Tagweird_shit

Aspirational Weirdness

Rahel Aima on “aspirational weirdness”:

Whose future, and in whose name? I’m thinking about Joel Dinerstein’s writings on ‘techno-fundamentalism’ and ‘technology as White mythology’ here, certainly. But also about that particularly futuristy tic of aspirational weirdness. As in, what we want out of the future is not that it’s better or more comfortable or less ecologically destructive or more equitable or more just. What we want out of the future is that it’s weird, please let it be weird. Where does this come from? Is it a particularly classed, gendered, even racinated (?) thing?

Does aspirational weirdness assume the same kind of techtopianism as Clarke, where all the inequalities and injustices of today will somehow get vectorised and smoothed over? Or is it that these struggles frankly not on the radar for folks who aspire to—long for—weirdness? And now I’m wondering, how do you arrive at a praxical synthesis of weirdness and social justice? (Because undoubtedly, there’s something enticing and seductive about «weirdness» for me too.) I want to emphasise the praxical, because it’s all too easy to arrive at something that feels fresh, directional, transformative, but never manages to transcend the realm of aesthetics, especially with regards to ethnifuturisms. (Not that aesthetics aren’t equally as important. A future featuring people who look like me? Radical) And what’s more directional and transformative than social justice?

Full Story: The State: july 20, 1969 // 2019 & aspirational weirdness

I wish she’d included some examples here because I’m not quite sure I know what’s meant here. Like Rahel, I do long for MORE WEIRD. But I’m not I’ve come across anyone really saying “what we want out of the future is not that it’s better or more comfortable or less ecologically destructive or more equitable or more just. What we want out of the future is that it’s weird, please let it be weird.” On the other hand, unlike Rahel, I’m a white male and might just not be seeing it.

One thing I can say, though, is that sometimes it seems that people end up fetishizing certain types of futures, even if they sound unpleasant. One can’t help but think that the people stocking up their bunkers for the proverbial “big one” really do want it to come. Likewise, those obsessed with certain ultra-controlled, Orwellian futures also seem to actually look forward to them at some point — perhaps because they really want to have someone else make decisions for them in their lives, or perhaps because they want to be a part of the struggle against it. In that regard, it’s not hard to think that there are those of out there who fetishize weirder possibible futures — without much, if any, regard for social justice.

Sky TV May Pump Ads Straight Into Your Skull

The Verge reports:

Sky Deutschland, the German wing of TV provider Sky, is testing a marketing concept that may be pure evil genius, or possibly just pure evil. The BBC and others report that Sky Deutschland and advertising company BBDO have tested a concept that would pipe messages directly into the heads of people who try to rest or sleep against train windows. The idea, which was first unveiled at the advertising-focused Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in late June, is known as the Talking Window. It uses bone conduction like that found in headphones, hearing aids, and Google Glass to send vibrations through a window.

When a commuter leans against the window, he or she will hear a message that nobody else can, asking if they’re bored and want to download Sky’s mobile app.

Full Story: The Verge: Sky Deutschland campaign will pipe ads straight into train passengers’ skulls

(Thanks Skry)

Sky TV used to be co-owned by none other than Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, but it looks like they sold their share earlier this year.

For more on this technology see: New Hearing Aid Uses Your Tooth To Transmit Sound

Kook Komix Debuts with “Mister Probert in Etherland”

Kook Komix by Juan Ochoa and Brendan Simpson

Juan Ochoa revealed the first installment of Kook Komix today: Mister Probert in Etherland. Juan is working with Kook Science — which includes Technoccult alum Brendan Simpson — on this project.

Here’s some background on Probert, from Brendan:

Who was Mark Probert? By his own accounting, he was a drop-out and a drifter, skipping from the Merchant Marines to horse jockeying, serving a stint as hotel bellhop then as a Vaudevillian song-and-dance man, before finally settling into his role as a “Telegnostic from San Diego”. Mr. Probert is scarcely known today, but, in his time, his “sleeping psychic” mediumship was the prime link between the later days of California Spiritualism and the nascent Ufology of the post-war period, and he served as forerunner to all the Space Brother contactees who soared to prominence in the early years of the 1950s. Probert saw himself as ultimately a humble servant to outside forces, ever self-effacing, quite unlike many of those he later inspired, and alway offering all credit to the voices he believed he channelled, and to his partner and wife Irene Probert.

Full Story: Juan Ochoa: Mister Probert in Etherland

Slender Man: 21st Century Campfire Tale

slender-man

Michael Rose write:

Where then, does the internet age turn to for it’s vicarious scares? The answer arrived on the popular forum SomethingAwful in 2009 in the imposing form of Slender Man. The site was running a contest in which participants were instructed to photoshop images to contain supernatural entities. User Victor Surge entered two photos of distressed children to contain an unusually tall, thin man with a pale featureless face and added text describing purported eyewitness accounts to the man’s strange powers over those around him and linking him to the disappearance of 14 children. The second of these two texts referred to the eerie figure as ‘The Slender Man’. The posts quickly caught the attention and imaginations of other members, who began to supplement the story with their own words and images. What had begun as a contest entry was to become a worldwide phenomenon.

Full Story: Mysterious Universe: Slender Man: 21st Century Campfire Tale

(via Cat Vincent)

Teach The Controversy: Mermaids Edition

I don't know; therefore, mermaids

Jim Vorel on Animal Planet‘s bizarre Mermaids hoax:

‘Mermaids: The New Evidence’ is the worst thing I’ve ever seen on TV

There’s absolutely no hyperbole in that title. Last night on Animal Planet I caught the replay of “Mermaids: The New Evidence,” the follow-up to Discovery Channel’s abysmally bad, misleading and rage-inducing “docufiction” from last year, “Mermaids: The Body Found.” It’s the worst TV I’ve ever seen. Nothing else comes even close.

Last night’s special was even further from reality from the first documentary, which at least went through more trouble to appear legitimate-looking. Instead of being comprised of talking head interviews, it was done almost in the style of an extended round-table on a 24-hour news network, which I suppose is fitting in an odd way. A shill of a host acted as the “moderator,” asking canned questions to our returning star and conquering hero from the past program, “Dr. Paul Robertson,” a man touted as being “a former researcher for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.” Other guests were brought forward to share their own mermaid revelations and screen poor CGI footage of supposed mermaid encounters.

I’ll start out by simply pointing out the stuff that anyone with access to Google can discover immediately — “Dr. Paul Robertson” is not an actual person, but an actor. His name is Andre Weideman. Here’s his IMDB page. It’s safe to assume that all the other supposed researchers and government officials on the special were also actors, or they wouldn’t be there.

Full Story: Herald Review: ‘Mermaids: The New Evidence’ is the worst thing I’ve ever seen on TV

See also:

I Wanted the Story to Seem Real, Says “Mermaids: The New Evidence” Producer

Science Channel Refuses To Dumb Down Science Any Further

Monster mummies of Japan

Tunguska Event Meteorite Fragments Finally Unearthed

Tunguska rocks

MIT Technology Review reports:

The Tunguska impact event is one of the great mysteries of modern history. The basic facts are well known. On 30 June 1908, a vast and powerful explosion engulfed an isolated region of Siberia near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River. […]

That changes today with the extraordinary announcement by Andrei Zlobin from the Russian Academy of Sciences that he has found three rocks from the Tunguska region with the telltale characteristics of meteorites. If he is right, these rocks could finally help solve once and for all what kind of object struck Earth all those years ago.

Full Story: MIT Technology Review: First Tunguska Meteorite Fragments Discovered

The catch: Zlobin collected the samples in 1988, and waited 20 years to analyze them, casting some uncertainty on his research.

3 Weird Art Machines

Tangible Sound Lab’s Skintimacy

The Tangible Sound Lab’s site seems to be down, so all I’ve got to go on is description of the video:

With ‘Skintimacy’ we present a skin-based interface for a collaborative musical performance. The experimental setup is intended to be both an evocative tool for interpersonal interaction and touch, as well as an alternative digital musical instrument. By integrating the human skin and touch into the musician-computer interface, we propose a bodily-close haptic and emotional experience.

(via Sara Hendren via Warren Ellis)

Destroy Angels’ Light Machine

How to Destroy Angels light show

A bit less weird, but still interesting: How to Destroy Angels’ light instrument:

Rob Sheridan, the art director for Trent Reznor’s side project How To Destroy Angels, is up on stage, but he has no instrument. More accurately, he is playing an instrument, but it doesn’t play music — it plays light.

Smeller

smeller

Those not weird enough for you? Check out Smeller:

SMELLER is a genuine organ, an olfactokinetic art device for composing, producing, interpreting, programming, recording, storing and playing back compositions made up of scents and scent chords.

The SMELLER 2.0 project encompasses
The production of the hardware
The production of the control software
The production of the notation system
The production of the scent sources (basic components)
The creation of olfactokinetic scent compositions (“Smellodies”)

(via Rahel)

Another Fake Kidding Napping Service A La The Game

Kidnapped

A couple weeks ago I linked to Odyssey Works and Videogames Adventure Services, two services that promise to provide interesting and/or exciting experiencing, including kidnapping. Here’s another company:

I had to fly all the way to Detroit to get kidnapped. Extreme Kidnapping is a company operated by Adam Thick, an entrepreneur and convicted counterfeiter from Oakland County, Michigan. Thick founded Extreme Kidnapping in 2002 after being inspired by the old David Fincher movie The Game. (SPOILER: It was all a game!) For $500, Adam and his crew will abduct you at gunpoint and hold you hostage for four hours. A thousand bucks gets you ten hours, along with a bit of customized sadism. GQ was curious to see what $1,500 would buy me.

If it strikes you as obscene that people would pay to be kidnapped at a time when it happens routinely to other people for real, the fact is that we live in an age when a normal life simply isn’t enough for many Americans. If you watch enough movies and TV (as I do), you end up yearning for a life that is more cinematic than blissful. Experiences are the newest, hottest luxury items. I looked at it like I was paying for a memory implant, Total Recall-style. But the one thing that didn’t make sense to me was how Adam could pull off the trick of making a kidnapping feel real when his client knows it’s not.

Full Story: GQ: What It’s Like To Be Kidnapped

Meet the Man Who Sold His Fate to Investors at $1 a Share

ipoman-full

On January 26, 2008, a 30-year-old part-time entrepreneur named Mike Merrill decided to sell himself on the open market. He divided himself into 100,000 shares and set an initial public offering price of $1 a share. Each share would earn a potential return on profits he made outside of his day job as a customer service rep at a small Portland, Oregon, software company. Over the next 10 days, 12 of his friends and acquaintances bought 929 shares, and Merrill ended up with a handful of extra cash. He kept the remaining 99.1 percent of himself but promised that his shares would be nonvoting: He’d let his new stockholders decide what he should do with his life.

Full Story: Wired: Meet the Man Who Sold His Fate to Investors at $1 a Share

Like That Movie The Game, But Real: Odyssey Works

Odyssey Works

Odyssey Works is like a real life version of the movie The Game. From The New York Times:

IT all looked so normal: a dozen diners chatting over coffee and hash browns at an outdoor cafe near the waterfront here on an August morning. The cook flipped eggs, a dog sniffed for scraps, and the young woman in the black sweater suspected nothing of the spies and confederates sprinkled throughout. They’d been studying her life for four months and were finally preparing to pull it through the looking glass they’d constructed. Within 36 hours there would be confusion, euphoria, tears, even an abduction.

It was all in the service of art. For more than a decade a loose-knit, multidisciplinary collective called Odyssey Works has been quietly inverting art’s longstanding arrangement with its audience. Rather than a single artist creating for a general population, it directs many artists at a deeply researched population of one. The intricate creations that converge in the group members’ weekend-long performances — sound installations, films, performance art and more — exist only for their chosen subject, whom they’ve come to know very well. Then it all vanishes. The idea is a beautiful inefficiency: a tiny but infinitely more affected audience.

Full Story: The New York Times: A Waking Dream Made Just for You

(via Tim Maly)

Oh, and they’re accepting applications until April 15.

See also:

Videogames Adventure Services

The Strange and Exciting World Of Nordic Larping

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