Lisa Roberts blog


Visualising our ecosystem

Filed under: Datavisualization, Literature, animation, dance — Lisa @ 15:54

KRILL feature in the Hyperion Project, a beautiful animated interactive interface of the marine ecosystem:

Hyperion Project from Oisin Prendiville on Vimeo.

Hyperion is an animated generative installation; a triptych of mutually supporting digital environments that also rely on, and react to, sensor-based information received from the real-world environment. In addition to exploring new methods of data visualisation and generative programming techniques, Hyperion is also representative of new global digital biological systems and technologies.

Modelled as individual links in a food chain using a real-world biological marine ecosystem as a behavioural blueprint, the environments of Eos, Selene and Helios form a circuit reflecting the interdependency of such biological systems. Created with Macromedia Flash and utilising sensor and networking technology, each environment relies on the others for sustenance, in addition to reacting to stimuli received from the installation’s real-world physical environment.

The members of the group behind the project are Briana Hegarty, John Ryan, Deirdre Williams, and myself. Hyperion Project blog, accessed 8 April 2011

Another beautiful animation is The Garden of Ecos:

In this animated short, animals and plants are living peacefully together in a large garden until predators attack and ravage their habitat, stealing food and destroying plants. This creates an imbalance that leads to war. A fable that poetically describes how conflicts between 2 different groups in the same community can upset the natural balance of an ecosystem.

The film Atonement describes human impacts on an ecosystem.

Mountain Movement – Vue Redux from Jerry A. Smith, Ph.D. on Vimeo.

“>Mountain Movement is a is a 3D visualisation of a changing ecosystem:

This is a combination 3D and 2.5D Vue virtual composition. The original model, including animated ecosystem, was composed of over 2 million polygons, far too many to render in any reasonable time. I kept the near field objects as 3D, but renders the farther elements in multiple layers. The next is a hybrid Vue composition. Final color correction was done in After Effects. Jerry A. Smith 2010


Normalcy bias

Filed under: Literature, Researchers — Lisa @ 13:42

Normalcy bias

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

The normalcy bias refers to a mental state people enter when facing a disaster. It causes people to underestimate both the possibility of a disaster occurring and its possible effects. This often results in situations where people fail to adequately prepare for a disaster, and on a larger scale, the failure of the government to include the populace in its disaster preparations. The assumption that is made in the case of the normalcy bias is that since a disaster never has occurred that it never will occur. It also results in the inability of people to cope with a disaster once it occurs. People with a normalcy bias have difficulties reacting to something they have not experienced before. People also tend to interpret warnings in the most optimistic way possible, seizing on any ambiguities to infer a less serious situation.[1]


Laban’s movement scales

Filed under: Literature — Lisa @ 20:11


Journal for artist scholars

Filed under: Literature, Researchers — Lisa @ 22:17

From: Florian Dombois
Subject: [Yasmin_an] Journal for Artistic Research (JAR)
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2011 04:25:29 -0500

The Journal for Artistic Research (JAR) is a new international, online, Open Access and peer-reviewed journal for the identification, publication and dissemination of artistic research and its methodologies.

With the aim of displaying and documenting practice in a manner that respects the artist’s modes of presentation, JAR abandons the traditional journal article format and offers its contributors a dynamic online canvas where text can be woven together with image, audio and video material. The result is a journal which provides a unique ‘reading’ experience while fulfilling the expectations of scholarly dissemination.

The inaugural issue of JAR is released on 17 February 2011.

Visit: JAR

This issue presents work by:
Bertha Bermudez, Scott deLahunta, Marijke Hoogenboom, Chris Ziegler,
Frederic Bevilacqua, Sarah Fdili Alaoui, Barbara Meneses Gutierrez,
Richard Blythe, Melbourne
Sher Doruff, Amsterdam
Cathy van Eck, Zürich
Mark Fleischman, Cape Town
Abhishek Hazra, Bangalore
Anders Hultqvist, Gothenburg
Daniel Kötter, Constanze Fischbeck, Berlin
Tuija Kokkonen, Helsinki
Elina Saloranta, Helsinki
Sissel Tolaas, Berlin
Otto von Busch, Gothenburg

Editor-in-Chief: Michael Schwab, London

Artistic research is a newly emergent and rapidly evolving field,
whose status is still hotly debated. Until now there have only been
limited publication channels making it difficult to stay informed
about the development of the many topics pertinent to artistic
research. JAR aims to provide a focal point that brings together
different voices, facilitates discourse and adds to the artistic
research community.

Part of JAR’s mission is to re-negotiate art’s relationship to academia and the role and function of research in artistic practice. JAR embraces research practices across disciplines, thereby emphasising the transdisciplinary character of much artistic research.

JAR is guided by an Editorial Board that works with a large panel of international peer reviewers from the field of artistic research. JAR is published by the Society for Artistic Research.

We welcome submissions for future issues through our Research Catalogue, which will be launched in March 2011.


Art or science?

Filed under: Literature, Science — Tags: — Lisa @ 09:19

Paragraphs to Stimulate Discussion of Poetry and Science

from Jared Smith

November 21, 2010

Source: Jasmin Discussions, 30 Nov 2020

I think that we can all start out with the assumption that anybody who is reading Leonardo on a regular basis or is participating in this YASMIN discussion already understands at least intuitively that both the arts and the sciences are related to pattern-thinking, as well as to a striving to recognize within each newly perceived or hard won pattern something which is larger or more magnificent than anything which we have ever perceived before. Each of us, whether scientist or artist, rushes along one corridor or another of linear thought which will propel us to a desired level of sensitivity to the world about us or to a level of desired control over that which we can control, and then suddenly those who are luckiest among us find our linear paths exploded by other linear paths that come from congruent angles or by parallel awarenesses stemming from perhaps sub-quantum foci that suddenly explode our past arguments or awareness and carry us toward even greater appreciations of what surrounds us and what we are composed of. Wonderful discussions of the parallels between creative thought in the arts and creative thought in the sciences can be found in such books as Arthur Kostler’s Act of Creation, or in the proceedings of
Myron Color’s Creative Science Seminar series, or of course in the archives of any issue of Leonardo.

What determines the degree of value we place upon an insight or a thought process that allows us to determine whether it is art or science, then? That is harder to define. Oppenheimer wrote and translated French Romantic poetry: was that separate from his work with nuclear physics? Coleridge and Shelley and Lord Byron were Romantic poets, yet they shared in-depth intellectual discussions with the leading scientists of their day and published at times in the same small-circulation journals bending their intellects on both sides, artistic and scientific through both linear and nonlinear junctions to such matters as what defines the spark of life that animates men and is that spark if recreated by scientific or technological means then the same as life itself. (I refer you to Richard Holmes remarkable book (The Age of Wonder.) Were these the same questions that reverberated through the marble sculptures and the earthen tones of paint that Michelangelo wove his visions around, and with which he illustrated a vision of touch and singularity that arises from a man’s extended finger and the hand of that which is greater than he? Do any of these things that we think of in our deeper moments, that we quest for, have any discernible value to define them as arts or sciences separate from each other when measured in the scope of our existence—or do we
merely severely limit ourselves by defining them as first one and then another? If T.S. Eliot was right in his determination and definition of an “objective correlative” in art or in poetry as being a series of images which when read by any careful reader (any scientist who is trained in the art?) will produce within that reader only one vision or understanding which is the same in each person who reads it thusly, cannot one say that the words of a poet must be wielded with as much care
and knowledge and skill as the mathematics of quantum physics scrawled out in hard earned bursts of joy on university blackboards. Are not the visions brought by the words of one poet to a select and educated few as dramatic in their meaning and intent, and as decisive in their creation, as that of a director at CERN to a similarly well educated and small, select group? Can those two groups overlap, and is there value in that?

Well, yes, perhaps, you might say so, if we could only know which poet or which artist were wielding the right vision and sharpening with the right tools or words. But how could we know? Who could verify?

This is important because as we all know in science and with regard to technology, when we mix ingredients or procedures together while controlling all variables, we will always get the same action and reaction, the same objective correlative. And that action and reaction may have value, or they may not. And if they do have value, it may take many decades or even hundreds of years to determine what that value is and whether it lies within the intellectual or material realm. We have a great many institutions of learning which turn out a great many men and women of considerable intellect who are trained to study each scientific theorem as it evolves and to place it within other theorems for greater substance and meaning.

At times, this study and evolving is a time-curdling process where the mind grows infinitely older and achieves little; but at times, it can take flight in new and unexpected colonies of bacilli blossoming into definable space on a petri dish, taking shape as a poem from the small things we know about the expanding world around us. Call it art. Call it nonlinear spontaneity. And when it sings in the back rooms of our minds, when it speaks in a language that reverberates not only with our higher brain functions but also within the reptile brain we have so little understanding of, when it creates a song that we know is worth listening to in the quietness of our non-salaried time, and makes us feel alive as individuals in ways we cannot explain with out mathematical formulas or our surface linguistics, let’s call it poetry with the honor it so deserves.

Poetry at its best is the only art that combines linear thought with musical rhythms and meter to produce an exacting language that transcends the speech of our time.

–Jared Smith, 11/21/10


Science of morality

Filed under: Literature — Lisa @ 08:14

Fiery Cushman is a moral psychologist at Harvard University who writes:

A lucid dream has three phases. First you experience the dream as reality. Then you recognise it as a product of your mind. Finally, you gain the power of control.
Morality is proceeding along similar lines (2010, New Scientist, 16 October, p.41).

Others who write (2010, New Scientist, 16 October) about theirunderstandings of morality include:

Peter Singer, Professor of bioethics, Princeton University
Paul Bloom, Developmental psychologist, Yale University
Joshua Knobe, Experimental philosopher, Yale University
Sam Harris, Author and neuroscientist
Samantha Murphy, Writer
Patricia Churchland, Philosopher of neuroscience, University of California and the Salk Institute, San Diego
Martha J.Farah, Director for Neuroscience and Society, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia


Blob motility

Filed under: Iconography, Literature, Science — Lisa @ 07:48

Blob motility

My friend Natalie Shell, of Think, Talk, Walk, sends this link to Blob motility:

Blob Motility is an early phase of a new “actuated shape display using programmable matter.” With it, A gel substance can be programmed to a specific geometry and topology, resulting in organic shape-changing in real space—not unlike a “metaball” in computer graphics, as the lab points out.

The hardware is composed of electromagnets arranged in a honeycomb structure underneath, with control circuits that create a dynamic magnetic field. The blob, a magnetic fluid known as “pBlob,” responds to this field, changing shape in response.

For a demo of the magnetic non-organism that will one day float you to work, see the video above. They explain a little bit there as well, but to get the full story, including the method of blob creation, mechanism details, the language of transformation control, and proposed application, you’ll have to wait until the International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction in 2011, where the design team will present their work.


Antarctic art in China

Filed under: Iconography, Literature — Lisa @ 08:25
Andrea Juan exhibits Antarctic art in Beijing

Andrea Juan exhibits Antarctic art in Beijing

Andrea Juan’s exhibition of Antarctic art coincides with international recognition of China’s first Nobel Peace prize winner. Will China recognise the need for continuing peace in Antarctica?


Dr Squiggle?

Filed under: Iconography, Literature, Methods — Tags: , — Lisa @ 09:10

Mr Squiggle came from the moon.
He inspired me to see and draw lines to describe a real and imagined world.
What would Mr Squiggle make of Antarctica?


On 12 December 2010, Kate Dennehy for the Sydney Morning Herald:

WHEN Julian Assange’s mother agreed to our request for an interview, she set very strict parameters: “I will talk about Mr Squiggle and only Mr Squiggle.”

Christine Assange is a puppeteer, and she is very worried about the decline of her artform.

Her phone has been running hot, however, with national and international media seeking comment on arguably a more pressing matter: the arrest in England of her son, the editor-in-chief of the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, who has been accused of rape in Sweden.

When contacted by The Sun-Herald on the Sunshine Coast last week, Ms Assange had nothing to say – until the subject turned to Mr Squiggle, the moon-dwelling marionette with a pencil for a nose who entertained generations of Australians on ABC television for 40 years. Mr Squiggle was back in the news because his creator, Norman Hetherington, had died, aged 89, in a Sydney hospital.

“I absolutely adored Mr Squiggle and so did the kids,” Ms Assange said. ”I still adore him.”

She added: “I was designing and making puppets for theatres when my children were growing up. They were immersed in puppetry from their early years and loved watching the show then playing with their own puppets.”

Ms Assange moved about six weeks ago from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast, where she runs the Fairytale Puppet Theatre. She entertains at schools, libraries and parties. “Unfortunately, traditional puppetry is a dying art in Australia and children these days have too much TV and not enough reading and things to engage their imaginations.”

Asked whether the media had offered her money for her son’s life story, she said: “That’s not about Mr Squiggle.”


Hyperbolic geometry in crochet

Filed under: Iconography, Literature, Methods — Lisa @ 19:43

The art of crochet is used to represent hyperbolic geometry.

Daina Taimina, a mathematician at Cornell University, made the first useable physical model of the hyperbolic—a feat many mathematicians had believed was impossible—using, of all things, crochet. Taimina and her husband, David Henderson, a geometer at Cornell, are the co-authors of Experiencing Geometry, a widely used textbook on both Euclidean and non-Euclidean spaces. Margaret Wertheim, founder of the Institute for Figuring and a new regular contributor to Cabinet, spoke to them about crocheting and non-Euclidean geometry.

Visit Cabinet to find out more.

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