Bill Stone, Patricia Burchat and Brian Greene

A Triumvirate of wonder about the universe. Courtesy of TED. This kind of thing gives me hope – I wonder if the luminaries of the Enlightenment would look upon the modern world and despair or rejoice?

Bill Stone explores the Earth and space.
Patricia Burchat: The search for dark energy and dark matter.
Brian Greene: The universe on a string.


Daito Manabe, Y’all So Stupid and PTAM

Daito Manabe is an artist from Japan. He caught my attention recently with his facial animations and new take on body popping. A wealth of videos are available at his YouTube site.

Y’all so stupid is the creation of Devin Flynn. The intro graphics alone justify admittance.

Finally, PTAM (Parallel Tracking And Mapping) is a technology from Oxford University that allows three dimensional data to be gleaned from a two dimensional input. I have been involved in projects using custom 3D cameras when I worked at UnitedVisualArtists, and am fascinated to see how much can be done with more conventional systems.

A related pair of projects:

A research project from Adobe and the University of Washington, all to do with how to use this kind of technology to edit videos in some intriguing ways.

A great Google Tech Talk, entitled “Simple interactive 3D modeling for all“.

The possibilties for new interfaces are obvious, I am particularly interested in applying them to experiences and art installations. Imagine combining these technologies with the projection tek behind projects like Laser Tag.


George Smoot, Franco Sacchi and Stewart Brand

George Smoot on the shape of the universe. Mindbending scale, multiple magnitudes of beauty. Thinking of dark matter as invisible matter is a much better analogy. As he says in the talk, “Matter just follows where Dark Matter goes”.

Franco Sacchi on the third biggest wood after Holly and Bolly.

Finally, a classic, Stewart Brand on the long now.


Teahupoo, Travis Pastrana and Anthony McCall

I have always been obsessed with putting myself in the moment, and through my work, other people. It’s a very powerful thing to see people forget about their everyday lives and come back to now – which is all we really have.

The world keeps throwing up places that seem to bring out extraordinary performances out of people, seemingly by their very existence. The “because it’s there” syndrome. It’s interesting to contrast Manoa Drollet surfing Teahupoo, and Travis Pastrana playing in his own backyard. Both in the moment, one in a natural environment, and the other in an environment of his own imagining.

The sheer imposing physicality of Teahupoo made me recall an experience I had recently in Anthony McCall’s “A Line Describing a Cone”. The cone being of light didn’t stop it from transporting me into another world, bringing me back to the moment.


Wabi-sabi, Lateralisation of Brain Function and 77Boadrum

Wabi-sabi is a Japanese concept, based around the beauty and perfection of the natural imperfection of nature, and how to incorporate that into man made objects, buildings and places.

Lateralisation of brain function is the concept of the left and right sides of the brain having divided functionality – something as a left hander I am particularly interested in – and how such “handedness” develops.

77Boadrum is a performance by Bordedoms. I wish I could have been there – a perfect example of Wabi-Sabi and Lateralisation of brain function?


Claremont and the Troll Wall

A truly astounding descent.

One of the most innovative ads of the year.

I believe this is the location, after scouring the comments.

View Larger Map

This lead me to recall the rush of seeing the below video for the first time – via EveryoneForever, but now, from Vimeo.

Thanks to Wikipedia’s BASE jumping entry, I think I have found, The Troll Wall. Map Link.


Tim Brown, Burt Rutan and John D. Carmack

Tim Brown on creativity. Many of the concepts/methods explored in this talk are particularly empowered by the use of Open Source software to implement the services, tools and experiences described in this talk by Tim Brown.

Burt Rutan: Entrepreneurs are the future of space flight. It’s staggering to me that both the Concorde and Blackbird have gone through their respective life cycles without being replaced. Burt Rutan talks about the number of prototypes he has been able to create at Scaled Composites – and hinted about the true number, including the classified variety, being much larger.

This led me to John D. Carmack, of idSoftware, and his venture: Armadillo Aerospace. The new propulsion systems look suitably functional, and beautiful at the same time.