Monthly Archives: July 2016

Miguel Chevalier “Magic Carpets 2016”

Magic Carpets 2016

Magic Car­pets 2016 is a giant lumin­ous car­pet pro­jec­ted on the floor inside of the MK Cen­ter. This car­pet is made of dif­fer­ent vir­tu­al and mul­ti­colore graph­ic scenes inspired by emblem­at­ic forms asso­ci­ated to urb­an land­scapes in Milton Keynes which are very con­struct­iv­ist. The art­work bene­fi­ci­ates of a music­al dis­play spe­cially cre­ated for the install­a­tion and com­posed by Ray Lee. The tech­nic­al pro­duc­tion is by French firm Voxels Pro­duc­tions.

The vis­it­ors will be able to carry small alu­mini­um spheres gen­er­at­ing the music.  By using pres­ence sensors the install­a­tion is inter­act­ive — in a visu­al way this flu­ent uni­verse is impacted by the vis­it­ors’ movements.

The moves modi­fy the ele­ments’ tra­ject­ory under the feet draw­ing a new com­pos­i­tion which remains stun­ning.  Like a giant kal­eido­scope the spec­tat­or is immersed in a world of col­ors, mov­ing forms and travels into an ima­gin­ary and poet­ic game of optic­al illusions.

via and

The 1974 Arecibo Radio Telescope Message

In 1974, the astro­nomer Frank Drake sent a math­em­at­ic­ally-based bin­ary mes­sage to the stars (spe­cific­ally the M13 glob­u­lar cluster), using a radio tele­scope. What was the mes­sage, and how was it constructed?

Find out more here.

(L) The Arecibo Mes­sage string, arranged in 73 rows and 23 columns. Even in text, your eye can see pat­terns emer­ging. © The same mes­sage shown as a shaded grid, mak­ing the pat­terns more clear. ® The same image col­or­ized for dis­cus­sion. [Images by S. Lar­son; R image from Wiki­me­dia Commons]
Man looking at his feet

The Radical Plasticity Thesis: How the Brain Learns to be Conscious

This fairly clear 2011 paper by Axel Cleere­mans reveals an under­stand­ing of where con­scious­ness comes from: the brain attempt­ing to describe itself.

“Learn­ing and plas­ti­city are thus cent­ral to con­scious­ness, to the extent that exper­i­ences only occur in exper­i­en­cers that have learned to know they pos­sess cer­tain first-order states and that have learned to care more about cer­tain states than about others.” 

Take that, Skynet.