Oh, Ballard

One of the dozens incredible predictions by J.G. Ballard. This comes from the 1977 essay “Future of the Future”, published on Vogue.

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Found in Translation

Eric Drass, aka Shardcore, made this very interesting experiment with generative AI applications: “I arranged a form of Chinese-Whispers between AI systems. I first extracted the keyframes from a scene from American Psycho and asked a multimodal LLM (LLaVA) to describe what it saw. I then took these descriptions and used them as prompts for a Stable Diffusion image generator. Finally I passed these images on to Stable-Video-Diffusion to turn the stills into motion.”

Pools

“The main thing about the game is to look around and listen to the sounds. It’s not about winning or losing. One could say it’s like an art gallery where you walk around and feel the atmosphere. The game has no monsters chasing you or jumping suddenly towards you. There are very few things to solve, practically a few mazes. Sometimes the game can challenge your navigation skills. But mostly you’re just exploring.”

The scintillating scotoma

Hubert Airy’s 1870 illustration of his own scintillating scotoma, reproduced in P. W. Latham’s On Nervous or Sick-Headache (1873).

Claire L. Evans wrote a great article about the “scintillating scotoma”, a visual disturbance related to migraines. I had this a couple of times and it looks exactly as described. A terrifying but also extremely fascinating experience.

“Writing about these bizarre and horrifying perceptual phenomena, the late Oliver Sacks observed that migraines ‘show us how the brain-mind constructs ‘space’ and ‘time,’ by demonstrating what happens when space and time are broken, or unmade.”

Voice In My Head

Kyle McDonald & Lauren Lee McCarthy developed an AI system that can replace your internal monologue:

“With the proliferation of generated content, AI now seeps constantly into our consciousness. What happens when it begins to intervene directly into your thoughts? Where the people you interact with, the things you do, are guided by an AI enhanced voice that speaks to you the way you’d like to be spoken to.”

One World Moments

One World Moments is a new experiment in ambient media, which seeks to use the new possibilities enabled by AI image generation to create more specific, evocative, and artistic ambient visuals than have been previously possible on a mass scale.”

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Life: a user’s manual

I was just reminded by a student of this powerful performance by Michelle Teran:

Moving through the city streets with a video scanner reveals a hidden layer of personal fragments and stories which are broadcast by the private owners of surveillance cameras. The accumulation of these autonomous yet synchronous acts contributes to an invisible ad-hoc network of media permeating the socially codified spaces of our urban environments: the café, the apartment building, the store, the parking lot, and the street. Life: a user’s manual is a shared experience in visualizing the invisible. Together with the participants, Michelle Teran walks through the streets with a wireless surveillance camera scanner and broadcasts the images on a TV monitor.

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MyHouse.wad

My House (a.k.a. MyHouse.WAD) is a single-level PK3 for Doom II using the GZDoom source port that was released on March 3, 2023.It was designed by Steve Nelson (Veddge).

In the Name of the Place

In the 1990s, a group of radical artists called the GALA Committee smuggled political messages into Melrose Place. This story is WILD.

Watch enough episodes of Melrose Place and you’ll notice other very odd props and set design all over the show. A pool float in the shape of a sperm about to fertilize an egg. A golf trophy that appears to have testicles. Furniture designed to look like an endangered spotted owl.

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Sunday Nobody

I don’t know why I haven’t come across this artist before. Sunday Nobody calls himself a “meme artist”, but what he does is actually a surprising mixture of conceptual art, performance art, viral video and extremely high level craftsmanship. You can watch his videos on TikTok and Instagram.

The Wizard of AI

Alan Warburton did it again.

“The Wizard of AI,’ a 20-minute video essay about the cultural impacts of generative AI. It was produced over three weeks at the end of October 2023, one year after the release of the infamous Midjourney v4, which the artist treats as “gamechanger” for visual cultures and creative economies. According to the artist, the video itself is ‘99% AI’ and was produced using generative AI tools like Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, Runway and Pika. Yet the artist is careful to temper the hype of these new tools, or as he says, to give in to the ‘wonder-panic’ brought about by generative AI. Using creative workflows unthinkable before October 2023, he takes us on a colourful journey behind the curtain of AI – through Oz, pink slime, Kanye’s ‘Futch’ and a deep sea dredge – to explain and critique the legal, aesthetic and ethical problems engendered by AI-automated platforms. Most importantly, he focusses on the real impacts this disruptive wave of technology continues to have on artists and designers around the world.”