Archive for February, 2006

The Practical and the Delightful

February 28, 2006

RFID in Japan

(Image: Kcab)

Our technical research is taking us to Japan where I have just found the RFID in Japan website. It’s full of the practical, and the delightful. It seems that US and European RFID stories tend to be rather mind bloggling – “how we’d tag Walmart”. The Japanese projects on the other hand are useful; accessible; and because of their smaller scale; they’re right now!

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RFID: Help me! Where do we start?

February 28, 2006

RFID Journal

I have to keep reminding myself that RFID is relatively new, (or at least, in its current form). Also, it is not really desinged for ‘people like us’. it is going to be a driving force in how we shop, buy, consume, feedback. But it isn’t there quite yet. Now there are many many projects which are perhaps like this one, experiments. These experiments however, are grandiouse compared to our artistic experiment, and feature high fasion, and multimationals.

So all this is leaving me wondering where to start technically. As a tecnology partner in this project we need to be able to bring technology to the party. And whilst I am not afraid of any technology, this particular one comes rather without a user guide.

I have done some research into the basics of RFID Technology. I used RFID Journal as a start. I am impressed with their site. It seems it is actually easy to grasp. It reminded me of learning about how to make a web page in 1993, in terms of it actually being relatively simple but a total mystery. All this makes it very exciting to be working with actually. I’d recommend RFID Journal as a great place to start whether you’ve got a line cattle, birds, candy bars or art to track, control, manage with some wireless technology.

Tagged Space

February 27, 2006

Tagged Space

Tagged Space uses RFID to develop the theme of ‘grounding’; the idea of building up your own work of art from moving within a space.
“‘Tagged Space’ is the first RFID artproject in the world that works with active sensing. The movement of the participants and their groundingtime at one of the 15 art objects placed in three parks of the Trienal exhibition ‘Vormen van Aarden’ in Apeldoorn, is translated into an individualised work of art on their own generated website and a by all participants generated story about grounding told by one of the birds from the park.”

“Triggered” RFID Workshops at Mediamatic

February 27, 2006

Mediamatic Workshop

Last year, Mediamatic ran their second RFID workshop “Triggered by RFID” in Amsterdam. It’s a pitty we missed it, but we will try and learn from it as they have produced a really helpful reader on RFID and its use in various soical technology and artistic projects, as well as a report on the workshop itself!

Urban Eyes

February 27, 2006

Urban Eyes

Urban Eyes is a project in which you feed some pigeons and then they ‘send you’ pictures of their ‘bird’s eye view’. Well, they trigger CCTV cameras which send you a picture, but it’s still pretty nice. I was wandering though about how healthy it is for the pigeons to basically eat a load of tagged birdseed? Slightly confused about it, although we do like this project! Can the rest of us be tagged and tracked by inadvertently eating a RFID tag?

Why Attention Please!?

February 27, 2006

There are two distinct perspectives to this project.  Firstly, as we are working on Sara’s aim to explore the notion of presence, aura, and attention there is a very creative angle to be explored; “how can something attract attention?” As we are also using fixed capability RFID technology, there needs to be something of the inventor in us in terms of how we approach this project; “how can we represent the notion of presence, or attention?”

We have decided to use RFID to measure attention.  And to attract attention in the first place, Sara will be creating a series of video installations.    We arrived at the notion of a project which measures attention, because the technology itself offers some measurement capability.  In addition to a measurement capability, we were having conversations about what draws and keeps audience attention (and perhaps) imagination in a gallery space, specifically in a new media / video installation environment.

If a device can be used to measure attention, then can that data then be used to influence the ‘exhibit itself’.  For example, a user views a video installation and gives it attention; can another video change in order to attract the attention of the viewer?  Can the viewer, through measured attention be represented in some way.  Can their characteristics build up a picture of an audience’s aura? Can this affect the work within the space?

Attention; its value, attention ‘seeking’ activity, and the notion of presence within an exhibition space are the key themes of this research project. We aim to discuss these issues in more depth over the life of this project via this blog.

Why do we want your attention?

February 27, 2006

AttentionTrust

(Image: AttentionTrust)

Attention was big in 1997. Michael Golhhaber describes the new Attention Economy; a place where it it is not merely “information” that is the prime market driver, but the attention we pay to it. And of course this is true – even more so now, and as we have moved to an online environment where attention monitoring tracking and reporting is possible, our attention spans are now becoming more and more ‘transparent’. We are able to comment on content; reblog events, news, and articles; rate books, films, holidays, other people even. Every click is a statistic, a tracked affiliate link, a referrer ID.

If no one pays us attention in our online space, we are of course talking to ourselves, but nowadays, thanks to egosurf, technorati et al, everyone knows if we are attracting attention or not. Now it seems, we are paying a little more “attention” to attention. The Attention Trust is a “non-profit” organization dedicated to promoting the basic rights of attention owners. Its Principles are as follows:

“When you pay attention to something (and when you ignore something), data is created. This “attention data” is a valuable resource that reflects your interests, your activities and your values, and it serves as a proxy for your attention. AttentionTrust and our members believe that you have the following rights:
1. Property – You own your attention and can store it wherever you wish. You have CONTROL.
2. Mobility – You can securely move your attention wherever you want whenever you want to. You have the ability to TRANSFER your attention.
3. Economy – You can pay attention to whomever you wish and receive value in return. Your attention has WORTH.
4. Transparency – You can see exactly how your attention is being used. You can DECIDE who you trust.

When you give your attention to any entity that’s an member, these rights are guaranteed.”

We will be considering how these principles of attention can be explored in the gallery / exhibition space.

About ITEM

February 27, 2006

FACT Image

As well as links to and posts about other research and creative projects which use RFID or explore the notion of presence and attention, we will be adding posts about the project support and infrastructure.

“Attention Please! An Experiment.” is a research project supported by ITEM, (organised by FACT and supported by NESTA and Arts Council England). ITEM is the Institute for Technical Exhibition Management.
“ITEM is a pilot research and development programme aimed at exploring and developing the potential of new media tools for exhibition and exposition. Organised by FACT and supported by NESTA (National Endowment for Science, technology and the Arts) and Arts Council England, the programme is supporting a small cluster of research projects that bring together artists and technologists to explore the possible future directions of new media technologies.”More information, including details of last year’s programme is available on FACT’s website.

5 ‘TIL 12

February 27, 2006

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The Beall Center (till March 15th 2006) becomes the site of a nonlinear narrative with Knifeandfork’s (Brian House and Sue Huang) immersive installation, 5 ’til 12. The visitor is invited to watch four characters, on four monitors, as they recount the tragic circumstances of the exhibition’s opening night. The experience is unique for each visitor, as each story has most likely never been heard before… and won’t ever be heard again.

The premise is derived from Akira Kurosawa’s film Rashomon, in which four eyewitness accounts of a murder are presented to the viewer, who serves the role of a magistrate. The contradicting stories reveal that objectivity is elusive, as each individual cannot help but infuse his story, consciously or not, with personal shame and ambition. It is unclear who is lying, or if it matters. Each story holds a valid reality of its own, a subjective truth that reinforces a desired identity. However, perhaps there could be another layer: in addition to stories that differ between tellers, might an individual’s story change with each new telling? 5 ’til 12 proposes that we evolve multiple narratives as we explore multiple identities.

Pac-Lan

February 27, 2006

Pac-Lan

Humans + RFID + Pac-Man = Pac-Lan (from Lancaster University)
“To play the game, the Pac-Lan player collects pills using the mobile which are in the form of coloured plastic discs containing RFID tags placed around the maze. Four other players take the role of the ghosts who attempt to hunt down the Pac-Lan. A Java application, running on a mobile phone connects Pac-Lan and the Ghosts to a central game server using GPRS. The server relays to Pac-Lan his current position and that of the ghosts based on the pills he has collected.  The ghosts ‘kill’ Pac-Lan by detecting him via RFID on his clothing.”

Proximity Lab

February 27, 2006

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“Fun and provocative, Proximity Lab prods viewers to work together and to reflect on their own social boundaries.”  – The Boston Globe

“The 8-foot by 16-foot walkable surface is fitted with RFID technology. Participants wear shoes fitted with RFID tags, enabling the system to track and record their positions in real-time. Images projected directly onto the floor are accompanied by stereo sound as a continuous response to the actions and interactions of participants.  Proximity Lab can discern the individual identities of participants regardless of how or where they move. Conceived as an experimental physical interface system, it allows architects with diverse intentions and aesthetic goals to create repeatable experiments in physical interaction.”
By Evan Karatzas, via we-make-money-not-art

Collective Subconscious

February 27, 2006

Collective Subconscious

Collective Subconscious is an installation that imprints a dynamic collage of reverberating thoughts on a public space as people move through it.

“This project involves leaving behind traces of one’s thoughts in the space that one passes through and collaging it with other people’s thoughts. New messages will be prominently placed while older messages remain in the background and slowly fade out of existence. Words that are repeated over the day by many people will become more prominent and resonates with other instances of the words. As such the display become a visual representation of the state of being for people passing through that area.”