A New Aesthetic eruption I caught yesterday off Brick Lane in east London: this LCD adverscreen displaying rotating, chiding public safety messages beneath a CCTV camera, nestled among the graffiti-daubed old buildings above the cobbled and thronged street.
Bruce Sterling's "An Essay on the New Aesthetic," is a dense, difficult, exciting critical look at the New Aesthetic, a kind of art movement centered in my neighbourhood in east London ("If you wanted a creative movement whose logo is a Predator supported by glossy, multicolored toy balloons, London would be its natural launchpad."). — Read the rest
I reviewed No Man's Sky three years ago, after the stylish space-exploration game received big patches adding depth, detail and story to the poorly-received original release. But its creators didn't stop there, and today's No Man's Sky: Origins (officially v3.0 of the game) marks yet another massive free upgrade. — Read the rest
A growing community of music fans and makers love the old iPods that Apple discontinued years ago. When their devices die or need better batteries or more storage, they send them to people like Manuel Mantecon (aka Pichi) who refurbishes them in his North Carolina bathroom workshop. — Read the rest
James "New Aesthetic" Bridle (previously) is several kinds of provocateur and artist (who can forget his autonomous vehicle trap, to say nothing of his groundbreaking research on the violent Youtube Kids spammers who came to dominate the platform with hour+ long cartoons depicting cartoon characters barfing and murdering all over each other?).
In 1918, there was plenty of speculation about 2018; in 2018, no one is talking about 2118. Bruce Sterling discusses the relationship of industrial design to science fiction; the New Aesthetic and Turinese architecture; and many other subjects with Benjamin Bratton. — Read the rest
Last month, James "New Aesthetic" Bridle published an influential essay exploring the prolific and disturbing video-spam that had come to dominate Youtube Kids, in which seemingly algorithmically generated videos endlessly recombined a handful of Disney characters and assorted others engaged in violent, abusive and even psychosexual conduct, over a soundtrack of a few repeated public-domain kids' songs, with all sorts of trickery designed to uprank them in Youtube's play-next, recommendation and search results — keyword stuffing, duration-stretching and more.
James Bridle takes a deep dive into the weird world of Youtube Kids videos, whose popular (think: millions and millions of views) genres and channels include endless series of videos of children being vomited on by family members and machinima-like music videos in which stock cartoon characters meet gory, violent ends.
The technique, which several companies are reportedly working on, would allow marketers to associate devices with one another and paint a privacy-cracking picture of the owner's interests and behaviors. — Read the rest
Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples's high weird, perved-out, freaked out space opera comic Saga is the best visual sf since Transmetropolitan, and the long-awaited volume 4 is a feast of politics, betrayal, gore, revolution, decadence, and Huxleyesque social control through amusement technology. Cory Doctorow blew his mind with it, and is back to tell the tale.