Tuesday, March 30, 2010


some disturbing plastic

touch the universe!!

the opportunity for the visually impaired to experience the images captured by the hubble space telescope mom !

touch the universe


who wants to turn the images into smells? into sounds?



this is the facebook page of the second magical event I helped organize of READING POETRY into a microphone, playing music, writing, collaborating, ad-libbing, gesturing, making, seeing, playing, drinking, talking, yelling, dancing, whatever you would like to do/share. Bring art/work, make art/work.

we rent out the space every two weeks or so and do how we do how we do we do. it is very refreshing to be in a new (non-academic), ephemeral space-gathering wherein everyone is interested in writing.

if anyone has videos they want to project + equipment--maybe not for this friday but for a later date--that would be awesome to show your movies, too. there is a lot of white blank wall space.

This event will keep happening as long as we care about it so please come. 10pm, byob, suggested donation of $1 (because it costs money to rent the space), 220 s main st.

this commercial...so sleek

Sunday, March 28, 2010

trying to make a post with auto-smiley on

This program is wonderful, although it tends to be a :)
little over sensitive. Actually VERY over sensitive. Sometimes I will try to frown but it parses that as a smil :)
. e.

the :)
I start to smile because the s :) smile :)
smiley face appears and it is so ad :)
able adorable i :)
cannot help :)
but smile :)
u :)
hhhhhh :)
laughi :) :)
laughi :)
makes is :)
ex :)
excited :)
i :) i have to s :)
top= :) stop p :) laug :)
ghin. :)
But I can't/. :)
I think my mustache sets it off.

This is a beautiful program. please give it a s :)
shot. I think I may have to use this when i'm feeling blue. T :)
ying trying NOT to smile makes smiles all the more inevitable. :)
bye! :)

Finally! Some Honesty on the Internet!

Auto Smiley is a computer vision application that runs in the background while you work. The software analyzes your face while you are working and if it detects a smile it sends the the ascii smiley face letters “: )” as keyboard presses to the front most application. Auto Smiley has many uses from just straight up convenience to enforcing honesty in your online communication :)

Auto Smiley - Computer vision smiley generator from Theo Watson on Vimeo.

from http://fffff.at/auto-smiley#

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Remixing: an approach in which technology samples itself

(by the Interactive Technology Orchestra)


Now for the 2006 winner of the HITACHI SOUNDS OF A DYING HARD DRIVE Project, sponsored by Gizmodo:

Hitachi Hard-Drive Project - Noriko Version

DOWNLOAD SOUNDS OF A DYING HARD DRIVE and make your own remixes of sick technology, some of it with a beat that can be danced to, but if your hard drive clicks, and/or tries to master some old-fashioned finger popping, BACKUP YOUR INFORMATION AT ONCE!

MORE DEATH NOTES OF HARD DRIVES, grouped by device brand and perhaps also orchestral potential.


El Hardo Disko Morte

Some of these sounds might work quite well with your compositions using SOUND OF AN IMAGE and TEXTORIZER. Can't wait to hear them! You can generate labels and headings such as:
Limited Fork

Image by Cool Text: Logo and Button Generator - Create Your Own

at Cool Text. Cool Text: Logo and Graphics Generator

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

As Many As You Want

This weekend, I watched How to Loose a Guy in 10 Days. This movie, in which there are not 1 but 2 bets, and a sequence in which not 1 but 4 secrets revealed at once, got me thinking about how, in our society, we are constantly searching to create more entertaining or engaging things and we often doing this by taking things already entertaining and making MORE of them.

On that note, I was this on the daily what. I know that in my life, I don't really have the need for more than USB port at a time. But I'm sure some people are so plugged in that they need more.
But, while I did enjoy How to Loose a Guy in 10 Days, I couldn't help but feel at moments that it was too much, too outlandish, too far away from reality to be remotely relatable (which is, of course, in part why I liked it SO MUCH.) I wonder when my life gets to a point where I might need these multiple USB ports if I'll have a similar feeling...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

reading vid

I made this video. It is the first video I have EVER made. It gets kind of philosophical about life. HOPE YOU LIKE IT.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

i had a dream and it was called the new language of the world

in the dream, this woman had claimed that all of the babbling and gurgling of babies or maybe gorillas was a language. she had broken down all of the guttural sounds into syllables so that she could stand in front of crowds of people who had paid her some hefty fee to learn what she was hearlading as "the new language of the world". as far as i can tell, the seminars seemed quite popular and the participants happy, despite my dream-self knowing it was all a sham, and obviously so.

it brought to mind the work i've been doing for the past few months in conjunction with what we are collectively building. last week, we worked individually or in groups to create a representation of reading using a number of materials, including video (caputured and created) and audio (captured and created) in lieu of pure text.

the main qualifier for a language is a grammar, which is essentially a set of rules that lay out what is and what is not language, as well as means of constructing its parts in a meaningful manner (not to be mistaken with conventions, which require two or more individuals to exist and function whereas rules only require a single individual but can be maintained by an infinite number of people). if we were to group all familiar tongues (french, spanish, german, english, dutch, etc, etc,) and their written and spoken forms in order to argue that these, in fact, were languages, we would still be hard pressed to explain the systems within these languages function. the means of transmitting language when not face-to-face has been constantly evolving alongside the rapid growth of television. a progression from letter writing to telegrams to telephones to radio to television to internet and now we're seeing and speaking to random strangers in china on chatroulette. things are mighty difference.

for a brief ending, i will argue that the new language of today has nothing to do with abandoning our knowledge of the english language, but rather using it in a new manner embracing the constant movement of technological possibilities. there is a reason that facebook is the secon

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

reading my life five years ago


Reading Life

in class project part 1 in writing

It is very difficult to read ourselves. Reading ourselves is largely a part of interacting with other people. We read ourselves by measuring ourselves against others and by seeing how others react to us. When others react to us, we are not sure how to interpret this much of the time. Other people are ambiguous and we do not know how to read them. One thing we can do to read others is to ask other people. The problem with this is that other people may read things the wrong way, and give us the wrong answer. Another problem is that different people may tell us different things. This means we might get more confused about reading a situation. We cannot rely on ourselves. We cannot rely on other people to give us the answers.

Or can we? Maybe if we got enough people to read us, or if we got enough people to read a certain situation, we can be more likely to read a situation more or less “correctly.” This is because our sample size will increase, and statistically speaking, this might help us reach a plausible conclusion to whatever situation or person we might try to read.

The search suggestions that pop up are the ones that are the most common to many people. They are all wondering the same thing and that is why google helps us read our lives. Not only because it gives us a possible answer we might be looking for, or some insight into I, but also because it lets us know, often times, that we are not the only ones that are wondering what we are wondering. There is a collective conscience that is captured through the search results.

When you think about reading life, it, cannot be separated from understanding and also drawing conclusions from what we read. When reading a book, you sometimes cannot understand what you read. It can be because the text is too complicated or you are disinterested or you are unfocused on what you are reading. The solution in this case is to reread with greater scrutiny what we read the first time. If it something you are not interested in, you will not want to reread, unless you have to. Otherwise you might have read a passage and moved on because you did not understand and you did not want to understand.

It is a waste to continue reading without understanding. The same principles are applied in reading life. Something might happen in your life and you will not understand. You can type “why did this happen to me” into google and you might get some answers. Eventually life will go on and you will be faced with a choice; you can revisit the situation or you can ignore it. When you revisit the situation you can ask people about what happened. If you ignore it you face running into the same problem again. And you still wont understand.

We must read carefully. In our lives when we read we must slow down. We must absorb and understand. I think this will help us read our lives. If you keep readings things that you don’t understand, and let it go, you will continue reading, and you may continue to not understand. Pretty soon you will have read an entire chapter and it will not make any sense. You will not reread the whole chapter.

When reading our lives, we read about a lot of things that we do not understand.
We read our lives wearing different caps. Do I read this situation as a person who sees this woman as ‘mentally ill’ or as someone who sees her as a vicious killer deserving life in prison/death.

because of technology, i can enjoy this song any time. and it is my favorite song.

Making virtual reality reality-reality

I was trying to find an art history paper topic, but instead I found this. I clicked on this link because it said "virtual brownie" which (sadly?) is not what it sounds like. Project Virtual Brownie , from what I can gather from this movie, is trying to make virtual reality brownies--little gnomes, I think--move real objects. I'm pretty sure its magic.

I also learned about SUIs--straw-like user interfaces--which are machines that simulate the feeling of drinking from a straw, without actually drinking anything.

Lady Gaga

posted this on her twitter: on gaga/beyonce's "Telephone"

more equal access

to technology land. no more technologically barren landscapes: http://http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/17/technology/17broadband.html

Monday, March 15, 2010

Theory & Practice of iPhone Apps

Please join Thylias Moss in a demonstration (on 16 March from 5:10 pm
until 6:30 pm in the Slusser Gallery, Art & Architecture Building) of
how and why her iPhone has become a mobile limited fork theory studio
in which she is voluntarily imprisoned.

Bring your iPhone and/or iPod touch and download (and use!), if you
like, some of the apps as part of the demonstration. FREE apps will
be emphasized.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

this section will not be scored

my sixteen year old sister took a portion of the standardized michigan merit exam last week. the exam consists of the act, some evaluations called work keys, and a set of state-created evaluations of math, science, and social studies. she was taking the third part, which sounds similar to the late meap evaluation, and when they reached the social studies part, the proctor told the students that it would not be scored. surely, i said to her, it was not possible that the segment was not scored; in my typical fashion, i began to come up with any number of ways the exam was being used and decided that it must be a means of judging the school's progress or attendance or something. as the argument progressed, my mother grew irritated with my insistence that it was impossible for there not to be a reason for this stupid social studies test and reminded me that i do not know everything, contrary to what i might believe.

in other news: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/14/education/14child.html?hp !

yesterday obama introduced a plan to overhaul no child left behind and lots of people are already quite worked up about it. he's right - when it comes down to it, every student needs to leave high school with a means of doing something useful with his or her life, regardless of whether college is part of the plan.

Friday, March 12, 2010

chat roulette

chat roulette observations

1. If another girl sees you she will next you right away. Think female-female conversations are maybe the rarest in chatroulette (on number of users alone) but obviously have no proof.
2. chat roulette map here
3. Many will ask you to "show me your boobs"
4. Sometimes I ask people "how old do I look" and most everyone guessed 20 which is my actual age. One person said 19 and one said 18. I look my age or a bit younger. Though I was wearing an anime t-shirt on that day so maybe thats why they thought that.
5. A lot of male exhibitionism, as people have pointed out.
6. I wonder if people fix themselves up for the camera. I know I felt a bit self conscious even though it is just the internet/strangers.
7. Wherever it is 1 AM or 2 AM in the world, people in those countries might possibly be more likely to go on chatroulette.
8. decoys are popular
9. Lots of black screens. Lots of surprised people when I tell them I cant see their camera.
10. Sometimes it is nice to have a black screen from the other person. The tendency to next people is very high on the camera end alone.
11. Chatroulette is worth it for the 10% decent conversations even if 90% is cybering.
12. I felt more comfortable sitting farther away from the camera.
13. Basically everyone in the world knows how to speak english to some extent. I had only one person that did not know how.

Why is chatroulette seemingly more popular among men?
Why do men on chatroulette spend so much effort trying to get girls to flash them? It seems like it would take way longer than just looking at a pair of boobs on the internet or something.

Something that struck me about chatroulette is how seemingly obvious/simple the idea is with fairly lowtech requirements (as far as I understand), but no one has thought of it until now, 2010, though webcams have been around for probably a decade or more, and it such a brilliant thing with a lot of probably good potential. There are brilliant ideas waiting to be uncovered everywhere!!


Oh one thing, we all noticed that there were a ton of French people on chat roulette. We thought maybe it was because of the time of day, but according to the chatroulette map, chatroulette is actually extremely popular in france.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

speed technology violence


futurism remixed?

The Winged Victory of Samothrace


1909 Racing Automobile 'Bete Noir'

A book worth looking into even tho it is not free online + La Vie Quotidenne

Text ColorGambling Addiction/Technology

More Natasha Schull

One of the jobs I work is in the realm of social services. I deal with people: I have to pretend to be nice, pretend that I care, pretend I know the answers to inane questions. By the end of the day I just want to "zone out"--play an online game or watch tv online--anything that doesn't involve the variability, unpredictability and humanity of people. This is how some people who became addicted to machine gambling (slots, video poker, etc.) got into it in the first place. They wanted to escape into a world of two options: yes/no, one/zero, win/lose. Face-to-face or "real" gambling (like sitting at a poker table with friends) is a relic--something people did in the post-industrialized world to escape being in mechanized, invariable factories. Now that more workers are in the social services, our method of escape is also changing.

The strangest feeling though sometimes is working on the computer all day and also finding my escape here. I don't feel good after a day like that.

it's a great day for ice cream

at coldstone creamery!

when i was fourteen and a freshman in high school, my friend ashton helped me get my first real job at the coldstone creamery down the road from lahser. the store had been open for maybe three months when i was hired, and it was owned by husband and wife, terry and mary ellen. after a career in sales, terry had decided to cough up the two hundred and fifty grand to buy a franchise, selecting a spot in the strip at the corner of square lake and woodward for its proximity to a number of businesses, including a starbucks and a blockbuster, that were already doing brisk business.

until i had other jobs, i didn't realize how spoiled i had been to have terry as my first boss. despite a few odd quirks (it was entirely regrettable to get into a conversation about environmental issues with his evangelical beliefs...), terry was an excellent teacher. not only was he intent on instilling a sense of pride in maintaining a superbly clean, well-stocked store, but he also emphasized the importance of customer service. he himself was as chatty as could be, but it was never idle; rather, terry was amazing at reading people and tailoring his behavior to make every customer feel good about coming into the store.

now, here's the thing. i started at coldstone almost six years ago exactly, and probably have worked four solid years during that time, so i know everything about running the store. that is to be expected after so much experience, but it doesn't fully account for why i am so good at my job. of course i can keep the store extremely clean and running smoothly, but what i really enjoy and excel at is working behind the stone with customers.

when people come into coldstone, they are generally in good moods because they are treating themselves. my personal belief is that there are a lot of things that are difficult in life, but ice cream shouldn't be; i want every customer to walk out feeling like they got exactly what they wanted, and i'll go to any length to provide that. this is where building a relationship is crucial, because although my knowledgeability with the ice cream is crucial, it is in no way the be all end all. treating customers with respect requires understanding individual needs and adjusting to suit them.

last night, i was talking to a youngish guy as i rang him up, and i gave him one of my favorite stories: "i've been working here for six years, and i can tell what someone is going to get the second they walk in. if i wanted to, i could mouth their order to them as they told me. unfortunately, it's a skill that doesn't have much use in the real world." he was amazed. as he was leaving, i was out sweeping in the lobby, and he approached me to say something to the extent of maybe you should find some other way to use your psychic powers.

look, if you spend enough time in the store, it becomes clear that there are certain demographic tendencies as to what people will order, and that's just a result of being observant of trends. if you are a fourteen year old girl with your three friends, you will get a birthday cake remix in a like it (because you don't want to look like a pig and by the way, if you knew the nutritional facts, you would never eat it again), if you are a twenty-something male with your girlfriend, you'll get a love it chocolate devotion, and if you're a youngish woman in a pantsuit coming in after work, you'll get a love it cheesecake fantasy (in a waffle bowl if it's monday, chocolate dipped if it's been a shitty day). although i always ask, i can tell who really wants a waffle bowl and who will get one just because i suggested it.

reading customers is an art, and there's nothing more rewarding than making someone's day a little bit better. my motto of sorts is that there is a lot of compromise in life, but everyone should leave with a creation that is exactly what they wanted.

NOW as remixer of time, space, experience (some moment shuffling)

Thad and Sarah Lawrence use Photoshop to create a surreal photo album
documenting their relationship

At the linked site, images are used to tell aspects of the Thad and Sarah story not possible to tell in other pen and paper means. The image to the left is from fiveprime.org/hivemind. The easy distribution, the quick sharing of information encourages fresh collaboration in the possibility of responding as situations unfold. An enhanced sense of what is occurring in an apparent simultaneity is another possible benefit of rapid sharing. Now becomes more complex. It is a most peculiar encompassing as each now is a mutation of Now; now is a reference variable to refer to a local experience in a moment that may be defined within limiting factors of usage only in that instance of usage. The nows are not the same. The experience of time is not the same. And when scale is brought into consideration, any now may be configured so as to contain an infinite number of sub-nows referring to incredibly local architectures of experience linked to time and space. So a denial of universals based on one's personal situation is also possible, especially as temporary connections bifurcate further and further (a potential that chatroulette has a great opportunity to exploit well).

Now does not occur only in the present; in fact, to encounter now in reading this post, is to encounter a now linked with the past moment in which I typed type now and a now that is tethered to the now that is the moment of a user's encounter, tethering past and present. Also tethered would be all that those nows encompass, hierarchically; this post as a temporary center. The images from Thad and Sarah are likewise experienced, for all the rapid sharing, in the complexity of now that is a quivering bridge of present and past. Daniel Altshuler's paper Meaning of ‘now’ and other temporal location adverbs provides an analysis of now

7:33 pm est: Google Trends in a now that's past (time now7:34:14 pm est):

blog offers: Martin Edman en sambandscentral: I want to be somewhere else right now, as the 24 October 2009 entry (an image of that entry appears to the right).  This complexity of now, the now when the 24 October 2009 post was made, the now  of my encounter with the post, the now of encounters with my post about an encounter with the 24 October 2009 post, each encounter a remixing of now.

There is also a Facebook group exploring this complex remixing of the moment: I Would Rather Be Somewhere Else Right Now
A dozen members in the now of my encounter with the group.

The 17 March 2009 post of the thisiskeith blog is titled We're somewhere else right now.

Stacey Schuett's book Somewhere in the World Right Now offers a dynamic now that is a range of independent events linked by consideration in a single sweeping moment of consideration. Linking events gives them (temporary) access to each other; the moment of the story allows the events to collaborate, to interact in shared temporary context. You can see inside Schuett's book here right now. On Schuett's website, this description of the book is available: "Somewhere in the world right now, it's deepest night..." Elephants sleep in the African darkness. A London baker bakes bread. In Madagascar, a little girl dreams of tomorrow. 'But somewhere else, tomorrow is already here." A rooster crows in India, while an Australian kangaroo takes a nap. And in Chicago, commuters speed toward home as the day draws to a close. How can all these things happen at once? This book--filled with lush paintings, a gentle text and a multitude of maps--takes the mystery out of time zones, while showing children the varied richness of the world they live in. Reading Rainbow Selection .
Those time zones themselves are featured on a colorful map divided by the spine of the book at the end of the book. Of possibly even greater benefit is the pen friends suggestion at the end of the book, the social studies and social connection opportunity of seeking information about the now of other children with whom to correspond. An adaptation of chat roulette, a filtered adaptation and perhaps primary school edition, for instance, could allow children to meet each other and exchange information in a now.

Sharing of interest in being somewhere else is the basis of a group at the experience project. Ten stories have been posted by members of this group, including Yeah, Pretty Much Anywhere Else! by trixi (text of trixi's story: Do you know that i havn't gone out by myself (except to the grocery store and town) in over a year? i havn't done anything fun and spontaneous, wreckless or adventurous for sooooooooo long i'm afraid i will lose the capacity. lately, my biggest adventure is travelling to other schools with my son's basketball team. ok, this is fun in a way cuz i get to see new places and meet new people and it makes me feel like i've actually done something for a change. but as i'm driving home, i always say to myself , " i wish i could just keep on driving and never come back" i want to see how far i can get on a tank of gas and then stay whereever i end up until i get bored and then go somewhere else. i have an adventurous spirit, but it's slowly dying cuz i A) have noone to do things with and B) have my kids pretty much 24/7 and have no opportunity to cultivate it. i do have the capacity to find the sublime in the simple and the everyday, and thank goodness for that because otherwise i'd just wither away to nothing. i just wish i could go somewhere.).

This page of the experience project offers a guide for how to wanna be somewhere else. Each group has it's own guide. The I Wanna be Somewhere Else guide is brief: If you want to know How To Wanna Be Somewhere Else, you can find the help you need here. Our members who share the experience, 'I Wanna Be Somewhere Else' contribute their tips to build a living book of how to information that can provide help, advice, tips, cheats and tricks on this topic. And everyone can vote to help promote the very best how to instructions! Finally, you can find free how to videos and books here as well. The guide page also feature books, movie clips, and user-generated videos related to the group's theme, and of course invitations to join experience project and submit your own stories (as of this moment, 4,083,471 experiences have been shared at —oops, make that 4,083,478 experiences shared at experience project. To share experiences with more of a gamble, adding ability to tell the story verbally (and webcam-to-webcam) to a stranger anywhere in the internet-connected world, consider chatroulette. Actually building a where somewhere else and inhabiting that construction in a constructed avatar is part of the lure of second life where you can remix and reconfigure realities, worlds within worlds that sometimes interact, including the virtual with the 3-dimensional or spatial. Rules and boundaries are also remixed and reconfigured.

The Accidental Traveler blog's Slavery is not Somewhere Else post returns to a convergence of now and here, a focusing to a point that can be any point, that can be in any location to emphasize a likelihood of human trafficking connecting, on some scale, with any location of human occupancy

—in any time zone; closer inspection can help reveal underworlds (sometimes sweet versions are the worlds under other worlds), under-where's even in Schuett's beautifully crafted drawings and text that when uncompressed can reveal gaps, cracks, moments and places where less-sweet events can emerge from time to time, even flourishing somewhere else sometimes and sometimes here.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Chat Roulette was scary for us!

Here is a video we made to express our feelings about chat roulette


we were subject to exhibitionism, voyeurism, french people, and some very excitable teenagers. While taking a breather outside Clara and I decided that this made us feel a bit STRANGE.

Maybe it should be closer to 2AM when I do this next.

Also I will be wearing a HAT.

Some late thoughts on Chatroulette/"Copying"

None of you deserve this, but I did not enjoy using Chatroulette at all; it was nothing but trouble for me and, well, somebody has to take the deluge. I did not talk to a single nice person. Not one. The prospective sight of my boobs was a popular topic of conversation:

I also forgot to mention that whenever I refused to show my boobs, people either "nexted" me, or got very angry. I didn't record one conversation I had that was particularly interesting, probably because I actually was somewhat involved in the conversation, which was not the case with any of the conversations I captured. In this conversation, he and I were both visible but muted. He also seemed to be struggling with English. I decided to ask him where he was from, and he refused to tell me and insisted that I take a guess. I guessed incorrectly several times, and once again, the boobs came up. I refused to show him. He was mad. He responded by saying "You are whole slut" (I think he meant to say that I was a total slut) and then he said "son of beach" (he obviously meant to say "son of a bitch"). He also was the third person to ask me to take off my glasses. People either wanted to see my boobs or didn't want to see my glasses. I refused to take off my glasses. NEXT (he seemed to say), and he went away. Oh well. So, Chatroulette is not a good way to find friends. Or it isn't a good way for me to make friends.

Also, My freshman year in East Quad, I had to pay 3000$ for downloading 1 song on the U of M network (stupid).

I saw this recently;

I also saw the sequel;

Does anything like this ever worked?

Chattin with Master Debators

I was just forced to talk to people smoking stogies in France who wanted to talk about Charles Bukowski, some sororities girls at Oklahoma State who want to add me on Facebook because my last name is Hickey, and of course, plenty of men pleasuring their lonely selves.

I think the best part is that you don't get to choose who you talk to. Like how the people on the other end of my connections didnt get to choose to address the pinata doll acting as my chat proxy, but they all got a good laugh out of it. The key is to just swallow the super-awkwardness of the whole thing and accept that 5% of these encounters might turn out well. But the ones that do, are like running into those random people you find on the streets sometimes that keep you thinking about them for a while, wondering what drove them to wear such funny hats, or say such awkward things, or publicly exhibit their self-love.

Here's a boring but albeit surprisingly casual encounter with a French graduate student whoe is traveling to New York but lacks confidence in his English command:

You: ohhh i see, well you seem pretty good so far
Stranger: Thanks dude
You: you will be fine in NY, there are so many people from so many different places, and so many different languages spoken on the street
You: my french is terribly rusty
You: i tried to learn for a short while, but i speak only english and spanish
Stranger: Yeah, different language
Stranger: Difficult sorry
Stranger: What time in Michigan ?
You: 8:17 pm
You: late at night there?
Stranger: here is 02:18AM
Stranger: Yeah i'm tired dude
Stranger: Do you have Facebook ?
You: yeah i was about to ask you the same
You: my first name is Thomas
You: last name Hickey
Stranger: unfortunately
Stranger: I'm erased my account
Stranger: recently
Stranger: :-(
You: to try to get a job or just beacuse?
Stranger: because, we see alot of useless things
You: i agree
Stranger: adress email ?
Stranger: here mine : xavier.senatore@gmail.com
Stranger: no facebook sorry
You: yeah, my e-mail is -- hickeyt@umich.edu -- , you should let me know what you think of the states, and possibly recommend me more good movies
You: it was a good conversation

ChatRoulette, you creep me the f out, but thanks for the flashes of greatness.

Expletive as title

Chatroulette is confusing.

I don't like talking to people on airplanes or making eye contact with people on the street or pauses in small talk. I use my computer and my phone to avoid them. But now, I can use them to create those moments. Because my computer was busy processing these misexhilerating moments, I had to use something else to diffuse my anxiety. Luckily, Design Lab 1 has these empty pinatas. The internet makes me okay with prop/physical comedy because irony is too hard. My second life avatar was outrageous, and I made a pinata dance

Now, I think that everyone I see has a second chatroulette life.

I think that I just gave most of my insight to the fine film Morgan is editing now. This experience illuminated something else to me: webcams always make me feel like I am hosting a public access tv show by accident.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bieber Fever

Young Cody, who was three at the time of this now famous video, sat around crying all day because she was in love with Justin Beiber, and had not seen him all day (or, really, ever.) Not one to let young girls cry, Jimmy Kimmel took matters into his own hand and brought the two together.

On Youtube, there is a full length video of the girl crying over Justin Beiber, because she knows he loves her, too. There is also a video of her mother reading comments left on the videos to her, as well as several videos from the family to Justin. These were recorded after he sent them to Disney World.

I just got to thinking about how this whole encounter was product of technology. A long time ago, Justin Beiber was just a somewhat handsome (arguably not, though it could be blamed on that awkward time in life that tweendom) boy with a great voice on youtube. He was discovered via youtube, and (after a bidding war between Usher and Justin Timberlake) became the hottest tween popstar since Zac Hanson sat behind a drum set.

But Justin's sound also changed. In his you tube videos, he is playing acoustic guitar, really using his pipes, and covering singer/song writer ballads such as Edwin McCain's "I'll Be." But when he became signed, he got a make over, had songs written for him to appeal to a young audience. His voice, which won him recognition on Youtube, has been auto-tuned. Technology allowed him to become an entirely new person. A person designed to draw in young girls en masse, but also to be someone their mom's could like, too.

Then, we have Cody, the young girl. Cody's mom chose to film her crying, and then posted it on youtube, where much like Justin, her videos became popular. Jimmy Kimmel then decided that it was worth the time of the American people to showcase this video and bring and end to young Cody's sadness. He also thought people at home would be entertained by this story. And who wouldn't be? There's probably no one who hasn't, at some time, felt a connection to a celebrity, however unwarranted or ridiculous.

In the video, Cody first makes contact with Justin on a cell phone, before he enters the room. When he is in the room, she actually tries to hid behind the phone, because she is so surprised to see his physical being. After all, she has never really seen him before, only his image.

While there are certainly bigger questions to pull out of both of these stories (why did a mom put her daughter sobbing about Justin Bieber on youtube? Why does she facilitate the relationship between her daughter and the people who like her? Why is the little girl in love with someone she only sees on tv and hears on a cd? What does it say that Justin is a "sex" symbol -or object of desire for so many young girls - at 13? Are these desires genuine, never before expressed at such a young age, or are they the product of how rapidly children are maturing in such a technologically advanced world, what are the ramifications of this?) I find it interesting to read the technological imagery which seems so secondary, but without which no part of this story could have been written (not to mention my own watching the video on you tube, and your reading this online.)

Justin also has an open twitter, in case this story gives you Bieber fever, too. The family in question also has a youtube channel, in which Mr. Bieber is very often mentioned. For better or worse, this family is tied to Justin Bieber through the technology that made them famous: Youtube.