Animalia · Bio · Performativity · Science

The Real Wisdom of the Crowds

Consider this: shiners have a natural preference for darkness. Plop a shoal of them into a pool of water, and they’ll head for the shadiest bits. This is something that animals do all the time: They track gradients in their environment. A migrating robin might follow the Earth’s magnetic field, a moth might follow the scent of a flower, or an ant might track the pheromones laid by its nest-mates. But single shiners are laughably bad at this.

Andrew Berdahl and Colin Torney from Couzin’s team discovered their ineptitude by projecting shifting patterns of light over a shallow pool and adding the shiners in increasing numbers. Overhead cameras tracked their movements, and the team calculated how good they were at chasing the shadows.

The solo fish did so badly that they were almost swimming randomly. Only larger shoals were good at avoiding the shifting light. Even then, Berdahl and Torney found that the shiners’ movements were far more influenced by what their neighbours were doing, than by how bright the environment was.

Excerpt from an article written by Ed Yong at Phenomena. Continue HERE

Art/Aesthetics · Digital Media · Social/Politics · Technology

Woman, Art & Technology: Interview with Lynn Hershman Leeson

Woman, Art & Technology is a new series of interviews on Furtherfield. Over the next year Rachel Beth Egenhoefer will interview artists, designers, theorists, curators, and others; to explore different perspectives on the current voice of woman working in art and technology. I am honored to begin this series with an interview with Lynn Hershman Leeson, a true pioneer in the field who has recently produced !Women Art Revolution- A Secret History.

Over the last three decades, artist and filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson has been internationally acclaimed for her pioneering use of new technologies and her investigations of issues that are now recognized as key to the working of our society: identity in a time of consumerism, privacy in a era of surveillance, interfacing of humans and machines, and the relationship between real and virtual worlds. She has been honored by numerous prestigious awards including the 2010-2011 d.velop digital art and 2009 SIGGRAPH Lifetime Achievement Awards. Hershman also recently received the 2009 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, an award which supported her latest documentary film !Women Art Revolution – A Secret History.

Via Furtherfield. Continue HERE