Archive for the 'action' Category

A note on Sopa/Pipa

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

We all know most of the decisions made in the U.S. congress have a direct impact on the rest of the world. Even though most of our countries suffer from some degree of internet censorship, and some people might suggest that we should protest our own disastrous legislations first, the state of the internet in the United States is something we all use to our advantage, something worth protecting, and a good-enough example to look after for some. Perhaps it’s time for the world to take a stand and USE THE INTERNET to tell the U.S. congress that people everywhere have something to say about the decisions they make, like for example, that SOPA/PIPA belongs in the toilet.

I am not going to black out my site because, honestly, I don’t think anybody will care, but in case you happen to see this today (or any other day), I leave you here in the hands of Science Fiction superstar Cory Doctorow, delivering a keynote where he paints a pretty good picture about the current state of things. Additionaly, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has more information on this and other issues central to your freedom online.

Update: The same Cory Doctorow just posted another video on boingboing, where the Khan Academy explains the implications for legitimate sites in a world where SOPA/PIPA is law.

Update Two: Clay Shirky’s take on SOPA/PIPA “Get ready because more is coming”:

Human Interference Project

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

As a continuation of mi recent exploration of Western-European Participatory Rule-based Art Systems, I just contributed with a drawing to the Human Interference Project, a tribute to Jean Tinguely’s Métamatics organized by the Métamatic Research Initiative.

As the project website describes, the drawings should be created based on these rules:

 Use a white A4 sheet and a ballpoint pen.
 Draw a closed shape on the paper.
 Repeat the shape inside the original shape until there is no space left at its centre.
 Repeat the shape outside the original shape until it touches one side of the paper.
 Choose the distance so that you can make at least 50 iterations on the paper.
 Try to repeat each iteration in exactly the same way.
 Sign the drawing in its upper right corner in landscape format.

Note the semantic difference between “based” and “following” when you substitute the former with the latter. It is the difference between suggestion and command, and in this case it gives the participants a lot of room for interpretation. Most participants——myself included——chose to draw around the original shape both inside and outside. But that makes it hard——if not impossible——to keep the further iterations faithful to the original shape. Even though it is easier to draw instances of the same shape if you don’t have to wrap them around the original, only two participants have chosen to do that so far, and it is interesting that both of them used triangles.

I explored a number of options before submitting my choice. I wanted to do something that featured some behavior I believed had some degree of originality, but I also wanted to stay away from formal intricacies or technical conundrums. I decided to look for ambiguity in the idea of “closed shape” not by finding a tricky way to define “closed” but by finding a simple way to make the idea of “interior” relatively unclear. By drawing a line with a few self-intersections I produced enough ambiguity to have a some choices about the interior of the shape. The number eight for example, is it a circle with a twist or is it two circles tangent to each other? From a two dimensional point of view, it can be either one, and the choice you make about which one it is will inform the way you choose to repeat it. I drew the original shape one way, but a minute later I preferred to pretend I drew it differently.

Cuidemos el voto ataca de nuevo

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Cuidemos el voto apoya el esfuerzo cívico para cubrir las próximas elecciones en Guerrero. Aquí está Cuidemos el voto en twitter.


Imagen en alta resolución

Big D

Monday, October 11th, 2010

I’ve recently been given the opportunity to conceptualize and direct a video about the future by Chris Caplice of the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics. Working with his team has been an incredibly rewarding experience, and I was provided with the means to hire wardrobe, art direction, hair and make up, and a cast of eleven actors, including my good friend, Ph.D. zombie superstar Christopher Robichaud. It definitely felt like I was directing a real production. We shot for two days about a week ago, one day in a green screen studio and another one on location at MIT, where I borrowed facilities from the MIT Engineering Systems Division and the MIT School of Architecture and Planning.

The nature of this project needs to remain confidential until it is released, so I can’t say much more about it yet, except that it has been a lot of adventure and fun, and I am grateful with everyone that has helped me with it.


Photo: T. Whitlow as Helen Palmer.

Shrunken Red Hook on Radar

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

RADAR – Honey, I Shrunk Redhook from Reboot Stories.

Internet Necesario

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Internetnecesario.org es una plataforma que permite visualizar todos los mensajes en twitter con el hashtag #internetnecesario al cual ha contribuido toda la comunidad tuitera.

El objetivo principal es que cualquier usario de internet pueda seguir la discusión pública que se está dando en redes sociales entorno al impuesto especial del 3% a los servicios ofrecidos por las redes de telecomunicación en México.

La plataforma cuenta con otras dos funciones que permiten que las expresiones sobre el tema no sólo sean gritos al aire sino que se traduzcan en presión a los integrantes del Congreso de la Unión. La primera es que todos los días a las 12 de la noche, se enviarán a todos los correos de las y los Senadores y Diputados un archivo con todos los tuits que digan #internetnecesario. La segunda herramienta es una petición que, hemos retomado de otras páginas de Internet, que puede ser firmada por quienes coincidan con los argumentos de rechazo al impuesto de 3% a telecomunicaciones. Esta petición y las firmas también serán enviadas a los correos electrónicos de los integrantes del Congreso de la Unión.

Honey I shrunk the Red Hook

Friday, August 7th, 2009

When my friend Laura Arena recently opened her Lucky Gallery in the heart of Red Hook Brooklyn, I immediately asked her if she would like me to put together an art show there.

I had the intention to make a wallpaper based pop-art inspired installation at the time, but it soon came clear that things were going to be different.

First, Laura expressed that she wanted her gallery to focus on collaborative work, and second, she suggested me to work on collaboration with her friend Andy Cavatorta, which is now a student in the MIT Media Lab. I accepted, and soon Andy and I were having lunch from the chinese-vietnamese food trucks at MIT every day of the week [Goosebeary’s for those in the know], talking about ideas, intentions, and art. I wanted to use the laser cutter, and we both agreed on having something related to photography, and of a public art nature, preferably participatory, and with no electronics in it.

We decided to make a dollhouse version of the space around Lucky Gallery and call it “Honey I Shrunk the Red Hook”.

This is what I wrote for the opening event’s press release:
“Red Hook has an air of Mystery that I can’t find anywhere else in New York. It feels somewhat uncharted, perhaps separated as it is from the New York comprehensive subway network. When thinking about making art for Red Hook, I immediately felt like using this art as an excuse to get closer to the people in it, and learn about the place from them, hopefully helping them learn from each other in the process.”

And this is the project’s description from the same press release:
“Honey, I Shrunk the Red Hook” is a collaboration between Luis Blackaller and Andy Cavatorta who’s aim is to start a creative discussion about Red Hook. It will function as a public action, interactive installation and participatory performance. A diverse mix of members of the Red Hook community will be brought together to use art and the gallery space as communication devices. The artists will create a cardboard model of the streets around the gallery, and a collection of photographic dolls representing real Red Hook dwellers. Visitors to the Gallery will be encouraged to play with the dolls, having the option to have their own doll ready for the next weekend if they want. The familiar sights and people everybody knows will meet the ones in the imagination, giving visitors a chance to meet (or even be!) the familiar strangers all around them.

The show will open this weekend [August 8th], and will host different activities every weekend of August. If you’re in New York this month and would like to enjoy the warmth of Red Hook [probably Brooklyn’s best hidden jewel], just take the free Ikea ferry [it’s docked on Pier 11, downtown Manhattan] and check out this show. I will be putting pictures and related media here.



Thanks a lot to everyone that helped us with pictures for their dolls. Their virtual [yet physical] presence in Red hook is going to be awesome.