Oculus Birth

This is part 1 of a series of speculative virtual reality projects. Illustrations by David Tracy. Also appears in The New Inquiry.


Figure 1: Conception.



Figure 2: Two miniaturized GoPro cameras are affixed to the skull of the fetus.



Figure 3: Gestation.



Figure 4: “I’m really looking forward to this experience.”



Figure 5: The live feed.



Figure 6: The mother experiences the birth of her child from the child’s perspective.



Figure 7: Crowning.



Figure 8: “Happy Birthday.”



Figure 9: The experience is concluded.

Case Study

Here is some initial documentation for “Case Study”, a project that I’m working on with Pedro G. C. Oliveira.

“Case Study” is a briefcase that analyzes and produces visualizations of literary/philosophical texts using weaponized natural language processing software originally developed by the military. The parsing software, which finds and tags geopolitical events and world-historical actors in news articles, was originally intended to be a tool to help governments make predictions about global trends and material conflicts. In Case Study, we use that same tool on literary and philosophical texts rather than news articles, producing visualizations that frame literary and philosophical events in the language of geopolitics and the military.






Stupid Projects From The Stupid Hackathon

This weekend, Amelia Winger-Bearskin and I organized our second Stupid Shit No One Needs & Terrible Ideas Hackathon, a hackathon that asks participants to produce project that have no value whatsoever (PATENT PENDING). It was a resounding and unqualified success. Here is a small sample of the 100,000+ projects that people made over the course of the day. (If you made a project and want me to add it to this list, just get in touch.)

iPad On A Face

iPad On A Face by Cheryl Wu is a telepresence robot, except it’s a human with an iPad on his or her face.


Kim Kardashian On A Newton

Perhaps a sister project to iPad On A Face, Kim Kardashian On A Newton is photo of Kim Kardashian on an Apple Newton. Apologies for the lack of credits on this one – I can’t remember who made it.


Rearview Mirror

Rearview Mirror by Matt Romein and Sam Sadtler is a virtual reality application that shows you what’s behind you.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fK-cwCxU4IU w=640]

Golden Bitcoin Pasties

3D printed Bitcoin pasties, by Xuedi Chen and Pedro Galvao.

The Emoji Subtitle Creator

The Emoji Subtitle Creator by Ross Goodwin and Seth Kranzler automatically translates normal subtitles into ascii symbols.
[vimeo http://vimeo.com/111951819 w=640]

How to say Mitt Romney in different languages

How to say Mitt Romney in different languages by Owen Weeks is an interactive tool that teaches the user to say the word “Mitt Romney” in a variety of languages.


Tweet Your Food

Tweet Your Food by Denny George and Matthew Kaney is an important innovation in the sphere of the “quantified self”. It’s a device that tweets every time you eat a bite of food.


Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 3.39.29 PM

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/112002326 w=640]


Needybot by Jessie Contour, Eric Bichan and Will Acheson is a robot that cries when you aren’t soothing it.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRRaA7hQUJc w=640]

Stupid Font

Stupid Font, by Stupid Hackathon veteran Laura Juo-Hsin Chen is a hand tracing of TEFF Lexicon, the most expensive font in the world.



Profanity65 by Nick Doiron adds profanity to encrypted PGP messages.

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 4.40.31 PM

Drone Delivery with Drone Doulas

Drone Delivery with Drone Doulas by Amelia Winger-Bearksin. The future of babies.

[vimeo https://vimeo.com/111943360 w=640]

Focus Tools

Focus Tools by Brian Clifton is a Chrome extension that replaces all YouTube videos with this gif:

Egg Timer

Egg Timer by Pam Liou is an hourglass that counts down to menopause.


Intellectual Babes Calendar

Intellectual Babes Calendar by Caitlin Weaver is a calendar of re-touched male intellectuals coming soon for the holiday calendar gifting season. The calendar will feature: Slavoj Žižek, Jorge Luis Borges, Roland Barthes (UNTOUCHED), Jean-Paul Sartre, Plato, Friedrich Nietzsche, Arthur Schopenhauer, Walt Whitman, AND MANY, MANY MORE.

From the project’s creator: “It’s hard to care about the Western intellectual tradition when it was created by a bunch of old ugly white dudes. Why would you ever read some decrepit geezer’s book? The intellectual babes calendar streamlines and beautifies the men responsible for building the pillars of our culture – maybe not all the way to the point of 8 out of 10 / would fuck, but definitely lifting them out of the 10 below zero / def wouldn’t read category.”

Here are Italo Calvino (April) and Vladimir Nabokov (February):



Thank You!

We want to thank Grand Daisy bakery for making us pizza, Sam Agnew and Ordrin for paying for those pizzas, and ITP for sponsoring and hosting the event.

Yelp Prison Review Faxbot


Fletcher Bach and I recently discovered that there are reviews of prisons on Yelp. Some of these reviews are snarky one-liners -for example, one yelper describes Rikers Island as a “great island getaway right in my own backyard”. Other reviews appear to be honest first person accounts. Some people review what it’s like to visit the prison; others describe their experiences as inmates.

The reviews provide valuable first-hand insight into the workings of the prison system, but, we wondered, do prison administrators get the opportunity to read them? Do prison administrators even know their institutions are being reviewed on Yelp?

So, we came up with a helpful automated solution to ensure that prison administrators receive the feedback they may not know they are getting: a Yelp prison review faxbot. It’s a small python program that constantly monitors Yelp for reviews of prisons. Whenever the script finds a new review it automatically sends a fax to that prison with the Yelp star rating and content of the new review. Today we sent out 12 faxes, just to get things started.

Prison Faxes

At the moment we are monitoring the following prison reviews, these being the prisons we’ve found that have both Yelp reviews and fax numbers:

We’ll be growing this list – feel free to get in touch if you find anything else to add in. We’re also thinking of switching to physical mail rather than fax.

The code for the faxbot is here on github.