Archive for the 'mitplw' Category

Openframeworks + Kinect still working

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Last night I was looking at depthkit and 8i while researching options for video-based 3D capture, and I felt inspired to rescue my old kinect from the bottom of a drawer. I got a fresh copy of openframeworks and ten minutes later I had a running build of the openframeworks kinect example in my computer. It was literally like time-traveling to 2011. I remember capturing a point cloud of Amy pregnant back before Maya was born. A couple of months later the kinect found oblivion in the bottom of a drawer and I stopped using openframeworks until now.

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Ten years blogging

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

I still remember exactly ten years from today, when @johnmaeda recommended me to start a blog shortly after I joined the Media Lab under his tutelage. I think he meant that I used it as a tool for self-promotion, but my blogging enterprise promptly evolved into a sort of introspective public journal with an audience of approximately one, myself always included 😀 —and now ten years have passed, ten years since my first WordPress installation and ten years since I wrote this words. I still believe that Information is not Knowledge is not Wisdom is not Love but my priorities, motivations and interests have shifted greatly from that era. This is natural since much has changed around and within me. Even blogs, that felt so new back then —every cool kid had one— feel like archeological artifacts when compared to contemporary digital media. I have grown very fond of this journal, and I will continue writing on it and keeping my little server running for as long as I can. The privilege of having this window to my personal history is priceless.

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Mit Media Lab 30th Anniversary

Friday, November 6th, 2015

Just came back from the MIT Media Lab 30th Anniversary celebration. It was a great excuse to spend a few days in Cambridge with the family and reconnect with old friends while catching up with a place where Science Fiction is everyday life.

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Delicious, 4397 bookmarks later

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

I posted my first bookmark to delicious on 7/13/06, back when it was called del.icio.us. In spite of having changed owner a couple of times, and survived a couple of not very fortunate redesigns, delicious might be the online service that I have most consistently used to aggregate annotated content from the web. Gone are the days when I interacted with it socially; most of the users in my network haven’t used it in a very long time, but I still find pleasure using it to collect interesting links and track my browsing preferences by exploring my data. Unlike other services from that era, delicious has kept available a simple API without forcing any horrendous authentication protocols on their users. This has allowed me to keep my delicious tags page alive —a simple sketch where I render all my tags using size and color to visualize frequency of usage. At this point, it’s pretty clear what my favorite webpages and websites are about.

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I wonder if any knowledge can be inferred from the tag diversity expressed by an active user in a given amount of time. Does it reflect something about the user’s vocabulary as well as the diversity of their interests? Is there something in common about a group of users that grow their collections of tags and bookmarks at similar rates even if the bookmarks and tags have nothing in common? Can this behavior be evidence of a personal and/or philosophical disposition from users towards knowledge? In section 2.2.2 of Mr. Palomar (The cheese museum), Italo Calvino conjectures that a proclivity towards or against sample diversity will influence —and even shape— the nature of the knowledge acquired from a given experience, in his case, the quest for truth in the appreciation of a particular cheese.

If you have been a delicious user, you can visit my delicious tags page and pass along your username as a parameter. My page will return a nicely crafted version of your delicious data, perhaps helping you learn something you didn’t know about yourself. Here are some examples:

http://black.mitplw.com/delicious/?user=blackaller,
http://black.mitplw.com/delicious/?user=vvva,
http://black.mitplw.com/delicious/?user=buza,
http://black.mitplw.com/delicious/?user=burnto,
http://black.mitplw.com/delicious/?user=tang,
http://black.mitplw.com/delicious/?user=golan,
http://black.mitplw.com/delicious/?user=believekevin,
http://black.mitplw.com/delicious/?user=victoreremita,
http://black.mitplw.com/delicious/?user=kylemcdonald,
http://black.mitplw.com/delicious/?user=arikan,
http://black.mitplw.com/delicious/?user=reas.

An exercise in personalization

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Last month I worked with BuzaMoto on a website for the MoMA Armory Show 2012. Mud made the website and I provided the content artwork for the main feature of the site: A personalized virtual BobbleHead creation tool.

These BobbleHeads are offered by MoMA as an extra token for people that buy access to the live stream of the Armory Show closing event: a live performance by mexican chill wave band Neon Indian. In addition to this, the collection of generated BobbleHeads will be projected on stage during the performance.

Aside from it being an interesting fundraising participation system, momaarmoryshow.org is an excellent example of a seamless, low-effort online transaction experience. I would probably spend a lot more money on digital content if other online stores made shopping as easy and pleasant as momaarmoryshow.org does.

I designed most of the BobbleHeads based on dead celebrity artists (Frida, Picasso, Warhol, Louise Bourgeois, etc.), together with a couple of celebrities from pop culture, one science celebrity, and a monster made from body parts of several cadavers. This flickr link features the complete BobbleHead collection in the form of a wallpaper, including a famous superhero that didn’t make it to the website for obvious copyright reasons.

Here are the two BobbleHeads I made so far:

  • Black on a Saturday morning, featuring the real me,
  • and Maya goes to the gallery, featuring Maya as an art snob.
  • Update: Mud’s post in the BuzaMoto blog.