A steampunk puppet extravaganza by monochrom and friends
@ 24C3, Berlin/Berliner Congress Center; Saturday, December 29, 8:30 PM.
In 1887 the Indian Empire of the British Nation was formed. How did that happen you ask? A good question, deserving of a good answer and, although the Britons don't like to talk about it, the incident uprooted some entrenched colonial mindsets. Indeed, Samosas proved to be more tasteful than Fish and Chips, and the importance of the nation states was in decline, anyways.
The true masters of the times were the powerful steam barons, men who controlled the planet by controlling the energy. Their boots were placed firmly on the necks of the people they ruled. People who gladly payed for the privilege. Woe be to those foolish enough to tamper with their patents... the results were... well... let us just say that those foolhardy wretches would most certainly NOT be enjoying their final rest under a standard tombstone.
Energy was what mankind needed, hungered for, lusted after... energy. For airboats and cellular calculation machines, for geostationary weather factories and the energy to fuel the Infodampfbahn, the transcontinental data-steam network.
Societal business as usual. But can there be a better tomorrow?
monochrom try to reinterpret the steampunk genre in form of a steamy puppet extravaganza. A journey into the backwaters of imagination!
With Roland Gratzer, Johannes Grenzfurthner, Evelyn Fuerlinger, David Dempsey, Sean Bonner, Dan Kaminsky and Bre Pettis.
Feedback: "I can count every star in the heavens above but I have no heart I can't fall in love..."
Here is some talk feedback concerning yesterday's monochrom talk: "I can count every star in the heavens above but I have o heart I can't fall in love..."
"I can count every star in the heavens above but I have no heart I can't fall in love..." -- The image of computers in popular music
A talk (with examples) by monochrom, presented by Johannes Grenzfurthner
@ 24C3, Berlin/Berliner Congress Center; Thursday, December 27, midnight.
Bourgeois culture was paralyzed and finally overrun by modern technologies which broke through the traditional class barriers. It went into a panic and produced these very stupid technophobic manifestos and images e.g. of "the computer". Pop music discovered and explored the computer not only as a musical instrument but also as something to sing and reflect about in a less aversive way. In doing so it influenced the conception people had of computers. The public image of computers was shaped by groups such as Kraftwerk as well as through obscure Schlager songs such as France Gall's "Computer No. 3". Not only was that image influenced by high culture computer panic but also by naïve technomania, and so it delivered the very dialectics of the computer as a means of cultural technology in capitalist society.
Taugshow #15 on Boing Boing
Cory featured Taugshow #15 on Boing Boing.
monochrom's Taugshow #15: The Floing Special
Taugshow #15! Video is online!
Rudolf "Rudl" Sabastlinger and Josef "Peppi" Schoars are from the small village of Floing in Styria (Austria) and not very fluent in the English language. They were part of Beta_flab, an ambitious hack-space in Floing, and now they want to make some real money and create a successful start-up enterprise. But first they need to get vital info from the pros!
And who are the pros?
Cory Doctorow, Sean Bonner, Evelyn Fuerlinger, GameJew, Tim Pritlove and Jeff Moss!
Link / info and video download
Sean Bonner is #8
Taataaa! That's press we can use! Violet Blue's list of the "Top Ten Sexy Geeks" is out... and #8 is our current artist in residence: Sean Bonner.
Sex, aggression, and humour: responses to unicycling
Sam Shuster compares men and women's responses to the sight of a unicyclist.
After retiring from a busy university department in Newcastle upon Tyne, and with the time and the need for more than the usual consultancies, I was able follow some of my more extreme inclinations. As a cyclist, I had occasionally thought of using more or fewer wheels, but it was only when choosing a grandson’s gift that I got seriously lost in contemplation of a gleaming chrome unicycle. My wife said "buy the bloody" thing, which I did on the whim of the moment. After months of practice at home, I graduated to back streets, a small paved park, and finally town roads. I couldn’t avoid being noticed; in turn, I couldn’t avoid observing the form that notice took. Because at the time there were no other unicyclists in the area, such sightings would have been exceptional, yet I soon found that the responses to them were stereotyped and predictable. I realised that this indicated an underlying biological phenomenon and set about its study. [...]Link
Dorkbot Vienna #4: How to build a brain machine / Video online
Dorkbot Vienna #4 featured a workshop by Bre Pettis on how to build a brain machine. Now the video documentation is online.
(Puls TV Vienna report, German)
Bre Pettis on Chaos Radio
Chaos Radio interview with our artist in residence Bre Pettis... talking about various projects.
The World's Biggest Telescope
About half the size of a football field and 21 stories tall, the largest optical telescope ever constructed will use almost 1,000 mirrors to hunt for exoplanets—and maybe even unlock the secrets of spacetime.
The Power of Gossip
Research on why humans co-operate with each other has revealed that gossip influences our opinions of people even when it contradicts the evidence of our own eyes.
A recent report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences described an experiment involving 126 students, who played a game in which they could either co-operate with each other or cheat on each other. Between the rounds of the game they were permitted to spread rumours about the behaviour of the other students. This gossip had a significant effect on players' perception of each other even if it ran counter to what they had themselves seen. Rumours that a player had cheated had a marked effect on the attitude of other players. The researchers explained this as a fear that a 'busybody' might know something others had missed and would trust this rather than their own judgment. Conversely, rumours that a player was helpful stimulated better co-operation.
Jackson to produce "Rings" prequel "Hobbit"
After publicly feuding for more than a year, "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema have reached agreement to make J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit," a planned two-film prequel to the blockbuster trilogy.
How Fat Is Stored In Cells: Fundamental Discovery?
In discovering the genes responsible for storing fat in cells, scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have answered one of biology's most fundamental questions.Link
Is Our Digital Progress Coming To An End?
The digital age has been driven by the ability to make smaller and smaller chips. "Preparing for the day they can't add more transistors, chip companies are pouring billions of dollars into plotting new ways to use the existing transistors, instructing them to behave in different and more powerful ways."
Bonfire of the Disney Princesses
Disney likes to think of the Princesses as role models, but what a sorry bunch of wusses they are. Typically, they spend much of their time in captivity or a coma, waking up only when a Prince comes along and kisses them. The most striking exception is Mulan, who dresses as a boy to fight in the army, but--like the other Princess of color, Pocahontas--she lacks full Princess status and does not warrant a line of tiaras and gowns. Otherwise the Princesses have no ambitions and no marketable skills, although both Snow White and Cinderella are good at housecleaning.Link
Hillary Clinton and the Ghosts of 2006
If Clinton really wants Democratic voters to judge their potential nominees on their 2006 choices, she may not like the judgments they make.
Neuro-Evolving Robotic Operatives: The Game
NERO (which stands for Neuro-Evolving Robotic Operatives) is a new kind of machine learning game being developed at the Neural Networks Research Group, Department of Computer Sciences, University of Texas at Austin. The goals of the project are (1) to demonstrate the power of state-of-the-art machine learning technology, (2) to create an engaging game based on it, and (3) to provide a robust and challenging development and benchmarking domain for AI researchers. (via DaddyD)
Dad sells son's 90-dollar video game online for more than 9000
After catching his 15-year-old smoking pot, a father sold the hard-to-get "Guitar Hero III" video game he bought his son for 90 dollars for Christmas at an online auction, fetching 9,000 dollars. The sale took place after the father spent two weeks searching for the video game for the Nintendo Wii gameboard. "So I was so relieved in that I had finally got the Holy Grail of Christmas presents pretty much just in the nick of time. I couldn't wait to spread the jubilance to my son," the father wrote on the eBay website.
Merriam - Webster's Word of 2007: 'W00t'
Expect cheers among hardcore online game enthusiasts when they learn Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year. Or, more accurately, expect them to ''w00t.''Link
"I don't know what we are going to do to survive": The last days of Zimbabwe
President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, at 83, has outlived Ian Smith, the final white leader of Rhodesia, who died last month. In 1980 Mugabe began with a working democracy, a sound infrastructure and a healthy economy. Inflation is now the highest in the world; there is no work and little food – and what is available is used to control the remaining population.
Why We Think Time Slows When We're In Danger
When a person is scared, a brain area called the amygdala becomes more active, laying down an extra set of memories that go along with those normally taken care of by other parts of the brain. In this way, frightening events are associated with richer and denser memories. And the more memory you have of an event, the longer you believe it took.
Oprah: Thank You For Sharing
Now celebrating her twentieth year as the host of the world's most influential talk show, Oprah Winfrey is to television what Bach is to music, Giotto to painting, Joyce to literature. Time magazine hit the nail on the head when it recently voted her one of the world's handful of "leaders and revolutionaries." (Condoleezza Rice wrote Oprah's citation: "She has struggled with many of the challenges that we all face, and she has transformed her life. Her message is empowering: I did it, and so can you.") Like all seminal creative figures, her essential gift lies in her synthesizing power. She has taken the most consequential strands in modern life and woven them together into an hourlong show that is a work of art.Link
Santa's Elves Ticket Central Florida Speeders
Here's how it works: a sheriff's deputy dressed as an elf clocks cars using a radar gun then dispatches a motorcycle deputy to pull them over and issue the driver a ticket.
Recently, a costumed officer dressed as Dr. Seuss' Grinch character handed out about one traffic ticket per minute for hours in Orange County.
Meanwhile, a bill recognizing the prominence of Christianity in American history and Western civilization has passed the U.S. House of Representatives.
Are these signs of eroding separation of church and state?
The Class of the New - Richard Barbrook
Netizens, elancers, cognitarians, swarm-capitalists, hackers, produsumers, knowledge workers, pro-ams... these are just a few of the monikers that have been applied to the new social class emerging from the networked workplace.
In this short book, Richard Barbrook presents a collection of quotations from authors who in different ways attempt to identify an innovative element within society – 'the class of the new'. Announcing a new economic and social paradigm, this class constitutes a 'social prophecy' of the shape of work to come. From Adam Smith's 'Philosophers' of the late 18th century, down to the 'Creative Class' celebrated by sociologist Richard Florida today, the class of the new represents the future of production within and beyond capitalism.
All Tomorrow's Condensations: Building the puppet theatre
Franky Ablinger is currently building our puppet theatre for our steampunk puppet extravaganza "All Tomorrow's Condensations" that will premiere December 29 @ 24C3 (24th Chaos Communication Congress) in Berlin.
23C3: The Official Video
A short video documentation for the 23rd Chaos Communication Congress in 2006 has been released. Perfect for getting you in the right mood for the upcoming 24C3 (December 27th-30th in Berlin, Germany), it also features monochrom performing their hacker culture smash-hit "RFID" and so much more. Get inspired!
Giant Spider Attacks Space Shuttle Atlantis
What appeared to be a giant spider showed on the live NASA TV feed of the Space Shuttle Atlantis.
A fuel sensor, not the attacking spider, delayed the launch until next month.
via Laughingsquid via Spluch
Rock Mars! Global group aims to return Martian soil to Earth
An international collaboration hopes to pool its resources to launch a Mars sample return mission in the next decade.
It's Waco All Over Again: Preventive Detention and the Constitution
The US Supreme Court has taken up the issue whether the executive branch can detain people indefinitely merely by declaring them to be suspected terrorists or illegal enemy combatants. The case is a habeas corpus issue and, therefore, of the utmost importance. Without the protection of habeas corpus, government can lock away anyone on the basis of unsubstantiated charges as the Guantanamo detainees have been for nearly six years.
Soviet-era cowboy films have inspired politicians, writers and cosmonauts alike
Stalin obsessed over John Wayne, while Brezhnev had a crush on Chuck Connors. The Soviets had this thing about cowboy movies...
When I first moved to Moscow in the early 1990s, my friend Dasha gave me a gift-wrapped video. "Watch this," she said. "It was made years ago but it will help you understand our country." I assumed it was a melancholy epic by Andrei Tarkovsky, with lingering shots through rain-splattered windows, or perhaps a revolutionary classic such as Battleship Potemkin.Link
Canada Postpones Copyright Revision
The Canadian government on Tuesday bowed to grass-roots opposition from consumer advocates and delayed the introduction of long-awaited amendments to the federal Copyright Act that deal with copyright infringement.
The Kanzlermacher's New Clothes
We are proud correspondents for pranks.com, and of course we submitted the hilarious ongoing Hans Dichand hoax!
Hans Dichand, born in 1921, founded the Austrian "Kronenzeitung" ("Crown newspaper") in 1959 and still acts as its editor in chief to this day. With over 40% market share, this right-wing populist paper has a unique position of power, and Dichand used this to influence Austrian politics to a great extent. This media-political practice earned him the nickname of "Kanzlermacher" ("He who makes the chancellor").Link
Philosophy As Popular Culture?
Philosophy is not popular culture – not an artifact or subject of mass interest and appreciation: but it could be. At various times in the past indeed it was. Arguably rocketry and the space program were also elements of popular culture for a time in America, as dinosaurs and the internet are now. Astronomy and computer programming clearly could become popular culture. So could philosophy. Freud and Einstein were among the People/VH-1 top two hundred popular culture icons. Why not Russell and Sartre?
German Christmas Tree Shortage (Blame The Chinese, Arabs, Biofuels)
According to the German timber industry, demand for Christmas trees is rising due to increasing exports and the growing number of single-person households. Meanwhile the supply of trees has decreased because several thousand hectares of tree plantations have been given over to more profitable uses -- such as lucrative biofuel crops.
Pablo Picasso was a fraud... he left school just before they taught perspective
Pablo Picasso was a fraud. So says Tom Wolfe, who does not like Picasso. This much was becoming clear. Picasso, according to Wolfe, "left school just before they taught perspective." He had to shroud his backgrounds in "fog." He was a sorry excuse for a draftsman. He rendered "hands that look like the asparagus you get in the store." That priapic doodler. That asparagus-handed Andalusian. Tom Stoppard sure nailed it in his play Artist Descending a Staircase—"Imagination without skill gives us contemporary art." Picasso had us fooled! "If I couldn't draw, I would have started a movement myself. I would call it Cubism."
Roboexotica 2007 on Puls TV
The Cracked Ambience: new and recommended sounds for your personal space
FLu.ID - new imperial sadism (interstellar records)
LANDSCAPE IZUMA - kolorit (siluh)
MANINKARI - le diable avec ses chaveaux (conspiracy)
DIG THAT BODY UP, IT'S ALIVE! - a corpse is forever (rock is hell)
MEN KILLING MEN - freundschaft durch konsum (interstellar)
SILJE NES - amos room (Fat Cat)
Mexico's long transition to democracy
A commentary by Pilar Villela Mascaro.
Mexico was not only the first country to have a revolution in the twentieth century; it also built its most long-lasting one-party government. When Vicente Fox of the PAN (National Action Party) was elected in 2000, he was the first president not to belong to the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party), which had ruled Mexico for more than seventy years. His election was viewed with enthusiasm by large sectors of the population, who believed it represented the advent of an effective ‘democracy’: once the PRI had been thrown out of office, and a complex and expensive apparatus had been set in place in order to guarantee the transparency of elections – especially regarding the non-intervention of the party in government – the advent of democracy could be celebrated and its advantages enjoyed. Also, and for the first time in Mexico, Fox’s government had to work with a plural legislative power, which would not entirely comply with the dictates of the executive. On 2006, the PAN won the election again, but it did so in one of the most conflictual and contested processes in the modern history of the country. The following is a short narrative of Mexico’s so-called ‘transition to democracy’ in the light of two of the conflicts that arose during the last election: one in the arena of institutional politics, the other in that of popular movements. [...]Link
The television program known as 24 is a documentary of the cell phone's complete takeover of contemporary life... all else is commentary
The new book, 24 and Philosophy: The World According to Jack, now available from Amazon and other booksellers, includes an essay from Metaphilm publisher Read Mercer Schuchardt, who argues that "The television program known as 24 is a documentary of the cell phone's complete takeover of contemporary life. All else is commentary." Link (PDF)
Bob and Jane: counter-culture survivors
I'm Not There, Todd Haynes's new movie about Bob Dylan, and Jane Fonda's guest of honour appearance at the Viennale film festival, show that those who never knew the 1960s now view them as radical and exciting.
Hot Springs Yield Greenhouse Gas-eating Bug
A new species of bacteria discovered living in one of the most extreme environments on Earth could yield a tool in the fight against global warming.
monochrom's "Irark" @ Miden Festival, Athens
Our short film "Irark" will be shown at Miden video festival, Athens.
Alekton artspace. Sfaktirias 43, Keramikos, Athens, Greece.Link
Sean Bonner, Scott Blake, monochrom and The Truth
Boing Boing reports. See yourself.
Sean Bonner: monochrom Artist in Residence
Sean Bonner is our new artist in residence in December. Yeah!
Sean Bonner has been putting things on the internet since 1994. As the creator of several widespread memes he has been featured in Wired, Wired News, The Register, The Industry Standard, CNN, Playboy, Salon, Forbes, ZDNet, CBS News, The New York Post, USA today, The Chicago Sun Times, The Silicon Alley Reporter, Yahoo! Magazine (Best of the Web) among others and has spoken on panels across the US about online communities and grassroots local journalism.
USA Lifts Ban on "Artistic" Liquor
Absinthe. It was the drink of choice for 19th century painters, poets and writers. Vincent van Gogh sliced off his ear while sipping it, Edgar Degas and Pablo Picasso painted it, French poet Paul Verlaine cursed it as he lay dying in his bed. For nearly 100 years, the United States and many other nations banned it.
Last week, St. George Spirits of Alameda received the news that, after seven applications, the federal agency had approved its label, the final obstacle before going to market. On Monday, the small artisan distillery sold its token first bottle, becoming the only American company since 1912 to sell absinthe in the United States.
Computer servers 'as bad' for climate as SUVs
Computer servers are at least as great a threat to the climate as SUVs or the global aviation industry, warns a new report.
Global Action Plan, a UK-based environmental organisation, publishes a report today drawing attention to the carbon footprint of the IT industry in the UK.
"Computers are seen as quite benign things sitting on your desk," says Trewin Restorick, director of the group. "But, for instance, in our charity we have one server. That server has same carbon footprint as your average SUV doing 15 miles to the gallon. Yet, whereas the SUV is seen as a villain from the environmental perspective, the server is not."
Detroit Digital: On Tourists in the Apocalypse
Marcel O'Gorman is the First Tourist of the Apocalypse... and he tells us why.
When the annual Computers and Writing conference descended upon Detroit City, the theme for the event, borrowed from an article by Geoffrey Sirc, was "Virtual Urbanism." As the conference web site promised, "Detroit, Michigan offers a unique opportunity to consider the effects of rhetoric and writing on the urban experience, an experience constantly shaped and reshaped by emerging and existing technological issues, from the birth of the assembly line at the Ford Motor Company to the introduction of techno music." The rhetorical strain of this urban seduction, which links writing to techno music and automotive manufacturing, raises some questions. What exactly does it mean to write a city like Detroit, where rates of adult illiteracy are among the highest in the nation? Who will read this writing? The question becomes all the more poignant when computers are added to the mix. What does it mean to write Detroit as electronic text? Such questions haunted me as I made my way through the dark, mile-long tunnel that links Windsor, Ontario with Detroit, a city to which I was returning as a mere tourist. This Stygian tale begins here, on the border. I am the First Tourist of the Apocalypse, in search of a body and a city. [...]
Never Mind Grendel. Can Beowulf Conquer the 21st-Century Guilt Trip?
Beowulf's ancient story pits sheer evil against heroic strength. Hollywood gets its hands on it, and Beowulf becomes a jerk, Grendel a victim...
Is This Some Kind Of Joke? Tim Madigan laughs at platypi
A review of Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar... Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein; and Sci-Phi: Philosophy from Socrates to Schwarzenegger and Everything I Know I Learned from TV: Philosophy for the Unrepentant Couch Potato, both by Mark Rowlands.
Rat bras? Rat handbags? Rat high heels?
Well, I quote:
Discover the Photo Shoot of 5 Supermodels in Rio de Janeiro wearing brand-new fake Chanel fashion accessories made out of real taxidermised rats: a rat-bra, a rat-slip, a rat-handbag, a rat- handkerchief and a pair of high heel rat-shoes.Link
"The BRAICIN" on Make
Jonah Brucker-Cohen features "The BRAICIN" on Make:Blog.
"Lessig ist laessig" @ Creative Commons
[...] check out a wonderfully lo-fi tribute by Viennese "art-pranksters" Monochrom on BoingBoingTV. That means he's cool.Link
monochrom presents: Scott Blake and the Barcode
Omaha artist Scott Blake will present his barcode artworks in Vienna. Scott is well-known for his cheeky bar code art.
Scott Blake takes barcodes and turns them into art - art that is simultaneously pop and op, intellectual and personal, minimal and ocular. He employs the black and white symbol of standardization and efficiency - to craft a subversive style of digital pointillism. Large-scale iconography of celebrities examines the relationship between the individual and the media commodity - the human being and his or her adaptation to pixilated, simplified cultural symbol.
Since he began working with digital pointillism in 1998, Blake's paintings, videos, and net art have been featured in a score of publications, including The New York Times, Adbusters, FHM Magazine, and Art Papers. The recipient of an Adobe Design Achievement Award from the creators of Photoshop, Blake's pieces can be found in private collections throughout the world. In addition, his work has been commissioned by parties ranging from the University of Ottawa to Jane Fonda.
@ QDK Space, Museumsquartier Vienna; December 5, 2007; 7 PM.
Robotskirts about Roboexotica
Zombie Cockroach Cure
There is a cure for zombies after all – if you are a cockroach. A new study has shown that cockroaches that turned into "zombies" after being stung by a parasitic wasp can be revived with an antidote. [...] "Our brain is of course much more complex, and we use different neurotransmitters," he says. “But new research shows tiny quantities of octopamine exist in the vertebrate spinal cord and do affect leg movement, so it will be interesting to see what exactly octopamine does in humans."Link
Reading Inland Empire: A Mental Toolbox for Interpreting a Lynch Film
Twelve tools that can be helpful for appreciating any David Lynch film are offered with specific reference to Inland Empire.
Mister Putin and the art world
The fight is long over here for authority over the security services, the oil business, mass media and pretty much all the levers of government. Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin, notwithstanding some recent anti-government protests, has won those wars, hands down, and promises to consolidate its position in parliamentary elections. But now there is concern that the Kremlin is setting its sights on Russian culture.
2008 US Presidental Campaign: Dennis Kucinich
Here is a list of Dennis Kucinich's presidental plan... some great stuff, but immediate heat death of the universe is more likely than him becoming US president.
Wired blogs about Roboexotica 2007
If I were to tell you I work in radio and went to a party where the guests were pissed on, drenched in alcohol and "saved" by 30 firemen, you might assume I had been hanging out with some musicians.
monochrom is an art-technology-philosophy group having its seat in Vienna and Zeta Draconis. monochrom is an unpeculiar mixture of proto-aesthetic fringe work, pop attitude, subcultural science, context hacking and political activism. Our mission is conducted everywhere, but first and foremost in culture-archeological digs into the seats (and pockets) of ideology and entertainment. monochrom has existed in this (and almost every other) form since 1993.
External monochrom links:
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