Archive for November, 2011
UPDATE: these functions have been updated and moved to GitHub
Released today, version 0.9 of my 2d collision detection functions for Processing!
While some tools already exist, like the excellent Box2D, the source code is not easy to understand and the implementation is a bit complex. Other examples (equally great), like the line-line collision in the toxiclibs collection, use vector math which isn’t great for us “creative programmers” (ie: those like me who got bad grades in high school math).
Instead, these tools can be used as simple, one-line commands to determine whether two objects have collided. Designed for simple games and interactive systems, they are intended to be building blocks for larger projects.
“The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.” – Bertrand Russell
Akira Yoshizawa beginning an origami sculpture in a still from the excellent film “Between the Folds“. While I could not find this footage elsewhere, there is a lovely moment a few seconds later where he pounds a fold with the small mallet next to him.
Fantastically creepy. Also worth watching is the (what I believe to be vocoded) Tetris theme.
Via: Make blog
[ the southern-most point in Africa - one of my favorite places for a "hallucinatory" wander ]
In his short (and quite dense) “Six Walks in the Fictional Woods“, Umberto Eco describes different methods of representing time in literature. “Story time is part of the content of the story. If the text says ‘a thousand years pass’, the story time is a thousand years. But at the level of linguistic expression, which is at the level of fictional discourse, the time to write (and read) the utterance is very short. This is why a rapid discourse time may express a very long story time.” (pg 54)
Later, in describing Georges Perec’s fantastic “An Attempt At Exhausting a Place in Paris“, Eco describes the short book as being able to “be read in half an hour. That is, if the reader doesn’t savor it slowly for a couple of days, trying to imagine every scene described”.
Eco goes on to suggest that this slower, non-realtime reading could be called hallucinating time. “In the same way we can use a map to imagine trips and extraordinary adventures through unknown lands and seas, but in such a case the map has become merely a stimulus and the reader has become the narrator. Whenever I’m asked what book I would take with me to a desert island, I reply, ‘The phone book: with all those characters, I could invent an infinite number of stories.’” (pg 60)
Image via: Google Maps
From an unknown vintage board game on of my students found.
Had a dream last night of a van pulling a huge pile of amps, tied together with rope.
A very nice vintage data visualization in the ISOTYPE style via the Information is Beautiful blog. ISOTYPE stands for “International System Of TYpographic Picture Education. It was an early infographical form, originated in the 1930s by Austrian philosopher and curator Otto Neurath ‘as a symbolic way of representing quantitative information via easily interpretable icons.’”
Video by Timothy Evans – “A video image consists of three primary components – red, green and blue. For this work each component channel was fed a differently timed sequence of 50 common video transitions. As the three components recombine to create a video image; constantly changing forms and colours are revealed.”
Via: Triangulation Blog
There is a risk, however, in aestheticising computation, which should be obvious given the historical lessons that tie Futurist enthusiasm for a machine aesthetic to Fascist politics. It is far too easy to slip from what appears to be a critical exploration of the aesthetic possibilities of computation to the capitulation to, if not a celebration of, the mechanisms of domination practiced by global capital: the massive and rapid transfer and manipulation of data as capital and capital as data by digital means. In the end, the risk is unavoidable since a reflection on software is crucial exactly to the degree it serves as a tool for domination. Software must have its politics, its aesthetics, its poetics, and its criticism.
If there is a chance that software will contribute significantly to a new politically relevant aesthetics, it lies in the way software shows us a way out of order, in and through order. It engages the tensions between possibility and constraint. Software gives us not objects, but instances – occasions for experience. We see our own embeddedness in networks of abstraction, structuration, and system making, and in seeing, find ways of inhabiting this situation of constraint as if it were possibility. Software can create systems of production that present us with the generation of endless variation within programmatic limitations. When freed from its intrumentalist telos, it is possible for software to exist solely on its own terms: it stages its own abstraction and serves nothing save its own play, display, and critique, that of abstraction itself. If it is possible for software to exist solely on its own terms then it may become Super Abstract.
Via: “Super-Abstract: Software Art and a Redefinition of Abstraction” by Brad Borevitz (from read_me: Software Art & Cultures, page 298)