Archive for the 'Hacking' Category

Make Work Data Work


On Wed 21st October, Studio 223 at SWG3 will host a very informal Feral Studio / Make Works event, with Open Work presenting some ideas they’ve been developing using Make Works databases of makers and manufacturers. It’s a 5-way collab. The best kind of collab.

The second part of the evening might involve a making and manufacturing Pecha Kucha Roulette, featuring some of Glasgow’s hottest designers and makers (if we can get it together).

6 for 6.30pm start.

Source: Make Work Data Work – A Feral Studio

Like Service Design? Like Jam?


HT Charlotte Fountaine … Tickets / Twitter / Facebook / Tumblr

Real-time times two

Recently I have been hooked on two websites which are (un)related real-time updates of digital (mis)communication.

The first is a site created by Norse, an internet attack intelligence agancy (very Neuromancer but without the rastas in space). The site is a real-time visualisation of a small percentage (apparently <1%) of cyber attacks. It shows where the attacks originate, where is being targeted and the type of attack. It is pretty incredible. If you watch it for long enough you’ll see the map quieten down and then, boom, a massive coordinated attack will fire off. Usually against the USA.

The second site is a real-time visualisation of every emoji being used on twitter. I find it mesmerising. It follows on from an article I read in The Observer last weekend which was interested in the popularity of Emoji and how it has become a ubiquitous virtual language, with pictograms replacing words and combinations of these symbols replacing whole sentences but adding a multitude of increased interpretations. As the author of the article writes at the end of the article, “Barthes would have had a field day.”

Both of the sites are socially interesting and although at first glance I think it seems that the Norse one is the more ‘important’ of the two, I am fascinated by the Emoji one and by the questions it raises about how we communicate digitally, why are we always more drawn towards using pictures (pun intended), what does this mean for words and writing, is the majority of written language superfluous to communicative needs, can we call emoji a recognised language in its own right, and how would a shift towards a pictorial-based language system affect things like journalism, poetry, books etc, and physical interaction? Its a highly unlikely thing to happen but it is interesting to think about.


It’s sunny in Dundee mostly


Tentsmuir WW2 Coastal Defences

In the spirit of inter-institutional caring and sharing:


Preview: Thursday 27th March 7pm
Exhibition Open: Friday 28th March 12 – 4pm, Saturday 29th March 12 – 4pm

The White Room project space, Tin Roof Studios. 38-40 Bellfield Street
Dundee DD1 5JD

Presenting an exhibition of work created by 3rd year Illustration Students from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design.

Come along to our show! It consists of hand printed posters and set designs for a series of imagined theatrical adaptations of plays exploring climate change, sustainability, urban planning and related social and political issues.

Exploring subjects such as:
Hydro Fracking, Gentrification, Micro-topias, Climate Activism, Nuclear waste disposal, Nuclear War, Social Housing, The melting ice caps, Surveillance, Community Gardening.

For more information please visit:

watching us

this is a fantastic resource that has a wealth of information on topics relevant to modern society and globalised culture.

“There’s already a lot of information on the Internet, so our goal is to cut through the noise and garbage, to present valuable information in a clear way, so it’s accessible, useful and easily digested. This still may not be an easy undertaking though, and we can understand that — especially considering the complexity and interconnectedness of the topics, as well as the crossing over of sources; but also for the fact that the information here can be incomplete, sometimes contradictory or even controversial. But this is the point. It’s all part of what we’re trying to do: provoke critical thinking, questioning… and doing.

We’ve fundamentally built this resource to inform and inspire action — and no, we’re not talking about clicking the stupid ‘Like’ button on Facebook, signing online petitions or letter writing — we mean informing and inspiring real-world action; taking this information away from the computer to rejuvenate the strong networks with the people around you in the real world, to discuss, plan, act. This is not a symbolic action or clicktivism website, nor is it a simple collection of popular content, like the other websites available. It’s a resource that aims to inform, inspire and provoke action; to generate a multitude of responses and reactions. This is just some of what is needed to break paradigms, subservience, acquiescence, and to cultivate inspiration to continue work on the plethora of puzzles and problems addressed in the information published here.”

adam curtis documentaries

Spime Weapons

Defense distributed raise an interesting spectre of the point (in the not too distant future) when we will be able to access (any) object as data and fabricate it ourselves as a 3D printed object. In this case, their focus in the gun, (or as they call it the ‘personal defence system’). The project, as I’m sure it’s intended to do, raises a number of ethical and social issues, and while I personally feel that their libertarian manifesto is a bit muddled (not seeming to recognise individual and collective rights as being connected in any way), its interesting to think about whether we feel any different were we to contextualise this technology in the arab spring, or other recent uprisings, and how this makes us feel about the more traditional methods of arms manufacturing, distribution and control.

Thanks to the person from 2nd year who raised this in a discussion group (and whose name unfortunately I don’t have to hand), as i think it raises some really interesting questions.

Occupy Design?

Folk might be interested in this forthcoming event: I personally have some questions about the idea of ‘occupy design’ but undoubtedly the event will be a melting pot of ideas and proposals and one which could lead to some interesting outcomes.

‘This Space Is Not For Hire’ will take place at the Bank of Ideas, an occupied former bank near Liverpool Street Station.

Running across the afternoons of Saturday the 28 and Sunday 29 January 2012, will be a range of talks on topics such as: radical forms of communication and design activism; the precariousness of design employment; and exposing and reflecting upon the ways design is used to give a friendly veneer to the worst kinds of Corporate behaviour.

via Eye blog » Higher ground. Occupy Design is an opportunity to change design, and design for change..

On ‘Thinkering’

From States of Design 03: Domus.

Hack Scotland

Culture Hack Scotland looks like a good day out?

From the london version:

But is it really hacking?

Space for Everyone

A student was talking yesterday about an idea for a space agency for the East End of Glasgow, (Glasgow East End Space Agency, or GEESA for short, I felt it should be called) which put me in mind of the Open Source Satellite Initiative. My awful name idea in turn put me in mind of Geezer Gotta Flame Thrower, by GSA staff Beagles and Ramsay.

This is Happening

This happened… Edinburgh #6: This Happened… are generally really good talks and a chance to meet people from a range of backgrounds doing things that are, broadly speaking, happening in the design/technical/art/digital/web/interaction sphere. Happens on 2nd Dec, tickets available from 1pm, 25th Nov. (Image: Simon Yuill)

Dead Drops

Dead Drops is a fantastically clandestine and covert way to share information. Thanks to Philip Blakie, PD.

Beste Steve


Project produced by Rotterdam company V2, where Herman Asselbergh dismantles a brand new MacBook Pro piece by piece. Although the online video is only a clip right now, the still image makes me very exited to see the finished autopsy. Asselberghs comments on the contradiction between how often we see laptops in artworks and the ubiquity of them in our lives.

It’s Not Their Logo, It’s Your Logo

As sure as a brand isn’t what the company says it is, it’s what ‘you’ say it is,  this logo competition from greenpeace shows how little ownership a company has over its own (supposed) most prized and valuable asset — its corporate identity.