21 April 2009

the twits

progressive reactionary can now be found on twitter. better late than never. let's see how long this lasts...

15 April 2009

strange times

[image: China Radio International, via NY Times]

Just when you think things could not get more surreal—with Republicans staging "teabagging" parties across the nation and pirates once again ruling the high seas—you come across a news story like this.

Dolphins? Saving a Chinese freighter from pirates?

11 April 2009

creatures on the beach

[image: Strandbeest.com]

I came across this TED talk by Dutch artist Theo Jansen, who makes these fantastic, kinetic sculptures called Strandbeests. They are stunning and (apparently) analog computing systems that exhibit behaviors that we would normally associate with living organisms, not handmade assemblages of plastic piping. Jansen's simple manifesto as expressed on his website imagines a kind of future utopia of these creatures in perpetual motion along the coastline—a curious amalgam of futuristic and pre-modern ideas of life and culture:
Since 1990 I have been occupied creating new forms of life.

Not pollen or seeds but plastic yellow tubes are used as the basic material of this new nature. I make skeletons that are able to walk on the wind, so they don’t have to eat.

Over time, these skeletons have become increasingly better at surviving the elements such as storms and water and eventually I want to put these animals out in herds on the beaches, so they will live their own lives.

- Theo Jansen, Strandbeest.com
Well worth a look:
TED Talk - "Theo Jansen: The Art of Creating Creatures"