Posts Tagged ‘Technology’
Idle hands at work: Baseball Card Vandals…
As we sharpen our Sharpies, we might recall that it was on this date in 1996 that Grand Master and world champion Gary Kasparov took the sixth and final game to win his chess match against IBM’s Deep Blue computer. Humanity’s triumph was short-lived: Deep Blue defeated Kasparov in a rematch the following year, and has been winning ever since. Indeed, Deep Blue’s younger cousin, Watson, the Jeopardy-winning AI, has gone into medical practice.
Mirco Pagano and Moreno De Turco have created the likenesses of seven musicians– Jimi Hendrix (above), Jim Morrison, Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, James Brown, Freddie Mercury and Elvis, each caught on the floor as though the victim of a shooting– by carefully “spilling” their CDs. It’s an arresting feat.
But their work is part of Piracy, an ad campaign, film short and sculptural work by ad agency TBWA. The conceit is that these musicians were ultimately brought down by internet piracy– ridiculous, as most of these artists died before “piracy” even had a name, and all profited handsomely from their recorded work. To the extent that “piracy” is even an issue, in these cases the “endangered” aren’t the artists, but the record companies trying to milk their cash cows into eternity. As Visual News (to whom, TotH) observes, “what looks like passion becomes something far more sinister.”
More of the work here.
As we sigh, we might send electrifying birthday greetings to the man who made all of this “piracy” possible– not just in its current on-line form, but in its earlier (and also recording industry-feared) broadcast incarnations– Lee De Forest; he was born on this date in 1873. While he ultimately held 300 patents on a variety of inventions that abetted electronic communications, and co-founded the forerunner organization to the IEEE, De Forest is probably best remembered as the inventor of the Audion vacuum tube, which made possible live radio broadcasting and became the key component of all radio, telephone, radar, television, and computer systems before the invention of the transistor in 1947.
Unwittingly then had I discovered an Invisible Empire of the Air, intangible, yet solid as granite, whose structure shall persist while man inhabits the planet.
- Father of Radio: The Autobiography of Lee De Forest (1950), p. 4
Davide Capponi explains:
I have always been in love with photography, but kept my shots for myself and a few people around me.
Then, being the possessor of an iPhone, I was pointed by a friend to Instagram and discovered iPhoneography (or Mobile Photography in a wider sense).
iPhoneography is about shooting and editing your photos only with an iPhone, usually with a Low-Fi sentiment and a creative approach; it is about publishing and sharing your work with other fellow iPhoneographers.
For some reason this made a huge difference to me.
See more of Davide’s work at Rubicorno.
As we limber up our clicking fingers, we might hum an intricately-melodic birthday ditty to Baroque composer, priest, and virtuoso violinist Antonio Lucio Vivaldi; “the Red Priest” (so called because of his red hair) was born on this date in 1678.
source: Flickr/Lord Rex
As we worry about the skills being lost in our growing dependence on new technologies, we might contemplate Plato’s recounting of Socrates’ dialogue with Phaedrus:
Socrates: Among the ancient gods of Naucratis in Egypt there was one to whom the bird called the ibis is sacred. The name of that divinity was Thoth, and it was he who first discovered number and calculation, geometry and astronomy, as well as the games of checkers and dice, and above all else, writing.
Now, the king of all Egypt at that time was Thamus, who lived in the great city in the upper region that the Greeks call Egyptian Thebes; Thamus they call Amun. Thoth came to exhibit his arts to him and urged him to disseminate them to all the Egyptians. Thamus asked him about the usefulness of each art, and while Thoth was explaining it, Thamus praised him for whatever he thought was right in his explanations and criticized him for whatever he thought was wrong.
The story goes that Thamus said much to Thoth, both for and against each art, which it would take too long to repeat. But when they came to writing, Thoth said, “O king, here is something that, once learned, will make the Egyptians wiser and will improve their memory; I have discovered a potion for memory and for wisdom.” Thamus, however, replied, “O most expert Thoth, one man can give birth to the elements of an art, but only another can judge how they can benefit or harm those who will use them. And now, since you are the father of writing, your affection for it has made you describe its effects as the opposite of what they really are. In fact, it will introduce forgetfulness into the soul of those who learn it: they will not practice using their memory because they will put their trust in writing, which is external and depends on signs that belong to others, instead of trying to remember from the inside, completely on their own. You have not discovered a potion for remembering, but for reminding; you provide your students with the appearance of wisdom, not with its reality. Your invention will enable them to hear many things without being properly taught, and they will imagine that they have come to know much while for the most part they will know nothing. And they will be difficult to get along with, since they will merely appear to be wise instead of really being so.”
Via Lapham’s Quarterly. (C.f. also Josh Mostel’s hysterical dramatization on Media Probes, if you can find it…)
As we chill, we might recall that it was on this date in 1982 that the final episode of The Lawrence Welk Show was taped (for syndicated release on April 17). The series aired locally in Los Angeles for four years (1951–55), then nationally for another 28 years via the ABC network (1955–71) and– supported by anti-aging tonic Geritol, sleep aid Sominex, and laxative Serutan–in first-run syndication (1971–82). Then in 1986, lest a generation of Americans forget the polka, Oklahoma Public Television acquired the rights and began redistributing the programs to PBS stations… on which they run to this day.
And a one, and a two…