Thursday, April 13, 2000

Sony Wonder-ous Thunder-ousGulch

When is a tree not a tree? When it's one of a hundred that have been cloned in a project Natalie Jeremijenko described during her presentation at Thungergulch's exhibit at the Sony Wonderlab on Thursday, April 13. She showcased several other projects, including "Live Wire," a 3-D real-time Web traffic indicator that "wiggles" when there's activity on a server; "Trigger," a child's electric horse-y ride that moves according to a #9 Richter-scale earthquake recorded several years ago, and a color-coded parking system where patterns of parked cars create a public spectacle. The Australian, '99 Rockefeller fellow has been really focusing lately, though, on a project called "Market Research," which is collecting data from devices she inserted into interactive children's toys (Pooh, Furby, Activemates). Natalie remembers that while working at IBM's Xerox Parc, Furbies were not allowed on the premises due to their recording capabilities. Her frustrations with the actual mechanics of getting video capture cards to work reminded us that although we're in this whiz-bang, wired world, there are still many areas where we have a long way to go.

Web artist and designer Vivian Selbo spoke just before Natalie, and I caught the tail end of her presentation on the database-driven art project "open_source" for the Gallery9/ the Walker Art Center. Entirely dynamically generated, this project was developed with Cold Fusion and MYSQL. Vivian answered questions on the possibilities of anyone posting work into the database, and thus being a part of the exhibit. That would be similar to how RTMark allowed people to put their Web sites in the RTMark site for the Whitney Bienniel, thus giving any ol' web designer the opportunity to participate in this prestigious show. She said that most likely the curator would be aware of these additions…

The High-Definition Theater's lights twinkled, and although I had to skip out, Eric Zimmerman, an accomplished game designer, artist and academic showcased game design via some of his recent projects like and