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design

12

Apr

Hello World! Processing Documentary

Hello World! is a documentary series on three programming languages -Processing, Open Frameworks y Pure data- that have increased the role of coding in the practice of artists, designers and creators around the world.

The series explores the creative possibilities expanded by these open source tools and the importance of their growing online communities.

Hello World! Processing!

Code and programming allow us to simulate phenomena of the world, approach their data with different scales and perspectives and lead to new and unusual creative processes.

Hello World! Processing is a documentary on creative coding that explores the role that ideas such as process, experimentation and algorithm play in this creative field featuring artists, designers and code enthusiasts. Based on a series of interviews to some of the leading figures of the Processing open programming platform community, the documentary is built itself as a continuous stream of archived references, projects and concepts shared by this community.

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11

Apr

Attack of the Drones

As governments are increasingly relying on drones, what are the consequences for civil liberties and the future of war?

The US government’s growing reliance on aerial drones to pursue its war on al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Yemen, Afghanistan and elsewhere is proving controversial – as evidenced by the international reaction to recent drone missile attacks along the border with Pakistan. But Barack Obama’s administration is undeterred, favouring the technology more and more because it reduces the need for American troops in those countries and the risk of politically unpalatable casualties.

“He probably thinks this is already a controversial war,” says Christ Klep, an international relations analysts at the University of Utrecht. “I’d better not endanger my pilots and my special forces, so what else do I have? Unmanned aerial vehicles? Deploy them.”

But the strategy is giving rise to anxieties that conflict is becoming just a big computer game, in which ‘desk pilots’ in air conditioned bunkers far from the battlefield can kill a few enemy fighters and then go home to their families, remote from the human consequences of their actions or the anguish of associated civilian casualties.

Nevertheless, Ko Colijn, a security expert at the prestigious Clingendael Institute, says that the technology is here to stay.

“In a way the Americans reached a turning point in 2009, 2010. They trained more screen pilots than pilots physically inside an aircraft. And they purchased more unmanned planes than manned ones, which is not surprising since they’re much cheaper,” he says.

However the Americans are not the only ones using drones. More than 40 countries are believed to be working with unmanned aircraft and even Iran claims to be developing its own version – perhaps based on a captured US spy drone it downed last year and then proudly displayed to the media.

Nor are the current crop of unmanned military aircraft the only manifestation of this disturbing new trend. Already in production are aerial drones that can independently acquire and attack targets or work together in swarms over hostile territory and earthbound battlefield drones that can either accompany ground troops or be sent alone into especially dangerous areas. Some commentators fear it all adds up to a new tech-driven arms race.

The use of drones is becoming more widespread in civilian circles too – not least as a key law and order tool in the fight against crime. In June this year, for example, police in the British city of Manchester used one to track down a suspected car thief; in the Netherlands an arsonist was caught after being identified on a drone camera. And in Zurich, Switzerland, scientists have been developing flying robots for use in the construction industry. In demonstrations they will happily show how a few small drones, working at impressive speed, can lift heavy concrete blocks into place on a complex tower structure – a process that would otherwise necessitate scaffolding and dozens of human workers.

But the technology also gives rise to worrying questions about snooping and invasion of privacy – and not merely because of the actions of government. With private companies in the US and Europe now developing cheap aerial drones that can be controlled with the kind of software used in smart phones, pilotless aircraft just a couple of feet across may soon be commercially available for a few hundred dollars. Imagine then, the images that a paparazzi photographer could obtain with a camera drone able to fly over high walls or hover outside windows set atop a multi-storey building.

This film, from Dutch filmmakers Vincent Verweij, Fred Sengers and KRO, looks at the development and use of these extraordinary machines and ask where their use might lead.

Reposted from the Al Jazeera program Power & People.

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09

Apr

Will Wright & Brian Eno

Will Wright and Brian Eno Play with Time from The Long Now Foundation on FORA.tv

Game designer Will Wright and musician Brian Eno discuss the generative systems used in their respective creative works. This clip features original music by Brian Eno.

Will Wright and Brian Eno on “Playing with Time.”

In a dazzling duet Will Wright and Brian Eno give an intense clinic on the joys and techniques of “generative” creation.

Back in the 1970s both speakers got hooked by cellular automata such as Conway’s “Game of Life,” where just a few simple rules could unleash profoundly unpredictable and infinitely varied dynamic patterns. Cellular automata were the secret ingredient of Wright’s genre-busting computer game “SimCity” in 1989. Eno was additionally inspired by Steve Reich’s “It’s Gonna Rain,” in which two identical 1.8 second tape loops beat against each other out of phase for a riveting 20 minutes. That idea led to Eno’s “Music for Airports” (1978), and the genre he named “ambient music” was born.

The Long Now Foundation was established in 01996* to develop the Clock and Library projects, as well as to become the seed of a very long term cultural institution. The Long Now Foundation hopes to provide counterpoint to today’s “faster/cheaper” mind set and promote “slower/better” thinking. We hope to creatively foster responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years – The Long Now Foundation

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09

Apr

Computers, Data, and Humanity

Generative Art – Computers, Data, and Humanity | Off Book | PBS

An intriguing combination of programmers, artists, and philosophers, these creators embrace a process that delegates essential decisions to computers, data sets, or even random variables. This allows important metaphors to arise in their work, calling attention to the relationship between humans and the computers that surround us, the mountains of information we generate, and the powerful impact that technology has on our relationships with each other.

Featuring:
Luke Dubois, Generative Composer
Scott Draves, Generative Artist
Will Wright, Game Designer

Music by:
Codex Machine
Luke Dubois
Revolution Void
Tryad
Reno Project

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09

Apr

CLOUDS Documentary

Over the last year we have captured interviews with over 30 new media artists, curators, designers, and critics, using a new 3D cinema format called RGBD. CLOUDS presents a generative portrait of this digital arts community in a videogame-like environment. The artists inhabit a shared space with their code-based creations, allowing you to follow your curiosity through a network of stories.

What does it feel like to think with code? How can emerging technologies enable us to actualize our dreams? How has online sharing transformed the way artists collaborate?

A preview of the CLOUDS film, science fiction author Bruce Sterling speaks aloud about the art of code.

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