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Art Design

Sculptural Metal Jewelry by Ewa Nowak Helps Wearers Avoid Being Tracked by Facial Recognition Technology

August 26, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Several methodologies have been tested to try and thwart growing facial recognition technologies, however perhaps none are as elegant as Polish designer Ewa Nowak’s metal jewelry. Her project, Incognito, was born out of her own uneasiness about the global state of privacy, and was tested using Facebook’s DeepFace algorithm to ensure its success.

The implement is worn like glasses, with arms reaching around the wearer’s ears. Two round pieces of metal cover each cheek, and an elongated piece extends upward between the eyes, creating a trifecta of polished objects that help deflect software used IRL in security systems and public cameras, and online through social media.

Incognito recently won the Mazda Design Award at the Łódź Design Festival. You can see more of her projects, including a reflective mask also used as a way to keep one’s anonymity, on her website and Instagram. (via Plain Magazine)

 

 



Art

Four Seasons of Flowers Appear to Blossom and Wither in a Responsive Installation by teamLab

August 7, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Illuminated columns protrude from the ground of bath house ruins in a new installation by teamLab (previously). The structures, which the Japanese collective refers to as “megaliths,” feature moving images of waterfalls and flowers in a constant state of change. Over the course of an hour, visitors will experience one year of seasonal flowers bud, grow, blossom, and wither away. Incorporated into the megaliths is also imagery of flowing water that adapts to the movement of nearby viewers. Each element of the artwork is computer generated, unique, and will never appear in the same state again.

Megaliths in the Bath House Ruins was created for a new exhibition titled A Forest Where Gods Live, in Mifuneyama Rakuen Park on the Japanese island of Kyushu, which runs through November 4, 2019. The soundtrack for the piece was created by Hideaki Takahashi, and sponsored by Grand Seiko. You can view more computer-animated sculptures and installations on teamLab’s website and Vimeo. (via designboom)

 

 



Art

A Programmable 8-Bit Computer Created Using Traditional Embroidery Techniques and Materials

February 13, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

The Embroidered Computer by Irene Posch and Ebru Kurbak doesn’t look like what you might expect when you think of a computer. Instead, the work looks like an elegantly embroidered textile, complete with glass and magnetic beads and a meandering pattern of copper wire. The materials have conductive properties which are arranged in specific patterns to create electronic functions. Gold pieces on top of the magnetic beads flip depending on the program, switching sides as different signals are channeled through the embroidered work.

“Traditionally purely decorative, [the work’s patterns] defines their function,” explained Posch on her website. “They lay bare core digital routines usually hidden in black boxes. Users are invited to interact with the piece in programming the textile to compute for them.”

The piece is a reference to the historic similarity between textile creation and computing, for example the Jacquard loom being an important influence on the evolution of computing hardware. Posch is a researcher and artist with a background in media and computer science who explores the how technological seeps into the fields of art and craft, and Kurbak is an artist and designer who investigates the hidden politics of everyday spaces and routines. You can learn more about their work and partnerships here or here. (via Kottke)

 

 



Science

GPS Map Composed of 68,000 Pinpoints Tracks the Territorial Nature of Minnesota Wolves

January 31, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

The Voyageurs Wolf Project is a collaboration between the University of Minnesota and Voyageurs National Park which tracks and studies wolves throughout the warmer months. In 2018, the project studied six northern Minnesota packs, creating a map that showcases the intensely territorial way the animals behave, and how tightly they stick to their packs. The brightly colored line drawings were composed from 68,000 GPS locations of the six packs, with negligible crossover between the data-driven formations.

Not only does the information help researchers track where wolves have been, but also which prey the wolves have killed. “This detailed GPS-data is incredibly valuable for understanding pack boundaries and also for our predation research,” explains a post from the Voyageurs Wolf Project. “We visited every spot these wolves spent more than 20 minutes to determine if the wolves made a kill. This required an estimated 5,000 miles of hiking this past summer from our field crew!!”

After the original map circulated widely, the team decided to bring the information to life, which you can observe in the GIF below. The moving image includes data from April 15, 2018 to the end of October of the same year, with GPS locations taken every 20 minutes. You can follow more data collected by the Minnesota-based team on Facebook. (via Twisted Sifter)

 

 



Design

GridDrones: These Self-Levitating Nanocopters Might Be the Future of Smartphones

October 12, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Starting tomorrow researchers will gather in Berlin for the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology. The symposium features projects on computer-human interaction, web user interfaces, tangible computing, virtual and augmented reality, and more. During the Human-Robot Symbiosis session a matrix of self-levitating nanocopters called “GridDrones” will be introduced by Sean Braley, Calvin Rubens, Timothy Merritt, Roel Vertegaal. The miniature flying machines act like pixels which can be programmed to perform specific animations and manipulated in real time. Instead of dragging and dropping apps on an iPhone, the technology could lead to manipulating flying objects in physical space which would completely alter how we view the landscape of a computer or phone “screen.” (via Fast Company)

 

 



Design

A New Virtual Reality Demo Allows Users to Explore the Inner Workings of a Friendly Feline

June 11, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Leap Motion describes their newest virtual reality demo, Cat Explorer, as demonstrating “the transformative potential of VR and natural interaction in fields as diverse as education, training, healthcare, and entertainment.” The interactive program allows the user to explore the inner workings of a friendly cartoon feline. Coordinated with the motion of the user’s actual hand and based on a virtual setting, you can see the cat’s skin, muscles, organs, vascular system, and skeleton. The San Francisco-based VR company shares their projects on YouTube and Facebook.

 

 



Illustration

Meet Tatsuo Horiuchi, the 77-Year-Old Artist Who ‘Paints’ Japanese Landscapes With Excel

December 4, 2017

Christopher Jobson

For over 15 years, Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi has rendered the subtle details of mountains, cherry blossoms, and dense forests with the most unlikely tool: Microsoft Excel. The 77-year-old illustrator shunned the idea of paying for expensive painting supplies or even a basic drawing program for his computer, saying that he prefers Excel even over Microsoft Paint because it has “more functions and is easier to use.” Using simple vector drawing tools developed primarily for graphs and simple shapes, Horiuchi instead draws panoramic scenes of life in rural Japan.

Great Big Story recently visited Horiuchi at his home for a brief interview and a behind-the-scenes look at how he works in the video above. If you’re even slightly skeptical, here’s two of his earlier Excel artworks you can download and explore yourself:

Cherry Blossoms at Jogo Castle (2006)
Kegon Falls (2007)

You can explore more of Horiuchi’s Excel drawings on his website and at Spoon & Tamago.