Garnet Hertz's "Experiments in Surveillance Capitalism: Device for Calling the Department of Homeland Security"

Artist and scholar on DIY culture and technology, Garnet Hertz, has a new piece opening up at York University, Gales Gallery, Toronto tonight. The piece, entitled "Experiments in Surveillance Capitalism: Device for Calling the Department of Homeland Security" is part of the exhibition "Disruptive Design & Digital Fabrication."

This system uses custom electronics to programmatically speak search terms into a seance-like ring of a dozen Google Home smart speakers. The system searches for controversial search terms that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are reported to monitor. The idea is that these "red flag" keyword Google searches will attract the attention of the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, or CSIS. This system plays with the fear that individuals have about privacy with contemporary smart devices. Related to this, in Canada there have been recent concerns about Huawei's ties to the Chinese government in regard to 5G network infrastructure — but it is worth also considering how companies like Google collect, synthesize, and sell our private information.

Here is the concept art for a larger version of the piece. The image above is of the scaled-down version which is part of the Gales Gallery show opening tonight.

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Artist paints their 5-year-old son's fantastic sea monster drawing

This is such an extraordinarily fun creative project. Read the rest

Meet Shudu, the world's first digital supermodel

Shudu is a harbinger of the future of modeling, a digitally created and enhanced supermodel created by Cameron-James Wilson. "Digital influencers" like Shudu are already clogging up Instagram and Snapchat, where kids these days can't get enough of the more-human-than-human beauties. Read the rest

Weaponized candy

While these guns, knives, and bombs look deliciously real, they are in fact masterful digital art confections by artist Cristian Girotto. Let's hope a candymaker gets inspired! Read the rest

Pioneer Véra Molnar has been creating computer art since 1968

Fifty years ago, Véra Molnar decided to experiment with computers for generating art printed on continuous plotter paper with the pin strips on the edge. To honor that anniversary, a number of galleries are showing her early work (protip: slow the video playback to 0.25 for longer looks at the work). Read the rest

Protanopia is a cool parallax 3D comic proof of concept

André Bergs created this short digital comic titled Protanopia. This short video hints at the possibilities of storytelling in electronic comics. Read the rest

Original 176 emoji acquired by New York's MoMA

In 1999, Shigetaka Kurita created 176 digital icons that fit in a 12x12 pixel grid. Pagers, then cell phones, then smartphones ran with the emoji concept. Now MoMA is acquiring the original set, and MoMA's Paul Galloway will be discussing the collection at Emojicon this week. Read the rest

Lose yourself in this trippy, existential interactive picturebook

In this meditative digital adventure, whorled iridescent shapes and glittering contrails that follow your mouse recall the magic of the early web, or some acid-dipped Microsoft Encarta CD-ROM.