Category Archives: Art

The topics reflect years spent in Asia: mainly Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as New York and Paris. Daulism starts here.

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!

A (VR/AR/Haptics+)-based book proposal for agents-like-Lauren-Appleton

Hello literary-agents-like-Lauren-Appleton!

I hope all is well on your side of the interwebtubes! My name is Stephen Black and I have a book proposal that I believe will be of interest to you, one of the publishing companies whom you represent and millions of people interested in visual art, gaming and film-making.

Cinema 8.0 will be a timeless bestselling classic like Towards an Architecture

Towards an Architecture was written during a transitional period in which concrete, preformed materials and Modernism were replacing past paradigms and materials. Cinema 8.0 is being written during a transitional period in which VR, AR, social media and haptics are exploding the concept of "motion pictures".

An artist/producer/writer, I believe my finished text will be factual, inspirational and light-hearted. Just as Corbusier's book is evergreen, so will be mine. (A valuable resource has been this post by Ryan Holiday about the making of Perennial Seller)

Beach Road 360VR film featured at festivals in Singapore, Brisbane and Las Vegas.

SPOKEN Unity-based virtual exhibition, curated by myself, co-produced with Eugene Soh.

Captioned virtual reality scene with two real men in it

Eugene Soh and Stephen Black

i ate tiong bahru A bestseller in Singapore. With. No. Marketing.

I've long lived in Asia, have worked for CNN, Cartoon Network, Fuji TV: writer, director, cameraman, producer. Collected as an artist, published as a photographer.

Here are blog posts that exemplify some of the research that I have done. The theoretical/inspirational components, as well as a chapter outline, can be viewed upon request.

Thank you for your time and consideration literary-agents-like-Lauren-Appleton!

onwARd,

Stephen Black

public section of Engadget Experience 100K grant proposal

Bubiko Foodtour: the world's first AR superstar

I discovered information about Lauren Appleton, and her request for manuscripts, here. I wrote the above with a great deal of respect and, hopefully, in a way that prevents internet search complications or misrepresentations.

Oh yeah...a book cover about immersive environments A working title, now scrapped.

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

Hatsune Miku virtual character cafe experience

The following article really interested me and I used Google Translate to get the English text below. My desire to work with AR/VR is summarized here, in the public part of a submission for a grant for the 2017 Engadget Experience.

I found this on the KDDi website, where it was labeled as a corporate news release.

KDDI and Krypton realize a cafe date experience with the world's first virtual character

~ Limited time offering "Hatsune Miku" cafe experience possible ~

KDDI Corporation (headquartered in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, President and CEO: Koji Tanaka, hereinafter referred to as KDDI) and Krypton Future Media, Inc. (Head office: Hokkaido Sapporo City, President: Hiroyuki Itoh, hereinafter referred to as Krypton) Hideo Miku "cafe experience event (hereinafter this event) will be held at" BLUE LEAF CAFÉ "(Sendai city, Miyagi prefecture) with au SENDAI from 8th to 9th and 15th to 17th July To do.

Both companies signed a basic agreement on service development utilizing AR / VR / MR technology on April 26 this year. Based on the same agreement, this event realizes the world's first trial of a cafe experience with virtual characters (Note 1). The two companies will continue to develop services that utilize technologies such as AR / VR / MR (Note 2) so that they can provide a new experience that combines "Hatsune Miku" and other characters and the real world.

In this event, utilizing Google's Tango technology spatial recognition technology to realize AR experience with 3D camera, it is possible to experience as if Hatsune Miku is sitting in front of you and experiencing a cafe together. In addition, this event is a new window opens The advance application system (lottery) (Note 3) has become.

During the period, "Miku ☆ Sanpo ~ CAFÉ edition ~" is launched on Tango compatible smartphone installed in the table in the space of "BLUE LEAF CAFÉ", "Hatsune Miku" appears in front of you, together with a cafe You can enjoy meals and chatting. A limited-time collaboration menu will also be offered and it is possible to taste the world view of "Hatsune Miku" to its fullest. Part of the sales of the limited time collaboration menu will be donated to support Tohoku reconstruction.

Also, the original "Data Charge Card" (limited quantity) with a plastic card with a visual card used on this event on the face of the card and limited goods of 10th anniversary of Hatsune Miku will be delivered from July 8, 2017 to September 3, 2017, We will sell at au direct shop nationwide.

KDDIとクリプトン、世界初のバーチャルキャラクターとのカフェデート体験を実現

~期間限定で「初音ミク」とのカフェ体験が可能に~

KDDI株式会社 (本社: 東京都千代田区、代表取締役社長: 田中孝司、以下KDDI) と、クリプトン・フューチャー・メディア株式会社 (本社: 北海道札幌市、代表取締役社長: 伊藤博之、以下クリプトン) は、2017年7月8日から9日、15日から17日に、au SENDAI併設の「BLUE LEAF CAFÉ」(宮城県仙台市) で「初音ミク」とカフェ体験ができるイベント (以下、本イベント) を実施します

KDDI株式会社 (本社: 東京都千代田区、代表取締役社長: 田中孝司、以下KDDI) と、クリプトン・フューチャー・メディア株式会社 (本社: 北海道札幌市、代表取締役社長: 伊藤博之、以下クリプトン) は、2017年7月8日から9日、15日から17日に、au SENDAI併設の「BLUE LEAF CAFÉ」(宮城県仙台市) で「初音ミク」とカフェ体験ができるイベント (以下、本イベント) を実施します。

両社は、今年4月26日にAR/VR/MR技術等活用したサービス開発に関する基本合意書を締結しました。本イベントは、同合意書に基づき、バーチャルキャラクターとのカフェ体験という世界初 (注1) の試みを実現するものです。 今後も両社は、「初音ミク」らキャラクターと現実世界が融合した、新たな体験を提供できるよう、AR/VR/MR (注2) 等の技術を活用したサービス開発を進めてまいります。

本イベントでは3DカメラによるAR体験を実現するGoogle社のTangoテクノロジーの空間認識技術を活用し、目の前にあたかも初音ミクが座って一緒にカフェ体験をしているかのような体験が可能です。なお、本イベントは新規ウィンドウが開きます事前申込制 (抽選) (注3) となっております。 期間中、「BLUE LEAF CAFÉ」の専用スペースでテーブルに設置されたTango対応スマートフォンにて「ミク☆さんぽ~CAFÉ edition~」を起動すると、目の前に「初音ミク」が現れ、一緒にカフェでの食事やおしゃべりを楽しめます。期間限定コラボメニューも提供予定となっており、「初音ミク」の世界観を存分に味わうことが可能です。 期間限定コラボメニューの売上の一部は、東北復興支援のため寄付されます。

また、本イベントで使用するビジュアルが券面に描かれたプラスチックカード付きのオリジナル「データチャージカード」(数量限定) と初音ミク10周年の限定グッズを2017年7月8日から9月3日まで、全国のau直営店で販売いたします。

SS2 Night Market Color Studies (Bubiko Food Tour Research)

Bubiko Foodtour is a project which will ultimately involve AR, branding, storytelling and the art of the table. Bubiko Foodtour is now on Instagram, Facebook, twitter and has her own blog. These components are the slow moving tip of the iceberg. The preproduction elements and planning are exciting but invisible. For now, some images from the SS2 Night Market near Kuala Lumpur.

Toyo Project 2

Toyo Project 1 is here

Again, I am in Kuala Lumpur, it is 2107 and Toyo is messing with my mind.

Seeing the picture in the first post was a shock. That night: Walking around the Lower East Side with some people on a lot of broken glass and we went to a bar first and the streets were all bodegas and Korean florists and guys selling drugs or dime bags and everything was fun, burnt out and/or threatening when we walked in the music was on and we were overlooking things and there were pipes and sculptures all over.

I took this photo of Toyo that night. Or so Toyo tells me.

okokokokokokokokokokokookokokokokoko

Hi Steve, sorry I couldn't serect any of Photos yet,? I have some question to ask, do you have an idea of Title of this book project? And where is Forcusing of my photo work? Like which period?like 80s Ny or NoSeNo 99 night event? You are thinking combining your NoSeNo Video, means you are more detail of your project , let me know wher to forcus my photos?!

WED 12:26PM

Hi Toyo...

Photo book.. no title yet...

Subject is simply ten photos. Up to you, but I hope I can decide 2 or 3. The point is to put together something that is interesting and full of information and stories. SO it could be anything... but maybe it is good to have only a few from No Se No, because that is so famous already.. As for teh video... I am not sure how it will work yet... I am thinking that my black and white videos will be the heart of the project. And some things, like No Se No, you also have... But the final result cannot be predicted right now. I am just wondering if you are interested or not. If you don't want, to.. I understand... If you are interested...for now that is good enought. I can include you as a possibility in my proposal. Then when I start to see my footage, I can better understand what can be made. For example, I videoed you talking... that must be interesting. Is all of it interesting? Is the tape damaged? Maybe you talk about something and you have a photo of it.. I remember you were speaking in Japanese... but you said "Don't carry mugger money" Maybe you have a photoof that. Maybe I have a photo or video of that... Konokanji... these kinds of questions... I am sorry I am not clearer...but I hope it will be an interesting experience and video.

Book again... if you have a theme or topic or title, I am happy to use it.

Steve Thankyou your reply, I'll talk to you later I gat go dentist appo again. Ok?

Ha ha ha... Japanese joke. I hope the dentist is Ok for you...

WED 4:44PM

THU 3:51PM

Hey Steve, yeah I get something from your comment, about forces! You are not forcing me and my photo so as you are not forucing you and your video,you are interested to make interesting book!? Combination of my photos with your video work and with some writing (story). I'm interested your Idea Steve! You are good writer that you showed me in Facebook. You have something in your head! Like christa G and Stelarc. .. Etc . That we can talk about or tell story about ?! I don't know now we should think and talk more ok ? I'll send you something later

THU 9:52PM

Toyo.. Please do not worry about the story.. The starting point is the photo. It can be a not famous person or a landscape or teh snow on cars. Anything! A tree a show a performance, teh sculpture garden The question is What is in your heart that you want to share?

8:50PM

Toyo... what do you think? Maybe we do one photo a week, or one photo a month? It is important for me to create a blog post that introduces the 10 photos...

Steve I'm sorry not moving our project well, I'll try to serect few tommrow to send you . All period of photos are from my heart.anyway imgoing to start early Ny snap shot, ok? I send you one special for you!

Toyo... No problem at all!

Now we have a start! I know every image is from your heart! I will show you the blog post in a day or two.Then if you think is OK, I will share with people slowly... Yoroshiku onegaishimasu. T H A N K Y O U

(TOYO SENT THE PHOTO THAT IS IN TOYO POST 1) Toyo... who is that singing?

Alright you see image ijust send? You are with microphone got it!

?????!!! Is that 8BC? Where?

Is that an image you want to use in the book maybe? I don't remember that event right now...

haha if you want we can! That was Jhon Sanders( sculptor) Party scene 1983 or 84. Many NoSeNo performers are there, the Brond lady is Shrin Take (Electra in a Bill's play Sharon Take next block from NoSeNo on Rivington st Basement studio

A SAturday night... Many pipes in teh ceiling.. a basement I was there only one time!

Idont know What Day night?! But you found your memory!yes? I too only went once Jhon was friend of Ray. Ok I send you one more image you took tho photo from my camera? I think,are you ready?

(TOYO SENT THIS PHOTO ) John , and me and other Brond girl!

wow

wow

wow

Chat Conversation End

Toyo Project 1

ANYONE CAN CONTRIBUTE TO THIS PROJECT. But yeah, you probably had to be there: LES in the 80s.

I have videos of No Se No performances and Toyo talking about life in the Lower East Side. (Thank you, Cowboy) If anyone has ideas on how to transfer Beta (Beta, not Betacam) tapes into today's technology, please get in touch. Thank you.

okokokokokokokokokokokokokok

I started this to bring attention to Toyo's photographic work and to see what would happen. Yes, I can write, but maybe I don't need to write anything. There is already one book about the Rivington School. Probably other people have more interesting things to say. Toyo's own memories and stories are treasures. I entered into this thinking that if I did write, I'd write about Toyo's images in a very impersonal manner, to counterbalance his intimacy. Topics like dates and short biographies, how Toyo constructs images, the challenges of film. Then, out of the blue... He sent some picture of me.

okokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokokok

OK... Let's get something out of the way. This series of blog posts is not about me. The first three introduce Toyo and myself, but after that... who knows? I graduated from RIT with a BFA in Photographic Illustration, with a minor in Film and Video. I graduated early, in March 1983. I was having a party and I told a teacher about it. He said where you going? I said New York City. He said what are you going to do and I said I don't know. He showed me a fax. Call them. If you work there, you get access to equipment. That's what it's all about. That was on a Friday. They wanted me to come in on Monday. I arrived in Brooklyn, sat by the river with my good friend Pat and wondered about the Manhattan skyline. We were waiting for another good friend, Ben to show up. We were going to stay at his loft.

The next morning Ben's girlfriend took us on the subway to Rivington Street. It was cold but there was a street market in the park we had to cut across. I imagined fruits and vegetables, maybe cooked chicken or something. We got closer, we were in the middle of it. The ground was completely blue, covered with empty syringe wrappers. Heroin. My interview was just on the other side. We walked through, I went up the stairs, started work the next day. That place was called Young Filmakers/Video Arts. The address was 4 Rivington. Later I moved right around the corner, onto the Bowery.

No Se No was at 32 Rivington Street. I left for a two week stay in Japan in October, 1984. The energy of what I experienced--and so much more, bursts out of every image Toyo has created. I am writing this from Kuala Lumpur, on July 18, 2017. I am seeing some of these pictures of myself... for the first time.

okokokokokokokokokokok

Toyo Project 2 is here.

Stelarc: the sound of three hands clapping (#3 in the Haptics series)

Three hands clapping. Maybe the phrase is a cyborg Zen riddle. Maybe it’s not. I can only imagine Stelarc’s reaction upon seeing the phrase. He'll either ignore it and plunge into the heart of the text, or laugh his Aussie-mad-scientist laugh..

This post is casual, a pleasant way to continue my haptics series. So much of writing, art and AR/VR is done in isolation and it is refreshing and important to remember the human side of things. I’m reminded of how unusual the “facts” of my life can be: In Singapore’s Little India, I once had dinner with a man with an ear on his arm.

When I lived in Japan, I was fortunate to document a few of Stelarc’s performances that featured The Third Hand, including his monorail suspension, his "last". Years before that event, I was working in lower Manhattan, not far from where Stelarc suspended himself over 11th Street. Two of my friends rushed in and told me about the “guy who was hanging by fish hooks”. The information caused me to become became pale and deeply confused.

Photo by Toyo Tsuchiya used with permission.

Now, when I meet Stelarc, it is like seeing a dear friend, one who is always stimulating.

Stephen Black as lab rat

effect of low voltage electricity on muscles demonstration

Stelarc ear on arm

LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore. With Urich Lau and Steve Dixon. My first and only photobomb.

http://www.blacksteps.tv/unlocking-with-ears-stelarc/
man, hat, smartphone and dragonfly

Stelarc recording winged body, by Stephen Black

Stelarc has a piece in SPOKEN, a co-production between myself and Eugene Soh, The Dude. The first part of this series is here.

A Few Notes on the Legal World and IT

This is part meditation/part reportage of a fact-finding mission. I am not involved with the legal world in any manner, and these notes are simply that: notes.

I try to be open to other perspectives. And, as I am finalizing plans for an AR/VR startup, it doesn’t hurt to learn about the state of the legal industry, even if I‘ve no immediate use for the interesting information shared below.

The jpeg sign I made for my friend may result in something, maybe not. He is a successful IP lawyer presently with a MNC, and a keynote speaker. I’m not his agent. I am sure he will find what he wants. His situation made me think...

The legal world and IT… Finance now has bitcoins and blockchains, Fintech has invaded Wall Street. TV and movies can fit in your hand. VR and AR will take image making forward with a magic leap. Society is being restructured by Uber, ebooks, Facebook and Whattsup. Perhaps my friend can find what he wants simply, by writing a post on Facebook, LinkedIn or a website catering to lawyers and teachers. Maybe he could throw his net wider with Workable . Perhaps there is a matchmaking service specializing in law. Over sixteen million results showed up when I searched using the words: "job agency for legal profession".

example of first page results

First page of search for the words "legal profession job agency"

We live at the beginning of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. A term which is now heard frequently is Gig Economy. In the UK, judges wear black robes...and some still wear horsehair wigs, a tradition originating at the end of the 17th century.

Guest Post: Why Legal Engineering + Why Now?

This is a Guest Post by Dr Ben Gardner, Chief Scientific Officer, of UK-based Wavelength Law, which is a hybrid law firm that offers both legal advice and legal engineering solutions. https://www.artificiallawyer.com/2017/06/02/guest-post-why-legal-engineering-why-now/

Find a Lawyer, a service based in the state of Indiana http://www.inbar.org/news/news.asp?id=350199

Artificial intelligence disrupting the business of law https://www.ft.com/content/5d96dd72-83eb-11e6-8897-2359a58ac7a5?mhq5j=e1

http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/how_artificial_intelligence_is_transforming_the_legal_profession

Law schools increase fees. The most lucrative jobs are given to schools in great disproportion. A lot of jobs go to graduates from a only a few schools.

US$100,000 debt because of grad school. http://nationalmagazine.ca/Blog/March-2016/Law-school-on-trial-Obiter-Dicta-s-student-survey.aspx?lang=FR

A COLLECTION OF STARTUPS FOR THE LEGAL BUSINESS IN CANADA

Law360, New York (April 8, 2016, 4:44 PM EDT) -- Lawyers have long believed they are special. Until recently...

AS an "algorithmic artist", I wonder how AI programs and filters would reflect or not reflect this article: Why We Do Not Hire Law School Graduates from the Ivy League Schools

I should make it clear that I have no relationships with any of the companies and sites mentioned above and will notify them that I have linked to them.

Stephen Blackdigital law