recentpopularlog in

robertogreco : clouds   16

My website is a shifting house next to a river of knowledge. What could yours be? – The Creative Independent
"The web is what we make it

While an individual website could be any of those metaphors I mentioned above, I believe the common prevailing metaphor—the internet as cloud—is problematic. The internet is not one all-encompassing, mysterious, and untouchable thing. (In early patent drawings depicting the internet, it appears as related shapes: a blob, brain, or explosion.) These metaphors obfuscate the reality that the internet is made up of individual nodes: individual computers talking to other individual computers.

[image]

The World Wide Web recently turned 29. On the web’s birthday, Tim Berners Lee, its creator, published a letter stating the web’s current state of threat. He says that while it’s called the “World Wide Web,” only about half the world is connected, so we should close this digital divide.

But at the same time, Berners Lee wants to make sure this thing we’re all connecting to is truly working for us, as individuals: “I want to challenge us all to have greater ambitions for the web. I want the web to reflect our hopes and fulfill our dreams, rather than magnify our fears and deepen our divisions.”

[image]

“Metaphor unites reason and imagination,” says George Lakoff and Mark Johnson in their book, Metaphors We Live By (1980). “Metaphors are not merely things to be seen beyond. In fact, one can see beyond them only by using other metaphors. It is as though the ability to comprehend experience through metaphor were a sense, like seeing or touching or hearing, with metaphors providing the only ways to perceive and experience much of the world. Metaphor is as much a part of our functioning as our sense of touch, and as precious.”

Instead of a cloud, let’s use a metaphor that makes the web’s individual, cooperative nodes more visible. This way, we can remember the responsibility we each have in building a better web. The web is a flock of birds or a sea of punctuation marks, each tending or forgetting about their web garden or puddle home with a river of knowledge nearby.

If a website has endless possibilities, and our identities, ideas, and dreams are created and expanded by them, then it’s instrumental that websites progress along with us. It’s especially pressing when forces continue to threaten the web and the internet at large. In an age of information overload and an increasingly commercialized web, artists of all types are the people to help. Artists can think expansively about what a website can be. Each artist should create their own space on the web, for a website is an individual act of collective ambition."
laurelschwulst  knowledge  webdev  webdesign  internet  web  online  2018  websites  design  flexibility  purpose  creativity  learning  howwelearn  accumulation  accretion  making  murmurations  metaphor  clouds  birds  georgelakoff  markjohnson  completeness  unfinished  wonder  fredrogers  storage  archives  html 
may 2018 by robertogreco
Your best pictures of newly recognised cloud formations | Science | The Guardian
"Meteorologists have consulted the International Cloud Atlas since the 19th century – now, updated with crowd-sourced images and newly categorised formations such as wave-like asperitas, it’s going online. Readers have been sharing their images via GuardianWitness"
via:laure  clouds  photography  matthewholmes  science  classideas 
april 2017 by robertogreco
How This Artist Makes Perfect Clouds Indoors | WIRED
"THE LIFESPAN OF a typical Berndnaut Smilde sculpture is 10 seconds—just long enough to be photographed. And his sculptures are as unusual as they are ethereal: Smilde makes perfect miniature clouds in a diverse array of indoor locations, from coal mines to cathedrals.

He’s been at for several years now and calls the ever-expanding series Nimbus. Last month, he brought his weather wizardry to Frieze New York. There Smilde allowed onlookers to sit in on two days of his work inside NeueHouse, an upscale co-working space.

His materials are little more than smoke and water vapor, and the results vary with the size and temperature of the location. The space must be cold and damp, with no air circulation. Smilde creates a wall of water vapor with the type of spritzer you might use on houseplants. A smoke machine then sends a puff of faux fog on a collision course. He likes to keep the clouds no bigger than six feet so they don’t fall apart too quickly. “I really like my clouds concentrated, with a lot of texture,” he says.

The artist tinkers with the formula for a few days until he’s created what he believes to be the ideal cloud. For one shoot, he might create 100 clouds to get the image.

The result is stunning, an ephemeral artwork caught just before it vanishes. The bare, often austere locations heighten the drama. While Smilde makes his clouds, he has a photographer right there to capture the moment. He prefers to work with photographers with experience shooting architecture, so the wood, metal and other elements are in sharp focus, a contrast to the soft, fluffy clouds. Smilde likes that his creations last but a moment.

“I see them as temporary sculptures of almost nothing—the edge of materiality,” he says. “It looks like you can dive into them or grab them, but they just fall apart. There’s a duality that I really like where you’re trying to achieve this ideal thing that then collapses just moments later.”

If he could figure out the technical aspects, Smilde would like to create clouds within the vast Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern. Marketers from cloud computing companies in Silicon Valley have approached him to make sculptures at conventions, but he’s declined. For him, it’s more than a parlor trick.

“Clouds are quite universal,” he says. “Everyone can relate to them, but by putting them indoors you kind of change the context. It can become strange or even threatening. They can stand in for the divine, but also for misfortune.”"
clouds  art  2015  berndnautsmilde  photography 
december 2015 by robertogreco
The Cloud Appreciation Society | Uniting cloud lovers around the world
"At The Cloud Appreciation Society we love clouds, we’re not ashamed to say it and we’ve had enough of people moaning about them. Read our manifesto and see how we are fighting the banality of ‘blue-sky thinking’. If you agree with what we stand for, then join the society for a minimal one-off postage and administration fee and receive your very own official membership certificate and badge."

[via: "Fighting Blue Sky Thinking" https://vimeo.com/143687714

Gavin Pretor-Pinney is a man on a mission. For the past ten years he has been trying to change the way people think about clouds.

The final episode of season one looks at a group of 40,000 people who are fighting the tyranny of so-called blue sky thinking." ]
clouds  cloudappreciationsociety  sky  gavinpretor-pinney  2015 
december 2015 by robertogreco
The Anthropoid Condition - The Los Angeles Review of Books
[via: "Great interview w/ John D. Peters at @LAReviewofBooks: http://lareviewofbooks.org/interview/the-anthropoid-condition-an-interview-with-john-durham-peters/ . A lot of people think they’re smart; Peters is really smart."
https://twitter.com/mattthomas/status/619916078093742080

"Peters’s new book, “The Marvelous Clouds,” is easiest the smartest thing I’ve read in a ages, btw. http://amzn.to/1LY8MqQ "
https://twitter.com/mattthomas/status/619916841733894144 ]

"BRÍAN HANRAHAN: What distinguishes your understanding of 'media' in The Marvelous Clouds from other, maybe better-known uses of the term?

JOHN DURHAM PETERS: 'Media' is one of those terms whose meaning is as imprecise as a plate of spaghetti. And like 'spaghetti,' few can tell if it is a plural or singular noun. My academic preference is to say “media are” with a plural verb in order to underline the diversity of media forms and formats, but most people are happy to talk about media as a mass noun and use the term to refer to everything from journalists and publicity to furnace filters and hard drives. In the field of media studies, media typically are more clearly defined as a cluster of institutions, audiences, and programs (e.g., Disney, BBC, or Google), but there is a minority tradition I favor that sees media more broadly as staples, environments, and data processors of all kinds — as elements in the middle. Some of my critics say this view stretches the concept beyond its breaking point, but I believe ubiquitous computing has already stretched media more than our concepts have: thanks to digital transformations, media are so environmentally pervasive that we need an encompassing definition to match. Theory is usually playing catch-up.

BRÍAN HANRAHAN: The book delves into innumerable subjects, skipping through dozens of disciplines: anthropology, zoology, theology, astronomy, the history of technology, cultural history of many kinds, philosophy and literature and more. But if there is one term that you seem to identify with, it is 'media theory.' On the face of it, that might seem a modest label for such a broad vision. So what is “media theory,” as you understand it, and what can be learned from it?

JOHN DURHAM PETERS: Glad that you think it is a matter of skipping rather than skidding! The book presupposes a view of knowledge and research that it doesn’t spell out at any length. What would the university look like if we took seriously the mortality of the human knower and the responsibility to speak to the species rather than only to one’s peers? I believe it would be a less turfy, more humble, and more interdisciplinary place, one less focused on the newest thing and more open to long stretches of time.[i] Labeling fields of study often amounts to little more than a branding exercise, so my unpretentious choice of “media theory” is, among other things, an indirect comment on academic tribalism. Media theory has almost no barriers to entry — you’d be amazed at how readily some people opine on media without any sense of the field’s traditions or concepts — and almost anyone can call themselves a media theorist; as beings who live in the middle, in medias res, I think that every human being is potentially such a creature. Media theory, at its best, is a means of seeking greater awareness of the basic conditions in which we live.

BRÍAN HANRAHAN: Clouds, unlike fire, sky, and sea, don’t get chapters to themselves in the book, but they are in the title, and they are a recurring motif. What is so interesting about clouds for a media theorist and historian?

JOHN DURHAM PETERS: Clouds are interesting because they bring together so many great questions. It’s hard to boil down something I’ve thought so much about, but here goes.[ii]

First, clouds raise very fundamental questions of where significance lies. Clouds are often thought to be blank and meaningless, the playthings of whimsy. Hardly. Few things are so packed with meaning. Once you start looking at clouds, you see them everywhere in art, literature, religion, and popular culture, and of course in the sky. The question of what clouds mean is a deep one; reading clouds is the paradigm case of how to interpret nature and how not to. Clouds tell us about the weather and the future, and reading the sky is a basic human task; in Iowa, where I live, like many places, clouds are among the most spectacular forms of natural beauty. Of course, there is a long tradition of scorn starting from at least Aristophanes aimed at anyone who finds meaning in clouds, but it is just as foolish to say clouds have no meaning (ask a sailor, pilot, or farmer if clouds mean nothing). The meaning that remains once you subtract human intention turns out to be rich, and I argue that media theory should take this abundant zone of meaning seriously.

Second, from the poison gas clouds of World War I to the mushroom cloud of World War II to the data cloud today, clouds are telling historical markers. While writing the book, I would tell people I was writing about clouds, and they’d sometimes respond, Oh, I work in IT too! (The cloud metaphor, with its hints of benign oversight and calm flow, richly serves the ideological interests of the IT industry.) That the default meaning of “cloud” has become “server-based data storage” is a symptom of nature being absorbed by technology and technology becoming second nature. It is remarkable how casually we accept this monstrous hybrid of atmospheric aerosols and computing infrastructure without a second thought. Clouds are thus a symptom of what it is fashionable to call the anthropocene, the geological epoch in which human agency alters nature radically.

Third, clouds are an elemental background that surrounds us — and unnoticed environments are prime territory for media theory. A central point of the book is that if we define media as carriers of significance then media should include natural elements; studying aerosol clouds and data clouds side by side gives me a way to make this point.

Fourth, clouds raise two fundamental problems in media theory: how to record phenomena that exist in time and how to represent ones that do not conform to a symbolic system.

Regarding recording, the book is a meditation on how media capture and fail to capture time, and clouds are a good example of entities whose nature is to vanish. Clouds illustrate media ontology. Like sounds and music, clouds exist by disappearing. They exist in time. Clouds are highly material — just this morning so much rain dumped on southeastern Iowa as to trigger flashflood warnings again — and their dynamic materiality is suggestive for media under volatile digital conditions (probably one reason the cloud metaphor took hold so readily).

Regarding representing, clouds bear significance, but without any code to clarify what they mean. Their meanings are essentially vague. The history of cloud media, in painting and photography, is the struggle to capture sensuous objects that are also abstract. (The sky was painting abstract impressionist images long before humans did!) Clouds are the original white noise. Well before analog media such as film and sound recording broke the stranglehold of the symbolic in the late nineteenth century, painters struggled to depict cloud colors and forms, often with stunning results. The ability to represent the indefinite is one of the great achievements of modern mathematics and media, and clouds were at the vanguard here too. If you want to understand how meaning works, you have to understand vagueness, and clouds are a chief example.

Finally, clouds have long been associated with thinking, philosophizing and ultimate things, so they fit my atmospheric interests well. I know the title opens me up to wisecracks about academic loftiness. But in a world run by data-analytics Luftmenschen, it is good to get reacquainted with clouds and other kinds of sky media.

BRÍAN HANRAHAN: Why does the media culture of cetaceans, as you imagine it, play such a large role in your history of planetary technics? And what distinguishes your approach from previous thinking about the cetacean world? As you point out, dolphins and whales have long been subjects of utopian fantasy, as well as scientific communications research.

JOHN DURHAM PETERS: Cetaceans, the family of whales, porpoises, and dolphins, are often considered among the most intelligent animals on earth (especially dolphins), but they lack the infrastructures that anchor human existence such as feet, hands, fire, clothing, writing, right angles, celestial orientation, and all other forms of technology. Cetaceans thus present a kind of thought experiment about what it might be like to live in a technology-free habitat. Cetaceans could have techniques — say, of dancing, fishing, or communicating — but they could not have technologies, i.e., made materials that shape other materials, including their environments and minds. They live in habitats immune to fabrication, and thus offer a stark contrast to the human “technosphere,” our domesticated bubble of carbon and silicon, GMO crops and insulation. Intelligent marine mammals offer a radical alternative, at least in thought, to our essentially and externally technical history, and show us how much of what we take to be human depends on our technical supports."

[too much to quote]
johnduhampeters  matthomas  2015  interviews  media  feminism  clouds  cloud  infrastructure  hubris  cetaceans  anthropocene  technology  technosphere  technosolutionism  siliconvalley  writing  history  inderdisciplinary  silos  whitenoise  time  meaning  online  internet  tribalism  academia  mediatheory  slow  zoominginandout  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  transdisciplinary 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Neil Usher: Pareidolic Robot
"A robot that searches for faces in clouds."
via:sha  faces  clouds  neilusher  pareidolia 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Nebula 12
"The Nebula 12 is a concept developed by Micasa LAB, Zürich. Using meterological data from MetOff the Nebula forms to represent outside weather: wake up to a flooding yellow light on a sunny day, or below a real cloud on that overcast winter morning. The cloud involves some peculiar techniques, liquid nitrogen, WiFi, and high power vacuum suction."
via:bopuc  ambientsignaling  clouds  nebula  weather 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Qatar could create robot clouds to cool World Cup watchers - CNN.com
"Researchers at Qatar University's engineering school have come up with a novel way to cool the stadiums ahead of the 2022 World Cup... giant flying saucers!Actually, they have announced plans to develop giant artificial remotely controlled "clouds" made up of high-tech materials that will be positioned between the blistering sun and the still-to-be-built football stadiums in the Gulf emirate.Dr. Saud Ghani, head of a Mechanical and Industrial Engineering group at Qatar University, tells CNN that the artificial robotic cloud could potentially drop the temperatures on the pitch by 10 degrees Fahrenheit."
robots  qatar  worldcup  2022  clouds  robotclouds  weather 
march 2011 by robertogreco
How Much Does A Hurricane Weigh? : Krulwich Wonders… : NPR
"In our radio broadcast on Morning Edition, Andy Heymsfield of the National Center for Atmospheric Research used elephant–sized units of water to measure hurricanes, storm clouds and little white puffies. Years ago, in a story I did on ABC, another cloud measurer used elephant units, too. But for our new cartoon, Odd Todd and I switched to blue whales. Blue whales are bigger, which we thought would make the lesson more impressive. Either way, though, hurricanes are humongous."

[Entertainment, but there is a part of me that just wants the amount of water involved to compared to a well-know body of water.]
robertkrulwich  elephants  clouds  hurricanes  water  weight  measurement  moisture 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Box of Clouds on the Behance Network
"For use on days with uninteresting skies. Another photo viewer keyring dismembered and put in a tin. In this case I took off the backlight, making the LCD transparent. The button in the middle turns it on and off. Hold it up to a light source to see the clouds! USB to charge, and because the backlight has been removed the battery is good for a couple of days. A selection of the clouds inside, they cycle every five seconds." via: http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2009/02/box_of_clouds_viewer.html?CMP=OTC-0D6B48984890
boxofclouds  art  diy  make  clouds  projects  glvo  beauty  simplicity 
february 2009 by robertogreco
BLDGBLOG: Sky.doc
"there is an obvious (and rather uninteresting) reaction to all this – i.e. please save us from yet another form of corporate advertising – but there are also artistic, and even literary, implications here that go beyond mere outrage."
art  ephemera  graffiti  clouds  sky  typography  make  design  architecture  bldgblog  writing  blogging  text 
april 2008 by robertogreco
plsj tumblelog: Anthonephophobia
“Anthonephophobia: A fear of flowers falling from clouds."
words  glvo  fear  language  flowers  clouds  projectideas 
march 2008 by robertogreco
The Cloud Appreciation Society
"At The Cloud Appreciation Society we love clouds, we’re not ashamed to say it and we’ve had enough of people moaning about them.Read our manifesto and see how we are fighting the banality of ‘blue-sky thinking’."
society  slow  weather  clouds  humor 
november 2007 by robertogreco

Copy this bookmark:





to read