Archive for the 'plw' Category

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.



Casey Reas Linear Perspective

Sunday, September 6th, 2015

Casey Reas just opened a show at the Charlie James Gallery in Chinatown LA last night. It is interesting to see how his generative work has recently shifted from the purely algorithmic —using rules and numbers as a base to create form from scratch— to a deconstructive commentary on media that utilizes content units —like digital photographs and video streams— as a source of [not quite] raw data that generates his quasi abstract forms over an extended period of time. One of his pieces, the one I photographed for this article, retrieves the main photograph from the cover page of the New York Times every day, and uses it as is as a topological stripe that stretches across the digital frame over and over again, weaving a familiar, yet unrecognizable tapestry across the big television screen that Casey chose as his canvas. Well done.



Delicious, 4397 bookmarks later

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

I posted my first bookmark to delicious on 7/13/06, back when it was called 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.


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:,,,,,,,,,,

Celebrating Muntadas

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

I just came back from MIT after an amazing weekend participating in the public space? lost & found — symposium and exhibition to celebrate the twenty five years of Muntadas at MIT. Muntadas was my teacher and mentor during my Media Lab years, and has remained a great friend after that, and I was honored to be part of this exhibition with my work on surveillance in the Red line of the MBTA subway system called The Red Line Tour.

It curiously snowed upon my arrival, even though it is almost May, and the city of Boston was in a state of disarray due to the preparations for the 2014 edition of their famous Marathon, but the weather cleared up beautifully and my constant delays didn’t stop me from having a fantastic time hanging out with old friends and making new ones, both in the categories of human friends and place [or location] friends.

I stole the following images from the symposium blog. The picture with the circles shows where I was and where my artwork is. If you are in Cambridge Massachusetts before October 30th this year, please don’t hesitate to visit this exhibition in the MIT Media Lab. The featured Public Art projects are all extremely interesting, and the Media Lab itself is a mind-blowing experience anyway, so just do it, ok?




Propagación de Ficciones

Sunday, October 20th, 2013


Maria Paula Lorgia y AnaDK me invitaron a participar con una plática en el Seminario Transmedia y Narrativas Audiovisuales 2013 en Bogotá, Colombia. Después de mucho deliberar, AnaDK y yo decidimos expresarnos en forma conjunta, y combinar nuestros pontos de vista con el objeto de discutir los populares conceptos de Transmedia y World Building:

Los términos importados World Building, originado en la ciencia ficción estadounidense para describir la construcción de escenarios capaces de albergar mitologías y épicas completas, y Narrativa Transmedia, originado en discusiones académicas recientes de teoría crítica para describir métodos de propagación de historias o superhistorias a través de plataformas múltiples, describen en si mismos técnicas de construcción narrativa que aprovechan al máximo los recursos de comunicación característicos del medio digital.

Esta charla busca despejar el aura esotérica que rodea ambos términos al examinar conceptos paralelos y ejemplos que aprovechan técnicas similares para crear sistemas narrativos abiertos, y establecer, de una u otra manera, un espacio de agencia creativa y participación para el público que los consume.

La charla completa se encuentra disponible en YouTube para quienes puedan estar interesados:

En el ámbito del evento tuve el privilegio de conocer y convivir con fascinantes personajes en la impresionante ciudad de Bogotá. Entre ellos cabe mencionar a nuestro viejo amigo vVvA y su paisano/tocayo Andrés Burbano, que hablaron de Modos y Logicas Transmedia, y Arqueología de la Ficcion, respectivamente (y fueron condensados en el mismo video, a pesar de hablar por separado), y el artista metamático digital Pablo Colapinto, quien nos habló de los laberintos en su cabeza.

La ciudad de Bogotá respira profundidad, color e historia. Una vez más, estar de visita en América Latina me hizo revivir lo familiar, todas las cosas que me han hecho falta durante mi exilio Norteamericano, incluso viviendo en una ciudad invadida por mexicanos como es Los Ángeles. Aquí hay unas imágenes que jalé del Instagram:

colombia instagramcolombia instagramcolombia instagramcolombia instagram

Pappy Tracker Icon

Monday, September 30th, 2013

I just finished the icon for Pappy Tracker, a new iOS app by Buzamoto that tracks all sightings and appearances of the extremely desired and almost impossible to find bourbon Pappy Van Winkle across instagram and twitter. To put it in Buzamoto’s words (from the description in iTunes):

By constantly monitoring Twitter and Instagram for up-to-date information about where others are finding this prized bourbon, you get a leg up on the competition. When it comes to tracking down this bourbon, knowledge is everything. The PappyTracker helps you find the information you need, and notifies you when new information surfaces.

After many trials and a lot of deliberation with Buza, we settled for a flat and simple style following the iOS 7 new graphic direction, and we chose to peg a location icon on the shoulder of a bottle to represent the action of tracking the Pappy. I am VERY satisfied with the result.


Has this happened to you?

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

I recently rediscovered a video recording iPhone app called 8mm. Evidently, it makes your mobile video look like an old movie filmed with an eight millimeter camera.

Every time I go for a walk I take my phone out to record locations, landscapes, moments, or anything else that calls my attention. Last Wednesday I was walking back to the office when I saw these two guys asking the mailman to take a picture of them using a picturesque Venice wall as a background. I walked right in the middle of their interaction and recorded them as I walked by. The mailman took off in my direction and the other two guys just walked away into Rose Ave.

Then yesterday while browsing through my Tumblr dashboard I stumble upon the picture taken by the mailman in some Hip Hop blog I follow. The original post is here. The blog I follow and the original item were separated by a long list of intermediaries (more than 20).

This is the first time I find myself experiencing a moment where the following three conditions are satisfied:

1. This moment is of absolute no consequence.
2. This moment is recorded by me and by at least one stranger.
3. The stranger’s recording of this moment finds it’s way to me through an online social network.

This might already happen to a lot of people, and I am expecting it to happen a lot more frequently in the future. For now, I am just going to upload my movie somewhere and somehow connect it to that picture.