0aaashiftwa.jpgEver since i've heard Dan Phiffer and Mushon Zer-Aviv present the ShiftSpace project at ars electronica, i've been following with growing interest the progress of their idea.

They are currently offering ten development grants of up to $2,000 to individuals and collectives using ShiftSpace as a platform to create new Spaces and Trails:

"While the Internet’s design is widely understood to be open and distributed, control over how users interact online has given us largely centralized and closed systems. The web is undergoing a transformation whose promise is user empowerment - but who controls the terms of this new read / write web? The web has followed the physical movement of the city’s social center from the (public) town square to the (private) mall. ShiftSpace attempts to subvert this trend by providing a new public space on the web.

By pressing the [Shift] + [Space] keys, a ShiftSpace user can invoke a new meta layer above any web page to browse and create additional interpretations, contextualizations and interventions - which are called “Shifts?. Users can choose between several authoring tools - called “Spaces? - that allow web users to annotate, modify and shift the content of a page and through ShiftSpace, share that shift with the rest of the web. “Trails? are maps of shifts (shiftspace content) that create meta-layer navigation across websites. These trails might be used as a platform for collaborative research, for curating net art exhibitions, or as a way to facilitate a context-based public debate."

The ShiftSpace commissions program is a very interdisciplinary competition and the deadline to apply for both the Spaces and Trails categories is: February 25th, 2008 11:59pm EST.

Related: Interview with Mushon Zer-Aviv.

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0aahancji8.jpgI think that you will never be rewarded enough for being wmmna readers. Picnic is a conference + art show + playground + eventfull... euh event that takes place in Amsterdam each year.

We have guests Picnic day passes for 3 of you. They will give you access to the Make session, FabLab workshops and anything interesting happening on September 28.
UPDATE: tickets already assigned. Thanks for your interest, it just confirmed that i should offer more free tickets for festivals and conferences in the future.

Now the tickets are valid only September 28 because it is the day of the "Body wet hacking" session. I've asked 2 guys whose work i admire a lot, artist Adam Zaretsky and designer Michael Burton to come and talk about the way our life will be intimately transformed by the advances of biotechnology. Which scenarios will emerge? What will be the ethical, cultural or even political consequences of the bio-revolution?

Send me an email at reg at wmmna dot com if you fancy to join us for free. Fyi, A day pass is € 495 (507 euro with lunch), exclusive of VAT.

Adam Zaretsky is also setting up a hands-on workshop on the 28. I'll get back with more details later. Just be sure that whether he decides to have you get your hands dirty with extraction and isolation of Hybrid DNA or lead you to some BioPorn session, it is going to be fun and brain stimulating.


In the meantime, i'm heading to The Hague for the Mastermundo conference. Looks like it´s the city to be right now because it is also hosting Today´s Art festival.

After that i'll be in Milan and Turin to check out some yummy-sounding exhibitions.

Related: Adam Zaretsky on Future Body (part 1 and part 2); VivoArts Lab documentary.
Michael's projects: The Race and Future Farm.

Amanda McDonald Crowley from Eyebeam had invited inspiring artists and designers for a Conflux panel to discuss the visualization of environmental data and their potential to foster social change.

0aacecoviz.jpgThe event also launched Eyebeam’s Ecovisualization Challenge, a competition to heighten environmental awareness through creative data visualization projects. Group sign-ups will coincide with the panel, and the challenge is scheduled to run from October-November, 2007. Winning projects will be included in Eyebeam’s upcoming exhibition focusing on environmental and sustainability issues.

The Eco-vis Challenge invites artists to collaborate with technologists and redefine what the future of tracking and visualizing the environment could be.
The competition is two-fold:

- an eco icon contest to design a graphic that can be used for tattoo, stickers, etc to make visible environmental/ecological concerns. Deadline is Nov. 5th.
- an Eco-Vis that brings to life ecological information that is not necessarily obvious. Deadline is December 8.

First panelist, Tiffany Holmes focused on her project 7000 Oaks And Counting. The goal of this eco-visualization research is to show that daily visual feedback can elevate understanding of consumption patterns and possibly increase conservation behavior in resident populations.

0aaokks9.jpgThe project makes use of the existing building control system typically found in large institutional buildings. These systems provide central management and monitoring for air conditioning control, lighting control, and electrical and chilled water status monitoring, as well as providing energy management services. Typically, data from such systems is available only to a select audience of engineers and facilities personnel. The eco-visualization software focuses on the electricity consumption and its purpose is to make the data accessible and easy to understand for everyone through a website, a kiosk animation and a model tree sculpture. Ultimately, Holmes hopes that the project will stimulate people to adopt a more eco-conscious behaviour.

Tiffany Holmes is aware of both the advantage and challenges of any eco-viz experiment:
- on the plus size: dynamic feedback can be very motivating; potential to reach a broad audience, re-visualization of an old problem using new technique can re-vive an old discussion,
- minus points: no way to engage the accuracy of a given asset, difficulty to reach broader audience, sometimes users are asked to install a custom software which might put off some of them.

She ended her talk by recommending everyone to read her blog, Ecoviz.

Next came Michael Mandiberg with a presentation of his projects: Oil Standard and Real Costs.

Oil Standard is a web browser plug-in that converts all prices from U.S. Dollars into the equivalent value in barrels of crude oil.
When you load a web page, the script inserts converted prices into the page. As the cost of oil fluctuates on the commodities exchange, prices rise and fall in real-time


Real Costs is a Firefox plug-in that inserts emissions data into travel related e-commerce websites. The first version adds CO2 emissions information to airfare websites such as Orbitz.com, United.com, Delta.com, etc. Following versions will work with car directions, car rental, and shipping websites. Think of it like the nutritional information labeling on the back of food... except for emissions.

Eyebeam’s Ecovisualiz Design Challenge panel (part 2)

The Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan recently selected "Japan's Media Art Top 100" based on the votes by the general public and experts. More than 33 thousand people voted this summer, and 25 works were selected in the following 4 areas: Art, Entertainment, Anime, and Manga. Here's the top 3 in each area:

(1)Taiyou no Tou (The Tower of Sun) by Taro Okamoto
(2) Meywa Denki Live Performances (see the related entry: Maywa Denki in Paris)
(3) NAKI by Meywa Denki

(1) Yawaraki Sensha by Rareko
(2) Pythagorean Switch
(3) Super Mario Bros

[Taiyou No Tou. (Photo by the poster)]

(1) Neon Genesis Evangelion
(2) Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
(3) Castle in the Sky

(1) Slam Dunk
(2) JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
(3) Dragon Ball

An exhibition that showcases the selected top 100 works will take place at the National Art Center Tokyo, from January 21, 2007. Hope I can report more around that time..

Contagious Media Showdown is an open competition to see who can make the most viral website.

Eyebeam set up a special server, found $ thousands in prize money, and recruited the brightest to make this experiment in contagious media possible.

The workshops and panel include the people behind FundRace, BlackPeopleLoveUs, the Rejection Line, Blogdex, Del.icio.us, the Nike Sweatshop Email, etc.

Sign up before April 30th.

Greg Rivera and Mike Essl, co-owners of an amazing Mr. T collection, are inviting artists to submit designs for an upcoming art show called "I Pity the Dolls!: Contemporary Artists Create Homemade Mr.T Dolls."


The dolls are based on the Cabbage Patch Kid doll design. Each participant will be given a Mr.T doll pattern book including a paper pattern that you can cut the fabric to and detailed instructions on sewing and dressing the doll.

The exhibition will take place at the Orchard Street Gallery, Manhattan from June 9th through July 10th. The dolls will be sold for a charity of Mr. Ts choosing as well as Cancer Care, and American Cancer Society-Rally for Life.

Via Shift.

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