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19
Nov

A Facebook page for teaching graphic design students to make absurd connections

Note: This is a composite image that I cobbled together by taking screenshots of the stream as I scrolled down and then pasted side by side in photoshop in order to give a clearer idea of the concept. The actual page looks like a completely normal FB page, of course. ;-)

I do not know how others go about it but with me it is like this: When I make things I do not usually start out with a clearly defined objective (used to be so in the bad old days of course, when I had “real” clients, with “real” jobs and “real” briefs for whom I had to develop “real” strategies and whatnot – the nightmare of it all!…) Anyway, now that I am old and free, I usually start to do something for whatever reason and then things start to happen. I make connections that sort of evolve out of what I am doing. Read moreRead more

19
Aug

Is the Internet making us crazy?

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/07/08/is-the-internet-making-us-crazy-what-the-new-research-says.html

I came across this on facebook (of all addictive places!) thanks to an old friend of mine, Nazif Topçuoğlu, who posted it there. And yes – I too think that online social networks and domains are wreaking havoc on our psyches. And if I am saying this, if I am observing some very adverse effects in myself that have come about from being a virtual worlds resident of 5+ years, then I may well be a good candidate for some of the research that these folks are conducting.

The findings that are being reported in the article are all disconcerting. But, here is the bit that has terrified me more than anything else in there, I guess:

“We may appear to be choosing to use this technology, but in fact we are being dragged to it by the potential of short-term rewards. Every ping could be a social, sexual, or professional opportunity, and we get a mini-reward, a squirt of dopamine, for answering the bell. “These rewards serve as jolts of energy that recharge the compulsion engine, much like the frisson a gambler receives as a new card hits the table,””

I find this notion of the “mini-reward” extremely worrisome since I can immediately recognize this type of compulsive behavior in myself also, when I think on how I have to go and check Flickr every half hour or so for the first 6 hours after I post an image, to see if my friends have commented on it and/or faved it. And to then realize how the “reward” is indeed so short-lived, that the “high” from getting the fave/comment evaporates almost instantaneously and I have to run back for more very shortly afterwards. And if nothing happens, I feel downcast. Not depressed maybe – I may not be that far gone yet – but definitely downcast… Read moreRead more

18
Jul

Asemia

I love playing around with text, and yet I hardly ever have the words themselves inside my head. So, what I end up doing is use the poetry or the prose of others, or sometimes I use generative text. I have no idea why I cannot make up a tale. It seems that my mind only works in single instances that have no past or future.

Another thing is that I am very tired of words. It seems like as if all I ever do is talk. All everyone does is talk, for that matter. A global obsession with communication. Usually short sentences so that they can also fit on twitter. This I do not like. I do not want to share anything and everything in short snippets. I would, however, like to tell a long tale, if I could – which, unfortunately, I can’t.

Recently I have been very disenchanted. Still am actually. And, with this kind of deep level turn off from life, words would not work anyway, even if I had the talent to make them into a tale. Hence – asemia:
http://elifayiter.wix.com/asemia

13
Jul

Unexpected and nice! I was interviewed!

Luciana Pinazzo put this small interview with me on mondi virtuali, an Italian website for virtual worlds: http://www.mondivirtuali.it/portal/en/content/alpha-auer-art-takes-lot-time

Needless to say, I am utterly delighted! Not everyday that something like this happens where one is allowed to share some of one’s thoughts on the world that one works in. Thank you Luciana, for the opportunity! And for publishing the entirety of what I said.

12
Jul

New dynamic display thingy @ blogspot

I am trying out the dynamic viewer that blogspot has recently added to their template collection: shapeshifterisland.blogspot.com/

Admittedly, there are a few problems with it – like no link list for example. The post titles are too big and you cannot make them smaller, so I did not give any of the posts titles. The bottom line is, unlike all other blogspot templates, this one does not allow you to edit the HTML. And the advanced customization editor is also very limited in what it can do. Just change colors and fonts basically. As I said, even changing font sizes won’t work… Ouch!

And not all the viewing versions look good – the one called “snapshot” looks awful in fact. And you cannot disable them, the visitor gets the choice, which is always listed at the top. (Although I did sort of get around that one by making the type color the same as the background color – teeee heeee).

But still, for something like this that contains photos only, with no big explanations or anything to go with them, it is quite a neat little display system.