- Takeaway Festival 2006
- Takeaway Festival 2007
- Takeaway Festival 2008
- Takeaway Festival 2009
- Mini TKW
Currently, the signature is being slowly debased, as digital transactions render it difficult to transfer. Credit cards use a secondary "security" number to validate purchases online, but this is an intermediary step until someone figures out a technology that will work more effectively. Government's use of RFID tags on passports promotes this as the next step in identifying us as individuals, and VeriChip Corporation's creation of an FDA-approved RFID tag to be placed in human bodies places it as the forerunner to our next method of documenting contractual agreements or extending our power beyond ourselves.
Project Scan yourself, read more : www.amyjohnston.com/2007/06/rfid-or-radio-frequency-identification.html
This project exchanges the studio for the roads, truck stops, border crossings and cities of North America. Through the untidy weaving of politics, surveillance technology and identity construction this performance engages critique. Over time and with the combined effort of exchange participants, resistance, solidarity, and artistic critique emerge.
Politics: Exchange engages in cross border, person-to person, trade negotiations. It offers artistic resistance to international economic agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Surveillance: Exchange critiques and exposes Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. Fears of terrorism, national security, and identity authentication have bolstered the demand for RFID.
Identity: Exchange questions and disrupts correlations between corporate consumer data and personal identity through the dispersal and exchange of personal belongings (corporate data elements).
First published in Mazine.ws, 2004, www.mazine.ws/
The last speech at an awards ceremony can't be too short.
I'm Bruce Sterling, I'm a science fiction writer. I write novels. This is the first time I've ever been to SIGGRAPH. I always wanted to go.
My closet is full of old SIGGRAPH demo tapes. They're on VHS. I like to haul them out and play them for people at house parties. These are romantic icons of a lost world, these antique SIGGRAPH demo reels.
I love them for their precious, irreproducible qualities. These tapes are slices in space and time that cannot be recaptured. It is literally impossible to do computer graphics that badly any more. No more cheesy teapots, no more amazingly bad digital hair and fur treatments, no no, it's all about the "Stanford Bunny" now, Triceratops, Chinese dragons.... when once upon a time a chess pawn was a big volumetric deal!
You might think, now that Hollywood slums around your gig, and even novelists show up, and Pixar drags Disney around by its big financial nose, that there were no new worlds to conquer for SIGGRAPH. But there's one world that you direly need to conquer anyway. Even if hobbits win Oscars by the bushel full.
Having conquered the world made of bits, you need to reform the world made of atoms. Not the simulated image on the screen, but corporeal, physical reality. Not meshes and splines, but big hefty skull-crackingly solid things that you can pick up and throw. That's the world that needs conquering. Because that world can't manage on its own. It is not sustainable, it has no future, and it needs one.
It is going to get one from you.
Now let me briefly tell you how I think this process will play out.
Listen to this: ProE, FormZ, Catia, Rhino, Solidworks. Wifi, bluetooth, WiMax. Radio frequency ID chips. Global and local positioning systems. Digital inventory systems. Cradle-to-cradle production methods. Design for disassembly. Social software, customer relations management. Open source manufacturing.
These jigsaw pieces are snapping together. They create a picture, the picture of a new and different kind of physicality. It's a new relationship between humans and objects.
If you can bear with me a while today, and kind of oil and loosen the joints of your incredulity, I'm gonna suspend some disbelief for you here.
You see, the future is already here, it's just not well distributed yet.
The future does feature some brand-new stuff that was technically impossible before, but, more importantly, the future has a different take on matters that are already here. There's a change of emphasis. The future is like another culture, another country. We have to come to terms with the future's language.
So what's a Blobject? And why might they rule the Earth?
Since I write about design quite a lot, sometimes people think I made up that word, "blobject". If you Google it, my name pops right up, but I didn't coin the term. A famous industrial designer named Karim Rashid made it up, and he wrote about it in a book aptly called "I Want to Change the World." A good book, very educational, you should buy it and read it. I did. Karim's not kidding.
A Blobject is commonly defined as "an object with a curvilinear, flowing design, such as the Apple iMac computer and the Volkswagen Beetle." But computers and cars are just end products, they're not the process. The truth about a blobject is that is a physical object that has suffered a remake through computer graphics. It was designed on a screen with a graphics program. A blobject is what a standard 20th century industrial product, a consumer item, looks like after your crowd has beaten it into shape with a mouse.
Blobjects are blob-shaped objects, because of NURBS and meshes and splines and injection molding and CAD-CAM. They're highly curvilinear consumer items designed on workstations, and then they're generally blasted into being in a burst of injection-molded goo.
Blobjects are the period objects of our time. They are the physical products that the digital revolution brought to the consumer shelf.
Blobjects were impossible until the early 1990s. Then they got cheap. Nowadays they're commodities. Our contemporary world is absolutely littered with these things, these blobjects. Blobjects are so entirely common now that they are passe' and showing their age. I'm wearing three blobjects right now, and I've got two more stuffed in my pockets. Not that you need to notice. You can offshore a blobject in distant Taiwan for a seven percent return on investment. Blobjects have become the cheap and easy way to make stuff. Blobjects are as common as dirt.
But they haven't started ruling the Earth yet. Because they're still too primitive. They're not sustainable, so they're merely optimizing the previous system. They are a varnish on barbarism.
So now you know what a blobject is, if you didn't already. Now I'm going to lean way back at the podium, and really wave my big visionary futurist hands here, and invoke the full grandeur of my vision: Blobjects, Ruling the Earth. Not just littering it: ruling it. This is an imperial paradigm, a grandiose myth, a historical thesis, a weltanschauung and a grand schemata.
So this will require me to get kind of cosmic on you here. But this is California. The Governor here is a cyborg. You remember that movie where Schwarzenegger was a cyborg robot, with big shotguns, and he beat up a blobject? That big, formless, digital, silvery, supervillain guy? Somebody in your enterprise made a lot of money from faking up that big silvery guy and putting him on a movie screen. That was some SIGGRAPH-style industry dude hard at work there, making that silvery blobject guy in TERMINATOR 3. And now that actor, Arnold, he is signing the state budget of California.
The things I'm about to tell you, they may sound mindblowing, but they're a lot more plausible than California politics.
In my grand vision, there's a history of the relationship of objects and human beings. It goes like this. Up to the present day, during previous history, we humans have had. and made, four different classes of possible objects. These classes of objects are called, in order of their historical appearance, Artifacts, Machines, Products, and Gizmos.
The lines between Artifacts, Machines, Products and Gizmos aren't mechanical. They're historical. The differences between them are found in the material cultures they make possible. The kind of society they produce, and the kind of human being that is necessary to make them and use them.
Artifacts are made and used by hunter-gatherers and subsistence farmers.
Machines are made and used by customers. in an industrial society.
Products are made and used by consumers, in a military-industrial complex.
While Gizmos are made and used by end-users, in whatever today is == a "New World Disorder," a "Terrorism-Entertainment Complex," our own brief interregnum.
Blobjects tend to be a subset of the class of Gizmos. Not all blobjects are Gizmos, but most gizmos have insane amounts of functionality in them, and they are designed on computers.
If you're the kind of guy or gal who attends SIGGRAPH, then you are best described as an end-user of Gizmos. You're not here just to shop, to buy stuff in styrofoam blocks. You come here to participate in your industry. Your parents were consumers, back in the 1960s. But you are here to add value and advance the state of the art, so you are some kind of participant. Not a consumer. An end-user. An end-user is the historically evolved version of a consumer.
A Gizmo is not manufacturable by any centrally planned society. A Gizmo is something like a Product, but instead of behaving predictably and sensibly for a mass market of obedient consumers, a Gizmo is an open-ended tech development project.
In a Gizmo, development has been deputized to end-users.
End-Users, who are people like practically everybody in this audience, do a great deal of unpaid pro bono work in developing Gizmos. The true signs of a Gizmo are that it has a short lifespan and more functionality crammed into it than you will ever use or understand. A Gizmo is like a Product that has swallowed a big chunk of the previous society, and contains that within the help center and the instruction manual.
A Gizmo, unlike a Machine or a Product, is not efficient. A Gizmo has bizarre, baroque, and even crazy amounts of functionality. This Treo that I'm carrying here, this is a classic Gizmo: It's a cellphone, a web browser, an SMS platform, an MMS platform, a really bad camera, and an abysmal typewriter, plus a notepad, a sketchpad, a calendar, a diary, a clock, a music player, and an education system with its own onboard tutorial that nobody ever reads. Plus I can plug extra, even more complicated stuff into it, if I take a notion. It's not a Machine or a Product, because it's not a stand-alone device. It is a platform, a playground for other developers. It's a dessert topping, and it's a floor wax.
Now, I could redesign this Gizmo to make it into a simple Product.
But then this Gizmo would become a commodity. There would be little profit in that; in an end-user society like ours, Products come in bubblepak or shrinkwrap in big heaps, like pencils. There is no money in them.
So there are good reasons why a Gizmo is almost impossible to use.
It's because a Gizmo is delicately poised between commodity and chaos.
It is trying to cram as much impossible complexity as it can, into an almost usable state. It is leaning forward into the future.
This is what our society does for a living now. This is what you do here at SIGGRAPH. You use Gizmos to eat complexity, and you try to sell it at a premium. A Gizmo Society of End Users is always pressed up hard against the limits of the usable. That's why rendering time always takes almost too long, no matter how much RAM or ROM you've got.
This is not an oversight, this is an inherent part of our contemporary civilization. A Gizmo is the classic form of our society's material culture at this point in time.
That's how it is, and we need to accept that. This is the apotheosis, the crystallization, of what we are up to right now. But that is not the end of the story. Because the next stage is coming on fast.
The next stage is an object that does not exist yet. It needs a noun, so that we can think about it. We can call it a "Spime," which is a neologism for an imaginary object that is still speculative. A Spime also has a kind of person who makes it and uses it, and that kind of person is somebody called a "Wrangler." At the moment, you are end-using Gizmos. My thesis here, my prophesy to you, is that, pretty soon, you will be wrangling Spimes.
The most important thing to know about Spimes is that they are precisely located in space and time. They have histories. They are recorded, tracked, inventoried, and always associated with a story.
Spimes have identities, they are protagonists of a documented process.
They are searchable, like Google. You can think of Spimes as being auto-Googling objects.
So what would it be like to encounter a spime in your future real life? How if you know if you stumbled over one in the street? Scott Klinker, a teacher at the Cranbrook design school, envisions it as something like this:
Scenario: You buy a Spime with a credit card. Your account info is embedded in the transaction, including a special email address set up for your Spimes. After the purchase, a link is sent to you with customer support, relevant product data, history of ownership, geographies, manufacturing origins, ingredients, recipes for customization, and bluebook value. The spime is able to update its data in your database (via radio-frequency ID), to inform you of required service calls, with appropriate links to service centers. This removes guesswork and streamlines recycling.
Today, most consumers know little or nothing about their possessions. They might know the brand, because brand awareness has been forced on them for years, at great expense, by massive product advertising. A Spime, by contrast, is an object that can link to and swiftly reveal most everything about itself. It might as well do this, since Google is perfectly capable of telling you everything anyway.
Managing that becomes a competitive advantage for spime makers. A true Spime is going to get ahead of the curve by bringing you inside the tent of the designers and developers and engineers, and the sales and marketing people. A true Spime creates spime wranglers.
Wranglers are the class of people willing to hassle with Spimes.
And it is a hassle. An enormous hassle. But its a fruitful hassle.
It is the work of progress. Handled correctly, it can undo the harm of the past and enhance what is to come.
The people who make Spimes want you to do as much of the work for them as possible. They can data-mine your uses of the spime, and use that to improve their Spime and gain market share. This would have been called "customer relations management," in an earlier era, but in a Spime world, it's more intimate. It's collaborative, and better understood as something like open-source manufacturing. It's all about excellence. Passion. Integrity. Cross-disciplinary action. And volunteerism.
When you shop for Amazon, you're already adding value to everything you look at on an Amazon screen. You don't get paid for it, but your shopping is unpaid work for them. Imagine this blown to huge proportions and attached to all your physical possessions. Whenever you use a spime, you're rubbing up against everybody else who has that same kind of spime. A spime is a users group first, and a physical object second.
I know that this sounds insanely complex, because it is. The reason this is necessary is a simple one. The reason is the passage of time. Entropy requires no maintenance. Artifacts, Machines, Products, Gizmos, they all die. The material objects that we human beings use and make, they wear out, get consumed, and get thrown away. Unfortunately, this process is reaching limits and is doing us serious harm. We're getting permeated by trash.
We are filling the atmosphere, and the seas, and the surface of the planet, and our own bodies, with our industrial emissions and our dead junk. In a world with 6.3 billion people, trending toward 10 billion, there is no "Away" left in which we can throw our dead objects. Our material culture is not sustainable. Its resources are not renewable. We cannot turn our entire planet's crust into obsolete objects. We need to locate valuable objects that are dead, and fold them back into the product stream. In order to do this, we need to know where they are, and what happened to them. We need to document the life cycles of objects. We need to know where to take them when they are defunct.
In practice, this is going to mean tagging and historicizing everything. Once we tag many things, we will find that there is no good place to stop tagging.
In the future, an object's life begins on a graphics screen. It is born digital. Its design specs accompany it throughout its life. It is inseparable from that original digital blueprint, which rules the material world. This object is going to tell you -- if you ask -- everything that an expert would tell you about it. Because it WANTS you to become an expert. If you become an expert in wrangling that object, then, just like the gurus of SIGGRAPH, you will contribute to the advancement of the industry. The object will evolve faster, the industry will evolve faster. It's like a SIGGRAPH that never ends.
So -- as long as you could keep your eyes open -- you would be able to swiftly understand: where it was, when you got it, how much it cost, who made it, what it was made of, where those resources came from, what a better model looked like, what a cheaper model looked like, who to thank for making it, who to complain to about its inadequacies, what previous kinds of Spime used to look like, why this Spime is better than earlier ones, what people think the Spime of Tomorrow might look like, what you could do to help that happen, the history of the Spime's ownership, what it had been used for, where and when it was used, what other people who own this kind of Spime think about it, how other people more or less like you have altered or fancied-up or modified their Spime, what most people use Spimes for, the entire range of unorthodox uses of Spimes by the world's most extreme Spime geek fandom, and how much your Spime is worth on an auction site. And especially -- absolutely critically
-- where to get rid of it safely.
That is the reality that already underlies all manufactured objects. An event like SIGGRAPH will tell you those things already, only in slow motion. A Spime is today's entire industrial process, made explicit. That is the whole shebang, explicitly tied to the object itself. A Spime is an object that ate and internalized the previous industrial order.
Some of this information might be contained inside the Spime, and some of it might be conjured up on the Web by, say, a barcode or an RFID chip -- but in practice, you wouldn't notice the difference.
The upshot is that the object's nature has become transparent. It is an opened object.
In a world with this kind of object, you care little about the object per se; that physical object is just a material billboard for tomorrow's vast, digital, interactive, postindustrial support system. This is where people like you, your evolved successors, rule the earth. This is a world where the Web has ceased to be a varnish on barbarism, and where the world is now varnish all the way down.
By making the whole business transparent, a host of social ills and dazzling possibilities are exposed to the public gaze. Everyone who owns a spime becomes, not a mute purchaser, but a stakeholder. And the closer you get to it, the more attention it sucks from you. You don't just use it, any more than I can pick up this Treo and just make a simple phone call. This device wants to haul me into the operating system; I'm supposed to tell all my friends about it. We're all supposed to become its darlings and its cultists, we're all supposed to help out. Sometimes we do that willingly, sometimes we just fight for breath. We're not customers. We're not consumers. And with spimes, we're not even end-users. We spend our time wrangling with the real problems and opportunities of material culture. We're wranglers.
We're wrangling spimes for a living. More than that, it's a reason to be. It's like networking. Networking is another word for not-working. But boy, we sure have to do a lot of it.
This is not a vision of utopia. This is a historical thesis. Like all previous history it is fraught with titanic struggle. We are facing a future world infested with digital programmability. A world where our structures and possessions include, as a matter of course, locaters, timers, identities, histories, origins, and destinations: sensing, logic, actuation, and displays. Loops within loops. Cycles within cycles.
Are there dark sides to this vision? Oh yes indeed. Genuine menaces. You can see them right now in a website like stoprfid.org, a site I recommend highly. Spiming is an ideal technology for concentration camps, authoritarian regimes, and prisons.
We'll have to wrangle with:
* spime spam, pushiness, abuse of customers, intrusion
* spying and eavesdropping capabilities
* brooms that bellow ads, mops that demand money
* subtle software faults that make even a simple shovel unusable
* unstable software
* security flaws, hacking, theft, fraud, malware, vandalism and pranking
* identity theft
* Industrial hazards: spime kitchens that fry the unwary, spime cars that follow outdated software maps and drive right off broken bridges
* technological lock-in, wicked monopolists, corrupt regimes in on the take *Intellectual property hassles
* Organized spime crime
* unpredictable and emergent forms of networked behavior from clouds of objects *bad interface design
* underclasses of illegals not allowed to use spimes
* legal, ethical and social responsibilities for semi-autonomous objects
* objects that used to be inert, and are now expensive, fussy, fragile unpredictable, too fluid, hopelessly complex, and subversive of established values
* And just plain ugliness: tacky, goofy, tasteless, cheesy, lethal, vulgar, dirty, worthless, obscene, impractical, and dangerous spimes.
And that list is by no means complete. That is a lot of work. That is more than enough work for ten billion people. Spimes are coming anyway, because every one of those menaces is also some kind of opportunity. Spimes will change everything, because everything needs to change. Things need to change quickly and radically, because the industrial system we have today cannot persist. It cannot find enough energy and raw materials. Instead of moving forward, our civilization is surrounding the oil wells with fixed bayonets and settling into a smog-shrouded Dark Age.
The shape of things today is condemning our world to steadily increasing poverty, degradation, and turmoil. Four planets couldn't supply the material and energy to let the world live the so-called advanced world lives now.
We're pretty advanced, but we're nowhere near advanced enough.
This may sound a bit alarmist and theoretical, so let me phrase it to you in a way that holds your own feet to the fire. Steve Jobs is a pioneer of personal computing and the head of Pixar. Apple is the biggest vendor here. It's hard to get any more SIGGRAPH than Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs has neuroendocrinal pancreatic cancer. That's because, like everybody else in the world, like you and like me, Steve Jobs is carrying a load of carcinogens in his flesh. Silicon Valley, as an industrial clean-up site, is rather well known for its mutagens.
The disturbing substances that are in the body of this captain of your industry, they should not be in there. They are wasted resources, they are systemic inefficiencies, they are externalities. We need ways to keep these substances organized and contained, and, eventually, designed out of the production system entirely. Steve is sick for physical reasons, for metabolic reasons. We may not know the exact chains of cause and effect, but there is one; he's not sick because some dark angel blew on his dice wrong. He has effluent, byproducts of industry, inside his body.
It's painful. But we need to understand that our bloodstreams are our dumping grounds. So are our lungs and our livers. If we could visualize that, if we knew and could prove what had gone wrong inside of ourselves, if we could put a digital medical imaging screen on our bellies, our lungs and our livers, and make those invisible problems visible, then everything would become different. If that knowledge was attached to every object in our possession, the objects that were killing us would vanish quickly.
That wouldn't be easy to do. But in the year 2004 it is no longer unimaginable. It could be done.
It's possible to live in a cleaner way. We live in debris and detritus because of our ignorance. That ignorance is no longer technically necessary. Those who know, know. Instead, our problem is becoming obscurantism, which is a deliberate hiding of the facts by vested interests who know they are injuring us. Such acts of evil must be combated. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.
Wanting to know, wanting to do it, that's half the struggle right there. Our capacities are tremendous. Eventually, it is within our technical ability to create factories that clean the air as they work, cars that give off drinkable water, industry that creates parks instead of dumps, or even monitoring systems that allow nature to thrive in our cities, neighborhoods, lawns and homes. An industry that is not just "sustainable," but enhances the world. The natural world should be better for our efforts and our ingenuity. It's not too much to ask.
You and I will never live to see a future world with those advanced characteristics. The people who will be living in it will pretty much take it for granted, anyway. But that is a worthy vision for today's technologists: because that is wise governance for a digitally conquered world. That is is not tyranny. That is legitimacy.
Without vision, the people perish. So we need our shimmering, prizes, goals to motivate ourselves, but the life is never in the prize. The living part, the fun part, is all in the wrangling. Those dark cliffs looming ahead -- that is the height of your achievement.
We need to leap into another way of life. The technical impetus is here. We are changing, but to what end? The question we must face is: what do we want? We should want to abandon that which has no future. We should blow right through mere sustainability. We should desire a world of enhancement. That is what should come next. We should want to expand the options of those who will follow us. We don't need more dead clutter to entomb in landfills. We need more options.
It needs to happen. It must happen. It is going to happen.
That's all I have to tell you today. Let's go see the state of the art!
msdm: mobile strategies of display & mediation
msdm is the pt-uk art & research bureau formed by media artist paula roush. msdm are mobile strategies of display & mediation and the artworks explore the links between networked practices and daily life. See site: www.msdm.org.uk/
Arphield Recordings is a project documenting impromptu arphid sound performance produced by people scanning their oysters cards in the daily routine of access control to the london tube stations.
The methodology of field recordings (documentation of site-specific soundscapes through audio recording equipment) is, in this case, focused on the sampling of sounds produced by the use of arphid (rfid) technology (cards and readers) complemented by digital processing involving sampling and synthesis from the source, speculating on the ad infinitum convergence of arphid tags and readers into an endless symphony of sound surveillance and compliance.
Read more about arphieldRecordings: odeo.com/channel/85358/view
About Sousveillance on Wikipedia
text and image courtesy of Paula Roush
"Shaping Things is about created objects and the environment, which is to say, it's about everything," writes Bruce Sterling in this addition to the Mediawork Pamphlet series. He adds, "Seen from sufficient distance, this is a small topic."
Sterling offers a brilliant, often hilarious history of shaped things. We have moved from an age of artifacts, made by hand, through complex machines, to the current era of "gizmos." New forms of design and manufacture are appearing that lack historical precedent, he writes; but the production methods, using archaic forms of energy and materials that are finite and toxic, are not sustainable. The future will see a new kind of object -- we have the primitive forms of them now in our pockets and briefcases: user-alterable, baroquely multi-featured, and programmable -- that will be sustainable, enhanceable, and uniquely identifiable. Sterling coins the term "spime" for them, these future manufactured objects with informational support so extensive and rich that they are regarded as material instantiations of an immaterial system. Spimes are designed on screens, fabricated by digital means, and precisely tracked through space and time. They are made of substances that can be folded back into the production stream of future spimes, challenging all of us to become involved in their production. Spimes are coming, says Sterling. We will need these objects in order to live; we won't be able to surrender their advantages without awful consequences.
The vision of Shaping Things is given material form by the intricate design of Lorraine Wild. Shaping Things is for designers and thinkers, engineers and scientists, entrepreneurs and financiers -- and anyone who wants to understand and be part of the process of technosocial transformation. Order here: mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/item/default.asp
Meghan Trainor is an interdisciplinary artist who focuses on exploring the dynamics of technology within society. Originally a painter, she draws from visual, interactive and performance elements to reject both utopian and dystopian predictions of technology's role in our future. At the root of this effort is an attempt to show the timelessness of innovation in human history through the creation of nostalgia for the new. Please visit here site: meghantrainor.com/rfid.html
Her current work explores the potentials of using communication networks, databases, and specifically RFID to envision the diverse ways these technologies become adopted throughout time as well as current attitudes toward emerging capabilities to modifiy the human body. See more: meghantrainor.com/portfolio/03_nerd/003_nerd.html
Meghan holds a master's degree from New York University's Interactive Telecommunication Program at the Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Seattle and works in New York.
Straitjacket Embrace! - Interactive Video and RFID installation, see more www.lancelmaat.nl/
Straitjacket Embrace! deals with experiences of fear and desire for the other in contemporary public spaces. In our networked society the public space is no longer a space we can leave or exclude. Through mobile technologies – like mobile phone, RFID – the controlling gaze of public space is everywhere; in our private homes, our beds, and even in our bodies. Lancel and Maat research the networked gaze as a ‘participatory panopticon’. They explore the personal gaze and individual narratives of the connected body; the way we meet and embrace.
For Straitjacket Embrace! Lancel and Maat designed a ‘fictional public space’ with an interactive straitjacket as interface. Here they invite their audience. The interactive traitjacket is wearable, like a second skin, and provides the wearer with both the experience of play and a phobic ‘self-surveillance system’. The space around the straitjacket is sonically created around audible stories, while visually creating a surrealistic panopticon. In their straitjacket Lancel and Maat turn a hidden RFID control system upside down into a private play-zone for your own body.
On RFID control technology
For the interactive straitjacket Lancel and Maat use 'invisible technology' called RFID (radio frequency identification). RFID is a system that uses tiny little chip-with-sensors, RFID tags, that provide objects each with an unique identity. RFID creates a wireless network, nowadays used for (product) control and logistics. Through RFID, anonymous strangers can ‘trace’ your private life wherever you go without you ever knowing it. Today these tiny little RFID tags can be found almost everywhere – in our mobile phones, under the skin of our pats, in bracelets and anklets worn by people in prison.
The Straitjacket hangs from the ceiling surrounded by camera's, audio feed and video projections. You are invited to put the straitjacket on and find both it’s enclosing functionality as well it’s natural invitation ‘to embrace yourself’. Through touching the straitjacket, your body becomes an interface. Invisibly in the front of the jacket Lancel and Maat placed not one unique RFID tagbut a hundred of them for you to play with. You 'trace' yourself by putting both your arms in the jacket and embracing yourself; by a smart hidden little RFID reader invisibly attached to your hand in the jacket, to ‘read’ the RFID tags. By softly caressing yourself the RFID tags open their information for you.
- Left hand - With your left hand you activate projected live video images of yourself on the screens surrounding you. The images are generated by multiple cameras from different angles, connected to the RFID tags. Relating to each RFID tag, you manipulate these cameras, creating a surveillance system or Panopticon turned mad.
While playing in the privacy of the straitjacket your image on the screens is mixed with live video feeds of an audience gazing at you from public space. Your video image is simultaneously presented on a screen in the museum entrance hall. Here ‘you’ gaze at the audience – and the audience gazes back, at both your exclusive situation as well as at their own reactions.
- Right hand - Your right hand turns your body into a multi-channel radio-archive.
Your body seems to contain intimate whispering voices of different people telling stories about trying to be safe in public space by being invisible and uncontrollable. For these stories Lancel and Maat had interviews with people who in some way feel excluded from the public space, like people living illegally in the city, prisoners, refugees and people dealing with mental health issues. The main question was: 'what is a safe place for you in public space?'
The interviews lead to personal and intimate stories about the (im)possibility of creating an own safe place, and the often total dependency for this on strangers. In StraitJacket Embrace! your body contains a mediated memory for these stories on public space experiences.
Straitjacket Embrace! is both a self-surveillance system and a tool for storytelling; creating an audio-visual, immersiveenvironment through embracing yourself.
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Re-design of the medical ID alert bracelet. with a digital, networked component to it. doriafan.com/medbracelet.html
Aesthetically, the medical ID alert bracelet could use a makeover. There has been some patient resistance to wearing an ID alert bracelet because they find it ugly, or they don't want to be prominiently labeled by their condition. The challenge was to make the piece attractive, and easily recognizable and accessible to medical personnel in an emergency, without branding the wearer to the general public under normal circumstances.
In case of emergency, key information needs to be communcated: the patient's medical history to the doctors, and the patient's condition (and location) to their loved ones. Currently, medical ID tags carry a few short, concise, pieces of information: patient name, condition (e.g. "epilepsy," ), and sometimes, an emergency contact. Only so much analog information can fit on the bracelet. In this version, a digital tag (RFID) has been embedded into the medical ID tag. When the tag is read, the bracelet links you to online medical history and automatically contacts the patient's emergency contact by placing a phone call to them. It would let them know the patient is unwell, and that their records have been accessed.
Object annotation - there is a story behind every object.
Human beings have a great propensity for storytelling, and for making and using objects. We project value onto an object based on our emotional attachment to it, which in turn is based on our memories associated with it. These objects become cues to our past. They can tell stories about our lives.
This project is an exploration of the role networked, ubiquitous computing can play in storytelling and preserving oral histories. RFID technology is used to create an annotated digital record of personal histories associated with objects. RFID tags are embedded tags into artifacts and heirlooms, and recording the stories triggered by the memories associated with them.
Stories are recorded via the cell phone, outfitted with an RFID reader, which can "tag" the object. The RFID tags serve as both ID tags for the objects and the stories. These oral histories are stored online, on a web site. The stories would still be accessible beyond a person's possession of the object or the object's lifespan, and could be shared among multiple users.
The moment of intervention for preserving these memory triggers may be the moment before parting. This could be spring cleaning, moving, downsizing (the retired and elderly often move from a larger home to a smaller one), or after someone has died and their belongings need to be distributed or disposed of. Memories are often re-jolted when souvenirs re-surface, and their meaning is enhanced by their eminent loss.
Some questions I'm interested in:
- Only one person can logistically be in possession of the actual object, but we all have and "own" memories associated with it. If the memory is more important than the object itself, could there be away to record these memories and share them, and have a collective memory with different perspectives?
- How much does ownership of the object matter?
- Since memories naturally fade over time, how long should these recordings be archived?
- What happens when we embed an inert object with an "emotional/psychological" history?
- Will it change our relationship with the object? How?
- What happens when object is decoupled from the stories? (Does the object just become another tag)?
Wireless Dynamics Inc. Announces Availability of the SDiD™ 1212 Low Frequency (LF) RFID Reader SD Card, First SD RFID Card with embedded 512MB SD Memory, www.wdi.ca/index.shtml
"Users can access product information or entertainment content such as pictures, music and video clips by waving their mobile devices in front of a smart poster or kiosk. Users can also exchange such information with other users through NFC or mobile connection of their devices."
SDiD™ 1212 Low Frequency (LF) RFID Reader SD Card. It is the first RFID SD Card with embedded 512MB SD Memory in the industry. In addition to the Low Frequency RFID read and write functions, SDiD™ 1212 can store user applications and data. This true plug-and-play RFID SD card can be configured to instantly load drivers and launch applications that greatly increase the portability and ease of installation. By inserting the SDiD™ 1212 into the SD slot of a Smartphone or PDA, the integrated device can be used for most low frequency RFID applications such as asset tracking, field services, work-flow control, logistics, pet and livestock animal identification. RFID tag data transactions can be processed in real time through mobile connections such as WiFi, CDMA, GSM / GPRS or UMTS associated with the portable device. <via www.realitylab.at>