Monday, July 23, 2007

Exogeny #1

You have friends on Facebook, followers on Twitters and Contacts on Flickr. You go online to see what your friends are up to. You form new relationships and friendship online. But do you have a digital child anywhere?

Are you sure?

Mike Marcus, a 34 y/o photographer and digital artist is creating digital children:

This is the world we now live in. A world where both the virtual and physical are becoming equally real. Where relationships between people do not depend on physical presence or even the ability to speak the same language. Where ideas and concepts exist outside of the brain of the individual in the collective mind of society where we call them memes. It is a world where a digital child is a serious prospect. If people can have cyber sex then why not cyber offspring? (source)

From the exhibition literature:

"The name “Exogeny” refers to the cultural practice of intentionally breeding outside of one’s cultural or ethnic community. The series is heavily influenced by the artist’s own experiences growing up in a segregated and xenophobic religious community and, more recently, as a witness to racial tensions between Israeli citizens and Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. The collection aims to “exogenise” or metaphorically reach out to the wider community by digitally merging the artist’s own self-portrait with those of others. The resulting images form “digital child” portraits; beings who appear real in all ways but who never actually existed. Taken together, the work forms a distinct body, all tableaux resembling the artist in some way while retaining the features of the models. Some of the images appear to be obviously male while others are androgynous. The original models represent a mix of races, ages and personality types but the final works homogenise into a uniform collective that defies categorisation. (source)

Oh well. In its own weird way, this makes sense. For Mike, it's a statement and an experiment. Me, I know it's going to happen sooner than we think.

Check out Mike's Exogeny #1 exhibition, opening Aug 2nd.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Facebook - no RSS???

Yes, there is no RSS on Facebook. The Nomad Camera Project: Yedda HQ secret enterance

Also, it's very much a walled garden. Its URLs are ugly, and its color scheme is boring. Borringgg.

And yet, it's the best social network I've used so far. In fact, I think their own description on the Facebook home page - a social utility - may be the best description for it.

Lifestreams are great, but the Facebook News Feed is carefully balanced, well thought of and a useful combined stream of most of the things I care about. And if there is something I care about which isn't supported yet by the News Feed (e.g. is outside the Facebook walled garden), you can count on someone creating a Facebook app that will add support for it.

With interaction models ranging from casual and lightweight ("poke is the new ping!", originally by Eran) all the way to personal messages, the social interaction rules defined and implemented by Facebook strike a good balance between sharing and privacy.

Of course, as wonderful as it is, Facebook wasn't really complete until now - but now that we introduced Yedda Questions & Answers for Facebook, I think we can safely call it perfect :)

P.S. Still, I'd love to have an RSS feed on my Facebook News Feed. Duh.