The forgotten spaces

At work I have a desktop computer that’s dedicated to long-running processes—currently doing OCR on magazine archives—while I use a laptop to write and debug code. I have a few go-to videos I play on top of the background tasks, to offer a kind of virtual window out into the world when I need to look away from my text editor.

Two of my favorite options, both deemed “too fast moving” by nearby colleagues, are Bergensbanen: minutt for minutt (the 7 hour single take, the purest form of Norwegian slow television I’ve found online) and The Gunhilde Maersk container ship timelapse. The latter of these makes me think of Allen Sekula, who gave a good interview on the role of shipping in the global economy.

The container ship timelapse is shot by Toby Smith, who’s also posted a slower moving 90 minute view from a container ship, as seen in real time. Nothing is visible but the ocean and a distant horizon. Played at HD on a large screen, it has an amazingly soothing effect. This has emerged as the best option all around, and coincides nicely with my maritime-themed name plate (see also: The Loop).

Link via Jason Kottke (This post’s title is borrowed from Allan Sekula’s excellent film, The Forgotten Space.)

Oliver Sacks is dying of terminal cancerwww.nytimes.com

Reading this made me wonder how much time any of us has left. To what degree do each of us belong to the future?

I feel a sudden clear focus and perspective. There is no time for anything inessential. I must focus on myself, my work and my friends. I shall no longer look at “NewsHour” every night. I shall no longer pay any attention to politics or arguments about global warming.

This is not indifference but detachment — I still care deeply about the Middle East, about global warming, about growing inequality, but these are no longer my business; they belong to the future. I rejoice when I meet gifted young people — even the one who biopsied and diagnosed my metastases. I feel the future is in good hands.

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Art Hack Day / Delugewww.arthackday.net

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Tonight I am starting a two day art-making binge at something called Art Hack Day:

Art Hack Day is an internet-based nonprofit dedicated to hackers whose medium is art and artists whose medium is tech … Sixty artists-hackers and hacker-artists inhabit an art space to create an exhibit from scratch during 48h. We start on a Thursday evening with a meet & greet and provide good food, fast Internet, and equipment for collaborating on and creating new work. On Saturday evening we transition from hackspace to exhibition hall and the projects are shown to the public during a flash exhibit (open to the public just one evening).

Each Art Hack Day event has a theme, and this one is called Deluge.

The increased severity and frequency of extreme weather events, including recent years’ tropical storm systems, droughts and heat waves, are largely the result of human-induced climate change. In addition to widespread damage across the Atlantic seaside, Sandy’s flooding in New York’s Zone A confronted many artists and galleries directly with the reality of their environment, bringing undeniable gravity to a crisis that often seems distant. Decades of postponement and self-deceit will have to come to a close. But what comes next?

Come on out to Pioneer Works for the exhibition this Saturday, January 31st, starting at 7pm.

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Young Arctic icewww.climate.gov

Each year more and more of the Arctic is comprised of “young ice.”

This animation tracks the relative amount of ice of different ages from 1987 through early November 2014. The first age class on the scale (1, darkest blue) means “first-year ice,” which formed in the most recent winter. (In other words, it’s in its first year of growth.) The oldest ice (>9, white) is ice that is more than nine years old.

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What should Zoë Keating do about YouTube?zoekeating.tumblr.com

YouTube’s Content ID technology lets a musician take a cut of the advertising that runs on videos using their music, which is great for the Zoë Keatings of the world.

I got started with Content ID a couple of years ago when someone from Youtube reached out to me and I was offered a content management account to “claim” the soundtracks of these videos. The videos are dance performances, documentaries, amateur films, slideshows, animations, art projects, soundtracks to people doing things like skiing, miming, calligraphy or just playing video games. I love the variety of them all. Who knew there could be so many different ways to dance to my music?

Unfortunately this arrangement is changing as YouTube reconfigures itself to become a Spotify competitor. One of the requirements of the new service stipulates that Keating must post her entire catalog to participate.

Is such control too much for an artist to ask for in 2015? It’s one thing for individuals to upload all my music for free listening (it doesn’t bother me). It’s another thing entirely for a major corporation to force me to. I was encouraged to participate and now, after I’m invested, I’m being pressured into something I don’t want to do.

See also: Zoë Keating’s albums on Bandcamp.

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Films for the Student of Philosophywww.openculture.com

I just discovered that the Open Culture weblog has created an addendum to Matt Whitlock’s Essential Movies for a Student of Philosophy list that’s been hanging out in my bookmarks for a couple months.

One extra title that I might suggest is Spike Jonze’s Adaptation, and not just because of the New Yorker magazine connection. I am just a sucker for Charlie Kaufman movies.

See also: 16 mindfuck movies, compiled by Matthew Baldwin.

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Problem Plantsmedium.com

Another Medium post from Ellie, on her weed garden and closing panel at CSAA:

The non-native interlopers who’ve taken up residence in the harsh urban environment of Bushwick aren’t pushing out native species, they’re filling empty niches. Adapted to difficult conditions, with flexible reproductive habits and opportunistic growth patterns, these urban plants are much better-suited to living side by side with Homo sapiens, despite our indifference to (or even aggressive dislike of) them.

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WNYC’s State of the Union bingowww.wnyc.org

WNYC has a bunch of online stuff for tonight’s State of the Union speech. Not sure how I’ll pay attention to the enhanced web stream, the live chat (with the New Yorker’s own Amy Davidson), my Twitter stream, and also keep track of a bingo card, but I’m gonna give it a shot.

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A time to break silencephiffer.org

I did some light maintenance on something I made a few years ago on a previous Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Mainly I replaced the QuickTime embed with the more modern <audio> tag and hooked it up to an interactive transcript. This makes it possible to deep-link into the speech:

We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

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This was something I built when I was a student at ITP and making one-off web pages. At the time I was doing a daily exercise of creating a novel online artifact, figuring out the best way to express an idea in HTML/CSS/JS.

I’m happy to start tidying & conserving this old code. And glad to have an excuse to meditate on Dr. King’s speech at Riverside Church.

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