Bond Cards

Social Capital as Currency: An Experiment

“What is more important than money?” is the question I found myself asking. This came after having put a considerable effort into trying to fix what is currently broken with currency, only to accidentally reinvent it. To me, the problem with money came in trying to rework it in a system that was designed almost completely around it. In order to invent a truly new form of currency, it became imperative that one must rethink economic dynamics entirely, to the point of rethinking the need for the current form of economy. Friendship was the first word I wrote down, followed closely by love, trust, and respect. Social capital, as compared to economic capital, would dominate the rules of exchange and status.


Mighty Thesis Journey!

This is a light weight journal to show everyone what the deal is with my thesis! Today’s Entry:


Also, random idea encounter!


What if there were bizarre tunneling beasties who lived with the humans? And they keep on doing their thing, even when you aren’t logged in.

iPhone vs. Mud & Toilet Paper Data Visualizations

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you immersed your iPhone in muddy water? Can toilet paper be used to visualize data flows across social networks?

These are everyday investigation in CTIN 542 & 548, where second year IMD graduate students are laying a foundation for designing their thesis projects. These same students will be offering previews of their thesis proposals next Tuesday April 20 from 2:00 to 5:00PM in ZML. All are welcome to come catch a glimpse of the future of Interactive Media!

511 Seminar 3/31: One-week projects


Making Friends: Seven Days Toward Empathetic Avatars

As avatars become computer interfaces, it’s all too easy for users to act from a position of presumed superiority and condescension. Believing ourselves to be the only sentient being in a relationship – even with a virtual character – can lead to arrogance and indifference toward other beings, whether “real” or “virtual.”

Yet, emotions such as empathy are fundamental to human experience, influencing such basic human processes as cognition, perception, learning, communication and decision-making. Historically, however, designers, theorists and technologists have largely ignored the emotional register, which is notoriously difficult to predict, harness or contain.

This assignment is about creating a contract of caring between a user and a physical avatar. One way of approaching this assignment would be to create a situation or exchange that highlights the intense feelings we sometimes develop for inanimate objects. But remember, contracts represent an exchange of value: what would it take for these objects to develop intense feelings of empathy for us?


Spider Web Clock

bq. Design a timepiece. It may be one that functions conventionally, in which case you would creatively exploit its changing “face”, or, there is also the option to construct a device that responds to light changes, tides, seasons, etc. In either case, you should work for a synthesis of function and image in which change is a major interest.

“SpiderWeb clock”:/membersmedia/cnie/2009/05/spider_web_clock/index.html. Built with Processing.

Wiimote Music Box

For the “Shake, Rattle and Roll” 1-week project.

A box with a wiimote attached on the side of the interior, sending data to a laptop that is blaring a version of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Let You Down”. When the box is turned to different orientations, it toggles the volume of three different tracks of the song (harmony, rhythm, vocal).

Due to the uh… temperamental nature of connecting wiimotes to personal computers, this requires a Mac to play. Run the “DarwiinRemote” app first and check to make sure it’s receiving wiimote data, before running the “WiimoteMusicBox” Processing sketch.


IMD Forum for 3/11/09: Shake Rattle and Roll !


Presenters: 2nd Year MFA students in CTIN 542 and CTIN 548

Time: Wednesday, March 11, 6pm-8pm

Location: USC’s Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts (RZC),

Room 201 Zemeckis Media Lab (ZML)

Title: ” Shake Rattle and Roll – CTIN 542,548 Second Year MFA Combined One-Week Interactive Design Project, Spring 2009″

Instructors/Jurors: Mark Bolas, Perry Hoberman, Steve Anderson.

The Challenge: Keyboards contain the arms, wrists, hands and fingers to slight taps along a tiny plane. Mice confine the entire body to slight motions along a plane – reducing intent to inches. Screens constrain our backs, necks, and heads into Nixon-esque postures – eyes fixed forward, shoulders slumped. It is time to break free from the bondage of our systems and engage our bodies in the interaction. It is time to Shake, Rattle and Roll!

Your assignment is to conceive of, design, and produce an interactive experience in which the body is not a mere spectator, but a central element of the experience. The experience should engage the body and be one or more of the following: surprising, shocking, bewildering, addictive, amazing, exquisite, thoughtful, provocative. Students are to incorporate the box, in some way, to create an interactive experience that transpires in between .002 to 200 seconds. Engagement is a two-way street – we move, speak and sweat while we also hear, see, feel, touch and smell. Think in terms of the whole body, and a full range of sensory possibilities.