Robots, Humans, and Animations Dance (

This is phenomenal.

Combine robots, 3D graphics, and actors and what do you get? Box, an amazing performance by San Francisco-based engineering firm Bot & Dolly. It’s a short film that explores how the digital world interacts with the real world.

Originally performed live, Box is equal parts art and technical demonstration. Bot & Dolly explain:

It is the culmination of multiple technologies, including large scale robotics, projection mapping, and software engineering. We believe this methodology has tremendous potential to radically transform theatrical presentations, and define new genres of expression.

A little more on those technologies: The piece uses one SCOUT and two IRIS robotic motion control systems that are based on Kuka robots, as well as two high-res projectors. The software that makes Box happen integrates with an Autodesk program called Maya, and was designed in-house at Bot & Dolly. This could easily be a scene from The Matrix, right? [Bot & Dolly via Creators Project via Engadget]

Wonderland by Kirsty Mitchell: A Breathtaking Memorial

I lost my dad several years ago to cancer. Even if I had the extraordinary talents of Kirsty Mitchell, I couldn’t even hope of making as breathtaking a tribute as she did for her mother. I’ve copied only a few of the sumptuous photos below. Please visit her website ( and see all of them!


Woman, 36, who lost mother to brain cancer creates breathtaking fantasy land photo series in her memory

  • Kirsty Mitchell’s Wonderland series has been three years in the making
  • All costumes, wigs and sets were constructed on a shoestring budget
  • Some images took up to five months to create
  • She would often wait an entire year to find the perfect natural setting for her shots

Kirsty Mitchell’s late mother Maureen was an English teacher who spent her life inspiring generations of children with imaginative stories and plays. Following Maureen’s death from a brain tumour in 2008, Kirsty channelled her grief into her passion for photography.

She retreated behind the lens of her camera and created Wonderland, an ethereal fantasy world. The photographic series began as a small summer project but grew into an inspirational creative journey.

‘Real life became a difficult place to deal with, and I found myself retreating further into an alternative existence through the portal of my camera,’ said the artist.


‘This escapism grew into the concept of creating an unexplained storybook without words, dedicated to her [my mother], that would echo the fragments of the fairytales she read to me constantly as a child.’

Kirsty, 36, who has a background in fashion and costume design, collaborated with hair and make-up artist Elbie Van Eeden.

Both were in full time jobs so they spent evenings and weekends creating props, wigs, and sets on a shoestring budget and shot in the woodlands surrounding Kirsty’s home in Surrey.

Kirsty developed a deep bond and respect for the locations in which she was working and strove, through her pictures, to ‘remind others of their forgotten magic and beauty’.

She became fascinated with pockets of wild flowers such as the bluebells that would appear for only a few brief weeks of the year. In some cases, she would wait a full 12 months so she could shoot costumes matched to the vivid colours of nature

‘All the characters came to me in my dreams,’ she explained, but she delighted in the chance to step into the scenes for real: ‘after all, it’s not often you get to stand beside an eight foot princess in the rain, or witness the dawn with a dancing circus girl on stilts!’

The resulting images looked so hyper-real that it was assumed that they were created in Photoshop. Many people believed the photographs were shot all around the world, when in reality they were taken in locations within short drives of her Surrey home.

So Kirsty began to write diary accounts and blog behind-the-scenes shots about the creation of each photograph. ‘My aim was to portray time passing, an unsaid journey through four seasons, incorporating every colour in the rainbow.

As things progressed, her costumes became more elaborate with the props and new characters often taking up to five months to create. ‘The project blossomed into our own private playground,’ she said.

Her three year labour of love is now almost complete and there are plans for an exhibition and accompanying book: ‘I just know that the day I see my mother’s name printed on the inside cover of the Wonderland book, it will feel like I have finally fulfilled my promise to myself and her precious memory.’

Danaus: A close-up of a model before a sunlit backdrop, peering through a veil of paper butterflies

While Nightingales Wept: a model captured running though the woods near Kirsty’s home in Surrey

Euphaeidae: A winged fairy princess amid a sea of lavender

Spirited Away: Blooms stand out against a snowy forest backdrop – a promise of the spring to come

Original Daily Mail Article

Mood Map: South Korean Tweets Activate Art Exhibit (

If used on a micro-scale, I wonder if this could be helpful as a way to see if someone was depressed or even tending suicidal thoughts (via their Tweets)? I could certainly see psychiatrists being interested in patterns of human speech via text.


Mood map visualizes the moods of Korean people in color and light through textual analysis of their Tweets on Twitter. We will create a custom software program in Processing that will search and analyze Tweets in Korean language through the Twitter API. Tweets will be analyzed using a text analysis library that searches for specific strings of Korean characters that describe certain moods or feelings.

There are 6 main categories of feelings or moods we will search and visualize: joy/pride, love, fear/ shame, anger, pity, and sadness/frustration. Mood Map cycles through 3 visualization sequences. The first sequence displays occurrences of tweets in real time. The second sequence is showing collective data of two moods in past one hour. And the third is collective data of one mood in a day. This sequence control the intensity of color associated with each mood/feeling.

The 6 mood/feeling categories will be associated with 6 fiber optic illuminators, each with a specific color. Each illuminator will be paired to two other illuminators through the connection of fiber optic cables. So as the intensity of certain moods changes over time, visitors can witness the relative expression of all the moods compared to each other, changing dynamically over time every 30 seconds. The overall composition will express a flux of mood, feeling, intensity and time transmitted to a spatial 3D body.

Mood map is built and exhibited at “Data Curation” in Museum of Art at Seoul National University.

Visualization: Noa Younse
Assembly team: KwangYeon Cho, Kibum Park, Young-Won Chi, Byunghwa Kim, Min Jae Lee, Sang Ki Nam, Daram Park, Sooyoung Park, HyunWoo Yoo
Photography: E/B Office

Original E/B Office Article

Quantum ATM Aims to Make Us All Rich (

I’ve long been a supporter of volunteering, donating money, and “putting your money where your mouth is” on causes I believe in. Given I’m part of the 99%, I could see myself wishing the Quantum ATM becomes reality in my lifetime. Not that it will. 🙂


Science-meets-art installation looks to put real cash into a quantum superposition so it can proliferate into billions of accounts, fixing the global economy with quantum cash.

(The green uranium-glass core of the ATM is surrounded by a cylinder inscribed with 7 billion boxes, representing the world’s “quantum accounts.”)

If you’ve spent much time looking into the peculiar world of quantum physics and the notion of a so-called quantum superposition that theoretically allows a particle to be everywhere at once, you’ve surely thought of some ways that being able to manipulate such properties could be pretty awesome.

In my case, it’s the strongest evidence I’ve found since turning 12 that the Santa Claus I grew up hearing about could actually exist.

But experimental philosopher Jonathon Keats is setting out to put quantum physics to a much more practical use, no matter how impractical the world of finance may find it.

“The problem with the economy is that it’s Newtonian,” Keats tells Crave in an e-mail. “Over the past century, physicists have learned that the universe is quantum. It’s about time that money started following the same laws as everything else in the cosmos.”

Next week, Keats will oversee the installation of a quantum ATM in the basement of 20 Rockefeller Center in New York City. He says the self-contained bank will be the first of its kind with the ability to make money quantum and without an observed location, theoretically allowing it to proliferate almost infinitely. Make a deposit in the quantum ATM, and suddenly it’s everywhere at once, he explains.

Here’s the more detailed explanation of how the device will work:

Anybody will be able to deposit any sum of money at the Quantum Bank. While the deposit is being processed, a uranium-glass sphere will emit an alpha particle into a custom-built cylinder inscribed with seven billion microscopic boxes, each uniquely identified with a single account.Were this process being monitored, the quantum particle would be observed to pass through only one of the seven billion boxes, crediting the deposit to a single account. However the entire quantum ATM is sheathed in metal, prevented any measurement from taking place. The superpositioned alpha particle will enter all seven billion boxes, crediting all seven billion accounts.

Supported by this quantum bookkeeping technique, the cash itself will effectively be in a superposition.

Keats says the quantum bank has enough accounts to serve everyone on the planet, and anyone can sign up for free and start collecting and withdrawing “quantum banknotes” after a dollar or other real-world currency equivalent is deposited. The notes can then be used wherever they’re accepted.

Of course, the problem is that we’ve yet to hear of anyplace that will accept quantum cash, but I suspect that’s not really the point, anyway.

For a more detailed explanation, and to find out if quantum notes could one day be a better investment than bitcoins, join me for a conversation with Keats in a Google+ Hangout on Air Monday, June 10, at 7:30 a.m. Pacific/10:30 am Eastern. You can also watch the live stream via YouTube.

The Quantum ATM is set to be installed and put into service the following day, on Tuesday, June 11.

Original CNET Article

Inside MOMA’s Rain Room (

This is really amazing. Definitely watch the video at the end to see the Rain Room in action!


MOMA Rain Room 2 horizontal

On a sunny afternoon in New York City, it seems ironic that hundreds of people were wait in line to purposely get caught in a torrential downpour. But the Rain Room isn’t just your average water park. The latest installation at the Museum of Modern Art allows visitors to walk through pouring rain without ever getting wet.

The experience is part of MoMA’s “EXPO 1: New York,” a summer-long exhibition that explores the huge environmental challenges we face as a species alongside the unprecedented technological achievements of this generation. For its part, the Rain Room is an immersive environment that allows visitors to “experience how it might feel to control the rain.” Walking into the room feels like entering a huge, dark shower, but take a step into the rain and the falling sheets of water disappear. You can roam the space without getting at all wet.

Designed by England’s Random International, the Rain Room’s secret is in 3D camera sensors installed across the dark room. Though artist Hannes Koch won’t reveal all the details (it’s “part of the magic”), he says the sensors recognize movements and detect objects – allowing rain to stop falling at precise spots at which the objects stand. When the sensors realize the object has moved away, the rain returns. Each spot gets an approximate five-foot radius of dryness, which is why the Rain Room is limited to 10 visitors at any given time. If the room were to fill up, the rain would stop altogether.

The sensors aren’t the only trick within the Rain Room. The Random International team spent three years perfecting the installation by making sure the sheets of pouring rain fell as straight down as possible. Unlike natural rain from clouds, the water drops have to descend uniformly; without the straight downpour, the exhibit wouldn’t work. It also helps that, with the right camera settings, the vertical rain creates a unique and photographic experience. It is estimated that the Rain Room uses at least 260 gallons of water per minute during the exhibition.


Inside the Rain Room, the camera system is not exactly foolproof – you can still run around and get ahead of the sensors if you want to get wet. But a quiet stroll through the room feels God-like – it really does feel as if you command the weather. The experience is breathtaking, weird, and beautiful all at the same time. Hollywood has always romanticized kissing in the rain, but in reality, you’d be lucky if you don’t inhale water drops up your nose. In the Rain Room, couples can enjoy that magical moment without ever ruining their date outfits – or get their camera equipments destroyed while capturing the experience.

The Rain Room at MoMA runs between now to July 28. Be prepared: The exhibit is first-come, first-served. There is no time limit for how long you can spend inside the Rain Room so it could take hours before you’re even close to the front door.


Original Article

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