with the surface tension and properties, such as hydrophilic/hydrophobic surfaces of the bubble. What is seen is a visual and elegant light show, sometimes the light bubble film looked like peacock feathers. If you have an opportunity to see this show live, I highly recommend it.

lightwave_dmitri_evelina2.jpg
The artists (from left to right) Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand.


January 31, 2009

Lightwave '09, Part III

Lêbonê Project: Lighting Africa with Off-Grid Energy
In partnership with Harvard University/Lêbonê Solutions, Professor David Edwards, Huga Van Vuuren, Ralph Borland & Richard Kirk

They can produce electricity from soil, using microbial fuel cell technology. Overnight, they were able to produce at least 5V.
lightwave_africa.jpg

This project would complement the Kennedy Violich Portable Light Project (more info here).

About January 2009

This page contains all entries posted to keeyool.com in January 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

December 2008 is the previous archive.

February 2009 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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