I’m such a lightweight

typed for your pleasure on 16 August 2006, at 6.05 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Sylvie’s head’ by My bloody valentine

(courtesy of SafeTInspector)

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Created by Bart King

*pulls copy of ‘Ichi the killer’ off DVD shelf, closes tear-filled eyes, flings into nearest trash bin*

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This was the Future, Vol.27

typed for your pleasure on 14 August 2006, at 1.09 am

Sdtrk: ‘FRUiTS CLiPPER’ by Capsule

When I first saw this place, my mind immediately conjured up images from the film ‘Fantastic planet‘. I hated ‘Fantastic planet’. To be honest though, I’d like to see it again, but with subtitles instead of that hideous dubbing, as I think the dubbing was what really drove me away. Gods, that dubbing. But this building reminded me of ‘Fantastic planet’, and really, any sci-fi from out of Europe during the Sixties. This would be Palais Bulles (Bubble Palace), designed for fab fashion designer Pierre Cardin by Antti Lovag in 1970.

Lovag noticed that traditional habitations, like the cavern or the igloo, were round and reflected the way a human being moves in space. These houses were built “around” the human being and did not force him into rectangular spaces, like modern houses. Spheres and round surfaces reminded of the maternal uterus and avoiding any sharp edge they could prevent, according to Lovag’s theory, neurosis and violence. [..]

The interior is made of many round rooms, resembling foam bubbles, all furnished and decorated in a perfect ’70s style, no pictures on the walls, but big design lamps, coloured cushions and everywhere a deep, fluffy, wall-to-wall carpeting. Windows are big portholes with a round glass on them. The villa has also a conference room, a private cinema, a swimming pool and a tennis court.
quoted from this article

It’s occurred to me just now that this residence could be considered the spiritual sibling to Moshe Safdie’s Habitat 67 — it’s a closely-knit cluster of simple shapes, but instead of being cubes, they’re more globular. Also, it’s a single home, not an apartment structure. Also, it’s located in Côte d’Azur, not Montréal. Also, Palais Bulles is rust-coloured, not putty-coloured. I could go on.

Don’t know if it’s someplace I’d want to live — those concave walls would make it difficult to hang my trevor brown silkscreen — but.. o, who am I kidding. Like I wouldn’t move there, given half the chance (and all the money). Nice one, Antti!

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Rong Cheng? More like RIGHT Cheng!*

typed for your pleasure on 9 August 2006, at 7.19 pm

Sdtrk: ‘What goes on’ by the Velvet underground

I didn’t expect China to throw their hat into the Gynoid production ring, but as the Little Caesar’s telly advert once used to say, ‘Anything’s possible. I taught my dog to say “I love you”‘.’

She’s addressed by ‘Miss’. That means she’s single. Hmm

Scientists unveil female robot
Reuters | August 09, 2006, 17:30

A group of Chinese scientists completed their work last week on a new robot named Miss Rong Cheng. The robot’s designers say she is equipped with cutting-edge technology in human-to-robot interaction and responds to human voices.

The robot is designed to look like a woman and it is programmed to speak Mandarin as well as a Sichuan dialect because she will be sent to the Sichuan Science Museum in Chengdu to act as a receptionist and tour guide.

“Our institute has been making great efforts in developing voice recognition system for many years … Meanwhile, the voice recognition function can make the communication between humans and robots more natural and personal, which highlights the progress we have achieved in making our robots more human-like”, Yue Hongqiang, the robot’s designer, said.

Robot to be sold to hotels, entertainment outlets
The cost of this project is $37 500 and besides dancing and greeting, the 168cm, 60kg “beauty” responds to 500 to 1 000 commands in Mandarin. It took around a year for the scientists to finish this first human simulation robot in China.

The designers hope to sell the robots next year to customers such as hotels and entertainment outlets. The most advanced robot in the world is sleek-looking Asimo, produced by Japanese auto-maker Honda. Asimo, who can walk at a speed of one mile per hour and climb up and down stairs, costs roughly $1 million.

As she lacks the smooth artificial skin of my lovely little Actroid-chan, or even EveR-1, she’s not as, well, sexy, but nevertheless, she’s an autonomous Synthetik, and that’s Good. In fact, her more robot-like appearance might provide a good bridge from automata that are non-humanoid, to Synthetiks that are more like Actroid et al.
Keep up the good work, Miss Rong Cheng! But please go find some better clothes. What, are you headed for a can-can circa 1986 or something?

The call goes out for videos of her in action! YouTube and Flash-based videos like this one don’t really count, as I want something I can save to my hard drive, so if any of you fine people run across any, do let me know

*I must, at this point, apologise for the hideous Subj.title, but it could’ve been worse, and been based around Wang Chung. Nevertheless, I’m so very very sorry

Technorati tags: Rong Cheng, Actroid, EveR-1, Android, Gynoid, robot

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Garfield, as written by Samuel Beckett

typed for your pleasure on 6 August 2006, at 5.38 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Lass dir Zeit’ by die Crazy Girls

Frantic Frightened Frequent readers of ‘Shouting etc etc’ know how much I love that fat orange cartoon cat named Garfield™®. And when I say ‘love’, I of course mean ‘loathe‘. However, in reading the recent b3ta newsletter deposited gently within my Inbox, I now know of exactly six strips of that ‘comic’ series that I actually enjoy. One of the features it had was a link to one of those periodically-funny-but-usually-repellent ytmnd sites, having to do with the death of Garfield™®. I’ll provide the link here in a moment, but first, let the associated Wikipedia entry relate to you its tale.

One storyline, which lasted a week from October 23, 1989 (possibly to coincide with Halloween, although the 31st actually fell the following week), is unique among Garfield strips in that it is not meant to be humorous. It depicts Garfield awakening in a future in which the house is abandoned and he no longer exists. This is revealed to have been a dream of some kind, and ends with this narration:

“An imagination is a powerful tool. It can tint memories of the past, shade perceptions of the present, or paint a future so vivid that it can entice…or terrify, all depending on how we conduct ourselves today.”

Alternatively, some theorize that the end of this storyline actually implies that the rest of the series, the more conventional strips, are all fantasies Garfield is playing out in his head to delude himself from realizing the dark turn his life has taken, as he slowly starves to death in an abandoned house. (emphasis mine) One would assume that his ability to eat more than physically possible in usual strips would be his use of fantasies to stave off his growing hunger and starvation. This theory is arguably supported by the text, as right before Jon and Odie reappear, the narration reads:

“After years of taking life for granted, Garfield is shaken by a horrifying vision of the inevitable process called ‘time.’ He has only one weapon…denial…

This emphasis on “denial,” with the word given its own box in the panel it appears in, and being followed immediately by the earlier text on the power of the imagination, could support the horrifying theory. However, it could also be that denial is what Garfield needed to snap himself out of this dark vision. This is also more likely considering the only way Garfield could have gotten into “a world where he no longer exists” is if that world were a dream. Many, however, attribute the bleak world to the future Ebeneezer Scrooge witnessed in A Christmas Carol, where he beholds the dark and bleak image the world has become because of his negligence and lack of gratitude for other people’s efforts. Still, another point of view on this storyline is that Davis was parodying The Twilight Zone series, which often featured ominous narratives, similar to the use of narration in this set of bleak strips. Another interpretation is that Davis was going through what might have been a period of depression or crisis, and used this set of strips as a form of self-therapy. Lastly, another widely-believed theory is that Garfield was only in the house for a few days before he was rescued in the November 2 and November 3 strips, and the ‘storyline’ was just an introduction to the next week of ‘flashbacks’.

In this age of the Internuts, where lies are the order of the day, and Wikipedia being no exception, I had my doubts as to whether these strips were real. But doubt no more! Simply go to the Official Garfield™® Media Conglomerate Headquarters Web Presence here, set the controls to 1989 October 23, and look for yourself! Chilling, yes, but honestly, I’d have to say these are the funniest Garfield™® strips ever written.

The aforementioned ytmnd site would be here, just so you know. And at this point, I’d normally mention the occurrence of the date that story arc started with a favourite number of mine, but freaked-out fucked up frequent readers of ‘Shouting etc etc’ would’ve already kenned that.

‘I come not to praise Garfield, but to bury him’

Technorati tags: Garfield, hatred, loathing, death, the void, Samuel Beckett, lasagna

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The fact that I wasn’t told about this is a tragedy

typed for your pleasure on 2 August 2006, at 7.25 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Broke my neck (Long version)’ by Echo and the Bunnymen

Right; someone needs to buy me a plane ticket and fly me out to this event right fucking now.

Obligatory photo of Ando-san, but you expected that

Once, Twice, Three Times an Android
New Gallery Exhibition Showcases Robot Women, Electronic Eves

Queens, N.Y. – Lara Croft, the Japanese robot Repliee Q2, and the Stepford Wives are a few of the artificial women pictured in Alluring Androids, Robot Women, and Electronic Eves, a new gallery exhibition opening June 17 at the New York Hall of Science.

Exploring artists’, filmmakers’, and photographers’ long-time fascination with images of artificial women that seem alive, Alluring Androids, Robot Women, and Electronic Eves contains large images of female robots, androids, automatons, dolls, mannequins, and other artificial women. These include images from films, photography, intermedia art, animation, and video ranging from early automatons to the life-like female androids in today’s video and computer games.

The exhibit is curated by State University of New York, Maritime College Professor Julie Wosk, author of Women and the Machine: Representations From the Spinning Wheel to the Electronic Age and Breaking Frame: Technology and the Visual Arts in the Nineteenth Century.

Alluring Androids, Robot Women, and Electronic Eves will be on view in the Walter O. LeCroy Gallery through September 10.

Why do I never learn about these things in time?? That exhibit had better be touring, and it had better stop in Michigan

Technorati tags: Android, Gynoid, Actroid, Repliee

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