13.09.2012 – PechaKucha Night @Stedelijk Museum

Some links to interesting content presented by the speakers about the theme “Museum of the Future”.

Home Care from thonik on Vimeo.
The controversial theme of nudity on media has evolved from a form of social critic in the 60’s to a powerful and rich mean of communication. The innocent nudity of this woman loses completely vulgarity or lust, but evokes the terrible impact of welfare decisions on human identity and personality.

Eddie The Eagle Museum.
What is a museum in the XXI century? And how should artists expose their works?
The answer is “go big” and dare to the top, just as Eddie did some time ago.
Eddie the Eagle Museum is a space in Amsterdam Noord where artists and non can gather to realize their projects, from conceptual installations to wild parties. A museum for the needs of modern folks.

The Temporary Stedelijk
Net art is a form of expression created through and for the web. From this reflection a simple idea follows: this art needs a specific space inside its proper media, the Internet.
The Temporary Stedelijk creates a virtual platform for contemporary Net Art.

Google Web Lab by Tellart
An amazing exhibition that transform the endless exchange of bits of the Internet into mechanisms, sounds, visualizations.


Complete set








Days 1&2

Exploring city interfaces


Scenario creation

Mumbai, 2050
Sheila is the institute director of the MiT Mumbai, but today she is a running bride. She is escaping her planned wedding, and she has a plan.
With a hacked algorithm she can avoid the traffic of the busy streets of Mumbai by forecasting the patterns of movemet of people and chariots. Her mobile phone drives her with sensorial indication through vibration to step forward, backward, right or left.
She is heading towards the central market, where her real love is waiting, to ride her to the jungle on one of the last elephants survived in India. But Sheila cannot just escape: in 2050 real and digital identity are merged and tracked by a microchip placed in the left hand of everyone. The only way to stop the continuos tracking that keeps all digital account alive is to die. Or to cut away the hand. Before jumping on the elephant, bravely Sheila slices away her hand with a scimitarre. Once her digital identity is dead, together with all her digital accounts, she can start a new analog life.

Visual Use Cues

Use Cues, definition: “Product characteristics that shows what the product can do, and how users can operate it” – from TU Delft IO database.

Since yesterday, all my Chrome bookmarks lost their icon. And those icons were the most direct way to find the link I needed. They were a perfect visual reference, which my brain interpreted and translated into the mechanical movement to drive the mouse pointer on it.

When I added new bookmarks and the order slightly changed, I had troubles to adapt to it again.
But now I’m completely lost, it’s like playing a lottery, and my brain hates to feel lost in front of something it knew so well 48h ago.

But anyway this is a very valuable advice for the design of frequent use interface.

Being a blogger


Not so easy…

A blog is an amazing media tool that allows everyone to publish content and shared them with the entire world.
Its potential is incredible, but it does not automatically give immediate visibility.
Moreover, the Internet is submerse by “communication noise”: for example all those blogs killed by their authors, which still keep content that probably no one will ever read.

Creating a blog is a big commitment, with an important impact on the “digital identity” of a user. And if someone opens a blog, that usually means he/she cares of this “digital identity”.
With the graph on the top page, I tried to explain where your blog can be placed in the endless universe of Internet communication, by considering two values: originality and quality.

Originality refers to the ownership of the published content, that can be of the author or of someone else.
Quality refers to how much the content is processed and to the level of entertainment, information achieved by the content.
The poorest blogs scores in the downer-left corner, the most brilliant in the upper-right corner.

Group 1: “Let’s open a blog, it’s so cool”
Despite I have one, I don’t really think that writing on a blog is cool.
Not the action itself at least. But the content can be. In this category we can list all the blogs about pets, friends, personal journals and other teenagers (but not only) bullshit. Around 2004, these were the typical blogs of American teenagers. Some of them did not stop yet. Also, here the are all the blogs which did not survive the third post, one of the saddest creature of the Internet. Finally the “relink” blogs, a list of crazy post of various contents (images, colors, gif, etc) found elsewhere.
Fortunately for that now we have Tumblr.com.

Group 2: “See you at the pub”
Sometimes people have good thoughts about mainstream topics of the moment, or about specific topi (like baroque music), or simply they can write well. These are “opinion blogs”, that usually become also community space of people with similar interest.
They are like your “virtual” favorite cafés or pubs, where people you appreciate gather to discuss together.

Group 3: “Professional chicken”
A blog can give potential positive exposure to some professional categories that produce content and information with their work, for example designers like me.
Communication in these professions is fundamental, and being able to use “new” media like social networks and blogs can open opportunities and prove skills hardly noticeable on a pdf portfolio.
But as I said, it’s very difficult: A class designers may not be able to produce valuable “editorial” content out of their projects, being stuck in a blog/gallery tunnel. In this situation being honest is the best approach: “Ehy man, I’m a good …, simply I can’t/don’t want to spend my time to write a story to show you how skilled I am!”

Group 4: “I have stunning idea, and I make them shine”
In these blogs, excellent content is inseparable from excellent qualities. Two examples: the blog of Information Architects and the one of Paul Krugman. They are not journalists, but sometimes they are even better.

The third dimension: Time
Frequency of posting is a central factor to influence the perceived quality of a blog.
In my opinion one post a week is the lowest frequency acceptable. Month jump on a blog timeline are the second saddest thing on the Internet.

Commitment and honesty
No, having a good blog it’s not easy. You need to find or create nice topics, elaborate them, write them nicely (checking grammar and sentence structure) and eventually hold discussions and arguments about them with other Internet users.
As already said, being honest is the best approach: your blog will show what you think of sharing content in the Internet, in particular when you don’t like it, but you think it can help to reach other targets than good conversation.



Between financial bubbles and dead cats

I was reading this and this and this, while this news came out.

So where is the link between history, economy, finance and a dead cat?
It’s this:

This Dutch illustration was done in 1720, and its theme is the speculation over the investments of the French Mississippi Company, which created an enormous financial bubble hitting the economy of France, Britain and the Dutch Republic.
This bubble was also named the “Wind trade”, since the real value of the exchanged actions was speculated over nothing.

On the upper right corner, you can see a cat with four inflated ballons attached to its legs.
It is blown away by a man with bellows. The text is in Dutch, so I can’t easily translate it.
This illustration comes from the Het Groote Tafereel der Dwaasheid (Great Mirror of Folly).