Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Dressed to feel

Scramble suit or bio-adapter, that's the question. Concerning the former, one will notice in the the picture above the character putting on a curious piece of "wearable computing", a kind of suit that give a perfectly anonymous appearance to undercover police detectives working for a highly dystopian DEA idealized by Philip K. Dick in the novel A Scanner Darkly (1977). Quoting the author, the suit is:

an invention of the Bell laboratories, conjured up by accident by an employee named S. A. Powers... Basically, his design consisted of a multifaceted quartz lens hooked up to a million and a half physiognomic fraction-representations of various people: men and women, children, with every variant encoded and then projected outward in all directions equally onto a superthin shroudlike membrane large enough to fit around an average human. As the computer looped through its banks, it projected every conceivable eye color, hair color, shape and type of nose, formation of teeth, configuration of facial bone structure - the entire shroudlike membrane took on whatever physical characteristics were projected at any nanosecond, then switched to the next...

Certainly a superficial device, nothing more than a walking screen. By the other hand, Oswald Wiener, an author yet to be valued (and, as a result, translated to English!!), imagined a completely different wearable in the novel Die verbesserung von mitteleuropa, roman (1969/1985). At the end of the book, included in an appendix, the author introduces the bio-adapter:

it knows from its sensors when a human being is inside preparing for a journey. Immediately after activating the start lever (which thereby becomes non-functional, it is just as quickly dismantled and added to the material reserves) the adapter begins to work. It closes by itself and makes air available for breathing. The air-conditioning unit provides ideal "external" conditions. Steered by a number of sensors which are located along the contours of the human body, the adapter fits closely to the latter on all sides, without however coming into contact with it, except in those places which are necessarily affected by gravity. By means of these sensors the adapter perceives each movement of the human body, anticipating it at a particular spot by buckling ahead.

But more importantly:

the bio-adapter can be compared to a selectively bred uterus ("joy suit") which, as a result of continual adaptation, is able to meet the most varied requirements of highly organised living creatures. It can be interpreted both as the hypertrophy of the modules of organs, a process which at first extends into the area of "physically external," and as the nervous structural complex of its owner, and from this point of view it is a converter of the pleasure impulses which human beings project onto their environment (servo-narcissus).

The complete English excerpt is here. One certainly would agree that Wiener's device is in fact an observable equipped with an algedonics counter. I've doodle what would be its working schemata:

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Homo Otarius

Franco Mattes, from 0100101110101101.org, has just placed a billboard in the center of Ljubljana, Slovenia, for the 28th Biennial of Graphic Arts. The work is called "Bagless Canister Cyclonic Vacuum" and it's the answer to this question: What if you strip down all world's ads of all those Passenger's Seat with 4-way Power Adjustment Odyssey Honda Cars and 9.99c Handmade Glycerin Soap Soaps and Free Delivery Books and Free Nights & No-Fee Flights and Last-minute Deals Big Savings Travel Right Now Flights and Counter-High Office Refrigerators and Two 2.26GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon Nehalem Processors Computers and Titanium Technology Fused Graphite Tennis Racquet Super Sale and Mega Pixel Canon CMOS Sensor Digital High Camera and Leakage Tested Microwaves and 30-Pack Sidenafil Citrate (100mg) Vadenafil (20mg) and Tadafil (20mg) and Dyson Stowaway Dc20 Bagless Canister Cyclonic Vacuum Cleaner and Super High Resolution Dynamic Contract Ratio Auto Motion Plus SRS TruSurrount Component Composite S Video PC Inputs TV Set and Megatronix Megalarm Viking & Megapage Automobile & Motorcycle Security & Remote Starter Systems Fantastic Bargains and Sales and and and?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I ever thought that I was walking on the edge... But after reading Absinthe & flamethrowers, by William Gurstelle, now I know that I belong to the golden third of the population who thrills in taking calculated risks, be them physical or intellectual (a penchant for scuba diving and practicing long shots as a way of learning). Happiness is a warm gun?

Friday, June 05, 2009

The Man in the Moon

Maybe this is a question of pareidolia, but I see the boy from The Last Guardian (the PS3 debut of "Ico" and "Shadow of the Colossus" videogames' creator) in Klee's Pierrot Lunaire (1925). Maybe it is because I'm completely mondestrunken lately. "Pierrot Lunaire'! It calls for prudence!" (Musil, again; and again; ever).

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Again and again and again

See this movie as if you were reading a book; read a book as if you were seeing this film; "live life like a character in a book" (Musil). See again Vigo's L’Atalante might be a timeless experience.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The pen is mightier than the sword

Above, side effects of Mightier, by Ratloop, a sci-fi game about terraforming. Certainly, a true indie game, tailored for... Ludic savants? Hands-on young adults? Hardcore brainies? Dumbed down genius? Ex-future genius? Well. It is for anyone who don't care about GPU intensive graphics...

Sunday, February 01, 2009

New Myths

Jusifrasa and its nemesis General Tarn... From Galactrix. A structural symbol for the time being.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Sex Machine

In ancient times, tail-fins convertibles were true replicas of “women design”; today, snowmobiles have been granted to that mandate, but now with more spiciness. A thin line has been tethered between Natalie Wood’s doggie style and Matus Prochaczka's Dominic Schindler Creations' infamous vehicle.

UPDATE (02/1): And what to say about the new sex symbol, Rei Ayanami, from Neon Genesis Evangelion?