Category Archives: Bubiko Foodtour

Bubiko Foodtour Update: August 23, 2017

In June 2017, public actions began for Bubiko Foodtour, a character who will soon be appearing in AR(Augmented Reality). These actions involve networking, photographing Southeast Asian foods for a Bubiko Foodtour book project and informing the general public about the possibilities of AR with examples such as these:

Additionally, my background with VR is explained, and these two projects are shared: Beach Road (a short 360 movie I co-produced with hiverlab) SPOKEN a virtual galley, curated by myself, co-produced with Eugene Soh and featuring a variety of artists and writers. Regarding my background related to my AR startup, this link and this collection of links.

Unlike Pokemon and other characters that have made an impact in AR, Bubiko is starting from zero: a grassroots, bootstrapping approach. Her base is being built in Southeast Asia, for two reasons. First, Bubiko is “ä littlë chef from Thailand”, who is currently researching Southeast Asian food for her book project.

Secondly, Southeast Asia is ideal for gaining the first-hand knowledge necessary to create successful international AR experiences. SE Asia is a complex, multicultural and expansive environment for gaming/digital entertainment. Lessons learned here minimize unpleasant surprises for a global launch.

We are now creating a Bubiko Foodtour mockup, one much more hi-tech than this:

Although Bubiko’s character is now being created (in Z-brush), she is being introduced to, and discussed with, a variety of individuals, restaurants, companies and organizations.

Just as AR technology and Bubiko continue to develop, the following database will also expand, creating possibilities of many kinds. Also, not all of our plans and activities are outlined here; do get in touch if you would like to know more.

onwARd,

Stephen Black

ART

David Severn (UK/Japan)

Stephen Black (US/Asia)

Trees of Life (Japan)

Harsho (India)

>Richard Haughton (UK)

Eugene Soh (Singapore)

Syauqi Kahar (Malaysia)

Ruben Pang

FOOD

Straits Affair Peranakan Food and Culture Specialists Melacca

Durian vendor in Bandung

Ambroggio

Samm’s Farm Coffee producer/ two cafes Bandung Indonesia

Pizza Puzzini Swedish pizza in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia www.pizzapuzzini.com Facebook

Russel's Tea Sri Lanka

Oatmygod Whole Wheat Snacks Taiwan

Regent Pandan Layer Cake Shop

TOURISM

I love Penang people organizers

FUNDING DISCUSSIONS/LEGAL

- Singapore-based VCs - Johor Bahru, Malayia-based VC - San Francisco-based VC -American/Asian IP lawyer specializing in IP -colleagues and leaders of industry

LOGISTICS

Shipping company

Hotel JB

TECHNOLOGY

Pet Shop Box Studio: specialist in digital stickers

Google seminar on VR for artists by Michael Neimark, Google's first artist in residence

Vive/NVidia bootcamp Google Earth VR and TiltBrush demo at Cooler Lumpur, KL

3D printing

NVidia

Imagineering

Unity

University of Monash (research)

VR Lab

Nearly every vendor of VR gaming software that we see!

SOCIAL MEDIA

Major push after Bubiko is officially ready

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Bubiko's blog

Black Tofu Soup and The Reality of a Late Afternoon

I’m multi-tasking; this short piece of writing hops across topics like Southeast Asian cuisine, Bubiko Foodtour, self-promotion, AR, VR, branding, racism, philosophy, and the meaning of life. In short: I’m rambling.

We get out of a Grab car in front of a McDonald’s. A young Malay is standing and eating soft ice cream. We ask where the police station is. He doesn’t know, but asks an elderly Chinese, who does. Both men are friendly. We quickly set off down the covered sidewalk. Our destination is the cart of a vendor who sells kidney bean soup and almond paste. The internet says he is near the police station and he sells out by 5, sometimes earlier. It’s now 4:30.

VRLab! I didn’t know there was one here. This morning I had exchanged emails regarding an interview with Dato Jack, VR Lab’s founder. From outside, I can see two women signing in. I enter, explain my connection with Dato Jack, and am allowed to watch. After a thorough explanation and simple instructions, the two women put on headsets. First, they move their heads in all directions, then they slowly manipulate their hands and arms, acquiring the skills to become virtual archers. I study all this because I am writing a book about VR and haptics, as well as planning an AR startup that will eventually expand to VR.

The TV screens in the room show me what they are seeing: a castle under siege. Suddenly, an axe-thrower attacks so suddenly that the woman with braids jumps. Her headset falls off. I leave after a few minutes, by which time they are fully immersed: crouching, cautiously turning and laughing. They are killing people with arrows.

We rush back outside. The sky is soft and complex: rain clouds/blue sky/sunlight/evening. The atmosphere is fresh and I’m glad to have a camera. We find the soup vendor. He’s surrounded by people, all of whom seem to have placed large orders to bring back home. Nearby is a truck stall selling assam laksa. The aroma is uniquely seductive, like a tart, mysterious fruit beckoning from a bed of homemade noodles.

We are soon seated at a rickety table, experiencing multiple foodgasms from the assam laksa, the kidney bean soup, the almond paste and a plate of perfectly fried kway teow that we couldn’t resist. We finish and head into the U-shaped market. In an hour it will be packed.

Ears of sweet corn! I can honestly say I am a farmboy from Ohio, with many memories of corn fields and corn roasts. However, the corn I picked and the cows I milked were actually in Michigan. (OK, full disclosure, about the cows: There was only one. I was a five-year-old visiting a farm with my family. And, yeah... I was too shy to squeeze anything.)

A sign for Pun Tofu! Word play that is not wordplay. I write, often about food. Eight books. One, i ate tiong bahru, is a national bestseller in Singapore. Stories about my IT/VR/AR adventures in Hong Kong and Singapore will soon be a series on Popularium. This trip to the market is research for the text part of Bubiko Foodtour, an AR project. A stall sells kuehs and this is good: I heart kuehs.

The sky is peacefully exploding. Sharply outlined clouds, bulging with water vapor, dissolve into darkening, ragged zones of blue and orange. More generators are started. The lights of the night market come on as the moon rises in a kaleidoscopic sea of twilight. We eat black tofu. This same stall had intrigued us at another market, but we hadn’t tried it. We watch it being made and find a table. Surprisingly, the chicken soup served with it has the taste of green tea. The news of the day encroaches unexpectedly: skin color and Charlottesville.

I remember an article I found while doing research. In a city in Malaysia, over an unspecified period, the police took action on illegal street vendors. The breakdown: 158 actions against Chinese-based businesses, 103 against Malay businesses, 31 against Indians and 13 on other races. The harmonious flavors in the black tofu soup are wonderful , but not enough to take me away from thoughts about Nazis, Communists and the White House.

We step into the crowd one last time, studying foods like nasi lemak, Vietnamese pizza and salt-baked chicken. Five blind Chinese, all elderly, sit on red plastic chairs and sing Chinese songs. A man plays acoustic guitar, a woman taps a tambourine. There is a bowl at the woman’s feet. We listen as we watch Murtabak Sam make pandan pancakes with bamboo charcoal flour. We call a Grab and wait.

Now, here on Medium, are some of my experiences, my reality at that market. As I wrote this I remembered scenes, recalled what I was thinking and added new thoughts. I input my data into the internet, and now it is all over the world.

…one kind of wonder after another kind of wonder, all in something wondrous...

Toyo Project 3 (KL presentation)

I am doing a presentation in Kuala Lumpur about Toyo's work. The location is Tandang Records/The Zhongshan Building at Kampung Attap.

This link explains my relationship to Toyo.

This link goes to a series of posts about a photographic collaboration with Mee-Young Arkim. The posts outline some of my ideas on the art of photography.

The Japanese photographer in Bali Wave Ghost..

FA-Q was an artist with impact and a friend of Toyo's.

The Guardian on "the art-punk firestorm".

Rivington School: 80s Underground, book launch at Printed Matter

Special thanks to OUR ArtProjects and CC!

Haptics: Bubiko, Lei Cha and Data Science (Finger, Hand and Arm Movements)

This post is a resource, a continuation of my series of posts about haptics . It also references Bubiko Foodtour and builds upon my interest in food as art. By deconstructing and pondering the processes involved in making lei cha, I will create a data base. I hope to find a data scientist and or/data presentation artist who can reveal new things and an interesting structure from the information and experiences collected.

WHAT IS LEICHA?

Lei Cha is also known as thunder tea rice. A tea-based broth is served with a plate or bowl with rice, vegetables, peanuts and other ingredients. The broth can be poured over the other ingredients or the two can be eaten separately. It is a simple food and very healthy. This description will become more detailed later). Usually the name is written as lei cha. The two words mean “pounded tea”.

HAND and ARM MOTIONS FOR MAKING LEI CHA

Handling:

-moving of ingredients

-natural ingredients such as teal leaves, basil and peanuts

- containers: jars, cardboard boxes, plastic boxes, tupperware, bottles

Pounding: the tea leaves are crushed by using a mortar and pestle

Fire creation: hand and arm motions are required to operate the mechanisms of the stove (could include sparking gas to create a flame or turning a knob)

Pouring Notes: This assumes the ingredients are all with one area, there is no need for motions comparable to walking. An overhead diagram is needed Next post: Ingredients

Bubiko Foodtour: AR superstar, chef and… photography guru?

OK… Bubiko does not yet exist in AR. She is now a project-in-the-making. Soon, however… What does is exist is a lot of groundwork related to the possibilities of AR cinema.(Secret Donut World, I’m looking at you). Bubiko’s blog is here. The beauty of this stage of not-yet-spending-money development is that everything is beneficial, yet nothing really matters. To me…ba da da dum dum…Mama!(sorry)

The point is that putting a photography lesson on a food blog is harmless, beneficial and may reveal something that is useful later on… We are thinking about, and playing with the idea of, Bubiko’s voice, her speech patterns.(The following text is quite clearly not Bubiko’s, a bit of fourth wall experimentation.) Bubi’s catch phrase is Aroi mak mak! She is a little chef from Thailand. Details and developments to follow.

For now, without further ado… the same photography lesson/test that is on Bubiko’s Foodtour’s blog. Comments of any sort are welcome…And AR people… please get in touch so we can show you our top secret startup plans…

…………………………………………………………………………

The best things to eat come from the Earth: fruits, salt, spices, the ingredients of bread, vegetables and more. These wondrous substances receive energy from the sun. The sun gives us light and heat.

Light…

Photography is a combination of two Greek words: ‘photo’, meaning ‘light’ and ‘graph’, meaning ‘drawing’. Photographers create with light. Regardless of subject matter, a photograph is a recording of light. The different amounts of light energy recorded in one scene, one moment. The absence of light.

To become a food photographer, one must first be aware of the relationship between food and light. Light reveals the photographer’s thoughts about the food.

The photograph above is a recording of a very even light. The exposure was made in the late afternoon. The camera determined the exposure automatically.

I prefer this photograph, which has been modified a small amount, with a free software called PicMonkey.

The photograph above is a recording of a very even light. The exposure was made in the late afternoon. The camera determined the exposure automatically. Below is a composite of the touched and unretouched photos.

In the above image, I increased the size of the unchanged images to make it easier to see the differences. I will explain the changes in my next post. If you have any questions about anything related to food photography, please ask. I have a degree in photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology and have documented a few very well known chefs.

The Bubiko photos are all taken with an iPhone 6s.

Simply: learn to appreciate light and your photos will be stronger. The gear really doesn’t matter. It is about what you see. And your vision.

Cone: Engadget Experience public document

Hello Engadget and Esteemed Judges,

My name is Stephen Black and I am an artist, writer and producer. Cone is a three part project: a VR experience, an AR film experiment and a book. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

OnwARd,

Stephen Black

Engadget Experience Cone by Stephen Black PDF

AR, VR, ebook icon: Cone

Stephen Black's Cone is a 3 part project proposed for the 2017 Engadget Experience

Engadget Experience STEPHEN BLACK CONE (VR +AR +ebook)

Stephen Black’s Cone is a conceptual, experiential, multidisciplinary artwork: VR, AR, gaming, audio and text. Cone is conscious—and ignorant-- of fine art, dance, music, sound, design, animation, performance art, branding, storytelling, and installation. Cone has three parts: a short VR film experience, an AR experiment with Vance and a book documenting the creation and ideas associated with these two projects. Cone aims to help bridge the gap between artists and technologists.

Stephen Black is an artist, producer and writer. He was creative director of the Monja Kids Creative Development Kit, a 3D gamemaking kit which was successfully launched in Singapore.

Beach Road, Black’s 360 short film co-production with Hiverlab, was featured at film festivals in Brisbane, Singapore and Las Vegas. He curated SPOKEN, a virtual gallery(Unity) built by Eugene Soh. His text was a significant part of Michael Lee’s Office Orchitect installation at the 2011 Singapore Biennale.

Virtual gallery curators at the opening of their exhibition

Glasses in hand, the avatars of Stephen Black and Eugene Soh welcome visitors

Floating balloon dog

Eugene Soh's tribute to Jeff Koons' balloon dog floats over the SPOKEN landscape

VR graphics for game engine project

One of several designs by Roy Chan.

Black has worked for Cartoon Network, CNN, Fox and Fuji TV. He is also the author of several books, including i ate tiong bahru , which is a national bestseller in Singapore. He collaborated text and concepts to Office Orchitect, Michael Lee’s installation at the 2011 Singapore Biennale.

CONE 360 short film will combine butoh, performance art with 360-specific visual and audio techniques.

Ohno spirits

CONE AR will feature Vance, an animated character, and challenges the limits of AR filmmaking/storytelling.

Vance

Secret Donut World by David Severn w/ Stephen Black

CONEMA MANIFESTO (koh-ne-ma, three syllables as in cinema) An ebook combining existing interviews and essays by SB, with documentation of CONE and examples of short stories which lend themselves to 360 cinema.To be given away free during Engadget Experience.

Emgadget Experience documentation

Cover for ebook of Stephen Black's proposed Cone project for the Engadget Experience

Technologies and Products

Google Tango, depth perception visual/shape recognition algorithms, alternatives to image markers or GPS, Matterport, Unity, Vuforia, Android, Samsung, Ossic Sound, technologies that can scan bodies, technologies that link sound files, lipsynch and AI

Total Budget for VR short film experience, AR experience and ebook production, transportation and expenses: $100,000. Item by item breakdown available upon request.

Current topics of research:

http://www.blacksteps.tv/360-videography-what-would-matisse-do/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/the-potential-of-vr-as-a-collage-medium/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/riffs-on-vives-vr-development-bootcamp-at-digipen-part-1/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/mare-vaporum-open-source-video-source-material/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/virtual-reality-for-artists-workshopmichael-naimarkobjectifs/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/with-bubiko-foodtour-at-the-i-love-penang-festival-in-kl/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/haptics-giving-vr-the-finger-1-of-a-series/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/four-examples-of-a-blog-post-display-on-mobile-instant-article/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/red-dot-sad-stories-art-digitalia-2002-2017/

minimal book covers

red dot SAD (Stories Art, Digitalia 2002-2017) book by Stephen Black

http://www.blacksteps.tv/self-portrait-as-a-game/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/facebook-goes-cameramondo/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/vr-what-would-picasso-do-notes-and-links/

Music/audio/performance: 3how

screenshot of video interview on youtube

Stephen Black discusses his books, including Bali Wave Ghost, Obama Search Words and i ate tiong bahru.Reality TV and VR are also briefly discussed. Video by Aquiles Ascension

AR, VR, ebook icon: Cone

Cone. Engadget Experience. Los Angeles 2017

With Bubiko Foodtour at the I Love Penang Festival in KL

July 2, 2017. The I Love Penang Carnival, held in Central Park, Bandar Utama near Kuala Lumpur... Besides sampling food, the excursion was a way of uniting three projects of mine. First, Bubiko Foodtour tests were conducted for AR models and photos taken for her blog and Instagram accounts. Secondly, I created images with an iPhone, continuing a lifelong interest in conceptual fine art photography. Finally, the total experience will be the basis for a story or essay in Touching JB, my latest book project.

Bubiko Foodtour Posts 2017

Jambu Jakarta!

Loving Kuih Talam!

Vege Station Day

Indonesia in Johor Bahru

egg yolk lovers come here!

pork rib curry, interesting things

yum yum bitter gourd soup

Lovely ayam goreng

I am talking about teaching photography: light

I am talking about the color temperature of light.

The Baby Steps of Bubiko Foodtour

A lot has been happening since this was posted. For example, Bubiko went to the Penang Food Festival in KL.

Bubiko's Instagram is here. Twitter. This past weekend SD(Suitcase Delicious) and I began serious work on the Bubiko Foodtour blog. For now we are using an iPhone and a toy doll, but plans for an original character are underway. Initially we are focusing on the food of Southeast Asia. The posts are entertaining and informative. Augmented reality and 3D animation ideas are also being discussed and refined. For now, we are developing ways to offer value to fans of Bubiko. A new website with a store is being planned. The Bubiko Foodtour blog is here.

a meal of bitter gourd soup

bitter gourd soup

A list of Bubiko's blog posts can be found here.

Bubiko Foodtour on Instagram

Lights! Camera! Food!

Hello!

This is a very brief introduction to my food photography. Please contact me if you have any questions. I am very interested in forming a long-term relationship with a restaurant or chef. I believe the internet offers many new possibilities that are more interesting than websites, Facebook, etc. To have an ongoing web project would not only showcase food and drink creations, but would be an artistic business project that would offer the viewers/customers both a perspective and a connection.

An experimental project about the Tippling Club, one of Singapore's most dynamic food and drink establishments. Note that the Tippling Club is now in a different location. Also, this was set up on Scribd which, unfortunately, no longer allows for a double page presentation.

Quark Powder.v Furikake,is not photographic, but a collection of short stories, all somehow related to food:

My food images have appeared in many magazines as well as in the following books: CoCo Alleno 101(Editions Glénat)

Secrets of Sushi

An elegant experiment, involving some three star chefs and very good writing....I feel, though that some of the digital images now lack punch because digital at that time was not what it is now.. The sushi shots, are on film...they are still jewels...

Omakase by cw

I would be thrilled to connect with a restaurant, hotel, chef or food artist who wants to make beautiful images and exciting digital projects!

Onward,

Stephen Black

A bit more, here on Behance.