Coded Cultures festival in Yokohama.

In the middle of October I gave a talk at Coded Cultures festival in Yokohama. The Yokohama event was actually a follow-up from the first installation of the festival that took place in Vienna a year before where I also participated and gave a talk.

The theme of my talk was based on a basic observation that as material and computing technology develops and DIY culture proliferates, we will think about the world around as inherently hackable and programmable. That includes everyday physical objects, society, living organisms and human body. Everything will be programmable, hackable and internet-ready, hence the term – Programmable Reality. The debate after the talk was very nice and some provocative ideas were suggested.

Embarassing myself on Japanese TV.

I love Japanese TV. I think its great. That is why I was absolutely thrilled when an opportunity came to publicly embarrass myself on a proper TV talk show, with proper Japanese TV celebrities and broadcast all over Japan.

We did two segments at Watch-Me!TV (ワッチミー!TV) about 12Pixels Color, which was ran on two consecutive weeks. Watch-Me!TV is a late night show produced by Fuji TV station and hosted by Marie (マリエ) , a well known TV personality in Japan. One of the segment, the least embarrassing one, is embedded below.

You can also check segments in the order of broadcast starting with first segment followed by second segment part 1 and part 2.

Are not we all beautiful here?
From let to right Neeko, Tezuka-san from Sony Marketing, me and Marie. Karl Willis is in front.

The Art and Science of Ballistic Missiles.

noborutsubaki1I will give a short talk entitled “The Art and Science of Ballistic Missiles” at the  National Museum of Modern Art (MOMAK) in Kyoto on March 28th, 2009 at 5:00 pm.

The talk is part of the “Radikal Dialogue” series that are hosted by Noboru Tsubaki who currently has his solo exhibition at MOMAK. The “GOLD / WHITE / BLACK” exhibition is a retrospection of Noboru Tsubaki art work spanning last 5 years. It will also include his latest art piece which is a full-scale inflatable model of Russian inter-continental ballistic missile.

The full pamphlet of the art exhbition can be found here.

Minipops by Craig Robinson.

mp_richieCraig Robinson’s Minipops, i.e. his depictions of famous people drawn very small, have been around for a while and they developed somewhat of a cult following.

Indeed, the resemblances are uncanny and in some cases the drawings are very realistic. Take for example a famouse techno DJ and producer Plastikman a.k.a. Ritchie Hawtin. Last time when I saw him playing in Tokyo, he looked exactly like Craig Robison’s minipop above from where I was: very far from the stage.

Check more minipops below, can you guess who are they?

P.S. Where is Putin’s minipop?

mp_aphexwindowlickermp_biglebowskimp_junichirokoizumimp_kraftwerkmanmachine2mp_leonidbrezhnev

Mobile phone art by Giselle Beiguelman.

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Long before iPhone there was WAP and Wop-art by Giselle Beiguelman.

In 2001 she launched a mobile phone art web site with a collection of tiny black and white drawings, not event gray scale, that could be downloaded using WAP protocol and enjoyed on the tiny monochrome screen that were a common for mobile phones outside of Japan. Its quite amazing how much things have changed since then …

There is a good article in Guardian that talks about Giselle Beiguelman work, I also downloaded a bunch of her drawings in the original WAP size which can be experienced below.

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Information is everywhere in Tokyo.

Tokyo Shibuya StationThis is an interesting example of public display, which is quite common in Tokyo.  These are steps leading to Ginza subway line at Shibuya station. As you dash toward the station gates during the rash hour you can check how long it takes from Shibuya to station you need to go, written in green, as well as how much it would cost.

Money part used to be important becasue if you know in advance how much change you need to prepare you would not slow down others at the ticket machine. These days, however, everyone is using electronic cash (i.e. Suica) and you do not need to know how much you have to pay. Its all done automatically.

Soviet Lemonade Labels

A friend sent me this link to old Soviet lemonade labels. Very nostalgic. The one on the left was called “Buratino” and it was one of my favorite lemonades when I was a kid in Soviet Moscow.

Buratino by the way is a Soviet version of Pinocchio. In the Soviet Union’s version of events, Buratino aka Pinocchio did not become a real boy at the end. Instead he broke the chains of oppression, kicked out an evil owner of the puppet theater and formed a liberated puppets collective who were running thier own show on a communal basis.

In some ways I prefer Soviet version of the story becasue it assumes that you are what you are and should try to make the best out of it. The traditional fair tales’ bend on trying to become something different (i.e a princess or a “real” boy) smacks of desperation.

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