Category Archives: multitude

swarm urbanism

Some inspiration from kokkugia

From the project Swarm Urbanism…

“Agency operates through two main processes within this proposal: firstly by using design agents to self-organise urban matter and secondly encoding intelligence into urban elements and topologies.”

“Agents within this system are not generic, instead there is an ecology of agent systems which interact, each set of agents programmed with their own desires and information.”

There are two key points here that they use to relate a swarm model to urban phenomena. First, the interaction between agents and their landscape. The agents have a series of behaviors, but they are also directly affected by information that is stored in the landscape, and the landscape itself is affected by the agents. This is the basic definition of an ecosystem.

Second, there is a hierarchy of agents, each performing their own task. In this model, there is a group of agents who aggregate matter, similar to the behavior of termites in building a colony. A second class of agents operates more like a slime mold, to build infrastructure by connecting certain locations in a minimal system.

I think both of these points are crucial when starting to think about how swarm models can be applied to think of the organization of a city.

-dn

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Searching for Saddam

Sometimes the cutting edge of war is people, not computers. Chris Wilson explains how social networks led us to Saddam.

Social networks have two fundamental units,nodes and edges. In a visualization of one’s Facebook friends, for example, every node would be a person and every edge would indicate a friendship. (Incidentally, Saddam was captured about three months before Facebook was founded.)

Copenhagen Wheel

The Copenhagen Wheel is a new emblem for urban mobility. It transforms ordinary bicycles quickly into hybrid e-bikes that also function as mobile sensing units. The Copenhagen Wheel allows you to capture the energy dissipated while cycling and braking and save it for when you need a bit of a boost. It also maps pollution levels, traffic congestion, and road conditions in real-time.

The Human Shuffle

chatroulette

The site activates your webcam automatically; when you click “start” you’re suddenly staring at another human on your screen and they’re staring back at you, at which point you can either choose to chat (via text or voice) or just click “next,” instantly calling up someone else. It’s the anti-Facebook, pure social-media shuffle. Once you dive in, there’s no way to manage the experience—to filter users, search for friends, or backtrack and reconnect with someone you chatted with an hour ago. There’s only the perpetual forward motion of “next.

http://nymag.com/news/media/63663/

Production of Meaning

The living room is where the product is made and you are the product. We quickly forget what our purpose in life is as soon as we are programmed by the system to behave certain ways and most importantly purchase in certain ways. Our behaviors are not judged on how we perform and think anymore, rather they are on what we are able to buy and what we own.

“Here is the challenge of media democracy: to change the way information flows, the way we interact with the mass media, the way meaning is produced in our society. This DVD – a collection of television spots and video clips produced over the years by regular culture jammers – is proof that anyone can seize the media reins and begin producing real meaning.”

“World war 3 will be a guerrilla information war with no division between civilian and military participation.” – Marshall McLuhan

F. Roche “I’ve Heard About”

“Something shapeless grafted onto existing tissue, something that needs no vanishing point to justify itself but instead welcomes a quivering existence immersed in a real-time vibratory state, here and now.  Tangled, intertwined, it seems to be a city, or rather a fragment of a city.  Its inhabitants are immunized because they are both vectors and protectors of this complexity.  The multiplicity of its interwoven experiences and forms is matched by the apparent simplicity of its mechanisms. The inhabitants draw sustenance from the present, with no time lag.  The form of the territorial structure draws its sustenance directly from the present time.  It is a zone of emancipation, produced so that we can keep the origins of its founding act eternally alive, so that we can always live with and re-experience that beginningThe public sphere is everywhere, like a pulsating organism driven by postulates that are mutually contradictory and nonetheless true. It belongs to the many, the multitude.  The world is terrifying when it’s intelligible, when it clings to some semblance of predictability, when it seeks to preserve a false coherence. In I’ve heard about,” it is what is not there that defines it, that guarantees its readability, its social and territorial fragility and its indetermination.”