Upcoming RitualLab: Future Artifacts


St. Louis-area labrats, please join me for a
RitualLab Experiment /// 730pm / Tuesday / August 7 / the CWE

I've been asked by Jake Dunagan of the Hawaii Research for Future Studies (snazzy website!) to harness the brainpower of alternative thinkers in order to generate ideas for (and subsequently executions of) "future artifacts" for a quickly upcoming guerrilla art event. He writes:
Art is a future-oriented activity. At its best, it opens up new ways of perceiving the past, new ways of looking at the world today, and new ways of conceiving possible futures. The Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies (HRCFS) and The ARTS at Mark's Garage have joined together to initiate a unique series of activities to draw attention to and deepen our understanding of the challenges and opportunities the future holds both near and far.
There are some super-secret squirrel details I'll share with you trusted few when we meet. Punch and pie.

"Now with BCI"


My phone doesn't get me. Sure, it alerts me as to when someone (or some computer) has something to say, but it can't read my feelings and adjust its interface, sounds, color scheme, etc. accordingly. Motorola's MOTOFWRD competition has yielded inventions such as the mood phone, but that applies to interpersonal communication between folks such as you and me, not between my phone and me.

What I'm thinking of are the even subtler nuances my phone displays: the cheerful four-note crescendo signaling a successful contact deletion; the always-present menu in its always-same order; the ringer volume that seems to disrupt my sexiest (or sleepiest) moments.

What I want my phone to know is that the name I'm deleting is that of a recently deceased friend and no happy jingle is necessary; setting the alarm should take place by simply reminding myself when I need to wake up; the ringer volume and tone should change according to my neurological (and physical) activity.

With the foray into brain-computer interface in its adolescence, I think it reasonable to expect my phone to do all of the aforementioned within the next 25 years.

The phone seems an easy, and profitable, launching point. From there, the possibilities are endless.



I've been dwelling on a videogame concept that employs a "shadow" gameplay gimmick. It seems that most gameplay nowadays is a rehash of the tried-and-true, and that games like that newer Prince of Persia (with its well-executed *time* gameplay gimmick) become memorable (and a franchise) because of the new dimension that they bring to a tired genre. Shadows offer an interesting new dimension to consider, methinks, so first off: does anyone know of an existing game of any genre that explores *shadows* as a dimension of gameplay?

If not, here are some variables for consideration:

Genre (side-scroller? FPS? puzzle?)
Opportunity for new & compelling light effects
Shadows move independently from objects / people casting them
Shadows break the depth of field
Shadows have mass
Shadows become a hole
Shadows are "safe" / "dangerous"
Shadows at night
Shadows *are* night
Shadow properties are inverted
Vampires hiding from the sun
Ninjas hiding from sight
Plants want more light / fewer shadows
Moths fly into a flame / bats prefer darkness
Nike's shadow-jogging commercial
How the coverage of a shadow affects the object upon which it is cast
How overlapping shadows affect one another
How casting a beam of light into a shadow changes its properties
How light / shadow affects (in FPS, for instance) the character's ability to "see"
How irregular foreground elements can form cohesive shadow shapes