Monday, August 22, 2011

"Complementarity: An Archipelago" Published On-Line

(Somehow this post didn't get finished in a timely fashion. I just found it languishing in the land of "draft".)

This spring my interdisciplinary paper "Complementarity: An Archipelago" was published by Alan N. Shapiro, technologist and futurist, on his website.

An archipelago is a sea containing scattered islands. In this paper the term is describes a scattering of texts embedded in a particular context; a cluster without overt pattern but with some as-yet-not-fully-determined connectivity. The context the reader brings to this collection is the axis about which the islands spin. Thus the archipelago is a generative system embedded in a process greater than itself.

From quantum mechanics we know that particles also act as waves, depending on what we are observing. We can see light or an electron in one or the other aspect, but to get a full appreciation of their characteristics we need to balance both concepts in our mind at the same time. Niels Bohr called this duality complementarity.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Windows Running Slow?

Today I was helping my friend Tony Higgins on Facebook. His laptop running Windows XP had suddenly become very slow. And with the complex nature of how programmes interact in a modern operating system this is all too common. Here are the suggestions I gave him for how to sort out the issue. So read on for some tips that I am sure you can find in a thousand other places. But this article also gives me the opportunity to encourage you to listen to Tony's music. Check out his site!
Tuesday, August 09, 2011

"No Input Software" Paper and Concert This Week

The newly-founded Irish, Sound, Science and Technology Association (ISSTA) is having their first Convocation (the ISSTC, naturally) this week, Wednesday and Thursday. This is being run out of the University of Limerick, right on my door-step, so of course I will be taking part. First I'll be delivering a paper and then I'll perform a piece that instantiates the ideas in that text.

Wednesday 10 August 2011 at 11:30, I will be presenting a paper on my current activities: "No Input Software: Cybernetics, Improvisation and The Machinic Phylum". If you are interested you can register for the conference and enter into the dialogue! A total of 40 euro gets you a yearly membership to ISSTA, entry to all the talks and three concerts, so it's rather good value. For more information go to the ISSTC 2011 "Overture" website.
Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Autopoieses 15

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Autopoieses 14

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Autopoieses 13

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Autopoieses 12

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Autopoieses 11

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Autopoieses 10

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Autopoieses 9

Monday, August 08, 2011

Autopoieses 8

Monday, August 08, 2011

Autopoieses 7

Monday, August 08, 2011

Autopoieses 6

Monday, August 08, 2011

Autopoieses 5

Monday, August 08, 2011

Autopoieses 4

Monday, August 08, 2011

Autopoieses 3

Monday, August 08, 2011

Autopoieses 2

Monday, August 08, 2011

Autopoieses 1

Monday, August 08, 2011

"Deserted Village" to Première at GAFF in Gorey, Ireland

deserted village, Achill Island
If you are in the vicinity of Gorey, County Wexford, next Sunday 7 August, you should drop into the Gorey Arts & Film Festival (GAFF), a "new intimate 1 day event" that is spearheaded by Richard Carr, the man behind the open art publication StudentZine.

Helen Frosi of London's SoundFjord has curated a Listening Post as part of the festival. I contributed a composition created entirely from the ambiance of the deserted village, Achill Island, Co. Mayo. Listening to the sound of the sheep bounce from mountain-side to mountain-side was incredible. I wish I could recreate the same sense of embodiment in space, but instead must be satisfied with some rather more overt sonic manipulations.
Sunday, August 07, 2011

Olympus G. Zuiko 40mm f/1.4 Test Part 2

mauve flower after rain
Following on Part 1, I will present some sample images of the Olympus G. Zuiko 40mm f/1.4 and discuss its usability.

First, to consider the focal length. This lens is DOF/FOV equivalent to an 80mm f/2.8 on full-frame, which is a capable telephoto configuration. The equivalence for APS-C is 51mm f/1.8, which means that it corresponds to a typical fast fifty on the Pentax system I know and love. This is a field of view I enjoy, since I prefer something either tighter than the "normal" field of view (which is 21mm on the Micro Four Thirds format). That's why you'll find me shooting 43mm or even 77mm as a general "walk around" lens on APS-C.
Sunday, August 07, 2011

Olympus G. Zuiko 40mm f/1.4 Test Part 1

Olympus E-P1 w/ Zuiko 40/1.4
In this pair of articles I'll present one of my typical lens "tests", which involves shooting at different apertures in a controlled environment, and then roaming about the neighbourhood to take snapshots. The handling of the lens as well as its image quality will be under review.

The "Olympus G. Zuiko Auto-S 40mm F1.4", to give the lens its full title, was designed for the Olympus PEN F half-frame film camera, introduced in 1963. The innovative work of Yoshihisa Maitani (which involved over 50 patents) created an elegant well-built system that was immediately popular and sold millions. I happen to think it's one of the finest looking cameras you can get (the earlier Olympus Trip cameras are nice as well). Thus it was a pleasant surprise when Olympus tapped into this heritage to introduce their Micro Four Thirds cameras, about which I have been writing a fair amount lately. (Though in some ways technically superior, the Panasonic MFT cameras have the same old uninspiring SLR look.)
Saturday, August 06, 2011

Comparing Alternative Mount Lenses on the Olympus E-P1

The last article considered the range of alternative legacy lenses one can adapt to the Olympus/Panasonic Micro Four Thirds (MFT) system. My goal is to find something more compact than my Pentax 43mm Limited without giving up anything significant in terms of image quality.

In this article I'll use photographs to compare lenses designed for three different mounts, seeing how they look on the Olympus E-P1, and also crunching the figures to see which ends up winning the "I'm tiny! Buy me!" award.
Friday, August 05, 2011

Adapters for Pentax K Lens on MFT Cameras

As a resource, I thought I would supply a list of those brands of adapters I have located that allow the use of Pentax K lenses on Micro Four Thirds (MFT) cameras. You can be sure that these firms will also offer adapters for other such lenses. And they also might very well provide adapters to other camera systems. So this information might be more generally useful.

This is not a list of recommendations as I have not compared these brands. Even the cheapest adapters available from China on eBay are made of aluminum and brass and might very well provide an excellent fitting for your lenses. I have converted all selling prices to US dollars but this does not indicate shipping charges or ease of purchase depending on where you live.
Friday, August 05, 2011

Choosing An Alternative Mount Lens for an ILM Camera

In my last article I explained all about register and why ILM cameras allow such a wide range of off-system lenses to be adapted to their bodies. It's one of the main reasons these cameras (Olympus PEN, Panasonic G3 and family, Sony NEX) have proven so popular with aficionado photographers, many of whom have a standing investment in lenses from other systems.

In this article I'll list the systems we might want to use on our ILM and apply my own specific criteria of price, usability and form factor. Happily, a single mount choice will bubble to the surface. (If you apply different criteria you may get a different result.)
Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Register (Flange Focal Distance) and ILM Cameras

Olympus E-P1 with FA43 Limited
One of the best things about ILM cameras (don't know what they are? read my last post) is that the lack of the traditional mirror assembly means that a great deal of the depth of the camera (measured from the back plane out towards the front of the lens) can be omitted. This is not a new observation, since it is entirely the same advantage that range-finder cameras always had. They could thus be constructed to be relatively thin and pocketable, which is one of the main reasons they became a favourite of street photographers. (The fact they weren't much good at macro, close focusing or telephoto applications also helped narrow their application domain.)
Tuesday, August 02, 2011

How (Not) To Name Your Camera System

(This will be an entirely minor article, spun out of my head when contemplating far more important matters. You know how it is.)

An annoying thing about the new crop of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras is that we don't have a good name for them. Olympus and Panasonic call the cameras in their Micro-Four-Thirds (MFT) line "New Generation System Cameras", though Olympus is smart enough to de-emphasise this unwieldy term in place of the easier-to-market "PEN". Pentax opts for ILC (Interchangeable-Lens Camera) to describe the new Q, a term which doesn't distinguish this camera from SLRs. Ricoh's odd GXR design is the Interchangeable Unit Camera System. And Sony merely says "ultra-compact camera system" when they need to describe the NEX.