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.

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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?

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(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.