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A Virtually New Web

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“Anarchic Openness” Reaps Massive Results

Jason Pontin, Technology Review’s editor in chief, introduces and reflects on “Second Earth,” the piece by contributing editor Wade Roush that is the July/August issue of the magazine’s cover story in this video. Pontin argues that the extraordinary success of virtual worlds, such as Linden Lab’s Second Life, and mirror worlds, such as Google Earth, can only partly be explained by new technologies including cheaper bandwidth, graphics cards, and free storage. Much more important was the decision of Linden Lab and Google to support an anarchic openness within their cyberworlds. Both companies have turned over control to users: any user can add almost anything to either environment. This decision has made Second Life and Google Earth into collaborative social communities with millions of registered users. [via] Continue reading


Jun 29, 15:24
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Wikipedia in Second life

Feedamass, the “know-it-all” sidekick that fetches information to nearly any device, functions in virtual spaces, Second Life, for instance. A script sends a search query from Second Life chat to Wikipedia, and back in-world as a silent message to the user. It’s all contained in a ring worn on your finger … [via New World Notes]


Jun 29, 15:03
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Britannica vs Wikipedia

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Michael Gorman + danah boyd

“Perhaps this view of an emerging collective human consciousness is … if it is put forward seriously, it is antihuman and intellectually debasing. The structures of scholarship and learning are based on respect for individuality and the authentic expression of individual personalities. The person who creates knowledge or literature matters as much as the knowledge or the literature itself … An encyclopedia (literally, the “circle of learning”) is the product of many minds. It is not the product of a collective mind. It is an assemblage of texts that have been written by people with credentials and expertise and that have been edited, verified, and supplied with a scholarly apparatus enabling the user to locate desired knowledge. It differs in almost all relevant particulars from one of the current manifestations of the flight from expertise—Wikipedia, which bills itself as “the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit” and to which everyone can contribute irrespective of whether they possess, or simply pretend to possess, credentials and expertise…” Web 2.0: The Sleep of Reason, Part II by Michael Gorman, Britannica Blog.

” … The Internet - and Wikipedia - change the rules for distribution and production … It means that individuals who know something can easily share it, even when they are not formally declared as experts. It means that those with editing skills can help the information become accessible, even if they only edit occasionally. It means that multi-lingual individuals can help get information to people who speak languages that publishers do not consider worth their time. It means that anyone with an Internet connection can get access to information traditionally locked behind the gates of institutions (and currently locked in digital vaults).

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Jun 29, 14:17
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Nick Bostrom

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Are you Living in a Computer Simulation?

ABSTRACT: This paper argues that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation. A number of other consequences of this result are also discussed. Are you Living in a Computer Simulation? by Nick Bostrom, Department of Philosophy, Oxford University.

“Why the Matrix? Why did the machines do it? (Human brains may be many things, but efficient batteries they are not.) How could they justify a world whose inhabitants are systematically deceived about their fundamental reality, ignorant about the reason why they exist, and subject to all the cruelty and suffering that we witness in the world around us?” From Why Make a Matrix? And Why You Might Be In One: by Nick Bostrom.

Also see: Simulism is a concept that deals with the possibility that we are living in a simulation. Continue reading


Jun 29, 11:37
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Double Skin/Double Mind

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Experience a workshop, virtually

The interactive installation version of Double Skin/Double Mind will preview at Beeldmedia Studio, Amsterdam School of the Arts, Jodenbreestraat 3 on June 29 + 30 from 16:00-20:00.

Double Skin / Double Mind is a virtual version of the Double Skin / Double Mind workshop. This workshop, which has been taught by dance company Emio Greco | PC since 1996, represents the basis of the creative work of choreographers Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten. Participants in this workshop are challenged to discover new interpretations of their dancing body.

Throughout 2006 an interdisciplinary research group, consisting of dance notators Eliane Mirzabekiantz and Marion Bastien, motion capture researcher Fridiric Bevilacqua, cognitive neuroscientist Corinne Jola, media artist Chris Ziegler, cinematography Maite Bermudez, artistic research processes Scott de Lahunta and EG | PC researcher Bertha Bermudez, has been focusing on this specific workshop trying to analyse and document it. Continue reading


Jun 29, 11:05
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The $20,000 Question:

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Are we witnessing … the emergence of a global mind?

An emergent property by definition cannot be achieved with a centralized system and the degree of emergence required to achieve a suitably complex evolved culture can only happen in a dynamic environment that is shaped by the populace. This essential quality is built into the very concept of reality, as defined by LL. ‘The thing we concluded is that something is only real if you can change it. If thereÂs a pixel on the screen in front of you in SL, and you can’t alter it, then why would we put it there?’

Does the name Mitch Kapor sound familiar? If you are interested in the history of SL, the answer may well be yes, because he was one if LL’s earliest investors. “Mitch Kapor was the only person who got it”, said Rosedale in an interview with Inc. Magazine.

Personally, Mitch Kapor first came to my attention through an essay of his, published in 2002 on Kurzweilai.net. As with LL and SL, Kapor was putting money forward in anticipation of a future outcome, but this time the money was riding on a failure, not success. The bet centred on a question: Will the Turing Test be passed by a machine by 2029? Ray Kurzweil said ‘yes’, Kapor said ‘No’ and whoever loses will donate $20,000 to a charity selected by the winner.

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Jun 28, 15:57
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Mediated: How the Media Shapes Your World and the Way You Live in It

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On Real and Unreal Time

“(W)e are living a fusion of real and unreal time, an ongoing undulation of overlays and intersections…It’s most like the way good old-fashioned thinking and imagining work in relation to sensing and perceiving … It says that back before representational technologies developed, before literacy itself, people were also living in a fusion of real and unreal time because they were daydreaming while they were doing this or that. Just having a mind is to be in unreal time as well as in real time … What that says is that representational technologies have colonized our minds … To the extent that our thoughts no longer wander around on their own, stocked only with materials drawn from direct experience, to the extent that they follow flows of representations instead–to just that extent that we don’t think our own thoughts. Literally…

When the term first arose, “real-time” implied speed, intensified velocity. The medium doing the representing was transforming reality into representation immediately. The expression was first used in connection with digital processing of information … It was a term of praise that focused on how fast a computer could record the file transaction as compared with paper-shuffling clerks. It wasn’t until the fact that computers could keep up with events was taken for granted that we noticed that security cameras in public places were real-time media too. And nothing seems slower than those! How strange. Why is that? No editing. No manipulation of what is presented. Continue reading


Jun 28, 15:14
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A Theatre Without Theatre

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The Links Between the ‘Experience of the Senses’ and ‘Action’

A Theatre Without Theatre :: until September 11, 2007 :: Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Placa dels Angels, 1, 08001 Barcelona :: Curators: Bernard Blistène and Yann Chateigné, with the collaboration of Pedro G. Romero :: Co produced by: Museu dÂ’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) and Museo Berardo in Lisbon.

A Theatre Without Theatre explores the metaphors in which the influences of the theatre model made themselves felt in the arts of our times throughout the 20th century. This exhibition brings together more than 800 works, including paintings, sculptures, installations, drawings, photographs, videos, manuscripts and various other types of documents.

The exhibition reflects on the condition of the subject in contemporary society and on the links between the ‘experience of the senses’ and ‘action’. At the same time, it considers the dramatic roots of art as a constituent element of western modernity: from Vsevolod Meyerhold to Oskar Schlemmer, from Antonin Artaud to Judith Malina and Julian Beck (founders of the Living Theatre company), from Samuel Beckett to Tadeusz Kantor, the theatre has been a wellspring of ideas and theories that have been absorbed by art, becoming models of the aesthetic and spatial relationship. Art could, to a certain extent, be ‘the other stage’ of dramatic practice. Continue reading


Jun 28, 11:53
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Sentient World Simulation

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War Games on the Grandest Scale

“Perhaps your real life is so rich you don’t have time for another. Even so, the US Department of Defense (DOD) may already be creating a copy of you in an alternate reality to see how long you can go without food or water, or how you will respond to televised propaganda. The DOD is developing a parallel to Planet Earth, with billions of individual “nodes” to reflect every man, woman, and child this side of the dividing line between reality and AR. Continue reading


Jun 27, 16:05
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The Present Group presents

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Earth-Kiln-Bay-Kiln-Bay

Land Art Performance meets the digital world. ArtistÂ’s work presented online for the public to experience: The Present Group, a quarterly art subscription service, unveiled an interactive online version of Earth-Kiln-Bay-Kiln-Bay today. For his piece (the second edition of The Present Group) artist Presley Martin collected weathered bricks from a beach in Berkeley, CA. To insert himself into the process, Martin glazed and fired these cast-offs before returning them to the beach and arranging them in a simple circular form. As the tide rose and fell, the waves of the San Francisco Bay continued to weather and re-distributed the bricks. With the help of The Present Group and the United States Postal System, the bricks continue their journey around the country, each stage collected and re-presented to the homes of TPG subscribers. Emily Kuenstler sums up the work in her statement,

“I find Martin’s work especially relevant to the times in which we now live. While the seriousness of world events and crises require daily reckoning with meaning, reclaimed objects inherently illicit new meanings, recontextualized. Rethinking where we have been as a society—and how we have gotten here—is crucial; doing so in a pure, considered aesthetic gesture is restorative.” Continue reading


Jun 27, 13:43
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Networked Performance (N_P) is a research blog that focuses on emerging network-enabled practice.
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Turbulence Works

These are some of the latest works commissioned by Turbulence.org's net art commission program.
A More Subtle Perplex A Temporary Memorial Project for Jobbers' Canyon Built with ConAgra Products ABSML Ars Virtua Artist-in-Residence (AVAIR) (2007) Awkward_NYC Bonding Energy Bronx Rhymes Cell Tagging (2006) Channel TWo: NY Constellation Over Playas Data Diaries Domain of Mount Greylock—Video Portal Eclipse Empire State Endgame: A Cold War Love Story by Tal Halpern From the Valley of the Deer FUJI spaces and other places by Nurit Bar-Shai Google Variations by Leonardo Solaas Gothamberg (2007) Grafik Dynamo (2005) Grow Old Handheld Histories as Hyper-Monuments (2007) html_butoh (2007) I am unable to tell you I'm Not Stalking You; I'm Socializing by Liz Filardi iLib Shakespeare (the perturbed sonnet project) INTERP Invisible Influenced by Will Pappenheimer and Chipp Jansen iPak - 10,000 songs, 10,000 images, 10,000 abuses by Ajaykumar iSkyTV Journal of Journal Performance Studies L-Carrier Les Belles Infidèles look art Lumens My Beating Blog (2006) MYPOCKET by Burak Arikan No Time Machine by Daniel C. Howe and Aya Karpinska Nothing Happens: a performance in three acts (2006) Nothing You Have Done Deserves Such Praise Oil Standard (2006) Panemoticon Peripheral n°2: KEYBOARD (2006) Playing Duchamp by Scott Kildall Plazaville Psychographics: Consumer Survey Recollecting Adams School of Perpetual Training Searching for Michelle/SFM Self-Portrait (2006) Shadow Play: Tales of Urbanization of China ShiftSpace Social Relay Mail Space Video Spectral Quartet Superfund365, A Site-A-Day (2007) This and that thought. Touching Gravity 2/Tilt Tumbarumba Tweet 4 Action Urban Attractors and Private Distractors (2007) We Ping Good Things To Life Wikireuse Without A Trace WoodEar Word Market Yeas and Nays You Don't Know Me [ openspace ] wilderness [meme.garden] (2006)
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