Monday, September 29, 2008

Radical Constructivism

Radical Constructivism - ‘What is radical constructivism? It is an unconventional approach to the problem of knowledge and knowing. It starts from the assumption that knowledge, no matter how it is defined, is in the heads of persons, and that the thinking subject has no alternative but to construct what he or she knows on the basis of his or her own experience. What we make of experience constitutes the only world we consciously live in. It can be sorted into many kinds, such as things, self, others, and so on. But all kinds of experience are essentially subjective, and though I may find reasons to believe that my experience may not be unlike yours, I have no way of knowing that it is the same. The experience and interpretation of language are no exception.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Callas Project

CALLAS (the acronym stands for Conveying Affectiveness in Leading-edge Living Adaptive Systems) is a integrated project funded by the European Commission.
In the project vision, ambitious challenges are pursued: partners from different countries are working together in pursuit a common goal that will contribute to reduce the cost and the complexity of development of multimodal interfaces in the Digital Entertainment and Information context.
  • to produce a set of components (known as Shelf components) which can be used to generate emotionally-aware user interfaces (or Affective Multimodal Interfaces).
  • to handle interoperability between the components through the open source CALLAS Framework
  • to provide APIs to 3rd party developers through which the shelf components and emotional model might be accessed.

Finally, the capabilities of the CALLAS Framework will be demonstrated through the development of CALLAS Showcases, significant test-beds in the context of New Media, embryonic samples of applications of the future.

CALLAS aims to design and develop a Framework based on a plug-in multimodal architecture, invariant to configuration of Multimodal Components, to interpret and process emotional aspects in real-time for easy and fast development of applications for Art and Entertainment, paying attention to the value of users, who are no longer passive spectators of artistic performances, but stimulating sources of human communication. The project is developing selected scenarios for Art and Entertainment, to showcase CALLAS technology in different typologies of space: theatres, home, squares, festivals, etc., as the "space" is one of the most interesting factors where human emotional interaction takes place. A strong attention is given to all interface and interaction aspects, to minimize the complexity for multimodal handling, to make creative industries and artists free to develop truly interactive art, keeping the technology burden hidden and preserving the naturalness of user interaction, not altering the spontaneity of their experience.

Julien Maire

Animals save the planet

Nice animal animations prompting us to save planet earth

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

NIP (New Interfaces for Performance)

NIP (New Interfaces for Performance) is a practical, artists led, workshop and touring event, which examines techniques for creating mixed media and interactive work for live, interactive contexts - for the most this refers to live performance (music, theatre, dance, sound) and interactive, real-time installation.

Piano Migration V

"Parkfield Interventional EQ Fieldwork" (PIEQF) - Seismic Art

Parkfield Interventional EQ Fieldwork (PIEQF) is a geologically interactive, kinetic earthwork that has been installed in the township of Parkfield, Central California. This machine controlled earthwork is triggered by near real-time reported Californian earthquakes from Magnitude M 0.1 and above.
This machine earthwork is feedback loop between the seismicity of California and a physical and mechanical representation of all Californian seismic events. Each time a Californian earthquake occurs, an array of 5/8 inch steel rods attached to an earthquake shake table oscillate and resonate, reflecting the dynamic nature of the Californian landscape. On average 30-60 seismic events occur throughout California daily.

GRAMMA - Journal of Theory and Criticism

Journal of Theory and Criticism is an international journal, published in English and Greek once a year by the School of English, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, in collaboration with the Publications Department of the university. It welcomes articles and book reviews from a wide range of areas within the theory and criticism of literature and culture. Of particular interest to the journal are articles with an interdisciplinary approach. Each individual issue has guest editors and is devoted to a subject of recent cultural interest, with book reviews relevant to the topic. All manuscripts are subject to blind peer review and will be commented on by at least two independent experts.

Thursday, September 18, 2008



To conclude our series of blog posts from Paul Krik, writer/director of Able Danger, currently in theaters, here is his breakdown of how he posted his movie.

Able Danger was shot on an Panasonic AG-HVX200 by accomplished Brooklyn-based cinematographer Charlie Libin. We shot HD using no tape. It was shot to P2 cards, basically RAM and then copied to a hard drive. It was edited on Avid mostly on a laptop in a basement and then on an Avid at Jump Editorial. It was edited in HD but at the Panasonic "native" file size of 1280 x 720. This is not true HD, but after testing the camera's 1920 x 1080 record modes, I found the difference negligible and the 1080 mode had problems with motion. And the file sizes made shooting 1080 inefficient.

After much research about the absolute best methodology for finishing, I decided on the following; 123,840 uncompressed TIFF frames (86 mins x 24 frames per second) were exported to a hard drive and brought over to one of my favorite post production facilities, NICE SHOES, and colorist Chris Ryan imported the TIFF sequence into the specter (German color correct box) and bumped up to true HD 1920 x 1080. It was color corrected there and laid down to D5.

No special pro lenses were used. We used a wide angle adapter on occasion and a long lens adapter for daytime surveillance. For surveillance night scenes, we used military grade night vision.

I did all of the sound editing and sound designing and editing and music editing in the Avid. The final was mixed in Protools. Shots that needed effects were exported as uncompressed TIFFs out of Spectre and went to one of two places:

1. AFTER EFFECTS was used for the surveillance graphics. It took months to develop the surveillance look. We (Roberto Serrini and I) experimented with a lot more graphics on screen and a lot more text. But that took away from the beauty of the imagery and became too noisy and less "filmic" also getting the right interaction of the onscreen text, the surveillance chatter (which I recorded through a kids' toy voice distorter) and the onscreen action took a lot of fine tuning. I worked intimately with my assistant and After Effects artist refining ad infinitum. After I color corrected the night vision in Specter, TIFF frames were exported and we laid the After Effects back on top and then exported TIFF frames.

2. THE FLAME was used for some "gun flashes" and "electricity" in the stun baton were added after the color correct and bump up to 1080 HD from the Specter. The color TVs were composited and tweaked in the flame by Nick Sasso at Manic. Final finishing took the After Effects TIFF frames and conformed in the flame and laid down to D5 at NICE SHOES.

The film basically only existed on hard drives until we were done and laid down to D5. I think it was pretty innovative. The dream sequences on top of the World Trade Towers were shot on green screen, and uncompressed TIFFs were exported out of Avid and into FLAME and matte paintings and comps were done in flame. The intro animation was done in After Effects.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Nigel Johnson's "VOX"

Nigel Johnson's website



Sunday, September 14, 2008

Dmitry Gelfand and Evelina Domnitch

Dmitry Gelfand (b.1974, St. Petersburg, Russia) and Evelina Domnitch (b. 1972, Minsk, Belarus) create sensory immersion environments that merge physics, chemistry and computer science with uncanny philosophical practices. Current findings, particularly regarding wave phenomena, are employed by the artists to investigate questions of perception and perpetuality. Such investigations are salient because the scientific picture of the world, which serves as the basis for contemporary thought, still cannot encompass the unrecordable workings of consciousness.

Having dismissed the use of recording and fixative media, Domnitch and Gelfand’s installations exist as ever-transforming phenomena offered for observation. Because these rarely seen phenomena take place directly in front of the observer without being intermediated, they often serve to vastly extend the observer’s sensory envelope. The immediacy of this experience allows the observer to transcend the illusory distinction between scientific discovery and perceptual expansion.

The Imaginary Border Academy

Monday, September 8, 2008

Manny Farber's Lists

Barbara Schock wrote for Filmmaker:
The phenomenal painter, teacher and film critic Manny Farber called his film class “A Hard Look at the Movies.” It was the first upper-division college class I took. I’d transferred from a small college in the Midwest to the University of California at San Diego, and I’d never seen a foreign film, unless you count the Sergio Leone westerns. We watched the following films in a 10-week period, and it turned the way I looked at movies upside down: Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, Max Ophuls’s The Earrings of Madame de…, Jacques Tourneur’s Out of the Past, Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity, Werner Herzog’s Aguirre: the Wrath of God, Joseph Lewis’s Gun Crazy, Nicolas Roeg’s Walkabout, Roberto Rossellini’s Voyage to Italy, Werner Schroeter’s The Death of Maria Malibran, Jean-Luc Godard’s Pierrot le fou and Les Carabiniers, John Boorman’s Point Blank, Eric Rohmer’s La Collectionneuse, Joseph Losey’s Accident, Robert Aldrich’s The Grissom Gang, Luis Buñuel’s Diary of a Chambermaid, Frank Borzage’s Man’s Castle, Nagisa Oshima’s Diary of a Shinjuku Burglar, Jean Cocteau and Jean-Pierre Melville’s Les Enfants terribles and several Buster Keaton films.

Azazel Jacobs

The son of avant-garde filmmaker Ken Jacobs.
His first short film Message Machine " a brilliant example of how the avant-garde and experimental can still tell us something about the human experience that no amount of budget or special effects ever will."
His graduation film, Kirk and Kerry, won best short film at Slamdance in 1997, and he began making his first feature, Nobody Needs to Know while studying for his Masters at AFI in Los Angeles. The film, which played the festival circuit in 2003, fused conventional narrative with more experimental elements as Jacobs grappled with the idea of “honest” filmmaking. The film is about fame and how pursues those who run from it, and runs from those who pursue it. After an appalling audition Iris decides she probably does not want it after all, clashing with her roommate Mira, who will do anything to get there. At the same time in Manhattan- which plays a major role itself- a young man explores behind the camera and outside the frame.
He followed it up in 2005 with the delightful offbeat comedy drama The GoodTimesKid, which he made for just $10,000 in collaboration with Jacobs' girlfriend Sara Diaz and Drama/Mex director (and fellow AFI alum) Gerardo Naranjo.
Jacobs' third feature, Momma's Man, sees him return home with the story of Mikey (Matt Boren), who stays at his parents' house while on a business trip to New York. Lulled by the security of these familiar surroundings, he starts concocting reasons why he can't return to his wife and baby daughter in California...

Jeremy Bailey

His work has been described by filmmaker magazine as "a one man revolution on the way we use video, computers and our bodies to create art". Jeremy lives and works in Toronto, Canada.

Grease to Greece

Localized and personalized cinema: "GPSFilms"

GPS Film is a new way of watching a movie that’s based on the viewer’s location. The system is a new media artwork from Scott Hessels and is released as an open source application that runs on any GPS-enabled mobile phone or PDA.
As the viewer travels by walking, bus, or taxi, the movie unfolds by passing through different areas. By exploring a park, a neighborhood, or even a city or country, GPS Film continually ‘reads’ the location of the viewer and plays scenes that are tied to those places.The more the viewer travels, the more of the film they see.

Friday, September 5, 2008

"NO END IN SIGHT" by Charles Ferguson

No End in Sight is being made available free to the public to reveal the facts about the Bush Administration's invasion and occupation of Iraq to voters concerned with the issues of national security and the adverse economic impact of the war when making decisions in this crucial election. NO END IN SIGHT condenses and clarifies the murky decisions made before and after the invasion and is invaluable to the public’s understanding of what went wrong. The film is both an analysis of an ill-conceived war and a plea to consider the impact of future military actions. According to the film's director, Charles Ferguson, he underwrote the exhibition of the film on YouTube because, "I wanted to make the film, and the facts about the occupation of Iraq, accessible to a larger group of people. My hope is that this will contribute to the process of making better foreign policy decisions moving forward in Iraq and elsewhere. During this election year, it’s important to examine the leadership mentality and policies that caused Iraq to descend into such a horrific state that after 4,000 American deaths, at least a quarter million Iraqis killed, 4 million refugees, and over $2 trillion spent, Iraq remains in a state of near collapse."