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

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.

Haptics: Giving VR the Finger (2 of a series)

(The first of my posts on haptics is here. Some posts in this series are technical, some are interviews, some are essays; all are handy and some are touching.)

To truly understand haptics, one must be aware of those glorious, sensitive tools that are always at arm’s length.

Hand performance

from the Mare Vaporum project

"The human hand is an engineering marvel. There is no more impressive example of functional anatomy. It can grab and release, caress and defend. Learn karate, and you can break bricks with it. It’s a mechanism of precision and flexibility. A maestro can play the piano and the violin with the same hand. It’s a way of seeing. Close your eyes, and you can identify almost anything you touch. It’s an organ of sensuality—the fingers have more nerve endings than almost any other part of the body—and an organ of expression and communication. Not for nothing has Dr. Kodi Azari made the hand—its function, its reconstruction, and its transplantation—his life’s work."

hand transplant

hand, transplanted: photo by Michael Lewis for Los Angeles Magazine

“I’m not a religious person, but if there’s any evidence of divine intervention, it has to be the human hand,” he says. “It’s perfect.”

-Amy Wallace writing for Los Angeles Magazine, March 20, 2017. Her article is highly recommended, for anyone. It continues...

Azari, who is 48, is the surgical director of the Hand Transplant Program at UCLA, where he’s worked since 2008. The field is still in its relative infancy. The first hand transplant to achieve prolonged success was performed 18 years ago in Louisville; by 2015, fewer than 85 procedures had been undertaken worldwide. But Azari is at the forefront. He’s traveled the country as one of the lead surgeons in five hand transplants conducted at the University of Pittsburgh and at Johns Hopkins University, including the first double-hand transplant and the first arm transplant performed in the United States. Then, in 2011, he and a team of 16 others did the first hand transplant west of the Rockies, at UCLA. The recipient was Emily Fennell, a 26-year-old single mom who’d lost her right hand in a traffic accident."

The complete article: http://www.lamag.com/longform/the-hollywood-exec-and-the-hand-transplant-that-changed-his-life/ The Hollywood Exec and the Hand Transplant That Changed His Life In just 30 hours, a superfit reality TV producer went from the top of his game to the precipice of death. What happened next would teach him everything about grace, resolve, and the power of love.

Jersey Finger

Gloves in space: this article, from 2009, details some of NASA’s requirements for hand coverings. https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18166-nasa-seeks-its-one-true-glove/

hand performance

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

TALK TO THE HAND

Mare Vaporum: Open Source Video Material/Artwork

tribute to Alfred Steiglitz

Artists, musicians, filmmakers, poets, theatre people, CG artists, GIF artist, data scientists, ANYONE...Feel free to use this video for any noncommercial project you like. Let me know how you use it and I will promote your project. Commercial projects: I am sure we can work something out.

SOME POSSIBILITIES: - visuals for ambient, flute, or piano soundtrack/music video - elements for any kind of music video - cutaways or structural elements for a film - theatre backdrops/projections - mashups with other videos - video reformatted into other GIFs (FWIW the file size below is 5.42 megs) - stills accompanying texts, like short stories or poems

Mare Vaporum

    WHAT: Shot on an iPhone near Kuala Lumpur. There was no goal, other than to capture the moment.

    WHO:

    Stephen Black

    NOTES

    I am interested in, and have been writing about, hands and haptics. Also, I am now rewriting a collection of stories and essays called Touching JB, in which tactile sensations figure prominently. And then there are my startup plans...

    gif.com screencaptures

    GIF possibilities created and suggested by gifs.com algorithms gif.com

    The GIF below was created by the algorithms at gifs.com. It was extremely simple. Thanks to this article on Gtricks. I learned how to upload on gifs.com .
    Gif artwork

    Gif artwork

    This project is a collaboration with the software and algorithms of gifs.com About the fingernails... they were real. I will write about this later, but they were a personal art project.

Haptics: Giving VR the Finger (1 of a series )

Rethink the body for a moment. The skin; the largest organ. The wondrous organs and processes within this sack of flesh, especially the skeletal, muscular and nervous systems. With everything working together, we can do things like jump, speak and button our clothes.

Zooming in on the act of buttoning a shirt, we see a number of interactions. The brain controls muscles related to the eyes, arms and hands. Information about texture and positioning is exchanged between brain and fingers. Muscles and tendons make movements, some obvious, some extremely subtle. Fingertips maneuver the object. Voila! The shirt is buttoned. All parts of the buttoning operation are important. However, from the viewpoint of haptics, the three nerves connected to the fingers deserve a closer look.

The median nerve controls the thumb and wrist. It also gives feeling to the skin around the palm, thumb, middle and index fingers. It runs down the inside of the arm, crosses the front of the elbow and passes through the wrist bones and connective tissue of the carpal tunnel. Compressing the median nerve over a long period can result in carpal tunnel syndrome.

Another nerve, the ulnar nerve, is connected to the muscles that bend the wrist and fingers. It passes behind the elbow. When someone says, “I hit my funny bone”, the correct reply is,”what you are actually saying is that you’ve unexpectedly stimulated your ulnar nerve, resulting in that unusual, wacky tingling sensation”.

Spock rockin' that ulnar nerve/ flexor digitalis superficialis action.

Finally, the radial nerve, which straightens the wrist, thumb and fingers. It gives feeling to the skin on the back of the hand, as well as the index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger. Considered by many to be the second most important nerve in the body, the radial nerve is also responsible for bending the elbow.

My interest in haptics is not yet linked to any projects, commercial or artistic. This series of haptics-related blog posts is open-ended, but, the following topics seem likely to follow, in this order: nerve endings, sensors, and haptic-related products. I am especially interested in the intersection of haptics and music. I hope to also again speak with Stelarc about his possible haptics-related projects. I was fortunate to document some of his third hand projects, as well as chat with his prosthetic head. FWIW, I have only knowingly photobombed once:

Stelarc third ear

Stephen Black's first and only photobomb.Stelarc, Uerich Lau, Steve Dixon and ? LASALLE College of the Arts

Black and white photo courtesy of Toyo Tsuchiya, from his No Se No documentation project.

Part two of this series is here.

now

To find out what nownownow is about, visit!

Hello!

I am an American who has experienced Life mainly in Asia, in the areas of art, television production, music, fine art and commercial photography, food, VR and gaming.

I am now combining these experiences and writing books, creating a new portfolio of visual works and finalizing business plans for two startups one VR-based, one AR-based.

I am especially keen to communicate with Unity or Daydream/Android 7.1 people, as well as literary agents, publishers or anyone who has an interest in anything I do.

If I can help anyone in any of the above areas just ask. Or if you just have a question or want to say hi or meet for a meal or just Skype... get in touch!

Now I am in Kuala Lumpur.

I am very excited about Bubiko Foodtour! Always looking for ways to make another 360 "VR" movie like Beach Road, or be involved with another virtual project like SPOKEN.

MUSIC! I have done everything a band member can do except play an instrument! Lee Wen/Seasons Without Seasons. This series of interviews may be of interest. 3how! (Derek Sivers is connected to this post in more ways than one!)

As for my books, I will be happy to send a free ebook to anyone who requests one. If the titles interest you, check for more info on the internet or click here.

The Agaricus blazei Murrill Notebook

Obama Search Words

On Seng Poh Road

Tiong Bahru Blue

Furikake

Contact With Shadow

Bus Stopping

i ate tiong bahru (a best seller in Singapore)

The classic coffee mug reborn with a glassy pop art, postmodern touch

Bali Wave Ghost

red dot SAD

(rdS uses as Amazon as a base for crowdfunding.)

Something Something About VR (the name keeps changing but the contests are essays about VR, AR, digital cinematography and related topics.Some essays are elsewhere on www.blacksteps.tv

Touching JB (finishing late in 2017)

Tiong Bahru Mouth (2018. images, stories and essays)

Four examples of a blog post display on mobile (Instant Article)

Instant Articles by Facebook, created specifically for mobile, are said to offer the advantages of an attractive layout and fast loading time, especially with images and video. On this WordPress blog, I easily installed a plugin called LH Instant Articles, by Peter Shaw. It was highly rated and the descriptions and explanations were simple. At the bottom of this post is text from the description.

Facebook browser Chrome mobile Chrome mobile-friendly Safari ios

Only the Chrome mobile-friendly browser displays the ext and layout as I had expected, but there is no image! My friend Tun sent these these to me, and he is a great IT guy;teaches it in fact. SO I need to ask him the difference between Chrome mobile and Chrome mobile friendly. And thanks also to Stuart Rankin.

Here is the text from the LH Description...

LH Instant Articles

By Peter Shaw

This plugin is a very simple bloat free way of enabling instant articles. At its most basic it creates a facebook compliant RSS feed that allows you to publish Instant Articles to facebook pages. E.G. https://princesparktouch.com/?feed=lh-instant-articles or https://princesparktouch.com/feed/lh-instant-articles/ . You can and should specify your facebook page id in the settings screen. You can optionally also include additional post types in the instant articles feed. And by the use of many different hooks you can modify the html outputted in the Instant Articles feed. It also supports:

• Adding related posts (see faq) • Adding analytics and tracking (see faq) • Adding advertisments (see faq) • Version: 1.16 • Author: Peter Shaw • Last Updated: 2 weeks ago • Requires WordPress Version: 3.0 or higher • Compatible up to: 4.8 • Active Installs: 300+ • WordPress.org Plugin Page » • Plugin Homepage »

AVERAGE RATING

5.0 rating based on 4 ratings

(based on 4 ratings)

REVIEWS

Read all reviews on WordPress.org or write your own!

5 stars

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I wanted to thank Peter Shaw, but WordPress.org doesn't acknowledge my password...and Peter's blog requires me to log in and set up an account...Peter, if you see this, THANKS! It works great, though I wonder why it displays so differently...

Urnovl/121 words: a brief essay about a great big little idea

The concept of Urnovl/121.com is exciting, but it isn’t new. Their ‘texts with a word count of 121 ’ approach is a bigger, prose version of the “17 syllable rule” of haiku writing. Brian Williams once ran Littlerature, which featured stories 1064 words long. I had a few stories on Littlerature, including one about 3how, which is included in red dot SAD. So, the fixed short form is an old friend of mine. I am sure there were, and are, other flash fiction sites based on a specific word count.

The Urnovl/121 website is exciting because it is state of the art literature. Potentially at least: as with any uncurated, free platform, there will be “interesting” submissions. Two Shades of Gray proved that “interesting” stories can have interesting results. “State of the art”, in this case, means mobile-friendly, social media-friendly, attractive design and visuals. One or two things could be tweaked, but the site is still in beta. Two upgrades are planned before September.

So far, I’ve posted three pieces. The word count of 121 is a bit low for my liking, but that’s what makes it interesting. The texts have more depth than tweets, yet can be appreciated immediately; no need for links nor downloading, like ebooks. Readers, and those working in publishing, can quickly decide if a writer is worth learning more about. FWIW: This post has 242 words, the equivalent of two posts on the Urnovl/121 site.