Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Where we think, too

“Scientists using seat-of-the-pants research – literally – say how something feels to you can affect how you act,” Randolph Schmid reports for Associated Press. “In one experiment, for example, 86 people took part in negotiations over a new car with a sticker price of $16,500 [U.S.]. Some were seated on hard wooden chairs. Others had comfy padded seats. After their first offers were rejected, the participants made a second proposal for the car. People on stiff wooden chairs took a hard line in the deal, raising their offered price by $896.50. But the relaxed folks in soft chairs were willing to spend an extra $1,243.60. The hardness, the researchers concluded, produced strictness and rigidity in the negotiation. ‘We’re not just a brain in a jar; our body is fundamentally tied to our understanding of the world,’ said Joshua Ackerman of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a co-author of the study.”

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

my wall today

i'm working towards the text(s) i'm writing on walking

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

annexLAB is now bohmLAB

we've decided to name our lab in homage to our dearly missed computer prof, thomas seebohm:

introducing bohmLAB


Friday, May 28, 2010


three friends (abe galway, tyler walker, tim maly) and i have decided to collaborate in some space-based experimentation using arduinos, processing 1.0, grasshopper (algorithmic modeling within rhino) and an emotiv headset (and projectors and screens and whatever else we can think of).

we have comandeered a space for our lab and are working on getting some money to buy equipment and exhibit our work. 

here are some of the basic technologies we will use:

Rousseau's Reveries of the Solitary Walker

I'm planning on using a similar structure to Rousseau's "Reveries" to pull together my thesis into a book. I'll reflect on a series of walks and my train of thought during those walks and embellish that with the research I've already completed and the experiments to come from annexLAB ...

Sunday, May 23, 2010


i have an idea for a responsive space installation that i'd like to do for my thesis ...

the idea is a bit fuzzy right now - it involves a simple surface, probably textile, some arduinos, pressure sensors, light sensors, etc and a bunch of servos to manipulate the shape of the surface in response to occupation, holding over a trace of each occupant over time.

i'm studying the act of walking as a representation of occupation - trying to work out what energy/information/materials are available to the building-organism as a result of occupation (as a result of a person walking in a space).  i'm using grashopper/rhino to model those exchanges (kind-of) using the GPS tracks collected in the pedestrian survey a few weeks back as hard data to experiment with. i imagine that those experiments will inform the interactions in the installation.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

an update

at the moment i'm thinking about neoteny (the juvenile part of life - lanier talks about this towards the end of `you are not a gadget`) and how cultural neotany is both conservative (a generation displays juvenile characteristics longer, conserving their status as cuturally dominant) and radical/experimental (characteristics of juvenalia).  i feel that i (and my immediate peers) occupy a strange middle ground between a generation who's identity was formed in web 2.0 and a generation who's identity was formed before the internet.  we are both deeply nostalgic for reality (a newpaper made of paper which exists for a time and occupies space in our lives - stories which disappear in an instant online lay on your kitchen table, in your recycling bin, on your floor catching paint or lining a litterbox for weeks or years or...you get the idea) we are nostagic for materiality at the same time as we are seduced by the web and excited and inspired by the possibilities emerging from new methods of computation and new ways of thinking about order and organization (and truth?).

i'm thinking about how my generation, how i have a job to do - making sure that i find ways to express the feelings i miss in virtual reality: the things i am nostalgic for (already), the things/experiences that i identify with and value, finding ways to create (send/receive) feelings at least as good/interesting/complex/complete as those to pass on, as new nostalgias (things experienced) to those coming up after us, at lightning speed and slow as snails.

on my list today is to look at borges "on exactitude and science" and record a bit more poodcast.

also on my list today is to try a few modeling ideas with my new skills in grashopper/rhino