Architectonic · Public Space · Social/Politics

The geometry of nowhere, by James Howard Kunstler

“I hate sidewalks.

When I arrived in Paris the first shock I felt was how much space there was for people to move around. Even on boulevards with little pedestrian traffic, such as Boulevard Port-Royal, space is divided equally between pedestrian standing room, in other words place, and roads for vehicles. How many modern cities offer this kind of abundance? While, like all tourists, I loved the boulevards in Paris, I also became familiar enough with the city to find out that I disliked the little streets that branched off them. At first I thought that it was their boring, ordinary architecture and emptiness, but there were some exceptions. The pedestrian streets of the Marais and Latin Quarter were full of people and shops, which I assumed was exceptional due to their historic value. (Google Street View of a typical ordinary street of Paris.)

Late in the fall I returned to Montreal sufficiently alienated from it to be once again shocked by the contrast in street design. All I felt upon stepping out on the street was terrified and exposed. The snow and ice of winter only made the experience more dangerous. Despite the streets being wider than those of Paris, I am required to walk on narrow strips of concrete, where any slip or missed step would cause me to tumble into a road where a passing car would undoubtedly decapitate me. (In fact a few Montreal pedestrians were horrifically killed this winter.) Any contact with another pedestrian involves invading their personal space and requires that someone yield to the other. This means one cannot walk side-by-side with another person, taking away all the pleasure of walking. And out in the suburbs there isn’t even the luxury of a concrete strip to stand on. Little wonder that no one wants to walk anywhere. Thinking back, I realized why I hated Paris’ little streets: they forced me onto the sidewalk to make space for a road and car parking lane. There was no perspective from which to appreciate them because there was not even standing room in them.”

Excerpt of a text written by James Howard Kunstler, at Emergent Urbanism. Continue HERE

Earthly/Geo/Astro · Human-ities · Science · Theory

Geometry, Topology and Destiny by Mark Trodden

I’ve reached the cosmology part of my General Relativity (GR) course, and one of the early points that comes up is my traditional rant against confusing three very distinct concepts when thinking about the universe. Roughly stated, these are; What is the shape of the universe? Is the universe finite or infinite? and Will the universe expand forever or recollapse.

When we apply GR to cosmology, we make use of the simplifying assumptions, backed up by observations, that there exists a definition of time such that at a fixed value of time, the universe is spatially homogeneous (looks the same wherever the observer is) and isotropic (looks the same in all directions around a point). We then specialize to the most general metric compatible with these assumptions, and write down the resulting Einstein equations with appropriate sources (regular matter, dark matter, radiation, a cosmological constant, etc.). The solutions to these equations are the famous Friedmann, Robertson-Walker spacetimes, describing the expansion (or contraction) of the universe.

It is important to take a moment to emphasize what we have done here. GR is indeed a beautiful geometric theory describing curved spacetime. But practically, we are solving differential equations, subject to (in this case) the condition that the universe look the way it does today. Differential equations describe the local behavior of a system and so, in GR, they describe the local geometry in the neighborhood of a spacetime point.

Excerpt of an article written by Mark Trodden at DISCOVER. Continue HERE

Digital Media · Motion Graphics

Geometric Porn Site

Something abstract existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence. Visual geometry containing the non-explicit description of sexual organs or activity. Arising in the mind it intends to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings.

GeometricPorn is a project by Luciano Foglia, a multidisciplinary visual artist. He has been working in the design industry for over ten years focusing on interactive design, code based animations and music. His personal time is spent exploring new ways of expression in music and art, working from his studio in London, Hackney Wick.

Geometric Porn App was rejected by Apple Inc.

Reasons for Rejection: 16.1: Apps that present excessively objectionable or crude content will be rejected. We found that many audiences would find your app concept objectionable, which is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines.

Architectonic · Bio · Digital Media · Motion Graphics · Paint/Illust./Mix-Media · Sculpt/Install · Sonic/Musical · Technology

Quayola

Quayola is a visual artist based in London. He investigates dialogues and the unpredictable collisions, tensions and equilibriums between the real and artificial, the figurative and abstract, the old and new. His work explores photography, geometry, time-based digital sculptures and immersive audiovisual installations and performances.

Quayola’s work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; British Film Institute, London; Royal Albert Hall, London; Gaite Lyrique, Paris; Church of Saint Eustache, Paris; Forum des Image, Paris; Grand Theatre, Bordeaux; Palais des Beaux Arts, Lille; Empac Centre, New York; Yota Space, St. Petersburg; MIS, Sao Paulo; Casa Franca, Rio de Janeiro; BAC, Geneva; Sonar Festival, Barcelona; Elekra Festival, Montreal and Clermont Ferrand Film Festival.

(>> Watch video interview by The Creators Project)

Strata #4 is a multi-channel immersive video-installation commissioned by Palais de Beaux Arts in Lille. The subject of this work is a series of iconic pieces from the museum’s Flemish collection, focusing specifically on Rubens’ and Van Dyck’s grand altarpieces. Strata #4 is the result of a study and exploration of the paintings themselves, delving beneath their figurative appearance and looking at the very rules behind the composition, color schemes and proportions of each piece. It is a precise process aimed at creating new contemporary images based on universal rules of beauty and perfection. Documenting the improbable collisions between classical figuration and contemporary abstraction, Strata #4 aims to create an harmonious dialogue between worlds that may appear very distant from one another, but in fact share so much in common.

“Strata #1” is an audio-visual installation that explores the icons of Rome’s renaissance architecture and focuses on the layering of times, functions and representations.
Through sound and visual effects, “Strata #1” concentrates on the collective imagery of particular buildings, reflecting upon the stratified historical meanings they detain in the western society through time.
A rotating ceiling is inhabited by a computer-generated particle system. The latter moves and behaves in relation the sound, coexisting harmoniously with the surrounding architecture. The video environment created within the installation becomes a hybrid between a real architectural space and an abstract two-dimensional pattern: a new space in-between the real and the artificial.
In a dynamic dialogue between sound, image and architecture, the installation plays with history and its image, giving life to a process of metamorphosis which transforms structure and function of the original architectural space. Assuming different meanings, the represented ceiling appear under a new perspective that focuses on their images rather than their historical and architectural significance.

Images: Quayola
Music: Autobam

Bitscapes is a multi-screen installation exploring and challenging the ambiguity of realism in the digital realm. Natural landscapes from the wilderness of western Australia slowly deconstruct. By losing their “photographic skin”, the illusion behind their realistic appearance is revealed.
Commissioned to mark the first anniversary of ‘Lovebytes at Millennium Galleries’ – a permanent plasma screen gallery curated by Lovebytes with the Sheffield Galleries Trust (2006)

Direction/Design: Quayola, Chiara Horn
Sound: Giorgio Sancristoforo
Coding: W. Kosma

Excerpt from Natures series

The Natures project consist in a series of multi-screen installation pieces and a live audio-visual performance in collaboration with musician Mira Calix and cellist Oliver Coates. Natures explores the dialogue between “the natural” and “the artificial”, creating a world where these two elements coexist harmoniously. Interpreting plants’ organic behaviors, computer-generated elements become part of the natural world and viceversa.
Commissioned by Faster Than Sound and Aldeburgh Music (2008)

Design/Animation: Quayola
Music: Mira Calix, Oliver Coates
Producer: Joana Seguro (Lumin)
Assistants: D. Knowles, G. Berton, Y. Li, G. Korossy, P. Marquez, Mokhtarzateh, M. Gil, G. Gremigni, G. Polizzi

Text & Images via Quayola

Digital Media · Photographics · Science · Technology

OrcaM is new kid on block for 3-D data capture

Call it automated photograph station, seven-camera system, 3-D model showcase, or digital reconstruction tool. OrcaM is being described as all these things. Whatever the tag, the “OrcaM” name stands for Orbital Camera System, according to its Germany-based developers NEK GmbH. A video demo was making the rounds of web gadget blogs and news sites this week as a camera system to watch.

The OrcaM system involves a large sphere, likened by one viewer as a giant maw, inside which one places the desired object for 3-D scanning. Once the object is placed inside, the sphere is sealed shut and the seven cameras and lights go to work. The cameras take simultaneous high-definition photos of the object at different angles. Serving to define the object’s geometry, various combinations of lights illuminate the object differently for every shot, capturing the finest details. After the photo processing, computer processing of the image creates the 3-D model. Observers say the end result is a highly impressive agreement of the real object.

This video demonstrates the OrcaM 3D reconstruction system, developed in the context of a project of the department Augmented Vision of DFKI (http://av.dfki.de)

For OrcaM Reconstruction Sequences (“Female Torso” Wilhelm Lembruck) see:
http://youtu.be/h320lM5DYlY

In this video it is shown how the hardware is opened to insert an object to be reconstructed. Currently the maximum size of objects is limited to 80cm diameter and a weight of approximately 100kg.
After closing the sphere again the acquisition process is fully automatic, though tuneable to account for complicated object geometries. Please note that the acquisition process has been extremely condensed and only drafts some steps necessary to acquire the respective information for a single camera position. I.e. horizontal and vertical fringe projection, directed illumination with light(patches), rotation of the carrier, etc. After the acquisition process the reconstruction of the object is computed fully automatic. A rendered result of the vase can be found at the end of the video. Note first that the rendering has been performed using a real world high-resolution HDR environment, which is reflecting in the vase and which introduces a pretty high amount of blue sky color to the rendering. Secondly note that the reconstructed vase is NOT symmetric, which is in perfect agreement with the original.

Text and Images Via Physorg