Wow! An edible drone with extruded vegetable spars that can be flown into famine-affected areas! Reworded press release posts popped up everywhere last week with this image attached. Ian Bogost wasn't buying it.
Bogost links prototype art created by venture capital seekers to to the long history of conceptual fine art, like Manzoni's 1961 pieces titled Artist's Shit. He draws a line from Manzoni to Windhorse Aerospace, who sold Facebook the concept of drone-based internet delivery for $20 million in 2014. Bogost explains how this VC bait works in theory and practice:
Conceptualism has one gimmick—that the idea behind the work has more value than the work itself. As it happens, that’s not a bad definition of securitization, the process of transforming illiquid assets into financial instruments. Whether Windhorse’s edible drones really work, or whether they could effectively triage humanitarian crises is far less important in the short term than the apparent value of the concept or the technology. If humanitarian aid doesn’t work out, the company can always “pivot” into another use, to use that favorite term of start-ups. What a company does is ultimately unimportant; what matters is the materials with which it does things, and the intensity with which it pitches those uses as revolutionary.
• Tech Start-Ups Have Become Conceptual Art (The Atlantic / Ian Bogost)
A 5-year-old boy knocked over a sculpture at the Tomahawk Ridge Community Center in Overland Park, Kansas. A few days later, Overland Park’s insurance company hit the boy’s parents with a $132,000 bill. From ABC News: City officials say the piece was not “permanently attached” but it was secured to the pedestal with clips and […]
Sculptor Jud Turner (previously) writes, "Been playing with shiny chrome parts in the studio lately (motorcycle parts, mostly) to conjure up things that are currently scaring me: "Stanislav the Russian Boar" and "Hera the Mud Dauber Wasp." Don't worry, I'm using plenty of ventilation and respirator when welding up this toxic but super-fun material.
Artist Masumi Ishikawa has announced a new project to immortalize iconic David Bowie imagery in the style of ukiyo-e, or Japanese woodcuts.
Your pet might be photogenic, but getting them to stare long enough at your camera to snap that Instagram-worthy photo isn’t as simple as telling them to sit. Bribing your pets with their favorite treat, however, might just do the trick, and with the Adjustable Pet Selfie Smartphone Attachment, you can do just that while getting […]
The cybersecurity landscape is changing, and now one of the most effective ways to counter hacking threats is to employ another hacker against them. Commonly referred to as ethical hackers, these professionals use a cybercriminal’s tools against them, checking networks for vulnerabilities and patching them up before they can be exploited. The Certified Ethical Hacker Bootcamp […]
The human eye is a powerful thing, but it’s not so great at seeing in the dark or around tight spaces, which is partially why most of us struggle with unplugging drains, cleaning under the fridge, and other hard-to-reach jobs. This 1080p HD Waterproof WiFi Wireless Endoscopic Camera, however, gives you the flexibility necessary to get […]