August 11, 2006

PhotoComic of My Bicycle Commute, 8-10-2006

Link to Map:


+++++++++++++------- Preface -------++++++++++++++++++

Heart-rate and Elevation Over Time
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[ The above photo is art. Shot on my Treo 650 cellphone.
You can download it for your desktop. Amazing Photo ]


+++++++++++++ Comic Begins ++++++++++++++++++++
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A bicycle commute.
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...and into a mid-rise.

Heart-rate and Elevation Over Distance

Link to Map:

August 10, 2006

Tradeshow Maddness


It started with a party at the Studio Guild. Then it turned into a weekend long mad trade-show setup, exhibit, and breakdown. @ the very big and beautiful "ENK Show" at the Javits Center.
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We set-up the jewelery display for lovely and talented Olia. Here are "before and after" shots of the booth. Thanks to Corinne, Ingri, Shula, and Amy for lending a hand.

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My GPS worked inside the Javits Center b/c it had a glass ceiling. The detail of the Google Map over the Javits center shows how I was shuttling the displays from my car to the booth. The last bit of the Heart-rate shows the extent of my physical experiment at the set-up of the show.
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August 04, 2006

A Road Trip and an Anonymous Hero

HeartLast weekend we drove from Atlanta to New York in a full day and a half. I tried to log all of it but the battery on my device died (of boredom). No just kidding, it was fun we listened to audio books almost the entire time. You can see the heartrate from the trip. It generally went down as the hours on the road went on and on. I've annotated it with rest stops, and a freak flat tire event.

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As we pulled into an off-the-beaten-path hi-way exit we suddenly got a flat tire :((
I was both helpless and useless in the situation. I felt like some strange cripple from the future who only had use of one limb, which was attached to a cellphone and could only be used to call an "emergency road side service."

The emergency road side service wanted to tow my car to the nearest tire-shop and i'd have to buy a new tire there. It felt like a serious, serious, overkill for a small nail stuck in the tire. But b/c of policy they couldn't repair the tire, it had to be replaced, for one tiny nail. We were on the road and the spare-tire we had would not make any long journey to New York or Atlanta.Photo 072906 001
Enter stage right, our anonymous hero. I don't want to get into the synchronistic miracle that brought this roughed individual to our rescue, let us say the cosmos was conspiring with us. He pulled out the nail, plugged the tire, we filled it up with air, and all was well. We "plugged" the flat in "mechanic speak." And that's that, in 3 minutes, we where besides ourselves, all fixed. He hardly heard our "thank you's" and goodbyes and he was on his way. We made it the rest of the trip to New York with no problems.

A link to flat tire:

So lets review so I can coin a term. When I called my insurance company's emergency road side assistance, they were very friendly and great. But they offered us an insane overkill in fixing the problem, and that's all they could offer. This is an example of "services glut." We are a services economy. And like spam exists in the information economy, "services glut" exists in the services economy. Services glut is a costly and entirely out of proportion solution to a small common problem. No national services company wants to offer small economical services. It's got to be a big ordeal, it's got to be worth some money.... This creates a "services glut" which you often take when you are under enough pressure (like when you are stranded on the road, and it's your only choice). All I can say is this guy saved our trip and made me really admire his character, and by extension American's spirit and all earthly human nature. I'm serious.

July 29, 2006

See you in New York

We are driving out tomorrow in the early AM to make it to NYC in a two day drive. So see you in a bit....

July 27, 2006

White Water

We took the second half of the day off and ran around the awesome mega-sized water park, White Water, just outside of Atlanta. As the heart-rate shows, the last 20 minutes we ran from ride to ride [b/c there were finally no lines when the park was closing] to get on everything we missed before.... All the relative peaks in the heart-rate are probably us actually sliding down a ride.

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July 25, 2006

11 minute Yoga and 11 minute meditation


July 22, 2006

Making Out

Well you knew it was only a matter of time before a post like this made it onto the site, a make-out session with my gf. : )


July 21, 2006

If you like this project you may also like....and a little bit of Art Theory

If you like My Beating Blog, you may also like the below projects.
But before you start looking at the other projects below, let me try to paint a picture for you about art movements. I think it's interesting to see, or even try to predict, movements in electronic art and emerging media. There is no doubt in my mind electronic art is getting physical and embodied in more ways then one. There are two reasons I think electronic art is getting embodied. The first is a technological-determinist argument the second a cultural argument.

Biotechnology and modern technology is migrating into and around the body like never before. We can see examples in the form of hi-tech pharmaceuticals, embedded microchips, robotic prosthetics, biological sensors and monitors, and nanotechnology. Artists who use emerging technology are using "today's" emerging technologies. The technological-determinists argument is that technology is the driving force in this art movement. Well if you add to the above list increasingly commonplace location and GPS technology, you get all types of new maps, map-making, and subjective space projects. Multiply all of this by the internet and you get networked versions of it all. It's exciting stuff, plenty of space for artists to play with unknowns, with new forms of expression, and chaos.

The second reason is a cultural argument. One of the dominant themes in the internet and computing technology since its widespread commercial use has been the notion of "disembodiment." Like "dismemberment" it means to take the corporal body out of the picture. You can actually track disembodiment and computing much farther, but I'm not writing a lecture here, I want to make some pithy points. Virtual Reality and the internet are all about disembodiment, about "destroying space and time," "shrinking the world," making location obsolete, making the body obsolete. Raymond Kurzweil is probably the biggest cheerleader for this, he wants to download his brain into a hard-drive and live forever.... I don't understand how Consciousness can be digitized, so that's a deal breaker for me. Kurzwell's and his supporters seem to me like dreamy Conquistadors hopelessly chasing a fabled "fountain of youth" in the swamps of Florida. But I digress. Even if your not a media scholar or in the field you've seen these themes in movies and popular culture. There are great things about the disembodying aspects of the internet and computing. And likewise there are things about it which just suck. The point is, disembodiment has been a dominate trend and goal underlining research in computing and technology. Now we are seeing a backlash. Or at least the pendulum is swinging in the other direction. Many who work with computing, myself whole-heartily included, want to move back into valuing the body and respecting the insights embodiment presents. There is a trend in art to humanize technology, to value the corporal over the virtual.

So what does this mean in art and technology? It means we'll have genres emerge, or grow, and groups of disconnected artist moving in similar directions. In concrete terms we'll increasingly see projects that interfaces with the body, or uses the body as an interface. We'll see even more projects that interface with our bodys' processes and systems, such as the nervous system, glandular system, heart-rate, breathing, and etc. They will in turn be used to control robotic movements, control animation or movement on screen-based works, and they will be used to build elaborate, insightful, and expressive databases. Mix all these things with one another. Then mix them with every Internet technology that exists, and you'll probably be able to see an area that artists and technologists will be increasingly working with.

My Beating Blog and the below works are but puzzle pieces. The big picture I think is a general movement to embodiment in electronic art. I think we are getting mature as a culture regarding our technology. We are less concerned with zip and bang and are looking for the more meaningful experiences from our technological ecology. The result is a portion of the population rejecting certain aims in computing technology (disembodiment) and trying to move the culture back into a focus on the physical, corporal, and cellular level.


A fully-functional bio-responsive web server, of which the configuration is determined in real time by a participant's physical states as measured by custom bio-feedback sensors. And it's open source. See it at ZeroOne/ISEA2006, Festival of Art and Technology, August 7th-13th.
[ Helpfully more people will use this platform. I haven't seen it in person or anything, but I think this could be the seed for a whole genre or art and technology. Basically I can say enough about this project. ]


Bio Mapping

Bio Mapping is a research project which explores new ways that we as individuals can make use of the information we can gather about our own bodies. Instead of security technologies that are designed to control our behaviour, this project envisages new tools that allows people to selectively share and interpret their own bio data.

The Bio Mapping tool allows the wearer to record their Galvanic Skin Response (GSR), which is a simple indicator of emotional arousal in conjunction with their geographical location. This can be used to plot a map that highlights point of high and low arousal. By sharing this data we can construct maps that visualise where we as a community feel stressed and excited.
[ Great project, making subjective maps based on how the body reacts to the environment, every city should have one.]

Pimp My Heart

Hb Driver Type 400

Pimp my Heart is a performance/vehicle intervention that uses a HBBB (HeartBeat Bass Booster) system to amplify the heartbeat of a car driver in real time through an interface with a beefed up car audio aftermarket system.
[ Bling Bling, a fun project ]

Wild Divine

Nawang Ad Image
A commercially available biofeedback game.
[ I've never played this game. Have come close to buying it many times. The website documentation makes their graphics look kinda campy. But still they've taken a lot of initiative an that can only be commended. Basically they have a simple and market ready versions of their own BodyDaemon and put a marcormedia or flash type game on top of it. WE NEED MORE OF LIKE THIS STUFF. That's why I love the BodyDaemon, b/c it could open up this area to more people.

July 19, 2006

A Nightmare

Last night I tried recording my heart-rate while sleeping. And I had a nightmare.
It was eerie. It probably has something to do with the juice fast. The first night of the fast my dreams were very vivid. But last night I (thankfully) woke up from a nightmare. It was also very cool in the room, so maybe that makes for bad dreams.

The Dream:
I was working as a video editor (which I indeed did when I lived in Atlanta, before moving to New York). My boss (who didn't resemble anyone I can recall from my life) had befriended a very strange "artist family." They basically made their own "Bodies" exhibits. They dried humans and then took photos of them and then made posters and postcards. It seems strange but harmless at first. I was suppose to do a documentary on them. They came to our offices to show us their work. I met them and got really grossed out, b/c I do have a weak stomach when it comes to blood and flesh and stuff like that. [ I never ever watch horror movies ] Throughout our talk it came out that the subjects in their art work where their friends, who had willingly agreed to be killed, dried, skinned, and photographed. They were a calm family [father, mother, and daughter] and said they were just misunderstood, and that the documentary would set things straight. I lost my cool at that point and told them I'm not working on the project, and then told my boss I'm not working on this.

Then the music started. The scariest music I ever heard. I was basically transported into a horror movie in my dream. I kept thinking, who the hell composed this music, it's sick, it makes everything seem so scary. My mind was of-course the composer. The music didn't stop, it got more insanely wicked. In the dream, my boss tried to back out of the project with the family. But they had already become friends and the family was feeling personally offended, and misunderstood. The father could only talk about the subjects in the artwork, when we tried to tell him we can't do this project. They were also blocking the doorway, so we had no way physically out of the building. It was a bad scene with even worse music.

I finally woke up sweaty. I took off my heart-rate monitor off and turned it off.
The data is below. It didn't really turn out, unfortunately. This technology is still imperfect... : (. But that comes with the territory I guess of working with new technology--you lose data left and right. Will have to try again.


Juice Fast Day 2, Fresh Watermelon Juice for Dinner

Just a little photo of tonight's dinner.

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Recent Images

    PhotoComic of My Bicycle Commute, 8-10-2006
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    PhotoComic of My Bicycle Commute, 8-10-2006
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    PhotoComic of My Bicycle Commute, 8-10-2006
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    PhotoComic of My Bicycle Commute, 8-10-2006
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    PhotoComic of My Bicycle Commute, 8-10-2006
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    PhotoComic of My Bicycle Commute, 8-10-2006
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    PhotoComic of My Bicycle Commute, 8-10-2006
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    PhotoComic of My Bicycle Commute, 8-10-2006
My Beating Blog is a 2005 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. for its Turbulence web site. It is supported by the Jerome Foundation in celebration of the Jerome Hill Centennial and in recognition of the valuable contributions of artists to society.