Xerox Printers: Silver Ink
February 22, 2010, 12:01 AM
Filed under: Media Technologies

Yet, another technical electronics post. I seem to gravitate towards geek heavy topics.

Scientists at Xerox have developed a new ‘Silver Ink’ technology for printing electronic circuitry on flexible surfaces. Such an advancement could create digital clothing, pliable displays and signs, solar cells and ‘smart’ everyday objects.

This new ink technology contains silver metal that can be used to print circuits on textiles, film and plastics just like a continuous feed document without the expensive facilities required in regular circuit board manufacturing. The development of this low-temperature metallic ink has a melting point lower than that of plastics,  which allows the metal to be laid atop surfaces such as plastic or fabric without melting the surface.

Silver Ink has uses for existing technology. It can be used to improvise, or repair circuits. Which makes for an easy, cost efficient way to repair broken circuit boards that reduces waste and labour. Though, flexible, lightweight disposable electronics will also be developed.

How could this technology change our world and experience? Digital clothing could be running with computing power, and have the ability to monitor heart rates, blood pressure, environment temperature, and weather readings. Medicine bottles could instruct patients their proper dosage. It would advance light and flexible, paper-thin electronic readers. Paper thin phones would be invented. And perhaps novelty fashion wear.

What problems does it suggest for the future? The answer lies in the material. Plastic sheets are resistant. The non-rigid attributes of the materials makes for forces to be exerted on connections, causing reliability problems. Plastic sheets would be used in instances where the flexibility is important. Not only problematic materials plague the issue of potential problems. Our society is constantly bombarded by advertisements, commercials, notices, etc. This could re-invent and expand the way co-operations deliver advertisements. The potential for circuit boards being weaved into clothing means we could be walking billboards.


Smart Planet

Vuk Cosic: Digital Artist
February 22, 2010, 12:01 AM
Filed under: Media Technologies

The artist I chose that uses digital media in an innovative way, is Vuk Cosic. He creates video images made up solely of ASCII characters. Vuk Cosic is part of an art movement refered to as ‘net.art’, which represents artists who worked in the medium of Internet art from 1994.

So what is ASCII, and its relevance to digital media?

ASCII stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. Put into simple terms, ASCII are digits that represent English characters as numbers in code form. Numbers are assigned to each letter. It’s a standard encoding widely used in the computer industry.

His works are directed towards conversions between one media platform and another. He notes the platforms uselessness from the viewpoint of everyday technology, and its potential faults. The ideas behind his ASCII art is a mix of philosophical, conceptual, and contemporary urban.

(Vuk Cosic converts images to ASCII)

(Scene from Star Trek converted to ASCII, and animated)

Cosic uses ASCII characters in place of where you would find pixels in print or video image. He works and experiments with moving, audio and camera ASCII. ASCII is used as the filter through which other art medium are exhibited, such as music, films, video games and pornography.

His future ambitions include developing a three-dimensional ASCII environment, that is derived from the evolution of his other presented ASCII works. What’s unique about this specific use of digital media, is that it’s completely versatile. This is another way of communicating using ordinary alphanumeric characters and fixing their positions to represent visual images. This style isn’t your conventional paint on canvas, however, I feel this type of artwork, converting image to text format, is incredible. There is much potential for expansion and growth, having a fluid disposition, and infinite convertibility. ASCII has the capability of being presented as both 2D and 3D. Though typography and alphanumerics are a component of Cosic’s artwork, they form a mosaic and image that can be viewed understood by everyone. Simplified architecture of technology of machines provides freedom of artistic expression. Although he offers democratic art that is available to anyone with access to the internet, his installations would be worth viewing in person, expanded on massive screens.

For all my life I have been attracted to unorthodox creation and usage of writing… to explore the spaces beyond text in lines or between two pages in the same leaf or between the letter and the paper that holds it is much more meaningful.’  – Vuk Cosic

(ASCII converted video of Vuk CosiC conference at the University of Maribor, Slovenia, 2007)

Vuk Cosic
Vuk Cosic Films

Second Life
February 22, 2010, 12:01 AM
Filed under: Media Technologies

Second Life. Created by Lindenn Lab, launched in 2003, and is accessible via the internet. It’s a client that enables its users to interact, explore, participate in events, and trade virtual property. Until our professor introduced us to this social networking site, I had no previous knowledge of it. And with over 8 million players, I’m surprised I hadn’t caught wind of the game beforehand. Since I’m more disposed to indulging myself in first person shooters, or levelling a character sleeplessly in an MMO, Second Life was a drastic change to the norm of the calibre computer games I play.

During our class field trip to Second Life, we were asked to examine the virtual reality took known as Second Life. We logged in as a group and immediately began our exploration, through playing with a poetry generator that would reward the players, and exploring various art exhibits. I quickly realized that particular category of social interacting was not for me. Though, it’s obvious why another may hold it in sizeable esteem. The first positive point: Second Life is free. There’s a continuous expansion of innovative marketing. Real-world companies can look to advertise in the virtual world. Diverse players from all walks of life gather everyday to interact and socialize with others. You can attend a business meeting, or be present in a classroom. The possibilities and explorations are limitless.

(My avatar; Meerclar Lamplight)

Could Second Life be useful in promoting my work and career? Absolutely. Through virtual self-representation. The emerging medium of the metaverse is giving aspiring artists an outlet to practice their artistic merits in a completely new setting. You can promote and market your work through art exhibits, live music and live theater. In Second Life, you maintain ownership and retain the rights to your creations. Other users, or Second Life administrators cannot manipulate or claim you work.

And of course, the negative aspects of Second Life. The virtual world is appealing, and consuming. After visiting Second Life, it’s apparent some players might spend the majority of their personal time building their virtual lives. If you own a business, you’d want to keep up appearances. The same would apply for Second Life. Though, there are worse things than spending an abundance of time playing a computer game. How about actual reports of married couples finding that their spouse had cheated on the other via virtual video game.

(Classmates taking a tour through a virtual art exhibit)

Though Second Life isn’t the virtual world I’d desire, there are limitless possibilities to explore, create, interact and participate. The good may outweigh the bad.

Linden Lab
The Journal.com