Scientists placed trackers on ants to study them. This video shows colored lines representing the movements of each ant. Ants without visible lines did not move. The frame rate is accelerated five times.
I’m sure I would lose track of time if I were to see this breath-taking, nature-inspired LED installation at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. It’s not your typical frenetic, loud-colored LED. Rather, it’s minimalist and subtle, with an aural soundtrack of sounds from nature that is specific to each visual pattern.
Read more on the construction from an arts/tech point-of-view by The Creators Project here.
Patterned by Nature
A new installation at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences patterns nature’s patterned complexity via a cascading wave of 3,600 LED tiles. Birds, waves, animal stripes and more. Anyone see this in person? I’d love to know your reactions.
“The film brings simple action verbs to life by animating their dramatic essence with simple graphic shapes. It’s like a periodic table of storytelling atoms: “dream” is illustrated by three white dots arcing gently upwards like a kite string; “learn” shows two tiny circular loops closing into completion with a satisfying, solid pop; and in “love,” a dot and a line “see” each other through a perforated barrier, move past it in graceful sync, and then clasp together like Romeo and Juliet. The genius of Tiny Story is how each of these vignettes—mere seconds long—suggests a whole narrative world with only the sparest of building blocks. And strung together, the vignettes build on each other to suggest an even larger story about, dare I say it, the human condition.” - Fast Company Design
Oh, this is magnificently beautiful and brilliant….
“Information technology has become a ubiquitous presence. By visualizing the processes that underlie our interactions with this technology we can trace what happens to the information we feed into the network.”
video: Michael Rigley
I now want to re-read all of Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays in ‘Original Pronunciation’ after watching this. Apparently much of the wit and tongue-in-cheek of Shakespeare’s work was in the oral delivery/pronunciation, which is completely lost in today’s modern accent.
A musical tone consists of multiple overlapping sine-waves oscillating at varying rates. This motion graphic represents isolated frequencies and rhythmic patterns as composed by Ryan York’s “If I Am This Forest”. Of particular interest is the swell beginning at 0:45, and multiple simultaneous frequencies which form the single melodic vocal line at 2:05.Musical spectrum analysis | Jon-Kyle
“The film visualizes what’s said to be the most accurate model for measuring the expansion of the universe. The model, produced at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), in Australia, is based off of the Hubble constant and a massive trove of data on galaxies called the 6dF Galaxy Survey.”
via: Fast Company
“Plenty of robots can fly — but none can fly like a real bird. That is, until Markus Fischer and his team at Festo built SmartBird, a large, lightweight robot, modeled on a seagull, that flies by flapping its wings.”
*Amazing to think that for thousands of years, humans have been facinated with bird flight and failed in numerous attempts to mimic it. Until now.
A few months ago, Waze made a slick video of a day of L.A. traffic, showing where people were driving and where they were getting congested. Now, they’ve made new videos (with the help of the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts) for other, more far-flung cities: Paris, Rome, and Tel Aviv.
In these videos, each lit-up line represents a car trip. The lines burst with purple when there is traffic, and other colored bars rise above when various alerts are activated, like for police or hazards. In Paris, you can see the main ring road around the center city is in constant use, while one corridor through the city also becomes quite congested, especially at rush hour.
via: Fast Company (see more videos by clicking on the link)
“American artist Janet Echelman reshapes urban airspace with monumental, fluidly moving sculpture that responds to environmental forces including wind, water, and sunlight. Exploring the potential of unlikely materials, from fishing net to atomized water particles, Echelman combines ancient craft with cutting-edge technology to create her permanent sculpture at the scale of buildings. Experiential in nature, the result is sculpture that shifts from being an object you look at, to something you can get lost in.”
“Connected is a dance piece about art itself - viewed from shifting perspectives - and a work in two parts.
The first part creates on stage a graceful work of art that is given life by the dancers. Operated with strings attached to their bodies, the undulating sculpture moves in sync with the dancers. It is as though the audience is inside the mind of the artist watching the act of imaginative creation unfold. The second part of the piece involves a sudden shift of perspective. The audience is outside looking in, observing reactions to the art work.”
Cascade takes an isolated social-media event, like a tweet, and shows the entire chain of reactions that results – what Thorp and his colleagues call - a Twitter “cascade.” It can do this in real time. And it can tell you not just that a story caught fire, but how, exactly, the story caught fire; how a tweet from a network scientist made the article “But Will It Make You Happy?” on cutting back one’s material possessions go viral. “We look at four different large data sets,” says Zimbalist, who’s overseeing the development of Cascade. “We look at our weblogs: all the stories on our website. Also: The events where people shorten our links. Then we look at how links are shared and propagate all through Twitter. Then we look at the clicks on the links. So we see this complete life cycle of how information spreads. All based on a single event –- a single tweet or a single link shortening.”
Cascade is still in R&D mode –- all data so far reflect just two weeks of news stories in August –- so the Times hasn’t reached any definitive conclusions yet. But they’ve already alit on some interesting findings. One: Twitter isn’t as fleeting as it seems. As Zimbalist tells it, referencing the “But Will It Make You Happy?” story: “One of the first and biggest ‘aha’ moments in all of this was that there’s sort of this feeling among people that Twitter is ephemeral. But in that story, it was a day or beyond later that we got that burst of activity [through Zappos] of sharing. So one of the key questions is maximizing interest over time by pulling these levers we can control.”
Another discovery: Twitter influence isn’t necessarily where you’d expect. As the cascades have pointed up, it’s often people with famous followers, not the famous people themselves, who have more sway.
“The government has given me a number,
To simplify my birth and life and death.
But still my woman thinks I’m awful important,
Like the moon, the stars, the sea, the sky, and breath.”
-Scott Avett singing Roger Miller’s “Where Have All The Average People Gone”