Constructing Digital Viruses From Origami Models: Q&A With Natalie Cisneros of Nataci

I wrote up my first artist Q&A today for TCP. Check it out!

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BikeBorgs Transform Bicycles Into Human Hybrids

Some people ride bikes because they can’t drive. Others do it because they prefer cycling to traveling by other, less eco-friendly means. And still others do so because they foresee a near-future in which biking will be the only way to get around. For BikeBorgs, the hypothetical human-bicycle users the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID) dreamt up, the last is the case.

CIID believes firmly that bikes will become the mode of transportation, as fuel becomes less available and more expensive. The BikeBorg culture may not be a result of personal choice, but rather a theoretical way of life born of necessity.

Developers Hideaki MatsuiAndrew Nip, and Markus Schmeiduch have created a set of wearable parts that capitalize on cyberpunk aesthetics and create a symbiotic relationship between cycle and cycler. The prototype connects the user to his bike using wires that link the handlebars to his chest, enabling data and energy transfer between the two.

Through this connection, a symbiotic and self-sustaining relationship is established between bike and biker. Open source hardware and software allow the BikeBorg accessories to be programmed to the user’s personal needs. BikeBorg specs and details can be seen in the images below:

Cracked Ray Tube Finds Beauty In A Broken Broadcast

TV static has been driving viewers crazy for decades. But artists, ever-able to find beauty in the banal (as well as the irritating and ugly), have turned what we once perceived as dysfunction into art with a capital “a.” Glitch art, or digital error-turned-aesthetic, has been around for almost as long as glitches have been ruining television programs and Internet connections.

In Cracked Ray Tube, glitch artists James Connolly and Kyle Evans let parallel monitors run rampant in real time, creating grainy, grindy, and—well—glitchy images and sounds as viewers pass through the exhibit. Their collaborative performance will be touring this year, so if you’re interested in getting your glitch on, check their events page for a performance date in your area.

via The Creators Project

Fantastic Trailer Structures Light Up The Night

Wheeled trailers don’t typically call to mind installations made up of light and textiles—truly beautiful works of art. In fact, “beauty” is probably the last thing you’d think of, with “trailer parks” and “trailer trash” being the more automatic associations.

In her most recent work, Fantastic Trailer, Brooklyn architect and designer Cheryl Baxter shows that trailers can actually be quite stunning, creating structures that are inviting and interactive.

Of course her work is not built from a trailer home, but rather constructed from a moving trailer base. The installation is made up of five light-filled tri-columns, which extend and undulate from their mobile center like octopus tentacles. The columns are inflated by fans and covered in organza fabric, both of which cause them to flow gently and lead viewers into the installation. At the center of Fantastic Trailer are integrated seating spaces, which are meant to encourage users to stay and experience the work from the inside for extended periods of time. Below, you can see how the installation was constructed:

At night, the installation becomes a dreamy tunnel for visitors to lose themselves in:

Fantastic Trailer is located at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI.

via The Creators Project

Places/Spaces

This past week, Hamilton College celebrated its bicentennial with a weeklong, all-alumni reunion event. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to go to school in Clinton, NY when Hamilton first received its charter from the New York Board of Regents, especially because I wouldn’t have been allowed to attend. But even more importantly, I can’t imagine having gone to school anywhere else when it came time for me to select a school. Two years into my higher educational career, Hamilton is no longer just a space where I study; it’s a place I call “home.”

Below is an entry I wrote for the College’s Admission blog about the distinction between places and spaces, based on my experience at Hamilton:

February 21, 2012

I’m reading Keith Basso’s Wisdom Sits in Places, an ethnography of Western Apache language, for my Anthropology course right now. The book beautifully describes Apache naming practices, by way of which the Apache people transform spaces into places.

A place, as opposed to a space, suggests deeper meaning—personal significance and emotional attachment. The distinction got me thinking about when I first came to Hamilton. It was the summer of 2009, and I was making my final college visits. The Hill was just a space at the time—Hamilton College, not Hammy, not HamTech, not My Hamilton.

But after that visit, Hamilton began to establish its status as a place. The school made a big impression upon me, and I decided to apply Early Decision I. A person’s top-choice school defines him or her in high school, or at least so was the case at my own. Most colleges attract a certain type, or types; Big Ten schools appeal to superfans, southern universities are preppy, etc. Liberal arts colleges, too, attract a specific kind of student, but it’s harder to express exactly what kind of student that is. For all its ambiguity, I always knew a liberal arts education was the route I was going to take.

A few weeks before I sent my application to Siuda House, my dad, brother and I participated in Bike MS NYC. We had been biking in the race annually as a group for years, and since I would be at college—somewhere—the following fall, it was our last Bike MS as a group.

Because the race takes place in October, we usually had to dress in layers. Under a windbreaker and fleece, my brother, Sean, was sporting a Hamilton t-shirt. As the day progressed, and the sun came out, the t-shirt did, too.

Now, it’s not unusual that people make small talk during the ride. When you’re on a 60- or 100-mile route through New York and New Jersey, there are challenging points, as well as stretches of flat terrain for cruising and chatting. On one of the flatter portions of the route, an older man seemed distracted by Sean’s t-shirt. He greeted us and shared that he was an alumnus. I had never run into a Hamilton graduate before and didn’t expect that it would happen so candidly. He wasn’t sure what Hamilton was like anymore, but when he had gone there, it was a “nice place” to go to college.

In the second chapter of his book, Basso explains the Apache belief that places remain with people, even after they have left them. Hamilton took on this quality of place-ness before I was even accepted to the Class of 2014. And once I was a student on the Hill, I began to partake in naming practices similar to those of the Western Apache as I adopted Hamilton slang into my lexicon. Someday, you’ll be taking classes in KJ or eating Diner B with friends. Someday, I hope, Hamilton will be a place for you.