Controlling the human nervous system: just a dream from scientific eras gone by? Not quite. Japanese artistDaito Manabe has already shown the world his talent as a “human body hacker.” By applying electrical stimuli to the muscles of his face, or by using a pair of motion-reading “slave fingers”, Manabe is able to link the human nervous system to sound-generating apparatus, creating music. Today, this experimental practice has become a favourite of artists seeking to change, or at least question, our perception of how technology affects our spirit, our actions and our interactions, by using the human body as an artistic medium. That’s the experimental nut that French interdisciplinary art collective Le Clair Obscur has been trying to crack since 2011 with @, a multimedia research lab comprising several projects.
Rick Smolan, a photographer best known for his “Day in the Life” coffee table books says data — and what we do with it — will have a profound impact on the global community.
Smolan has just completed his latest project, “The Human Face of Big Data,” an epic production that explores the global phenomenon of digital information. Like Smolan’s previous high-profile efforts, including his book “One Digital Day: How the Microchip is Changing Our World,” which featured more than 200 tech-themed photographs taken on a single day in June 1998, “The Human Face of Big Data” is first and foremost a print-oriented project. List-priced at $50 (although Amazon and Barnes & Noble each sell it for less than $32), the 224-page book features essays and stunning photographs that show the global impact of the big data revolution.
This debuted a couple of weeks ago, and I’m only getting around to writing about it now. Adobe launched the Museum of Digital Media, and logically did so online.
The mission of the Adobe Museum of Digital Media is to showcase and preserve groundbreaking digital work and expert commentary to illustrate how digital media shapes and impacts today’s society.
Open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, and accessible everywhere, AMDM is a place to reflect on the importance and impact of digital media in our lives. The museum is an ever-changing repository of eclectic exhibits. Shows will be curated by leaders in art, technology, and business to inspire fresh conversation about our constantly evolving digital landscape.
It’s a great showcase of ideas, art, and the technology enabling these ideas to be realized. One interesting tidbit is that they tried to design the website with the physical experience of a museum in mind.
There are definitely some cool exhibits viewing right now, so poke around and leave a comment either here or on the museum’s site.
A lot of us will be catching the latest film this weekend. Now we’ll all know something a little extra about the film we’re watching. From Futurity.org:
Most moviegoers catch the previews but miss the invisible “feature” playing on screen—an anti-piracy digital fingerprint that stamps the individual theater showing the motion picture.
Digital fingerprinting “actually is used a lot in movie theaters,” says Pierre Moulin, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the Beckman Institute and the Information Trust Institute at the University of Illinois. “You can’t see it, you just see the movie and you don’t even know it has a fingerprint.”
Moulin describes a digital fingerprint as “an invisible pattern superimposed onto the image, in the case of image fingerprinting, or an inaudible pattern, in the case of audio.”
Recent estimates suggest film piracy costs the industry more than $6 billion a year, with more than 80 percent of the piracy taking place overseas. Moulin says modern movie piracy often involves recording with a high-quality camcorder in a movie theater that has been pre-arranged to include only the one doing the filming and the projectionist.
He says that once a pirated DVD is obtained, then the question becomes how to extract the digital fingerprint from it. That’s where Moulin’s work comes in. He has developed applications for extracting digital fingerprints currently in use worldwide.
“These techniques are being used right now and in fact they catch people this way,” he explains.
“My research in the field started with developing a mathematical theory for those problems. It’s a pretty big field so it took a number of years,” he says.
“Based on the mathematical theory, then one can construct algorithms or methods which can be shown to be nearly optimal, where it’s almost impossible to improve them. There is only so much you can hide, with the requirements that it should be invisible and also detectable.”
Hiding information such as digital fingerprints in a movie and extracting that information when the need arises is the key focus of work in information forensics.
“It is a field that is quite multidisciplinary because it addresses issues that pertain to content of images and video and how you present them efficiently, and also to coding techniques and information theory,” Moulin says. “There are several fields that are essential to doing this kind of work.”
The article taken from the BBC program “Click” talks about the digital processes used on old classic Hollywood films to retouch them and bring them back to their original glory. It sounds like a painstaking process — a human and/or a computer has to go through each film frame by frame several times — but it’s amazing what they can be done to correct stains and scratches. They describe one job in the article that would make some people all giddy with excitement from the chase and other people nauseated from boredom. I honestly am not sure which category I fall into.