The Welsh dream becomes a nightmare

The Welsh dream becomes a nightmare
It's quite a surprise, and certainly a rarity, to see one of the best brand executions of the year get together with one of the worst brand strategies of the year. To savour this special occasion, I'm going to take you to Wales. Over the years, transport in Wales has been the responsibility of a handful of different organisations. The UK loves gove...
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A rules-based order to keep the Internet open and secure

A rules-based order to keep the Internet open and secure
When J.P. Barlow presented his 1996 Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace  in Davos, cyberspace was idealized as a separate universe, detached from the 'real' world, with no government controls and no national boundaries. Twenty-two years later, this libertarian dream of the open internet has been buried with J.P. Barlow. The inte...
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Web Curios 02/11/18

Web Curios 02/11/18
I know this has been a tricky week, with all sorts of stress and pain and difficulty and quite a lot of general 'wow, everything seems really quite messy and terrible, doesn't it?'-type vibes knocking about, but, well, I have spent much of it being a digital cowboy and frankly that's been enough to ensure that I've not really spent too much time th...
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Real time art: gimmick or a postmodernist necessity?

Real time art: gimmick or a postmodernist necessity? Sigrid Artmann
Whether this is the first event of its kind or not, Berlin recently played host to a gallery where the works were being made in front of its visitors. Generously, all  proceeds from the event went to sponsoring students at the Design Akademie Berlin. Held in the U3 tunnel venue (a disused railway station under Potsdamer Platz, conver...
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Does art have any relevance in the age of AI?

Does art have any relevance in the age of AI? Mediengruppe Bitnik, “Alexiety“, 2019. Image c/o Roehers & Boetsch
​ Christie's recently sold for $432,000 a rather amusing portrait created by AI. Last Summer, (human) participants deemed that the artworks created by a computer system were more communicative and inspiring than human-made ones. A few years ago, an artist convincingly automated the kind of texts written by art critics. I could multiply the attentio...
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New exhibition enters the eerie vacuum between human and machine creativity

New exhibition enters the eerie vacuum between human and machine creativity Detail from “Deep Meditations 1.0”, Memo Akten
In partnership with the Cyland media arts lab in St. Petersburg, Goldsmiths is unveiling a major new exhibition on the “twilight between human and machine creativity“. Entitled Creative Machine 2 , it is curated by amongst others, William Latham, whom we profiled back in 2013 . There are works within the exhibition in which Latham is involved;...
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The EU's General Data Protection Regulation, four months on

The EU's General Data Protection Regulation, four months on
On May 25, 2018, a new law regulating the collection and use of the personal data of European citizens came into force in all 28 EU member states, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Compared to the previously applicable text (the 1995 Data Protection Directive), this new regulation further strengthens the protection of European citizens...
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Web Curios 26/10/18

Web Curios 26/10/18
Obviously the Philip Green stuff comes as a TOTAL SHOCK, but can we not lose sight of the continuing insanity of the Saudi stuff, please? Not least the truly astonishing sight of the lovable Crown Prince openly making gags about disappearing people whilst onstage  - it's worth digging out the footage if you can find it, as the way he fist-bump...
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Big Brother's blind spot

Big Brother's blind spot
Netflix believes, algorithmically at least, that I am the kind of person who likes to watch "Dark TV Shows Featuring a Strong Female Lead." This picksome genre is never one that I that seek out intentionally, and I'm not sure it even represents my viewing habits. (Maybe I fell asleep watching The Killing one night?) It is an image of me that Netfli...
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Ramsey Campbell: It never dies

Ramsey Campbell: It never dies
Horror never dies, however many funerals it's given. It may be declared disreputable, but this only lends it the appeal of the forbidden. The British ban that uncut horror videos suffered in the 1980s simply rendered them collectible and created a clandestine market for them. Soon enough even these became acceptable, and nearly all the banned title...
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Broadcasters: if you want to challenge Netflix, then the answer is staring you in the face

Broadcasters: if you want to challenge Netflix, then the answer is staring you in the face
I seem to have more and more reasons not to appreciate the BBC. Its over-reliance on well-tried entertainment formats, and not having the courage to end them before they are run into the ground . Its supine news coverage, with journalists around the world broadcasting nothing of any depth or with any gravitas. A complete disorganised mess...
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Art will drive up Ethereum price, claims agency head

Art will drive up Ethereum price, claims agency head
1 ETH currently equates to around $200 USD. An "art-tech agency" believes that the art world will be responsible for pushing Ethereum's value by the end of 2018 to more than double. Ian Mcleod of Thomas Crown Art is, in our view, being rather ambitious. Nothing wrong in that, of course, but for a currency to more than double its value in eight week...
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Why can’t Instagram get anybody to care about IGTV?

Why can’t Instagram get anybody to care about IGTV?
Instagram pulled out all the stops when it announced IGTV to the world in June. Though the platform's hub for longform video content — think YouTube, but with intentionally vertically-oriented video — was anything but a surprise given all the leaks leading up to its launch, Instagram threw celebrations around the world to introduce people to its ne...
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“Visual Music Masters”: a whistle-stop tour around the sonic and visual arts

“Visual Music Masters”: a whistle-stop tour around the sonic and visual arts
Adriano Abbado’s new book Visual Music Masters examines the many connections between abstract images and sound, with the work absolutely chock full of references. The first chapter impressively examines the history of music and vision’s inter-relationship. From Plato and Aristotle through Ernst Chladni’s Sound Patterns of 1787, through the syn...
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Instagram has a massive harassment problem

Instagram has a massive harassment problem Anthony Quintano, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/quintanomedia/34066749252
When Brandon Farbstein first joined Instagram in 2014, he was 14 and optimistic. Farbstein was born with a rare form of dwarfism, and he wanted to use the photo-sharing site to educate people about his condition—to, as he told me, "show people a glimpse into my life and inspire people." Soon enough, though, the hateful messages started coming: deat...
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Web Curios 19/10/18

Web Curios 19/10/18
Does this mean we now have to stop lauding the Saudi regime for its incredibly progressive decision to let women drive cars? Does this mean that they're the bad guys again? What? They were  always  the bad guys? GOD IT'S ALL JUST SO HARD. Welcome to yet another week in which once again we have been shown that if you're rich enough you rea...
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The 27-year-old guy who tweets for Steak-Umm is millennial angst personified

The 27-year-old guy who tweets for Steak-Umm is millennial angst personified
Nathan Allebach doesn't consult a formula, research keywords or track online trends before he hits "send" on one of his tweets. That would, in a lot of ways, defeat the point of his abstract craft. Sometimes, he bolts awake in the middle of the night with a genius idea for a truly dumb shitpost . Other times, he lets loose his views on the world wh...
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John Battelle: This is how Amazon loses

John Battelle: This is how Amazon loses Fabian Hurnaus
Yesterday, I lost it over a hangnail and a two-dollar bottle of hydrogen peroxide. You know when a hangnail gets angry, and a tiny red ball of pain settles in for a party on the side of your finger? Well, yeah. That was me last night. My usual solution is to stick said finger into a bottle of peroxide for a good long soak. But we were out of the st...
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E-commerce towns, and why Bezos needs to be the next Baťa

E-commerce towns, and why Bezos needs to be the next Baťa Bata shoe factory, East Tilbury. David Anstiss, CC licence
Spend an hour or two on pretty much any motorway in the world and you will inevitably drive past an e-commerce distribution centre. Sometimes they are branded in accordance with the contracting logistics company; sometimes they are branded by the e-commerce company itself; and sometimes they are branded by the landlord. Whoever owns and brands them...
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Dieter Rams wants Silicon Valley to stop

Dieter Rams wants Silicon Valley to stop
Dieter Rams is done giving interviews, and Gary Hustwit can only poke at his tempeh hash with a laugh here and a sigh there, hoping he did the legend justice. I sit with Hustwit in a chilly Chicago diner before screening the film later that night at its Midwestern premiere. Hustwit cannot know this documentary represents the last time Rams will spe...
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