The First Catastrophe of the 21st Century

Talking about road accidents and robots…

Nam June Paik, The First Catastrophe of the 21st Century, 1982
Location: 75th Street and Madison Avenue, Manhattan, outside of The Whitney Museum

“For this performance, the robot K-456 was removed from its pedestal at the Whitney Museum of American Art, which hosted Paik’s retrospective exhibition, and guided by the artist down the street to the intersection of 75th Street and Madison Avenue. When crossing the avenue, the robot was “accidentally” hit by an automobile driven by artist Bill Anastasi. With this performance Paik suggested the potential problems that arise when technologies collide out of human control. After the “collision”, K-456 was returned to its pedestal in the Museum.”

[source]

Something is wrong on the internet

The increasing weirdness of kids targeted content on Youtube is something I began to notice last year, after the birth of my first daughter. James Bridle went down the rabbit hole of this genre, and found very frightening stuff:

“This is being done by people and by things and by a combination of things and people. Responsibility for its outcomes is impossible to assign but the damage is very, very real indeed”.

Something is wrong on the Internet

Goodbye Uncanny Valley

“It’s 2017 and computer graphics have conquered the Uncanny Valley, that strange place where things are almost real… but not quite. After decades of innovation, we’re at the point where we can conjure just about anything with software. The battle for photoreal CGI has been won, so the question is… what happens now?”

Written and animated by Alan Warburton with the support of Tom Pounder and Wieden + Kennedy. Music by Cool 3D World.

Travelling without moving

Jacqui Kenny lives with agoraphobia, an anxiety condition that causes individuals to avoid venturing into crowded or remote places, for fear of having a panic attack and being unable to escape or find help. For some, at its worst, this can mean a fear of leaving home. To counter this, Kenny roams the globe via Google Street View, and virtually combs streets and landscapes to snap screenshots for her photography series “Agoraphobic Traveller.”

[via]

Real or Fake?

Powerful machine-learning techniques (see “The Dark Secret at the Heart of AI”) are making it increasingly easy to manipulate or generate realistic video and audio, and to impersonate anyone you want with amazing accuracy.

[via Technology Review]