Friday, 17 February 2012

Artists workshop on human interaction with privacy and identity technology

You are invited to an afternoon of creative and narrative exercises aimed at unraveling stories of humans interacting with technology, specifically technologies of privacy, online identity and personal information. The aim is to trigger a discussion with researchers and experts in a more informal and intuitive way than traditional academic discussion. The findings of the workshop will help designers Austin Houldsworth ( and David Benqué ( in their research towards speculative design projects as part of the 'envisioning'  part of the VOME project.

The workshop will be held on the 9th of March, from 1.30 to 5pm,  at the Royal College of Art, London

There is no fee for participation but places are limited. Please contact to confirm a place.

No artistic ability required.

The Visualisation and Other Methods of Expression project (VOME) is a three-year research project, funded by EPSRC, ESRC and the Technology Strategy Board, to explore how people engage with concepts of information privacy and consent in on-line interactions. As You can find out more about the VOME (‘Visualisation and Other Methods of Expression’) project at

You can read an account of a previous event here 

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Robot Readable World

Robot readable world from Timo on Vimeo.

Apparently this is an 'experiment in found machine vision footage' by Timo Arnall Go look at the original page on vimeo to see all the sources.

Quick and dirty reaction? What you can see here are visualisations systems of meaning. How a particular form of meaning (what is important, what should be tracked, what can be disregarded, what is never-seen-in-the-first-place) is built up from computer processes. No system of meaning can encompass every detail of the world, so they have to be selective. Our systems of meaning limit what we can see. There's no perception with some cognition.

I don't know how similar this is to human vision, obviously we don't have glowing boxes around human faces (at least I don't). But we do have some similar biological/cognitive tricks, such as lateral inhibition. I also don't know if these visual traces are the result of programmed or evolutionary algorithms.

It might be my imagination, but there's something like a child's drawing to some of these images. You know how a child draws 'a house' as a red box with a blue roof, with smoke coming from the chimney, even when they live in a flat with central heating? The red box moving down the street? That's a 'car'.

Finally, I do wonder how many of these technologies use this sort of aesthetic visualisation because this is how surveillance systems have been depicted on film and tv for years now. Compare the above, with Mark Coleran's showreel (which I love).

Coleran Reel 2008.06 HD from Mark Coleran on Vimeo.