These objects seem to be raw digital substances. Can you tell us about the process?
I craft my objects in the open source 3d program "Blender." The forms are based in my meditations on the sacred/fractal/mystery structure of material that composes sensual reality. From these meditations, I design shapes into warped effigies that embody the spirit presence of material. I put particular attention into coding the texture of the objects. I layer many textures and colors, playing with levels of goopiness and placement of lighting. Constructing virtual textures sharpens my awareness of physical textures, heightening my engagement with the surfaces of my surroundings. I export animations or still png images of the objects at particular angles. This footage can then be used as raw material for collages, web pages, videos etc. Lately I've also been taking screen caps and screen recordings within the program too add to my raw reserves.
We have seen a lot of interesting stuff coming from Portland, what is so special about this place?
Portland is full of a lot of artists and musicians who are total maniacs. People move here because you can get by without much money so its easier to spend all your time making art. All of us are constantly working on stuff and sharing ideas so the energy is really motivating. Plus we've got some pretty insane natural landscapes around us which add to the inspiration.
Can you tell us about Oregon Painting Society and MSHR?
Oregon Painting Society is a five member art collective. We construct large scale sculptural installations that are embedded with interactive analog synthesizers and perform ecstatic rituals to open portals. MSHR is a newer collaboration with my partner Birch Cooper. We also create interactive installations as well as generating hand made electronics, sound recordings and frequent performances. Both groups are firmly committed to flying as close to the sun as possible, peeking through the curtain when we can...
Can you please describe your Artifacts projects and tell us something about yourself too?
Artifacts1 and 2 are manifestations of a growing personal archive of “digital crafts”. These refer to digital material designed to resemble traditional craft techniques and forms, but also content generated through a variety of 3D design and image editing software, expressing a set of certain technical and creative skills. They both take the form of digital video, being “practical showcases” for these material, but also time-based compositions produced with cheap (free) software. I was particularly interested in including both the actual title and the creator of each image or 3D object, wanting to trace back the origins of this digital material.
My work often looks at the politics and attitudes towards production and labor. In this context, I am interested in the dialogue between concrete practices and thinking, empirical and theoretical knowledge. Digital production destabilizes much these binaries, at least as long as the predominant narrative about the so-called “immaterial” production is concerned. This discourse goes back of course to social and ideological conceptions of what human labor and knowledge production is, but also relates to the discourse around modes of living and the processes of becoming social subjects.
My work in general is much informed by collaborative input, sometimes involving long-term collaborations that usually take the shape of ongoing projects, but also more occasional alliances and sharing which feeds, more or less directly, into specific pieces. In the center of my practice lies a sculptural production which is certainly influenced by the research-based and “de-materialized” processes from which it originates, while on a great extend speculating on them.
You have a lot of works dealing with on-line commodities like these artifacts, clipart or tutorials. What is your motivation behind this research?
My interest in these forms of digital material has to do with their direct reference to craft and open source culture, two domains that I have explored in my practice in several occassions. In fact, even if not every single piece of information that can be found in my work can be technically considered open source, it still often maintains a kind of “soft” authorship, being submitted to flexible terms of distribution and usage. The Artifacts2 3D objects, coming exclusively from the 3D Warehouse depository are an illustrative example of that type authorship. Then, what seems intriguing here is these objects' very status as digital goods: in Karl Marx's critique of political economy a commodity is indeed a product of human labor, however it is defined as an object meant to be exchanged within a market, ascribing itself an "exchange value”, along with it's presumed “use value”. In this way, these digital artifacts actually fail to fall easily in the category of the “commodity”, their status as consumable goods remains uncertain. On the contrary, their digital nature, along with their deliberately “free” and accesible character, renders them almost a tautology of the idea of distribution and circulation. In addition to that, the prosumer ethos that generates a large part of this production problematizes on an all new level conceptions of skill, function and utility that are assigned traditionally to the category of craft.
Can you tell us about the Instructional Capital project?
The Instructional Capital is a project that started in early 2007, primarily as a thematic research on the histories, ideologies and forms of instructional writing and instruction-related material at large. It evolved through the production of two publications, which mapped in a loose way this domain of information that I was retrieving, mainly from online sources. I was mostly drawn into the study of specific historical periods, when instruction as a means of information dissemination was especially pivotal for knowledge production, but also considered as a tool for individual and communal emancipation. The 60s and 70s might be the most relevant example of this tendency, with the consumerist-driven culture of the 50s American DIY “home improvement” being perhaps a counter-example. However, it looks like there has always been a historical continuity to the production of such material (at least in terms of “Western” history) with instruction being used programmaticaly as code of communication from the early ancient Greek proto-pharmacology and Roman recipes, to the Medieval alchemist scripts.
At the same time, I became interested in the gramatical-formal characteristics of instruction, looking at more “negative” connotations of the imperative mood and its relation to order and sovereignty (with “imperative” actually deriving from “emperor” etymologically). This premise provided a critical limit to my whole approach, reconnecting the study of instruction to the one of institutions of power and ideology.
Parallel to the publications, I developed a body of work which was in different ways related to this study, on the one hand formalizing knowledge and aesthetic propositions and on the other weaving a fractional narrative. Some of the works functioned as “portfolios” of the research, presenting and bringing together my findings, while others were developed in a more liberate fashion, responding casually to the wider context I had been constructing.
The Instructional Capital volume I
Installation view (ASFA factory, Athens 2009)
by Petros Moris
- venus figurine,Small statue in the style of prehistoric venus figurines. Nothing great, just learning the features.
- Crystal Tear-Drop Vases, A set of crystal vase inspired by the dual tone tear-drop vases.
by Surya Murali
- Mirrow,espejo para decorar culaquien parte de la casa, un pasillo, un cuarto de baño, el material es de marmol y el espejo tiene efecto de luz , compruebenlo
- Decoração carinha de metal, tiago-3d.blogspot.com
by Designer Tiago
- BRONZE FLAME SCULPURE, BRONZE FLAME SCULPTURE
- espejo 2, mirrow
- Ornamento 14, Elementos decorativos.
- Plantas arranjos decorativos, tiago-3d.blogspot.com
by Designer Tiago
- Potted Plant, Potted plant with flower buds
- Ornamento 3, Elemento decorativo.
- Ornamento 4, Elemento decorativo.
- Decorative Dual Texture Flower Vases, Dual texture flower vase featuring a smoked circular inner globe. This model is featured in my Bed-N-Breakfast Suite.
- Wall Mirror for collection, Wall Mirror for collection
- Strange Wooden Vase, strange wooden vase
by Rolling Stone
- Handy Asset on our DeskTOP, A Reliable SU Modeling Team here at Your Service.
- Hanging Philodendron, The top section of rope can be adjusted by selecting the end geometry and dragging it up or down. This model has 1016 faces. All geometry was created in Sketchup, all textures from photos of philodendron leaves on the back porch. All photos for textures edited in Gimp. Please take a moment to rate this model. When VIEWING and USING plants be sure, “use anti_aliased textures “is OFF, found under model info > rendering. All EDGE STYLES should be OFF. When USING plants you should group them, you should scale individual plants up or down 10% to 20% and rotate them so no two of the same type look the same from any one angle, tilt some of them just little, plants don’t grow straight up.
by Darrell Smith
- Set of Vases II, My second set of weird vases!
by Surya Murali
- Ornate Hex Head, A complex ornament (a finial perhaps?) based off of a hexago.
- Ornamento 7, Elemento decorativo.
- strange object, i donnu what it is exactly
- Ornamento 6, Bandeja decorativa.
- Bark Sculpture 4, Another pine bark, very knobbly. Added a little more color. Two different TINs are intersected.
by fred bartels
- venus figurine,Small statue in the style of prehistoric venus figurines. Nothing great, just learning the features.
- First of all, can you please tell us about your background? I'm wondering who is behind all the stuff on the blog. Is it a solo project, or do you collaborate with friends?
Well its mostly just me or just images i find - i used to have this tumblr with my friend Daif called the Zish but we both kind of just stopped i guess. he still links me to some great pics sometimes though
- Do you have some key for your selection? Seems like the weirdest 90's stuff. Some kind of distopian universe. Does it have any manifesto?
I mean this whole thing seems a bit weird cause i dont really think much about it any further than an aesthetic - i cant really describe what it is but i am obsessed with product photography - most of the time the lighting is perfect or the photoshopping is a little bit off so you dont get this instant reaction to it but it kind of just stays with you - itis actually kind of surreal - i mean i actually dont know why people dont frame the stuff and put it in their houses, its insane. there is something so amazing to me about how there are literally hundreds of thousands of photos of all types of products- furniture, office accessories, entertainment centers - all this totally mundane shit, that has been carefully positioned in this lit set/studio and then photographed - so much time and money has gone into making this thing look even more boring really- i dont know, i dont really know how to explain it, its great though
- What is your routine, do you primarily reblog, or search somewhere for the pictures?
haha i actually try to have 100% original content but i do reblog sometimes. if i see something that has the same specific aesthetic i like i will probably reblog but otherwise i just spend most of my time on google - its either just the original picture or else i make something out of a bunch of stuff.
- Some of the pictures are your own artworks, how are they related to the stuff you found?
I dont really know - i mean to me this whole thing is just basically to make me laugh so artwork is kind of a stretch haha - i dont know, i mean i dont really like alot of "art" because there is always someone telling you there is something behind it and writing hundreds of pages about it instead of just looking at it - its totally on the surface and nothing else. solely aesthetic. In relation to the found stuff im not really sure how it fits together other than color or texture or something like that
- Can you tell us about your future plans regarding the collection?
keep on doing the same i guess, make mousepads and caps - MERCHANDISE EVERYTHING
We will tell you a little story
Words: Binary Trash
PWR PaperJunk JetFloater MagazinePoolComputersclubTruEYE surViewOregonPaintingSociety
PětikorunkaKapitán Zbytkáč, Kudla Hrozička, Åleks Huē
Pětikorunka k pětikorunce
M A N I F E S T
Napadlo mě při dnešní návštěvě supermarketu.
Do supremarketu moc často nejezdíme. Většinou jen jedenkrát za měsíc. Už poněkolikáté za sebou se mi stalo, že jsem přišla o nákupní vozík s vloženou mincí. Mívám takový asi hloupý zvyk neprodírat se úzkými uličkami mezi regály s vozíkem. Místo toho jej nechávám v široké hlavní uličce a zboží si jednoduše nanosím - uspořádání obchodu to umožnuje, aniž by se člověk nějak zbytečně naběhal. A nebyla jsem sama, podobně odstavených vozíků bývá kolem dost.
Když mi poprvé zmizel zatím ještě prázdný vozík, zůstal tam místo něj jiný s vloženým žetonem. Celkem logicky jsem usoudila, že došlo k přehmatu. Příště mi zmizel vozík zas, tentokrát bez náhrady. Kam oko dohlédlo nebyl jediný bezprizorní vozík. Dnes mi zmizel zase, tentokrát jsem si ho pozichrovala pověšením tašky a doufala, že teď už k „přehmatu“ nedojde. Jenže ouha, když se vracím na místo s naváženou zeleninou, vozík je pryč. Jen moje taška leží odložená na hromádce zeleniny.
Začínám nabývat dojmu, že v supermarketu někdo vyloženě číhá, až někdo odloží prázdný vozík. Pak ho popadne a rychle pryč. Nepřímo mi to potvrdila prodavačka vyskladňující nedaleko zboží: „To se stává často.“ snažila se mě uklidnit, když jsem začala nadávat. A někomu se pěti- či desetikorunky pěkně hromadí. Na kolik si takový člověk může za „směnu“ přijít?
No jo, jsem blbá, mám si vozík držet. A taky mám místo mincí vkládat žetony. Jenže vás by napadlo, že se někdo tímto způsobem obohacuje?tvůrčí tandem Kámoš a Kámoš
(Tomáš Vodňanský a Vladan Brož)
Kolekce zaměřená na fotografické reklamní kutilství
coby fenomén lidové tvořivosti dneška.
Domácí reklamní tvorba (DRT) dosáhla v oblasti fotografie masového měřítka především s rozmachem internetového obchodování. V dnešní době, přesycené levnými digitálními fotoaparáty šlapou domácí kreativci na paty osvědčeným, a v mnoha případech již zastaralým postupům, které používá reklama „profesionální“ neboli „elitní“. V případě DRT se ale jedná o komplexní proces – kromě pořízení vhodného snímku jde také o skladbu textu, tedy o tvorbu neotřelých titulků a popisků. Často se v této souvislosti hovoří o spotřebitelsky příjemné reklamě informativní, nikoli o agresivní reklamě přesvědčovací. Z vysoké reklamy tedy DRT vychází, je jí i do velké míry inspirována, avšak obvykle nemívá takové kvality. Na druhou stranu je DRT mnohdy velmi spontánní, naivní, neškolená, všeobecně srozumitelná a svými přirozenými nedostatky i působivá. DRT nemá ani umělecký záměr, vzniká totiž z pouhé praktické potřeby konkrétní věc prodat. Z tohoto důvodu také není možné DRT hodnotit měřítky „elitní reklamy“, jejím nejvýznamnějším rysem je laickost jejího tvůrce.
Materiál pro tento soubor dvojice shromažďovala několik let. Hlavním zdrojem jsou české aukční portály.
271 famous paintingsTemporary exhibition curated by Leon, Ancient Art
We have talked to random Second Life Market sellers. Here are the questions:
- Can you please describe your SL shop? Do you have any specialisation?
- What is the key to pricing?
- What are the main features of your items?
- Do you have any experience with creating content for other virtual worlds than Second Life? Or maybe designing stuff in real life?
- Can you please tell us about your background?
I sell all my stuff through marketplace, https://marketplace.secondlife.com/stores/102887
I sell items that can be used in Role Play or just for fun. The key for pricing is to think about who will buy the items. I know from experience that most people in second life are broke, so I keep all my items under 5L.
Many of my items I sell have a rustic/ old theme to them. So far second life is the only virtual world i build on. I started building a way to avoid spending money. I wanted to make things that were cheap but not total crap. I started looking at builds on the main grid, and found some older builds that were simple. Once i figured out how those people made them, i was able to start creating my own things.
In real life I am a student, who works 2 jobs to make money.
Thanks for your interest on my activity in SL. My shop is adjacent to my home in Second Life and here I expose both the commercial products that my artistic works. My main products are water jets and fireworks obtained with the technique of the particles. I work with these products for about four years and have gained a good clientele, generally very satisfied with their purchases. To achieve this I have long studied the effects of particle and learned how to write good scripts. The slurl of my shop is: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Sienso%20Tala/96/131/41/?title=Lion%20Store&msg=The%20Igaly%27s%20shopper and the Marketplace store is: https://marketplace.secondlife.com/stores/12904
The key to price formation is based on a careful marketing of existing products and the rights of use granted to customers for my products. To all my products prices are proportionate to their technological characteristics and the actual market demand.
My activities in SL began with a focus on Italian art world that was developing in 2007 in the metaverse. In that year I built my first art gallery, the Pyramid, which will house the works of Italian art which is still visible to this address http://slurl.com/secondlife/INDIRE/77/224/23 In my land, adjacent to the shop, I built a gallery which will house my works developed entirely in SL.
The main features of my hud items is the controller for some products, created to control the effects of particles from your screen easily. The effects of particles are studied in order to give the best visual effect possible from every angle of the observer.
I only have experience with creating content in Second Life and in RL I'm an experienced computer programmer. In Sl I'm a builder and scripter also.
I have an Art Supply shop in the style of older, more personal stores rather than the modern mega Art shops that have no personality. I hope it is a place that people enjoy visiting whether or not they make a purchase. There are couches to sit on and coffee to enjoy. Also there are often free gifts offered here and there. When people visit I hope they are transported into a 'real' Art shop.
The shop itself has old wooden floors, and spilled paint here and there. There are two floors in which you can browse. There are a variety of times for artists or lovers of art on display.
Items for an Artist's studio, from paint brushes, pallets, animated painting easels to color wheels. Items from drawing pads, pencils to pillows you can place somewhere and animate your avatar to sketch. From frames and portfolios to paints and pastels... Magazines and furniture... I try to have a little bit of everything.
It is called 'The Eclectic Art Shop' because of its eclectic variety of items. There are even pieces of original art, reproductions of old masters and blank canvases for sale.
My specialization are my art supplies. I like to have them in animated boxes that open and clothes or that deliver you something.
Pricing has been difficult. I am a person that likes a win-win situation. I want my customer to feel good about their purchase. I try to price many of my things on the lower side so that more people can afford to enjoy the things the shop has to offer. To do this I may research an average common price, however I often find this difficult as many of my items are not available anywhere else on SL.
Art supplies that animate your avatar to enhance your experience, open and close or deliver you something. I try to keep things that are static, low prim, again to enable more people to enjoy them.
In my First Life, I am a graphic designer. I design the software interfaces, web graphics, print and more. I am a face painter and dabble in other arts as well.
I do not have any specialisation. I built to whatever i think of. Mainly are buildings, watery stuff.
None i sell mine for 1L mainly to share with others.
nice and cheap
Interior designer in rl. been in sl for at least 5 years.
I came across the site through a post online at one of the websites I visit. It was displayed in a way that instantly caught my attention, 90's web ui aesthetics, low resolution textures and low-poly modeling. Upon joining I found myself in the middle of a weekly trivia event with around 20 other people. I got to know a few of them and asked if they would show me around. After a bit of a tour I got to speaking with one of them, which resulted in the conversation I posted. It was a unique and special event which I will be hard pressed to equal and i am grateful for having been a party to it.
As for the remainder of my travels, I enjoyed investigating the various worlds people had made, as well as the many versions of public chatrooms that existed. In worlds.com the shape and look of the room was independent of the space that the user was interacting with, in other words, a person existed in all the 'versions' of that specific chatroom regardless of the one they chose to look at. So you'd see avatars moving around invisible areas up in the sky or below the ground, it was one of my favorite things about the program.
It's been a few weeks since i've been on, having recently traveled away from my main computer, but I look forward to traveling there again in the future.
I spent today exploring a 3D chat based program called Worlds.com . Established in 1994, Worlds is a place for users to come and chat with one another in a virtual environment largely of their own making. At its height, hundreds of people would interact and chat with one another in environments that ran from simplistic to surreal.
Comparisons to Second Life are almost unavoidable, but it’s important to note that Worlds had existed for nearly a decade before Second Life was founded. This puts Worlds in a technological realm prior to Second Life, where the tools available were not quite as robust but the results were still unique. Many environments seemingly embrace and enjoy early limitations of 3d spaces, mostly rendering and fidelity limits.
However, not many users still remain. I was fortunate enough to have joined during a ‘trivia day’, where users would come in from their disparate worlds to play a game of trivia in the new-user area. I met many long-time users there as well as one man, whose conversation I’ll share today. As we stood on a beach made for virtual weddings he talked about his life, interests, and fears. I was honored to be there to hear them and I feel compelled to share some of that with you.
There weren’t many people online when I joined for the second day, nor was my new friend online. In his absence I took it upon myself to do a bit of exploring, starting from the landmarks he gave me the day before.
In my travels I was particularly struck by how tight-knit the community seemed to be. When exploring one world I’d see rooms or pictures devoted to other users, apartment buildings with apartments for friends, or altar-like tribute rooms. Avatars belonging to these other people would be added to rooms for effect and interacting with them would sometimes have them say something, presumably in their usual style of typing. Even after a short visit around a few worlds I got a sense of these people and their personalities, through the way other people saw them and created things for them. It made it all the more poignant when these tributes sat alongside links to their homepages that would no longer load. Their pages running the gamut of earlier ‘free hosting’ companies like Geocities, Homestead, Angelfire and Tripod. I felt like it was a strange kind of grave, where the avatar and room were as they always were, preserved, but the context and character of their tributes had passed.
One place in particular struck me personally. A library dedicated to a history of Worlds.com’s users who specialized in avatar-making. In the words of its creator, “This is my tribute to the Worlds program past, present and future~~ Read the History of Worlds. These are the pioneers in customized avatar design…they brought about an evolution in Worlds Chat.”
The page no longer exists, and the Internet Archive has no copy.
I felt a real sadness. I was sad that I had missed it. Missed this. I was online when worlds.com existed and was in its prime, but I’d not heard about it. I felt sad that the history they made for themselves and each other could only be viewed by me as a kind of alien, a different species of avatar from the user that felt compelled to build it. Nevertheless, I intend to explore further.
The Secret Area
by Robert Lorayn
The Hidden Room, Easter Egg, and Secret Area were, for a time, important and familiar aspects of mainstream First Person Shooter computer games. Starting from a necessity to turn a small game space (due to technical limitations) into a robust space for play, these Hidden Rooms became a familiar aspect for players even after the technology progressed past their necessity. Map makers (professional and amateur alike) maintained the use of these secrets, sometimes as adjunct areas of a map, or if not then abstracting them into escapes from the map; a refuge from the game proper. These uses, however, abstracted further as the genre desired and moved towards broader appeal with emphasis on game immersion and immediacy.
In cases where the former approaches are found (here we can generally look to FPS’s pre-2000), these secrets were built in such a way as to emphasize their being outside the game. In other words, the Hidden Room/Easter Egg/Secret Area took on a metaphysical quality that, although not necessarily marketed as such outright, was understood as such implicitly by its players. They became a way for the player to achieve transcendence from the confines of the game, from its rules, and from its goals. However, to recognize this more clearly I ought to give background into how these areas contrast from the rest of the game and its elements.
When playing these games it’s often thought that proficiency is attributed to the character of a reflexive athlete. The reflexive or ‘twitch’ gamer is believed to have kingship over this space because they are able to react more quickly and with more accuracy than their competitors, and although this is certainly a factor it is not a necessity in most cases. More necessary is a robust and dynamic spatial awareness of the game space, in this I mean recognition of how the map is laid out and where all the actors might be in such a layout. It is via practical skill in, and fluid improvisation from, this aspect that turns one into a dominant player for most FPS games.
Additionally, the FPS genre started itself as a Single Player game. That is to say a single human player. A game programmer would create a player character, a world for the player to explore, and a goal of some sort with a number of obstacles (usually enemy AI) to overcome on the way to the goal. Due to an array of limitations in computer graphics and speed, real-time renderings of this world were generally confined to a small plot of virtual land, self-contained, and broken up among multiple plots (also small and self-contained) with loading in-between to denote transport from one to the next. As such, their small size meant the edges of their worlds were easily recognized; further emphasizing the fact that the place they played was not representative of the real world it simulated. Consequently, these limitations generally gave maps an austere architectural sense with an emphasis on, and economy of, the space used.
Stemming from this economic necessity maps became maze-like. Where acts like doubling-back, shifting, and exposing hidden elements were common events as the player progressed through the map. As a result, it was very important for one to have a good sense of space in an environment like this because the hallway you just came from might now be a staircase to a lower level and look entirely different. In a way, the environment itself was part of the game, and recognition of its layout became an aspect of its appeal. As a result of this inclusion the players of these games developed a keen sense of space along with a number of tricks to determine where changes in maps might occur. One began to search environments for shapes and textures that followed some previously understood cue that denoted interest. These imperfections or differences then acted as symbols to perceptive players.
One such cue was that of a wall seam. Where a hidden passage might exist along a wall, the seams of each wall piece were usually imperfect, and from this imperfection a seam of either overlapping walls(two walls pieces occupying the same space) or gap between them could be seen. It became a cue, then, for an area of interest whenever one would see such a seam. The limitations of the rendering engine used for the game space, alongside the limitations of the computer, gave cues like these an application outside of one particular game or map. And considering that many games used the same or similar game engines (which were used in the actual rendering of maps), one could begin to see cues like these as symbolic across the genre.
Another cue came from the maps use of textures. When a game engine is limited to a certain size and detail in its surroundings, a map maker begins to repeat elements to save file space. Repeating objects might be seen in a room or repeating textures applied as one might apply wallpaper, continuously along a wall. Here, when a hidden passage requires a hidden doorway, that doorway is broken from the rest of the old, contiguous, wall. The visual effect produced is salient to a player exploring the space as a continuously repeated texture is seen along a wall until one reaches the hidden doorway, where the texture does not line up with the texture before or after it. This cue implies a separation and therefore a reason for it to be separated, inviting a player to seek something hidden.
Among the core principles of a First Person Shooter was to have enough room to play with. Many of these FPS games achieved a frantic pace once combat was engaged and this pace was best achieved in maps where players had space to move. For instance, when a map was highly partitioned and its movement restricted, a player would likely find themselves moving more slowly. Conversely, when a map was wide open and expansive, a player would likely find themselves moving more quickly.
These constructions were to limit ones own exposure to enemies, and again ones spatial awareness becomes important here. When a player recognizes an open area or a bottleneck they travel through it with different strategy, and when a map-maker creates a map that is representative of an actual place it would generally include some spatial reductionism or abstraction of its real-world source material to facilitate these aspects. A house might have its multiple rooms reduced to one room and its furnishings removed entirely. Or a museum might be given partitions to separate its wide open space, where there previously were none, with the intent of giving cover to players. It is from recognition of these spaces as being open or being constrictive that a player is able to form strategies and improvise actions.
Therefore, when these aspects of the game were well understood by game players they began to implement secret areas using their familiar spatial cues as clues (familiar by experience to players in the genre) to entice them into exploration. Sometimes these were tribute or monument rooms, identifying or glorifying the map-makers. Other times they were wholly unrelated to either the larger map or the map maker; things like dance clubs, picture galleries, or utterly surreal environments. Aside from these benign intentions, and in fewer cases, the space might even be used a reward or punishment; conferring a benefit to the player upon their return to the game proper, or killing/confining the player who finds it. Nevertheless, in all of these places a player was at rest from combat, and it is in this resting that I see a more abstract, and therefore more spiritual, desire being fulfilled.
When a player engages in a game they necessarily accept a more rigid world than the one they inhabit outside the game. In so doing, a player limits their interactions with the game to the stated aims of the environment. These secret rooms, then, encourage and satisfy a more general human interest outside the game. They satisfy an interest in a world outside the world, in a purpose outside the general purpose; an interest in the metaphysical by way of rejection of the physical. In this case it is a rejection of the life of a ‘player’ and the environment they play in.
This recognition, both of the game world they inhabited and the belief that there ought to be a place outside it, stands as a fascinating and compelling example for today’s virtual spaces, not to mention today’s games. Even though these Easter Eggs were still technically part of the game, they appealed to a longstanding desire of individual transcendence. Compelling their players to act as more complete human beings, casting off the goals and fears of game-life; challenging them to overcome what boundaries they might perceive, and examine the role of ‘player’ and ‘person’ more closely. The Secret Area is therefore available to any player, but is experienced by a single person.
Ecstatic Surface Design 2011
The Credit Card Collection
Pinar&Viola is initiating a new modus operandi in the cosmos of graphic design. Every year, they will launch an autonomous Ecstatic Surface Collection which tends to be recognized as 'haute couture' of graphic design. In September 2010 they presented their first: The Credit Card Collection; where the credit card, the ultimate plastic spending power, is the star of the 2011 collection.
The collection stages oversized credit cards as catastrophic authorities, ranging from ordinary plastic to black titanium. Credit cards, once presented to users as keys with which they could access fantasies and luxuries, caused debt to become equal to wealth. In the collection, this toxic piece of plastic is shown as an all-encompassing metaphor for shattered dreams, disappointment, the changing notion of value and the mutating concept of 'credit'.
Components of the credit card wallpaper
This wallpaper is designed as the background
for The Credit Card Collection.
It's design represents the whirlpool of debt. Components of the credit card wallpaper is a never ending composition of materials that the credit cards' are made of, plastic and titanium.
Plastic bags scattered around the wallpaper represent the cheapest instant approval credit card. Falling diamond-catching crowls are used as a metaphor for the falling empire of the credit, and scissors float around in this whirlpoolof debt, since they are the biggest enemy
of the credit card.
The wallpaper is custom-tailored depending on the demand.
I's available with and without the crowls.
The Credit Card Collection posters
Silkscreened poster for The Credit Card Collection
De Brakke Grond 15-19 September 2010.
Size: 800 x 1170 mm
Silkscreened by: Kees Maas
Can you tell us about the upcoming ecstatic collection? The magazine should launch at the end of May, maybe you'll have some news then?
No sorry, it's the policy of our design house is that we do not reveal anything concerning the ecstatic surface collections until the day they are launched. All we can say is that it will be launched in Istanbul at Pilevneli Project, sometime in September. However, on July 21, our 'capsule' collection will be revealed during the Phone Expo 2013 in Paradiso, Amsterdam.
This is the press release text:
As their capsule ecstatic surface collection 2013, Pinar&Viola will give a present to the public. They have designed perfect lovers that cater to all tastes, ready to quench anyone's thirst for love and attention. After the user subscribes to the service, these lovers will send them text messages filled with intimate thoughts and private pictures.
The contemporary world is ready to give mankind whatever it may want. The desire for connection and the quest of a perfect relationship have ended. Ours is but one option in a booming market of robotic partners, one-night stands apps, phone girlfriends and every other wish for proximity anyone might have. The question is, then, are you ready to get what you want? Are you ready to be enthralled by love, adoration and irresistible temptation?
Do you work mainly on self-initiated projects, or commissioned works? Is it possible to make a living from experimental design?
We try to find the right balance between the commissions, exhibitions, ecstatic surface collections and self initiated autonomous projects. In our practice, there is no such thing as financially relieving commissioned projects that we do not enjoy and heart filling, aspiring self initiated work. Because so far the clients we had so far, commissioned us because of our very visible signature in our work. However yes! we cannot say that initiating a new modus operandi in a sector is not easy as pie. Especially in the first years that you start working professionally, you have to be very careful with your financial situation. Most of the time, we spend the money we make in the production of our collection.
How is your art related to amateur culture and Internet art?
Even before our collaboration, we were both not agreeing with the already established codes of how something should be represented.
As an example, luxury being represented by white typography on black, fashion w/ bodoni, porn with hospitalized clean prudish American studio-set, a technology company with a clear information transfer, etc. Yes! These are possible visual codes, however they are one among tons of other possibilities. Why one would follow 'trends', while as a graphic designer, visual narrator, you hold in your hands the key to manipulate all these visual codes.
We are surrounded with design works which follow the expected visual codes of 'good design'. Has anybody questioned why placing a playful rgb colored typeface on a white background with a bitmapped pseudo-intellectually drawn image would be the representation of the cultural image in the contemporary? While being inspired by the amateur, by someone who did not have 'the design education', we aim to bend the codes of the visual culture, and obtain an information overload which does not distance itself from the 'folk' and which is the scan of the contemporary culture. However we combine our inspiration with our knowledge of gritted graphic design education in order to create a 'controlled' chaos.
And concerning The Internet, it's hardly impossible to skip it when you manifest your work to be the scan of the contemporary. Elements from the Internet often come back in our detailed collages. Like the music video we made for Diplo & Oliver Twizt. It's the story of a girl, singing to her webcam with the bunny mask we developed. She is singing while staring at the whippets racing through the internet icons in a digital folklore setup.
How about your workflow, is it ecstatic too?
We both separately start digging the streets of the internet, our blog, and inspiration folder around the theme, later on come together and start composing text files which seek for one notion / idea / image which will tingle our minds and will make us fantasize. We continue searching until we both find an idea which makes our heart beat stop for a second. We create separately for a little while, and come back together in order to start the ping-pong game. The file is transferred between our screens until it’s hand crafted a la haute couture. In that stage if we both like the result, that means that something is majorly wrong. We both need to be disturbed by the image somehow. It should be sexy yet monstrous in the same time. Sometimes, even if all the ingredients are in there, the image is still not convincing. We call the unnamed missing element the ‘x-effect’. Our surfaces are composed of signs, indications, metaphors and symbolism. A lot of attention is devoted in the selection of the elements, how they are used and how they relate to the other the elements used on the same surface. if one thing is extra or missing, it would easily be misunderstood and look ‘off’.
With the laptops on our laps, we sit on the sofa and start digging the streets of the internet, our blog, and inspiration folder when we are looking for an idea. Only when we find a complete concept, a story to tell that we start looking for the right elements to use in the collage. With our semiotic approach we're very concerned about the meaning of the signs and symbols we choose and their role in contemporary social life. Once we have the elements we'd like to compose the image with, we start giving shape to the composition. And it's that moment what we call 'the ping pong game'. We exchange files until they reach a moment when we both feel very excited and uncomfortable with what we see.
Likes and Notes in Glances
Essay by Louis Doulas
'Likes and Notes in Glances' is comprised of investigations that do not necessarily adhere to any linear essay format.
The Facebook Like
The Facebook Like button is a politely constructed symbol simultaneously begging to be clicked and not to be clicked. With no perceivable authority implied in its design, it never actually forces the user to engage with it. It is clicked because the user does so on her own symbolic behalf. However, the Like button must proceed onwards under such passive-neutral pretenses, for its reliance on the user is an important determinant in the advancement of its own business model. The Like button must exert a non-threatening and reaffirming interface so its users can comfortably continue to activate and integrate it into their online routine.
Besides providing a limited amount of analytic insight to the button’s embedder, its ongoing application outside of the Facebook website--embedded into websites and blogs across all disciplines acting as basic promotional tools and neat suggestions for ‘support’--marks the convenient constructions of a self-referential Web 2.0 business strategy consisting of the employment of walled gardens  and financial sustainability through willingly provided user voluntarism. The walled gardens of Facebook—along with paralleling social networking sites striving for similar types of web dominance—entail that user activity is consolidated and performed through one centralized service ultimately suggesting a scarcity of ‘freely’ provided user information to those other websites and companies outside of themonopolized domain of one single, concentrated website [collecting, housing and eventually selling immense amounts of data over a supposedly fixed period of time]. These motives especially highlight themselves through the perpetual use of the Facebook Like button and of seemingly nonexistent equivalents i.e. the continuation to Like using the Facebook Like button because there are no other options. Or under similar logic, to paint a more vivid and encompassing picture (but in response to the often disregard of the expensive, fetishized computer hardware allowing for seemingly ‘free’, ‘immaterial’ social interactions and content consumption), writer Gene McHugh points out, “Go on, keep chatting with your friends, watching videos, listening to music—it’s all fluid and immaterial now and that’s great—just so long as you do so through the iPad.”
Though the Like button can exist off of Facebook, it never actually quite does as all action and information channels itself back into the social network.
Another primary concern here is not the Like button’s use within the lounge environment of Facebook (liking friend’s images, statuses’, etc.) or the mining of user data for profit, but its application and accompaniment onto websites, images, articles, etc. (that today approximately 905,000 websites employ)  which often require and warrant an expanded critical consideration of content from its users, rather than a summarized one. The Like buttonas is does its job by acting as a visual log of peer endorsement. But what is the value in these confirmations other than providing the button’s embedder with a temporary relief from a project’s potential failure, from a user’s online alienation, from friendlessness? As well as existing as mere stepping stones in a user’s ongoing performance in self-branding? Maybe the Like button is not worthy of critique or contemplation because its utility is so specific, obvious, non-threatening and narrowly-bound. However, a hidden, subtle conflict emerges in such evaluative scenarios that is worth noting, one that surely many users have experienced: an emptiness, going-nowhere skewed resolve of content, of appreciation, and of understanding.
Pleaselike.comScreenshot of Pleaselike.com taken October 27th 2011
Pleaselike.com is a browser-based artwork by Rafaël Rozendaal made in 2010. The website consists of an entirely white page with an embedded Facebook classic-blue thumbs up ‘Like’ button positioned in the center. To the button’s right is an ongoing tally of people who have clicked the button. As of this minute—October 27th,2011 at 9:55 PM—18,085 people  have liked the website. I have yet to participate by clicking ‘like’, a fact Facebook has made quite apparent by urging me on with the following sentence:
Be the first of your friends.
The website first presents the user with an encouragement to submit to a seemingly interstitial request. Nothing appears to be at stake in the user’s relationship to this request; either she clicks or she doesn’t click. The consequences bear no apparent reward or punishment—in fact, there is a marked absence of both. The confrontation quickly becoming slightly idiotic when prompted with the thought of not clicking. So the user—ideally, without such prolonged apprehension—clicks and accepts, enlisting in Rozendaal’s playful game. However, the relationship concludes at this point. The user clicks ‘Like’, perhaps proceeds to check her Facebook profile to witness the immediate result of her action, then proceeds onto the next website in her surfing queue.
Suppose, though, that the user doesn’t click. What happens then? First, why wouldn’t someone click ‘Like’? One reason may point to the user being of the ‘private’ type, not wanting the results of her click to show up on her Facebook profile. However, anyone can hide stories like this from their profile by configuring a simple setting in their privacy settings (or alternatively the ‘Hide this Action from Profile’ option). Pleaselike.com would still receive the user’s ‘like’, but none of her Facebook friends would see her activity. Another reason may point to the user’s unwillingness to forgo privacy, though again this tactic is thwarted: even if the user abstains from clicking, her information will still be accounted for and collected by Facebook for merely just visiting the page . Why else, then, wouldn’t someone want to click and make Rozendaal’s work ‘complete’?
- They aren’t familiar with the site and never actually cross paths with it.
- They simply put, just don’t care, moving on without further dispute.
- They express disdain for the artist by refusing to ‘participate’.
- They wonder what it means not to click.
The point of this repetitive drawn out reasoning is to illustrate that the typical user doesn't always undergo such strenuous rationalization when confronted with the website. The idea is that no one will not not-like the website and this may verywellbethe point of this Rozendaal work. The user confronts the webpage with really an absence of choice, that is, the Like’s button absence of relationship to content outside of itself has already created the user’s decision for her. Without a clear accompaniment of content (an article, an image, a video, etc.) for what the Like button is existing to support, the user has really nothing to do but to follow the authority of the website and click because of the void of other options. The lack of harm in doing so and because of the briefly satisfying—if not mediocre—moment it offers (the chance to be a ‘part’ of an artwork, to join your peers and not feel left out, etc.) only solidifies the motivation to click. The user here then ‘likes’ to fulfill the site’s only existence, bridging the gap of intention the artist has built. The user clicks, not to confirm and share her taste for a specific brand, aesthetic or event, but to ‘like’ both the website and to confirm the action of liking itself; a recognition of a recognition. The title, Pleaselike, suggests a modest tone and creates in the user an equally modest response: “It’s no problem, really, I can click." Pleaselike, with no comma separating the two words is a command devoid of a command, an implication that the user must do something on the page; and what is there to do but to click the only clickable thing?
Pointing to nothing but itself, the website composes an accumulation of numbers, representations of other users who also did as the user did. There are no direct repercussions or ramifications, there is no disdain or disapproving face and no celebratory one; liking here is a seemingly empty meta-gesture. And thus Rozendaal’s critique appears to reveal itself: through the absence of any detrimental circumstances, the Like button is but a compliant form of support, producing affirmation from users and peers without requesting further textual articulation or clarification.
Just as Rozendaal’s title, Pleaselike blankly justifies its clickable implications by asking nicely, so too does the Like button carry seemingly modest and quiet but highly anticipatory requests.
The Tumblr Note
A white blank heart sits in the center of a small grey box at the upper right hand corner of a .tumblr.com webpage. When clicked, the heart turns red, coming to life to represent a user’s 'like'. This action then generates a ‘Note’ affirming that such and such user ‘liked this’. The note generally finds its location underneath the content that was liked and accumulates by number. Interestingly enough, the heart ‘note’ icon doesn’t symbolize a ‘love’, as its symbol connotes. Instead, it represents something more indecisive and uncertain. Love, in this instance, becomes far too committal of an act to exist in such a transient environment.
Nicholas liked the image of the landscape.
Nicholas loved the image of the landscape.
Even in reading it on the page or repeating it out loud, ‘love’ appears overly enthusiastic and may actually perpetuate certain doubtful behavior, causing a user to question the validity of her own taste or preference as well as placing more emphasis on decisiveness, rendering more time taken in arrival of a judgement. A Tumblr note is safer, more multiplicative, approachable and effortlessly applicable because it doesn’t require too much commitment or head-dwelling from the user. The ‘note’, also referencing a type of office or research/archival environment, creates exactly that, a note, a bookmark of sorts for the user; signifying that a ‘noted’ piece of content is merely just part of an ongoing growing collection of even more. The ‘note’ isn’t meant to be permanent or committal. Besides the fact that a user can quite literally, ‘unlike’ something at any point in time, the note suggests a constant process or perpetual construction of the self. By serving the ever-changing mood of the user, the accumulation of notes demonstrates the malleability of her identity.When clicked, the heart turns red, coming to life to represent a user’s 'like'
The State of Tumblr
The State, was an online platform based on Tumblr that featured work from artists ‘who use the internet as a primary element in their work’. For each featured work, there was also a textual accounting of the critical/theoretical underpinnings each explored or encapsulated, written by the artist herself. The goal of The State was to ‘engage a more substantial online viewership and initiate critical dialog.’  Embedding a DISQUS comment box allowed users to potentially do just this [initiate and circulate conversation surrounding each featured artists work and subsequent text]. However, though now defunct and ceased from publishing, one will find upon visitation of the site to be nearly void of any commentary or discussion. Jumping from work to work, the comment section contains either nothing or a few short-winded afterthoughts (usually complimentary words or sentences):
‘a huge AVI? is this on Vimeo or streaming somewhere?’
‘amazing sense of atmosphere in this space you set up’
i dont get it’
In fact, what one will quickly notice is the number of notes each artwork received. While The State obviously had admirable intentions in attempting to assist peers in ‘speaking up’, its problems can be less easily discerned. Is the lack (or dead absence) of discussion a problem of the users or, consequently, of design? We can postulate here four potential theories:
- The State featured text alongside artwork. However, the text was mostly ornamental, merely a clarification or contextualized defense of the artwork featured. The lack of criticism here could be attributed to the lack of argument or opinion found in each artist’s own texts.
- The State was merely a burgeoning platform. Its audience and network were limited and small and thus the site couldn’t circulate the volume of conversation that a more popular site cultivates.
- The State was based on Tumblr, primarily an image based micro blogging platform. The audience for such was thus limited to users accustomed to a ‘note’ and ‘reblog’ system (perhaps, Wordpress would have been a better alternative).
- The pace and massive availability of content online encourages and prioritizes a consumerist approach to content. Clickable visual symbols replace textual response online.
The ‘Like’ and ‘Note’ system creates only a vague notion of valuability and understanding of content, creating not an expansion of understanding within a community but merely a consumption of it. Notes are an indexical tool and in this aspect they become a private gesture, providing the user an archive only for themselves. Whatever interest, thought, research, etc. is contextualized with the click of the Note is lost within the individual’s privacy of mind and in her Tumblr dashboard of collected ‘Likes’. All justification and defense remains with the user, because there exists no output for such intentions other than her own Tumblr blog (which will either textually clarify her content or further abstract it). Likes are, on the other hand, almost more ephemeral in that they aren’t meant to be indexed and accessed later on; they are momentarily supportive and become of no direct use to the user after the button is clicked. Without a clear alternate option offered within the design of these platforms, certain behaviors and social interactions perpetuate themselves due to the very design the website initially proposes and promotes. The fact that a comment box wasn’t an option on Tumblr (until recently through DISQUS) points to the original intention and purpose of the website itself: a platform of pure image aggregation.An archive of 'liked' posts in a user's Tumblr dashboard
Online, the value of content culminates and accrues in a series of confirmations. The Facebook and Tumblr ‘Like’ and ‘Note’ button are employed as measured representations of a user’s concentrated attention to multiple interests. Likes and Notes are beneficial and may seem integral to maintaining and measuring the ‘success’ or ‘impact’ a company, restaurant, writer or artist has on its customers, supporters, fans, admirers, etc. because it may gauge the appeal and relevancy an entity has on its intended audience, revealing its niche target. Both the Like and Note button hold a seemingly neutral ground to ensure comfort and control in the liking process. Liking—on both Facebook and Tumblr—always signifies a taste and activity, a performative in-process construction of one’s own personalized brand, encapsulating a user’s style, politics, and philosophy. Liking something is always found in conjunction with a declaration of individuality followed by either the celebratory identification of the individual within the crowd or the dousing of identification through the suffocation of it.
Facebook: Sofia likes The Office, Sofia is The Office, 9,567,948 others like The Office
Tumblr: Evan likes the 3D rendered paint stroke, Evan is the 3D rendered paint stroke, 100 others like the 3D rendered paint stroke
Again we realize here that liking only represents a part of a whole. When Evan likes the image of a 3D rendered paint stroke on Tumblr and gives it a ‘note’ what can be accounted for in his gesture? Why does he like it? How has he contextualized it? Understood it? Consumed it? It is these clickable symbols that replace textual responses online and justify consumption without dissertation, ultimately encouraging a type of passive consumerism where things are merely nodded at and popularized through formal evaluation and understanding. The Like and Note buttons cater firstly to producing an aesthetic impulse within the user.
The declarative moment of a user’s reaction to content is consolidated into a visual summarization online. A ‘Like’ or ‘Note’ represent the rapid symbolic acknowledgement of content that is conveniently and effortlessly employed within the accelerated environment of the internet. However, this type of acknowledgement and its symbolic equivalencies do not necessitate that a user really ‘like’, ‘kind of like’ or really even ‘love’, something, but rather that their attention be momentarily diverted and briefly concentrated enough for her to
become weary of time and respond to the moment, confirming this ‘moment’ through clicking. In this way, both the Like button and Note button at best can only be illustrations of a generalization. Both buttons seemingly discourage the user to extrapolate, discuss, or review--but only to coldly confirm, index and performatively grow. Employing Likes or Notes as an option for evaluating, understanding and collecting content creates an increased likelihood in the continuation of its use as a method for contextualization that never escapes from the user. Of course, the active user will trudge beyond these buttons to make her articulations, but how does the existence of these buttons influence the growth and progress of a niche, burgeoning community of potentially undefined, uncertain users? Of users who aren’t inclined to go beyond clicking things they kind of like?
Questions for NowA common 'feedback' button found on many websites and blogs online
The Like and Note button represent only the lowest common denominator of support. If we are really to offer our deepest convictions, support and criticisms to our peers and institutions, let us actually actively extrapolate on them--not merely consume them. As a mass that is already so disorganized and fragmented in both politic and philosophy, we cannot afford to have concerns so uncritically affirmed and so passively absorbed. If we are to value depth and progress in ourselves, in our peers and projects we must begin to articulate in order to actually comprehend and enact any kind of ideal cohesive organization.
Artists, designers and thinkers must begin to conceptualize new forms of establishing value online—ones that are more demanding and more ‘inconvenienced’. But it is through these delayed methods and considerations that over time we will soon develop to perform and demonstrate criticality in faster inclinations with a contextualized acceleration. Criticality manifests only in its continual use. Current platforms like Facebook and Tumblr are far too basic and undemanding to represent any real content evaluation system. Their existence is formed not within the domain of contemplation of content but in reaction to it and thus limited to the impulses and immediacy that accompanies brief encounters and assessments. Current online value systems exist merely on a surface level and greatly dilute the motivation to expand the consideration of what we consume.
How is value created online?
How do we assign and ascribe value to content online?
How are our current online platforms lacking?
How can we rectify our disappointment or dissatisfaction with these online platforms?
Are we dissatisfied with the quality of content these online platforms are creating or influencing?
What can we create to expand these platforms?
How can we create more critical platforms?BuzzFeed.com's 'alternative' rating system
These are the types of questions we should seek to be concerned with. Only by experimenting with alternative methods of presenting, designing and circulating content and conversation will we create an even more flourishing and creative active user environment.
Serious consideration of the above questions will create new platforms and specify new questions and conflicts. We must pay attention to the architecture and politics of the website.
Originally published on DINCA
 As of December 8th 2011, 12:14 PM, the website has 19,345 likes.
 Arnold Roosendaal, Facebook Tracks and Traces Everyone: Like This!, Tilburg Law School Legal Studies Research Paper Series, 2010. Online at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1717563 Riva Richmond, As ‘Like’ Buttons Spread, So Do Facebook’s Tentacles, New York Times, 2011, http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/27/as-like-buttons-spread-so-do-facebooks-tentacles/
 Joseph Turow, Audience Construction and Culture Production: Marketing Surveillance in the Digital Age, 2005, p. 16. Dennis Knopf, Defriending The Web, Digital Folklore Reader, Merz & Solitude, 2009, p. 11. Online at http://www.dennisknopf.net/en/index.html
 Gene McHugh, Post-Internet, Link Editions, 2011, p. 149. Online at http://122909a.com/
 Elinor Mills, Lawmakers seek FTC probe of Facebook post-log out tracking, CNET, 2011,http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-20113101-245/lawmakers-seek-ftc-probe-of-facebook-post-log-out-tracking/