AL Luce de Palchi

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Luce de Palchi
Leigh 12

November 28, 2007

"The form of the experience is what gives it meaning since this is what people experience directly." In creating our bookmark, we must design an object that can be understood by the the viewer. As much fun as it is to create something that appears complex and a mystery, we are creating something that shares knowledge, and the appearance of the object should hint to that objective. The design of the bookmark should say, "I am a bookmark" and not "I change colors." What I feel is important is to keep in mind that we already know what the bookmark's purpose is, but that doesn't mean that everyone else has the same knowledge as we do.

"Humans are inherently creative creatures and when we have a chance to create we feel more satisfied and valuable." I feel our bookmark allows people to interact as well as create. They are able to create a map, a set of ideas, contributing knowledge and being able to share their creativity. Our bookmark can make people feel important, they can feel like they are helping out everyone around them, and that makes them happy with themselves and intrigues them enough to make them continue to use it.

Perhaps the design of our bookmark should demonstrate to the audience that it can be a tool to create, that it is apparent that when it is used they are creating a new source of information that can be shared.

November 14, 2007

Vito Acconci

Vito Acconci is possibly one of my favorite artists ever and I have written a lot about him in the past, the theme of his work is this constant rivalry between the public and the private in the investigation of the self, he loves to blur the lines of separation between the two realms; in order to create something the viewer has to think about. Acconci identified himself as a poet who also was an interdisciplinary artist. As a poet, Acconci was concerned with the materiality of language. He played with words, placing them up and down the page, encompassed in different punctuation marks, spatially placing each word, as he felt needed. His poetry indicates the early signs of Minimalism in his art, in the sense that his writing questions the conventional way in which language is created. His work eventually evolved to playing with words in accordance to photographs. He would simply name the action, which was taking place in the photograph. In the 1970s he used film with words in which he manipulated his body. He was interested in the construction of the self in a social context, as well as the relations between public and private and the relations between the body and space. These films often investigated the roles of the genders and were full of emotions. He continued to create radical installation art such as Seedbed, 1972, a memorable and important work. In this particular performance he hid underneath a wooden ramp three times a week for eight hours a day and masturbated. At the same time, the viewer is unable to see Acconci and would only hear Acconci’s sexual fantasies about the viewer over the loud speaker. He would say things like, “you’re on my left… you’re moving away but I’m pushing my body against you, into the corner… you’re bending your head down, over me… I’m pressing my eyes into your hair…” Acconci believed this piece to be especially significant because it involves the viewer. The viewer’s space and the artist’s private mental space were united by the artist’s actions and were displayed through his language (via speakers). He performed what is considered to be an intimate, private act in a public space, disrupting normal relations between public and private behavior.

Acconci views the idea of the home as a place that is private on the inside and public on the outside. A home represents security, shelter, protection, and sanctuary. A home is a place where we grow up and have to eventually leave, never to really return. Yet a home is restrictive at the same time, we never accept the parental authority it implies and we constantly long for it, or rather, we crave the idealized vision we have of it. In Acconci’s Houses Up the Wall, 1985 there is an inviting quality to it from the outside, but inside it is crammed and uncomfortable. Acconci is particularly interested in the idea of the town square. He believes a town square is a meeting ground, a discussion place, as well as being an argument place. A town square relates to the idea of community, and preserving the identity of the community. In Garden of Columns, 1987, Acconci stresses the notion of creating something non-hierarchical by placing columns of different heights all over the place and surrounding them with plants and seats in the shape of torsos. This was built for the workers at the Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta. The garden has a wild-like feel and indicates that there is no centralized power, thus a great place for workers to converse.

This is Vito tucking his penis between his legs, imitating a woman.

November 6, 2007

"...these projects all share a concern with the creative facilitation of dialogue and exchange. While it is common for a work of art to provoke dialogue among viewers, this typically occurs in response to a finished object. In these projects, on the other hand, conversation becomes an integral part of the work itself. It is reframed as an active, generative process that can help us speak and imagine beyond the limits of fixed identities, official discourse, and the perceived inevitability of partisan political conflict."

The introduction seems to be the core of the Eyes of Vulgar reading we previously read. It's not questioning whether or not art is just a conversation piece, but rather discussing how art is a creation of dialogue in itself, in it's own way (whether it be in speech or representative of speech). This introduction focuses on different projects that contain the act of conversing as a necessary part of the art piece. These projects create conversation that intend to resolve conflict in some shape or form. For instance, in Suzanne Lacy's The Roof is on Fire ( racially diverse Oakland teenagers discussed the problems they faced in stereotyping and racial profiling. The media along with whomever wished to attend were invited to listen to these people and their thoughts on some of the most controversal issues today. The clip I watched demonstrates young people's attitudes towards a common problem in a real way. The non-scripted conversations invite the audience to actually listen and not feel like it's a lifetime movie.

I feel like in what we intend to create includes some form of conversation within itself, and that the final outcome will cause conversation as well. It's aim is not to solve a problem, but to create a new way of thinking about the library. The only problem we face is how to make more people come to the library.


October 31, 2007

The Eyes of the Vulgar

"The role of art is to remind us of the illusory nature of that coherence-to show us that our perceptions, and our very identities, are shifting, unstable, and contingent."

"Their artistic identity is based in part on their capacity to listen, openly and actively, and to organize scenarios that maximize the collective creative potential of a given constituency or site."

"Aesthetic reflection evokes a utopian future community in which collective experience validates our most personal and intuitive responses to the worls around us. Further, it presupposes that a public sphere, based on the free and open exchange of ideas, will produce an eventual consensus because individuals are able to overcome self-interest and judge from the vantage point of a greater good." Kant

"To appreciate a work of art we need bring with us nothing but a sense of form and color and a knowledge of three-dimensional space."

"Art cannot be expected to communicate anything aesthetically meaningful about the time and place in which it was created because the thing that makes it art in the first place is beyond history."

This made me think of a comment Jason made in a previous class, is art functional? Should it be functional? Or is art just there as a conversation piece?

October 23, 2007

Lev Manovich-The Poetics of Augmented Space

I liked that Manovich drew a comparison between the architecture and the invisible electronic data. I think it's really interesting how he presents the idea of building a structure that recognizes and considers the information within it.


Initial Idea

In class I wrote: A little gnome robot would roll around the library. This gnome contains all the knowledge of the computers in the library. On it's belly there is a keypad, but generally the gnome will respond to voice commands. Basically, this gnome will help you find things you're looking for and will recommend things relating to your initial search. Perhaps there should be 1 on each floor, or maybe just 100 of them running around the library.

        • Maybe each gnome should have one of our faces.


One person said that it should serve coffee and have a stool attached to it's side. Another person said that it should be "attracted to sound" which I think is a good point. This would allow the keyboard to be eliminated and it would create a verbal conversation, making the gnome more human-like. Another person felt that they should be books that held all the knowledge. This person said that a book should be on each floor and it would interact with you. Someone else found gnomes terrifying, comparing them to the perfume ladies at the department store. The next person agreed that it was terrifying and suggested trained dogs instead. Another person thought that they should be in all the buildings and become mini libraries and help you out in time of need. The gnome would also have a "red phone" in case of emergencies, which would connect to the help desk. The next idea was "adopt a gnome" or "take a gnome home". Essentially, the gnome would become a "study buddy after the library closes." This person also suggested each gnome having different personalities. The following person also found the gnomes terrifying, but enjoyed the unexpected doing something unexpected. Someone else thought that some gnomes should point you in the right direction and some in the wrong.


Okay, so the actual creature doesn't matter and could be settled later, but why not an owl for now. This owl would travel around the library in a floating sort of manner. This would mean that it's wheels would be hidden from the rest of it's body. This owl is smart, because it contains all the library databases and can access the internet and translate it in conversational speech. This owl will only speak if it is asked a question. If the owl was asked to find a book, it would fly around the library and point it out by grabbing it with it's beak and pulling it out a tiny bit. It would then fly down to the ground and ask if any more help is needed. If no, then the owl will continue floating around the library and just become another white noise. The owls could also be placed in other buildings and help out in last minute time of need or even be used as classroom aids.

October 17, 2007

Experience Prototyping

The three questions posed in the beginning of the reading resonated in my mind even after finishing the article.

1. "What are the contextual, physical, temporal, sensory, social and cognitive factors we must consider as we embark on design?"

2. "What is the essence of the existing user experience?"

3. "What are essential factors that our design should preserve?"

The article describes projects that are intended to serve as answers to these questions, which allowed me to think about ways we, as a class/group, can answer these questions. In thinking about EXPERIENCE PROTOTYPING in relation to the library, I discovered that whatever we think up the first time will be, ultimately, completely changed. Whatever initially create will become just another part of our study. In creating something that will actually be useful to the user, we will need to create more than one prototype of whatever it is we are creating. As someone who is interested in aesthetically pleasing things, its often hard not to focus on how something looks. What I've discovered is that in creating a prototype, one must try and figure out how whatever it is being created can be used with the most ease. The prototype is created and then tested in order for it's creators to learn and investigate the product more. We are supposed to take the issues that arise and reflect on them and create something that will fix these problems. Our final product will arise from "understanding, exploring, and communicating".


Code for Guessing a Computer's "Thought"

<source lang="ruby"> print "I'm thinking of a number from 1 to 100.\n" my_number = rand(100) + 1

loop do print "Okay, what do you think it is? " your_guess = gets.to_i if your_guess == my_number print "you are sexy\n" break end if your_guess != my_number print "you are a dumb slut\n" end if your_guess < my_number print "you are low\n" end if your_guess > my_number print "you are too high\n" end end </source>

Luce, I indented the first two lines inside the loop to make them even with the rest of the loop contents. Use indentation to show "containment," to show what's inside loops and if statements. Joe 10:47, 6 October 2007 (EDT)

September 26, 2007

Foot Traffic

Two MIT grad students are designing a system to convert the mechanical energy of people moving around a building into electricity. Intentionally designing it for Grand Central Station, their idea consists of a "sub-floor"that moves slightly as people walk across it. That motion would then be "converted by a dynamo into current."

"A responsive sub-flooring system made up of blocks that depress slightly under the force of human steps would be installed beneath the station's main lobby. The slippage of the blocks against one another as people walked would generate power through the principle of the dynamo, a device that converts the energy of motion into that of an electric current."

"A single human step can only power two 60W light bulbs for one flickering second. “But get a crowd in motion, multiply that single step by 28,527 steps, for example, and the result is enough energy to power a moving train for one second,” MIT News says."

Could you imagine Grand Central station being powered by the people strutting around in it? Not only will it save energy but it will create a building entirely powered by human foot trafficking.


The idea of JAPELAS is rather remarkable. To think we can be taught the Japanese polite expressions through an entirely ubiquitous learning system is phenomenal. Sure, I don't find it necessary for myself, but for those learning Japanese or Japanese customs, it's entirely interactive and informative. Its a new way of learning which we could, possibly, apply to other fields as well.

Accenture Object-to-Object Internet Commerce

The Accenture Technology Labs are not only creating a pay-per-use chair which not only calculates usage but is the beginning of a way of creating mundane objects to communicate with one another. By putting radio tags and sensors in these everyday objects they will be able to communicate with one another and even carry out transactions. Accenture even predicts that in the near future the majority of internet transactions will be completed by these objects instead of people.

SenseWear Patch

BodyMedia created a sort of retro band-aid which acts as a health recorder. It is placed on the skin and records and transmits information about the body wearer's health. The SenseWear Patch acts as a blood glucose monitor, digital weight scale, or a digital blood pressure meter, (among other things as well) and then can wirelessly transmit the information to the necessary receiver.

Matsushita Electric's Kenko Toware

A toilet that can calculate blood pressure, body fat, amongst other health related issues, just by pee. This is the health toilet, in my opinion. It could become so helpful, especially for those who live alone and are on the "older side". They can do their thing and their results will be sent to their doctor right away, allowing them to rest unless they need to be treated, or something. I bet we'll all have these toilets someday.

Burton's Snowboarding Jacket

This jacket allows snowboarders to connect wirelessly to their phones and iPods. The wiring of the jacket is through the sleeves and ends at the forearm with a controlling device allowing the wearer to access either their phone or music player with a touch of a button.

Steve Mann's Eyetap

This contraption allows one to experience the life of a cyborg. Steve Mann has been living like this for several years looking through the lens of a cyborg. He claims that when he takes off this eye piece he feels uncortable now and would rather live with it on. He says that its like viewing the world through icons on your computer screen, claiming he's "mediating reality".


Joakim Hannerz created Sensacell, a small tile embedded with LEDs, a sort of trackpad, and is capable of networking. They can be grouped together to create other objects, such as chairs or tables. (check out the videos on the website, it's so cool)


The AmbientROOM consists of a Tangible Bits platform and is a way of exploring the use of ambient media as a way of communicating. It's a way of discovering transistors between what is being done and the background things are being done in.

Habitat Hotel

"It is a hotel with a light mesh that wraps the whole building. The light mesh has sensors that will read the daylight sun amplitude and then at night each node will give off color according to how much that node collected sun. Therefore, the mesh reflects the energy levels of each day, it will change over seasons and due to weather. It’s very nice since the mesh itself is raised off the building and forms its own see-through structure. Also, each node is self-contained with it’s own sensor and LEDs, there is no central computer controlling the whole structure."

Shared Objectives Network

This is a chart that displays a group of people's shared interests, the roads indicate how wide of a common interest a certain interest is. This doesn't really have to do with the reading, but I think it's interesting. It was created by the people involved in

Ubiquitous Gaming

"Marking Your Way" is a program that creates a visual information display for museums and exhibition spaces, which allows the users to view and track visitors. Visitors carried around wall stones,

which are detected by infrared devices mounted on the ceiling. In these wallstones a "digi-mon" appears which asks the visitor questions about the exhibition item the visitor is in front of. The visitor can then answer questions by tilting or shaking the wallstone, and if they are correct the wallstone glows.

September 19, 2007

Ubiquitous Computing

"Ubiquitous Computing refers to the trend that we as humans interact no longer with one computer at a time, but rather with a dynamic set of small networked computers, often invisible and embodied in everyday objects in the environment." -

" 'invisible' computing, a computing that 'does not live on a personal device of any sort, but is in the woodwork everywhere." -pg. 11, Everyware

This idea is sort of freaky. I suddenly feel as if my stuffed animals on my bed are actually watching me. Seriously though, this idea of everyware makes me feel like nothing on my computer is kept private. In class we were talking about how people can actually buy your information, even you have made it private. Thinking back on the past twenty years even, things have changed. People used to not be able to shop online, we used to have to go to a library to research, we actually had to go outside of the house to meet a person. With the new technology being created, daily even, we no longer have to leave our rooms. My friend actually has a computer that reads her finger print in order to access it, its crazy. It's just as crazy as voice recognition, which also freaks me out. It just seems to me that the line between humans and computers is becoming thinner and thinner. I went to a few science museums this summer, and at one in Cleveland, OH, there was a computer that would talk to you and have a conversation with you (with whatever you typed).

Musical Robots

[[1]] [[2]] These videos show musical robots doing their thing...


This Topobo is a robot you can put together yourself and make it learn specific movements that it will repeat on its own.


This Tribot can navigate itself in any given place.

(e)lectronic (l)ife (f)orms

Elf, meaning Electronic Life Forms

"-uncommon for having transistors, capacitors, resistors instead of organs, DNA or a brain.
 -uncommon for each one looking and acting different but being the same species.
 -uncommon for being art-ificial but appearing natural.
 -life forms since they live while the sunlight is available for them.
 -life forms since they produce sounds and motion out of light (some call this photosynthesis).
 -life forms since they are analog and act unpredictable."

Wooden Robot

This robot has similar characteristics to an animal and is built around a wooden log.


I can't help but also think about my Blackberry. How available do I need to be. Why is it that I feel its necessary for me to be able to connect to the internet at all times. Do I rely on the internet that much. Why do I find it helpful to receive my email directly to my phone as soon as its sent. I admit that I have come to love my Blackberry, often calling it my boyfriend. It helps me find places when I'm lost, it shows me pictures of things I want to see when I think of them. Granted, its not as cool as the iPhone, but it is a pseudo mini computer. The other day my Blackberry screen became all these different colors, I felt the world crashing down around me, I shut it off and then turned it back on and it was fine, but for those few minutes I thought my life was over. I don't only feel this way about my phone, but my laptop as well. These devices contain what I consider to be large portions of my life. They aren't only "toys" but things I rely on, rely on so much that I can't be apart from them. I give them a human identity without them even being that advanced of an electronic form. They have become friends that I rely on, that I basically talk to. Maybe I'm just crazy.


Theo Jansen, Strandbeest

Theo Jansen is a Dutch artist who created these structures called Strandbeests. They were built for the beach, for the sand really. They are constructed out of yellow piping that was once used for electricity in Holland. They run entirely by wind power and can change directions when approaching wet sand. When they switch directions their skeletal "feet" dump the sand they gathered when walking, leaving behind a pile of sand that really looks like poop. Jansen's ultimate goal is to release these creatures by the dozens on a beach and let them live their lives. He hopes that their existence will stop the uprising water level in Holland.

[[4]] [[5]]

This one is a preliminary Strandbeest made of steel... [[6]]

September 12, 2007

Robert Smithson's Non-Sites...

I find Smithson's idea of representing a site by something that does not resemble it intriguing. The idea is like a tangible metaphor. I found this idea to be particularly inspiring when thinking about the mapping project. Why is it that people are stuck on words when needing to express ideas? Why are we so uncomfortable using numbers and pictures instead? Why do we rely on words so much? When we view a map, we see a shape of land with lines indicating roads and whatnot. We see words that tell us where we are, why can't we use images instead to represent these words?

After the reading I was thinking about libraries and the stigma attached to them, why don't people like them? I feel like the more aesthetically pleasing the building actually is, the more people feel inclined to check out the space and experience it. I was looking at images of libraries and I found this: The Main Library of the University of California, San Diego

How could anyone not want to study in a building this cool