Archive for ‘Techy’

May 5, 2010

Dystopia v 1.0.

by Savvy

Metropolis [Fritz Lang, 1927]

“Metropolis is a 1927 German expressionist film in the science-fiction genre directed by Fritz Lang. Produced in Germany during a stable period of the Weimar Republic, Metropolis is set in a futuristic urban dystopia and makes use of the science fiction context to explore a political theme of the day: the social crisis between workers and owners in capitalism.

The film is set in the massive, sprawling futuristic mega-city Metropolis, whose society is divided into two classes: one of planners and management, who live high above the Earth in luxurious skyscrapers, and one of workers, who live and toil underground”.

In essence, it is a old fashioned fairy tale set in a futuristic vision, of climaxing development and its imminent and unescapable downfall. To tie it all together, a saintly female figure, Maria, (referencing, no doubt, the Holy Mary) gives hope to the workers – the HANDS – with a naive idyllic resolution that a Mediator will come  – the HEART – and bring peaceful understanding between them and the rich capitalists – the MINDS.

Que the crazy star-crossed scientist who created a robotic version of his long lost love, who incidentally was married to the city’s creator, who then hires him to use his Frankenstein-esque laboratory machines to give the robot an alter-ego of Maria, in order to lead the Hands into temptation.

Maria’s Transformation

The film was written with Lang’s wife, Thea von Harbou. Despite their vision being well ahead of its time, Lang later expressed dissatisfaction with the film;

“The main thesis was Mrs. Von Harbou’s, but I am at least 50 percent responsible because I did it. I was not so politically minded in those days as I am now. You cannot make a social-conscious picture in which you say that the intermediary between the hand and the brain is the heart. I mean, that’s a fairy tale — definitely. But I was very interested in machines. Anyway, I didn’t like the picture — thought it was silly and stupid — then, when I saw the astronauts: what else are they but part of a machine? It’s very hard to talk about pictures— should I say now that I like Metropolis because something I have seen in my imagination comes true, when I detested it after it was finished?”

It is believed these reservations stemmed from the Nazi Party’s fascination with the film. His wife later became a passionate member of the Nazi Party and the two divorced the following year.

Perhaps Von Harbou condoned the separation between the Hands and the Minds; perhaps she believed the possibility of an intermediary only exists in fairy tales, perhaps she did not see shades of grey. Lang’s fascination as it were was with technology after all, not with the theme of slavery in isolation; what he maybe did not foresee was that technology would one day greatly abolish the Hands in such a metropolis, a future city where little by little machines with hand-like qualities would take over.

Brigitte Helm as Maria the Robot. As well as playing the two opposing sides to her character, Brigitte Helm also plays the robot – Lang wanted her to get in touch with all aspects of her character, one which is that of the machine.

December 16, 2009


by Savvy

Time for another Katie Paterson.

Langjökull, Snæfellsjökull, Solheimajökull.

Are you wondering what these three long, pretty, almost undecipherable(to meager human beings like I) words are? These are the names of my future triplets.
They will look like this:

Three glacier ice records, played until they melt.


Sound recordings from three glaciers in Iceland, pressed into three records, cast, and frozen with the meltwater from each of these glaciers, and played on three turntables until they completely melt“.


December 15, 2009

House of Cards.

by Savvy

Who knows what the inside of Thom Yorke’s face looks like?
I do!

My new toy. Playing with data + Radiohead = Amazing.

Just press play.

aaronkoblin – the King.
or play on google code.
watch the making and other
and if you don’t like playing(weirdo), just watch the video.

“Just data”.

No cameras or lights were used. Instead two technologies were used to capture 3D images:Geometric Informatics and Velodyne LIDAR. Geometric Informatics scanning systems produce structured light to capture 3D images at close proximity, while a Velodyne Lidar system that uses multiple lasers is used to capture large environments such as landscapes. In this video, 64 lasers rotating and shooting in a 360 degree radius 900 times per minute produced all the exterior scenes”.

Data. The global archive.

In the same way that a photograph is a memory, so is a video or a movie shot from certain angles. If you were trying to figure out what was slightly to the left of the object or person you recorded, you probably wouldn’t be able to; because you wouldn’t know. Maybe you didn’t notice or maybe you just forgot. Or maybe the footage that contained that information didn’t make the final cut.

When you remember your dreams, my boyfriend claims, you are creating a memory there and then.
Whatever you remember is your memory, that was your dream, that is your movie. If you try to remember something you didn’t see, it probably wasn’t there. Do our eyes take in more than a camera? Or more than a laser? Or more than a sensor? Or is too much information being sent to the brain instantaneously, too many distractions, limited storage space? Are too many things being overlooked?
If the world around us begins to be recorded in data, nothing will be lost. It is not creating a memory, it is re-creating an experience.