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Closer to e-book reality: Amazon Kindle

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Just announced last month is the strangely styled and potentially disruptive new e-book reader from Amazon, dubbed "Kindle." I don't know about you but that title makes me think of Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451... Get video, images and blurbs from Amazon or google it for alternate perspectives.

Chief on the features list is wireless connectivity -- with no monthly fee -- using Sprint's high-speed (EVDO) network, more like an advanced mobile phone than a laptop with wi-fi. The gadget sells for 400. USD and early sign seem to suggest success -- it's sold out between now and Christmas....

“How to Realize a Gallery Exhibition Based on Design-Oriented Content”

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I was recently contacted about the Massive Change project by Matt Garmon, a student of OCAD where I'm currently teaching design. Following are his intro letter and interview questions, along with my answers.

"Hi Greg. I am currently in Todd Falkowsky's 3rd year Thesis Prep class at Ontario College of Art & Design. I am working on a case study based on the Massive Change project and was wondering if I could interview you to gain some personal insight into the project.

Specifically, I'm using the Massive Change exhibit as a model for how to effectively organize and realize a gallery exhibition based on design-oriented content. Your expertise and personal experience with this project would definitely help me generate a content-rich study and would be greatly appreciated. Would you be available to answer the following questions?"

1) What was the biggest obstacle/hurdle that the team encountered while working on the project? How did you overcome it?

In writing, curating and designing Massive Change, the biggest challenge was the overall ambition of the project. By this I mean the implications and reach of the critical questions, the sheer number and variety of deliverables, and the magnitude of the stakes.

Invitation to contribute to Agenda Art 2010

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I received an invitation from Peter Noever, director of Vienna-based contemporary art museum the MAK, to contribute a piece of writing to their annual report. Peter wrote:

The MAK has always seen itself as a place of social awareness beyond its assigned function as a site of art and a laboratory of art production. Under the heading of “AGENDA ART 2010,” we are now trying to draw up scenarios on the future of art: Which production conditions, which values in society, which extent of interaction with politics and the economy would be desirable for art? And how can these scenarios be made real? An avant-garde paper of this style can only be developed with the help of visionary minds from the fields of art, architecture, design, and the humanities.

A Science of What Can’t Be Done

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My friend David Coole recently took his masters in architecture and has been advising me about the graduate degree experience. After building an impressive career in film and video production, including supervising post production for Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine, he decided to enroll in architecture school.

In a recent discussion he proposed a necessary new science: a science of what can't be done. After decades -- centuries really -- of the science of what might be possible, its time, he thinks, for a science of the not possible.

Alchemists for centuries attempted to turn lead into gold. Others attempted to create a perpetual motion machine. For years the belief exceeded the practice. Only after a scientific theory proved it wasn't possible did the resignation sink in.

McLuhan reverses our intuition about sound + vision

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We tend to think of visual information as instantaneous or simultaneous, and audio as time-based, linear, successive. I do, at any rate.

To underscore this assumption, let's say I'm reviewing a designer's portfolio. I can "read" a visual image almost in a moment -- I make a snap judgement much like that analyzed in Malcolm Gladwell's Blink.

I see a cassette, video tape, quicktime file, or what have you, however, and its a different story -- I know I need to make a time investment. I immediately have expectations for what I want to get out of it. Call it experience economy "ROI". Actually, Bruce Sterling, who incidentally will be speaking at OCAD on October 2 (yes, you heard right), puts it best in Shaping Things: he says in an age of 'Gizmos', our relationship with objects is governed by the "opportunity costs" and "cognitive load" of the user.

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