Posts Tagged ‘flâneur’

VF betaAR

November 3, 2010

A new variant of Virta-Flaneurazine, VF betaAR, has been successfully developed. It is produced from the skin secretions of bio- engineered and programmed hybrid Bufo toads. When areas of these toads are touched, the resulting reaction causes a wandering viewer to see things appearing from virtual worlds and other sources on the Internet. This appears to be an integrated and compelling conscious experience. This perception can be simultaneously viewed on an iPhone or Android device using Layars or other augmented reality software.

Because of the surprising success of our first test at MoMA, October 9, we will be entering a wider human test phase November 14 at BETA Spaces 2010 in Bushwick, Brooklyn (NY). The drug tests will be part of an art program, Bushwick AR Intervention. Though the parameters of the effects are somewhat limited at this point, this appears to be a very important step towards complete integration.

New Pill Design: Confusion and Facade Affinity

July 5, 2008

The new pill designs have arrived at the clinic also. We are now working on experiments with the proper dosage. It appears that our initial dosages are problematic. They produce two side effects that impede long-term wanderment variability. One is best described as confusion or disorientation. This causes the user to move in more limited areas and engage in crisscrossing or backtracking (See figure 1 below). The second effect can only be described as an affinity or fixation for the walls of buildings. In these cases the user seems to walk towards building facades and then, looking into windows, moves back and forth along them repeatedly (See figure 2 below). While this shows a consistency with aspects flâneurism such as window shopping or voyeurism,  it will also lead to less adventurous walks which are also desirable. We will be conducting more precise experiments with respected dosage shortly since this will be such an important part of the user’s experience. The issue is most likely related to code repeats and higher user rates of serotonin turnover, The figures below track these walks from the SL minimap aerial view.

              figure 1: confusion                     figure 2: facade affinity

Person of the Crowd: The Contemporary Art of Flânerie

April 12, 2008

Anthony Cunha

Mariko Mori, Tea Ceremony III, 1995, Laminated crystal print, 48 x 60 x 2 1/2 inches.  Collection of Peter Norton and Eileen Harris Norton, Santa Monica, CA, Photo: Anthony Cunha.

Steeped as we are in our field of clinical pharmacology, it was a literary colleague who, upon hearing our reports of the emerging drug’s discovery, directed our attention towards the analogy of the 19th century flâneur. So, upon further investigation the word became the hallmark of the drug’s title. Our favorite descriptive passages come from the French poet Charles Baudelaire’s essays in “The Painter of Modern Life and Other Essays.” Baudelaire summarizes the flâneur as a “gentleman stroller of city streets.” However, successive authors, artists and critics such as Edgar Allen Poe, Walter Benjamin, Situationists and Susan Sontag have helped us understand that the idea is much more complex and pervasive in our modern life. 

Little did we know that the idea itself might be considered “dandy” nowadays. We hope that we were not lead by a turtle, as some flâneur’s were rumored to do!  

An example of this currency is an exhibition that we thought we would bring to your attention before it closes soon on April 13. It is itself an opportunity to be a flâneur of the museum (another sociological spin-off!) and a list of well-known artists more or less related to the topic. Our favorite inspiration is Francis Alÿs. Person of the Crowd is curated by Thom Collins, Director and on view from January 20-April 13, 2008. Neuberger Museum of Art, SUNY Purchase, Purchase NY