Tuesday, August 02. 2016
By fabric | ch
As we continue to lack a decent search engine on this blog and as we don't use a "tag cloud" ... This post could help navigate through the updated content on | rblg (as of 07.2016), via all its tags!
HERE ARE ALL THE CURRENT TAGS TO NAVIGATE ON | RBLG BLOG:
(to be seen just below if you're navigating on the blog's page or here for rss readers)
Posted by Patrick Keller in fabric | ch at 16:58
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Thursday, August 27. 2015
Long introductory note: we all know how data have become important and how we're currently in need of open tools to declare and use static or dynamic data ...
There was once a community data service named Pachube, but it has been sold and its community commodified... There has been initiatives by designers like the one of Berg around the idea of electronic tools, cloud and data services (Berg Cloud), but it was funded by venture capitalists and went bankrupt, unfortunately bringing down the design studio as well. There are some good, simple and interesting online services as well, like Dweet.io, but these are companies that will finally need to make money out of your data (either ways by targeted publicity or by later commodification of the community), as this is one of their main product ...
So we were in need of a tool for our own work at fabric | ch that would remain just what it is supposed to be: a tool... As we are using a lot of dynamic and static data - any kind of data - in our own architectural & interaction works, we needed one. Something simple to use, that we could manage ourselves, that would hopefully not cost much to keep running ...
Following what we already did for many previous projects, for which we designed soft technologies and then publicly released them - and yet never tried to sell them in any manner, we should stress it in this case - (Rhizoreality, I-Weather v. 2001, I-Weather v. 2009 and related apps, Deterritorialized Living), we've designed our own data service: Datadroppers - http://www.datadroppers.org -, first for our own needs, and then just released it online as well. Free to use ...
We thought of it as a data commune... trying to keep it as "socially flat" as possible: there are no login, no password, no terms of service, no community, no profiles, no "friends", almost no rules, etc., ... only one statement: "We are the data droppers / Open inputs-outputs performers / We drop off an we pick up / Migrant citizens of the data commune", which also becomes the interface of the service ...
It is a data commune, but not a "community". It is from a "market product" point of view "unsocial", almost uninteresting to later commodify. Yet there is still one single rule (so to keep the service simple and costless to handle): once you publish your data on the site, they'll become public (for everybody, including third party services that won't necessary follow the same open rules) and you won't be able to erase them, as they'll be part of the commune and will possibly be used by other "data communards" as well. They'll be online as long as the service will (i.e. I-Weather is online for 14 years now). So just declare on Datadroppers raw data that you consider for yourself public ...
The service, directly developed on the basis of previous projects we did, was first published and used last June, for an exhibition at the Haus der elektronische Künste in Basel (Switzerland). It is hosted in Switzerland / Lausanne under strict laws when it comes to data. There are very few data on the site at this time, only the ones we published from the exhibition (as a test, you can for exemple try a data search using "Raspberry Pi" as a string in the Search data section, which will bring live sensors data as a result). We will now certainly continue to use the service for future works at fabric | ch, maybe will it be also usefull for you? ...
The "communal service" is in fact a statement, the statement becomes the navigation interface. The two main sections of the website are composed by the parts in which you can play with or search for data.
We drop off and we pick up is the area where one can see what can be achieved with data. Obviously, it is either possible to declare (drop off) data and tag them, or retrieve them (pick up) - image above -. You can also Search data following different criteria -below-.
Usual data will certainly be live feeds from sensors, like the one in the top image (i.e. value: lumen). But you could certainly go for more interesting things, either when you'll create data or when you'll use them. The two images above are about "curiosity" data. They were captured within an exhibition (see below) and are already partially interpreted data (i.e. you can leave a connected button with no explanation in the exhibition space, if people press it, well... they are curious). As another exemple, we also recorded data about "transgression" in the same exhibition: a small digital screen says "don't touch" and blinks in red, while an attached sensor obviously connected to the screen can indeed be touched. Childish transgression and slightly meaningless I must admit... It was just a test.
But you could also declare other type of data, any type, while using complementary tools. You could for exemple declare each new image or file within an open cloud service and start cascading things. Or you could start thinking about data as "built" artifacts... like we did in a recent project (see below, Deterritorialized Living) that is delivered in the form of data. Or you could also and of course drop off static data that you would like to store and make accessible for a larger community.
Possibilities seems in fact to be quite large.
Datadroppers as a commune could even be considered as a micro-society or nation. It comes with a dowloadable "flag", if you desire to manifest your attachment to its philosophy or plant it in your datacenter!
Some views of Datadroppers in first use during Poetics and Politics of Data exhibition at the Haus der elektronische Künste in Basel (Switzerland), as part of the scenography designed by fabric | ch. Many Raspberry Pis were installed inside the space that captured exhibition's data and feed the service. They can now be retrieved from http://www.datadroppers.org/index.html#search as the exhibition will end this week-end > search with string "H3K" or "Museum".
Finally, I must mention the project that initiated Datadroppers, both because we developed the rules of the data sharing service during this latter project (Link > follow "Access to open data feeds"), but also because it is probably one of the most interesting use of Datadroppers so far...
Deterritorialized Living is an artificial, yet livable troposphere that is delivered in the form of data. Just like if we indeed install atmospheric sensors in a real environment, unless the environment doesn't exist in this case (yet), it is the project. The process is therefore reversed within this almost geo-engineered climate that follows different rules than our earth/cosmos driven everyday atmosphere. We have the open data feed to later set it up. fabric | ch or another designer as the feed is open. We plan to use this feed and materialized it through different installations, like we already started to do.
So, for now, this fictive data flow of a designed atmosphere is also delivered as a feed (again: Search data > Deterritorialized), among other ones (some "real", some not), within the webservice offered by Datadroppers .
Tuesday, November 05. 2013
Twitter data reveals the cities that set trends and those that follow. And the difference may be in the way air passengers carry information across the country, by-passing the Internet, say network scientists.
One of the defining properties of social networks is the ease with which information can spread across them. This flow leads to information avalanches in which videos or photographs or other content becomes viral across entire countries, continents and even the globe.
It’s easy to imagine that these trends are simply the result of the properties of the network. Indeed, there are plenty of studies that seem to show this.
But in recent years, researchers have become increasingly interested in the relationship between a network and the geography it is superimposed on. What role does geography play in the emergence and spread of trends? And which areas are trend setters and which are trend followers?
Today we get an answer of sorts thanks to the work of Emilio Ferrara and pals at Indiana University in Bloomington. These guys have examined the way trends emerge in cities across the US and how they spread to other cities and beyond.
Their research allows them to classify US cities as sources, those that lead the way in trends, or those that follow the trends which the team call sinks.
Their research also leads to a curious conclusion–that air travel plays a crucial role in the spread of information around the country This implies that trends spread from one part of the country to another not over the internet but via air passengers, just like diseases.
The method these guys use is straightforward. Twitter publishes a continuously updated list pf the the top ten most popular phrases or hashtags on its webpage. It also has webpages showing the trending topics for each of 63 US cities.
To capture the way these trends emerge and spread, Ferrra and co set up a web crawler to check each list every ten minutes between 12 April and 30 May 2013. In this way the collected over 11,000 different phrases and hashtags that became popular throughout these 50 days.
They then plotted the evolution of these trends in each US city over time. This allowed them to study how trends spread from one city to another and to look for clusters of cities in which the same topics trend together.
The results are revealing. They say most trends die away quickly–around 70 per cent of trends last only 20 minutes and only 0.3 per cent last more than a day.
Ferrara and co say they can see three distinct geographical regions that share similar trends–the East Coast, the Midwest and Southwest. It’s easy to imagine how trends arise at a low level and spread through the region through local links such as friends.
But these guys say there is also a fourth cluster of influential cities that also form a group where the emergence of trends is related. However, these place are not geographically related. They are metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Chicago and so on.
What links these places is not geography but airports, say Ferrara and co. Their hypothesis is that topics trend in these places because of the influence of air passengers. In other words, trending topics spread just like diseases.
Ferrara and co have created a list of the cities that act as trend setters and those that act as trend followers.
The top five sources of trends are: Los Angeles, Cincinnati, Washington, Seattle and New York.
The top five trend followers (or sinks) are: Oklahoma City, Albuquerque, El Paso, Omaha and Kansas City.
That’s a fascinating result. In a sense it’s obvious that the large scale movement of people will influence the apread of information However, it’s not obvious that this should happen at a rate that is comparable to the spread of trends across the internet itself.
And it raises an interesting question that Ferrara and co hope to answer in future work. “Does information travel faster by airplane than over the Internet?” they ask.
We’ll be watching for when they reveal the answer.
Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1310.2671 : Traveling Trends: Social Butterﬂies or Frequent Fliers?
Interesting results (information travels by plane either, like diseases...), yet when only 0.3% of "trends" last more than a day, we can wonder if it even matters to have concerns about the 99.7% other ones (just some crap lolcats stuff ?)... or that on the contrary, it could possibly be the revelator of incredible "short time" pulses of "things/memes/subjects" in and in-between cities?
Tuesday, October 15. 2013
Regardless of your feelings about Occupy Wall Street, we can all agree that its genesis was unlikely, to say the least. It appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, in New York's Financial District (of all places). And it continued to exist only because of a lucky break: basing the protests in Zuccotti Park, formerly Liberty Plaza Park, was a fallback plan, following a failed attempt to protest in front of the New York Stock Exchange. It was the unusual rules for Zuccotti—as a Privately Owned Public Space (POPS), it is not bound by the normal city parks curfew, and is required by charter to stay open 24 hours a day—that enabled the encampments to get a foothold. This may have been a lucky break, but one that was earned through years of organizing, cultivating the expertise and tools and networks that allow a movement to grow and sustain itself.
Occupy.here began two years ago as an experiment for the encampment at Zuccotti Park. It was a wifi router hacked to run OpenWrt Linux (an operating system mostly used for computer networking) and a small "captive portal" website. When users joined the wifi network and attempted to load any URL, they were redirected to http://occupy.here. The web software offered up a simple BBS-style message board providing its users with a space to share messages and files.
Unlike most wifi connections, this one wouldn't let you check your Facebook. It was designed to run entirely disconnected from the internet. Only people physically close enough to the router can could reach the local web forum with their mobile phone or laptop. I imagined it becoming a kind of intranet for Occupiers, filtering users by proximity to specifically support the people at the park.
During the Occupation, I was getting up extra early to visit the park on weekdays before work. I'd chat with whoever was awake and hear what was going on with the upcoming General Assembly, or who'd been making a ruckus the night before. When I described my strange wifi project, I was surprised at the encouraging reactions I got. "That's awesome, you should do it!" or "we were talking about building something like that—does it handle video?"
So I showed up one morning and left my first prototype with the volunteers at the Info desk. Just keeping the router powered consistently was a big challenge; I'd plug it into whichever diesel generator I could find running in the park. After the park was cleared, I refocused my thinking about how best to support a decentralized movement. Since then Occupy.here has become my zen garden, a tiny self-contained internet I've been developing slowly and methodically.
This past Spring, I began stashing wifi routers wherever I could find an electrical plug near a freely accessible space. For a few months, a friend hosted an Occupy.here router from his studio at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council residency in the One Liberty Plaza building. His 12th floor window looked down right onto Zuccotti Park, close enough to get two out of three bars of wifi coverage in the park.
In this second, decentralized phase, I've seen a modest volume of use by internet standards, perhaps a handful of posts per week. There are patterns in how it gets used according to where the router is situated. The Zuccotti Park router was a popular venue for middle-aged men to upload selfies. Another one, hidden in the lobby of the Museum of Modern Art (installed without permission), mostly receives multi-lingual variations on "hello world" or "why doesn't the wifi work?" A handful of users have written more substantially, but it amounts to a message in a bottle, floating in the 2.4 Ghz spectrum.
It's been exciting to see Occupy.here used "in the wild," but it also has some shortcomings—its lack of visibility makes discovering the network difficult, and the slim likelihood that a user will return makes conversations difficult to achieve. As a growing digital library, the project can surely offer an alternative to "junk food media," but building a slow web movement is not enough. I'd like for the project to be fun to use, but ultimately I'm interested in fostering conditions that might credibly challenge the status quo.
I need to destroy the zen garden and replace it with something more like a town square. Less tidy, more communal. I would like to create something you would want to use every day to share with people whose opinions matter to you. I'm interested in finding collaborators who have a stake in its development. It's becoming clear that, collectively, we all need online spaces that aren't undermined by the surveillance state.
Whether or not the big tent incarnation of Occupy has a future, the 99% are just as dissatisfied as we were in 2011. Much like Napster gave us a taste of what a digital commons could be, Occupy showed us how massively distributed activism can materialize seemingly overnight. It's time to put in the hard work organizing for the next Occupy, to create the right conditions for a lucky break.
On Sunday October 6th I'll be participating in the PRISM Breakup event at Eyebeam. I'll be conducting a hands-on workshop as 12:30pm, followed by a talk later in the afternoon. Please come with radical ideas, and bring a laptop!
Monday, April 04. 2011
by Marie D. Martel
Nous dirigeons-nous vers une technoculture du prêt, du partage, du streaming ?
Trop d’objets autour de nous, trop de bruit dans notre champ visuel, dans nos agrégateurs, dans nos résultats de recherche, trop de super-butinage (power-browsing), trop consommer, accumuler, remplir, excéder, évaluer, élaguer, se débarrasser, recycler-réduire-réutiliser, ouvrir la fenêtre, pas quinze fenêtres, respirer, relaxer, se vider l’esprit. C’est le printemps et une saison nouvelle qui s’annonce aux teintes discrètes (chromophobes ?) du néominimalisme.
ou encore :
Cet extrait provient d’un article publié sur Boing Boing (traduit dans Le Courrier International), dans lequel Sean Bonner explore la dématérialisation ou la décroissance matérielle comme une possibilité issue des technologies actuelles et qui nous permet de reconsidérer nos interactions avec le monde et les autres en favorisant l’expérience plutôt que la consommation. À Toronto, le même auteur a aussi animé une présentation [en] sur le courant des technomades.
L’usage de circonstance par le prêt, le partage, le streaming
D’autres journalistes, comme Ramon Munez d’El Païs ont, dans la même perspective, élaboré l’idée que la propriété est un fardeau et que l’avenir de la consommation de la culture n’est plus lié à la propriété mais à l’usage de circonstance par le prêt, le partage, le streaming :
L’étape suivante franchie par le blogueur Andy Woodworth [en] (incidemment élu dans le palmarès 2010 des Shakers and Movers [en]) m’intéresse tout particulièrement. Il fait l’hypothèse qu’en ce moment l’attrait pour les bibliothèques reposerait peut-être moins sur la récession économique que sur l’accroissement du nombre de gens qui préfèrent emprunter plutôt que posséder.
L’émergence de cette culture suggère des possibilités et des tendances sur lesquelles les bibliothèques pourraient largement capitaliser, dit-il. Comment ? Pas seulement en incarnant elles-mêmes les instances équipées pour prêter des documents à partir de leurs collections mais peut-être surtout en se positionnant comme des facilitateurs, ou des médiateurs, capables de négocier et de supporter les citoyens en vue d’accéder aux ressources disponibles dans la déferlante du web.
Mais la question la plus évidente est la suivante : est-ce que les bibliothèques seront en mesure de profiter de l’apparition de cette société du prêt et du partage ? Elles apparaissent elles-mêmes souvent éreintées par les résistances, trop déboussolées pour servir de guide à qui ce soit, sans vision, sans plan pour penser la culture numérique au-delà de cet effort qui les amène à prononcer et à servir à toutes les sauces, le mot magique de la « bibliothèque numérique ».
Wednesday, November 03. 2010
by Patrick James
The end result, as Bartholl explains, will be an "anonymous, offline, peer to peer file-sharing network in public space." It will eventually include a documentary film about the process and files shared, as well as a map and a "how to make your own dead drop" manual. And, ultimately, it will serves as an object lesson in what happens when strangers share information in public.
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fabric | rblg
This blog is the survey website of fabric | ch - studio for architecture, interaction and research.
We curate and reblog articles, researches, writings, exhibitions and projects that we notice and find interesting during our everyday practice and readings.
Most articles concern the intertwined fields of architecture, territory, art, interaction design, thinking and science. From time to time, we also publish documentation about our own work and research, immersed among these related resources and inspirations.
This website is used by fabric | ch as archive, references and resources. It is shared with all those interested in the same topics as we are, in the hope that they will also find valuable references and content in it.
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