Supervision is Marcus Leis Allion’s explorations into the aesthetic of code, algorithms, software, computational technologies, digital platforms, and their associated devices with a particular emphasis on design and typography.


    Fonts for Code, from Font Bureau

    — 5 days ago

This is an interactive font design which was made by processing. The word can be shown according to the mouse position  in the screen.


    This is an interactive font design which was made by processing. The word can be shown according to the mouse position  in the screen.

    — 1 week ago with 23 notes
    Visual Microphone

    Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), working in conjunction with Microsoft and Adobe, have developed a method of reconstructing sound from a video of an object – letting them use a crisp packet, glass of water, or potted plant as a microphone.

    The technology is similar to the laser microphones used by spies around the world to eavesdrop on conversations by measuring minute vibrations in reflective surfaces.

    But rather than using expensive, specialist equipment, the researchers were able to extract audio from a high-speed video of everyday objects.

    Rest of article:

    — 1 week ago


    Reverse OCR, Darius Kazemi (2014)

    I am a bot that grabs a random word and draws semi-random lines until the OCRad.js library recognizes it as the word.

    (Source: reverseocr)

    — 2 weeks ago with 62 notes
    Adam Curtis NOW THEN

    “It is the modern world of power - and it’s incredibly boring… It’s how power works today. It hides in plain sight - through sheer boringness and dullness.

    No wonder we find it difficult to tell stories about it.”

    — 2 weeks ago with 1 note

    “Rather than mystifying the technological advances of “the internet” and expect the generation of “digital natives” to somehow come to grips with its challenges, we need modes of eduction that enable young minds to not only performatively but also critically engage with today’s rapid technological progress. Technological savviness certainly is a necessary precondition but by no means the end of it. Our schools and universities need to become institutions where critical analytical capabilities for the digital age are cultivated.”

    - -

    Sebastian Olma: Of Thumbs and Heads: A Comment on Michel Serres’ “Petite Poucette”

    — 1 month ago

Nice to Meet You by Delaware, 2004. Music & animation for Shockwave. 


    Nice to Meet You by Delaware, 2004. Music & animation for Shockwave. 

    — 1 month ago with 77 notes

    by Marcus Leis Allion

    — 1 month ago with 1 note

    Escalate by Marcus Leis Allion

    — 1 month ago

    Bildung (German for “education” and “formation”) refers to the German tradition of self-cultivation (as related to the German for: creation, image, shape), wherein philosophy and education are linked in a manner that refers to a process of both personal and cultural maturation. This maturation is described as a harmonization of the individual’s mind and heart and in a unification of selfhood and identity within the broader society, as evidenced with the literary tradition of bildungsroman.

    In this sense, the process of harmonization of mind, heart, selfhood and identity is achieved through personal transformation, which presents a challenge to the individual’s accepted beliefs. In Hegel’s writings, the challenge of personal growth often involves an agonizing alienation from one’s “natural consciousness” that leads to a reunification and development of the self. Similarly, although social unity requires well-formed institutions, it also requires a diversity of individuals with thefreedom (in the positive sense of the term) to develop a wide-variety of talents and abilities and this requires personal agency. However, rather than an end state, both individual and social unification is a process that is driven by unrelenting negations.

    In this sense, education involves the shaping of the human being with regard to his/her own humanity as well as his/her innate intellectual skills. So, the term refers a process of becoming that can be related to a process of becoming within Existentialism.

    The term Bildung also corresponds to the ideal of education in the work of Wilhelm von Humboldt's sense. Thus, in this context, the concept of education becomes a lifelong process of human development, rather than mere training in gaining certain external knowledge or skills. Such training in skills is known by the German words Erziehung, and Ausbildung. Bildung in contrast is seen as a process wherein an individual's spiritual and cultural sensibilities as well as life, personal and social skills are in process of continual expansion and growth. Bildung is seen as a way to become more free due to higher self-reflection.

    Most explicitly in Hegel’s writings, the Bildung tradition rejects the pre-Kantian metaphysics of being for a post-Kantian metaphysics of experience that rejects universal narratives.

    In this way, fulfillment is achieved through practical activity that promotes the development of one’s own individual talents and abilities which in turn lead to the development of one’s society. In this way, Bildung does not simply accept the socio-political status quo, but rather it includes the ability to engage in a critique of one’s society, and to ultimately challenge the society to actualize its own highest ideals.

    — 1 month ago

    This is big in the Grinder community. Most people start off by implanting magnets in their fingertips, which gives you the ability to feel magnetic fields. Your fingertips have lots of nerve endings jammed into one area and they are really sensitive to stimuli. Magnets twitch or move in the presence of magnetic fields, and when you implant one in your finger you can really start to feel different magnetic fields around you. So it is like a sixth sense. At first you will be waving your hand around appliances, probing fields like someone looking for a light switch in the dark. After a few days or weeks you will almost forget you have the implant because your brain has fully incorporated the sense into your normal world experience. When you sleep you will notice that even your dreams have changed to include the sense. You can now perceive an otherwise invisible world.

    This makes many curious about all of the other things happening around them that they can’t see and they want more. So let’s expand on the magnet thing. We can buy all kinds of different sensors to detect heat, radiation, radio signals, wifi, whatever you want. If we wrap a wire around our implanted finger and attach that wire to our new sensor, we find that the wire creates a small magnetic field to the beat of the sensor. This of course makes our magnet twitch, and now we can feel heat from a distance, feel wifi, or whatever.

    Why limit ourselves to feeling these sensations? We have other senses we can induce synesthesia in. I got some media attention in June of 2013 after I implanted headphones in my tragus to do just that. I had some practical reasons for doing this in addition to my thirst for exploration. A few years earlier I suddenly became legally blind in one eye. Lenses cannot correct it and my original eye doctor informed me that the other eye was likely to follow, at which point I would be legally blind, lose my job, etc. With this inevitability in mind I decided to be proactive. Ultrasonic rangefinders are devices used to determine how far away an object is. I knew that most blind people find acoustic variations help them identify the proximity of objects, so I figured I might be able to amplify this by converting rangefinder data into audio I could send wirelessly to my headphone implants. It turned out to be much more complicated than I thought, but that is a part of Grinding that I have come to appreciate. My setbacks lead me deeper into the rabbit hole of audiology where I discovered knowledge that has unlocked a thousand more possibilities.

    I’d say that 25% of the people I talk to about sensory enhancement think it’s really cool and some go get implants themselves. The other 75% will nod their head and hope the conversation ends or they laugh and ask “why would anyone want to feel magnetic fields?” I get asked that question so much, and I still find it hard to articulate. They usually point out that “you don’t need it,” to which I counter “what if you lost the ability to taste? You don’t really need it to survive.” Ask anyone with an implant how they would feel if they lost the implant, and almost all of them will tell you they would miss it. A small bit of richness would be missing from their life experience.

    Visible light is but a tiny portion of the greater magnetic spectrum that we cannot see. If we modeled the entire spectrum as a road stretching from LA to New York, the amount of visible light that humans can see would equal a few nanometers. Humans, from our allegorical caves, have nonetheless managed to form and test theories about things at the edges of perception but these discoveries took thousands of years. Where would humans be now technologically if we never developed sight? How long would it take us to theorize the existence of the aurora borealis or to hypothesize about the existence of stars? This reduction of input obviously cripples the rate of input.

    So is the opposite true? Would expanding our senses accelerate our advancement? My answer is yes. Some Grinder friends of mine formed a team called Science for the Masses to discover if they could biologically push human perception of visible light into the near-infrared spectrum. This is a small increase, around 6% above our current abilities. The impact is dramatic. The new light allows you to see through fog and haze, tinted windows, and some clothing. Stars can be seen during day hours. Subtle changes in blood flow can be seen under the skin, allowing anyone to detect circulation problems and find clots. Seeing blood flow takes some of the guesswork out of determining what mood your date is in and lying becomes nearly impossible. Imagine how this awareness would have altered human history, politics, art, courtship, and relationships. Does human psychology benefit in a world where sincerity and emotional context can be seen with the naked eye rather than hypothesized or conjured? The new layers of info I’ve detailed above are actually just the tip of the iceberg. The real magic of sensory expansion comes from finding deviations and surprises that don’t fit within our scientific understanding because it makes us reconcile our mental models of the world with reality.


    Zoltan Istvan interviews Rich Lee, (via grinderbot)


    I would like this so very much.

    (via bookoisseur)

    The way that magnets have moved from California New Age hippies in the 1980s to Seattle rockers in the 90’s to a Burning Man novelty to a major thread in the bodymod communities to, now, Grindr is kind of fascinating.

    (via kenyatta)

    This is amazing. I’ve read a bunch about magnet implantation, but the idea of connecting them to sensors is new to me, not to mention visual spectrum augmentation. He goes on to say that the vision experiments cost a mere $4000, and the results will be published soon. I’m super interested in what they did and how well it worked. Where is a good place to follow developments in this field?

    (Note, tho, that we’re talking about Grinders, not Grindr. Although if you’re gay and into biohacking we’re definitely going on a date.)

    Bold emph mine.

    Also: please excuse my typo. I really did mean from bodymod to biohacking. heh.

    (via kenyatta

    i got all the way to the end trying to understand how the grindr app fit in to all this. i don’t use grindr so it was vaguely plausible that there were things about grindr i was unaware of that related to implanted magnets somehow…the magnets quiver when grindr users are around you? gaydar 2.0?

    (via elmerseason)

    (via notational)

    — 1 month ago with 1256 notes


    Digital Revolution

    First of two pieces on a day trip to London covering events related to digital arts. This one is about the Digital Revolution exhibition at the Barbican.

    This was certainly an exhibition I had been looking forward to, being as it is on a subject close to this blog’s heart. The UK needed an exhibit like this, and it makes a refreshing change than the usual summer art shows of Modernist collections and big name retrospectives. Below I will put down some impressions, but in case this is TL;DR for some, the short answer is yes, it’s definately worth going if you are considering it, and generally works.

    The first room is the Digital Archaelogy space (as you can see in the top GIF above). A spectacle of screens and old computing technology, it certainly had an old video arcade vibe to it. Computers from the 1970s onwards, most which you can play with (even an original Pac-Man machine, but did not catch any sighting of Space Invaders). A very good coverage of the last 40 years of popular digital culture, but incredibly dense in information - you would have to be patient to follow the content on the video screens high on the wall - it maybe familiar to the literate yet difficult to absorb there and then. Some very early computer art works, such as Ken Knowlton’s Nude or pieces by Georg Nees (2nd GIF above) could easily be missed (being just inside the wall at the entrance by some steps, and lacked contextual explanation). Personally I felt works like this do need further exposure which the show didn’t really accomodate. Of course, this is a logistical issue, but the subject of space and presentation, fitting everything into the allocated areas, was something noticeable throughout the rest of the show.

    The show continued into areas of digital creativity, the computer as tool and medium. There are various monitors showing 3D animations by various creatives. All abstract and pretty, but shown on monitors about the size of the average familiar television screen - the works would have benefitted with larger presentation to impress. There are two installations showcasing computer effects of cinema: one based on the large scale city folding scene from Inception which the observer could interact with, and the other a flashy deconstruction of special effects made for Gravity. Great additions and relevant, yet made artworks nearby smaller. These pieces were very successful in getting your attention. A great inclusion to this section was CLOUDS, an interactive documentary featuring interviews captured with a Kinect, featuring many important artists and commentators of the current digital art community. Music videos were reduced to a quiet monitor wall with various examples but no insight, sadly.

    Next were examples of interactive art - for the sake of brevity I would say they were fine examples, yet very safe and inoffensive. The show has taken a populist approach with their choices which is probably wise. A good sign of whether a show can be fun, though, is how children would react to the works, but I get a sense that most of the works are callibrated for adult frames - a missed opportunity for playfulness.

    This all then leads to the closing of the main section, featuring a couple of examples of fashion tech (one piece worn by Lady Gaga, another with fitted LED lights), plus a few artifacts that wouldn’t fit elsewhere. There were two more sections (a room that looks like an internet cafe, with indie games to play, and an interactive darkroom of laser projected forms on the floor), but sadly these feel like satelitte afterthoughts which do not flow from the experience of the main exhibit (plus they were not easily locatable).

    Which brings me to a point I brought up earlier. The exhibition could easily have been twice the size than what it currently is - it aimed to cover as many points on the Digital Revolution subject as it possibly could, but I felt that it touched rather than delved into it. Maybe I had some unreasonable high expectations where all the different areas could be given enough space for insight and showcasing (the accompanying book certainly expands areas the actual show didn’t, particularly the fashion area which could have been a fantastic extended section).

    However, this show is a great primer for the unfamiliar, unintimidating, and fun most importantly, certainly not a show you could be easily bored by. I did enjoy it, and certainly will attend again (especially that a guerrilla augmented reality virtual exhibition, Hack The Art World, which lets you see hidden works planted by GPS location with a mobile device, has been unofficially created within this space!)

    To find out more about the show, you can visit the Barbican’s website here

    “Indeed, [Matthew] Fuller’s digital refrain should not be taken for a revolution in itself. Instead it should draw attention to the potential role a dissident art might play in confronting communication and power in a post-Snowden era. But this particular piece of digital history was sadly missing from Digital Revolution. Art’s chaotic trajectory needs to open up to an ever expanding software infrastructure of control. In this light, digital art should not spend too much of its time blandly celebrating technology for technology’s sake (gimmicks dammit!). Art should instead critique the operations of power within these software systems. Like this, diverse interventions, including Rothenberg’s Reversal of Fortune: Garden of Virtual Kinship and YoHa’s Invisible Airs help to expose the often invisible and sometimes immeasurable lexicon of software control including data captures, algorithmic interactions, pervasive interfaces, interruptions and glitches, loops, and memory storage functions, transferred between machines outside of, but nevertheless affecting, everyday life.”

    We Were Never Digital: An assessment of the Barbican’s Digital Revolution exhibit — Tony D Sampson

    — 1 month ago with 460 notes
    Homo Modernus, Tractatus Philosophicus →

    By Claudio Molinari Dassatti and Iñigo Orduña.

    — 1 month ago