Thursday, November 27, 2003


Most scientists keep a research notebook. You should too. You've probably been told this in every science class since fifth grade, but it's true. Different systems work for different people; experiment. You might keep it online or in a spiral notebook or on legal pads. You might want one for the lab and one for home.

Record in your notebook ideas as they come up. Nobody except you is going to read it, so you can be random. Put in speculations, current problems in your work, possible solutions. Work through possible solutions there. Summarize for future reference interesting things you read.

Read back over your notebook periodically. Some people make a monthly summary for easy reference.

What you put in your notebook can often serve as the backbone of a paper. This makes life a lot easier. Conversely, you may find that writing skeletal papers-title, abstract, section headings, fragments of text-is a useful way of documenting what you are up to, even when you have no intention of ever making it into a real paper. (And you may change your mind later.)

You may find useful Vera Johnson-Steiner's book Notebooks of the Mind, which, though mostly not literally about notebooks, describes the ways in which creative thought emerges from the accumulation of fragments of ideas.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Scout Report: Topic In Depth - Computer Graphics & Digital Animation

1. What is Computer Graphics?
3. The Center for Human Modeling and Simulation [pdf, Windows Media Player]
4. Light Scattering from Human Hair Fibers [pdf]
5. 3D Photography from Photographs and Video Clips [pdf]
6. SIGGRAPH 2003 Web Graphics Expo [Macromedia Flash Reader, Macromedia Shockwave Player]
7. Flipcode: Daily Game Development News & Resources [pdf]
8. Lights, camera, and...Machinima!
Nearly every Webpage, television broadcast, and advertisement incorporates some form of computer generated imagery. However, computer graphics has applications well beyond these kinds of background enhancements. It is used in scientific visualization, modeling, and simulation, as well as enabling virtual reality and high-tech entertainment such as video games. As electronic displays become more pervasive, the field of computer graphics will continue to grow.

Computer graphics is a term that encompasses a wide range of sciences and techniques. To understand some of the processes involved in generating computer graphics, Cornell University offers this detailed introduction to the subject (1). The site contains explanations and a series of pictures that illustrate object rendering, shading, ray tracing, and more. Computer graphics has seen rapid advancements in the past few years, partly because of the development of dedicated graphics processing units (GPUs). The performance of GPUs has outpaced that of general purpose processors, and this has sparked interest in using GPUs for applications other than graphics. General Purpose Computation Using Graphics Hardware (2) is a site that examines this trend. It is regularly updated with news, links to conferences and research papers, and related projects. The Center for Human Modeling and Simulation (3) is a research effort at the University of Pennsylvania. Many of the center's projects can be browsed on its website, including animation of physical gestures and the development of virtual humans. As a testament to the intricacy involved in modern computer graphics, this paper (4) describes a new technique for modeling the shine of light off human hair. The authors compare the results of their work to current shading practices and show notable improvements in the realism of the model. Three dimensional photography, a recent extension of computer graphics, has received significant attention from its use in movies. This paper (5) proposes a number of strategies for improving the accuracy and flexibility of current approaches to 3D photography. The 30th annual SIGGRAPH conference, held in July 2003 and sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery, is one of the most well known conferences related to computer graphics. The SIGGRAPH Web Expo (6) showcases some of the most outstanding web-graphics work of the year. Visitors can choose between seven different categories and view many interactive and visually stunning creations. Some of the works have strict hardware and software requirements that are required in order to view them, however. This online review of the SIGGRAPH conference (7) provides an interesting view into the events and presentations. Scattered throughout the text are examples of computer generated images, as well as links to some of the papers and projects that were featured. Lastly, this news article (8) introduces machinima, a term used to describe special effects in movies that are created with technologies originally developed for computer games. The Machinima Film Festival 2003 is the basis of the article. [CL]

>From The NSDL Scout Report for Math, Engineering, and Technology, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2003.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Hand Drawn Holograms

This technique has already been used in artworks. I haven't had a go at making one yet.

Monday, September 01, 2003

3D Body Scanner [Macromedia Flash Reader]

Body scanning is a focus of research at Cornell University that uses three-dimensional visualization technology to create accurate digital models of the human body, with the goal of enabling cost effective, custom-fit apparel. This Web site describes the process of capturing a 3D image and how it can be applied to enhance online shopping. The section called Virtual Try-On illustrates how "a consumer's body scan is merged with scans of pants sized for a set of fit models." The site is heavily multimedia oriented, which allows users to see for themselves the benefits and applications of body scanning. This site is also reviewed in the August 29, 2003 _NSDL MET Report_. [CL]

>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2003.

Monday, August 25, 2003

Java Glossary

Deep Magic is and interesting exploration of Computer things in java. Includes 3d, CA's Sheep and Magic Lenses. I was interested in the Lisp interpreter.
update: has dropped off the face of the earth. shame really was good stuff, and hadn't dated.

Monday, August 18, 2003

Seattle Art Museum: Stories of Krishan - The Adventures of a Hindu God

Seattle Art Museum: Stories of Krishan - The Adventures of a Hindu God
To complement its current exhibition, Intimate Worlds: Masterpieces of Indian Painting, on view through September 7, 2003, the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) presents Stories of Krishna. Appropriately, Intimate Worlds (the title of the larger exhibition) appears as the window title when the Web exhibition opens in its own reduced window on your computer screen. The audio intro explains the function of these small, richly detailed images from 14th through 19th century India; these "playful paintings" were to be enjoyed at leisure, offering both serious and amusing glimpses of courtly life, romantic encounters, and tales of Hindu gods. The Web exhibition is an example of the last category, telling stories of Krishna (an incarnation of the God Vishnu), from birth through his many adventures. [DS]
>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2003.

Monday, August 11, 2003

RPG's Writing Broadside

RPG's Writing Broadside

A 'how to improve your writing' list of instructions. Must do at least some of these. (at least the fun ones)

Nanotechnology Introduction Pages

Nanotechnology Introduction Pages
Nanotechnology Now
This Web site provides an outstanding introduction to the world of nanotechnology. Many standpoints of the topic are discussed, from current and future applications to the "ethics of nanotechnology." Scattered throughout the site are historic, visionary quotes and excerpts from notable journals and publications. Transcripts of interviews with prominent researchers give readers an idea of the diversity of views on the subject within the scientific community. Several essays and links to off-site articles are also given. [CL]

>From The NSDL Scout Report for Math, Engineering, and Technology, Copyright
Internet Scout Project 1994-2003.

Artificial Life VIII The 8th International Conference on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems

Artificial Life VIII The 8th International Conference on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems
Artificial Life VIII: The 8th International Conference on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems [pdf]

The International Society for Artificial Life presented the Artificial Life VIII conference in December 2002. The conference's homepage has been updated with complete proceedings from the regular sessions and specialized workshops. Both theory and application are addressed in the papers, which discuss self-replication, robots, collective behavior in dynamic artificial systems, and much more. In addition to the large collection of papers, several links to online literature, software, and tools related to artificial life are included. [CL]

>From The NSDL Scout Report for Math, Engineering, and Technology, Copyright
Internet Scout Project 1994-2003.

MIT List Visual Arts Center

One entry found for mise-en-scene.

One entry found for mise-en-scène.
Main Entry: mise-en-scène
Pronunciation: "mE-"zän-'sen, -'sAn
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural mise-en-scènes /-'sen(z), -'sAn(z)/
Etymology: French mise en scène
Date: 1833
1 a : the arrangement of actors and scenery on a stage for a theatrical production b : stage setting
2 a : the physical setting of an action : CONTEXT b : ENVIRONMENT, MILIEU
synonym see BACKGROUND

Science, Art, and Technology

Science, Art, and Technology [QuickTime] <> This fine exhibit and pedagogical tool was developed by the Art Institute of Chicago in order assist science teachers in their efforts to explore the relationship between science and art in a museum setting. Supported by a grant from the Polk Brothers Foundation, the various sections of the site reveal "how the scientific method is applied to the making, conserving, and exhibiting of art." The online exhibit is divided into six primary sections, including Perception, Light, and Color, Art and Astronomy, and Conservation: Light in the Making and Viewing of Art. Within each section, there are a number of lovely features, including self-contained units that include short video selections that illustrate the general themes of each module, along with providing a transcript of the lecture. Educators will also find the lesson plans section particularly useful, as it contains plans that deal with topics such as the connection between pigment and light colors and the effects of acid rain on stone sculpture. [KMG]
>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2003.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Some items and tools relating to web publishing and development

A Web Interface for Web Publishing.

RESTlog, a server for web publishing that complies to the rules of REST.

TcpTrace, a tool to monitor client/server interactions.

Monday, July 28, 2003

Archivos Virtuales: Papers of Latino and Latin American Artists
Based on the published guide to the Archives of American Art manuscript collections, "The Papers of Latino and Latin American Artists," this site offers a variety of documentation on Latino and Latin American artists. There are brief descriptions of over 150 collections in the Collections Guide, as well as 16 Finding Aids (lengthier descriptions of the manuscript collections, prepared by archivists, including biographies and organizational histories of the creators of the records). There are also oral histories, many with transcripts. The search function permits searching across all collection descriptions, finding aids, and oral histories. For users who simply want to look at materials, limit the search to Digital images/Documents to see pictures of both artists and their work -- such as a view of Frida Kahlo in her studio with _The Two Fridas_, ca. 1943 [DS]

>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2003.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Mimesis [pdf]
As part of the North Carolina State University Department of Computer Science, Mimesis is a project that "explores the use of computer game test-beds for research in artificial intelligence, interactive entertainment and educational software." A detailed overview of the Mimesis system architecture can be found on its homepage, as well as a few examples of virtual worlds created with the system that demonstrates different application areas to which it can be applied. A large collection of recent research papers are available for public access, offering greater insight into the theory behind interactive narrative models and virtual cinematography. [CL]

>From The NSDL Scout Report for Math, Engineering, and Technology, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2003.

Monday, July 21, 2003

Tate Gallery: Turner Online

This Web site is devoted to Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775 - 1851), one
of Britain's most famous, and somewhat controversial, artists. Turner
displayed his first oil painting at the Royal Academy at the age of 21, and
he remained actively involved at the Academy for the rest of his life. The
site provides a brief biography of the artist as well as a timeline in which
Turner's accomplishments are placed in the context of other political and
cultural events. Since Turner's art was somewhat controversial this site
also includes feedback from other artists and writers, such as Constable,
Ruskin, and Matisse. Finally, the Web site includes Focus Sheets for
teachers who take their students to Tate, the location of the national
collections of British Art and international modern art. [KH]
>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2003.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Algorithm for Determining Imagination from Reality

Let’s say you’re torn between two worlds. You know that one is a fevered delusion that your mind has created and the other one is reality, but which is which? (Also, you can do accurate multiplication by hand.) Apply this algorithm in both worlds:

1. Pick a reasonably large random number. (It has to be large enough that you can’t find the square root in your head.)
2. Ask someone else in the world to find the square root using a calculator.
3. On your own, square the number and see if it matches the number from step 1.

If the world is real, then the calculator will come up with the correct answer. If it’s in your head, you won’t be able to calculate the square root, and the number the imaginary-person-with-calculator you ask will be wrong.

-- 20 June 2003 Aaron Swartz (

Illegal Art Exhibit Opening

Artists get sued:

Robot performance/participation art

Monday, July 14, 2003

My Amazon wishlist!

Buy me a book?

Art of the First Cities: The Third Millenium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus

Art of the First Cities: The Third Millenium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus [Flash]

Designed to complement "Art of the First Cities" -- an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum through August 17, 2003 --this Web site presents almost two dozen examples of Third Millennium B.C. art from the region called the "cradle of civilization," an area stretching from the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean across Iran and Central Asia to the Indus Valley. The site is divided into eight thematic sections: Masterpieces, Cities, The Ruler, The Divine World, Death and Burial, Writing, Seals and Sealing, Clothing and Personal Adornment. The Masterpieces section is almost a checklist of featured items, showing images that reappear in other sections, such as the Standard of Ur, appearing in Masterpieces and The Ruler. The Cities section includes both architectural artifacts and views of the ancient cities of Troy, Uruk, Nippur, Ur, Mohenjo-daro, for example, a cone mosaic fragment from Uruk, accompanied by a photographic reconstruction showing columns with cone mosaic applied; or a nineteenth-century engraving showing Troy. Over 700 more Third Millennium artifacts are depicted in the exhibition catalog, _Art of the First Cities: The Third Millennium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus_. [DS]

>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2003.

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Digital Media artists

Sally Pryor
Jon McCormack

I would like to know more about the other artists who presented papers at the Australian Film Commission's 1996 Multimedia Conference "The Language of Interactivity"- but most of these links are broken:
still worth a look.

Friday, July 11, 2003

Connected: An Internet Encyclopedia
An interesting colletion of documents relating to the technical aspects of the internet.

Search engine:
Another search engine - does a lot of pages but more frequently than google. (weekly instead of monthly)

Thursday, July 10, 2003

"Inspired by Macbeth,this brand new script mixes techno-slang with extracts from the original text to create a dark piece of modern,digital theatre."

The Rinzen collective
The Rinzen collective directs the RMXX series of projects, a collaborative scheme for digital folk, with its own set of rules. The latest RMXX project takes its cue from an art game played by the Surrealist's -- the 'Exquisite Corpse'. Rinzen explain: "The first participant produces a piece, with only the final edge being passed onto the next player. They must then continue the image, taking off from where it began. The end result - a panorama of chopping and changing images: different horizon lines, view points, styles, worlds…"
Check it out at

--From abc arts website

Video editing software: Cinelerra

Cinelerra: 'Movie studio in a box' is how the website describes it.

What is Artificial Life?

A short essay answering that question.

Site of computer scientist/Artist Alan Dorin

Software development platforms for large datasets: Artists at the API
I don't really understand what this is about - I will have to read more.

Leonardo online
Quoted from site: 'Leonardo online is the world wide web site of Leonardo / the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology.'
Looks interesting but much of the material is only available to subscribers.

Mark Harden's Artchive
I quote: The Artchive offers browser access in HTML format to the archive for all of my fine art scans. There are now more than 2,000 scans from over 200 different artists.

voodoo programming

jargon, node: voodoo programming
voodoo programming /n./ [from George Bush's "voodoo economics"] The use by guess or cookbook of an obscure or hairy system, feature, or algorithm that one does not truly understand. The implication is that the technique may not work, and if it doesn't, one will never know why. Almost synonymous with black magic, except that black magic typically isn't documented and *nobody* understands it. Compare magic, deep magic, heavy wizardry, rain dance, cargo cult programming, wave a dead chicken.

Spent a good part of my day doing this in PERL - In my defense I don't know how to program in PERL and it was my only real option short of spending a semester learning.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

The cost of having a website

I keep coming across people who say they would like to get a website for their group or business. So I thought I'd put down some of the costs and how to do it.
This is based on my knowledge of doing this in Darwin.

Basic website; Just get an account with an ISP that includes webspace; this is how I and many other individuals do it. COSTS: you need your own computer, phone line rental, ISP subscription charge (should be less than $30/month). but you probably already pay this anyway.

Simple website; All the above plus: $100 a year hosting (from, Domain Name Registration( $170 for two years?) .. a couple of days development/setup of a simple application/database. Time: Allocate about an hour a week for maintenance - if you don't keep it up to date people won't visit. I say a minimum of $1000-$1500 for two years. If you think of it as $15 plus an hours work a week...Probably not too bad a deal - depends what you get out of it.

Monday, July 07, 2003

Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Money: Technology-Based Art and the Dynamics of Sustainability
Published in May 2003, this 39-page report was written for inclusion in the well-known Leonardo Journal, which serves as a connection between art and technology. The report discusses the foundations of tech-based art and its place in modern society. Several major organizations and events are mentioned, including the Association for Computing Machinery annual SIGGRAPH conference and the MIT Media Lab. After providing a general background of the topic, the author outlines the purpose and benefits of establishing an Arts Lab, "a unique hybrid art center and research lab." [CL]
>From The NSDL Scout Report for Math, Engineering, and Technology, Copyright
Internet Scout Project 1994-2003.

A Cockroach Inspired Robot with Artificial Muscles
The Biologically Inspired Robotics Laboratory at Case Western Reserve
University (CWRU) has created many unique robots. This research paper describes the process of designing and constructing one of the newest creations, a robotic cockroach. Weighing over 30 pounds, the CWRU Robot V is much larger than its real-life counterpart but its design closely approximates the movements of an actual roach. Some background about previous work is given in this paper followed by a detailed look at the characteristics and operation of the Robot V. Much more of the lab's work can be discovered at its homepage. [CL]
>From The NSDL Scout Report for Math, Engineering, and Technology, Copyright
Internet Scout Project 1994-2003.

Famous apes
Check out 'Robo-monkey - Robotic Gibbon'
First robotic primate. Developed by Dr Toshio Fukuda at Nagoya
University, Japan. The robot will swing like a gibbon from branch to branch
- or rung to rung on a horizontal ladder set up in the laboratory. The
research team chose to study swinging, or brachiation, because it has a set
of unique problems that need to be solved. Robo-monkey has 14 motors
controlling a fully-articulated body and a computer brain to direct all its

Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - software art repository

Cool stuff, including an artspeak generator.

Sunday, March 02, 2003

Artist: Mel Chin

I just caught the last few minutes of the PBS show Art:21
I didn't get to see much but I liked the bit's I saw of the artist Mel Chin.
I was especially interested to see his attempts to integrate tribal cultures with videogame culture.
He made the comparison that while tribal cultures are dying out - video game culture is growing, even eclipsing movie culture.

He had created a videogame that used imagery from traditional nomadic or tribal art.

Saturday, March 01, 2003

Large Group Musical Interaction using Disposable Wireless motion sensors

Large Group Musical Interaction using Disposable Wireless motion sensors (pdf)

We have developed a set of low-cost, wireless motion sensors that enable a large group of dancers to participate concurrently in a real-time, interactive musical performance. These sensors are either worn or held by participants and transmit a short RF pulse at the extremes of limb motion. The RF pulses are received by a base station and analyzed to detect rhythmic features and estimate the general activity level of the group. These data are then used to generate music that can either lead or follow the participants' actions, thereby tightening the feedback loop between music and dancer.

-- (from the MIT Media Lab)

Friday, February 28, 2003

Artist: Jon McCormack

Jon McCormack 'Electronic Art'
Worth a look; I liked his item 'the terror of IMAX' for the abc.

Australian Network for Art and Technology - ANAT

The Australian Network for Art and Technology - ANAT
"ANAT is Australia's peak network and advocacy body for artists working with science and technology. At the forefront of Australia's rapidly evolving art and technology sector, ANAT creates opportunities for innovation, research and development both nationally and internationally."


A new book, I've only read the prologue so far but it seems very interesting:

Author: Myers, Fred R., 1948- Title: Painting culture : the making of an aboriginal high art / By: Fred R. Myers. Publisher: Durham : Duke University Press, 2002. Collation: xvii, 410 p. : ill. : 24 cm. Subjects:
1. Art, Pintupi -- Australia -- Western Desert (W.A.)
2. Pintupi (Australian people) -- Material culture -- Australia -- Western Desert (W.A.)
3. Painting, Australian aboriginal -- Australia -- Western Desert (W.A.) -- Marketing.
4. Acrylic painting -- Australia -- Western Desert (W.A.) -- Marketing.
6. Cultural property -- Protection -- Australia -- Western Desert (W.A.) ISBN: 0822329328 (cloth : alk. paper)

Exhibition 'New Life'

I recently saw the 'New Life' component of this very interesting exhibition when it travelled to
24HR Art - Northern Territory Centre for Contemporary Art

+ Cyber Cultures + Sustained Release +