SELF DIRECTION LOUNGE

Olivia Plender’s work ‘Self Direction Lounge’ seems to play on corporate motivational environments one might find today, but establishes a space which emotes a mixture of feelings, from invigoration to discomfort, all while feeling very documented/produced on the green backdrop.

More images and documentation of this work at http://aapentforum.khio.no/?cat=61 and other work by Plender at http://www.mkgallery.org/exhibitions/olivia_plender/

NEW ANTHROPOCENE ROCKS

A new material dubbed ‘Plastiglomerate’ has been recently found on the shores of Hawaii, and is believed to be formed when plastic debris is melted by human heat sources, forest fires or lava flows. The rock may "become a marker around the world of when humans came to dominate the globe and leave behind their refuse in mass quantities."

http://news.sciencemag.org/earth/2014/06/rocks-made-plastic-found-hawaiian-beach

INVASIVE SPECIES

Impressive survey of disguised cell phone towers by Cape Town photographer, Dillon Marsh. http://www.dillonmarsh.com/invasivespecies.html

FROM AFAR IT IS AN ISLAND

Fantastic artifact materiality in this piece by Alisha Wessler, titled From Afar It Is an Island. I also love that it was shown in a museum of archeology.

http://www.alishawessler.com/index.php/sculpture/from-afar-it-is-an-island/

HAUS-RUCKER CLASSICS

From the blog CUPtopia. http://cup2013.wordpress.com/tag/superstudio/

ENERGY PLUS

The Energy Pilots program was a fictional business research institute with the mission of proposing new business models that could make low carbon energy cost competitive with traditional, higher carbon options.

Since developing the project, I’ve seen a few examples of energy companies going beyond the standard $/kWh model we’ve been using for ages.

In this instance, the Energy Plus program is not completely transparent, but it looks like the company aims to lure customers by handing out free air miles, and in exchange, manipulating energy rates beyond what the energy provider charges.

It’s an unusual example of energy companies leveraging other factors, although not exclusive to low carbon technologies in this case.

http://www.epmid.com/w/pilots.html

THE EXTRAPOLATION FACTORY

Last Friday night, a pharmacy & 99¢ store on Flatbush Avenue in downtown Brooklyn held a “Time-Warp Opening,” selling a variety of products one might desire in the future; from space suit lining-replacements, to DIY organ-transplant kits, to life form creation tools.

These speculative products were the outcome of The Extrapolation Factory, a futurization workshop developed and lead by Elliott P. Montgomery and Chris Woebken, and held at Studio-X NYC. On February 9th, eager factory workers spent the day selecting forecasts from a futures-database, categorizing them into ‘lenses’ on a wall-sized diagram, and then ‘looked’ through these lenses to establish unique visions of the future. The forward-looking views were expressed as stories of possible future scenarios, each giving birth to a product concept that might be found in a 99¢ store of the future. Workers then fabricated and packaged these future products at the factory’s rapid-prototyping station. Every item included its inspiration story, as well as the initial forecasts and sources that support it.

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On the following Friday, an existing 99¢ store was stocked with the future products, alongside an inventory of items from the present (mobile phone accessories) as well as dated objects (rain bonnets) and timeless ones (toothpicks). Products like Benzene Vapor Refills, Mars Survival Kits, and Triple-Nipple Baby Bottles sold like synthetic hot cakes at the one-night-only event. Throughout the evening, curious shoppers speculated with one another on the prospects of the exciting, the terrible and the mundane futures hinted at by the objects in their hands.

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This project and the related events were supported by Autodesk, Studio-X NYC and Brooklyn Brewery.